Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

 "Can't we all just get along?"


I try. I try, but I'm a weak man. Almost every morning as I walk my dogs around the block, I think to myself that this is going to be the day I start eating right. I'm not going to let that skinny bastard tempt me again today. The problem is that I live with a food pusher. Not just any food pusher, but a hundred pound lightweight who eats anything he wants, and never, ever gains weight.

"Alan, I'm making some cocktail wienie wraps. Do you want some?"
"No Mark. I'm not hungry, thank you."

I'm trying to be good. I know those things are full of nitrates and calories. Besides, I just ate breakfast two hours ago. I am not hungry. I continue to watch my football game and try to ignore the aroma wafting in from the kitchen. At some point my mind goes numb and my body goes on autopilot. I don't even remember getting up out of the chair, yet I suddenly find myself standing in the kitchen watching Mark pull a sheet of little wienies out of the oven. I know I shouldn't be there, but when I see Mark mixing up a batch of honey mustard in a little bowl, I succumb. Mmmm... little wieners dipped in honey mustard. Add a large glass of Cherry Diet Coke, and before I know it I am sitting back in front of the television with a dozen on a plate. For five minutes I sit there stuffing my face, occasionally tossing Chandler a small bit of wiener just to get him to stop drooling on my leg. When the dish is empty, reality comes rushing back to my brain. I did it again, I gave in to Mark and his never ending conveyer belt of food. In my mouth is the aftertaste of too much honey mustard, various cow bits, and a list of chemicals too long to list here. I disgust myself, and I know that there is only one cure for this food fetish. Kill Mark. Either that, or grow a pair and just say no. I could make it my New Years resolution. No, not killing Mark, but learning to say no. That should last until say, noon tomorrow.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sixty Three


I woke up yesterday morning. My back hurt a little bit, and my sinuses were a murky mess. I pulled on my pants and shoes. After feeding the cats, I took the dogs for their walk. Halfway through the walk my knees started barking as loud as Sasha, and my feet felt like they were being poked by sharp sticks. As each dog squatted and left their pile of steaming poo, I fumbled with the little poop bags that I carry, my fingers no longer as deft and nimble as they once were. By the time we arrived back home my stomach was telling me I should eat, while my colon was telling me no, you have something else to do first. My colon won the argument which only reminded me of another consequence of aging, hemorrhoids. The day ground on as I struggled to remember the names of things, and why I had walked into any particular room. At eleven in the morning I was ready to nap. Growing old truly, truly sucks. After my nap I awoke to find Mark in the dining room snacking on McDonald's hamburgers and fries. He graciously offered me one which only exacerbated my propensity to pass gas. Of course passing gas is not something new to me. I've done it since I was young. The only difference is that now that I'm old, my sphincter has the elasticity of a two day old, helium party balloon. It isn't a pretty sound. After my McDonald's lunch, and a short spurt of energy that I directed towards cleaning the kitchen, I was ready for another nap.

It was a long day yesterday, my birthday, and despite all those naps I still found that I was tired and ready for bed. My eyes had gone blurry, my legs felt like I had walked ten miles, and my finger joints felt like somebody had hit them with a hammer. There was only one thing left to do, vodka cocktail and an Excedrin. All in all it was a pretty normal day for me. I was one year older, and I was feeling every year. As I lay there in bed waiting for Mark to finish watching his "Real Housewives" show, I mulled over my day. Not so bad, I thought, I woke up this morning.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


The agreement was that if I bought the bedroom furniture, and did all the work painting, putting down the floor, putting up the crown molding, and installing new light fixtures, I wouldn't have to spend anything on Christmas. So how come I'm as broke as a peanut today?

The bedroom was finished, and I had a little bit of extra money in my bank account. I was fine with it all, and then those gaily wrapped packages started showing up under the Christmas Tree.
"What are those for?" I asked Mark.
"Your Christmas presents silly."
I stood there staring at them, and then looked back over to Mark.
"Christmas presents? But I thought...  "
"We are exchanging gifts on Christmas aren't we? I can't have Christmas without presents to open on Christmas morning."
"Can't I just put a big bow on the bedroom wall?" I asked.
Mark gave me one of those looks that I know so well. Goddamnit, I thought to myself, sonofabitch, crap... I silently cursed him with a string of filthy profanities. Things I knew better than to say out loud. Instead I kept my mouth shut, and retired into my office to go shopping on Amazon. Click, click, clickety click. In less than five minutes I had found five gifts for Mark, and for less than one hundred dollars. Even better, I was able to order them gift wrapped. Four day later I had five gift wrapped packages under the tree for Mark.
"Ooooh, look. Christmas presents."
He was happy.
"Thank you Alan. Now about my birthday."
I had forgotten about his damned birthday on the Sunday before Christmas.
"Sure, where do you want to go for dinner?" I quickly countered.
It didn't work. Mark didn't want to go to dinner. He wanted a new chair for his desk, and not just a cheap office chair. No, Mark wanted a fancy ass upholstered chair. So on the morning of December 23rd I took Mark out to breakfast at a nice French restaurant, and then drove over to the Coral Ridge Mall where I charged my Visa card within pennies of the limit so that Mark would have his fancy ass chair. I hate Christmas, and Mark's birthday, and myself for falling for the bedroom being our Christmas gift bullshit.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

