Monday, February 25, 2008

This Boot Ain't Made for Walking...

I haven't posted for awhile, as I wasn't sure what to write about. I've been in touch with my friend Randi, she seems troubled. She's sleeping with 2 different men named Glen and Glenn and her former boyfriend found out by tapping into her my space page and called her a whore. She wanted to know If I thought she were a whore and I told her absolutely not, as long as she's not getting paid for it, right? What's a My Space page and how does one tap into one? Randi is considerably younger than me and I'm happy not knowing the answer to many of these urgent questions.

Gail, my Canadian friend, is happily living out the balance of her retirement up in a place North of Toronto that she refers to as Paradise. She and her husband Alan and Great Dane, Logan are on 23 acres residing in an 8 bedroom house with their own lake and expecting their second Dane as soon as it's litter is thrown. (Thrown is dog talk) My guess is that cabin fever with bring them back into civilization before too long, possibly keeping this wonderful resort like home for a summer getaway. Wait and see...

The Lovely Jules is on a marathon work schedule with everything relaxing around Wednesday this week, affording her a 5 day weekend for us to play with. I had lunch with my son Brad today and he's on a work schedule that is doubling his workload for the next 60 days. He looks tired and is talking about buying a franchise of sorts. During the time that we were eating chicken fried steaks at Bill Johnson's, his cell phone rang no fewer than 15 times while he ignored it and just ate.

Friday night, the Lovely Jules cooked me a dinner fit for a king, of Oven roasted chicken with a mushroom sauce and Spinach Something-or-other. It's a spinach dish cooked up with a cheese and baked inside a giant croissant' loaf. I'm sure when she reads my description of this dish, she'll enlighten me about it in the comments section. Saturday we awaited the beautiful weather we were expecting for weekend and it actually never showed up until today Monday, when everyone was securely back at work. Sunday, I didn't give the Lovely Jules a chance to cancel due to her nagging case of the flu, but instead, showered and hopped into my car and it automatically drove to the home of the Lovely Jules, whose initial response was, "What are you doing here"? I explained that if she were going to feel lousy, at least she was going to feel lousy with me around and she quickly became her old self, wearing jeans and a sweater and a smile. We headed to my car lot to change cars and headed off in a vacation Dodge van, to Cave Creek for a day of tourism and fried chicken at the Horny Toad. Everything was ideal and Julie was feeling 100% better with the exception of our waitress' jeans were much too high and too tight and we feared she would die of a severe irritation before she could deliver our perfectly fried chicken. We were in luck though, as she delivered our chicken and didn't die until she got back into the kitchen, as we never saw her again. With full stomachs and two Styrofoam boxes we started our day of tourism and picture shooting as chronicled by the photos included. We seemed to be particularly attracted to a giant cowboy boot, as you'll see. I named the boot "Julie's Booty". Although she liked the name I chose, hers is nowhere near as big!

We finished the day by going to a Safeway where Julie told me about hamburger being on sale for $1.50 a LB. Around here we call that Great Dane food. Sunday night found us leisurely laying around watching the Oscars, but channel surfing as that is just not our kind of show. All and all the weekend was great and a good time was had by all. I never did hear about that pesky fly again, not until at least when I get it!


Friday, February 22, 2008

Some Guys JUST Can't Take a Joke...

Today when I was getting off the freeway at Bethany Home Road, I looked into my rear view mirror and saw a red Mercedes sports car, the kind that Brittany Spears has been seen driving on TMZ every night. Driving this sports car Mercedes was a gentleman that I took no particular notice of, other than he was behind me and exited at the same place I did and he didn't use his turn signal. Shortly after making my right hand turn at Bethany Home Road, as I was on my way to make a rye bread pick up, I moved over one lane to the left and that's when all hell broke loose! Evidently this guy driving in the Mercedes must have punched it and was almost right next to me when I moved over a lane. Well, I don't have to tell you what happened next. I was embarrassed for the poor guy. He was all over the road, eventually pulling onto the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic, if there were any, which there wasn't.. I'm sure this display was for my benefit as he laid on the horn and never let loose of it! He beeped for at least 100 yards, nonstop. Then when he finally regained control of his car and was passing me giving me the mandatory "finger" he honked again.. Man, I've never seen such a nice car lose it's cool so eloquently and in such a hurry too., lol... I wish I could be a fly on the wall when HE tells this story....

PS. In case he reads this............. SORRY!


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Grand Theft Auto...

Today started out pretty much like any other day. I tried to sleep as the Dynamic Duo licked me into awareness. When I opened the front shutters I noticed a car parked on the street that empties into my driveway, an unusual sight, as there is usually a vacant street looking at me. About 50 yards down, there was an old Honda parked there with an apparent flat tire. I assumed there'd be someone by soon to repair it. At about 10 AM, the clouds burned off and the sun came out and I developed an early case of Spring Fever. I looked longingly at the red convertible sitting unattended in my side yard and knew we'd both feel better if I took the top down and took it for a ride. My first stop was the mailbox at the end of our street and on the way back, I noticed a car pull up to the abandoned Honda and make ready to change the tire. As I pulled closer, I could see it didn't have a single tire on it. The man that was attending the vehicle gave me a friendly wave and I waved back, although he didn't look like he belonged in this neighborhood. How judgemental of me huh? He was dressed in dirty jeans and his pants were falling down and was unshaven. Then I thought about how I might look doing the same task and relaxed a little and made my way over to him and offered him my floor jack.

