Saturday, September 30, 2006
Email me pictures of your desktop and I will post them on my blog with a link to your journal. I think it would be interesting to see what others have installed and what their desktop looks like.
“Carolyn, don’t start, okay?” I replied.
“Then why don’t you want me to go?”
“Cause I am scared of what my father will say,” I replied. “He wants me to give him some grandkids someday and your tubes are tied. You can never have children again. He will give me a hard time for weeks on end.”
“Well, goddamn,” She exclaimed. “I thought that was it. Quit pussy footing around. I am glad the truth finally came out. I thought it was odd we have been dating for weeks now and I have never met your family.”
I sadly sat in my Lazy Boy lighting up a cigarette out of nervous habit. I didn’t need this shit this morning. Conflict such as this makes me a nervous wreck. I took a drink from the coffee mug sitting on my side table to build up my courage.
“Okay, if you go, you have got to stick by me,” I said tersely. “They are going to disapprove of you and it is going to be uncomfortable to say the least with regards to them.”
“You love me, don’t you?” She then asked me.
“Yes, I care about you very much,” I replied.
“No, I asked you if you loved me,” She said again adamantly.
“Hun, you know I love you more than anything,” I responded.
“Then, let’s me and you drive down there, get a hotel room, and join in with the family. It certainly can’t be worse than Rachel and your family disliked her as well.”
“You have a point there,” I said as I smiled finally feeling the burden of our argument lifting. “Let’s go show them what we mean to each other. Let’s just don’t flaunt it though. We can be nice and kind about the whole affair.”
“I will follow your lead and certainly won’t flaunt our relationship in front of your family,” Carolyn replied. “I will respect them.”
Well, it seems I am no longer riding down with my father’s best friend to the beach. I and Carolyn will head down for the weekend on Friday. This will certainly prove interesting. I will have butterflies in my stomach the whole way down to Destin and Fort Walton Beach. Matter of fact, I have them now. I feel I am being selfish by flaunting my new girlfriend. It seems I have little choice in the matter as far as Carolyn is concerned.
Friday, September 29, 2006
“It thrilled me to death that you would call worried about us,” Dad said. “Glad you are keeping up with us. You are doing so well these days.”
My father wanted me to ride down with his best friend, Charlie, on next Friday when Charlie gets off. We are headed for Florida. I plan on soaking up the sun on the beach for a few days and eating lots of delectable seafood. The condo is a hundred yard walk from the beach. Dad thought a whole week of getting me out of my schedules and routines would get me off kilter thus the reason for the only three day visit. He is probably right. I am a creature of habit and much like Charlie’s autistic son about such things.
Liz wrote a comment on my previous post about being lonely and I know that feeling very well tonight. There is just something so comforting knowing my family is only a walk across two yards away. Carolyn also has to work tonight so I can’t rely on her to squelch this lonely feeling I am experiencing. She goes in soon at eleven. I am sure I will get a call from her from work though once she gets settled in if Fat Albert’s is slow. I expect them to be busy after all the local high school games let out though. Bless her little soul. Maybe she won’t get any stalkers tonight.
“Honey, what’s wrong?” Carolyn asked me as she grabbed my arm as I sat on the edge of my bed.
“I dreamt I was still married to Rachel,” I replied. “I kept escaping to go live in the woods and she would find me and make me come back home. I haven’t had a nightmare like that in years.”
Carolyn lay back down in the bed and started to laugh softly as I lit up a cigarette.
“What’s so funny?” I asked incredulously. “That was hell on earth. I’m just glad I could awake from it.”
“Just you,” She said as she smiled. “That woman put you through hell, didn’t she?”
“She drove me crazy, literally!” I snapped as I got out of the bed pissed.
I walked into the kitchen to pour me a glass of milk. I stood in front of my fridge drinking it as I felt someone walk up behind me and wrap their arms around my waist.
“I’m sorry,” She said. “I didn’t mean to take your dream lightly.”
“Oh, don’t worry about it,” I replied. “I am sorry for snapping at you as well.”
“How ‘bout me and you both get a shower and go get something to eat?” She asked me. “It will be my treat. Barbeque chicken sounds good to me.”
I turned around and held her close.
“I am so glad you are not like her,” I replied resting my face on her shoulder. “Rachel took everything I did as an affront to her. You rock, you know that?”
“Well, I think you rock as well,” She told me back.
I was being cheap last night and didn’t want pay to get a hotel room. My father offered to pay to have a roll away bed brought into their room. I declined and just wanted to get on the road and get home. I knew from my big rig driving days that driving late at night is the most pleasant and traffic free time to drive seeing I was going to have to go through Atlanta. As soon as I crossed the South Carolina line on into Georgia, I began to pick up WWL 870 AM out of New Orleans and that completed the pleasant drive trifecta of coffee, smokes, and a good listen. It was smooth sailing from there on out.
I pulled up to my house around 6 AM this morning. Carolyn’s Toyota Camry was in my driveway. I had called her the night before with my father’s cell phone and told her I was heading on home. She had let herself in with the key I had given her to check on Maggie. I opened the door and the familiar smells of my home were so comforting. I felt I had been gone for days. There was also a pot of coffee percolating on my stove and was calling me to come pour a cup via the exquisite aromas drifting into my den.
“Hey traveler,” Carolyn said as she stepped into my den bringing me a mug of coffee just like I like it with cream and sugar. “I thought I heard you coming in.”
“Oh god, I am so fucking tired,” I replied as I took a drink and plopped down in my recliner. “I haven’t slept in twenty four hours. I don’t see how I used to drive for weeks on end when I drove a truck.”
“I wanted to go with you so bad,” She replied. “I would have just called in sick.”
“Well, if I could have gotten another ticket, you could have gone. We would have spent the night.”
“I’m kind of worried about Maggie,” Carolyn then told me.
“Why? What’s wrong?” I asked.
“She has just seemed really subdued this morning,” Carolyn replied. “You don’t think she is getting sick, do you?”
I walked over and petted Maggie. She was lying under my desk like she always does when I sit at this computer. She did look pretty pitiful this morning. She is usually a very exuberant dog.
“Oh, I think she just missed me,” I replied. “It’s not like we have been apart very much these days. You have to remember she was abandoned and left to die in a dumpster when dad found her.”
