Friday, February 29, 2008

High-Class Problems

I'm in agony right now. It's a week to my 12th-Step anniversary (10 years on March 8th, thankyewverymuch) and all I can think about is:

a) where are we going to vacation this summer?

and

b) when should I have my gastric bypass?

My life never used to be full of high-class problems like these. It used to be full of high-class problems like "when the fuck is the liquor store going to open?" and "how can I get rid of all these empty scotch bottles in the middle of the night so the garbage men won't suspect me a being a drunk?"

And no, I'm not kidding. My mind really did used to think of things like that.

I found myself thinking this morning (never a good idea), during the mind-numbing bus ride into the city, about how much money I'm saving versus how much money I am putting aside for my medical FSA (flexible spending account) versus how much I am withholding for my 401-K.

Those are awfully "adult" sorts of subjects for me to be pondering at 6:20 a.m. Time was, at that hour, I was just getting home from the after-hours clubs. And SAVING money was never on my mind, only spending it. There was plenty more where that came from!

This weekend I plan to have no problems whatsoever. I'm seeing the podiatrist tomorrow morning for my quarterly inspection (all diabetics should get... and SEE... a podiatrist.) After that I've got 2 or 3 12-Step meetings planned, maybe a movie. Perhaps something with Will Ferrell? Spare me the groans, I'm entitled to some cheap laughs now and then.

I want lots of "Easy Does It" and "One Day at a Time" this weekend. Not to project the wreckage of the future or anything, but next weekend I'm going to be a friggin' basket-case.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Stuff

If the Texas and Ohio primaries both go for Barack then Hillary should gracefully and quickly step aside and throw her support his way.

No nasty floor fights, no wrangling over superdelegates. Let's unite behind the frontrunner, grab control of the government, and throw the bastards out.

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I probably should feel sorrier about the passing of W.F. Buckley, Jr. (of Yale, sir), but I don't. He reeked of Yankee snobbery and his politics were to the right of Atilla the Hun. I remember seeing him on Firing Line as a teenager and thinking to myself, "What a child of leisure and privilege."

Mabe I am a mentally ill liberal, after all. Or just jealous. Or I've hated him because he was Catholic.

========================================

Pari passu. I was complimented (I think) yesterday for using this legal term, usually associated with financial arrangements, but really meaning "equal steps," more or less . I've definitely spent too many eons hanging around lawyers when all I really wanted was to be in SHOW BIZ!

========================================

I was reading someone else's blog this morning and they mentioned that no one had ever written a really good comedy about incest.

Oh, yes they have.

"What the Butler Saw" by Joe Orton (a true perv, God rest his twisted little soul) is rife with incest, Elektra/Oedipus issues and all around sick fun. Needless to say, I played the lead in a college production. We brought down the house, not to mention the wrath of the college administration.

========================================

I'm jonzin' for the Doc. I've been waiting to hear from Dr. Diabetes all day. I want his blessing to see the gastric surgeon I found. I won't call and make an appointment until my endocrinologist signs off on it.

HURRY UP AND CALL, DAMMIT.

========================================

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley, Crypto-Fascist, is Correcting Usage in Heaven

"Conservative author, essayist, columnist, pundit, smug asshole, gadabout, secret spook, and blue-blooded creep William F. Buckley is dead."

So begins the tasteful obit just posted at Gawker.com. You can read the whole thing here.

Hot Male Teens Wanted! - No Experience Necessary!!

Are you tired of right-wing, closeted homosexuals who hide behind Ms. God’s skirts and spew highly selective venom in order to provide a cover for their own outwardly projected self-loathing denial? I know I am.

I mean, is there anyone over the age of 6 who doesn’t understand, on a deep-down-inside gut level, that despite all the religious rationalizations, the “real” reason behind most rampant homophobia is because that for the ‘phobes to accept homosexuality on a pari passu basis with heterosexuality would be akin to admitting that they, personally, had chosen incorrectly and, in fact, that they had been needlessly missing out on years of hot, steamy fun with the real objects of their sexual longings, i.e., people of the same sex. Only incidentally would it provide a slight, and easily ironed over, wrinkle in their religious beliefs.

