Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Quiet Diner Out...

MJ called me last evening and told me she would be getting off a little early and did I want to meet her at that little Italian restaurant that we'd found while Christmas shopping. I recall writing about it and how clean and reasonable it was for a Scottsdale location. The food was great for a lunch and we were interested in having dinner there last night. I jumped at the invitation and we agreed to meet there at 7 PM. I pulled up and was delighted to find a parking place right adjacent to the front door and closed my car door and went inside. There waiting in the vestibule was a gorgeous woman in a pin striped suit and conveniently it was MJ. She's been there about 10 minutes and had already given our name for the waiting list. She indicated we'd only have to wait a few more minutes.
We settled in for some serious people watching and MJ mentioned how she is revolted by the number of men that wear their baseball caps to a restaurant. MJ is from North Carolina and evidently the etiquette standards there are a lot more rigid than here.. I was more deterred by an 11 year old boy that insisted on jumping on the sofa next to me, causing me to levitate a little with each jump. Finally, in disgust, I started standing up and bouncing down on the vinyl sofa causing the kid to go airborne a couple of times, giving Mom the idea that her son was causing a disturbance. She apologized to me and we laughed it all off.
MJ was straining at the bit for a glass of wine, but I convinced her to wait until we were seated. Reluctantly she agreed. I got up and asked the hostess how much longer we'd have to wait for a table and the 18 year old girl assured me that some people had already paid and they were just waiting for them to drag their dead asses off, although she chose different words. Ten more minutes went by, when the mother of the rambunctious boy asked how long and she was given the exact same answer as me. Hmm....
Ten MORE minutes passed and finally our hostess invited us to be seated. We walked to the very end of the restaurant and were given our table and menus. Our waiter appeared immediately and asked if we were ready to order. We said no, we had just been seated, but we would like a diet Coke and a glass of water. He promptly brought it while MJ searched the wine list. HE NEVER CAME BACK. Two older gentlemen were seated next to us and MJ and I read our menus and made our selections. Now the waiter approached our area again and took the order from the 2 gentlemen, turned and started walking away. He brought them their drinks and then turned and exited again, while MJ and I looked on. He came back for a third time and serviced the two gentlemen again... It seemed like it all happened in slow motion, as the waiter, a youthful man, slight in stature turned once again and began his exit. I looked over at MJ who had commented now more then once at how poor the service was. That's when I watched the transformation take place. It started with her nostrils flaring and steam came rushing from them. Her face kind of contorted and two tiny horns erupted from her scalp and the whites of her eyes turned a deep yellow and her pupils turned cherry red. The squeal that came emitting from her mouth was not human-like at all, yet you could distinctly hear her say, "Excuse me, sir"........... Nothing, he ignored her. A little louder this time, "EXCUSE ME, SIR", again he ignored her and continued walking away. Slowly but certainly the transformation undid itself and MJ just sat there looking and feeling dejected. Very matter-of-factly she said to me, "Honey, would you mind waiting here while I go make a scene and complain to someone?" I replied, you may complain to whoever you want, but you may NOT make a scene. (I was already married to a woman that did that sort of thing and I was never going to be party to that again) She agreed to complain properly and left me. About 5 minutes later she returned and explained that the only person who was the least bit in charge was the other waitress and she didn't seem like she cared.
Evidently this woman passed along the word because promptly we were given bread and our drink order was taken by the woman. We ordered our entrees and were eating them when our missing waiter, approached me with a fresh diet Coke and dropped it rudely on the table and was gone before I could even look up and thank him. No one ever came back, except the lady to ask if everything were okay. We said it was and thanked her.
Now I was getting a little short on patience, because why should I have to go out for a nice meal and have to struggle to just get through it? Numb-nuts shows up and asks if we want dessert and I look him in the eye and asked if we've offended him in some fashion? He says, "I don't like being yelled at when I'm busy trying to serve people." I explained that we were new customers there and as a result of his poor attitude and service, we would never return and I'm pretty sure that's NOT what his employer had in mind when he hired him and some times, when you're in the service business, people just might raise their voices when you ignore them. He walked away as if he's won the disagreement, then turned around and said your meal is on me. I told him that we've already complained about his poor work and he said he knew, his mom told him..... MJ and I literally cracked up laughing when we realized the only person we'd found in a semi-management position to complain to was his Mommy!
The food sucked, there were no management on the premises. I had the chicken parmigiana and MJ had the pasta pomodora and the noodles were over-cooked. We won't be going back to Uncle Sal's again

Monday, December 28, 2009

Losing a Crown/ Mac n Tuna Recipe...

So it appears that I'm in a writing mood tonight. That doesn't guarantee anything good is gonna come out, but here I am anyway.
One of my stocking stuffers was a big Tootsie Roll with about 25 little Tootsie Rolls inside. When I received it, I laughed knowing I'd eat every last one. Now the last time I had Carmel, the Carmel lasted about 3 chews when suddenly it yanked my crown off, leaving me toothless on the lower right side. With that in mind, I approached the Tootsie Rolls rather cautiously. I think I actually made it to my 3rd Tootsie Roll before I noticed something rather sharp and hard inside of my chewy morsel. Guess what, it was none other than my new replaced crown floating around my mouth. That's right, I did it again! I should really have never given up drinking, I never lost a crown swallowing a shot full of V.O. Oh, the things we do for sugar.
Up until right now, it's mostly the women that write recipes, but tonight I invented a new creation. I had a taste for Tuna Casserole, but didn't have any mushroom soup or peas, so I called MJ and asked her what she thought of putting a can of tuna in a batch of Mac n Cheese. Her reaction was not a positive one. She suggested putting the tuna in with the noodles, but to leave the cheese part out of it. My question was, what will make it stick together? She agreed that it wouldn't really stick together without an adhesive. I suggested Mayonnaise and she nixed that pretty quickly, I agreed.
After hanging up with her, I decided that the cost of a package of Mac n Cheese and the minor expense of a can of tuna could be afforded if it were horrible and I could just throw the whole mess away and not lose my social standing in the community. Here is my conclusion:
It was far better than a package of plain Mac n Cheese, but not near as good as a pizza! You decide!

My 63rd Christmas...

I haven't posted anything for awhile. I've gone through some tough times recently, but not as tough as a friend of mine. Do any of you have a friend that has been around forever? One who was there from day one? Well, I have and he called me last week with some horrible news. It mortified me with grief and I haven't been the same since hearing it. When I was 10 years old, I was sitting in my house waiting for the Hebrew school bus for my first day of Hebrew school. The old panel van pulled up and it was loaded with kids and one of the kids on my bus was a kid named Barry. We started talking, I think about baseball and became fast friends. Here it is 53 years later and we're still talking, not so much about baseball anymore, but about the important things in life, children, politics, finance, life's experiences.
Last week, the call went something like this. It was late, after 9 PM in Florida where he lives and the call came from his cell phone, another oddity. I answered and immediately asked what's wrong? He told me he was sick, that he was in the hospital and he has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. On a routine visit to the doctor to get his blood pressure medication adjusted, the doctor gave him a routine exam and when he poked him in the stomach, it was extra tender, which lead to an ex-ray, then a cat scan and an ultra sound. They found he had a mass on his cecum, the area between the upper and lower intestines and it had already spread to his liver, spine and lungs. They immediately scheduled surgery to remove the mass, leaving him with a colostomy. As soon as he's feeling better, they'll start chemo therapy, but it's just to prolong things as much as possible. He's likely to be gone in a year, but who knows? Some things just aren't fair. The only good news is that he's dealing with it in a mature way and just accepting what he's been told. No denial or poor me's. He's a realist and realists accept their destinies.
As an added bonus for Christmas, I was getting ready for Christmas Eve, MJ cooked a prime rib I was looking forward to. I was just putting some finishing touches on an ad I was placing in the Autotrader, when suddenly I felt pretty nauseated and my mouth started watering like, like, like I was gonna puke! I don't remember my feet even touching the ground as I flew to the restroom. There I grabbed the bowl and called to RALPH as loudly as I could, wondering what in the hell just happened. I'd had a headache for the past couple of days, but I figured it was just an aneurysm and would either kill me or get better. I never figured on the FLU! I just paid for one of those Walgreen Flu Shots and figured I was covered, but it was the wrong kind of flu. So I hugged the bowl, yelling to RALPH and BOB all night, until it started for the opposite end. MJ called right in the middle of it all and I explained I wasn't coming over for dinner. She understood and offered to come and get me and take care of me through my flu bout, but there are some things a man likes to do by himself, particularly when they are about 2 opposite ends. So I took a metal bowl to bed with me and went to sleep about 8:30 on Christmas Eve.
Christmas day, after about 12 hours of sleep, I forced myself to drive to MJ's to have Christmas with her. She bought me a ton of great stuff and I felt like a 12 year old kids opening all of my presents. She got me all clothes and I got the distinct impression that she felt my own wardrobe was lacking.......... humph!
Somewhere in the confusion of Christmas, I managed to sell the Chicago car. That's the Toyota that I flew back to Chicago to get. The one that I pushed Linda out of the window of and drove home alone. I held onto that car long enough to scare myself, thinking that I didn't have the insight that I thought I'd had and just maybe I paid too much for it. But fortunately someone came along and bought it, affording me a little cash flow, just in time for Christmas.
So, all and all things went okay, but then I remember poor Barry and get depressed all over again......

