Our weather has been more up and down than an elevator in a tall downtown Houston building. I went to watch my friends play soccer on Sunday. I was in shorts and a t-shirt when I headed to the game. It was a very nice mid-60′s but with gray skies that had rain written all over them. At half time of the game it started to rain. I walked over to my truck to get an umbrella. In the time that it took me to walk the width of four soccer fields, prox 250 yards, the temperature dropped 20 degrees and it hasn’t gone up much since then. We had an ice storm that wreaked havoc on the trees. My dog, who usually responds to “Do you want to go out?” with wild exuberance, just rolled over on her blankie.
But Houston and Texas has had severe drought conditions for a long time and every drop of rain helps. We can trade a little discomfort for some precipitation.
And it led to this:
It’s been cold and wet all week.
The sun hasn’t taken a peek.
But we need the rain
So you won’t hear me complain
When Spring has sprung a leak!
I just had the joyous pleasure of spending a week with my daughter and celebrating her thirty second birthday with her. Though I talk to her several times a week, I had not seen her for two years due to scheduling conflicts and limits on vacation days, etc. She wasn’t able to attend my wedding because she had committed her vacation days before we decided to get married and set a date. And I thought it was more important that she attend her friends’ weddings than attend mine as there was some chance she might meet a nice Jewish boy at one of those and no chance at mine.
She had a bad year in 2013. She had to deal with some personal issues that were painful to her and she also had a horrifying experience of witnessing one of her closest friends get killed by a hit and run driver. I wanted to run to her when it happened, but it occurred at a time when I was dealing with my own medical issues. She is a very strong young woman. She will overcome the errors in judgment she made and use them to springboard her to the good life she so richly deserves. But nothing will ever erase the memory of that terrible night.
We were together almost every minute she was here, though she was noticeably absent when she had that farkakte smartphone in her hand doing the internet and social media thing. Oy. We went for walks every day and only one was a marathon trek through a major shopping mall, though, to tell you the truth, I enjoyed it as much as she did. I got out of there unscathed. Birthday presents came later. She also had to pay off a bet on the Clemson – Ohio State Orange Bowl. What I wanted was White Castle (not in Texas), but I let her off with Steak and Shake which was equally bad and bad for me. She didn’t welch, I got to belch and a good time was had by all. Of course, her new stepmom took a pass on that excursion.
We have vowed not to go as long between visits again. Yes, you can talk on the phone and Facebook and email, but there is no substitute for a hug. And when it comes to parenting, John Lennon said it best. All you need is love. Yes, your kids will drive you crazy just as you drove your parents crazy. But they will be the things in your life that you are most proud of and that bring you the most joy…even when they are driving you crazy.
Her mother, who is a great mother, and I raised a good girl. She is sweet, kindhearted and usually smart. I know we had to make a few mistakes that inevitably led to her making a few mistakes, but getting up off the ground, dusting off her ass and getting back on the horse will make them a thing of the past. She’s a tough little cookie, too. And this time mom and dad will make sure she has an ass pad.
And it led to this.
We may go into parenthood blind.
The job description’s not clearly defined.
But there’s no “maybe’s”.
They’ll always be our babies…
Though at any age, they can drive us out of our mind.
Wow, 50 years. I still listen to them frequently – especially Sgt. Peppers which came out when I was at summer camp back in 1967 and hearing it brings back so many wonderful memories of my youth. I am going to buy my sweetheart the 50th Anniversary collection CD set for Valentine’s Day. This past October, we went to see The Fab Four tribute band and they were great. We have a local tribute band in Houston that plays at The Continental Club, a rock n’ roll institution here, every Thursday night and it draws a diverse audience of AARP eligible alte cockers and the curious young that want to hear the music their parents and grandparents (yes, grandparents!) talk about. I go several times a year, not only because I love the music, but also because I want to measure how far my memory loss has progressed by seeing how much of the lyrics I can remember or have forgotten. They also serve Schlitz in cans for $2 for those on a “throwback” social security budget.
I was in the sixth grade in 1964 when the Beatles launched “the British invasion” and conquered America. I was taking dance lessons at the time and though the owner of the studio was not necessarily a fan, he played it as the music was easy to dance to – we were learning jitterbug aka swing dancing now. I still remember the dance steps and I love to go out swing dancing. I have been lucky enough to have several lady friends that have loved going out dancing with me, especially to the Continental Club on a Thursday night. Refer back to my Peter Pan Syndrome limerick http://wp.me/p3qhXb-w
The CBS show last night was wonderful. Paul and Ringo still have it in their 70′s. The music is timeless.
And it led to this –
When the Beatles landed here, I was in the sixth grade.
