Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Inevitable Super Stumper Computer Problem…

“Sir?” a young lady asked me trying to avert her eye contact with me the other day shyly as she walked over to my cubicle. “I think I just broke one of your computers.”

“Let’s take a look,” I told her trying to consul her. “I seriously doubt you could break one of our computers unless you took a sledge hammer to them.”

The LCD screen was stuck in portrait mode and not landscape mode making it impossible to use. Everything was skewed horizontally causing it to be very hard to read and even more harder to navigate. The mouse was all messed up as well. I tried everything to find the error and to fix it.

“It just said the computer suffered from a sudden and unexpected shutdown and error,”  The young lady said.

I finally restarted Windows XP into safe mode with networking (which installs only the most basic drivers to start up Windows) and uninstalled the old video card drivers and booted back up after downloading and installing new video card drivers from NVidia's website. That fixed the problem of trying just about everything I knew to try.  It was kind of a process of elimination.  Remember kids! Safe Mode is your friend!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

And the Heavens Opened Forthwith…

It was lightning and thundering something crazy this morning to the east. I could see the storm brewing on the horizon as I hurried into volunteering this morning.  I barely made it into my second home before the heavens opened up and greeted us with a deluge of rain.  The light the cloud obscured sun is casting on everything looks like it should be late afternoon.  Strange and disorienting to the mind and its sensibilities. The light looks almost green in it’s hue – the after effects of a big storm often accompanied with a rainbow.

I had a big major computer stumper problem yesterday and will write about it sometime today when I get home I hope.  I almost thought I was going to have to retire that computer from active service in the computer lab.  I had never seen this malfunction in a computer before.  A little hard earned ingenuity and and even harder earned experience saved the day. 

Maggie awoke me around 5am vigorously digging at her cooties.  She was making all sorts of loud snorting and sniffling sounds.  It sounded really busy at the foot of my bed where she lay. I smiled and Maggie and I took off for our morning walk after I dressed in my walking attire. She forgot all about her cooties as soon as we started to walk down my front steps.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bless You Dear Soul…

“Andrew!” I could hear Charlie loudly holler on the other side of my front door as he vigorously knocked last night. I looked at my new $10 made in China watch and it was after nine. “Open up! I’ve got something for you!”

Maggie was already going bat shiat bonkers as she does anytime that Charlie visits and she gets excited. Charlie is her favorite human soul and it can make me grow jealous at times as well. I have to reprimand her when she does something wrong and Charlie gets all the accolades being the non discipline bearing soul of the group.

I was laying in the bed browsing the Internet with my iPad and quickly got up to pull on my shorts to get the door.

“Coming!” I said almost tripping over myself as I slipped on some attire.

Charlie had grilled hamburgers at his house.  In a sack were two tinfoil wrapped hamburgers, a large bag of Lays potato chips, and a hefty slice of delicious chocolate pound cake that one of Charlie’s sisters had made. There was also a small bag of sliced onions, sliced tomato, and lettuce. It was sorely needed on this day before grocery day which is today.  The thought of having to go to the grocery store or fast food joint last night was horrible and deplorable – causing pain just thinking about it and to have to go through all that. I definitely wasn’t a social soul yesterday at all. It took some burgers and some chocolate pound cake to get me to come to the door last night.

Electric Lady Land…

I haven’t listened to much Jimi Hendrix in awhile and guess what popped up on shuffle and my iPod early this morning?  Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Land.  My favorite Hendrix album.  It brought back a fond feeling for the much younger years in my life.   

Maggie and I walked about two miles in and around our neighborhood.  Maggie was extra sensitive about noise this morning.  Smells as well. She seemed on alert for some reason. All the other neighborhood dogs seemed fine. Maggie seems preoccupied with a certain asthmatic Pekinese that lives just down the street. What if that dog and Maggie ran off and got married? LOL

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dear George…

“Stop burning your candles at both ends”

Your Friend, Andrew.

A few years ago, you’ve have thought I was the one with a bad drinking problem. George was a saint compared to me. George seemingly has usurped my reign as town drunk from what I’ve heard. One pisser cup of urine away from the chasm of no return.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Enter the Nth Dimension…

Charlie says my mother and father are notoriously and terribly hard to get to the front door and answer the phone. He uses very colorful language to describe all of this. It would’ve often made a sailor blush!  I’ve been knowing this for years. Well, mom and dad’s land-line phone has gone kaput. I finally had to drive over there to tell them.  Mom immediately asked me to drive her to the phone company about a mile from their house.  The service guys will be here today sometime to get it fixed.

