Sometimes the good die old.

My godfather died.

I don’t even know exactly when.  I got an email this morning from his oldest daughter, saying he’d been not feeling well, was hospitalized for a short time in August and had died with her at his side in the hospital.  She said that he hadn’t wanted a funeral, was cremated, and that the family was holding up well.  He was 88 years old.

I can’t say I didn’t cry as I read about the passing of this gentle kind man who taught me how to hold and bottle feed baby goats when I was about 14 years old.  I never heard him angry, never heard him cuss.  He wore a flat top haircut and I can’t remember when he wasn’t clean shaven, hair cut neatly, dressed in khakis.

Eight children, plus me.  I met the family when I was 12 years old.  When the Catholic church baptized me, this family was presented to me as my godparents.  They were kind, religious without being weird, had meal time prayers, Sunday school and church every week, gave me their hand-me-down clothes, and passed out large helpings of kindness always.

Entering their house meant sitting down at the long dining table and getting served something to eat or drink for it was assumed you had room for something.  Entering their driveway always brought a feeling of peace and comfort – my troubles as a young adult melting miraculously as I drove down that little country lane leading to their backyard.  They never asked about my divorce or my life with “an ever-changing roommate”, and I didn’t volunteer.  They accepted me for me.  If my life caused them angst, I’ve yet to hear a word of it.

I probably never exchanged more than ten sentences altogether with this family man in the last 41 years but I was always welcome in his home, spoken to with a kind voice, and he definitely had my respect.

Rest in peace, gentle kind sir.  I might never have said it but in my own way, I loved you.  You were a real man, dedicated to his family, working always for the better good of them all.  The world is a better place for your having been a part of it.


I’m alive! I’m alive! I’mmmmmmmmmm alive!

Okay, I made it! 28 floors, in 23 minutes and 49 seconds.  Not a record breaker by any means but I didn’t die and I actually consider that a personal accomplishment!

The winners (but really weren’t we all winners?) had times of *ahem* 3 minutes and such like that.  Whatever.  What kind of overachiever can do 28 floors in three minutes?  I wish I could say I think he cheated and took the elevator but he probably didn’t.  UGH.

So I should probably come clean with the whole truth, before it’s made public.

In darts, when you play on a team, you play for a whole season and at the end of these weekly competitions with some of the best dart throwers in the county, you get rankings that come with cash prizes and a trophy.  If you come in last place, you’re given a key-chain with a donkey on it.  It’s known as The Jackass Award.  Despite coming in second place the first year I played, and pocketing around $300 between me and my ex-GF, the next year I won the Jackass Award and still have my coveted key-chain.

I waited around today after the climb, for my Jackass Award, but apparently on a CF stair climb, you don’t get such a distinguished trophy – only a bottle of cool water, an icy washcloth, and my name as distinctly last on the posted times of everyone who participated.

I guess the grand prize today for me was – I’m alive!  I’m alive!  I’mmmmmmm alive!

I’m just looking for some love!

TWO MORE DAYS! And I will be a-huffing and a-puffing up 28 floors of stairs, in the name of Cystic Fibrosis and for my grandson!

Breathe for a moment JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN!

Think about what it means to the thousands upon thousands of people who cannot breathe without struggling, who do not have the lung capacity to take in those big deep breaths you enjoy every day and take for granted, myself included.


SHOW YOUR SUPPORT OF THIS STAIR CLIMB and of me, your friend, your family, your favorite clown, your confidant, your whoever I am to you. For those of you who have shared, who have shown your support and your friendship, I genuinely thank you, I appreciate you and trust me I will never forget you.

It is the east, and bacon is the sun.

Bacon.  Is it really bad for me?  I mean, it goes with anything.  Seriously.  I would eat it on a hamburger, on a grilled cheese, with some apple slices, in a salad, or crumbled over some sauteed veggies.  Very versatile.  I also think, not taking into account possible attacks from possible packs of ravenous dogs, that it would make a very nice grass skirt in case you were stranded on an island that had lots of bacon available.  Nom nom nom bacon grass skirt with booby holder made of bacon.  How much more fun would hula dancers be?  Oh man!