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Marathon Date, part 2....

After a 1 hour nap and trying to recover from a 1/2 marathon with MJ, I decided to start my laundry, so I tossed in all of my new jeans at about 3:30. MJ called at 4 to ask if I'd left the house yet? Huh, why would I? I'm doing laundry. Laundry, she replied in a less than pleased tone. We have to be at the party at 5! What??? Who in their right mind throws a party and starts it at 5? People with children, that's who! Oh, well we're gonna be late.... and so it began. I don't recall a woman yelling at me as much as MJ, since my mother and that stopped when I was 18... Don't you think that if a party called for 5 PM attendance, a lady might mention it at some point before 4? So skipping the complete wash cycle, I jumped immediately to spin, then dried only the pair of jeans I was going to wear and chose a shirt. At some point I change 11 times, going with dress jeans and a fresh shirt, but bringing my wet jeans along for Sunday's attire. I arrived at MJ's at about 5:40 and at the party at 6 and no one was there but us and the landscapers. I think MJ likes to lights fires under me, to watch me try not to burn... Great game, huh?
By 7 PM, this little Central Corridor house was full slam up with total strangers saying Merry Christmas to this unregistered Jew and it was elbow to elbow full of people, none of which I knew. MJ was off with her friends socializing and I wandered from room to room waiting for the single bathroom to empty, so I could take my turn. At some point a couple was leaving, saying they were expected at yet another party and I begged them to take me with, but no, they refused and threatened to call the police on me.
After about an hour, we had played some game where you have to guess what Christmas item was written and a piece of paper and taped to your back. Naturally mine was Menorah, MJ chose it. Then everyone gathered in the little living room and played a White Elephant, where you purchase a crappy gift and everyone gets one after taking a number. I wound up with a book on how to pick up boys! I told MJ we either leave or I'm going to light myself on fire.... We left with only first degree burns...
We headed back to MJ's where she reported to me that she was sleepy. We went to bed where MJ snored as usual and I laid awake for about 4 hours in the dark, not able to sleep or watch TV or read, or do any of the things I do. MJ insisted that I was sleeping because she said I snored, but I snored awake, just to trick her. This morning she hops out of bed and announces it's time to trim the tree. Did I mention I LOVE Christmas? So we drank a little coffee and trimmed the tree and MJ told me I was totally useless in this department... I once again reminded her of my circumcision and explained that my tree trimming experience is limited. I did a few odd jobs around her house and we finally finished the tree trimming experience and let me assure you, her tree now weighs no less that 2000 LB with all of the decorations with 29 decorations every inch of tree. Santa himself would be impressed.
I've never been opposed to shopping, but if I have to walk through one more little girl's department and look at adorable little dresses again, I'm gonna puke! If I hear, "do you like the pink chiffon better than the blue velvet again I'm gonna die! This is the second day in a row of shopping in the pedophile section. I don't like it. It's not normal and it ain't right.
I tried to take MJ to Luke's Italian Beef for lunch but they had the nerve to be closed on Sunday, so MJ took me to a place called STIX for Asian food. I thought it was a pool hall but no. I learned it's called Stix because it stix in your throat! It was a 2 Rolaid lunch.
Once again this old man was pleased to hear MJ say she needed a nap. Now there's some thing we both like! We bopped back to her house for an afternoon snooze and I was awakened by a kiss and a goodbye! MJ had to go to the "groshery" store. I asked her to spell it and learned she needed milk and eggs for her granddaughter's return tonight. Little Angela, who will be 2 years old tomorrow, has been in CA. with her mom and mom's mom for almost 3 weeks and MJ was as excited as a cat on a roof at the sight of little Angela seeing all of the Christmas stuff. I kissed her on the cheek and said goodbye for a few days.
Thank God there are no more Christmas parties on the schedule for me! Whew!!!
No matter what NMS says!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Marathon Date...

I was married to a woman for over 5 years and when we split the sheets, she walked away to her North Scottsdale home and I never saw or heard from her again. You'd think that with the odds of things, I'd have run into her by now, but no. She could be dead for all I know and that would be fine. Not that she be dead, because I never had any ill feelings towards her, but that I don't run into her is probably a good thing. What would we do stammer towards each other or have one of those awkward moments that we all dread? She moved on and I certainly did.
Now remember Linda, the lady that I left in Chicago? I think the story went that I pushed her out of a car window at about 10 or 15 MPH? Well evidently she survived the fall and is alive and well in Scottsdale. Here's what happened...
MJ and I have been on one of our marathon dates. It started Thursday night and I'm only home to grab a change of clothes and continue on our quest to have the longest date in recorded history, in all of captivity. Thursday night MJ and I went to a Christmas party. As Christmas parties go, this may have been one of the more sedate ones. Take about 30 total strangers and put them in a house together and pretty soon you have people wandering around endlessly looking for a place to lite. Now this party was being thrown and I use the expression "thrown" lightly, as there was not a bit of throwing going on. The party was given at MJ's financial adviser's elderly boyfriend's house, a man named Lou. Lou was grey, boring, conservative, works in a bank and wore worn out black Levis and a plaid shirt that came right out of the dryer, without the benefit of a pressing. Get the picture? I've been told more than once that I'm judgemental, but you didn't have to do much judging to determine that Lou was boring and without a personality. Now he's been dating MJ's financial advisor for many years and they don't sleep together. They represent the traditional "companions". I also neglected to add that Lou was probably younger than me! There did seem to be about 3 live wires at this party. They were MJ's attorney, financial advisor and a third woman that I didn't learn her association with MJ, but was entertaining.
After about an hour of schmoozing, a long hour I might add, we left and went shopping for something to take to Saturday's Christmas party, being held at MJ's best friend's home, a doctor she works with in Central Phoenix. We headed to Costco where we brought home pizza to eat while we watched TV and tried to make out... Finally, we were both tired and decided to go to bed where MJ tried her best to have her way with me, but sadly my headache prevented anything from happening. We both awakened about 4 AM to a fit of passion, the likes of which I'd never seen. When MJ wants something..................well, look out!
After falling back to sleep, we headed to Scottsdale to Fashion Square for a little shopping for MJ's granddaughter who will be 2 this week. I parked near the entrance to Macy's where I always park while at Fashion Square, while MJ hollered instructions at me, to turn left, stop, go to the right and park... All of which I ignored while still trying to appease her. MJ has developed a way of actually steering the car from her position in the passenger's seat. As her instructions became just background noise, I parked. As we were just entering Macy's, with my head down and walking, I thought to myself, "I'm in Linda's neck of the woods, I certainly hope I don't bump into her". I don't think 10 seconds went by and I looked up and there stood Linda walking towards me and looking right at MJ and I. She saw me and looked away as if she didn't recognize me. With my mouth agape, all I could say was, "Oh my God", as she looked up and said, hi! I don't recall what either one of us said and the entire meeting took about 3 seconds and she was saying happy holidays and do I want to sell her my table? I said, no, I'm just keeping my stuff and not selling anything. I turned around to continue walking and ran smack dab into MJ that was just standing there. I'd thought she had kept walking, not even knowing I'd stopped. That's when it started. Well, I guess you're too ashamed of me to introduce me to your girlfriends..... What? She's not my girlfriend, you are! Well you certainly didn't act like it. You didn't even acknowledge me. Am I not dressed well enough for you to have introduced me? Blah, blah, blah.... Well readers, it's still going on. Every time MJ remembers it and she remembers it often, she throws me another dig about not introducing her to Linda.. Women, you can't live with 'em and you can't push them off a cliff!
And so the marathon date with HIGH MAINTENANCE MJ continues and we head to get into line for the famous chicken salad at Nordstrom's little restaurant, only we're standing in line with a dozen elderly ladies to get a table and there's no telling how long our wait will be. So I beg MJ to go somewhere else and she recalls a wonderful Italian place not too far called Sal's. It's at Hayden and Osborn and wonderful and reasonable and clean. When was the last time you ordered an Italian specialty lunch with a salad and choice of dressing with complimentary garlic bread and butter for $7.95?
After a delicious lunch, we headed back to MJ's for addition sparring practice about Linda, played for a time and headed over to my house for me to get more clothes. I had no idea how wardrobe intensive this date was going to get. I changed, yet again and we went to the Movies to see the worst film I've seen since, I returned to the movies a year ago or so. Invictius with Morgan Freeman and Mat Damon. Morgan Freeman was great as Nelson Mandela, but Mat Damon was horribly miscast in this film about Rugby. The movies was missing anything that resembled a story line or plot and was a series of slow motion shots of Rugby players getting knocked down. Thank goodness for Martha Jane insisting on the Senior Citizen discount and the almost free popcorn and Cokes or this could have been the end of me.
This movie did however work wonders. MJ, who resembles the energizer bunny, keeps going and going and going... Martha said these words to me, "I'm tired, can we just go home and go to sleep"? With a new bounce in my step, we headed for the car and drove straight home to MJ's. We didn't stop at Walmart for dog food or the sweater MJ wanted to buy for me at Sam's Club or Costco or a shopping center, but just home... Frankly, home never sounded so good. Even if it isn't my home... From here, I'm headed to the shower, then my wardrobe for a fresh look and then it's back to MJ's for the big party tonight at Bernie's house... And the marathon date continues....