“Are you sure it is not your phone and ours?” my mother asked as we drove home calculating her next move.

“I can call my cellphone with my land-line with no problem and vice versa,” I told my mother.

Dad called me later after I had gotten home.

“Your mother is on a mean high,” my father told me sounding frustrated. “She is certainly cycling mental illness wise. Our vacation has made her wild.”  

I smiled at what dad just told me. Being in mom and dad’s home was causing certain uncomfortable vibes to be felt. A tension.  A more apt term for what mom is experiencing is assertiveness and aggression, and not meanness. She’s having a “big hair” day as dad would put it. I know she gets tired of playing second fiddle with regards to my father all the time. I was hoping she was enjoying spreading her wings and flying for awhile.  It will run it’s course and she will be back to normal in a few days.

Lost Puppy… 

Oh, I so wanted to bring her home.  I would have named her Shadow if I took her in.  She looked lost in the road and traffic was having to slow down to miss her.  She was a jet black mixed breed of some sorts that was completely lost as if someone had threw her out of the car.  I had already gone through all the arguments in my head that my father would make if I brought her home.  “You can barely take care of one dog,” my father would have told me scoffing. Alas, it will be Maggie and me I fear for the time being.  I don’t think Shadow would’ve been able to fit through the dog door anyway. I would have to get Charlie’s nephew to install a much larger one.

An Abbreviated Journey…

I just wasn’t in the mood to be walking early this morning. I was grumpy, sleepy and dragging my feet.  I had to muster up my gumption to put on my walking clothes and go. Maggie and I stayed in the immediate neighborhood for this trip. We did our usual meet and greet with our canine friends.

I noticed the fall South crickets were chirping loudly with gusto this morning.  I loved that sound all throughout my younger years growing up. It’s a different sound than your ordinary cricket. It must be their mating season before the first frost hits in a few more months. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Must Be Near…

I  had a very special  and unusual treat last night.  Charlie’s wife cooked a wonderful meal of roasted turkey and dressing. We even had the traditional cranberry sauce.

“I don’t know,” I said at first, waffling, as I told Charlie I was scared of social situations when he asked me to come.

“Get your ass in the car and let’s go eat,” Charlie replied with a chuckle and a disregard of phobias and shyness.

I kept thinking as I ate over at Charlie’s house at how soon Thanksgiving will be here and this meal will be on a much, much grander scale. We are almost there and soon there would be Christmas to contend with.  It is one of the few times I’ve ventured out this week other than volunteering.  Janice also cooked this apple crisp desert and I immediately called for the recipe when I got home not letting it escape my mind.

A Girl Has Got to Keep Moving to Keep Herself in Shape…

Maggie really enjoyed her walk this morning – she was really strutting her stuff as she normally does.  I thought I’ve stopped this little problem and habit of Maggie tugging on her leash and getting choked. I usually put her harness on but was lazy – Lesson’s learned I guess.  Maggie was just excited.  Bless! I’d be excited if everyday was Christmas for me too!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Friendship From Afar…

Dad and my mother are visiting the beautiful white sand beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama. Enjoying a seashore existence in the house my father leases every summer.  Charlie has been looking out for me while the parental units are gone. Charlie said his oldest son Al is coming to town this weekend.  They live in Atlanta. This excited me!

“Tell Al that I want to see him before he heads home,” I told Charlie last night as he was leaving.  “I want to show him some of my recent computer parts purchases.”

Al is one of the few real-life guy friends I have that are positive and good for me.  Al is also a computer geek like me who knows the deference between double channel and triple channel RAM and the difference between a core i5 and core i7 processor.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gulley Washers…

We’ve just had one of the more electrically violent storms I can remember recently. Our already fragile electrical infrastructure allowed the power to go out three times tonight – once for over thirty minutes.  Many pets are scared of the ruckus.  It doesn’t faze my dearest Maggie at all. It’s the getting wet part that bothers her and not the noise. She will come flying in from doing her business and shake five or more times and it makes me cringe at seeing all that water fly in the den or the back bedroom. I try to discourage it, but without much luck.