Which brings me to my question – is there bacon vodka?  I also feel that vodka is very versatile.  It goes with milk or coffee in the mornings, with iced tea at lunch and with anything at dinner.  You can put it in brownies, or milkshakes, or smoothies.  I mean, seriously, you can.  You can marinate in it, you or a steak, or raisins.  And if it was in a waterfall on my deserted island, I would drink it while wearing my bacon loincloth.

So is there bacon vodka?  I think it would pair well with a fried egg and grits mixer.  Just saying.  Well, when I get totally thin and rationally healthy, I want a straight up vodka with a slice of bacon in it.  You’re right, that’s crazy – put three slices in it.  I don’t drink anymore and I eat bacon so rarely that it’s like having sex when I do eat it.  In fact, I’m salivating even now just thinking about eating it.  Nom nom nom bacon!

Stop watching me; this is a private moment.  Nom nom nom nom nom bacon!

If the crazy fits, live with it.

So imagine you are me.  No!  Stop that.  This is how your day would go if you were to do that, though.

I work from home, with one bedroom shoe on, on my right foot, because that foot uses the foot pedal for my job.  I’m actually an organ grinder.  No, no I’m not.  But how cool would that be!  With a monkey and everything!  Okay, so I’m just a radiology transcriptionist.  Anyway, the foot pedal is rough to my sensitive feet. Well, it is.

And then there’s a knock at the door, while I’m on the phone, and I answer the door, suddenly keenly aware that I’m standing there with only one bright pink Valentine’s bedroom slipper that says, in bold letters, XXOO with a series of hearts.  Just the one shoe.  Part of me is tempted to tell this young pest control man the story but the other part of me is totally unconcerned with what he might think.  And I’m clothed, aren’t I?  He should be happy with that.  After he leaves, I catch sight of myself in a mirror – bald with names across the sides of my head and with my one bright pink bedroom shoe on.

I just have to wonder – Why do I always look crazy?  Why, why, why?


(Side note:  I did not buy those shoes; the GF did, as a gift, our first Valentine’s, before she knew me well apparently.  I wear them because I learned that anything she has given me, ever, has indeed great sentimental value, no matter what it is or how insignificant I might think it was, in actuality, it is monumental.  When we moved and I tried to ‘leave behind’ the microwave s’mores maker she gave me, she started to cry; “but it was our first Halloween together!”.  Okay.  Even though I do not eat sweets, do not like to use the microwave for anything, and we never ever buy marshmallows, or graham crackers, or plain chocolate bars.  It lives in some part of the kitchen (not sure where) but it most certainly did not get left behind.)

At least she’s not pregnant, right?

So on Friday, my GF gets a phone call and I hear her in the other room, a little animated, but I’m not an eavesdropper and I don’t have a short-term memory so three minutes later when she busts into my office / our bedroom and really it was more of a burst into the room as there was no door-breaking involved, I was slightly puzzled when she said, “Guess who called?”  No clue.  I’m bad at guessing games and never on the same page as anyone else.  “Steve Harvey?”, I ask trying to keep up with her animated state.  “The doctor from this morning.  He says my urine test came back positive for being pregnant” and she looks at me expectantly.

Well, of course it did – oh yeah, I’m just that good.  Okay, maybe not THAT good.  I actually just look back at her and patiently wait, thinking ‘alright, let’s hear it.  Tell me your tale’ with a mental eye roll.  This oughta be good and I lean back in my chair.

“I tell him there is no way I’m pregnant.  And he asks me again, “Are you certain that you couldn’t possibly be pregnant?”  And I tell him, “No, I’m divorced and there is no possibility of that.”

Of course she didn’t tell him she’s gay.  She’s still undecided about that one.  Oh I don’t mean she isn’t in any way; she’s just iffy on telling strangers.  We’re of that age, okay I’m not really, but she’s of that age where such things were kept to yourself.  Marriage to a man, shoot, you can share that with anybody but being with a woman, that’s a hush-hush thing.  No need in stirring up the cross-burners or the bible-thumpers.  Would hate to get a stern look from someone you aren’t even on a first name basis with, right.  UGH.  I could give two shits less who knows or don’t know, who agrees or don’t agree.  If you aren’t paying my bills, what the f*ck do I care what you think?  But I digress.