He introduced himself and told me that he lived about a block away and the police had just called him to tell him that his car, that was stolen 3 weeks ago was found and it was right here near my house. He had gone to a wrecking yard and purchased 4 tires and wheels for it and he needed to get it home. Well, he was a neighbor, putting all of my fears of dealing with a car thief to rest. Together we got the 4 tires onto his car and I offered to follow him home to allow him a second trip back to his second car that was parked near my house. Sid, my new friend, accepted and offered me his card. Sid owns a flag shop in downtown Phoenix and his wife works as a pharmacist for Fry's nearby. Sid is bringing me a flag tomorrow for the front of my house for helping him. I told him I wouldn't accept a gift for helping a neighbor in distress, but he insisted and told me I'd find it on my front porch tomorrow morning whether I wanted it or not. Cool, huh?

Since I already had my floor jack out and my Corolla needed an oil change and I had the oil and I had the filter, why not? I pulled the Corolla into the garage and jacked her up into the air and made ready for the change of fluid. Things were going along rather smoothly when I realized that the oil filter for that car is so tiny, that the oil filter wrench that I have was way too big for it. It was probably less than 2 inches in diameter. Using a large pair of channel locks, I loosened the old one and threaded on the new one, however I didn't feel it was tight enough, so I gave it a little turn with the channel locks and proceeded to pour in about 4 quarts of oil. After 3 and 1/2 quarts, I started the engine to fill the oil filter with oil and checked it again. To my surprise, and let's face it, I'm still NOT that handy, about 2 quarts of the oil that I just pour into my Corolla were now on the garage floor! What the???? There was a puddle about 3 feet wide under the car and oil was ripping from everywhere. I threw a towel down under the car, I laid down next to the puddle and saw where the main source of oil was coming from. The OIL FILTER with the hole in it, that I popped into it with my stupid channel locks. SHIT! I looked down at my shirt, the one that Julie had just bought me the day before and it was dripping with oil. I ripped it off and used it as the first of many towels to wipe up this mess. This was officially the LAST time I change the oil at home, EVER!

Right in the middle of my disaster, my home phone rang and it was the Lovely Jules' phone calling me. Not her, just her phone. This was the third time her phone has taken the liberty to call me, all on it's own. I say hello and listen to her work on plastics. No conversation, just working going on in the background. I think her phone has a crush on me! See why I like my old phone? It doesn't call anyone without me!


Monday, February 18, 2008

The Breakfast of Champions...

This morning found me trying to clear out my backyard of a couple of the cars that accumulated there. This is a constant in the life of a car guy. I called Julie to see if she was available to pick me up at the car lot and was pleased at her response. She said sure, she's off all day as a result of President's Day and can we go to downtown Glendale to look at antiques and have breakfast? I'm NOT an antique kind of guy, my things get old all by themselves without looking for more, but EVERYTHING I do with the Lovely Jules is a carnival to me! She could invite me to go septic tank diving and we'd have fun snorkeling! (That may have been a bit strong to make my point).

I gave her detailed instructions on how to find the car lot and told her to call me the first time she got lost. She laughed, I didn't! About 20 minutes later, the phone rang and it was Julie laughing, she was lost. Somehow we rendezvoused and I showed her the whole complex that I refer to as the "Compound". I know she was impressed because she even admitted that she's never seen so much crap accumulated in one place EVER. I explained that Paul suffers from a pack-rat complex and to try not to disturb anything. I introduced her to Paul that was trying to sell something to someone and we left.

Our first stop was a Mexican Restaurant that goes by the name of Bitzie Mama. Their menu offered a complete American breakfast selection as though time had stood still. No one in that place had ever heard of Cholesterol and I was okay with that for the moment. Julie ordered sausage and eggs and I had the vein clogger special, the Chicken Fried Steak covered in country gravy that encompassed the entire large platter. It was served with pre-buttered toast and a large pile of hash brown potatoes that Shaq would have had trouble finishing. I ordered coffee served in an old mug and I even got to pour sugar from a dispenser. It was 1957, just for the moment. I kept making eating noises and when I looked over at Julie, she was eating with enthusiasm like I'd never seen her before. We were on a mission! I don't think Julie got enough to eat when she was a child as she ate her meal and right in the middle ordered a bowl of fruit and milk, coffee and water! I had my head down and I kept hearing Julie saying, you don't have to finish................... but I did!