And They Slept and They Slept…

Gotta get a working alarm clock with a 9 volt battery that resets the time when the power goes out. I’ve seen them before.  I basically just grabbed a short shower then frantically headed in blind to volunteer this morning with my internal clock guiding me. Even the clock in my Civic has gone out. I was only just a few minutes late.  The power constantly goes out in my neighborhood. I should've have just checked my cellphone’s clock. I forget about doing that all the time. I heard it mentioned that people do that by using it as an alarm clock.  Maggie usually wakes me up for our walk as well. We were both out of kilter this morning. Maggie was still in the bed with a gloomy disposition when I left to volunteer. 

“I wouldn’t have known your were late until you pointed it out,” Ms. Pauline very kindly told me when I arrived at the Literacy Center 10 minutes late.

Helen called me while I was driving to volunteer as well.

“I am making tuna salad for your mother’s lunch.  Stop by and pick up a few sandwiches after work.” she told me.”I know how much you love my tuna salad.”

Bless! Helen! If I would have had a calendar then I would have written “lunch with Helen” in.       

Monday, September 19, 2011

Some Steadfast Computer Lab Rules…

There are only a few rules I have when using the computer lab.  I’m usually very liberal and forgiving about them as well. First, you can only play videogames unless someone else needs the computer for legitimate purposes.  Pornography will kick you out of the lab for a few weeks. My discretion. Don’t ever, ever save your user name and password on the computer you are using. That will lead to a disaster of all sorts.  Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  That’s why I volunteer. 

Grocery Day…

In a few hours, my groceries will arrive.  I’ve asked my mother several times playing phone tag this morning if she would be able to make it. She really struggled this weekend while my father was gone to the Auburn game. She assured me that she was fine. My father and her both say I impulse buy and spend to much money when I go so I am relegated to staying home.  My mother said she was going to enjoy getting her hair done at lunch and would then see me around 3pm.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Oscillations…

We’ve had some gorgeous days here in God’s country.  The temperature is 70 degrees as I write this.  There was a nip in air this morning as I forced myself out of bed to turn up the thermostat. Soon, you could hear and smell bacon frying in the pan as I sliced some sharp cheddar. The sound of the toaster popped and I put the slices of toast on a plate after cutting that up into fourths and adding some pats of butter.  All this was about to push Maggie over into the canine culinary chasm until I put a plate of food for her down on the floor.She eats so fast you wonder if she even tastes it.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Quiet Land is not One of Football and Weekends In The South…

“Do you want the big ass coke and/or the big gigantic roast beef sandwich from Arby’s tonight?” Charlie asked over the phone. “Your father will be back Sunday night at nine and and said for me to encourage you to eat. I promised him I would.”

The troops have been rallied,” I thought to myself yesterday as I chuckled. “Just get me a sandwich and a drink,” I told Charlie thanking him profusely.

Charlie was soon here with Maggie’s greeting jubilations being heaped upon him.  Maggie adores Charlie to the tenth degree.  How do dogs discern who is a good person or bad?  Maggie always has a second sense about that.  Maybe it is the kind of vibes Charlie exudes during a visit, or the incredible amount of praise and attention Charlie gives to Maggie when he is over. It always makes me smile when Charlie will say that we needed to have let Maggie have one litter of pups so he could have a puppy.

The Ambiguously Excited Football Watcher…

“Did you see that game?” dad always calls me if Auburn wins.  “That was incredible!”

I will stay cognizant of Auburn losing or winning by that marvel of a thing called the Internet, or I would have to sit and watch the game possibly falling into a coma in the process.

“That sure was a good game,” I will say hoping I have enough information about a game to do so and make conversation.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Frantic! The Rituals Must Go Ever Onwards…

“What day is it?” my mother asked frantically just about the time I was walking out the door to volunteer. She didn’t sound drunk and wasn’t slurring her words. She just seemed a little odd and disoriented which can happen with mental illnesses.  

“Have I missed my hair appointment?”

“You’re fine,” I told my mother, “It is almost eight.”

“Eight at night!?”

“No,”  I replied, “eight in the morning.“

You could hear my mother sigh very loudly with relief at this good news. In her world, you just do not miss appointments. Period! Personally? I would have rescheduled that junk in a heartbeat.

That Special Helen Day is Here Again!

Dad and I were discussing last night about what Helen was going to cook today. My only request is for us to have steamed cabbage. I’ve been craving that all week for some reason. Some cabbage and some sport pepper sauce would fit the bill nicely.

“I know Helen gets tired of cooking the same things every week.”  Dad told me. “But I want meatloaf again.”

“Now we’re talking in the same language,” I told my father in agreement. “I want her meatloaf as well. Meatloaf sandwiches would be to nice for a few days!” 