To simply accept who they really are would instantly drain all the fun (i.e. “drama”) out of cruising rest stops, bookstores, baths, bars and Senate cloakrooms, sneaking around looking for a little furtive man-on-teen action with a total stranger with whom they would never be obliged to form a lifelong bond. Well, except maybe for the summer.

For them to accept the normalcy of their own innate homosexuality would be to make it as mundane and uninteresting as being straight. Ho-hum. Yawn. “Did you remember to put the trash out honey?”

After all, who wouldn't like to duck into some squalid, XXX video arcade (or Congressional men’s room) to quickly dump a hot, steaming load into a warm, wet, welcoming young male mouth before sneaking back to their utterly boring, thoroughly Christian, All-American lives?

I suspect that Larry Craig would!

And from what I hear, he’s looking for summer interns!

The lucky stiffs. Er. Um.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wildwood Nights

I didn't post anything yesterday because I was just too damned busy. End of story.

Today's title refers to a beach town in New Jersey. It's a part of my childhood. When I was little my grandmother would take me there every August for a few days (we weren't rich so week-long vacations were unheard of), around the Catholic Feast of the Assumption (August 15th) which Irish superstition holds is an auspicious day to put one's "feet into the water" to cure whatever variety of ills one has.

Nevertheless, Nana keeled over dead at 62 of a massive coronary brought on by years of drinking and smoking. But her feet were gorgeous.

Those few days every year were some of the happiest days of my childhood. I loved Wildwood, or as it's known in Philadelphia and Wilmington, "the Irish Riviera". It had a mile-long boardwalk, loaded with arcades, rides and fast-food take-outs of the disgustingly beach-front variety. For a buck or two a night (we're talking the late 50's, early 60's here) you could have a swell time, eat some pizza, ride the scary rides until you puked, ate cotton-candy, won a stuffed toy at a shooting gallery and played pinball or ski-ball until well past 11 p.m.

The last time my Nana and I went there was in 1962. I had just turned 13 and it was getting to the point where it was totally inappropriate for me to share a bedroom in one of the Irish-run bed and breakfasts there with my grandmother. Rather than cruise the boardwalk that year, I totally checked out and went to an air-conditioned movie theater on the boardwalk where I saw, in glorious CinemaScope, David Lean's ravishingly beautiful motion picture, "Lawrence of Arabia", which made an indelible mark on me. I changed a lot during that first year of puberty. I acknowledged to myself that I was gay (or queer, or different or something) and that Roman Catholicism and I were irrevocably on divergent paths from then on. I also knew that I was "okay" and that it was the religions which were fucked up.

Anyway, that August was the last time I set foot in Wildwood until about 9 years ago, when I got my first car in many decades. I drove down there on a whim one Saturday in February or March of 1999. It was cold and wet and rainy but just seeing the place made me want to come back.

And now it looks like I will. My closest friends and I are looking to spend a week there this coming July. We're looking at condo rentals now.

I hope I'm not setting myself up for some sort of disappointment.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Usual & Customary

I have a headache like you wouldn't believe. I spent the better part of 2 hours today on the phone with my insurance company, trying to find out if I could get the foremost expert on gastric bypass surgery in New Jersey to perform mine.

Short answer? Only if I'm rich enough not to need insurance. The doctor in question doesn't take insurance (except Medicare). My insurance company, to go out of network, I would have to cough up a) $750.00 deductible PLUS 20% PLUS whatever the bill ran above the "Usual and Customary" fees for the area I live in.

The top surgeon charges $12,500.00 for a Rouen en Y bypass (that's the biggie, the lap-band is only $7,500.), so you can see that it would wind up costing me a personal bundle to get this done by the best guy around.

The nice lady at the insurance company tried to help me find someone else, but all she could come up with were a bunch of doctors in northern Jersey, across the river from New York City.

