Monthly Archives: March 2011

The cupcake rules.

A seemingly long time ago Miss Carol and me painted the living room and kitchen for the umpteenth time. And for the umpteenth time Miss Carol decided she didn’t really like the color a week after we had, you know, painted it?

Maybe it’s a chick thing.

Anyway. A seemingly shorter time ago Miss Carol and my brother’s little cupcake were talking and the cupcake decided we should have an accent wall. And not just any accent wall, but an accent wall painted a dark blue.


The whole outside of the house is painted blue. I live in the bluish nightmare of Miss Carol’s favorite color.

So I was kinda like, bleah?  More blue?

But the cupcake is good at this stuff and we’re not and she persisted. She took pictures of our living room and virtually painted it. And Miss Carol was sold- she was ten times excited, going- WOO-HOO!, BLUE!!! (did I mention blue is Miss Carol’s favorite you know? color?)

Anyway, fast forward to Sunday.

Miss Carol let me sleep in while she walked the boys. I was laying there listening to the howling wind and pounding rain and dreaming about a quiet day in The Me Only Room and thinking about how much I loved Miss Carol for walking the dogs while I practiced my slothfulness, when they all came bounding up the stairs wet and cold and happy to see me.

Cutter and Tug jumped up on the bed and buried me in their damp dogginess and Miss Carol asked if I was ready to paint the living room.

Um, fuck? Today? Shit. Damn. Aaaarrggh.

So Miss Carol thought for a second and then she stripped down and slipped back into bed to convince me just how much I’d love painting the living room.

And she was right.

And the cupcake was right.

The colors are amazingly warm. I’da thought they’d be waaaay too dark but not only are they not, I effing love the blue.

The cupcake rules. And she rocks.

And so does Miss Carol.

A good talking to.

I was walking the dogs the other night and it was blowing stink out of the northeast and raining horizontal and I was squinting all sissy like and pulling on the boy’s leashes hoping against all hopes to get the walk done.

I just wanted a hot shower and a cocktail.

So Cutter stopped to pee AGAIN and do his stupid pee-pee dance AGAIN and I jerked on his leash ’cause I was like, c’mon dude, I mean really?

And Cutter said, You’re a dick.

And Tug panted, Yeah, you’re a dick.

Excuse me?? I stopped in the howling wind and rain and stared at them and they looked at me, eyes questioning and tails wagging wonderingly.

So I kept going, yanking them along and leaning into the stormy fun we call spring around here.

And Cutter said, Hey! That hurts shithead!

And Tug said, Yeah, shithead. And shook his coat free of the rain.

This time I stopped and knelt in the road. Are you guys TALKING to me? I said.

They sat in the pouring rain looking at me, their ears flattened back and their tails gently swishing the rainwater in the street. And then Cutter said, Yes. Tug just grunted and yawned and grinned, panting.

I stared at them, rain running off me, wondering WTF was going on. Listen guys, I said, I just want to get this walk over and get the fuck back home, OK?

So I stood back up and kept going, dragging them behind me.

Don’t be such a sissy Cutter said.

And Tug chimed in, yeah sissy.

I’m not a sissy, I said through clenched teeth, I just want to get this done and move on with my life. Can’t you guys just poop, already?

Cutter trotted ahead of me and cocked his head to one side so he could see me and said, dude, you gotta stop wishing your life away. Yeah, Tug said, muscling past me and straining to lick something in the grass, the something suddenly catching Cutter’s interest as well.

I pulled them away from whatever disgusting horribleness it probably was and we kept going.

Cutter sidled up next to me and said, Listen dude, we dogs know all about this shit. Our lives are shorter and we live them faster. Did you know every human year is seven dog years? We blink and pppfffft, it’s over- that’s why we can’t let shit bother us. Our lives are waaaay too short to sweat the small stuff. Are you listening? Yeah, listening?, Tug grunted and stopped abruptly to poop.

Yesssss, I said, I’m listening. But I’m also cold, and wet, and tired, and over it, alright?  I pulled a soggy plastic bag out of my pocket and bent to pick up Tug’s poop and of course my finger poked through.

SHIT! FUCK! I yelled, screaming at the racing clouds.

See, that’s what I mean, Cutter said, curling around me and wrapping his leash around my knees. You really gotta stop getting so upset about stuff and just learn to enjoy the little time we have. So it’s shitty weather? BFD. Stuff could be worse, right? At least you can walk. Relax dude. Enjoy. Yeah, relax dude, Tug said shaking out his coat again, his head bouncing off my thigh.

So I stood there in the pouring rain and thought for a long time while my boys looked up at me wondering expectantly.

