Sunday, January 31, 2010

Moss and Lichen on a Rock…

I’m am trying to learn the manual settings for my camera.  This is my first attempt besides a few blurred pictures of Maggie.

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Shadows and Light…


What is it?

Charlie got me this picture at Good-Will.  I hung it in my bathroom.  Charlie will walk back and ask me just what it is.  I laugh saying, ”I don’t know.”  I like it though.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Some Random Photos…

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Showing the Utmost in Restraint…

I haven’t written about it on the blog, but I haven’t felt good lately.  It is time for my injection again.  I’ve been feeling so tired and worn out – like I've run a marathon.  The highlight of my day is to go sit with mom two hours and just talk.  Much to my chagrin, dad cut that out last night.

“You can con your mother,” he said.. “She will give you anything save money.  She has a soft heart for you.”

“No, No, No!  You just wait a minute!” I replied angrily. “I would never impose on mom.  I love her. I’ve changed.”

“Well still,” dad said animatedly. “I have potent prescribed drugs in the house. There are Coor’s lights for your brother-in-law in the fridge downstairs, and your mother will just leave her purse anywhere allowing you to take money to get drunk.”

I felt a deep sadness - an all encompassing sadness. I hadn’t taken money out of my mother’s purse in years and I hate Coor’s light beer.  I left before dad could finish his tirade.  “I’m not finished , he said sticking his head out the back door.  “Well, I am,” I replied with tears streaming down my cheek's. “You’re not treating me like that when I’ve done nothing wrong.”  I wasn’t going to be degraded any longer.

I drove home crying.  I had held off long enough to make it too the car before the heaven’s opened up. I beat my fists against the steering wheel I was so frustrated.  I wanted to hit the man – to give him a good sucker punch. I was so angry and i felt so badly.  I wanted to give him a good old fashioned ass kicking as i am a much larger man than he. 

I won’t go into the semantics of it all, but Maggie and I left for our walk when I drove home.  She had the best time, and it actually brought a smile to my face.   Maggie really was my best medication today.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Command Center Grows. They Will Be Calling Me Norad Next…

To Porn or not to Porn…

One day, George and I were sitting down at the shopping center drinking our beers hidden in paper sacks.  George said to me, “I want a computer.  I want to download pictures of black women with big butts!”  I died laughing.  I was already half drunk and he was three sheets to the wind.  He never said anything about computers ever again until today.

“I want a computer,” he told me over here last hour. “I have the money now that I am not drinking.”

“What are you going to use it for?” I asked warily, worried Mrs. Florene was going to walk in on him looking at obscene websites.

“I heard you can play poker and gamble online, and other stuff,” George replied.

I sighed with relief.  George gambling was the least of my worries.  I lectured George about porn and all the viruses and trojans that come with dabbling in it.

“If all you are going to do is play poker, games, and browse the Internet, then a cheap computer from Wal-Mart should do the job,” I told him.

George left to go buy a new computer with his new credit card.   This should prove pretty interesting.  I want to get George on instant messenger and post our conversations on the blog! LOL  Imagine the possibilities.  

A Walk is a Walk is a Walk…

I reset my odometer on my car this morning on the ride to get my Cokes.  It is exactly 2.5 miles to mom and dad’s house.  I thought, “Hey, me and Maggie could just walk that every morning for our daily walk.  I could get my cokes and Maggie could get her exercise.”  Of course, I will wait until the sun is up and it warms up some.  I can’t stand the cold; absolutely abhor it.   I also drove down to George’s and Mrs.. Florene’s house from my house while I drank a cold coke and it was 2 miles.   There is really no need to use my car anymore other than every other Tuesday when I get my Risperdal injection.  Dad’s pharmacy and the doctor’s office is in another town.

George called me this morning from work hoping I would be up.

“What’cha doin?” he asked.

“Eating spaghetti,” I replied.

George laughed.

“You should have waited and ate a more traditional breakfast with mom and I.”

“What’chu doin?” I then asked George.

“Goofing off and waiting for 7 AM to arrive,” George replied.

It’s good to know a lot of work is getting done at Wal-Mart distribution.   

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ye Olde Weather Blog…

I started updating my weather blog again.  I don’t know why I quit as I really enjoy doing it.  Most of you won’t be interested as us weather obsessed folks.  But I do post an evening sunset over Alabama photo you might want to stop by and view around six every day weather permitting.   Some can be average, but others can be stunning.  Just click on the link below my blog header and it will take you there.  You can see tonight’s sunset!

Let Mom do Your Shopping!

I have grown weary of thinking of things to get grocery wise.  I am a good cook, but it sucks cooking for one and I can be lazy about cleaning up.  I like a clean kitchen and prepared foods afford this.  Today, I asked mom just to buy me what she thought I would like.  Boy, was I surprised. 

“I’m in trouble,” she told me sitting in her car as I walked out to carry in my groceries. 

“Why?” I asked wondering what trouble a 64 year old lady could get in.  I looked puzzled.

“I spent $120 dollars on your groceries.  I got a little wild,” she replied.

I laughed. “We are just alike mom,” I said. “Don’t worry about it.  We’ve been so, so frugal for months to the point I didn’t have anything to eat at the end of many weeks.”

“Tell dad I would have spent that in one week drinking beer when I had control of my disability.”

Mom felt better with me telling her that.

Well, this is what mom got me.

  • 6 tins of fish steaks in mustard sauce (Kinda like sardines, but not as fishy.  Milder)
  • 2 boxes of Ritz crackers
  • 2 bunches of bananas
  • 8 granny smith apples
  • 8 gala apples (I love these)
  • 15 assorted Lean Cuisine meals (These are so good for frozen food.)
  • 2 large bottles of Louisiana hot sauce
  • 10 cans of Chef Boyardee Beefaroni (Thus the purchase of the hot sauce.  She knows I love it in my beefaroni.)
  • 4 cans of Hormel chili with no beans
  • 2 loaves of giant sunbeam bread
  • 4 cans of tuna
  • 1 bottle of sweet pickle relish
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • instant grits (I don’t like instant, but oh well, I will eat it when I get hungry enough)
  • 1 package of Kroger brand thick cut bacon (This should be interesting.  I buy Black Label brand)
  • 2 large boxes of unfrosted strawberry Poptarts.  
  • 1 package of Country Pride pork sausage
  • 1 large package of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 bunch of celery for tuna salad
  • 1 large jar of Blue Plate mayonnaise
  • 6 cans of Kroger light lemonade

A Wise Cracker…

Last night, dad and I were watching TV.  Dad compulsively changes the channel looking for something to watch.  It drives mom crazy and she will have to leave the room.  Well, dad stopped on a channel with a very Charismatic preacher preaching.

“That’s Danny,” dad said. “I went to school with him.  Class of ‘64.”

You could tell it was a local channel due to the poor quality of the picture.  It looked washed out and grainy.  Well, Danny was going at it; preaching hell fire and brimstone. 

“I know he means well,” dad said. “But he comes across as kind of crazy!”

I kindly laughed.  Dad did have a point.  He had got to preaching so hard and loudly that his hair had become disheveled. 

“You ought to reunite with him and go to church,” I told dad jokingly.

“I haven’t stepped foot in a church in twenty years except for funerals,” dad replied.

“You’re the one who needs to go to church!” dad said. “Maybe God can help with your addictions.”

“Organized religion,” I said musingly.  “It’s a touchy subject for me.  That’s why I’ve always had an aversion to AA and NA.”

I pestered dad one more time about that flatscreen television.  He said he would continue to think about it.  He hadn’t left for 30 minutes when he called me.

“Come  get the television,” he told me. “Take good care of it though.  That TV cost  $600 dollars.”

I sped to mom and dad’s to pick it up.   I hadn’t been so excited since my iPod. 

Video of TV in action…

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Persistence Pays Off…

Well, dad gave me the HDTV.  Here it is hooked up as my main monitor on my computer.  What glory!


