Monday, July 31, 2006

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Alright Breeders, I know you love your kids and all. But there is not and never will be a reason for this:

Please explain what parent, in their right mind, would actually indulge the child that asks, "Mommy, can I have a trampoline?" I would think that ranks right up there with, "Mommy, I want a pony" - or "Daddy, I want a goose that lays golden eggs for Easter."

Maybe Veruca Salt lives here?

I can't figure how a trampoline is a wise investment. One like this goes for about $900. How much jumping can a kid actually do before they get bored? I figure ten minutes, tops. Maybe more if they have a friend over. Then what? It sits there and gets moldy from rainwater and green from pollen. Do you really need to OWN one?

And for God's sake, why - if you're dumb enough to buy a trampoline - would you put it in YOUR FRONT YARD?!

I dunno, I just don't think I could ever love something enough to justify such a bizarre act.

* The best part of this photo (aside from the obvious) is that it is of a house down the street from me. And prior to the current bouncy residents, my best friend from childhood lived there. Her Dad was a raging prick, who was also highly anal retentive about his house and yard. My friend spent most of her afterschool hours picking up twigs from the grass while he shellacked the rocks in the garden. As soon as she turned 18, she moved to Arizona to get far away from the man. Shortly thereafter, he sold the house. I would love to see his reaction to the new lawn ornament.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


I started going to a chiropractor a couple months back when I had this bad feeling in my lower back, and my left leg started to go numb. Turns out it's sciatica caused by this weird degeneration in one of my vertebrae. I believe my Doc's exact words while showing me my x-rays were: "It's like this vertebrae here is somehow 30 years older than the rest of you."


So anyway, I started going three times a week. Each time, he puts a moist-heat pack on my back and turns on the traction for 15 minutes, then he adjusts me. After about a month, this became twice a week, and now just once. He's also a sports physician and nutritionist. I like him -- trust him, even.

Today was my regular appointment, and when he came in and asked how I was, I told him I have a cold. He asked me if I'd ever gotten a 'sinus adjustment'. I said, "No. Is it like an 'attitude adjustment'? Cause I've been told I could use one of those."

I also like him because he laughs at my lame jokes.

So he puts on a rubber glove and starts pressing on my jaw, inside my mouth. He explains that he's opening up some of the bones around my sinuses, allowing them to drain better. It hurts like a motherfucker. After that, he starts sticking his fingers in my ears, I guess doing similar sinus opening?

When he's done, I sit up and I can breathe! And the feeling like my head is in a fishtank is totally gone. I am astonished.

"Is it possible that this draining worked so fast that I can feel it so soon, or is this psychosomatic?" I ask.

"It's extremely possible - you should feel very open now. In fact, carry tissues with you today cause there might be additional drainage."

Mmmm... drainage.

I think there's definitely something to this holistic medicine. I am such a hypocrite, though. I claim to be this big anti-drug-needer, but at the first sign of pain or discomfort, I am popping open a bottle of something. Advil Liqui-gels have become my fifth basic food group. Maybe this very strange day will help me become less dependent upon chemicals?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Who the hell else gets a cold in the middle of July? I felt it Sunday night: the scratchy, itchy throat. And sure enough, yesterday I woke up with the snot. And it got progressively worse throughout the day. Every four hours, I took a different type of decongestant, hoping one would work. I took a Benadryl before going to bed.

Benadryl's effects on me have changed over the years. As a young kid, I had terrible allergies and was sick with bronchitis at least once a month. I blame that on the fact that both my parents were smokers. Or on my tonsils. Or both. 'Cause eventually they both quit smoking and, at age 21, I finally had my tonsils removed after a hideous bout with mono.

Have I digressed again? Of course. Benadryl... right.

I used to take a Benadryl and it would knock me on my ass for 8 hours. Then I'd wake up feeling hungover and dried out. But at least it stopped the allergy attacks. Now when I take it (or Nyquil - or anything else with the sleep drug in it) I fall asleep for like 2 hours, and then wake up in a state of manic hyperactivity.

