Like Stink on a Skunk

Posted on June 21, 2018. Filed under: Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Your word for the day:
inconsiderate = rude, impolite

My ground-floor patio. It’s my day off. Bare feet, jams, t-shirt, foot stool, cup of hot coffee, ol’ Sol just now getting his freak on. Ohhh, yeah! I’m really feeling it.

A brief mental review of my accomplishments for the past week constitutes my own self-serving pat-on-the-back; then, I wallow in some serious day-dreaming.

I am a living, breathing hermit. I OWN the right to day-dream.

Some ask why I have not retired, possibly confusing living alone with being retired. I have continued to work the same 40- to 48-hour week I was working back in Y2K. If I am careful and stay away from mirrors, I am still somewhere near 40-years old.

But, that is not important except as evidence that I have lots of memories to re-live. Little things I observe today often send me back in Time to consider events long past. Like that tall, slim young man walking slowly past my view about 4 feet from my patio railing, and, about 2 feet from the bumper of that parked truck. Left hand held close to his face, he concentrates on images on his cell-phone screen. In that hand, he also holds the loop on a leash attached to a small, house-dog… all white with curly fur. Its butt pointed in my direction.

And, I am instantly transported to the 1980’s after I was discharged from the Army and had not yet gotten my own auto. Pending that acquisition, I got rides from friends or rode the Rapid Transit buses. Neither I nor most of my friends smoked, but, it seemed that half of the bus riders DID.

Old, not air-conditioned, and rattling windows typified the state of Houston’s Rapid Transit System. All windows were opened except on cold days. Women’s carefully coiffed hair was blown around, and, colognes, perfumes, and after-shave lotions were doomed challengers to the smoky stink. Hair and clothing became safe harbor for 2nd hand smoke. Of special annoyance, was the jack-ass sitting behind me who rested his cigarette-laden hand on the hand-grip behind my head, just inches from my face; I presumed that was to keep the smoke out of HIS eyes between drags. MY eyes and respiratory problems were none of his concern. (I was born in Houston, the home of allergens – need I say more??)

Surviving the bus ride, there were still the smoke traps in the office building where I worked. They were called elevators, and they were safe harbors for more inconsiderate bastards. Like cave men nursing embers to build a life-saving fire, they fueled their nicotine buzz at the expense of other passengers. The thick cloud of smoke and tobacco ash clung to everyone like a wearable ash-tray. Even the bold masculinity of my Old Spice after-shave got lost in the smoke stink.

Fortunately, after the smoking/cancer connection, and numerous civil ordnances prohibiting smoking in various venues, would-be smokers now seem to ask, “Do you mind?” before lighting up. That doesn’t help me back then, when smokers were totally inconsiderate of non-smokers, nor does it help me on my patio here. The jack-ass above me uses his patio as a smokehouse, sending his output down here into MY nose and MY living room. Oh, well, if life were perfect it would be called Heaven.

You may now be asking, “What the hell does an out-of-school-for-the-summer teen have to do with my un-fond memories of lung cancer’s hey-day and cigarette-butt stink?” Nothing… except that word “inconsiderate”… junior, there, does not have a poop pick-up bag.

In a couple of days, I will leave my apartment before sunrise (i.e., in the dark). I will tread that strip of grass between me and that bumper in front of my patio. I will get into the pick-up truck behind that bumper and, just minutes later, once again I will be the victim of butt stink on the way to work. Only this time, it will be canine butt and not cigarette butt.

The more things change, the more they remain the same… sigh!


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Hermit Interrupted

Posted on July 5, 2013. Filed under: Humor, language | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Latin derivative:  hermitus interruptus*

Today’s proverbYou can’t teach an old dog new licks…   tricks…   new tricks.

Your words for the day:

  • broke (3) = as in, “Is it house-broke?”
  • canis familiaris = scientific flim-flam for “domestic dog.”
  • hermit = somebody who chooses to live alone and have little or no social contact (e.g., me)

(Is it just me, or is that a misnomer?  Dogs are tamed wolves, once-, maybe twice-, removed, so, shouldn’t that read “domestic wolf”?)

Did I mention that I am a hermit?  It is not simply that I just up and checked out of social networking.  It is just the way that events, my personal interests, and commitments resolved themselves.  Just call me the film (some might say “scum,” but I hold higher aspirations for myself) floating on top of the stew of life.

Just for fun, here is another definition of HERMIT (MS XP dictionary):  a soft cookie containing molasses, raisins, nuts, and spices.  Change that last word to “spites” and we might have yet another picture of me…   according to me, anyway.

I, personally, have no pets what with being a hermit and all.  Just barely keeping up with myself is quite stressful, and there is just no time for the tedium of picking up after even the likes of a goldfish.

And, yet, in the dark at 3:00 a.m., I trip over 2 canis familiari in the hallway outside MY door, exaggerating my stumbling gait to the porcelain pavilion at the other end…   of the hallway…   a big ‘un and a little ‘un…   dogs, not pavilions.  They are fallout from the life of a very close relative who, retracing the dark path I have previously taken, is reevaluating the meaning of the term “wedded bliss.”  We hermits can, at times, be accommodating to others.

