Giving the finger(nail)

August 28, 2012

Recently, I have begun to grow my fingernails a bit longer.

This change in grooming and appearance has not come about  because I have become affiliated with some obscure eastern cult, nor do I intend to run away and join the circus. And, I clearly have no intention of challenging that old Chinese guy who holds the Guinness world record for  22 inches of “fashion length” finger extensions.

Honestly,  I don’t know why I am doing it. Maybe I decided to let them grow because it seems I can’t grow hair on my head anymore and my body has all this excess keratin just screaming to get out. Anyway, I did not think too much about my longer fingernails until, it was pointed out to me during lunch the other day, that men with long fingernails are considered creepy.

Creepy! Now I have been called lots of things by all sorts of people from my Drill Sargent to my mother-in-law. But I have never been associated with any aspect of creepy.

So,  what is it?   Could it be that there is a double standard in play here?

Of course it is ok for women to grow their nails as long as they care to grow them. Heck, they can even attach falsies to their finger tips and no one bats a false eyelash. Come to think about it, false eyelashes (among other faux accessories) are perfectly acceptable when adorned by women. But just once let a man (me) grow his fingernails a couple of extra millimeters and he is considered… creepy.

Well, I think I am beginning to like creepy.

I don’t know if I will get into the whole polish and glitter scene, and I probably will not ask Ellie to go with me to the Mall and help pick out some ladybug stick ons. But, an occasional “buff and rub” might be nice.

These longer fingernails permit me to scratch myself with renewed gusto and enjoyment, permitting a degree of satisfaction rarely achieved with shorter nails.

I also get to pick up loose change dropped at the grocery store checkout faster than folks half my age. Faster even than those young fresh-faced bag people who are so eager to assist the tottering elderly. I am certain that they are impressed with the near robotic speed and precision I can display while picking up runaway coins. Yesterday, I even heard one of them say,

“Drop a dime and watch the creepy old guy pick it up.”

Yeah, I am liking creepy.

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Isaac the Terrible

August 26, 2012

As we wait for Isaac to finish his Cuban visit and head though the Florida Straits to the Gulf Of Mexico, it makes my mind wander and I think and wonder about what will come next.

I also think about waiting.

Waiting for a Florida hurricane is different from waiting for a tornado in the Midwest. Certainly, both have their moments of terror, but the tornado wait is much shorter.

You might get a 15 minute warning when the sirens go off and the sky darkens and turns that telltale green color. Then you know it is time to hit the basement. Another 15 minutes and it is usually all over. You can then emerge from underground  to see if your world is upside down or if it has been spared.
With a hurricane, you have plenty of time to prepare. Hours, perhaps days in advance you are warned of the potential disaster. Enough time to make several trips to the grocery store for beer, wine and other necessities. You even have time to evacuate to higher ground…if you can find some.
The event itself is not as terrifying as the 15 minutes with a tornado, but it can last a couple of days with torrents of rain and howling winds. It is this marathon terror that wears you down.
In the wake of both a hurricane and a tornado, you have the potential for power outages. Unless you have a generator you could go days or weeks without electricity or water. Hurricane Charley put mine out for ten days.
One thing that I never understood was that some people pray that the hurricane miss them… and hit further down the coast. As if God would like them and their prayer better than the neighbor’s, so he will spare them and smite the neighbor. Not much of a charitable thought.

I just say, come on Isaac, Abraham spared you the knife, time for you to give us a break.

Don’t blow my oranges off the trees. I just hate glueing them back on.

Redneck rehab

August 20, 2012

I am in rehab this week.

It all started with arrival of my Florida farm friends last Thursday.

Because of the storms, their flight was diverted to Nashville so we were an hour and a half  late to our restaurant. But then, the wine started flowing and the  Italian food started coming.

Did not get to bed until after one am.
Five thirty the next morning. up and at ’em. Took Mikey for his walk. Stocked the coolers with beverages (both kinds, adult and juvenile.)

