Sunday, December 28, 2008

MY GOD: OH-AND-SIXTEEN!

This a microcosm of the season: It's the fourth quarter and the Detroit Lions are losing to the Green Bay Packers, but they have the ball and they're efficiently moving it down the field. Dan Orlovsky (who?!) swings a pass into the right flat for Kevin Smith, the running back of the present and, ostensibly, the future. The play goes nowhere; the Packers sniff it out from the snap and the cornerback drops Smith in the backfield for a four-yard loss, spinning him out of bounds into the Packers' bench. A couple of the Packers had something to say to Smith--now, I have no "ears on the field," as it were, but I have to assume that they said something about the Lions being a blight on the league, a walking and running and missed-tackling turd of honolulu-blue-and-silver...something like that--and Kevin Smith, being a man and being a blockhead and being a Detroit Lion, shoves the ball in the opposing player's face and shoves past an official on his way back onto the playing surface. Zing! Out flies the yellow flag and Smith is penalized fifteen yards for unsportsmanlike conduct. So, instead of a third-and-fourteen, it turns out to be, with the fifteen-yard penalty, a third-and-twenty-nine, or some ridiculous--Lionesque--number like that and they get a yard on third down and then go for it on fourth-and-twenty-eight and, of course, they fail to pick up the first down and Green Bay can basically just run out the clock and saddle the Detroit franchise with the ignoble statistic of being the only team in NFL history to finish the season at 0-16.

Jim Rome is probably rubbing his hands together with glee, even as we speak.

What a fucking disaster this team was and is and probably will be, forever more.

I feel really bad for Calvin Johnson, a top-tier receiver in this league who had the misfortune to be drafted by the Detroit Lions. He's a Pro-Bowl receiver and he puts up Pro-Bowl statistics, but he's got dingbats like Dan Orlovsky and, earlier, Jon Kitna, throwing the rock to him. He finished the game with nine catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns--stellar numbers, really--and he finishes the season with 69 receptions (great number) for 1229 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is a supreme talent--big and strong, as fast as a gazelle, a great route-runner--but he's mired in Motown...if he doesn't demand a trade when his contract is up, I'll eat dog food.

Who else do we have on this shitty-assed team? Maybe Ernie Sims is worth keeping? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe Kevin Jones is worth keeping? Maybe, maybe not. What a fucking joke. I lay the blame squarely on the shoulders of Matt Millen and the Ford dynasty for keeping him in too high a position for far too many years. What else can you say that hasn't already been said of a man (Millen) who comes out of the play-by-play booth with absolutely no front office experience and proceeds to draft, in three consecutive years, three wide receivers in the top three draft picks of every year, completely ignoring necessary skilled players at positions on the offensive and defensive lines? Nothing. Nothing more can be said. He fucked this franchise up the ass and used nothing for lube but moisture from his sweaty bushy mustache. And, after he had his way with them and after the Ford family finally fired his ass, he probably motored his Harley back to Pennsylvania, possibly telling himself that he did the best that he could. Yeah. Right. Maybe he did. But, my God, after three or four years of total ineptitude, wouldn't you feel a little guilty about collecting multi-million dollar checks? Instead of hanging on in the hopes that maybe this year, things'll be different? Okay. Human nature tells us that, while one may feel guilty for collecting while doing horridly at one's job, it is up to the upper management-slash-ownership to do the right thing for the team (and the fans?) and sweep the shit out the front door. When it's broken, fucking fix it!

What an embarrassment. Sixteen games; sixteen losses. If weren't so damned pathetic, I'd probably be pissed off. But, hell, they're the fucking Lions. They're a joke, man. I stopped believing in them a long time ago. They always find a way to be the Lucy Van Pelt to our determined Charlie Brown-donism. (New word. I just made it up. But it's appallingly appropriate.)

I feel bad for Head Coach Rod Maranelli, too; and he'll assuredly be canned during the off-season. He seems like a genuine guy. He seems straightforward enough and he seems like he cares. A lot. So, too, do the players. They didn't want to go down in the annals as the first NFL team to ever go winless for the season. To their credit, they fought hard most of the time. But week after week, they were overmatched. They just suck. Week after week, there was some kind of Lionesque play that shot them in the collective foot. Week after week, they found new (!) and interesting (!) ways to lose ball games.

Is there any hope? I don't think so. I am truly starting to believe that Bobby Layne, their last great quarterback--from the fucking '50s!--put a hex, a curse, on them. Half a century of ineptitude...that's tough to do. But, seriously, is there hope for this franchise? I mean, look at the Miami Dolphins. Last year they were 1-15 and this year they finished 11-5 and made the playoffs. So, judging by the Dolphins turnaround, there's got to be at least a sliver of hope for the Lions, right? Wrong. The 'Phins have the Tuna, Bill Parcells, in their front office. Bill Parcells is a winner, he has always been a winner, wherever he's gone. The Lions have not a single person with the pedigree of Parcells. They have bumbling fools who always seem to be in over their heads.

Until they start winning, I'll never again purchase anything with the Detroit Lions logo on it, I'll never go to a game, I'll rarely even watch them on the television. Until they start winning they are, as Michael Corleone would say, they're dead to me.

Thanks for a fascinating season, Lions! You guys rock!

Friday, December 26, 2008

PLAY "PAY IT FORWARD"

"[T]he exchange focuses on doing an act of kindness without expecting anything in return other than that the recipient will, in his/her turn, pass the kindness along and pay it forward in his/her own way. I agree to send something fun, inspiring or uplifting to three random commenters. In turn, those three will post this information and pick 3 people they want to send something to and so on."

I opened my front door this morning and, there amidst the snow-and-ice mixture sat Lynn's box. Lynn's box was white with little black letters on it. Thanks, Lynn! I think I'm really going to enjoy your box! Except, now? Now it's my box. Sweet! Thanks for sending me your box, Lynn, across this great country, and thank you, too, for the contents of your box. I had to open your box to get to the goodies inside and, Lord, I am glad that I did open your box.

Guatemalan coffee. Booyah!

You can read Lynn's excellent writing over at reallivelesbian.blogspot.com/.

Here are the simple rules of the game, Pay It Forward: One, read this post. Two, comment by, um, Wednesday at 11:59PM. Three, I'll pick three winners from the commenters. Four, I'll send you a little something and then you, too, can have the blessed burden of spreading joy throughout this great country. Wanna play?! Then comment away!

Here's another fun game: Examine the picture of the lady enjoying her Guatemalan coffee and come up with a caption for it. The dirtier, the better. Here, I'll start it off. Noting her slightly-pinched smile, the caption should read: "Ha-ha, very funny, Jorge. Let's see how damned funny it is fifteen cups of COFFEE.COM coffee later, when I'll be painting the inside of your toilet with my vitriolic Deuce Juice."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

THIRTY-FIVE IN DAWG YEARZ

Unconditional love. Loyalty. Laughs. A warm furry body around which I can wrap my arms. Deep soulful brown eyes. The beginning of salting of gray on the muzzle. Five years of unquestioning companionship and love.

Louie turns five years old today. It marks--and for three months down the line--the only time in our relationship that we'll be approximately the same age. 35 or thereabouts. I had a huge head-start but, unfortunately, Lou is fast and he made up the distance rather too quickly. Eventually, he'll streak right on by me and leave me in his four-pawed dust, sprinting towards the end of the line so that he can meet with God quicker. This is dogs' only downfall--they're candles that burn from both ends and they live their angelic lives too damned quickly.

I'm a maroon. I'm here writing about Louie's birthday, ostensibly a joyous day, and I'm bumming myself out. My eyes are gettin' a little misty and my throat is choking up a bit. Why the hell am I focusing on his lifespan? Why not just live in the moment and bury my face in his musty-doggy side and inhale deeply of the shared Love? I heard something in a meeting on Sunday, and, though it is somewhat cheesey and prepackaged "Meeting talk", it rings true: Yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery, but today is the Present and it's a gift. True dat.

After I finish this, Lou is going to get a biscuit. Seems a little threadbare of a present for such a happy day but, hell, he's a Christmas bambino and so he's gotta share his birthday with the little Baby Jesus, y'dig? Hey-Zeus won't mind and Lou should be honored to celebrate in such rarified air.

Happy birthday, Louie. I love you forever, dude...but, uh, stick around a while, m'kay?

Monday, December 22, 2008

BINARY WASTELAND

You know, I wish people would have paid more attention in English class; I really do. Surfing the 'Net reveals far too much of shit just. like. this:

I DO NOT SEE HOW A DOGS MOUTH COULD BE VERY CLEAN MY DAUGHTER HAS TWO CATS TWO OF OUR DOGS THAT ARE KEPT IN THE SAME KENNEL AS THE CATS APPARENTLY EAT THE CATS WASTE THERE IS NEVER ANY CAT FECES IN THE LITER BOXES MY DOGS HAVE FOOD DOWN 24/7 YOU SHOULD SEE HOW FAT MY DOGS ARE PLUS THE DOGS LICK THEIR GENITLES AND ARE ALWAYS LICKING THE OTHER DOGS MY DOGS DO NOT LICK THAT IS GROSS THAT THEY ARE EATING THIS STUFF AND COMING IN AND LICKING YOU IN THE MOUTH WOULD YOU LET A HUMAN EAT POOP AND COME RIGHT IN AND LICK YOU IN THE MOUTH COME ON IT IS ONLY LOGICAL THAT THERE ARE DISEASE AND GERMS INVOLVES

One, stop shouting, Dusty Rose. Please and thank you. And, two, mix in occasional punctuation mark (and a dictionary), if you could. Shit like this just makes my head hurt.