I excused myself peeling off clothes and dropping them to the floor as I made my way to my shower. The hot water felt wonderful and invigorating. It seemed to wash the tiredness away. I am now fixing to go turn on my fan, crawl into the bed, curl up with my gal, and sleep the rest of the day.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
My brother, his wife, and daughter made it home from San Diego yesterday. Lily, his daughter, wanted to see Maggie. I and Maggie walked over to my parent’s backyard and three year old Lily squealed with glee as Maggie ran around her like a busy little fool. I sat in the grass taking such a pleasurable moment in. It was so damn good to have them home and brought my father no end of the amount of joy he was experiencing. Homecoming is always special especially when you have been in Iraq for eight months.
They leave for the beach on next Monday morning. I can’t say I am not kind of miffed that I wasn’t invited and have to take care of my parent’s animals. I had to swallow my selfish feelings and realize that my father just wanted some time with my brother after he had been off to Iraq for so long. There is a big yellow ribbon tied around the huge oak tree by my parent’s driveway proclaiming a brother, a son, and a friend has come home from war.
I walked up to the son of a bitch and grabbed him by his shirt collar tightly enough that he weased from lack of breath.
“Don’t mess with pestilence,” I said standing over him imposingly. “I can consume you with one gulf.”
“Fuck you bitch,” He replied as he tried to push me away.
I grabbed him closer as his shirt started to rip.
“You have a problem with English, don’t you?” I said. “I don’t play with little fuckers like you.”
“Man, take a chill pill,” He decreed. “I just thought those bitches were cute.”
I cringed at him calling my girl and Debra a bitch. The testosterone flowed freely. By this time, Debra, Carolyn’s co-worker, had called the police. They showed up and checked all our ID’s. Mr. Dingle berry got taken off for a failure to appear warrant.
“From now on, let the police handle such matters,” The sergeant on duty told me with a scolding air as he got back in his car to leave.
I nodded in compliance and then walked over to my car to check on Carolyn as I checked the many scratches on my arms.
“That’s the same son of a bitch I have been complaining to you about,” She said as she cried. “He comes in and watches us.”
“I know,” I said. “He is gone now. He won’t be back. I promise you that.”
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
“Trust me,” I said. “56k with make you pull your hair out. Don’t try to be cheap on this.”
The cable company wanted to “rent” out the cable modem to her when I called them last week. I told her to hell with that. I would just order a docsis 2.0 compliant one online and set it up myself. I purchased a Motorola surfboard modem. The modem arrived via FedEx today and I rushed over giddy with glee like a child on Christmas day. I love this computer hardware finangling shit. The hardest part setting everything up was the customer service treating me like a novice.
“Sir, we need your MAC address for your NIC,” The lady snarkily said on the other end as if I wouldn’t know what she was talking about.
I carefully called out the twelve digit alpha-numeric sequence after pulling it up with a DOS prompt and viola! We were online after a reboot of the computer.
“What cable company do you work for?” The lady then asked me intriqued. “Are you in IT?”
“Ma’am, I slept in a Holiday Inn Express last night,” I replied facetiously.
She burst out laughing and told me that I had made her day. She then told me to ask for her personally any day if I ever needed help again and gave me her name. I blushed.
Carolyn only has to pay for her internet access and not that damnable $15 dollar a month cable modem rental fee (which is highway robbery). That was the cornerstone in getting her to sign up for broadband access. She couldn’t afford to spend a lot of money. I know that $19 dollars a month for dialup looked enticing but her internet browsing would have been an exercise in tedium.
Maggie seemed to revel in this comfortably cool weather. She ran through the yard playfully playing chicken with me like I have never seen her run. I quietly sat in the very cold wrought iron chair in my backyard as I took in this morning’s first pipe of the day. That cold iron sending shivers up my spine as it pressed into my back.
I had to light my gas heater this morning and have it on low as we speak. I am so terribly cold natured. This is a guy who will go for most of a southern summer without using air conditioning unless I have guests. I love the heat.
As I smoked my pipe, I sat quietly reflecting on this past month of bliss. Things seem to be going so well these days. I have a special person with whom to share my life and our demeanors are a perfect match these days. I will soon be moved into a new and renovated home at the start of this New Year. I have plenty of nourishing and comforting food to eat and never go hungry. Things are back to normal with regards to my relationship with my family.
I thought to myself, “It is times like these that it is so cool to be alive and to enjoy life.” I just hope the other shoe doesn’t suddenly fall and disrupt this gilded life of mine. “The Beast” as I sometimes call my disability is always lurking around the corner ready to strike at a moment’s notice. But let’s not dwell on what may or may not come. It is time to enjoy and live in the present for tomorrow may never arrive.
It is now time to hit the hay as my grandmother always said.
“What happened?” I asked concerned as she stepped into my bedroom to get undressed and to put on one of my soft, well worn, white cotton t-shirts.
I stood at my bedroom door leaned up against the door frame as I listened.
“A whole crew of local pulp wooders and forestry guys came filing through the doors just as I was getting off at 5:30 wanting coffee, cokes, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and snacks. We had a line of men snaking through the aisles to the back of the store. I thought I would never get off. I was about to jump out of my skin.”
She sat on my bed rubbing her eyes sleepily. I had been up all night washing laundry, reading and listening to the radio and was pretty sleepy myself. The first light of dawn was softly illuminating my darkened bedroom. I closed the blinds to block out the light. The muted and steady drone of a morning TV talk show could also be heard emanating from my den.
“You hungry?” I asked her.
“Oh sweetheart, a hot breakfast would be wonderful. Wake me up when it is ready. I am going to catch some quick rest.” She said as she turned on my fan and crawled into my bed pulling my covers over her.
“Ummmm, these covers smell wonderful. You must have washed them last night. They are still warm from the dryer.”
“Nothing like the smell of spring breeze fabric softener and the feel of clean sheets,” I replied.
I got in the kitchen and fried some bacon, boiled some grits, sliced some cheddar cheese, and baked a pan of biscuits. Breakfast was done in about 45 minutes.
“Hey doll,” I said after walking into my bedroom and gently shaking her. “Breakfast is ready.”