At Abandoned Pet Rescue With Kobi

Thursday is one of the two days I volunteer at APR. Today I thought I'd take a few photos. All are available for adoption except for Chanel. Click on the animal's name for more information.

This is my absolute favorite dog, Kobi. He has electric blue eyes, and he always makes me feel so bad when I leave. If it weren't for Chandler I would bring this guy home.

This is Puss-n-Boots, Two-Tone, and Gypsy in their cage.

Chanel is lucky. She was just adopted and is waiting to be picked up.

Here is Polly. She came in morbidly obese. She has shed almost all of her fat, and now enjoys a special spot behind the front desk on her own love seat.

Bye, bye.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Duvet

I have heard somewhere that you shouldn't go to bed angry with your partner. Sounds nice, but what if the argument starts in bed?

I don't like quilts on my bed. Not for some aesthetic reason, but because they are hot. Mark loves them. Since the day he moved in here I have had to put up with a heavy quilt on my bed. The problem is that we live in South Florida. It is hot, it is humid, it is sticky, and it is like living in a vaporizer for most of the year. For me to put up with Mark's desire to sleep under fifty pounds of quilted blankets, I have had to crank the air-conditioning to artic temperatures at night. It is both expensive, and it makes those prostate induced trips to the bathroom at night, very chilly. Anyway, when we decided to upgrade to a king sized bed I asked Mark to get something a bit lighter than those big, heavy quilts he prefers.
"Okay, I'll see what I can do.", He said with a twinkle in his eye.
I hate that twinkle. It means he has found an excuse to go shopping. Nothing makes him happier.

The day our king sized bed was delivered Mark pulled out a giant bag from the Home Goods store.
"What's that?" I asked.
"A duvet."
"Duvalier? Papa Doc or Baby Doc?"
"Not Duvalier, duvet. It's a cover for blankets. You can stuff it with either a light blanket, or on cold nights a heavy blanket."
I looked it over, and I was skeptical.
"How do you keep them from moving around in there? Won't they bunch up after awhile?"
With my misgivings brushed aside, we proceeded with great difficulty, to stuff a blanket in the thing and spread it across the bed.
"There, doesn't that look nice?"
Of course I didn't argue with him then, it did look nice. No, the argument started last night, as I tried to cover myself with Mark's precious duvet. I pulled the thing over myself and realized there was nothing in it. I felt around and found the blanket inside all scrunched up on Mark's side of the bed. So I gave it a yank. A hard yank that pulled it off of Mark, leaving him covered only in his tee shirt and little skivvies that he prefers to wear to bed.
"What the hell are you doing?" He screamed.
"I need some covers over here, and you had them all."
"So now you get all of the covers?"
He gave a mighty yank with his skinny little arms, barely moving the covers back to his side.
"Give me the goddamned covers Alan."
"I told you this thing would bunch up. I told you to get a couple of lightweight blankets, but no, you always get exactly what you want."
"Well maybe if you didn't let that gigantic moose dog on the bed, the duvet wouldn't have bunched up."
"You're the one who originally invited Chandler onto the bed when he was a puppy. Don't blame me."
All this of course was said in loud voices. Mark's a very high pitched screaming voice, and mine in just a loud obnoxious voice.

