Thursday, March 31, 2016

Nothing's News

The headline is somewhat misleading. But only somewhat.

I don't get editors. We've already bought the paper....and it was a mid-section story, not even front page. You don't have to lure us in with semi-false teasers.

What the title means is: Trump won't back any nominee who isn't him. You know - the way he "pledged" he would.

What the headline doesn't tell you is that Cruz and Kasich won't back any nominee that isn't themselves either.

Liars. Liars. Plants for Hire.

You know Palin and her thing for the mainstream / liberal media?  Or the fallacy that is the mainstream / liberal media?  If it exists, it is powerless. t(Rump only seems to grow more powerful at the outrageous things he says that are printed. Mind you - it is doubtful his followers read papers. Or can read at all.

But if you read the headline as written - it seems like he won't back any nominee. So.........what if he is the nominee? It would be great if he wouldn't back himself. And it wouldn't be as surprising as one would think.

I've said it before - and I'm sure I'll say it again - what is this guy really going after? I still don't believe it's the Oval Office. I just can't figure out his end-game.

On another GOP note: the convention in Cleveland and the wanting to have open-carry at the actual convention site.

You know - the same site where t(Rump) and his band of whack-o's have openly advocated violence and riots. How could an open-carry policy possibly go wrong? All the strides Cleveburgh has made in the last few years will go up in flames...........literally.

Mind you, the Secret Service shut that down, but not without a petition (started by someone who was pussy enough to do it anonymously! Ooooooh.....big man!). But these people were vocal about 'why would the GOP pick a convention site that didn't have an open carry right' and 'switch the convention site now!' gripes.

Yes. By all means, please move it. I'd be a happy man.

Song by: Clint Black

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

the Old Crowd

I'm back. Things on the old MacBook Air seem to be fine and dandy.


Anyhoo......last weekend, we went to visit 710's parents. I had not seen them for over a year. I was due. And it was my mother-in-law's birthday.

Jane resides in assisted-living facility. When we visit, somehow we always enter the building through the lower back level and hike the stairs to the third floor. I've only see that back hallway and her room.

So after our first visit of the first day, 710 had to stop in for a few to see his mother. We parked out front and I said I'd wait in the lobby. He said, "you'll fit right in".  I had no idea what he meant.

It turns out it was right after their dinner. The lobby was filled with seniors - and not the high school kind. I was the youngest person in the room by 30 years. And one of only four men. Almost all of the women were off in the adjoining parlour - as if it was the drawing room on Downton Abbey.

I was an observer. I got looks, but no one me. Actually, most of the women might have chatted, but so low, there was no discerning their conversations.

....and then there were these guys..... a guy on the far left, not in the picture.

As I sat and waited for my husband, I listened them talking about stuff. And then an aide passed through the lobby and the man on the sofa said about the guy in the chair, "he's not going to church tomorrow".  When the man in the chair protested, saying he was, the chair guy snapped, "you don't even know where it is!!!". 

Mind you, there were two churches  - one across the street, one right next door. If he had turned the other way, he'd have ended up in the river.

Old people.

Then all of the sudden, all the women decided it was time to go up to their rooms. I loved the cavalcade of walkers and canes. It was kind of sweet.

As I sat and waited (and waited and waited and waited) for 710, I noticed the silence. The men just stopped chatting and the guy in the chair dozed off. The quiet went on for like 20 minutes.  (yes, I waited a long time for that few minute visit to his mom......but I was entertained.)

All of the sudden, the Sofa Guy, turns to the other Chair Guy (not seen) who has yet to say 'boo'. Sofa Guy goes, in no raised voice, mind you: "hey.  hey!  You're an asshole!"

I burst out laughing. There was no helping myself.

I'm about 89% sure Chair Guy didn't hear a word.

I immediately wondered how long was Sofa Guy gestating on something that Chair Guy said or did an hour before.....or possibly 13 years ago. Or if dementia is involved, probably never happened at all.

Just then the elevator doors opened and out pops 710. He just saw my face and knew something was up. I made him sit for a moment to look around the room, so when we got to the car, I could relay my story.

As we walked to the door, Sofa Guy turns towards me, waves and says, "have a nice evening".