Carry on. =o)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

WINTER SOLSTICE

Today is Sunday, the twenty-first day of December. Outside the world is God's icebox, all snow and ice and hi-zowling winds, and inside I am--obviously--at the bench o' computation, and Meegie is cocooned in bed, slabberdashed betwixt Louie and Oliver. From the bedroom I hear a dog sneeze, closely followed by a female voice saying, "Ohhh, Gawd, Oliver." There is not a whole hell of a lot on tap today; basically, it'll be a lazy snowy December Sunday morning. The Lions will not be televised. They didn't sell out the stadium. I'll putter around here and eat lunch when the urge strikes me and get to a 1:00 meeting down the road. (I'd intended to go to the 10:00 meeting in Berkley--my ostensible Home Group--but, hell, I looked outside and heard the wind and just decided, "Fuggit. I'll go later.")

God bless winter. God bless the refreshing, invigorating, sub-freezing winds which render a nose a radish in under four minutes. God bless the doggies cavorting in the backyard, spinning white dervishes of snow from under their playful paws. God bless the sugar coatings on the trees and the crystalline icicles that hang from the gutters. God bless the sense of unity that many Michiganders display after a particularly heavy snowfall--snowblowing neighbor's driveways, giving The Stuck a push--but God damn the havoc the unplowed streets wreak on the undercarriage of my Ford Focus. It's too low to the ground, and a mere five inches'll fucking get it stuck. I was pretty damned frustrated yesterday, what with the neighborhood plows nowhere in sight and my car repeatedly getting stuck...in the apron of my driveway, a couple of houses down, at the end of the street. When a street isn't plowed, stop signs tend to lose their relevance, to me. As long as there isn't any other car or pedestrian in the Ground Zero vincinity, I'm-a gonna keep motoring right along. And if a car does have the audacity to be in my drive-zone at that highly-crucial point in time, I'll stop and grumble curses at the blithely unaware motorist. And then I'll get out of my car, shovel in hand, and get to work. For all you warm-weather climes, you gotta come to Michigan or somewhere in the northern snowbelt and try your hand at winter driving! It's fun! >=o) (<---See?! I'm smiling!)

Anyway.

Today is the winter solstice. Assuming that my meterological knowledge is beyond the neotonical stages, it's the shortest day of the year. I wonder if, back in the day, the animal skin-clad hunters and gatherers had special ceremonies in which they begged the dieties to "bring back the Sun, damn it"? Maybe they had sacrifices. Nowadays, we have psychological conditions like S.A.D. and depression and our sacrifices are our brain chemicals as we pop pills to "bring back the Sun." Ah, progress. :-O

Let's all band together and perform some Pagan rituals--like Speedo snow angels or the like--to expediate the winter process. Whaddya say?

(By the way: four more days until Christmas. If you're one who celebrates the birth of Baby Jesus, it's time to get shopping. Ironic, isn't it?)


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

PARALLEL UNIVERSE

What day of the week is it? What date is it? Is this a parallel universe? One in which I retire late and wake late and mark my days only by the occurrences of Intensive Outpatient sessions?

Where is the joy in life? When the hell can I get back to work? Are they going to be sticklers on my attending the six more one-on-one counselling sessions before I can drop some piss and head back into the wild and joyous Land o' Gas Distribution? I hope not. I talked to the leader of the IOP, George, and told him that I still needed, by the substance abuse assessor's primary assessment, six more individual therapy sessions before I'd have the shackles unlocked and be allowed to go back to work. He and I both agree that six sessions really won't make a hell of a lot of difference in my mindset--I'm fed up with drinking and all the havoc it wreaks. However, I am concerned that if I don't do what I have been ordered to do, they (The Assessors [sounds like some kind of '50s comic book, doesn't it?]) may hold my balls to the flame. I'm in a tight spot, here, and I want to do exactly what I am told to do. Money comes in handy. Besides, now is not the difficult time for me, regarding drinking. The wounds are still too fresh, the memories of life's destruction still too crystalline. No, my "stinking thinking" really kicks it into a higher gear when things are going well and the money starts rolling in and I can rationalize to myself that, "Hell, Adam, things are sweet right now. You deserve a beer or eleven." That's when it gets tricky.

As for now, being off of work for thirty fucking days is causing more drinking thoughts than quelling them. I have too much time to think (and to dwell, unfortunately). Though I fill my days with meetings and IOPs (Intensive Outpatient therapy), I still have far too much time to think. Thank God for Antabuse; without it I may have drank to combat the boredom, fresh memories be damned. Or, not. I'll tell you this: being in this situation at work has caused me to re-evaluate my life and my need for the barley-and-hops killah. I don't need it. It needs me. It needs me so that it can feel like a big ballbuster and its modicum of self-esteem can become engorged. Drinking is a bully; it really is. And if it seems as though I am personifying drinking (or the drinking Adam, if that makes it easier to understand), I am. It helps me to validate the danger the drinking poses to me. It is a killer. For an alcoholic (and I shy not from that word) that is exactly what it is. It has no quarter, it shows absolutely no mercy. Like a Level-5 hurricane it'll sweep through the afflicted's life and leave chaos in its wake. Cows'll be in the upper branches of oak trees and houses will be half-intact and half-demolished. Pieces of straw'll be imbedded in bricks...or skulls. Sounds joyous, huh?!

Anyway, happy week-before-Christmas, outside it is snowing and nothing stirs, not even a rat.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

"THE RUBBER BANDS ARE HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION"

And what, exactly, does that mean? Meagan and Naomi and I went to the Oceania Inn tonight for dinner--I had the Szechuan Shrimp--and my fortune cookie told me that the rubber bands were heading in the right direction. That is great to know, Confucious, but what rubber bands are you even talking about? I mean, I could get my head around it if I, for instance, wore orthodontic braces that required the use of small, ultra-tight rubber bands to keep my teeth in line, but I was in that place and did that thing about 20 years ago, now.



If I were one who collected rubber bands and used them to make a giant Ball o' Bands then that fortune would have relevance, too. But I don't. What kind of a freaking fortune is that?!


The rubber bands are heading in the right direction. I don't even know where to start with those wise words o' wisdom. I never really even use rubber bands. That picture up there is just a representation of how important I find rubber bands to be. (That picture is about a year old; Meagan and I were just clowning around and, in this picture, you can definitely see that the rubber bands are not heading in the right direction.)


But now maybe they are. Maybe that's what the fortune gods were trying to tell me: that Meagan and I are on the right path, the path that we have been destined to travel--together. Maybe now the rubber bands are heading in the right direction because we have found each other (better late than never) and, though things may be rough every once in a while, together we can conquer pretty much everything. Does that sound like what the fortune means? I think, yes.


Either that, or the fortune writer was tripping balls that day, all loaded up with lysergic acid, and his obsession with rubber bands bled into his day job.

Friday, December 12, 2008

FRIDAY AT 6:30 IN THE AYE-EM

Being off work this month, due to circumstances that were well under my control, I find myself with a whole hell of a lot of time on my hands. I should be using this time to better myself. Perhaps I could work out. Perhaps I could go on a cleaning frenzy. Perhaps I could teach my doggies some new tricks. Maybe I could volunteer at a waffle kitchen; maybe I could learn to make soup, or chili, or borscht.

The picture you see is the new setup for my computing station. I did it simply because I needed/wanted a change (and also because of that aforementioned free time). I kinda like the way it turned out. That Diego Rivera print has been in this house, in that same spot, for nigh upon 25 years, now. When I moved into the house, I figured, hell, I liked it--naked female asses are always good--so there, on the wall, it stayed. For a long stretch when I was a kid, I used to change my bedroom around pretty much every Saturday. The bed and the dresser scuttled around the room, earning frequent flyer miles every weekend. It'd have been interesting to view the changes on some kind of time-lapsed photography. The only problem was that I was limited by the size of the bedroom and the number of pieces of furniture...I could only come up with so many combinations. Though I liked freshening the look of my room by rearrangement, I never broached the subject of window dressings, thank God. ;-P

On this date in history--December 12th, 1970--Jennifer Connelly was born. Happy birthday, Jennifer! There's just something about that woman that makes my insides flutter. One question, though: Why'd she have to get a breast reduction? They were fine how they were, damn it! And if she did it because her back hurt? Well, you should have sucked it up, Ms. Connelly. You had an obligation to all the dogs--er, men--out here who liked your blouse bunnies loud and proud. And, yes, I am crying over spilt milk, and, no, I did not think this statement out before I wrote it, but, yes, it shall remain.

Also, on this date in history, in 1787, Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Which was the first state? I'm not sure, but if I had to hazard a guess, I'd go with Massachusetts. The first person to successfully answer that question--Which was the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution?--wins nothing. Get to it!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

FROM THE GRASS IS GREEN FILE...

Tres amazing how much different it can be when I bowl A) with glasses and B) sober. Also, it helped that my left knee (my planting knee) didn't hurt. I went bowling with the babydoll on Friday night and rolled a 181 and a 175 for an average of 178. Sah-weet.

