It’s all in how you look at it ~ Late Evening Thoughts …



Let’s file tonight’s story as “It’s All In How You Look At It” … OK?
My good friend, also called Bill, and I were out visiting friends in low places. At the end of the evening, we stopped at the 59 Diner for some really great food and fun service. (diner waitresses you know…). We got the same waitress we had last time, who I swear is Inspector Gadget with the decaf coffee pot permanently attached to her hand….. The other waitress in our section came by the table and I asked about the big party that had left shortly before we arrived. Found out it was a party of 27 college kids, complete with their bongos (was I transported back to the 60’s?) … I could ONLY imagine how much fun that part would have been. And yes, I’m being serious – it would have been fun …
In the meantime, four fellows who had visited in even lower places came in and took a booth not too far from us. Well, took a booth is perhaps the wrong description … It involved pouring one of them into the booth.
Alas, this same one reached the end of his night and his head crashed onto the table. At this point, two phones came out and the scene is being video taped.


Now, here’s where how you look at it comes into play. All I could think of was 1) this is most likely going to appear on Facebook/twitter and 2) this kid is going to have a tough time living it down. My friend and I had some good chuckles over what he was going to be teased about when he finally “came to” and then – then – it happened.

Yes, that moment when ALL the alcohol consumed and bar snacks decide they need to come up and out for air.

At that point, I realized that his name had instantly changed to “Mr. Throw-up” and he was going to have a more difficult time dealing with that one.
Remember I mentioned diner waitresses? Well, one cardinal rule: Don’t make their life more difficult than it is. Don’t, just don’t.

She was there in a flash and informed the three to get him out of there…as in now. It was fun to watch them try to get Mr. Limp Body out of the inside of the booth, out the exit door and into the car. The three came back in and she’s standing there with a large take-out box and informed the three that THEY were to put the “excess protein evacuation”* (my words NOT hers) into the box and clean it up to not to make more work for the rest of them. LOL
She also had their food on another table already boxed up, and (diner waitresses again) asked if they wanted THAT box in a bag to remind Mr Throw-up in the morning… LOL
Meanwhile, those around are quite conscious of what happened and were chuckling some in amusement and some with rueful memories no doubt.
Here’s my point (and the world sighs – thank God) … We could have been upset, offended and Lord only knows what else…demanded to be accommodated elsewhere and a discount on the check (really – I’ve been in restaurants where that happened) But seriously, it didn’t really effect us or our meal. I know there are those who ARE but much of that is simply in their mind.
We would have had to disrupt our meal, conversation etc. and would have missed watching Diner Waitresses in action. >shrug< seems pretty simple to me.
OH, yes – as we were leaving the four were somewhat standing outside and yes – the kid was being referred to as “Well, Mr. Throw-up over there”.


“protein evacuation” was the term at Disneyland I heard only once to explain why we were being held up in line.

Seal Picture – NBC San Diego
Diner Waitress

Very Early Morning Thoughts ~

It’s so dusty and messy in here, I had a problem opening the door.  I think I can say, that’s what happens when I go away for as long as I did! But, I’m back how – and need to get things back in order!


OK, maybe this place isn’t “quite” that bad, but I can’t really get going unless I work for a bit to make sure this blog I call my 2nd Life doesn’t end up looking as the next  one did.  >was having a little trouble believing these pictures…until I did a larger search – Oy!!


But now, I’m back …  A lot has gone on, and I’m ready to start sharing my stories!


An Important News Interruption … Early Afternoon Thoughts

Now, it’s not the Royal Baby ~ Although, I do have a BuzzFeed graph of what the internet might have looked like this afternoon …..

the internet on the royal baby

No – it’s a very important discovery …..

Those of you who’ve been around my blog know that I suffer from depression…sometimes serious, deep depression and that I have (according to the Doctors) probably suffered for as long as 60+ years.

Treatment/medication are fine.  But this article from The Independent in England has given me tremendous hope.

I”ll link to the article, but this just might be the money quote:

Researchers used a particle accelerator called the Diamond Light Source to understand the structure of CRF1. The X-ray machine’s powerful beams illuminated the protein’s structure, according to the Sunday Times, including a crevice that could become a new target for drug therapy.

The information gained from this study will be used to design small molecule drugs that fit into this new pocket to treat depression.


This is wonderful news, and news that gives me hope for all of those (myself included) who suffer from this disease ….

Here’s the link to the article ….