She whimpered softly and rolled over to fall back sound asleep clutching my spare pillow under her arms. I quietly stepped into my dining room and ate my breakfast. I didn’t have the heart to wake her she was sleeping so well and was so tired. I don’t see how she does it. It scares the shit out of me that I may someday lose my income and have to go back to work. I don’t know if I could ever handle what she has to put up with. I would be a total mental case disaster.
Monday, September 25, 2006
“I sho be dreadin’ winter,” He told me.
Big S also informed me that the management told him he could no longer panhandle if he wanted to hang out on the benches outside the grocery store. There had been several customers complain as he has grown more and more aggressive with this endeavor over the summer. Big S had gotten greedy.
“The white man is always tryin’ to keep a black man down,” Was his answer to what the manager had told him seeing the manager is white.
I hate it when he always plays the race card like that. He is so full of shit. I didn’t blame the manager at all. Big S never buys anything and sits down there all day bothering customers. It was just a matter of time before Big S’s gravy train came to an end. I have seen the circumstances surrounding the gang vastly change these past few months. The once tight knit group is in shambles socially and separated.
I also got a letter in the mail today from George in jail. I had never seen George’s handwriting and let me tell you, it was horrible. It was almost illegible. The jest of his letter was that the food sucked in jail compared to his momma’s cooking and that he wanted me to start sending him some cash via money order every month so he could spend it buying food in the commissary. I wrote a quick letter back telling him I couldn’t afford to send him any extra cash right now. All my extra money is being poured into my new house and getting it ready to be lived in (and eating out with Carolyn). I stuck the letter in the mailbox and put up the outgoing mail flag. George should get it in a few days and will not be happy with me at all.
This evening I drove down to my father’s business to buy some diet cokes. The store was quiet thankfully. My father asked whose car was in my driveway all night and for most of the day.
“Oh, just a friend,” I replied.
“Well, they must be a good friend to stay all night,” My father replied facetiously.
I just shrugged it off, got my Coca-Colas, and drove on home. It is now time to spend an enjoyable evening catching up on the world’s of the role playing games I have been playing this week; got plenty of cokes, plenty of cigs, a nice computer, and games to play. Ain’t life grand?
Leann, yes, me and Carolyn had a wonderful and quiet night in last night enjoying each other’s company. We ended up just talking and listening to music for hours. We didn’t get naughty at all if you can believe it. Carolyn keeps such an erratic schedule though and I am finding myself conforming to it as well so we can have more time together. I am perpetually sleepy these days.
“Have you thought about reconciling with your mother?” I asked him.
“Hell, I would rather live homeless than live with that bitch any longer,” He replied.
I noticed that Ferret was looking rather unkempt these days. That tends to happen with being homeless. I could go a week without a shower or a shave.
“Do you need a razor, man?” I asked rather bluntly.
Ferret rubbed his beard with his hand.
“I am looking rather rough these days, aren’t I?” He said with a laugh. “I think I will get Sherman to take me down to the truck stop for a shower and shave today.”
Ferret then said he was going to walk up to the grocery store and hang out awhile. I bid him farewell and climbed upon my bike. I peddled on back home not wanting to get tangled up with Big S and the gang today. I just couldn’t bear Big S begging me for cigarettes today.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
There was a big storm raging to the south and was putting on a grand spectacle. I love to watch a good thunderstorm far off on the horizon on a fall night. I had to fight the urge to drive a few counties south and do some storm chasing. Having to fill up my car twice this week was an effective deterrent.
I had several messages on my answering machine upon returning home. One was from my father asking me to come over and eat chicken salad sandwiches for dinner. I can’t believe I missed Dad’s incredible chicken salad for a shitty subway sub. The other was from Carolyn. She had slept all day. I picked up the phone and returned her call.
“Where have you been?” She asked me. "I have tried calling you five times."
“Oh, I went and got something to eat and rode out into the country to watch a storm down near Dothan,” I replied.
“Well, you could have come and got me. I would have loved to tag along,” She said pouting with me.
“I thought you would still be asleep,” I replied. “Next time I will call you.
“You have to work tonight?” I then asked her.
“I am actually off tonight. Isn’t that wonderful? Sunday’s are the worst night of the week to work the night shift anyway. They are slow as hell.”
“Now that you have slept all day, what are you going to do all night?” I asked her.
“I am coming over to keep you up all night as well,” She replied.
We both laughed.
“Girl, get your ass over here, pronto,” I said jesting with her.
Carolyn is now in the kitchen fixing some macaroni and ground beef casserole for us to have for brunch tomorrow. She assured me that I would love it. I sat down and quickly wrote this while she was busy in another room. I certainly don’t want someone in my real life finding or reading my blog.
It seems I am going to be up all night once again. The night owl in me still reigns supreme! Now, I wonder what we can do in the wee hours of the morning? I will leave that up to your imaginations. Mine is certainly working overtime. I am thinking of candlelight, a little Nat King Cole playing softly on the stereo, and soft and warm bodies under soft and warm covers. Damn, I hope that casserole doesn’t take too long to prepare!
Maggie is outdoors somewhere. I have called and called and she will not come. I am sure she will look like a drowned rat the next time I see her. Only in a dog’s world would such minor trivialities as heavy rain pose no problems. It’s a dog’s life as they say.
This morning we both got up and I drove us over to her house to check on her animals. They were fine. We then headed down to Krystal’s for breakfast. Carolyn didn’t believe me, but I assured her we could order burgers for breakfast. This is something I learned from my sister and her husband as they love to do this as well. I ordered us a big bag of “sliders” and we sat in the very COLD restaurant as we ate them talking. I should have brought a pullover or jacket.
I was telling Carolyn how I have been worried about my mother. She has been staying in the bed an awfully lot these days. Yesterday, I walked over to see her. It was late in the afternoon and she still had her nightgown on and was in the bed. Dad was down in Auburn for the game.
“I was just checking on you,” I told her. “Are you hungry? I will go get us a barbeque plate if you are.”
“I am just not very hungry,” My mother told me sleepily.
“Call me if you need me,” I replied as I started to leave satisfied that she was okay.
“Will you look after the cats next week?” Mom asked me. “I and your father are going down to the condominium and the beach on Monday. I am going to go buy Maggie some food as well.”
