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…and then, they died of an overdose…

My good friend Old NFO discussed this most recent of ‘infamous’ drug deaths.  I was reminded of the PBS Series on JAZZ.  They’d mention some historic jazz figure, and then, more often than not came this line:

…and then, they died of an overdose…

So sad.

Is it the artistic personality, fame, fortune or humanity which binds all these folks together?  Are we all, at our core, addicts of some sort?  (Wikipedia – List of Drug/Alcohol related deaths)

I come rife with an addictive personality.  I have excess weight, due to compulsive overeating.  I’m neurotic, but not particularly artistic.  My real mother died when I was in grade school as a direct result of her cigarette addiction.  She had emphysema. ( I remember her turning off the oxygen tank and lighting up!)  My father was an alcoholic, ate too much and smoked cigars.  I come by my addictions honestly.  Even though I’m getting ‘help’ for my addictions, in all seriousness, I don’t expect to see 85, like my maternal grandfather did.  My fraternal grandfather made it to 68.  My own father to 61.

I’m 61.

Today is my daughter’s birthday.  She would have been 31.  Auto accident, age 12.

At least it wasn’t drugs or alcohol.  :-(

I love and miss you Molly!Molly birthday1

Condiments

I’ve always been a picky eater.  You wouldn’t know that by looking at me.

mustardBut one of the things I’ve always enjoyed has been MUSTARD.  Hot sweet mustard, stone-ground mustard, spicy brown mustard, mustard mixed with horseradish, even plain ol’ yellow mustard.  And Grey Poupon.

On hot dogs, cheeseburgers, pretzels, Polish sausages, bologna; used for chip dip (!)

This liking isn’t too surprising.  I was born on the East Coast.  Many East Coast subcultures thrive on mustard.

Not so much out here in the West.

Many of the fast-food franchises stock mustard.  But, ask for it on a sandwich?  Or ask for extra?  It is as if you said staple that bag of onion rings to my forehead.  And extra means two drops instead of one

Most drive through help doesn’t get it.

I’ve a theory about this.  One of the subcultures not famous for mustard use is Mexican.  And many fast-food places hire Mexican help.  One place hired Bosnians.  Equal difficulty with the Mexicans in (not) understanding English, but they certainly understood mustard!

Don’t get me started on A-1 Sauce.  I LOVE A-1 SAUCE!  And loathe mayonnaise – especially on hamburger!.  And ketchup is meh…

h/t Brigid

A Girl and MSgtB – What a Team!

A Girl and Her Gun tells us of a story from MSgtB.  A boy and his dad, and the boy has cancer.

Being disabled, not a man of means and spending much of my day on the Internet sometimes gets me to whining.  The state of the Nation, our rights being systematically eroded, yatta, yatta.  And me with my own petty health issues – which I won’t detail here.

But here’s a kid who has his whole life ahead of him.  And his dad will shave off his ubiquitous (since high school) mustache to raise $500.  $500 for his son’s care.

$500!  Are you kidding me?

I can’t afford to contribute, but you can do so here or at MSgtB’s site above.  Let’s see if we can make it $5000!

Team Sammy

h/t A Girl, MSgtB

Magazines & Moon Clips…

…and crisp apple strudel.  (sorry!)

Before I moved (and subsequently) I took a hard look at those things I was taking with me.  I left many things behind, simply because I wasn’t using them and I’d no place to put them.  And I didn’t want them gathering dust in some storage locker based on the mistaken idea I’d eventually be able to free them for use.

So, it’s been over six months, and I’m still unpacking and looking for a real or metaphorical shoe horn with which to insert the remaining boxes of books, gun stuff, electronic gizmos and wiring and other effluvia into my new digs.

And friend Bob made a suggestion.  Part of what I’m ‘saving’ is a box containing assorted firearms stuff.  Stuff I no longer use, as I no longer have said firearms.  Holsters; ammunition; magazines, reloading stuff.  (Before you start emailing me, I’m not selling anything that might have legal restrictions over the Internet!)  And I’m left-handed.

