Friday, September 22, 2017

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Mark thinks that I'm too nosy. Just because I know a lot of things that go on up and down our block, he calls me Mrs. Kravitz. It is true that I know that the Vietnamese family that bought the house from the fireman at the end of the block, is buying the house next door from Pedro, who is from Peru and wants to move to Florida, but can't because his family is now scared since all the hurricanes hit, so he'll probably end up moving to Skokie instead. But I'm not nosy. All that was freely told to me by all involved. I only prodded a little bit. Okay, so I just might be a bit of a busy body. I like my neighborhood and I like my neighbors. I don't know if they like me. They might think I'm a bit odd. For instance, I planted flowers on my neighbor's front porch so that it wouldn't look so forlorn next to mine. It turned out that they liked the flowers. I sure do, it keeps the place from looking like a slumlord owns it. I also have been known to walk up and down the block with a big, orange Home Depot bucket, picking up trash. I cannot stand trash on the street. Then there's the neighbor on the other side of me. For the first month of summer last year, I watched as his grass grew longer and longer. I would mow my lawn and from the street it looked stupid, so I mowed his lawn. I've been mowing it ever since. Most people think I mow it because the guy is old and works like twelve hours a day, but that's not it. I'm older than him and I don't give a shit how many hours he works. I just could not stand seeing all the weeds and long grass anymore. Maybe next year I'll stick some flowers in front of his house too.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


The bearded man seemed nice, even though he gave off the vibe of a serial killer.
"Hop up here on this slab and put your foot in that little saddle. Here's a pillow for your head."
I was getting a MRI on my sore ankle. I took the poor excuse for a pillow, doubled it over and shoved it under my head. At home pillows are big fluffy things, not all flat and hard like this one.
"You'll have to hold your foot completely still. You can move any other part of your body, but do not move your foot. Here, take these ear plugs. You'll need them."
I opened the cellophane packet containing the ear plugs and shoved them in my ears.
"Okay, here we go."
It sounded a bit like a jet liner getting ready to take off, then it started banging. 'Bang, bang, bang.... ' I looked up at the little control panel above my head and saw a clock counting down. It showed under two minutes. Hey, not bad. I can take two minutes of this. Sure enough, when the digital clock reached zero the banging stopped. Then a whirring sound, a very, very loud whirring sound started. The clock came back on, this time it showed four minutes. 'Bang, bang, bang, whirrrrr..... BANG!', then repeat as needed. When the countdown clock reached three minutes the ear plugs popped out of my ears. I shove them back in. They popped back out and onto the floor. Whatever, the clock was down to fifty seconds now and I knew I could take just a little more of this. Sure enough, it stopped again. Moments later the clock came back on. Five minutes and thirty seconds. As soon as the banging and whirring started, the clock started counting down again. By this time my back was killing me, my head felt like it was laying on a rock, and I had the irresistible urge to start moving my foot. Suddenly the machine stopped.
"Sir, you moved. I'm afraid we'll have to start that one over again."
Five minutes and thirty seconds showed back on the clock.
Aaaaarghhhh......Son of a bitch.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Enjoy the Go

I've got my grilled cheese sandwich and some iced tea. I settle into my big fluffy recliner to eat my lunch, and I turn on the television. No sooner do I take a big, cheesy bite, when the toe commercial comes on. What the hell is wrong with these people? There's a guy talking and a bunch of people sitting around. Suddenly I am shown up close, real close, shots of their toes. They are spreading them apart showing off scabs, sores, flaking skin, all kinds of horrible things that can go on between the toes. Who decided that you need to be disgusting and vulgar to sell crap on television? Who is writing these ads, what company thinks this is how you sell your stuff, and why would the television stations put these things on the air? And it's not just sketchy, fly by night, snake oil peddlers doing this. One toilet tissue company has a whole ad campaign centered around "Enjoy the go." Basically they're saying that everybody has to take a shit, so just sit back, relax, and enjoy it. Another one claims that they can get your butt so clean that you won't need underwear, and to prove it they show a lady running around in white shorts. I'm sorry, but sooner or later she's going to need underwear. The worst ad must be the one for a black mask that you smear over your face. You put it on, let it dry, then peel it off. The purpose is to remove blackheads and other imperfections on your skin. I would be fine with them just telling me that it does that, but no. They have to show you closeups of nasty white stuff being pulled out of your pores. At one point they show somebody squeezing their skin to show how much of that gook comes out. Seriously, the ads on television are horrible. They seem to be aimed at the most boorish strata of society. There is no civility anymore. Worst of all, when I watch Tosh.0, I can't tell if I'm watching the show or the ads anymore.

