Sunday, August 30, 2009

Shit Happens
It's amazing how my life can get so incredibly screwed up at times. If I had been aware of the things to come, I would never had quit my job, no matter how much I hated it. Ah well, I can't undo that now and I can only move on from here. Some possible good news is that I might have temporarily fixed my leaky car radiator with stop leak treatment. Not 100% positive since I was too low on gas to drive it long enough to find out, but I'll be borrowing some gas money from my folks tomorrow so we'll see if I can drive more than five miles away without having to add water. I know my folks will help me out, but I really have to find a job ASAP which is probably going to involve working at a call center again. If there is a hell and I get sent to it, then I can guarantee that it will involve a cubicle and a ringing phone with a headset.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I'm excited about going back to the family , but terrified about how I have to get there.
Flying to Colorado was traumatic enough...but 16-18 hours in the air? There's not enough xanax and vodka for that shit ( I jest )...I'll just have to suck it up and pray.
I won't be bringing that fucking travel charm I bought years's cursed with the 90's.

Today was my grandson Sean's 4th birthday...we had the big partay at Chuck E Cheese's crib.That rat sure knows how to throw a party.
It was fun , but I kept flashing back to when my ex took me there for a surprise on my birthday many years ago and I was an asshole about it...well not exactly an asshole, but I missed the point altogether and I wondered if she remembered ( she was there today ).She tried to do something nice and I totally missed the point.I get it now.
Anyway , Sean had the time of his life and Kenzie was totally into was funny ... see for yourself...

So I keep rolling these thoughts around in my head...I get on a plane and 20 some odd hours later I'm in another country greeted by strangers none the less...someone I don't recognize (unless it's my cousin Shelley) with a sign with my name on it. I have never been greeted with a sign with my name on it.I have never been anticipated like this in my life , and while it's very cool - it's also intimidating.
It's just a ball of confusion.
But I can say this...I will get on that plane and go back to the family.
I have to.
To be continued...

Friday, August 28, 2009


Sitting here listening to Pink Floyd Animals...After an evening across the street at my neighbors house.
There was a party going on at the rock-n-roll posers clubhouse across the Cul'at the same time and they draw a big crowd which means a bunch of cars crammed into an already dangerous stretch of road.
We took every opportunity to fuck with them...Made a guy move his truck from blocking my exit from the driveway ( in case of a pool emergency , of course ).
After that died down we began reminiscing about the history of our block and the changes that have occurred.
They're just kids to us...they have no clue about this neighborhood , but we do and we are (rightfully or not...highly offended).
At any rate this poser-fest gave us opportunity to remember what connects us and probably disconnects us from those clueless posers who just think we are old cranky bastards...I mean , we are that...but we are still cool once you get to know us (and/or don't block the driveway...importance is relative:P).
There is us here and our children , and our grandchildren, and our neighbors children and grandchildren...generations.
So I have this extended neighborhood family thing going on...buying into the concept that we are all connected somehow , all the while whoring around facebook , and low and behold I am suddenly reunited with my Mom's side of the mom the English woman war hero genius side of the family...she is lionized in my mind and inches from sainthood...she is Mom...
My cousin found me at the behest of our cool is that?
My Aunty Pat...soul survivor of all my Mom's brother's and Sister' know I have to see her...the sooner the better...not to mention the many other relatives ...some who remember me and some who just want to see a Texan (:)...sorry to disappoint...I am new Texan. I don't look like a redneck , but mess with me please ( enough posturing...).
So it looks like I'm going to England to be reunited with my family...I'm excited and terrified about the prospect.
To be continued...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Baked Eggs with an easy potato nest

