Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ratting Out the Dentist...

When I finally broke down and turned myself in at the dentist's office, all I wanted was to get my broken teeth fixed. As previously mentioned, most of the work done by my previous dentist was half-assed, shoddy and for the most part temporary. All of the crowns he placed fell off numerous times and that was the work of Frank Pavlics of Bell Rd in Phoenix. I talked to friends and eventually found a dentist that was referred to me by a casual acquaintance. This dentist that shall remain nameless for now, "worked" with me on the price for a total repair on all of the defective work and gave me an "out the door" price after a little negotiating. Here lies the problem. Lloyd, his first name, is going through some tough times evidently, and doesn't keep regular hours and doesn't answer his phone and refuses to return my calls, in spite of the fact that I'm still in discomfort and is holding the entire $3500 he was paid by credit card. I've already made 2 payments to Chase Bank on the indebtedness and all I have are 3 temporary teeth covering the holes he drilled into my existing teeth, along with a lot of frustration and discomfort. I can hear the "I told ya so's" already from people whose dentists I did not use, MJ, LJ, Eugie, and someone named Mari.

I called Lloyd's office this morning around 9 AM and requested a call back before noon today and of course that never happened. That makes 3 calls to the office and his private cell number that have gone unreturned. Shortly after noon today, I placed a call to Chase bank and requested the "Dispute Dept.". I spoke with a very charming lady that listened to my problem and agreed that enough time has gone by for the dentist to have performed his work and I am entitled to a reversal of funds. She told me to find an new dentist and to ask him to write a letter stating that the work required is to replace the work that was to have been done by the previous dentist.

Frankly, all I wanted was my teeth fixed, not this DRAMA!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Inventing Foods...

In my severe boredom of Vertigo, I've decided to be creative. I knew I was hungry and owned hamburger meat from last weeks shopping fiasco at Fry's. Since then, I've learned even more. I learned to read the ads THEN go shopping instead of going shopping and then learning of the mistakes I've made, by reading the ads. For example, last week after shopping and coming home to the ads, I learned that hamburger meat WAS on sale, the 93-7% variety, for $1.99 a LB. I paid $3.33 a LB for the cheaper cut of 85-15% variety. Big blaring error! I took the hamburger meat and browned it in a frying pan and rendered enough oil to service my car! And I've still got enough of that hamburger to open a Quick Lube.

I dried the meat as much as possible and added tomato sauce to it, seasoning it with a few spices front the bottom shelf, Cayenne pepper, Chile powder and dried onions.. I cooked it for a long time and wondered what I had. It smelled like tacos, so I spread it over a flour tortilla and made a spicy cheese covered baked taco pizza. Not bad! spiced it up even more with salsa and was pretty pleased with my creation.

Today, at the same store, I already knew that milk was on sale 10 for $10 half gallons and the burger meat I'd already mentioned. I bought 8 LB of tubed hamburger meat and was pushing my cart towards the bean section, because my same hamburger recipe smelled a little like spaghetti sauce, so I ate a bunch of it over pasta and it was also GREAT! An actual light bulb was sighted over my head when I realized the difference between what I've been creating and Chile was merely beans. So I bought a couple of cans of beans for tonight's dinner. It's okay, I'll be eating alone!

Suddenly at Fry's, I thought I was walking towards a mirror because there straight ahead, in front of me was a man about my age, you know, Viet Nam era and in his cart were ten, 1/2 gallons of milk and four, 2 LB packages of hamburger meat. I wanted to give him a high five, realizing he had read the flyer BEFORE shopping too!

Today I brought my glasses. I proudly approached the self serve check out, knowing full well I had purchased tomatoes and onions that would require an ID number, but I felt I was ready for this test of intelligence. I actually figured out a scam for anyone interested. What's to stop a guy from buying one Roma tomato to use for it's secret code and stuffing the rest of your bag with the expensive Vine grown variety? I'll tell you how they prevent that. There at the check out area, stood a woman the size of a doorway, with arms that could cripple a would-be thief in a split second. I shuddered to think of the damage she could do to an average dishonest geriatric thief. It was the straight and narrow for me! I supplied all of the answers to the machines questions and followed all of the rule, even supplying my my Fry's VIP card as well as my credit card for payment. With a sense of pride, I exited and even replaced my shopping cart in the prescribed area. I felt like such a.......................citizen! Now I have to freeze ten 1/2 gallons of milk and pray they don't explode.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Vertigo and Crickets...

