Monday, October 31, 2011

Searching for signal.......

Rupert Murdoch is a dick. I have had DirecTV satellite television since 1995. It isn't the greatest, for instance when it rains out I don't get any television. The signal simply can't pass through rain, or even an occasional flock of pigeons. The only, the one and only reason I have it, is NFL football. None of the other television providers can give me every NFL football game on Sunday so I am stuck with DirecTV. Now I find out that Rupert Murdoch wants forty percent more in fees for the privilege of watching his television channels, and if he doesn't get it he will pull his channels from DirecTV. Those would include National Geographic, FX, Fox sports channels, and the Fox Movie Channel. DirecTV has assured me that the Fox News Channel would not be affected. Too bad. My question to Rupert Murdoch is, don't you get advertising dollars from those channels? Won't your properties be worth less if they are getting less exposure? I guess this is what you would expect from one of the greediest men in the world, the guy who has polluted our political system with his twenty four hour propaganda machine, Fox News. The bottom line is, I will stick with DirecTV. I value being able to watch the Chicago Bears from the comfort of my recliner here in Florida, more than I do those Fox cable channels. I will miss 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia' though.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

911

I was sitting here writing up today's post when phssst, the electric went out for a couple of hours, AGAIN! I think this is the fifth time this year the electricity has gone out here at Casa de Alan y Marcos. I had a hilarious story about Mark having forty dollars stolen from right under his nose, half written, and then nothing. The whole thing was gone. That's what I get for using Microsoft Works Word, instead of Microsoft Office Word. The difference being that Microsoft Office Word saves the project constantly, while the simpler Works Word only backs up when it feels like it.

Anyway, here's the gist of what I had written. Mark was asked by a lady friend of ours to watch her sandwich shop for fifteen minutes while she ran off to do something. Within minutes three children, from the age of around eight to sixteen entered the store. I was at home, and the phone rang. It was Mark.
"There are some people here." he whispered.
"And???" I replied.
"They aren't buying anything. I think they're going to rob me."
"Okay. Just tell them to leave."
"Alright." he whispered back.
After I hung up the oldest one asked if the youngest girl could use the restroom. When Mark said sure, she asked Mark if he would go back there with her to show her where it was. Here is where Mark made a mistake, he momentarily moved towards the back, then stopped. When he looked back, he saw the middle kid hanging around the cash register. Like I said, they took him for about forty dollars.

So the lesson today is, don't trust those little fuckers. Oh, and don't call me, call 911 if someone might be robbing you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

When Worlds Collide

For a little over three years I have volunteered at a no kill pet shelter. It is run by a very dedicated staff, and they are supplemented by an enthusiastic group of volunteers. One of the activities we volunteer for are the 'Meet and Greet' events. These consist of taking some of the dogs, and cats to fairs, stores, and other places where people gather, so that they might find adoptive families. Usually the meet and greet crew consists of various old ladies, nice man/woman couples, and the ever present gay man or two. So when the call went out for help at a meet and greet at a local gay bar, of course I immediately signed up. The bar is called The Ramrod.

The Ramrod is a leather bar. That means that the guys get dressed up in varying degrees of leather costumes, and play different roles in their little alternate reality. Some are into S&M, some bondage, and some... well who knows. Many years ago I used to go to this bar on occasion. I am not into that leather scene, nor do I own any of the accessories used in that scene. Mostly I went for the cheap drinks, and the fact that once in a while those guys do go vanilla. What I remembered about that bar was that it was very dark inside, had different forms of restraining devices placed around the bar for customer use, and that they showed hard core pornography on the video screens.

Never the less, what could go wrong with us bringing some of our dogs over there? I figured we would set up a table with our flyers, and promotional stuff right outside the front door, greeting the leather boys as they arrived. It was when Barb, the organizer of this event, informed me that no, it wouldn't be out front but on the 'patio', that I started to worry. Maybe I waited too long, but on Saturday afternoon I emailed Barb asking her if she was aware of what that place was. She replied back that she did, and besides it would be in the early evening, before the leatherwear crowd showed up.