There are a thousand ways to make baked eggs and I've made at least a few hundred varieties over the years. Today's baked eggs used frozen potato puffs (aka Tator Tots) for the bottom nest. I used the microwave to defrost these just long enough to be able to smash them into a nest in the bottom of the greased ramekin (about 3 minutes on defrost setting.) I then baked the potato nests for 15 minutes at 425 in our roaster oven. I don't always do this as a separate step, but today I wanted a crispier nest than you get if you bake it all together at once. This is also why I used the roaster oven instead of the regular oven. I like to bake my eggs at around 350 degrees and I can get the roaster oven temp down much quicker than the regular gas oven. After 10 minutes I pulled the potato nests out and left to cool slightly while the roaster oven temperature dropped. I then topped the nests with left over chili-con-queso and, of course, an egg. No additional seasoning this time; the chili-con-queso provided all that I needed. I baked these at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

It's a low-cost, low-effort breakfast and while not entirely healthy due to the frozen potatoes, using those instead of fresh shredded potato or left-over mashed potatoes does save some prep and cooking time.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I finally got the chance to have lunch with some friends from where I used to work.
One of them threw in the towel months before I did and truthfully had he still been working there, I probably wouldn't have quit when I did. The three of us had a great time catching up on things and bitching about the old workplace. And I was reminded that I could have a job at his new employer if I get desperate enough. The job itself is an awesome one that I would enjoy the heck out of, but the hours and commute are not so hot. I'd rarely see Rob since I'd be working nights and weekends and it's a long, long drive up north. There's also mandatory overtime and I'm not so sure about that although I've done plenty of 11 hour or longer workdays in the past. If nothing else comes my way in the next month, I'll have to consider that it might be a sign that I should take that job despite my misgivings. Time will tell...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ah, memories
I have many memories associated with the song "Waltz Across Texas" by Ernest Tubb, but my favorite is from when I was about 20 years old. I was at Chelsea Street Pup in Highland Mall with some friends of mine when an older gentleman graciously asked me to dance with him to this song. And waltz we did, up and down the aisles since there was no dance floor. I have no idea who he was and never saw him again, but it was truely a magical moment. I wonder if it was as memorable for him as it was for me.

Friday, August 21, 2009


After almost 5 months in this new / old job I have developed relationships with most of my customers. Some have been contentious and revolving around problems with the pool.
Algae is a big issue since we have had this unrelenting heat and staying on top of it is a challenge.
But most have been amicable. I know what I'm doing and the pools look good , and the cool thing is , most of my customers say so.
And the dogs...I have dogs on my route that I don't wish to encounter , but mostly I have dogs that are happy to see me , and me them...they make me linger at stops loving on them , which makes for a longer day but hey...they are dog friends...I got to hang out.
it's image over substance too for me...I'm not ordinary. No one has asked where I did time or said anything about my appearance. I am always clean shaven and neatly dressed and I know how to be polite (thanks mom).Plus I'm older,and while that should have no bearing's somewhat amazing that at 49 I can still do the job with the vim and vigor I did back in the day.
I consider myself very lucky to have fallen into this job what with the economy and all that...very lucky.
And to have the skill set that afforded me that luck.
On another level...I am in the pre pre pre planning stages of a trip to England to visit my long lost family. It's within reach providing they can give me a couch to sleep on :). Plus , I could maybe see my English internet friends while I'm over there...not sure about the geography but it's a bloody tiny island after all and how far could Gateshead be from Skegness ?
My son wants to go with me...I don't know how realistic that is but we'll see. Ann would have to stay behind cause of the pack :(
Speaking of the pack...Layla continues to come into her own and it's fun to be a part of it...her coming out so to speak...gaining trust and integrating her magic into our lives , she has been a welcome addition for all of us.
And finally , I have a ghost in my house...not a bad thing but a troubling thing that I have to sort out and find some balance...I know it'll work out to everyone's benefit , I'm just not quite sure how to get there.
Yet is my word for now.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Baked Eggs

A few days ago we were at Randall's shopping for bratwurst and I wanted buns that were not regular old hot dog buns, but something a bit more substantial (and tastier.) They had a package of what appeared to be French baguettes cut into pieces so we bought those. This turned out not be an actual French bread and was more along the lines of commercial white bread, but it still beat the hell out of using regular hot dog buns.

