Sunday, March 30, 2008


For my 35th birthday, I asked for the start of the MLB season. And guess what? I got the gift!


Though the weather has not been co-operating recently, this is the official start of Spring for me. The start of the baseball season. Rebirth, green, flowers, the sun on my face. This is one of the best times of the year.

I can't wait to see how the Deeeeeeeeee-troit Tigers do this year. They have one of the most potent lineups in the Bigs, but their pitching--the bullpen especially--has me thinking that this may be a Rolaids season, replete with blown leads and blown saves and last-inning offensive heroics and red-hot blistering Louisville Sluggers.

Bring on the baseball, indeed.

By the way, I'm five today--in dog years. Ah, ain't illogical aging grand?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I logged on to the computer today and my MSN homepage popped up and this is the first thing that caught my eye. Cleveland superstar Lebron James and supermodel Gisele on the cover of Vogue magazine. In the cover photo, Lebron is snarling at the camera and dribbling a basketball with his left hand whilst his right hand is (enviably) draped around Gisele's hip.

Apparently, to some, this controversial. Wha--?! What the fuck did I miss?

Some people are saying that this is a racist photo, that it conjures in their minds an image of King Kong and the blonde, Fay Wray. That it connotes an image of "The Dangerous Black Man."

Come. On.

Who are these people who Chicken Little like this?!

I'll tell you one thing: they are automatically geared to see things with a racist slant. That they, in fact, are racist.

And another thing: they obviously aren't people who view NBA basketball...shit, any basketball, for that matter. If they had, they'd have seen Lebron making this face about ten times per game. This is a victorious countanence--this is the face that he makes when he throws down over a seven-footer. This is him being who he is--an emotional 23-year-old. And why wouldn't he be excitable? He's Lebron James, for God's sake. He is paid outrageous sums of money to sell his image, to play around with a ball; he's arguably the best player in the game today. And he's got his arm around a supermodel. I'd be roaring, too.

Whisper this: but...he' And she's...white. Gasp. And he's...tattooed. And she's...white. And he's...huge. And she's...white. Double-gasp.

Will we ever move on? Will we Americans ever move on? Will the race issue ever die? Will we ever just see people as people and not colors?

"What does this mean?" "What is the underlying socio-racial paradigm of this?! Why does he look so dangerous?! Oh me! Oh my!" The sky is falling, apparently.

What would have the Chicken Littles preferred? A somber Lebron and a bashful Gisele? Sitting at either end of a plaid couch. Come. On. They are entertainers. They are two people who have reached the pinnacles of their chosen professions. And, you know why these two were on the cover? The magazine had a story about professional athletes and supermodels and how they sculpted their bodies into the works of art that they are. That's it. And, yes, these two human beings are very blessed, genetically.

By the way, when I think of Lebron, I think of the photo at the top. And when I think of Gisele? Well, I think of this.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Today, when I was in a drug store with my sister Alexis, a woman knocked a stuffed animal--I think it was a duck--off of its display and, when she bent down to pick it up, she brushed it off and said, "Oh, I'm sorry, honey." I looked around to see if she had, perhaps, been talking to someone out of my line of sight. No. She'd apologized to the yellow ducky. Interesting. Yes, interesting in that her apology had not been needed. I looked at the duck and it still had its same inane smile greasing its bill.

I glanced at my sister, who was waiting at the door. She was smiling at me. I assumed that she had heard the human-toy exchange as well, but, when we got to the car and I mentioned the woman, she looked at me quizzically and remarked that she had simply been smiling at how much candy I was buying.

Happy Easter, everybody. Gorge yourselves on Peeps and ham and remember that Jesus of Nazereth died for our sins. :-O

Friday, March 21, 2008


Looks like winter, doesn't it? Argh. Today is March 21, and we here in southeastern Michigan are expecting about four inches of the white shit. Did I say argh yet?


Argh, actually, is an apropos ejaculation, seeing as how Mother Michigan is treating us all as round-headed Charlie Browns as she, Lucy Van Pelt, holds the promises of Spring right out of our flailing, kicking reaches. Argh.

In other news, there is no other news. I am plumb tapped out of ideas for this blog posting.

Think, Adam, think.



I'm ready for the baseball season to start. I went over to my friend's house today and looked in the garage and, lo and behold, crammed in the corner and, covered with dust and grass clippings and leaves, was a time capsule of sorts. 'Twas my softball bag. Included in said bag were two (2) aluminum softball bats--one of which is a pretty damned good bat--and some hightop field cleats. Sweet! I'd thought that the bag was in his garage, but it's cool to finally get that stuff back. I haven't played softball in nigh upon six fucking years. Wow. My friend Mark was talking about joining a league and now I have my shit back in my possession.

