FINALLY, THE COLLECTOR’S EDITION!

FingersFrontCovNovember 29, 2012…that was the day the very first posting appeared on the newly launched marc’s blog. I had no idea what I was going to write about. Most of the posting wound up being about Toni the Cat and her very annoying rebellious habits in the days just prior to having her fixed. Now there’s a topic that’s compelling (see previous post).

So, I’ve been writing for this blog for over five years. This very posting is number 558. When you stop and think about it, that’s pretty cool. Well wait, maybe you don’t think it’s that cool…but I certainly do. It ain’t easy being able to sit down at this keyboard and tap out something meaningful over 500 times. Okay, you got me there…not every posting has been meaningful. But there have been many that I am proud of. They have something to say and I think they say it reasonably well.

So what to do with the ones that are good? It’s a shame they appear for maybe 3-4 days and then they are gone. Here today, gone tomorrow or the next. Books, on the other hand, stick around. Even bad books wind up on the shelf more than they deserve. Some, including some of mine, can always be put to use under the leg of a wobbly table.

Well, I have stalled enough. In a purely self-centered move, I went back and selected what I thought—and the readers thought via “most read” statistics they piled up—those postings that deserved another go-round. I compiled over 50 of them in a book titled, Stories my Fingers Wrote.

Relevant to irreverent, they represent just about every topic imaginable, from the four benchmarks toddlers must achieve, to the patio splattering of falling lizards, to spitting in baseball. It’s an explosion of banter gone wild, but do not be misled—there is enough whimsy, along with some substantive moments to keep you engaged, enlightened and entertained.

And, oh yeah, sprinkled among the fodder are several of my poetic deposits, enough to make Bulwinkle the Moose drop a tear if not a brief chuckle. I hope you do likewise if you choose to buy the book. It’s on amazon for $7.95/paperback and $ 1.49/Kindle  They’re available on amazon.  The Kindle version may take another day or so.

In the meantime, I will continue on with my blog, but God only knows what I’ll be writing about. I suppose if you begin with cat pee you have nowhere to go but up.

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THE “C” WORD

Cisfor

Every once in a while I run across a word that seems to hook me in. It makes me stop and think about it, what it means and, yes, I attempt to use it in a sentence. Sometimes it’s an unfamiliar word. Other times it may be a word that I’ve heard and used hundreds of times. It is just now, for some reason or another, that the word has made me sit up and take notice. I am captured, taken in, spellbound, curious and wanting to know more. Hold that thought, please.

I have a very good friend who happens also to be a very good writer. We worked together for about ten years back in the 70s. The relationship, despite being separated by a thousand-plus miles since then, continues as strong as ever. Since I retired and began writing books, his opinion of what I write is the one to which I pay the most attention. He is not only a seasoned author, he has spent years editing other people’s work…mine included. He has no hesitation taking me down to ground zero or below and demoralizing me so much so that sharp instruments should not be within my reach.

There was one time my friend so annihilated one of my books that I wanted to run and hide under my bed like a child and never come out again—and that was just 3-4 years ago. But I came to my senses, crawled out from under the box spring and changed just about everything he suggested. I wound up with what I consider my best work. He hurts, but he’s exactly what I need as a writer whose writing needs help.

Since my friend is exceptionally busy with his own work, I hesitate to ask him to review mine, especially since I know he would never accept a fee from me to do it.

But now we have adopted, I think, a new process. We will see how it goes. I am sending him a draft, one chapter at a time, as I complete it. This way he has only a small chuck to review and send back to me whenever he gets around to it. I will be patient.

Currently, he has the first chapter of my most recent endeavor. He has not returned it yet, but he has made some initial comments via e-mail that well caught my attention. He writes:

pcmessage

He went on briefly to explain his comment and offer some examples…but it’s the word, “compelling” that stuck out in blaring, flashing, stigmatizing technicolor and almost blinded my bespectacled aging eyes.

So the word, ladies and gentlemen, that hooked me this time is “compelling.” Certainly not a new word for me. In fact, I have used it a gazillion times in describing books, movies, TV shows, whatever! And here it is, being used to describe my…MY…work. How dreadful. How hurtful. How compelling.