Misguided Professions…

I once wanted to be a social worker.  I thought with my past I would make a good one.  I have experience with addictions and mental illness.  I could use my life experiences to help others; my goal was to be a good secular humanist.  Well, a reader of the blog contacted me and dissuaded me from becoming one.  “It is the hardest and most thankless job you could ever have,” she wrote me. “And you get paid crap!”  That dashed my hopes and grand dreams.  I was already enrolled in college at the time and on track to become one. 

I am a man possessed tonight.  I want my mother’s big flat screen LCD HDTV.  Dad bought it for her for Christmas a few years ago and she has never turned it on once.  I noticed today that it had analog hookups for a computer.  I am having dreams of having lots of computer screen real estate.  Mom can’t make any decisions on her own so I just called dad to inquire about it.

“Pretty please?” I pleaded of the television. “I am so excited about it!”

“Let me think about it,” dad said, sounding wary.

He didn’t sound too enthusiastic about the idea.  I think the TV was pretty expensive being an high definition model.  But what good is it sitting in mom’s bedroom and never being used?   I would put it to good use and get loads of enjoyment out of it.  I tried to tell dad that I would just be “borrowing” it. 

I also did something today that I will probably get in trouble with dad for.  I called and upgraded my Internet service to 8 megs download speed.  It will cost fifteen extra dollars a month.  When dad gets the bill next month, he is gonna flip!  I will try to justify it by saying it is only fifteen dollars a month and it is my money after all.

9:00 AM Sharp…

Helen arrives at my parent’s house at 9:00 AM sharp every morning.  I have learned to drive over at this time and Helen will give me extra cokes (Can you tell I am coke obsessed?  It’s just part of my obsessive compulsive nature).   Mom usually doesn’t stir till around lunch so I can get away with this.  

Well, today I had a close call with my addictions.  I had to use the bathroom so I used dad’s.  Curiosity killed the cat as they say and I looked in his medicine cabinet.  OH MY!  There were Lortabs, Oxycontin, Aprozolam, Etc.  It was a literal cornucopia for an addict.   It was the hardest thing I have ever done to resist taking a few pills; just enough where he would never notice it.  I walked out of the bathroom with a tear in my eye.  Helen was vacuuming the hall.

“Baby?” she said as she turned off the vacuum. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

“I have,” I replied cryptically. “The ghosts of my past.”

I will be honest and say I sat in my car for a good thirty minutes with it running debating on going back in and getting me some pills.  I wanted nothing more than to spend today fucked up beyond measure.  I finally drove home feeling like a schmuck, but a victorious schmuck.  Boy, do I have a tale to tell George today on the phone.  He will understand completely what I just went through. 

Ya Gotta Watch What Mom Will Say…

My and mom’s talks have become regular.  “Come over for awhile,” she told me over the phone last night.  I had a toothache and needed some Tylenol so I headed over.  Killed two birds with one stone as they say.

“Get you some cokes out of the fridge,” mom said when I arrived. “But don’t tell your father.”

I happily walked into the kitchen to get a Diet Coke to take my Tylenol.  It was the best tasting coke I had ever had and I told mom so.

We talked for a long time mainly about dad and his peculiarities.  Mom was fretting again when I told her I had computer problems all day.  I worked on my computer for hours and hours and finally got it fixed.  My master boot record had become corrupted somehow and I had to format my drive and reinstall Vista.  Mom let it slip what her inheritance from her mother was while we were on this subject.

“Your father won’t let me spend it,” she said. “Or I would buy you a nice computer.”

My eyes lit up.  New computer?  Could there be a God?  My hopes were dashed when mom said dad would never allow it. 

I had drank four Diet Cokes when it was close to time for dad to stop by my house with my medications. i bid mom adieu.

“You sure your computer is okay?” mom said always fretting and obsessing about something.

“I will find out when I get home,” I said. “It has been running for hours now.  I should know when I restart it.”

“Call me and let me know,” mom replied.

There were three messages on my answering machine from mom left during the short one mile drive from their house.

You can’t go without a computer,” mom said. “I hope it’s fixed.  I will ask your father about getting you a new one.  Call me when you get home and restart it.”

Bless mom!  She would give me the shirt off her back if I needed it.  I love her dearly, but I don’t need a new computer.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Guardian, The Watcher, Keeper of the Gate…

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Just Chillin’

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Burning the Midnight Oil…

I asked George what he thought of working third shift this morning.

“It’s alright,” George replied. “I have little supervision.  I see my supervisor maybe twice a night.  It’s nice to be able to goof off when I want to.”

I laughed heartily.

“I worked third shift for a year and never did ever feel awake,” I told him. “I was in this hazy fog all the time.”

George told me the hardest part was when he got off work.  That would be the time he would hit his car and take a giant drink to get a buzz on the ride home.

“Makes for long rides home just listening to the radio,” he said.

“I’m amazed at you,” I told him. “You really are doing so well.  The shakes are gone, your eyes are bright, and I’ve never seen your mother happier.”

George blushed if a black man can blush. 

“I’m doing it for momma.  She’s getting old and can’t take all that drinking shit anymore.”

I refrained from telling him he should be doing it for himself.  I didn’t want to be a killjoy.

“You’re a good role model,” George then said, catching me by surprise. “You’ve walked in my footsteps.”

“And then some…” I replied facetiously.  “At least you were never homeless.”

George and I both got quiet watching TV.  I turned it to the death and destruction channel and George howled in protest!

“You know what?” I asked George. “You’re my dopeman.”

“How’s that?” George asked laughing.

“You bring me cokes; my drug of choice these days,” I replied.

George burst out laughing.  He had never heard of such a thing.

“You can’t get high off of cokes,” he said. 

“I can!” I protested.  “I get all happy and hyper.  I am so sensitive to most substances.”

George laughed some more and said he had never heard of a coke addict pawning his TV for cokes so I was safe.

“Damn your parents!” he exclaimed as he got up to leave. “Drink you some goddamned cokes!”

I smiled and walked George out to his car.

“Today gonna be a sober day?” I asked him before he shut his door.

“Cross my heart and swear to die,” he said with a big toothy grin and drove home.

My Newest Acquisition…

Dad surprised me with this last night.  He got one of the girls at the pharmacy to order it for me. It is going to take some assembly, but it will be a fun rainy night project.   I can always use more trains and the Proto 2000 line is noted for extremely smooth running locomotives.  Now, I just have to install a Digital Command Control decoder. 

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Symptoms These Days…

Oh, how far I have come.  Through dad’s help, I take my medications religiously.  I haven’t had a drink in three years.  The pieces of the puzzle of wellbeing have just fallen in place the past few years.  You know what makes me hesitate to write about this? Social Security.  I occasionally get hits on my site meter from government types.  I worry they think I am “cured” and can go back to work.  There is no cure for schizophrenia, just management of the symptoms.  I don’t know if I can handle the stress of a job however small.  I guess that speaks little of me.  I should get some derision from my anonymous commenter for writing that. lol

Some current symptoms I am having are extreme paranoia about the drug dealer next door.  I have never seen so many strange and familiar cars in my life.  Being obsessive compulsive, I constantly check my locks in the house and on my car.  Last night, there was a huge party next door and a vicious fight erupted.  I could hear screaming and hollering. “What you gonna do homeboy?” one fellow kept saying.  I’m afraid to call the police for fear of repercussions. 

Dad, the eternal optimist, says he is just getting lots of “pussy”.   He’s got lots of girls visiting and is a Don Juan of sorts. I keep my mouth shut as there is no arguing with dad. 

“What about the police detectives car that keeps showing up at various times?” I asked dad.

“Oh, that is just his police force friend.  He’s just coming by to see him,” dad replied.

I let out a muffled laugh. 

“You’re seeing things from your grandmother’s point of view,” dad added. “She always thought her neighbors were up to no good and were dealing drugs.  It was a sickness.  You’re acting like that.”

I sighed.  “I guess so,” I said giving in. 

“Look on the positive side,” dad told me. “He’s getting some pussy, drinking some beer, and having a helluva time!”

I didn’t bring up the fact that he drives a 2010 Jaguar, an extremely sharp car, with $2000 chrome rims and he doesn’t work.

I guess paranoia can best be summed up as excessive, excessive worry.  It is also hard to tell what is reasonable worry and what is not.  You get so caught up in the process that you lose focus with reality.   

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Shameless Self Promotion for Dad…

We had finished eating breakfast, Mrs. Florene, George and I.   Suddenly Mrs. Florene started to feel dizzy and flushed.

“I think I forgot to take my blood pressure medication last night.  I am almost out,” she said.

“Go ahead and take another, mom,” George chimed in. 

I watched as Mrs. Florene slowly made her way to her bedroom.  This really alarmed me and it did George too. She walked back in in the kitchen and took the pill with a glass of water.

“You should really trade with dad,” I told her. “You could have called him even on a Sunday to see what to do.  You couldn’t do that with Wal-Mart.”

“You can really call your dad on the weekends?” Mrs. Florene asked surprised.

“Of course,” I replied. “The number is listed.  Dad will even fill prescriptions on Sunday in an emergency.”

I had convinced Mrs. Florene to change over to dad’s pharmacy.  I really didn’t do this on purpose, but I wanted her to be able to call her pharmacist the next time this happened.   She is 74 and not getting younger, and takes lots of medications.  Dad would give her the personal care she needed and I also hoped dad would see that Mrs. Florene and George are good people.  He gives me a hard time about going over there. 

Loneliness is a State of Mind…

I sat two hours yesterday talking to mom.  I get so lonely in that house of mine despite Maggie. Maggie went with me and lay on the floor beside me listening to every word and watching the cat on mom’s bed warily.  Mom was in the bed with her cat Muffin on top of her. We talked mainly of small talk; a subject I am still mastering.  It was good practice.   It also gave me a good excuse to drink all the cokes I wanted.  Every time I would run out of a drink, mom would suggest I get another out of the fridge.  Bliss!  That doesn’t happen often. 

“Mom, do you think I am doing better?” I asked at one point.

“You’re still obsessive compulsive, but your doing better than you ever have before,” she replied.

That made me feel better.  Sometimes, you just to have to hear it from someone else. We really haven’t had any episodes out of me lately for a long time. 

Soon, dad was home from work.  He gets off at 2 PM on Saturdays. 

“I see I’ve got my whole crew here today,” he said with a smile.

“We’ve been talking for hours, “ mom said excitedly. “We’ve had the best time.”

“When you were drinking,” dad said. “You would never do that.  You would only be thinking about getting drunk.  You would never give time to your mother or I.”

He was right.  Drinking was the be all and the end all.  

Eggs, Bacon, and Sobriety…

This Sunday morning we have our traditional breakfast with Mrs. Florene and George.  Mrs. Florene already told me she was cooking scrambled cheese eggs, bacon, and biscuits for breakfast last night on the phone. 

“Monday, George will be two weeks sober,” she told me proudly.  “He really is like a different son. He is just much more responsible and thoughtful.”

“Alcoholism is he epitome of selfishness,”  I told her glibly.

My heart goes out to Mrs. Florene.  She is a saint.  For years, she’s put up with George’s alcoholic antics like running over the mailbox, pissing all over himself, puking till his guts about hang out, pissing in the bed and coming home mad and screaming and hollering at his mother.  Etc.  

Reading List…

Well, I finished Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga.  For a series of books written for girl tweens and teens, I really enjoyed it.   My favorite character in the end was Jacob.  I just loved his snarky wit, and what is there not to like about a good hearted and good natured werewolf?   The ending of book four left you hanging.  Which, I hope, means more sequels on the way.  The rumor has it that Mrs. Meyer wrote a sequel and it escaped out on the Internet.  It is now a new eBook free to download on her website.

I am currently listening to Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet.  I much prefer audiobooks cause I can pace the house all the while smoking copiously and drinking Wal-Mart orange drink.  It is a ritual of mine and good exercise.  So far the book has taken a sad turn for the worse and I hope it improves for the main characters. 

Next on the agenda, it the Harry Potter audiobooks.  Mom, my librarian, gave me the choice to listen to them or read them.  You already know what I picked.  Mom disliked the books saying they were childish.  I hope I fare better. 

Friday, January 22, 2010

Man Food on Helen Friday…

Helen cooked what I requested.  Dad was laughing last night and said I am meatloaf obsessed.  I could eat it once a week if it were up to me!  Interestingly, my favorite part of today’s meal was the biscuits.  They were so fluffy and tender.  Helen makes the best biscuits!



And Then There was Rest…

Maggie kills me sleeping on the couch cushion like this.  She is single handedly destroying my couch cushion. This is also where we watch “doggie TV”.


Sunrise…What a Better Time to Walk…I think…

I was laying in the bed this morning half in and out of sleep when Maggie started mewling next to the bed.  I moved over and pulled the covers to the side.  This usually invites her to get on the bed with me.  That wasn’t what she wanted.  Then more whimpering and mewling. 

“What is it girl?” I asked sitting on the edge of the bed rubbing my eyes.

Maggie got excited and started to wiggle and rear up on her hind legs.  I walked into the laundry room to check her food and water.  She had plenty.

“Not a walk this early,” I finally said.

Being the softie I am, I pulled on my sweat pants and a hoodie.  I grabbed the leash and hooked Maggie up.  Maggie was beside herself.  “Who owns who?” I thought.  I looked like a mess, my hair all disheveled.  I was the frumpy walker.

We only walked around the neighborhood all the while with me yawning wildly.  Maggie had to greet all the neighborhood dogs, tail wagging wildly, and sniffing noses.  She was having the time of her life.

“We’ve got to synchronize our internal clocks,” I told her as we stepped back into the house. 

I feel better now and am wide awake.  Soon, I will crawl into the shower and complete the wakeup process.  I can hear Maggie crunching on her nibbles as I write this.  That was all she wanted; a short walk to get out of the house.  I fear she gets cabin fever.   Well, let me go lather up and wash this medusa like monstrosity that is my bed head. 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Death and Destruction Channel. A Rant…

I used to love The Weather Channel.  I could watch for hours.  Those days are long gone with it’s acquisition by NBC.  I was talking to dad last night about my frequently calling it the death and destruction channel these days.  It is increasingly becoming a news channel and not a weather channel.

“Death and destruction draws viewers and sells advertisement slots,” dad said in response. 

“I know,” I replied miffed. “But I want a detailed forecast and the radar.  Not wall to wall destruction in Haiti.  It seems The Weather Channel’s parent company, NBC, has a better infrastructure in Haiti than the whole of that nation’s government these days.”

Dad laughed.

It’s true, though.  Last night’s Weather Center only had a smidgen of instances of forecasts or local weather.  They concentrated on panning out to Mike Sidel in California who was on mudslide watch; just waiting for houses to slide off the hillside.   And the gross hyperbole?  Don’t get me started.  Alexandra Steele you should be ashamed.  

Well, I will quit this rant.  I feel better now.  At least channel 12 out of Montgomery has a 24 hour radar with NOAA weather radio playing in the background.  It has been my saving grace these days as far as my weather news consumption is concerned.  I also wouldn’t know what to do without Internet weather these days as well.    

Off to See Connie…

Maggie has frayed and worn out her new harness.  That’s Wal-Mart made in China for you.  Well, mom has soft tissue therapy this morning and I am going with her.  We are swinging by Pet Smart on the way home to get a sturdier harness.  Mom called me this morning to remind me.

“Have you measured Maggie’s neck and girth?” mom asked me.

“Every time I go to measure her, she acts all funny, runs outside, and sits in the rain,” I replied. “She thinks I am going to do something weird to her.”

Mom chuckled and then I bet you could see a frown on her face.  The devils in the details for her as I have often said.

“What are we going to do?” mom asked sounding frustrated.

“Next time she comes in, I am going to shut the laundry room door so she can’t escape out the dog door.  Then I will get the measurements.”

“Call me back when you do,” mom replied. “I can’t go back to sleep unless I know you have them.”

This is serious business folks for mom.  Going to Connie is serious business and getting Maggie a FITTING harness is serious business as well.  Mom worries that Maggie is not wearing her rabies tags with the old harness off.  She thinks Maggie will be captured and put to sleep.  

Well, let me get some breakfast started.  I am going to scramble two eggs, fry two pieces of bacon, and have some buttered toast.  I might even get wild and eat a banana or an apple or two! lol

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Beautiful Game. Me Playing Oblivion…

A Clean Fridge and Freezer. I’ve Been a Busy Bee…


Maggie LOVES Dead Things…

My neighbors directly across the street intrigue me.  Charlie says the father made a fortune in his early days writing and selling children’s books.  He always wears a flannel shirt and khaki pants, and has the handsomest silver grey hair.  You would never know they have money by the cars they drive though.  Every car they own is missing a hubcap and this pushes some button within me.   They recently bought a new to them car and it has extensive wreck damage.  They must have gotten a good deal.  They must also be into the frugality lifestyle.  They’re the ones with the chickens within city limits.  

Maggie and I got our six mile walk in before the rain started.  There was a dead armadillo in the road at one point and Maggie went wild.  I let her walk out in the road with the hopes that she would sniff it and be satiated.  She bit the tail and pulled it completely in half.  I reeled in disgust!!!  At least she got half of the monstrosity off the road.  I had to pop her to let go of what was left. 

I’ve been busy today.  I’ve been a cleaning fool.  I have this big library case in my computer room.  I organized all my Model Railroader and Wired! magazines and made it look neat and tidy.  It took several hours.  Mom said I could come get books out of the garage to fill the empty cubby holes.  It will look so nice when I am finished and I will get a photo up.

I am currently waiting on dad to arrive.  I had to ration my cigarettes today to make it this far.  Dad is bringing a carton.  I will probably see him around 9:30 when he leaves the pharmacy for the night.  Well, I am off to play Oblivion.  I am trying to get back into computer gaming to pass the time.  Mom also said she would buy me one new game every month thus the incentive to play and get interested again.  I will post a video of me playing Oblivion in a few short ones.  Good night good friends and I hope you’ve all had a wonderful day.   

The Gift of the Gab…

My nurse, Rebecca, is so gregarious.  As soon as we enter the examining room to administer my shot, she is small talking a hundred miles an hour.  To my sensitive nature about such things, it can be an onslaught. I’ve learned to watch and listen though; to learn something that just doesn’t come natural to me.  My father is the master of small talk.  I’ve never met a more able bodied individual with regards to that subject.  I get better as time goes by and it is less painful.  Still, I can be awkward. 

This morning as I was waiting on dad to fill my prescription for my injection, his employee, Judy, came up to me. 

“I ordered your caffeine free diet Cokes,” she said. “I couldn’t get them in the case, but did get them in the six pack.  I will get Tim to load them into your car.”

Dad was listening as he stood behind the counter at the computer.

“No!” he said laughing to Judy. “Andrew is like Barney Fife.  He’s only allowed one bullet for his gun.  He can only have six cokes at a time.”

Judy had this confused look on her face.  I can only imagine what she thought.  A 37 year old man having the amount of caffeine free diet cokes limited in his diet.  It embarrassed me to a point.

As I was leaving, dad wanted me to step on the pay scales in his store to weigh.  He is keenly interested in my bulimia and the weight loss and gain.  When I saw my psychiatrist two weeks ago, I weighed 167 pounds.  Dad put a penny in the scales and we watched as the dial spinned upwards.  I weighed 175.

“Our goal weight is 185,” dad said relieved I had gained weight.  That was a very, very good indicator that I’ve been on the straight and narrow with regards to practicing my bulimia.   I’ve just learned not to eat big meals.  I can’t feel too full or it will trigger it something immensely.  I eat small meals all throughout the day.


Every Tuesday night, mom eats dinner with an old friend, Sandra, at the Mexican restaurant.  They’ve been doing it for years and years; probably as long as that restaurant has been in existence.  Mom always brings me by a to-go order and I tell her to surprise me.  Tonight, she brought chicken fajitas.  It was the most food I have ever seen.  There were chips and salsa.  Chicken fajitas and tortillas.   Refried beans and cheese.  Mexican rice. And guacamole salad.  Wednesday is grocery day and my cupboards are always bare about this time so it is so welcomed. 

I am going with mom to get groceries today.  I already have what I need planned out in my mind.  You better bet I am going to spend the whole $85 dollars I am allotted.  I am getting…

  • Windex window cleaner
  • One 200 watt light bulb
  • A pack of four Bic cigarette lighters.
  • Two loaves of Sunbeam bread.
  • Two packs of sliced roasted chicken
  • Two packs of sliced American cheese
  • Ten Lean Cuisine frozen meals.
  • One large box of unfrosted strawberry toaster Poptarts.
  • A bunch of bananas.
  • Four granny smith apples.  
  • A dozen eggs.
  • Two packages of Black Label bacon.
  • Blue Bonnet margarine.

You rang?

Mom was at a doctor’s appointment yesterday morning when I called the house.  Helen answered the phone.  

“What you need, baby?” she asked. “Your momma’s at the doctors.”

“I’ll call back later when mom gets home,” I replied.

“While I have you on the phone,” Helen said. “What do you want for supper Friday evening?  I have to get the groceries Thursday.”

“Meatloaf, meatloaf, meatloaf,” I started to chant. “And some of your delicious biscuits, creamed potatoes, and English peas.”

It was my favorite meal after all.  Helen laughed and said dad would like that meal as well. 

“I’ll put an extra piece of meatloaf on your plate when I prepare it,” Helen said.

“Thank you sweetheart,” I replied.

Helen hung up the phone.  I can’t wait until Friday. 


About three hours after my injection, I got that familiar feeling of extreme euphoria.  It is like the most prolonged and intense orgasm.  I sat in my quiet house, in my lazy boy, as I smoked cigarette after cigarette all the while sipping on my preferred orange drink.  Before I knew it, six hours had passed.  For six short hours, I was lost in my thoughts.  Grinning.  Daydreaming about various topics and where my life could go in three or more years time.  

Monday, January 18, 2010



God Bless Martin Luther King…

Today marks George’s first week of sobriety.  Honestly, I would have never thought he would make it this far.  George was such a heavy drinker; its tendrils entwined in every aspect of his life.

George brought a 12 pack of Coca-Colas this morning instead of a case.  We talked mainly about Martin Luther King and segregation in the South.

“I was too young to remember segregation,” George told me. “But momma remembers it well.”

“What does she say about it?” I asked, extremely interested.

“She’s always talking about how hard it was to find a negro bathroom when traveling in the South.  They always kept a roll of toilet paper in the car and would often have to go in the woods on the side of the road.  She said it would be around Kentucky before you started to see integrated bathrooms.”

“That must have been so demeaning,” I replied with a look of consternation on my face.

“She also says it took her years to trust white people,” George added.

“But she has just embraced me!” I replied emphatically.

“Momma says you’re different from most white people,” George said. “She says from what you’ve been through that you’re color blind and don’t judge people.”

I wish I could be such a Saint,” I thought.  I am still extremely distrustful of the shady looking black people that walk by my house all day long.  My car getting stolen that Christmas three years ago forever altered my trusting and aloof nature. 

George had probably yawned five times in a row when I told him to head home and get some sleep.  I knew Mrs. Florene would have a big breakfast cooked and I envied him of that.   I bid George farewell and urged him to go to a meeting with me tonight.  He said he would think about it after some good sleep. 

Maggie is Feeling Her Oats This Morning…

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bright Lights From Welcoming Windows…

The sun was setting and it was drizzling.  Maggie was on her leash and we had just stopped at a stop sign to read the neighborhood canine news.  A few hundred more yards and we would be at Mrs. Florene’s house.  I walked down with my “wife” and could see Mrs. Florene in the brightly lit kitchen window most likely washing the dishes after supper.  I knocked on the door and she welcomed us both inside.

“I’m here to see my sober buddy,” I told her grinning feverishly and excitedly.

“He’s in the den watching TV.  Go on back and see him,” Mrs. Florene replied smiling, glad I had come.

George immediately stood up grinning upon seeing me walk in the room.  He shook my hand vigorously.

“How are you?” I asked eyeing him carefully.

His color looked so good and that yellowish pall his eyes always had when he was drinking heavy was gone.

“Great!” George replied convincingly.

Mrs. Florene walked in with left over bacon from breakfast for Maggie.  Maggie hungrily ate such a treat as her tail wagged wildly.  This was her family too, and she just adores George.  She was making herself at home.

I didn’t stay long.  I mainly wanted to see George face to face.  I knew I could tell if he was sober or not.  As I was walking out the door with Maggie, Mrs. Florene hugged me firmly saying, “Thank you! You made his night.”  George told me he would be over in the morning after work and was bringing a case of regular cokes.  We are going to watch terrible television and have a party of sorts; a sober party.  I can’t wait until the morning and to spend some time with my friend.

Maggie and I…

You should see Maggie and I cramped on that little twin bed in my computer room.  I like it though.  She will nestle against my bare chest and her rhythmic breathing puts me to sleep.  You can also feel her slowing heartbeat as she settles down and drifts off.  Dad calls her my wife.  Any room I am in and she is with me keeping up with me. 

My injection is this Tuesday.  I am now in that twilight zone where my medication levels are slowly fading and dropping.  This always makes for interesting times.  I experienced some numbness in my hands this morning shortly after awaking.  Thankfully, it went away after eating a breakfast of Chef Boyardee mini ravioli.  Dad, lately, has been more forgiving of giving me extra Risperdal when I get like this. I look forward to seeing my nurse, Rebecca, and resetting the clock so to speak. 

Mom was right that $38 dollars wasn’t enough groceries.  I didn’t tell her I am almost out so as not to panic her.  I told dad and he is getting me things to make sandwiches today.  We are also going to go get me gasoline for the first time in three weeks.  I did some calculations this morning and I have only put 4000 miles on my car in the five years I have owned it.  Pretty amazing, huh?  I just never drive except to go the mile to mom and dad’s.  

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Of George…

I’m hesitant to write about George in that I might jinx things. I’m afraid I will write he is six days sober and he will run out tonight to a poker game and get drunk.  He’s back at work and I asked him over the phone this morning how he handled that.

“I kept reaching in my coat pocket for my flask of whiskey,” he replied. “Thankfully, it wasn’t there.”

I have yet to see him, but he sounds good.  Mrs. Florene says he is still shaky in his hands and doesn’t know what to do with himself.  He’s watching a lot of bad television.

“Urge him to go to a meeting,” I told her. “He will listen to you.  Tell him I will go with him.  We will go to a Narcotics Anonymous where there are other black people.”

Mrs. Florene thanked me and said she would try her best.  Now, it is time to just wait, help, and hope. 

Your Daily Obligatory Maggie Photo…

It confused Maggie at first with me sleeping in the computer room.  She’s adjusted though.  This is her a few minutes ago.  I’ve been up for an hour and she is still in the bed.  She didn’t even get up when I was munching on cheese and crackers in front of the computer.  This usually elicits a response and begging out of her.  Sleepyhead!!!

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Helen Friday…

This week, Helen cooked fried cubed pork steak, sweet potato patties, English peas, rutabagas, and cornbread.  It was delicious!  See how high and fluffy Helen’s cornbread rises?  It’s yummy.  Like cake with the sugar she adds.  It is certainly different from the cornbread I am used to!


AA on the Mind…

When I first quit drinking, Alcoholics Anonymous was an immense help.  It was a safe place I could go every night to commune with people like me and to talk about my cravings and problems thus disarming them to some extent.  Well, last night I went to a meeting.  Many of the old familiar faces were still there which was comforting.  One old timer even came up to me to shake my hand and remembered my name. 

It was a twelve and twelve study where we read and discuss the twelve steps and twelve traditions.  The more I go to AA, the more I realize it is less about drinking and more about a complete reprogramming of your personality, mind, body, and spirit.  As you change spiritually, the urge to drink lessens.  Thankfully, I am long past those horrible cravings that hit you in the early days of sobriety – that empty hole in the pit of your stomach that needs to be filled with drink.

I enjoyed last night despite my social anxieties acting up to some extent.  The hour flew by and before you knew it, I was walking home – a feeling of peace surrounding me.

The Reading List…

I am well into book four of the Twilight Saga now. I am finding the last book much more quickly paced and enjoyable.  It was sort of incredulous though when Bella, a human, got pregnant by Edward, a vampire.  I thought the book was going to take a turn for the worse, but Stephanie Meyers surprised me.  It has been a page turner and the prose has improved. 

I’ve also started reading Interview with the Vampire which I picked up at the library.  What a depressing and morbid book!   My friend Karen said Louis was “angsty” and she was right!  Another disturbing point about the book are the strong undercurrents of homo-erotica and pedophilia.   It can be unnerving to say the least. 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Light Blogging Today…

I keep seeing the shadows moving.  I’ve turned on every light in the house and opened all the curtains and blinds to alleviate any shadows.  It has helped a lot.  Ah, the joys of living with schizophrenia.  I don’t feel badly as is usually the case.  Just strange.  Years ago this would have scared me to death!  Anyways, I am just going to be quiet today and rest.  I hope you all have a good day.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We Think He is Comfortable…

Mrs. Florene called me this afternoon asking if I had heard from George.

“I thought he would call you first!” I said.

“I’ve lost the pass-code to call him,” she replied stymied.

I guess no news is good news.  I bet they have him heavily sedated like they did to me when I went into detox.  Mrs. Florene went on to tell me she had scoured the house, the garage, and yard for liquor bottles.  She found three half empty bottles in his bedroom and George had even hidden one bottle in the reservoir of the toilet!!! 

“Sounds like something I would do when I was drinking,” I told her. “Par for the course.  When I was married, I hid a bottle of Southern Comfort in the Christmas Tree!”

Mrs. Florene couldn’t help but laugh at that last statement.    

Status Quo…

I was talking to mom yesterday about the coke ritual.  I told her there was no real reason to dole them out to me anymore now that I am drinking caffeine free cokes – caffeine being the one enemy that caused this ritual to begin with.

“I kinda like the ritual,” she told me.

“Okay,” I said. “I guess I do, too.  I like driving over every morning to get them.  It is something to look forward to.”

That settled, mom told me she has a cauterization on her heart this morning.  “I have shortness of breath all the time,” she said.  Dad says she’s just fat and needs to lose weight and to start exercising.  Isn’t that so callous? In dad’s defense, mom has been known to overdo it as far as health care goes.  She is seeing a new doctor (doctor shopping) who is ordering all these tests not knowing her penchant for such things.

Maggie got her walk yesterday.  We walked four miles.  She was really strutting her stuff – her little legs going a hundred miles an hour.  She walked so fast that I was out of breath when we got back to the house.  That little dog can scoot!

Mom and I went and bought my groceries late last night after eating at the local Mexican restaurant.  I only spent $36 dollars for the whole week and this worried mom.  I am allowed to spend $85 dollars a week.

“You sure you don’t want to go back and get some of those ham steaks you love and some sweets?” she asked. “You also didn’t get breakfast food.”

“I will be fine,” I assured her.  She was worried about having to make a second trip to the grocery store later in the week when and if I run out of food.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Very Busy Bee…

“Charlie?  Just what are you doing in there?” I asked as Charlie was in my bathroom with the door closed.

You could hear the toilet flushing several times and and the shower running.  There was a lot of activity going on in there.  I walked back in the den to sit down with dad to take my medications.

“Just what in the hell is he doing?” dad asked me.

“I don’t know,” I replied. “But he sure sounds busy.  It sounds like he is doing a bathroom makeover.”

About thirty minutes later when dad was ready to leave, Charlie came walking out of the bathroom.

“Dammit!” he said. “I was cleaning your bathroom for you fixing Janice’s computer.”

We all started to laugh.

“That’s your uncle Charlie,” dad said. “It’s bad when your guest spends his whole time cleaning your house and not socializing.”

“I can’t help it!” Charlie replied. “I’m a little obsessive compulsive myself!”

After they left, I looked in my bathroom and it was sparkling clean.  That’s Charlie for ya. 

For Matthew…

I tried to email you back, but my emails keep bouncing back saying I need to solve some kind of puzzle to prevent spam.  Sorry!  About George, he is only going to be in the hospital for three more days (It was all his insurance would pay for). So a postcard would get there after he is already gone.  You even have to have a numeric pass code to call George on the phone security and privacy is so tight!  Take care and thanks for reading the blog so long and for looking out for George.  I do appreciate it and I am sure George does as well!



Monday, January 11, 2010

Dear Maggie, We Will Walk Soon. Love, Daddy.

Maggie’s got the funks.  For the past few days all she has done is sleep and eat.  Even the usual food treats I give her don’t seem to excite her.  It has been so cold here and we haven’t been going on our usual daily walk.  I think this is what is getting to Maggie.  She will sit at the base of the piano and look longingly at her leash.  Maggie’s walking drought is about to change though.  It is forecast to get up to 45 today, and will be in the 50’s by Wednesday.  It will seem like a heat wave and I hope the continuance of our walks will lift Maggie’s spirits.  I hate to see her so sulking all the time.

Mom just stopped by after one of her myriad of appointments.  As dad will often say, she’s the appointed one.  She brought me diet Sprites, razor blades, and toilet paper.  I don’t ask for these things, but mom has this intuitive sense that I am about to run out and she was right.  I had one razor blade and one roll of toilet paper left.  What would I do without mom with me having no money?

I don’t have much planned today.  I have a glut of email to respond to.  The blog has been very busy this weekend.  I am itching to start book four of the Twilight saga and also hope to get a chance to run by the library for more books.  This reading thing is so novel for me.  I feel like I’ve discovered a brand new world!  I also plan on going to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting tonight.  I find they are less stodgy and more welcoming than the local AA meeting hall and all their old timers. 

Well, let me get some lunch started.  I have incredible cravings for grilled cheddar cheese sandwiches, dill pickle spears, and french fries.  Let’s get to cooking!

Taking the Slow Train to Birmingham…

I was frying the bacon this morning as Mrs. Florene watched an egg timer that was timing the poached eggs that were steaming on the stove.

“Are they going to take George outside to smoke?” she whispered, speaking of the hospital.

George was sitting at the kitchen table across the room reading the morning newspaper. He couldn’t hear what we were discussing. 

“No,” I whispered back. “They will give him the nicotine patch though.”

“Well, don’t tell him that or he won’t go,” Mrs. Florene replied quietly. “He thinks he is going to be able to smoke.  He stuck four packs of cigars in his night bag last evening.”

A bed opened up overnight on the detox floor.  They called early this morning telling Mrs. Florene to bring George to be admitted as soon as possible.  Mrs. Florene and I are both so nervous.  Will he back out?  Will detox work?  Will all this set George on the course of a new life?  Only time will tell, and I tell you, I will be waiting anxiously to watch things unfold.  I love my friend and I hope he will be okay. 

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wal-Mart Cravings…

Those iTunes gift cards are calling my name! Wal-Mart’s electronics department draws me like a moth to a flame.

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Let Sleeping Dogs Lie…

The phone rang four times and then my mother’s answering machine picked up.  I didn’t leave a message and just hung up.  Mom called back shortly.

“Did you call?” she asked almost Omni presciently.

“Did dad get my cigarettes last night? I have two left,” I asked and said anxiously.

“Your father is at work dear,” my mother replied very matter-of-factly.

“Mom! It is Sunday! Dad is probably in his bedroom!” I said, laughing.

“Oh! My! I am all mixed up this morning,” my mother replied sounding confused.  “Is it really Sunday?”

I laughed and laughed, and then mom got to laughing.

“Come over and get your cigarettes and cokes, hon,” she said. “I am so sorry.  I better lay off the Xanax today.”

I want to add that mom was making a joke about the Xanax before the medication police get all in a stir.  Wouldn’t want to give my anonymous commenter fodder. 

The World’s Laziest Dog…

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Look For the Simplest Solution First!

Charlie’s wife called me last night panicked that her computer wouldn’t boot up.  I had visions of fried motherboards and sketchy RAM. 

“Charlie’s coming by to pick you up,” Janice said over the phone.

Charlie pulled up just as I was hanging up the phone.  I guess they realize I am a home body and am always home.

“Janice is about to drive me crazy about that computer!” Charlie hissed as I got in the car. “She wanted me to go to Wal-Mart and buy a new one.”

When we arrived at Charlie’s house, I went back to the office and pushed the power button.  Nothing.  I took off the cover of the case to look for any wires and cables unplugged, or anything shorted.  Nothing.  I was stumped.  I sat in the desk chair and thought for a very long minute.  Then I looked under the desk.  The computer was unplugged! lol  I plugged it in and it booted up into Vista fine.  Janice was so, so grateful and sent me home with half a left over pot roast.  Sandwiches anyone?

Windows Live Writer Now Supports Photo Uploading…

A new feature in the latest release of Windows Live Writer now allows you to upload photos to your Blogger blog via your Picasa account.  It is so simple.  You just pick the photo, format it, and click publish! Viola!  It is much easier than the cumbersome and clumsy Blogger interface and much, much quicker as well.   Almost as ten times as fast.

Windows Live Writer Download



Saturday, January 9, 2010

Now This is What You Call Comfortable…

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Will Pawn for Milo’s…

“You and your mother are something else,” dad said handing me my medications last night. “You two can get things complicated quick.  I still can’t believe your mother bought you six gallons of caffeinated tea.”

I smiled, gulping down my pills with a swig of Wal-Mart orange drink.

“You are going to go into withdrawal now,” dad said. “You are going to miss that caffeine.”

I was quiet last night still worried about George and whether he would go to detox or not. 

“Next thing I know you are going to be pawning stuff for tea and caffeine,” dad said laughing jovially.

I died laughing.  It was so funny.  Imagine that, but it wasn’t out of the realm of possibilities.  The thought of me pawning my Wii for a gallon of Milo’s sweet brewed iced tea was hilarious.

“You know it’s true though,” dad replied.

He was right.  I’ve been known to do screwy things in the throes of addiction.  It was still funny though.

Computer Stuff…

I haven’t had anti-virus protection on my computers in years.  I’ve just always been careful about what I download and what websites I visit.  Well, as luck would have it, after getting my new hard drive, I backed up my C: drive onto my new hard drive using Windows backup and restore.  The same day I got several Trojans downloading a program designed to help you back up your iPod.  I should have known a free program to do such a thing was too good to be true when all the others were going for $30 dollars.  Well, within minutes I had my computer back up and running using the restore DVD Windows 7 had made. Whew!

Now, I have anti-virus running.  I gave in and relented despite most anti-virus programs being resource hogs.  The program I downloaded was free and offered by Google.  So far, it has worked like a charm and surprisingly is not a resource hog.  Thank God for Google and their ever farther reaching hand when it regards computers, web apps, and software.  Now I have some peace of mind. 

A Brave New World Begins…

Mrs. Florene called me late last night excited.  She had worked all day on getting George into detox.  George is to go into detox at Carraway Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama as soon as a bed is available. His insurance will only pay for four days though. 

The logistics of it all proved interesting.  Mrs. Florene wanted me to drive George to the hospital and offered to pay for gas and food for the trip.  I called dad to ask if I could and he said no – that it would be too much on me and that I was feeling shaky after my failed caffeine experiment.  I hated having to call Mrs. Florene back and telling her I couldn’t do it.  Well, as luck would have it, George’s cousin Monte offered to take him - getting involved. Mrs. Florene is having to pay him a hundred dollars though, plus the cost of gas.  Let’s just hope Monte’s dilapidated car can make it.  It’s a brave new world for George and I am so excited for him.  I want my good friend to be okay and to be sober.  

Friday, January 8, 2010

On Alert!

“Something’s wrong with you,” my dad said a moment ago on the phone. “What’s going on?”

“Why?” I asked, my ears pricking up. “I feel shaky today, but I am hanging in there.”

“Your mother said you haven’t come to get your cokes today.  You always get them in the morning.  I feared something was bad wrong with you.  You have been getting those cokes religiously for months now.”

I laughed, relieved that was all it was.  I have to be so hyper sensitive to my father’s perception of me.

“The caffeine made me sick yesterday,” I replied honestly. “I almost had an anxiety attack.  I had been drinking tea all day and the cokes sent me overboard.”

“I feared this would happen,” dad replied, sounding relieved.  “I am just glad you are okay.  I thought something bad had happened and you were dead or something.”

I laughed again.

Well, dad hung up and called mom.  Mom, worried I wouldn’t have my cokes, drove all the way to my father’s store to get a six pack of caffeine (I can’t for the life of me spell this word right!) free Diet Cokes. Bless her!  They were wonderful and didn’t make me sick.  No more caffeine for Andrew.  Yesterday scared me.  I am so obsessive compulsive.  Mom’s slowly gathering up all the tea she bought for me as well.  She took one jug home and will get the rest tomorrow.  I’ve already drank three gallons.   

Helen Friday…

Helen hasn’t cooked since before the Holidays.  Today, Helen cooked baked chicken fingers, field peas, green beans, and creamed corn.  I was dismayed there wasn’t any of her good biscuits or cornbread though.  Beggars can’t be choosers and I am so glad to have Helen back in action. 

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Will Isabella Become a Vampire?

I finished reading book three of the Twilight series this afternoon.  Each book has been much the same with the first 3/4th’s of the book being vampire romance and character development and introspection.  Each book concludes with a grand and sweeping action sequence of vampire fights.  I can see why guys just weren’t captivated by these books.  They are incredibly slow and filled with romance.  That said, there is something endearing about them.  I can almost find myself falling in love with Edward, the central vampire in the book and Bella’s lover.   He is so appealing.  I will start book four tomorrow afternoon after I grow tired of fiddling with the Internet and my computer.  Also, tomorrow, I hope to swing by the library to find copies of Anne Rice’s vampire books.  It’s a vampire themed reading month here at Andrew’s. 



An attorney friend contacted me today warning me of how easily it was to find my father and his pharmacy on the Internet.  Apparently, an anonymous commenter said they were going to report my father (I missed this comment).  I assume it was to report him giving me medications un-prescribed.  I assure you, the only medications I am taking are prescribed either by my psychiatrist or my brother and sister.  I am prescribed, by Dr. Kern, extra Risperdal and Klonopin to take in emergencies.  Dad long ago learned his lessons about such things running a pharmacy for 30 years.  He dots his I’s and crosses his T’s.  Thank you to the concerned and caring friend who is an attorney.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart for contacting me and looking out for me and the blog. 

Her Royal Highness at Rest…

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Hesitant to Get Excited…

I’m no stranger to addictions.  I’ve known many personally during my lifetime. I know how hard they can be to quit. Well, George told me last night that he was going to stop drinking. Imagine my shock and also my wary nature came into play.  Could George actually stop?

“Momma started crying hysterically last night when I came home drunk and pissed all over myself,” George had told me.  “I broke her heart.  I am going to quit!”

“Don’t do it alone and don’t do it for your mother. Do it for yourself,” I told him. “Get some help. Go to detox and they will help you get through the first week of quitting. You will get rest, good food, and medications.”

George told me he was going to lean on me for awhile and that I would see a lot of him in the next few weeks.  I was elated!  I want my friend to be okay and to be over here with me during this hard time!

George was a very heavy drinker.  He’s going to have the shakes and it is going to be very hard.  If he could just make it through the nightmare that is the first few weeks then I think he will be okay.  I am hesitant to get excited, but I remain hopeful.  I am going to do what I can to help my friend even if it means going to AA all the time again.   If I can just convince the completely unreligious George to go. 

Need Advice…

I am hyper sensitive to the DCMA (Digital Copyright Management Act) these days.  I had downloaded some movies, but deleted them all when I got paranoid about lawsuits.  Mom’s been letting me rent them these days with gift cards at a local movie rental store.  I also took down my “mp3 of the day” feature of the blog just to be careful.  It is just not worth it.

Well, I found a location to download all 700 episodes of the National Public Radio show Hearts of Space.  I’ve really been into ambient music.  The shows are 32 Gigabytes and would take about five days to download.  Since the show is publicly funded, would I be breaking the copyright act by downloading?  Anyone have any expertise in this area?  I won’t download them if it is breaking the law.  I just need advice.  What do you think?  Should I err on the side of caution?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sleep, Wonderful Sleep…

“What’s worrying you?” my psychiatrist asked yesterday upon telling him I have terrible insomnia these days.

I thought for a long second.

“My computer,” I finally replied. “Dad ordered me a new 2 Terabyte hard drive and it still hasn’t come in.  I am very anxious about it.”

My psychiatrist smiled telling me how much he loves to work on his home computers as well.  “A man of my own heart,” I thought.

“I’m hesitant to prescribe any more medications,” he told me. “You are already on so many.  I am going to give you some relaxation CDs and I want you to listen to them before bed.”

I was extremely dubious of these CDs.  I scoffed internally.  How can a mere compact disc of a lady talking and music help you sleep eight hours?  I was wrong.  I put a CD in my stereo before bed, undressed, climbed in my covers, and slept for eight hours in the first time for weeks.  I woke up feeling so good!

My hard drive came last night.  I was so excited to get it installed.  It only took around five minutes, but it took an hour to backup all my files.  Now I have some peace of mind that all my files are mostly duplicated and protected.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ya Gotta Love My Mother…

My psychiatrist today told me to try and drink unsweetened tea instead of sodas.  Well, I took it to heart and told mom to get me two gallons of tea.  She bought six!!!!  I have no room for all of them in my fridge once I got them inside!  Like mother like son.  We are so obsessive compulsive.  Does she even remember tea has caffeine as well?  Tea party at Andrew’s! LOL

Our Snow Potential Tomorrow…

I live squarely in the 1 to 2 inch range and we often have more when they forecast this.  Woo Hoo!



If someone had cancer, would you berate them for their lot in life?  Would you laugh and cajole when they couldn’t get out of the bed or feed themselves properly?   Would you write them disparaging comments when they could no longer handle the daily tasks of life all of us take for granted?  You would be shamed into submission by your peers.  Why is this not true for mental illness?  My negative anonymous comments are an example of this.  They probably wouldn’t get on a blog written by a lung cancer patient and write, just go ahead and die already!

Thus is the stigma of mental illness.  Many times mental illness is seen as a defect of character.  Oh, he’s just lazy, or he’s just willfully dependent on his parents.  He’s got it easy.  He doesn’t want to work or support himself.  George might drink and be dysfunctional, but he is a man supporting himself!  George doesn’t have a chemical and neurological imbalance and misfiring in his brain.  He just has an addiction which can be remedied most of the time.    

People with schizophrenia have a malfunctioning brain just like cancer patients have cells dividing uncontrollably.  Cancer patients have chemo and I have Risperdal Consta.   Cancer can go into remission and then suddenly reemerge just like my own condition.  Why are illnesses of the brain taken so lightly?  So many mentally ill people are scorned by their families and friends and fall into disparaging conditions such as homelessness, isolation, mental wards, and assisted living homes.  People rally around loved ones with cancer, support them, and do what is needed to see they have the proper medical treatment.  A lot of money and time is poured into finding cures and treatments for cancer.

I will be the first to admit I am a lot like a child, but I am also smart, cunning, and vibrant – full of life – damned to this seeming duality of existence.  Many brilliant people had or have a mental illness. John Forbes Nash anyone?   I sometimes wish I was of their lot – my more positive aspects outweighing the stigma of mental illness. 

We are also such extremely socially structured creatures and this can escape people with mental illness.  I think this is one of the hardest things to deal with when concerning people with mental illness.  The Homeless Guy is a glaring example of this.  He is completely dependent upon others for his well being and he very clearly has a mental illness. He is also brilliant.  No one has received more derision than he as far as a blogger goes.  It has almost made him stop writing publicly.  And I believe it’s because he just doesn’t grasp the socially acceptable norms of life – of working, of raising a family, of being responsible, of social etiquette.    This scares and confuses people.  The very tenants of the fabric of our society are not being met by one of our own.  So what do we do?  We kick him when he’s down, not helping to lift him up.  We laugh.  We cajole.  We write disparaging anonymous comments on his blog telling him what a lout he is.  We show our true selves and thus lose part of our humanity in the process.

Excellent Article on Schizophrenia…

This is one of the more informative and accurate articles on schizophrenia that I have read.  Kind of like a FAQ for layman on the same.  Please give Suzane’s website a  visit and have a read for yourself.

10 Myths About Schizophrenia


Let’s All Pile On…

It’s only been a day since I’ve been recovering from my close call with my mental illness.  I was sitting here yesterday obsessing over the supposed snow we are getting when my psychiatrist’s office called.

“Just wanted to remind you you have an appointment with Dr. Kern in the morning at 8 AM,” she said perkily.

“Fuck!” was the exact word I muttered after hanging up.  Sorry to sensitive eyes and ears!

I called dad and he wasn’t too happy about it.  He had forgotten as well.

“I was hoping to have a day off,” he told me sounding disappointed.

I told him to look on the bright side.  We could get some of those delectable sausage biscuits at Hardee’s afterwards in the morning.  

I plan on talking to my psychiatrist about my insomnia.  I can only sleep around 3 or 4 hours at a time then I am up for 8 hours or more.  I feel tired all the time.  Maybe he will give me something to take to solve this little problem (joy!). 

On top of that tomorrow, I have to go buy groceries and I dread it immensely.  I am thinking of just getting twenty cans of Chef Boyardee for $20 dollars and a few jugs of Milo’s sweet tea and calling it quits.  Mom will have a fit, though -  saying that is a terrible diet and that I need some kind of vegetables and fruits.  

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It’s Like Discarding an Old Friend…

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How Big of a Boy are Ya?

“He’s a big boy today,” dad told Tim, his home health care supervisor, laughing jovially in his characteristic way.

Tim normally picks me up and takes me to get my shot.  I felt well enough this morning to drive myself after taking an extra Risperdal at five.  I feel 100% percent better than I did yesterday with all the medication.  

Well, I turned beet red.  I was embarrassed by what dad had said.  There is an unwritten rule not to talk publicly about my condition.  The store was packed with early risers and many turned to look dad said it so loudly.

Tim smiled kindly. “Go get you some cokes,” he said.  We have often talked on our drives about dad limiting the amount I drink.  He knows I love them.

Well, I made it and now let’s hope for two more good weeks.  I’ve got my fingers crossed.  I don’t want the good times to end. 

Frosty Cold!

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My Windows this Morning at 15 Degrees…

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Scrumptious Cornbread…

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Everybody’s cornbread is different it seems.  Dad’s cornbread can be kind of dry and he uses low fat buttermilk.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s good, just not as good as Helen’s, Mrs. Florene’s, or Charlie’s wife. Helen’s cornbread is like cake.  She adds a couple of tablespoons of sugar to the batter and it rises very high like biscuits.  It is so soft and fluffy. Mrs. Florene’s cornbread is rich and heavy – the Bavarian style buttermilk making it very fattening and filling.  Charlie's wife’s cornbread is very crunchy on the outside and on the crust.  I like this and she has the better cornbread of the four.  The best cornbread I have ever tasted was my own mother’s when she was allowed to cook.  Mom would get the iron skillet and oil smoking hot.  The batter would sizzle so loudly when she poured it in that you could hear it throughout the house.  This made the cornbread soft on the inside and very crunchy on the outside.  I wonder if she could still make it?  I will have to get her over to my house out of under dad’s ever watchful gaze and let her try!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Florene Express…

George called tonight and I told him I was feeling mentally ill.  I am candid with George about my mental illness.  Well, Mrs. Florene thought a good meal would help me.  Bless!  George ran it by an hour ago.  The turnip greens and black eyed peas are left over from New Year’s.  The fried porkchop and cornbread were divine.  Friends make the world go round and I do feel better after some good ole soul food.  Mrs. Florene also sent me some ham salad not pictured and a gallon of her sweet tea. 

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I Just Can’t Take It!

“You are going to have to call and cancel the appointments,” I just told mom.

Mom sat down on my couch and looked flabbergasted.  “I hate that,” she said solemnly as she looked so worried.  “What am I going to tell Rhonda?”

“Tell her we are sick and you know that’s the truth,” I replied. “I just can’t make it. I can’t take all that today.  I don’t want any complications.  I just want to read and stay quiet to calm my mind.”

Mom left running all over the curb in front of my house.  I sighed and will await her to get home.  I will call in a few minutes and make sure she arrived okay and is back in the bed.  Complicated are lives are as Yoda would say.  I feel so terrible for doing that to mom.  Appointments are so important to her.  She didn’t need to be doing all that as well, though.  Sometimes you just have to say, “no.”

Two Peas in a Pod…

I wanted to title this post “The Mentally Ill Duo” as that is what mom and I are these days.  We are both shaky.  I can really tell my medication has run out.  Just one more day and I will be back on track.  And mom’s mind is a jumble of frets and thoughts of keeping appointments.  Dad calls her the appointed one.  Well, I told mom I wasn’t feeling well on the phone this morning.  She immediately went into panic mode about my and her haircut this afternoon.  She is getting her hair done right before me by Rhonda.  

“I’ll pick you up at lunch and take you and you can wait on me,” she told me.

The thought of mom driving in her state and then waiting anxiously for mom to get her hair fluffed and highlighted made me cringe.

“I’ll be able to drive,” I reassured her. “I’ll be the one to pick you up at noon.”

Mom thought for a minute, a long minute, and then said, “But what if you can’t make it?  I won’t have a way to the beauty salon!  I guess I will drive, but your father will kill me if he finds out!”

I assured her it will all work out. “Trust me,” I said.  Well, it got more complicated as it often does with mom.  Mom is now driving over here very insistently right now to bring me three of her Xanax to take so my nerves will be calm enough to drive and to make it.  I just didn’t feel like driving over to get them myself.  Dad would die if he knew she was giving me medications not prescribed and that she is driving.  C’est le vie!  Such is life these days.  I probably won’t take the Xanax, but it is going to be hard to resist.