One crab and two dogs.  Could be a fight to the finish.  Odds makers might call the outcome at 50/50, but, I’m hoping to just break even.

In any relationship, communication is of prime importance (e.g., the aforementioned wedded-bliss thing) so, right off we have a big problem:  canis familiari do not speak Latin, English, Russian, nor any other word-based communication code, and, I do not speak bark.  To the best of my knowledge, crabs don’t have much to say, anyhow.  Dumfounded staring is probably not a language either, but, both they and I practice it assiduously.  Judging by the developing impatience from them toward me and me toward them, I don’t think we are communicating effectively.

There are downsides to sharing one’s hermitage, the foremost being that it can no longer be called a hermitage.  Of secondary consideration is that word “sharing.”  One is forced to relive those formative and traumatic years where basic human relation skills were learned (“Don’t be selfish!  Let little Egghead play with your toys.”).

From the dogs’ perspective, they have stumbled into an ogre’s lair.  In their former residence, they slept peacefully in bed with their socially oriented humans.  A hermit sleeps alone, and, when 50 pounds of canine crashes down on his sleeping form, he awakens in the dark amid much vocalizing.  Additionally, the hermitage — really scarce on visitors — will have only one chair that delights the hermit, and the fifty ounce bag of fur tries to claim it whenever he sees it vacant…   sometimes when it is NOT vacant.  But, my oafishness toward their intrusions does not deter them, and, I must resort to keeping my bedroom door shut to preserve my sanctum.  Thus, the night-time stumbling act since the closed door is as close as they can get to me and my chair.

Other downsides to this canine-hermit cohab include the hermit’s unavoidable witnessing of canine self-grooming.  If I had to describe it mathematically, it would be the single word slurr-rrrr-pppp-slurpslurpslurp raised to the power of 10.  That is just the audio; the visuals are equally…   stunning.  Mysterious wet spots on the carpet, sudden applications of wet nose / tongue to surprised skin  surfaces (mine), and…   what is that smell, anyway?

The answer to that is found outside in the back yard.  Dead things, heretofore unknown to me, all over the place.  Frogs.  Birds.  Lizards.  And I hope that is all.  Small dead things hidden under the grass that can’t hide from the 50-pound bloodhound-like nose snuffling like a vacuum cleaner over the grass.  I quit investigating after listening to the crunch of tiny bones being pulverized and found a little bit of the blackened, old cadaver of a frog.  Watching the 50-pounder and the 50-ouncer rolling joyously in something that the Stink Fairy left for them discourages thoughts of closeness.

Bark-bark-bark.  Woof-woof-woof.  BARK-BARK-BARK!**  Oops, I gotta go.  Time to feed the dogs and let them out for a roll.


* I made that up.

** “C’mon, you lazy lout.  Get off you butt and feed us.  We’ve been waiting at least 4 minutes”


Next up:  Do not offend tomorrow

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WTF: Wednesday The First

Posted on May 30, 2013. Filed under: Humor, Nezza at Hella | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Your proverb for the dayIn acquiescence there is repose.*

Your words for the day:

  • chicle = a dried tree-sap used as the base for chewing gum
  • multi-tasking = doing two or more things at once; e. g., chewing gum while walking
  • inadvisable = don’t do it; e. g., the above-stated multi-tasking

True.  I’m borrowing my title for this article from Nezza, a blogger out of Sydney, Australia.  Her perspective on this nightmare…   uh, dream…   make that dream… we call LIFE is unique.  The frequent use of “WTF” in her articles seems appropriately applicable here (that was a tongue-twister).  Oh, that dealing with LIFE were so simple as uttering a heartfelt “WTF” —  or delivering a well-placed Ninja kick.

The Mamas and the Papas had a song, “Monday, Monday,” that held jewels of wisdom which I can easily import to my recent series of Wednesday mishaps.  Chief among them:  the lament that it can’t be trusted to auger good for tomorrow — or even the rest of today.

Firstly, did I mention that I am a hermit?  The upshot of that is that I do not have a doting, loving, fastidious mate to pick up after me, cook for me, wash clothes and dishes for me, and fill in all that blissful togetherness stuff.  Yeah!  That gives you a picture of the disarray that surrounds me most of the time.  Focus, as you can tell by the sporadic nature of my blog postings, is something that — by and large — eludes me.

ROUND 1.  Breakfast (at 12:30 p.m.) delayed by a dirty skillet, my only one.  Must wash it.  My month’s supply of clothing items has run out.  Must wash it.  Caffeine-deficient body crying out for succor.  Must succor it.  Weeks since my last post.  Must post it.  Thusly was the stage set.

