Friday, August 30, 2013

Better Call Saul!

We had a lot to drink last Friday, but I didn't think it was so much that Mark didn't have his wits about him. I was mistaken. Saturday morning I was awakened by Mark's cries, "My wallet, where's my wallet? I can't find my wallet. Help me Alan, help me find my wallet." So we went through the list of places it could be. We looked in his pocket, bathroom, dining room table, under the bed, in the toilet, in the car, under the car, in Chandler's toy box, we looked everywhere, but it was nowhere to be found. Mark either lost his wallet, or was pick pocketed. Either way, it was gone and nobody turned it in. So this week Mark has been busy canceling credit cards, and arranging to get a new drivers license. That last part seemed to be the most daunting. After all, they have enacted crazy new rules here in Florida. You have to have a picture id (like the one Mark lost), a birth certificate, and two pieces of paper with your address on them, like an electric bill. Luckily Mark has a passport, and his birth certificate. What was problematic is the fact that not only are all the bills received and paid electronically, but they are all in my name. So yesterday we went to the DMV with what we had. I don't know why Mark dragged me along. I couldn't think of why I was being punished, but I went anyway. As we walked into the DMV Mark handed me the briefcase he was carrying. We walked up to the man at the counter, where Mark explained his predicament, and then asked me for his papers. I opened the briefcase and handed them to him, at the same time telling the man behind the counter that Mark was with me. The guy gave me a look of recognition and said, "Oh yeah, I know you. You're in here all the time with clients." I looked at Mark, and then back at the guy behind the desk. I said nothing. Suddenly Mark was whisked through to the first available window where he received his new drivers license. It took all of fifteen minutes. If this is what happens when a black guy goes to the DMV with an older white guy, I'm going to have to start trying it for other things. I'll just have to remember to have a briefcase with me at all times. Maybe a cheap suit too.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Lady Bozo
Ever since Monday morning I've been hearing about the end of the world as we know it because Miley Cyrus dry humped Robin Thicke on the MTV Awards. All the television blabbers were aghast and wanted blood. I think the worst offense was Brook Shields criticism. "Desperate", was what she said. Brooke, do you remember Pretty Baby, Calvin Klein Jeans, The Blue Lagoon?  Anyway, I have a couple of questions for those who were shocked by what they saw. First, where have you been? You do know that Michael Jackson is dead and Flock of Seagulls are fat old men don't you? MTV is not what you might think it is anymore. They don't play videos, they play "reality" shows non stop. Horrible reality shows. Second, are you aware of what your kids watch? If it is too much trouble to actually supervise the kids, the government has installed a little nanny in the television to help you. It's called the V-Chip. It will block out most of the objectionable material, except for Fox News. That you would have to block on your own, which is quite easy to do on all cable television systems. I do it every time my brother visits.

I really don't give a poop about the MTV Awards. I didn't see them until Mark played the recording of the program this morning. It was barely watchable. There was one thing I did find disgusting though. It wasn't Lady Gaga, she was merely annoying. It wasn't Miley Cyrus. It was the commercials. So many commercials that even fast forwarding through them took five minutes. Now that is obscene.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

...and Cecil

When I was a baby I was given a teddy bear. It was black and white with button eyes, and a nose made of pressed metal. I had that thing for about four or five years. It was always around my bedroom or in my bed. You might say it was my constant companion. That is until one day it got thrown away. Time had not been kind to Teddy. Both eyes were missing, it had a pervasive aroma of piss, and the nose was rusty for the same reason as the aroma. I suffered from SBDSS, or Small Bladder Deep Sleeper Syndrome. Anyway getting back to Teddy, when my mom threw him out, I didn't miss him. When my teddy bear era was over, it was over.

Saturday afternoon and there is somebody rapping at the front door. The dogs immediately go into a frenzy of barking as I open the door to a startled deliveryman. While I sign for the package, Mark comes bounding into the living room.
"Is that for me?" He is all excited.
"Uh, yeah." I answer as he grabs the package out of my hands.
In a matter of moments Mark has the box open and is pulling out a child's toy. It is a creepy little boy doll. It has a beanie with a propeller on top, and a pull ring that makes it talk.
"Oh my god, Beanie. It's my Beanie! I found him on eBay."
As he excitedly checked the doll for damage or flaws, Mark explained why he was so ecstatic. It turns out that he had something called a Beanie doll when he was a little boy. He loved that doll, possibly more than anything. When he was eight years old he returned home from school one day to find that Beanie was missing. His mother told him that Beanie had fallen out the window of their Bronx apartment and disappeared. Assured by his older brother that the neighborhood had been searched, Mark accepted the fact that he would never see Beanie again. He believed that until last Saturday.