“I will be glad to,” I said. “You all have a good time.”
Carolyn tried to reassure me that she was going to be okay after our conversation and on the drive home. I just hate to see her waste away her life lying in the bed constantly. It saddens me deeply.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
She also told that fuckwad she is dating that she loved him. He didn’t return the sentiment. He is in California somewhere after riding a Greyhound bus for days. He doesn’t have a car or a driver’s license.
I deeply feel sorry for her. Two husbands down and she still can’t get it right. She will fuck the first guy who gives her some attention. I really don’t want to see her in pain, but she brings it upon herself. I know I shouldn’t read, but it is like watching a car wreck. You know someone might get hurt, but you can’t keep from watching anyway.
I just hope our Boston Terrier and Siamese cat are okay. The petty little tempest won’t let me see them going on years now. I will proudly proclaim that I was more of a man than this dipshit she is dating any day despite all my various flaws.
Gmail also has a built in chat client that is very robust so you and I can chat when we are both on. I hate MSN messenger, AOL instant messenger, or Yahoo chat for chatting. Most of them fill my computer with crap. Gmail chat is streamlined and very easy to use as long as you have a broadband connection.
“George be in jail,” He replied.
“When did this happen?” I asked.
“Week before last,” Big S said. “He got pulled over for having a headlight out and they ran his plates. That failure to appear warrant popped up. The judge be holding him without bail because he had so many previous DUIs and was driving without a license.”
I bought my Gatorade and walked on home. I can’t say I am surprised about this turn of events. George had it coming to him. I don’t mean to be callous, but it is actually a good thing he got locked up. He was going to kill himself or somebody else with his constant drinking and driving. Maybe now, he will get sobered up. He is probably looking at quite some time in county jail. At least they have AA meetings on the inside.
Carolyn showed up for breakfast this morning. She was amazed at how fast I could whip up some homemade biscuits. I am like my father’s mother and have to have them often in the mornings. It is second nature now. I no longer have to look at a recipe. She watched me intently as I prepared them before getting the sausage and eggs started.
“The shortening is the key,” I told her. “That is what makes them so light and flaky. You want the flour to have a crumbly texture after you cut in the Crisco.”
“My ex couldn’t microwave a meal without asking me for help,” Carolyn replied. “I like it that you like to cook and can cook.”
“Well, it certainly makes it more worthwhile cooking for two instead of just myself,” I replied as I smiled.
The biscuits went into the oven and in moments I got the sausage frying and started to grate the cheddar cheese for the eggs.
“Look in the fridge and slice up that cantaloupe,” I said.
Carolyn pulled the pungent melon out and cut it up into wedges and wrapped the remaining half in Saran wrap. Out came the biscuits and we sat down to eat as soon as I finished scrambling the eggs. We then both crawled into bed and slept until way after lunch; all in all, a very nice day so far.
Things were quiet down at Fat’s. Carolyn was telling me a story about this creepy old guy who comes in every night to drink coffee and talk with the gals behind the counter.
“God, he freaks me out,” Carolyn said. “He will just stand there and watch me and Debra as he drinks his coffee. I am getting weird vibes from this dude.”
“Get the manager to put up a no loitering sign,” I replied.
“She wants people to loiter so they will spend more money,” Carolyn told me.
“I guess he is just a lonely old man,” I replied. “I used to have some people like that come in every night when I worked third shift at Spectrum back in my college days. The police loved to come in every night and read all my porno mags behind the counter as well. I was kind of glad they hung out all the time.”
“They wrap those magazines all in plastic now so people can no longer do that,” Carolyn said.
“Okay, if I come over when I get off?” Carolyn asked me as I was about to leave.
“Sure,” I replied. “I will fix us some breakfast. How does cheese eggs, sausage, buttered biscuits, and sliced cantaloupe sound?”
“Sounds lovely,” She said. “I can’t wait to get off and get the hell out of here. It is going to be a long night since we are so slow.”
I paid for my milk and headed on home wondering what I was going to do for the rest of the night. It doesn’t look like I will get sleepy anytime soon. I think I will fire up a game of Divine Divinity and go explore the dungeons under Stormfist Castle.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Maggie is currently outside barking her little head off at threats unforeseen. She won’t stop barking until I bring her inside which entails physically picking her up. She managed to find an animal skull of some kind and has carried it around all day.
I spent most of this evening putting together a spare computer for Carolyn. I had all the parts in my closet including a spare computer case from Antec. It took hours to get Windows XP and the various drivers, updates, and security patches installed. She wants to be able to get on the internet so we can chat. She’s also excited about exploring all the junk on E-bay. I used to be addicted to E-bay as far as old and classic video games and consoles were concerned. Thankfully, I weaned myself from that addiction.
I kind of feel very restless tonight and don’t know what to do with myself. I called Dad last hour and we talked Auburn football for a long time. He and mom had been out to eat and had just gotten home. They had asked me to go, but I just didn’t feel like getting out of the house today. I hope I am not coming down with something. I certainly feel blah and it’s aggravating.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Cool is being loved by someone; someone who calls to see if you are okay; someone who deeply cares about you and your wellbeing. That is cool.
“Have you taken your meds tonight?” Carolyn asked me on the phone just a moment ago.
“Yes ma’am,” I replied coyly.
“Oh god, I am not that old,” She replied. “Don’t call me ma’am.”
“Yeah,” I said seriously. “I have taken all quadrillion of them.”
“You don’t take that much, do you?” She asked.
“Well, I take enough to anesthetize a horse,” I replied.
“Oh, quit carrying on like a baby,” She said. “You are so full of shit.”
I laughed in return.
“I miss you,” I replied toning down the conversation.
There was a long moment of silence on the phone.
“I miss you too,” She finally said. “Can I come over?”
I could hear her trying to compose herself. She had started to cry.
“I will leave the porch light on for you,” I replied.
“I can’t stay long as I have to go to work,” She said.
I told her I would see her in a minute and lit up a cigarette as I hung up the phone. She will be over any minute now and I can’t wait. I just want to be near her.
This is a little tip using Windows XP that I have been using for years now. It makes the fonts on blogs and web pages much more readable. Once you try it, you will never go back. This only works for Windows XP users.