We paid the check and I loosened my belt by one notch as we walked out to go antiquing. Downtown Glendale is the headquarters for antiques for our area and there were tons of places selling the old stuff. It appears that the Lovely Jules know her antiques too. She purchased 3 old bowls, mentioning their particular brand, color, and era and said she could sell them on eBay and triple her money immediately. I listened, still sucking Chicken Fried Steak out of my teeth. Gosh, that breakfast was GOOD!

We were heading to my house to dump me off when St. Jules asked if I wanted to go to Stein-Mart. I'd never been to a Stein-Mart before, so we went there. It was Chistmas! I found 5 shirts and a pair of shoes that Julie says should replace the old comfortable ones I wear. I might even look good enough to out in public sometime. Geez, those hash browns were to die for!

After walking my poor legs off in downtown Glendale, we finally drove home and Julie dropped me off. She was headed back to her house to work the day away. That never happened. We chatted on the phone a few times and we text messages back and forth saying nice things to one another. You know what? I think we're smitten! Smitten is good.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

I Love Shopping....

After a manic rendezvous at Costco, we ran around like chickens sans their heads trying to do Saturday shopping at such a place. The highlight of the afternoon was when we happened across an overweight man that had cleared out a place on a shelf to plunk down his tired ass and was obviously just taking a well deserved break from shopping. With his shopping list still in his hand as we passed, I whispered to him to try sitting on the 40 LB dry dog food bags, they're much more comfortable. He smiled and thanked me, as we strolled past. After Julie found the perfect t-shirt and assorted cleaning supplies and secured the 5 LB container of potato salad that I couldn't find a few days earlier, we were good to go. We split up a few items that we bought collectively and said our goodbye in the parking lot, how romantic. One of the items that Julie bought was 1 LB of giant shrimp that was to appear a little later in our dinner. I love when Julie cooks shrimp,as she doesn't really care for them and I get to eat them all and take home the balance!

As I said, we went our separate ways and I met her later at her house to the aroma of garlic and a plethora of goodies. After dinner was the big surprise. In the Lovely Jules' living room lives a sofa that was created shortly after the beginning of time and as luck would have it, it has a hide-a-bed in it. Anyone who's ever owned such a monster knows that the mattress is not suitable for human use. It is good for guests that are not wanted to stay too long, such as mother-in-laws and out of town drop-in friends. One night in the belly of a hide-a-bed you don't ever walk the same. That's not to say that the hide-a-bed is not just perfect for a 106 LB, 15 year old mutt that hasn't left it's sink-hole for 3 days. Pawpaw is that mutt. He spends every waking hour on that bed now and only leaves the comfort of it's welcome foam rubber mattress for personal reasons. He goes outside, which used to be his retreat, but now reappears at the door begging to get back in within seconds.

The wonderful hide-a-bed is smack dab in front of the little TV that Julie has in her living room and we decided to watch last night's offering while relaxing on the bed, but Pawpaw had different ideas. He plops himself right in the middle, between us in his sink hole and snores away the night like a freight train coming through a tunnel. It's good that we're dog lovers, huh? I think it was right at 10 PM that I looked over and there slept the Lovely Jules, hugging her faithful companion, Pawpaw. I took my leave...

The phone rang at 8 AM after a sleep-interrupted night and it was the ever-energetic Jules, raring to go shopping again. She decided that shopping was not only necessary, but good exercise, as well. After a quick shower, Julie was pulling up in my driveway.

We hopped into the car and our first stop was the cell phone store. Julie assures me that most modern cell phones don't have hand cranks anymore and I should get something more modern. I explained that I only use it for phone calls. I don't take pictures with it or access the Internet, it's all I need. Alltel was closed, whew! Next stop, Mervyns. Well, Mervyn must have had a late night too because it was empty and boring. I bought a pair of Levis and a pair of sun glasses for Julie. Her old ones made her look like a bug. We were hungry by now and I talked her into gong to Chile's, which she hates. She and Chili's has finally convinced me never to go there again, particularly on a weekend. If you were a young mother with children the age to cry or throw things or otherwise ruin a normal person's meal, you were at Chile's today. When we got there, it was kind of pleasant at about 12 noon. It was as though someone opened a flood gate and the children converged on us. They sat 4 young women with one child behind us and the noise was deafening, literally. One of the young idiots kept clucking non-stop like a chicken, until I finally asked the waitress if it would be okay if we moved. We carried our food to a less encompassed area and seated ourselves. I never knew Chile's had a "chicken clucking" section until today. My chicken sandwich was burnt to a crisp and our waitress was young and gone. I never really saw her again to say anything. So, I ate the parts that were edible and asked for the check. Julie ate 2 bites and said hers was rather poorly done too.

Back to the excitement of shopping!!! This time it was "off to Target". We both needed t-shirts for around the house and I wanted pajamas. I've never been a pajamas kind of guy, but lately it's been awfully cold here in AZ and I know, you don't want to hear about it, right? Julie bought me the t-shirts and pajamas. I LOVE being a kept man! That concluded, we were looking a for a new food store called Whole Foods and found it. It was quite different, kind of like a Trader Joe's, but bigger. Julie was thrilled with things she found there, none of which I'd ever heard of. We ran into Lao, the owner of Tutti Santi's and said hello to him and his family.