"Really, you believed that story?"
"Story, what story? That my doll fell out of the window?
"Yes, that story. Your doll didn't fall out of any window. You were an eight year old boy, with a doll. Think about it."

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Banana Spider Season

 I have nothing to add to this article except that my house is surrounded by trees. Lots of trees.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Cough, Cough

There is a shorthand that movies use to telegraph information that something is going to happen. For instance, if in an inconsequential scene where somebody is securing something heavy with a rope, they do a quick close up of the guy tying the rope, that rope will come untied in a subsequent scene and the heavy object will crush somebody. Or if somebody coughs, you know that they will later be diagnosed with some kind of horrible disease. Also, if blood trickles from their mouth after coughing, they will eventually die. It never fails.

Sasha has a cough. It started three weeks ago, and we've taken her to the veterinarian at least four times. The first time they gave her some green antibiotic pills. They were huge. To you or me it would have been like trying to swallow a pill ten inches long and two inches wide. After struggling with her the first few times I decided that getting her to swallow the entire pill was useless. I started opening the capsules and sprinkling the powder in her food. This worked once, and after the first time it caused Sasha to quit eating her food. Unfortunately, when I stopped putting the medicine in her food she still refused to eat. Things got ramped up last weekend. Not only did Sasha quit eating, but she quit pooping. In the last ten days Sasha has pooped only two times. So we took her to the vet again. This time they x-rayed her. This is what the doctor told us.
"Sasha has a problem... " She said as we all looked at the x-ray.
"She either has pneumonia, as you can see by this mass above her heart...  or she has congestive heart, as you can see by her enlarged heart...  or she has a tumor, as you can see by this mass on her lungs above her heart."
"Uh, what?"
"Now we could consult a cardio-pulmonary specialist, and we might have to do exploratory surgery, not to mention, if it gets to that point, you would have to do chemo... $$$$$$$$$$$$"
"Stop! Just tell me what to do for the pneumonia."

So we are now giving Sasha antibiotic treatments with a nebulizer three times a day. I am not throwing money at this for chemo treatments, or surgery, or any other voodoo that they want to try. I did that dance with my last dog, Molly. After spending thousands of dollars, Molly only lived for one extra week. And it wasn't a pleasant week. So as bad as I feel for my little schnauzer, I am not going to treat her like she was my human baby girl. I have to prepare for the fact that she is very sick and things will probably go downhill. There is one good thing though, blood hasn't trickled out of her mouth yet.

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Chance of Snow

I probably shouldn't have eaten a giant bowl of ice cream just before going to bed. I've been having weird dreams all night, including one about falling off a steep trail on the side of a mountain behind the Our Lady of the Snows national shrine. What is so funny about that is that Our Lady of the Snows is in Illinois (no mountains) and I haven't been there since I was a child. Anyway, as I was laying there in bed this morning hacking up balls of phlegm, I realized it was twenty one years ago that Hurricane Andrew blew through here. Andrew was the first hurricane I had ever experienced. Although that would be untrue since I really didn't experience the hurricane. Instead, after boarding up my windows, I got in my car along with two friends, four cats, and a dog, and drove to Orlando before it hit. The worst part about running away was sitting in my brother's living room in Orlando, and watching the news reports. All they were showing was destruction. Houses obliterated, cars smashed, and boats flung far ashore. So on the morning after the hurricane hit I loaded up the cats, dogs, and friends, and returned home. The entire ride home I pictured the worst, my house in pieces, everything I had worked for smashed. The closer we got to Fort Lauderdale the more we could see downed trees, and roofs ripped off. As I turned the corner of our block, the results of Hurricane Andrew became obvious. A large tree branch had fallen and knocked out the electric to our house, and a family of raccoons were having a party on the roof of the house next door. That was it, that was all that Hurricane Andrew did to our block. We've been very lucky this season. Super dry sand storms off the Sahara Desert have impeded the formation of hurricanes. The problem is next year, and the year after. Since Andrew I have stayed and experienced hurricanes. It is not a pleasant thing to go through, and the older I get, the less I want to deal with them. Which makes me wonder, why do so many old farts pick Florida as the place where they want to sit around and wait to die? Is drowning, or having the roof fall on you more preferable to freezing to death?