When I stepped out of bed yesterday morning, I stumbled and thought I was falling. Strange, but what I realized was, I was dizzy. Light headed, if you will? It wasn't anything I'd taken as my last drink was in January of 2005. No drug reaction because nothing is different just the usual blood pressure meds. First stop was to check my blood pressure which I've been remiss in doing and found it to be quite in line. Did my usual routine, but noticed that every time I got up, I was getting dizzy again. Around 4 PM, after a day that didn't create any hunger in me, I got the chills and a headache. I took my temperature thinking it was high and sure enough, it was about 100. I took 2 something or others. I ached all over and realized I was sick, but what was going to manifest from these symptoms? It wasn't until bedtime that when I tried to lay down that I went rolling down a steep hill from the inside of a barrel that I realized I had an inner ear infection and I was suffering from the dreaded Vertigo. I've had this problem twice before and it is awful. What happens is, your inner ear has fluid in it and in this fluid grows a cilia or short hairlike things that sense motion that gives you your balance. When the cilia are infected, they break off and create a sort of gravel in the inner ear, that throws off your balance when you move unexpectedly. It only lasts a few seconds, but what a ride!!! Kind of like having your own internal amusement park. Yippeeeeeeeeeeee.....

So I'm sitting here tonight, all alone and totally disgusted with TV that has the nerve to offer something called Big Brother and very little else. Since I cannot get myself to watch that, I go to the computer to see what's going on in the world. That quickly loses my attention and I settle back in the reclining chair that has caught my attention quite a bit lately. Somewhere, suddenly a cricket begins to chirp and is getting louder and louder. Try as I did to ignore it, it was somewhere very close. I searched for the bastard and if I'd found it, I was willing to crush it barefoot, that's how determined I was getting. Have you ever noticed how you can never locate where the chirping is coming from? I tried cupping my right ear and the sound disappeared. That's strange. In my old house once, I went so far as to look inside the air conditioning vents for them and found that spraying inside there stopped the annoying noise. * Note-Try to wait for the vent to stop blowing, otherwise it winds up in your face.

Wanting to learn more about my enemy and still VERY bored, I Googled "Chirping Crickets" and learned that the male creates this noise by rubbing his rear leg again his thorax very quickly to attract females. I played a You tube movie of crickets chirping and I'll be a son of a bitch, my cricket thought he had competition and quit chirping. Who would have dreamed?

Getting a bright idea, I dialed in Match.com and tried rubbing my leg against my thorax online, but didn't get a single wink! ................Hell, it works for Crickets!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Smoker's Rant...

I must tell you that for the most part, the ladies that I write to on the online dating services are very nice. Some don't respond at all and that's to be expected. I received a brief note from a lady and I use the title "LADY" loosely. Her screen anme was something or other Tomboy and sports a man's haircut and men's atire in all of her pictures. She is 57. At 57 and you're still dressing like a man, there's a bigger problem than being a Tomboy, just my personal observation. I know I'm going to hear about this and there are exceptions, but for the most part, there is a sexual lack of identity.

She really didn't appeal to me and that's okay. I can't be attracted to everyone! I immediately noticed that she was a smoker and that is ALWAYS a deal breaker. She liked wrestling and NASCAR and country music, I'd read enough. It also said in here profile that she doesn't understand why men won't respond to her emails and does a little rant. This was my reply to her:

I must tell you that I read your entire profile and there were only a couple of things I don't like about you. Smoking is the deal breaker though. I quit many years ago and don't understand how people can continue, knowing it's lethal. I have an 8 inch scar down the middle of my chest to prove it.
Good luck to you. I didn't want to be one of the guys that just doesn't reply...

She felt the need to have the last word.

Well it's too bad that you had surgery for smoking, but I still don't get people who think that drinking is NOT A DRUG THAT KILLS ALSO??? I am the kind of smoker that can go without them for days at a time.....never smoke in front of non-smokers, and never smoke in my house either....nor does anyone else who comes over here.
But I DO understand that SMOKERS always get the bad rap nowadays......but they never outlaw alcohol that causes drunks to get behind a wheel of a car and kill off innocent people. I've never seen a smoker do that!!! Anyway, thanks for letting me know.....just had to comment.

There were a number of arguements I could have given her, namely "prohibition" and cancer related deaths due to second hand smoke, but I opted to choose my battles...