The Downtrodden Among Us…

Dad put on Maggie's flea medication last night as I held her immobile.  We both hate to do it to her, but it is part of her healthcare and needs to be done every month. She hates it as well for some reason (scent?).  She is still pouting at what we did hours ago this morning.  You would think that it was so terrible that we had defiled the sanctity of the forbidden temple of Maggie.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Candle Extinguished and Not for Naught…

I just got caught in a very lengthy and long funeral procession.  I pulled to the side of the road as the police escort, friends and family passed.  I kept thinking how lucky I was today – I might just get to live to an old age yet. I was lucky to smell the green freshly mowed grass.  The hint of something blooming and sweet was caught in the air also grabbed my attention. Also, I had my dear Maggie to take care of.  Maggie's got another good ten years in her yet. I’ve got a lot of reasons to stay well and alive for another decade of more. I’ll try to lessen any maudlin posts on the blog. Accentuate the positive as they say.

Lets Pack on the Pounds!

Mago was asking about whether my father wants me to gain or lose weight.  He wants me to gain about 20 pounds, Mago. Right now, I haven’t lost or gained any significant amount.  I’ve been around 150 pounds for quite some time and I still have a spare tire to lose which my fathers balks about when I mention it. “No more dieting!” he will say.

“You’re so skinny you don’t even have an ass anymore!” dad barked back at me as he was leaving.

Leave it to my father to help you feel better.  You catch so many more flies with honey than you do with vinegar I wanted to tell him. He just loves me, though, but that love can manifest itself in strange odd ways sometimes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Binary Bliss…

This morning, I had to show a much older man how to use a computer for the first time. It was a rich and rewarding tutoring experience for me and I hope so for the fellow as well. I take my computer literacy skills for granted sometimes. In the next hour or so, he was viewing job seeking websites on his own.   Computers really are pretty intuitive to use for the most part after overcoming the fear of them people tend to have initially.  You gotta just dive right into the technology pool and start surfing the web. 

Thou Shalt Not Be Weighed…

Dad was over here late last night itching to weigh me and meddle in my business. He was in a perky and good mood.  He even brought some new scales to keep at my house.

“Remember!” my father said dangling that delicious carrot in front of me. “I am getting you a new wireless mouse and keyboard for your computer when you reach 170 pounds.”

“Don’t put me in a foul mood,” I replied venomously about the weighing then apologizing.

I really was just tired and wanted to head to bed. I immediately started to turn off the inside lights as my father walked to his car.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Say Amen Brother Ben…

Where do I start? I lost a psychiatrist and gained another in a single solitary day today. I am kind of ambivalent at this point in time. My old doctor will be working in one of the local prisons from now on (promotion? or demotion? is what I kept wondering).  My new much older p-doc is kind of scatterbrained and frumpy, but I was overjoyed when he kept me on my current medication regimen – low dosages of everything. I don’t ever want to get over medicated by my family again and that certainly should be within my rights as any sentient being should have. There certainly can be too much of a good thing and my past psychiatric dealings glaringly bears this.

Gifts From God’s Country…

Every time I get near or around Waverly, Alabama I call it God’s country. I had never seen my Maggie so ecstatic at seeing me as she did this morning when I returned home. I had a big bag of Hardee’s steak biscuits for Maggie and I as an increasingly rare treat.  When she finished hers, she jumped up on the couch and wanted some of mine as well which I gave to her.  I love my pups.  I spoil my pups.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

New Harmony…

Sad was the somber word that first came to mind as I watched the unsteady and aged Mrs. Florene walk back to my car and get in after the funeral.  I walked around and opened her car door out of common courtesy and etiquette. Thankfully, we didn’t talk about George rather the life of her nephew.

“It is just so sad,” she told me of her nephew as she wiped away a tear from her eye as we were leaving the funeral. “He was in the prime of his life and such a good young man.”

Mrs. Florene pointed out to me the cigarettes in my dash below my stereo and told me that I should be way more wary about my smoking than I am.

“My nephew didn’t have a choice, but you do,” she told me. “I nag George about it all the time.”

Smoking is the least of George’s problems I thought not so kindly, but I didn't say it to be kind. Today was Mrs. Florene’s day and not mine.  I wasn’t going to steal her thunder. 

