Just briefly… Andy hadn’t been doing well for the past couple of months. I didn’t mention it here because it’s not something I wanted to talk about. He was a medium-sized dog, and they’re good for 14 years if you’re lucky. Andy was 16 and a half and was in extra innings. I was thankful for the free baseball. But we all knew the score, and the score sucked. Why wallow in it?
He chugged along for a while, having good days and bad. It didn’t seem like he was in pain, which was obviously a good thing. And just when we thought the end was near he’d bounce back and string together a few days when the old Andyness was there again. But he eventually stopped eating, and there were other unpleasantries I don’t want to get into. So, the decision was made, and it was heartbreaking.
I thought I was prepared for it. It had been at the front of my mind for the past two months: the first thing I thought about when I woke up every morning. I spent a lot of time with the dog, knowing that someday soon those opportunities would go away. I told myself I’d made peace with it all, and would be fine when it finally happened. But I wasn’t fine. It felt like somebody drove a screwdriver through my heart. But we’re all doing a little better now. Time will take care of it. I’ve been down this road before.
Thank you guys for caring. I appreciate it, sincerely. But let’s move on, shall we?
Yesterday I was putting in my contact lenses, and the left one fell off my finger as I was attempting to seat it on my eyeball. I wear hard lenses — described by my mother many years ago as “like having a human toenail in your eye” — because one of my corneas is all jacked up. It’s shaped like the end of a football, a doctor once told me. In any case, hard lenses are the only thing that will correct my vision. Glasses don’t do it, and disposable floppy lenses don’t either. The ones I use are expensive and require time to manufacture. If I lose one, I’ll be walking around for days, maybe a week, in a poorer and fuzzier world.
So, when I lost control of the thing, I instantly panicked. Usually, when it happens, I can hear it hit the floor or the sink. There’s a small little tick! But this time I heard nothing. Was it stuck to my face? Was it on my shirt? I didn’t want to take a step, for fear I’d crush the tiny but powerful defuzzing agent. Grrr… I yelled for the younger hooligan to come help. He inspected my bulbous biscuit-head, found nothing, and didn’t see it stuck to my clothing either. Where in the hell did it go?? We both started crawling around on the floor, and could not locate it. It was crazy, and I was releasing an enormous amount of profanity.
Finally, I found it, stuck to the door of the vanity, just hanging there about a foot beneath the countertop. How?? How did it fall so far, and still hang on? It was almost defying gravity. And I’m not even sure why I thought to look in such an improbable place. But I was back in business, dammit. The relief I felt was like when you wake up from a horrible dream and realize it wasn’t real. I’m super-jealous of people who can just pluck those things out of their eyes, and flick ’em in the trash. I have to protect mine like they’re the keys to the universe.
The computer I’m using right now doesn’t work correctly. It’s only a few months old, and I’ve had it in “the shop” twice already. Nobody can diagnose the problem, and I get the impression I’m not always believed when I describe what’s going on. Yesterday I took it in, and the dude was eyeing me suspiciously. I think I might be entering an age bracket where it’s assumed I don’t know shit about technology. And it pisses me off. Sometimes when I’m using the self-checkout at the grocery store some chirpy 14-year-old girl skips over and asks if I need assistance. This fires me up, and I generally react in a way that causes them to walk away wounded and muttering, “Jesus…”
Anyway, it’s working now. The fleshy neckbeard nerd told me he thinks it’s overheating. The man is clearly just pulling theories straight out of his big speckled ass. But, we’ll see. I’m going to start turning it off when I’m finished, and see if it helps. I know in my heart it won’t, but I’m willing to give it a try. Everything’s just freaking fantastic, I tell ya.
On Sunday I was driving to Target and passed this situation. I stopped, rolled down my window, and snapped the photo. I was mildly concerned there would be a spectacular explosion and I’d end up with a dashboard through my torso, but it didn’t happen. There were guys out there hollering, waving their arms around, and taking charge. Who are these people? And why do they always drive pickup trucks?
See that little tree near the road? Well, the SUV is sitting on top of another one, just like it. I have no idea what happened. Why would it catch fire like that? Oh well. I’m sure it’s all just a big misunderstanding.
