Archive for January, 2011

I really, really, hate to shop. I think getting fitted for a tuxedo rental is just like shopping, but with that uncomfortable inseam moment thrown in.  If Ace Hardware, or Gander Mountain offered tuxedo rentals, I might see my way through. It ranks probably third, maybe fourth, on my least favorite things to do on a Sunday list. So with that in mind I thought I would offer up…

My top five things, I don't like doing.


1. Give birth. On a Sunday or any day of the week. I know it’s a woman thing, but I thought I’d just put it out there, just in case you were wondering. Been there, saw that… yeah thanks, but no thanks.

2. A colonoscopy. For fifty years the secrets of my soul have been just that, secret. Why on earth would I want to stick a five foot long fiber optic cable up there to explore that now! I know, I know… a healthy colon is a happy colon. I think a secret colon is a happy colon. Okay I’ll go along, but with reservations and lots of drugs.

3. Shop for clothing. I would include shopping for shoes, condoms, and the occasional tuxedo rental. The enormity of the task is over whelming, double breasted,  single breasted, or ribbed. One, two, or three buttons. A cummerbund or a vest, lambskin, or latex. Okay, if it’s for a special  occasion I’ll go along, with reservations and lots of coffee.

4. Assemble anything that comes from a kit, with my wife. This could shift to number three on the list if the project lasts more than two hours, requires a builders level, or is open to subjective minor adjustments. For example, hanging a mirror, or a picture frame on a bare wall, or centering a throw rug in the middle of a room.

5. Selecting paint colors, carpet pile, or shoe styles. I prefer to take on the roll of a confirmation consultant. It really doesn’t matter what I think when it comes to these things. I’ve found the process goes so much easier if I gently nod my head in the affirmative, while displaying a ruminative expression on my face.

So as you plan the weekend with your spouse, understand that the reluctance you’re picking up on has no reflection on you. It’s probably just one of the top five on his list.

And coming soon… six things you can make with a Vita-Mix, that you really can’t eat.

Talk to you later.


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The two burritos and a pair of raw jalapeño peppers on the plate were supposed to be my lunch, but they have robbed me of any literary inspiration, providing me with a case of heart burn instead.

The house is empty, well except for the two dogs; Lily the neurotic canine, who has licked her front paw until it’s raw, is in the back bedroom… licking; and Hazel the quadrupedal trashcan, who has just recovered from a second bout of pancreatitis, patiently sits to my left waiting for opportunity to drop. My wife is out wedding gown shopping with our oldest daughter, the youngest has been brought in as the fashion consultant. The three make quite a group.

Quite possibly fashionably challenged.

My oldest could safely be describe as fashionably challenged, one of those people that could care less about fashion, who don’t wear matched socks, and her favorite colors are Kelly Green and Pumpkin Orange… especially when worn together. Asking her Mother, and baby sister to go shopping for her wedding gown; the three of them planned on meeting at our place before setting out.

The youngest was the first to arrive this morning as I enjoyed a cup of coffee, while my wife thumbed through the Tuesday Morning’s sales flyer. Our daughter has a house key so she let herself in. Dressed in a denim skirt, black camisole with a beige top, a black wool P- coat, and plaid scarf, the layered look is what she called it, with the 2-1/2″ ruby red heels, she reeked of  fashion. My wife dresses for comfort; cotton draw string loungers, a dark green long sleeve knit top, turned in side out because the seams are just too uncomfortable to be wore right side out, and black house slippers with faux white sheep skin cuffs.

Taking one look at our daughter, my wife responded; “Let me put on a bra and I’ll be ready to go”. Now I’m no  fashion guy, so don’t get me wrong but I kind of thought that she might be a bit under dressed for the occasion. I chuckled at the remark, and the image of the three of them entering Dave’s Bridal Boutique, my wife looking like a fireman who had dressed in the dark, the bride to be with one orange sock and one green sock, and the youngest dressed to the ‘Nines’.