Oh, I did Sofa Guy.......I did.

And 710 was right. I fit right in.

Song by: Leslie Gore

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Time Precious Time

It is a bad blog entry.

My laptop is in the midst of restoring after I did "something" and wiped out all my music, including all my iTunes purchases. Hopefully thanks to TimeMachine it will fully restore. I will know this morning if it worked.

Due to that, I'm attempting to blog from the iPad mini.  I'd rather shut down the blog than attempt this again.


Writing is tough.   Adding images is beyond impossible.  It took forever to italicize. Not worth it.

In the chaos of the last few weeks, I neglected to mention I had my 4000th post.  I forgot my 13th blogiversary and had no accompanying video. Oops.

It can only get better........right?

Song by: Lindsey Buckingham

Monday, March 28, 2016

My Music Monday


I've one 'insanity' - twice. I've done 'very enthused' once. So this tine I'll go with 'anger'.

Well anger and love. I'm taking it from the album the Sensual World from Kate Bush.

I did not even know there was an accompanying video, but alas there is.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Hammer and a Nail

Yeah, I'm sure it is offensive. But I can deal with your ire.

There was an interesting NPR story a long time ago talking about crucifixions and how people died.

It wasn't really from the nails, obviously - I mean, lockjaw is a slow slow slow way to die. Though I suppose one could get infection.

But no, they discussed how the shoulders would have pulled from their sockets as people's body weight drooped and hung. That death would most likely have come from dehydration more than blood loss.

At least I can get on board with that - so to speak.  Ah - 'on board'. I just got my own joke. Boards. I guess. Plural.

My friend, Jeremy, sent me this next no-no.  Well, no-no for most people. Not for Jeremy. And not for me. He knows me too too well.

Oh, how I laughed and laughed.

I'm fine being "that guy".

And CB sent me this one.....

and D@vid provided this. 

Still, if you celebrate, have a nice Easter.

Song by: Indigo Girls

Saturday, March 26, 2016

A Little Time

I know I said today might be a last Petey Porn day, but I'm not ready for that. I can't bring myself to go through the kerjillion pictures I took of him over the years and select. Maybe in another week or two.

I'm in self-pity mode.

The last thing we did at the vet was take his collar. It had his license on it, and his name was stitched into it.

It's been pretty lonely without him. I still base my mornings and coming home from work on his schedule. I still place things on the stove or the counter in a way that Petey won't be able to reach them.

We finally got to the point to pick up his dog beds and bowl. I still need to wash his pillow, but it still kind of smells of him. I know that sounds weird - trust me, I know.

I had to break the news to my nephew yesterday. I didn't have to, but he asked about Petey. I purposefully held off, as not to upset him his first two weeks at a new job in a new town. He just asked if he went peacefully - and I could honestly say 'yes'.

I'm still learning to overcome my social ineptness too. But a few days after, I did write a note to the vet's office and thanked a half dozen people by name who really gave Petey exceptional care over the last few years. I really think they adored him - and I know they probably fawn over most of their animals, they always seemed to take exception to Mr. Pete.

A few days ago, we got a card from the staff.

I almost cried.......again.

Still I miss the man. In certain ways, I miss sleeping on the sofa with him all night so I could take care of him. I miss his kisses with the softest tongue on earth.

In actuality, after he lost his hearing a few months ago, I stopped really getting kisses. Petey didn't know many commands...........let me rephrase:  he knew many commands and obeyed like three, but one of them was "can I have a kiss?" and he'd do it. Willingly.

It's not easy to get a beagle to do anything willingly - at least when it doesn't include food. After he stopped hearing, I stopped getting kisses on command.

I finally told one neighbor about Petey, but that was only because she asked me if he wanted to walk with them. So maybe the news will trickle through the 'hood.

There have been lots and lots of questions of a new dog. It's not that we haven't thought about it - but not actively. Deep down I know it wouldn't be to replace Petey, but it is still too soon to consider, let alone act on it. Maybe in Autumn.


Song by: the Beautiful South

Friday, March 25, 2016

Come Together

I mentioned we went to Columbus last weekend. And yes, I'm just getting around to chatting about it now.

We went for the wedding reception of Georty.