Monday, December 7, 2009

After Bowlin'...

Bowlin' was fun, but in it's aftermath, I am suffering from a stretched Achilles tendon, pulled groin muscle, lower lumbar aches, traditional sore thumb and a broken thumb nail. Everything has a price and at this age, bowlin' is an easy evening. Usually I'm injured worse than this.
Saturday night took us to Fountain Hills to MJ's annual Christmas party with members form her Hospice team. There were about 35 people in attendance and that included what sounded like and seemed like, 350 kids. The party was a family affair and everyone brought their children and they were literally all ages. I didn't bring mine, mainly because they're 36 and 40! MJ left her 32 year old at home alone.
I tried to mingle as much as possible with total strangers and because of my open personality, I was able to bond a little with a few guys that seemed as out of place as me. All in all, it wasn't too painful and will be redone this Thursday and Saturday again! Merry Christmas...
Saturday morning found me again with MJ to help her go up in her attic and get down the Christmas decorations. Little did I know she almost invented Christmas and her attic was aligned with Christmas treasures from one end to the other. The good new is that MJ had a ladder attached to the crawl space and all it took was pulling down the trap door to expose it. Then, just a mere 45 trips up and down the ladder delivered the Christmas decorations to the garage floor. With my triple bypass being tested, MJ was literally throwing things down the ladder at me to catch. Things that weighed about 40 LB came crashing through that attic opening and thank god MJ can't hear them crashing to the garage floor. As I laid there bent over MJ's car, gasping for air, I could hear MJ screaming from the attic, where are you??? At one point my shoulder dislocated itself, an old Viet Nam injury, but MJ just yelled, to suck it up!
After organizing everything, MJ was busy opening boxes of lights and little Christmas trees and saying that Stan must have screwed up everything, because it was all out of order and not the way it was supposed to be. Stan was her ex-boyfriend. Next year she'll be telling some guy named Joe that Mel screwed up everything and nothing is where it belongs and such is life....
Practically starving and suffering from open wounds, we headed to the Arcadia Tavern for an emergency meatloaf lunch and watched a little football. The place was so crowded and the crowd so thick, you'd have thought we were at the stadium whenever someone scored.
We headed for MJ's house again to finish up and I noticed that MJ kept taking side trips into the far bushes and I suspect the reason was GAS! That's when I decided it was time for me to go home to shower, but promised to return to help her put up the tree. I returned about 90 minutes later including drive time and MJ had already gotten everything in working order, set up on timers and was showered. We put up the tree and watched the Cards whip the Vikings and crashed quickly. MJ woke me up in what seemed to be a panic, to inform me that I still snore. I tell her that she's not the first person to tell me that, rolled over in the other direction and return to snoring pleasantly and dreaming of putting all off that Christmas crap back up in the attic.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Goin' Bowlin'...

It turns out that MJ is not just another pretty face, she is indeed a talented bowler, as well. When MJ and I first hooked up, she asked me once if I liked to bowl and I said yes, every 25 years if not sooner. We laughed and she admitted to me that the last time she bowled was right around then. I blew it off as another question similar to, did you ever smoke pot? My answer was yes, but haven't for many years. It's not one of the things I do, at this stage of life along with bowling. It's not like I've never bowled, there was a time many years ago, that my friends and I hung out at the BA (Bowling Alley). It was more of a social setting then and frankly pin balls were really the main attraction. Around midnight, they'd turn the lights down really low and introduce midnight bowling and my friends and I would laugh like hyenas at the geeks that bowled. Here it is 47 years later and I with a gorgeous woman and the only thing on her mind is bowlin'!

I had every intention of just accommodating her by going to the bowling alley that I was secretly hoping was out of business, along with other businesses that had seen better days, but when we got there, instead of it being an antique mall or a pawn shop extravaganza, it was still a bowling alley. Shit!

We parked MJ's car and were first accosted by a gang of young girls on skateboards and short shorts. My first thought was they must be freezing in this 45 degree weather, showing my age. Taking me by the hand now, MJ walked me inside where some things never change. The first thing I noticed was the absence of cigarette smoke and it was a welcomed relief, then I heard the crash of the pins and memories were activated. There were not only plenty of empty parking places in the parking lot, but a shortage of bowlers, as well. I had every intention of just being a voyeur, but MJ walked us up to the counter and announced we wanted to bowl. Oh, what the hell? This is not the first time MJ has taken me out of my comfort zone, here we go. MJ then asked how much it would be to rent shoes, 25cents rang a bell and when the kid said $8.50, I explained we wanted to rent, not buy! I think that was the first elbow I received to the ribs. The rest of the instructions were moot. Alley 26 was to be ours and the computer would keep score for us and he'd be by to get our food and drink orders.. Huh? The balls were arranged from the West side of the bowling alley to the East and their weights ran from 8 LB to 16LB and I immediately remembered my sore thumb from the last time I bowled 25 or 30 years ago. MJ changed shoes first and went for an 8 LB ball, that turned out to be the wrong one, but I'll get to that. I went to the far side of the bowling alley to get my 15 LB black ball, where I found a dude leaning on the selection trying to hit on some chick. I excused myself and he said a good set of balls were important when bowling and I walked away staring back at this idiot wondering why he was still out of prison.

When I returned to alley 26, MJ was all ready to begin. She had entered my bowling handle onto the computer, where it said big as life, "Chicago Mel". Now that's a respectable bowling moniker.

MJ's first ball was a gutter ball, oh too bad. Then she followed with a second one and announced her ball was no good and went searching for a correction ball, but in that entire bowling alley there didn't seem to be one that was going to improve her game. I quietly smiled, not knowing how I was going to bowl after all of these years. My first ball got 9 pins and then I picked up the spare. Whew, I avoided far! With the better ball, MJ wound up with a 50, averaging 5 pins a frame, not bad, ahem... I bowled a 119 and was happy with my score and felt I'd satisfied my bowling needs for the decade, but no, MJ started another game.

That second ball did wonders for MJ's game when she bowled a 103 the second time. After me accusing her of riding the short bus all off the way through school, MJ did pretty well and was ready to start throwing her third game when I announced I'd pulled enough muscles and felt DONE!

I limped, as MJ walked to the cashier to check out. That's when MJ told the kid we wanted the senior citizen's discount and he wouldn't believe MJ was over 55. He took one look at me and gave it to us gladly.

We headed out to the Cheesecake Factory for an emergency piece of cheesecake. MJ had the Macadam Cream and I went for the Chocolate Muse'. On the way home we discussed the possibility of us joining a league, but decided it was futile! Not until we go shopping for our own bowlin' shoes.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hot Fudge Sundaes...