Eventually, though, I found a website that listed pretty much all of the surgeons in New Jersey who do this. There's even one who heads up a department for this at a major hospital near where I live. I could go with him, but to be honest he doesn't seem to have as much experience as the other guy.

Owell. Now I get to decide.

I think I'll think it over for awhile.

p.s. It snowed like hell this morning and our offices are closing at 3:30 today (45 minutes from now). It's time to look busy before I go catch a bus.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

HOT FLASH.... 3 DOWN 1 TO GO!

After I posted my blog today my internist called and we had a spirited discussion about having the gastric bypass surgery.

Net-net? He'll sign off on it, too. That's 3 doctors down and only 1 to go.

Tomorrow I call the surgeon's office and schedule an appointment.

I like it when things move right along.

Two Down, Two to Go.

Well, true to his nurse's word, my cardiologist called me this afternoon and we had a nice little telecon for about 10 minutes regarding my suitability as a surgical candidate for gastric bypass surgery. He was solicitous. He was concerned, lest I hadn't explored all of the available options (Rouen en Y vs. adjustable band, etc.). But at the end of the conversation, when I put it to him point blank, he agreed that I could tolerate ALL variations of the surgery with no foreseeable threat to my heart and that he would, indeed, sign off on it in writing.

So, having gotten my endocrinologist and cardiologist on-board, that leaves my internist and, finally, the nebulous surgeon who will actually perform this miracle surgery.

Actually, I know who it will probably be. Both doctors mentioned his name in the course of my conversations with them. He has a rather thriving surgical practice in the area, devoted entirely to gastric bypasses.

Moreover, he does these surgeries at Princeton Hospital and not at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital.

This is the same Princeton Hospital that's aka Princeton Plainsboro Hospital, where Dr. House malpractices medicine. It's also where the ambulance took me on January 4th with blood gushing from my forehead.

I have a feeling that if I can get my internist in line with my surgical expectations, the actual surgeon will have no problem whatsoever in taking my insurance company's ill-gotten premiums.

I haven't been this excited about something since 2005, when they sliced open my carotids and sucked the congealed cholesterol out of both of them.

I hope I'm not getting hooked on being mutilated.

Tattoos would be cheaper.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Viscious Queens & Gastric Bypasses

I had a lovely time in Rehoboth this past weekend. The hotel was full of nearly 400 viscious queens sober, friendly LGBTs from Maine to Virginia and westward to Illinois. They all hardly noticed my bad eye, sloppy jeans, flabby ass and sagging tits inner beauty, which glows brighter with every passing decade year.

Sunday afternoon finally sadly arrived and it was time to bid a fond go fuck yourselves farewell to my loving soulmates in recovery.

60 minutes later I was at my sisters house in Newark, Delaware, sponging a free meal out of her and my brother-in-law.

After mooching some leftovers "for later" I headed home to my own bed. Thank God. I did have a nice time, and my hotel room was faboo (I had an oceanfront room), but I do miss my nice, ultra-firm mattress when I travel.

Monday was a "no-stress" day for me which involved little more than a meeting, shopping and napping.

Tuesday was busy, although I was still off work. I had an appointment with Dr. Diabetes up at Robert Wood Johnson Hopsital in New Brunswick. I was armed with all the articles I'd been saving for the last six weeks about treatments for diabetes. He was over an hour late to see me. it turned out that all of his other patients had ALSO come armed for their visits and they were all demanding changes in their treatments.

"Look," I said to him, "I'm going to be 60 years old this summer. With any luck I'll have another 25 or 30 years... and I do NOT want to spend them, as so many members of my family did, blind and limbless in wheelchairs parked in state run institutional hellholes. If there's a snowballs chance in hell that having gastric bypass will help me avoid that, SIGN ME UP!"

He smiled and said that I was an ideal candidate and that he would have no problem whatsoever going to bat for me with the insurance goons, provided, however (I've been around lawyers too long), that I get my cardiologist to agree (that my heart can stand the strain of surgery). He added that it was likely that I would lose 50-75 pounds, that I would be able to go totally off my diabetes medications, that my cholesterol would drop like a rock, that I'd feel better, that there'd be certain other intangible (and tangible) benefits and that he wholeheartedly advocated me having it done.

