Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2021

Postcards from a chick on the edge

  My mother needed major surgery in 2009. I flew out to Colorado Springs to offer support during the days before her surgery and her recovery in hospital. The plan was for me to  serve as an-home care provider for a week or two. I sent my Better Half snarky "Brutus the Stuffed Rabbit and Me Adventures" postcards during my stay, mainly to keep my own spirits up. My mother is a fractious patient with less claws and 100% more growling. The postcards are lost somewhere in all my parents' hoarded mess. I found one today. "Brutus and I have spent the last 2 weeks harvesting dead mulberry bushes to use as chip filling for the VA hospital pillows. We've had to eat gravel and Brussels sprouts. The spork never arrived. Tomorrow, we'll make our break for the Great Sand Dunes. Should be across the border by Thursday, unless Brutus decides to marry Gertie the Hairy Prison Guard." I wish I could find the rest of these postcards.

"Handling a Fractious Cat"

   My side hurts from laughing. This video came up during my search for "fractious patient".  I worked as a vet tech way back in the day. I can not even begin to tell you how much hell I experienced when dealing with a fractious pet. Mommy brings her sweetie-pie fur baby in for surgery, and Fluff transforms into Damien when it it time to pull her from her cage for sedation. We would affix a red FA (fractious animal) sticker to their paper file (an era before computers), and would hang a tag on their cage door. The man in this video acts his heart out. His beautiful interpretation of a fractious cat is a delightful moment of nostalgia for me.

You know you've worked in Equity-Waver Theatre if...

"John Steinbeck’s SWEET THURSDAY (2012) at Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice." - Stage Raw  I come from a family heavily into the performing arts. Now and then, I find a tidbit tucked in a book or box that brings a smile to my face. This humorous piece was part of an old email to my parents that was likely copied from some sarcastic performer's grousing back in the day. Fleshing out the premise: Off-off-Broadway theaters are smaller New York City theaters than Broadway and off-Broadway theaters, and usually have fewer than 100 seats. The off-off-Broadway movement began in 1958 as part of an anti-commercial and experimental or avant-garde movement of drama and theatre. Equity waiver is a term used in reference to the performance at 99-seat or less theaters. In order to perform or to be on stage there, an actor doesn’t have to be in the union. A union member as well as a non-union member can perform in these productions. It is now officially called ‘showcase code’, but th

Nostalgia: Hershey's Chocolate Bars

I bought a Hershey's Chocolate Bar and a Coke. They were on sale: buy two for $1.20 each, get a third free. First off, what the hell? My Better Half would have paid 10¢ a bar in the early 1960's. I remember when they were a quarter, in the 1970s. The price slowly increased, perhaps due to the cost of ingredients. Now I'm grinning. Does anyone still use the ¢ symbol? Maybe it died right after chocolate bars started to cost a buck. No, really. Look at your keyboard. When I learned to type, it was still assigned a key. On a typewriter. It was a prerequisite before we could take programming. In Basic. Seriously. Dot matrix printers and Tandy, anyone? God, I hit my half-century mark this year. Fuck! I lost my train of thought. It must be a geriatric thing. Seriously. It will happen to you young folk. We used to talk about how many times we got laid in a week. Now we talk about how many times we pooped. Chocolate. (No, we do not poop chocolate, although I hear it is a good laxati


     This might be my tired face. It might also be my smiling face, or my grimacing face, or my laughing face. Masks, you know, mask . Like text on a screen, it is hard to emote with half your face covered.  Actually, I took this last year as the TEMS folk loaded Better Half into their ambulance. Chest pain and a stent. The mask hid my fear from public eye. Perhaps mask mandates are doing us a favor by allowing us the ability to express only with our eyes and gesture? Nobody has a clue about what is on our minds unless we open our mouths or use some body language. However, insecure or bashful people like myself feel protected by a shell that obscures just enough of our face that we feel a sense of liberation. We do not have to mumble. We can enunciate. I can take a picture of myself and publish it online without regret or fear. But it also means people can't fully convey our sympathy or joy to strangers. Our lips can not be read by the hearing-impaired. There are more downsides, of

Waffling on about depression

 Depression has me by the throat. We gave up a lot to help my parents. We left a lot of furniture and treasures behind when we moved into this plumbing nightmare of a house.  I have done my best to carve out a second room for us to use (it was my dad's hoarded room before then). My mother's office contains my old, tiny desk and bookshelves filled with her scripts and research books. We set it up in the foyer. It does not look bad, actually. Last night, she bitched up a storm. "The internet doesn't work," she pointed to her old computer. "No. It's not hooked up. You don't have wifi on that computer." "I want it hooked up!" Why? She never used it before.  And then she lamented not having her old desk. "Hire someone to move it downstairs," I sighed. "I don't like your desk anyway. And it's too heavy for us to move." "What will you use?" Without missing a beat, I replied, "Nothing" Up went her

