Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Meet Dr. Harvey...

I must say that ever since I've made the acquaintance of the Lovely Jules, things have been anything but stable. Today, she was supposed to pick me up and take me back to her place to work on plastics, but without notice, Maureen called and cancelled her schedule. The day changed to a play day within seconds. When I got out of the shower, I found it unusual that the dogs were not waiting for me in their beds, which is usually the case when I shower. I came walking out of the bathroom, naked and looking for my underwear in the laundry room from last night's laundry attempt. There sitting at my computer was the Lovely Jules, trying her best to find out my most hidden secrets. After putting on my jeans, I approached her, but by the time I did, she was reading some nameless blog.

We headed out to a restaurant for breakfast, with me being forewarned that if I complained about anything, she was giving me notice that it was my last chance... Breakfast was awful, but I kept it to myself..... and you! From there we headed to target to return a movie that was duplicated, then back to Julie's house to drop her off. The purpose of the day was to get my Toyota back to me, since I sold my date car. I was in my car and ready to leave, when I realized I had no plans for the day and Julie had asked me to install a remote to her 3rd garage door. From her driveway, I called her and asked if she had bought the remote and the answer was no. So we headed over to Home Depot to get one, but needed to stop at the pet shop to pick up dog food and hairspray for me, just the hairspray was for me, the dog food was for the Dynamic Duo.

Julie had a bag full of things to return to the Depot, that she had accumulated over the past year or so. One of our first days together, a year and a half ago, she bought a new door knob for her garage door entrance and it was never installed. It went back and she bought the wrong remote for the garage instead. I tried installing it, but her garage door opener was too old for the new type remote. I finally left about 1:30 and got home to my delightful dogs. Shortly after that, my new doctor, Dr. Harvey called and we chatted for a time, then St. Jules called and told me we had a new assignment for the restaurant review and since I was a party to all of this, it was my responsibility to research the restaurant and make the reservation. It's at an upscale Scottsdale restaurant and it's going to require dressing up. I'm planning on buying and forcing the Lovely Jules to wear a pink dress for the occasion. I'll have to let you know how that goes, but I'm NOT encouraged.

I got a call from my former wife tonight. She wanted to let me know that our estranged son had finally gotten in touch with her after about a year of hiding. Unfortunately he's still afraid to call me.

Happy Rosh Hashanna

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bogie Bit Me in the Ass!

(Bogie before he planned this plot, in a more innocent time)

There is a 2 step down into my family room and I was coming out of the restroom and both dogs were waiting for me, as they determined it was time for their dinner, although it was about 2 hours early. Those two never did learn to tell time. As I approached them, they were barking at me and wanting to play, so I acted accordingly and began to taunt them both. First I ran towards Bogie as he backed off and then he started flea biting Zoie, which is a male dog's way to tell a female that he intends on taking care of her. Next I chased Zoie a little and she loved it. When I caught her, I bent over and gave her a good scratching on her back. That's when I felt this awful pain in my ass. I was bent over, as I said and Bogie took advantage of my posterior end and went ahead and bit me right in the ass. It hurt! I turned around in shock and said, "You bit Daddy in the ass"! He stood his ground as if to say, Yep, leave my girl alone! God only knows how long he's been planning the big bite and here I thought we were friends.. Hmmm... It just shows to go you... I told Julie about it and she said he was lucky he could find it! How rude!


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pininni Flats...

I was invited to a friend's house last night to watch my boy Obama make mince meat out of the old Republican war hero, McCain, but to my dismay I felt it didn't go that way. Obama was much too polite to the smirking McCain, the man that brought the word Maverick to an entirely different meaning. Evidently McCain and the GOP thought it was okay to enlist any old woman to acquire the female vote, severely underestimating the intelligence of women. Because the debates had a 6 PM play time here in AZ. We recorded it and watched it at our convenience at about 8 PM.

My hostess had prepared for the event by purchasing lean, rare roast beef from the deli, along with Swiss cheese and some white bread rolls. She possesses a pininni press to make the sandwiches crisp and flavorful. She prepared a aus jus sauce to go with it from an old family secret recipe that she keeps in a tin foil packaging with the name Sunbird on them. Delicious! After, she pulled out the sofa and made it into a bed so we could just relax and enjoy the debate. This was more fun than a sporting event. About 45 minutes into it, I was listening intently and my friend screamed out is dislike, "I can't take this bullshit anymore".. My friend had a taste for blood and there was not a drop spilled. They spoke of foreign policy as if that were going to save this country from the internal decay that has taken over for the past 8 years. Frankly, the issues were stepped over or ignored completely. I'm told that the economy will be discussed in a forthcoming debate. Next Thursday, the vice presidential debate takes place and for the sake of the GOP, Sara Palin had better brush up on some issues, so as not to make the fool out of herself that has been established through the Katy Couric interview. Where is Russia?


Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Date Car is Gone...

(Man, I LOVED that car).
I got a call from a gentleman regarding my Volvo Convertible. Since giving up my Toyota, I've truly learned to love that car. It was always clean, ran like a race car and was truly sharp. He had pulled up driving an old P-1800 Volvo and claimed to have had 2 Great Danes in the back of it at one time. This gave me the opportunity to open the gate and let the Dynamic Duo out and he fell in love with them. After the test drive, he told me that he wanted it and if it met her criteria, to just consider it sold. When I asked about the money, he told me that she handles the checkbook, but full price was okay. This made me feel uncomfortable, as everyone always wants some sort of a deal. He called back and asked if it were okay to come back, pick up the car and take it to their mechanic. Naturally I agreed to that, as it shows a consciences buyer. He took it to their mechanic and it passed their meticulous inspection with flying colors.. He arrived back a little earlier than I had anticipated and for some reason, there was something missing from his resume. I just got the feeling that something wasn't right. He returned saying it checked out beautifully and he needed to go and get his wife that was speaking to a group of judges, at the Marriott. I was glad I had my car back, safely put away and didn't think I'd see him again.