I woke up this morning feeling a bit chilly. Not just because Mark and I ended the evening in a loud argument, but because the duvet was firmly anchored on Mark's side of the bed. All I had was the bed sheet over me, and a gigantic snoring moose dog lying against me.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

In Support of the Second Amendment

I say no to gun control. We have to realize that the Supreme Court has said the second amendment guarantees our right to have a gun. So I say fine, let the gun folks have their guns, but hold them responsible for those guns. We need a 'Gun Owner's Responsibility' act. Make the gun owner responsible for keeping them under their control, and in their possession. If a thief breaks into your house and steals your guns, you are responsible. You did not secure them properly. Your mentally deranged child breaks open your gun cabinet, or steals the key and gets your guns, you are responsible. You did not secure them properly. That concealed weapon you're strutting around with, strapped to your thigh, making you feel like Superman, gets stolen by a mugger who comes up behind you and then uses it in another crime, you are responsible. You did not secure it properly. In other words, from the time a gun is legally sold to a citizen, who has the right to own a gun, that citizen is responsible for whatever damage that gun does. You let it out of your control by failing to properly secure it, and somebody is killed, you should be held responsible for manslaughter. If the cops arrest a criminal who shot somebody with a stolen gun, the owner he stole it from is responsible. That owner did not secure it properly.

A wooden cabinet is not a secure place to keep a gun. A wooden, glass fronted cabinet is for showing off your insecurities, for showing off your feeling that you lack a big enough penis. This cabinet will not stop a thief from breaking it open and making off with your guns. Even if it were made out of steel an enterprising thief with a crowbar could get into it within seconds. What you need is a concrete, steel encased vault to store the deadliest consumer product ever put on the market. So I say no to gun control, and yes to gun owner responsibility. You own a deadly weapon. It is not a toy, it is not the same as a stamp collection. It is no different than if you collected deadly poisons and then left them within reach of criminals, and the mentally deranged. You, the gun owner, are responsible.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Feel the Burn

I don't like Indian restaurants. I always feel dissatisfied after eating in one. None of the food really tastes very good, and I'm not sure if I even get what I ordered. Is that mystery meat really chicken, or somebody's lost kitty cat? They season it all so much they could be feeding me just about anything. Mark has attempted to recreate Indian food here at home and he has come up with a couple of truly tasty meals. That's because he knows I hate spicy food, and he tones the spices way down. I'd really rather have a rack of his ribs or meatloaf, but if once in awhile he wants to try something different, that's fine with me.

Yesterday afternoon Mark disappeared for a couple of hours. When he returned home, he went straight into the kitchen and started cooking.
"Where did you go?"
"I went shopping with Kersi."
Kersi is a friend of ours from India.
"What're you cooking there." I asked as eye stinging fumes came wafting up from the stove.
"Indian food. Kersi took me to an Indian grocery store and told me what to buy. This is going to be an authentic Indian dinner tonight."
Oh goody, I thought, "Should I check and make sure the cats are still in the yard?"

About an hour later Mark called me to dinner. It all looked pretty good, and didn't smell too bad, so as each dish was passed over to me I plopped a portion onto my plate. I took my fork and dug into the pile of ground meat first. As it hit my tongue all I could think about was the beast in the movie Alien and it's acid blood. My mouth was on fire. I jumped up, ran to the kitchen, and started gulping down water. It didn't help. From the dining room I heard Mark say, "Drink some milk if it's too spicy."
So I grabbed the gallon of milk and started chugging it. The milk did tone it down somewhat, but it still burned. I managed to choke down a few more mouthfuls of this strange dinner before I gave up. In my stomach I could feel the milk reacting with the food. It wasn't good. Things were moving and growling down there. It didn't get any better when I went to bed. I lay there all night blasting fiery bursts of curry scented gas. This morning my stomach still hurts a bit, and I am not looking forward to my next bowel movement. I never did get that asbestos lined colon installed.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and some stupid thought will pop into my head making it impossible to fall asleep again. You know how it is, you remember that mean comment you made to a friend thirty years ago and it keeps stabbing you in the brain with guilt. You lay there reliving some stupid thing you did forty years ago, like sitting in an attic dividing up hits of LSD to sell, and it makes you break out into a cold sweat when you realize what the consequences could have been. Or how about that year you wasted chasing a straight guy, thinking if he only knew how much I want him he'd cave. Oh to have that precious time back.

That's not why I'm wide awake tonight. None of those things bother me right now. What bothers me, what is keeping me from sleeping a sound and satisfying sleep, is our mattress. I bought a new mattress, a king size one, so that Mark, Chandler, Sasha, and I could all sleep together without touching one another. So I could sleep all night without Mark's relentless, restless leg syndrome shaking me all night. The new mattress has accomplished all those things. It is as if I am all alone in this bed, and I love it, or I should love it. Instead I have sunk into what seems to be a bowl of mush. My back is aching, and I feel like I've been folded in half. I never knew a mattress could be this damn soft. Mark loves it, and the dogs love it, but I hate it. I like firm mattresses, so hard and tight you could bounce a quarter off it. Like a young person's ass. So why did I buy this mattress, why don't I just return it? Groupon. Mark talked me into buying the mattress on line from Groupon. It was half price, it was delivered for free, and two nice men removed the old mattress and set up the new one. The only problem is that I want to return it, and there is some fine print on the contract. "No refunds, no returns." Pretty stupid, right?