OK, OK, I get it, I finally said. NOW can we go home?

Sure, Cutter said, but first I just gotta check out that bush over there. It smells absolutely delicious.

Yeah, Tug said, straining.

Whatever, I said.


Even after all of our decades and centuries spent together, Miss Carol still has the capacity to surprise me sometimes.

The other night, while we were cocktailing, she looked directly at me and asked-

“Does a tattoo hurt”?

And I thought for a second and I said, “Nah, it’s more scratchy than painful”


And Miss Carol said “I’m thinking about getting one. A tattoo, I mean.”

um, Really?

And Miss Carol said “Yeah, I’m thinking about getting ror tattooed on my finger”.

And ya know what?

I was floored. I mean, I was totally, honestly moved. And it takes a LOT to move me, or even make me feel anything, somedays.

She looked at me and grinned and said,”yeah I think I’m gonna do it”.

And I know it sounds sooooo completely hokey and rednecky and white-trailer-trashy but I was all like, wow. Shoving aside the trailer-trashiness and hokey-redneckiness I thought it was so amazingly cool and heartfelt and just plain rub up against me good feeling that I didn’t even know what to say.

So I just kissed her and didn’t say anything.



A weird thing happened to me while I was hurringly rushing to the hospital this morning.

Ya know how sometimes you’ll see something that is sooooo outside the realm of your comprehension, so out of the ordinary, so completely bizarre that you simply stare at it totally uncomprehendingly for seconds until you realize and somehow rationalize and understand what it is you’re seeing?

That’s what happened to me.

I was driving to the hospital and between traffic lights the traffic slowed and stopped briefly before creeping forward. I was listening to a book on CD and I was late and I was thinking maybe I could just push the entire standstill into the hospital parking lot snowplow-like with MR.GREENE. when I found myself watching a telephone pole being wrenched back and forth, juking and jiving  and twitching and jerking to the absolute limits of the utility cables attached to it.

At first I didn’t know what to make of it. Who ever sees telephone poles being pummeled back and forth? And why ever would you?

And as I crept closer, urging the little car in front of me with MR.GREENE’S massive bumper I saw that somehow, some kinda weird way, a little red Mustang had hit the telephone pole, snapping it off at the 10 or 12 foot mark.

The Mustang was resting upside down in the intersection on it’s crushed roof, smashed plastic body parts littering the street and it’s fluids leaking. There were several good samaritans already running towards the car, screaming into their cell phones so I put mine away and slowly sidled around the wreck and the now gently swinging broken telephone pole.

But as I drove the last half mile I had to wonder. I had to wonder how a car ends up like that on a straight road with a 30 mile-an-hour speed limit at 8 o’clock in the morning. And I had to wonder if the person or persons in the red Mustang survived what their life or lives would be like.

And I just had to wonder at the fatality of it. I’m guessing the person driving certainly did not wake up this morning thinking their day would end quite so abruptly and violently. I’m sure they were as surprised as anybody.

And too, as I eased past the wreckage, not only was I thinking my day was gonna be no where near as sucky, I was thinking about Fate and what if, we really don’t have any choice in our lives?

I mean what if it’s all pre-ordained? Set in a stone we don’t get to see.

And then I said, shit dude. Thoughts like that are at LEAST two pay grades above your feeble brain. Let it go.

And I did.

But that’s what we do, right?


After the furious fun of Florida I was probably way overdue for a cold hard slap of reality.

And I got it.

When we were in Florida, in a weirdly provocative, probably drunken dream, I had dreamt that, while Miss Carol and me partied, swarms of little people had swarmed all over our house and finished it- you know, kinda like Ty Pennington and his crew had a coupla days to spare and had taken pity on me and my foolish dreams?

But nooooooo.

The Little House of Horrors was still waiting for me when Miss Carol and me got back. Still standing there, looking kinda school-marmish, hands on hips, scowling, and tapping one foot impatiently- come on dude, enough’s enough with the fun already, time to saddle up and ride, The Little House of Horrors said, You started all this with your biiiiig talk of ooooh-won’t-it-be-fun-to-build-a-house?  So hey, bring it. The Little House of Horrors said, You’ve talked the talk asswipe, now you gotta walk the walk, buddy-boy.

So I took a deep breath, wistfully remembered my dream briefly, braced myself, and took the cold hard slap as manfully as I could.

At least I didn’t cry.

But it was tough, man. We had flown back on Saturday and on Sunday morning I was meeting with the plumber, laying everything out so that they could get started during the week and after he left, I stayed at The Little House of Horrors and re-worked a bunch of the electrical rough-in.

