Friday, December 30, 2011

Man Versus Chicken…

…and the chicken lost.  Cluck!  Yes, in the good spiritedness of if you can’t beat them then join them, Horsefly and I had Zaxby’s chicken fingers again tonight. I am content in getting them as a hot plate of food is always a joy to receive on a bachelor’s cold out of a can diet.  It is like a salve to my troubled mind and yummy to my tummy. Charlie explained tonight that Horsefly gets very sick when he eats hamburgers.  He can't digest them well and will throw them up in the car. Not a nice scenario that conjures up.  Long Live the Chicken Finger!

Tomorrow is Horsefly’s late afternoon journey to the cinema in Auburn. I offered to take him for Charlie, but Charlie was fretting that it may get Horsefly off schedule and off kilter. Charlie is going to mull it over tonight and let me know in the morning.  Charlie usually hires a friend of my mothers to do it, but I felt I owed Charlie a favor and I understand Horsefly’s modus operandi and language well. I wouldn’t mind taking Horsefly every weekend if Charlie would let me. It would mean dinner and a movie for me.  What I owe Charlie for all he has done for me is more valuable than all the gold in the world as well.

“Be free around 4PM,” Charlie added as we walked outside to Charlie's car. “I will call you. If I let you go then don’t smoke in my Chevrolet!”

And believe me, Horsefly would love to tell Charlie we were smoking as we drove down the interstate in Charlie’s car.  I can hear him cackling softly as I write this.  What fortuitous drama to be had!   

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Calming the Passing Storm…

I feel much better and more stable this afternoon – able to focus mentally and on tasks at hand. I just knew those anxiety attacks were coming back to haunt me and to make life miserable for me again as they did for so many countless years. It made me very paranoid, timid, and cautious this week – afraid of exertion.  I was just afraid period to the point that my nerves were frayed. I’ve tried so very hard to hide it.  I’ve been feeling rather mentally interesting as my father likes to call it for lack of a kinder or better word. I am glad they are still in San Diego to miss this valley in the journey of the hills and dales that make up my life.

I slept in late this morning with the sun already up when I awoke despite Maggie periodically waking me up for her walk.  Maggie and I are often bounding through the streets that make up our lower middle class neighborhood well before dawn and with just a soft sliver of light is on the horizon. We ate a quick breakfast/brunch and headed out the door on our rounds.  I’d say Maggie and I walked around two miles. I know we don’t walk very far, but Maggie is cool with it so I am too.  It was another brisk and cool midmorning as well.

Down with Christmas and Down with the King!

There seems to be a Southern tradition to take down your Christmas tree and all your decorations before New Year’s Day.  Mom would take ours down Christmas night despite the cries and protests of us saddened kids.  Charlie told me last night that I needed to get out that tree or it would cause terribly bad luck in the coming year. OH NO! I wouldn’t want to cause a rift in the space-time continuum with my lackadaisical approach to getting my Christmas tree out of the house.  In all seriousness, though, I will probably take it down New Year’s Day.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Enter the Realm of the Charlie…

“Horsefly’s in the car so I can’t stay long,” Charlie told me as he vigorously walked to the front door of my house with arms full of various things. Into the warm light from out of the dark cold. “I promise to spend some time with you and Maggie tomorrow.”

Charlie brought a big bag just filled with culinary oddities and other assorted gifts.  We had 8 regular canned Cokes, 2 packs of Doral light cigarettes, 1 Big Mac and fries, and a gigantic cup of sweet tea on ice.  Charlie then checked his mail and heartily guffawed when the AARP sent Horsefly some mail, and then he was on his way.  I was hoping he would stay awhile. I just wanted to shoot the shit with a fellow crass male for a few – dispel this doom and gloom I was feeling about to overcome me.  Maggie receives the Happy Dawg Award for giving Charlie one of his best Maggie greetings yet, though. I about couldn’t hold her excited self inside as she chomped at the bit to get away from me and to go meet Charlie at the door.

“I loved the shirt you got me for Christmas,” I told Charlie before he left. “It goes great with my leather coat.”

“I thought you would like that,” Charlie replied, looking proud of himself. “I looked at it in Dillard's and it had your name written all over it.  I am going to buy you some more in the next weekend or so. I am going to get your father some as well.”

Unconsciously Ridiculously Happily Capricious…

My one and only real goal at the beginning of last January was to be less capricious and flighty with my efforts on the blog and in my general online relationships with my readers and friends.  I’ll let you be the judge, but I think I’ve done pretty well for the blog capriciousness except for the social aspects of blogging and being online.  That’s when I realized why I disliked Facebook so much the other day. It is so normal to be so sociable online.  It is called social media for a reason.  People are what make the Internet the interesting digital behemoth it is. On the other hand, it was not normal for me to be so social and for this I balked and stumbled, and then failed. It was like a social outing from hell for this damaged goods of a person.  I also have a very hard time discerning what should and shouldn’t be shared online. Digital boundaries, you know? This can lead to so many online social faux pas on my part leaving long time online friends balking with bewilderment and hurt feelings.

