Thursday, April 30, 2015


Since March of 1989 I have probably worn long pants maybe a dozen times here in Florida. After all, I have really decent legs and nothing to be shy about. That has been my uniform since moving here, shorts and polo shirts. Back in the mid nineties, when I was going to the gym three times a week, I would also do the shorts without a shirt look once in awhile. Once Mark got a hold of me and started feeding me all those fatty foods however, I learned to keep the shirt on. That is one thing a lot of people here in Florida have not learned, when it is time to stop trying to look like you're not old.

Last night Mark let me out of the house, something he does from time to time, and we ended up at Sidelines Bar. I haven't been going out to bars a lot lately, so last night certain things stood out to me. First of all, shorts. Like I said, I wear shorts all the time. Unfortunately a lot of older gentlemen haven't updated their shorts since Wham was the big new gay rock group. Nothing screams I am living in the nineteen eighties like a pair of very tight short, shorts, and last night I saw at least two pair of them on men who should have known better. Shorts that end just centimeters below your crotch do not look as sexy as you think they do when your legs are crisscrossed with blue lines. The other look I saw last night was the cut off sleeve look. Really, if in a stiff breeze the skin on your arms flutter like the bunting at a cheap used car lot, you should not wear cut off sleeves.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


We're moving to Chicago. That's a fact. If the contract we have on the sale of this house goes through, we should be moving around the end of June. There are so many things that I have to worry about. How to get our stuff up to Chicago, buying a new place up there, stopping utilities and starting them again. But I have no worry, no obstacle, nothing as problematic as Mark. He has been whining non-stop since I told him that I was going to accept the offer on our house. Over and over again I have told him that if he does not want to move, he is free to stay in Florida. I might even come to visit him once in awhile. Anyway, here are some of his worries about moving.

  •        He won't have healthcare in Chicago.
  •        We will have to move into a slum neighborhood because we don't have five million dollars to buy a home in a trendy neighborhood.
  •        His dentist isn't in Chicago.
  •        Mark cannot conceive of any way things we have here will end up there.
  •        There are stairs in Chicago.
  •        There are Mexicans in Chicago and Mark does not speak Mexican.
  •        And of course, Chicago is not Florida. Mark is terrified that he will be found frozen to death on the street next January.

So help me out. If anybody we know in Chicago feels up to it, please call Mark and let him know that he can get health insurance, and they do have hospitals. Please reassure him that just because a neighborhood does not have ten Starbucks, and a martini bar, it is still a very livable place. If you have teeth, Chicago has dentists. There are these things called trucks with guys called movers. Tell  Mark that stairs are good for your health, they'll keep your legs from atrophying. Let him know that what Mexicans there are in Chicago, they do speak English. And of course there is January. Okay, I have to give it to him on this one. He may very well freeze to death.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

It's a Goddamned Miracle

I have never been a fan of those reel type dog leashes. As a large dog owner, I always felt that a good, strong, six foot leash offered more control. It was also the preferred leash when I took my dogs to obedience classes. My biggest fear with the reel leash was that my dog might dart out into traffic after a lizard or cyclist before I could snap that locking mechanism down.

Bette is a much different kind of dog than I have ever had before. She likes to roam. When we go out for a walk, Bette likes to wander up into people's yards. Way up into yards. She especially likes to pee and poop near front doors and windows. So with me on one end of the leash, and Bette pulling with all her might on the other end, I usually find that before I know it we are up in our neighbor's yards. This is fine for Bette, but for the people sitting in their homes watching television at ten in the evening, it looks like I am some kind of creepy peeping Tom. Again and again Bette has drawn me up into yards as I try to coax a turd out of her. So I decided to try one of those reel leashes on her. I went to Petsmart and bought one of those things. Oh my god, it's a miracle. Yesterday afternoon I clipped the new leash on Bette and we took off down the street. I walked down the middle of the street while Bette wandered off to the right, then back across in front of me to the left. She meandered here and there, squatting to pee again and again. Here is the surprising part. Whenever I got too far away from Miss Bette, she would look up and realize that wasn't with her and she would run after me. Like I said, it's a goddamned miracle. The best part, the part I like the most, is that I am standing on the street while Bette is squatting under the windows of my neighbors. She's pooping right under their nose, and I am not looking like a pervert.