Seeing the pins makes so much of a difference! Amazing how that works, huh? Now, maybe, I should take the hint and wear the damned specs at night, while I'm driving. They could come in handy there, too, you know?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

THE HOSPITAL ROOM

Snarls and yelps of pain from the next room over slowly filtered into Richard's cognizance. What kind of fucking hospital is this? he thought to himself, opening his eyes. Jesus, they're killing themselves over there. He lay there in the uncomfortable bed, his arms and legs bound by plaster at odd angles (the better to heal, he'd been told) and he listened to, what was now, silence. His nose itched. Shit. There was a sudden flurry of scrabbling nails and snarls and then a final piercing yelp of pain and then there was silence once again. He wondered what was better: animalistic fury or this dead pregnant silence. Noise, fury, he decided, was better. At least, that way, he knew he was still alive and not suspended in some kind of Purgatory in which he could not move his arms or his legs--or even his head, for that matter--a Purgatory in which he couldn't even scratch his nose when it itched.

God, his nose itched. From his prostrate vantage point, he couldn't see the clock (he assumed it was on the wall behind his head) but he figured it had to be around the time that the smoking hot nurse usually came in and checked his morphine drip and drained his weasel if it needed draining. At first, Richard had been horrifically embarrassed to have such an attractive woman handle his cock in such a detached clinical nonsexual way but, over the last week or so (time had pretty much lost relevance; he didn't know if he'd been in hospital for a week or four or more) he'd left the embarrassment and the somewhat-shame somewhere along the Convalescence Highway and had come to actually look forward to her arrivals. Not only was she a stunning blonde, with the body of Venus, but her visits also broke up the monotony of the day.

God, his nose itched. "Come on, lady," he muttered. "Come and scratch my itch, bitch; I got it for ya right he-ah." Don't be a dick, Rick, his father spoke suddenly in his mind. Her name is Lydia, by the way, and she is more than just an attractive cut of meat, boy. Be nice. Don't take your anger about your situation out on her. His father had been dead for about two years, but, lately, he had been speaking up more frequently in Richard's mind, and daily since he had been in the accident that had landed him in this surreal hospital--the accident that, incidentally, try as he might, Richard could not remember.

"Sure, Dad," he said. "Sorry. And that 'dick, Rick' joke? That stopped being funny about ten years ago, man." His father chuckled somewhere in the back of Richard's mind, and then faded away.

Richard was left alone, by humans and by ghosts, to lie on his back and study the cracks on the ceiling. The cracks over which putty had been smeared over the years, but were still slightly discernable and so Richard had taken to studying them, making pictures come alive in his mind's eye--there is an elephant and there is a woman crying and over there is a baboon--anything to help pass the time as his bones mended and his ostensible bruises faded.

God, his nose itched.

"Anyone there?" he called. Immediately, as if his voice had been a cue, the snarls and yelps from the next-door room began anew. They sounded like-- What the hell are dogs doing in a hospital? Why am I healing in a place that has fucking dogs in it? That doesn't sound too sterile, godammit. What the fuck?!

"Hey?!" he shouted with as much force as he could muster, which was, admittedly, not a whole hell of a lot. "Is anybody there? Is there anybody...out there? Now I'm Pink Floyd and I'm in The Wall and this is fucking crazy and I'm going crazy and now I'm talking to myself and there's a goddamn baboon on the ceiling and he's making the woman cry and the elephant just doesn't give a flying fuck and what the hell is going on?!"

From the next room, Richard heard the scrabble of the claws against the floor, two maybe three animals running around, snapping at each other, causing yelps of pain, perhaps maybe even tearing flesh from bones, leaving stinking hot pools of blood all over the once-pristine hospital floor, slamming into the walls--boom!--crashing into the mobile IV units--tinkle of breaking glass--leaving it all out on the playing field, as it were. And then, just as quickly as it had started, there was, again, silence. In his mind--his imagination had always been sharp, top-notch, sometimes scary--Richard could picture the combatants, sitting quietly, facing the wall that divided their room from his: heaving panting sides, foaming muzzles, glints of extended canine teeth, bloody ragged flesh.... He could picture them--two? three? five? who knew?--studying the wall like the RCA dog, heads cocked, determining if, in fact, there was some easy meat in the room over. They smelled him, he was sure. They'd heard him; he knew that. "Nice doggies," he muttered. "Now just stay the fuck over there, okay?" It didn't matter to him, now, that there were dogs in a hospital. The incongruity of the situation had ceased to flummox him. He just wanted them there, not here. In this case, segregation was just fine and dandy and A-okay and just what the motherfucking doctor ordered. Speaking of which....

"Hey! Where the hell is everyone?!" Richard had become aware that, though the door to his hospital room had been open the whole time he'd been conscious--his internal clock told him that it'd had to have been at least ten minutes, he'd not seen one person pass by his room. Not a one. No nurses, no doctors, not even a janitor. "This is like that damned Twilight Zone episode," he said to himself. "You know the one. The one where that dude is walking down Main Street and there's no one there, nobody, anywhere, but him. This is just too fucking freaky, man." From the next room, Richard heard a low throaty growl. The dog sounded big. Saint Bernard? Rotty? A Pitty? Irish Wolfhound? Mastiff?

His nose didn't itch anymore. "Hey!" he shouted, "my nose itches! Could someone please come and scratch it for me? It driving me friggin' nuts, here!"

No answer. In fact, though he knew this absolutely couldn't be the case, Richard didn't feel the presence of even one human being outside his door, down the hall, in the nurses station, in the cafeteria, anywhere.... He felt his Fear animal clawing at his gut, much like he heard the animals in the next room clawing at the closed (God willing) door of their prison.

"My! Nose! Itches!" he shouted. It had become a sort of mantra to him. It'd become a kind of talismanic umbilical cord that kept him secured to this, the physical world, because he knew--or least he assumed--that if he passed out from fright or quite simply gave up to his fate, he was as good as dead. The beasts from the next room would surely eventually get free and they'd scrabble over to his room, their hindquarters skidding on the polished hospital hallway, led by their noses and their sense of Easy Meat, and they would tear him to pieces and eat him alive; unable to kick or scream or beat at them, it'd be like taking doggy candy from a baby.

Howls erupted from the next room and the scrabble of claws at the door intensified. "My God, there're fucking wolves over there," he said. He moaned and tried to wiggle his fingers and wiggle his toes. They wiggled, a bit, but the rest of his appendages--both arms and both legs--were tightly secured by both the plaster casts and the seemingly-antiquated pulley systems that had been rigged to keep them in place. "This is impossible," he said. "Why am I here? And where the fuck is everybody?!" he shouted. "What kind of a hospital is this?!"

***


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

WOW! HOW BLESSED CAN ONE GUY BE?!

My day just keeps getting better and better! First, I heard the news that I wanted/needed to hear from work and then this!


Good Day,‏
From:
walter smith (waltersmith66@msn.com)
Sent:
Tue 12/02/08 11:41 AM
To:
.ExternalClass .EC_hmmessage P
{padding:0px;}
.ExternalClass body.EC_hmmessage
{font-size:10pt;font-family:Verdana;}

Good Day,

Please accept my sincere apologies if my email does not meet your business
or personal ethics. I will first introduce myself as Mr. Walker Smith, a staff in the Private Clients Section of a well-known bank, here in London, England.

One of our accounts, with holding balance of £52,000,000 ({FIFTY TWO MILLION POUNDS Sterling) has been dormant and last operated three years ago. From my investigations and confirmation, the owner of the said account, a foreigner by name John Shumejda died on the 4th of January 2002 in a plane crash In Birmingham; you can view this CNN websitehttp://edition.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/01/04/england.plane/ for details
On the crash.

Since then, nobody has done anything as regards the claiming of this money, as he has no family member that has any knowledge as to the existence of either the account or the funds; and also Information from the National Immigration also states that he was single on entry into the UK.

This transaction is totally free of risk and troubles as the fund is legitimate and does not originate from drug, money laundry, terrorism or any other illegal act.

On your interest, let me hear from you URGENTLY.

Warm Regards,

Mr. Walker smith

Damn. I feel really badly for John Shumejda, I really do. It blows that he had to die so tragically and horrifically, but, gosh, how often does an opportunity like this come around?! My goodness! 52 million pounds?! My worries would be gone if I accepted the money from Mr. Smith. I could buy my own fucking island! I could drive Hummers and Ferraris and I would buy Meegie a whole bunch of mink stoles and chinchilla overcoats...and I would buy a lifetime supply of Ramen Noodles, too! Hell, screw that. I could buy the whole damned Ramen Noodle company!

I know what you may be thinking: Adam, this is a scam, dude. They just want to respond so that you'll send them pertinent financial information and then they'll fleece you like Little Bo Peep's sheep, dude. Let it go.

I get that. Really, I do. But hear this, Mr. and Mrs. Smartypants: Those scams are only from Nigerian princes and princesses. This is legitimate, mang. Walter Smith doesn't know who he's messing with. For damned sure, he doesn't know. I'll fleece his little four-eyed, bowler hat-wearing ass. He won't know what hit him!

Thanks, Walter! =o) My dreams have come true!

Signed,
Non-Lolly
PS--Actually, on second glance, it doesn't seem like this is legitimate. Walter spelled his name wrong. I don't know if it's Walter or Walker. It just doesn't seem to add up. Shit. Ahhh, screw it. I'll reply, anyway. What could it hurt? Besides, I have often forgotten my own name, too.

