Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sticky Situation



From the movie, Behind the Candelabra.
I just don't understand why we have to have so much goddamn food in this house. Every month we have to throw away hundreds of dollars worth of food that spoils and goes out of date because Mark insists on buying more food whether we need it or not. And then there's the Field of Dreams factor that has helped me pack on fifty extra pounds. "If you build it, they will come" which translates to, "If you refrigerate it, I will eat". Our fridge is packed so tightly that not one more morsel can be put in there. Yesterday I tried to put some sodas in the fridge so that we would have cold soda later in the day. It was overflowing with leftovers, meats, produce, and various mystery packages, so I tried to balance the cans of soda on the edge of a shelf. The first two cans sat there precariously as I tried to fit in can number three. I managed to squeeze it up against a pound of butter and started to close the door. It wasn't to be. As the door slowly swung shut the can of Cherry Coke sprang off of its perch and slammed to the floor. Sugary brown liquid spewed across the kitchen floor and onto my legs. As I realized the gravity of the situation I went into one of my rants, spewing out the filthiest words I could think of in the filthiest combinations possible. When I regained my composure, I got out the mop and some towels, and tried to clean up the mess. Funny thing about soda that explodes in your kitchen, it's nearly impossible to clean up. There was Cherry Coke everywhere. Our kitchen floor and my legs (I was wearing shorts) are now as sticky as Liberace in a dirty book store.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Who Taught Her How to Drive?



"Ack! Where the hell is she going?" Mark screamed.
"For Krissakes, slow down." I yelled back at him, "Don't follow so damn close. And how do you know if that driver is a woman? I couldn't see a thing through those tinted windows."
"They are all 'she' until proven otherwise." Mark sneered.
"For god's sake, look out! This isn't a one way street Mark!"
As is the case most of the time, the driver Mark cursed wasn't doing anything particularly alarming. Just the changing of a lane or the pulling out of a side street sends Mark into a tizzy. All I had asked for was to be taken to the ghetto barber shop where I get my hair cut. What I ended up with was being kidnapped for one of Mark's shopping safaris. For three hours yesterday I was shuttled between B.J.'s shopping club, Home Depot, Aldi Super Market, and the post office, all the while clutching the arm rest in the PT Cruiser until my finger prints were embedded in it. Mark's driving scares the living shit out of me. No amount of screaming, no amount of pleading can get him to drive like a normal human being. What I cannot figure out is how the hell he hasn't killed himself or somebody else when he's out driving alone, because I am certain that is only my screaming out in terror that has saved us from certain death.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Frozen Snot



Thank goodness that the news media is around to tell us that it is winter and that somewhere during that time snow will fall and cold air will happen. Not only have the national cable news networks advised us on how winter works in the northern part of the United States, but our local news people here in Florida have also spent hours warning us that it will snow up north in the winter. I'll just assume that they do that so we can gloat.

I got up early this morning to walk my dogs in the chilly Florida air. It was around fifty five degrees so I put on long pants, a sweatshirt, and my  leather jacket. Still, the wind was strong and the cold air was finding its way down my collar and up my pant legs. Brrr...  It all reminded me of living in Chicago and just how bad it can get there in the winter. It reminded me of walking outside and experiencing my nostrils freezing on contact with the subzero air. Childhood memories flooded back of woolen mufflers around my neck, pulled up over my mouth and nose and soaked with frozen snot. When I lived in Chicago, for the duration of winter, I had cold feet. Not just chilly feet, but painfully cold feet. It seemed that no matter what I put on over my feet, they were cold. I remember the ice on the car and having to let it run for half an hour to melt it all off. I once locked myself out of the car doing that. It sat out in front of my house, on the street, running for three hours until AAA could get there to open the door. For once, not a car thief to be seen when you need one. Ah, winter in Chicago. Coat checks, anti-freeze, salt stained shoes, frozen pipes, frost bite. Looking forward to it. Not sure what Mark will make of it.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Banks Bank



He was the first black player on the Chicago Cubs, was a Gold Glove winner, was elected MVP of the National League twice, picked to play in fourteen All Star games, was the National League home run champion two years in a row, and was the all time most beloved Chicago Cub ever. And I got to shake his hand and have a little chat with him thirty four years ago. It had nothing at all to do with baseball.
"Hello there. How are you doing today? Did the Bank of Ravenswood take good care of you?" Asked the tall black man in the suit coat.
I was walking through the lobby of the Bank of Ravenswood in Chicago and the very familiar looking man had stopped to talk to me.
"Um, uh...  yes." I stammered out, realizing it was Ernie Banks.
"Were you able to get all your business done?"
"Well, yes." I answered.
"Is there anything else I can help you with today?" Ernie asked me.
There wasn't. I had just closed my account at the bank, I was moving my money to a bank closer to my new apartment further south. But how do you tell Ernie Banks that you aren't going to be using his bank anymore? I mumbled something about having to close my account and Ernie Banks shook my hand and thanked me for my business. With a big smile he promised me that if I ever wanted to open an account again, I would be most welcome. So why was Ernie Banks, one of the greatest baseball players in history, greeting people and talking to schmucks like me in the lobby of a Bank ? Why did Ernie Banks have to take a job in a small Chicago bank after a long baseball career? Maybe it had something to do with his salary for all those years he played ball.


1953

$2,000
1954
$6,000
1955
$10,000
1956
$17,500
1957
$20,000
1958
$27,500
1959
$45,000
1960
$50,000
1961
$57,500
1962
$55,000
1963
$55,000
1964
$57,500
1965
$52,500
1966
$55,000
1967
$55,000
1968
$55,000
1969

$60,000

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Redheaded Step Child



You just know that smells bad
I live in a very odd neighborhood. Ninety nine percent of the homes around us are waterfront and expensive. Then you have our street. We are the redheaded step child of the neighborhood. I'm not complaining, it makes things a little interesting in this boring land of eternal summer. One of my favorite bizarre behaviors of a neighbor, of all time, was when the lady across the street warned me not to walk my dog Chandler to the end of the street. She said it wasn't safe, and that she had been watching aliens from outer space hanging around down there all night. Unfortunately for her, she has ended up in an institution down in Miami, her dog was picked up by animal control and killed, and her husband lost everything and has been living in the bushes around town. Which brings me to another neighbor. When this neighbor moved in next door I planted a row of palms to protect me from the view of his various boats, and his cars and trucks on jacks. Don't get me wrong, I like the guy. I just don't like looking at his property. This morning I noticed my dogs were very curious about something on the other side of the fence. So curious that they commenced barking at the gate nearest the front parking area. It wasn't until I took them for a walk later that I noticed that one of the neighbor's boats was gone. In its place was a white SUV, and a tent. Somebody had pitched a tent right in my neighbor's front yard. I looked things over and it seems that somebody is living in the tent. For now I'll let things be, because I really don't know the story. I don't know if it's temporary, or maybe an act of charity for some homeless person, I just don't know. What I do know, is that the person living in the tent is either a young man with long hair who wears some kind of weird hat, or it's a woman. A very rough looking woman.