Although it was pretty early, it was still a beautiful day here in the Valley of the Sun, so I decided to wash our vehicles while Julie pulled some weeds that made their way into the world after all of the rain that we've had. I really like our relationship. I do things for her and she understands and just jumps in there and does things for me. Kind of nice that way................ for single people!


Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day...

I've never been a big fan of Valentine's Day until yesterday.. The Lovely Jules changed all of that for me. This "man created" holiday has always been an obligation as opposed to being enjoyable. Everything costs more money and the crowds are unbelievable. Yesterday, I found myself at Costco picking up a prescription and I noticed that every man in the place was carrying a bouquet of roses. Quite an unnatural sight, frankly. Some men had 2 and 3 bouquets, indicating either a harem at home or daughters. As I sit here writing, I'm munching on a pound of Godiva chocolates, courtesy of St. Jules! Just since I've written this first paragraph, I've consumed 1/2 of the 1 LB box. Julie asked me to save her the good ones, fat chance. When she bought me Sees Candies for Christmas, every last one of them was half eaten before I ever got my hands on them! Gosh, these are SO good..

Since we always enjoy the efforts of Tutti Santi's Italian Restaurante', I actually called and made reservations there.. Mateo answered the phone and I course I joked with him for a moment or two. He told me they were seating 120 at 6 PM, 120 at 7 PM and 8 PM is out of the question, but 9 PM is still open. I grabbed the 9 PM reservation, in spite of the fact that it was a week night and awfully late to be eating.

I arrived at the Lovely Jules house at 7:30 wearing my sports jacket and dress slacks with a Polo dress shirt. I'd don't have a key to her house and was forced to ring the bell. Julie immediately opened the door and commented on how nice I looked and Pawpaw head butted me in the balls, as usual. Julie looked ravishing again! I don't think I've ever seen her wearing anything but jeans and she was dressed in dress slacks and a sexy top. Very HOT! As I entered, I was bent over with cramping from the dog attack. I was offered a bottle of water and escorted to the sofa for seating.

We played for about an hour and Julie told me it was time to go to the restroom to apply the final touches. I didn't join her there as she primped and patched up her make up application. We headed out. We were able to get a parking place that was a little too good. That always makes me wonder when a restaurant is booked up. We entered and was greeted by Lao the owner. I told him how lucky he was to have a job, as he wiped off his brow with his handkerchief. He wandered off talking to himself in Italian. We were seated by the sleazy hostess with the cheap ass wig and too much make up. She brought us to a 2 top table about 12 inches from the table against the wall. I complained and told the hostess it was too small for us. Sh offered us a booth if we were prepared to wait 30 seconds, we were. Poor planning by the hostess, as the place was only half full. Who were they saving the booth for, the Pope? Julie thanked me for speaking up as the tiny table was just not acceptable.. I beat on my chest 4 times and kissed her gently. That's when I looked into her eyes and saw her passion. What is it about that restaurant that turns her on so?

We were seated as I prayed that our waiter was not going to be Tom, the waiter we had last time. Tom is a dumpy little guy that reminds me of someone from my past that I can't quite remember. He possesses horribly bad breath and a lack of knowledge about his job. He is new and I know more about their restaurant than he, after frequenting it for 15 years. He never offered us the special and after dinner we are never offered free Zambuca, something that is always offered there. There is something about Thomas that I just don't like. As good as the food is there, that's how bad the service is. This is the fourth time we've eaten there and it's been bad every time.

After ignoring us for way too long, he came over and the very thing that Julie wanted, they were out of. Shouldn't a good waiter mention that up front? I ordered veal scallopini and all that poor Julie could find to order was an appetizer of raw beef and tomatoes. It had some fancy Italian name, but that's what it was. When my scallopini came, it was embarrassingly low on volume. It looked like a joke! There in the middle of an enormous plate was about 2 ounces of veal, no kidding that was all. Julie loved it and ate about one of the ounces and I wolfed down the other one, waiting for Thomas to show up again and ask if he were kidding. Thomas never showed up again. We decided to just leave after paying the check as Julie had some other idea for the balance of the evening. Without me knowing it, she had secretly recorded LOST!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Miracle on 62nd Drive...

After a day of meandering around town, I ran a few errands and wound up at my car lot. It looked like an abandoned wrecking yard. I decided to check to make sure all of the cars that I just recently bought batteries for all started, but was sadly disappointed. Only one car of the bunch actually went ahead and started. Even the brand new 07 Chevy pick-up that I have, had a dead battery and as usual, Paul told me that the 2 junk cars that were on my side of the property line would have been gone, if I'd have showed up a little later.

It appears that he sold 3 cars for $1000 and the buyers weren't satisfied with the deal and wanted to back out. How do you buy 3 cars that run for $1000 and complain about anything?Typically, all of the jump starting devices were dead too and the one car that remained, blocked getting to 2 of my dead vehicles with a running car or jumper cables. As usual, I left frustrated and headed home, but remembered to stop at the pool store first, for the parts that I needed for my pool cleaner. Sans a hundred bucks or so, I headed home with new parts and instructions on how to remove the old parts along with some $4 lube.