Monday, December 01, 2008

LOLLY, GAGGING IN LIMBOLAND

My name is not Lolly, but, for titling reasons, it seemed to work. So, for this post only, I shall be known as Lolly. And I am gagging in Limboland.

At this time, I can't go into the reasons I am gagging, nor can I say why I find my ass parked squarely in Limboland. Suffice it to say, though, I am and I am.

Cryptic posts are fun! Whee! No, they're not.

I'll say this: Tomorrow is a very important day for me, and I am desirous of a certain outcome. Whether that will happen or not, I am not the one pulling the strings. I do hope, however, that if you read this, you can send good thoughts my way. And, though I have asked this of you before, my dear E-friends, if you can include me in your prayers, that would be much appreciated, as well.

Life is a journey, not a destination, and, as cliched as that sounds/reads, it is the absolute truth. I have been going back to meetings, lately, and that is the advice I have gleaned: let go and let God. It is out of my hands and in His. I have done all that I could, these last several days, and now is the time to surrender and let the chips fall where they may. That is very difficult for me to do. I always want to control the outcomes of certain things and I am one to obsess and obsess and obsess over said outcomes until my mind is frazzled and my stomach is in knots and my palms are clammy and my head fucking hurts.

Release, Adam. Step back. View the big picture. The most important thing is your sobriety.

Though that last sentence has been repeated to me innumerable times, it just doesn't sink in, sometimes. But, it is absolutely true. Without extended sobriety, I haven't a chance of achieving what I hold to be important in life.

I have a frigging disease that tells me I ain't got it, that I am just fine and dandy. And that sucks.

Regardless, I am in need of some prayer, some good thoughts, some karma.

Peace and love, y'all.

Signed,
Lolly

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A COUPLE OF THINGS

Life is blessed, for sure, when one finds love, his soul mate, his joy, his laughter, his partner, his commiserator, his dinner date, his morningstar, his shared mind. Two minds as one. It is very nice.

Beautiful green-blue-gray eyes offset by sooty black lashes, full womanly figure, soft rose petal lips. It is very nice. Soft hands, delicate little fingers, pretty, dainty feet. It is very nice.

Whenever I hear this song (and God damn! it was impossible to find the actual Van Morrison recording!) I think of her. Schmaltzy wedding song? Maybe. But, to me, it resonates, and I listen to it over and over again when I am feeling blue.

***

Point number two: when I was driving home from my morning meeting, I saw no less than five cops doing their civic duty: meeting those quotas. Caveat driverus: driver beware.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

NOT 100% ANGELIC

Though this picture casts the boys in a warm golden light, perhaps intimating at their cherubic souls, they are assuredly not always angels. Oliver likes to void both his bowels and his bladder on the basement floor, sometimes, and Lou is a lick-aholic and he also barks too loudly and too often, sometimes.

Oliver is a canine Eddie Haskell: all sweet and wonderful to the adults, but when they're not looking, he gets into more than his fair share of mischief, including but not limited to: the aforementioned penchant to use the bowels of the house as a toilet, the humping of Meegie's daughter's leg (the humping of my sister's arm), overeating, chewing up baseball hats, toothing the fluffy door draft-stopper (not quite chewing it, tearing it to pieces, but close enough), the penchant for always fucking up the window dressings with his fat little head (the better to see and bay at the passers-by), and more things that I can't really remember. I love the little guy, though. He's got Personality Plus! I love the little fella though, in this shot, he scarily reminds me of Vice President Dick Cheney. Yikes.

Lou is golden. He is, by far, my favorite. Though he, too, has been pissing me off, of late. (Not too much, though; my love for them renders me a softie, a push-over, when they be bad.) He's gotten into the habit of rearing up on his hind legs and slapping his front paws on the kitchen counter, the better to sniff and rip at all the food that may be up there, don'tcha know.

I got back from work today, and Meegie said to me, "They left a surprise for you in the living room."

Removing my work boots, I slanted my head towards her and asked, "Is it poop or piss or is it Destruction?"

"Destruction," she answered. "Time to cage 'em, Adam."

I sighed. She was right. I had tried to be benevolent to my boys, leaving them out in the house, lately, but, she was right. Back to the basement for them, where they can enjoy a nice ten-by-eight cage...and food...and toys. In my mind, images of torn-up couch cushions and blasted pillows danced.

I walked into the living room. It wasn't that bad. (Adam the Enabler.) They'd just gotten into the garbage and torn/strewn the Gravy Train bag and a couple of paper plates on the carpet. Easy to clean up and no lasting damage. But. But! It is still unacceptable. When I leave them by their lonesomes, I expect/desire/long for them to be Doggie Statues: no poop, no piss, no garbage-raiding, no hat-chewing, no rug-rearranging, no baddy doggy behavior.

Pipe-dream? Yes. Never to be acquired? Yes. Do I care? No. They have blessed my life in innumerable ways, Louie especially. You should learn to take the bad with the good. It's the only way to maintain sanity. Fuck it. I don't really care, for the most part. If they get all bowel-y on precious items (or the carpet) then I might get angry. As it stands right now, their house privliges have been revoked. They'll basement-sit. I still love them, though.

They're just living too high on the hog right now. They have to be brought back to earth. I can't even begin to imagine why this started to happen. I thought that, for the most part, I ruled Casa Adam with a fist made of iron. I guess I overrated my Alpha Male status.

*sob*
;-P

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

OVERTIME AND OBITUARIES

The first couple of weeks after my Dad died, I ensconced myself in Cocoon Adam, going to work, turning down overtime, coming home and basically whiling away time by playing video games and petting the dogs. I was left a message on Memorial Day, but I chose not to call back and go in, jettisoning, as it were, the triple-time to some other lucky sap. Every day after that--literally--I had the opportunity to stay over at work and collect some much-needed (NEEDED) money. But, I stuck to my (lazy?) guns and passed on the (often) easy money.

Yesterday, the call came over the radio, as Adena and I were driving back to the yard, and Steve said, "Adena, we need a GLW and a TMO to go to downtown Royal Oak for a broken two-inch. The contractors were boring for a new line and when they pulled it back, apparently, it caught the main at the coupling and snapped it."

Adena had something planned with her son, but the option was still there for me to go out, with a different GLW, and work on the main break. "Come on," she said to me with her years-of-smoking gravel-rattle, "you've been bitching about not having money; here's your chance."

I still wasn't convinced, though, as I pulled the 44--think, "big truck"--into the parking lot, that I was going to go out and earn some extra money. Once I get into a pattern--it doesn't matter what--it seems to me that I have a very hard time getting out of said pattern. I don't easily "break the cycle."

Fuggit, I said to myself as I walked into headquarters, I need the money, Meagan or Mom can maybe let the boys out, and did I mention that I need the money? Sack up, my lazy A-Bomb, and get your ass out there. Pep-talk completed, I told Steve that, yes, I would be happy to go out, and I waited as he searched for a GLW to take the job.

Gas Lines Worker (GLW) Rod said that he'd take the job and Emilio, a TMO like me, also went out there. Ten hours later, we were done. Ten hours. It seems like a long time, and it was. First, there was the assessment of the situation--GLW and supervisor both with their ideas of how it should be done--and then there was the waiting for the needed parts and the careful digging 'round fiber optic cables and electric lines...but, still, ten hours was a long time. But, for me, it was needed. Never mind the money, though it is good: eight hours of time-and-a-half and two-and-a-half hours of double time and two twenty-dollar meal tickets? I'll take it! No, what was good for me was that, over the course of the eighteen-and-a-half hour day, I realized that this is exactly what I need.

I don't think about my Dad a lot, at least not consciously. I feel the memories of him congregating in the back of my skull--not quite babbling/bubbling to the surface--but they never really enter my daily thought processes. I realized something yesterday, and today, and, I reckon, the days before yesterday: I am really starting to miss my father. I miss the solidity of him. I miss hearing his voice and seeing the twinkles in his eyes. I have pretty much successfully scoured from my mind (repressed) the last few weeks of his life, and, though I know that they're in there, somewhere, I am quite happy in not wallowing in my loss. This happens, I tell myself. It is a part of life. Life is cyclical. Cherish your memories of him as a healthy man/father/husband and reiterate to yourself that, in death, most things are not celluoid romanticism. Death is messy. But (good) memories are forever.

And that cognizance helps me, I think. But I am human. And my mind is sometimes out of my control. Though I want to purge the grief, I think that said grief feels that it is just fine and dandy where it is. Hovering somewhere around my hypothalamus. LOL

Repression as a defense mechanism. Shit.

So, I've found work helps. It is far better to be outside, dealing with the transmission of fossil fuels (?) than to be at home, desultorily blowing shit (and people) up in Grand Theft Auto IV on the Xbox 360.

Dad was always a hard worker; it might make him smile from above to see me busting my ass for the greenbacks. (I said yes to an eight-hour shift on Saturday, too. Eight more hours of time-and-a-half: bring it.) (Oh, and I am also on-call this weekend. Sweet. It is nice when you like your job. I like the adrenaline and I like the sneaky toxicity and I like the physical work and I like the money and the comraderie...sweet! =o) I like my job!)

Anyway....