- Right click on your desktop and select Properties.
- Left click on the Appearance tab.
- Left click on the button titled Effects.
- There will be a check box titled, “Use the following method to smooth the edges of screen fonts.”
- Use the pull down menu and select Clear Type. Make sure the box is checked.
- Left click on "OK."
You are now using a form of anti-aliasing on the fonts you see. Everything reads much more clear especially on LCD screens. Try it. You will love it. It makes reading blogs much, much more easy for us Windows XP users. It makes an amazing difference in the legibility of the written words on a blog. I couldn't read blogs without it.
- One roaring campfire burned down to very hot coals. It helps to keep a second fire going to add more hot coals as they cook as it can sometimes take 1 ½ to 2 hours to get fully done.
- Two sheets of very heavy duty aluminum foil.
- 1 pound lean ground chuck or sirloin. Lean is the key. Ground beef is just too greasy for this recipe as it will make the sauce very oily.
- Two large potatoes cut into slices lengthwise with the skin still on. Remove the skin if this bothers you beforehand at home. I love the earthy taste of them and they are also very healthy.
- Two carrots skinned and sliced into small chunks lengthwise. If you make too big slices then it takes forever to get them done which was my problem Tuesday night.
- One large Vidalia or white onion cut into slices. I much prefer Vidalias for their sweet mildness.
- 1 cup ketchup and ½ cup mustard.
Place pieces of aluminum foil flat on a surface. Salt and pepper ground chuck or sirloin to taste and form into two large patties. Place patties on aluminum foil and form a bowl with the foil. Cover patties with carrots, potatoes, and onions. Lightly salt and pepper the vegetables. Mix ketchup and mustard together and pour over meat and vegetables reserving enough for each. Wrap up tightly and carefully to hold in the steam which allows the vegetables to cook more thoroughly and for the beef to cook tender. You may want to occasionally open the foil to check the vegetables for tenderness as they cook with a knife or fork.
You can also cook these in the oven although you will have to experiment with the temperature and time. I would say around 375 to 400 degrees for an hour or so.
Carolyn has decided to take the job at Wal-Mart it seems. I can’t say I am exactly happy with that, but will be okay with it if she is happy. I have my doubts she will be happy with it though in the long term.
“Do you think I am making the right decision?” She asked me over a cup of coffee after our meal.
“I just don’t want you to be disappointed when there are just as many goobers down there as at Fat’s,” I replied.
“I know, but the extra money and benefits are enticing,” She said. “And I will be working days again. I am so tired of third shift.”
“So, I guess this means I will no longer get my free morning cup of coffee,” I replied facetiously.
“You shithead,” She smirked with a disgusted look on her face. “That is all you are worried about, isn’t it?”
I held up my hands signifying surrender and said, “You know I was just kidding. Jeez, you women are so touchy and so damn serious. Take a joke.”
“I am just not in a playing mood,” She replied and then finally broke out into a smile.
We spent the rest of the time just making small talk until it was time for me to head down to the doctor’s office to undergo the rigors of being poked in the derriere with a three inch long needle. Carolyn and I then both went our separate ways. She was going home to sleep after working all night.
I managed to get my favorite nurse, Michelle, this morning. I and Michelle went to high school together and are very comfortable around each other. Michelle also has a deft hand with giving me my injection.
“You know that shot you are preparing costs $265 dollars,” I told her.
“Dammit, don’t tell me that,” She said as she laughed. “You are making me nervous.”
Michelle managed to prepare the shot without any mishaps.
“Okay, which cheek do we want to poke today?”
“I’m a leftie so I prefer the left one,” I replied.
“You always want to get it in your left butt cheek,” She said. “We really should switch it up every two weeks.”
“Nah, don’t worry about it. Just inject it into the left,” I replied as I pulled my shorts and underwear down to the side and turned around.
I told Michelle goodbye and thanks, set up my next appointment and then headed to my father’s pharmacy which is just a few hundred yards up the highway. The drugstore had only been open for an hour and things were already batshiat crazy. As soon as my father or one of his technicians would hang up the phone, it would immediately ring again. My father looked at me signifying to wait a moment as he rolled his eyes. Finally, he broke free from the phone.
“Did you get it done?” He asked.
“Yeah,” I replied. “I got Michelle this morning so things were cool. Okay if I get some diet cokes?”
“Help yourself,” Dad replied.
I got a case of diet cokes and loaded them into my Honda. I then walked back inside to say goodbye. All my father’s employees commented on how much weight I have lost.
“Come on. Let’s weigh you,” My father said.
I stepped upon the scales and weighed 183. I have lost two more pounds since my hiking trip a few weeks ago. It worried Dad that I have lost so much weight lately at such an alarmingly fast rate. I can’t say it worries me though. I actually feel better these days being slim and trim.
I drove on home not knowing what I was going to do for the rest of the day. Maybe, a few books will entice me into picking them up and get started reading. I will have to visit my parent’s garage aka “The Library” with it’s collection of thousands of books my mother gathered over the years as a career school teacher and voracious reader. Hope you all are doing well. Thanks for all the comments and emails during my absence. I am signing off for the time being.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Go get your political action figure here. Found this via Michael Hussey of Pushing Rope.
I also cooked lots of comforting camping foods on the campfire and my camp stove. One evening I had hoboes which are my all time favorite camping treat. They took two hours to cook in the coals of a smoldering fire though. I thought they would never get done. The carrots were especially troublesome.
This morning, I swung by the pond on our land to check on the water level. The pond was down five feet after an especially dry August here. I worried about all the many fish I could see swimming in the shallows. My father paid a tidy sum to have it stocked with bream and bass via Alabama fisheries and game. The fish certainly are growing though and seem well fed. We should be able to start fishing for keeps next summer.
I spent a long time talking to Carolyn on the phone before she went in to work tonight. She is looking for another job.
“I got offered a position as a cashier down at Wal-Mart,” She told me.
“Wal-Mart would be worse than Fat Albert’s,” I replied. “You deserve better. Your manager is awesome down there.”
And she is.
“I know,” She said. “But the customers down there just drive me freaking crazy.”
“I doubt the customers will be any better at Wally World,” I replied. “I avoid the place with a passion.”