When I arrived home the weather was gorgeous and I decided to shampoo the convertible's carpeting, rendering it flat perfect. Seldom do I get the privilege of owning such a nice car, even for a little while. Recalling that the pool cleaner hasn't worked in weeks, I decided to tackle that job next. The owner of the pool store and I don't know his name, we shall call him Alex. Alex told me to use a giant channel-lock to unscrew the old fitting and lube the new one real well and just screw it onto the threads that I will then see. The part that need to be replaced is the fitting that screws into the pool wall and leads to the hose of the pool cleaner. Simple, huh? I asked if the old one would have been glued in? No Alex retorted, why would they glue it in, it has threads! So, I tried to unscrew the fitting and nothing. That thing was really on there. I tried a little harder really torquing my channel-lock and I heard a familiar sound. It was the sound of the old fitting disintegrating from have it's soul ripped out by an invading channel-lock. Now, I have nothing left to unscrew and the new hose fitting has nothing to screw onto. What in the world will I tell Alex? I seldom am able to fix anything, I don't even know why I try.

Last week, I was at the home of the "Lovely Jules" and she mentioned that her garbage disposal wasn't working again. This is the second time since I've known her. The first time, I wisely blew off the repair as it was late in the evening and too late to start removing a garbage disposal. She asked he son-in-law Nathan to repair it and he did. I heard about how unhandy I was for about 3 or 4 months since then. When the rebellious disposal quit working again, it was high noon and no excuse in sight. Without Jules seeing, I closed my praying eye for just one moment, long enough to ask God for some help in the new repair. As usual, he came through for me. I shoved a long handled screw driver into the pits of the monster and broke loose something and looked over to Julie and said the infamous, "try it now"! With an ever-so-tiny thunder from the sky, the garbage disposal revved its motor and I was more shocked than Julie! Man, that guy works in mysterious ways!
Happy Valentine's Day...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dirty Money...

Several months ago, the "Lovely Jules" agreed to help me take my dogs to the park for some exercise. Because of the males aggressive tendencies with other dogs, I seldom have the man power to try it. It was a beautiful day and the sun was riding high in the sky with 80 degree temperatures. As we walked along, the Dynamic Duo sniffed and peed and otherwise had a great time, when suddenly I looked down and there, right in the middle of nowhere was a fresh new dollar bill! Well, with my Jewish heritage, you can imagine my delight. Free money is always a welcome sight. I alerted Jules to my find as she screamed it was hers and that she had dropped it earlier and I'd better give it to her if I knew what was good for me. Suddenly, I got a little better look at it and noticed that it was horribly defaced with some runaway dog's brown stains on it. (Are you getting my point here?) Someone had used this innocent dollar bill to clean their shoe off with or worse yet, I can picture some Scottsdale "Floozy" wiping her Yorkie's hind end with it. Either way, this wonderful dollar bill was no longer so wonderful and here is the problem presented to this man that was raised within the heritage of the Jews. No greater problem has ever been put before a Jew in all of history, I checked. Keep the soiled dollar bill and take it home and clean it or toss it away. Try to picture a Jewish man throwing away a dollar without tears coming to his eyes.. Well, I AM THAT MAN!!! I simply tossed the money away, letting the wind carry it to wherever it wanted... I wonder what I would have done if the "Lovely Jules" had not been around, hmm....


Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Sweater...

Last night I had the good fortune of being invited over to the home of St. Jules for dinner and conversation. I hadn't seen Jules all week, although she did help me pick up a car that I had bought and we had lunch together at the Knocked Kneed Lobster, a favorite of mine.

Being a single guy, I NEVER go shopping for clothes anymore and my selection of fresh duds is pathetically low. Last year, I accidentally bought lo rise bell bottomed jeans and when I saw what I'd brought home and paid top dollar for, I was too embarrassed to wear them. Hey, I'm 61! Desperately rummaging through my drawers, I find a sweater that has been in my drawer for over 15 years when I bought this house and I'm not quite sure it was EVER mine, but more likely it belonged to my son Brad who didn't want it and just donated it to the drawer. I tried it on and it fit, what the hell? I wore it along with my bell bottoms and a burgundy turtleneck t-shirt. I probably never mentioned it to anyone, but I'm color blind and have been for all of my life. Not with all colors, but the greens and grays look alike and the red rocks of Sedona look kind of tan to me, no big whoop. I never knew what all the excitement was about Sedona. One time I bought a titty pink, Mary Kay Cadillac, thinking it was beige! I thought the sweater was blue, cuz who in their right mind in this family would buy me a green sweater knowing that I can't even see it? So, I put on my Kelly green sweater along with my burgundy turtle neck and my bell bottoms and head over to Julie's house for what turns out to be steak and crab legs, one of my favorites, along with asparagus spears and a dipping sauce and giant chocolate covered strawberries.