Who could have predicted the impact they’ve made
With melody and rhyme
That will forever stand the test of time…
They are cultural icons who will never fade.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was an adult Cub Scout leader. There is nothing unusual about that other than my only child is a girl, she was between 14 & 16 at the time and living 1200 miles away. I was in Houston working with a good friend helping him grow his business and at the same time, by choice, also helping him grow his children. He has four boys and at one time, when they were all very young, they all had some type of special needs. They have all grown up to be wonderful young men and I an glad that I had a hand in it in some small way. My friend was an Eagle Scout growing up and he still is an active adult scout leader with one of the largest and most successful Jewish Boy Scout troops in the country, measured by the number of Eagle Scouts that the troop has produced. When I got involved, it was with his twin boys who were in the first or second grade (I can’t remember that far back – 16 years) and they were going to be Wolf cub scouts. I stuck with them for four years through their graduation from cub scouts. I was an assistant den leader and I enjoyed the experience very much. I liked being a positive influence on the boys and I made a lot of friends. And I like camping…now. Before I got involved with scouts, the only time I remember sleeping out under the stars was back in college and what I remember about it was waking up and wondering how I got there.
And having to be an adult and a role model did not stop me from being the goofball that I am. I took an advanced adult training course when the boys became Webelos. During the training with other adult leaders, we had to form our own patrol or den and, at my suggestion, we became the Mime Patrol. We had a wild but soundless cheer. After we finished the training, when we went back to our den, our den became the Mime Patrol. A friend of mine made us an outrageous flag with a mime face and hands on it. It was great.
During the course of the year, every den was responsible for providing entertainment for a monthly pack meeting. I had the boys perform a limerick – what else??? I took what is arguably the most famous limerick ever written and gave it a Jewish spin and changed it from a XXX rating to a G rating. Still, you should have seen the jaws drop when the boys did the first line – “There once was a man from Pawtucket.”
My original G rated version went like this:
There once was a man from Pawtucket
Who ate matzo ball soup by the bucket.
He said with a grin
As he wiped off his chin….
And I can’t remember whatever lame last line I came up with and I have been trying to finish it for the last 16 years with something that actually works and makes sense. Last night in the middle of the night, it came to me. I have been working on getting our taxes together lately which must have put this into my head. Two different versions came to me and it is truly my pleasure to share them with you now.
There once was a man from Pawtucket
Who ate matzo ball soup from a bucket.
He said with a grin
As he wiped off his chin,
“I wish I could expense and deduct it”
There once was a man from Pawtucket
Who ate matzo ball soup by the bucket.
He said, “I wish I could
Make it my livelihood…
Then when I buy my soup, I’d deduct it!”
Alas, all good things must come to an end. And, I must say, being a burden to society came so naturally to me. I could have continued with it in perpetuity had those S.O.B.s in Congress not been so contentious and hostile towards the unemployed. And sadly, my wife is in agreement with them…as far as I am concerned. Oh, she has plenty of rochmones for the people who really want to find a job and need a job, but with me, she thinks I have a lot of chutzpah wanting to get paid to not work. It’s not that I don’t work. I fold the laundry, walk the dog, write limericks and I’ll do anything she wants me to do provided she writes it down as I am prone to acute short term memory loss when she is telling me what to do and/or where to go.
So I am back at it. I am helping out one of my old bosses getting his business off the ground. I can do what he needs to do and cover my cost. And he was agreeable to my desire to only work part time so I can continue to at least be a semi-burden to society and continue to receive legitimate government payments I am entitled to but have certain restrictions attached to them. And I like the guy. So there you have it.
I did interview for a real job where my real expertise could be a valuable asset to the company that brought me in for the interview. If I land that job, then I have to turn off the tap, lace up my steel toes and have at it 52.5 hours a week minimum. That job is one where the wife and I can seriously get after the retirement fund. I’ll know tomorrow on that one. I would like to get that job.
But until then, this one is just fine and it inspired this:
I knew this day would come to pass
When I would return to the working class.
I prefer life without strife,
So I defer to the wife….
And I’ve gotten off of my lazy ass!!!
It has almost been a year since I lost half of my lower teeth in a procedure to remove a rare, aggressive, recurring cyst that had eaten away my jawbone. I was not in a life threatening situation so I am grateful for that and to put things in a proper perspective this has been only a minor inconvenience. Well, “minor” may not be an accurate adjective. It has be a real pain both literally and figuratively. But the end is in sight.
I had my first appointment today with the dentist who will do the prosthetic reconstruction and rebuild my smile for me. The work that has already been done – the titanium mandible and bone graft – has been successful and I have a solid foundation for her to build on. It is a slow process, of course, and I won’t have the final product until the fall but it will be there in time for football season and tailgating. Maybe, I’ll be able to eat a hot dog without a knife and fork. Hey, I am just happy that I’m moving forward.