In fact, I spent the day rewriting the initial pages of my latest project. Some sections remain untouched; others have grown radically from one sentence to whole paragraphs as I embellished whatever it was I was talking about—except now there is a lot more description or definition with the intention of making people and situations more compelling to the reader.

Webster on compelling: “very interesting…able to capture and hold the attention…capable of causing someone to believe or agree…strong and forceful…causing you to feel that you must do something.”

These are pretty easy concepts to grasp. It’s not that there is a lot of banter back and forth to debate the usage of the word. If I were to argue anything about the meaning of the word I would suggest that its lack of presence is more impactful than when it is present. This is the case, at least for me in this moment, and it has affected me more than if my friend had said my writing is compelling. I probably would have taken the latter more lightly, said thanks for the compliment and moved on. But that is because I am not the most compelling person…and I need to be in my writing. Accepting the criticism that my writing is NOT compelling is…well, it brings a whole new meaning to the concept of rejection.

Indeed, compelling is a very strong word. It is compelling within itself. I would not encourage you to fling it about recklessly, even if you are compelled to do so. Have you ever convinced someone to do something to which they initially objected…strongly! That can be a pretty formidable task, especially if it is a loved one you are attempting to compel.

No, this is not a word to be taken lightly. It’s deep. You have to go way down, get under it and poke around a bit before you truly get it. I am, as a writer, in the process of trying to do that. It’s just not a matter of going back over my writing and adding more words or imagery. I would have much more enjoyed my friend calling my writing “flowery” or “juicy” or something ridiculous like that. Compelling is so much more meaningful. It sticks and things that stick are usually pointed and hurt. And things that hurt are usually the things on which you spend most of your time and effort to get rid of. In this instance, I am compelled to do that…just as soon as I crawl out from under my bed.

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A GLORIOUS DAY!

Today is May 12th. It’s not a particularly outstanding date on the calendar. I looked it up and, of course, there were some historical events that took place on this day. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Race car driver A.J. Foyt won his first pro victory in Kansas City (1957)
  • The American Colonists were defeated by the British at Charleston (1780)
  • Over in Cambodia the American ship, Mayaguez, was seized (1975)
  • The body of the kidnapped Lindbergh baby was found (1932)
  • Ernie Banks hit his 500th home run(1970)
  • Katharine Hepburn was born (1907)

Not a lot of meaty stuff there. May 12th was at one time National Hospital Day but I believe it has lost its individual ranking, having transitioned into National Hospital Week.

One other historical birth took place which was certainly an iconic moment in the lives of Lois and Edward Kuhn. Their son, Marc, was born (1945)…that would be me. Mother told me I was not an easy birth, her second and final one. We both had a rough go of it and I later found out there was doubt either of us would survive the ordeal. But survive we did–she because she had things she wanted to do and me because my compulsive behavior was already exhibiting itself.

I was gifted with a marvelous mother who would change my diapers, teach me to appreciate books, hit me with a serving spoon (I deserved it), always had a unique Christmas gift for the family and hated housewifery so she left my brother and me to fend for ourselves at an early age (I was 8) for the several hours between the end of school and when she and my father arrived home from a day’s work in the office. This unusual lifestyle for its time period helped rev up my independent nature and my ability to excel at many skills a young boy usually finds missing in his life’s toolbox—things like cooking well enough to handle Thanksgiving dinner from start to finish, sew a button on a buttonless shirt cuff, clean reasonably well enough to pass an army inspection, wash and fold the laundry and iron whatever needs flattening and run off to the supermarket for the weekly groceries. I always told my mother that someday I’d make some young lady and wonderful wife. That would be Rosemarie. And to this day, as I take her coffee and toast bedside each morning, she lives like a queen with her own loyal house servant.

I have had a good life overall. Lately, a few irritating health issues have raised the element of misery to a higher level than some others that occupy my life now that I am 37. Oh, forgot to tell you, I have decided all my birthdays from this point forward will be dyslexic. See, if my age progresses backwards, I should avoid all those senior citizen pitfalls…or so I theorize.

My goal is to live past the age of 48. That would make me the new reigning champion of the family’s individual lifespan. I have already passed my father’s and my brother’s age and I am approaching my mother’s. Then I have a big leap to make it pass my grandfather’s life-long achievement. I have to make it through 11 more years to do that so I have my work cut out for me. May the force be with me and the arthritis not.