Maybe I will take my bats to a batting cage and swing out some of my aggressions and frustrations. And, judging by the interminable leanings of this motherfucking winter-like weather, I should be swinging in around July, when batting cages open for Spring.

See what happens when the skies are gray instead of blue and the temperature is 28 instead of 52? I turn into a bitter blathering moron who feels it his civic duty to whine and bitch and moan to Cyberland about meaningless things like weather and softball bats. Aren'tcha glad you tuned in?!


Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Lou's mom, Roxy, has come up missing. She has been gone for three or four days. Pablo said that the last time he saw her, she was standing up against the back fence. Next thing he knew, she was gone.

I am bummed out--I've known that dog since she was a puppy--but I can't imagine what Pablo is going through. He's had her since she was a puppy, about seven years now. Anyone who doesn't realize that a dog is like a family member and, without the animal, silence echoes around the house, has missed out on a really human experience.

I asked him the basic question: "Did she have any form of identification on her?" No. His girl got him a tag with Roxy's name and his phone number on it, but he said that it kept falling off, so he never made it stay. Damn.

I've called him and texted him these last couple of days, and he has not returned my phone calls. Last night he sent me a text saying, "Thanks for your concern. I'll talk with you soon."

This absolutely sucks for him, I'm sure. He's got to be feeling pretty guilty right now. I know I would be. All I can do is be there if and when he wants to talk.

Right after I heard the news, I slapped together a "LOST DOG" poster and dropped it in his door. (He had not been home.) Hopefully he has copied the hell out of that and pasted it on every available telephone pole in the neighborhood. Or done one of his own.

Sometimes, stories like these end with a happy ending. The dog finally makes it back home, after a long time out on the road. I hope and wish and pray that that is the case with this, too. Roxy is a good girl, full of loving energy. And she gave me (and my sister) three of the best gifts we could have ever gotten, in the slobbering smiling forms of Louie, Pete and Will.

I hope that Roxy is not in pain anywhere. I hope that she isn't on Doggy's Death Row--he has checked repeatedly, but no Roxy--and I hope, that if she was picked up by someone, they have a lot of love to give to her. That's how my family and I got our childhood dog: he followed my sis home from tennis practice and, after Pounding him for the requisite time to allow for his true owners to find him, we kept Merlyn and made him a loved family member.

I hope the same can be said for Roxy...if she doesn't make it back home.

Friday, March 14, 2008


'Tis a day, 'tis a day, 'tis a day, I say
'tis a day that makes me face turn gray
But I climb, I climb, I climb from me bed
and I circle the number in wide blood-red

Next to its neighbour, the twelver-plus-one
the four-bear seems timid, but--oh!--then its won
You see, dear reader, it's so much worse than thirteen
its penchant for mayhem is obscenely obscene

Friday the fourteenth makes me quake in me shoes
for tragedy follows, keep yon eyes on the clews
It's worse than its neighbour, you need to know now
before you stroll, whistling, 'neath a dangling sow

Friday the thirteenth conjures snapshots o' killers
but Friday the fourteenth delivers the chillers
I pray that you read this and watch where you walk
if you don't--I am fearful--you'll be outlined in chalk

So I hope that this warning "brightened" your day
I'm not saying hide, just watch where you play
I pray I'm not Cassy, of ancient Greek lore
who knew all the answers, but was dismissed as a bore

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Wow. I can't shake this fricking bug. This is getting pretty annoying. Now I'll have to go to the doctor to get an excuse for work. That's all right, though--I was planning to go, anyway. Maybe the doc can prescribe me some antibiotics or something. I generally don't take them, but this is a tenacious little bugger. (It makes me think of a million Olivers, virus-sized, swimming in my blood plasma, baying at the white blood cells, attacking without quarter.)

I talked to my supervisor about ten minutes ago. I hate making calls like that. I feel guilty, guilty as hell. It makes no difference that I have been holed up like a hibernating bear the last few days. It makes no difference that I sweat through another two shirts last night and woke to my sheets icy-cold wet. I still feel guilty for taking time off of work and still getting paid (Not a hundred percent, but something like ninety, I believe. Maybe seventy-five. Regardless, I ain't getting shut out of the greenbacks.).