I then took Mrs. Florene and we ate at Jim Bob’s chicken fingers in Opelika which was down the road near the cemetery. A treat her and I both relished. She likes it in that it is an openly Christian owned business and wants to support them. I like them because they have the best damned chicken fingers and dipping sauce this side of the Mississippi. They are sinfully good I thought trying not to be too devilish in my language, thoughts and with my words.  Gluttony is the first devilish word I said that comes to my mind, though.

Dirt Road Church…

I have lots to do today for the most part. I would love doing nothing more than goofing off than to take my great aunt to homecoming out at the New Harmony Presbyterian church.  It is a potluck affair and each year the congregation is thinned more and more by infirmity and old age.  I can remember lots of people going to the little church when I was a child. Choosing what food to eat was always the biggest dilemma.  Now, we don’t have but a handful of past parishioners left. To give you an idea of the age of the church it still has an 2 stall outhouse behind the building and no running water. I was always scared to use the outhouse in my youth – afraid something would reach up out of those dark holes and grab me by the balls.

“What should I bring?” I asked my great aunt last night in closing.

“Bring a big bucket of that Kentucky Fried Chicken,"  she replied. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I Love Dawn (and No I’m Not Talking Detergent)…

Like a phoenix from the ashes, we awake again and rise for another day reborn. Maggie’s already gotten her walk for the day and I cooked the Mags and I a good breakfast. I prepared four scrambled eggs, grits and lots of that wonderful Clarke Brothers sausage which is heavenly. I love that sausage.  It just takes absolutely forever to cook, though. By the time it is finished cooking then you are about totally ravenous from the wonderful smells.  Cardboard starts to look palatable at that point in the process. Mags is also constantly underfoot getting so excited in that she will hopefully eat soon and get her share. I almost tripped on Maggie twice this morning. Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!!!

Well, Maggie got her wish – she got two eggs and a couple of pieces of sausage and some cheddar cheese.  My father would be shaking his head by now in aggravation with me giving my dog such an expensive treat.”Dogs need to eat dog food,” I’ve heard him say many times.

The Last Vestiges of Summer Hang On…

Summer is barely hanging on it seems. I turned the heat and cooling unit off before bed last night and woke up to a 70 degree house.  BRRR!  Needless to say, the heat was turned on earlier than usual this fall and winter season,.  82 degrees is about my sweet spot as far as heating and cooling my house goes. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

They Say Yawning is Contagious…

And I believe them now.  They often say when dogs see you yawn they will yawn also.  Cats don’t play the game and could care less if you are yawning. The young fellow at the computer cubicle next to me keeps yawning loudly and so do I in reflex. It’s making me so very sleepy. I shouldn’t be yawning as I got a wonderful night of sleep.  I feel like a million bucks physically today.  Mentally, I feel kind of giddy and excited for no apparent reason why.  Maybe, I am just high on life. This feeling can and will change on a whim. I will enjoy it and savor it while I can. Manna from heaven as the old saying goes.

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas…

Christmas will be here before you know it. It is right around the corner.  Dad was telling me last night he has gotten most of our Christmas gifts already.  My brother is getting six denominations of Confederate states paper money from the Civil War. My brother will love that gift.  Alex collected coins and currency all throughout our youth. My father had a person with credit about to default at the pharmacy and she couldn’t pay her bill.  She traded the authenticated Confederate dollars as a payment. Dad is going to have them framed. My sister is getting a nice designer leather handbag and leather jacket. I am getting a $500 shopping spree at Newegg.com. That’s like letting a kid loose in a candy store as far as I am concerned..   I plan to use the gift card to buy another high definition 27” screen for my computer to be used in tandem and probably six more gigabytes of ram.

The Mystery Meal...

It’s Friday and I don’t even know what Helen is cooking – better check my temperature or for a pulse.  Today is my father’s turn to select the menu is one reason I am not paying particular attention to the meal. He still hadn’t decided when he was over here last night. No doubt that we will probably have ham steaks – my father’s favorite meal. Sigh! I am praying for meatloaf and macaroni and cheese – my favorite two of Helen’s concoctions. Dad mentioned something yesterday about having fried green tomatoes. Now, that would be nice.  .

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Let Bygones, be Bygones…

Another 4am wakeup call at the crack of dawn by my dear Maggie for her morning walk.  I swear she gets earlier every day, or at least it feels that way. I sleepily sat on the edge of the bed, turning on my lamp and rubbing my eyes as I pulled on my walking sweat shirt and sweat pants and then my walking shoes.