So I hastily and humbly (although it doesn’t appear that way with all those pictures up top) wish myself a happy birthday as the dawn breaks outside the window off to my right. It does not look to be a pleasant day, but I actually like a stormy one every now and then so it makes no nevermind if it rains on my parade…I will still high-step it down the street, beat my drum and no doubt have some ice cream along the way. I hope my day is a good one for you too!

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NAKED!

nakedsteps

The topic is nakedness. Yes, I know, it is sort of off the beaten path, not the norm, socially sensitive and downright gutsy to discuss. Well discuss it I will, despite it may prove embarrassing to both of us. BTW, did you ever notice that the word “embarrassing” implies a “bare ass?”

I have other family members living with me who, by now, should really be out on their own adding to the real estate tax base and cluttering their own front lawn with pink flamingos and such. But, be that as it may, I commented to a friend that once these people leave I will immediately walk naked downstairs, just for the feeling of being liberated within my own home. Friend wrote back that he was not sure he welcomed the vision of my descending the steps to the lower floor “naked as a light bulb.” I pondered that reference for a moment, wondering if a naked light bulb could be considered a turn-on.

Nakedness is so much easier to contemplate as a cliché such as “naked as a jaybird” or the “naked truth.” It is such a conflicting concept to ponder since we all wish to see some others bare it all while others certainly not. Why is it we display a solid unwillingness to openly display our body’s natural state of being, knowing bare well that we are the only creatures on earth who cover ourselves, let alone constantly fatten one of our more thriving industries by doing so?

Nakedness, when you stop and think about it, is all around us.  The dog, the cat, even the parakeet prance and tweet all day without a moment’s thought of reaching for a towel or a fig leaf.  We go to the zoo and have no problem observing wild animals being wild.  Nakedness is all natural in the animal kingdom, although it’s probably the only time we deny being part of it.

I know, I sound like a nudist and I hasten to mention that I am not, never have been and never would be…I don’t think. I do know that age and structure have much to do with the issue. Nakedness does compliment the young and well-proportioned bodies among us. Beyond that, nakedness takes on an entirely different state, from maybe being interesting but not attractive, to downright ugly. My personal vision, as I glance at the mirror, is as unpleasant a sight as anyone could imagine, though perhaps hilarious if portrayed in a cartoon with an appropriate caption. So nakedness is simply a state of mind and body…and age.

My wife and I, now embedded within the senior stage of life, have noticed with some disappointment that our butts have disappeared. Old age does that to butts. It shrivels and sinks them, leaving a noticeable sag in one’s trousers. Other parts of the body are similarly affected by the aging process, but I do not think I need to illustrate further. You get the picture…and if you do, please hide it.

Certainly there is a positive effect to be said about being naked. It takes on an entirely different meaning, and sensation, when transpiring between young lovers. After all, the thrill of first time is among the more private—and most valued—memories we all take to our graves along with our sagging body parts.  Sex, a relative by-product of nakedness, is what sells magazines, puts people in seats at the movies and supports an entire industry that features people with no clothes on doing other nature-endorsed activities.

I suppose I could carry on a bit more about this topic, but there is really nothing more to expose. I have avoided any kind of cover-up and I have been more than honest here, or revealing is perhaps a better word. I have never discussed this topic before and probably won’t again. Mind you, I have bared it all merely based on an off-the-cuff reference made by a friend regarding a light bulb as it related to a vision he had of my arriving naked at the bottom of my stairway. Granted this is no stairway to heaven, but if my tenants ever do move out and if I do, indeed, go naked into the living room…the dining room…and the kitchen, I shall most definitely feel liberated…and no doubt find the air conditioning unbearable.

 

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DRIVE, SHE SAID!

sleepydriver

Today I drove for about half an hour with Rosemarie over in the passenger seat. Now, that may not sound unusual, especially because it was the norm for some 45 years or so…but not no more.  The most I drive lately is about a quarter of a mile around the corner to the supermarket.  I cannot usually be trusted for much farther than that.  My sleep disorder dictates that I sit in the passenger seat and Rosemarie drives. It’s an ever so slight problem:  I fall asleep without warning, no advance notice, no prerequisite yawning or rubbing of the eyes.  Nope, when my body wants to sleep, even for the slightest of moments, it does it without notice.  This, even I admit, is no circumstance to be in while one is behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.  So, for your protection and mine, I adhere to that popular warning that says “Don’t Sleep and Drive!”