So early Sunday evening, we arrived with our dogs. Our crew consisted of me, Mark, two other gay men, Barb, and another middle aged lady. After making our way past the dildo gift shop, we stumbled through the nearly pitch black inner bar area, and out back to the patio. The patio was just a narrow area between the back of the building, and the property line. It was damp, and smelly, but there was a bar, and bartender out there, so we set up our little table next to the pillory (a medieval restraining device). The dogs immediately began sniffing things of uncertain origin that were jammed into the corners, and trying to taste the moist spots on the floor. Besides the pillory, there were chains, ropes, and video screens. On those video screens they were showing porn movies, hard core gay porn movies. Big, beefy, hairy men doing what your mother always told you not to do. If you tried to avoid looking at the porn by casting your eyes downward, you were greeted by men in assless chaps. I looked over at Barb, and then over to the other lady. They seemed unperturbed. Instead of their heads spinning, and them gouging their eyes out, they were both busy talking to guys, trying to find those who might possibly adopt a dog. All I can figure is that either they are blind, kinky themselves, or just troopers, doing whatever it takes to find a home for the dogs.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Won't Give In

There are two eyes looking longingly through the window at me. A few moments later there are four eyes out there. It's Britney Spears, and Lindsey Lohan, my outdoor kitties. They're working on me, trying to weasel their way into the house, I just know it.

It's been two months since my last indoor cat, Fat Kitty, passed away. I do miss her but the relief from cat allergies has been welcome. I've had at least one cat living in my home with me since 1975, and for thirty six years I constantly popped allergy pills. I don't miss that. I'm still cleaning up the cat hair, and it will probably take a year to get it all out of the house. Because of that I refuse to have any more indoor cats. Not only because of me, but because of Mark, and his breathing problems.

So what am I going to do? Every time I open the door to feed the little darlings, they run into the house. Three feet in, and they come face to face with Chandler. Amazingly nothing ever happens. When I step outside with their bowls of food, they follow me back out. It's a routine we've been doing for the last year or so. They seem to not be afraid of the big dog, and Sasha isn't much more than a nuisance to them. It's as if they're trying to show me they can get along with dogs. See what I mean? They're working on me, testing me, trying to break down my will.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Photo Friday

Last Saturday afternoon at the JetBlue Health and Safety Fair

Those are my scratched up shins.
In front of me is Otis, a five month old Boxer/Pit bull mix. 
He's looking for a home. Don't let the Pit part bother you. He's a sweetheart.

This is his brother, Opie.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Gift

For three days solid it has been raining here in paradise, you know, the Sunshine State, Florida. And three times a day, for those three days, I have been trying to get my dogs out to do their doody. Now Sasha isn't too much of a problem. It seems that one of her previous owners had trained her to take a poop, and pee in the shower. The only thing is that sometimes she gets confused, and takes a crap just outside the shower on the bathroom floor. She also has taken a dump here in my office, but I attribute that to Mark taking one of his lengthy showers, causing Sasha to search out an alternative site.

Chandler is another story. He will try to hold his bladder, and crapper as long as possible. That said, he still needs to go out. What I do is keep one eye on the swimming pool through the window. If I see that no rain is falling, disturbing the pool surface, I will quickly grab Chandler, and we will make a run for the church down the block. The church being his preferred pooping place. This morning I decided that we could make it all the way around the block because the pavement was dry, even though the sky was still a leaden gray. It obviously hadn't rained in the last hour, so on we went, past the corner where Chandler likes to stop and pee. Past drunken Mikes house, where Chandler always stops to smell something. Not sure what he's smelling, but it must be good, he spends an inordinate amount of time there. We were almost at the point of no return when a light rain started. I decided to turn around and go back the way we came. Chandler must have sensed what was coming, because he immediately squatted in the nearest patch of grass, and took a gigantic crap. So we beat the rain. We managed to crap, pick up the crap in one of our little green bags, and make it all the way home just before the skies opened up again.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lane Cake

It's Sunday, and the day is gray. Outside rain is dotting the swimming pool with little concentric circles, and inside I am laid back in my recliner while football flickers across the gigantic television screen. Off in the kitchen I can hear Mark banging around, with the various gadgets he uses to create his masterpieces, whirring, and grinding away. The first football game of the day is almost over, and I can now smell something wonderful coming from that kitchen. By the time the second game of the day starts, Mark is over in the dining room smearing icing on a layer cake.
"What kind of cake did ya make?" I ask.
"It's called a Lane Cake. It has a filling of pecans, raisins, and a full cup of bourbon."