When I first walked in, with my jacket still on, Julie expressed her delight about me wearing bell bottoms with a 2 inch zipper and frankly I wasn't sure it was going to do the job! She said I was for once "in style" and looked good. That's when I took off my jacket and all hell broke loose. Not to say that the Lovely Jules is critical of fashion, but she yelled at me, "How old is that sweater"? Just then I walked over and offered Jules a hug, which she graciously accepted and when I pulled away, she must have seen the fright on my face! Half of the fuzzies of my crew necked, cable stitched sweater was now attached to her perfectly pressed linen blouse. You know, one of the new styles that the girls wear with the fake skirt hanging off the bottom and they wear them with slacks underneath? Hell, it might even have been a full dress? Well, this dress was now covered with Kelly green fuzzies and I mean all over her. All she did was stare at me as I took off the sweater and tossed it into her garbage can, expressing my apologies. She had me on my hands and knees with a paper towel cleaning up the mess that my sweater left, how embarrassing. She kept screaming that she had just mopped the floor!

The longer that people our age date, the more of our "stuff" ends up at the other's house. The Lovely Jules told me that I have shirts in the back of her closet, who knew? I found an old prison issue denim shirt that Jules wore home one day and I was dressed in fashion for the evening. The dinner was delicious and the company even better. I drove home around midnight amongst the drunks wondering where that sweater ever came from and what to do with the other one that's STILL in the drawer?


Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Stress Test...

My stress test is scheduled for 7 AM tomorrow morning, the reason for the name, STRESS TEST is apparent. For me to be there on time, I'm going to have to awaken somewhere around 5 AM and hope for the best. My past history on such matters requires me to awaken at about 2 or 3 AM and wait, so as to not be late for my 5 AM wake up alarm clock to blow it's fricking head off. I am the worst person in captivity to awaken at a prescribed time. For my entire career, all I did was go to sleep and my internal clock did the rest. I was always up on time, period! Since this retirement, my internal clock retired too and the rest is chaos.
Some woman named Ezmeralda called from the "Cardiac Club" to confirm my appointment for tomorrow and before we hung up, I said, Ezmeralda, can I ask you a question? She said sure. I asked, what time does your job start in the morning? She said she has to be there at 7. Ah hah, I replied. So, how is the traffic between 6:30 and 7 AM in the morning on your way in? Horrible, was her answer. I told her where I live and asked if 1 hour would be enough time to make this 20 minute ride? She said to leave a little earlier, just in case. Shit! Again, this is why they call it a STRESS TEST.
Rule number 1. When the lady from our organization, (in this case it was Ezmeralda) calls, ask her which of your medications is a "beta blocker" and be sure to eliminate it for 24 hours prior to your STRESS TEST. This is of paramount importance!!! Well, by the time that I read that, Ezmeralda was home cooking dinner for her 5 girls and 3 boys! How was I to know which of my medications was the Beta Blocker. THE INTERNET, that's how! I plugged in beta blocker and it listed all of the meds that are beta blockers, that easily. Right there on the list was one of my blood pressure meds and I eliminated it and I'm ready for my STRESS TEST!
Okay, and this only caused me more STRESS. To do the STRESS TEST, you have to get your heartbeat up around 140 beats per minutes. With my beta blocker, I've been achieving approximately 55 beats per minute. So, I'm picturing me running on the treadmill and I'm picturing myself falling onto the tread and being spit off the back and out the 3rd story window. More STRESS, see....
I can tell you right now that the STRESS TEST needs some fine tuning. A mutiny is what is called for to create some reform. You may be able to read about it in your papers tomorrow, "Scottsdale Man Organizes Waiting Room, at Noted Cardiac STRESS TEST Facility".

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Sign from Above!!!

Okay, you're NOT going to believe this, but I just heard on the channel 10 Fox news that Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony have just named their twin babies, Max and Emma. Jules and my grandchildren, and don't confuse that statement, as they are not OUR grandchildren, but our respective grandchildren, the grandchildren that we already had when we met, have the same 2 names. What were the chances?
I went to a doctor's appointment today. Dr. Zaharia (young doctor Kildare) as I call him, is my buddy. Dr. Z is about 38 years old and completely devoted to his work. He's a tall thin strapping young guy that everyone likes. Have you ever heard of a doctor calling a patient to see if everything is okay? Z calls me all of the time just to see that everything is well. I was telling him on Monday that I don't have a primary care physician and getting anything done within my insurance company is difficult. He, more or less got on the phone with friends of his that are doctors and hooked me up with a few young doctors that are more progressive than the old geysers that I've been getting out of the book. All he had to do was call their cell phones and I've got 2 new doctors. That would have taken me about a week going through normal channels and I'd have gotten doctor's office newbys. You know, the young new doctor that has no following that just started with the practice.
Today my first appointment was with a 30 something Japanese lady named Amy that was thorough, efficient and even offered to do a prostrate exam on me. I told her no, I just had one yesterday and maybe when we get to know each other better, but thanks anyway. She laughed and agreed to let it pass for now. If anyone has a good excuse not to have it done next time, let me know. Thanks...
My second appointment today was with a cardiologist. A gentleman of 38 that was bright, funny and a good all around guy. I like this new generation of doctors. Dr. Koli is a refugee of Albania and gave me a brief description of what life was like growing up in poverty with food being the number one focus and we worry about gas prices. He indicated that everything was okay with me, but he heard a heart murmur. I told him that I've had a heart murmur since I was born. He replied, well then, you still have it! He told me that he wants me to do a stress test, that it's been 3 years since my last one, but there wasn't time to do it today. I said good, I'm going to need a few days to train for it anyway! Dr. Kili offered a prescription for Levitra and left. Good guy, see....
Friday I have to be there at 7 AM for the stress test. What time will I have to get up to be there on time? Then on Monday, I have to go there again for some other tests and to get a 48 hour heart monitor installed. What will I tell them I'm doing when I'm using the Levitra? Wrestling with Bogie? Again your comments will be helpful...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday found me full of anticipation. Here was the plan. Because the "Lovely Jules" has had my extra car for over a week, it was time to turn it back in to me, before she started thinking it was hers. I also have a 61 inch TV, that the "Lovely Jules" is very jealous about, because all she has is this tiny screened HD TV planted in her family room. She never misses a chance to tell me how my 61" TV is such an antique.