The reason I drove  today instead of riding shotgun, was because we were upstate about a hundred-plus miles and Rosemarie’s eyes were really bothering her, so much so that they had become painful.  I assured her that I was wide awake and ready to go.  After about my tenth “put me in Coach” she put me through a drill of about 600 questions about my current state of being and made me do twenty minutes of jumping jacks to get the blood flowing and then, reluctantly, she handed me the keys.  I felt it was like prom night all over again and Dad was letting me take his new ’62 Impala.

Well, I made it down good old I-95 for about half an hour during which time Rosemarie had a minimum of six heart attacks while barking non-stop commands and bringing new meaning to the the term, front-seat driver.  Meanwhile, she kept a close vigil on my eyelids and must have asked me at least seven gazillion times if I was okay.  But all she could take was about a half-hour.  The stress was too much for her.  I, to be perfectly honest, have to admit I was beginning to struggle.  That white dashed line on the road was starting to appear twice, one line going along on the road as it should be, but a second image of the same line was slanted off and up to one side reaching out toward the sky.  The good news, I knew which line was the real one. I mean, after all, even I couldn’t launch the car skyward unless I ran up and over the trunk of the car in front of me, which in fact…oh, never mind.

So I pulled over and we assumed the now-normal positions of Rosemarie behind the wheel, and me co-piloting.  But really, I didn’t do badly. I made no mistakes, kept in my lane, didn’t speed, didn’t hit anything and, most of all, I was awake every minute.  Once in the passenger seat I admit I dozed off, but only for about a minute or so—just long enough for Rosemarie to miss the exit where we were supposed to get off.

I figure it won’t be long before you’re driving down the highway and instead of seeing those digital signs with the Amber and Silver Alerts you’ll see some kind of coded message alerting you to the fact that Rosemarie and I are on the road.  But not to panic because if we’re ever nearby you’ll be able to hear our telltale singing of that Carrie Underwood song—you know, the one titled, Jesus Take The Wheel!

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HONK IF YOU x HONKING

roadrage

Ok class, in today’s social studies lesson we will learn about several human social characteristics. These include temper control, courtesy, remorse, humility and refrain from calling a fellow human being an asshole.

My son and I made a trip together to the supermarket yesterday. As we were rounding a point in the parking lot adjacent to the stores he began telling me of an incident he had the day before right at this same location. Seems he was looking for a particular store so he slowed down a bit to look for it. The lady in the car behind him laid on her horn. She was pretty much telling him to get the hell out of her way.

Subsequently, my son and the lady wound up parking across from each other, hood to hood. They both got out of the car at the same time. My son looked at the lady and I assume she figured she was about to receive some kind of parking lot rage from my son regarding her honking at him.

Well, my son did the opposite. “I’m sorry,” he said, “I was trying to locate a particular store and I guess I was going a little slow. I didn’t mean to hold you up.” The lady’s response?  Surprise! Surprise!  She said, “No, I’m sorry for being so impatient and riding up your ass.” Yeah, that’s what she said.

Basically, that’s the end of the story, but is it?   It’s kind of a Rodney King moment. Remember Rodney? He was the African-American whom LA police chased and then dragged out of his car and beat the crap out of. A bystander happened to capture the incident on film and for the next few weeks you could not turn on a television without seeing it again…and again…and again. Eventually, after the criminal justice system and the general public had finally exhausted the story, King’s unexpected comment when a gazillion microphones were shoved in his face became the oft-quoted, “Can’t we all just get along?” ­­

As my son admitted, he was tempted to say something nasty to the lady. But then he had a quick second thought. He also admitted he did slow down and creep along for a moment and if he had been following such a driver he may have reacted just as the lady did.

What I found interesting, and a bit comical, is that my driving partner is usually the love of my life and the mother of our compassionate son. She, however, once behind the wheel of an automobile turns into a road beast (I am using the kinder, gentler “b” word there) who has no tolerance for anyone who in the slightest way interferes with her exclusive right to the highway.