I better not laugh too hard tomorrow I have to get fit for a Tux.

Talk to you later.



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The craving went deep, you know the one. Something crunchy with a soft yielding center, sweet with just the right amount a salt, familiar, reliable. That’s what cravings are all about the need to fill or satisfy an emptiness.

Now I know what you’re thinking, but this has nothing to do with my previous post!

I spent most of yesterday morning searching our house for that prefect nibblet. The couch cushions had already been mined, back when I was looking for the T.V. remote three weeks ago. This meant the treasured morsel would only be found in the kitchen if it was to be found at all. I had  previously removed my wifes amoire from the list of possibilities, having once found bakers chocolate in there. Way too bitter! That left three kitchen cabinets, the refrigerator, and the shelf behind the counter.

Starting with the refrigerator; this was the most unlikely of places,  I mean, green smoothies were spawned from here! Being desperate I went looking any way.  Kale, spinach, celery and some pitiful lemons, in the vegetable bin. A quick snoop of the shelves produce similar results, margarine, hummus, and a cube of bean curd floating in bean curd juice, the name of it sounds much more appealing than the taste. The freezer; nothing but, frozen pumpkin seeds, a 15 year old frozen lamb shank bone, to be use during the Passover Seder, and somebody’s frozen smoothie, placed there so that it wouldn’t spoil I assume… no comment.

It was getting bad, a hopeless feeling was welling up inside. To the shelves behind the counter; there were three, plus the floor. Cans of Black olives, Green olives, and pumpkin, I hesitated and recalled a time from my childhood and quickly vanquished the thought regarding the pumpkin, not as bad as bakers chocolate, but… no. Stacked on the top shelf, can after can of Pinto beans, Black bean, and Garbanzoe beans, I had the potential to generate enough alternative fuel to run Sheboygan Wisconsin for a week. The lower shelf was just as sad; 10 pounds of wheat flour, three pounds of brown rice, and a jar of sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, the little voice inside was beginning to whine.

I felt like I had been placed in the roll of Jack Lemmon in the classic; “The Days of Wine and Roses”. Desperation was setting in. I was down to the kitchen cabinets, there were two. I suddenly remembered the story  ‘The Lady and the Tiger,’ sadly I couldn’t remember how the story ended. Crap why hadn’t I paid more attention in English Literature class, always complaining that I would never need that stuff. It was a perfect example of my youthful arrogance!

Don't eat that, I'm saving it for dinner!

From deep inside the voice of Monte Hall was beckoning, “Will it be door number one? or Door number two?” I chose the door on the right, I should have went with my gut and picked the door on the left. I jokingly refer to this cabinet as the bird seed bin. I was eye level with packages of Quinoa, Aramanth, Mung beans, and Red Flax seed, all waiting to be sprouted or ground up and dumped into a Green Smoothie. When would this nightmare end? No M&M’s, or Reese’s Pieces, the peanut butter in the house was all natural and had an inch of oil on top which required stirring. I wanted satiation and needed it soon.

Slamming the door to cabinet number two, I moved to my left. This was my last chance, if it wasn’t here, I might find my self in isle number 6 at the local Grocery, it could spell disaster. This was the spice cabinet, but sometimes my wife hides chocolate chips in here on the upper shelf. Pushing aside boxes of cornstarch, baking soda, and baking powder the one with the Indian on it, I felt my chances dwindling. I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t going to find what I yearned for. Oddly the craving was easing some, or at least it’s level of sophistication.

Which might explain why the jar of cup cake sprinkles in my right hand were suddenly looking rather tasty. Who knew that Xanthan Gum could be so… yuck!

Talk to you later.

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The Green Thumb.

Driving down Colfax Avenue on a Friday night, it becomes apparent that the times have changed. Green, Yellow, and Purple are now the trademarked colors of a new flourishing industry in Denver, Colorado. With implicit names like, Bud’s Buds, Mary Jane Medicinal, and my favorite, Dr. Reefer. Com. They have replaced some of east Colfax’s seamier strip clubs sporting implicit names like, Puss In Boots, The Boogey Down, and my favorite, The Beaver Lodge.