Is there such a thing as "Irish guilt?" Or am I just making that up? I think that I've heard it somewhere before. I was IM-ing with my sister Melissa on Monday, the day that this crap-sickness began, and, even then, I was spouting off (jokingly) about Irish guilt. "Adam," she wrote, "you're killing me with that [Irish guilt] stuff." So I made sure to reference it about fifteen more times. That is me: the little brother. When I find something that might maybe perhaps get under my big sisters' skin a bit (even in jest, especially in jest) I hammer that "joke" until it is a trampled tin soda pop can, flat as a board, crinkled and all warshed out. It's one of my favourite things to do. I rather like to do that.

Irregardless, I am feeling a little guilty about being sick and missing work. It is more than legitimate...but I still feel like a slug. Truth be told, I feel quite a bit like a pussy. Meow.

Now, in my defense: gas utility, the work that I do (when I'm not at home, sucking my thumb and watching "Barney") is not exactly the easiest job on the body. It is really quite physically-demanding. Not to mention it has the capacity for danger. My company preaches safety all the time; it could be a safety issue if a worker is there, half-assed. Also, with a lowered lung capacity--from the dastardly bug--don't you think it would become easier to be overcome by the natural gas fumes, if they were so blowing? I think so. In fact, I know this to be the case.

And, finally, one last feather for my defense: a guy at work named Ken S____ was off with the "same" sickness. He stayed off for the loosely-expected three days and then he came back on the fourth...and ended going right back home. He had not been over the illness. My supervisor mentioned this to me in passing and I seized upon it. "Yeah," I said, "it's [the bug] a bastard."

And it is. It truly is. Sincerely. It sucks.

Okay. My Irish guilt thus assauged, I'm off to hit the hay. Maybe when I wake up, I won't be feeling so weak and achey. And so much like a feline.

I'm not counting on it, though.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I am a lucky guy.

Slam-dazzered by this cold-slash-flu for the last few days, I have been feeling about as energetic as a lump of Crisco. M'Meegie (and her daughter Naomi) came over today and Meagan brought with her a noodle dish from a Thai place called Salah Thai and also a couple of packets of Fortifense, an immune system-boosting powder that one mixes with hot water.

"One for tonight," she admonished, "before you go to bed, and the other packet in the morning, when you get up."

And then we sat down and had the drunken noodle dish and the fresh spring rolls and I started to feel better almost immediately.

It is tres bien to be with the one you love, no?

After the meal, I was instructed to go sit down in the front room--which I did--and Meagan washed the dishes that had been piling up in the sink. And 409-ed the sink a bit. Oh, and swept the ubiquitous coffee grounds that littered the counter near the nectar-maker. What did I do to be so lucky? =o)

Maybe it's a guy-thing. Maybe we like to be fussed over when we're feeling sick. I know I do.

I also know this: this is the best I have felt in about three days. Is it simply because the cold-slash-flu virus has been weakened? Or is it for another reason altogether?

I'll say a combination of the two, but I'll lean towards the latter.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Being sick sucks ass. It's not any fun to wake up ten times during the night to piss liquid fire, one's body alternating between being shiver-me-timbers cold and put-another-twenty-logs-on-the-fire hot. When every tissue and bone in the body hurts. You know you have a bad cold when even your perenium hurts!

That being said, sometimes a wrench in the routine opens a door to some really cool stuff. This guy's art is pretty dark--sure it is--but, damn, I wish I had some of his talent for lines. Cool, cool artwork.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


A couple of observations on this chilly March 9th afternoon.

One, I am glad that Daylight Savings Time rolled around again. Now, when I look at the clock in my automobile, it'll be the correct time. I know what you're thinking: "Dude? How tough can it be to change a car clock?" Believe me, if it had been easy or in any way logical, it'd have been changed by now. So, anyway, I guess I'm good until Fall. Sweet.

The second observation I have to impart to you, my three loyal readers, is this: people who seemingly don't do so often look funny when they run. (Kinda like dog trainers at dog shows...funny stuff.) I was at the local 24-hour megastore today, piling shit into my cart that I--if I really sit down and think about it--don't really absolutely need. As I walked out, I saw a small sunglassed Asian woman standing near the stop sign to the crosswalk. There weren't any cars coming, so she bunched her little fist around a yellow plastic bag and ran in small mincing steps to the door. Amusing to look at, sure, but I also wondered to myself, as I walked towards my car, just why the hell she was running. Did Meijer have that much of a hold on her that she couldn't casually walk the last twenty feet to the doors? Did she really have to run? Why couldn't she have ambled? Or strolled? Why did she have to rev up her gluteus maximus and quadriceps and calf muscles and feet muscles to an accelerated pace? For that matter, why put unnecessary stressors on her Achille's tendons? When those things pop, you're in a whole world of pain. Just ask former Piston great Isiah Thomas; he'll tell you--ouch. Slow down, small Asian woman in the knee-length camel-colored winter coat. Meijer will still be there. It's twenty-four hours, for God's sake.