“Yeah, you are probably right,” She said sounding dejected.
After hanging up the phone, I was standing in my backyard smoking a cigarette after taking my trash out. Maggie, the fool, was barking her damned little head off. It was most likely just a cat, possum, or raccoon. My father came walking down his long backyard with a flashlight in hand to come and get her to put her up.
“What is all this crap strowed about your back yard?” My father asked.
“Maggie’s started a collection of the neighbor’s toys they leave in their yard,” I replied.
“Well, it seems we have us another collector in the family just like your mother used to be,” Dad said as he chuckled. “For a little dog, she sure has been busy.”
Dad wasn’t kidding. I have like four baseballs, one softball, two plastic toy balls, one G.I. Joe doll, a Dora the explorer doll, a pair of sweat pants, a mop handle, two or three Starbucks coffee cups (and there is not Starbuck’s coffee place around for scores of miles), and probably a dozen large limbs she has dragged into my backyard.
The funny thing was that Dad put her in their fence and she was scratching on my backdoor within ten minutes. I called my father.
“She’s out again,” I said.
“Goddamn,” My father replied. “You are right that she is a canine Houdini.”
“Let her just sleep with me tonight,” I said. “I will bring her over in the morning.”
We said goodnight and hung up the phone.
Now, I am dying for a doctored up Tombstone pizza. I am going to add a little shredded whole milk provolone and mozzarella, some extra pepperoni, and go pig out before settling down to listen to my nightly radio programs which start at 11 PM. Good night.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
“Good morning,” I said as I looked down upon her lying in my bed. “You were quite the tempest last night.”
She smiled sleepily reaching out for my hand to hold it.
“Is that coffee I smell,” She asked as she yawned and stretched her arms wide.
I fixed us both two ample mugs and sat at my kitchen table underneath the stark glow of the lights in my dining room. Carolyn came walking in with my Peanuts t-shirt on and her panties to sit with me.
“I am in so much trouble,” She replied. “I think I might have lost my job.”
“Oh, hell,” I said. “They are not going to fire you for one night. They couldn’t find someone else who works like you do and puts up with so much crap. Everybody bowls a gutter ball sometimes.”
“Have you ever shirked off of work?” Carolyn asked looking at me intently.
I laughed as I took another sip of scalding hot coffee.
“Gal, one time, when I worked for the university, I took a whole week off and just didn’t show up. I was addicted to this game called Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force. I spent the whole week playing video games, drinking beer, and smoking copious amounts of cigarettes. I said to hell with it all. I wanted to get fired. I would have made the Protestants with their work ethic howl with fury. I had the time of my life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in this world.”
“Did you lose your job?” She asked intrigued.
“No, I played the “mentally ill” card and the university work environment is especially forgiving of disability. I begged Dr. Carey to keep my job. That poor sod got killed in a car wreck last year bless his deluded soul.”
“That’s fucked up,” Carolyn replied as she laughed and drank more of her coffee. “Not about the guy dying though. That was sad.”
“I know,” I said. “But I got a paid week off of bliss from wage slavery. There was nothing like waking up in the morning to crack open a beer, light a cigarette, and to not have to drive an hour to work to sit in front of a computer entering research data all day.”
“Do you ever want to go back to work?” She asked me.
“Sometimes,” I replied. “But I want to make a difference in other people’s lives. I don’t want to spend eight hours a day entering data into some computer or driving a big rig a thousand miles a day with my commercial driver’s license; all that is bullshit and for the faint of heart.”
“Well, I need to head home and check on the animals,” She said as she got up and kissed me setting her coffee mug upon the table. “I know they are hungry.”
I watched as Carolyn took off my t-shirt and put back on her clothes from yesterday.
“I think I am just going to quit my job and come live with you,” She said walking back into my dining room. “We will be one happy, frugal couple. Besides, the kitchen at your new house rocks!”
“Come here,” I said as I pulled her towards me smiling. “I and you are going to be okay.”
“You think so?” She asked as I held her close.
“I know so,” I replied.
She gave me one of the most affectionate hugs I have ever experienced. She kissed me on the forehead and I listened intently as she slipped out of my door to walk down to the vaunted Fat Albert’s to get her car. Good morning gentle soul and don’t let those lottery fuckers get to you tonight.
“Rescue me,” She said on the other end. “Come down here and get me out of this shit. We have had nothing but fucking crazies all night.”
“Honey, you are falling out of the frying pan and into the fire,” I replied.
“Oh, fuck. Don’t start that, ‘you are crazy’ shit with me,” She replied angrily. “Come down here and get my ass. You carry on about being so crazy, but you are the most laid back and sane guy I know. Quit playing the fool.”
I hung up the phone and sleepily put on some more presentable clothes. I was idling around the house in a white cotton t-shirt and my Auburn Tigers polyester shorts; sleeping gear that I wouldn’t leave the house wearing in broad daylight.
I drove down to and walked into Fat Albert’s and poured myself a cup of coffee in the back of the store.
“It’s on the house,” Carolyn said tersely loudly out of viewing.
“What’s got into you tonight?” I asked as I walked up to the counter concerned.
“Just take me home with you,” She said. “I can’t take this shit anymore.”
I looked at Debra who was her co-worker tonight wondering what her reaction would be.
“You two head on out,” She said. “I will be okay until seven by myself. I will tell Barbara (the manager) you got sick.”
I and Carolyn got in my car and headed up through the neighborhood to my home.
“I just can’t take it anymore,” She said as she started to cry pitifully. “My job sucks.”
I reached over and grabbed her hand trying to console her as I drove.
“You are so lucky you don’t have to work and put up with that kind of shit.”
“I know,” I said not knowing what else to say. I am truly lucky although I wouldn’t wish schizophrenia or disability upon anyone else.
“Hell, someone paid for your house,” She said. “You didn’t even have to work for it. I had to bust my ass to keep my home after my divorce.”
She was right. I didn’t have to work for it. I am just lucky my family is very wealthy. I didn’t know what else to say. I didn’t want to make some lame excuse about me being fucked up in the head. I stayed quiet and just listened to her vent her feelings.
“Come on, let’s get you in the bed,” I said as we pulled up into my driveway and I turned my headlights off.