Long Story Short…

Maggie can read my feelings and discern my emotions I think sometimes.  Ah, bless! She’s been my one constant companion and supreme protector on the couch with me all afternoon as I piddled around the Internet with my iPad.  I think she can sense that I am borderline depressed. At least, I feel like I am going to crash at any moment.  That’s when I got up to go listen to music for awhile – a change of venue, and then onto my computer in this computer room.  I just couldn't stomach Headline News and Views any more in the den on the TV and their macabre display of mediocre news, videos and images.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Posthumous Computers…

“Next time, let me build Janice a nice computer,” I told Charlie as we rode across the Chattahoochee back into Alabama after lunch. 

Janice’s computer is a Wal-Mart branded eMachines computer and she has had nothing but troubles with the thing.  I remember when Charlie bought it last year. I moaned. I’ve fixed my share of them including this morning.  I’ve heard a lot of conflicting things about these computers as well.  Some good and some bad. Someone wrote on the blog last year that they loved theirs and that the purchasing price was great. I suppose they are okay if all you do is browse the Internet and check your email with an occasional game of solitaire . 

“Or? Let me pick out a computer for her,” I happily said to Charlie, ready to spend someone else’s money doing something I very much enjoy, Computer shopping. “Or go to and check out some of their prices on prebuilt and/or barebones computers.”

“I’ll see you again tonight when I bring your supper,” Charlie told me as he seemed to be mulling it over as we pulled up in front of Casa de Andrew. “Arby’s or Captain D’s?”

“Arby’s please,” I said politely as I then ran from Charlie's Chevrolet to my front door and burst inside to cheat the cold Northern wind’s chance to nip at my face and extremities one more time. 

SSDs–The Wave of the Computer’s Future…

Mark my words. That’s the next big thing in computer technology.  Solid State Drives.  There will be no rotating and fragile disc hard drives anymore and speeds for data throughput will go up very drastically and through the roof.  I still can’t afford them, though, like any new technology, and like any computer technology period the price will go down a lot in the upcoming year.  Any decent and new SSD hard drive is in the $300-$400 price range and they don’t hold very much data compared to a traditional platter type hard drive. The early adopters will help to weed out any problems, though, making the technology and firmware in the drives more robust over time.

Friends That Won’t Steer You Wrong… 

I think it was Val of Golden to Silver Val who told me several years ago to gradually allow the temperature in my house to drop and I would get acclimated and save money.  For three weeks, I’ve had the heating and air on 80 and I am now down to 72 degrees over quite a few weeks and I am proud to report that Val was right.  I just have to wear some heavier or warmer clothes like long sleeves or a sweater to stay comfortable.  Showers are still extremely uncomfortable, though. I can be in and out of my shower like lickity split.  Better that than the sound of my checking account hemorrhaging money.

Monday, December 26, 2011

In Charlie’s Capable Hands…

Charlie ran here by Casa de Andrew to deliver a Christmas meal late last night and to give Maggie some liver treats she adores, but she rarely gets.  Horsefly and Janice were in the car so Charlie was in a hurry. There was a macaroni, mushroom and cheese casserole, pineapple and cheddar casserole, and some leftover roast beef from our meal the other night, lime and cottage cheese congealed salad, traditional butterbeans, creamed corn and baked almond and mushroom chicken in a sour cream and butter sauce.  To top it all off was Janice’s cornbread which is very rich and creamy with a crisp crust (I love the crispy crust). Maggie was about to go ape shiat crazy until I fed her half of my plate.  I was totally stuffed and slept well despite fears of indigestion.  I know I would gain weight quickly with such rich and tasty fare to eat all the time.

Charlie just dropped by again this afternoon to give me two regular cokes and another present.  I better go open it now or Charlie will get his feelings hurt (It’s a long sleeved cotton blue shirt from Dillard's). I just put it on and It does fit me quite perfectly.

“I’m going to come by every night to check on you.” Charlie told me before leaving and after a hug. “I might even bring you some treats.”

I am sure that for Charlie to say that means he is going to bring lots of treats and meddle in my business some.  I am not complaining mind you at all. Despite my social anxieties, I still crave human interaction and someone to talk to. Especially someone as trusted as Charlie. I can let my hair down some so to speak.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Inner Sanctum…

The night before last was a rare treat at Charlie’s house.  Charlie’s wife cooked a pot roast in her crockpot with potatoes, onions and carrots, and some of her famous and fabulous cornbread.  Then we passed around our gifts from under Charlie's Christmas tree after each eating a piece of a coconut cake my father baked and gave to Charlie. I will be the first to give it to dad.  He bakes really good cakes.  Horsefly paced the room enthralled with the can of shaving cream I gave him. Horsefly was especially giddy with excitement.  Nobody could ever say that Horsefly was ever not festive.

Janice also had some computer related problems that were easy to fix.  Her email had stopped working and it was a simple repair.  She thinks I am some kind of computer whiz kid.  It really is common sense to be honest or a process of elimination.