Today I stopped at my Mom's house (not "the parents' house," anymore) and I got some vegetarian stuffed peppers that she made--"They may smell a little gross, Adam, but it's just because of the soy product"--and, after I smelled the peppers (they smelled just fine and delicious, my worrying Mommy) I grabbed up the Detroit Free Press from Sunday, the paper in which my Dad's obituary was printed. My mom slid the peppers into a little bag and she placed the newspaper and one of my Dad's Grateful Dead T-shirts into another bag and I went back outside and climbed up into the 44 and flashed the rotating lights at my mom as she stood in the front doorway, waving good-bye, a practice that I poo-poo but secretly love.

An hour later, I was at home. My darling Meegie was over--I had texted her to, if she could, let the dogs out because I didn't know how long I'd be on the leak today (it was not a difficult one to fix)--and she asked if the paper held the obituary and I said yes, and she opened up the paper to the Death Notices and she read it at the kitchen counter and she sighed and said, "Oh-hhhh." Kind of a sad, plaintive, reassuring, this-is-my-sweetheart's-Daddy's-obituary kind of utterance. We adjourned to the living room and I opened the paper to the Obituaries.

No. He didn't belong there. No. That isn't quite right. I knew that, physically, he is gone. No more will I hear my Dad clear his throat. No more will I see him lounging in his chair. No more will I feel the bony bulk of his body as I envelop him in a hug. I won't ever again feel the scrubby tickle of his beard as I kiss him on the cheek.

I just mean to say that he didn't belong there, amongst the "Death Notices," because, dammit, he is my father. He's all mixed in with the Raus and the Masalins and the Vandenbroucks and the Wilsons and the Essians and the Kourys and the Blooms. And all the pictures, all the dead people, smiling out at the reader...well, wait. One of the deceased, Ginny Draw, she looks like she knew what was coming. White-haired and beady-eyed, our Sweet Virginia looks out of the newsprint, 'neath low-cast eyebrows, and her countenance seems to say, "Whatchu looking at, Buster? You should have seen me fifty years ago. I was a firecracker!"

And then there is Dad. He is in the lower lefthand corner of 6B. My mother and my sisters and I chose his picture well. It captures Robert Raymond. In it, my dad is standing before a big body of water (Lake Superior? Lake Michigan?) and his head is tilted at a playful angle. (He was always playful.) His full white beard offsets his jaunty safari hat and his eyes, I am sure, are twinkling bright behind his shades. This is Bobby B.

Intellectually, I know he does, but--dammit--emotionally, I fail to see how he fits with the guy with the glasses, the Polish woman, the Kilroy-rhyme-dude. They're all gone, and their families are sad. They died. They bought the farm. They kicked it. Their breaths were eliminated. So...how, exactly, does my Daddy fit into this oh-so exclusive club?

Obituaries. I don't mean to knock them or the black-and-whites who make up the community, but it makes me sad, somehow, to see my Daddy lumped in with the rest of the bunch. And, of course, I know why. Obviously, it is because I have so many memories of and love for my father and the rest of the bunch are strangers. I wonder.... No, I'm just wondering through my fingertips. I wonder, though, if one can buy a full page--no other black-and-whites floating about--just a full page in the newspaper for a loved one. You think? I know, I know...it'd be dear. It'd be expensive. But, just wondering. If my Mom dies--or my sisters?!--I'm buying a whole page for them, money be damned. I'll just take the funeral costs--I assume everyone is going the Blowtorch Way--and I'll invest it into the crinkly shrine of newsprint.

Balls. I hate this shit. I can't even really believe he is gone. It really has not sunk in. I swim the river of Denial. Emotionally, that is. My prickish intellectual brain is far past the fact. It says, "We live and then we die." No shit? Shit. We are expendable, all of us. We need to make way for the next influx of squinty-eyed, shit-dropping, tear-spouting babies. What?! Who the fuck are they?!

All this to say: I am getting back to Life, but I miss my Daddy dearly.

Peace. Rest, Dad. Enjoy the heavenly party, man. We're all right down here. God! I love the guy. He was/is a special part of my Life. Kudos, Daddy. You did good. Though you never pronounced "antenna" right. ;-)

***

One last thing, ladies: Have you ever tried the cucumbers-on-the-eyes-trick to rid yourself of bags and worrisome wrinkles and shit? Have ye? If you have, lemme know if it works. I am sick and tired of looking sick and tired. I want my peepers back! =o)
***
Postscript: I just realized: my Dad died on November 2nd, the Mexican Day of the Dead. Do you think? On some level? He played a final prank? I'd love to believe that. That was Dad. :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

TEASING ONESELF

I absolutely love it when this happens: I awake to the jangling alarm clock in the living room and think to myself, Shit, time to go to work. Can't I get just ten more minutes of sleep?

I get out of bed and walk into the living room, ready to let the boys out and make myself a lunch and motorvate to work, and then I realize--Saturday.

Sah-weet.

Hoodwinking the Sleepy Adam is easy, but that moment of non-working euphoria is worth it.

Happy Saturday, y'all.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

TUESDAY MORNING

Happy Veterans' Day, everybody. I don't know if the salutation "happy" is appropriate, given that the day is meant to honor those who have served and/or died for our country, but, hell, I am happy, so there's that, at least.

I missed a call this morning from work, calling to get a crew to come in and work on some omnipresent snafu. It would have been nice to go in to work, getting called in on a holiday. I don't want to even do the math...triple-time plus a call-in, plus a meal ticket...something like that. I missed it, though, and that's fine. Though I am in severe need of extra cash (I was paid 90% during my time off, but, of course, no overtime and no on-call money), today I need to be a father to my furry mute chilluns.

They are scratching incessantly and their shots are overdue. Also, and this pained me to see, Lou has a problem with his rear left paw. Yesterday he was lying on the couch, kind of gnawing at his foot and, eventually, I went over to him and pulled his paw out of his mouth. Without really examining the situation, I ran my hand over his nails and was surprised when he yelped in pain and shot his mouth towards my hand. What the fuck, Louie? I was a bit taken aback. I hadn't done anything rough with his paw, but the yelp was one of pure unadulterated pain and his jaw-snap towards my hand concerned me, as well. I took his paw tenderly in my hand and stroked his neck and had a looky-see. Lou had that "I'm-sorry-Adam" look on his face and his ears were back like they are when he is embarrassed and his tail was thumping softly against the cushion. The kid lost a claw, somehow. His "pinky" nail on his left rear paw is gone, leaving nothing but an empty socket and, assuredly, a whole hell of a lot of pain when it's fucked with. How'd it happen? I have no clue. It looks like a clean excavation, almost as if it (the claw) were secured in channel lock, or something, and unceremoniously jerked out of its bed.

It hurts me to write that. Ouch.

Lou is getting along fine, only slightly favoring his rear leg, but, luckily, I was able to procure a 3:00 appointment at the veteranarian's office. I'll take him (and the completely obnoxious Oliver) to the vet's and try to kill three birds with one stone: shots, anti-itching, and I'll see what I have to do to take care of Lou's paw.

It sucks to miss triple-time (but I was sleeping at 6:45 when the call came in) but I have to take care of my boys. I have been slacking in their basic care; I need to make amends.

Anyway, enjoy your Tuesday. And come on Inauguration Day! Please! Let's start over!

Peace.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

LETTER TO DAD

Dear Dad,

Tonight we had the kids and our significant others and mom and Aunt JoAnne and Uncle Jim and Uncle Al over and we gathered around the table and had pizza and looked at pictures of you and remembered your spirit globe-trottings and political volunteerism and we hoped and prayed that you were in a better place. And--and I weep as I write this--I am sure you are. It was so damned tough at the end for you and for us and I, though I cried when I heard that you passed on to the other side at 5:25 on Sunday morning, I also cried tears of joy because I knew that your suffering was now done. You were in a better place and free to talk with your brother and your mother and any other friends and family members who beat you to the other side.

But, Dad! I wish you could have experienced tonight's political events. I wish you could have held on, sound of mind, though perhaps unsound of body, to have seen Barack Obama become the first African-American president-elect. God, it makes my soul glad to see that, maybe for once, we as a nation can overlook insignificant things such as race and creed and, for once, come together to vote for the better man. We stuck it to the system. We turned out and voted and the better man won.

I wish you could have seen it.

Learn to change; why can't we do it?

Dad, I hope that you're looking down and smiling, man. It is surely a sight to see. I love you, Dad.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

AND THROUGH THE DARKNESS, LIGHT WILL EMERGE

I need to write something uplifting, something that is not as down as last few posts. Though the grief and the darkness is paramount in my family's and my lives right now, it isn't good, I think, to wallow in the morass of psychic pain. It is really easy to do that, though. Wallow, I mean.

But...let's think of something good. Every time I come home from my parents' house, down in the dumps, my little furry kids elevate my mood with a well-placed lick or snuggle. They are like four-legged Joy vehicles, their primary purpose being to spread said joy wherever they go.

So, times are tough, of course, but I feel that God gives us what we can handle. No more and no less. We will all come out of this horrible situation as stronger individuals. And my father will come out of this into freedom. Freedom from his earth-bound bag of bones and freedom from his emotional and psychic bondage. What is on the "Other Side"? I haven't a clue. But I believe that there is something, something better than this world of chaos in which we live. At the absolute least, my Dad won't be suffering anymore, and that is good.