As I got nearer my car--I'd parked about as far as humanly possible from the entrance; I guess I wanted to amble, to stroll--I saw another person running. I couldn't really tell if it was a man or a woman. I'm thinking woman, but I could be wrong. I think he or she was a Meijer employee. He or she had a red polo shirt; to the casual observer (me), it looked like it could have been a Meijer shirt. He or she was heavyset. He or she had shoulder-length brown permed hair and he or she was clutching what looked to be a paper bag in his or her arms. As I ambled to my Focus, I saw him or her moving at a fast pace out of the corner of my eye, so I focussed my attention on the runner. He or she lurched along, facing the ground at almost a one-hundred-ten degree angle. And when I say "lurch," I mean it. There was no grace, no balance, no co-ordination at all to his or her run. I am reminded now of a circus bear, motorvating along at a loping shambling gait. As I watched, he or she shot a look over in my direction and kept running. Odd.

I guess Meijer is the place to be. Everyone is busting their asses to get inside the fabled doors. It's a cool place, don't get me wrong. It has got lots of stuff from which to choose. Mister Meijer did well for himself, I'm sure. And, although they have those gosh-damned annoying fucking store "greeters," like Arnie, I'll be baaaaack. But I'll walk in. I'll save the running for the basketball court.

Saturday, March 08, 2008


I went bowling with Meegie tonight and halfway into the first game, the lights darkened and Glo Bowl began. You know what I'm talking about: fluorescent lights and a rocking sound system.

The theme seemed to be '80s music. Simple Minds, Bryan Adams, Duran-Duran, The Divinyls, et cetera, et cetera.

It is amazing how memories can be triggered. Olfactory stimulation is the most immediate of the senses-memory-trigger, but, hell, a song can take you back, too. For sure, for sure.

"Don't You Forget About Me," by Simple Minds. Bam! I was right back in eighth grade, dressed in my parochial school uniform, finally turning cool after seven-plus years of being a dork. Memories of Friday Ponderosa runs blasted into my forebrain. Fridays were short days (off at 1:30) at Shrine and I remembered the group of "cool kids" and I walking the block, block and a half down Woodward Avenue to the Ponderosa restaurant, much to the (I'd imagine) chagrin of the wait staff. We'd all order the sundae bar and plates of french fries and just be pubescents. Shaking salt at each other and jamming sundae after sundae down our throats, not tipping the waitresses...good times.

Duran-Duran's "Hungry Like a Wolf." First off, who the fuck named these songs?! Hungry like a wolf?! Lame. Anyway, that song played while we were bowling and--wham!--I was transported back to seventh grade when I would ball up socks and shoot them like basketballs into my Detroit Tigers dented metal wastebasket. At some point in the song, some woman in the background wails and I remembered that I used to hear that while I was up in my bedroom and I would always think that my Mom was calling me from the kitchen, maybe calling me to dinner. Upon (older) reflection, I reckon that the wailing woman on the track was probably being sexually pleasured. Whoops. Sorry, Mom. For the mix-up, that is.

It was just amazing, though, the way that the songs at the bowling alley were hitting me and my emotions. It was almost melancholy, kind of like looking back on times past, ruing lost friendships and paths that, perhaps, ought not been taken. Eighth grade is the last time that I can recall being truly carefree. Since then, I have always had at least a background grumble of anxiety in my life, in my mind. That gets old. It really does. To be one's own worst enemy for 20-plus years sucks ass.

Thoughts thundered.

So, while it was great to bowl and to spend time with my Meeg-doll, the music was kind of bumming me out. Crazy shit, man. Crazy shit.

Maybe this winter has gone on too long. Maybe I am actually experiencing S.A.D. Whatever it is, I'd like to lose the funk. That, too, is getting old.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


Oliver is exactly 40 pounds. I weighed him today. I think, for a two-year-old male Beagle, that might be a little high. Beagles tend to have excess skin around their neck, but I think I'd be able to pull his neck-skin over his snout and tie it in a knot...if I were so inclined...which I'm not.

A friend of mine suggested that I feed El Gordo two raw chicken wings per day--one in the morning and one in the evening. The first thing that came to my mind was the slinky evil of the word Salmonella. I think, before I go the route of raw fowl, I may try to give the kid a little more exercise. He sleeps a lot. And he eats a lot. Bring the two facets of his uproariously-active canine life together and what do you have?! A fat-assed dog. Seriously, when he is sitting placidly on the floor, and I am looking down on him from above, he looks like a giant foreshortened fur-covered pear, replete with a peanut head and deep trusting melting eyes.