“It is entirely too early,” I told Maggie with a stern looking glare. as she sat on the floor wagging her tail. “To be gallivanting across the neighborhood at 4am. We are not normal people by any means!”

My contacts were to be reckoned with as well this morning as I tried and tried to get them in -- dropping one of them twice getting them to settle on my eyeball finally.  I also almost fell over in a coma to sleep some more.  See? there is a lot of hard work, dedication, and preparation that goes into these walks.

I was also up too late listening to music knowing all too well what the consequences would bring to me in the morning after staying up all night. Sometimes you just have to live recklessly and dangerously – throwing caution to the wind.  Smile  Last night was worth any discomfort I am feeling this morning. You know you’re getting old when staying up late past your bedtime is deemed risky, fun, and dangerous. All at the same time.

Sad, So Sad…

Mrs. Florene called me before bedtime last night with some dire news.. It was so nice to hear her voice, though. Her young nephew had died of lung cancer earlier in the week. (he never smoked a day in his life which exacerbated the tragedy of it all) and she wanted me to drive her to the funeral down in Opelika, Alabama which is about a 20 mile drive to get to the cemetery.  I told her I would just sit in the car until it was over as I didn’t have any respectable Sunday type clothes to wear.  I also wondered if George would go with us or not. If George goes, it certainly will put me in an awkward and mentally tiresome situation.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

She’s Just a Sweet Ole Gal…

Maggie used to be a hoarder of sorts if dogs can be called hoarders. Charlie is a hoarder as well, but not the kind of hoarder where you found your long lost cat, Fluffy, from 20 years ago. The skeletonized  remains are in the bedroom under some piles of furniture. Ewwww! I hoard computer hardware to throw in my two cents. I can’t bring myself to toss them out.  I am attached my little preciouses.

When I lived in my late grandmother’s house, I would just let Maggie run free of the fence oblivious of Animal Control and the dangers of getting run over.  She soon had amassed a large collection of different children's toys (mainly action figures and sports balls) she had gathered throughout the neighborhood.  I still always smile when I think about it.  A lot of those toys are still in my backyard, but Maggie rarely plays with them these days. They reside languishing now in their basket under the deck.  Long gone are the frolicking puppy days of Maggie. She’s a big girl now.

Let the Great Chill Begin…

I walked out for Maggie’s and my walk this morning and it was long pants and pull-over kind of weather.  I quickly went back inside to change. It was downright chilly this morning. Had fall arrived so soon to the South?   My father would call this good football weather. Thank you tropical storm Lee. At least, you did something right!  It is 58 degrees right now outside.

Chef Charlie’s Culinary Creations…

It wouldn't be a holiday if Charlie didn’t grill his signature grilled ribeye steaks for his family and ours. I always worry about the costs Charlie has to bear. 20+ steaks must be terribly expensive.  I told him I and dad would pay for some of the costs next holiday speaking on my father’s behalf.  Charlie would have nothing of the sorts.

“Just keep telling me how good my steaks are and all will be right as rain,” Charlie said with a laugh as he flipped some more steaks. 

Maggie got a huge bag of table scraps when I got home.  She was happy as a clam if a clam can be happy. Maggie enjoys eating outside au natural, though. She about couldn’t get all that food through the dog door.  She was  determined and got her way..

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Kind of Jubilancy You Just Can’t Ignore or Stop for that Matter…

Maggie went flying through the house hurrying into the den this morning hoping for her daily walk. I quickly got dressed, laced up my walking shoes, and opened the door to find it raining softly outside. Mainly drizzling kind of sideways with a steady southerly wind. This didn’t daunt Maggie, but it certainly daunted me for a moment there as I took a big gulp. I knew I was committed This daily walk is supposed to stop for nothing. As I’ve said before: rain, shine or snow. A lot like the Postal Service we are trying to be.

“Okay,” I told Maggie warm heartedly as I rubbed her head. “I’ll make a concession to you. This walk is going to be short, but you are going to get a walk. We will go around the block and return home. Better than nothing, right?”

I got the wee little wiggle wart to settle down enough to put her leash and harness on. The rain had decided to hold off for a few moments.  Maggie and I made it around the block without getting too drenched, but we were certainly damp.  It was kind of drizzling, but we were no worse for wear. Maggie and I didn’t melt. It started to pour down big time when we arrived home, though. Whew! We had a close call with that stern and often unforgiving mistress, Mother Nature.  She opened up the floodgates in a moments notice.