This morning I decided to make some baked eggs with that bread and was disappointed to find the bread still very moist, another sign it was not a French bread recipe at all. Real French bread would have been stale by now (and for those of you wondering about my disappointment, I like to use stale bread in my various baked egg concoctions since it saves time toasting it in the oven before adding the egg.)

Anyway, today I had a craving for baked eggs with cream and nutmeg, but discovered I was out of both cream and nutmeg. Instead, I tried something new. This time I threw in some bacon pieces and topped my eggs with creamy Caesar salad dressing and coarse ground black pepper. I was a little doubtful that this would be a tasty combination, but it turned out great. Well technically, it was a bit too salty for my liking due to the salad dressing, but quite possibly not salty enough for Rob.

Here is one of the chopped up faux baguettes. I think I may use this idea to make my own sandwich rolls in the future.

Bread plus bacon bits

Here is the finished product out of the oven. Oh, and unless you love black pepper as much as I do, I'd recommend the medium grind instead of coarse.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Time flies when you're having fun
That adage has sure proved true and I can't believe a week has passed since my last post. I spent most of that time job hunting which is not exactly fun, but it sure beats doing my old job. What I find particularly amazing is how much happier I've been, even though I haven't found a new job yet and have no idea how I am going to pay the bills. And I still haven't figured out what it is I want to do next. I am not very focused on my job search which I've been told is a bad thing. Instead, I've pretty much applied for any job where I meet the qualifications provided it doesn't require working on weekends. I've even applied for a few jobs where I didn't meet all the qualifications but they had some particular appeal for me such as being located a block away from where I live. While I might not even have a ghost of a chance on those, my chances are exactly zero if I don't apply at all so what the hell.

I have some friends and family members keeping an eye out for me as well and that's usually how one lands a job anyway. For now, I'm trying to make the best out of each day and enjoy this time off as much as possible. And we could always still win the lottery - provided I would just remember to buy a damn ticket!

Friday, August 14, 2009


I haven't been posting here much because I've been hanging out over at Facebook. I joined to look at an old friends family pictures and discovered that a bunch of people I know are members there.
Current friends , old high school friends , my son and daughter in law. It's been fun.
But a curious thing has happened.
I was contacted by a relative on my Fathers side of the family. He lives here so I wasn't that surprised. Besides , I know there are lots of us was just a matter of time.
But when my cousin from England sent me an email , I was dumbfounded.
My Aunty Pat has been trying to find me and enlisted her niece to search for me.
When my Mom died I kind of figured that was the end of it as far as my familial connections to England was concerned , apparently - and I know this is hard to believe:P - I was wrong.
Aunty Pat is writing me a letter...treasure in the mail !I haven't seen any of my cousins since I was a wee boy , barely 3 , and haven't seen Aunty Pat since her visit here when I was 19.
I've been invited to visit any time...
wonder if they would pay for the ticket? Just kidding , but it'll be a while before I can afford that trip.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Below 200
Back on 2/12/08, I did a post about how my weight was stuck at 200 pounds. It stayed stuck there for so long that I eventually stopped paying attention. Then the other week, I grabbed a pair of jeans and noticed that they didn't seem to fit quite like they usually did. It wasn't that they were too small, although they were snug like freshly washed jeans tend to be. No, something else wasn't quite right about them. I took a closer look and discovered I had put on a pair of Rob's old jeans by mistake. Jeans that are very similar to mine, but have a slightly different cut. They are also one size smaller that what I wear and that made me wonder if I had finally broke the 200 mark. And sure enough, the scale showed 195. That was pretty cool to see, but my weight does tend to fluctate and can easily vary 5 pounds from one day to the next. So I've been weighing myself every other day or so over these last few weeks and I'm varying between 192 and 196. Therefore, I declare the 200 pound barrier to finally have been broken. Woo-hoo! Next goal - 180.

Saturday, August 08, 2009


That 3 guys from Flint could make this much joyous sound is alright with me...a of the reasons I took up the guitar...Jimi being the first of course , being a lefty and was Voodoo child (slight return) that pegged it for me...and I leave you with that...enjoy.