I think at some point we all go through things that should remain unmentionable, but being a leader among men, I shall dare to cross that barrier of acceptable verses unmentionable.
Last night, after eating a burger and potato salad, I noticed I was having a little discomfort in the lower left quadrant of my stomach. No, I have no medical background, simply my own observation and I was hoping that it would be just a little discomfort. About an hour later, my girlfriend called and invited me over to spend the night. Whippeeeeee!!!
I changed clothes, splashed on a little cologne and I was ready for an evening of romance. I arrived and the door was unlocked. I let myself in and surprised my lady by scaring the shit out of her. One of my favorite arrivals. Because I've already disclosed to you that I was spending the night and I want to salvage her reputation, I won't tell you the name of my lady, just her initials, "MJ".
After watching a cutting edge episode of the Dog Whisperer, MJ's favorite show (boring) she announces that her life is not going well and to make her feel better about herself, we need to go to no other place, but Dairy Queen for hot fudge sundaes. I was a little alarmed to see that she not only knew the exact location of a Dairy Queen, but it's daily hours and a short cut using only side streets to get there. It was when she knew the exact total for 2 medium hot fudge sundaes, that really alarmed me. I handed over the $5.61 and drove back to her house while MJ devoured her sundae in about 1/2 the time it took me.
It was getting late and MJ had to work the next day, so we retired to the bedroom. MJ has no idea that I planned everything, by wearing my new low cut Levi's with the tight butt and she was now powerless to my advances.
After our imaginary cigarette, we watched the news and MJ turned off the lights, saying goodnight. Without warning, my stomach started playing taps with sort of a growling sound and I knew things were not right. Were would the last place in the world you'd want to be when such a thing strikes. That's right, your new girlfriend's bed. I could tell that MJ was already asleep by the steady roar of her snoring and snorting. She also has the ability to simulate the noises that cats make when breeding, all coming from her nose. It's fascinating, really. One day I'd like to record it and play it on America's Funniest Videos, but I digress. Without alerting her to my absence, I slip out from under her hold and stumble my way to the restroom, where I thank God for a noisy exhaust fan. About 15 minutes later and about 2 LB lighter, I crawl back into bed, where I just lay there while my stomach cramps back up.
Completely in the dark, I try not to step on either pup and still find my clothes to dress. Shit, my shoes are in a different room! Stumbling in the dark of a strange house, I suddenly feel like a burglar looking for my shoes. Finding my shoes, I sit on the sofa to put them on and just miss Tilly, MJ's 4 LB dog. With a mini yelp and a growl she goes away to sleep in a safer place.
My plan is to sneak out the garage and use her daughter's garage door opener out of her car, to execute my escape and just bring it back the following day, as she's out of town currently. My problem is, her car is equipped with a built-in garage opener and it's not removable. Still in the dark, I walk into the stackable washer and dryer nose first, ouch! Now I'm looking for a door that goes to the outside so I can just slip out and use the gate to get to my car, still leaving her house locked up. I find that door, but wind up in a storage room.
Tripping my way back to MJ's bedroom where she's sweetly sleeping and snorting, I trip and wake her up. Rubbing her eyes, she says what's wrong, Honey? (She calls me Honey, when she's not mad, yet) I explain my plight and she walks me to the front door and says these words to me as I'm explaining about my poor stomach. "I'm sleepy, don't linger" and I just leave....

Monday, November 30, 2009

Butt Stank, the story...

California, the land of enchantment. Wait, that's New Mexico... California, the land of high prices is more like it. I guess they package the sun and ocean and lack of free land to their prices, because they sure know how to make things expensive there. A simple lunch was $50 and their gas must be special and frankly I'm glad to be home to Arizona where it doesn't rain and the sun is out all of the time..

Leaving our great state on Wednesday evening broke every rule I have about driving. Mostly, NEVER drive when everyone and their Aunt Ethyl are on the road, such as the evening before a national holiday...

Wednesday night found MJ and I knee deep in the worst traffic I'd seen in our humble town since we developed our freeway system. Two hours into our drive we were still on the I-10 trying to leave the Phoenix area when suddenly traffic broke from 10 MPH to an amazing 65 then 75, then infinity.... It seems that MJ is a fan of Love's, a roadside convenience market that sold Subway sandwiches and gasoline.. We/I decided on splitting a large diet coke and getting back on our way. I turned to pay and got into a line that took 15 minutes to achieve finality, just to pay for our Coke. Hopping back into her car, we headed West again. At least it wasn't a Cracker Barrel.

We slid into San Diego about 1 AM and MJ showed me to her condo. It was spacious, pleasant and beautifully decorated. I was mostly interested in the bed! It was cold there and her bed is a blow up type from Costco and it didn't have a mattress pad, which has never been an issue for me, until I was asked to sleep on an ice cube. The air inside that mattress was about 55 degrees and would not warm up. There was NO getting warm the first night, even with MJ's body heat that I was desperately stealing!!! Now don't get the wrong idea, it was just for survival. The second night, we took the time to use the condo heater and put a mattress pad on her blow up mattress and that pretty much eliminated the frost bite issues. At one point the first night, I awakened thinking I was aroused, but it turned out the poor thing was just frozen.

Thanksgiving Day found us trying to get the TV to work without cable, as it was not hooked up. That pretty much eliminated any football for the day, so we improvised and I watched MJ's talents in the kitchen, which were pretty impressive. MJ can heat up food like nobodies business. We had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce, not forgetting pumpkin pie. We were totally stuffed after beginning out treat with a blessing right out of the bible... Turns out MJ's a good "Thanks Giver".

After our feast, we went for a long walk on the beach, wearing thongs (shoes) and walking hand in hand. It was beautiful weather and we watched the surfers and the fisherman and generally walked my poor feet off. We headed home for our nap and slept like a couple of kindergartners after a long recess.

Keep in mind, we were to be there for 4 days without the advantage of TV or even music, so creativity was paramount.. I suggested a board game, but there was not one. We were permitted to steal Internet occasionally when the Gods allowed for it, but otherwise we were pretty much on our own. We read, played on MJ's computer and attempted a few card games, sans the cards, playing with avatars on the computer. One of our nemeses, was a woman named Elayne who possessed a New York accent and was as obnoxious as could be. I'm currently still planning her demise.

All and all our trip was great. It was a good getaway, took me out of my comfort zone and even when we rented a bicycle built for two and MJ tried to run me into the ocean, I had fun. I got to use some muscles that I'd thought were put away for good, but to my surprise, still had the audacity to pain me when used.

The upstairs neighbor became a focal point. Not because she was special in any way, but because of her neurotic habit of pacing the floors from morning, about 5 AM until the late night. There is no way in the world that a person can appear normal after listening to her pacing incessantly for hours on end. Here is her story. She is from Colorado, divorced, about 54 years old and ugly as dirt. MJ said she has a good figure, but she must have been only looking at her lower calf. The rest of her was less then shapely possessing a linebackers neck...........and face! (Sorry, I call'em like I see'em.)

After cancelling our dinner with her, MJ told her a white lie about our attending her Thanksgiving meal, that Mel is a gourmet cook and insists on cooking just the two of us a private intimate dinner. The truth is, if I'm not ordering a pizza, we're not eating! Finally on Friday evening, we couldn't avoid her anymore and I was forced to meet Terry. Jesus H. Christ, what a mess??? Her condo was pleasant except for her. She was introduced to me and never stopped talking long enough to ask a single question. She must have a private air supply, so she doesn't even have to take a breath. She talked and rambled and changed topics without warning, leaving me trying to figure out how the two stories came together, but soon realized I was wasting my time even listening to her. It was then I shut her out and decided to listen to rap music, but it was just in my head. See, I even found the beauty in rap music.

Terry received a phone call that she needed to take, as it was from her brother in Japan. She left the room to talk in privacy and that's when I looked over to MJ and recited these words. "GET US THE FUCK OUT OF HERE, NOW!" MJ smiled and said I could stand to learn a little patience and it was a holiday and Terry's not that bad, but I just continued to stare her down until she agreed to end our visit early. As we exited, I actually heard MJ make plans for the 3 of us to go out for pizza the following night and that's when I fantasized the first time, picturing myself choking her to death as a piece of pepperoni laden pizza was spewed from her mouth. We left.

The title of this post is the name I've affectionately given to Terry and she will forever more be known only to myself and MJ as Butt Stank.

Other than that, the trip was great. We walked, we rode a bike, we ate sea food, shopped Coronado Island and slept great..

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We're Headed to San Diego for Thanksgiving....