About 2 hours later, the door bell rang and there was Jay, along with his attorney wife and she loved the car. She wrote me a check for the full amount and I agreed to make certain considerations for them. She loved the car, loved the Dynamic Duo and love was everywhere. She even loved my house and her friend has the same layout, just down the street.

Today, I took her check to Chase Bank and they acted like my customers were criminals and wouldn't verify the funds and wouldn't turn it into a cashier's check and looked at me as if I were trying to pull something off. I simply went to my bank, deposited their check and hold faith in my new judgement, after meeting the credible wife that all is going to be fine. I transferred the title today, in spite of Chase BAD attitude. By the way, the woman making the decisions was about 22 and never even looked at me, just shook her head no.

I was an original customer with Valley National Bank since 1974 and then Bank One took over and I held that account for many years. My account was 34 years old when I closed it when Chase took over and started changing things.. When she asked me if I had an account there, I pulled out my credit card from Chase which holds a $50,000 line of credit. The reply was, that's no good. I'm not even a customer there and was horribly offended.

Jay and Diane LOVE their new car and I'm back driving my Expedition at 15 MPG.


Uh Oh, Here Comes the Belching....

I had a day with my former girlfriend, current friend LJ today. Poor girl has been suffering from a bout with food poisoning. She made the terminal error of eating the Caesar dressing made with fresh raw eggs from AJ's. Those eggs had every intention of being fresh when they were prepared, but only the chef knows when that was. I've listened to her suffer for the past few days and truly suffering from the effects of food poisoning. She complained that her stomach was exploding, that both ends were pretty busy all week and yesterday she disclosed to me that there was a belching war going on somewhere within her. She said all of these things while laughing and on occasion would yell and run, then hang up.

Today feeling better, she showed up at my front door around noon, hungry and full of piss and vinegar. First she walked in like she owned the place and went immediately to the living room where she invited Bogie in for a wrestling match. Because he literally loves her, he just melts when she arrives with her silly antics and suddenly becomes HER dog. I could be on fire and Bogie wouldn't bother to lift his leg on me when LJ is around.

We headed out to Desert Ridge and LJ was starving, as usual. She is an example of "I'd rather dress her than feed her". She has an unlimited appetite for a girl with an eating disorder (ED). After her mentioning more than once that she wanted to go to Paradise Bakery, we learned that it was on the other side of the mall and we were parked near Barnes and Noble. Directly across the street from the famous book store was a place called Rock Bottom Brewery. We checked their menu and they had soup, which is what LJ had on her mind.

Initially we were seated next to a 4 top, a booth with 4 people that were loudly talking. I asked if we could move to a quieter booth that was still within this waitresses station. LJ was perturbed, as usual for me wanting to move. She told me that it was grounds for spitting in our food! Their menu was extremely high in prices and we were expecting some pretty good food. I ordered a wrap of some sort and fries on the side, while LJ ordered the French onion soup and fried calamari. She took one sip of her soup and announced she couldn't eat it, it was inferior to anyone's standard and pure salt. Her calamari was mushy and also too bad to eat. I even tried one and made a face. I offered LJ half of my sandwich and she declined. My french fries were reheated or from another customer's plate and I felt compelled to complain to the waitress, who was dry mouthed from spitting in our food. That's when LJ announced "Here comes the belching".

I sat there in shock, not knowing what to say. It was my first time flabbergasted. I didn't even know I could get that way! Did I know her that well and did the years go by without me noticing? Were we the old couple that sits in a restaurant and belches? LJ looked at me with one eye raised and said, "You'd better not blog this"! If you do, I'll never speak with you again.. I just looked at her and said, who me?


Monday, September 22, 2008

My Last High Shool Fight...

I got called to put in a shift at the sweat shop, although now that I am learning my way around the job, it seems more like a sweet shop. My shift started with a phone call and the boss was in a delightful mood, left over from the weekend. She asked me if I'd like to work today and if so, to come over. I told her I'd just shower and drive right over, but took some time to eat a light breakfast. The next phone call, as I was still standing in my kitchen was from the boss asking what I wanted for lunch. I didn't want to tell he I still had a mouthful of eggs from breakfast. I wolfed down the food and got into my car and drove to the West side location to be greeted with a friendly kiss on the cheek. I hope she doesn't greet all of the employees that way, but alas, she does. The she puts a Styrofoam container in my hand and tells me that she got me the avocado and turkey sandwich from AJ's. The price was still on it and it was more than I earned in an hour!

I worked as efficiently as possible and was shadowed my Jason, my 17 year old nemesis. Jason mumbles and giggles and I seldom ask him what he's said, because I've learned that it really doesn't make any difference. He has the mind of a 17 year old and not a mature one. I tried to stress to Jason that he should really respect this job, as his 4 hour shift probably earned him $160 and there isn't anywhere that he can duplicate that. His answer was he could just quit working and wait a year for his enlistment to take place and he heads out to Kentucky for military training. Yep, that's a plan...