Friday, August 20, 2010

AT&T n Me...

I just came from doing the same run I did yesterday. Still locked out of my online bank account and still no phone service. First stop was the bank, since I couldn't call them to straighter this mess out and if you try to accomplish any-fucking-thing online, it takes a Philadelphia lawyer these days! Try as I may, dealing with ATT&T has become a nightmare. It asks for my username and password but doesn't acknowledge me as a customer. I actually joined a chat room accidentally, that discusses the depression of no phone service! HELP!!! Disgusted with my results, it was jump into the shower, shave off my beard of 10 days and try to look as credible as possible. I slide into Desert Schools parking lot right at noon, realizing I needed to get to someone before they leave for lunch. I was successful. The receptionist asked why I was visiting, as 4 other older men about my age sat there waiting for their turn. I told her I was locked out of my account and she said she could help me. Hooray, I hollered with my inside voice. Then she said, "Is it password or verification question"? I blurted out, "I should know my own father's birthday"! Smiling, she said she steers people away from that question because unless you supply it to the computer just the way you did when you supplied the answer, it rejects you. I thought about all the possible ways to represent a date. She said, there, that should do it, when you get home it will ask you a different question and if you're smart, you'll stay away from dates. Giving her my version of the "Stink Eye", I asked, you sure? She smiled and nodded, yes.

Next stop, ATT&T. Approaching the front door, I could see inside and did not see the young man I had dealt with yesterday. There were now 2 employees, one was busy with a young man that was a customer and the second was on the phone. The latter of the young men wore his hair in that long, not so adorable, fashion similar to Justin Beiber's. He put his hand that was not holding the phone, up to his other ear and produced the International sign for, "I'm on the phone"! WTF? You know, he pointed his thumb and pinky in out, hiding his remaining fingers. Thank God he did that sign, so I knew! He then put his second hand over the supposed mouthpiece and raised his eye brows that were hidden under his coif indicating he was listening. Realizing I might actually have his attention, I announced that I've been without service now for about 30 hours. Reassuringly, he told me it was a 3G problem that is just in this little area. I said, no it's MY problem along with ATT&T. He went back to his phone call..................Seeing no relief in sight, I left.

You know, it's little bit amazing to me, that there are literally thousands of qualified people unemployed and this is what you get to deal with in business today. The good news is, after filling out a new questionnaire for the bank and shying away from any birthdays, I was able to pay my bills. Whew!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Techno Flop...

Did you ever wake up and find that all of the technology in your life has failed? Lucky my bed still worked! When I awaken, there are only 2 emails awaiting me, a rarity. Generally, there are a slew of the little messages. One was from a 72 year old woman that was lonely and wondered if I danced and another from a lady I was very interested in, offering me her phone number...........finally. This information was on my Blackberry. Stretching and doing my morning routine, I fire up the Dell and see that I've got about 7 emails on the computer. Hmm..... Why didn't they make it over to me phone? Being a little savoy, I reboot the phone and send myself an email...............nothing. No little ding.

Now wondering if the telephone feature on my phone was working, I try to call voicemail, nothing.. Deader than Kelsey's nuts, as my old father-in-law used to say. I notice that there are no little bars showing and realize I have no reception and reboot again. No help. Suddenly my phone dings, indicating an email, but nothing is there and I realize it's a voicemail notice. I try voicemail again and have 3 messages. Holy Moley, I'm suddenly popular and can't communicate! One is from Hanna, a new flight attendant that talks about going to Hawaii for free and another is from poor Latisha, concerned about me, as I haven't returned her calls. I procrastinate, what to do?. I want to call someone and ask what to do, but then again, no chance of that. I shower, dress, eat something and look up where the nearest AT&T office is and I'm pleasantly surprised to see that it's walking distance. I drive over and because I like sensationalism, I approach the young kid that appears to be the only employee in the joint and ask him if he feels up to waiting on an old person? He turns red and says, sure! He asks what the problem is and I pull out the Blackberry, still shiny and announce it doesn't work. He stops me and tell me that there is a tower problem and to give it a few hours. Then he tells me that I'm the 35th customer to arrive with that precise same problem. Just then, a teenager, about 35 walks in screaming his phone don't work and he can't text or nuthin! I smile and leave.

