Friday, January 31, 2014

Bette Gets a Snow Day

I was feeling bad for Bette. Thursday was training class day and we had not done our homework. I knew the training lady would be giving us the old stink eye when Bette failed to lay down on command, and instead of 'coming around', just came and went her own way. Those were the two things we were to work on this past week. I know, and the training lady knows, that it wasn't Bette's fault, it was mine. I failed to make the time to do our homework.

Over the last week I've heard a lot about snow days, and cold days. Those were the days, as a kid, that the weather saved us from failed homework assignments and scheduled tests. It was like a condemned man getting a reprieve from the governor because of the weather. I had an instant flashback to that time in my life yesterday. The phone rang during dinner, a strange number that I didn't recognize.
            "Hi Alan, this is Jody from Doberman Rescue. I'm just calling to tell you that there will be no training class tonight because of the rain."
I looked out the window, and sure enough, on the surface of the swimming pool I could see the raindrops. I thanked her for calling and let out a little cheer inside my head. Just like when I was a little shit, I got a reprieve. Tonight I wouldn't be embarrassed by my dog's failure to produce, or embarrassed by my lack of initiative. I love snow days.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


I tried a new video program last night. I am not happy with it. It's just not right, sort of like me. Here is what I whipped up. It's based on the HBO series, and if you have never watched it this won't make much sense. Even if you have, it won't.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chicken and Dumplings

Our house is a mélange of odors. Between the two dogs, Mark, me, and nature, you can get quite a variety. So yesterday morning when Mark mentioned that he "smelled something funny", I ignored him. About an hour later I also smelled "something funny". I thought it was another goddamned dead rat so I didn't mention it to Mark. With him not feeling well lately, I thought it best not to put that out there. He already is hacking and wheezing, I didn't need gagging added to that. Sometime around two thirty in the afternoon, as I snoozed in front of the television, Mark started screaming.
               "Something's burning! I smell something burning!"
I opened my eyes. There was a haze and a very weird odor wafting through the living room. Half asleep and completely disoriented, I stumbled out of my chair, and out the back door. Where was the fire? A quick run around the house revealed no obvious smoke or fire. It was as I walked past my tenant's kitchen door that I heard a sizzle. It was coming from inside the apartment so I pressed my face to the window. There on the stove was a large pot with smoke billowing from it. Cowering off in the other room I could see their dog Tuffy. I grabbed my keys, and let myself in. First thing, I let Tuffy out of the house. Then I grabbed what turned out to be a pot of chicken and dumplings, and put it in the sink.

I'm getting too old for this landlord shit. I'd love to sell this place and buy something simple like a small house or condo. I've tried to explain this to Mark, but he seems to love living here. What I don't understand, is who starts cooking chicken and dumplings in the morning and then goes to work?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Mondays and Thursdays I show up at Abandoned Pet Rescue and walk some of the large dogs. I've been doing this for five and a half years and it's quite routine for me. Usually I take the same dogs every time. They get to know me, and I get to know them, so there aren't any surprises. I was four dogs into it, walking down the grassy area next to the railroad tracks with one of my favorites, Kobe. As I passed one of the other dog walkers I mentioned that I could hear my stomach gurgling. He made a little comment, and we both chuckled. About fifty feet further along, it gurgled again. Not a gentle little gurgle, but one that made me think of a volcano about to blow.
            "Come on Kobe, we have to pick up the pace here."
Kobe looked up at me, then continued his slow mosey through the grass.
            "No, really we have to go."
Kobe had no idea what I was saying, only that I was paying attention to him. He liked it. By this time it was clear that I was going to Al Roker right there if I wasn't careful. So I clenched my butt cheeks tight, turned Kobe around, and made a quick dash back to the shelter using tiny butt clenching steps. I made it back, put Kobe back into his kennel, and headed straight for the bathroom. It was locked, somebody was in there. For five very long minutes I waited for whoever was in there to come out. My butt clenching, unfortunately, was only good for four and a half minutes.

I don't believe in karma, or divine intervention, but it was somewhat of a coincidence considering what I wrote yesterday. I was sick, and I made at least five visits to the bathroom before Mark offered to drive me up to the CVS so I could get some Imodium. He takes such good care of me when I'm sick.

Monday, January 27, 2014

I Am the Worst

I am not good at many things. I am not very good with household do it yourself projects. You can look at my work, gaps in door jambs, floors buckling, tile popping up, to see just how bad. I am not a good cook, unless you consider cold cereal a meal. But most of all, I am not a good nurse. Do not get sick in my presence because the best that I can do for you would be to offer you a slug of Nyquil. I have no bedside manner other than to tell you that I can't do anything for you. Mark has been sick for a week now. I fucking hate it when Mark is sick. He lays around coughing up phlegm, crying about how bad he feels, and worst of all, he tells me he can't cook dinner. I am not totally heartless. I do warm up canned soup for him and I take his overflowing, tissue filled waste basket out to the garbage. What I can't do is make him feel better. I can't breath for him, I can't unclog his sinuses, and I can't stop the aches. What I can do, and I have offered, is take him to the hospital emergency room. They have everything he needs there, nurses, medicine, and people who are paid to pretend to care. In fact I would go one step further if he wants. I would call for an ambulance so that he could be taken in style, and when he got there they would put him ahead of all those poor slobs out in the waiting room. It'd also get him out of my hair for awhile. Like I said, I am the worst.