I’m not selling the ammo, as while I am a capitalist, I don’t wish to inadvertently arm some miscreant.  And it only increases in value.  I might sell the holsters, although piecemeal over the ‘net is probably small return.

But, locally, I could sell magazines I’m no longer using!  Empty magazines.  At least until such time they become controlled or illegal.  Backpage, here I come!

Hasn’t happened, yet.  Like Congress, I’m a procrastinator…

Give me a couple weeks…

Compulsive? Me? Naw…

(written a couple days before Christmas…)

So (I told myself) “I’ll get all these different tasks accomplished in my roommate’s absence.”

Fat chance.  (Why are a fat chance and a slim chance the same? – George Carlin)

To be fair, I did go to two grocery stores this morning, in preparation for the Christmas feast.  But I thought I’d be able to rearrange my bookshelves to accommodate more books, and clear the remaining boxes from my room after emptying their contents into precise spaces in the closet.

Fat chance.

I did get some of the bookcase rearranged, but, between the bending, kneeling and having to wear ‘Ed’ (the really big shoe) to keep my pain level at a minimum, work took it’s toll.  (Note-to-self:  realize that self-made projects expand to fill the time allotted, plus 25%.)  My back, knees and hands are now killing me.

But, I DID make a dent.  Progress, not perfection.

More tomorrow.

PS – I wrote this the next day.  It’s been three days more, still having ‘issues’.  Guess I’m officially old and out-of-shape!

JOY

I recently had a conversation with a friend which sparked a bittersweet memory.

One of the things many of us miss as adults is the wonder, the surprise, the simple serendipity of joy.  In childhood we experience it often, probably because most things and experiences are new to us, and we’ve yet to become jaded.

One of my favorite memories of my daughter Molly was when I gave her a gift.  She was turning twelve, and I knew just as the Sun rose in the morning that soon she would be developing into a teenager, full of doubt and promise.  One who no longer trusted her parents to be all-knowing and truthful.  Because, of course, we weren’t and could never be.

But here we were, proud father giving his daughter a present.  She opened it, her eyes widened, and there was that sudden exhalation of breath.  Excitement, happiness, joy.  Innocence and appreciation in one second, one breath.  Followed by the big hug.

I don’t even remember what I had given her.  But what she gave me was so much more.  An everlasting memory of a happy young woman, unspoiled by the adolescent hormones of parental treachery.  Not yet jump-started into that distrust generated simply by being parents and adults.

Zen masters tell us to be in the now.  Live life as if each moment was your last.  This is what Molly showed me that day.

I’ve had many difficult times of year.  The holidays and my birthday comprise one such time.  Not because of those specific events, but rather because of who’s not there.

But, I’ve already received my present this year.  As I get every year – when I remember it.

Live in the now, with joy, and never be disappointed.

Thank you, Molly.

Some gotta win, some gotta lose…

Guffaw’s got the blues…

I try not to let the state of the World the Nation my life get to me.  I try not to be self-centered.  I do realize that there’s very little I can do regarding the state of either the World or the Nation.  I’ve let my opinions be known, and I voted.  I’ve spoken out on this blog.  In many places on the globe these things are not allowed, and subject to sever penalties.

But, I can do something about my attitude!  I’m approaching a landmark anniversary in my life (if you reckon in Base 10); I’ve no partner to share it with; no money – on disability (which is both a description of lack of funds and physical ability).

I’ve a number of chronic conditions, and seem to acquire more every day.  I owe medical bills.

I drive a 13 year old car, when I can afford gasoline.

And last Summer, because my disability income is 60% lower than my previous meager income,  I lost my home.  (“We lived in a hallway!”  “We dreamed of living in a hallway-we lived in a cardboard box!” – Monty Python)  Fortunately, a good friend offered me a place to stay.

Two weeks ago, my sister had a minor stroke.  (If there is such a thing).  She’s back to work, and coping, but it does get one’s attention.

But all is not lost.

Re: this upcoming calendar mark – My new neighbor and EX-wife (and friend) contacted me, and asked if she could put a little celebration together in my honor!