“Do you have an email address as well?” Janice asked, wanting my address.

I told her I used it rarely and it had been about had been about a year since I even checked my inbox. 

Charlie and family got me a suede leather jacket.  It was so soft and comfortable.  I  thanked them profusely and then gave Janice a hug.

“Don’t wear it in the rain! ” Charlie told me very excitably with warning.   

Christmas has arrived…

Charlie was also caretaker of mom and dad’s Christmas present's for me was well.  I was just thrilled I could get New Egg order last night and that it had shipped, even though it was Christmas Eve.  It was going to be a blue, blue Christmas without them. These gifts will keep me enthralled for days or possibly weeks.  I was especially interested in that ASUS Blu-Ray optical drive I received.  Now I can burn 25 gigs of data, music, etc. on one disc for safe keeping.  It takes about a dozen minutes to burn a disc though. Kind of slow, but it was the fastest drive I could find on New Egg. Patience young grasshopper and thou shall not make drink coasters!

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Stay at Home Kind of Day…

It’s very cold and nastily misty outside this morning.  The perfect conditions for Scotland or in which to get wet and catch a cold.   I will be safely ensconced in this, my little hermit’s abode except for Maggie’s walk.   Much computer time will be had in the next few days as I watch the holidays come and go.  I will be ready to get this overly festive blog template off and install one about New Year’s as well. (Scrooge!!!)

I elected to eat Christmas dinner with Charlie and his wife tonight which I reluctantly agreed to after telling Charlie I need to stay home. I actually, quite strangely, look forward to that tonight despite my aversion to social get togethers.  Charlie has a way of making you feel at home and welcomed and his wife in one hell of a cook as well. I bought Horsefly a bottle of shaving cream just for this kind of occasion.  He will be thrilled.  Charlie let the cat out of the bag when he started to talk bout the jacket he was giving me for Christmas.  I smiled when Charlie did that.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Silent Night, O Holy Night…

The day is quickly winding down for me. My fuel tank is on empty and I feel so very tired and worn threadbare. How did I ever work a 9 to 5 job I will never know. I guess it was beer fueled determination.  I should’ve been asleep hours ago is one mitigating factor for my tired irritability.  Maggie is already sound asleep following our usual schedule.  Soon, I will be following in her footsteps as well.  Maggie will only wake me up once in a blue moon situation when she has to potty. Most times she is so quiet that I didn’t know she had left.  She will be laying next to me, though, when morning comes.

To my cherished and esteemed friends and blogging cohorts, I wish you the best and good night.  Sweet dreams and may your dreams come true and with Godspeed.  I will talk to you all again early in the morning when us night owls escape our iron shackles and they let us fly free for awhile.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Diarrhea of the Keyboard…

That sums up my day yesterday between dad’s and my little terse dealings with each other. I should never antagonistically write about him in that way.  He’s my father and I love him, my rock of Gibraltar, and shouldn’t write in the heat of the moment as well. Without him, I would never have a home.  And what did I do, but get on a public blog and bitch and moan about it, airing my dirty laundry for the whole wide world to see.  I thought that exposé part of my journey as a blogger was over with. I Imposed on your sensitivities and feelings as well.  I apologize and will try to tone it down a bit.  Sorry!

Misty Mornings…

Marvelous Maggie and I had a very and most pleasurable walk through our usual haunt that is our neighborhood this morning. Maggie was really strutting her stuff with her head held high proud to be on her walk. She loves to meet and greet with the neighborhood canines as usual. I’ve gotten quite fond of them myself.

I was up very early as is my usual custom these days.  It was a whole lot warmer today than yesterday as well. Almost 6o degrees. It was also very misty which was a novelty for this weather obsessed fanatic.  From here on out,  Charlie is our caretaker as he has already took mom and dad to Atlanta's Hartsfield  airport this morning.  So far, my Christmas gifts haven’t arrived as well.  Christmas is getting close and I am getting very nervous.   I do have quite a few gifts under the Christmas tree already to placate me until my main gifts arrive, though.

“It may be after Christmas,” dad said bracing me for the worst the other night as my heart sunk low in my chest. 

“Let’s hope it comes today,” Charlie told me as he called me on the way back from the airport and we were talking about it. “We will drive up to LaGrange and get it ourselves if they don’t deliver by tomorrow.” 

I had told Charlie the online tracking info said it was in LaGrange at the distribution center which is about 25 miles from here. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Not So Good News for Weigh Day…

Every other Tuesday morning is the day my father weighs me upon arriving at the Pharmacy. We do this about 15 minutes before the pharmacy opens.  I stood upon the scales as my father proceeded to put a dime in the coin slot. I was praying so very, very hard that I had gained weight. I had my fingers crossed.  I weighed the very same as I did last time two weeks. Damn! No loss and no gain. My father was very visibly and very verbally disappointed in me.

“Well?” I said for hopeful comic relief with a sheepish grin. “At least I didn’t lose a bunch of weight to look on the bright side. I was hoping I had gained some poundage.”