So I was up for a good portion of last night, drinking Cup-A-Soup and reading yet another book from my new favorite author, Augusten Burroughs. I drifted in and out of sleep - got up around 7:30 and decided to go running. At least for the duration of a run, my head is clear and I can breathe. And it was so. And I feel a little better today than I did yesterday.

Bottom line: Don't live with smokers. Don't keep unnecessary bodily organs. Exercise regularly.

[Alright, that post just sucked. I'll do better next time.]

Sunday, July 23, 2006


10. Watching "The Birdcage" for the 10,048th time.

9. Running 10.5 miles and not dying.

8. My 3 month-old nephew farting on my arm.

7. The fact that he then LAUGHED about it.

6. The realization that no matter how old (or young) you are: farts are funny.

5. Buffalo wings + 1/2 a bottle of wine + Rita's ice = well-rounded dinner.

4. Livia Soprano dying in the 3rd season of Netflix SopranoFest?!

3. HIS Dad harassing a gay waiter about squirrels.

2. The renewed appreciation for blue skies and life after attending someone's wake.

1. The naked, bald man... playing a fife.

Friday, July 21, 2006


ALIAS: "Baby Bing" aka "Fat Cheeks"
CHARGES: Labor racketeering and Enfamil drug ringleader.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Coming back home from my run this morning, I noticed there were an awful lot of cars at the neighbor's house, especially for 7:00 in the morning.

Billy (the neighbor) had been in the hospital for about a month. He'd gone in for some routine bloodwork and they found that he had cancer, but they couldn't find where. Turns out most of it was in his brain. He was also diabetic and had all kinds of complications from that. He quickly went downhill.

We'd all grown up together. Billy's three daughters Sandy, Jennifer and Becky; me and my two brothers; and the two kids in the house on the other side of ours. We'd spent countless summer days riding bikes, playing cards, kickball... Mostly just tormenting the shit out of each other - in good fun. A great crew of kids and a wonderful way to grow up. We've lost touch over the years, but I guess that's what happens in life.

Billy was the "guy" Dad. Always working in the yard - shirt off, beerbelly hanging out. He kept tabs on everyone. If he got your ear, you were in for at least 45 minutes worth of conversation. He kept up on my running, too. More than my own family. He'd be outside walking his beagle and always want to know how far I'd gone, which race I was training for. He'd tell me stories of when he was in the Army and liked to try and run faster than the black guys ("And I always beat them!")

This morning as I made my way back to the house, I saw Jennifer standing in the front yard, smoking a cigarette.

"My Dad died this morning."
"I'm so sorry..."
"Yeah - I was working. Didn't get to see him."
"Just sucks so much, ya know?"

I tried to remember what people said to me when my Dad died. The fact that I can't remember probably means it wasn't that important. What helped most was just being able to talk to someone - anyone - and have them listen.

I remember the day my Dad died and how we all just sat around in the livingroom, not knowing what to do or say. I guess that's what they're doing over there now. Alternating between tears and laughter. And an overall sense of numbness. Hard to put words to the feelings, just a shared sense of mystery, of shared grief.

It's been kind of gray and gloomy all day today. Except for a minute or so this morning when the sun burst through the sky, and seemed to flood my entire living space in radiance. A warmth. A sense of calm.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


The human mind has limitless potential. Think about all of the progress mankind has made over the past few thousand years. We can travel into space, cure deadly diseases, build babies from test tubes and clone sheep. The most complex supercomputer in the universe could not even come close to the human brain. Great thinkers - the Greek philosophers, Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin - have used their mindpower to change the world as we know it. And every day, another brilliant idea is born from a powerful mind.

My mind? It's too busy remembering the lyrics to a song I sang in 4th grade Music class called "Pop Bottle Hoedown":

'Turn to the rootbeer
Bow to the orange
Swing with a Pepsi
Promenade the cherry soda
'til it meets the bubbly Seven-Up
[bum bum bum]
Bubbly Seven-Up...'

It also remembers that I sat next to Jeff Arnowitz, and that he had a squeaky voice and always wore the same blue & white striped shirt.