Next I jokingly mention that when I left my reading glasses there, another employee wore them and never bothered to clean them. Jason suggested I fight him. That brought back all kinds of memories and my last high school fight. I was wailing the shit out of this guy and he got in a lucky punch and caught me in the nose, making it bleed. Everyone started breaking up the fight saying that the other guy was the winner, as he drew blood first. I protested saying my nose bleeds all of the time, I can kick his ass! Sadly, I went down in the high school record books as losing that fight with Chuck Goldstein that day at Barry Koragodsy's house. Later Chuck and I worked together at a department store and I still always wanted a rematch, but never got it. I put in a 40 hour week and took home $55.65 a week. I didn't tell that to Jason though...

I think I figured out why the boss called me in to work today. She's heard this story and knows I work cheap!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

All in 24 Hours...

Today was a long lazy day. I slept until about 10, when the phone rang and it was the Lovely Jules. She wanted her usual recap of the night before from the perception of another person. I usually start by telling her how I had to sneak in, using my key, but making extra special sure that there isn't already a gentleman there. This always makes her laugh, but not me! We watch TV and I make her laugh and she eventually falls asleep. That's when I go to work. I raid the refrigerator, eating everything in sight. Steal back my glasses that I occasionally leave there and turn off the TV and leave, but only after leaving her a secret note that she has learned to look for. As she tells it, she jumps up out of sleep and runs to the kitchen to search for my written efforts. Once or twice I forgot to leave one and heard about it the following day. On last night's excursion, I was grossly disappointed as her cupboards were bare. I drove home at about midnight chewing on a bottle of water.

Last night's interaction put me in a glorious mood and I immediately put down the top on my convertible date car. I rode the 17.4 miles home, East on the familiar 101 with the wind in my hair and a smile on my face. As I exited at 56th Street, I passed the world renowned Mayo Clinic, where I spent my Friday night, not 24 hours earlier, laying on a gurney, wondering if I were about to expire, or if I'd live to enjoy another ride down the 101. What a difference just 24 hours can make?

I'm not quite sure what magic potion was in my water, that the Lovely Jules supplied me with, but my morning blood pressure was 98/49 and climbed only to 126/61 tonight and I was without meds all day. She ought to bottle it! Wait, I think she did!


Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Trip to the World Renowned Mayo Clinic ER.

After swelling up like a balloon, as a result of taking a new drug, Minoxidil for blood pressure. I was swollen, miserable and angry. I was angry because I feel like a guinea pig while the doctors play trial and error with my body. Angry, I called my beloved Dr. Z and let him know of my displeasure with his attempts to regulate my blood pressure. Keep in mind, my only goal is to stay alive here. At one end I've got influence from a friend telling me to discard all of the drugs and just live my life and on the other end of the spectrum, I've got an over-zealous doctor trying to cure my high blood pressure and become the new boy wonder. Somewhere in the middle is the ground that I wish to exist upon.

After the doctor telling me to increase my diuretics threefold, I did precisely as he said and sometime after dinner, around the time that I was taking my last bite of chicken, vegetables and rice in a stewed tomato sauce. I felt the instant attack of something unusual. Without warning, I suddenly was dizzy, nausea, light headed and confused. Scared went along with the other symptoms too. I went to the sofa and laid down for a few minutes and quickly fell asleep. I awakened about 20 minutes later and felt worse if anything and was wondering if my heart had anything to do with is uneasy feeling. Along with that feeling came a panic feeling and I checked my blood pressure and it was high, but not unusually high for my previous events.

I don't get frightened easily, but when something hits you suddenly, like a baseball bat hitting you over the head, you tend to pay attention. I called a friend that typically is helpful, but tonight she had her own issues and suggested I go to the emergency room. Leaving my dogs at a time like this sounds silly, but the older boy is in his final stages of life and pretty unpredictable, but my friend convinced me that I could be of no help to him if I were dead. Hanging up, I realized I was once again alone.

She was right though. As much as I literally HATE emergency rooms, I felt I was definitely a candidate. I took precautions for the dogs, let them out and took them to bed. As soon as they were tucked nicely in bed, I sneaked out the garage door, but could feel their breath on my feet as I closed the door. They were not to be fooled.

Wondering if I could actually drive, I took my chances because an ambulance was out of the question. I found a parking place and walked the distance to the ER entrance. I was lucky, they were almost empty. I was told to have a seat and was eventually interviewed by what many would describe as an army Sargent. She was about 45, overweight and had no sense of humor. She asked me if I were in pain and I started telling her it was more of dizzy and disoriented. She looked at me and said, it's a yes or no answer! I couldn't help but laugh at her. I think we created a nonverbal dislike for one another. After my brief interview with Sargent Not-so-nice, I was told to wait again. As soon as I sat down, I overheard a women be told that she would be admitted as soon as there was a room for her and then heard my name yelled out.

I was stripped of my insurance information and told to wait again. This is where things got better. Whew! I was lead into the ER and given instructions to strip and put on a gown. The last thing I heard was, it fastens in the back. I took off my shirt and put the thing on backwards on purpose. I wasn't trying to hide any boobs! Suddenly I was rushed by first a doctor with a foo man chu mustache and a gray crew cut. He seemed normal, intelligent and had a good way about him. He was clearly in charge. Followed by him were a man to get an EKG, a nurse to draw blood, a gentleman to cart me off to x-ray and returned within 7 minutes. I was told to wait and then a man about 51 years old, (I asked ) was assigned to me as my nurse. We made small talk and I found that he was a former fire fighter that was hurt during duty and went to nursing school. He lived in Prescott and had a great love for old Jeeps. He made the time go by quickly as we chatted. He hooked me up to the monitor and told me he'd be back.