Yes, just the reception. They had gotten married earlier in the week on their own, which we always knew was the plan. They were smart and got married on their non-gay marriage anniversary date, so unlike 710 and myself, Georty only has one date to remember.

Still, there was a party to be had - which is something we didn't do. I'm kind of regretting that fact now.

710 and I, I believe, traveled the farthest to attend, though only a few out of towners were invited, as Georty didn't want anyone to feel obligated to attend. As if they could keep me away.

Actually, the weekend worked out well for us - meaning 710 and myself. We got to do lunch on Saturday with Georty. Everyone at the wedding. Then separate time with Dith and then Becky and her family. All very spread out and even.

By happenstance, as we walked to Dough Mama on Saturday, we came upon a group of protesters. I wasn't proud asking, nay, begging George and Morty to let me take their picture, as the protest couldn't be any more apropos.

Morty, being Morty, told them they had just gotten married. I was surprised by the 'congratulations' comment. I was less surprised by the 'we'll pray for you' one.

But seriously, almost a year after the Supreme Court ruling, this is still a thing!

Then it was the reception with all - though save our core group, I knew few others.

I won't pretend to understand the photo / dress-up station, but we tried to make the most of it. I don't know what I was going for. I don't know what Rebecca and Dith were going for either.

Dith caught Becky and I in a moment. I was sitting across from a humourless, judgemental lesbian. Sure, you could say that's redundant, but this seemed worse than usual. So, I actually had to turn my back to her to talk and have fun with Rebecky.

And of course, there was the happy couple.

Well.....couples. Friends forever.....and ever....amen. We love Morty and George and were so honored to be in attendance. It was a great night, and no one got too too drunk (meaning: me).

And right after their toasts, I caught the sunset.

George, ever being the educator, told me this was a sun pillar. I know I had never heard the term, and I'm not 100% sure I'd ever seen one. But I liked the shot - and I liked that it presented itself at the reception.

It was a great weekend. Je loved it.

Song by: Echosmith

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Record of the Month

I figured I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it's my blog! So there!

I rarely believe in coincidences, but you and again.......

I'd been on the liberry's wait-list for Laurie Anderson's new "soundtrack", Heart of a Dog, for months (!!), when I got the notification my ticket was called. It just happened to be a few days before we last had Mr. Pete.

Anderson actually released her first film in 31 years with Heart of a Dog. It hits HBO in 2017, though maybe, just maybe, it will hit a (f)art house theaters before it gets to cable. The only places I've known that it has shown has been film festivals, though it's not even playing at the Cleveland International Film Festival.

I don't know the entire ins and outs of the film, I know it centers around her rat terrier, Lolabelle, who at some point goes blind and then is taught to play a keyboard. I have a feeling the subject matter is more about how to deal with adversity in life, and it closes out with a song by Anderson's late husband, Lou Reed.

Allegedly, the plan was never to have a "soundtrack" until they were mixing the audio for the film. If nothing else, at least that's a good story.

Unlike her last film, Home of the Brave (one of my all time favourites), which incorporated monologues and song, this album is all talk. Sure, there is some interesting background music, but no singing.

Anderson's diction and inflection, as always, are beyond perfection. She is intelligent, has good observations and insight. Laurie makes outlandish stories sound plausible. She's the consummate storyteller.

I suppose (or I feel) I am losing some context listening to such tales without the visual context, as these narrations were lifted directly from the film. Oddly enough, I might think differently had I not known there was an accompanying film. The beauty of something like United States Live I-IV were Anderson takes you places with her stories. The same is true here, but deep down I know there is another component - one I have yet to see.

I would not say Heart of a Dog is for the casual listen. It is a 70+ minute journey - and one for which you must be in the mood.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Two days ago, I got a text from my friend Tony.

You might remember him as my meth friend. Hopefully former meth / current friend, but to be honest, I don't know and I didn't ask.

Tony has made some life changes; left a shitty shitty job, sold his house in Los Angeles and relocated to his home town of Las Vegas. I'm not sure that does much for potential drug usage, but he's closer to his immediate family, so maybe that is an impetus to quit.....or at least cut back.

Anyhoo - I actually had not heard from him in months, so I reached out, just to ask him if he was going to see New Order, as they were playing in Vegas this last week.  I got crickets. At least for a few days. Maybe he was on a bender.

