Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Day of Good Will...

As the year closes out, this day was a rather unusual one for me. All I did was help people all day long. It started with an early morning call to the Lovely Jules, who answered her phone with her latest of 345 symptoms of her cold that has now lasted longer than most of her suitors. I, for some reason have persevered. This current cold or pneumonia, as she refers to it, has now been with her for about a month. It renders her snotty, congested and generally miserable, with an intermittent sore throat that compares to swallowing broken glass. I know because I caught the sore throat part today, after spending an afternoon with her yesterday. Our day was cut short by a phone call from a lady that was very persistent about seeing one of my cars, right then and there. So I rushed home, washed the car in question, wiped it off in this 50 degree weather and backed it out of the drive just as the young lady and her friend pulled up. As she pulled up in front of my house, she removed her cell phone from her purse, while still looking at me and called me on my cell phone to tell me she was here. Duh!!! She got out of the Explorer that she had driven up in and I immediately asked her how old she was and she replied 16, making her too young to buy a car from me. All for naught. She and her 16 year old boyfriend loved my car, but couldn't buy it because they didn't have either any money or the ability to sign a contract purchase order. To me this was just a practice sale. With a promise to come back with someone old enough to actually buy a car, she exited. Tired and dejected, I put my car back in the drive and went into the house to feed my dogs.

I don't recall LJ spitting any of her broken glass down my throat, but when I awakened today, it surely was there. Oh Gawd! So, I've got the runny nose and the sore throat, waiting for the congestion that goes along with it. I spent the day nursing my poor sick Bogie back to health, at least enough to get some food into him, but I was only partially successful. I'd guess that he kept about half of it down. I guess it's a testimonial to my cooking that he's rejecting. About 7 PM I called LJ to see if she was feeling any better and she wasn't. I asked her what her plan for survival was and it turned out that she indeed had one. Still refusing to go to a doctor, she informed me that the last time she had Pneumonia, she took Musilex and it worked on her to loosen up the congestion and gave her some immediate relief. I told her I'd go to the drug store and get her some and deliver it so she doesn't have to get out of bed. As I hung up she yelled into the phone to get her some chicken soup too. Where am I gonna find chicken soup in a drug store, I yelled? CVS she replied, she was right.

As I pulled out of my driveway and drove about a block away, I realized the neighbor across the street's son left his little bike in their driveway and I thought surely it wouldn't make it until morning, so I turned around and put the little 2 wheeler into my garage and continued on my quest. After realizing that Musilex cost about as much as a house payment, I found the chicken soup and tried to pay. My first question was, do you have a CVS card? No, I answered. Do you know what one is? No, I answered. Do you want one? No, I answered seeming at least anti-social. Frankly, this was my first time at CVS, I'm a Walgreens guy!

Arriving at LJ's house, I let myself in and found her hugging her pillow in her bedroom looking just awful. She was the picture of ill. Pawpaw was in her bed to keep her warm and she was watching some X-rated TV program. She was initially happy to see me, but that was over within minutes and she started her usual screaming at me to display her misery. I didn't seem to last long. She took her pill, was settling in and I could see it was time to leave. I told her about my experience of putting the little bike in my garage and she asked me why I didn't just put it on their front porch? I never thought of that. I drove myself home and when I arrived, I took the little bike out of my garage and put it on the neighbor's porch. Humph, why didn't I think of that? Maybe tomorrow will be better, It's NEW YEAR'S EVE!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Leash Maniasis...

Christmas season has never been a big deal for this 62 year old wandering Jew, but last night's events took on a whole new meaning for the highly celebrated day. After 6 weeks of working painstakingly on the Lovely Jules' Christmas present, I decorated it and was planning on delivering it on Christmas Eve. LJ has been suffering form the world's longest cold of late and surprisingly had an appetite for ribs last night and was just dreaming of going to Dillon's on 59th Ave to quench that desire. Not to sound like a "know it all" but it's been my experience that almost every business is closed on Christmas Eve so owners and employees can spend it with their families. Dillon's was no exception, as I found when I called.