My wife and I could have been trend setters, crap she’s going to kill me when she reads this. Twenty years ago give or take a few, we grew a “plant.” We were very different people back then; thirty something parents, with twenty something minds. I don’t even remember were we got the seed, probably from some old stash box buried under seven pair of panties, and four Madam  Genevieve Bra’s. It’s not really important. I never really like to smoke the stuff, I thought it made me stupid, and for me to think that, I must have been a full on drooler. It couldn’t have been the 4 or 5 double gin and tonics I had before I smoked it….  naah.

Times have changed.

Anyway there was one little seed rolling around in this cigar box and we decided to plant it, and against all odds, it sprouted. At first it was easy to care for sitting on the counter, under a florescent light surrounded  by three or four African Violets and a sprouted avocado plant that was about ten inches tall, they all seemed to be getting along fine together.

A few weeks turned into a month and before long ‘Mary Jane’ was too tall for the kitchen counter. With the elementary school’s DARE program in it’s infancy; the act of growing a 15″ cannabis plant on the kitchen counter with three children in public school, was akin to reading the ‘Communist Manifesto’ at Senator Joe McCarthy’s eulogy.  Soon it was taking up residence in the laundry room, while we waited for warmer weather. Thank goodness May was just around the corner.

Sitting in a 10 gallon plastic pot, our little seedling was now 3 feet tall; growing amongst the tomato  plants it stuck out like an ugly duckling at a penny arcade. I was a firm believer in the theory of ‘hide in plain site’, and when my sister in-law commented on how that one tomato plant just didn’t look right, I explained to her that it was a new ‘Columbian Hybrid’… Yeah, she didn’t buy it either.  Amid the fragrance of the neighbors lilacs, our skunky 5′-0″ impostor even had our kids asking some pressing questions. “Yeah uhh… son you see uhh.. they use hemp seeds in the bird seed, and I think one of those hemp seeds from the bird feeder dropped there and sprouted”

Yeah, he wasn’t buying it either

As September rolled around, my wife and I began discussing the harvest. Our herbal tree was well over six feet tall, and about 2″ across at the base. Red furry hairs were now emerging from the flower heads, and as the time grew near so did our paranoia. Late one night armed with a camp saw and a pair of butcher knives; we skulked in to the backyard like a Navy Seal Unit, less our snorkels  and flippers. Giggling nervously we made short order of the Jolly Green Giant, as we reduced it from 6’-8″ tall to six Hefty Hefty Trash Bags. To the crawl space; the bags dried there for about a month or so . Covertly repackaged into quart sized Zip-lock bags, the harvest was then stowed away in the freezer; ‘Oregano” cleverly marked on each, just in case. It was used for medicinal purposes, and given away as party favors, for the next three years.

Yeah, I wouldn’t have bought that one either.

Talk to you later.

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Too many things to do and not enough time to do it. Grade last weeks tests, go to the gym, prep for next weeks class, oh and write a novel. A newly found friend of mine, told me today, ” A.J. it’s been too long, you need to write a new post on your blog so I can read it and make a comment. My fear is that her comment will be; “What the heck were you thinking when you decided to write that!

I have so many things running through my head right now, secrets from my past, milestones of the moment, dreams for the future. Yet to bring them to the page in a presentable script is what I’m struggling with. I feel that I have run out of funny stories or life experiences, ones that I can repeat anyway. The catalog of events that I can’t mention, has pushed aside any usable material it seems. Lacking anonymity has handicapped this to some extent. We all have a dark side, maybe dark is a bit too sinister. There’s that side of us that we always preface with “When I was a young man.” Or “Back when I used to drink,” when recalling a story to a friend, or to an officer of the court. As if being young or inebriated some how was an excuse for stupidity. Maybe, “When I was stupid,” would be more appropriate.