Within a relatively short period of time, the doctor returned with my test results. Everything was in order, but I was severely dehydrated from the severe water loss. It can create all of the symptoms that I experienced. I was given an IV to replace some of the lost fluid and frankly, I started feeling better almost immediately. My head cleared and my thinking process was restored. Evidently my male nurse had finished his shift and a new nurse was assigned to me. I was laying in this bed with an IV stuck in my arm and she asked before she left if there were anything she could do for me. I realized I had been wearing my thongs on my feet, ever since my trip to the x-ray and they were getting uncomfortable. I asked her if she could take my thongs off of my feet. She looked at me with a smirk on her face and said, "Am I glad you said feet"???...

I went home to the Dynamic Duo shortly after that, but the nurse and I did laugh for about 5 minutes on that one...


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Restaurant Review...

I got hired by a friend to be a companion to her when she reviews restaurants. This could be the best job I've ever had. I get to eat for free and complain about all the stuff that doesn't go the way it's supposed to. Usually, I just get told to shut up and eat, but now suddenly there is an audience to listen. The only person that has a better job than me, is my friend that hired me. She gets money for eating and taking me along. I'm currently trying to talk her into sharing the money, but I'm afraid it's not going well...

Our first venture went something like this:

We rendezvoused at Schlemiels Pizzeria (not the actual name) shortly before noon and I remarked that the place was empty. Upon entering, I felt like we had entered a cafeteria, due to the way it was presented. After looking up to a giant menu, we made our choices and approached a youthful girl about 18 and ordered.

I asked for a sliced sausage pizza.

She replied, you mean a sausage pizza?

Don't you have sliced sausage?

What's that, she replied?

I'll just take your sausage pizza then.

My friend ordered a turkey salad and 2 drinks for us and the girl spouted $22.73 without looking up. We looked at each other, because it was obvious she cared little about us as customers, but was going through the steps of her job. We were handed 2 plastic cups and the number 14 and were seated in hard plastic booths, similar to the ones at fast food restaurants, McDonald's, Burger King etc...

Before we chose seating, a youthful lady that was the expediter threw us a friendly smile, making me think the knew my friend, but quickly looked away and went back to her job distributing food. Ah, the manager.

I think we supposed to have more interaction with the employees, but no one was wearing their mandatory name tags and after the young girl took our $22.73, there was no more employee contact until............"are you finished with that"?

The clientele was extremely diversified, ranging from people from the neighborhood, to business people from downtown, to walk-in traffic. The place filled up in no time and was extremely crowded. Our soft drinks were from a machine that we operated ourselves and there were employees standing around talking to one another and we really couldn't figure out their jobs. Someone came by and took our emptied plates after asking if we were through. The food was under par in both quality and volume and my reaction was to not return unless it was once again FREE!

Mel, (You'll never figure out who my friend is).

Attempted Murder by Prescription...

(Me, After Losing 17 LB Almost Overnight)

I haven't posted for awhile. Haven't been feeling too hot. It turns out that the drugs that supposed to be helping me, are literally killing me. In the last 2 days I've lost 17 LB of water weight and no longer slosh when I walk. Retaining that much water holds other negatives, such as higher blood pressure, which is the reason that I'm taking these pills to begin with. Also, dizziness, light headedness and severe swelling of the feet and ankles, edema. By the way, all of the fluid that was in my feet tends to travel to my lungs when sleeping and causes breathing problems. I'm no doctor, but when you can't breathe, that's serious. I called my doctor with an attitude that created a serious look into my situation and that's when he directed me to take an aggressive approach to diuretics, literally tripling my daily intake. As a result, I lost the 17 LB in 2 days and have more to go. How would it be if I was 20 LB overweight and was able to lose it in 2 days, cool huh? Frankly, I didn't have the 20 LB to give and now I must concentrate on my ice cream intake. Woe is me!

Guess what I don't feel like doing during sloshing periods or after losing almost 20 LB in 48 hours..................Dating!

The Dating Guy (on break)

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Problem with "Cricket" in the Fall...

My first month's experience with Cricket, my cell phone carrier, has not been good. Today I received a text saying they have not received my payment and be prepared for an interruption of service tomorrow. Whoa! I paid my bill on the first, along with everything else. Somehow my online payment didn't make it there, I'd better call them. That was the easy part, thinking it.

I dialed #611 and was immediately greeted by a menu in Spanish. It told me for English, dial 1. The menu continued in espaniol. I hit 1 again an was offered a brand new menu in English. Somehow I made it through that menu and waited for a human customer service rep. About 5 minutes later, an African American gentleman that I couldn't understand came online and said his name, which currently escapes me. My inability to understand him was a combination of poor telephone quality which I've experienced since I signed up with Cricket and his extreme accent. That's when I noticed that he also had an intelligence problem and was answering my questions from a script. I continually asked to talk with his boss and repeatedly told no! When I insisted, he told me that the boss has been telling him what to say, so it's going to be the identical answer. I found myself speaking slowly and clearly. This was my question: I kept telling him that I'm a new Cricket customer and what do I have to do to continue my service without having it interrupted due to non-payment, as I paid the bill on the first of the month. He repeatedly told me, no you didn't! I finally asked if I could pay it again right now with a credit card and he said yes, but there is a $5 charge for that. All I could do was laugh and say, I'm a new Cricket customer that is about to leave your company if you don't let me speak with your boss. He put me on hold for the 5th time. He came back saying that they were willing to waive the $5 charge this one time only and accept my payment by credit card. Whew! After putting out that fire, I found that I sent my payment to their return address, not the correct place to send payments. I'm sure that will get ironed out in time. (I hope).