I was floored. Needless to say I called my cardio guy's office as soon as I got home (gotta program all these guys into my cellphone!). He's out sick. WHAT? A DOCTOR GETS SICK? THE NERVE. But his nurse assured me that he'd have no problem going along with this because of the added benefits it would give my heart (less stress, lower cholesterol, etc.).

So, this gastric bypass is starting to look like a "win-win" situation for me.

Now I just have to a) find a surgical group that performs this kind of surgery and b) get the insurance company to agree to cough up for it.

Oh? Is that all?

Friday, February 15, 2008

We're Off On the Road to Judea....

Big Mel Brooks fan here, hence the Subject line today. It's a lyric from a throwaway number in Mel's "History of the World" when the gang escapes from Rome and takes off for the Holy Land.

And today, I'm off on the road to my own, personal Holy Land for the weekend. For others of my ilk (young, tall, dark and ruggedly handsome), that would be Provincetown or Key West or Fire Island. For me, it's Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (motto "The Summer Capital!" because it's the closest shore resort to D.C.).

Yes, it's time for the annual LGBT "Roundup" for recovering drunks, druggies, foodies, spendies, co-dependies, adult children and Gawd only knows what else. As some of you might recall, I had a great time there last year and had been looking forward to going again all year. That was before I got hideously mangled in the bathtub back in early January, though. I'm sure those vacuous, superficial queens, sober or not, will take one look at me and immediately vomit in the lobby plants. Not that I have a tendency to project the wreckage of the future or anything.

Anyway, at the very least I'll have a nice dinner tonight at my favorite restaurant in Rehoboth, the Blue Moon. And I guess I'll enjoy either Bingo or the movie after the big Meeting tonight.

And it'll be nice to see old friends again. Lots of them. And to sit in on the workshops all day tomorrow. And then there's the banquet tomorrow night, with another Big Meeting and countdown, followed by disco dancing until 2:00 a.m. ('cause without drug inducements, we can't stay up later than that these days).

And there'll be another wonderful speaker meeting Sunday morning, along with a great buffet breakfast, followed by a powerful closing ceremony which includes a group recitation of the Serenity Prayer (amazing when said aloud by over 400 people).

Okay, so maybe it won't be so bad after all. Maybe I'll even have a great time.

I'm nothing, if not an optimist!

I'll be out of touch for the next few days, so have a great extended weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Flaming Valentine...

February 14th. Valentine's Day. Although, when I was a child, if anyone in my fifth grade class was foolish (or forgetful) enough to refer to today as "Valentine's Day" they would've promptly gotten their ears boxed by Sister Joseph Claire who was conducting a one-nun battle against the creeping heathenism in the world, as evidenced by the unsaved hordes attempt to hijack the Feast Day of a Roman Catholic Saint and turn it into something mundane, pedestrian and worst, irreligious, like a day devoted to love and to lovers. When it should be a day spent contemplating Christian pain and martyrdom. God knows, SHE was a martyr and a right royal pain.

Whatever. Like most Catholic theology, though, it's based primarily on a bunch of half-truths, outright lies and a healthy serving of dogmatic horseshit. There were three people whom it might've been based on, spread out over five centuries. But, at the end of the day, who really gives a rat's ass? Even the Church eventually gave up on St. Valentine and dropped him from the calendar in 1969 (along with St. Christopher).

My sister in blogging, Bev, over at Funny The World, blogged today about the childhood pain of not getting any Valentine cards or gifts.

Initially I thought that nobody loved me but, in truth, I didn't want to get any Valentine's Day tokens. In fact, though, I didn't want to GET them because I didn't want to GIVE them.

And why was that? Well, primarily because I knew that even though Robert M***** was probably going to grow up to be either a priest or a hairdresser, he probably wouldn't have appreciated getting a great big smack on the lips from me during recess in the Fifth grade.