I decide to take a ride and see if that makes any difference and sure enough my phone starts dinging and announcing voicemails, so now I actually believe the guy. I head home. I check my mail and see that I've got a couple of bills to pay. I come into the house and fire up the Dell again and attempt to pay my bills online as always. Only this time, after punching in my account number and my password, it asks me for my father's birthday. I figure they want to get him something! After that, it tells me that I've got it wrong. I try it 3 more times and apparently I entered it wrong when I supplied it to them and now I'm locked out of my account and cannot access my money. It tells me that if I feel that his was done in error to call the number shown...................but my phone won't work!

Now I decide to write about this awful day for technology and I'm sitting here and the satelite TV drops out, along with the Internet. Right now, the only thing that's working properly is my bed, where I'm going as soon as I finish this rant!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Singles Roulette...

For the past several days, I've been contacted by quite a number of ladies. Some I didn't respond to, others were in my humble opinion borderline and one or two were downright awesome. It is none of them That I write about today. Today is Latisha's turn (not her real name) One day while trolling on one of the websites, I turned off the computer and got an email notice on my phone of a lady saying she read my hilarious profile and thought we'd be a good match. I looked her up on a wider screen and decided I liked her looks and wrote her back. Within a few minutes she was saying, why don't you call me and gave me her number.

I phoned and she answered with a friendly reply asking if I were Robert DeNiro? Naturally I replied, huh? She said she thought I looked like Robert DeNiro and I was flattered, but also realized she was either blind or drunk. Soupy Sales better describes me, so by this point, DeNiro is a welcome relief. One thing that bothered me, was the fact that she was separated, not divorced, so I addressed that topic right off the bat. All that's missing is the judge's signature she told me, but continued to expound on what a violent, ignorant, fat asshole, her soon to be ex-husband was and how she had the police carry him out of her house and life. Now where have I heard that before? Oh yes, from every woman that I ever talk to that's only separated. It is the mistake that I keep on making. We talked for a long, long time. It was Sunday night and she was starting her first day at work the following day and was pretty nervous, but I didn't mention it. We talked for 2 1/2 hours until she finally had to go to bed to be up at 5:30 AM. I neglected to mention she lived in Awatoukee and that's really far from me. She lived in a 3100 Sq. Ft. house that's up for short sale and her payment is $4100 a month. Yikes! Her ex is in construction and hasn't worked in months. Then she lets slip that she really hasn't even filed for divorce yet because the filing fee is $200 and she can't afford it. Now this is not about money, because if anyone knows the problem with our current economy, it's me. I couldn't sell a car for marbles if I were selling it to a marble champ. The car business is at a standstill and we're all waiting for Ben Quayle to go to Washington and kick some butt, lol...

Latisha told me several times that even though I don't know her, she has a lot of class. Now all things being equal, I really hadn't decided anything on Latisha, but so far, I liked her and was wondering if she might be the ONE! At least the next one. She shared with me that she doesn't know where she's going but plans on leaving the area after the divorce smoke has settled and was thinking San Diego or Tucson, where she had lived for 12 years. Things are sounding worse. We hang up and make plans to talk again soon. The following day, I text her good luck on the first day at the job and get no reply. That's okay, she's busy. That evening, I don't call, but email her asking for her email address, so I can send her some other pics of me and my poor deceased dogs and she replies with it and says, let's just meet! Well, I'm open to that and decided to call. I get voicemail. I leave a polite message and about 90 minutes later, she calls back.

She immediately starts telling me about her day and where she was all evening. She met her old girlfriend at a bar and they chatted and were joined by some men that acted out of control and were insisting they all go some where to party. Sounded to me like the average bar where some guys were drunk and wanted to get lucky! I realized 10 minutes into this talk, that Latisha was pretty wasted and kept telling me I didn't understand. I tried to calm her down by explaining that when you go to a bar and men buy you drinks, they expect you to "be" with them until you at least finish your drink and she really should accept that drink if she thinks otherwise. I told her that I don't drink and it's not because I don't know how. She insisted since I don't drink, how would I know (Oh baby, I know)? She insisted again on telling me that she has class and shouldn't be putting up with that sort of behavior. I suggested that she she should have left, in that case. She said she wanted to, but had too much to drink to drive right away...

Conclusion: When I awakened today at about 9AM, there was a voicemail awaiting me from Latisha. I had hoped it was going to be an apology for her out of control conversation the previous evening, but no. She said she wants to meet me tonight after work and since I know the area, to pick a place. Her area is the 101 and Via Linda and I have no idea what's around there, nor do I want to meet her right now. I've never met a lady that had any class, that had to keep telling me she did!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day Trading...