Thursday, August 22, 2013


I love history. Not the sterile highlighted crap that they taught in grade school, but real history with all it's warts. So I was actually happy when Mark told me his shopping/hoarding illness caused him to buy some World War II era Life Magazines. They are fascinating, they are racist, they are sexist, and they have some very graphic photos of WWII battles in them. They were perfectly honest to the era. But it turns out that wasn't why Mark bought them. No, he bought them for a certain series of Cannon Towel ads. I have to say, I was impressed with those ads. They pointed out the attitudes of the World War II times. Either the world was a lot gayer back then than they like to let on to, or they were just clueless. I would like to think the world was a lot gayer than they ever realized. The illustration below is why Mark bought five Life Magazines on Ebay, and the reason is obvious.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Yesterday I decided that I had let the weeds in the yard to go too far. You have to understand that weeds in Florida are unlike northern weeds. Down here they tend to creep. And by creep, I mean they grow by the foot, per day. What you call house plants in Chicago turn into giant house eating vines here. I am not kidding, as I pulled the weeds/vines off the side of the house, huge chunks of stucco came with them. They literally root in the stucco.

To get the low lying weeds, I fired up the weed whacker. Within seconds the nylon whacking line had been chewed off so I bumped it against the ground to dispense more nylon line. Nothing came out. I had used it all and it was time to reload. Unfortunately I did not have another cartridge, so it was off to Home Depot to buy one. There is some kind of devious plot by the manufacturers of weed whackers. They sell you a weed whacker, and within one year of selling you that model, they discontinue it along with the line cartridges that you need to refill it. Basically you only get the one or two cartridges that come with the whacker. Over the years I think I have bought and thrown out at least ten or more perfectly good weed whackers simply because I couldn't get a refill. I have figured out a solution to this though. The United States Army has announced that it is selling off a bunch of weapons it used in Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm getting myself a flame thrower.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

After School Special

Kids are back in school this week which means Mark has to pay attention to the school speed zones, and millions of mothers are taking afternoon naps.

I hated school. I don't know why, but it never was something I looked forward to. Maybe it was the sadistic nuns for the first seven years, or the sarcastic and sadistic teachers after my parents pulled me out of Catholic School, but I never liked it. One thing I didn't like was the forced march that the nuns organized every spring. It was called the May procession, and it wasted hours of valuable learning time while we rehearsed how to walk in a straight line. Really, hours every day for a couple of weeks until the moment of the big procession where we paraded through the school parking lot, and over to the church, while carrying a statue of the 'Virgin' Mary. I'm sure our parents thought it was cute, until they realized they were paying to send us to a school that wasn't actually teaching us anything valuable.

We had another forced march at the Catholic School. It was called 'The Walkers Line'. Every day after school, those of us who walked home had to get lined up and march (very noisily) towards our various neighborhoods. There were a number of these lines, all snaking off in different directions, and if you snuck off to take a different route, the next day an angry nun would rap your knuckles with a ruler. It didn't make sense to me because they didn't make us march to school in a line, only home. I guess the nuns figured child abductors slept in.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Lizard Town

I had warned the neighborhood children not to open the green gate, and to stay off the plank road. It had become dangerous since the Faeries of Wilton Manors had escaped their prison. There was good reason the Lizard Men had trapped them in the cage at the end of the road. The Faeries were the sworn enemies of the Lizard Men and had been using their powers to lure them into the clutches of the beast, Chandler. For months, until the Faeries were imprisoned, bodies of the Lizard men were showing up. Eviscerated, and decapitated bodies, sometimes only twitching lizard tails, littered the Plank Road which was the only way in and out of Lizard Town. Now the horrors had resumed, only this time it was human children that had been chased down by the Chandler and eaten. Bits and pieces were all that were found at the end of that road. A tiny arm here, a shock of fine blonde hair, stained with blood over there. It was horrible. So the Lizard Men along with the Toads of the Back Yard, had joined forces to hunt down the Faeries and the Chandler beast, and put an end to it forever. This time the Faeries would not be jailed, but destroyed......   and then I woke up, and I didn't even have a hangover.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Smart, so Smart

From the bedroom came the squawking voice, "Alan... the television isn't working. Help, oh lordy, I'm missing Judge Judy. Quick come fix it!" So I pulled myself away from my Breaking Bad marathon in the living room, and went into the bedroom. Sure enough, the television had gone nuts with lines of static shooting across the screen. It was definitely unwatchable. What was so suspicious was that just the day before, Mark had mentioned that he wanted a new TV for the bedroom, a 'Smart' TV no less. Suddenly, a day later, it was broken. No problem, I thought to myself. For twenty five years people paid me to tear apart computers and fix them. Certainly I could repair this thing. I got out my screwdrivers, and went to work. An hour later I stood Mark's broken television back upright, took it out into the kitchen, opened the back door, and threw it in the garbage can. I guess I lost my touch in the eight years that I've been retired.