I love shopping on the internet. I have done all my Christmas shopping on line, and I buy most of our household items on line. But there is one thing I should have known. Never buy things on line that you should try on first, like shoes, pants, wigs for Alicia, and mattresses.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's Back

When I was a kid there was a television ad for a certain brand of aspirin. It showed a cartoon head with a hammer beating on the brain area. I felt for that cartoon head. As a kid I used to get such bad migraine headaches that I would vomit. I was about twenty two years old when I discovered Excedrin. It was like a miracle drug to me. Better than marijuana, better than vodka, better than just about any other drug I had tried up until that time, and I had tried a lot. So early this year when they announced on the evening news that Excedrin was being recalled, I was horrified. The only time in forty years that I had gone more than twenty four hours without my Excedrin was when I ran out while traveling in Italy. Luckily, at the height of my pain and nausea, a nice German man gave me a mysterious little yellow pill that worked wonders.

Back when the recall was first announced, I stopped by the CVS store to stock up, figuring they would be off the shelves for a few weeks. By the time I got there the shelves were empty. Not one pill, not a caplet, nothing with the name Excedrin was in that store, nor any other store. Worst of all they weren't just off the market for a few weeks. They were gone for almost a whole year. I tried the generic versions, but they didn't do the job. I was assured that the formula was identical, but I don't believe that. Maybe Excedrin mixes in a touch of crack, or heroin, but whatever it is, it works. I have been miserable all year. There have even been incidents of black market Excedrin on Ebay and Craig's list, where people have paid as much as five dollars a pill. I refused to engage in that kind of rip off. For five dollars a hit, it had better be from Columbia.

The good news this month is that Excedrin is back. Only in the Migraine version, but that's fine. And this time I am not taking any chances. Not that living with Mark is stressful, or migraine inducing, but I am stocking up.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012



After two weeks of work, many injuries, and near fatal arguments, the bedroom is finished. Sort of. I have a few rough spots I have to work on, but overall it looks pretty good. I don't agree with Mark's choice of posters over the bed, nor his choice of curtains (I think they look like shower curtains). If I can keep him from cluttering the room up with his tchotchkes, it should be fine. Notice the new floor, and the crown molding.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Car Crap Caper

Dog poop. Nobody really likes it, but it is something dog owners have to deal with. For years I ignored it, turning around and pretending my black lab, the late Molly, never pooped a day in her life while she dumped gigantic loads on neighbor's lawns. Eventually I was shamed into doing the right thing and started picking up her steaming piles, and schlepping them home in used grocery store bags. When I got Chandler, I equipped his leash with a poopy bag dispenser so that I'd never be caught without the means to clean up after him. I have become a good citizen.

Yesterday morning my tenant stopped me as I left with Chandler.
"Say Alan, do you know who uses red bags to pick up their dog's poop?"
I stopped and thought for a moment.
"No, but they come in every color. As you can see, Chandler is using a strikingly pretty blue this week."
It turned out that somebody had dumped a bunch of red bags filled with dog shit on my tenants car overnight. Sort of a neighborhood version of the Godfather horse's head. You see, it is a known fact on our block that my tenant and his wife do not pick up their dog's poop.
"Is it possible that somebody is trying to send you a message?" I asked, knowing full well who had probably done it.
"I always pick up Blue's poop if he does it in somebody's yard." He replied, "But if he takes a dump down at the church, who does it harm?"
I understood where he was coming from. It was the very same rationale that I used to use. And to be honest, if it is late at night, and very dark, and Chandler waddles up to the church fence to do his thing, I stand there looking up at the stars pretending nothing is happening.

Like I said, I know who probably left the poop on my tenant's car. I just hope this isn't the first salvo in a nasty little neighborhood war. Considering that the red bag, poop flinging suspect, has many more dogs than I, or my tenant have, the balance of power is on their side. In other words, they have many more WMD. Weapons of messy doody.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bruise Springsteen

I am not agile, or graceful. I smash my shins so often that I have dents in the bone. I also bruise very easily. This was done on my old bed that I have thrown out the front door. We have purchased a new bed to replace the one that has injured me every day for the last seven years. I made it a point that the new bed would have no protruding geegaws to catch me in the leg as I waddle by in the dark. However, I am sure I will find a way to hurt myself on it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Almost Done, Almost Dead

Day eleven of the re-decorating of our bedroom (I work very slowly), and I can barely move. I still have the new floor to put down. Mark insists that I put the flooring all the way into all the closets. I know that is the right thing to do, but I am goddamned tired and who the hell is going to be looking into my closets anyway. My knees hurt like hell, my feet are throbbing, and my conjunctivitis seems to be even worse than it was on Monday. My right hand is sore and painful from painting, and the pain shoots up my arm and into my shoulder every time I lift something. Oh, and I might have a hernia from moving all the furniture back and forth across the room.