HOLY SHNIKIES!!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, “If you have friends, you have everything!”  You know, like the end of that Christmas movie…

Time to remove my head from it’s regular inverted resting place and get moving.

Thanks for listening.

Revisiting FEAR

There’s a Huey Lewis song – The Power of Love.  Something else can have power if you give it some – FEAR.

In 2009, I was diagnosed with lymphoma and given six months of chemotherapy.  I lost my hair, my cancer, and my job.  And it took me some time to get disability benefits, including Medicare.  And on my meager disability, I couldn’t afford COBRA.

So I went for two years without any medical care, save affording some meds for my diabetes.  The other conditions I have had to wait.  Including follow-up with my oncologist.

When I was finally awarded Medicare last July, I thought great, now I can go see my oncologist.  In the previous two years he had scheduled a number of tests for me, but as I couldn’t afford them, I didn’t go.  And I worried about losing benefits if still in remission, and about not having gone soon enough if not.  The classic double-edged sword.

But, I finally found some courage and went yesterday.  My doctor completely understood why I’d not been in to see him, and I shared my trials of the past couple years with him:  few meds, losing my home, fears about benefits, ability to pay the 20% Medicare requires.  He was very understanding and accommodating.

He said as his exam showed no recurrence, and it had been over three years, there was no need for an MRI or other expensive tests!  I’m to return in six months, and probably one more time after that.  Then, only if I have symptoms.  He didn’t think being in remission would affect my benefits.  And, I’m still cancer free!

And isn’t knowledge and action better than ignorance and FEAR?  Perhaps I’ll remember this next time.

SKEETERS!

aka Anopheles, or mosquito.

What IS the specific plural; more than one?  A flock, a swarm… a murder?

In my new digs, I have become lunch for one-or-more of these critters. (translation:  I’m being eaten alive!)  As it’s the warmest part of the house, I usually wear lighter (fewer?) clothes.

Five days ago, she (the females do the attacking – not unlike spiders) or they made quick work of my left arm (I’m left-handed-how’d they know this?) and thus began the itch fest.  Since then I’ve purchased Off! Insect Repellent and Benadryl Gel.  I now religiously apply both to the target areas.  Of course, they then sought out new territory fresh meat – like my armpit!

(If only they came in a handy 55 gallon drum in which to immerse myself!)

The Wisdom of the Internet tells me application of a base solution will aid in alleviation of the itching.  I’ve been applying hydrogen peroxide (lasted 10 minutes) household bleach (lasts much longer) to the four or five bite sites, with mediocre success.  Which is better than no success.  The Benadryl works better.

This morning they are itching much less, and less red.  At least on the older bites.  I still have the new ones with which to deal.  Guess it’s a process.

I blame their presence on the T**** Town Lake Mosquito Pond.

Next, I suspect is the malaria or West Nile?  Yellow Fever?

Knowing me, I’ll get whichever is worse!

(attn FTC:  Get Bit!  I paid full retail for the preparations named above!)

NOW, with Less Whining!

…Guffaw in AZ !

I’m certain you recall a couple days ago, when I posted about various problems in my life, most-recently the failed front passenger seat electric window in my car.

Half open (or half closed) depending on your point-of-view.  (My POV was it’s f*****!)

WELL, this morning, I went out, anticipating a short drive, and diligently removed the opaque black trash bag from that car door window, increasing my visibility, lest I be cited for driving as if my car were a pirate or had lazy eye.

The window was still at half mast, as it was before the rain.  Sigh.

I turned the ignition, opened the driver door window, and reflexively triggered the passenger side switch, yet again, knowing full well it was broken and my action was a pointless effort.

And the window closed!

A cheer went up – I think it was from ME!

Not being one to take stupid chances, I DID NOT run the window up-and-down, but left it closed.  Where it shall remain, evermore.

Now if I could just get my meds from the pharmacy easier…

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

Certified EVIL!

FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

Penn Jillette

“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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I'm currently on disability, unable to work, and receive marginal benefits. I've been advised by SSDI I may receive some additional income. Based on their statements, I'm adding a bleg to this blog. Effective 03/06/2012. Thank you for your kindness.

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