Another one bites the dust.

Well, I’ve lost yet another ex-lover…this one to lung cancer.   Heck, I could have predicted that really.   When we were thick as fleas in our 20s, she had a raspy voice then, that I thought was so sexy.   Of course at 21, I’d barely heard of Bette Davis.   We smoked like we thought cigarettes might go out of style any minute.   Eventually I had the good sense to stop, as with all my other vices.   She did not.

She would have turned 58 about two weeks ago.

We’d lost touch over the years.   I last saw her in 2004, I think it was.   She still looked the same.   Tanned and weathered, raspy as always.   Our children shared three birthdays in a row – her daughter, my son, her son.   I’m sure her daughter doesn’t even remember me, but I’ll never forget her.   She’s the one who explained where my son went when he died as my 2-year old daughter repeated the same phrase over and over and over for days, Where’s Brian?  Where’s Brian? until I thought I would go mad.   And then Corey took her in her bedroom, shut the door, came back out in about two minutes and my daughter never asked again.   When asked, Corey simply said she told her that he went to Heaven.

And in three days from now that grown-up little girl at 35 years old will bury her mother.  This is such a fucked up existence.   Why are we given hearts at all?   Color mine breaking right now.


The On-Purposes.

The not-my grandchildren were here this weekend. It seemed like three days and four nights but it was only one day and one night. Strange that. We danced, we played, we sang nonsensical songs about nonsensical things because those are the only songs I know the words to. We cried. Okay, they cried and when they stopped crying, I wept quietly on my own.

Little tiny faces that are nothing to me, not my grandkids, her grandkids as I’m constantly reminded when I say anything corrective to them. “Don’t worry about it, G; they’re not your grandkids.” Yes, yes I’m continually constantly aware that my grandsons are hundreds of miles away, and I’m here, with children I’m only allowed to love on the fringe edges. But I say nothing. I entertain as a complete clown would. I smile and I laugh, and these tears are never offered up for judgment. My weakness as she deems it.

She doesn’t understand loss or separation, and if she does, she never lets it show. She lives her life as if all involved will live forever, as if she has all the time in the world, later, for hugs and kisses, as if we all lived in a bubble where there is no disease, no pestilence, no death to our loved ones, ever. I live in an entirely different world, where people come and go quite suddenly, with and without warning – where there is no later, no tomorrow, only today, so today you show all that bottled up love, you give all those hugs that tomorrow will seem frivolous but today they are everything, they are the last ones, ever.

My husband, although divorced for 31 years now, I still think of him as my husband when I speak about him, the only one I know for a fact I’ll ever have but I digress – my husband used to say to the kids when they were little – ‘I brought you in this world and I’ll take you out – make another one that looks just like you’. This was his “straighten up right now” speech. But it didn’t happen that way. My son left this world and we did not make another one.

Why all this melancholy this morning? Because this morning as her grandson vied for her attention, with his 8-month old mentality, she ignored him, in favor of Facebook which could burn and go to Hell for all I care. I played with him, though, and made him laugh, dancing and singing for his enjoyment, annoying her as I tried to get her to join in, to hopefully realize that this moment could be the last moment on Earth but I only succeeded in getting a sigh, a “see what I put up with daily ” sigh. Because after all, a random sprinkling of complete strangers and what they ate for dinner is increasingly more important than the familial love standing just at arm’s length. *sigh* See what I put up with daily?

I don’t care much for progress, or really maybe it’s just the internet and it’s abundance of bullshit that decays our minds and draws us away from what is truly important – each other – maybe that’s what I dislike so intensely.

Be kind to one another, Ellen says at the end of every show. That statement should probably be modified in my world – Be aware of one another…don’t take for granted what could suddenly be gone so fast. They don’t call them on-purposes, you know; they call them accidents.

What It’s Like to Send Your Wife to Mars | Reader’s Digest

COPIED FROM THIS MONTH’S READER’S DIGEST.  (I am still a little in shock…what do you guys think of this? – Actually if I thought she’d go, I’d sign my GF up for this.)

Most of us run through certain hypothetical scenarios when getting married. Would you forgive me if I cheated? Would you stay if I were paralyzed? If I were brain-dead, could you pull the plug? Do you really mean it when you say you’ll stand by me in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, till death do us part?

I looked at the wedding vows that my wife and I had written, and there is no asterisk, no out clause releasing me in the event of extraterrestrial excursions.

You may have read about my wife of four years, heard about her on the radio, or seen her on TV. She’s Sonia Van Meter, 36, the Austin woman (and stepmother to my sons, Henry, 13, and Hatcher, 11) who was chosen as a candidate by Mars One, the privately funded European nonprofit that is recruiting people to be sent to Mars in groups of four, starting in 2024. Unlike 
astronaut wives who have to hold out only a week before their husbands come back, I will never see Sonia again if she goes to Mars. The Mars One Project is a one-way trip to establish permanent human life there.