My father kind of glared at me menacingly with a fed-up look on his face and told me to keep trying.  I was just devastated – tears almost forming at the corners of my eyes.  I had tried so very hard to put some weight on -- eating everything in sight.  I slinked back to my car feeling like the worst  and most terrible human being ever – the dregs of humankind. I parked behind the hardware store next door trying to gather myself enough to drive home.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Charlie Loves Maggie and Maggie Loves Charlie…

“Charlie?” I feebly and meekly asked last night as all three of us sat on the couch. “If something would ever happen to me, would you take care of Maggie and the house? You would treat Maggie as if she were a queen.”

Charlie was giving Maggie one hell of a back scratching.   I smiled as Maggie looked in total ecstasy. Her tongue was hanging out of her mouth in delirium! lol

“Let’s not talk about something so morbid with Christmas and the holidays coming,” Charlie Told Me with a nervous smile. “You know she would be in capable hands, but you are the one going to last far beyond me. You may be needed to help me take care of myself and Horsefly some day.” 

“Eat your supper before it gets cold,” Charlie then said as he got up to leave.

I think Charlie was getting a little depressed at my somber mood and somber questions last night.

Charlie had brought several roast beef sandwiches and curly fries from Arby’s which was a nice before bed treat for Maggie and I.  I gave him a hug and called it a night as well. I fell asleep sometime after setting my Model Railroader on the bedside table.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Look on the Bright, Sunny Side of Life…

Are your children and you ready for Christmas?  I was eating part of Maggie’s Christmas gift this afternoon (aren’t I terrible?).  She finally got a piece and went wild afterwards. We’re saving  the rest of the rather large box of Slim Jims for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, though.  I don’t think most people like Slim Jims.  I enjoy some Slim Jims, and the occasional  pickled sausage from time to time as well. I’ve also been known to eat a pickled hard boiled egg at odd moments. I don’t do pickled pig’s feet, though. That’s were I draw the line as far as adventurous food goes.

I know I am ready for Christmas this year.  It is going to be a very nerdy Christmas @ Andrew’s Casa in a few days chocked full of computer hardware and jargon.  Dad was looking at some of the stuff I ordered.  “You sure you want all this stuff for Christmas?” he asked me with a dubious and skeptical look on his face.  “I don’t even know what most of this stuff is!” 

I smiled, but dad has become 10 times more knowledgeable about computers than he used be.   I am always startled when dad pulls up the weather radar on his iPad and shows it to me.  It’s like a good kind of shock to my system.  My mother continues to show no interest in computers and anything related to them. She just continues to go lay in bed all day.



Saturday, December 17, 2011

Our Weekend is Off to a Swimmingly Good Start…

001 copyMaggie’s walk is done and I am about to get breakfast started after a quick shower and shave (I’ve just about made a daily habit of doing this ritual since I have started volunteering)  I am just cooking scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese, bacon, and some instant grits that I am trying to get rid of. Real grits take time, but taste so much better and much creamier.

It was a much milder this morning than yesterday making it a pleasant stroll through our neighborhood.  I stayed up late last night wrapping all my presents and watching bad and awful television as Maggie got into the Christmas spirit.  I’ve already got something really neat for my Fur-Kid as a surprise (a big box of gigantic size Slim Jims).   Every new item was a cornucopia of interesting and new smells to Maggie.  Maggie’s part bloodhound I do think.  She just doesn't have the stature or reputation of let’s say a German shepherd K-9 unit would have.

Earlier this morning on our walk, I was listening to Amy Winehouse’s last album – her Back in Black album on my venerable iPod as Maggie and I passed the old Loosier's grocery store steering clear and away from the main thoroughfare.   Why do these wonderfully and extremely talented and eclectic lives get snuffed out so young? It was very sobering to think about it.  It seems as if this great talent and the addictive side of the brain are close, linked, or are one.  I’ve done a lot of drinking in my days and you would have to drink a butt load of alcohol to pass out and die from drinking it.  You tend to pass out or become comatose before you can drink anymore of that swill to cause loss of life.  My heart goes out to Amy and let’s hope she has some peace no matter where she’s at.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Snap, Crackle, and Pop…

Last night, I was lying in the bed patiently waiting on Maggie to stop her preening and snorting. Things were awful busy on that side of the bed let me tell you as the whole bed rattled and shook as she scratched.  I was hoping she would settle down for the night soon and go to sleep.  It also felt good to be wrapped up in my warm and soft covers as well. I could then hear the house emitting some interesting and loud noises as we both grew quiet as I put away the ever-present iPad – sounds that would scare kids to death as they were coming from the attic.  It seems and sounds as if my house is haunted.  My father told me this morning that it was most likely that my house was still settling on its foundation or it was the ice maker in my freezer. I chuckled in disbelief, but my father is most likely right. I’m not much one for the paranormal either even though I have listened to Coast to Coast AM for years out of amusement.  I know ghost speak pretty well.