My first month with Cricket was completely unacceptable and if it weren't for the fact that I just bought a $280 phone from them, I'd have been long gone with my new sexy phone number that ends with 6200, which is probably the only reason I went with them to begin with.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Zack is Back!

I thought it was kind of unusual that as swamped the "Boss" was, I was given 3 days off in a row. Even though, I planned my week accordingly and left my Friday open for work. I laid out my work clothes and even bought a dozen roses for the "Boss" to try to sway her in my direction, for more hours. I actually didn't buy the roses, but swiped then from a funeral, as I was passing our our local cemetery.

I called the "Boss" today to inquire as to her health, as she had been complaining a lot lately about her workload and her incompetent help (me). I feared she was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. When I called, the "Boss" was in a jovial mood, talking of a new job she was excited about and that an old friend of hers stopped by to say hello. It was Zack. I had heard of the "Legend of Zack" a young man that was born with 12 arms and could do plastics, primarily connectors, faster than any man alive.. I could only hope to meet the "Legend" in person one day and learn his technique. I heard that with the electric drill in one hand, he could put in a connector, insert light pipes, glue in light pipes, attached breather bars and have it ready in seven seconds and that's only using 6 of his 12 God given hands. The left side of his anatomy was helping himself to a bowl of home made chili and washing the "Bosses" dishes, while cleaning her pool. Why do you suppose they call him the "Legend"?

Well, it turned out that the "Legend" was available to work and had even taken a job at a local Dairy Queen to support his addiction to knitting. That's when the "Boss" told him to relax those 12 arms and sit down. All she currently had working for her was one withered old man that can't seem to drill in connectors without twisting the gasket into a pretzel. That she can get rid of the old geezer with no problem. Zack, who had shaved his head for the Dairy Queen job, said he'd be happy to come back to work, leaving me.......... once again, unemployed.

My new plan, as soon as I shave my head, is to apply at Dairy Queen. I think they're going to have an opening...


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I MAY Have Been Fired from the Sweat Shop...

Another bad day for Bogie, my 300 LB Great Dane. I was awakened about 4 AM from his constant retching and it continued pretty much all morning. By 10 AM, I had already done a full load of towels from cleaning up after him. At 10 AM a friend called asked if I'd like to join her at Fashion Square to shop for her grandson's 1st birthday. Frankly, shopping is usually not my idea of fun, but anything that would get me out of the arena that I was currently in, was a blessing. Bogie seemed to have calmed down and I hopped into the shower.

When my friend arrived the Dynamic Duo looked like they had been playing all day and you never would have known Bogie was so ill. We headed out and arrived at out destination by noon. Shortly after walking into Macy's, the reason that we were there was to see the new FAO Schwartz display that was supposed to be 15000 square feet within Macy's walls. When we got there, it was about 1000 sq. ft of a bunch of crap. No ornate toy store, just a bunch of hype. We were promised that it would be 3500 sq. ft by Christmas, but we didn't have time to wait!

We headed out and my friend got a phone call from a co-worker that turned into an argument rather quickly and lasted a good 20 minutes. While I stood around with my hands in my jeans front pockets kicking stones and trying not to listen to what was more than audible, a rather short woman approached me and said, Mel? At first I drew a blank and had no idea who this woman was when suddenly I recognized Valerie Ferguson, my elusive vet. She was shopping and looking like she knew her way around the mall. This is why I can never find her in her office. I managed to turn what started out as a chance meeting into a full blown office visit. All that was missing was Bogie. I was able to get enough information out of her to settle Bogie down, the next time he flares up with this Pancreatitis. She said to give him 40 MG of Pepsid AC, twice a day. My next stop was Albertsons for Pepsid AC. What do you suppose put me at the mall, a place I NEVER go, at the same time my vet is there, when I needed her?

Next stop was Aho Al's for a delicious Mexican lunch and then more shopping and home. My legs and feet were officially worn off and the Dynamic Duo were pleased to see me. Naturally, I brought dog chow and Pepsid AC!


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Day Off from the Sweat Shop...

I approached the office of my kidney/blood pressure doctor and saw that all of the parking places were occupied. Knowing from experience that people park in the red zone and don't get towed away, I took a chance and tried it, although it's really not my style. Dr. Z called me this morning and backed me in to an appointment. Our conversation went something like this: (Read this with a Romanian accent)

Dr. Z: Can you come in at 4PM or is 1PM better?

Me: I, a, have things to do today, but 1PM would be better.

Dr. Z: Good, see you then, goodbye.

What the hell just happened? I wasn't planning on seeing him today, it's my day off from the sweat shop and I have a ton of things to do today.

So I walk up to the overpaid, bi-lingual, fat chick that was sitting behind the glass partition and look at her. she's talking on the phone and won't make eye contact. After about 3 minutes, I just sat down and watched her giggling with the friend she was so engrossed with. Fifteen minutes went by and I was worried about my car getting towed, but being the "Rock Star" that I am, I calmed down. Suddenly, without notice, Dr. Z came out and called me in, himself. I guess he's learned to work around the fat chick too. I asked him how he knew I was even here and he said he walked by and saw me. Oh, the old way!