A bit of backstory- originally we were going to have recessed lighting everywhere. It’s totally cheap, totally innocuous, and totally bleah. Recessed lighting really does nothing for me, except that, you know, did I mention it’s cheap? Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I had roughed in all these fixtures, thinking, you know, WHATEVER. Cheap is good, right?

Then. Down in South Beach? In the room we stayed in for all of one wild ride of a night?

Sconces baby.

Warm, lowly lit, wall sconces everywhere. I gazed upon them rapturously while the angels sang to me and I knew we had to have wall sconces in The Little House of Horrors. F the recessed lighting and it’s coldly impersonal bleahness.

After a couple of cocktails I was able to convince Miss Carol just how desperately we needed wall sconces.

But I wasn’t able to convince her about the air brushed wall mural.


At long last, Lauderdale.

The end of the road.

Miss Carol and me desperately needed proximity to the airport ’cause our quickie honeymoon redo was rapidly gasping it’s last breaths. We like short, intense vacations and this one was nearing it’s edges.

It was time.

We cruised into Fort Lauderdale feeling a little bruised and raw from two nights of hotel room rockin’ and rollin’  and immediately headed to an old haunt Miss Carol and me knew from the way way back seeking cocktails and something to eat. I mean ANYTHING eating-wise would’ve put a smile on my face.

But they were closed.

So we went across the street and sipped beers until they opened.

And when they did, we streamed in and get this? Our bartender was an ex-fashion model. Not only was she not hard on the eyes, her stories of her travels were flipping amazing. I mean, this chick had a billboard on Times Square. How cool is that?

Did I want to take her home with me? Oh yeah. But Miss Carol was staring at me sternly.

So we headed back out into the bland and vanilla-ee streets of Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale to me is just kinda generic. It’s like every other mediocre beach place. A yawner. Even with spring break going on.


Another spring break. And, honestly?, this one was kinda bland and vanilla-ee too. Miss Carol and me spent some time around the hotel pool and then, later on, cruised the streets and it seemed to be the same thing everywhere.

Dudes. Fort Lauderdale was chock-a-block full of little white girls with tiny discreet, easily hidden, and socially acceptable tattoos and probably familially approved belly piercings, hanging out sipping frozen and largely alcohol absent drinks sunning themselves and bitching and moaning about the quality of the mostly nerdy geeky guys flocking around them, whom, for their part, were murmuring nervously amongst themselves lest they draw the ire of the little princesses.

Whew. Is that a sentence or what?

It’s funny but the Offspring song Pretty Fly kept slipping in and around and slowly caressing my brain. It fit so perfectly what was going on around us, I had to laugh. What the hell happened to men?


Later on while I was peeing off the hotel roof, I had to reflect on the radically wild differences between spring breaks at South Beach and Lauderdale.

I’ll take South Beach any day.

South Beach baby.

When my most favorite little sister-in-law heard we were going to South Beach she actually groaned, you know, over the internet.

You’ve gotta be kidding, right? She said.

And I was all like, hey, hangin’ and clubbin’ with my homeys, homies, homeies, whatever, could be fun, right?

She groaned again internetally and gave up on me.

But ya know what?

She was wrong.

I flippin’ LOVED South Beach. I don’t know what it was or what it is but there’s a vibe there that just latched onto me and burrowed down deep.

I don’t know if it’s the cool architecture or maybe the singularly individualized lifeguard stands. Or maybe it’s probably all of the above.

Whatever dude.

‘Cause I mean, honestly?, who does this shit? Looooovvvve it, baby.

And even though we ran smack dab into the middle of southern college spring break (meaning LOTS of blacks that for whatever reason meant LOTS of cops with their cop cars and cop harleys parked militarily perpendicular across from the strip, watching and waiting and I only mention this because of the weird spring break juxtaposition coming up next?) South Beach is still one of the coolest places I’ve ever been.

It’s edgy and retro and waaaay laid back (except for the cops and spring breakers) and it’s all wrapped up in a warm tortilla of misty-eyed want that I need to go back and fondle repeatedly.

South Beach was the only place in our whirlwind Floridaaaayys Tour that I missed as soon as we were leaving.

I didn’t cry but, yeah, I teared up.


Ya know what?

Escapism, given certain constraints, has it’s merits. Like, loads of merits and let’s just tuck the constraints somewhere we don’t have to look at them. ummK? You with me?

Miss Carol and me escaped the Little House of Horrors last week for a couple of days in Florida. Actually it was our anniversary and it was one of those biggies that scream you better do SOMETHING SPECIAL.