My Stock Broker
The year was around 1991 and I had just gotten divorced for the second time and had not yet purchased my last home of 18 years. I had spent the last several years working hard and saving a lot of money. A lot for me, anyway. I had started dabbling in the stock market and was pretty successful in choosing some good companies. I bought, Walmart at 32 and sold it a few weeks later for 40. I was like a kid in a candy store. I learned you could make money by using common sense and really didn't have to kill yourself working, as I had been doing for years. The stock market was very strong and you almost had to be an idiot or a gambler, to lose money. We call then, "the good old days".

Everyone knew of a few people that had quit their jobs and became, Day Traders. A mysterious new addition to the economy. Day Traders were people that bought and sold stocks all day and at the end of that day owned very few or none. Their bank accounts were growing and you almost had to be suicidal, not to be successful. Until one day it all ended and they were the first to show the effects of a slowing economy. President Clinton was in the news and it wasn't because of his abuse of the economy, but rather his unorthodox personal habits.

One day, I got a call from a good friend that was an active day trader and at the time, a multi-millionaire. He had retired from his chosen career at 45, very successful and began Day Trading, at that point, a mystery to me. He told me of a company in the toy industry that everyone had heard of and suggested strongly that I use any disposable cash and purchase it, before the sun went down. Trusting him, I did just that. I invested about $10,000, I trusted his tip, but not to the point where I wanted to begin my savings all over again, in case he was wrong. When I awaken the next morning, I immediately checked my account with one of the leading brokerage firms I was dealing with and learned that it had grown by about $9,000 while I slept. That was over $1000 and hour! The following day, I just about floated everywhere I went. To this day, that was the best night's sleep I'd ever had.

Feeling that I was now a "high roller", I developed this false sense of security when making trades and eventually everything sort of evened itself out. I had also acquired a stock broker with one of the leading New York firms, who I will not mention, but they are who you might think of when thinking of brokerage firms. I had an open, active account with them and all I had to do was call my broker and place and order. He would also call me with advice, that I either took or did not. At some point, he started purchasing stocks in my name without even getting permission and would tell me about it after the trade was already made. I never authorized such activity and since he was new, I didn't complain much until things took a turn for the worse. He put me into stocks like, BP, British Petroleum that lost money and I even had to pay his commissions. I figured out that I had paid almost $6000 in losses and commissions for stocks I'd never even asked for. I also learned that I could contact the AZ Corporation Commission and report them and win a settlement. I did nothing. At some point I wanted to rid myself of this stock market giant and wrote a letter to that effect, sending it registered. I told them to close my account and at that point, my account had $15,310 in it, so I wrote a company check in that exact amount to myself and deposited it into my personal account. About 6 weeks later, I ALSO received a check in that same amount of $15,310 made out to me from the brokerage house. Hmm..... I deposited it and told friends about the error and asked for advise. Everyone agreed to do nothing and wait. I did precisely that. About 18 months went by, with me fully aware that at some point, even this mega-giant brokerage firm would miss their 15 grand. The call came one day while I was at the dealer's auction. It was a guy named Guido Something calling from a place called New York. He had the mob, Italian, New York accent and everything, I kid you not. I almost gagged laughing and asked who is this really? He reiterated that it was indeed his name and why he was calling. I listened to him explain the accounting error and then did some talking myself. I told him I was fully aware of the error in my favor and that I'd checked with my attorney (not true) and was advised that the money is now rightfully mine. I also explained the abuse I had endured with his firm and that I thought a settlement was fair. He listened and told me he would talk to his people and get back to me. About 3 days later, Guido called again and told me with his silly accent, and I swear this is an accurate description, "Mel, I fought fou ya toot and nail and this is what the bosses said. If you want to go ahead and deduct the amounts you lost, added to the commissions we charged you and refund the difference to us, that would be acceptable". I came up with a detailed description that came to just under $6000 and supplied it to them, along with an indemnification letter explaining that they cannot try to collect any additional funds from me, ever and sent it along with my/their check for about $9000. I knew that legally I didn't have to refund the money, it was legally mine, but ethically, I knew it was wrong and felt that doing the right thing would always go in my favor................ in heaven???