It’s A Combination Of Remembering (AND reading) ~ Late Evening Thoughts…Intermezzo


A dear friend of mine, M. Christopher Boyer, is Pastor at Good Shepard Baptist Church. This morning, he took his congregation on a journey involving the Prophet Amos and the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin issue.

It’s a powerful piece and one I told him was worthy of publication somewhere.  He graciously gave me permission to post it here – and hopefully, he’ll find a wide outlet for his thoughts.

I was going to reprint it in its entirety, but decided to post this link to the printed sermon.  If I posted it on the page in full, I’d be wanting to break it up with pictures and such.  This way it stands alone … in all it’s power.  This being Sunday and all ….

Early Evening Thoughts ~ The One Last Ride ~

I’ve written about my suicide several times over the last few years, but one aspect that I didn’t cover was one that I really preferred to keep somewhat unknown.  It wasn’t an attempt to keep it secret (if you’ve followed this blog, you know me better than that…) as much as a problem in knowing how to handle this.  When all was said and done, the Dr. felt that I had possibly had 2-3 concussions one right after another … as a result, for several months afterward, I had a lot of difficulty with sentences, names and remembering certain things.  It was, in all honesty, one of the most terrifying times of my life.  I was afraid that I had possibly done severe brain damage (cutting off one’s oxygen supply and hacking one’s neck with an eXacto knife will have a tendency to do that sort of thing…)

At the least, I was afraid that I might have triggered Alzheimer’s and all that would entail.  Fortunately, none of that happened.  Gradually, words, memories and such returned and I seem to hold no further problems from it.

I was and am blessed with wonderful children, and friends who simply said to me – if it happens it happens and we’ll deal with it then.  In other words sir … quit borrowing trouble from the future, you’ve got enough to deal with right now …. and how right they were.

This story, which I understand like yesterday’s has been making the rounds for sometime now, made me cry.  Not only for her, but for the blessings that I have of people around me who know me and mercifully still love me! What would it be like without anyone? I really don’t care if and haven’t looked up to see if the story is true.  The story still makes me cry every time I read it …. [update: the story is true … I just looked it up]

A NYC Taxi driver writes:

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’

‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’

‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly..

‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice..’The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked.

For the next few hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired.Let’s go now’.
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse.

‘Nothing,’ I said

‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.

‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.She held onto me tightly.

‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut.It was the sound of the closing of a life..

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

The House

I’m still awaiting the photos from my daughter concerning the renovations going on to the house … sigh! Hopefully, soon….

Friday, my picky and demanding contractor (AKA “the-son-in-law” had us meet at the house to make some final decisions about electrical placement, etc. I think I’ve mentioned that there were various 1″ level differences throughout the house. That’s simply a result of the house being sliced/diced over the years. While we were there the workers were trying to remove what we THOUGHT were stick-on tiles in the sun-rooms….they were not. whoever put the sun-rooms in had placed the tiles  the WET cement and pushed them in – making it literally impossible to take up. I’m not sure what the thinking about that was, or even if they were thinking.

Regarding tile – On Tuesday my daughter/son-in-law and I went and picked out tile for the house. One of the major changes involves putting the same color tile throughout the entire house. we had a plan A and a plan B as far as color was concerned … no problem. On Wednesday, the tile man started calling the various stores to place the order. In the size of tiles needed (18″ x 18″ – 45.732 x 45.72 centimeters)it was discovered that in spite of being a highlighted for sale tile, not one single store here had enough tile. Some had 10 pieces (NOT boxes) another had 100 pieces, etc. My beloved son-in-law was ready to pull the hair out of his shaved head. Then one of the stores told him it could be ordered in delivered in – oh – three to four weeks. At this point my beloved son-in-law was starting to show signs of complete melt-down.

His tile guy looked at the back of the sample piece and literally called the plant where the tile was manufactured. He discovered that 1) the tile was manufactured in a plant about 7 hours from here and 2) if they were there the next morning they would load up ALL the tiles that had been chosen (tiles,boarders, edging, etc.) as well as all the grout and other things necessary to install them.

Two of my son-in-law’s workers put his trailer on the back of their truck and drove – basically all night – and picked up the tiles and drove back to get them there to have the house tile finished this weekend.

However, I was informed Friday that I have been placed on “house restriction” – meaning that I am not allowed to see the house until Monday….