I Might Actually Get My Presents Before Christmas. We Hope…

I get my procrastinating ways from my father so I can’t complain about this too much as it comes natural to me as well.  I will just procrastinate entirely too much as my father does. He told me last night that they ordered my computer parts from Newegg finally.  I had to email the part numbers to Patricia at the Pharmacy a few days ago to get the ball rolling.

“Do you think the parts will get here in time for Christmas day?” I asked my father,  worried and impatiently while hanging on to a glimmer of hope.

“I doubt that they will, son,” Dad said sheepishly with a pained look on his face much to my disappointment and bracing me for the worse case scenario. “Let’s keep our fingers crossed, though.”

Surely they can ship something eight days before Christmas.  Dad said the overnight shipping would have been $85 dollars.  OUCH! I looked on the bright-side as Newegg is one of the best and fastest shipping companies I have ever done business with.  That will surely keep me content, entertained, enthralled, and infatuated on Christmas Day while the whole family is in San Diego.

Is It a Sign of the Times?

I just heard Maggie squeal loudly foretelling a parental unit or Charlie was here.  “Who is it, girl?” I asked Maggie urging her onwards as I walked to the front door. It was my mother aka “meals on wheels” for her Helen Friday afternoon outing. She had brought a meal of Barbecued chicken, buttered dinner rolls, and lots of vegetables like colored butterbeans, summer squash, and Mexican corn.   It was delicious.  I just hope Helen will not be so harried about cash this year. Last year was rough on her and her family with lots of medical bills and bad health.  My father said he was going to give her a nice bonus this year for doing such a good job. I was glad to hear that.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas in the Red-light District…

002 copyI like a Christmas tree with some balls. So I will put on some glass ball ornaments on the tree tomorrow. Tinsel is next. I ran out of steam tonight after decorating my tree and cleaning out my computer room closet (that is my version of Annabel’s garage).  I had three computer cases, two LCD monitors, and volumes of Ethernet cables, computer speakers and assorted various wires in there.   Now, I can hang coats and put up things neatly after Christmas. A lot of just junk got put on the side of the road, though.  My Asian friends that live down below me immediately got to carrying some stuff home.  Bless them for a tidy yard again.

Mom was busy and about today. Yes, she was having a big hair day.  She wanted to see my Christmas tree when she stopped by with some laundry detergent.  How she knew I was about to run out, I will never know.  Mom can be so uncanny about sensing stuff like that.  Last week, it was replacement shaving razors for my Mach3 razor. I won’t even tell you how much those cost.  It’s ridiculous.  I did learn you can make one razor last up to a year if you will just dry it off promptly after shaving.  I also heard soaking it overnight in a cup of rubbing alcohol helps make them last much longer as well. I think it helps by keeping the blades from oxidizing and that’s my story and I am sticking to it.     

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Time For Xmas Now…

Dad called me at the Literacy Center this morning. Something he never does and it made me worry for a moment there.  I was worried that someone in the family had died or something along those lines. I walked outside where it was quieter to speak to him and so I wouldn’t bother anyone inside.

“Do you have a Christmas tree stand?” he asked loudly over the sounds of fast and heavy traffic on his end.

“And where do I buy multicolored lights?” Dad then further asked.

I told him that I did indeed have a stand.  He had bought one years ago for me.

“Family Dollar would be a good start and a good avenue for the lights,”  I then told my father. 

When I got off the phone, I realized then that dad was buying my Christmas tree this year. I got very excited. Ah, Bless!

I’ve been a absolutely terrible horrendous procrastinator over this Christmas tree thing this year.  I don’t know why because things have gone pretty well these days, and they're also so very beautiful and calming to look at.


For Mrs. Judy with the Computer Problem…

First, I would download Microsoft Security Essentials. It is free and made by the people who designed your operating system.   Just use Google or Bing to find it.  Hopefully, this will solve your problem by doing a full or deep scan.  It might not let you install it, though.  The virus that is.

You could always try system restore.  It is a long shot, but pick a recent restore point that happened around the time the computer started to act up.  It will let you go back to an earlier time in the history or registry of your computer solving your problem. If the virus is poorly designed then you can do this.

If it doesn't help then we will have to go to more desperate and drastic measures.  You will need your system recovery discs that comes with all new computers.  Wipe the hard drive clean and reinstall windows. I know that sounds scary, but it’s really easy to do. It will just take a long time to reinstall Windows and this will probably worry you, but hang in there. That will usually nip ‘em in the bud whatever problem you are having and the machine will run like the day you bought it – breathing new life into your older or aging computer, and that virus will be history as well.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Play it Again, Sam…

Can someone explain to me why I am up at 3am?  Of course you can’t and I can’t either. It was another night of the tosses and turns so I decided just to stay up after 2am to write, and read my friend’s blog posts.  Today, I have to write down what computer parts I want ordered at for Christmas. Patricia, a trusted employee of my father’s, will take care of the rest.  It is also raining pretty heavily this morning and this would usually put me into a slight coma.  Just not today.  Damn the torpedoes and straight ahead the Captain said!