“You know I don’t hate you for what you have,” She said wiping the tears from her eyes as she got out of my car. “I am not a jealous person.”
“I know,” I said. “I know. Let’s talk about it in the morning after you have gotten some sleep.”
Carolyn crawled into my bed and pulled my covers over her. I turned off my bedroom lights and quietly stepped into my den to turn on my air conditioner. “Life sucks,” I thought as I sat down to write this. Most people spend all their lives working through bullshit for food tokens and just to pay their bills. Nobody should have to put up with the lottery induced madness that Carolyn has to deal with at paltry wages. I would be pissed off mad as well.
“This place is really cool,” Carolyn said as we sat down upon the floor on pillows around the low lying table Japanese dining style.
“Yeah, Rachel (my ex-wife) loved for me to bring her up here to eat,” I replied. “I found this place on a lark one evening searching for restaurants on the internet. We had had a big argument and I took her up here to say sorry. She had a fixation with all things Asian. I spent a fortune keeping her in kimonos off of E-bay.”
Before long, out came our food. I had a bento box with teriyaki marinated and grilled chicken, steamed rice and various Japanese condiments. Carolyn ate a platter of various sushi offerings freshly prepared by the sushi chef.
“How did you learn to use chopsticks so well?” She asked as she watched me eat.
I was in the middle of deftly placing a piece of chicken in my mouth.
“I ate far too much take-out Chinese in college,” I replied with my mouth full of food. “Chopsticks were convenient for a college student living in a dorm without a kitchen.”
We finished our meal and then headed for the mall. It was crazy in there I tell you. Crowds like that make me nervous. Carolyn bought some new shirts and a pair of slacks. I managed to find me a nice suede leather jacket on sale which was still too expensive but I bought it anyway. I never buy things other than the bare necessities and felt I could splurge tonight.
Wednesday, September 6, 2006
My whole online reading material is derived from other blogs these days. Nobody is writing much this week leaving me bereft of reading material. Even the normally verbose “The Homeless Guy” has slunk off into some hole to hide lately. He had a paid blogging gig this weekend at a local television affiliates blog and stirred up a shit storm among its readers with a crass post about Steve Irwin deserving what he got. Nobody has heard from him since. I am sure he will lick his wounds and return to blog again another day.
My car living experiment has completely got my usual routines out of whack thus the lack of posts about the gang. I haven’t been spending much time down at the shopping center or at all. I thought I would write a short update on what the gang has been doing. This was garnered from Big S this morning.
George: George has been busy courting Pookie, playing poker, and trying to cut down on his ice beer consumption. There seems to be love in the air these days around here. Big S said that Pookie had gone into his wallet again the other night while he slept at her house and took fifty dollars. She disappeared and showed up two days later after a crack binge. George was furious. I have told him repeatedly that I don’t care how horny you get; a crack whore ain’t a good place to go to get satisfied.
Ferret: Ferret is presumably still at that religious based group home for indigent and alcoholic men down in Columbus, Georgia. No news is good news as far as Ferret is concerned.
Droopy: You all read of my run-in with Droopy last night. He has really let himself go and is not taken care to keep up his appearance. He will wear the same t-shirt and jeans for weeks on end. I see him constantly walking about this small town on his various social errands with the underbelly of town
Dumpster Diving Dan: Dan is doing what he always does. His longstanding feud with the hog man ceased as the hog man gave up due to Dan’s tenacity and went looking for greener pastures. Dan still feeds his seagulls every morning and hits the dumpsters before the heat of a late summer’s sun hits.
Tuesday, September 5, 2006
She is dating this guy that is a really interesting character. He has had multiple DUIs and his license is revoked so he can’t drive. My ex-wife has to drive him around everywhere. He seems to spend most of his time drinking beer and smoking cigarettes. I was shocked that Rachel would date someone like that after what she went through with me and my drinking escapades. Though, Rachel loves being a victim. It was unnerving to read about her and this guy’s sordid debauchery in the very bed I paid for with my hard earned cash. I am pretty sure this guy will be husband number three.
I went and bought groceries tonight and saw Droopy wandering around Kroger with a cup of Ramen noodles in his hand. He looked especially grungy tonight. The clothes on his back had seen several weeks of wear and were visibly dirty and stained from sweat.
“What are doing on this side of town?” I asked him.
He mumbled some almost incomprehensible reply. I can barely understand the dude when he talks. I left him to continue his wandering and went and paid for my groceries.
I made the mistake of telling my mother where I spend most of my days. She has been bringing me a plate of food out to the park which is only a short drive from their home. Today, my father’s cook prepared chicken and dumplings and biscuits. I had forgotten how delicious homemade chicken and dumplings could be.
Sunday, September 3, 2006
Once in the stadium, it took a moment for me to find my bearings. I had to look at my ticket several times to make sure I was heading in the right direction. I finally found my gate section and walked up that long ramp as the crowd noise grew ever louder. Within moments I emerged from that ramp standing amidst a sea of 87,000 strong and was almost overwhelmed. I looked up into the stands to see if I could see my father and his friends. There were just too many people. I finally did find them. Dad was sitting with my sister’s husband and two of his best friends. Everyone greeted me and shook my hand as they made room for me to sit down.
The teams took the field. A low roar of “Waaaa-a-a-a-r-r-r-r!!!” erupted from the crowd as the place kicker set up his ball on the tee. The referee blew the whistle; the place kicker started his run and then set the ball soaring into the air followed by a deafening “Eagle!!! Hey!!!” from the crowd. The game was underway.
Auburn played a good game. By the end of half-time we were had a good point lead and had started to put in second and third string players. I quietly slipped out of the stadium to avoid the leaving crowds and snarling traffic. I drove on up interstate 85 listening to the rest of the game on the radio. I parked in my secluded grove and bedded down for the night as I browsed the internet, wrote some, and listened to the radio. I then slept until noon this afternoon. These blissful weekends of long sleep will end tomorrow morning as the employees will once again start to arrive after a weekend off and begin another week of workin’ for the man. I will have to vacate the premises at dawn.