Even though he was the CUTEST WIDDLE FING (There. My dirty little secret is out. I had the hots for Robert M***** in the Fifth grade).

Since I could never express my proper feelings towards the real objects of my romantic attractions as a child in Catholic School in the 1950s-60s, I dreaded the approach of this day every year and was glad when it was finally over.

There are some things in life which, having missed experiencing them in one's youth, can never be captured again.

The innocent joy of asking someone to "Be My Valentine" is one of them.

I envy the young lovers of the world.

Suck it up, kids. Nothing lasts forever.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Gott segnen der Reichstag!

I mean, the Senate. Yesterday they handed our Beloved F├╝hrer President Bush yet another victory over the decadent Jewish/Communist/Homosexual cabal by voting umpteen thousand to zip to continue allowing warrantless wiretaps and, in a fit of governmental compassion, it pre-forgave the entire telecommunications industry for selling out the people of the United States in the name of "national security", or some half-baked bullshit like that.

Can't we just hire call-girls to keep the black agencies entertained, instead? It works on The Hill. That and steroids.

Meanwhile, though (shock of shocks) I find myself believing more and more that maybe, just maybe, a whole bunch of Americans might be ready to sign off on having our very first African-American President.

I, who for the longest time pinched my nose and settled for Billary, am now ready to throw some serious schekels (Fifty bucks) towards Barry's campaign. And I NEVER (willingly) give money to politicians!

For those of you who follow such things, on Tuesday there might've been a hint of the sea-change that America is on the verge of making.

Don't laugh, but in it's over 100 years the Westminster Kennel Club, at its annual show, has NEVER voted a Beagle "Best in Show." A lowly Beagle? Puhleeze. But this year they did it. An adorable little guy named "Uno" (real name: "Ch. K-run's Park Me In First") took the top prize in Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night. It's easy to see why. He may not have a lot of what we would call "experience", but he sure does have a helluva lot of easy-to-love personality.

You can watch the adorable little (15 inches) shit win here:



And if HE can win, maybe President Obama isn't such a far-fetched idea after all!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It's Snowing!

For the first time this winter we're actually having real, live "snow." Last week the temps floated up around the 60's. But right now it's coming down in what is known loosely, in this part of the country, as a "snow squall." Not enough to be a blizzard, but enough to be annoying.

We've been having one of those Global Warming Winters that you hear so much about although my friends on the Left Coast would probably chime in that they're experiencing the same thing what with incessant rains, winds and mudslides.

I can take the cold of winter, but my fascination with snowstorms ended around 1960, when I stopped hitching rides on my Flexible Flyer sled, running out from between parked cars in order to throw myself to the roadway on the sled, while simultaneously wildly grabbing for the rear bumper of a car, a city bus, or an 18-wheeler. That, incidentally, was our idea of "fun" when I was a child. Until it invariably involved somebody losing a limb or a life and then we all got yelled at and grounded.

Snow, especially heavy snow, is now a major pain in the ass. Right now I'm sitting here trying to remember if I put the heavy duty ice scraper/snow brush in the back seat of the car, or if I left it at home. I don't worry about driving in the snow so much anymore, ever since I got the Honda Element. It has automatic 4-wheel drive, which kicks in when it senses that all the wheels are not spinning at the same speed. That baby has no problems with snow.

This, I think, is one of the consequences of aging. I love having seasons. I can't imagine living in a never-ending paradise where it's always 78 degrees and sunny. I would sorely miss the ravishingly gorgeous colors on a brilliant, crisp October morning, or the sublime pleasure of watching an entire street in my little town suddenly burst into riotous bloom on a warm, lazy, Spring afternoon.

But Winter?

Feh. What useful purpose does winter serve? (And all my skier friends can spare me the hate calls and emails).

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bitch-Fest Monday

Every morning, at 6:00 a.m., an oddly shaped truck takes off from the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel. There is a driver and a lone SOB in the back, whose job it is is to poke thousands of plastic pipes, neatly stacked in the truck, into holes cut into the pavement on the left lane of the outbound side, all the way up the helix and out I-495, to the entrance of the NJ Turnpike.