  1. Toss clothes in washer, utility room just off from the kitchen.
  2. Put skillet in sink with “Ajax” lemon scent soap; add hot, hot water.
  3. Follow Mr. Coffee’s protocol on starting my daily brew while sink is filling.
  4. Remember the computer down the hallway, a post being prepared.  …tick, tock, tick, tock…

“Yum!  Coffee must be ready,” chimed my internal clock, impelling me from the keyboard.  Walking past the noisy wash room as I wended casually toward the kitchen, I registered a noise I could not place…   until I entered the kitchen area.  There, the noise resolved itself into a cascade of suds-topped water breaking over the edge of the sink.  Hitting the floor, it morphed into a restless pool of soapy, bubbly water gathering for a sprint into the garage under the nearby door.  A long string of expletives (best characterized as, “Oh, darn it!”) accompanied my lunge at the tap handle, capped by another descriptive term as my bare feet splashed into the hot, soapy water.  Rush to grab an armful of towels from the yet-to-be-washed pile and spread them on wet floor.  Pull plug from sink (ouch, hot, hot, hot!), spread towels more evenly.  Pause momentarily, think “That coffee would be good about now…”

Except that the “on” button for Mr. Coffee is not lit!

ROUND 2.  1 out of 4 isn’t so bad if you are talking at-bats in baseball, but, it really sucks** for multi-tasking.

  • Ponder skillet with stubborn goo on inside surface.  Not willing to risk the sink again, I decided to put water in it and simmer it on the stove.  But…   turn on Mr. Coffee first.
  • Check on wash in progress.  Move clothes from washer to dryer.  Remember post-in-progress.
  • Time not important,” as the keepers of the Fifth Element (a Bruce Willis / Milla Jovovich movie) kept saying.  Accordingly, I can not tell you how much of it lapsed between Mr. Coffee’s “on” light illumination and my next “Oh, darn it!” enlightenment which returned me hastily to the kitchen.
  • The skillet had been dry for a while.  I turned off the burner and removed my former breakfast maker, which now possessed an interestingly textured surface.  I vowed to take better care of its replacement.

The towels on the floor were squishy, and there would be no breakfast.  But, at least the coffee was ready.  Feet up on foot stool, cup of coffee at hand, just relax and go with the flow.

*The internet could not tell me from where I picked this up.

**I’m old school.  I hear the current argot is “blows.”


Next up:  WTF:  Wednesday the 2nd

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Digressions: MIM4.5a – To My Surprise

Posted on July 6, 2012. Filed under: MIM4.5a | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Your word for the dayabdicate = relinquish; hand over

For most of my life, whim and impulse have been the motivators of my undertakings.  No guiding Muse to fire me up, set my direction, and approve or disapprove my achievement…   if you don’t count “self-satisfaction as an entity.

Today, I find myself in possession ofwell, more accurately, possessed by — a motivator that is so close in character to being a real-life, bona fide Muse that I have felt compelled to name her.  That would be MIM4.5a (Don’t try to make sense of that; it is strictly between me and MIM…   at least, it would be between us if she even knew about it.)   It’s sort of like that tattoo in the song “Margaritaville” because, even though she’s a real beauty, I haven’t a clue how she got here (with apologies to Jimmy Buffett). 

Ever lose something and not know that you ever had it?  Really, how do you even become aware of such a thing?  A sudden vacuum?  An absence of the usual?  You only know that a very elusive something is dragging you down, and, you can’t put your finger on it.  Eventually, you suspect the source of the aching, but, in the world of rationality, there is no reason you should be missing it.  Two or three months of Ronstadt’s “Long, Long Time” playing on a loop serves only to accentuate the “loss” while doing absolutely nothing to explain either the why or the nature of Longing’s dark, tide-like surges.

And, then, you start doing things that you only planned to do before...   for a very long time, you have been planning to do them.  Out of malaise, a burgeoning need to do, a need for approval…   but…   whose approval?

In the most remote recess of psyche, there is a cleft, a place where precious few are permitted.  Here, in a region that oscillates between nothingness and sentiency, the quintessential SELF begins.  In a soup of emotions, urges, and purposes, SELF works to assemble its identity, learning quickly that, as a member of a dual-gender life form, it is only half of that equation;  thus, courtship and an active effort to entice another to share this sanctuary.  But, sometimes, it’s a lot easier; the other just barges in and sets up shop.  One becomes smitten, as it were, and abdicates the throne of SELF.  A joyful descent from absolute master to willing servant.  Twice, I have submitted to that access.  Twice that place became a shambles, a pitiful reflection of my emotional condition.  And, after a lengthy recovery period, I said, “Never again.”  Filled it with rubble.  Locked it.  Sealed it.  Stayed the hell away from it.

Became a hermit.  A crabby one, too.  Didn’t need that kind of pain anymore.  Yet, here, in quiet reflection, I view this once abandoned realm, this scene of former abasements.  In wonder, I view the whirlwind bustling about the old place, purposefully tidying, dusting, tossing, refurbishing…    all without consulting me and in total oblivion of my presence.  She doesn’t know she is here, and — given my predilection for solitude — I truly don’t know how or when she got in there.  But, I must say, I like it.

I finally took Ronstadt’s CD off that player loop.  The aching is still here, but it has muted somewhat.  I think I may have figured out how this situation arose…   maybe.  So, indulge me just one more “digression” before we get back to The Great Cluster Fu…

Next up:  MIM4.5a – One drop at a time

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