One hour after throwing away the old TV and I am pulling a brand new, forty inch, 'Smart' television out of it's box. Like I said, I repaired computers, I set up computers, and I did everything peripheral to those computers for twenty five years. I was actually very good at my job, and I was proud of that. Now eight years of laying around the house had reduced me to a useless blob. Not only couldn't I fix the old television, but the new television kicked my ass. For over two hours I fiddled, configured, plugged in cables, unplugged cables, re-plugged in cables, screamed at it, screamed at Mark, and used up every curse word I could think of. It was just about the time I was screaming at the top of my lungs for Mark to, "Shove that goddamned piece of crap back in the goddamned mother*****ing box before I take a hammer to it!" that everything suddenly came together. A picture appeared on the screen, with sound, and all was well. The only problem is that I have no idea what I did to make the damn thing work.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Back in the late 1960's, early 1970's, wall-to-wall shag carpeting was in vogue. I never had shag carpeting, but I did know people who did. I was very impressed with their sense of decor. That is until a few months had passed. They had a large dog, and together with the people tracking back and forth, the dog had created paths as if through a field of grass. By the time those folks moved out of that apartment the carpeting was a disgusting mess. Mud, goo of some kind, bits of potato chips, and the dirty dog paths gave it the look of Max Yasgur's field after Woodstock. Did I mention that it was originally white carpeting?

Mark has a habit of buying crap without consulting me. Recently he purchased a little rug for the floor on my side of the bed. A shag style rug.
"Don't you love it?"
"I guess so, but won't it trap a lot of dirt in it?" I replied remembering my old acquaintance's carpeting.
I got no answer to my question, and Mark quickly placed the little shag rug down on the floor next to my bed. I have discovered that in the middle of the night, when it is very dark and I am half asleep, shag carpeting is hard to walk across. It is very uneven, and so far I have fallen twice because it's like walking across hairy lumps. Sasha and Chandler like it though. It gives them really good traction for that running jump up onto the bed.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I might also need a diaper

I flipped over to one of the dozens of late night talk shows, and the host was talking to an actor named Bryan Cranston. I know that guy, I thought to myself. That's Hal, Malcolm's dad from the television show Malcolm in the Middle. But he wasn't talking about Malcolm in the Middle, he was plugging a different show called Breaking Bad. Believe it or not, I had never heard of Breaking Bad. It turns out that it is on the obscure cable channel called AMC and has actually been airing for five years. By the end of the interview, and after watching a film clip from the show, I was intrigued. So I turned on the Netflix machine, also known as Wii (Mark told me that the Wii machine would be good exercise. It is, for my thumb.), and looked to see if they had back episodes of Breaking Bad. They did, from the very first episode to the most recent one aired on AMC. I clicked on the
little icon and the show started. Seven hours later, blurry eyed and hungry, I had finished season one. I hear this is called binge watching. Whatever you call it I will have to be better prepared for seasons two through five. I think I should lay in a good supply of snacks, sodas, maybe a little vodka, but not too much, and a catheter. Oh, and I'll need a dog walker because I estimate I'll be watching Breaking Bad for at least fifty six hours.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

Out of the Frying Pan...

Mark cooks, I clean. Mark makes an awful mess in the kitchen and produces great meals, I clean that mess and eat the great meals. Saturday evening was no exception. We had fried fish, fried zucchini cakes, and fried salad. I assume the salad was fried because everything else on my plate was. Even though it was Saturday and I planned on going out for a few cocktails, I did a quick cleanup of the kitchen first. I threw the dishes into the dishwasher, and wiped down the counters. On the stove was a large frying pan with about a half inch of oil in it. But because the oil was still hot, I put a lid on it and left it for later.