Monday, April 27, 2015

I Like It When They Pop

Actual temperature out on my patio yesterday.

I have some new neighbors down the street, moved in around October. They came from Massachusetts. All winter long they sat outside and every time I walked by they seemed to be enjoying themselves knowing that those they had left behind were being pummeled by snow. They seemed so happy.

I was the same way when I first moved to South Florida twenty six years ago. I came here in March, 1989 and for a few weeks it was like paradise. While the folks up north were still living through the last chill of winter, I was floating around in my swimming pool. I still remember when the first warm weather of summer arrived. I had never experienced a Florida summer. I simply assumed that it would be a continuation of the pleasant weather. It wasn't. One day it turned hot and humid, and I thought, this is pretty much like a heat wave back in Chicago. I knew that heat waves never last, so I sat back and waited for the weather to change. It never did. After a month of relentless heat the rainy season started. At least once a day rain would fall in amounts that I had never seen before. You couldn't tell where the swimming pool ended and the rain started. raindrops the size of baseballs with less than a quarter inch between them, falling as if shot out of a fire hose. The nice thing about the summer rains is that when the rain stopped the air would be a bit cooler, so I would throw open the windows. Unfortunately, within five minutes of the rain stopping the sun would come out. Now I don't know how this is possible, but the sun in Florida is much, much closer to the Earth than it is in Illinois. So close that you could probably light a match just by holding it above your head. I would no sooner open the windows when I would have to run around and close them again as the humidity and heat built to intolerable levels.

Here is what you get when you move to Florida. Mildew, mold, and rot like you have never seen before, and not just in your underwear. Patio furniture doesn't even last a year before turning pale and crumbling. Wood trim on the house starts rotting from the moisture, with voracious termites moving in to finish the job. Gigantic cockroaches find their way into your house to escape the heat and rain where they skitter around the place all night in some kind of bug orgy that leaves them wasted in the morning. Honestly, almost every morning you will find a few of them, on their backs, wiggling their legs as if still experiencing orgasm. I have to admit, I do get a kick out of the popping sound they make when I step on them.

I still remember when I realized that Florida summers last over seven months. I specifically remember saying, to no one in particular, "I can't live like this. This is crazy." Yet here I am, twenty six years later. I don't know if my new neighbors from Massachusettes have realized it yet, but summer has started and it isn't going away. Well, not unless we have a hurricane. The breeze from that will cool it off a bit.

Friday, April 24, 2015

It's Not Funny

Mark had some significant oral surgery yesterday and I'll tell you that there is nothing funny about it. It isn't funny that he walked out of the hospital with his face swollen so bad that he looked like a skinny Homer Simpson. It isn't funny that Mark had to take two Xanax, and a double dose of his blood pressure medicine because every time the doctor walked into the room, his blood pressure went through the roof. Although it is funny that a doped up Mark says funny things, the ride home was amusing. It is also funny that I sat out in the waiting room with my phone on record so that I could catch the screams and howls of Mark. Unfortunately I got nothing, the walls were soundproof. It isn't funny that Mark is eating through a straw for the next forty eight hours while I eat my way through the refrigerator. Well maybe it's a little funny. But it is especially not funny that Mark is laying in bed all hopped up on pain killers, crying for me to bring him one of those Swiss Miss pudding cups. I wonder, if I double up on his Oxycodone can we make it through the night without him keeping me awake with his moans and groans? And by double up, I mean for me.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Too Busy

I'll be very busy today. I have dog walking at the Abandoned Pet Rescue this morning, and then later this afternoon, I have to go with Mark to the oral surgeon. So I'll have to deal with temperamental behavior, possible biting, pulling away from me, whining and barking, and stepping over pee puddles. The dogs shouldn't be nearly as much trouble.