I had never imagined that this would be so damned difficult, this letting go, this view of a family member's transition from this world to the next. I thought Hospice was supposed to be a more humane level of care. And, I suppose, its main premise is just that: monitor the pain (the physical pain) and make it so that the dying patient is able to rest comfortably in his or her last days. But, here is the problem: when the patient has lost mobility and the patient's right arm is rendered useless from the tumors compressing his spine and the Parkinson's makes his communication almost nil--yet his mind is still as alert as ever--where in all of that does the word "comfort" apply? Physical pain is but one facet of death. Emotional and psychic pain are just as prominent. And so that is where the feelings of my being handcuffed come into play. Without communication, there is no way that I (we) can alleviate my father's pain. And that? That flat-out sucks donkey ass.

I always believed in Jack Kervorkian's theories and practices, and more so now, when I have the worst--physically paralyzed, waiting and waiting and waiting for the preoccupied Reaper--staring me right in the face. I was too young to really understand my dad's dad's passing from ALS, but I imagine it was something like what Bobby B. is now going through.

And I look up to the heavens and I say, "God, what did my father do to deserve this? Why must it be so slow? Why must it be so humiliating and embarrassing and why must he be reduced to such neotonical physicalities? Can't you expediate the process, Lord?" Yaweh hasn't gotten back to me on that. I can wait. But does my Dad have to, too?

For Daddy B.
my heart rends for you
the skies are dark and cloudy
through this, Light will come

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

LOVE FOR MY DADDY

I was going to write a poem, but that wouldn't cut it. I have to get this out in prose.

The cancer has exploded in my father.

As I watch him in his final days, I realize something that I should have realized long ago: this is one strong, brave man. I realize that what he has gone through, these last fourteen months, is a hardship that I can't even fathom. He's never whined; he's never asked, "Why me?" He's gone through the procedures and the operations and the indignities of disease with a pragmatic, dogged determination.

How much do I say? How much do I write? How much do I leave out?

I say this: Robert is a fighter. He's a damned heavyweight, though the skin and flesh sloughs. He is a battering ram, though the fucking disease renders him still.

It tears my heart apart. It fucking tears my heart apart to see him as weak as a kitten. I look at him resting, head slanted on the pillow, hair mussed, face puffed and red from the steroids and other medicines, and I weep--the tears just spring through my clenched eyes--because I remember him as Bobby B., my strong Daddy, a man of natural strength, and--I should have been more cognizant--a spiritual strength, a mental strength, an emotional strength.

Pragmatism as a rule. Get your ducks in a row, make sure that all the lights are off and all the T's are crossed.

He was dealt a blow two Septembers ago when he learned that he'd "caught" Stage Four lung cancer. As his brother was passing from cancer, my father learned that he, too, had the disease. In fact, they were both patients in the same hospital--my Dad was wheeled down to say good-bye to his brother. It was like some fucked-up baton pass. Brother Two gives it to Brother One. No. But...it was a pretty surreal weekend.

And today was surreal, as well. I was paged from my class at Maplegrove--the class was about spiritual health--and I sauntered to the lobby, assuming that the page was for me to see my Addiction Therapist. I strode through the double doors to the lobby and then stopped short. My mom was sitting in a chair in the lobby, her purse at her feet, her cane across her knees. "Mom?" I asked, "what are you doing here? I get out Wednesday." She started to talk and then, glancing at another lobby-sitter, said, "Come here." And she gestured to the seat next to her. I got a funny feeling in my gut.

"Dad's not doing too well."

I was out and I--and my sisters and my Mom and my uncle and my cousins--spent some or most of the next ten hours at my father's bedside.

He winks in and out of reality. He's got something going on in his mind, his brain, and it scares me to look at it. Is he still getting his ducks in a row? I think so, yes. Heavy pain-reducing drugs could account for some of the shifts between realities, yes, but...God, I don't know. I just don't know.

Have I mentioned how helpless a person can feel when he or she is presented with a family member--the Love overflows--battling end-of-life issues, both physical and, especially, mental and emotional? Helpless.

I want to slam my fist through a fucking wall. I want to alleviate any pain that I can for my father. But I can't. I. Can't. I can only watch. Fucking watch. Yeah.

Impotent rage doesn't scare a soul.

And I look back over these last fourteen or so months and I flat-out kick myself. Tell me this: why did I wait until my Dad was in Code-Red before I fully accepted the gravity of his situation? I had friends tell me to spend as much time with him as I could and I had family members exhorting the virtues of kinsmanship...hell, even I thought I wasn't seeing him and my mom as much as I should. (Especially since I live only 20 minutes away.) Yet I stayed aback. I kept my distance.

[A slang word for vagina is pussy.]

I didn't want to see my Daddy get sick and old and die. So I pushed that thought--and my mom and dad--away. Any thought or mention of the situation failed to penetrate my denial. Intellectually, I knew it'd happen. Emotionally, I'd hear none of it.

So we are left with what we have now: son with regrets and father reliving his life through his dreaming eyes. And mother sleeping on the foldaway seat in the hospital room.

I have heard theories on grieving and loss and how people deal with said issues. Avoidance is not cool. It's emotionally busted. Yet that's what I did.

I can coo and crow and kiss my Daddy on the cheek all I want, now; it's too late. I can wipe his brow and dab at his sweat. For what? Should I not have been there for him three, five, ten months earlier? Should I not have made it a point to get to my parents' house at least once a week? How hard is that? It isn't.

I know how this story ends, but I don't know the timetable. I know how this story ends, but I don't know the machinations of the disease--I don't know how much of a fucking bastard cancer can be.

I know how this story ends, but I don't know how much my Daddy is aware of how much my sisters and I love him. I hope that our Love seeps through into his dreams and fills him with Courage. I hope that our Love seeps into his dreams and gives him an inward smile. I hope that our Love for him is apparent.

He knows.

When I left tonight, I kissed him fiercely on his bearded cheek. His skin was cool and sweaty. His eyes were closed and his breathing was labored. "Dad," I choked, "I'm gonna leave now. I'll see you tomorrow, okay?" He didn't answer. "Dad," I repeated, "I'm leaving now." I stated, "I'll see you tomorrow."

"Okay," he murmured, his eyes glazed shut.

Breakthrough.

Call me selfish--and I am--but I want my father here instead of in a near-death state. I doan want him to leave. I'd rather not have him dead. He's my Daddy.

I need to measure my love for him and my insecurities of living in a life without my father against his...pain. His fucking pain. I? I am an asshole. The dude's got cancer shooting through no less than six organs and I'm pitching a fit 'cause I...don't...want...him...to...go.

How sad is that?

"Purty sad," drawled John Wayne.

Okay. I gotta leave here, now. I have spoken my piece(s).

But, no. I'm not done.

Parents die.

They leave, they die, they "pass on." And it fucking hurts. As much as I tell myself that it is a cyclical process of life--one of the food dieticians was pregnant (or grossly fat)--I can't get over, really, that my father is going to die. I think that there may be a world-wide amnesiac state in which people...insulate.
I am not prepared.

Life flows, so does death.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

GETCHO ASS TO REHAB, YA FUCK

I am so happy. Not only that I have a beautiful girlfriend who knows and understands and loves me--warts and all--but I am also happy because I going to someplace in a couple of days that will help me. 'Cause, obviously, I have no chance of succeeding on my own. It is an impossibility.

Sucks to say, but true.

So...blah, blah and blah. Shutchu fucking ass up and go to a rehab. Seriously. Enough talk.

Just do it.

Okay. So I will.

In said rehab, they will, first, medically check me. Then, I'll be absolved of the cirriculam for the first day. That is a time in which patients detoxify themselves. During the first couple of nights, medical staff will enter my room, at various times of the night, and take my blood pressure and, perhaps (I've forgotten) load me with a tranquilizer so that I don't die of a seizure. That sounds worse than it actually is--except for being woken up repeatedly; that sucks ass.

Days will consist of meetings and classes that deal with addiction and alcoholism. Are they fun? No. Do they teach me much more than I already know? Hell, no. Are they an effective deterrent to slowly killing oneself with toxic beverages? Hell, yes.

Is it a vacation? Um, no. Is it necessary? I believe that, yes, it is.

There is a part of me that is completely embarrassed that I couldn't handle it enough. That I had to check myself back in to rehab. In fact, it peeves me, mos' def'. And then there is another part of me that says, "Sir? You couldn't handle it. You lack the proper skills. Get your ass--please!--and get back into rehab. Ya gotta, brother."

I acquiesce to that sometimes-not-so-quiet voice. Because he (or she) is brilliant. Time has lost relevance; important social functions have lost their urgencies. Health is a bugaboo. It is a waste of time. The only thing that matters is getting that next high-octaned beer. That? That ain't good.

On the plus side...wait; I'm thinking. On the plus side, I get to know how I'll feel when I am 70: washed-out, sick, trembly, weak, and with horrible breath. ;-)

So, yeah. Getcho ass to a rehab. Listen to what they have to say. Soak up all the inspiration and information that you can--ya fucking drunk. This *is* your life. *Your* life. Try not to waste it, let it fall to the wayside 'cause you wasn't strong enough to deal with your demons. That is both cowardly and, also, a tragedy, dude. Get yourself together, man.

Make your father proud.

Okay.

Can I fast-forward to Sunday? :-)

Do they have Mozart in rehabilitation centers? They should. He is aural Prozac.