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ben Quayle

I really prefer to stay away from political commentary, but something is going on in everyday politics now, that is not new, but none the less offensive beyond belief. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is not even running for anything, but cannot stay off the soap box long enough to be even missed. His obnoxious face is appearing to endorse the offenive Andrew Thomas for his campaign for Attorney General. Everyone attacks Barrack Obama, as if he were their personal whipping boy.

But the most ridiculous ad, is one by little Ben Quayle, the son of our misspelling useless former vice-president that annoyed us for several impossible years. He laughingly announces that Barrack Obama is the worst president is history. After stealing your attention, he goes on with post pubescent attempt to tell everyone that he wants to go to Washington and kick some butt. All I could do was laugh, similar to the way I might laugh if a little boy came out wearing a grown up's clothes. Check this out: http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRHa55CmGwk&feature=player_embedded

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ralph Lloyd Juriansz-Whack Job!

I just came home from yet another visit with Lloyd, my faithful new dentist. The double root canal that he performed almost a month ago is still too sensitive to put the new crown on. To tell you the truth, I'm been more than a little concerned about Lloyd's business practices. More than once I've now called there to an answering machine saying to leave a message during normal business hours and no one returns my call. The last time I asked for Sabrina to return my call and it never happened. Today, Lloyd answered the phone himself and said to come in at 3 PM. The first thing I did was call my friend Lippy Jim, who I knew had received a crown the very same day he had his root canal and it wasn't my imagination that made me think that. I've been waiting over a month now for my 3 crowns. Add that in conjunction with I don't get a call back and I'm feeling abandoned by a guy that is holding my payment in full for his work and doesn't seem too interested supplying me with teeth!

I arrived promptly at 3 PM and sure enough, no Sabrina. I figured that would be the first $40,000 to save when things get tough, her salary. I casually said hello and asked if Sabrina was gone. He said no, she's around here somewhere, probably taking out the trash, but no eye contact and I figured he was too embarrassed to tell me the truth. A few minutes later, I heard a woman's voice and Sabrina appeared to take an ex-ray of my assaulting tooth. Here is what I learned. My former dentist, the worst dentist in the world, and I'm going to list his name so that someone else doesn't have to go through the same thing as me, Frank Pavlics on Bell Rd., left a file in my root's canal, either as a sloppy lazy job, or to be funny and that file, in conjunction with leaving a portion of the nerve still there, caused a rather old and long lasting infection and my body encapsulated it, under the crown that repeatedly kept falling off. I never knew what a poor dentist Frank was, but stopped going to him after he relieved me of thousands of dollars in inadequate dental work and his personality was the real reason I couldn't continue to see him. He was just too obnoxious, but that's my personal opinion. You might like sitting in his chair with him leaning in on you offering repeated insults. I often just closed my eyes and pictured myself just knocking him to the ground and whaling on him, but did nothing.

So for now it's another round of antibiotics and Lloyd is going to call me in 5 days for the final installation, but tells me he's not going to use a permanent glue for now, just in case it has to come off again. He suggested I sue my former dentist for mal-practice, but I've been down that road before. When I was leaving I asked Lloyd about Lippy Jim's one day service for root canal and crown and said he knows about that and we're about 5 years away from that being successful. We'd better not tell Lippy Jim!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Grocery Store's Best Kept Secret...

I was talking to my new friend Eugie today and asked, where can a guy buy a needle? Well, she seemed a little taken aback, not knowing me too well. She asked if I had diabetes. No, a sewing needle, the type you use when you lose a button. She acted like I was adlebrained, a word I've been wanting to use, all of my life. Acting as if I were the dumbest creation on this Earth, she replied, Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS..... and continued. Okay, I've got it........... and planned a trip to Target, my second unfavoritest place in the world, Walmart and K-Mart beating it out by just a little.

I spent the day with Eugie yesterday, lunch and she took me to pick up my long-lost Buick at Paul's. I realized, driving the Buick, I didn't have my handicapped placard with me and had to park a good distance from the entrance. It was bright and sunny and 110 degrees and the blacktop parking lot must have been 140, easy. With perspiration pouring from my recently cool dry brow, I entered the cool interior of the store. An audible "whew" could be heard. Wandering around aimlessly, appreciating the air conditioning, I approached the first employee I could find and asked where I could satisfy my sewing needs? Without her breaking stride or a smile, she replied, we don't have much and kept walking. Since she was older and smaller than I, I didn't let her get away with it. I started chasing her asking for a needle and thread at a pretty good clip! She slammed on the brakes, with me almost rear ending her and said, on your left and pointed down an isles. I grabbed the item that was composed of 12 rolls of thread and 3 needles, (all I needed) and gleefully tossed it into my cart. Saw Open Pit barbecue sauce and grabbed one of those too. Hey, I was shopping!