“So the doctor says if there’s no way for me to be pregnant, then I probably have a tumor.”  Well, to be honest, I said this same thing to her months ago. “Hey, babe, you should have a Pap smear…something ain’t right.”  She faintly lightly bleeds after sex.  (I know it’s TMI but I’m telling this story and you guys aren’t going to tell this one in pubs with drunken strangers or you definitely lead some sad sad lives with very poor stories and I’m never hanging out with you if that’s the kind of stories you tell…well, if you do, don’t mention her at all – she’s iffy around strangers.)

Coincidentally she already has a Pap smear scheduled for Wednesday night.  Of course it’s at night.  Some dude in an alley, with a pickup truck camper and a coat hanger.  NO.  It’s a night clinic.  Don’t be so gullible!  She’s already crossed “the line” in that particular clinic as they know “about me” and therefore assume “it” about her, since she’s my shadow, thinner and taller but still my shadow, which is so weird.  Because of course I finally got her to go to the clinic.

Okay, fine.  I didn’t get her to; she refused to go when I said she might need a Pap smear but then her sister called like the next week and said, ‘Hey everyone in the family has thyroid problems; you should get that checked’ and she scheduled an appointment immediately.  I was like WTF to myself but it’s whatever.  I honestly think she feels I am a ‘boob’ and pays no attention to me whatsoever in spite of my awesome advice giving and massive hoards of personal experience.

And the nice clinic folks talked her into scheduling a Pap, considering it would be her SECOND ONE in 24 years.  I know, right!?  Slow down, sister!  Spreading your legs every 24 years!  Geez.  Tying up the medical community with your always showing up, demanding answers every 24 years!  But again, whatever.  At least she’s going.  At least she already had this scheduled.  At least she’s not pregnant, right?!

Anyway I held her while she cried a little and I told her the truth – hey, you’re young, you quit smoking a year ago, you’re healthy, we’re exercising, eating right, and you have not had large amounts of unexplained weight loss so I’m sure it’s nothing “bad”.  Just something.  A thing.  A thing to overcome.  This too shall pass.  You are strong.  Whatever it is, it doesn’t stand a chance against you and your mid-western genes.  Plus you have me!  (She probably mentally eye rolled on that one.)

So cross your fingers out there, folks.  I’m not going to lie to you guys.  I’m not a good caregiver.  I have empathy.  I love deeply.  I’m just more of a Do it yourselfer when it comes to bodily things.  If I needed surgery, I’d look into doing it myself.  I don’t want your help.  I got this.  So conversely if you’re sick, get some medicine; if you’re wounded, wrap that bleeding shit up.  Don’t depend on me.  I’m not your lifeline.  What if I wasn’t here?  You better suck it up, buttercup, and fix yourself.  What if you didn’t know me?  What if I die before you?  You better learn to be independent.  I’ll be beside you of course but I don’t want to do it for you.  That’s self defeating.  At least she’s not pregnant, right?

I may need to lower my expectations a bit, or not.

So I’m not sure if you’re a “Sloppy Joe” fan or not but I feel compelled to share this with you.

We had turkey Sloppy Joes a couple of weeks ago, with ground turkey, and not Manwich but a generic brand that L bought, being cheap but also she said it was lower sodium than Manwich.  I’m all for that as long as it doesn’t taste weird and it didn’t.

The leftovers, however, got lost in the bottom of the fridge and cleaning out the fridge just now, I found the little glass bowl of it.

Disturbing enough to share with you is that – it was not molded.  The fresh guacamole that she made and we never even touched was molded and black.  But neither the turkey meat nor the Sloppy Joe sauce was the least bit moldy.

I will never eat Sloppy Joes again, not out of a can.  And maybe not ground turkey meat either.  A little creepy that it didn’t mold, and it didn’t smell weird at all.  I leaned back when I opened it, but nothing.  Not a hint of impropriety.  No assault on my nasal passages.  Nothing.  No burning and tearing up.  Zip, nada, nil, zilch.

I’m not eating that crap.  If it doesn’t have the foresight to at least rot and decay, with an odor of clear deadness that threatens to invade the deepest recesses of my home as a fervent reminder to clean the fridge out more often, then No.  No, no, no thank you.

Because that’s what I expect from my food.  If I don’t eat it in the proper amount of time, I want it to rot and fester up like a sore in the desert heat and totally scream at me when I get around to finding it – “Eat your leftovers, lady!  Clean out your fridge!  Look what you’ve made me do!  See how bad I smell?!  What is wrong with you?!”

And there was none of that.  Let down, I am.