Recollections of Bigelow Street [Reprint]

 From 15 August 2007, The Bemused Muse .  I had the fortune of spending the majority of my childhood in one home. My parents relocated from their crowded Hollywood apartment between Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards in the early 1970’s. They chose Simi Valley for its reasonable proximity (my father was still employed in Hollywood) and affordable housing (the value of my childhood home in today’s market is simply astronomical.) 2362 North Bigelow Street was a serene California ranch-style home, replete with a paved drive, attached garage and slightly sloping lawn. My most vivid recollection of the home’s front yard is the red geranium bushes that my mother planted (she removed them shortly before the house sold.) We did not have a separate pathway up to the front door. One simply walked up the drive. A white Ford Pinto (bought to minimize the massive expense of gasoline during the 70’s fuel woes) was always parked closest to the door. My mother’s parking slot was to the left

Painted trees

  Mother nature painted the trees this morning.

Misplaced Sanctuary

Click to view larger version.   I have searched for a little bag of magnetic poetry ever since we left Colorado. It contained a poem that I wrote while in our last house there. Better Half meticulously wrote it down, indents and all, before I pried it off the fridge and stuffed it in a plastic bag. I went one step further and used a lighter to melt the know, twisting it so it wouldn't come undone. And then I lost it.  Technically, I misplaced it.  We gutted all the crap in our bedroom closet. The room served as my dad's office before we moved in to help my parents. There was hoard underneath the "everything we need to function" items, all crammed into a 3x4' space. (Until recently, we had only one area of the house - our bedroom.) Don't believe me? It's worth pointing out that our blankets are part of this hoard, stacked on top of all the "office supplies" shit. Those plastic bags now hold all the clothes we're donating; dad's shirts and

Useless waffling on a rough day

  The snarky shit in me wants to point out that we can't see but one star during the day, and there's too much light pollution to see anything but the moon at night. I'm not going to fault her for being a pessimist. Today is one of those days. It's cold. I ache. I slipped on the ice. I wish I could gnaw my own spine off to kill the painful parts.  Maybe not the whole spine. Just those last two lumbar vertebrats.  That might make running with stars nearly impossible. I mean, yeah, it doesn't take much to watch stars and put my imagination to use. Finding them is a major setback. I have never lived in a place where the stars weren't visible. California? Colorado? We could see them. But here in Ohio, so close to Pittsburgh and surrounded by our own light pollution? Not a chance. I wonder how far I would have to drive to even glimpse Venus. Not to worry. I can see stars on my monitor. I can still remember how beautiful the Milky Way looked from my vantage point on

Spending an afternoon in the abyss

     I'm caustic today. Perhaps a bit toxic as well. No, it isn't because Twitter put me in jail for twelve hours. It isn't anything anyone living with me has done. It's just a feeling that goes beyond blorft . “I was a little excited but mostly blorft. "Blorft" is an adjective I just made up that means 'Completely overwhelmed but proceeding as if everything is fine and reacting to the stress with the torpor of a possum.' I have been blorft every day for the past seven years.” - Tina Fey, Bossypants This sweet summary does not describe my mood. I'm grinning out of the abyss today. "He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee." My younger cousin and I once had a philosophical discussion after a holiday dinner years and years ago. Was Nietzsche right to promote nihilist views? Was the world and life actually meaningless? And then she

A glimpse of winter

    Morning sun revealed the glaze of clear ice atop the snow. What was once smooth had become pockmarked and entirely too crunchy for the brown hound attempting morning ablutions. He stared at me as he passed digested kibble, paper, and whatever else he consumed the night before.  A sprinkling of confectioners sugar drifted down, but the ice coating rooftops teamed up with the soft breeze to deny the snow footing. The swirls spooked the dog, sending him skittering up a brick path colonized by last night's freezing rain. His feet found little traction. His flight towards the porch was a desperate, frenetic dance. I grunted. Here was a dog that ate snow and ice cubes. I thought he'd lean towards excitement rather than terror. He reached the porch and we both stepped back. It was time for coffee and breakfast.  Our body heat left clear outlines of our feet on the mat.  