Saturday, September 2, 2006
My father has hired a new full time cook and she is much better than their previous one. She prepares food in the old southern tradition. President Taft, a Yankee, once came to the South for a conference and his only comment about the South to his aides was, “They served me greasy vegetables and corn bread.” My father’s new cook prepares the vegetables that same way since those days long ago of President Taft’s visit. We had fried chicken, butterbeans w/ fat back for seasoning, squash casserole, deviled eggs, and one of the most delicious pans of corn bread I have ever eaten.
“You’re brother got back from Iraq yesterday,” My father said as we sat there eating our meal.
“I was just about to ask you that,” I replied. “I knew it would be any day now.”
“Lily (his daughter) asked him why he doesn’t wear panties,” Dad said as he chuckled. “It had been that long since a man had been in the house and he walked out of the bedroom with his boxer shorts on. She thought everybody wore panties.”
“Well, I hope my brother doesn’t start cross dressing,” I replied snidely in jest.
We all laughed.
My brother is an officer in the Navy with the rank of Lieutenant. He was attached to a group of Marines as a physician in a mobile field hospital. He had served eight long months in Iraq. It was good to have him home. When he left his daughter was barely talking. Now, you can’t get her to be quiet.
As I began to walk out of my Parent’s backdoor after saying farewell, my father handed me a bundle of season football tickets wrapped together with a rubber band.
“I expect to see you at the Auburn game tonight,” He said. “I will be looking for you.”
“I wouldn’t miss it for anything in the world,” I replied as I gave him a hug. “I will see you around 7:45 tonight.”
“Time does indeed heal wounds,” I thought as I drove down the street to park in my secluded spot to write and read for a few hours.
All it takes is for one of us to reach out to each other. I and my father will probably always fundamentally disagree on things and will have a contentious relationship. That doesn’t mean we can’t look beyond those differences and still love each other. See ya at the game dad.
Friday, September 1, 2006
Morning arrived in what seemed like a blink of the eye. The rain had long since ceased and I was greeted by a grey and overcast sky. It took until midmorning for these clouds to burn off and for the sun to be revealed. The temperature then skyrocketed heated by the late summer sun. I found myself out at the park lost in my thoughts as I sat quietly reading a book in my fortress of solitude.
In two days, it will have been one whole week of exploring this new lifestyle. I find it suits me and my disability very well. I haven’t felt this free from anxiety in years and am pleasantly content with the slow pace and almost drifting nature of my days. I have pretty much removed myself from the conventions of modern society and find myself beginning to form my own philosophy on what I believe is a meaningful life. Being removed from the thoughts and opinions of others is allowing me to formulate my own beliefs, desires and opinions. It is so intellectually stimulating and satisfying. For once, I had a week in my life in where I felt the value of my person was not measured by the opinions and regards of others or how they expected me to life my life.
I finally gave up on daytime talk radio yesterday which had grown part of my routine during the week. At first, it held a morbid fascination, but the same tiresome rants, proselytizing, and fear-mongering grew old after awhile. I found myself longing to hear and read about more moderate stances on politics and not the constant tactics to divide people along political and party lines. There is an extreme juxtaposition of what is aired during the day to what is aired at night. The so called conservatives have a strangle hold on radio during the day and they all spout the same vitriol ad nauseam. It just reaffirms my belief that as long as the ruling elite can continue to keep people divided politically, socially, and religiously that people will never be able to work together for a common cause of bettering this world for all. They are all too busy squabbling over the scraps thrown from the table of our ruling elite.
I have been extremely lucky over the years I have been writing online journals to have largely supportive, thoughtful, and kind people commenting on my various writings and ramblings. But it is a fact of online journaling with regards to comments, especially anonymous comments, that from time to time you will have dissenters show up and express their opinions. All it takes is a modicum of readership and an opinionated blog author. The vast majority of these few negative comments have been in the variety of ad hominem jabs. The option of commenting also seems to elicit a certain bravado when done so behind the veil of anonymity or in the indubitable Molly Brown’s case, a blog written by a human masquerading as a dog.
I long ago decided not to debate such comments or only fleetingly make a passing remark in a non-confrontational manner. These comments are written to elicit an angry response in order to get your undivided attention, in order to shut you down and silence you or put you in your place. I try to follow a simple set of guidelines in these circumstances I read on the web many moons ago called
A. Anything you feed will grow.
B. Anything you starve, smother, or neglect will fester or die.
C. Every language interaction is an interactive feedback loop.
D. The only meaning an utterance has in the real world is the meaning the listener understands it to have.
E. Mismatch is a warning sign; watch for it.
When commenting on other blogs I try to follow what
"In order to understand what another person is saying, you must assume that it is true and try to imagine what it could be true of." (George Miller; 1980.)
Our tendency when we hear someone say something that strikes us as unacceptable is to assume that it is false and try to imagine what's wrong with the person who said it. (As in: "That's ridiculous! He's only saying that because he's stupid/biased/ignorant/trying to trick me/..." and so on.) This guarantees communication breakdown; instead, use Miller's Law. The proper response when someone says, "My toaster has been talking to me!" is to give the speaker your full attention, ask, "What has it been saying?", and then listen carefully.
Comments such as these are why I rarely express my opinions on modern politics, religion, or society. It evokes such a vitriolic response from certain people and I am content with my views on the world and its structure so do not normally feel the need to share them or to try to push my beliefs upon others. I was just having a hard time coming up with something to write today and that was issue that was pressing on my mind.
I have been reading a book lately titled Lila by Robert Persig and the below quote sums up my coping mechanism very well. Those of us with mental illness will greatly relate to this passage; thus my shyness with being expressive or pushy with my opinions on this journal.
The hardest thing to deal with was the righteousness of the sane.
"When you're in agreement with the sane they're a great comfort and protection, but when you disagree with them it's another matter. Then they're dangerous. Then they'll do anything. The sinister thing that struck the most fear in him was what they'd do in the name of kindness. The ones he cared about most and who cared about him most suddenly, all of them, turned against him the same way they had against Ellen. They kept saying, "There's no way we can reach you. If only we could make you understand."
"He saw that the sane always know they are good because their culture tells them so. Anyone who tells them otherwise is sick, paranoid, and needs further treatment. To avoid that accusation Phædrus had to be very careful of what he said when he was in the hospital. He told the sane what they wanted to hear and kept his real thoughts to himself.