Fur-covered pear. Yeah. That about sums it up.

Meanwhile, Lou is rapier-sharp. This odd couple just keeps getting odder and odder.

Monday, March 03, 2008


Somebody get me this woman on the horn immediately, please. I need my backyard declared a disaster area. The picture to the right does the yard absolutely no justice. In real life, it far, far worse.

I blame Michigan's schizophrenic weather. One day it is 10 degrees and the next day it is 48 degrees with steady rain. The piles of dog poop in the backyard stood not a snowball's chance in Hades of maintaining their integrity, their base solidity.

So why, I wonder, did I choose today of all days to do my Deca-Annual Shit Pick-up?

I don't know. I'm illogical, sometimes.

Actually, I know why I huddled in the drizzle, scooping shit up with a flat steel shovel: the neighbor next door said hello to me and, as I was walking to my side door, called me back and mentioned that little beagle named Uno that won the Westminster Dog Show, said that he had thought of my Oliver. He made me aware of my pooches and so I followed them outside when I let them out. What a fucking disaster!

The backyard is mud, first of all. Nary a blade of grass rears its head in the first half, three-quarters, of the lawn from the side door back to the back fence line. It is mud and it is ice and it is spotted like a leper with smooshy piles of brown and orange and red dog feces. I slapped my head in disgust.

I had become what I had hated when I was a meter reader: I was the guy with the lawn filled with shit. We used to put messages on the handheld computers that would spring up whilst we were walking to the address stating things like "WARNING. DOG FESES [sic]" and "WATCH WHERE U STEP" and "SKIP THIS HOUSE."

I determined to save face and do my ownerly duty. Never mind that it had been since November that I had last half-heartedly plastic-bagged the dog feces. Today, amidst the drizzle and drooping temperatures, I would make amends. I would rid the lawn of the foul-smelling land mines, damn it!

Easier said than done.

Dog shit is organic, obviously, so it is susceptible to the malevolent whims of that bitch, Michigan Mother Nature. Frozen, thawed, frozen, thawed...repeat that cycle a couple score more times and you might get an idea of what the majority of the shit was like. Let me try to put it into words. Hmm.... The majority of the shit was like melted soft serve chocolate ice cream. I'd have been better off using a sponge to pick it up. But I perservered with a plastic baggy around my right--shit-picking--hand. All was gravy (sorry for the word choice) until I got to the back fence. This is the area in which Louie loves to empty his bowels. 'Twas a multi-colored shit carpet, is what it was. And, to add to the drizzly misery, a large bush acted as an offensive lineman to the most egregious piles of shit's runningback. If that makes any sense. Basically, it was a bitch to get to. So I came up with an end-around: I would use the flat shovel to scrape the booty to a place where I could easily scoop it up.

Bad idea.

Here is a fun experiment that you can try at home, kids! Plop some chocolate ice cream on the kitchen floor and mix in some twigs and branches. Then? Let the mess melt until it is a slightly-congealed brown mess with odd angles and protrusions. Then, standing at an awkward angle, try to scrape the stuff--with a big ole flat shovel--into a neat pile. Does it smear? You betcha!


It was damn-near pudding by the time I had it in an easily-accessible pile. Sticks and twigs and leaves and all. This was proving to be a very bad idea. But I was determined. Determined, I say! So now I had a pile. And behind the pile, I had a thin layer of orangish-brown shit carpet. I thought about just using the shovel to execute an impromptu rototill...but the ground was frozen. So I nixed that idea. I wandered over to the shed in the backyard and found some peat moss. Perfect! Cold and wet, with the acrid smell of dog excrement clinging to the inside of my nostrils, I dumped half the bag of the peat moss onto the stinking "carpet" and I spread it out, artistically, with the back of the shovel. It was--is--beautiful.

I filled up a black garbage bag with the excrement and I still have about another half a bag of droppings still out there to be...un-dropped.

And now my dogs stink because they slid through wet piles of shit. They'll be getting a bath. Posthaste. Just another day of lovely dog ownership, no?

I often have lessons hidden in my 'blog postings. Here is today's lesson: don't be a lazy ass. Pretend that you live outside, that you "pitch a tent" in the backyard every day and every night. Pretend that that big ole tree is your living room TV and pretend that the back fence is your hallway. Pretend that your olfactory sense has not gone AWOL and pretend that you do have a scintilla of pet responsibility and that your neighbors don't like the smell of wet dog shit. If you do all that, I think everyone will be happy. Or at least their nose hairs won't be curling come the spring thaw.

Thanks. That is all.