These days my thoughts don’t reminisce about my past, but center on those people who are closer to me. Watching them battle with their own private wars, and as they reach out for solutions, I look inward for answers. A woman who must let the man she once loved go, so that she might be happy again, and the man who would willingly give up his life so that the woman he still loves might live. The universe has a unique way of sculpting our lives; folding and creasing the page, forming  indiscernible pleats, and patterns, that make us wonder what lies ahead. Then like an origami master presenting his work to us, it’s not until that revealing moment, that we fully appreciate the magical transformation that has taken place. Whether you believe in G-d, or a higher being, sometimes it just helps to believe that somebody out there is in charge of folding the paper.

Man where did that come from! I would have been better off telling you about the time my pants got stuck down around my boots! Boy was that ever embarrassing!

Talk to you later

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January 1st the temperature outside is 1 degree above zero, but if you’re sleeping on the exhaust grate at the Greyhound Bus terminal it feels like 12 below. In Denver this is referred to as Stock  Show weather, it’s about a week early, but none the less I think it’s close enough to qualify. Crap, I sound like my father, giving out unsolicited weather updates.

The buzz on Facebook, and I’m sure on every other blog on the internet is about their New Years  Resolutions; what a great idea, start every year out with a list of ridiculous goals so we can feel like underachievers when we come up short.

My 2010 List of Disillusions.

I hate them, don’t set them, and this year I refuse to play. This year I look back to 2010 and reexamine my 2010 List Of Disillusions. A list of things that I should have accomplished, or  behaviors I should have changed but didn’t.

My 2010 List Of Disillusions

1. Learn how to run the washing machine: I’m extremely disappointed that I never got to this one. I’ve secretly been spot washing my personal items in the sink with a bar of soap, maybe there is a support group out there that can help me through this.

2. Program the universal remote for the T.V, DVD player, and digital cable box: I really need to stand tall on this one for 2011, using three remotes to watch a DVD on the television, using X Box is embarrassing. Just last week I misplaced the remote for the the T.V. and spent two hours in a panic searching the seat cushions on the couch, and chairs looking for it. I found it in the freezer.

3. Get to bed earlier, watch less porn: Okay maybe I’m over extending myself here. Maybe if I could just get to bed by 10:00 pm.

4. Do a better job acting as if I like my wifes Green Smoothies: This one was difficult, right now when ever I hear the Vita-Mix whir up to 7 on the speed dial my gag reflex engages. The purified green sludge reminds me of masticated duck weed and dulse. Maybe if I added three jiggers of gin and a squeeze of lime they would be easier to choke down.

5. Spend more quality time with the our two dogs and my in-laws: I really do love them I just don’t do a good job of expressing it. I just always assume they will always be around, over looking the fact that they are getting up there and may only be here for a short time. All they really want is someone to talk to them and let them know that they are special. As for my in-laws, I’ll try to call them once a month in 2011.

6. Controlling my anger when ordering coffee from Starbucks: It’s really not their fault that they’ve been reprogrammed into mindless automatons. As long as I only use the words Venti when ordering coffee from Starbucks, and Grande when describing my penis, and keep it to that, I think I can get a handle on this anger thing.

7. Reduce the number of visits to the buffet table: I’m not complaining but they made the rules. It clearly states all you can eat, not all you can eat until we bring you the fortune cookie. In 2011 I am resolved to keep the return visits to the buffet at five, not counting the dessert plate. When the fortune cookie does arrive, I will allow myself only one additional visit to the dessert table.

8. Be more chatty with my wife after having sex: I might as well, she’s going to talk any way. I’ll try to use the word Grande at least once in the conversation.

I would have liked to have had a list of ten but, it was a struggle coming up with the last three. Clearly it is a sign that I’ve approached a point in my life where, with a few tweaks here and a minor adjustment there and I’ll have it.

Oh and Dad, the temperature out side is now 14 degrees above zero.

Talk to you later.

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