A happy Angus

  You can't fault a dog for looking so happy. I found this photo of Angus while hunting for an old screen capture. This was taken when I still had that brown purse and before the doggo lost weight. Basically, before Hershey arrived. Angus is still a happy dog. And a thinner dog. The boys tussle more than Angus ever did before. He enjoys it. I suppose we're all a little older now, a little less active. That's alright. We still have each other. We don't know how long we have on earth or what the future will bring, but I hope to embody the eternally good feels that radiate off this dog during a warm and sunny day.           ❤️🐕☀️  

#249 - A Walk in the Park

It's bleary out today, with a major storm crawling towards us from the south. I thought it fitting to repost this blast from the past. It dates back to January 11, 2011 - another Sunday Scribbles entry from my old blog.     Old Mrs. Milton trundled down the icy street, shopping bag swinging in tempo with her labored gait and punctuated breaths. She wore about her thin shoulders a shawl of the whitest snow, and a matching coating had settled upon the thin flowered scarf that she always wound around her hair when going about the town. Paper-thin skin grew angry red against the frosty wind. It was necessary to go out. She was too hardy in soul and too poor in pantry to pay it any mind. She gazed momentarily at her exposed skin and pondered its diaphanous nature. Had those veins always been there, so very elevated? Was that a tendon creaking as she clenched and unclenched her hand? She marveled at mortality’s fragile quality. Ah, but this is the hallmark of being ancient , she laug

#219: Superhero

   Many moons ago, Meg Genge and Laini Taylor ran a writing prompt blog named Sunday Scribblings .  Sunday Scribblings was set up to provide inspiration and motivation for anyone who enjoys writing and would like a weekly challenge.  The finale was December 2013. I miss it. As blogging seems to have fallen out of fashion, I also miss the many talented authors that I had come to know as friends. I was younger back then. My mind was still sharp. When I look back on my work, I question whether or not I still have that talent. Perhaps it died alongside my cancer. One of my final entries was "Superhero":   Rain droplets stippled her glasses and partially obscured her vision as she ran. Her bare legs pumped beneath her, falling out of synchronicity with her arms whenever her toes encountered a rut in the asphalt. The white and pink cotton dress clung to her. Mama wouldn’t be happy. It was her newest dress. I can fly. She said this to no one in particular. It was her mantra. It

A Monster Calls

   It's rare for me to be moved by a film. Most dark fantasy flicks fizzle out, mainly due to sloppy use of CGI coupled with an inane tale overly saturated with tropes. I've been disappointed too many times. So, with no small amount of trepidation, I settled in to watch A Monster Calls on Netflix. A Monster Calls is the story of a 12-year-old boy (“too old to be a kid, too young to be man”) trying to come to terms with the fact that his mother is dying. Its extraordinary power lies in the interweaving of the fantastical and the everyday. * It performed poorly at the box office. I suspect it was crappy marketing coupled with heavy competition when released in the US. I had not heard of this film but, in truth, I'm glad I didn't. It would not have had as much impact on me back in 2016. Currently, it packs a wallop after a year of personal loss and grief. I won't ruin the experience for you. No spoilers here except to say that you don't watch this movie; much l

New Old House

    The more I look at that picture, the more it seems like the house in the background and the house on the ring are both screaming in terror. Or perhaps the house in the background realizes that the one on the ring is dead, and a finger is pointed towards it as if to say, "you're next!" Of course, there isn't any new key for us. We finalized refinancing papers today. Easiest move we ever made. Better Half and I are now on the mortgage. Our new home isn't fancy. If anything, banausic and abstemious come to mind. It's cozy but we need to make repairs and finish painting. We also need to get the basement organized so we can get our stuff out of storage. My couch is still sitting on its arm. It's a sense of security for me. I don't feel adrift. I am grounded. I am home.    

Bleeding Blue on Capitol Hill

Bleeding Blue Together we marched as one, stood steadfast in solidarity, forever united, under one color of camaraderie.  With our shoes polished, shirts pressed, we stood tall, with distinction and honor we answered the call.  As the task at hand, required immediate action, we stood to attention, without any hesitation.  For community, loved ones and strangers like you, we answered the call of duty and sadly bled blue.  The hours long, the call outs demanding, determined to end all shifts, with every man standing.  The violence, abuse, death, destruction and more, was forever knocking, at the thin blue door.  The images we hold because of the things we’ve seen, forever haunt our sleep and torment our dreams.  For community, loved ones and strangers like you, we answered the call of duty and sadly bled blue.  Bones snapped, teeth broken, bodies bruised and battered, leaving our mental state and overall well-being, completely shattered.  Our loved ones, family, neighbors and fr

Don't be such a bunch of daisies...

  I'm gonna get a review done! I'm gonna actually accomplish a goal for the week! Meanwhile , Better Half has just passed out. On the stairs. In his boxers. We're used to it. Been doing it for almost three decades. "Non-episodic seizures" courtesy of Gulf War Syndrome . That bit in quotes? It's because they don't know what the fuck it is. It's not a vasovagal reaction. It looked like he was planking. The old fad is a fairly accurate way to describe his position upon landing. He doesn't crumple. His arms remain by his side, meaning no defensive reaction to the fall. This whole blog contains too much useless waffling. But I have to wonder if other Desert Storm/Desert Shield veterans experience this? The passing out, not the waffling.   Meanwhile , I got half the wheelchair ramp swept clean of snow. It's fairly deep. I'll have to do the rest later, once I've rested. Gotta get mom out the door safely this evening. Goal, delayed.