It all started with a "honey, will you do me a favor"? MJ's North Carolina accent really kicks in when she wants something. Then I hear, "better get a pencil and paper and write all this down", that's when I know there's gonna be trouble. Well it turns out that MJ's dining table at the condo in San Diego is severely in need of a new base for the heavy table-top and it appears that after searching the lands, high and low, she's located one, right here in the valley in the Northeast section. Anytime I hear East Valley, I think of Mesa and it's a place that holds only terror for me. It's streets have different names and it's a completely different city than Phoenix or Scottsdale and having been born sans a sense of direction, it means getting lost and mass confusion. I admit freely that I do not possess a GPS system and if I did, it would probably be as confusing to me as a city such as Mesa!
I called the number that MJ gave me and got a voicemail of a Real Estate Broker, how quaint? Although I called before 8 PM, she never returned my call. When I awoke this morning, there was a message from the lady's husband saying he was handling the transaction and he'd be gone until about noon. At about 10 AM, MJ texted me that she was sure that I'd already picked up and purchased the table base and probably had already gotten the pumpkin pie and cool whip by now, right? Oh boy, I had her pumpkin pie right here!!!
At about 11:45 AM, I gave old Stuart Gippers a call and he answered. I reiterated who I was and what my mission was and he acted like he was aware of my existence and was expecting me. I told him I thought I could be there about 1 and verified his address. He began giving me detailed directions and how to get there. You wanna take the 101 to.... I stopped him and explained that I had already printed directions to his house from mine from Google Maps, to which he replied, huh??? Then proceeded to give me the detailed instructions including things like, look for the waterfall and the billboard of the Coppertone girl, that means you've gone too far. While I rolled my eyes I let him finish. Finally hanging up, I went out to my Expedition and removed the extra seat and aired up a couple of low tires and began my trip to a place called Mesa (What a place-a).
I really didn't have a difficult time finding the place, Google Maps knew of everything sans the waterfall and the Coppertone girl. I called old Stuart from in front of his house and he didn't answer. That's because he was already walking outside, probably because he had been watching out the window. He was about 72 years old, gave me a brief look into my own future and otherwise a pretty entertaining old guy. We wheeled out the table base and put it into my car, that's when I thought of screeching off with it, but decided to stay and pay him anyway. Old Stuart kept me standing in his driveway and found it necessary to tell me everything he knew about his old town of Mesa and asked if I'd had a chance to drive through his neighborhood. I explained, no and that I'd come right here as he was expecting me. He told me to be sure to drive by the new Methodist church, that it was now and the pride of the neighborhood and to check out some of the 5 million dollar homes nearby.
Stuart was a Cadillac man and he had an Esplanade in the driveway and a Sedan in the garage. Eventually he shared with me that they're both leased and they're trying to get out of the leases and he and his wife that turned out to be as wide as she was tall, had both gotten jobs. I wanted to ask what type of jobs they'd gotten, but I realized that was an invitation to another 20 minutes of conversation. So, I offered my hand and split.
My first thought was to call MJ and tell I'd secured the table base and her first question was, how much did I get it for? I tried to explain that when she emailed the fat lady, that her friend Mel was coming to pick it up, pretty much took away my negotiating powers. She agreed, although reluctantly.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cookie Smuggler... A Story of LOVE....

My Saturday night date with MJ included a visit to the movies. MJ is an avid movie fan, while my past history hasn't been nearly as active at the cinema. I'd say off hand that I've been to 3 movies in the past 6 months and the last time before that I saw "Dead man Walking" with Sean Penn, so as you can see, I didn't used to be a fan of the movies. That's all different now that I don't smoke or drink.
MJ arrived at my house and brought me a present of a CD that plays fire on your TV screen. I literally didn't know what to say. Would you? When the movie of fire is over, the fire goes out. Pretty anticlimactic. We talked for awhile, as she tried to pry me out of the funky mood I was in, when suddenly she screamed, "We have to go"! The movie that was 5 minutes away, was starting in 15 minutes. I'd call that right on time. MJ is a little on the hyper side and a pretty controlling person. I mentioned it to her and she replied that she thought she could control that. Great!
MJ drove in her Cadillac with the new tires and made it a point to tell me to let my 3 readers know that she did in fact pay me for the tires, IF her bogus check ever clears. Fingers crossed, I'll have to wait until Monday.
Keep the category of "HYPER" in mind for the rest of the story.
Being the avid movie fan that she is, she keeps in her purse a couple of t-shirts that say Harkins Theaters and 2 empty plastic cups. These enable us to have free popcorn and $1 drinks. Frankly, more than I could understand. MJ pulls up in front of the theater and orders me out of the car to get into the line to purchase tickets, only there is no line. I begin to tell her I'll just go along to park the car and she screams "MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!" You'd think they had just dropped the bomb on Hiroshima! I purchased the tickets and then experienced a strange phenomenon. Men were standing and waiting for their respective women to park their cars, pick them up and go into the movie theater.
MJ complained the entire time that you don't wait until we did, to go to a movie on date night. I'd never been to a movie on date night and wasn't even sure we were dating until last week when MJ informed me. Getting back to the fiasco.....
I offered to sit close to the screen, but little miss high maintenance refused to, sighting an old war injury to her neck. I was cool with that. We walked all of the way up the stairs on the West side of the theater and there were not 2 seats together. Descending, we headed to the East side of the theater and only about 2 steps up sat 3 people, then an empty seat, then a 400 LB woman about 25 years old, an empty seat, then another grossly obese woman that looked just like the first one, but much older. I believed them to be a mother cow and her calf. At this point I feel it's necessary in the interest of the story, to disclose that MJ is a little hard of hearing. Well, she very hard of hearing and I usually have to raise my voice the slightest bit to be heard. She's really a lovely, controlling girl, but just a little deaf. We all have flaws.
Realizing that MJ is now focusing in on these two, I begin to panic and think perhaps she doesn't realize WHY the two women have left a seat between them. These are the type that cannot fit in one airplane seat, why would they be able to sit next to one another in a movie? Suddenly, without warning MJ begins to give this duet the international sign to "move the hell over". The calf is trying to respond, while I'm speaking directly into MJ's best ear, "They're fat, that's why they can't sit together. MJ continues her assault. She begins to mouth, MOVE OVER... Now louder, I'm speaking into her ear, "they're too fat". MJ is now yelling, move over, when suddenly, without the aid of a hoist or anything, the calf gets up and moves over to the seat next to Mama cow. Now I whisper, pretty loudly so MJ might hear. "I don't want to sit next to them, we'll be crunched in. MJ volunteers to sit next to baby calf who informs MJ that she suffers from panic attacks in close situations, but she didn't want to scream it across the isle. Great, if this 25 year old heifer freaks out, MJ will be crushed and I'll have no ride home!
I keep sniffing the air to see if I can smell the fat chicks, but it's cool. With MJ to my left and a 15 year old kid to my right, the trailers were finally over and this kid is text messaging someone about every 90 seconds. His phone lights up and chimes it announcement and he gets busy texting back. Pretty soon it happens again, the kid giggles and replies, but doesn't forget to poke me about 1000 times with his awkward, recently grown arms. GREAT!
Picture this... Unknown to anyone, the two cows each have their own assortment of Tupperware full of goodies. Everything from cooked meat to slice cucumbers could be both smelled and heard. At some point, MJ had asked me where I keep my baggies at the house, and I told her, never asking why. About 20 minutes into the movie, I look over and there are now 3 fat chicks eating out of their respective plastic bags, with MJ munching away on a bagful of chocolate chip cookies! Whoa is me...
Sandra Bullock was great in the football movie and I teared up more than once. We went home and watched that fire on TV. You know, the second viewing was much better...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Someone Call 911...

