Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Funny Papers

                                                                                                                                                                          Stephan Pastis
   Bwaaaaaha ha ha!  Touche'

Sunday, November 20, 2011


There's walls made of steel
There's walls made of stone
But none are so strong
As the walls made of fear alone
                             Maura O'Connell         
But I'm chipping away at it......
Although I am perfectly fine with my own company and enjoy being by myself I sometimes struggle with loneliness.  Balance eludes me.  It's embarrassing but I either have no boundaries at all, indiscriminately disclosing random intimate facts to perfect strangers or I put up walls that keep everyone out.  Including Sunshine and Happiness.

In 2005, Frank Warren created Post Secret, an art project in which people are invited to anonymously mail in their secrets on a homemade postcard.  Select secrets appear every Sunday on the PostSecret blog.  I read this blog every week and both of these postcards are from the site.


And I have the sense, though I can't quite put my finger on why, that somehow my loneliness is related.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Camp Pemberton

Our Crooked House
Sunshine and Happiness says I was holding the camera at an angle when I took this picture.  For the record, I wasn't.  Our house is just really crooked.  A good friend of mine always says when you start out as broken as he did sometimes the best you can ever be is a little bent.  I guess then it's appropriate  this is where I live.  Crooked?  Bent?  What's the difference.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I love November.  It's my favorite month.  I love Thanksgiving, I met Sunshine and Happiness on a beautiful November day in '98 and the anniversary of my last drink is November 13th.  However, the whole Penn State debacle and its mishandling by the powers that be, the youtube video of the Texas family court judge whipping his 16 year old daughter with a belt and the 2012 election campaign commercials (already!) started to put a real damper on MY month.  To combat this downward spiral I took some photos of Sunshine and Happiness' and my home. 

Ornamental cherry tree in front of our house

Thanksgiving Turkey Flag flying in front of Camp Pemberton

View from our back porch

Ah........now see.  I'm loving November again.  Happy Gratitude month everyone!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Old Neighborhood

Kanai Funeral Home - Greenfield Ave
Doesn't the above building remind you of a haunted house?  I've always been afraid of it AND it contains dead people which just makes my point. 

So this is where I spent last weekend. 

My dad's father died and the viewing and funeral were on Friday and Saturday.  My grandfather was 96, married 73 years and died with his wife by his side.  He lived long and well and though I am sad for my father and my grandmother it was the longest weekend of my life.  And I have had some long weekends. 

I don't mean to sound callous.  I know I needed to be there for my father and to pay my respects.  It's just that revisiting the old neighborhood and spending large amounts of time with my family falls on the scale just below having needles stuck in my eyes.

So this is what it was like.

Conversation overheard as I was kneeling in front of the casket.

Senile family member:  "Who's in the box?"
Unknown relative:  "That's your husband."

Conversation between Sunshine and Happiness and my Aunt Helen:

S&H:  "Hi I'm Sunshine and Happiness, Dark and Twisty's partner.  Good to see you again."

Aunt Helen:  "Oh, I remember you."  Sharp heal spin giving S&H her back, abrupt end of conversation.  I don't think she's big on the whole gay thing.

Discussion early on at the funeral home.

My mom:  "Would you be comfortable doing the eulogy? "

Me to myself: "Wait a minute, my grandfather has 3 sons and 2 daughters.  Why is she asking me?"

Me outloud:  "Why are you asking me this?  Shouldn't Daddy or one of the kids be doing it?"

My mom:  "None of them know enough about your grandfather to write one."

Me:  "So why are you asking me?"

My mom:  "Because they asked me to do it but I don't know enough about him to write one either."

Yikes.  No eulogy for Grandpap.

 In making the arrangements for the wake my family tried to reserve this place.

Formerly Mike's Bar
This just so happens to be the bar where I became an expert on alcoholism.  My own.

Luckily, it wasn't available so here's where the wake was held.
Rock Bottom.  A dueling piano bar.  And appropriately named.

As evidence of this I shall relay one final ditty.

When we entered the bar, we sat down, settled ourselves and ordered a coffee.  Suddenly with no warning a wild eyed, wild haired woman sat herself down right beside us.  I had no idea who this woman was but she started inserting herself into each and every conversation and making absolutely no sense at all.  It was obvious that she had some kind of mental illness and so I just assumed she was related.  Then as S&H was fixing her coffee,  the woman turned and looked at her and asked her for several packets of sugar.  S&H  passed them to her at which point she promptly tore them open, threw her head back and poured them down her throat.  Then she started mainlining Truvia.  I kid you not.
Now I can be a bit slow so S&H had to clue me in that this crazy woman was a junkie who apparently was detoxing.  Come to find out she lives across the street from my grandparents and just decided to show up.  So I spent the rest of the buffet guarding S&H's  purse.

Rock Bottom indeed.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Purple Rain

This video was posted on a friend's Facebook page.  She asked if we could do the hand motions with her and all of a sudden I was 19 again.

I don't have many good memories from my drinking days but this is one.  It was a hot summer night, my friends were back from college, we were together and acting all goofy and drunk.  I remember the movie theater having those old red velvet seats and I think we were in Monroeville.  The movie onscreen was often fuzzy and the acting absolutely horrible but Prince, Lisa, Wendy and Apollonia were yummy to look at and the soundtrack was AMAZING.   I also remember my gaydar spiking when I saw Lisa and Wendy onstage.  Oh AND Prince. 

Due to my drunkenness I didn't quite follow the story.  You'd have thought I was watching Memento or something but  I didn't care because it was one of those perfect drunks.  You know the kind where you stay just crushed enough not to lose your buzz but not so much that you're puking out the car window.  I was happy.   The group of us, my younger sister and her boyfriend, (I remember he had on a Big Pecker's Bar t-shirt,)  my friend THE RINGLEADER and her boyfriend, a redheaded guy named Flame, and an assortment of other folks from the Island of Misfit Toys thought we were being sneaky and chose a row off to the side of the theater against the wall where we were sure no could see us pouring vodka into our pops.

Partway through the movie, BP, (the guy in the Big Pecker's bar shirt) became totally pissed with me because as I was passing him an extra large Pepsi doctored so that it tasted just like turpentine, I somehow managed to drop the entire thing  in his lap along with my popcorn. Not sure how THAT happened.  I think neither of us wanted to let go of the alcohol and were pulling in opposite directions when the whole thing went down. He then refused to speak to me for most of the night.  Big baby!  He didn't get that wet.  Later that night he and said friends stood outside my bedroom window at 2 in the morning and howled like wolves until my mom (who could be quite scary) went out on the porch and threatened to throw a pan of water on them.  Or come down and kick their asses.  I can't quite remember which.

During the movie we stood up in our row, (I think my sister was standing on top of one of the seats) danced and did the hand motions to I Would Die for U.   I was 2 moves behind throughout the entire song and it felt like I was playing Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes and was losing.  I may have fallen down afterwards.  I don't know.  Later we went to McDonalds and bought like a bajillion cheeseburgers singing "let's go craaaaaazy, let's get nuuuuuuts" over and over and over.  Maybe I did puke out the car window after that.  Hmmm. 

It was one of the happiest times of my life.

Thanks for the memory Donna.