I need to go now. Another reminder: please use our Amazon links, and buy very expensive items. Like cars. Does Amazon sell cars? I’m unclear on it. Anyway, please remember to click through before doing your holiday shopping. It’s a big help if you do. Thank you, guys.
The Question o’ the Day is a simple one. What did you have for dinner last night? Please tell us about it in the comments. We had ham and white beans and a giant loaf of Italian bread. I cobbled that shit together myself. I cooked the beans all day, with a big smoky ham hock, and they were delicious. What about you? Please tell us about it in the comments.
And I’ll see you guys again soon.
Have a great day!
I used to remind Andy, from time to time, that he won life’s lottery when we took him home from the shelter on September 9, 2001. And that’s true enough. But we also hit the jackpot that day. I don’t know how it would be possible for there to be a better dog. Rest in peace, buddy. You were a great friend.
It’s only the middle of December and I’ve already had two white-knuckle rides because of the snow. Last Saturday Toney and I were out ‘n’ about and it started coming down. According to some weather app (who the hell knows?) it wasn’t supposed to amount to anything, so I suggested we have lunch at Cracker Barrel. I’m always angling to go to Cracker Barrel. I say it as a joke, but it’s not far from the truth: I could eat every one of my meals for the rest of my life there. It ranks high on the ‘Sue Me, I Like It’ list. If you’d like to share some items from your list, please do so in the comments.
Anyway, it went from nothing to slick in short order. I had to brake on a bridge in Scranton, and my wheels were no longer turning but my car continued moving forward at an unabated speed. It was unnerving. And when we got on I-81 it was a complete mess. It looked like some brand of Armageddon was underway on the northbound side, and southbound was just creeping along. It was also icy. Toney suggested we abandon our mission and return home, but the notion of chicken ‘n’ dumplings had already been activated. And once the activation of a notion is underway, there’s no way to reverse it.
We survived, needless to say, and our lunch was fantastic. But it was a little stressful. Nothing major, but there was definitely some intermittent puckering.
And last night’s ride home from work sucked, as well. Both times I was driving in the worst of it. Neither “snow event” added up to much, I just happened to catch them both when they were at the height of their powers. Interstate 81 was covered, and the left lane was full-on slick. So, you had these assholes driving at 25 mph with their flashers on, and when you went around… you had to venture into no man’s land. Over there it sounds different, and feels different, and I’m not really a fan. It took me an hour to get home, and I could feel the tension in my shoulders. Tension loves a shoulder.
So, this is the way it’s going to be, huh? All winter long? Well, that’s simply fantastic.
This morning I was dragging our trash cans to the curb, ’cause Thursday is trash day, and fell in the driveway. Yes, I was wearing flip-flops in the snow. What of it? I landed on my left knee, and it’s all skinned up and achy. As I tried to get up I slipped again, and did a secondary wallow. It was far from satisfactory.
I hate the heat and humidity of August and September, but don’t care for this crap either. Everybody thinks you have to pick one or the other. But I have room in my heart to hate both.
On Sunday I was looking for some fingernail clippers. I have my own, and keep them in a specific spot inside the bunker. But they disappear all the time, and it makes me crazy. I ask the kids about it, and they claim to know nothing. That’s boolshit, of course. It’s a little dance o’ the tards we do here at Chez Kay.
So, I went to Rite-Aid to buy more. I know exactly where they are, because this is not the first time I’ve had to do this. However… they apparently did some remodeling since the last time I was there. Everything was in a different spot, including the checkout counter. What in the high-pitched hell?? I had to scour every square inch of that horrible place to find the nail clippers. And I saw these things hanging everywhere: magnifying glasses on retractable lines. Have you seen this? I guess they’re for the seasoned citizens who can’t see very well? It’s a new one to me.
Eventually I found the clippers, and they had roughly 25 to choose from. Everything is super-complicated now. Whenever I buy toothpaste, for instance, my brain nearly shorts-out because of the giant wall of Crest. I zeroed in on the regular normal-people clippers which were three for $2, with your Plenti card. Or $1 each without it.
