Sunday, June 17, 2007

Death To Doggie

My dog is on a major chewing binge.

Three pairs of shoes with only the left ones eaten. How does she know which one is the left one? Milk containers from the recycling bin, cell phone charger cord (shocking), a cell phone, a guitar cable, two brushes, a comb, two belts (one Armani - arrrgh!), vacuum cleaner tools, a complete set of same, about 20 pens, 30 pencils, an ant bait, a tube of Kheil's Heavy Duty Hand Salve, a tube of Ultrabrite Toothpaste with Extra Whitening, four packs of cigarettes, my ankle, a #2 Phillips screwdriver, the cat's bowl, the cat, a vintage 1930's Mexican serape, a strawberry container, including the strawberries, a credit card (probably for the best), three pairs of flip-flops, left ones only, my leather couch, two pencil sharpeners, another hair brush, 11 boxes, empty, a pool cue, the cat again, two device remotes, my car keys, two empty pill bottles (she must have had a headache after all that chewing,) five doggie bones, seven rawhide strips and I think that's about it.

Is there such a thing as Doggie Dentures?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

It's Not Tony Soprano's Fault, Fer Chrissake!

My good, good writer friend wrote to me this comment after a mildly lukewarm discussion about the Television non-Event that was the terminus of the Soprano saga:

This is a link to an interview with David Chase.
I have to say....having time to think on it, it was a good way to end the show. That's how life is, no? Keeps you guessing. Especially with the mob. Never know if someone got offed or is just laying low. Right?

In the interview, Chase quips:

"People get the impression that you're trying to (mess) with them . . . "


"People get the impression that you're trying to f*ck with them and they'd be right. I'm richer than God, have a 27-year old bombshell of a wife, a swimming pool with a cabana the size of your house and, basically, I don't give a f*ck, so, fuck you, peon-ass mutherf*ckers. Waiter! My lettuce isn't crisp enough!"

It's not life. In life, there never is true resolution. One problem goes on the back burner when another one comes to boil. One joy is sublime and the memory remains festering as the impetus to quest for a new one which is in turn supplanted by the minor joy of, say, ice cream or a starry night or bare feet.

This is television - American television - and we want it all tied up with a neat and pretty bow, because we're Americans, dammit! We need our Reality Replacement Therapy to be complete and in the proper dose. Thank you very much.

By the way, I don't disagree with my good, good friend's opinion - it's the Chases of the world that get me turning in a grave I don't yet inhabit. They want people like her to settle for whimpering, simpering plots that meander to nowhere. That's too much like life for my taste.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Here's A Revelation

I had a realization, or maybe a reinforcement of a realization hinted at in the maelstrom that is my mind, that there's absolutely no room in interpersonal relationships for ego and pride. Altruistic caring and the honest demonstration of same is an obligation.

Now, I'm not saying that it's an obligation in the form of what a drag, I have to do this again, but an obligation in the form of a privilege. It should be an honor to have the opportunity to show that one cares about another.

For instance - she's pissed at you, or just pissed in general. Don't react! Take whatever time is needed to understand what's going on, no many how many paragraphs and run-on sentences she spews. She's trying to freaking tell you something! Guys - seriously: take whatever time is needed. Anything else can wait. If you find yourself getting bored or antsy because the game is starting or you're going to miss the package store closing before you can make your beer run, clear that crap out of your mind because YOU'RE NOT LISTENING. You may not agree - if so, she may be wrong BUT it's more likely that your pride is getting in the way. After all, she's feeling it and if she's feeling it, how, really, can it be wrong? Think about that for a second. Unless she's a total psychopath - in which case, you should really shut up lest you find yourself stumbling into the street with a carving knife stuck in your thick skull.

In case you were wondering, there's plenty of competition out there from guys who will take the time to listen, really listen, and try to understand. But, there's a certain bond she's got with you, so she's cutting you a break and giving you the opportunity to exercise your privilege to not only show you care, but to actually, really care.

Here's a tip: if you're not feeling it, besides being a punk-ass bitch, you should leave the relationship. Sure, her lasagna is great, but, dip-shit, here's the thing - you're supposed to make each other happy. If you can't manage to do that for her and she's not doing that for you, you are breaching your responsibility to make her happy. Follow? In other words, you don't care that much . . . in which case, you'll wind up hurting her again and again. Women are smart, bucko: they know when to cut their losses and they will drop your sorry ass like a hot rock.

Now, back to my loving space after that bout of tough love. I am guilty of being a fuck-wad, full of ego and pride. It's easy to get all comfy and forget that this is a unique and special person that I should be elevating in my attention panorama as a major priority. So, my advice to myself is STOP, LOOK and LISTEN. You don't know what you're missin' (thanks Busytown and Richard Scary.)

If my lady friend allows me to repave the road to her heart, I will check myself and seek to understand what the hell she's saying because she's saying it to me and not Tim, Vito, Tyrone
or Jose. That's the privilege she grants me, for now, until I fuck it up. You best believe it, homer.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Sober Reality

A friend, a good friend and now, possibly, a former friend, wrote to me that she is just tired, to paraphrase, of all the drama that surrounds her life, that makes some relationships impossible to tender, that simply drains that which is the life-force out of her soul.