Tony shares my love of '80s music.

No.  That's not true. His surpasses mine by far, which is a little amazing as he is almost 10 years my junior. I'm not even sure the '80s was his time. I wasn't surprised to hear that he got tickets and was going to the show. I was jealous.

I so wanted to see New Order. I never have, and let's face it, I'm up there in years. They're up there too. Perhaps this would be the last chance. But a quick look at their tour 'schedule' showed them playing six one-night stands in six cities.

I mean - why bother? It had to cost more to lug over their gear than they'd ever make at the box office. The tickets were pricey but not astronomical - and the venues weren't mega-huge either. Still, I wanted to see them.

My friend Doug tried to get me to come to Chicago to see them, but you know - work. I'm only three months in and it wasn't a weekend show, or I'd have done it in a heart beat.

But Tony texted me out of the blue on Monday, saying his concert buddy cancelled on him and did I want to hop a flight to Vegas. The ticket and lodging would be on him. I just had to be in Vegas by 19:00......that same day (Vegas time).  It was 13:00 my time.

I think I considered it for about 7 minutes. Could I get a flight? It would have to be on time and direct, but I could make it.

But my logical side took over and just said that I appreciated the offer and even the thought, but I could not do it. Though I got him to promise me he'd tell me about it and get some video.

Yesterday, I got about six clips from the concert.

The band sounded good.....more instrumentally than vocally, but I suppose that's to be expected. Visually, it looked like a good show too.

Tony said they played "Your Silent Face" which is a deep cut from their second album, Power, Corruption & Lies.  It sounds like they did a song or two from Joy Division - including the expected, "Love Will Tear Us Apart".

While I knew the band was going to be on Colbert, I missed them and forgot to "tape" it.  Ruckiry (not Jon's boss), the clip is on-line. Again, a strong musical performance and an ok vocal one.

Maybe they'll come back...........maybe I'll get to go.

Song by: New Order

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Smell the Funk

While away this last weekend, we were housed in the domicile of friends, George & Morty - or as we refer to them as a couple "Georty". Oh, what hell Brangelina and Bennifer have done to us.

And while we were staying at their house for the night, they would not be there - but more on that in a different post at a different time. We got instructions on how to feed the dogs. You'd think it was a simple, straightforward process, but alas, certain doggies are used to certain routines and it turns out, they look at you like you are a moron if you don't do it to their protocol.

Lesson learned.

The other housekeeping item was about this plant. Both George and Morty gave us separate but similar stories about a seldom blooming plant that smelled...........and smelled bad.

Morty told me how when he was home, it would bloom but he'd be looking around the house to see if the dog(s) had pooped in the heating grate, since that seemed to be the general aroma. His telling of his adventure to George upon his return home would get a semi-incredulous response.

......until George was home one day, looking around trying to find where the dogs pooped in the house.

I think George was just showing 710 the plant, relating the story. I don't really think it was a 'in case this happens while we are gone.....' thing.

Still on Sunday morning, I went outside with the dogs to play. At one point 710 came outside and I went in. The stench was nasty. And wouldn't you know, I looked around to see what was what. To me, it didn't quite smell like dog-doo, but I couldn't quite place it.

Then I noticed the opening of the flower around the stem. Had you seen it prior to the bloom, you'd never see that opening or that colour. The brown would normally wrap around the stem.

Soon after, 710 came in and was looking around, and finally asked what that horrible smell was.

I found it a little humourous. A spelled out tale - to the letter.....twice - and it goes completely ignored. And even questioned when it is pointed out.

We left before Georty came home, but I texted a picture of the plant. I can only imagine they chuckled at our stupidity.  But that's the way it goes.

Song by: Buddy Guy

Monday, March 21, 2016

My Music Monday

The theme is 'madness'. But like I said before - anger? insanity?

Erik wasn't super-duper clear. So I'm going with 'very enthused', as in Belinda Carlisle and her first solo single, "Mad About You".

I'd say she wasted no time releasing the song in 1986, shortly after the Go-Go's disbanded a year earlier. But if rumours are to be believed, the song was slated  - or at least considered - for the never recorded follow-up to the group's Talk Show.