I'm done here...goodnight Irene

That started on Monday...but I want to focus on yesterday and today (no, not the band from the 70's but august7 and 8).
...plugs in Goatwhore to move things along...
So I was going to this start up Friday...a start up is a newly plastered have to balance the water chemistry just so while it cures otherwise you can end up with a big bowl of sandpaper full of water or worse.
It wasn't even half full...went back at 8 this morning and it wasn't full , they had one (ONE!?) hose filling it...I put in another hose and came back 2 more times...still not full.
In between I met some old friends for lunch , and that was cool...but let me tell you , after 60 plus hours in this hell on earth summer and a murphy's law week from said hell , all I wanted to do today was chill in the bed with my family...not happening dude...suck it up.
Then...THEN...some asshole turned the hoses off that were filling the pool. I had left my number with some residents of the property to call me when it was full...while I was at the grocery getting dog food , one of them called and asked if I had turned the hoses off...AAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!
So...guess what I get to do tomorrow morning instead of walking the Grrrls with Annabelle ?
That's right.
I did make a pretty bad ass pork salad for sandwiches that you can see at my fucking facebook page.
I don't know what I did to piss off the karma gods ( actually I do , but that's a nunya and probably a product of my underlying paranoia about unexplained fuckings )
This Goatwhore is actually if you'll excuse me it's 4 fucking hours ago.
Still beats electric a fucking mile.
And that Husker song really fucked with me...seriously , it did.
It made me cry.
Now I have to go out and kil.....CONNECTION TERMINATED....PLEASE STAND BY...

Sunday, August 02, 2009


and I won't forget...

He loved this song and he would sing at the top of his lungs...
"got to scrape that shit right off your shoes"
I miss him.

Call me sentimental , but I fucking love Thin Lizzy.

And I'm kickin' up about the state I'm in...

For the Stones...

And your breath is hard as kerosene...
Me and the grrrls have been tending to a makes me weepy , like this song makes me weepy.
I have so much to say and I wonder if I have the time to say it...jerking that drunk motherfucker off the couch and dragging him into the woods was a good thing.
We all had a good time and it's times like that that remind me of the value of friendship...

Saturday, August 01, 2009


The daughter I never had but really had right under my nose...I can't tell you how much I love her.

Family...All that ink is my fault by the way...:)
Father and son.
nap time...
As luck would have it I have a big family...I am blessed.
Maybe Sunburned and Definitely Unemployed
We went over to Albert, Carlos & Bill's place today to see Wendy who was in town planning her wedding. Wendy is Bill's daughter and Rob is similar to an uncle or godfather to her so this was a real treat that she was in town and we got to spend some time with her and her finance. I wore shorts even though I never wear shorts due to the sunburn factor, but damn it was hot and humid today so I did it anyway, knowing full well I might pay a painful price tomorrow. It's too soon to tell at this point - I was careful to stay in the shade and I appear to be sunburn free at the moment, but past experience tells me that I could wake up in the morning to a nasty sunburn that hasn't shown up yet tonight. I've never quite understood quite how that works, but it's happened to me time and time again - go to bed with white skin, but wake up in the morning with red. However, a good time was had by all and I even went swimming once the pool was in the shade. Everyone else was either napping or away doing other stuff so I had the pool to myself which made for a relaxing "float on my back all over the pool without worrying about running into anyone else" experience. I like company, but I also like solitude and I got the best of both worlds today.

In other news, I quit my job. I'm eligible for rehire so if I can't find anything else, I can always go back, but I really need a break from that sort of work. Five years is a very long time to work at a call center. I have no idea what I'm going to do next, but if the past is any indication, it will be something completely different from anything I have every done before. It's both exciting and scary at the same time. I took a week off and did pretty much nothing, but this coming Monday I will start the job search procedure - resume writing, job fairs and so forth. I'll just have to see what happens but I hope there is an awesome job out there where I can be happy. Hey, it never hurts to dream and if you are going to dream, might as well dream big.