When it completes its mission those little stanchions delineate the special HOV bus lane, which will only remain in service until 10:00 a.m., the official end of the "morning rush." After that the truck reverses course and collects all the little pipes until, once again, it hits the entrance to the tunnel, where it will wait on the tarmac until called into service the next business day.

Only there was no special bus lane today. It seems that it rained over the weekend. Hard. And the water filled up the holes in the highway. Then, last night, the water in the holes froze.

Three guesses what they couldn't stick into the holes this morning. Right. The plastic pipes. Thus causing many tens of thousands of people to be late for work today. My bus driver opted for the scenic route, via 1&9, to Hoboken, through the Holland Tunnel and up the West Side Highway (past a lot of long forgotten gay bars I went to when I first moved to New York in the 12th Century) then up 10th Avenue to the Deuce. Er, sorry, 42nd Street (it was called "the deuce" by the low-lifes who hung out there before Guiliani went and Disneyfied the place).

This comes right in the midst of New Jersey Governor Corzine's big marketing campaign to get people to go along with his plan to double turnpike fares in the next year. And every two years thereafter until 2020.

Yeah. Right. Sign me up, Jon.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Friday? Already?

I can feel the excitement mounting. A week from today I'll be driving south to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware for the annual "Roundup."

A roundup is (usually) a weekend get-together in some resort town of several hundred like-minded people in recovery (in our case, LGBT people). There'll be workshops and games and hanging out and reconnecting with old friends from all over and making new friends who'll be there for the first time.

Last year we had nearly 400 people at the Rehoboth Roundup. That's quite a crowd for a beachfront hotel on the east coast... in the middle of February. Needless to say, nobody comes for the sunbathing or to frolic in the surf.

Last year I got to three roundups; the Rehoboth one in February, the 1st ever New Jersey roundup in September and the Philadelphia roundup in October. For my money, Rehoboth is the best of them all (I haven't gotten to any of the truly humongous roundups. I understand the one in Key West is... well, it's Key West without the booze).

I just made my dinner reservation for next Friday night at The Blue Moon restaurant. I made it "for two" on the outside chance that some guy actually would be willing to have dinner with me.

I don't talk much about dating because I haven't been on a date since 1999 (a blind date which was a catastrophe). Prior to that I hadn't really dated since the 70's. But I'd like to change that. There is one guy who is a regular at these things whom I'd like to ask out. We'll see.

Rather than dwelling on what a miserable week it's been, politically speaking, I'd rather look to the good times ahead.

And if and when the time comes that we have President McCain and Vice-President Huckabee???

I'll kill myself.

But I'll worry about that then.

Have a lovely weekend everybody. I intend to have one.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Death of a Rental

I don't know how to put this genteely, so I'll just blurt it out.

The vacation house that I used to rent, along with a bunch of my college friends, mostly during my drinking years, will probably be going off the market soon. Like, this afternoon.

It's owners were Mr. & Mrs. John McWethy of Washington, DC. The house was located (on stilts) in a posh, gated, beach-front community just north of the sleepy little town of Bethany Beach, Delaware. It was a real extravaganza of a place, just steps from the water. We rented the place for easily 6 or 7 years, 2 weeks at a time. It was big and comfy, the way beach houses should be, with decks all over the place to watch sunrises and sunsets.

John McWethy was a noted ABC correspondent both locally in Washington, and nationally on the network. He sometimes substituted as a weekend anchor on the ABC Evening News.

An hour or so ago John was killed in a horrible skiing accident out in Colorado. He slammed into a tree at pretty high speed and his chest suffered massive crushing injuries.

Most of us had never met the McWethys. One of our tribe, though, had a first-hand connection to them. He works at ABC News here in New York and, in fact, that's how we first found out that John and his wife would, on occasion, rent out the house to "trusted" renters. Mr. R. was our in and, to the best of our knowledge, towards the end of our renting days, we were just about the only people left that they would let rent the place.