The party bus arrived at the Ritz to take us to Grant’s farm. There were 10 of us,  more or less for the private tour, arranged by Donna. It was  up close and personal with the animals.  So close in fact, one lady  had a little trouble with bison drool on her shirt.

Clydesdale Scott, agreed to have his picture taken with us.

Stallions and Geldings

We were at the farm over 3 hours and  only had to leave for lunch in the valley.
After a great lunch at Annie Gunn’s, the bus returned to the Ritz. My friends were at leisure while I restocked the coolers with more adult beverages and tried to rest in my chair. My Mikey alarm clock woke me up and we were off again.

This time our party bus, driven by Amanda, took us to Busch stadium to see the Cardinals play the Pirates. We were in a luxury suite provided by Sweetwood Citrus’ attorney, Chris. The setting was great. As C W exclaimed while looking out over the city back drop and the magnificent green field. “This is just like being there!”

The Cards lost in a close game,  but the party keep rolling back to the Ritz.
Got to bed once again after one am.
Up early Saturday with Mikey. Restocked the coolers (again) and met the bus for this mornings tour of St. Louis. I figured, the group would be slowing down, but no luck there.

Some however  did have luck during an unscheduled stop at the casino. While half of the group were touring
The Arch, the other “fast” bunch were touring the craps table. C W won $2000.  Spanky won 10 cents.

About noon we headed for lunch at, what a surprise, a sports bar, for a light lunch of ribs, pastrami on rye and sweet potato fries.

The afternoon was spent at my house where Mikey put on an impressive display of his golf cart herding skills. However, we missed the opportunity to contribute to the world somersault record at Art Hill,  because Woody got the times messed up…stupid Woody.

Before long, it was time for dinner at one of St. Louis’ prime steak houses. Delicious midwest beef was on the menu. The dinner went smoothly, marred only by the occasional wine spillage and a concern for an apparent wardrobe malfunction.

Again, in bed after 1 am.

Sunday was spent in prayer,  asking forgiveness and the ability to feel better… followed by what else, a champagne brunch at the Ritz and then a farewell to my friends.

When I told Matt, I was in rehab this week… in preparation for my trip to Florida in a week or two, he advised me that rehab is for quitters.

Oh, Brother!

A comfortable old friend

August 15, 2012

What do you do when a comfortable old friend gets disabled and can’t keep up appearances anymore?

Do you abandon the friend and take up with the new crowd, or do you rebuke the admonishments and stay by the old friend’s side regardless of the harassing catcalls and verbal ugliness?
Such is the decision I now face with my old friend,  the coffee mug.

Nowadays, most people who drink coffee do so out of mugs. Gone are the cup and saucer days of my parents generation. Mugs are the preferred crockery of hot beverages of all types.

I acquired this companion mug a number of years ago while riding down Route 66 in Arizona, on the way to the Grand Canyon.

We stopped for breakfast at a diner in a little town whose name I have forgotten. Well, the breakfast was so good and the coffee was just excellent.  I just knew the mug had something to do with it,  so I bought one.

It has been my constant breakfast companion ever since and I have not been disappointed in the performance of this coffee conveyance for all these years.
Recently however, because of my own carelessness, I dropped the mug and several pieces chipped off its bottom. Now the base is a little rough, and it has a ragged scalloped edge, but it still holds coffee and suits me fine.

Nevertheless, the mug and I have become the subject of comment and a certain amount of ridicule at the breakfast table. There have been suggestions that I do away with this slovenly mugness and get a new mug.

But, I like this one, why should I change? Just because it has a few of life’s dings and bumps, is no reason to discard my faithful friend to the dust bin.  When I think about it, I have a lot more bumps and bruises than the mug. Perhaps, there is talk of putting ME in the dust bin!

Well, I think I will just keep my old friend close and together we will partake the joy of java for a little while longer.