Those tales might be true, as former bandmates, Jane Wiedlen and Charlotte Caffey, sing backing vocals on the track. Caffey even makes an appearance in the video (as does Duran Duran guitarist, Andy Taylor).

Inarguably - yes, I sad it - Carlisle never looked better than she did in the accompanying video. I suppose when you have a good stylist, lighting director and videographer, it covers up all the cocaine, alcohol and chain smoking effects. And it was all way before her hideous plastic surgery Priscilla Presley make-over.  (I mean, I'm guessing if bet a kerjillion dollars, she'd never be able to move a muscle in her face in that image.)

Still, she looks good, the video was shot well and the song is pure pop. And Belinda hadn't delved into full-on distracting vibrato that would become most of the rest of her solo career.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Jerk it Out

As I alluded to earlier this week, we are out of town, so I'm not taking my laptop or anything - so in a way this is a canned post.

I saw that Silicon Valley is about to come back for season 3. If you have HBO (or Netflix? Hulu? Acorn?) you should probably watch it and catch-up.

Silicon Valley is one of those shows are that just uncomfortable to watch. Mostly the situations the nerds of start-up called Pied Piper get themselves into and their almost Asperger's-like behaviour get them into.

It's cringe-worthy and laugh out loud all at the same time. And since it's a limited series (what? 10 episodes per year?) all the main characters do other stuff - like Deadpool, Apatow movies, one does a commercial with Tina Fey - so you'll recognize at least three of the four.

And while YouTube (though most likely HBO) won't allow me to embed the clip I want, I'm giving you the hyperlink. Because everyone should view the Mean Jerk Time Algorithm.

You're welcome!

Song by: Caesers 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

That's How I Knew This Story Would Break My Heart

I didn't say it then, but in my last 12 of 12, the picture of Petey and myself was his last. Well, the second to last.

I'll give you a second on that.

Yes, I'm afraid to say the end came for our beloved friend. A week ago actually. The day I took that picture. His very last picture is for 710 and myself only.

I'm as sorry to have to tell you as you are to hear it.

I'm assuming the reaction most of you have is saddened, but not surprised. That is ok, as it seems to be the general reaction of the few people we have even gotten the gumption to tell. I have found there is no easy way to say it. Not easy way to break it. And not accurate way to put it.

I've caught myself saying "we put him down"......but it makes me think of someone shooting a horse who is lame. I'm finding there is no good way to phrase it.

I love 710, but in certain ways, Petey was my heart. He was the best of everything. Loving everyone. Kind to all. The nicest eyes. The softest ears and tongue. I loved him from the day my sister brought him home. He always had a special place in my heart - and always will. I've said it before, of all the dogs my sister has had - and I've loved them all - none was even close to Petey-love.

No doubt, the last few moths have been rough for all of us - Petey included. He struggled and we with him. We did whatever we could for him. We stayed up all night with him if needed and were happy to do it. He saw the vet more than any dog should have to endure that trip - and he did it with grace.

While it was the right time and the right thing to do, it's never easy. I was strong......and then I was not.

I never understood the appeal of Peanuts....and for that matter, Snoopy specifically. I never got the fighter pilot or bird-friend thing either. I always thought he was kind of a dick. And I think he kind of is, unless you just see still shots of him.

In theory I knew Snoopy was a beagle, but I never really saw him that way, or knew what it meant, until we had Petey. Then Snoopy {kind of} became endearing. Charles Schultz must have had one in order to draw one with the mannerisms of the breed.

You won't be surprised to hear how much we miss him. It's been a week and we have not adapted. I expect him underfoot in the kitchen. I still plan my morning and getting home so I can make sure he gets out. I swear I hear him snort and sneeze when I'm up in bed.

I think it will be some time before we do find a sense of a new normal - and that's ok. 710 said aptly a few days afterward, "I feel I need to take care of someone". I know what he meant. It seems that we've been always looking after him - his needs, regardless of his health.

Someone at work this last week mistakenly asked me, innocently enough, if we had a dog. I had to fight back tears. And there's nothing like telling an almost stranger why you reacted that way - making them feel shitty in the process.