I had no idea what a Plenti card was, but figured it wouldn’t take too long to sign up. Right? I asked the guy at the counter about it, and he sighed theatrically. Clearly, he didn’t want to sign me up. So, that decided it: I’m signing up. And now I have yet another card that I’ll put in my wallet, never use, and eventually throw in a drawer because it’s getting too crowded in Cardville. I have lots and lots of “discount” cards, and use two of them: Sheetz and Weis (a grocery store). I have a Panera card and a Subway card. It’s ludicrous. I’m starting to develop a bad case of Costanza-wallet. It’s almost time for another culling.
What’s your relationship with discount cards? Which ones do you actually use? And what’s the ratio of the ones you NEVER use to the ones you do use? It’s gotta be 10 to 1 in my case. Maybe higher.
And by the way, those three new fingernail clippers might last me six months. They’ll begin disappearing any moment now, into the sucking black abyss that is our kids’ bedrooms. Many things enter, and nothing exits. Including coffee mugs… goddamn dinner plates… cutlery of all description… I continuously operate on the cusp of a nervous breakdown. In fact, like Gladys Kravitz, I have a sick-headache right now.
Before I call it a day here, I’d like to get your thoughts on this year’s Rock n Roll Hall of Fame inductees, announced yesterday. I don’t really understand the criteria they use to decide these things. It’s all very baffling, and seemingly random. I like the Cars, have no opinion about the Moody Blues, am not a fan of Bon Jovi, and don’t think Dire Straits is worthy. Nina Simone is legendary, but I’m no expert. That’s my read on it. Hey, whatever. Husker Du and the Replacements and the Smiths and the Jam, etc. etc. are not in. But Dire Straits is? It seems bizarre to me, but it’s not like I really give a shit one way or the other.
Oh, and one more quick thing. My brain nearly melted-down a few nights ago while watching the final episode of the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Check out this scene, and note the six people Larry cites while trying to bullshit his way out of yet another delicate situation he created. What the?! That one truly caught me by surprise.
I need to go to work now. I hope you guys have a great day. Please remember to buy loads of expensive items immediately after clicking through one of our Amazon links. It’s much appreciated!
See you again on Monday.
I’ve started watching The Fugitive again. I have the complete series box set and ripped through the first three seasons in short order. But the fourth and final season — which is in color — is so preposterous I lost interest for a long time. Like maybe two years. But the DVDs have been hanging around the living room all that time, and Toney is starting to complain. So, I’ve decided to push through to the end and put the box set away for good.
The first three seasons are great. They’re atmospheric and melancholy, and make you feel some of the loneliness and despair of being an innocent man on the run, knowing that if you’re caught you’re going straight to the “death house” as they call it in the opening sequence.
But by the final year, it’s become full-on stupid. For a guy who is trying to lay low, he certainly gets himself into a large number of predicaments. In every episode, he’s working a different job in a different city, and using a different name. He’s a butler, or a field hand, or a pit boss at a casino, or a veterinarian’s assistant. But no matter what he’s doing, or where he happens to be, he finds himself in some sort of outrageous circumstance without delay. He gets caught up in any number of kidnapping situations, for instance, and is often being held at gunpoint by some smart-mouthed young tough who uses phrases like, “You ain’t going nowhere, daddy,” and that sort of thing.
Thankfully I’ve never been on the run from federal agents, but I’m fairly certain I could fade into the background better than Richard Kimble. I’ve had lots of jobs in my life, in five different states, and have never once been implicated in the death of a Mexican union organizer. Or been forced to go to bat for a wrongfully accused semi-retarded carnival roustabout. Or been hassled and beaten at a rodeo for refusing to wear “Western clothes.” I generally just go to work and come home when I’m done. Sometimes if I’m hungry I go through the Arby’s drive-thru, but that’s about as exciting as it gets. Not once have I found myself seeking refuge in the embassy of an obscure African nation, or felt a moral obligation to protect a young violin prodigy from his powerful and overbearing father. Maybe I’m the weird one?