Yeah, it's a damn good thing all my billions of brain cells are being put to good use. Would sure be a shame to waste them curing cancer or some other trivial shit like that.

Just spent the past few days up in Ogunquit, Maine. Was quite possibly the best vacation I've ever been on. The location itself was magnificent - the weather was perfect. We stayed at this picturesque B&B run by these two adorable gay guys. Naturally, their attention to detail was impeccable - everything was spot-on. But what truly made the trip for me was the company.

I tend to get antsy. Being OCD (never diagnosed, but I'm sure if I were, that would probably be the first disorder -- on a list of MANY) I do better with routine, or at least an agenda. But we went into the trip with no solid plans (aside for my burning need to fly a kite at some point).

And it was bliss.

Life should always be as easy as it is when I'm around HIM. With HIM, I never have that nagging urge that something else is going on - like I'm somehow missing out on something. That used to be huge for me. But with HIM, I can just... be. And it's good.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Saturday, July 08, 2006


My brother & his wife took Bean camping down the shore and they've left the new one (Pudge) with my Mom. Every now and then, I pop over and see what he's doing. I also have the job of keeping an eye on him when Mom needs to use the bathroom. I'm okay as long as he's

A) Sleeping - or

B) Content to just lay there and look at stuff.

Anything else (hungry, smelly or generally uncomfortable) and I am useless. He's only 3 months old, so basically there's not much else he does, aside from the above-mentioned activities. And while I can appreciate his cuteness, I really don't think I could handle having one of my own. I am SO not a breeder.

I was "keeping an eye on" Pudge this morning (he was doing B) and I noticed that he kept looking at something over my shoulder and smiling. As if he saw something - or someone - that I could not. And it gave me the warmest feeling cause I thought, "What if babies can see spirits of relatives who have passed?"

I imagined my Dad... my Aunt... or grandparents - just kind of popping in to smile down at him and make sure he's doing alright. "What do you see?" I'd ask. And he'd just smile.

Yeah, maybe he just has a lot of gas (I mean come on, he IS my nephew) - or maybe he's just trying out all his new little face muscles. But I'd like to think otherwise. That he's meeting all his angels, and that they'll be with him throughout his life.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


How much do I love a good 4-day weekend? I'm sitting here rehashing the hundreds of potential blog entries, and figure I'd better narrow it down to a handful. Here they are - in no chronological order whatsoever..

- We took a drive out to Hershey Park on Monday. It was a billion degrees and there were two billion people in the park. AND there was a Def Leppard/Journey concert taking place at the Hershey Stadium that evening, so you can imagine what the majority of the park crowd looked like...

Amusement parks take on a different light when you're a "grown-up" (and believe me, I use that term very loosely). Waiting in line for 90 minutes to ride a 30-second roller coaster is harder to justify. But we did have a blast passing our critical judgment on just about every person standing in line. Perhaps the biggest amusement in the park is the people-watching.

- Yesterday we went over to my brother's house to take part in the family BBQ scene. While my nephews certainly rock harder than any other kids in the universe, spending time at their house - with crying, pooping kids and an annoying, chewing dog - is still the most effective form of birth control I can imagine. We left after the required amount of time, escaping back to HIS fortress of solitude, and to our pals Rita & the Sopranos.

- Among the high points of the weekend was our first major trip to the grocery store together ("Awww"). We're very different, HE and I, and I tried my very best to bite my tongue and not interfere with the way HE shops. I've realized that some people may not yet have accepted the fact that MY way of doing things is the ONLY way. We had fun nonetheless, knocking over a display of Swiss Knight cheese, and arguing over Little Debbie - the bitch you love to hate.

By far, the highlight of the shopping excursion was coming across this tasty little item in the canned meat section.

Libby's "Potted Meat Food Product" contains: mechanically separated chicken, partially defatted cooked pork fatty tissue, beef tripe, partially defatted cooked beef fatty tissue, vinegar, salt, spices, sugar, flavorings, sodium erythorbate, and sodium nitrite.

Potted Meat: The Breakfast of Champions. I'll end now, as I'm sure that's about all anyone can stomach in one sitting.