Yesterday, while on the Tragic Journey, that is, the nightly commute home, I felt myself getting overwhelmed, not by the traffic, but by the scenarios that were building in my head. I went deeper into the wilds of the industrial parks in Parsippany, by then, void of workers and their cars and found myself stopping in the parking lot of some office suites near a railroad track. It was quiet except for an occasional train horn and the songs of birds. Across from the office parks is an expanse of what I can only describe as wilderness. Copses of trees, meadows and now other buildings in sight. I got out of the car, turned off the engine and closed the door to silence the key reminder's ting ting ting. Around me, evidenced only by chirps, hoots and other wild sounds, were birds in full revolt. Doves sat upon a high wire. Woodchucks tentatively investigated the interloper and then scurried off to a safe distance. Doesn't he know the pink monkeys have gone away and taken their noisy rolling trees with them? I turned to marble and let the wild things into my head. A rabbit, small, brown, with upright ears and big, black eyes, carefully took turns munching manicured, chemically treated grass at the edge of the lot and keeping an eye on me, turning its head left, right and center to gauge my scant motion with its auditory ranging apparatus. Munch, munch. It was beautiful and I thought only of what I was hearing and nothing else. Well, except for Walt Disney. I said aloud goodbye to my temporary animal friends, got back into my car and left.

In the best case, the bemoaning of my "situation" is just so much griping. In the worst case, it's a relationship killer. There isn't enough time to do what has to be done and have human relationships. I find myself hitting the ground running at six am and not stopping until midnight, every single day of every single week. So, I'm inept? Must be. Once upon a time, I had friends who would come over and spend time. Now, they're too busy to travel to the mountains to visit. The locals are rednecks that are marginally friendly at best - neighbor-friendly they call it in Western Canada. The guy across the road from my property is nice enough, but he's dumber than a bag of hammers. I could fake it - no, forget it. The guy that owns the property that Hammer Boy rents is in the Militia, I'm sure of it and not in the least bit friendly. That I'm not Aryan is certainly an issue. Next to him is the brother and sister, now I could never get that quite right, but anyway, relatives of the people that adjoin my property to the south. They're constantly working on their landscaping or scrapbooking or something along those lines and have little time to chat except when we happen to edging our lawns at the same moment. In short, Wisteria Lane this ain't.

Okay - even my blog is getting interrupted at this moment. I guess I'll have to get back to it - or not.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

All The King's Money Bought The Emperor's New Clothes

So, between the $450 for the Washington trip for Shelby (graciously covered by my brother and sister) and the $800 I spent yesterday, I think she's good to go.

Yeah - $800. I hate Marshall's. Love it, too.

So, she got three pairs of pants, only one of which she actually needed for the trip because I would be damned he she was going to tour the White House in her chain-decorated, metal-detector-tripping goth flight pants. DKNY, Hilfigger, Claiborne. Yeah, baby! A pair of Van's clones that she loved so much when she bought them the first time that she REFUSED to buy a pair of Air Nikes that looked PRECISELY the same because they "didn't fit." Un-hunh. Five weeks we waited for size 10s to come in (it's a man's shoe.) Finally, just in the nick of time, they arrive. See, she was prepared to duct-tape the hole in the bottom of the left one so that she could keep wearing them.

Don't think I sacrificed myself to the fashion gods for the sake of my daughter, though. Since Dulcy the Dog has decorated my good Sperrys with incisor-shaped air-holes, I got, on clearance, for $25, a pair of Borns with butter-soft leather uppers, thus saving myself $100. I couldn't believe my luck. When I got them home, I HID them from the canine and her canines. I also got some Nunn Bush NXXT casuals that are way cooler than the dirty-white and grass-stained NB, Addidas and Nike that the sub-urban crowd don for lawn torture on the weekends. But wait: there's more . . .

She needed miniature-sized ablution gear, such as miniature shampoo, miniature deodorant, miniature face wash, miniature body wash, miniature SPF 30 sport sunblock, miniature tissues in case she sneezes in the presence of Laura (though I encouraged her that, should such a faux pas occur, she simply continue and shake Mrs. Bush's hand vigorously, without wiping beforehand) miniature toothpaste, a new, full-sized Oral B toothbrush and a polka-dotted travel case to house these supplies. Of course, since we were already shopping, we also picked up the full-sized version of the foregoing, since, well, she was "out." Right.

At WalMart, part two of this shopping bacchanal, we obtained cranberry and grapefruit juice, a box of Bisquick, the previously-mentioned Vans clones, black flip-flops with camo pattern on the foot sole surface, a hazelnut creme (their spelling, not mine, oh, how fancy) candle, a new razor blade pour moi, since she's co-opted all of mine to scrape her hairy bits during her hour-long showers (reminder: pay town for water bill).

All I can say is "Ca-Ching!" Today, I launder my new undies, low-rise, of course, since the last batch I got was from WalMart and was strangling and crushing my naughty bits: comfort guaranteed, indeed. Maybe they had eunuchs in mind when they designed them. Of course, I'll be laundering everything else that we bought as well as what hadn't been done this week. I figured six loads, plus folding and ironing where needed. In between, there will be lunch and dinner to prepare and I promised to talk to that certain evil someone about budgeting and why I need to move to Roselle and "get the fuck out of Dodge." So, I'll be looking forward to that - the laundry, that is.

Oh, and I bought gas, but you know about that already. And I paid for breakfast with my brother who, ironically, spent most of the time doling out financial advice, apparently forgetting that I did Estate Planning when I was a pup. I smiled and listened intently, nodding (not nodding out) at all the right intervals, chiming in with an occasional "absolutely" and "too true." The Eggs Benedict at the Empire Diner in Parsippany were (was?) pretty good. After he was done, we stood outside the diner for literally a minute. He needed directions to 287. "Don't you mean 280?" I said. No - he explained that Barry, the guy he once referred to as his "real brother", was coming in from Baltimore and that he had to get his propane tank refilled or Route 10. Go figure.

Fun in the sun was had by all this day. I can think of a summer song or two that's appropriate. I'm humming them now. Can you hear it?