By the time the Chicago Bears game on Sunday Night Football starts, half the Lane Cake is gone, and I now have a craving for a cocktail. And some of you wonder why I keep Mark around.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Puppy Chow

Right now I feel as though I have a thousand cuts on my legs. Saturday morning, Barb from Abandoned Pet Rescue, brought two adorable puppies over to the house for me to baby sit. It was for less than an hour, but in that time Maverick, and Rembrandt managed to not only slice and dice my legs, but they terrorized Sasha, and made mad friends with Chandler. Sasha's problem was that they jumped up on the bed, and Sasha considers the bed to be her territory. She was not happy. Chandler on the other hand, loved playing with the two little midgets. They are a miniature poodle/rat terrier mix, and Chandler outweighs them by about eighty five pounds, but that didn't matter. The two little females ran circles around Chandler. It became love when one of them clawed her way up my leg, and onto the arm of my chair so that she could lick Chandler's ear. He loves to be touched, and it doesn't matter by who or what or where on his body he's touched. Eventually I had to move the party outside because it was getting much too rowdy.

The reason I had the puppies is that we were taking them to the Jet Blue employee health fair at the airport. I like doing these meet and greet events, where we take some of the dogs from the shelter, and try to entice folks to adopt them. Because nothing says adopt me like cute puppies being led around by some old guy in shorts with bloody, scratched up legs.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Photo Friday

What's wrong with this photo?


Vacation, Chicago 1998 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Can't Sleep Doc

I like documentaries. Ever since my eyes started failing me I read less and less, so documentaries are the easy way to learn. The only problem is that I tend to fall asleep at some point. Yesterday morning I was watching a documentary about Steve Bartman, and the Chicago Cubs. Bartman is the poor sap that the Cubs fans blamed for the playoff meltdown in 2003. But that's not the point, the point is I fell asleep. About one hour into the movie, I fell asleep waking up only to see the credits rolling by while drool rolled down my chin. I have also fallen asleep to Michael Moore movies on many occasions, but the worst was that Al Gore documentary called An Inconvenient Truth. I was unconscious thirty seconds into it as Al's twangy, monotonous narration droned on, and on.

My favorite documentary director is of course Ken Burns. I record his docs, and watch them in thirty minute increments so as not to miss something by falling asleep. Just last night I finished watching his newest production called Prohibition. Piggybacking that on top of the HBO show, Boardwalk Empire, made it doubly interesting. The only problem was not that I was falling asleep, but that it made me want to drink. Seeing all that booze being smashed up, and all that beer flowing in the streets made me want to suck down a vodka cocktail. So I did. In fact during each segment of the movie I watched, I knocked down two or three cocktails. I didn't fall asleep this time, and I think I saw the whole thing. As for having a buzz while watching it, well, it was kind of like that gimmick they used to have in the movie theaters back in the 1970's called Sensurround.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I Don't Care

Why the hell do we care so much about what Hollywood movie stars, and recording stars have to say? They aren't politicians, and as long as they make good movies, and records, it doesn't matter. I don't give a flying poop what stupid thing Mel Gibson said in a drunken stupor, I liked Apocalypto. During the late sixties, and early seventies, John Wayne spouted his conservative views, and supported war. I hated the Viet Nam War, but I loved John Wayne movies, and continued to watch them. Did The Dixie Chicks offend you when one of them suggested that George W. Bush was an idiot? Get over it, and enjoy the music.

I say this because I liked the Monday Night Football intros by Hank Williams Jr.. Now, because he said some outrageous thing on Fox News, I don't get to enjoy him screaming "Are you ready for some football" on Mondays. I don't care what he said. He's an idiot. He's a shit kicking, drunken fool, who has no idea about what's, what, because all he watches is Fox News, and listens only to Rush. I don't care. I want to hear him sing that song, I want him to sing out that the Bears are gonna suck tonight. I don't care about his politics. I am not a fan of firing celebrities, or boycotting them over some stupid thing they said.
Except for Imus. Imus sucked, and I hated his show.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mark Goes Bananas

Mark made banana nut bread today. You know it's delicious because he made it from scratch, not from a box. Of course he used fresh bananas, pecans that he shelled himself, and the very best of ingredients he could buy.

We've had a rash of burglaries around here in the past few months. They all were pulled off in the same way. The window in the back door is smashed. Jewelry, small valuables, and money is taken, then the thieves are gone within minutes. So far five homes that I know of have been hit, including a neighbor who I chat with every morning. He has actually been hit twice, and when I saw the police car pull up in front of his home the other day I feared the worst.
"Hey Paul, what was up with the cops this morning? Did they break into your house again?"
"No, this time they stole my bananas."
"Stole your bananas? You mean the bananas on that tree that hangs over the street?"
"Yes, and now I only have that one bunch remaining." Paul said, pointing up into the knot of banana trees in his front yard.

I felt bad because Paul is obsessive about his yard. He is out there every morning pruning, clipping, sweeping, and whatever else it takes to keep his lush jungle looking nice. I just never knew he cared that much about his bananas, or the star fruit he also grew out next to the street. In fact I always figured if it was on the public swale next to the street, it was fair game. I mean if you don't want people to help themselves to your fruit wouldn't you plant it further up into your yard?