I have been known to wax poetic
How my toothless grin’s pathetic.
Now my wish has been granted.
I’ll soon be implanted
And smiling with a toothy prosthetic!
It has been a while since I published a new limerick. It’s not that I have been asleep at the wheel, I simply have been focused on a few other things and limericks seem to pop into my head when I am not focused; with limited and diminishing brain function, it’s pretty understandable. The wife is jammed smack dab in the middle of an environmental consulting job for a merger between two energy producers and it would be an understatement to say that she has lost her sense of humor. As Slim Pickens as Mr. Taggert in Blazing Saddles put it, she thinks she’s “a chicken caught in a tractor’s nuts.” Needless to say, she is not happy about having 65 hr. work weeks while her toothless, unemployed husband hangs out at the golf course or the gym and then fiddle farts around with the dog all day. So I have tried to deflect some of the hate by doing anything and everything that she can give me to do. Right now the major project is getting prepared for doing our taxes which are going to be very interesting because we have entered the world of real estate investment (which is doing fine) and I have been a burden to society who did not have taxes withheld from his government assistance. So she is stressing about us catching a big tax bill. We’ll see.
Today I was wading through shoe boxes of paid bills looking for deductions, when this little ditty popped into my head –
The New Year’s no time to relax.
It’s really a time to face the facts.
There are weighty issues
Like flabby tissues
And dealing with income tax!
2013 is in the rear view mirror and now we are moving down Highway 2014. Despite all the technology available and traditional navigation methods, moving through time still happens without a GPS or even a map. We may have some idea of where we want to go and how we think we may be able to get there, but reality has a way of tossing up detours and roadblocks we never see coming.
2013 was a very interesting year for. It began with my being two months into a new marriage. I am good at being a husband and I have a wonderful wife. As I have said many times before, she knows me and gets me…and she still loves me. I am one very lucky man. At the beginning of the year, we invested in our future together by selling my house and turning that into two rental properties that are good performing assets for us. Now I am a landlord and that has potential.
Then things started to turn down a bit. I learned I had a non life threatening but serious health issue that required two major surgeries and left me marginally disfigured. That should be resolved this spring. However, I lost my job due to it and it has been impossible for me to find a new job. But dealing with that led down a path to Social Security where I found out I was eligible for survivor benefits from my late wife and that cushioned the blow of unemployment. My wife has been very tolerant with me about this. She knows that it is hard to interview when you are missing half your lower teeth. She is also happy to have me available to do her “honey do” lists and take care of the houses. Again, I am a lucky guy.
So despite losing my job, half my lower teeth and twenty two pounds (which is a good thing), I never lost my sense of humor…and that led to this…
I have become a successful bum.
Hey, I’m not stupid, just a little bit dumb.
I’ve got a hard working wife
And I’m the love of her life….
I’m sure that the best is yet to come!
I could have been the victim of a Christmas gift faux pas had I not told my beloved wife about this gift while we were shopping on Black Friday. The gift was an old fashioned stove top popcorn maker with a crank handle. My late wife bought one these for my daughter (it had to be eight to ten years ago) and my daughter uses it all the time and absolutely loves it. She says it makes perfect popcorn every time with minimal unpopped kernels.
Lo and behold, one was under the tree for me on Christmas morn and I couldn’t have been more pleased to see it. There is a lot of football to be played in the next couple of weeks and both my wife and I received dvds of movies and television shows. Watching those things is greatly enhanced by fresh hot popcorn.
This morning the wife told me she was going grocery shopping today and I asked to see the list. One of the items was popcorn seasoning. When I saw this, I asked about it as I am just a salt guy. She smiled broadly and told me about all the wonderful flavors she could be adding to her popcorn and then it hit me. She bought the popcorn maker for herself and justified the purchase under the guise of a gift for me (since I quasi asked for it). And it was a cooking device, which I am banned from buying for me or for her! My first thought, AIN’T LOVE GRAND and it led to this:
A Christmas gift faux pas did occur,
And if I did it, it would have ruffled her fur.
When she bought popcorn seasoning,
My deductive reasoning….
Concluded the Whirly-Pop was for her!
This little ditty popped into my head a 2:45 CT and I thought I needed to share it with those last minute shopping husbands who, simply by waiting to the last minute, are taking their lives into their own hands and are certainly capable of compounding their stupidity. Obviously, those husbands who procrastinate are the ones who take the path of least resistance, think only of themselves and will put a small kitchen appliance, a power tool or fishing equipment under the tree for their wives…or worse. And we all know which store at the mall offers the path of least resistance. And that thought led to this -
Victoria’s Secret is hard to resist.
But if you don’t want your wife to be pissed,
Don’t buy her things you would like -
You will be told, “Take a hike.”
Just stick to the stuff on her list.