Bad parking. Improperly parked car

I figure when all this new self-driven car technology finally gets to the point where the car, indeed, drives itself, a lot of road rage will go away. Rodney may get his wish–we all might just actually get along…except maybe in the parking lot.

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A POSTING FROM THE PAST

I’ve been compiling individual postings from my blog–there are over 550 of them–selecting those I humbly suggest had something to say and said it reasonably well.  These I have sorted out and will probably publish them as a collection…just for grins if nothing else.  Anyway, given that I’m in one of those frustrating phases of life we all go through, one of my former postings kinda hit home when I read it today.  It was originally posted four years ago.  If you have ever found  yourself stuck in a rut, wanting change or something new to do with your life, well, this won’t help much but it may at least let you know you are not alone.

Jello…Posted February 28, 2014

Screen Shot 2018-04-12 at 3.17.39 PMI stood for a good long moment outside my house the other night.  I had just put the trash out for collection the next morning.  Then I stood in the driveway and stared up at my house and had a Peggy Lee moment.

Peggy Lee was a popular singer back in the 1940s/50s.  One of her hit songs was this long depressing number where she took us through several events in her life and at the end of each she asked, “Is that all there is?”

I never liked the song.  It’s definitely a glass-half-empty song and by the time it’s over you sort of want to slit your your wrist…or Peggy’s.  The song is on youtube if you want to hear it.  Just search “Peggy Lee” and it’ll come up.

So there I stood staring up at my big two-story monthly mortgage payment and I found myself asking…is that all there is?

Now, I admit I’m not in a happy place right now.  We all have moments when things just get out of control and the world turns dysfunctional.  The trouble is, the older you get, the less patience you have with things that go wrong and the less tolerance you have attempting to make them right again.

Life is pretty basic.  You are born; you eat, sleep, grow and try to survive as long as possible.  Then you die.  It really is that simple.  All animals go through this same basic process.  The trouble with humans is that we muck it up. We emote.

As we push our carts up and down the supermarket aisles looking for the jello and maybe even the meaning of life, it’s not a sure thing that we will find either one.  There usually is jello, but I don’t think the meaning of life is just sitting there on the shelf for us to grab hold of and put in our cart.  Life is just life.  It is all there is.  It goes on despite everything…including us.

Okay, Peggy.  I get it.

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LET THE STORY BEGIN

Typewritrer2B copy

I have begun researching what will probably be my last book. It is based on the incredible photograph my niece discovered during her extensive research into our family history. The photograph is of a distant cousin whose branch in the family tree is a healthy climb up from the one on which I perch.

His name was Isaac Herbert Boas and he lived his entire life in Australia. Apparently he was an awesome Aussie.  He was a chemist by trade, a college professor, scholar, lecturer and subsequently, as a religious leader, played a major role representing the Jewish population of Melbourne and beyond.

But perhaps Isaac Boas’ most significant contribution to his country was paper.  No, he did not discover paper, but more importantly, proved that paper could be manufactured with the pulp made from the hardwood trees native to his country.  Despite many naysayers early on, Isaac’s discovery led to paper manufacturing eventually becoming one of Australia’s leading industries.   Given his many contributing roles to society, Isaac Herbert Boas was pretty much a rock star of his time and in his place…all of which lasted some 76 years, the end of which came in the year I celebrated my tenth birthday halfway around the globe in 1955.

So what’s with this photograph I mentioned? Well, I have featured it before on Marc’s Blog and it is shown again below. Isaac is on the left. That’s me, at about the same age, on the right. It is uncanny how the family genes fell into very specific harmony to produce two distant relatives who appear almost identical.

isaacmarc

My immediate response to seeing Isaac’s picture was one of astonishment. After having juxtaposed my picture next to his, the intrigue set in. How uncanny it appeared that we could be bothers, maybe even twins. I immediately sensed the basis of a story…exactly what the story was about was yet to be determined, but most certainly it would deal with the concept of two identical relatives and how their lives eventually played out, obviously with some kind of connection beyond appearance.