I got out a tape measurer a moment ago to give me an idea on what size of Christmas tree to get.  I’ve got to get a tree that is under 8 feet.  Oh, I am so excited about this!  It has been a long two years since Scrooge didn't have a tree.  We’re booting Scrooge right out the backdoor this year -- Yes we are! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Ebenezer!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Two Peas in a Christmas Pod…

“When do you want to get your Christmas tree?” Dad asked as we sat on my couch tonight.

“Oh, I am going to get it tomorrow later in the day at Ponder’s,” I replied.

“Get the truck over at your late grandmother’s house,” My father said further. “That way you won’t get all those pine needles in your Honda.”

I am very excited to have a live tree again this year.  Last year, it just didn't feel like Christmas should without one. I missed that pine pitch smell that permeated my house.  I’ve got to get to digging in my computer room closet to find the stand as well.   I think I am going to buy new ornaments this year.  Also, dad made me promise that I wouldn’t get my mother involved.

“She will get wild about buying you ornaments,” dad told me. “You will have the best and prettiest Christmas tree in the Valley that will also cost hundreds of dollars,” dad told me with a smirk.

I smiled at my mother’s grandiosity and proclivity to spend money.  I know how ya feel mom! Sometimes ya just gotta shop till ya drop! Except, I get my willy’s off of computer hardware.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Forgetting About a Windfall…

“Are you not going to Rodger’s Barbeque for lunch anymore?” my father asked sounding alarmed on a call from his busy pharmacy around lunch. “They just called and said they haven’t seen you in awhile and are worried. You still have $30 on your tab.”

I told my father I would be by there this afternoon.  I had just eaten a big leftover plate Helen fixed for me yesterday and was full.

“I just keep forgetting about it,” I also told my father honestly.  “I’ve got to integrate it into my schedules and routines.”

“You will definitely gain weight fast going over there to eat,” my father added with encouragement and showing his true colors. “Remember to keep an eye on the prize, and they need our business!”

I’ve decided to go by there when I leave the Literacy Center at noon,  purchase a pint or two of barbeque, and store it in the freezer every few days for a rainy day. Ah Hell, I will probably eat it as fast as I can purchase it. Who am I kidding?  I do have a certain weakness for their barbeque and Brunswick stew.

Along a Similar Venue…

I was in the Piggly Wiggly later this morning purchasing a fresh loaf of bread and some whole milk for my Frosted Flakes.  I stopped at the aisle with items from what I call the poor-folks aisle.   I looked at the Vienna sausages, grabbed a few cans of the Amour variety for two at .77 cents, grabbed some fish steaks in mustard sauce, and then looked down to find a big can of Poss’s Brunswick stew on a lower shelf near the floor. I just had to get a can and will try it later.  I have never seen or heard of such a thing. Brunswick stew in a can?  Will it be a travesty? Or tasty? Someone pass a soup spoon...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tales of an Andrew and His Pseudo Philandering…

I was chatting with my Vegan Princess late last night on MSN messenger.  She had run a half marathon last weekend and said her legs still felt like Jell-O.  She’s been walking everyday till they get to feeling better cutting back on her usually stressful exercise regimen.  I have this strong feeling of correlation between religion and Veganism. I don’t mean to, but it seems that way.  It has all the feelings and makings of extreme religiosity.

She’s been working everyday so her plate is full.  I like her, but I wouldn’t date her.  I admire her panache.  Too anal and especially too health conscious, though.  She would make me feel guilty all the time.  I warned her that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing with the amount of illnesses she seems to be having lately.  “Try moderation,” I told her as the pot calling the kettle black that I was.  It seems like her body is revolting as she just keeps getting ailment after ailment these days especially in her joints.  She even had a herniated disc in her back a few months ago.

Let’s Get Helen to Cook Something Good…

Dad and I ran to the grocery store last night after we went and put some gasoline in my car and his at Fat Albert’s.  As we walked into the store, dad said pick what you want Helen to cook.  We grabbed a grocery cart and I proceeded to get a big pack of tenderized steak for country fried steak, yellow saffron rice, fresh broccoli, makings for German potato salad, and the ingredients for Helen’s biscuits which was a box of Bisquick. That surprised me.   We will be having fruit cocktail as well which pleased my father. We got some fresh bananas for the fruit salad.  That was all the makings of an excellent meal mom used to cook when I was a young man.   I can still taste her rice and gravy from all those years ago.  Mom will love this meal as well.  I hope to see her today and I will if she brings by my plate of delicacies ala Helen later this afternoon.