Another day of goodwill. MJ needed tires on her Cadillac and asked me if I knew of anyone that could help her with her purchase. Naturally with my professionalism in the tire area I offered my services. My first attempt was at Costco, where the young man stuffing something into envelopes was to be my salesman. Not looking up from his work, he asked what size and asked if I could wait a minute, as there was a tough one that just wouldn't go into that envelope. I agreed to wait as I rolled my eyes. He informed me that 4 Michelin tires in the correct size would run about $750. I explained that I was a dealer and was that as good as he could do? With a serious look, he informed me that they did not charge extra to dealers. Suddenly, I felt I just may be in the wrong place. Leaving there, I went home and tried a few old places on the Internet, that I probable had spent thousands of dollars over the years, but no one seemed to remember me at Discount Tire. I called a kid named Jason at the local Discount Tire and he informed me that mounting and balancing was $15 per tire. I told him that the most I'd paid was $8.50 and he laughed. He said it's NEVER been that cheap and he should know, after all he'd been there a year and a half! I told him I was hanging up and he said to be sure to ask for him when I came in. You betcha, Jason! By the way, Discount Tires' best price was $550 for 4 tires that were BF Goodrich.
I remembered a place that I used to buy used tires for some of my cars that were a little older. They carried what we used to call "take-offs". Let's say you buy a new car and it has Bridgestones and you don't like Bridgestones and want Michelins. They take off the Bridgestones, give you a fair price for your almost new tires and sell you Michelins. I want to buy those almost new Bridgestones at a greatly reduced price. I buy them from a place called Tire Dawgs.
I called Tire Dawgs and tell them what I want, but specify "NEW" tires and I know they can get them from any wholesaler. I get transferred to a guy named Albert who listens intently, and agrees to call me back. Only that call never comes. In the meanwhile, MJ brings over her Cadillac and she goes ahead and transfers about 3000 items from her trunk and backseat into my little Toyota that is her new loan car. With two toots, she kisses me, thanks me and drives off.
I awaken bright and early today about 10 and go immediately to work, starting with a call back to Albert, who vaguely remembers me and says he put that order on the bosses desk, didn't he call me? I fed all of the information to Albert again, just like we never spoke and that's when I realized I MAY have been talking to the wrong guy. Albert DID call me back this time, about 30 minutes later with a price of $380 mounted and balanced and out the proverbial door. I countered with $350 and go an emphatic, resounding, NO! I told him to get them and I'd be there 30 minutes after he called me back, telling me to come. It was an off brand but who really cares? I think we have a deal.
MJ is a hospess nurse and we laughed about all of the items she carries in her trunk. Bed pans, tons of adult diapers, catheters and other things the terminal might need. The most noticeable things are the diapers and they're packaged in clear plastic bags. Lots of them. Also in the trunk was a renegade tire that began all of the fuss, having the nerve to lose air. At about 2 PM, I get the call from Tire Dawgs. It's Albert telling me the tires are in. I hop into the car and out of habit check the gauges to make sure there's enough gas. I sit there and wait for the limp dead needle to go, but it doesn't and just sits there hanging around 1/8 of a tank, probably enough to just get there, but not make it home. Shit! MJ said there was enough gas, about 1/4 of a tank, but no....
Now the right front tire is a donut. Do I drive on the freeway with a donut or take surface streets and go 35 MPH? Long ride, better gas mileage on the freeway, all of these factors entered into the equation. I hopped onto the Squaw Peak Expressway and went 55 MPH creating not one single friend, except an old lady driving a Mercedes, right on my tail.
Exiting at Washington Street, I fought crossing the Light Rail's path and avoided a serious accident pulling into Tire Dawgs after having to make a u-turn and coming back. Try this some time and find out why so many cars are getting hit by our new train.
Entering Tire Dawgs, I'm guided into a stall by a man that clearly spoke no English and I was forced to open the trunk for them to access the flat tire. Not realizing what the contents of the trunk offered, I watched Miguel call over about 5 co-workers and pointed to the adult diapers and then to me. A roar of laughter occurred and suddenly I felt a little uncomfortable, wishing I'd learned to speak Spanish years ago. I tried to simulate the International sign for "I can't control my water" and must have been successful, as a second roar occurred.
I paid, left and was driving home when I remembered the low gas situation. I pulled into a gas station at 32nd and Van Buren and would you believe there were antique gas pumps that did not accept credit cards? If you thought I was going inside in that neighborhood, you're badly mistaken. I didn't even have a gun! Driving further North, I found a place that would accept my card, but could not for the life of me figure out how to open the gas door. I spent 35 years in the car business and thought I knew of every place to hide the little button, but no. I was forced to call MJ again. She was laughing hysterically and saying just push it, it opens. Hmm... Never thought of that!
Mission accomplished, feeling pretty good, I sit back and watch a little TV while MJ is out with her co-workers celebrating her new job. About 8 PM, she shows up driving my little Toyota, drunker than 15 Apaches planning an attack on the Fort. Plops down on top of me and kisses me and thanks me for my efforts. We sit around for 30 minutes, she tells me she forgot to bring her checkbook and goes home because she has an early day tomorrow with her ex-lover, Ralph. I stood there in my driveway feeling like a penny waiting for change, as she peeled off. She yelled goodbye, I yelled what about my money? She yelled, I'll call ya!
My question is, should I call 911 or wait 24 hours???

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Today's Realtor informed me that my lovely home has been on the market 68 days, but she doesn't know about renegade Realtor that had it for 30 more days.
Last night found me driving my red Corvette to MJ's house to take her to dinner. As I was leaving my house, I looked in the mirror and saw "Boring Mel" dressed boring, feeling boring, about to get into a boring Toyota. One look at that sparkling red Corvette and I knew what I needed to spice me up! Chinese food! SO I hopped into the Vette and frankly at 63 my hopper has slowed a little and fired her up and screamed off leaving a patch of rubber on my street and my neighbors saying the same thing they say whenever I leave. There goes that crazy old coot again. I arrived at MJ's a little quicker than usual and left the car in the street hidden behind her bushes, as a surprise. Big deal, right? I rang the bell, entered and found MJ alone, her DIL was bathing her granddaughter. MJ assured me she'd had her fill of food for the day, after a celebration with coworkers, of her new job starting today and her old one ending. We shot to the Chinese restaurant and I watched MJ not order a single thing. That's right, she ordered EVERYTHING! Noodles and Kung Pow this and Moo Goo that. That woman can put it away and never even slows down! As I picked at my number 14, MJ smiled and consumed...
I took her back to her house and her DIL was watching a movie, but quickly vacated the family room in favor of our privacy, so we could neck. Ah, nice to be 16 again....
Ten PM struck and I didn't know what hit me as I found myself standing in her driveway alone. I climbed into my little red friend and drove home always conscious of Johnny Law, when suddenly I realized the real partiers don't even start until 11 PM.
I awakened this morning around 8:30 AM by an annoying phone call. I read the caller ID to see if it was someone I wanted to speak with and Presidential Campaign was NOT on my list. Was it election time again? Does Obama know about this? Upon further inspection, I saw it was Prudential Arizona another Realtor.... no message. On my cell phone there was a message from a Diane McDonald with an attitude. I called her back and she made an appointment that she decided NOT to keep, but not even call until 2 hours later and she called to say she'd be right over. I told her to go away, her appointment was 2 hours earlier and to try again sometime. She was pissed!
At 11:30 I got a call from a woman named Victoria Something-or-other and she said she'd be here in 30 minutes. That worked out fine. I was out in front washing my boring Toyota when she pulled up in her Lexus SUV, 93% of all Realtors drive these, I've checked and 79% of those are tan with the remaining 21% being white.
Victoria got out and I yelled, "Hello lady" and she approached handing me a card. I looked at her card and immediately knew I'd seen her before and requested the computer in my head to give me the answer. While still looking at her picture and by the way, the picture was a good 15 years old, I said out loud, "I know where I know you from,"! Stammering, the lady started back-stepping and saying she's not on there anymore, are you? I said, no I'm seeing someone.. Victoria then volunteered that she was indeed "On There" again, but doesn't like it. We laughed.. Victoria is one of the woman that wrote to me, that I didn't respond to, for whatever reason. It was long ago, but we probably both remembered that. How awkward!
Life goes on.... MJ just called to tell me that her tire is very low. I may just have to make a "service call"!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Day at the Fair...

I just checked and sure enough, I'm about 1/2 inch shorter as a result of walking off genuine height at the Fountain Hills Arts and Crafts Show. Again with the same 3 generations of females, I trudged faithfully along behind MJ, her granddaughter Angela and her DIL Latisha.
Naturally my first stop was the restroom, but it was a long ride up to Fountain Hills and I'd mistakenly taken a Lasiks........big error. Immediately after that it was time for junk food or as MJ put it, Kettle Cake loaded with powdered sugar and cinnamon. When the lady looked at me, I said the famous line from Harry Met Sally, "I'll have whatever she's having"... We sat and ate while Angela devoured Chicken-kabob of barbecued chicken and Latisha had a plateful of Chinese favorites, rice, noodles and egg rolls. Latisha is a little girl, but can put away food like an army! If you get too close to her, you can hear her metabolism working away. Oh, to be 25 again.
Next was a visit to the fudge packer, a gentleman that was an expert at slicing off fudge at precisely a quarter pound and packing it into wax paper and a plain white paper bag, so no one has to know of your indiscretion. He nailed us for about a 1/2 LB sampling. MJ choosing pumpkin and Latisha going for the chocolate peanut butter. Fortunately they were willing to share of lose their teeth to sugar erosion on the spot!
If you asked my feet, they would simply describe the walk as about 200 miles, but I'm certain it wasn't over 100 frankly. We were cruising along with Angela in her stroller when we came upon a woman that was on the ground with a couple of people around her, clearly very concerned. It appeared that the woman had suffered a seizure and I pointed her out to MJ who was otherwise occupied. Without a moment's hesitation, she handed me her fudge, lemonade, Italian ice and went immediately to work as a nurse, pretty much saving this poor woman's life. She took charge, rolling the seizure victim onto her size opening her airways and loosening any restrictive clothing. She was assisted by a firefighter and an EMT, but was definitely in charge until an emergency vehicle arrived to cart off the poor woman, whose mother was present telling everyone her daughter was 17 weeks pregnant.. I was pretty impressed with MJ, who was cool as a cucumber through everything. After this unexpected event took place, MJ came right back complaining that her Italian Ice was melting... She smiled exposing an orange tongue, indicating she'd already had enough.. In fact she may have been on a sugar high!
After that, we walked another 50 or 60 miles and headed back to civilization. Everyone was pretty quiet on the ride home and I was able to mark Kettle Cake with powdered sugar and cinnamon off my "Bucket List"...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Caught with My Pants DOWN!