Travelling down several isles, I realized that target was only the wannabee grocery store, that Fry's prices were a lot more competitive, but all I needed was hamburger meat. I searched high and low and I'll be damned if I could figure out, how much fat was in each type, the weight or the price per pound. I got frustrated and left, planning on a trip across the street to Fry's. I HATE my neighborhood. I never realized this when I chose it, but it in not in the better part of town. Looking for my car in the parking lot, a woman approached me from the rear, asking if I could spare any money for her? It felt like being married! Looking at my new friend, I realized she was dressed just like she'd just left the office and a true victim of our economy. Afraid that she might have an accomplice somewhere, and as soon as I took out my money, he'd hit me over the head, I replied, that I'm in the same boat as her. She quickly withdrew and I heard her ask 2 other people before I found my car. I considered that for my next career.

Making my way to Fry's, again parking far away, I noticed that I was the only person within that area that was not heavily tattooed. Women, children, convicts, everyone, just covered with painted arms and legs. One rather shapely young blond girl about 30 years old, wearing tight, skimpy cutoffs and fully tattooed arms and back, crossed my path and I tried to read the message there, but way down deep, I realize those are life long decisions and one that she may regret in future years. Why do I feel like everyones father?

Entering Fry's, I make my way to the meat section, only to realize the grocery stores, none of them, want you to know what they're doing. They are determined to keep the price of innocent hamburger meat, their best kept secret. Fry's didn't even want you to know what they were selling, because the hamburger there was not visible to the human eye. All they show you is a long cylindrical tube, with a picture of hamburger on the outside. Hey, that's damned close to what I'm looking for.

So I see that it's 85-15, meat to fat and it looks like a picture of hamburger meat and all I'm craving is pasta sauce, so I buy it, not knowing how much it costs per pound or how many pounds I'm buying, mostly because the print is too small to read. I grab it, take a wild chance that there aren't dead kitties inside the tube and take it home. I find out it's $9.99 and there are 3 LBS and I get home and do the math. I paid $3.33 a pound for hamburger that I can buy at Costco for $2.99 a pound, but look at all the entertainment!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fallen from Grace...

I feel a story coming out and as much as I'd like to keep it to myself for now, it seems to be busting out at the seams to be told. At this point I'm 92% sure I'm not going to pursue this person, simply because she is so grief laden. To me she represents an accident waiting to happen. With this in mind and my past history, this fish is going to be thrown back, so I may fish for a healthier choice.

A few years ago, I wrote a story entitled, "Those aren't Earrings, those are my Jowls". It told a story about a woman that I met from the dating service that hated everyone in her life, including her dog and the only reason I wanted to meet her, was because I didn't believe such a hateful person could exist. I was wrong about her and she certainly was a mean angry person and so is Gracie, my newest friend. My new acquaintance came about like this. I saw this profile and one of the online dating services and my first reaction was that she was a child. How could this little girl be 54 years old? Then, I noticed she was Jewish, which usually gives me a commonality to begin a dialogue with. I heard a voice over my shoulder and it was my mother, who has been dead for 23 years saying, "She looks nice"! So I dropped her a line and told her I thought she was cute and I also am of the Jewish faith (when convenient) and I'd like to hear back from her.

Several hours later, I get a response that reads, "You say you're Jewish, but your profile says Catholic, which is it"? Then it goes on to say, you've lived an interesting life, being from South Africa, why Phoenix? My reaction is, she's obviously read someone else's profile and responded to me. Immediately another response comes and it says, I don't dance............ever! (Who asked her?) So I reply, what is the obvious and the following day she apologizes, as she is new on the website and doesn't know her way around it yet. The she says a few things and this line was included that I personally thought was very funny and if she was that funny, I almost liked her. " I hate everything goisha (gentile) you know like lime jello and ham with fruit cocktail poured over it,french fries with mayonnaise,beer,the Easter bunny, and bad decorating." She might be my very first reverse anti-Semite. That somewhat comical line, won me over, temporarily. We wrote back and forth a few times and at about 11 PM that night, I was in bed reading and got this email. "I'm up, here is my phone number, call me." I ran to the computer, Googled the number, learned her name and address and her age of 54 was correct. Climbing back in bed, I dialed the number, it went to voicemail and I left a message, thinking all the while, WTF??? She just wrote to me and said to call and then she doesn't answer? Another whack job!