Improved Recipe…

Mom asked me last night whether all the frozen meals she is buying me are okay. I do like the variety. It was dad’s idea to help fatten me up – these rich and high calorie and fat laden meals. I’ve got to get to 170 to get a new cordless mouse and keyboard.

“Very rich in taste,” I replied to put it nicely and to stay kind.  I didn't want to tell her they tasted like frozen cardboard as they do. “They’ve improved them very much since we first started to buy them a few years ago.” And they have to Marie Calendar's credit.

I pointed out to her to buy me more V-8 juice and Louisiana style hot sauce this week. (this month’s food obsession) It is the first thing of my groceries to go and run out, and I miss it by midweek and I am too cheap to buy it out of my savings.  It is my own little version of a poor man’s nonalcoholic bloody mary.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Marauding Football Fanatics…

I quickly surveyed ESPN.com last night before my father arrived at my house. He was on his way with cellphone in hand. I wanted to read a play by play account of the poorly executed Auburn game to get me up to speed.  Dad will think I am exhibiting serious, serious mental illness symptoms if I don’t follow along with the game or watch it on t.v.  He says football is good for me mentally and for my soul – gives me something to look forward to. 

It seems Auburn barely squeaked by with a win. It came down to a cliffhanger of an onside kick.  Unranked Utah State won the onside kick and was 10 points ahead until the Auburn offense pulled a rabbit out of their hat.  I bet it is going to be a long season of football for people like my father and brother who live, eat, and breathe Auburn football. An even much longer season for the loved ones of a bunch of surly and disgruntled losers.  Now, I can go back to my normal life of willfully ignorant bliss until next Saturday.

George and His Mother: Bless Mrs. Florene…

Since a few of you want to know, George and I kind of had a falling out in our friendship over the crowd he was constantly hanging out with months ago – that crack fiend crowd of Pookie and her ill gotten crack house fiends. It is just a matter of time before George fails his drug test and goes back to jail.  What makes me so mad was that we all did so much and worked so tirelessly hard to get George out of prison and he reverts back to this kind of extremely risky behavior.  I hope for the best and expect the worse. Maybe George will come to his senses soon and prove me wrong. 

Mrs. Florene still calls me about once a week to check up on me and to tell me she has cooked something delicious for me.  She knows I have a insatiable sweet tooth all to well.  She cooked an orange zest pound cake last Wednesday that was to die for last week. It’s just her way of telling me she loves me. I just had a slice with butter -- toasted in my toaster oven.

What’s the Magdelina up to?

Maggie is in doggie heaven as we speak. She’s had breakfast and her walk. I can hear slurping noises in the back bedroom as she licks her paws almost compulsively which is a nervous habit of sorts.  I worry she has arthritis, but my Veterinarian says she is fine. Maggie’s main focus this morning was getting me out of bed and going on our walk. Y’all should have seen my terrible case of bedhead when I got up this morning. Even I laughed when I looked in the mirror.  I quickly wet and then brushed my hair and Maggie and I were on our way.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Views From My Heaven…

A beautiful and downright chilly Saturday morning is unfolding around us as we speak. The sun rose a subdued dusky orange on a hazy, smoky horizon. It accentuated the color of the wispy surrounding clouds as well. I had just driven over to my parent’s house to get my sodas. It was a kind of convergence that I like to have and that makes life so very special for me. A few years ago, I wouldn’t and couldn’t see the beauty in such a moment. I would be off on one of my addiction fueled crusades.

I don’t have any plans this weekend except to find a better blog template and wash my CR-V and the Civic.  Now, that is a nice feeling.  I don’t mind volunteering, but is it sure is awesome to be able to sleep in late, be lazy, and do what I want for a few days. My cars definitely need some tender loving care.

They Say it’s a Religion in the South…

Isn’t today the start of another college football season?  I used to go to the games with my father, but I gave up and quit.  Not really sure why – well, maybe because I just don’t give a damn about football to be honest and frank.  My father wanted me to “get” football so much and be like my brother.  I hated to disappoint him.  My gregarious brother-in-law can take my place as he is yet another football fanatic who likes to talk.  Him and my father can talk football for hours. I would slip into a boredom induced coma if I were to do so.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Gone with the Martha…

Maggie started to whine, bark, and prance in the den this afternoon as I sat on the sofa and watched the tropical weather update.  I looked out the window from my perch surveying my kingdom to see the 4-way stop many houses down.  Mom was headed this way with her hair poofed up from her earlier salon visit. My father would say she is having a “big hair” day. It sure can make her self-assured and cocky.