Around 1:30, the Dynamic Duo alerted me to an intruder in my driveway. I quickly grabbed my gun (actually Julie's) and headed outside to see who was there. To my surprise, I found the "Lovely Jules" on her hands and knees picking up the contents of a bag of groceries, that had spewed themselves about my driveway. Yet another compromising position for St. Jules... I put my gun away and immediately offered to help. I was amazed and impressed at what she had gone to the trouble of buying and cooking for me and my dogs. She had cooked me a meatloaf, plus meatballs and pasta sauce, all kinds of things to make Philly Cheese Stake sandwiches made with Fillet Mignon for a filler! Awesome stuff that only a woman can think of and create. She brought avocados for dip and salt free chips, plus salsa and oodles of other things. She even brought 3 LB of raw hamburger meat for the Dynamic Duo to have cooked and added to their regular kibble. Jules explained that Super Bowl Sunday is for dogs too!

The grass didn't get a chance to grow under her feet, as she immediately started putting things together for dips and peeled veggies. Hey, it was a party!!! The next hour found us standing around the kitchen island eating anything that didn't walk away from us, while Julie made a banana cream pie. She actually has learned her way around my kitchen, because she was interested in finding out just where most of her Tupper Ware lived. My kitchen is really getting that "lived in" look lately.

TIME for the GAME! We gathered in front of the TV, while st. Jules only mentioned that you can hardly see my picture only once. Julie won the kick off flip and I took the Giants and Jules chose New England, but quickly flip-flopped when the Giants started winning. I tried explaining that we can't have a bet if we both take the same team, but the "Lovely Jules" didn't want to hear about it. So, cheering simultaneously for the Giants became the way of the day...

At the beginning of the 3rd quarter we hopped into the borrowed car and headed to Julie's house to be with Pawpaw, who had been alone most of the day. He was pleased to see us as he ran in circles to show his enthusiasm. You know for a boy with terminal cancer, he sure enjoys himself!

I hand cranked Julie's HD TV and put enough quarters into the slot for us to watch the remainder of the game. We got it warmed up just in time to see the winning pass by Eli Manning, my new personal hero. We jumped, we cheered, we screamed our success and looked around to see the faces of the people we had won our bet from and remembered there weren't any. That was the only let down... It was by far the best Super Bowl Sunday in history..

Later that night after the "Lovely Jules" had passed out, I climbed into my Toyota and noticed that St. Jules had filled up the tank. Hey, she cooks and she's even got class! I drove home watching all of the drunk drivers heading east on the 101 try not to crash and there were several of them..

Here's to you, young Eli!

Taming of the Shrew...

It was Friday night and date night presented itself. St. Jules had already surprised me by making reservations at our beloved Tutti Santi's on the West side, currently our favorite. I had already thought about making the reservations, but Julie beat me to the punch. Eight o'clock was the designated hour and as a rule I'm NEVER late, but between a call to Dr. Zaharia and having to iron a shirt, I barely slid into the driveway at St. Jules by 8:05. We had prearranged to have Julie waiting in her driveway as I screamed up and she was lucky not to break a bone jumping into the open passenger side window. As I said, I'm NEVER late!

The ride to the restaurant was rather hurried with other drivers insisting on using some of my lanes, but we made it. When we walked in, it was surprisingly slow and for once our reservations weren't even necessary. We were seated by the blond that wore the fake wig and aways looked a little dirty and unkempt.

There were only 3 tables filled when we walked into the room known as the "party room". There was a family of about 8 and the other table besides ours was occupied by a strange group. It was 4 men and 2 women. Julie was completely occupied by their conversation and they were unpleasantly loud. When they finally left the lack of noise was noticeable.