Having my home on the market during this horrible time has been anything but pleasant. I'm required by my own pride to keep it in prime shape at all times, as I never know when a buyer will call and be out in front wanting to view it. There are exceptions to that and today's event was the nightmare I'd seldom worried about.
Most all Realtors call well in advance and are as polite as can be. I've liked some better than others naturally, but today's invasion was definitely a trend changer. I won't say it's my worst nightmare, but the very first day I had my house on the market, I came walking out of my shower and thought, "Gee, I hope I don't run into a stranger in my bedroom, since there is a key to my house sitting out there, available to any Realtor with a lock box key and the desire." I laughed it off and relaxed and suddenly 3 months had passed and no one invaded my privacy. I was pretty comfortable knowing that Realtors had a code of ethics. (not)
After reading into the wee hours of the morning, I never awoke until about 9 AM and had my usual casual morning, playing on the computer, making comments on Facebook and drinking coffee. At about 9:45 I went up to take a shower and get ready for the day. Immediately after exiting the shower, still wet, the cell phone rang and it was MJ saying her usual good morning. I was intently discussing with her and trying to explain the content of our recent texting session, when out of the blue, still in my birthday suit, (but dry) I hear a man's voice, very assertive, screaming from somewhere inside my humble home, "Realtor, coming in to show your home". "Absolutely NOT", I replied and he exited saying he was leaving immediately.
MJ was still talking about the fishing trip we're planning, when I stopped her and explained what had just happened. We hung up and I finished getting dressed and called my Realtor to advise her of the situation.
Now, I thought certainly this asshole was in some sort of violation by barging in without the advantage of a phone call or even ringing the bell, but no. It seems that the industry has not yet refined it's people to stringent regulations, particularly when it involves the privacy of it's clients. My realtor said she could call the agent, but chances are no one's going to give it a thought. There won't even be a slap on the wrist involved.
I exercised my only recourse and demanded that the lock-box be removed from the door. My lazy Realtor stopped my when I was in the backyard doing a little tree maintenance. She came walking in the backyard through the gate yelling, "Realtor, coming in to show your home"! Not funny, I told her! I took my key back....

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Not an Octoberfest FOOL!

My new main squeeze is a planner and I like that. So when she asked me if I wanted to go to the Geekfest, I was delighted. Let's face it, I've been a geek most of my life and was thrilled to be around people just like me. I later learned that it was a Greekfest and everything kind of changed.
Why is it that certain nationalities deserve a festival? The Germans boast of their Oktoberfest, but were you ever invited to go to a Jewishfest? Of course not. Hooray, tomorrow's the Russianfest, what will I wear? Of course not, again. So MJ dragged me to the Greekfest and it went something like this.
I arrived at MJ's all dressed and excited about seeing a bunch of Greeks in their natural habitat. The last names alone is enough to send you over the deep end, Papageargio, Alexapoulous, Constantinidis.... (sounds like a disease)
We headed to the Scottsdale Civic Center in her daughter-in-law's Prious with 3 generations of women. Baby Angela is almost 2 and as cute as a little girl can be. She won my heart. No sooner did we arrive and we were eating Giro sandwiches. Immediately there was an announcement that the dancing was to begin and if I didn't find a bathroom soon, I was going to be dancing with the renowned dancers, looking for a john!
Check this out: We were in upscale Scottsdale and I located the restrooms inside a rather large facility. I approached the urinal and took care of business. I then went to the sink to rinse off my hands when the water began without prompting. This is not unusual, but right in the middle of rinsing my hands, a machine to the right started squirting soap onto my hands. Now I was going to be good with just the rinse, but suddenly the powers that be got word of it and notified my mother and evidently SHE ordered the soap mix. I left quickly looking back over my shoulder several times, certain that the place was haunted. I'm not certain but I thought I heard my mother yelling, "next time use soap"! Back to the festivities.
The highlight of the afternoon was watching little Angela playing on the grass ever so close to her mother, when suddenly she approached a totally strange woman with blond hair, about 50 and motioned for the woman to pick her up and let her sit on her lap. The woman accommodated Angela as her mother, myself and her grandmother looked on. Angela sat in this woman's lap for about 10 minutes when suddenly she was done and wanted to come down. We roared with laughter.
Let's get back to the Greeks. They announced next that the 3rd and 4th graders would be doing a national dance. Suddenly a group of boys and girls entered the stage and began dancing. Now get this. The little boys were dressed in leotards and short dresses with cute little caps. Can you imagine the amount of coaxing that it would take to get a 7 or 8 year old boy to go on stage dressed in a dress and and tights? That's the salesman I want working for me!
At some point an older woman went up on stage and started throwing 1 dollar bills at one little boy in drag, who must have been her grandson or nephew. The little guy was terrorized and dodged the overzealous woman. That's when the Jew in my kicked in and all I could think of was how I'd get the cash picked up without anyone noticing when suddenly MJ elbowed me.
We had a good time and got home kind of early and MJ sent me home. She said she was gonna wash her hair or organize her pantry or something important. That's okay, my sock drawer is a mess.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

If I Don't Dance a Little Everyday, I just Don't Feel Good!

Last night, Halloween night, NMS who is really MJ and I went out on our first official first date, again. Feeling less than 100% after absorbing a McDonald's Big Mac for lunch, I searched through the contents of 3 heavily stuffed bathrooms medicine cabinets in search of Pepto, but all I found was Witch Hazel, only fitting since it was Halloween. God only knows who left that tidy morsel behind.
MJ texted me asking if we were still on for tonight and I figured what the hell, I can feel crappy anywhere, I don't have to stay home. So I threw on some clothes, splashed on about a half a gallon of Safari (always works) and looked for my dancing shoes. Last month at the wedding, I wore my good shoes that not only left me wounded, but have rubber soles and really hampered my "moves" to where you could never tell I'd been to Arthur Murry. I hopped into the Expedition, my very best party car and headed to MJ's, being ever so careful not to run over any munchkins out trick or treating.
As I pulled into Arcadia, an old and respected neighborhood, it was pretty scarce of romping children, as the residents there require trick or treating by appointment only. MJ warned me that her house would be dark as she is the Grinch who stole Christmas and is currently working on Halloween. Frankly, my house was left dark too and not only that, but I hid my extra cars in my side yard so as to not tempt vandals...
MJ looked delightful in a new dress she'd never worn and I must say, she knows how to dress. And there I was wearing although new jeans, but they were frayed at the bottoms. We waited around for a little while until MJ's 2 year old granddaughter arrived back after searching the streets for candy. Her Mom took about 2000 pictures of her dressed in her princess outfit and she was adorable.
We headed out to none other than the infamous Eli's on Halloween night. MJ warned me that most people would be in costume, but I was fearless and waaaay too old to be dressing up for Halloween.
The parking lot was mobbed with expectant partiers and even the Valet parking looked full, with the exception of one single handicapped parking place right by the front door. I swung the Expedition into it was great ease as MJ slid down in her seat, mumbling "who goes dancing and parks in handicapped parking?" I walked around and opened the door for her and she kind of slid out of the car trying to become invisible. We walked in the front door and were greeted by friendly faces and most of the patrons were dressed up in one sort of costume or another. We had fun pointing out a man that was sporting a Mullet, until I realized he was not dressing for Halloween, but rather just stuck in the 80's. We had great fun trying to point out the ones in costume as opposed to just plain shabbily dressed people. After first walking in, we had to move to a different location because the creep standing next to MJ kept looking at MJ's cleavage and drooling. We found 2 seats along the wall, but some fat guy kept touching MJ's hair and saying what she described as inappropriate things. I ordered us some drinks and was surprised to be welcomed by the owners Greg, who recognized me and called his brother Tony over to say hello. It was old home week for this former drunk.
At some point evidently the band played the right song and MJ grabbed my hand and said, "come on", pulling me onto the dance floor, where we were obliged to dance while standing in one 12" assigned spot. If someone had a heart attack and died, they'd have to wait for the band to go on break, to fall! It was that crowded.
When we got back to our seats that MJ had asked the fat guy that kept touching her hair to watch our seats, (but I think he was just watching hers), a new player had entered the arena. I suspect he was supposed to be Danial Boone, as he wore a coon skin outfit that was a jock strap made of raccoon skin and a raccoon tail over his bare ass and a fringe suede jacket and chaps that went up to his thighs. I saw more of that man's ass than I'd ever even seen of mine, while women stopped to gawk and take pictures. It wasn't until I saw the raccoon tail lift up, that I grabbed MJ and said, "Let's get out of here, I've had enough"!
We headed to the Camelback in where we had a civilized drink, sitting chatting and listening to some beautiful piano music, holding hands. Quite romantic. We left and I gave the valet guy $5 to get our car and in spite of the large tip he still brought us the same old car. I was hoping for at least a Mercedes... but no.
We returned to MJ's where we rolled around the sofa until 1:30 and I still got sent home like a schoolboy. I guess I'm gonna have to see MJ again, I planted my cell phone under the cushion!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dinner Out...