It's nice to know that my dogs really like me. they have been following me around like, well like puppy dogs. It may be because they think all the crap going on in the bedroom means we are moving, and they don't want me to forget them. I couldn't possibly forget those two fur balls. It is like they are glued to me. Even as I was painting the baseboard around the room, Chandler would lay immediately behind me. With one hand holding a paint brush dripping with wet paint, I had to keep nudging him along as I scooted around the room. Paint, paint, nudge, nudge, paint, paint, nudge, nudge. Sasha on the other hand, followed along behind me as I painted, brushing up against my newly painted baseboards. She now looks a little like a reverse Dalmatian, with little white spots all over her. Speaking of white spots all over black. While I painted the entire room from the ceiling to the baseboards, Mark managed to paint part of one door. He cannot paint. He is the sloppiest, worst painter I have ever encountered. Paint on the floor, paint slopped onto the walls, and paint all over Mark. Actually the white paint on Mark was kind of funny. At this point I'll let you make up your own joke.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lindsay Lohan Smells Ikea

Sasha and I are making our way down the street, back towards the house. She has done her poopies, and peed on numerous lawns, so she is happy, I am happy. In the distance I see Mark at the back of the PT Cruiser with the tailgate open. He's cursing and rummaging through the pile of crap that's accumulated in there. Sasha wiggles with delight. She thinks that she's going for a ride, but no, Mark has just returned from one of his shopping safaris. As I approach the car I can hear Mark cursing Ikea.
"What's the problem?" I ask.
"Those assholes don't give you bags to put your stuff in. Now I've lost the package of salmon I bought."
The idea that a package of salmon has been lost in the sea of crap that Mark has filled the car with gives me the chills. It reminds me of the time I left a carton of night crawler worms in my car the day I left for a week in California.
"You have to find that."
"It's in a sealed package. I don't think it will be too bad." Mark answers.
"No, you have to find that. It's going to smell."
So Mark and I both tore the car apart looking for the salmon he bought at Ikea. Now I think we did a pretty thorough job, but we didn't find any Ikea salmon in that car. However, I think we should search it again. This morning when I took Chandler and Sasha out for their walks, I found Lindsay Lohan (the cat, not the person), and a neighbor's cat under the PT Cruiser.

Monday, December 3, 2012


It started out as a little itch in my right eye. By bedtime last night  the eye was a weeping, blood red, mess.
"Mark, look at my eye. What does it look like to you?"
"Awk! Oh my god that's so disgusting. Why did you make me look at that? Erp, barf."
Mark does not handle gore very well even though he loves to rent horror movies. Anyway, I took Mark's reaction to mean that my eye had problems. It was very bothersome, but I figured I'd call the doctor in the morning, and take care of it then. It was five thirty this morning when I awoke, and my left eye popped open. The right eye wanted to pop open, but couldn't. Somebody had crazy glued the thing shut, or so it seemed. I stumbled to the bathroom in the dark, and turned on the light. Geez, I thought, I think my eye has exploded. It was throbbing, and fluids were running out of it like the chocolate fountain at the Golden Corral Diner. So for three hours I sat up in a chair with a box of tissues, waiting for my eye doctor's office to open so I could call them.

According to the doctor, I have conjunctivitis. Very contagious, very nasty, and it doesn't look pretty. I have to be careful to keep away from Mark, and not cross contaminate it to my other eye. From what the doctor told me I assume this virus is like a tiny Superman, and can actually fly across space if you get too close to another person. Sweet, now when Mark starts nagging me about shit, I'll remind him to back off. I'm totally contagious.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday Afternoon in the Park

We participated in the Cause 4 Paws today. It's an annual charity event put on by the Victoria Park Civic Association in a beautiful little park on the New River in Fort Lauderdale. I happened to catch this little boy enjoying some kitties that were rescued from a trailer park. We had about thirteen dogs there, along with the cats. All are up for adoption from Abandoned Pet Rescue.