Yes, it’s ridiculous, but I’m pushing through to the end. I want to see the final episode, which was one of the most-watched TV shows in history. I assume Kimble is captured, returned to death row, thoroughly sodomized, and eventually fried-up like a goddamn box of Sizzlean? That’s how I see it going, anyway.
By the way, the movie version of The Fugitive, with Harrison Ford, is one of my all-time favorites. It’s almost a perfect movie, in my estimation. I just wanted that on the record for some reason. I love that thing, every time I watch it.
Writing all that broke loose a memory of a book idea I had years ago. It was going to be a retrospective guide of a 1970s sitcom that never actually existed. For some reason, the show was called Billy White Eggs. Or maybe The Adventures of Billy White Eggs. I sincerely can’t remember why. But the book was to feature a synopsis of every episode, perhaps 150 in all. Every one of them, of course, would be absurd and wholly manufactured by me. And there would be a lot of fake trivia and history about the stars: where are they now? etc. Also photos. I was fired up! I sent a query letter to multiple agents and actually got a little interest. This was long before the website, by the way, when I was in California. One agent, in particular, was intrigued and invited me to submit a full-fledged book proposal. She asked me to sign an agreement of some sort and told me to get to it. And… I never wrote one word of the thing. The end. Great story, huh? Oh, there are more where that came from.
Thinking about The Fugitive, and all the jobs he worked during the run of that show, I wonder how he’d answer the question: What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? I mean, he was repeatedly shot and stabbed and beat to shit at work. I’ve got nothing to compare, thankfully. But I’ll answer the question.
The worst job I ever had was overnight stocking at a Food Lion grocery store in Greensboro, NC. The bosses were, without exception, assholes. And my co-workers were imbeciles who were also boring. Oh, I’d encountered many imbeciles by that point, especially at the Dunbar Exxon. But they were entertaining, which made it a little more palatable. The guys at Food Lion were both stupid and dull.
Plus, it was hard physical labor with a fair amount of pressure. The managers walked around yelling at us, and it just sucked all the time. They blasted some horrific Top 40 radio station in there, and they played maybe 15 songs in a continuous loop. No way they were playing 40. And it was shit like “We Built This City” by Starship, and “Broken Wings” by Mr. Mister. There were many nights in that place when I thought I might a) take a swing at someone or b) break down in tears. Or both.
I was responsible for the so-called Cleaning Aisle. I had to buy, stock, and maintain every item in it. And the buying was the tricky part. The worst was the bleach. It came in giant boxes of six, and you could only fit maybe 18 of the big bottles on the shelf. And those 18 would disappear quickly. However, there was a Sgt. Carter asshole bastard who managed the backroom, and he’d be all up your ass if you brought in too much overstock. He had the floor taped off for each stocker, and you couldn’t have anything outside your allotted space. Those boxes of bleach were huge, so you can see my problem. If we completely ran out of bleach, the store manager would scream at me. And if I had a lot of overstock Sgt. Carter would lose his mind. It SUCKED. I was there for months and never cracked the bleach code. I was a little afraid of Sarge because he looked like he was capable of killing me with his hands, so I always leaned more toward running out. So, the store manager viewed me as an absolute incompetent. It was paradise, I tell ya.
Oh, and I forgot… We worked until we were done. So, no set quitting time. I was exhausted 24 hours a day, and my ego was being blasted without let-up. Oh, God. It was a terrible job. I finally quit and went to Peaches Records, for much less money. And that turned out to be one of the BEST jobs I ever had. Pass the beer nuts.
I’ll leave you with the same Question: What’s the worst job you ever had, and why? Please tell us about it in the comments. Hopefully, none of them resulted in you being held in a roadside diner by members of a motorcycle gang, or anything like that. I believe that happened to Richard Kimble multiple times.
I need to call it a day, my friends.
Please don’t forget to use our Amazon links while doing your holiday shopping this year. Simply click through and shop as normal. It’ll cost you nothing extra, and I’ll receive a small percentage of whatever you spend. Thanks!
I’ll see you guys again on Thursday.
Have a great day.