“Do you have Gone with the Wind?” mom asked me as I got my supper off the back seat. 

“Let me go grab it, mom,” I told her. “It is on the bookcase in my computer room.”

She said she wanted to read it again after years ago of reading it last.  I also had the sequel as well and gave it to mom.

“Go eat your supper before it gets cold,” my mother said and then drove home.

Dinner was interesting in a hodge podge kind of way, but very good.  Helen cooked fried salmon patties, hash rounds, baked beans, cole slaw, and biscuits. Kind of a poor man's fried fish dinner.

Sandwiches = Pounds…

My waitress at Rodger’s brought out my platter of two barbeque sandwiches and some french fries at lunch.

“Enjoy them, honey,” she told me as she escaped back into the kitchen to prepare another order.

I engulfed them as I listened to all of the interesting conversations around me! One woman was complaining and berating her husband about over drafting their checking account.  One elderly lady spoke of how soon Christmas will be here.

I was starving today.  Famished. My father will be overjoyed tonight during his nightly visit as I have gained 2 more pounds and that we’re making progress.  The goal is to get back up to 170. My father told me last week that I looked emaciated.  He says he’s afraid my electrolytes will get out of whack and that I will die. Kind of dire sounding stuff, huh? Stuff that would even depress Jesus.

“You don’t want to be a skeleton, do you?” My father asked me last night. “You look like you’ve been in a concentration camp, but you are getting better. Your face is fleshier.”

“I might just surprise you in what I can do,” I replied with a smug grin.

Lord knows! There must be something bad wrong with you if you look like you’ve been in a concentration camp. In my mind’s eye, I look good and normal.  My brain keeps telling me to lose even more weight to get my beer belly off.

“What’s something you want and with which we can set a goal with?” My father asked me.

“If I get to 170 pounds then I would like a new keyboard and mouse for my computer,” I replied. “Does that sound okay?”

“Sounds like a done deal,” dad finished as he got up to go home.

No Breakfast for Champions…

After Maggie’s and my walk, I made some of those canned Pillsbury cinnamon rolls in the oven. Mom got them for me on a whim last grocery day. There were about as bad as I had expected.  Needless to say, Maggie had a lot to eat this morning and she was sitting on floor expecting more as I was eating a bowl of crunchy raisin bran cereal.  The Mags tends to have this one track, narrow focused mind concerning such things.

“Maggie, you are a bottomless pit,” I told her amused as she sat and looked up at me at the kitchen table.

I rubbed her head and I think she licked her lips a few times in anticipation as well.  Maggie got to drink the leftover milk from eating my cereal. Dad keeps saying that I am going to make Maggie diabetic with all the sweets she eats. But how can I resist those little brown begging eyes?  “Tough love,” he would further tell me. I know he’s right and that I need to chill as far as Maggie and sweets go.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Slight Wee Bit of Confusion This Early Morning…

I felt a little bit of mental confusion as I awoke at four – almost like vertigo and a queasiness and sick feeling to my stomach. I had to sit back down after abruptly standing up. “Please don’t let this start again,” I spoke to myself of my mental illness. My life seems to be great periods of joy punctuated with bouts of misery. I also had to check the clock on my iPad a few times to convince myself that it really was time to get up and going.  Our power goes out so often in my neighborhood that I gave up on trying to set all the myriad of clocks in my home. They will all blink midnight for eternity it seems. This would drive my mother crazy leaving something so amiss in her home.

“Come on, stinker!” I told Maggie with a smile as I hooked on her leash after I got dressed in my walking clothes and gathered myself mentally.

Maggie was certainly feeling her wiggly wild oats this morning and was ready to go, and I was smart enough to wear a light jacket this morning and some dark grey sweat pants. Fall is definitely on the way.  There is a nip in the air on these early mornings even though September is just another summer month this far south.

There was lots and lots of traffic out and so early this morning. Normally, Maggie and I would see maybe two cars on our walk. It was aggravating to me somewhat, but I know these good people are just trying to get to work being cogs in the great machine called life.  Car after car would pass as Maggie and I would get off the road and wait until the coast was clear.

“Where are all these damn people going at five in the morning?” I asked Maggie with a venomous snarl as if she could talk and as if Maggie and I owned the roads.

I guess talking to your dog is better on the insanity scale than talking to yourself I thought trying to comfort and consul myself.