Tom, the new guy, was our waiter. Not only was it Tom's first day, but he suffered from a short stature and bad breathe brought on by gingivitis, or rotting gums. Tom tried his best to simulate an Italian accent, but his East LA origin stuck out like a base voice amongst a choir of sopranos...

Mateo's Chance to Shine....

Mateo, the son of Lao the owner, was there tonight and it seems that 10 years have passed since he first arrived in AZ from Italy when he was 17. Now he is a strapping 27 year old young man with energy and the gift of gab that he evidently inherited from his dad. Mateo charmed everyone with his story about coffee beans and the significance of being served 3 beans in your Zambuca, that frankly escaped me, but I enjoyed watching him tell the story, as his father has done many times before.

St. Jules ordered the oysters in the half shell (unrinsed) I offered to drag them around the parking lot for her, but she politely declined. Did I ever mention why we go to Tutti Santi's for every possible meal? Tutti Santi's makes Julie amorous! I'm not sure if it's the atmosphere or the food or the elegance, but she cannot resist the joint! I have to fight her off of me during the meal! It's embarrassing!

We both had the Chicken Parmigiana. It was delicious to say the least, but the "Lovely Jules" could only eat about 3 bites after the oysters and bread and wonderful squash soup. We took our leftovers home and they're still in my fridge here. Julie insisted on paying the check, leaving stinky old Tom an obnoxious tip of about $30. We headed back to Julie's domain and when I stopped at a red light, St. Jules unbuckled her seat belt and jumped my poor bones to the delight of the 2 old maids in the car next to us. See what I mean about Tutti Santi's???

Stay tuned for the Super Bowl celebration report! It was SHOCKING!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Raising Cha Cha...

Raising Cha Cha was no easy feat. It was like starting with a spoiled meal and making it appealing without the advantage of different ingredients. First she had to be stripped of her old ways, before the new personality was to be revealed. I'm not sure the new Cha Cha was ever exposed completely, but this is one of the events that took place in the making of this person.
It was 1988 and Cha Cha had finally achieved passing the driver's license test, although I was warned to keep an eye on her by the inspector. Cha Cha had taken the test several times and charmed the inspector to get him to pass her. He even told me that he felt sorry for her.
All of the girls that Cha Cha hung out with, had mini-trucks. The Nissans and Toyotas were the most popular. Being in the car business made finding her one a little easier. I got her a 1984 Nissan with pretty low mileage. I had it painted and a new interior installed and checked out by my mechanic for things like leaks and brakes and timing belt. It was in almost perfect condition when she first liad eyes on it. In addition, I personally pinstriped it with the wide one in tape and created a graphic on the sides that I was personally proud of, when it was finished. Cha Cha was just thrilled with it. Frankly, I thought with such a nice truck, that she may get a job, but that never happened...
When Cha Cha's real father passed away, he left her a small inheritance and with that money, she decided that charm school was to be in her future. Cha Cha was what you might call a little on the clumsy side and learning to walk across the floor with a book balanced on her head, certainly would not hurt. She felt that $800 for what I called "Grace Lessons" was a good idea and went forward with it.
One Saturday morning, we were sleeping in and heard a tap, tap, tap on our bedroom door. It was Cha Cha! Her truck just died and she can't get it restarted, can she take her mother's car to Grace School? Rather than getting up and driving half blind to her school, we agreed to let her use the car.
About 30 minutes later, the doorbell rang and it was a neighbor. She was there to advise me that Cha Cha's truck was blocking the road. I immediately went out there and there was her truck parked sideways in the road and traffic was driving through my front lawn to get around it. Not only that, she left the keys in the ignition and the truck in neutral without the brake on. See what I mean about Cha Cha?
She was right, it wouldn't start and I pushed it up into the driveway and began to inspect it. Back then, when a vehicle wouldn't start, the first thing you do is check to see if it's got gas. It had a half a tank. Vehicles had carburetors then and I sprayed WD-40 into the bowl and tried it again and it fired right up, indicating the fuel pump wasn't operating properly. I got dressed and headed out to the auto parts store for a new fuel pump. Frankly, I'm not a mechanic, but replacing a fuel pump looked pretty easy. I took home my new fuel pump and installed the new one and tried it again........... Nothing, it still wouldn't start! I figured the "new" fuel pump was defective or the installer was and went back to the auto parts store for a different one. I installed the new fuel pump, AKA pump number 3 and it still wouldn't start.
Right around this time, Cha Cha pulled up and nodded hello as she was walking into the house. I stood there completely covered with grease and dirt, emotionally drained, thinking about having the truck towed to my mechanic to get it fixed, when I yelled out, "When was the last time you put gas in this truck"? I was thinking that perhaps he had bought gas at some place that no one ever heard of and it was just "bad gas". This was Cha Cha's answer... "I never put gas in it, it's never needed gas in the 2 weeks I've had it, the needle always stays right at 1/2" and she continued into the house!
With my head down and my blood pressure rising, I dropped my head and stared at my shoes for about 3 full minutes as the anger subsided and I went for the gas can...