Friday, September 15, 2017

From Ten Years Ago

 Here's another thing I don't miss about Florida.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Alan's Acid Trip...Far Out Man. 

Everyone thinks, if you live in Florida you must have a pool. I thought that way too when I first moved here, and when I bought this house the pool was important. I used to go in the pool every day during the summer, but as the years have gone by the frequency has gone down. Way down, this year I’ve used the pool four times. The problem is, even if you never use it you have to maintain it. I could pay a pool service $80 or more a month to do the maintenance, but they only come once a week. By the sixth day the water is looking a bit green. So I do my own pool maintenance. I scoop out the leaves, scrub down the sides, and I add the chemicals. Chlorine, muriatic acid, algaecide, clarifier, etc.... 
I was adjusting the pH level Saturday morning. I was pouring the muriatic acid into the pool which I have done before. Usually I close my eyes or wear a pair of glasses to protect my eyes. For some reason I did it with my eyes open and of course a drop of acid flew up directly into my left eye. It burned. In a panic I stumbled over to the garden hose and started flooding my eye with water. As I did that the hose dragged across the pool deck and spilled the open container of acid. This released noxious fumes. All I could think of was the movie ‘Alien’ and the acid blood of the creature eating through my eye and the pool deck. After five minutes of thoroughly washing my eye and the deck with water, I calmly went into the house and told Mark "You need to take me to the emergency room.". Well you would have thought I told him the grim reaper was waiting right outside the door. "OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, OH LORD PLEASE.....OH WHAT'S HAPPENED? OH GOD, PLEASE NO BLOOD....I CAN'T STAND BLOOD.... OH JESUS WHAT DID YOU CUT OFF?"  On and on he went in a panic. Mark can't handle stressful situations. 
After a scary ride to the E.R. at Holy Cross Hospital and a forty five minute wait for a doctor to see me, everything turned out fine. The doctor explained why they weren’t in a big hurry to check my eye. Acid burns the surface and then doesn’t allow anymore to be absorbed into the eye. Then he said "If it had been an alkaline your eye would have been liquefied." Nice to know.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Boy Scout

I was walking Scout around the block and a nice couple stopped to admire her.
"Oh, he's so cute. Can I pet him?"
"Sure, but she's a female. Her name is Scout."
After a few face licks by Scout and a scratch under the chin by the lady, she asks
"Such a good looking fellow. What breed is he?"
"It's a she, Scout is a female. I'm not sure about the mix of breeds, she's basically a terrier mutt. Possibly some Cairn Terrier in there. That's where I got her, from the Cairn Terrier Rescue."
"Oh we don't care if you're a mutt. You're just the cutest little guy. Aren't you, aren't you? Yes you are..."
I smiled and said goodbye to the nice ladies.
"We have to go now. I still have to walk his sister, Chandler."

I did not give her that gender neutral name. She came to me with the name Scout, and I'm too lazy to think of a new one or go through the trouble of teaching her a new name. So it's Scout. It kind of bothered me at first, but then I met two nice ladies in the neighborhood. They went nuts over Scout and were quite impressed that I had named my dog after such a notable literary figure.
"Oh, a female? I love that you named her after the little girl in, To Kill a Mockingbird."
I hadn't even thought of that before, so I told the nice ladies, "Yes, yes I did." 

I have that problem all the time. People want Scout to be a little boy dog. Almost nobody uses the pronoun, she or calls her a girl when they see her. They always assume that Scout is a boy. The fact that her hair is so long and hides the area where her wiener would be doesn't help. Also, Scout is very butch. People see her beating the hell out of Chandler and assume that she couldn't be a female. Also, she lifts her leg when she pees. Honestly, she will walk up to a tree or other upright surface, lift her leg, and pee. It's so cute.