Fog Rolling Off the Chattahoochee…

I was walking in the clouds it was so foggy this morning that you could barely see a hundred yards in front of you. That was our extent of interesting weather today if you don’t count the cold.  Maggie was having the best time of her life, though,  as I watched out for errant cars in the foggy darkness.  Sidewalks are our friend.  I’ve gotten to be a smarter cold weather walker and have started to wear layers of clothes to stay warm. A few of you dyed in the wool walkers told me to do this.  It is working fine so far.   I stay pretty warm.  Thank you!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Journey to the Meathouse…

My great auntie Myrtis and I drove up yesterday to Roanoke, Alabama to visit the “meathouse” as she affectionately calls it. It was a spur of the moment type of thing. She called me, then called my father, and wanted to go. We got all kinds of good bargains yesterday. My father gave me a list as well.  He said he would pay me back for all the costs when we got back home.  All of us wanted that special link sausage that Clarke Bros. is famous around here for.  They also have some of the best hoop cheddar cheese I have ever tasted. I bought three pounds of cheese.  I am going to be eating lots of cheese eggs, cheese grits, cheese toast, pimento cheese, and grilled cheese sandwiches it seems. It will also kick up those bland Marie Calendar meals I eat everyday up a notch.

Don’t tell the nanny state that is the DMV that driving is still hard for me.  I get paranoid we are going to crash and that something bad is going to happen.  I get so very nervous as well.  I also get this feeling that the car is not going to stop at stop signs and intersections which is very alarming. My heart was still thumping in my chest after I drove my aunt home. When dad or mom drive, I always get sick at my stomach as well.  I have to close my eyes, lean back, and hope things calm down.   Driving forces a lot of anxiety to fester within me it seems. “You drive like a crack addict,” I told my father the other night. “You are so jerky and in a hurry. It makes me carsick.”

Shower Them With Conformity…

Dad noticed last night that I was dressed very nicely, was clean shaven, and had the house very tidy. 

“You’ve come a long way son,” my father said to me as he hugged me and looked around the room, “You look so nice.  We are going to fix you up and tackle obstacle by obstacle. You looked like a homeless person for years.”

I vowed with much coercion to my father that I would never wear those baseball caps again. That was one of the biggest sources of contention between my father and I for years as far as my appearances are concerned.  The hats about drove him crazy. “You have hair that is too pretty to be hiding it all under those caps,” he would vehemently say.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

You Know What?

My mother is a true force of nature to be reckoned with –  like a dark storm on the horizon or a locust plague of biblical proportions.  I will have to go pick up my newly sized blue jeans and shirts at the Tailor’s Thimble in a few days after our measuring visit today. There is only one true thing my mother is afraid of and that is my father.  This dogged determination, which is so characteristic of my mother, will probably stay with her well into her senior years.  That would be interesting to witness and ride along as it unfolds.

I drove down to my father’s drugstore this afternoon to weigh in which has become our habit.  I’ve gained three more pounds.  My father was ecstatic. I felt like a lard-ass.  When 170 pounds arrives, I will get a new wireless mouse and keyboard for my computer.  I have never been so determined about something in my whole life. I want one of those expensive Logitech keyboards that lights up at night when the computer is turned on.

I thought this self discipline of mine was one of most impressive things I’ve done in weeks or maybe months to gain this weight.  It also feels good to have my often stern father bragging on me and how well I am doing. My father and I have a turbulent love/hate relationship, but it all comes out the wash as they say as we still love each other very much.

Monday, December 5, 2011

An Andrew Type of Christmas…


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Kranky and Krazy…

It has started and the games and insanity will begin in a few moments. Mom is on her way over here after a very frustrating phone call between us two.  Mom is fixated entirely on getting the bluejeans she bought for me taken up some at The Tailor’s Thimble in downtown West Point.  I don’t want anything to mar my favorite day of the week, and I certainly don’t want to be at the tailors as they measure me. This is a sacred day for me.  Mom will win, though. She always does. She’s as tenacious as a bulldog. I should just concede defeat.

Let’s Have a Good Moment of Reverent Silence for my Mother and Grocery Day…

My most favorite day of the week and I truly felt brave as I told mom just to pick things she would want to eat herself. I wanted to be adventurous so badly for a change. You could tell mom was peeved and wasn't very happy with me for imposing on her like that. It was too nebulous and she wanted to get our standard and normal fare which is comfortable for her, and then to get the hell out of Kroger as fast as possible.  I acquiesced and told mom to just follow our usual routine. She sighed very loudly in relief. I hate grocery stores (social and mental overstimulation) and buying groceries so mom is a real trooper for doing all that for me. I don’t let that escape me, but I’ve gotten hotdogs, frozen TV dinners, Pop tarts, and Vienna sausages now for months. So much for culinary adventures.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It Is Beginning to Look A Lot Like A Beautiful Christmas…

I just spent all afternoon long over at my parents house decorating for Christmas inside and out by request from my father.  He says I have an “eye” or “flair” for it.  Mom and dad’s house looks completely gorgeous now.  I will have to upload some Christmas photos soon in the next few days.  I wish I could convince dad into using the prettier colored lights instead of just plain white. I guess that is just the kid in me coming out.  Mom sat on the couch and supervised the whole time according to my father. That made me snicker jovially.  Those two are a match made in heaven if I have to say so myself.  Opposites surely do attract at times. (sarcasm)