I had no intention of ever calling that number again, when yesterday afternoon, around 2 PM, she called and I didn't answer, as I didn't recognize the number. She leaves a very pleasant message explaining that neither of her phones were on the cradle and evidently had dead batteries when I called the evening before. Well, that is an explanation, isn't it? She was a s-l-o-w t-a-l-k-e-r and I usually like that.

Finding a comfortable place on my sofa, I returned the call. She answered with, "Hello, how did you get this number?" I explained that this is the number she left me, how do you THINK I got it? (Slowly tightening the laces on my boxing gloves). She said, "Oh, some guy called me once and told me he got my number from the Internet, he hoped I didn't mind. Immediately I realized I was not dealing with a scientist of any sort. Conversation flowed evenly as she began a list of the things and people in her life that she hated. It included every-fucking-one! She chose to begin the conversation my telling me her family was extremely wealthy and then she used the Yiddish word that I'd not heard in many years, she said they were "unga-stupt" with money. That means "overly stuffed". They had servants and her mother always had a "Schvartzy". A schvartzy is an African-American female, meaning a maid. I was literally appalled, but said nothing, as I continued to listen to this hateful, slow talker. She hates her father who was a crook and at 32 her life changed forever. I asked what happened. Her Mom and Dad got divorced and her father married a much younger woman and cut Gracie off financially. Up until she was 32, her father supported her entirely. I'm silently gagging. She divorced her gentile husband that took up drinking and beat her (I would too, just kidding). She immediately stopped talking to him and sued him for funds to go to college and lost. She went back to school and became a psychiatric nurse, but quit working when she was accosted by a sick inmate and refuses to go back to work. Her mother then married a wealthy older man and resumed supporting her and she is living happily ever after.

At some point I couldn't take it anymore and said, the whole thing is absurd! People don't live off of their parents ongoingly unless they're handicapped! I was getting outraged. There was dead silence until she said she had to get ready for a date and we parted. I thought after we hung up, how does a person get to the point where their sense of entitlement overcomes their sense creativity? Another one bites the dust.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Two Experiences with RATS

Well it's not like I just hopped off the bus. Fact is, I've been here 36 years now. Seen all kinds of critters. Anything from Coyotes crossing the road on a lonely stretch of the 101 at around dawn. Or going 4-Wheeling in the desert and happening upon a Gila Monster coming out of his den. Bob cats that aren't from Tucson and desert toads the size of an NFL football. But the last time I saw a rat, was back in Chicago, because they're a result of overpopulation.

Today I had the occasion of dealing 2 different rats in two different situations. Just now, I came from taking out the trash to the dumpster that I keep in a shady place just behind the front gate and to my surprise and literal frickin' shock, met up with a pretty good sized rat, travelling along the top of the block fence. First he came up behind me and I really didn't know what it was, but soon I could see his hideous outline in the moonlight and got a chill down my spine. When he got to the gate, he had reached his dead end and quickly turned and was running right towards me. As I took a defensive pose, I couldn't help but notice a little pee came out, in my otherwise rather clean white shorts. The dirty rat ran within 12 inches of my face as I thought to myself, what if he panics and jumps on my head? He didn't, but I did make a mental note to carry my 25 Beretta with me whenever taking out the garbage.

My second rat weighs about 350 LBS and he comes in the form of my slimy, cash extorting, land lord. On Wednesday, I received a registered letter telling me he was going to enforce his land lord right and start the eviction process if he doesn't receive my $150 within 10 days. My initial reaction is that he's just trying to extort money from me with threats of homelessness. After investigating my lease with people in the legal field, I find that I am not liable for fines incurred by local HOA, as a non member and if he is to award me with this violation that incidentally never occurred, he needs to compensate me with financial benefit. In other words, if I cut his lawn, he needs to pay me for my labor, if I pay his violation fee of $150, he needs to pay me back for it. Only he doesn't see it that way and frankly, I'd rather give the "Rat" his cheese than go to court over such a small amount of money. I realized it just wasn't worth the amount of thought I'd already given it. It appears that to win the battle does not constitute winning the war. It also is said, "that a man who pays his rent reliably and gets harassed by his land lord, has a fool for a land lord". Henry David Thoreau & Me