He examined me and we talked about my blood pressure and he prescribed a new drug, Minoxidil. That sounded familiar. He warned me that it may cause an increase of the amount of hair on my head, to be aware of extra hair growth. Man, what a side effect? I sure hope I can handle a little more hair at this stage of life. That's not a side effect, that's a gift!

My car was still where I parked it................ illegally!


Monday, September 8, 2008

My Second Day at the Sweat Shop...

My second day on the job didn't go as well as the first I'm afraid. What I had thought was normal protocol was just politeness offered to a new employee. Today, I realized that the honeymoon was over. It's kind of a sad existence that I endure after a happy successful pleasant career. I work in a sweat shop and endure the insults of that type of employee. My work is overlooked and critiqued to the point of insult. My day started like this.

The woman formerly known as the Lovely Jules, will now and for evermore be known as the "Boss". She is evil and her only intention is to weaken my stealthy attitude and make me just another member of the "line". For the line is the most important thing in the world and nothing is to stop it. I started by calling and advising the Boss about my schedule and was given a disinterested "whatever" as she drove her load down the 51 towards work. She told me that I had a lot of work ahead of me and get my ass over there to the sweat shop. Depressed I hung up and did what I was told.

I arrived at Undercurrents at 10:24 and punched in. Pawpaw who usually greeted me at the door as a welcome guest, sensed that I was a new employee, probably from my hunched over look and proceeded to growl and snap at me and finally went to his closet to sleep, only after looking back one last time to growl me a warning. Somewhat depressed, I proceeded to my work station. One of the rules that we must endure in the seat shop is to live without sunlight. This prevents the employees from having any original thoughts and confines their thinking to the "Line". At one point the door was opened and I heard a bird chirp and was told immediately to forget it! Head down I went back to work. I worked silently while the "Boss" shopped and bought frivolous items for a party she's attending with her partner swapping buddies. I couldn't be sure, but it looked like a short 6" mini skirt with knee high socks and a white Catholic school blouse. When she finally arrived smoking a big cigar, she ignored me and gave Pawpaw some cookies for guarding the house. When she looked at me, apparently with disgust, I was told that my work was inadequate and would have to improve or I'd be terminated. I worked harder and faster in an attempt to please her. Accidentally, I poked a tool right through my left hand and was told to suck it up, interrupting the "Line" is not accepted. I wrapped a rag around it until it went numb, but I continued working. Around 1 PM, I noticed the "Boss" eating a charming little salad and asked when my lunch hour was. That brought on a hardly laugh and was told not to make jokes while she's trying to watch her soap opera and eat her lunch. I was tossed a piece of dry bread from her entree and she pointed to the dog's bowl for a water supply. I was even more depressed than before, she told me that I had 60 seconds to eat that bread starting......... now! I wolfed it down and returned to the "Line".

That pretty much highlights my 16 hour day, but I realized that I earned a pretty good wage for my insignificant efforts. I averaged about $6 an hour. Before I left to pick up food for the Dynamic Duo, I was stopped at the door by the Boss and informed that from my wages I needed to kick in to the Undercurrents Christmas party fund and that would be 40% of my wages. Head down, I walked the 2 miles to my bus stop and rethought my attempt to working on the "Line".


Sunday, September 7, 2008

My First Day at Undercurrents...

The Lovely Jules is the proud owner of a small manufacturing company that is named above. She runs most of it herself, along with her daughter, but on occasion has the necessity of outside help. Because the volume of work is often uncertain, it's hard to maintain reliable and steady help. She relys upon high school students, college students and unemployed older people in her neighborhood. Because of circumstances beyond her control, she found herself in a quandary and needing untrained help. I took a quick look into the mirror and determined that I certainly was qualified. Untrained, that's me! I offered my help for about the 27th time and to my surprise, this time she accepted it. I finally found me a damned job!

I arrived at the job site around 11 AM and got a warm, "What are you doing here" from Jules? I reminded her of our conversation of 1 hour earlier and she said to shut up and get to work, that this will give her the opportunity to have a shower. With little else said, I settled in to converse with Jason, who I wanted to call Justin. Jason is a 17 year old high school boy that is built similarly to the the high school quarterback. About 6' 2" and lean, with a boyish face and drives a Ford pick up. Jason lives 4 doors down but likes to drive to work. He started our connection with, "Are you retired"? I told him I didn't know. That shut him up for awhile. I found Jason to be a nice, friendly, helpful, good natured, annoying young man, that voiced anything and everything that came to his mind.

Jules finally came out of the shower and resumed her role as employer and evil woman. I was tossed from low ranking job to lower ranking job, as I did each one poorly and inefficiently. I had made my fortune with my mouth and this job required routine, mundane work and I found my mouth was getting me into trouble. I was getting rejections from my aging, untrained body too. At one point I had to stop, as my fingers cramped and wouldn't move for me. I waited patiently for the cramps to go away to resume.

I worked until about 3 PM and left to go feed my dogs. To my surprise, I was invited back for tomorrows work. I think that Jules had learned to truly appreciate my efforts since I'm working for free right now. That makes me a real value!


Saturday Night...

After what might have been the most boring day on record, I finally got cleaned up around 5 PM. There I was showered and shaved and wearing fresh clothes. I even changed the oil in my hair. No one called and no one wrote all day. It was just one of those lazy 110 degree days that steals the motivation away from you.