When Mars One whittled the 200,000-plus applicants down to 1,058, Sonia, a political consultant, got enough media coverage to 
become a minor celebrity around town. It doesn’t hurt that she’s easy on the eyes. I love her, the camera loves her, and now strangers do too.

When we go to parties, we hear whispers. “That’s the Mars girl,” people say. Women—it’s always women—approach to congratulate her on her bravery. Some ask, Will she, you know, have to help populate the planet? (For the record, human reproduction is not part of the mission.)

Rarely does anyone engage her, as a space geek, to talk about what she hopes to find up there, but if someone did, he or she would open the discussion to Sonia’s innate curiosity and her enthusiasm about humanity’s drive to explore and expand our 
understanding of what is possible. 
She honestly does not get why 
everyone doesn’t want to go to Mars, though she knows I would last about half an hour up there before getting bored.

But that’s not what people talk about when they comment about her on the Internet. No sooner had a story about my wife’s astronautical ambition aired than strangers took it upon themselves to diagnose our obviously flawed marriage.

“Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a one-way trip to Mars,” tweeted one stranger.

“She must really be sick of her husband,” wrote another.

One Internet commenter posting under the pseudonym “Acup” wrote, “Wow Im glad Im not married to her.” True enough, since she would probably tell him where he could place his apostrophes.

More to the point was “buck,” whose keen insight resulted in this trenchant observation: “Going to Mars and abandoning your husband and children forever? Brave? Hardly. Selfish? Most definitely.”

Sonia had not learned the first rule of the Internet: Never read the comments. Excited to see reaction to the story, she read, aghast, as strangers sat in anonymous judgment of our marriage. What started as a brave woman claiming her ambition had become a public hazing.

“I want you to tell me honestly,” she said, tears welling in her eyes. “Am I being a bad wife?”

Neil Armstrong probably never had to ask his wife this. Or maybe he did. Maybe his wife had to demonstrate to him that the fullest expression of her commitment was to love him to the ends of the Earth and then one very large step beyond. Maybe she had to reinforce to Neil that all she wanted was for him to become the biggest version of himself. Maybe she loved him “no matter what,” and risking his life in space was the “what.”

This mission is, admittedly, a literal long shot. They have to raise more than $6 billion, build a new generation of spacecraft, and figure out how to sustain human life on a cold, airless planet that has neither water nor pizza delivery. Not even Netflix. But regardless of whether this actually happens, the possibility of my wife flying into space some day in the future forces me—right here, right now—to accept that this may happen.

Watching the launch will be the easy part. Living without her will be an agony that I will have to share with the world. I’ll be Mr. Sonia Van 
Meter for the rest of my life, telling her story here on Earth. I joke about endorsing products (“While my wife is exploring Mars, I’m doing the laundry with new Cosmos Detergent. It’s out of this world!”), but some will view me as a cautionary male, cuckolded by an entire planet.

If she were the man and I the supportive wife, she could be understood as an explorer, and I the determined source of support back at home. If I were the wife, I could say I want what Sonia wants, and people would nod approvingly at how nice it must be to have such love and support.

But until the culture grows up, my answers will only puzzle those who want me to describe the view as I look into the abyss. I will miss her. I will not like any of this, but I love her, and this is a horizon worth crossing.


Is it winter already?

So I shaved.


Toes, feet, ankles, calves, knees, unmentionables, and armpits.

Brrrrr…… It’s cold now.

But those 13 or 14 hairs had to go.  I don’t shoot for quantity in my body hair, except on my head.  That uppermost stuff is fast growing and thick enough to pull.  Oh yeaahh (when I say that, I’m hearing the Kool-Aid Man’s voice, Oh yeaahh). – The Kool Aid Man!

But everything else is sparse, few and far between, going more for length. The two hairs under my arms are really only under the right arm.  When I shave under the left arm, the razor comes up empty.  And I only shaved my legs because out in the sun, those three or four blond hairs look silly waving in the breeze.  The pubes, well, I shave those three when they are in danger of me sitting on one of them.

I’m going on vacation this weekend so I shaved.  Oh yeaahh.

You better believe it – I’m fancy like that!

I mean, what if I’m killed in a car wreck?  (“Did you see that single foot long hair hanging out of her shorts?”)  I don’t need the ambulance people gossiping about me.  (“How about those two hairs curled up under that one arm?  I thought it was a tarantula at first!”)

I didn’t even know I had hair on my toes until the other night.

The GF is rubbing my feet, oh yeaahh, and she says, “Hey did you know you have two hairs on your big toe?”

“Are they attached to my foot?”

I expected them to just be drifters, you know hairs just hitchhiking through my neighborhood or something.  But she assured me they were mine and tried to pull them out, by wrapping one around her finger.  OUCH!  So yeah, stop that.  Ugh.  On the plus side, I don’t think I’ll ever need a facelift but I do look surprised now.

So I’m clean, shorn, and probably can wear smaller clothes at this point.  Let’s travel!

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.)