I threatened today to get into “drag” and visit the house incognito. My son-in-law texts back that when he finally stopped laughing hysterically – it wouldn’t work. So, I promised that I would behave and NOT go to the house this weekend. And frankly with the temperatures and heat index being in the triple digits all weekend and much of next week … I don’t plan on going too many places at all…

More to follow – hopefully with more pictures!!!!!!

The House ~ continued

After reading today of Mitt Romney’s decision to bulldoze his “small” house and build an 11,000 square foot addition, I’m almost afraid to write about mine. It certainly isn’t anything like his ~ but after all the years I’ve been paying money to apartment owners, it probably will feel like it!!!

As I’ve mentioned my Son-in-Law is doing all the destruction/reconstuction on the house. On Monday, I thought I would surprise him and his workers by showing up – unannounced. My good friend BW drove me to the house. I don’t drive, but that’s for another set of posts, dear friends. I was sure I saw his truck in the driveway along with all the other vehicles. We entered the front door and as I was pushing back the plastic keeping dust and such contained – I yelled out: “My moving van is outside, where do I put all my stuff?”

As we rounded the corner, I realized that 1) he was NOT there and 2) these folks had absolutely NO idea who in the heck I was. SIGH! Fortunately, I introduced myself quickly, and the ice thawed even more quickly. I was taken on a tour and shown what was happening, and what was planned. If it is possible, I became even more excited!!! S was the fellow in charge and he explained as much as possible. He had a couple of questions for me and we made our way over piles and piles of lumber, etc. It was obvious, the dumpster had not arrived yet….very obvious.

I felt as if I’d caused enough chaos for the day, and we left more quietly than we arrived…

Wednesday, my daughter and I met J at the house for further discussions about plans and such. Unfortunately, my son-in-law IS a contractor and just as in other professions, they speak their own language. Fortunately, S was there to translate – both directions I might add.

Friday, we had to meet there again and this time, the dumpster had arrived and the place looked less as if something or someone had exploded in there and more like a construction site. There were some issues that needed to have decisions – for instance, my idea for the master bathroom had hit the reality of the space. Not a big problem, but that took some time to talk out.

This is a picture of the bathroom I’m talking about. I decided it was the winner of the “world’s worst bathroom” … to give a point of reference, it will be almost three times the size it is in the picture.

The toilet was taped closed for the estate sale – for very good reasons, and I’ll leave it at that!!

More later – and hopefully, I’ll have some pictures of the destruction by then!!!

Dear Me ~ Part 3

And so the re-construction began this week for real. I’ve gone a quite a roller-coaster of emotions about this purchase. Everything from “this is wonderful” to the to be expected “OMG ~ “What am I doing, have I completely lost my mind!!!!”. Let it not be said that I do something like this quietly and with no outward show of emotion.

I also made it a point to talk to my children about this ~ and they were amazingly supportive, vocal in their love of the idea and more than willing to suggest way to spend the money!!! I’ve been living in apartments for so long, I’d almost forgotten about what owning a home is like ~ almost.

The house had been owned by one family since 1960. The Father has passed away a number of months ago, and the Mother wasn’t doing all that well. The Son came a lived with her for awhile, and decided that she needed to move back to where he lived and worked. That’s how the estate sale came to be. the son helped gather the stuff up for the sale, and then the next day, he and his Mother boarded a plane. They literally locked up the house and walked away….leaving in the process an incredible amount of things ~ including the contents of the refrigerator.

The head of the estate sale outfit has his phone number and we connected by phone. It was a very positive chat and then he had his realtor call me. Several phone calls later it was decided that it would NOT be a good idea for his agent to represent both of us – so another agent from the same office called me and we were off to the races!!!

The closing was two days before our beloved congress tried to drive the economy over the cliff – really good timing on my part!!

My dearly loved son-in-law is a contractor and is doing all the work on the house. He also has a lot of work to do for various franchise owners of a certain fast food outlet. Again, with them rolling out a new menu item requiring re-doing most of the kitchens in a rather short space of time, my timing couldn’t have been better.

More tomorrow or Saturday. Until then here’s a teaser pic of the start of the re-construction!

There will be a LOT more pictures of the mess of re-doing it all that I will post later. My daughter took them, and her camera does pictures that are HUGE HUGE HUGE! She’ll get them to me, and I’ll get them into a size that will fit….