So we did.

Decades and centuries ago, back when airplanes still had propellors, Miss Carol and me moved to Boca Raton to get married and live out our lives in beachy breeziness.

We felt we had to move away mostly because Miss Carol’s family didn’t much like me at the time and because we figured Florida was the best place to escape to.

The move didn’t last but our marriage did.

So last week we blew back down to the scene of the crime and we spent the first night in the hotel in Boca that we honeymooned in.

And it was, umm, interesting?

Way back when, in the murky then, before cars had engines, we’d been told by countless well wishers that Florida was chock-a-block full of old people and, at the time, I was all, like, so? C’mon Miss Carol, we’re MOVING, WOOHOO!! And getting MARRIED!! OOH BABY, BABY!!

Silly me but we found out just how true it was. Old people suck. Especially really rich old people.

But I’d forgotten just how much they suck and how crotchety and shitty and just plain crappy mean old people can get when they’ve got lots and lots of retirement time on their hands to stew in their crappy old meanness.

And Boca Raton is FULL of ’em.

So we hung out and used the hotel room like rock stars and tried not to breathe in too much of the old people smells.

And then we bolted for South Beach.



I am on such a tremendous tear right now. Three books into the new year and they’ve all been great. I feel like I’m on THE DRUG THAT IS CHARLIE SHEEN. First there was ROOM, then THE BAD GIRL, and now this.

THE SWEET HEREAFTER by Russell Banks is the story of a little town in upstate New York that suffers a huge tragedy when it’s sole school bus ferrying the town’s kids to school plunges into a quarry and a bunch of the children drown.

Before you get mad and hate me I’m not giving away the ending- this is the beginning- to a really good book about small town America and how folks handle shit when it’s thrown at ’em in big bunch’s like that.

Russell Banks tells his story from several different viewpoints including the slick-as-shit New York City lawyer trying to build a negligence lawsuit for some of the families whose kids died in the accident.

It sounds terribly depressing (even to me as I write this) but it’s an awesome book that, overall, leaves you feeling really good and really hopeful about people.

I loves me some Russell Banks.


A century ago I went to my first Hunters Feast.

Way back then the Hunters Feast was an annual event hosted by local kill dudes coming together to share their season’s deer and boar and bear, eating and drinking and partying and donating proceeds from the invitation-only ticket sales to charity.

It was something I had wanted to attend and was finally invited to. It was cool. It was fun. It was something I felt privileged to attend.

Yesterday I went again. Miss Carol wanted to go too but she lacks the necessary genitalia- yup, you guessed it- it’s a boys only, no girls allowed, event.

And it was, um, interesting?

Like so much in our world, the Feast has moved on and grown and it’s growth has outstripped the local hunters ability to provide the fare. Now it’s mostly catered. A century ago it was several hundred hunters and select invitees partying. Yesterday it was 4 or 5 thousand guys milling about, drinking beer, pissing in the woods, and eating duck, pig, rabbit, squirrel, lamb, goose, deer, bear, boar, brisket, and something called GUTS. Not to mention the chowders and the stews and the jambalayas. And let’s don’t never forget the Rocky Mountain Oysters and Hogs Nutz. It was all there in crispy goodness and it was all good.

A century ago I think it was the novelty coupling with the newness and wrapping itself up in the exclusivity that painted my memories of the Hunters Feast in such glittery happy shininess.

Yesterday? Not so much.

I’ve never been much of a hang out with the guys kinda guy. I don’t golf, I don’t do guys night out, I don’t wanna segregate myself from chicks to have a good time. In fact, just the opposite. I dig chicks and actually prefer female company. They’re just cooler and more fun.

So being around all those guys and what with all that testosterone muddying the air, it flat wore me down. Two hours after the bunch of us got there I was ready to split. Unfortunately that was only about halfway through the event and the guys I was traveling with were guy’s guys thriving on total immersion in a boys only world. They were more than happy to get away from wives and girlfriends.

So I drifted around, drinking beer after beer and sampling everything I could (except the creamy GUTS-nope, no way) until the raffle was done and I didn’t win the shotgun and it was finally time to head home.


Except that rounding up five other extremely intoxicated guy’s guys intent on STAYING in a boys only world can be kinda tough. Kinda like herding puppies- we’d get a couple together in one place and another one or two would drift away back to the beer truck and buddies they swore they hadn’t seen yet.

We finally got everybody corralled and moving in the right direction and our designated driver drove us home blasting waaaay over-bassed music.

And the whole way home I nursed a beer and itched to balance the stereo and swore.

Never again, baby. I’m full.