I'm going, I'm going.

This does not add up to being taken in "kicking and screaming." I want to go.

Y'all sick of this, yet? Because I am.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

DEAD. END.

Support don't help. Love does not help. My own mind *definitely* does not help.

I cannot impart to you enough the weight of the monkey monkeying about on my shoulders.

Gosh.

If you are a tee-totaler, more Power to you. I wish I had your unaddicted mind for my own.

But. This the shiznizzle: Through a taxi cab or some other means, I am headed back to Maplegrove. Fuck. Shoot.

Fuck it. It is what it is. I cannot control the Monkey. The leash is frayed, at best.

So. And then it goes.

Shall I prepare myself for a life of Addiction?

Can't I kick this bumblebee to the kerb? Answered: Highly doubtful.

This makes me so fucking sad.

Fuggit. Life goes on. You need to have Perspective. What was once your most worrisome problem turns out to be, after time, your most hilarious joke.

But. I am heading back to rehab. Today or tomorrow--I ain't sure. It all depends upon the ride! =o)

Fuck it.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

ALCOHOLISM IS A BLAST! =O)

I strongly urge you to try it! =o)

Just keep pouring that poison down your throat! =o) It is keen!

In other news, "The Shakes" aren't too fun. :-\ It kinda sucks to have your leg doing the heeby-jeebies. You look at your leg and you say, "Stop it, motherfucker," but it doesn't.

It is kicking the ills 'cause the bwane is soaked with liquor and it is sending out messages to the extremities, saying, basically, gimme more. More, goddamnit! Yesterday!

Wow.

Ah. Fuck it. Life is good. I am not an amputee--not that there is anything wrong with that!--and my fingers work, as well. I love--and I think she loves me, too--a gorgeous woman and? What? Need I say more?

Okay. I will.

Nope. You had me at the "gorgeous woman." Shakes'll fade, but True Love never does.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

BIRTHDAY SUNDAY

Verbal diarrhea commences:

I saw my fam dambly today. Mom glows but Dad shrinks more every fucking time I see him. He is the shit. He's a guy that helped raise three wonderful (I know) children whilst working his ass off as a Chrysler exeutive and also an owner of an ill-fated fucking yarn store.

I kissed his hand today. He struggled to pull his hand out of my grasp. Have I mentioned that I was drunk? At my parents' house? To celebrate my sister turning 37 years old three days ago?

Well, I was.

The kissing of the hand had absolutely no homoerotic qualities to it. I kissed my Dad's hand because a hug was not enough and a handshake was ridiculous. I'm not quite sure how much my Dad knows that I love him. That sentence structure blew. Get over it.

I am not quite sure that my Dad knows that I respect the hell out of him and, in these bad physical (for him, at least) days, that I would lie down on a fucking sidewalk so that he could walk on my back over a hole.

Shit.

Have I feminized my Daddy? Kissing hands, the proclivity to lie down so that he can walk over my back? Up to what do those things add?

Love.

Love.

Fucking Love, man.

It is really fucking tough to see a family member illing. Flat out: it blows donkey scrotum.

And I have dealt with it like the man I am: Avoidance.

Am I a fucking coward? I see it in me. I fucking smell it and taste it. Don't get too close to MaandPa because Pa is not doing well. He is fucking exiting Stage Left. Why am I such a fucking prick?

I don't know.

I know this, though: I love that motherfucking Robert Raymond.

Why can't I put them fifty pounds back onto his frame? Why can't I fill his hair with the luster that it once had? Why can I not lose to him in an arm-wrestling contest? Why can I not look at his physique and call him a bear?

How the fuck do I turn back the goddamned clock?

How?

69 is a fan-fucking-tastic number. I would prefer 79 or 89, though.

I am pissed and more than a little heartbusted.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

HALLOWEEN: FALSIFIED, MADE-UP, *FICTION*

I drift.

Washing Mexican-plated dishes or wiping the wash off of Beemers and Cadillacs--whatever. Just gimme the check--pay me under the table with caish--and I am happy. I have a morphine addiction, you see. I tremble in the morning and then all is good 'cause I shoot up. And, sometimes, I sniff.

Real world. I urge you to get used to it.

The most hatedly hated thing that I hate?! I really do "not-like" CEOs...and their minions.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

FOR THE (ANGLOPHOBE) HONEYBEE

Well, now....

In about an hour and a half (Eastern Standard Time--and, nope, I ain't know when she was birthed) my sister Melissa will be thirty-seven years young. I'm not sure exactly what time she was born in to this world, but, irregardless, tomorrow is the first of October and, thusly, it is my dear sister's birthday.

Wake the neighbourhood! Start the parties, but get into no rows! Please, if someone gets out of hand, kick him or her to the kerb.

This is about celebration. This is not about rowdiness.

Crack a Bass or a Watney's, enjoy a shepherd's pie. Pop an Altoids. Pretend your wristwatch is Big Ben. (Listen for the dongs.)

:-) Happy birthday, Melissa:

Workout--colour--everyday.

And:
Watch the kerb...irregardless, should of, her's, it's (in the wrong context), their they're and there (in the wrong contextuality), neighbourhood...eggs.

You're present, ma'am:

***SPOILER ALERT!***

I'm buying Meliss a box of Kraft Mac 'n' Cheese for her birthday.

Shhhhh....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

DOGS AND ROLLERBLADES

So, see, the thing is, I really haven't been Rollerblading as much as I ought to. I purchased some rad 'blades last year (really cool skates--easy on, easy off, and as fast off the line as a sex addict at a lingerie show) but this season, for whatever reason, I have not had the urge to 'blade about town. Two reasons for this, methinks: one, the roads around where I live absolutely suck for Rollerblading. They are pitted and old and cracked and worn and sometimes, when I skate over them, it feels like I am skating on a vibrating hotel bed--Magic Fingers o' Gravel. And the second reason, of course (it always comes back to this) my knees suck.

But recently I have become sick and tired of coming home from work and tapping in to my newest addiction, Grand Theft Auto IV on the Xbox 360, and, also, did I mention that Oliver is a fat-ass? So I figured I would kill two birds with one stone. Exercise, outside air, and, perhaps, some melting of Oliver's rotund black-and-tan bowling ball body.

[The idea of taking both Oliver and Louie with me on my 'blades flitted ever-so briefly across my mind and then I reasoned with myself that nothing good could come of that. I'd either end up splattered against the grill of a Mack truck or Ollie would be dragged behind me as I would be dragged behind Lou...kind of like an elephant parade with my dislocated shoulders being the nasty orange Circus Peanuts. So...Lou stayed home.]

Ollie and I departed Home Base.

Now, listen, I didn't expect Oliver to be Louie-esque in his pulling ability--seriously, when Lou is on a Rollerbladed leash, I don't have to even think about skating for the first four or five blocks; I just have to concentrate on rolling, standing tall, not wiping out--but Ollie completely disappointed me. He ran with me for the first four or five minutes, but then, after that, he was basically dead weight. I had to repeatedly stop for him and wait for His Pudgy Highness to catch up. Three times, during the too-short jaunt around the block, Oliver's collar just slid right off his neck--slid right off the rolls, as it were--because I was going too fast. And once I had to pick him up and Rollerblade around a corner with him in my arms...a floppy-eared canine lamb.

We arrived back home, and I chatted and Ollie became acquainted with the neighbors and then we walked in the side door and Lou, excited to see his little buddy again, smacked him upside the head a couple of times and went off to chew his bone. My human-to-canine translating skillz are a little dusty, but I think what Lou was saying was, "You fool! You had a chance to run outside, spend some quality time with the Foodbringer, let your oversized ears flop in the wind, check out the bitches...and you blew it, dude! Whassa mattah with you? Geez!"

Don't worry, Louie. Ollie and I will go again. And you and I will, too. Just don't go too fast, y'hear? You have to remember that I ain't a tough Boxer/Pit like you. I am a human being and my skin does shred and my bones do break.

***

In other news, my 2002 Ford Focus hatchback turns one hundred thousand in a hundred fourteen miles. If you want to send it a birthday present (cash is what it wants; it told me) just hit me up with an email and I'll give you the pertinent information.

Peace.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

"VAGINAL SECRETIONS EXXON-VALDEZED THE WATER'S SURFACE"

Brief snippets:

Yesterday night I was driving home from the local 24-hour supermart with Meagan and we drove past a business called Tub-n-Tan. They offer tanning services and also hot tubs that people can rent for the hour--or half-hour, whatever. I said to Meagan, "That'd be pretty fun, eh? Renting a hot tub?"

She agreed and we drove on a bit in comfortable silence. I thought about the hot tubs and said, "I wonder how often they clean them?" And a nice collection of words swam to my forebrain. I looked over at her and said, "Vaginal secretions and seminal residue coated the water like an oil spill." She gag-coughed. "Um. Gross."

I do wonder what goes on in those tubs. I can just imagine some pop-shots and the semi-solids slowly rising to the surface of the turbulent water, bopping along on the bubbles like so much (literally) man-made flotsam and jetsam. The vaginal secretions would not be as readily apparent...but they'd be there--mark my word.