Around 8:30, I called Jules and she had thought I was mad at her, as I hadn't called all day. I explained to her how my day went and she invited me over. Glad to be able to leave the Dynamic Duo alone for a few hours, I climbed into my Volvo convertible and drove the 17.4 miles to the West side of town. As I stepped outside, I noticed a pleasant breeze that could be mine for the duration of the ride and quickly decided to lower the top of the car. Here in AZ it's a rare thing to be able to use a convertible in the month of August and I enjoyed every mile. Arriving at my destination, I stopped and put the top back up to dissuade any would-be vandals from throwing their cigarette butts into my waiting and inviting car. I locked the Volvo and went to awaken Pawpaw with my presence.

Using my key, left over from a more romantic time, I let myself in and searched the kitchen for goodies taking a quick inventory for when Julie asked me if I was hungry. Pawpaw lead the way to the bedroom where I didn't see the Lovely Jules, as she was in the office portion of her bedroom complaining that her laptop wouldn't boot. She was wearing her headphones and using her desk top computer and grumbling about it all. Finally, she greeted me with a warm hug and asked if I were hungry. Since I didn't see anything but a few donuts that were on the counter, I told her no. I had already gotten my bottle of water.

In udder shock we discovered that the TV in the bedroom was in-op and were forced to watch SNL in her living room on the sofa. It appears that her cable was out in the back portion of the house. We turned on the TV and I watched Julie fade fast. She had put in a full day, as I slept the day away. I suggested she go to bed and I walked her back to her room, taking extra care not to smash her onto any walls. I delivered her to her bed and took the opportunity that I had been waiting for. I got the donuts and a single cookie from Paradise Bakery! Need I say anymore? I swiped the donuts and the single cookie and left a note describing my heist. This is where Karma comes in and bites me in the ass.

Exiting the house with my arms full was no easy feat. All of the bulbs were out and I was working in the dark, trying to secure the house without dropping my stolen goods. Once again, I needed to lower the top on the convertible to really enjoy this delightful night. Doing so, reminded me of a time long ago when I was a young kid and drove a convertible around the streets of Chicago, but I digress. Driving around town at this time of night allows me to watch all of the drunks weave around the roads and think to myself that not too many years ago, that was me. Entering the freeway, I passed a guy that clearly not in control of his car, wanting to make his crash his alone, not mine. Driving along with the wind in my face and what hair I've got left, I soaked in the pleasure of it all. That lasted about 5 minutes until at 70 MPH, I hit something I never even thought of. A rain storm! So, the one single time I decide to lower the top and enjoy life and take in all of it's beauty, someone up there decides to literally, "rain on my parade"!

Okay, here are my choices. Either stop on the shoulder and put up the top and continue or just keep hoping that I'll drive through this little cloud burst. I chose the latter. After about 4 or 5 threatening minutes, I made it though and it was beautiful in Scottsdale. I pulled into my garage where I could hear the Dynamic Duo that knew only too well where I had been. Unfortunately I knew exactly what poor Bogie had been up to, by the piles on the floor. With my donuts and one single cookie from the Paradise bakery in tow, I searched for my shovel and mop and bucket. Some things never change...


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Cats have 9 Lives, but what About Dogs?

It's been a rough 36 hours, but somehow we survived it. About 4 AM on Wednesday morning, I was awakened to Bogie, my "baby boy", 300 LB Great Dane was retching in his bed. I immediately jumped up and cared for him creating the need to do an immediate load of laundry. It never stopped all day and I thought certainly his time had come. I called my vet, but she was off for the day and wouldn't return my call. I've only known this lady for 10 plus years and referred a gazillion people to her. I felt abandoned and alone. My poor baby was suffering and I couldn't do a thing about it. As the day progressed, Bogie got noticeably worse and would only lay there as I laid on the floor next to him, gently stroking him and telling him he'd be okay, although I was doubtful of that.

I seem to have a hard time asking for help sometimes and this was one of those times. Finally, I called a friend from the other side of the tracks to come over and be moral support for me, as I was frankly in a quandary. She pulled up in her lowered Toyota, rap music blasting and came in and truly took charge. She first grabbed my laptop that the Lovely Jules gave me for Christmas and researched what might be wrong with poor Bogie. She seemed to think it was his pancreas. (I never would have thought of that). The Internet said to withhold any food or water and let the pancreas have a chance to shrink from it's swollen state. She also researched a list of Vets in my area that might be more accommodating for the future, whatever our needs are. Then, as quickly as she arrived, she was gone. She was playing her accordion in a rap music festival this weekend and had to go to a rehearsal. I could hear the music from her Toyota blasting a good 2 blocks away when she left. I stayed with poor Bogie and cared for him, once again feeling at a loss. Come bedtime, Bogie was too weak to even get up, so we camped in the family room on the couch all night. He seemed to sleep peacefully, as I didn't. Zoie, the bitch he lives with, seemed pretty perturbed about the fact that her routine was disturbed. She's so materialistic and seldom thinks about anyone but herself.

Around 6 AM Bogie got up and went to the door to be let out. I could have danced I was so happy. He went outside, watered about 2 bushes and was eager to come back inside. He surveyed his food dish and looked at me as to say, "It's time for breakfast isn't it"? I assured him it was just the middle of the night and we headed to the waiting beds in our room. I was never so happy to see a bed.