Hello, Ohio!

  A reminder, now that Ohio is up to 920,217 confirmed COVID cases and 11,659 deaths: Check out this guy using the cold air to prove just how effective masks are. Please wear a mask... — Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) February 7, 2021 Our county has 4,432 cases with 84 deaths. If you were to take all those cases and put them in the second largest city in our county (which would be my city), there would be more infected people than actual residents.

Futile frugality

    My need for clearer pictures is starting to outweigh my rabid frugality.  This isn't my planned topic. I set out this morning to do a bit of cheery stuff, like writing about waking up early and enjoying the peace and quiet in the house; our dogs happy in the downstairs dog beds, the smell of freshly perking coffee.  Until I saw that most of my images of dogs and coffee were blurred AF despite a clean lens.  I won't be a Debbie Downer about it. I see the perks. For one, the piles of dog fur (which come mostly from the Demon Dog) aren't as visible. That's about it. One perk.  I was an avid photographer before the move to Toronto. I loved it. I especially loved snapping shots of insects. Live ones. In a real environment. Not the dead ones people order in the mail and then pose on flowers.  I'll stop poking fun of people that do that. In truth, I'd do it if I had the money to back then. Looking back on it now, I realize that we created the environment for most

Let there be heat!

Do you see that?  ↑       I did it! Yes! I re-routed the fuck outta that extension cord! Behold me, for I am a GOD ! I also got stuck on the floor a little while. That sort of embarrassing situation pretty much rips the omnipotence from you, putting you on par with an old woman screeching, "I've fallen, and I can't get up!" I'm also more than a bit worried that I'm going to accidentally set this house on fire. Sure, these are industrial surge protectors, but there's only ONE outlet in this room, and I'm pretty sure the wiring is still knob and tube.

This Mortal Coil - Song to the Siren

    It's snowed the past day or so. It's provided an opportunity for me to be more pensive than usual. I miss the water. The beach. I had a magnetic poem on our fridge in Colorado, but I have no idea where it went. It was nautical based, expressing my feeling of withering so far from water.  Of course, what's the fun in being pensive if you don't have good music to enhance it? Enya won't cut it. This Mortal Coil will. "Long afloat on shipless oceans I did all my best to smile 'Til your singing eyes and fingers Drew me loving to your isle And you sang Sail to me Sail to me Let me enfold you Here I am Here I am Waiting to hold you Did I dream you dreamed about me? Were you here when I was forced out Now my foolish boat is leaning Broken lovelorn on your rocks For you sing, "Touch me not, touch me not, come back tomorrow Oh my heart, Oh my heart shies from the sorrow" Well I'm as puzzled as the newborn child I'm as riddled

A post with no title

  I'm listening to my mother tell a family member how the guy that the bank sent to appraise the house (we're refinancing) was good to her. Basically, her schmoozing caused a higher-than-expected appraisal. I'm sitting here in so much fucking pain because I busted my ass non-stop for two weeks, repairing all the cracks in the foyer ceiling and walls. Every bit of it got painted. I worked like mad to repair the upstairs landing's cracks. I couldn't get them all but I used white paint to draw attention to the areas I didn't have the energy to get. I staged the house as though we were putting it on the market, getting rid of as much clutter as I could. We would have seen $50k had I not done anything. Once I was done, we were appraised at mid $90k. Mom mom insists it was because he was Italian like her. That her friendliness gained us that higher appraisal amount. Not one word about my effort.  That effort lead to pain. We stopped by the ER for relief a week back, b

Wife Stabs Husband with Squirrel

   I have a metric crapton of posts-in-progress that I've either been too lazy to complete or have lost interest. Yet I found the time to blog this. What the hell, Florida?! Oh, wait. This weirdness comes from South Carolina. I'd apologize to Florida but we all know weird shit happens there.   (Don't believe me? Bored Panda collected the best Florida Man stories for an instant WTFLI*.) So, back to the topic... How the fuck does anyone stab someone with a squirrel ? Was it frozen? Or petrified into stone? Did she cut her partner first, then plunge the starving, angry squirrel in there for good measure?   NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A 41-year-old man was left bloodied early Christmas morning after his spouse attacked and stabbed him with a ceramic squirrel for not bringing home beer, according to an incident report.  Helen Ann Williams, 44, was arrested Wednesday and charged with criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature. The victim told police he went