I have literally pondered this concept for about a year now and I still have not come up with the story. I have pieces and several ideas, but as far as being able to lay it all out into one concise and amazing piece of literature that says “Pulitzer”…well, that has not happened. In the past when I came upon an idea or concept I would devote considerable think-time to the project and eventually some kind of epiphany would occur and, hence, a book was born. So I’ve been ticking away months of think-time on the “Isaac Project” and still no “wow, I’ve got it!” So what to do?

The words “just do it” keep resonating in my head. Over the weekend I made the decision that that is exactly what I will do. I have enough “stuff” to get the characters established along with locations and even some relationships. So I am going to wing it. I will simply start and see where it takes me. I sometimes use this method, if you can call it that, when I am writing the final chapter of a book. I’ve heard Stephen King say he has written some of his books with no idea how they end until he gets there. Hey, if it’s good enough for Stephen King, it’s certainly good enough for me.

Fact is, most professional writers will advise you to have the entire book outlined, if only in your mind but better on paper, before you place fingers upon keyboard. I am also violating one of Stephen Covey’s respected Seven Habits of Highly Successful People.  Despite being the book that so impressed me that I was motivated to go back to school at age 49 to get an MBA, I will be ignoring habit #2:  begin with the end in mind.

Okay, I will be breaking just about all the rules, but if I don’t get started…I will never finish. This should be fun, or at least interesting.  Come to think of it, when I began writing books over ten years ago, my goal was to simply have fun. I had no expectation of receiving any recognition or selling much of my work. I have, indeed, received some recognition, but as for selling…well, let’s just say I could do better hawking Girl Scout cookies.  In the meantime, stay tuned here for updates on whatever it is that I will be doing.

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MY SELDOM PUBLISHED LIST OF ISSUES

LIST
Yep, I’ve got issues, but I am not one to bore folks reading my blog. What’s that you say, my blog has bored you many times!  See, I have issues. Here are some of my latest…just for sharing.

APPLE

Apple Cares –   this is a support service I paid big bucks for when I purchased my extra expensive iMac with the huge fancy high-rez screen. I spent almost two hours on the phone with Apple Cares last week and talked to three different levels of “apple experts.” Each attempted to upgrade my computer.  Each failed…and upgrading my computer wasn’t even the reason why I called for support in the first place.  My computer remains working at the lower-level system it was when I first called. I may try again to see if they can achieve the goal, but I need time to “rest.” I did, however, resolve the original problem for which I called, no thanks to them.

Egads, I almost forgot…another big headache right now is that one of my e-mail addresses is down, the one I use on my iMac.  I tried dealing with the online support system but it is computerized and keeps repeating the same responses to my questions.  These responses all have failed to fix the problem.  And, get this, they have no real live human being in the support department whom you can call and talk to.  I may have to abandon this particular e-mail address and that would suck because I really like it.

pixel2

My phone. The ultra-state-of-the-art cell phone I bought a few months ago is a piece of…..  And stupid me allowed the jerk at Verizon to talk me into it saying it would heal all the issues I was having with my iPhone. This new beast is the Pixel 2. It never shows the same screen twice. What comes up is always a surprise and half the time I have to google someone to help me do the simplest things, like delete all my old messages—all at one time. Tonight I got a call from a friend who kept getting “failure” messages while she attempted to text me. The “do not disturb” function probably turned itself on again…something it does all the time.  My guess is the phone, not me, doesn’t wish to be disturbed.

CARDMore computer issues. I think the video card in my PC is dying. The screen keeps going black and the only way to rev things up again is to reboot.  I pulled the card out and tapped on it a couple times, had a Priest bless it and splash it with Holy Water but none of those things helped.  Not to worry, nothing thing fell off.  So I looked into getting a replacement card on the internet and a new one is well over a hundred bucks. I got a used one for $42 from an amazon third party seller and I will hope to get a few years out of it.  Fast forward two days from when I wrote the sentence before this one and I discover this order has been canceled.  I have no idea why, unless they sold the last one….now I have to track down another  one.  My PC is eight years old and constantly in use so I really should not complain that it is beginning to show its age.