Mr. McWethy, wherever you are, thank you for renting us your beach house for years and years. We had a lot of fun, a lot of laughs, there. I'm sure you and your family did, too.

I'm sorry you got hurt and died. I hope it didn't hurt for long. At least you were doing something you loved when it happened.

Best of luck, wherever you are.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Blue Flu

It's been pandemonium around here for the last couple of days what with the ticker-tape parade up the Canyon of Heroes on lower Broadway up to City Hall in honor of our very own New York Giants (team colors, blue & white) win in SuperBowl XLsomething.

Oh, yeah, and we all went to the polls yesterday, too. "We" being the Blue States of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.

I nearly didn't make it to the polls thanks to the hard work and barely noticeable efforts of both Academy Bus Lines and Suburban Transit (aka "Coach USA" which is actually owned, in Scotland, by a couple of ultra-right wing religious jerks who are brother and sister, anti-abortion, anti-gay and union busting... but I digress).

At the height of the evening rush hour both of those fine bus companies took it upon themselves to not bother sending buses to pick up commuters at the Port Authority building on 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue for the trek home to New Jersey.

In fact, over 7 buses failed to show up over the course of 1 hour. Believe me, by then the lines were snaking from the Ninth Avenue side of the building all the way back to the Eighth Avenue side.

I called both companies this morning and, very politely, inquired as to what the problem had been.

Naturally, it came as a complete surporse to both of them that they had failed to win their wings last night and just naturally assumed that we, the commuters had offended God in some way which FORCED their buses to be delayed, but that it certainly wasn't THEIR fault that our lives suck.

They were supposed to have gotten back to me with some answers.

Three guesses as to whether or not they did.

Despite their best efforts to steal the elections, I managed to get to the polls at home 15 minutes before they closed.

I wish I could vote on whether or not bus dispatchers (those lying sacks of crap) should life or die.

The Emperor JoyZeeBoy wouldn't hesitate to give them all a grandiose "thumbs down."

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Splenda Bowl Sundae!

I arose early on Splenda Bowl Sundae. I had a boatload of stuff to get done before I could settle myself down in front of the tv to rate several hours worth of commercials which had been specifically created for this annual mega-marketing event. I believe there's a football game in there, somewhere, too.

I dropped off the laundry, went to a 12-Step meeting, schmoozed with some recovering people like myself afterward and then drove into beautiful, downtown Trenton ("What Trenton Makes, the World Takes") to spend an hour or so working with a sponsee of mine on something we refer to as "The Big Book." We read 2 chapters and discussed a range of issues that they stirred up and then I headed home.

Don't faint, but I actually paid attention to the game and was glad when our own NY Giants proceeded to hand Tom Brady his own ass on a silver platter.

I was even gladder that that jerk (and all around poor sport) New England coach Bill Belichick got served a healthy serving of crow.

But, of course, the highlight of the game was the Budweiser commercial with the poor Clydesdale who didn't make the cut of the current year's team (of horses). To the rousing theme of "Rocky" a friendly Dalmation rose to the occasion and proceeded to devise a training program for the horse which would've done Sly Stallone proud. Needless to say, a year later, the horse made the team.

I loved it. It made me cry.

Oh, yeah, and New York/New Jersey won, too.

TAKE THAT, BOSTON. YOU SCROD MUNCHING JERKS.

But I'm not gloating.

Heh.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Bizzy Saturday

I've been pretty busy lately, for an inveterate lazy-assed couch potato.

It rained like an SOB here on Friday which always causes massive backups and delays on the NJTurnpike, at the entrance to the pike from the Lincoln Tunnel extension (I-495). I was cranky and wet by the time I got home at 7:30.

Then I had to be up at the crack of dawn on Saturday because it was time for Mr. Honda's 30,000 mile checkup (his pediatrician days are over -- now he has to go to the grown-up doctor, turn his exhaust pipe and, er, cough). Because it was an all-day (and $575.00) affair, they gave me a lovely loaner, a 2006 Honda Accord, which is pretty luxurious compared to the shake, rattle and roll of the Element. But I wouldn't swap my spacious Element for anything. Every time I got in and out of the Accord I had to fold myself in half to get through the door.