Now, I am hoping dad will stop by on his way to the pharmacy  tonight and will be willing to grab a few cheeseburgers. I want to get my two Christmas trees as well tomorrow.  One for the front den and a smaller one for the back bedroom. All this Christmas stuff and decorating is contagious.  I love sleeping to the soft glow of all those pretty little lights.   I think the excitement of it all excites our pets as well.  Maggie was awful spritely tonight when I got home after doing her customary smell check of me for food and then cats. I think all the feel good endorphins must be emanating from us more festive folks.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Helen’s Meat Loaf and Me. A Missive…


Oh, how I love you dear Helen’s meatloaf. I love you long, long time.  I liked to have driven the Mag-dog crazy this morning with my culinary ways.  She was prancing and antsy around the kitchen in anticipation until she settled down to beg. First, I slathered two pieces of toasted Cobblestone Mills white sourdough bread with ample and generous amounts of Blue Plate mayonnaise.  The whole time Maggie was sitting or begging on the floor as all these wonderful smells were cascading down to her nose. Two pieces of meatloaf on paper plates in the microwave for a minute or two and I had meat loaf sandwiches ala Helen.  See?  Even our finest furry little friends like meatloaf!

What’s a Saturday to Ya?

I just took a quick drive over to my parent’s to get some noncarbonated lemonade. Mom gave me four cans in a sack.  She said that I would enjoy them, but that they were just too acidic and mouth puckering for her. Sounds like a food adventure to me which I grew excited about.  I walked out of my parent’s house with lots of new books to read that my mother said I would enjoy as well.

Earlier, Maggie and I went on our rounds walking the neighborhood with much milder temperatures than what the night holds in store for us most days. The traffic was aggravating, though, in the day. I think we should stick with nights and grin and bare it as far as the cold goes.

Odd Andrew -- Am I a Hoarder?

For years, my father used cigarettes as a leveraging tool for disciplining me since he had control over my finances. I vowed to never again get caught between my father and satisfying my addictions – caught by the balls and squeezing as they often say in the South. All these are cigarette packs as mom gives me two packs a day with my six Cokes for the day. I am building up or hoarding a supply incase dad wants to play hard ball again some other rainy day.  A friend, Barry, told me to store them in the freezer and they will last for years. I bet there is 40 or 50 more packs of cigarettes in there. Helen is the only person in my real life who knows and has seen this other than me.

031 copy

Friday, December 2, 2011


I have a little secret and will share it in the morning.

Hard Times Befalls Upon Meals On Wheels…

Mom just called me a moment ago bawling her eyes out crying.  She sounded so pitiful over the phone – all snuffles and sniffles on this end of a cordless phone.

“What happened?” I asked, terribly and extremely worried.

My first conclusion was that someone in the family was sick or dying the way mom was carrying on.

“I knocked the passenger's side mirror off my car coming over to your house with your supper.” she told me.  “I hit the garage door.“

“Your father is going to kill me!” mom then said even more despondently.

This is nothing new for mom.  Dad will try to blame it on her age lately saying she no longer needs to drive, but my mother has been doing this kind of thing since I was a small child.

When dad arrives in a few hours. I will test the waters to see if mom told him. And if he has, see what he is going to do about it.  Surely, dad will get mom’s car fixed and I will try to be her advocate.  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

For Tee

Helen’s Deviled Eggs Ingredients:

  • 7 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • Salt and pepper, for taste
  • Paprika for garnish

I like to have never gotten this recipe from Helen.  Helen doesn't cook with cookbooks much, but mostly only out of her memory.

A Patently Boring Life…

Life's been very quiet and serene. It is almost uncanny, and that’s a nice thing coming from a guy who saw almost constant drama, tears, and distress, mental and perceived, for many years if not decades. My life revolves around the simple pleasures these days and it’s about time.  I almost feel as if I am finally retiring from my drinking and drugging days.  There are some hardships along the way, but nothing a little positive attitude and time won’t resolve. Watching Maggie’s comedic antics helps as well.

For You My Maggie, Make a Wish…

I never thought I would get up the gumption to do it despite a helluva heavy frost and ice-cold temperatures this morning, but I successfully took Maggie on her walk this morning and that was a major, major accomplishment when factoring in the temperatures. Boy, was I reeling as that first frigidly cold air hit me in the face as we walked outside and down the slippery steps.  We had the heaviest frost since last year and it was almost invigorating if not misery inducing.  I should have been a dark skinned dude who lived in a tropical environment for all it’s worth. Can you even get the internet on small tropical pacific islands? If not, then I don’t want to live there spoken like a true first world citizen. Somebody turn up the heat and pass around the pizza!

Too Much Chicken, Eh?

Charlie was telling me last night how glad he was for having Zaxby’s open a restaurant in the Valley. Charlie has brought me several chicken tender plates and they were pretty good.

“Horsefly will only eat something if it has chicken as the main dish or ingredient” Charlie said with a scoff and then a grin. “I am just glad for an alternative to Kentucky Fried Chicken. KFC was just too greasy, and Jim Bob’s was too far a drive.”