When I called LJ to advise her of my conclusion to the ribs idea, there was no answer. She had landed herself a job, lighting Christmas Luminaries in her neighborhood, which was good because frankly I was a little concerned about her lack of Christmas spirit. Maybe this would do the trick? After retiring from her lighting job, she called me to give me one long "whine".. "Ohhhh, I waaaaanted Riiiiibs"! Can you hear the whining? I told her I'd bring over 2 steaks and I'd baked a couple of potatoes in the microwave and the whining got worse. "I HATE microwaved defrosted steaks and microwaves potatoes, waaaaa......." Using my collective wisdom from the past 62 years, I partially cooked 2 large potatoes in the microwave and placed a couple of frozen steaks between them for the 30 minute ride to the home of the Lovely Jules and when I arrived our steaks were defrosted and naturally. I found LJ in her front yard taking picture with her camera, that by the way is almost as large as she. She was shooting her Luminaries.

I was greeted warmly and she was anxious to see her present. After spending outragous money on Christmas presents for one another last year, mostly Jules spending, we decided to not exchange gifts this year, so I made her a little something. Since I don't smoke or drink, I find myself addicted to eating Starbursts. I'm currently working my way through a 7 LB bag that I found at Costco. Each one is wrapped in a cellophane wrapper and has to be discarded. I took the wrappers from the 7 LB of Starbursts and put each one singlely into a retired water bottle, a plastic one and decorated the bottle with car pinstriping tape. How cool is that? She loved it!! (Yet reasonably priced) Jules gave me her old iPod loaded up with her music and some recorded books. I love it and yet economical for our current economy. We're thinking GREEN.

So we grilled our steaks and ate our potatoes and after dinner and 11 episodes of Californication stored on her Tivo, Julie suggested a walk. Being the victim of the dreaded "sour cream" that was loaded onto the partially microwaved and partially baked potato, I thought a walk was surely in order, if only for "exhaust" relief? We gathered up our coats and Pawpaw for this walk and headed out with me walking 10 feet behind the Lovely Jules, kind of doing my thing. LJ called back to me, "when you're finished, come walk beside me"! Gasp, I was busted! Isn't being 62 fun? We walked along enjoying the serenity of the night and Pawpaw marking every tree and bush along the way, when Jules let go of the leash and let Pawpaw run free. At age 16, Pawpaw doesn't do that much running anymore, mostly peeing and pooping. Without warning, Pawpaw with his leash dragging behind him squatted down in that all too familiar position. When he finished, he walked along almost in a trot, feeling much better. That's when Jules broke into a run to catch him and try to grab his leash. I thought certainly she'd just run up to him and put her foot on the handle portion of his leash but no, she was going for his collar and then almost out of nowhere she slid her hand down the leash towards the handle portion! I froze!!! I couldn't speak and it seemed like she was moving in slow motion. I tried to yell but nothing came out. Somewhere there is an unwritten law that says when your dog poops when dragging his leash behind him, never run your hand over the entire length of that leash for any reason. That's when I heard the SCREAM! It started low and collectively increased in depth, as if it were coming from the pit of her stomach. It was the same scream heard as when you're driving your car in a dream and you go off a cliff. It had depth, meaning, and a distinct message and that message was, "I've got dog shit on my hand". At first she held her hand high, trying to disassociate herself from it. Then denial set in. That's not my hand, I borrowed it from a friend. Still frozen in time, I stood there in shock, disbelieving what my own eyes witnessed. That's when the uncontrollable laughter started and only let up enough for the Lovely Jules to get this really serious look on her face and announce to me that, she peed her pants!

Not waiting for the others, I broke into a run and went back to the house, as Julie ran behind me acting like she was going to wipe her hand on me. I got to the house first, as the innocent Pawpaw still insisted on doing a little more marking. LJ and Pawpaw entered sans the leash that was tossed outside the door to dry or ferment or whatever dog poop does and Jules walked to her bedroom and bathroom with her head down, legs together and her hand outstretched. That's when I tried to snap the picture with my camera/phone, but was unsuccessful.

In the Lovely Jules' blog, she claims that she suffers from a mild case of Leash Maniasis. I finally know what it is!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Life in a Flop House...