Overall, people have been great (though it sucked having to tell my sister) to us over the news. I can no longer ever ever ever make fun of Mike (see? no XXS). He, Peter and Otis were amazing. Everyone has been.

In the end, the vet was great. We went to our normal practice and saw a new vet. And the one vet tech who LOVED LOVED LOVED Petey, had another vet tech take her place, as she couldn't bare (bear?) to be there at the end. And actually, new everyone was probably the best case scenario. Dr. Smith adored Petey, as did Karen. As emotional as we were, the added tears would have been too much for me.

It was all very peaceful. I told him I loved him and thanked him for just being him. If heaven exists, he will be there waiting for me. This I know. I mean, unless he's on the scent of something better, but we'll catch up.

I suspect there will be one last Petey Porn. Probably next week. Just glimpse of pictures of his life. And ours. But mostly his. It could be a lengthy post.

I am thanking all of you in advance of your thoughts, so don't be too put off if I don't answer individually. Going from previous comments, I know you enjoyed the ride as much as we did.

Song by: Aimee Mann

Friday, March 18, 2016


You know, it's just one of those days.

Nothing coming my way. Nothing going my way. Work. Work. Work.

I'm not complaining. I'm just yakking.

Sometimes there isn't anything to actually say. I certainly cannot do another political blog. I won't give He Who Must Not Be Named anymore bandwidth for a while. He gets enough of that from everywhere else.

Today will prove to be a busy day. And why not, it was a busy week. But I have the weekend to look forward to. I'm in need of that. Still, more on that next week.

You're free to go about your day now.

Song by: Ricky Martin

Thursday, March 17, 2016

I Told You So

I'm not saying I'm Nostradamus........or Ms. Cleo, for that matter, but..........

you might want to go re-read my blog post from yesterday.

Song by: New Order

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I Predict a Riot

When Cleveburgh got the 2016 GOP convention, I groaned. Why would I want the likes of Matt Drudge, Ann Coulter and probable nominee, Jeb Bush roaming around our town - - I thought back in 2014.

Then about a month ago, I thought - - of fuck, this shit storm will be fun. I figured there'd be a coup for the nomination and it would be anarchy.

Now? I'm just hoping the city doesn't go up in flames. Literally.

What the fuck is wrong that almost every single (t)Rump rally ends in violence. Or begins in violence. And violence.

The media covers it, of course, yet no one does a fucking thing about it - law enforcement, the GOP or (t)Rump himself. He's for it, actually. And even {allegedly} paying the legal fees of a guy who sucker-punched at black guy at a rally (though he denies saying it, even though it's on video...which is a total Palin move). And security / police tackled and restrained the black guy who was hit. The white assaulter just walked away - only to be arrested after video came out showing the cops did nothing.

I mean, I shouldn't even be writing this. Donny wants to change the libel laws so if anyone writes anything bad about him, he can sue and win. Because right now, he can't win, so naturally he wants to make things go his way.

What a fucking cry-baby. He better hope he never gets to the Oval Office......I mean, how dare anyone say anything pseudo-libelous about the President?   {yes, I'm totally making fun of Donny himself, with his constant attacks on Obama's citizenship.}

Still, the convention.

What a shit storm this is going to be. We had once considered renting out our house and leaving town. Now with the imbeciles who inhabit the GOP - which are totally different that their usual imbeciles - our house would be trashed with them blaming us for letting them stay there. And on some fucked-up level, they'd probably win.

With all this violence, how is Cleveland going to get out of this convention without a riot.....or three? Chicago 1968 is going to seem like a cakewalk compared to what is coming.

Weeks ago, I smirked at the Cleveland Police Department requesting armored and riot gear for this White Supremacy Shindig, but it is clear they are going to need it and so much more. Whatever strides Cleveland has made in the last 7-8 years has been thwarted by the Tamir Rice shooting (regardless on which side you come down on that), the Michael Brelo case (regardless of which side you come down on that) and the upcoming GOP convention.

Hate will spill out into the streets. The improvements we've made to the city will be shattered and burned. Literally.

I don't even know why the fuck there is a traditional convention. Just do away with it and have a cage match and a mixed martial arts ring. I mean, this is the level at which we have arrived.