I killed Saturday afternoon by going to see "The Kite Runner." It's a toe-tapping musical comedy about Afghani class structures, revolution, communism, more revolution, religious fanaticism, pedophilia, denial, lies, cancer, backstabbing and, eventually, a happy ending in the New World. It reminded me of my childhood. I exited the theater humming the kite flying.

The car didn't drive noticeably better after its day at the Spa. I could've gotten a two-hour massage for considerably less.

Saturday night I drove 50 miles to my usual Saturday night 12-Step meeting for the LGBT community over in Pennsylvania. We meet in a Unitarian Church there. Unfortunately the church decided to have a Monte Carlo night that night, too, and all the adults were drinking and gambling in the meeting room next to ours, while all of their evil-seed offspring were upstairs, in the sanctuary, dancing up a storm to music that was deafening to us down below.

I had a splitting headache by the end of the hour -- and didn't hear a word that anyone said.

I collapsed in the big, comfy chair in front of the tv when I got home and promptly fell asleep until 1:30 a.m.

Despite my bitching, it was, all-in-all, a very good day.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Lost

I've been freaking a little lately over the seeming inability of my left eyelid to rise above "half-mast" ever since the accident at the beginning of the month. So last week I called the opthalmologist I saw that fateful day and got an appointment to see him on Wednesday of this week.

He put my mind at ease.

Basically, he said that yes, it isn't healing the way he (and probably I) would like but not to worry, it is fixable. However, he cautioned about plunging too soon into a surgical solution to a problem which still, might, fix itself. If I opted for instant surgery I might wind up having to have it done twice, once to fix the damage and twice to fix the cure.

He advised waiting another 2 months, until April, at which time we'll look at it again and decide then whether or not to take the surgical route.

The surgery, by the way, is little more than a routine "lid-lift" which he would do on an out-patient basis in his office. He showed me some photos of others whom he has performed this surgery on and they all looked fine to me.

I didn't waste any time after that exam in calling all my friends and sharing the good news with them! I was relieved, and so were they.

I got home that afternoon and found an odd little card with a note from my late mother's cousin asking me to give him a call, that he had something he wished to discuss with me.

Naturally my fevered alcoholic brain leapt to all kinds of wild-assed conclusions about what he wanted to talk about, without a shred of evidence to back up any one of them. The absolute last course of action would be to just pick up the phone and call and ask him what he wants.

Heaven forbid!

Yet, that's what I did. Last night. Before the (truncated season) premiere of "Lost."

He's rounding up pallbearers for his (yet to be announced) funeral.

I told him, "yeah, sure, whatever, sign me up." I understand that with the death of his brother a few months ago, he's feeling very alone and very mortal these days (he's a whopping 14 years older than me.) I feel that way sometimes, too. That's why I'm signing up with the Neptune Society to have everything preplanned, right down to the cremation and scattering at sea. If any relatives or friends want to come along, that'll be fine, but there's no requirement for anyone to attend the festivities, when the time eventually comes.

But my 2nd cousin adheres to his Catholic faith which, although it permits cremation, forbids scattering the ashes. So no matter what, there'll still be something of him that'll have to be carted to the graveyard and planted in the plot.

I want to join Carl Sagan (or Gene Roddenberry) and return as quickly as possible to my natural state as "star stuff" among the elements which compose the universe.

I mention all this because as a recently converted and thoroughly devout fan of "Lost" I am amazed at the number of non-deaths on that show. Nobody on that damn island seems to stay dead, no matter what.

If you looked real close last night, at the scene where Hurley found the shack where Ben once took Locke to meet "Jacob" and did a frame-by-frame exam of whoever it was sitting in the rocker, you would've seen Jack's late father. And the last time anybody knew, he was dead in a coffin in the cargo hold of the crashed airliner.

Like I said, nobody stays dead for long in "Lost."

I wonder who'll come back to life next?