***

In other news, I have a gnat problem. The motherfuckers are taking up residence in my kitchen, bumping along in the skies above the garbage disposal. I think that is where they sprang to existence, from the succulent mashes of Post-Food. I have cleaned the garbage disposal--let the mother run for a minute straight--and I have washed the counters and cleaned the stove and religiously kept the garbage can from overflowing, but the sons-of-bitches are still flapping around. It makes me feel dirty...and it makes me wonder what exactly I am eating if I leave my food unattended in the kitchen for a moment. Ick.

I went online and looked up how to get rid of gnats. What you see in the picture is an altered Coke bottle--its head cut off--slightly filled with a delicious cocktail of cider vinegar with a dollop of dish detergent. I covered the top with Saran-Wrap and I rubber banded it in place. A toothpick was used to poke Entrance-Onlys into the plastic. The idea is that the motherfucking gnats will "smell" the delicacy and fumble into the trap, never to leave, never to be seen or heard from again. I feel bad for the gnats' familes but--no, I don't. Die, bastards!

Next to the Do-it Yourself deathtrap, is a natural wonder: Meagan bought me a Venus Flytrap and, already, it seems to be working. A couple of the vulva-shaped "mouths" have already closed, dooming, I hope, some gnats to their deaths.

Wish me luck.

Friday, August 29, 2008

DIFFERING VIEWPOINTS

I have been reading the Orange Papers for about three hours. It is a fascinating look--from an AA dissenter--at anything and everything about the organization, from its co-founders, Bill Wilson and Doctor Bob Smith, to its success rate and its "frozen dogma."

All I know is that it works. Call me a simpleton, call me a sheep. All I know is that when I go to a meeting--even a bad one in which people drone on and nothing of great value seems to be imparted--I leave said meeting with a feeling of having done something productive for myself.

I agree with much of what Agent Orange writes. And I appreciate his snarky humor, too. I belive, also, that individuals get themselves sober only when they have had enough of the madness and the sickness and the general malaise that comes with allowing oneself to become led by the balls (or ovaries) by the infantile Crocodile brain that always clamors, "More, more, more!" I believe that people reach a point when enough is enough and they throw that addicitve anchor into the ocean.

That said, I think that AA has helped many people. I truly do. Am I brainwashed into thinking this, as the author may suggest? Maybe. But I know that the program ("the cult," as he would write) has helped me. How? I dunno. Support, sharing, altruism, for starters.

Is this a spiritual experience or is is simple self-preservation? Here, I diverge from Agent Orange: I think it is both.

Anyway, addicted or not, alcoholic or not, I think that this is some really interesting reading.

(I've always thought that Bill Wilson was a little full of himself....)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

LET'S TALK ABOUT SEX, BABY

Just moseying around the Internet, today, I found a website that is entitled World Sex Records. Most of the snippets (bad word, in this context) come from the book The Illustrated Book of Sexual Records. I liked this blurb:


The "happy ring," also known as the "goat's eyelid,"was first introduced to the Mongol Emperors by Tibetan lamas in the thirteenth century. After a goat was killed its eyelids were removed together with the eyelashes. First they were put in quick-lime to dry; then they were steamed in a bamboo basket for not less than twelve hours -- this procedure was repeated several times. Once completed the process yielded a sex aid that could be tied round the penis (jade-stem) prior to coitus. The goat's eyelashes were supposed to give the woman a pleasant tickling sensation. Modern versions of the "goat's eyelid"- usually made of plastic-can be found in sex aid shops in this country and elsewhere.

And, as for the longest love-making session?

It all depends what you mean by lovemaking. Does it count if you knock off for a sandwich and a drink and then start again? No agreed ground-rules have been established. Anyway one figure that will do for a starter is the fifteen hours recorded by Mae West in her autobiography - a man called "Ted" apparently made love to her for this length of time: He later said that "he was both astounded and pleased at his own abilities."

I'll have what Ted had, barkeep.

This next makes my skin crawl, a bit. Is it mere coincidence that the first Pope mentioned is named Sergius? And--damn, Leo VIII!--if that ain't a sign from God, I don't know what is! Thoughts and prayers, sir. (Not that it means a damned thing, but it's the nice thing to say.)

The Papacy has a startling sexual history. Pope Sergius III arranged, with the help of his mother, that his bastard should become Pope after him. John XII, deposed in A.D. 963, turned St. John Lateran into a brothel: he was accused of adultery and incest. Leo VIII, who replaced him, died stricken in paralysis in the act of adultery. Benedict IX, elected Pope at the age of ten, grew up "in unrestrained license, and shocked the sensibilities even of a dull and barbarous age." Balthasar Cossa, elected Pope to end the Great Schism, later admitted to incest, adultery, and other crimes ("two hundred maids, matrons and widows, including a few nuns, fell victims to his brutal lust"). In one famous occurrence at the court of Pope Alexander VI, prostitutes were called to dance naked before the assembly, after which prizes were offered to those men who, in the opinion of the spectators, managed to copulate with the most number of prostitutes.

"Micropenis." Good God! This makes me feel all right about myself:

Vast numbers of men - in one estimate the greater majority - think that they have a penis much below the average in size. Perhaps they should console themselves with the thought that many men have extremely diminutive organs. Pomeroy states that the smallest penis encountered in the Kinsey surveys was 1 in. long In the Forum study the smallest erect penis was found to be 4.75 in. in length, quite large compared with many of the specimens that do exist. There are instances reported in the medical literature of penises that do not exceed 1 cm. in full erection: such organs are sometimes labelled with the appropriate term "micropenis". And even 1 cm. is not the smallest-sized penis known to medical researchers. There is a condition known as congenital hypoplasia, where the body of the penis is totally absent and the glans is attached to the pubic region. In one such reported case, with an effective penis of much less than 1 cm. in length, the testes and secondary sexual characteristics were found to be quite normal.

Now, this is talent! Corner pocket, off the bumper:

The vagina, usually associated with sexual intercourse and childbirth, can be employed in a variety of other ways. In addition to serving as a money-box the vagina can also play the part of a billiard table, a game seemingly favoured in parts of Scandinavia. Thus one writer (J. C. Lauret in "The Danish Sex Fairs") remarks "The ladies will lift up their skirts... They will sit against the wall, their legs spread well apart. The gentlemen will take their places on the opposite side of the room... Everyone has a try. The object is to flick the glass marbles into the hole of this delightful billiard table. One can guess at the winner's reward..." But this is passive on the part of the woman. The vagina has other possibilities. It can, for instance drink a glass of whisky or play a mouth organ notices E. Chou in "The Dragon and the Phoenix".

Um, talk about a surprise!

Clitoris size has only rarely been of importance in human society. A few communities- Ford and Beach mention the Easter Islanders - have favoured the large clitoris and some natives have tried with varying degrees of success to enlarge this organ in their girls. For the most part however, with a prevailing indifference in the nineteenth-century and early part of the twentieth-century to sexual arousal in women, the clitoris has been neglected. Needless to say, it varies in size. How big are the largest? Theo Lang in "The Difference Between a Man and a Woman" mentions one recorded instance of a woman having a clitoris 2 in. long, and 3 in. "when fully erect". Pomeroy has remarked that clitorises measuring more than 1 in. are very rare in whites, but may occur in 2 or 3 per cent of blacks "measurements of 3 in. and more were obtained from perhaps one out of 300 or 400 black women". Benjamin and Masters note in "The Prostitute in Society" that Parent-Duchalet came across a clitoris that measured 3.14 in. The eighteenth-century Swiss biologist, Albrecht von Haller, is said to have come across a woman with a monstrous clitoris no less than 7 in. long. But the record clitoris is almost certainly the 12 in. specimen mentioned by various writers and quoted (without comment) by W. Francis Benedict in "The Sexual Anatomy of Women".

"It was a one-in-a-million shot, Doc." How could this woman not know?!

Medical men have been called upon to extract a wide variety of objects from the vagina and urethra following masturbation or accident. Usually the woman knew that the object was inside her and requested medical assistance. Sometimes however a foreign body can lodge in the vagina, after an accident of some sort, and the woman can be totally unaware of its presence. A remarkable instance of this sort occurred when a woman fell downstairs (D. W. T. Roberts' "Clinical Surgery", Vol. 15). A broken-off handle of a broom entered the vagina through the buttock. This was not noticed by her or by the casualty officer who treated her. The broom handle remained undetected in the woman's vagina for three months. Eventually the vaginal discharge made her visit her own practitioner, whereupon the offending object was detected and removed.

No shit, Sherlock:

Kisses between men and women usually last for a few seconds. Kisses lasting minutes are unusual, kisses lasting hours quite remarkable. There is a type of kiss called "maraichinage" - after the Maraichins or inhabitants of the district Pays de Mont in the Vendee (Britanny) which quite literally lasts for hours. In this type of exchange the couple mutually explore and caress the inside of each other's mouths with their tongues "as profoundly as possible." Maraichinage has been recommended as a "real antidote against depopulation."

And, finally:

Today we tend to take the brassiere in our stride. Some unhappy folk are still nervous about it and their unease gives scope for simple-minded comedy in West-End theatre and elsewhere. The most controversial bra ad in America was that of the early fifties - those unpermissive times when the jaunty slogan "I Dreamed I Stopped Traffic in My Maidenform Bra" was coined. The situations varied but the girl was always dressed the same: she wore only a brassiere above the waist and wandered around with a vacant look among normally dressed people. The idea was that the undressed state was permissible as the girl was only dreaming. Psychologists debated the implications of the ad and what its impact on women would be. Moralists, as ever, fulminated.