People can make all the comparisons they want to Hitler and Trump - and some of them are indeed valid. But Hitler took years to get to where he wanted to go. Trump has taken only months. Think about that. Hilter was a novice compared to this putz.

If you are truly not afraid - - you fucking should be.

I am.

Song by: Kaiser Chiefs

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

the Child is Gone

Deep down, I knew it was coming. It was only a matter of time and opportunity.

My nephew, Matt, whom I have tried to model (somewhat) after myself, has up and left home.

He graduated college last May and has been floating around doing a few jobs for his father and working at a local political campaign office for some such state rep. Neither of those thrilled him - though he seemed like a natural to take over his father's business.

Still, Matt longed for new adventures and well, hell, he's 23. That's what your 20s are for.

I love the kid - yes, he's still a kid - and he has big dreams even if his bank account doesn't equal those dreams. Boston was his first choice, but his interviews there did not work out. That's a shame, as I love the town and it would have made it a convenient excuse to head there - and to bug Magic Mike.

So with a few Skype interviews under his belt and one in person interview later, he started  - well as of yesterday - a job in Chicago......the only city colder than Cleveland I'd seriously consider living.

He's 23, so giving advice seems to fall on deaf ears. I watch it slough off like he's made of Teflon. So I parse out my words of "wisdom" sparingly, knowing that the other things your 20s are for are making mistakes and hopefully learning from them.

Matt is going to crash with a high school friend who graduated from Northewestern. Sorry - a high school friend and three of his roommates, none of which Matt has met or vice versa. It sounds like he'll be on the floor or perhaps a futon (another thing your 20s are for, I suppose). I have to believe the apartment is under his friend's name, as Matt didn't seem to need the approval of moving in from the other two.

Don't ask what he's doing exactly - as I don't know. Nor do I know what he's making and if it is sustainable for city living - three roommates or not. It is Chicago, so no matter what, it won't be enough. I do know he gets medical / dental / vision benefits, which you wouldn't think is such a big thing, but so many things he was interviewing for did not offer. He'll save a little money for a few years, as his parents agreed to keep him on their plan until he is 26 (thank you ACA!).

Matt also traded in his very used car for a newer used car. So with whatever fit inside it, he loaded up and headed out at the end of last week.

I wish him well....and it is an excuse to travel to Chicago. He's only a six hours away by car and like 49 minutes by plane. And I have friends in Chicago.....his mother thought it was nice that I had reason to go up, but my rationale was that my friends would help Matt out when (not if) he gets into trouble.

...and yes, that title image, is his last shot right before leaving the state of Ohio.

Song by: Fiona Apple

Monday, March 14, 2016

My Music Monday

Madness is the theme.

It was insanity last week.....and this one as well. Go with what you know. So maybe I am nuts.

In 1984, Lindsey Buckingham released his poorly, poorly produced second solo album, Go Insane. It was questionable at best. The disk had a two part song (last track of one side, first track of the second) and an almost seven minute song dedicated to the then newly-dead Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys.

There were two somewhat salvageable songs on the disk, "Slow Dancing" and the lesser title track.

...and then Buckingham went and ruined even one of those by putting a shit-tastic video to it. The video for "Go Insane" is so insanely bad, it's not even funny-bad. It is just bad-bad. It became every cliché and everything that was wrong with video music all in one.

It is so bad, what little I could deal with the audio version, really made me shun the song entirely.

But in 1997, Buckingham remade and performed the song during Fleetwood Mac's reforming. With just him and an acoustic guitar, he slowed the pace to 4/4 time and made "Go Insane" palatable.

So he gets one more shot here. I'm sure he can thank me for the exposure later.

Lindsey Buckingham - "Go Insane"

Sunday, March 13, 2016

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 72nd 12 of 12.

Normally it is 12 pictures taken on the 12th of the month. Since I only post once per day, you get my images the following day. All pictures taken with my iPhone. Click images to enlarge, if you choose.

Created by Chad Darnell and picked up from, what I can tell, any number of random bloggers who then link back to him and vice versa. Chad is no longer doing this, nor is successor coordinating the linking of other 12 of 12'ers anymore. Now it's just Erik (and sometimes Jim) and myself - that I know of. 