Tuesday evening I had the pleasure of having dinner with an old friend. I don't really mean she's old, but we've been acquaintances for some time. For the sake of anonymity, let's call her NMS, a series of initials that have become familiar to me. Because NMS is currently a member of the "Fat Chick Club" our choice of restaurants was rather limited. NMS is a BIG fan of pizza, but due to her current profile, it was completely out of the question. She suggested a place at the Biltmore that specialized in all natural cuisine, but food sans the chemicals might upset my artificially seasoned stomach, so I opted out of that choice. Next she suggest the Pita Jungle, but something about eating at that place didn't seem right, plus eating in a jungle just confused me. We settled on a trendy place at 32nd and Camelback that serves a variety of dishes that allowed me to indulge in my normal diet of hamburgers and sweet potato fries, while it still offered a variety of salads for porky NMS. Let me clarify something before going on. NMS is a delightful 5' 7" and 128 LB, but feels that if she gets down to her normal fighting weight of 115, she'll feel better. That settled, let's move on. NMS told me the restaurant's name was "Blue", but it turned out that it was merely the color of their sign. I think the name was Finest's or something close.
It was the perfect night for outside dining, the heat was finally leaving our valley and the temp was about 75 degrees. NMS leading the way, asked for outside seating and since AZ is a non-smoking state, that was fine with me. We were seated on their patio that was adjacent to the parking lot, allowing us plenty of interesting topics to choose from including the waiting section that just so happened to be right smack dab against the left side of our table. I wasn't sure how to portray this particular part, but our table was really part of the parking lot, but cordoned off to be separate, with a railing around the seating portion. For a waiting section and apparently we got the very last table, they placed several chairs, really in the parking lot but placed up against our table with only the railing dividing us. We chatted as NMS read me the menu because as usual, I forgot my glasses. We chatted along sharing a conversation when out of nowhere came a young couple in their early 20's sitting down in the waiting section.
I couldn't help but notice that the young lady could not have been cuter and her companion looked to be gay. Most cute girls have a gay friend and we were almost kissing distance from this couple when our conversation went to where we went wrong in our relationship that was about 2 years earlier. NMS said we may have felt differently about one another had we slept together, but since we didn't there was no bond to hold us together, although there was that was a connection. I replied something to the effect of, that perhaps we should just go back to her house and sleep together right now!
I could help but notice that the young girl, who was alone now as her gay friend went wandering off somewhere, moved her head about 2 inches closer when NMS said we had not slept together and my remark was definitely playing to her, as an audience. When I dropped the bomb of, "Let's go back to your house right now and sleep together" our youthful audience turned around with her glass held high and toasted us with her Martini. All three of us fell into a fit of laughter, when suddenly our food arrived changing the mood to famished...
Another odd thing about the restaurant was their restroom. I found it by passing a double sink in a counter and to the left was a door reading MEN'S. Upon entering I saw a urinal and a toilet. When I finished, I turned around and looked for the sink. There was not one. I went out of the men's room and used the sink in the hall, next to a young lady already washing her hands. For some reason I felt very European and mentioned it to the young lady washing her hands next to me. She told me she'd never been abroad and left.. Humph....

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Martha Stewart Show...

A very odd thing just happened to me that I felt I should share with humanity. After showering and skipping happily down the stairs, (yeah, I still skip) I turned on the TV and proceeded to the coffee maker for a hot cup of Joe. I was hungry after skipping dinner last night and opting for a few cookies to staid off hunger. I decided on a full American breakfast that not only could close off all of my veins, but bring on cardiac arrest in a heartbeat. I had the special of the day, the Blue Plate Special, sausage friend in butter, 2 eggs fried in butter, hash brown potatoes (ready) friend in butter and toast, plied in butter, but don't worry, I take Lipitor to lower my Cholesterol.
As I prepared my feast, the TV was turned to ABC and the Martha Stewart Show was on in the background. I didn't really pay too much attention to what was going on, on the TV, as I was busy preparing my breakfast and being careful to dodge splattering butter. When the meal was ready, I carefully carried it to my table to enjoy and that I did. Now listening to the Martha Stewart Show for the first time, I was too interested in eating to actually leave my meal to look for the remote. I ate and listened. The topic was preparing Halloween muffins for parties celebrating the holiday. I was truly bored but listened on. That's when it happened!
Out of nowhere, my male genitalia started shriveling and began forming somewhat of a pocket. I was horrified! Then I started feeling misty-eyed and just wanted to be held. Then the cramps and the desire to nest and be like Sara Palin!!!
Falling to the floor, I dragged myself to the remote and hit the "off" position. As I laid there with my breakfast congealing into a firm stick of burned butter, my body parts resumed their normal characteristics and I ran to the sink to splash some cold water in my face, trying to catch my breath.
I'm better now and feeling pretty much like normal, but later I'm going shopping for shoes and maybe a matching purse...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Chicago Trip...

Linda and I made it to Chicago to pick up the Toyota, but only one of us made it back. I'll get to that later.
The flight to Chicago was my first time flying since the events of 9/11 and I wasn't quite sure of what to expect, but it was pretty uneventful as we just cruised through all of the hoopla. I had brought cash to pay for the Toyota as we had agreed upon and was reluctant to let anyone know I had that much cash on me, but no one asked and no one cared. I was a little annoyed that the people in front of us had both a new born and a baby about a year old, but both slept through the entire flight after a screaming take off. The highlight of the flight was when Linda tapped me on the knee and asked if this flight flies "as the crow flies" or does it make turns? All I could do was look at her in disbelief at her question asking, "do you think we go to Denver and turn right?" Just then the flight attendant was passing by, a tall African-American gay man. I offered up Linda's question to him and he stopped and answered, all the while massaging my heterosexual shoulder, as he spoke. Just so you know, "we" don't like other men to massage our shoulders one little bit upon meeting them. This may have been my first homosexual experience! (and my last). Franco explained that it was the best question of the flight and the "asker" was to receive a free beer, as Linda boasted of her accomplishment.
After 3 hours and 25 minutes of feeling kind of light in my loafers, we landed. Feet safely on the ground, I learned why my Cricket phone is so cheap. It doesn't offer any service out of the Phoenix metropolitan area. I called my nephew Scott using Linda's phone, who was waiting outside the sliding doors. All we had to do was cross 6 lanes of moving traffic to get to him, when suddenly I remembered that people driving in Chicago would rather run you down than let you cross. I longed for a little "pedestrian has the right of way" action...
Scott, a rather large man, tossed our heavy suitcases into the backseat of Uncle Hanks car like they were feathers and we took off for a place called Northbrook and my dream car. Scott showed us the performance of the 2008 Chrysler 300 and it's Hemi engine while all we could do was hang on. It kind of reminded me of myself about 40 years ago.
It was cold and rainy in Chicago in preparation for our visit. Scott dropped us off at my friend's brother's house and gave us detailed instructions on how to find Aunt Pat's house, where we were to spend the night.
I almost forgot to include that my tooth had taken this very moment to abscess and was just killing me. As luck would have it, my car seller was a dentist and took me to his office for a quick evaluation. He took an x-ray and discovered it was fractured and needed to have a root canal or an extraction, neither of which he could perform on the spot. He prescribed an antibiotic and didn't even tease me as I looked for loose nuts to fill my other cheek. I looked like a squirrel preparing for a long winter. Whoa is me!
We arrived at Patty's house about 10 PM and sat up late and chatted. I'm glad I got a chance to see them. Patty is the lady that flew out to take care of me when I had my heart episode and I'll always be indebted to her for that, however I learned almost the hard way that a democrat should probably remain quiet when his host is a republican. We retired to bed where I was in so much tooth pain that I watched the sun come up while Linda gently snored. We were in a double bed, placed up against the wall and I took the inside position because Linda was complaining about a sore hip. I got stuck up against the wall, as Linda fell asleep right smack dab in the middle of that bed. I was literally stuck between a rock and a hard spot!
The following day we went out for breakfast after sitting in traffic for about 40 minutes to go 1/4 mile, while I inserted toothpick in my eyes to keep them open. We never did find out why the traffic was backed up. Then we went to a Walgreens to get my prescription filled, only to find out my health insurance is only good in AZ. Why should it be good in Chicago? You really don't need it when you're on vacation, right? So I had to pay full price for my Z-pack, whatever that was? I think that's when Linda reminded me that I promised that we could see downtown Chicago! But that's 50 miles in the opposite direction, right? She was pretty adamant about it so we headed to downtown Chicago on a Friday afternoon, when the direction we were supposed to be going was the opposite direction. Then she asked me if I could stop down there and she could jump out and buy some T-shirts for her kids that say "CHICAGO"?
She doesn't understand big cities and how you cannot park in downtown Chicago to run in and buy ANY-FUCKING-THING. You just keep on moving or get run over by buses or taxis or trucks. One thing you NEVER do is stop and run in. Naturally she got mad at me because I'm not understanding and all I wanted to to was get the hell out of Dodge (Chicago)..
I think that's when she rolled down the window and reached outside with her camera to photograph what used to be the Sears Tower and I pushed her out the window! She landed pretty square on her butt and I think she'll be okay. She's a resourceful girl and should be able to find her way home... The car got over 30 miles to the gallon on the peaceful ride home. It was nice...