I'm officially living in a flop house now. This evening's project was to move my bedroom, that has already been compromised, into my family room, enjoying a tiled floor for poor Bogie's need to regurgitate nightly. Although he had a 15 day run of feeling great, his bad digestive system hopped back into play last night, probably from me adding powdered mashed potatoes to his pretty stable diet. To accommodate this move, I transferred his 5' crate to the foyer, moved the 61 " TV over about 7 feet and eliminated most of my family room furniture. Upon second look, I decided it doesn't really resemble a flop house, but a porn studio sans a spotlight and a camera. See what you think and remember, I live here!



Saturday was to have been the launching day of our new business. My partner, the "Lovely Jules" and I have been experimenting with developing an Internet business. With things the way they are, a new and different way of marketing is required to make a living by selling things, so we decided to find an item that was either clever or necessary and sell it the old way and in an addition, use the Internet to market the item. The trick was to find an item that is clever, that will create the "I need that" attitude for the buying audience. We started by travelling the malls and seeing what was being sold. That quickly left us wondering how these merchants were going to weather the economic storm, let alone have room for a new vendor. Then we checked out the fairs in town, but there really aren't enough of them to support a business. Then it was the swap meet mentality and that was this weekend's motivation. We started out bright and early about 10 AM fighting the elements of runny noses and headaches, as we both were suffering from colds. We arrived at 40th Street and Washington about 11:30 and paid our $2 entrance fee, but chose not to use valet parking. The fact that they had a valet parking sign, in and or itself was amusing. As we got nearer and closer to the entrance we saw amazing things.

The buying population of the Greyhound Park Swap Meet is 90% Hispanic. So the selling mentality has to cater to that buying arena. We saw stands that sold jeans that the mannequins had accented rear ends, to enhance the look of sexiness. They were selling CD's that were sung in Spanish and T-shirts that appealed to the ethnic groups and gangs. Another stand sold thousands of used (stolen) cell phones and TV remotes. Others had used tools, either pawned or stolen. I had been telling my partner of a guy that used to be in the car business that got into the sock business and made a living selling just socks at the swap meets and was interested in seeing a sock stand when low and behold, there it was. They had thousands of pairs of socks, packaged in 4 counts for $2. They said they were United States Brand and they were made in Pakistan, but they were an amazing $2. Me personally needing socks, I couldn't help myself and grabbed two bunches and handed the lady a 20 dollar bill. From her pocket she pulled out a stash of cash and made change. Laughing, my partner in crime looked over at me and said, you just bought 8 pairs of socks for $4. That's 50 cent socks! Bursting into uncontrollable laughter, she told me that she now knew my new rapper name! From this point on she's calling me "50 CENT SOCKS"!

Eventually that got tiresome and she shortened it to 5 CENT SOCKS, plus it rolls of the tongue better. We decided that selling an item at the swap meets was not the reason that we were put on Earth and that spending 24 hours a week with gang members might even prove bad for our health and trashed that idea. That leaves us unemployed and looking. The only convenience at my age is that I can hide behind the mask of "retired", but what's LJ going to do?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Grand Ave Time Shares...

Thursday, this week was rather memorable. The entire day was full of exciting new and different things. I started out headed to my old stomping grounds, my former used car lot. I needed to pick up some paper work there and more or less keep my shrinking grasp on the place where my business license hangs. With my absence the place is taking on a strong resemblance to a junk yard. Although Paul, the owner is trying to sell cars off of it, his cars resemble an "as is" headquarters for head on collisions. Along with these wrecked cars, he accumulates any and everything that is out of repair, such as washers and dryers that he finds along side the roads, old barbecues that don't work, a weight lifting bench missing a leg and bicycles that have been misused or run over by a large truck. No order or semblance of care taken, just tossed onto the pile. What Paul really needs is a good fire!

As I pulled onto the lot, following the only clear path to his shop door, there was Paul measuring something with a T-square on a saw horse. Along side of my cleared out path stood a pile of lumber, 2 X 8's, 12 feet long, that stood about 10 feet tall. That amount of cut lumber in this economy must be worth thousands of dollars and it was all first grade wood. I yelled to Paul, who was bent over measuring something, where'd all the wood come from? He pointed across the street to the yard next door where there is a pallet business. Paul proudly announced that he got it all for $500. Then he told me to look between the trailers. There are 2 trailers on the property, one was my office until Paul stole the compressor for the air conditioning, for his new trailer that sat directly behind it. The trailers aren't even there legally, as the property is zoned commercial and not for human occupancy.