At 7:30 my vet called and told me she'd be there all day and she'd be pretty busy, but would try to work Bogie in to put him to sleep. How sensitive... She never mentioned examining him, just putting him down. I'd like to put her down!

I called another friend of mine that used to be a dietitian and currently works for our government as a tax collector in a South Phoenix ghetto. I was able to reach her on her cell phone. She was at the projects trying to collect money from a man that drives a Cadillac and has a stable of women working for him, but thinks he's above paying taxes. She suggested I give Bogie a couple of scrambled eggs for a starter. Bogie wolfed that down in about 3 seconds and then looked up at me as to say, "You've got to be kidding"! I fought him off all day and he played and barked at the windows and played tug-o-war with a towel with Zoie and more or less convinced me that he had truly rallied! He doesn't know how close he came to being just a loving memory. I called my dietitian friend again tonight and she suggested mac and cheese for dinner. He loved it, but it didn't hold him long. He's threatened my life 11 different times and all over dog cookies! Welcome back Bogie!


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

This is My Final Answer Sir...

Having given myself 24 hours to reflect upon my date the day before, I've come to the realization that I HATED her! I know that's an awfully aggressive response in such a short amount of time, but these are the things that swayed my opinion. First, in the car on the way over to the bar that she insisted on going to, as opposed to a restaurant for a daytime refreshment, she leaned over and told me that she doesn't like to be teased. That took me by surprise because I didn't realize I had teased her. If anything, I was being my usual charming self, that women can't resist...
Next when ordering, the waitress offered us 2 choices of white wine, she note one was $6 and the second was $10. Without hesitation, Meg ordered the more expensive one, even when the server offered tastes of both. Meg told her she knew the expensive one would taste better. Was she planning on buying??? I ordered a diet coke and we chatted. Our waitress was limping rather severely and Meg inquired as to why. She said she was suffering from a bad sciatic nerve problem. Being a graduate of sciatic nerve pain, I assured her that it would get better, as mine went completely away about 5 or 6 years ago. Before I could get anything out of my mouth, my date once again leaned over and warned me not to embarrass her. Again I was taken aback.
We continued talking and when it was time to pay the check, Meg became paralized and couldn't reach for her purse or even offer to, even after ordering a second glass of her $10 favorite, in spite of the fact that she didn't drink but a sip of it. I paid the check with a credit card and told our waitress to keep the change. Our waitress smiled and Meg leaned in for yet another correction of my behavior. She told me in the privacy of my ear that women don't understand dry humor and to knock it off. Strike three and she was OUT! All I did was ask if she thought it was a gender issue? She said she was sure she was right. That was the very minute that Meg became dead to me.. There was no funeral necessary as she burned to death in a roaring fire brought on by telling me how to behave. I'm never going to see that $20 worth off wine or Meg again!
The Dating Guy, Still Looking...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Introducing Meg...

As much as the "Dating Guy" didn't feel like going anywhere today, Meg got me motivated. This is one of those weekends that dragged on and I played with the dogs and did things around the house, although nothing reflects it. Poor Bogie is in his last days and his health is doing poorly, but he still loves to eat and plays a little with Zoie and comes to me at night to be groomed and pet and loved. He gets anything he wants from me at this stage of life. Last night, after staying up really late to watch the end of a movie that wasn't really worth it, I finally called it a day around 2 AM. Bogie got me up at 3 to use the facility and then again at 4 to get a drink. I got up myself to use the restroom at 4:30 and there was Bogie laying alone in the living room stretched out on the white carpeting. He's sleeping all day and up all night. The phone woke me at 9, but I chose to sleep though it and when I finally got out of bed at 10, there was a mess on the floor.

There was a message from Meg on the machine saying to call when I had a chance, so after a cup of coffee, I did just that. I found Meg friendly, engaging and otherwise easy to talk to. After about 90 minutes, I thought about a shave and a shower and a meeting. Meg is a lot closer to my advanced age and we found that we had a great deal in common. She was raised Jewish and we share a similar heritage and agree on a lot of topics. Meg is a decorator and loves her work. Since we lived so close, she gave me her address and I was able to pick her up at her house. She lives in a beautifully decorated home that is more than adequate for her needs and right in my neighborhood. I even drove my date car over there! She and her home were both charming and she even looked like I thought she would. She's 5' 4" and wears a size 4. (I asked) I think that Meg liked me too as she invited me to go with her to a wedding next month. That's a long time to look into the future for the over 50 dating world.

We headed to the bar where Meg had 2 glasses of wine and I had a coke. we discussed my not drinking and I explained it to her in detail. Society has made it almost hard for a non drinker to exist without the suspicion that they might be an alcoholic, while everyone that does drink, worries that they are. I simply explained that I used to drink too much so I quit. Period! Almost without warning it was 4:30 and I needed to head home to feed the Dynamic Duo and Meg agreed to go with me. We were greeted at the door by 400 LB of Great Danes and Meg was a little overwhelmed at first, but LOVED them. She bent over and let Bogie lick her right in the face. You can tell the people that really like dogs compared to the ones that are just trying to please me. One time I had a date over and she was coming out of the restroom and Bogie was at the door waiting for her. When she thought I couldn't see her, she shoved Bogie away and said, "Get away from me"... That was my first and last date with her.

After feeding the Kennel, we headed out to drive Meg home. She didn't invite me in, but did give me a long engaging hug and kiss in her kitchen. I guess I was in! She sent me on my way after telling me that she wanted to see me again, to call her soon. I really don't know what to do with her, but I know that I liked her.

The Dating Guy