A 60+ Stoner ~ Late Evening Thoughts

This chapter picks up from —here

Once taken into the surgical holy-of-holies, I was shown to a draped area with a bed and various machinery not for the faint of heart. I was handed two (not one) two surgical gowns to put on. As surgical gowns had been designed by Dr. Seymour Butts, this was a welcome change indeed. Now, the posterior areas would not be flapping in the breeze of hospital air conditioning…or so I thought. Alas, when the surgical nurse (have to use the right title here) came back. I was to put one on and the other would be put on after surgery. But, I need not have worried – once I got into the bed, I didn’t get to leave it.

And now the torture began. After the first surgical nurse left (having divested me of one of the gowns), a second one arrived – carrying a $4 cup of coffee. Sheer torture. Fortunately, he was but a moment and left with coffee intact very shortly. At that point, the anesthesiologist arrived without coffee and talked in detail about what they were going to do and how I would be “under” for the operation.

Those who know the story of a year ago, know that my last major surgery was not exactly a walk in the park going into it. I had shared that with my Dr., but had no idea he had shared it beyond that.

I was very glad to talk to the anesthesiologist and find out that I was NOT going to be given the paralyzing shot so common in operations, but would be a combination of gas and drugs. There was a lot more torture as various surgeons, interns and I swear there was a cleaning person all arrived in front of me – with cups of coffee. One person actually used the table by the end of MY bed to add his sugar … I was in agony.

I should have paid more attention to the next explanation but I didn’t. They were going to give me a nerve block in my upper legs which would relieve most of the pain over the next couple of days. This is important for later.

After that discussion the Dr. came to see me and made the usual poking of the leg, discussion with the nurse that was with him – and merely gave me “THE LOOK” for daring to joke about marking the leg to be operated on with an X. (Some surgeons are known for NOT having a sense of humor – mine included!)

At that point, the anesthesiologist was back with several additions to the IV that had been started in my arm. I felt wonderful!!!! Nothing hurt, I had a good grasp on reality and everything seems fuzzy and sharp at the same time. The bed I was on was the one I would be taken to surgery in – and off down the hall we went. By this point, the meds were beginning to take hold, and I was enthralled by the passing lights, and the people passing by. My mouth seemed a little fuzzy but I think I could still be understood, but frankly I have no idea what I said. Finally, it was through the doors and into the operating. I was feeling so good – getting onto the operating table was no problem. That’s because they didn’t move me until I was out. The anesthesiologist was talking about the mask in my ear, and it was placed over my nose/mouth and I did as I was told – to breathe deeply.

That was the last I remembered until I woke up in my hospital room. To say it took a few minutes to get focused would be a distinct understatement. Managed to see my daughter sitting in the room, and supposedly asked her if I’d had a good time at the party. I then remember various people suddenly (she says not suddenly, but over a period of time) converging around the bed to “fill me in” on all I needed to know. First off was an explanation of the machine in bed with me making my leg move up to my chest and then back down. A major annoyance during my stay, even if I was grateful that I would keep me from locking up the new knee. Then there was the physical therapist to point out what they would do later (Spanish Inquisition torture for 400 Alex.).

He finally left and the nurse came over to explain the pain pump next to my bed. In my foggy state I did manage to listen as she explained that every time the light came on I could press the button for pain medication. Please make not that she actually said could press it. As she was leaving, the light was on – (cue the Psycho violins here) – so I pressed it. And that’s what I did all afternoon to early evening.

I need to do a short explanation here (do I do anything short?). I am not a stoner but not by nature. With my compulsive/impulsive nature people are sometimes surprised. I simply can’t. Pot makes me incredibly physically miserable and very sick – which made me a real pain-in-the-butt in the Theater department in college. And none of the rest either because they don’t work in my system as -according to everyone else – they should.

So now, I have drugs blocking the pain in my knee, whatever was in the IV dripping away and I’m pressing the pain pump every time the light comes on…which seemed to be about every five minutes. At this point – even my daughter agrees- I had gone from operation drug lingering head long to a 60+ year older stoner (in case you hadn’t gotten that!!) I had several cell phone calls I don’t remember having, ate two meals which I don’t remember and several servings of ice cream – which was available anytime on the floor.

I was blissfully unaware – even though my daughter was telling me at the time I was beyond loopy and heading toward loony!! That blissfully unaware came to an end when I looked at the wallpaper above the sink in my room. I’ve included a picture of something similar – but mine was more gold, more washed and with some dark in it. (creepy music for 200 Alex) I was looking at the TV on the wall when I realized that the wall paper pattern was moving . . . around the wall. I did what any logical person would do in that situation and closed my eyes several times to see if it would go away.
It didn’t.