I still continue to do this, because of all my consistent post topics, I actually like this one the most.

 02:32.  Up in middle of the night. Petey was restless. I was ok to take care of him. 

06:40.  Pete somewhat resting comfortably. Me, not so much. Operating on less than three hours of sleep, or six hours of sleep over 48 hours. 

 07:00. 710's post-periodontal surgery instructions - as he had a procedure done yesterday- and Petey's pill cutter. 

 08:15. Ripping a cd to my iTunes liberry. 

 08:35. Mr. Pete finally waking up in the morning. 

11:55. Sign of Spring. Daffodils on the rise. 

 13:30. Lunch. I had neither. 

 14:45.  the Solstice Steps at Lakewood Park. 

15:15.  Shot of a plaque at Lakewood Park. Allegedly, it was the last station of the Underground Railroad. Who knew?

I mean, besides Harriet Tubman. 

15:40.  I'd say I encouraged 710 to get a coffee....and I did, but in reality, I had to poop. 

18:15. Getting 710's mom a new iPad as a surprise b-day present.  

20:29.  Sure, it looks like 21:29, but I sprung forward early. It beats doing it the next morning. 

and now your Baker's Dozen.........

22:25.  Cookie and milk. 

Yes, Singular.  Magic Mike XXS came through on his Oscar / Cookie pay-off (remember, I WON!). 
I was a little incredulous at only getting a dozen - but he was right, they are huge. Well, were...past tense. They're gone now. He said to share and I did. 710 got six, I got six. 

They were very good. So in a way, Mike was a winner. But not THE winner. Let's just make that clear. I was. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Poor Poor Pitiful Me

Another week.

I won't lie, it's been tough. Petey is chugging along, but I can't say he's thriving. I fear there is no more thriving.

We've been taking turns sleeping downstairs with him. Anything that helps if he needs up in the middle of the night or needs some medication for coughing or breathing. You do what you must.

End of last week, the dog walker got him out and they ran into a number of neighbors. Pete is the mayor of the 'hood, and hasn't been seen lately. I even got emails asking if he was ok. 

So I fucking LOVED the note from the dog walker. 

The next day, Pete and I did walk. he did ok. It was the short route, but still he did ok. And he stopped to smell stuff.......and I let him. 

 Sister and Brother hangin' in the kitchen. 

 Petey taking a nap in the office while 710 worked at home. His sleeps aren't always restful anymore, unfortunately. 

 Pippa and Wally stand-off.  
Actually, it was all good natured play. 

After work Sophie "love". 

We muddle through. Right now, there isn't much else we can do. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe he'll rebound but 2016 has not been kind to Mr. Pete.

Song by: Warren Zevon

Friday, March 11, 2016


A few months back I wrote about how my personal information was hacked when I was a vendor for government agencies. As I needed security clearance at some of them - can you believe they gave it to a guy like me?? - they had quite the plethora of 4-1-1 on yours truly.

Oddly, 710's was not. He was on my info and while other people I know also got hacked, their spouses / partners got the same notification that I did. 710 did not. I guess they didn't snoop enough on me.

Their loss.

So about once a month since, I've gotten 'alerts' from the site that has been monitoring any activity on these accounts. I'm finally getting used to them, but for a moment they always make my heart stop for just a second.

Logging on isn't that easy - which isn't a bad thing. You sign-on, or attempt to, and they have to send you an access code each and every time. I can deal with a little hoop-jumping when it comes to this level of security.

So the first time, I barely dared to see what 'activity' had taken place. I wasn't sure if I would find bank accounts pried into or if they opened two dozen credit cards under my name.

What I wasn't expecting was a list of sex offenders in and around town.

I suppose it's a nice-to-know, but I am not quire sure where it fits in a government breach. Is there some correlation of guys who advertise for Subway and who hack into accounts to commit identity theft?

Oh - and when you hover over their location, it gives full name and address. It doesn't say what they did and it is quite amazing that so many of them live together, though it might be some kind of half-way house.

I don't know all the ins and outs (get it?  get it??) of being a sex offender.

All I know is, that so far, no one has done anything to negatively affect my financials. Or my sexual reputation...that is, if that were possible.

Song by: the Eurythmics