Like I said, Mark baked a delicious banana nut bread today.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Photo Friday

 October 7, 1945
 The 1946 Cadillac, the first since before WWII, rolls off the assembly line.

 The Chicago Cubs lose to the Detroit Tigers
in game 5 of the World Series at Wrigley Field.



And a day later, on October 8, 1945 Raytheon filed a U.S. patent for Percy Spencer's microwave cooking process, and an oven that heated food using microwave energy was placed in a Boston restaurant for testing. 




They must have known you'd like one of those.

Happy Birthday

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Here Kitty, Kitty

I know that my memory isn't as good as it used to be. Now it seems that maybe Mark is a little more forgetful than I realized. Yesterday I told Mark that I needed to go to the supermarket to pick up some dry cat food. Mark said fine, put on his shoes, and we both walked out to the PT Cruiser for the trip to Publix. It wasn't until I got out to the car that I remembered, we had done the exact same thing the day before. I stopped at the rear of the car, opened up the hatchback, and there it was, a twenty pound bag of cat food.
"When did you get that?" Mark asked.
"Don't you remember when we stopped at Publix yesterday?"
"Uh, maybe?"
"You don't remember me walking out to the car with a bag of cat food on my shoulder?"
"I guess I do." Mark replied

Okay, so we both forgot going to the store the day before and forgot that I bought cat food. It happens. It wasn't until I brought the bag of cat food into the house, and proceeded to put it away in the cabinet that I realized just how bad my memory is. There in the cabinet were two other bags of cat food I had forgotten buying on previous occasions. Sad isn't it? At least the cats won't starve to death. Of course that is if I remember to feed them, and remember where I put the goddamned cat food.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

An Old Friend

"Are you wearing that shirt?"
"Uh, yes?"
"I hate that shirt."
"But Mark, you bought it for me."
"Five years ago."

If I still had my brushed denim Levi jeans from 1967, and if by some miracle I could still fit in them, I'd be wearing them right now. I loved those jeans. You see once I find an article of clothing that I like, I will wear it to death. Back in the early nineteen seventies I had a rainbow shirt that I fell in love with. This was long before the rainbow became the symbol for 'the gays'. Maybe I was just a bit before my time, but I wore that shirt everywhere until it literally fell apart.

Right now I have a number of shirts in my closet that should really be tossed out, but because they fit my big fat belly they will stay. I also have a drawer full of shorts with broken zippers that I keep telling myself Mark will fix on his Christmas sewing machine he got last year. Truth is, those will probably be tossed very soon. As much as I like them because they fit my ample ass, I haven't seen Mark go near that sewing machine in nearly ten months. I probably should go through my closet and drawers, and start throwing things out. The problem is I'll find old friends in there, and I'll have to listen to Mark bitch when I try to wear them.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Gas Bag

One of my memories of living in Chicago was the odor of the CTA busses. Every time an old truck or other vehicle passes by with a poorly tuned diesel engine I am mentally transported back to my days in the city. The bus odor back then was a combination of burning tires, and the smell of the erasers on the end of my grade school #2 pencils when I would vigorously erase one of my many mistakes. That is roughly what I am smelling at this very moment. Chandler is snoozing on the floor right next to my office chair, and he has blown a fart. It smells exactly like a CTA bus with the added ingredient of dog shit. The worst part about it is that he sneaks the damn things out. There is no warning, no sound at all, and before you know it you are trapped in the room as it fills with the stench. Even if you run out of the room it clings to the hair in your nostrils giving you an odoriferous souvenir of the canine gas bag.

This dog fart problem is something relatively new, and in fact for quite a while I couldn't figure out which dog was doing it. Mark would wake up in the middle of the night, screaming at the dogs to get the hell out of the bed.
"Somebody farted." he'd whine.
"It wasn't me." I'd mumble back.
You'd definitely know if it was me because mine are announced by loud trumpeting, as if the queen were entering the room.
"It's one of the dogs. Get them out of here."
But I don't throw them out, instead I just turn the ceiling fan on high, roll over and go back to sleep.

Over the past few months I have figured it all out. It is most assuredly Chandler, because I have witnessed Sasha farting, and she farts like I do. With panache. Her little toots are so funny because they make her jump. Poot! And Sasha shoots forward as if jet propelled. I intend to try and get that on video one of these days. For now though, I will just turn the ceiling fan here in my office on high.