Money.Money.  This was the most financially challenging month I’ve ever had.  If you want to borrow a buck to buy a cup of coffee, don’t ask me–I’m tapped out. I got all those humungus bills many of us all have to deal with–they’re the big ones that come only once or twice a year.  This time they all arrived with a due date by the end of the month.  I was blessed with bills for life insurance, home owners insurance, the quarterly homeowners’ association fee, the renewal of my automobile insurance policy, renewal of our car’s registration added to all the usual bills like mortgage and medical and utilities, etc etc. Why did this happen. They all found out I got a refund from the IRS. Don’t ask me how they know if and when I get a refund, but somehow they always know….and then the bastards line up for their share. What’s left for me?….yeah that.

Before operation

My Backache.  Last July, Dr. God, the name I blessed him with, put me to sleep and stuck me in the spine with some needles to end the outrageous pain I was having in the left side of my back just about 24/7 for several months. Bam! It went away by the time they rolled me out of the O.R.  Two other doctors had failed to even dull it. So imagine how upset I was when the same problem showed up a few months ago, this time on the right side.  But, hey, I got Dr. God who can fix it. To my surprise, my  optimistic bubble was broken when he once again knocked me out and stabbed me a few times. This time it didn’t work….neither did the second attempt two weeks ago. So this morning it was the third try (the charm?) but this time he did a different, more radical procedure. So far today I have been painfree and he has retained his Dr. God ranking…but I will have to wait a few days to make sure….the past 3-4 months have been tough standing so I savor even an hour of relief.

HOUSE5_61251311.

My appetite. I can’t seem to curb it and thereby lose some inches from my ever-expanding stomach. This has been an ongoing issue for a few  years now.  Before that I never had to worry about my weight.  I was a steady 155 year after year. I am disciplined about eating throughout most of the day, but like a vampire, once the sun goes down, I begin craving anything in the house that is edible. I can’t say no! The only thing I can do to contain the problem is not to buy anything I like when I go to the supermarket.  If it’s not in the house, I won’t eat it. I may, however, eventually eat the house.

Okay, I probably could come up with a few more things to gripe about, but even I have a limit.  Meanwhile, if you want to escape your woes I find music is just the vehicle to drive your head into a more peaceful environment.  Today I discovered a version of an old blues song I’ve never heard.  The song is St. James Infirmary.  If you want to escape for seven minutes, give this a shot…and wait ’til you see who performs this number.  Yeah, it’s Hugh Laurie of TV’s Dr. House fame. I never knew he was a first-class musician.  Here’s the link:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzEBH6DZJVk

(if the link doesn’t go direct, cut and past it into  your browser)

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Posted in communication, Issues, WHATEVER!, whimsy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Trip

My trip to Pennsylvania last week featured one of the heaviest late-March snow storms in the State’s history. Leave it to me, a totally converted Floridian, to wind up in a northern whiteout while it was probably in the high 70’s and sunny back home. The snow was nice to look at, I agree, and it brought back a lot of childhood memories of getting up and anxiously awaiting to hear that school was closed and then taking off for a day of sledding and snowball fights. A few days later I ran across the trio of snow family pictured below.  By then, they had lost weight, shape and density.  Given all the food l had been eating, I no doubt did just the opposite.

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We split the trip in half. The first half was spent in Lancaster which is in the lower middle region of Pennsylvania. We were there, as previously discussed in another posting, to attend the funeral of our nephew who lost a long and difficult bout with cancer.   Any family that goes through this kind of torturous pain and suffering has paid its full dues and deserves nothing but good things from this point forward. I certainly wish that for my Pennsylvania family.

The second half of our trip took us to hometown Philadelphia to visit with lifelong friends. They just happened to live down the street from last week’s March For Life that took place worldwide in support of stricter gun regulations. The parade of thousands took about a half-hour to stroll by the corner where we stood cheering them on. It was quite an impressive turnout, the largest protest I’ve witnessed since the Vietnam War protest marches in Washington back in the 70’s.

All in all, it was a good trip and we at least felt supportive of our niece and her family as they faced such an unfortunate hardship.  I will however, end on a high note.  One of the surprising highlights of the trip was the plane we took both ways.  It ran on time, it served good cookies, but the big plus…It was new and actually had comfortable seats, larger than usual, and GET THIS–leg room!!  My knees actually had space to wiggle  without touching the back of the seat in front of me.  Damn, I should have taken a picture.  You probably think I’m makin’ it up.

*****

 

Posted in death, environment, Family, health, travel, weather | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments