Sunday, February 28, 2010

An Eye Opening Experience…

Queen-of-England George had to run to Lagrange this morning for something so he asked me to take his mother to Sunday School and big church.  Once again, I stayed up all night with my toothache and didn’t feel like breakfast.  George says I am using my tooth as an excuse to be a recluse.  He’s probably right on a subconscious level.   Well, I took Mrs. Florene to Sunday School and dropped her off.  I sat in the parking lot for a few minutes smoking and listening to my radio – making sure she got inside okay.  I have never seen so many well dressed ladies and dressed to the nines.  All the flamboyant hats reminded me of the Queen of England and her usual public attire.  One fellow walking past even had on a dress coat with tails.  It looked like something out of a prom.   White church was never so formal when I attended as a child.  Anyways, I have to drive back over after lunch and take Mrs. Florene home.  Speaking of that, I need to get moving.  It is almost noon and I don’t want Mrs. Florene to have to wait long. Ciao.   

Don’t Make my Brown Eyes Blue…Feed Me!

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Model Railroading Image du Jour…

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Thoughts for the Day…

Nothing Exciting Here Last Night…

001 George spent his night off with me last night.  Normally, Saturday night for George would have been poker night filled with debauchery.  Instead, it was a night spent at my kitchen table with lots of fast food and sodas while I worked on George’s carburetor.

“I had a bad drinkin’ dream yesterday,” George told me as I looked up from putting a new fuel level float in the carburetor.  “I dreamed I had drank a fifth of vodka and was trying to hide the smell from the police after getting pulled over.  I couldn’t breathe.”

I smiled. “I’ve had many drinkin’ dreams over the years,” I told him. “The brain works in mysterious ways.”

“You wake up wanting a drink, though!” George exclaimed.

“It’ll pass,” I replied trying to reassure him and it does. 

George stayed to almost midnight.  I was ready to go to bed and George was just getting going good.  George told me he was leaving to drive around and listen to the radio for hours – a vestige of his old drinking days sans the drinking.  Old habits die hard.

More Mom Stories…

002 copyMy poor mother.  Dad loves this stuff and loves telling stories on her.  Well, she couldn’t get her cell phone to work and they were in Waverly, Alabama at my great aunt’s 93rd birthday.  I opted out – not feeling up to the social crowd yesterday.

“Your mother was trying to call you today,” dad said over the phone last night. “She couldn’t get her cell phone to work.”

“Johnny?  I keep dialing the number, but it won’t ring,” she told me.   “I am worried about Andrew’s toothache.”

Dad said he looked at the phone and it was turned off.  He said he laughed and laughed.

“What’s wrong?” he said my mother asked.

“You have to turn it on to make calls!” dad exclaimed.

“She must have tried to call five times before giving up,” dad told me.

“Dad, you shouldn’t laugh at mom about stuff like that,” I replied, coming to my mother’s defense.

“Well, it’s just like her mother and her grandmother to do something ditzy like that!” dad said. “It’s genetic and nothing to do with her mental illness.”

I couldn’t help but smile as I hung up the phone.  I know I shouldn’t, but it was characteristic of mom.  The whole pharmacy and all of dad’s friends will know by Monday. 

Saturday, February 27, 2010

This Evening’s Sunset…

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Model Railroading Image du Jour…

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Helen’s Cornbread and Corn Pudding…

Corn Bread…

corn-bread-after Helen says you need a seasoned iron skillet for the recipe to turn out well.  There are web pages on how to season a new iron skillet using a hot oven and oil.  Her recipe was surprisingly simple.

  • 1 cup self rising cornmeal
  • 1 cup Bavarian style full fat buttermilk.  (Helen assured me you can get this at any Wal-Mart in the South.  Substitute low fat regular buttermilk if you can’t find it she said.  It just won’t be as rich.)
  • 1/2 cup Crisco shortening.  (to be melted and added to the cornmeal and buttermilk batter)

Pour in skillet and cook at 450 degrees for 22 minutes exactly.  This makes one small skillet.  Double the recipe for a larger skillet.

Corn Pudding…

  • Corn_Pudding_500 1/2 cup of melted unsalted butter
  • 1 (11-ounce) can Niblets corn, 1/4 cup of the liquid reserved
  • 1 (15-ounce) can creamed corn.
  • 1 cup sour cream.
  • 1 (8 1/2 ounce) box corn muffin mix, such as Jiffy.
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Prehead oven to 425 degrees.  Spray or wipe a casserole dish baking dish lightly with oil.  In a large bowl, combine the butter, Niblets with liquid, and creamed corn.  Stir in the muffin mix, sour cream, and eggs. Pour into casserole and cook until golden brown on top.  It usually takes 30 to 35 minutes she said.  

Camellias About to Burst…

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Thoughts for the Day…

The Vagabond Returns: Joyce’s Cat…

001 copy A few of you that have been with me a long time may remember my deceased next door neighbor Joyce.  She was schizo-affective like me except her illness was much more severe.  She constantly thought she was being persecuted by God and was constantly seeking spiritual counseling.  She even worked at a church as part of her penance.  Well, she’s been dead for about three years now and her wayward cat has returned home.   Joyce’s sister tried in vain to capture that cat and take it to the humane society, but never could. 

Lately, on my pacing the floor sessions, I have noticed the cat sitting in the carport sunning itself.  I see it everyday.  I walked over and the cat has been sleeping in the utility room on some old blankets.  I smiled.  It was as if Joyce had returned home in feline form.  I have been putting out cans of tuna to win over the cat’s trust.  I want the cat to be mine if Maggie will accept it.  I am going to get mom to get me some stinky canned cat food next week at the grocery store.  We’ll see what happens and I will keep you all informed. 

Helen’s Corn Pudding…

I liked Helen’s corn pudding so much I wanted the recipe.  Well, Helen doesn’t use recipes.  She just cooks out of her head.  I hope to call her today and have her recite the recipe to me to the best of her ability.  I will post it on the blog.  I also want Helen’s recipe for corn bread and will post that as well if she will tell it to me. 

We’re All Crazy in Our Own Way as Charlie Says…

“I’ve got a story to tell on your mother,” dad said laughing yesterday afternoon during our medication ritual.

Mom sat on the couch and started to look wary.   Dad loves to tell a good story on mom and has told many over the years.

“I wrote down a recipe for cinnamon rolls for Helen to fix for your mother for breakfast this morning,” dad said. “Well, your mother said Helen wasn’t going to be able to read my handwriting and was worried she wasn’t going to get the rolls.”

“What did she do?” I asked, intrigued.

“She got up during the middle of the night and rewrote the recipe twice making it clearer every time,” dad said, laughing.  “There were three different looking recipes for cinnamon rolls sitting on the kitchen counter when Helen got here this morning.”

“Johnny, don’t tell all this,” my mother said, embarrassed. 

“Well, Helen called me at work this morning,” dad said, just a grinnin’ and laughing. 

“Mr. John? Just what recipe do I use for these cinnamon rolls?” Helen asked me. 

“I laughed and laughed,” dad said.  “I told you your mother can get things complicated really fast.”

“Well, I really wanted those cinnamon rolls and was afraid Helen wouldn’t be able to cook them reading your chicken scratch!” mom said huffily, now defensive.

I smiled.  I love my mother so much and this is just characteristic of her obsessive compulsiveness.  I would have rewritten the recipe twice as well for some of Helen’s cinnamon rolls.

George’s Project and Mine…

Well, I sat down at the kitchen table to start rebuilding George’s carburetor last night.  I don’t know why I have been dreading this so.  What we do for friends.  George had brought over a service manual for his car he ordered at AutoZone late yesterday evening which gave me the impetus to start.  George also brought wiper blades for my car which excited me.  You know you don’t get to shop much when getting wiper blades excites you.  The next project I want to do on my car is the obvious oil change and a trip to the junk yard to get a digital clock out of a junked 2001 Honda CR-V.  Mine quit working a year ago and it drives me crazy as I never wear a watch.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Helen Friday…

022610_0016 copy “Baby? Do you have any ketchup?” Helen asked over the phone.

“No,” I replied. “I am out.”

“I am sending some with your dinner plate.  Your mother is on her way.  I put you an extra table spoonful of each vegetable as well.  I hope you enjoy it.”

Vegetables?  I thought we were having fried fish Friday.  It turns out Helen couldn’t find that special kind of fish she uses so she picked a different menu instead.  We had fried pork cutlet, corn pudding, green beans with potatoes and cornbread.   I must say the corn pudding was spectacular as that was the first time Helen had ever fixed that.    

Daffodils on the Way!

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Thoughts for the Day…

My Motivator is Broken…

Sleepy Maggie I only have one complaint about my life these days and it is a lack of motivation – this sense of apathy.  I made myself out an elaborate schedule to help remedy this problem, but the schedule didn’t last long.  It was too constraining and didn’t account for anomalies such as George coming over or dad being early at night, or even just a night without sleep and I would have to sleep in the day.   These days, I am perfectly content to lay on the bed for hours and listen to old Coast to Coast AM radio shows.  I feel like I am wasting my time and this bugs me.  I’ve got so many things that need doing around the house such as vacuuming as Maggie tracks in junk constantly through the dog door.  I’ve got George’s carburetor to rebuild.  My car needs cleaning.  Maggie’s walks have devolved into jokes of their former selves.  My hobby, Model Railroading, is languishing on the workbench.  Etc.

I can also pace the floor between my den and bedroom for hours smoking cigarettes until my legs are sore.  It is strange that I thoroughly enjoy this as I hate the once six mile walk I embarked upon every day.  It is also very obsessive compulsive.  I will vacillate from pacing for hours to laying on the bed listening to the radio for hours – completely wasting my time.   C’est la vie!

Blog Themes…

I figured out a way to have a new blog theme for every day of the week.  You will see something new every morning from about 5 AM to 6 AM.  I am very excited about this as it will keep the look of the blog fresh and interesting – you will never know what to expect the next day until we have cycled through all the preset designs I have made.  I am constantly making more and saving them as .xlm files and adding them to the queue.  

Weather Blog Shutting Down…

This ties into my “motivator is broken” theme.  I no longer want to fool with the weather blog.  I realize only a select few people are going to be interested in it anyway and I feel I am wasting my time when I could be pouring those efforts into my main blog.  People are only going to be interested in the weather of the area they live in and weather is very area specific.  The sunset of the day photo will be incorporated into 4th Avenue as I love doing that and editing the photos.  I thought the sunset of the day would grew repetitive, but every sunset seems to be different which is exciting and keeps things fresh.  Sorry to the handful that actually kept up with it.     

Thursday, February 25, 2010

No Cat Chasing Here Today…

Maggie and I are both having a lazy day after her walk and  our nap.  I’ve gotten so lazy that Maggie’s walks have devolved into quick little jaunts around the neighborhood – something to be rushed and hurried.    Maggie doesn’t want to come inside when we get home knowing she has been short changed.   I feel terrible about it, but I no longer have the desire, heart or inclination to spend two hours everyday walking six miles. 

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Thoughts for the Day…

022510_0010 copy2 “Don’t you ever sleep?” I asked George last night when he stopped by with a plate of food from Mrs. Florene.

George laughed. “I get about five hours a day,” he replied. “But momma was cleaning house all day today and kept me up.”

George had brought by that carburetor, the rebuild kit and four cans of Gumout carburetor cleaner.

“I liked to have never gotten it off the intake manifold,” George told me. “The old gasket was like glue. I had to pry it off with a paint knife.”

I asked George to help me with some things on my car in return.  I need new wiper blades front and rear and an oil change.  I don’t want to get entangled with mom to do all that.  It will get too complicated.  George assured me we will get to work on my car soon as well.

Grocery Day was a Outstanding Success…

Mom bought me all kinds of “steam in bag” vegetables with sauce.  I am excited to try out the different varieties.  I also got an interesting variety of fruit – mom having bought me six gooseberries, my favorite.  I had told mom not to buy me anymore more fish steaks as they had grown, well, fishy.  Well, six cans of fish steaks were in the bag and Maggie will get those.  She loves stinky stuff.

A Good Dad is Always just, Good…

“Did you have a good day off?” I asked dad last night.

“I stayed in my pajamas and read books until lunch,” Dad replied, grinning. “Then I took a bath, dressed and went to eat at Rodger’s Barbeque.”

“What did you have?” I asked, always intrigued about food.

“I had the super que and an order of fries.”

“Yum!” I exclaimed.  “I guess that explains why the phone was off the hook all day.”

“I wasn’t about to get tangled in pharmacy stuff today,” dad said.

Dad works so very hard running his business and it is nice to hear about days such as yesterday when he can relax and do dad stuff.  He was in an uncommonly good mood last night because of it. 

“Did mom ask you any questions today?” I asked, jokingly.

“Oh gawd!” dad said, sounding exasperated. “I never get a day off from that!”

We both laughed and laughed.  That’s my mom for you.  I told you she was having a “big hair” day.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Go to the Dentist or Die Crazy…

“You sure that toothache isn’t going to cause your schizophrenia to act up?” mom asked me, concerned, this afternoon. “You know what stress can do to you.  It’ll make you crazy.”

Mom popped the trunk for me to get my groceries out.  She sat in the car asking me more fretting questions all the while my brow wrinkled with frustration and aggravation.  You could hear Maggie loudly yelping on the inside that mom was here she was so excited.

“I’m not going to the Dentist unless the Tylenol and aspirin stops working,” I told her. “I have a phobia about dentists and barbers.”

I started to walk through the yard carrying four bags of groceries.

“That infection is going to eat your brain out!” mom hollered back at me frustrated.

I smiled, but didn’t look back.  I finally got all my groceries in and was mad at mom because she said she was too tired to walk across the yard to see Maggie.  She just sat in the car directing things.  It was like taking a kid’s Christmas away for Maggie.  Mom was having what me and dad call a “big hair” day – her hair was all prettily done and she was all cocky, opinionated, and sure of herself.  It is always interesting when she has these days because she is like a different mom – more like a real mother or parent I should say.  

Comfortable Obscurity…

Untitled-2 I can remember distinctly the day the blog got 2200 visitors in one day.  That was my high point, and I also made $600 dollars that month off of my Google Ads on the blog.  It about drove dad crazy that I was making money writing a blog and he had no control of it! LOL  Times come and times go, and the blog has settled into this comfortable obscurity these days now that I am no longer able to write about my, George’s, and the gang’s exploits down at the shopping center.  We have all moved on from those days.   I hope the blog is still interesting.  I try to write about my mostly mundane life in an interesting way. 

A few days ago, I reinstalled a site meter just to see what kind of traffic the blog was getting.  I had no idea and comments are a poor indicator of the actual amount of people stopping by.  I was pleasantly surprised to see quite a few people still reading.   This greatly encourages me to keep on writing and sharing my life with others.   Here is a look at the stats since I put that sitemeter on the blog a week ago…


Thoughts for the Day…

Charlie’s Horsefly…

022410_0009 copy4 Charlie’s out of town so dad had Horsefly last night – Charlie’s youngest son.  Horsefly is autistic and mentally retarded.  He speaks a language all his own and only a few people can decipher it including dad, me, my brother, and Charlie.  Well, Maggie is so intrigued by Horsefly.  She was scared at first as he talks so loudly and it sounds like gibberish.  Now, Maggie is comfortable around him, but she knows something is not quite right.  She will follow him from room to room worried about him.  It is endearing in a way.  Dad marveled at Maggie and Horsefly last night saying what a smart dog Maggie is.  “She knows something is wrong,” dad said as he sat on the couch.

The Call of the Car…

I made the mistake of telling George yesterday that I can rebuild carburetors.  Well, George has already ordered a rebuild kit at a local auto parts store and wants me to rebuild the two barrel carburetor on his new Caprice.  I reluctantly agreed.  It will give me something to do at night for about a week.  It is an intricate process though.  I hope I don’t  screw it up.  It has been years since I fiddled with one.

Grocery Day…

Today is one of my favorite days – grocery day.  My only requests were two large cans of tuna, dill pickle relish, and more Louisiana hot sauce.  Mom will fill in the blanks so to speak.  Mom will always buy me something new and interesting and I look forward to that.   We are also continuing our fruit and vegetable theme – me doing so well lately on that diet.  I really think my healthy diet lately has improved my mental health, and it really helps me not practicing the bulimia anymore either.   I realized I was malnourished.

Helen Friday – Thinking Ahead…

Dad asked me last night what I wanted Helen to fix for this Friday’s supper.  “Have Helen cook her fried fish supper,” I said. “I want fish, french fries, hushpuppies, and cole slaw.”  Dad thought it was a great idea and said we would have it if Helen could find that special kind of fish she has to have to prepare it.  You can only find it at the Piggly Wiggly. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tonight’s Sunset…

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A Little Doggie TV Going on This Afternoon…

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George’s Morning Rant…

“Niggas think they own the road!” George exclaimed after sitting down in my den early this morning after work.  “Black people walk on the sidewalk, but niggas get out in the road and won’t get off.”

I laughed, wondering where this was going.

“What happened?” I asked as I took my morning dose of Tylenol with a soda George had brought me.

“Two niggas were just walking in the street and I had to slow down to miss them,” George said, perturbed.  “They gave me the stare niggas give when they are fronting you.  I honked my horn, rolled down the window, and hollered, ‘Get out of the road, niggas!’”

I laughed again.  I hadn’t seen George this animated since the day we talked about my “needs” and I told him I was chemically castrated by my medications. 

“Next time I am going to run over dem sons of bitches,” George said huffily. “That will teach dem niggas a lesson.”

George may be sober these days, but he is still the same ole George I have always loved and befriended years ago. 

“Aren’t you hungry?” George then asked me.

“I ate a bowl of the spiciest chili I have ever eaten for breakfast this morning!” I replied, still laughing. 

“I was going to tell you to come home with me and let’s get momma to fix us a big breakfast.”

George left for  home to get Mrs. Florene to cook him up some grub, and I couldn’t wait to get to this computer to write about this morning.  It was like old times except without all the beer and drunken silliness. 

Thoughts for the Day…

022310_0006 copy With my erratic sleep schedules, I guess I can’t complain when I get seven hours of uninterrupted sleep like I did last night.  I feel so good this morning.  Have you noticed the lack of mental illness whining these past few weeks?  I’ve felt better than I have in literally years.  I have a few hiccups from time to time, but nothing of the severity I had just a year ago.  I try not to talk much about my mental illness on the blog.  I find it tiresome and depressing.  I read a lot of mental illness focused blogs and I have about given up on them.  Most of them are all so obsessive about medications as if it were all some big game of Russian roulette. 

Maggie slept with me all night which is always a joy.  I sleep better with her in the bed – her rhythmic breathing lulling me to sleep.  She didn’t scratch and carry on waking me up either.   She moved into the den this morning to finish her beauty rest – my bedroom being the warmest room in the house and the den is nice and cool; the coldest room in the house. 

Computer Heaven…

Well, I finally got my computer situated.  Everything is fixed and running tic tock.   I am not installing any more programs no matter how much I want Google Buzz or that little application that allows me to organize my iPod.  The more programs you install, the more Window’s registry becomes bloated and slow.   I will digress and say I bumped my front side bus up to 1700 mHz again for an over clock.  I just couldn’t resist, but things are running fine.  I am doing a backup this morning to my D:Storage drive and that way I can always revert to this point if need be. 

No Dentist for Me…

“I’m calling the dentist in the morning at eight,” mom told me last night when she brought by my fast food supper. “Your infection in your tooth is going to travel to your brain and kill you.”

LOL!  Leave it to mom to think of the worst case scenario.   I’ve had a toothache and mom has been doling out Tylenol and aspirin to me the past few days.

“Wild horses couldn’t drag me to the dentist,” I told her adamantly.  “They are going to want to do a root canal.  I can’t take all that.”

“Well, at least let me call to get you something for pain and an antibiotic.”

“Mom, you know I can’t take prescription pain killers,” I replied scoldingly.

Mom sighed frustrated.  I smiled.  Mom drove down to the pharmacy to get me more Tylenol and aspirin in preparation for the next few days.   I love my mother, but if you’re not careful, she can get you into more appointments than you can handle quick.  She has six this week with the eye doctor, various medical doctors, and hair appointments.  As dad says, “She’s the appointed one!”  

Monday, February 22, 2010

No Company Here…

  “I’ve driven by three times waiting on your company to leave,” George said over his cell phone.  “I’ve got two sodas and some of those chili cheese Fritos you are always looking for, but can’t find.”022210_0004 copy copy

I laughed.

“Come on!” I said, excited. “That maroon Cadillac out front is just some stranger who broke down.”

George brought me the sodas and the big bag of Fritos.  I thanked him profusely.  He had made my day.  My friend Liz calls these “little joys”.  Next?  Mom is bringing Arby’s and two Cokes from the pharmacy.  More little joys.  Maggie is already sitting in the front window whining – knowing our Monday night routine.  Mom is her second favorite person behind Charlie. 

My Revised Daily Schedule…

  • 6:00 – 7:00 Diet Cokes and Elvis Duran
  • 7:00 – 7:30 Breakfast
  • 7:30 – 12:00 Whatever
  • 12:00 – 12:30 Lunches
  • 12:30 – 5:00 Whatever
  • 5:00 – 5:30 Supper
  • 5:30 – 6:00 Shower and Shave
  • 6:00 – 10:00 More whatever
  • 10:00 Dad and medications
  • 10:30 Bed

Maggie was Depressed Until…

The Magical Hour Begins…

The Magical Hour

Thoughts for the Day…

We just had a spring-esque line of storms move through around 3:30 AM.  The thunder woke me up.  I love it!  I also saw my first Robins and daffodils yesterday. Robins were everywhere as if in a mass migration.  I was telling dad about it and he said, “It’s about time.  They are a little late this year.”  Could Spring be on the way?  It certainly is.  In just about 30 more days, the South will be in bloom.  My camellia in the front yard has flower buds that are just about to burst.   It got up to 67 degrees yesterday according to my wireless weather station. 

One Poptart too Many?

Maggie was moping around this morning so I decided to give her a treat to perk her up.   She loves sweet foods.  I gave her a whole package of strawberry Poptarts.  She immediately ate one and then proceeded to carry the other one around in her mouth for an hour.  She couldn’t go bury it in the backyard as we were in a downpour.  She wanted to so badly and would stick her head out the dog door only to retreat.  I laughed and laughed.  Her dog instincts were telling her to save one for a rainy day.

Six Weeks of Sobriety…

Today marks George’s sixth week of sobriety.  Who would have thought he could make it this far?  He has sort of traded one addiction for others though.  He chain smokes cigars and has an insatiable appetite for sex these days.  Mrs. Florene is still planning a sobriety party for George tentatively next weekend. 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thoughts for the Day…

IMG_1155 copy I am impatiently waiting for mom’s call to tell me to come take my medications.  I am not feeling up to snuff today.  Not bad.  Just not my normal self.  I am experiencing that old nemesis of mine, anxiety.   It all started when someone’s car broke down in front of my house and they knocked on my door.  I let them call someone to come get them.  Now, I have this maroon Cadillac stuck in front of my house on the street and it is bothering me.  All that about drove Maggie crazy and she is still on alert. 

More Computer Hell…

I have a limited functionality version of Photoshop that came with my digital camera.  Well, today it stopped working and the install became corrupted.  No about of uninstalling and installing would solve it.  I had to completely reinstall Windows 7 to get it to work again.  It seems I am stuck in this long string of bad computer luck.  Now?  My DVD-rom drives aren’t showing up in My Computer.  I am currently activating iTunes Genius which can take an hour and hope a restart will fix the drive issue.  It is always something.  If I get everything sorted on this computer today then that’s it.  I am not installing anything else or changing anything about this computer.  No more over clocking either as much as I want the extra CPU power.

Writer’s Block?

Some days do you feel like not writing?  I had the hardest time today coming up with something to write.  It has been a completely uneventful day as far as my social life goes.   I’ve been all alone today other than Maggie and not a single known soul has come by.  I didn’t even go eat breakfast with George and Mrs. Florene as I wasn’t feeling well after getting up at 2 AM.  Well, I am off to install more programs and to get my computer situated.  Email is next to tackle.  I have three different accounts to set up. 

In Her Favorite Morning Sun Spot…

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It’s too Early to be Up…

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

More Lunches!!!

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Completely Disappointing Coke Ritual Experience…


3415323551_5fba3fe8b8“You’re sure you’re not trying to pull a fast one on me,” dad said this morning. “You’re mother always puts your cokes out.”

“She was out of it last night, dad!” I exclaimed desperately. “She called me asking me what day it was at three in the morning.”

Dad yawned and you could hear him get out of the bed.  His cell phone was beeping meaning the battery was low.

“I’ll put you six Cokes out in just a minute,” he finally told me. “Let me wake up and start breakfast.”

I sighed with relief.  I was really getting into a tizzy over my usual Coke ritual not going as planned.  I had waited for hours fretting for sunrise so I could call.  My obsessive compulsiveness was in overdrive.  

“I’m driving over right now to get them,” I said before hanging up.

Well, you have never met a more disappointed Andrew when I got home from getting my Cokes and they were all caffeine free when I looked in the plastic sack.  I was hoping for my three “leaded” diet Cokes to wake me up.  I will know from now on to wait until dad goes to work before calling – to be patient.  I will get mom to put my cokes out from now on no matter how out of it she is. 

Thoughts for the Day…

Dearest Martha…

It was 3 AM.  I was sound asleep when I got a call from mom.

“What day is it?” mom asked, foregoing any pleasantries.

I laughed. Oh god!

“Mom, it is late Friday night, early Saturday morning!”

“I woke up and didn’t even know where I was,” she said, sounding confused and then hung up abruptly.

Well, after waking up some, I drove over to get my sodas.  They weren’t on the porch.  Disappointment central!  Mom is really having a time with her mental illness these days and is usually completely out of it.  My father is extremely concerned about her.  She’s been so sick.

Dawn of the Dead…

When I woke up this morning due to mom’s phone call, Maggie was sound asleep next to me.  I kept smelling something putrid as I lay there listening to the radio.  I leaned over to smell Maggie.  Dear God!  Maggie reeked.  She must have gotten into something dead in the backyard.  Why do dogs like stinky, dead stuff? lol  Well, I casually pushed Maggie off the bed.   She looked at me like, “What’s wrong? You never do that!”  She got a warm bath when I got back from my fruitless trip to get my sodas.  Now, she smells like dead stuff and Irish Spring soap.  Oh well.  

Schedule Du Jour…

Here is the schedule I made out for myself.  I am only half-heartedly sticking to it.  Getting up at three doesn't help. My friend Gittermommie says I am going to drive myself crazy trying to stick to it.   The OCD person in me geeks out about it though! lol

Daily Schedule…
6:00 - 7:00 Diet Cokes and radio
7:00 - 7:30  Breakfast and radio
7:30 – 10:00  Reading, browsing, radio and blogging
10:00 – 12:00 Computer gaming 
12:00 – 12:30 Lunch
12:30 – 2:00 Nap Time
2:00 – 5:00 Maggie’s walk
5:00 – 5:30 Supper
5:30 – 6:00 Shower and shave
6:00 – 6:15 Sunset of the day photo, blogging
6:15 – 8:00 Reading and music
8:00 – 9:00 Computer gaming 
9:00 – 9:30 Snack
9:30 – 10:00 Dad, medications and feeding Maggie
10:00 – 11:00  Browsing, Magazines, Music, and Reading
11:00 Bedtime

Friday, February 19, 2010

This Evening’s Sunset…

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Helen Friday…

Helen didn’t cook the creamed potatoes.  Dad thought turnip greens and macaroni and cheese was enough.  She cooked some of the best fried chicken I had had in ages.  Helen’s cornbread was different again this week.   She seems to be trying different recipes.  I will have to ask dad about it. 

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What’s For Lunches?

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The Shadetree Mechanic…

A strange car pulled up in front of my house a little while ago.  Immediately my paranoia was piqued.  Did I have to answer the door?  Was I going to have to fool with strange visitors?  I turned off my loud stereo and stood in the kitchen, hiding, waiting for the inevitable knock on the door.  Then came the knock.   And another louder, more persistent knock.  “Hey! Andrew!  It’s George! Come to the door!” Phew! I was about to have an anxiety attack for a moment there. 

“I bought a new car,” George said.  “It’s a fixer upper.”

In front of my house was a 1984 Chevrolet Caprice Classic.  It looked in good shape for such an old car.  The paint was in fair condition and there was no body damage that I could see. 

“I am going to fix it up real nice,” George told me chomping on a cigar. “I paid $1500 dollars for it.  The engine doesn’t even use oil and it only has 98,000 miles on it.”

George and I rode down by the elementary school making a loop and coming back to my house.

“You’re going to have a great time fixing this old car up,” I told George getting out of the car. “It runs great.”

“I needed a hobby and I have lots of money now that I stopped drinking,” George replied with a grin.

I was proud for George.  George is no stranger to keeping an older car running after driving that 1981 Dodge Diplomat for decades.  This was just another sign of the good sobriety was doing in his life.  

“What is the first thing you are going to do to it?” I asked George as we stood in my front yard.

“New paint job and upholstery,” he replied.  “Dark Corvette emerald green on the outside and tan on the inside.”

“Sharp!” I said grinning.

George finally headed for home to eat a late breakfast and get in his sleep before working again another night.  I don’t think I’ve been prouder for George in years. 

Thoughts for the Day…

Anonymous comments are going off.  If you really want to comment then it only just takes about 5 minutes to sign up for a Google or Blogger account.  I am getting over 20 spam comments a day in the archives and it has gotten overwhelming.  I am busier than a cat covering up crap deleting all that junk every day.  The notifications are also filling up my email inbox and that aggravates me the most.

Helen Friday Today…

Friday is a special day for me.  I will look forward to all day of eating the special meal Helen cooks.  Luckily, dad didn’t get any hair brained ideas for things for Helen to prepare last night.

“Okay,” dad said after I had taken my medications. “What do you want for supper tomorrow?”

“I’ve been mulling it over in my mind all day,” I replied. “I want fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, turnip greens, creamed potatoes, and some of Helen’s wonderful biscuits.”

“What about dessert?” dad asked.

“Pear salad,” I replied.

Dad and I are stuck in this rut of either having Helen prepare fruit salad or pear salad.  I need to get Helen to cook something interesting like brownies or cookies. 

“That sounds like a really good meal,” dad told me. “It really helps me you picking the meals.  I run out of ideas of things for Helen to cook.”

Dad will get off of work around four and will head home to eat.   He said he couldn’t wait to get home and to enjoy his meal with mom.  Mom will bring me by a plate around three so the clock is already ticking.

Direction for the Day…

A few days ago, I made up this elaborate schedule for me to follow every day.  I felt I was just meandering through my days and needed more direction.  Well, I am already off my schedule.  I started out good getting my six diet Cokes for the day at 6 AM this morning and beginning to listen to the Elvis Duran radio show at 6 AM also.  Breakfast was supposed to be at seven and it is already after eight and I haven’t eaten yet.  So I have already gotten off schedule.  My grand idea is not going so well at this point.  Now is time for blogging, emailing, and browsing until 10 AM, so at least I am doing that.  After that, it is video game time till lunch at 12 PM then a nap and then book reading time.  It am going to keep trying this until I make a habit out of it.  I hate wasting hours just sitting here looking out the window and looking at the Twitter feed like I am prone to do.  

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sometimes I Get Lonely…

It gives me no more joy than to sit in mom’s bedroom as she lay in the bed talking.  That’s what I did for most of the afternoon.  Mom also lets me drink all the soda I want while I am there.  The fridge in the basement is full of it and all kinds of interesting varieties.  We mainly talked about her frets and worries.

“I was out of it last night,” mom told me. “I don’t think I am ever going to get over this cold.”

“You’ve had the flu,” I replied.

“But I’ve had both of the flu shots!”

“You had a variant that the shot didn’t cover.”

“I couldn’t even remember my own granddaughter’s name last night,” mom told me chuckling. “Your father was like, ‘Martha!!!’”

“Well, I forgot her birthday,” I replied feeling shameful trying to consol mom. “I still want to send her a card with some money.”

“I’ll help you with that,” mom said. 

Helen works nine to five and was still working. She came bustling into the bedroom just at that moment.

“Get up now Mrs. Martha,” she said with a grin. “I am changing your sheets.”

Mom climbed out of the bed with her hair all amiss.  She was still in her pajamas.  That was my cue to head on home.  Mom went and got on the couch in the den as I was leaving.

“I love you,” she told me. “You ought to do this everyday.”

“I would if you could pry me away from the Internet that long,” I said jokingly.

I drove home with the passing thought that I should stop by and bother George, but I worried I would wake him up from sleep.

Wanna Play?

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I Could Live Like This Forever…

I am experiencing one of those medication or schizophrenia induced periods of euphoria this morning.  Everything is heightened.  Even my usual bland Wal-Mart orange drink tastes like champagne.  Food tastes ten times better and the chicken carbonara I just ate tasted like the most exquisite restaurant meal.  Every mp3 sounds like one of Mozart’s finest requiems.   I don’t want this to end.  I could deal with being stuck at home all day in front of a computer if I felt like this all the time.  

Thoughts for the Day…

Caught in Computer Hell…

I spent all day yesterday fooling around with my computers.  First, I installed Windows XP and hated it.  It was just too outdated.  Then, I installed Windows VIsta and was still having problems with Windows Update.  It wouldn’t install service packs one and two.  I then bit the bullet and reinstalled Windows 7 Ultimate.  Things are running smoothly now.  I still have to come up with $200 smackaroos to pay for a full license though.  I am on the clock and have 30 days.  Right now, I am backing up my computer to my D:Storage drive and reinstalling all my programs such as Photoshop and iTunes. 

Possible New Car in my Future?

“I think I am going to go ahead and buy your mother a new car,” dad said last night during our medication ritual.  “I am thinking of another Honda Civic.  I went today on my day off and looked at a few.”

I looked up intrigued.

“I am going to give you Martha’s old car,” dad told me. “Don’t get your hopes up just yet.  I am still mulling it over.”

Well, I couldn’t help but get excited.  Mom’s car is a 2006 Honda Civic LX.  It only has 17,000 miles on it.  Mom drives like a little old lady.  It would be the closest thing to getting a new car for me that I have experienced in decades.

“I was thinking we could sell your CR-V for about $10,000 and put vinyl siding on your house and get the outside fixed up,” dad furthered. “I want to paint your inside as well.”

“I want to keep my CR-V,” I said apprehensively wondering what dad would think.

“What are you going to do with two cars?” dad asked, smiling. “You rarely drive as it is.”

“I love that car and it will save miles on my new car,” I told him trying to sound convincing.

“We’ll think about it,” dad said as he got up from the couch to go start Maggie’s food ritual. 

I dreamt of Hondas last night.  Today, i want to go over to mom’s and just sit in her Civic awhile, read the owner’s manual, and check out all the features.  Dad told me not to get excited, but I just can’t help it.  He shouldn’t have told me all that last night.  I have always loved Hondas and cars.         

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thoughts for the Day…

Schizophrenia saved me in a way.  I know it’s ironic, but schizophrenia saved my addictive personality ass from doing hardcore drugs.  I would probably be dead now if I got hooked on crack, meth or prescription pain killers.  I was always too paranoid of the police and was always too lazy and paranoid to go through the hassle of getting all that money for the drugs and dealing with drug dealers.   Alcohol was a depressant.  It subdued my mental illness symptoms.   Most days of my drinking career would be spent in a mellow stupor.  Alcohol was cheap in a relative sense – a 12 pack of ice beer being only $6.99 and a good drunk at that.  It was also just a convenience store away.

Genius is genius…

I discovered Apple’s iTunes Genius feature last night.  I will never go back to regular radio again.  I had hours of almost unlimited varied music due to my extensive mp3 library.  I stayed up way too late last night lying on the bed with Maggie listening to good and interesting music.   It was like I had rediscovered my music library all over again.  I heard songs I never knew I owned. 


I’ve rediscovered Twitter again in earnest after about a year’s absence from that social media.  It really helps to have a lot of interesting people to follow, but you have to separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak.  I find people who I like and then follow the people they follow.  It then takes a few days to follow their tweets and unfollow the motivational quote quoters and the Internet business marketing guru types.   I also hate the constant link linkers.  I have to unfollow them as well.  I want to hear about your day or what interests you that interests me.   Interestingly, I have found the people that claim to be writers are the worst twitterers.  They spend all their time writing about the art of writing and never actually do any interesting writing – nothing creative or interesting at all.  I have had to unfollow dozens and dozens of so called writers for their completely insipid tweets.   

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lectures From George?

“You’re drinking Cokes like you used to drink beer,” George told me this afternoon after stopping by for awhile. “You’re obsessed.”

I had called George asking for a favor.  I wanted a 12 pack of regular Coca-Cola from Kroger.  George was the only person I could turn to. 

“You know? Normal people don’t drink 12 Cokes in a row,” George furthered, admonishing me. “Or in a day for that matter!”

I laughed nervously. “I’m not normal,” I said in my defense.

“Did you even realize yesterday was my fifth week of sobriety?” George asked.

“I certainly did,” I replied, proudly. “Your mother called me about it.”

George lit up a cigar and looked deep in thought.  He grabbed the remote and turned it to channel 59, Cop TV.  He didn’t stay long, wanting to eat supper and get a few more hours of sleep before work.

“Try not to drink all 12 tonight, okay?” George said as he was leaving. “You’re going to get sick!”

I smiled as I lit up a cigarette all the while looking innocent letting the irony soak in of a man who used to drink alcohol like a ghetto whino.  I never thought George would get in on the anti-coke bandwagon everyone seems to be climbing on about me and my habit.   I felt like I had just had one of the many lectures my father is known for giving to me.   It kind of pissed me off after George had left.  I realized then I have a problem.  I guess it is better than drinking 24 beers a day like I did for years.  It is all relative and the lesser of the many evils I have practiced during my life. 

Relaxing in the Sun on a Cold Winter’s Day…

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The Meter Reader Cometh…

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My World Today…

Today is my injection in the derriere.  Amazingly, I didn’t feel ill mentally last night like I normally do when my medication levels drop to it’s lowest level of the two weeks.  Dad asked me last night how I felt and I told him fine.  “You look good,” he said. “You look like you’re taking good care of yourself, Maggie, and the house.” 

Injection day is a special day because I get to get three regular 20oz Coca-Colas from the pharmacy on top of my six I got at 4 AM this morning.  We also weigh me to see if I’ve gained weight or lost.   I hope I’ve gained above 185 pounds so dad will leave me alone about the bulimia.  I’ve done really well about that lately.  I’ve only purged once in two weeks when I got indigestion.

Windows Hell…

My Windows Vista install decided to crap out on me yesterday.  Windows update wouldn’t work and I was getting all sorts of errors. Frustrated, I downloaded an evaluation copy of Windows 7 Ultimate – the next iteration of Microsoft’s Windows line of operating systems.  The install went flawless and I was soon back up and running without problems.

Now, I have 30 days to come up with $219.99 for a license to update the evaluation copy to a full licensed version.  This is going to prove daunting.  I am already obsessing over it immensely this morning.  I dropped hints to mom that I was going to need a couple of hundred bucks in the next 30 days.  She didn’t sound too enthused.  I guess I could always go back to Vista or Windows XP.  I have a license for both of those.    

Monday, February 15, 2010


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The Clock is Always Ticking…

“I hate working sometimes,” Helen told me as she walked down from the road carrying dad’s trashcan this morning.  “I’ve got so much work to do today.  Vacuum.  Clean the bathrooms.  Dust the front of the house.  Cook your mother’s lunch.”

I had walked up to the road to meet her offering to carry the trashcan for her.  Then mom was standing at the backdoor and asked Helen to clean and empty the cat’s litter boxes as well as we walked up under the portico to meet her.  Helen looked at me and rolled her eyes as she blew loudly.

“Not my favorite task,” Helen said with a frown as mom escaped back inside.  “I was hoping to avoid that today.”

“Poor dear,” I told her as I walked into the foyer and began to empty the litter box on the floor.  It was the least I could do after all the awesome meals Helen had cooked over the years.  

“Now I know why I don’t own cats,” I told Helen wincing as the stench of ammonia was overwhelming. 

Mom had already settled back into the bed when I walked into her bedroom.  She was dreading going to get her hair done she said. 

“I know Helen must think I am terrible sleeping all the time while she works so hard,” mom told me guiltily with a sigh as she pulled the covers tighter over her.

I was trying to think of something to say to console mom when Helen walked into the room to ask mom what she wanted for lunch.

“Just fix me some tuna salad,” mom replied. “I’ll make sandwiches.”

“Can I take the BMW to the grocery store?” Helen asked as she looked at me with a sly grin.

Mom told her to reach into her desk drawer for the key.  I smiled back wishing I could take it for a drive as well.   I realized then what an opulent life mom lives if it wasn’t for her obsessive compulsiveness and her schizophrenia.   I, too, have a pretty easy life when I am not under the throes of my mental illness.   Sometimes, it is hard to see the forest for all the trees as many people have often said over the years.

“Can I have some more Cokes?” I then asked mom after Helen had left.

I was rolling the dice.  I had already picked up my six for the day at 5 AM this morning.   Mom froze.  You could almost see her obsessive compulsive brain working. 

“Oh, I guess so!” Mom said blowing and exclaiming as if I had asked for a thousand dollars and a kilo of cocaine.  “You really don’t need to be drinking six more.”

“YES!” I exclaimed like a teenager let loose on a Saturday night at the mall.   

I walked down to the basement and got six regular diet Cokes, and you don’t know how pleasurable those Cokes were when I got home to chill them, then drink them.  Sometimes, it is the little victories like that that make my life so much more enjoyable.   

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Frost on the Grass This Morning…

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The Ding Dong Manifesto…

“Mom’s cooking!” George said excitedly as I walked in the front door of Mrs. Florene’s house this Sunday morning. “She’s been baking Valentine’s cookies all morning for Church.”

The house smelled wonderful.  There was the sweet scent of baking sugar cookies intermingled with the savory aroma of frying sausage.  My stomach protested that it must be filled and filled soon. 

“Come on!” George said. “I’ve got a website I want to show you!”

We walked into the den as George sat down at the computer desk waking his sleeping computer. 

“I found it yesterday,” he said. “I am addicted.”

George showed me this chat and webcam webpage were people were showing their private parts.  I couldn’t help but laugh.  I knew this would happen eventually.  I knew George would soon be drawn to the underworld of the Internet like a moth to a flame.

“It’s all ding dongs and no coochies,” I replied. “It’s kind of gross, George!”

“Wait a minute and you will see a woman,” George said impatiently as images of penises scrolled down the page.  He wanted me to like this site so badly.  Just then, Mrs. Florene walked into the den to ask what we were doing.  George quickly minimized the webpage and if a black man could blush, he would have been blushing. 

“Just showing Andrew this new poker website,” he said, lying.

“Y’all come on and eat breakfast,” Mrs. Florene then said interrupting George’s fun. “It is getting cold.”

Breakfast was buttermilk pancakes and that never tiresome Clarke Brother’s sausage.  We all grew quiet as we hungrily ate the food was so good.  The pancakes were so good I didn’t protest when Mrs. Florene put three more on my plate.  I never eat seconds these days due to my bulimia for the fear of getting too full. 

As I was leaving after coffee and TV in the den, Mrs. Florene handed me a small bag of heart shaped sugar cookies. 

“Happy Valentine’s Day, baby,” she told me. 

George walked out with me to the car urging me to check out that website when I got home.

“It’s all ding dongs,” I said again, laughing. 

George looked so frustrated as he lit up a cigar and I drove off.  I had the biggest smile on my face driving home.  It’s good to have some friends again as Mrs. Florene and George are always up to something interesting.  It was going to be a good Valentine’s Day even if I didn’t have a sweetheart to call all my own. 

The Mentally Ill of the Night…

Mom called last night at midnight.

“I just wanted to see how you are doing,” she said, sniffling.

Did mom not realize it was midnight?  We keep weird hours us mentally ill folks. 

“I’m fine,” I said sleepily having been asleep for two hours.  “I like it when you call me just to talk and you’re not fretting over some situation or problem.”

Mom has been very, very sick.  We’re all trying not to catch whatever she has.  The obsessive compulsive in me frets every early morning I go to get my Cokes and I pick up that plastic sack she puts on the porch.  It’s got mom’s germs all over it! 

Mom went on to tell me she fell down the steps to the basement yesterday morning.

“I was delirious from my cold and lost my footing,” she said. “Your father thought he was going to have to call 911.  We thought I had broke my hip.”

“Mom!” I exclaimed. “You’ve got to be more careful!”

“The room just started to spin and down I went.”

“What’s Maggie doing?” mom then asked.

“She’s lying on the bed with me licking her paws and scratching various itches,” I replied. “Maggie has rituals, too, and we have to preen before bed.”

“Well, I will let you go,” mom said. “I just wanted to see what you were up to.  Give Maggie a goodnight hug for me.”

“Goodnight,” I said and hung up the phone.

It was a surreal night.  I remember later waking up around 3 AM and Maggie was going wild with my socks on the computer room floor.  Socks were being tossed everywhere.  I remember smiling and saying, “you get those damn socks, girl!”  I finally drifted off back to sleep. 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Coke Ritual Stops For Nothing…

Picture me early this morning armed with a broom and multiple pans of hot water.  I was trying to ready my car for the short drive to mom and dad’s to get my Cokes.  I was ridding it of snow.  Mom had already called obsessing I wouldn’t make it.

“You sure you can make it up and down that steep hill by Hyman Pines?” she asked.

“Let’s hope anti-lock brakes and my four wheel drive don’t fail me,” I replied.

What a beautiful drive!  It was a rare winter wonderland in the South this morning.  The NWS officially reported us as getting two and half inches, but it was more.  I could tell by the amount of snow I had to clean off my car.

Mom was standing at the back door when I pulled up.  Mom and dad’s driveway was especially tricky to navigate.  I basically slid down it to the back of the house – my brake pedal constantly vibrating from the effects of the anti-lock brakes trying to do their best.  

“Here’s your cokes and some food and a flashlight in case you get stuck on the way home,” mom said fretting.

I laughed and smiled internally. It was just a two and a half mile drive. Dearest mom.  In a sack were four cans of chicken noodle soup, a plastic spoon, a box of crackers, dried tropical fruit and nut mix, and a little Mag-light.  Mom always covers all the bases.   I waved goodbye and had a fun four wheel drive filled drive back home to Maggie who was waiting at the front door.   

Helen Saves the Day!!!

I was standing in mom and dad’s kitchen yesterday morning before the snow started when Helen began to read dad’s grocery list.

“Oh no!” Helen said abruptly. “We’re not having Hamburger Helper.  Mr. John just has never eaten it.  He doesn’t know what it’s like.”

Helen then turned to me.

“What do you want for supper, baby?” Helen asked.

“You pick!” I replied, excited at this turn of events.

Helen decided on pork loin, creamed potatoes, snap beans, giant lima beans, cornbread, green salad w/ homemade Ranch dressing, and pear salad.  I watched as she reached into the kitchen drawer containing the envelope that usually has $75 to $100 in it for Helen to buy groceries.  Off to the grocery store she went and I drove on home after checking on mom.

Helen came by in the snow storm to bring me my meal after she cooked.

“Thank you so much, Helen,” I said, thanking her profusely. “This weather is terrible to drive in.”

“You enjoy your meal, baby,” she said as she smiled ear to ear and then left.

Dad later came by to give me my medications and said, “I’ve got the maid from hell!  She won’t even cook what I want for supper!”  I laughed and laughed knowing I was in on the game.  Helen had saved the day.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Hamburger Helper?!?!

Commercials work.  Dad asked me last night about letting Helen cook Hamburger Helper today for our Friday Helen meal.

“I keep seeing the commercials for it,” dad said. “And it looks good and easy to fix.”

I was secretly disappointed.  I wanted my Southern soul food.  I usually get to pick the meals, but I can’t argue with my father.  It is futile.  He is paying Helen dearly for these meals after all. 

“Have her doctor it up good,” I told dad trying to save a desperate situation. “Get cheeseburger macaroni and add extra ground beef and real cheddar cheese.”

I didn’t want to tell dad how bland Hamburger Helper can taste.   It is sawdust in a box in my opinion. 

Mom the Commissary…

Mom’s mental illness intrigues me some days.  Her latest obsession is keeping me in cigarette lighters.  My lighter ran out a few weeks ago and I had to light a few cigarettes with the stove.  This worried mom to death.  She can’t stand for me to do without as I’ve said before on the blog.  It is just part of her obsessive compulsive nature. 

Well, mom got Judy, her go-to employee at the pharmacy, to order a case of expensive Bic cigarette lighters.  They came in this week and mom has been doling them out to me with my cokes every few days.  One Bic lighter will probably last me a month.  So now I have this glut of cigarette lighters.   I smiled this morning when I drove over to get my cokes at 4 AM and there were three Bic lighters in the plastic sack with my diet Cokes.  It is so obsessive.  This kind of stuff drives dad crazy about mom as he can’t control her and these compulsions.  :-)

A Fun Night…

Yesterday evening Mrs. Florene called me to come to supper.  I had just cooked some sesame chicken in the microwave when she left the message on my answering machine.  Well, that sesame chicken went into some Tupperware and into the fridge quick.  I couldn’t pass up a meal cooked by one of my favorite Southern chefs.  She also cooked one of my favorite meals.  Fried cubed steak, steamy sticky rice, steamed broccoli with lemon and butter, and biscuits.  We also had fruit salad for dessert. 

After eating, George and I sat in his car smoking for what must have been a good hour listening to Gospel and talking.  We were talking about the Internet and it being like a library in your own home.  George had discovered Wikipedia yesterday.  This really intrigued me George using Wikipedia.  My, have the times changed.  We’ve gone from getting drunk while watching Judge Judy to living sober and reading about the Maunder Minimum on Wikipedia.  George always seems to surprise me. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I’m on Snow Alert and Maggie is on Cat Alert!

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All Good Things Must Be Repossessed…

I watched with interest this morning as a tow truck drove off with my neighbor’s brand new Jaguar.  His car had been repossessed, and there was quite a scene this morning as he protested with the tow truck driver that he had made his payment.   He even went so far as to get in the car and lock the doors.  The tow truck driver just casually proceeded to hook up the car and was going to carry it off with him in it.

I’ve noticed, too, that his drug trafficking has tapered off drastically.  The cops now drive by and watch constantly.  The front yard had become a muddy quagmire from all the cars and trucks pulling in day and night.  That has stopped.  It is oddly quiet over there now. 

“Oh, he is just getting lots of pussy,” dad said again optimistically last night. “You’re just being paranoid.  Remember! You’re schizophrenic!”

“There is no such thing as the pussy police in this town,” I replied. “And the cops drive by constantly.”

Well, my drug dealing neighbor has now fallen on hard times.  It’s the Grapes of Wrath of drug trafficking.  I watched this afternoon as he had to walk down to the convenience store to pick up a twelve pack of beer and some cigarettes.  Oh, how the once mighty have fallen.  I am trying not to gloat, but all that shit next door worried the hell out of me.  It played into my paranoid schizophrenic nature – thinking my car would get stolen again by an addict and you can never trust a crackhead.     

Sleep Eluded Me Last Night…

I am lucky on nights like last night when I can’t sleep that I don’t have to work the next day.  It is truly a blessing and lately my sleeping habits have been so erratic that I don’t know what each night will bring sleep wise.  I slept for four hours and awoke wide awake around 2 AM.  As if I had drank a quart of caffeine, I was buzzed and ready to start my day.  I drove over to get my cokes after letting my car warm up and settled in my command center to begin watching the weather, writing, reading, and twittering.  It is 7:00 AM and I am beginning to feel winded from my post midnight Internet marathon.  Maybe I will sleep soon after I procure more cigarettes before the snow starts.  I am obsessing about that this morning. 

Charlie came over last night before dad arrived with my medications.  He brought piping hot vegetable beef soup and warm cornbread his wife had cooked.  It was a pleasant surprise.  He didn’t stay long, but we had a short exchange about the weather and snow in the South you can read on my weather blog.   Charlie believes weather forecasting is akin to horoscopes.  

Has Good Radio Gone the Way of the Do Do?

I keep a little FM radio next to my computer.  Most days I listen to a top40 pop station out of Columbus, Georgia.  My only other choice is “The Rooster” – a country music station I abhor.  We have a little AM radio station in town that plays Gospel and I think George is the only person who listens to it.  

Well, early this morning I got the bright idea that A)I have an Internet connection and B)I am connected to the World.  I am frankly tired of WCGQ out of Columbus as they play the same music over and over, and I swear they play Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind rap song ten times a day.  They also play Lady Ga Ga and Ke$ha ad nauseum. 

Well, I searched for “top40” stations around the World.  After listening to quite a few, I settled on a top40 station out of Auckland, New Zealand.  I was pleasantly surprised when they played Paramore’s “Only Exception” – a song I love and a band who only seems to be popular overseas.   I was also surprised when they played some now ancient Gun’s N Roses.  This was starting to sound promising.  Then it happened…  They played Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind and then that mind boggling awful Ke$ha song, Blah! Blah! Blah!.  My hopes were completely dashed.  Can I not escape the mediocrity that is American pop music these days?  I was hoping for interesting and new music coming from the other side of world.  Instead, I got a handful of steaming crap.  Sigh. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

If You’re Crazy and You Know It…

A few months ago, I was lying in bed when I felt this strange sensation in my mind. “Oh Shit!” my mind frantically screamed.  It was the beginning of one my especially troublesome bouts with schizophrenia – one of many.  I immediately jumped up and dialed mom’s number, but hung up before she could answer.  Dad would be angry with me.  I called 911 and they took me to the emergency room.  I talked some to the paramedics, but as my illness progressed in it’s intensity, I grew quiet and withdrawn.  

In the emergency room, I began to believe the doctors and nurses were laughing at me.  They sent in person after person to talk to me. “But they’re laughing at me!” my mind screamed.   I would stare at the ceiling and just rock back and forth.  I wouldn’t say a word – even when they sent in an extremely kind social worker to talk to me.  Each person would leave the room frustrated.  They all wanted to help me, but I couldn’t communicate with them to tell them what was wrong.  It was maddening in it’s most maddening sense.  I could still hear the nurses laughing at me down at the nurses station down the hall!

I was freezing cold and had balled up on the upright hospital bed trying to stay warm as mom walked in the room.  “Thank you God!” I said at the sight of her.  It was the first words I had spoken in the two hours I had been in the emergency room. 

“Dr. Shriver doesn’t know what to do with you,” mom said with bed hair.  “They say you won’t tell them what’s wrong.”

“They’re laughing at me mom!”

I could hear the nurses cackling.  Just then, the doctor walked in.

“We are going to sedate him and send him home with you,” he told my mother. “Let him sleep until he feels better.”

“He says y’all are laughing at him,” mom told the doctor.

The doctor frowned and instructed a nurse practitioner to get me some medications – something to calm me down and something to help me sleep.

“Mom, this was a mistake,” I said with a pleading air to my voice. “I want to go home with Maggie.”

I remember mom getting me home and in the bed.  I distinctly remember Maggie jumping up on the bed with me and she began to lick my hair which aggravated me and soothed me at the same time.   I went to sleep and slept for 14 to 15 hours and was a different person mentally when I woke up.  The storm had passed.  You know the hardest part of this whole ordeal?  I knew it was happening.  I knew I was acting and thinking crazy.  It was as if I had two minds – a schizophrenic mind and a rational, sane mind.  I will never forget the futility I felt in that emergency room for as long as I live.  I hope it never happens again.  

Happiness in Plastic…Rickie Lee Jones, Here We Come!

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Dawn this Morning…

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Frantic Calls at 7:45 AM…

“Your diet Cokes froze and burst all over the porch,” mom told me frantically after I picked up the phone. “I put you some fresh ones out.”

“It’s okay,” I replied. “I am not drinking them anymore.”

“What?!?!” mom asked sounding so worried. “You always get your Cokes. You’ve been getting those Cokes for probably a year now.”

“Y’all are treating me like a little kid about them,” I replied. “It is embarrassing.  I am thirty seven years old.  I don’t want to be treated like that and I don’t want to drink them anymore.  It is a hassle I don’t need.”

“You’re going to get a terrible lack of caffeine headache,” mom said, warning me.

“I’ll take some Tylenol and aspirin,” I replied.

“Don’t do this to me,” mom said, sounding so flustered.  “I am going to worry to death about you.  You love those Cokes and I enjoy getting them and giving them to you.  I don’t have much of a life and looking after you gives me something to do.”

I felt terrible.  I knew this would happen.  It would send mom into a tailspin.  One thing about my mom is she does things out of love and concern, and it all ties into her mental illness exacerbating it all.  Dad does things out of a sense of responsibility and duty.  They both have two completely different modus operandi.  

“Come get your Cokes,” mom pleaded.  “I will bring you three more at lunch when I buy your groceries.  We just won’t tell your father.”

I gave in.  I drove over to find mom in her nightgown standing at the backdoor with a plastic bag of diet Cokes.  I brought them home and began drinking them.  I do love them.  I don’t have many comforts in my austere life and they are a joy to drink.  My obsessive compulsive nature, like mom, loves rituals, and this is one ritual I enjoy.  Well, so much for my protest.  I always was a softie for mom.  

A Glutton for Punishment…

I woke up at 5:30 AM wide awake.  I cooked a simple breakfast of four scrambled eggs (two were for Maggie) and some toast.  I was sitting in the den watching The Death and Destruction Channel (weather channel) and made the mistake of saying the word “walk”.  I had set forth a chain of events that would lead me to walking Maggie in 23 degree cold.  Maggie immediately went over to the piano to sit and watch the leash. 

“Come on girl,” I said after getting dressed and out of my sleeping gear.  “Let’s take you for a walk.”

Maggie wiggled so wildly and excitedly that it was hard to get her leash on.  I’ve heard dogs take on the personalities of their owners and I believe it now.  Maggie is about these walks as I am about my diet Cokes, the Internet or my cigarettes.  We are obsessed.  We both love rituals.

We didn’t walk for long as I froze my skinny ass off.  We walked for an hour around the neighborhood stopping at every little interesting object or smell.  Despite the cold, I actually enjoyed today’s walk.  The breaking of dawn.  The magical hour happening.  The numerous school buses loaded with kids passing by.  A felt part of a bigger picture this morning; a far cry from the little world I am usually ensconced in that is my Internet command center.   I promised Maggie to take her for the full six miles tomorrow.   Maybe when the day has grown longer and warmed up some.  She will be at the piano waiting impatiently as always. 

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Anti-Coke Protest Starting Tomorrow…

I realized today my parent’s are as crazy as me.  They’re all crazy as shit.  The whole family is.  My brother and sister can be crazy as well.  I just didn’t get the overachiever gene they all seemed to get.  So I am stuck in poorsville.   I also got stuck with the particularly nasty strain of mental illness that runs in the family – nastier than most of the others of my family got except mom. 

A few facts about the diet coke fiasco…

  • It was my idea to stop drinking so many diet Cokes.  It was cutting into my grocery budget and I was frankly lazy about carrying in all those 12 packs every week.  It was a hassle.  So mom started to buy me Wal-Mart orange drink mix that was a dollar and something for six quarts of drink.  I was happy.
  • Mom started back the six diet Cokes a day thing.  How this started, I don’t remember.  But she started getting sodas from my father’s pharmacy to give to me every day as a treat.
  • It was I who started the three caffeine free diet Cokes rule (I get three regular and three caffeine free).  I was having a particularly bad spate with my anxiety/panic attacks and thought the lessening of intake of caffeine would help.  I can extremely distinctly remember calling mom to tell her to get some caffeine free diet Cokes.

This recent “tightening of the belt” by mom and dad over my diet Cokes has me pissed off today.  I am burning mad – fiery as hell.  So tomorrow I go on protest.  It will drive my mother absolutely bat shiat crazy when I refuse my six cokes tomorrow.  She will, in turn, drive my father crazy about it as well.  I am lucky in that mom has this obsessive compulsive tendency to never let me “do without”.  It’s my way of giving back to my father who’s been exceptionally nutsy about this whole diet Coke affair.  Harumpfff!    And dammit, Maggie, quit barking! LOL

Happens Every Time!


Yesterday was National Break from Blog Comments Day…

I’ve written some pretty controversial stuff lately, and this elicits a lot of caring and interesting advice from some of my caring friends who read.  It also elicits some vile vitriol from some of my less caring readers.  Yesterday, I took a break from comments.  I just didn’t read, but listened with interest as the “You’ve Got Mail!” messages occurred throughout the day.  I did read all the comments this morning when I was in a better frame of mind to let them all soak in so to speak.  It always fascinates me what others think of me or what advice they give.  I do appreciate it very much.  It’s like grist for the mill and gets me to thinking. 

Most days, I don’t take anything personally.  I find it an interesting study in human nature of some of the more vitriolic anonymous comments.  The main goal is to cause me pain, and it is interesting that someone out there found my daily journal and made it a part of their lives to cause another human being distress on purpose.  If they distressed me, then I would go back to blogger only comments.  Moderation is a joke.  Moderation is a way to save face.   You still have to read the comments to moderate them, thus defeating the purpose of never reading all that crap.

Well, anyways, I am going to get back to responding to comments today.  It actually takes a lot of work to do.  And it keeps me tied to this computer.  I have to take them piecemeal or I wouldn’t do it.  As the emails come in, I have take one comment at a time or I would get overwhelmed.  But I want to give back to my readers, and some of you mean so very much to me and have been with me for years.  I am also TERRIBLE at email and my friend Liz is the only person I can seem to keep up a viable email exchange with.  Comments is my way of communicating so back to communicating it is.  

The State of Smokeville…

Dad gave me a rare compliment last night. 

“You’re cigarette consumption has been cut in half,” he told me, thanking me.

Dad personally pays for my cigarettes to help conserve my disability allotment.  He has been ordering them wholesale using his business license through the pharmacy.  He took this on himself.  I would rather pay for the cigarettes out of my own money as this just further complicates our often tumultuous relationship. 

“I smoke only one cigarette every thirty minutes,” I replied proudly.  “It makes a pack last ten hours.”

At one point, I was smoking three packs a day.  I chained smoked – one after another.  It was extremely frivolous and overboard – just another symptom of my obsessive compulsive nature.  Now?  I watch that clock! LOL  I savor every cigarette as it only comes twice an hour, but it makes smoking so much more pleasurable.   I like to think of myself as being part of a noble cause to save money and expense.  It reminds me of the monks in the monasteries that would live austere lives to bring them closer to Christ and God.  My lessened smoking brings me closer to my father.