I walked back to look between the trailers and to my surprise, Paul had built a sun deck out of the 2 X8's that reached from one trailer to the other and smack dab in the middle of the whole thing, theres a hot tub, complete with Jacuzzi jets and a heater. Involuntarily, my hand went up to my head as I thought, God only knows what he has in mind. Upon rejoining Paul and Bob, an old guy that just hangs out there, I asked if he was going into the time share business? This was a redneck paradise. I don't think I won anyones favor as I rolled on the ground, holding my stomach and laughing.. It was only on my way home that I called the Lovely Jules to tell her about my discovery. She asked me if I got a picture with my camera phone. Laughing, I told her I barely know how to use it as a phone, let alone a camera.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Another Day of Retirement...

In the absence of real work, the Lovely Jules has accepted a position as a Mystery Shopper, inspecting the quality or lack of it, in the Arby's chain. In my humble opinion, the entire chain should have gone away years ago. They don't offer a sandwich that is flavorful or even acceptable and they are extremely overpriced, employing below average employees and otherwise insulting the public with choices like Pepsi over Coke!

The requirements that we maintained today was to first order inside the restaurant, then wait 10 minutes and order from their drive thru and the kicker was that we had to order the same sandwich both times. We were to ingest their Chicken Cordon Bleu. Ugh! It was a deep friend chicken piece, covered with a Canadian Bacon or ham of some sort and a piece of supposedly Swiss cheese, but it tasted like some kind of Jack-Crap. The mandatory selection of potato was the curly fry. Double ugh! So I got to eat first, then we went to Mervyn's to be insulted by their alleged going out of business sale, where they clearly brought in low grade merchandise, marked it up waaay high and then gave us a whopping 50 % off. How is it that a store is going out of business and has full selections of shirt styles in every color and every size stacked neatly? Why is it that there was not a pair of Levis in stock, but every size of Jean's West imaginable, in every color and every style? Hmm....

Now it was time to go to Arby's again to get Julie's lunch. She enjoyed the chicken cordon bleu with curly fries and a diet Pepsi, surprised? The employee of the month was a 17 year old lad that apparently ate too many curly fries and wore his pants so low that his shirt was stuck in the crack of his ass. Not a good look for him. The floor show started when a gay couple decided that Arby's would be the perfect stage to accuse one another of cheating. The young man that seemed to be the victim here was insulted loudly and defended himself with tears of sorrow and misery. Next week we're coming back for West Side Story!

The highlight of the day was when we went for gas and Jules offered me her Safeway Discount card and they took an amazing 30 cents a gallon off my gas. I paid $1.49 and it came to $11 for a fill up, whippeeee!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Good Old Dog Story...

Contrary to common belief, I think everyone likes a good dog story and that's just what I have for you this morning.

Ever since I started watching everything that Bogie eats, like a scientist working on a delicate formula, he's been miraculously well. I keep my fingers crossed as I write that, which as you can imagine makes it very difficult to type, so bare with me. With the exception of some "whack job" guest giving Bogie banana nut bread on Thanksgiving night, under the pretense of feeding it to the birds and he just "got it", Bogie has been on a strict diet, that by the way is very unpopular with him, but he's lost at least 50 or 60 pounds..

When Bogie has to go out at night, he comes to me and wakes me up. He does this by nudging me with his big head and I jump into action, as I never know exactly how much time I have before the inevitable takes place. This morning I was awakened by Zoie laying her wet mouth on me and I thought it was Bogie because it was dark and the fact that Zoie never wakes me up until at least sunrise. Realizing it was Zoie, who I never give enough credit to, I once again jumped into action, both from habit and the fact that she must have an emergency to awaken me in the middle of the night. Running with her to the back door, turning on lights as I go, hoping I make it in time, Zoie turns left and hops up on her couch and that's when I saw Bogie standing at the backdoor, waiting for me to let him out!

Evidently he tried to awaken me unsuccessfully and didn't know what to do. Zoie said to him, I'll give it a try, you wait here and she was successful. How cool was this interaction between two soul mates, Bogie and Zoie?