Sunday morning dawned bright, sunny, and cheery. Birds were singing, I felt great (no hangover), and all was good in my world. So I bounced up out of bed, walked the dogs, watched a little television, and then decided that it was a good day for waffles. I would make strawberry waffles. Not to brag, but I make some damn good waffles. Crisp on the outside and tender and flavorful on the inside. I had just one thing between me and those waffles, last night's frying pan. There it was still on the stove, waiting to be scrubbed and put away. So I reached over and grabbed the frying pan. That's when my perfect Sunday morning turned to shit. Between the time I decided the frying pan needed to be cleaned, and the time I actually grabbed it off the stove, I forgot that it had  half an inch of oil in it. In slow motion I saw the oil jump out of the frying pan and slop all over everything. There was oil on the floor, oil on the cabinets, and oil on my shirt, shorts, and shoes. I believe that yesterday morning I set a new record for saying the 'F' word consecutively. Needless to say, there were no waffles Sunday morning. There were no strawberries, there were no birds singing, no sun shining, only the 'F' word floating gently off into the morning breeze.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Bubble Up!

I live in a bubble. A big, gay bubble. The town I live in is probably one of the gayest, if not the gayest, small town in the United States. We have a gay mayor, gay and lesbian city council members, gay and lesbian cops, and our main street is awash with gay bars, lesbian bars, gay businesses, and gay restaurants. You can walk around this town just gaying it up without concern that you're going to cause a scene. I didn't plan on living in this bubble. It was only coincidence that I bought a house here just before the big gay bubble enveloped us. Twenty four years ago this town was God's waiting room, mostly old folks. The cops were known for being tough and ill mannered. There was a gay bar here back then, but it catered to older gentlemen. Don't get me wrong, we do still have heterosexuals living here. We have the good ones who realized early on that when a town is taken over by gays, it becomes fabulous, and real estate values soar.

What is bothering me today is what is happening outside the bubble. In some African countries, the life we take for granted is considered a capital crime, death penalty stuff. In Russia and other eastern European nations repressive laws have been enacted making it a crime for somebody who is homosexual to simply exist in public. I don't understand it. I don't understand why people would want to turn back to the dark ages of humanity. We have made some big strides here in the United States over the last forty four years. I hope the fear mongers and haters don't ever have the opportunity to push back on those gains. You don't think it can happen here? Right now many states have taken advantage of the Supreme Court decision on the voting rights law. The "conservatives" are trying to make it tougher for poor people, college students, and others to vote, all in the name of protecting us from voter fraud. Basically something that has rarely happened is being used as an excuse to disenfranchise thousands of voters. If the manic minority can take over by suppressing the vote they then have an easy road to turning back all the gains made. They would have the means to burst my bubble.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Exciting New Weight Loss Plan!

So we took the dogs to the vet yesterday and here is the good news. Chandler has lost eleven pounds, is very healthy, and the vet says although he could lose another four pounds she'd be happy with him maintaining his present weight. Unfortunately, Sasha has only lost two pounds and retains the shape of a football. I suspect Mark is slipping her scraps from his meals, because I have cut way back on her dog food. What I found entertaining is that the staff and the veterinarian are a bit afraid of one of my dogs, and it's not the big one. Sasha has it written in her chart that she is, "A bit testy, and tends to suddenly snap". So when they give Sasha her checkup and shots, they wrap her in a large towel. Meanwhile Chandler is treated like a giant teddy bear. They coo to him what a good boy he is, and generally gush about his good temperament. The truth is, Sasha is a drama queen. She does scream out when she gets her shots, she doesn't like to have her butt touched, and if you grab her by her back legs she will try to take one of your fingers off. Now, about their amazing weight loss. I have been very vigilant keeping their food to a minimum and gave Mark strict instructions not to feed them what he doesn't eat, which is usually half his dinner. So far this is working out pretty well. In fact I think the diet plan I have worked out for the dogs might work for me. So I have instructed Mark to move all the food in the kitchen out of my reach, and only feed me half of what he usually does in a bowl on the floor. He can touch my butt though, and grab me by the legs. I promise, I won't bite him.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Doc Day Contest

We're going to the veterinarian today so I have devised a little contest. I thought of this contest while sitting on a stool at my favorite bar. If you can guess what is in the 'Glad Bags', I will send a copy, as near as I can duplicate, to you. Hint; It is very valuable to the vet, she asks for it every time we go there. Leave your guess in the comment section and I will announce the winner later. I'm sorry but there is no prize for number two in this contest. So don't waste time, enter today. I wish I had a better post for you today, but I'm rather pooped out this morning.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Heat Was Hot...