I realized right away that I was for the very first time in my life completely and absolutely stoned. I will say that it was frankly NOT a good sensation. (OK, DEA did that cover my probation?) I also knew exactly where the problem was and what needed to be done about it. At that point the nurse came in and we both basically started the same conversation . . . which in a nut shell was “the machine has to go.” She was trying to be diplomatic about it – I was being blunt. She wanted to re-set the timer (!!??) I wanted the thing gone. And shortly gone it was. Eventually the “trip” came to an end, the wallpaper stopped moving and the fuzz began to clear.

It especially cleared enough for me to concentrate on my nemesis since the beginning of time – the walker. Curse it as much as I did – it wouldn’t take the hint and leave. It just laid there against the wall and mocked me!!!

—more tomorrow

A 60+ S_ ONE R ~ Early Evening Thoughts

Picking up from —here

Everyone knows what a hospital waiting room looks like, sounds like and very often smells like. They are often places of frenetic activity, unintelligible or delivered in code intercom calls . . . and frankly smell like hospital.

I was not prepared for this entrance/waiting room. There was the tranquil sounds of fountains and a full sized grand piano was being played by ghostly hands. OK, that was a slight exaggeration – it was a player grand piano. Turning to the right, there was a marble topped circular desk with someone in coat and tie standing behind it. I was tempted to go outside and see if I had been delivered to a funeral home by mistake. Everything seemed so peaceful and didn’t smell. It turns out that the gentleman behind the desk if the first person everyone talks to before entering the rest of the hospital.

He takes your information (actually listening I might add!) and then calls whoever you are supposed to see and they will come an get you. If necessary, he will take you to where you need to go. No wandering aimlessly around the hallways trying to remember if you were told turn left, then right – go up five steps and “shake it all about.”

There were several reasons they went with the set-up the way they have it. First of all it help control traffic and also it help convince people that they are known and expected. Of course, visitors check-in and go up to the rooms.

Anyway, hospital registration came out to get me as I waited in nice comfy chairs – by a window wall and listened to the water wall and piano. I was taken to a glass enclosed area to begin the sign all the papers required and make sure all the payments had been recorded. Within a very short delightful time, I had my wrist band and the nurse came and got me for the necessary testing that had to be done.

Before going into the testing area, she took me on a tour of the floor where I would be staying – showed me a room (I was beginning to wonder if I would be expected to buy a time-share plan before I would get out). And we grabbed a fresh cup of coffee from the floor waiting area. Already I was falling in love – they had good coffee!! Once ensconced in the testing area, two nurses went to work on me. The only complaint I had was that one cup of coffee was not going to be able to replace the gallon (so it seemed to me) of blood they drew. OK, the 2nd complaint had to do with those little gluey pads they use for EKG’s. But that has more to do with glue and chest hair. . . and there’s not much anyone can do about that. And then, we were done. Because I had come in before the day of surgery, I was given a reprieve on arrival time on Friday. I didn’t need to be there until 5:30am!! Not much of an improvement, but at that time of day (Is it really a time of day?) I’ll take what I can get!!

So now I was free until Friday morning – about 33 hours away. Just enough time to go home, and brace myself for nothing to eat or drink after 10pm on Thursday. Of course, that gave me sometime to surf the net and discover all sorts of things I didn’t want to know about the operation. . . and anesthetic. I know I should have stopped reading, but it was as if I was watching a car wreck. I just kept looking.

“Achmed was supposed to pick me up Friday in time to make the 5:30am deadline. At about 5:00am I get a phone call they he can’t pick me up, but one of his friends is going to be there and the “friend” knew where the hospital was. “Friend” did NOT know where the hospital was – and “Achmed” was giving him directions the entire way – very loudly – over the cell phone. And we did make the appointed time. Again, check in at desk, registration comes and gets me and I get a wrist band – which includes a picture, by the way. No mistaking who I am that’s for sure!! Registration takes me to the surgery floor, and there is the ONLY place I’ve had to wait for any length of time…along with the others scheduled for early morning surgery.

We did get to laughing as the waiting became a test of endurance. Right across from where we were waiting was an area for families to wait while surgery was being done. The area was filled with coffee, colas and rolls and such. It was very hard to behave – let me tell you. Especially seeing the coffee …. especially the coffee.

Eventually, we were released from the torment and taken back to begin the final part of this story … and of course the last letter in the hangman puzzle in the heading.

–more tomorrow.