Geezuz, I hate summer. Right now it is about ninety degrees outside, with humidity around seventy percent. The forecast for tomorrow is near ninety degrees, and for the next sixty days it will be near ninety or above. Then they have what they call the "real feel" temperature. That is around one hundred and eight degrees today. I don't give a flying twerk what the damn real feel temperature is because when I go outside it doesn't really feel like that to me. No, what it really feels like is that I have just stepped into a thick, hot, giant mass of camel spit. Yes I have air conditioning. It runs non-stop from April until some time in November, and I have a lake that has formed on the side of my house where the system spits out the humidity it has extracted. What I hate most about summer with it's heat and humidity, is the lethargy. The heat seems to suck the very life out of me. I don't feel like doing anything. There is a box containing Mark's new charcoal smoker, sitting on the front porch where I left it four weeks ago. My pool and back yard are an untamed jungle with leaves scattered all over, and vines growing everywhere. I simply don't have the energy to clean it up. Just taking the trash bins out to the street on garbage day makes me want to take a nap. I know, it's not very interesting to listen to me whine about how horrible Florida is in the summer. So I promise not to mention the weather again in my blog. At least not until January when I'll be rubbing it in your faces.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Husbandly Duties

A good friend of mine, along with his wife, were sitting across the table from me in a bar when I noticed that the wife had a hair growing out of her chin. Not just a small easily overlooked hair, but the sequoia tree of chin hairs. It was a huge, long hair that was literally waving at me as she talked. Should I say something I wondered? Obviously the answer to that is no. That would only embarrass her. But that brings me to the more nagging question, doesn't she have a mirror? And why doesn't her idiot husband point out that she has a ten inch long hair growing out of her chin? Isn't that what people get married for, to point out each other's flaws? I suppose I should understand, I was looking in the mirror just a while ago and I realized that there was a very long hair dangling from my earlobe. I plucked that thing out of there and noticed even more hairs poking out of both ears. What the hell? Why hadn't Mark given me a heads up? Just a quick, "Hey Alan, what's with the hair farm in your ears?".  I wouldn't be insulted. I would welcome such a caring gesture. I mean, I regularly remind Mark that his hair is turning gray, and that his nose has sprouted it's own mustache from within. Because I care.

Friday, August 2, 2013


Yesterday was my grandmother's birthday. She was born August 1, 1887. That was a long time ago, but I have many memories of her. We used to visit her and my grandfather in their house on Ada Street in Chicago. It had crooked stairs that went up to a very spooky attic where we kids would sleep when we stayed over. On the first floor was my grandparent's bedroom. It was dark and always a bit of a foreboding place because of a picture of dead Jesus on the wall in there. If you stared at it for a length of time, his eyes would suddenly pop open. I know that it was an optical illusion, but back then it would scare the shit out of me. Then there was the crock on her dining room sideboard that I thought was a cookie jar. One day I pulled a chair up to the sideboard, climbed up there, and lifted the lid on that crock. I jammed my hand in there and ended up with a fist full of mushy prunes instead of a cookie. Probably the best of memories is the bread. My god that was some damn good bread that she would bake every Saturday. Yeasty, with raisins, and we would always grab it hot out of the oven. My least favorite memory has to be the shouting. There was a lot of yelling in that house. I used to spend a lot of time with my grandmother and grandfather, and they used to yell a lot. Once in awhile it would be because they were squabbling, but mostly it was because they couldn't hear very well. Anyway, Happy Birthday Grandma! Can you hear me?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

I Find a Lump

If it wasn't for the fact that I had Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a.k.a. cancer of the lymph nodes twenty five years ago, finding a lump wouldn't have caused as much consternation as it did.

This past Monday morning I felt a slight twinge on the left side of my rib cage. I reached around and gave myself a little massage where I had felt the pain. As I worked the flesh around I noticed a lump about the size of my fist. I checked the other side of my body, and there was no such lump there. Like I said, having had cancer I tend to panic over things like this. So I called my doctor and made an appointment.

Yesterday I went to see the doctor. Sitting there on the end of that examining table brought it all to a head, I was nervous. As I was waiting for the doctor to come in I steeled myself for the upcoming diagnosis. I was ready for the worst, twelve weeks of chemo, radiation, death. I was ready. Finally the doctor came in, asked a few questions, and then took a close look at my lump.
"Hmmmm..." Was all he said while poking and prodding the offending piece. Then he checked the other side of my body, and after a quick feel he gave his opinion.
"You're fat."
"Huh, what?"
"It's nothing to worry about. You have a typical fatty deposit for overweight people. It is a benign pocket of fat. No cancer, nothing to worry about. Unless being fat worries you."
So now I had the heavy weight of cancer lifted off my mind, only to realize that my doctor had called me fat. I call myself fat and that's okay because I think that it's only a temporary condition. This though, was stunning news. After all, for my doctor to call me fat... well that's like being officially fat.