Sunday, May 22, 2016


In what has certainly become the longest “A-to-Z Challenge” and in a crawl to the finish line (somewhere in 2017 it seems), something happened here yesterday that was so typically Nebraska Avenue, 33605 or 02, I just had to write about it.

One of the reasons I hadn't posted, or written much lately, is that I felt really bad about Mama. Because she was feral, and because she would never consent to being confined to the house, I took a chance on letting her come and go while I was away. She knew Alex and liked him, and I figured that she'd be okay with that, so I gambled. . . and came up snake-eyes.

Mama, in all of her crazy, tortoise-shell, tabby, butterscotch, I-don't-know-what-I-am glory!

You know the rest. My significant 2/3s was all for dropping everything when Alex told me she disappeared after a few days, and hadn't eaten much, and running me back up here to Tampa, and while a kind and generous gesture; typical of him, my heart told me it was already too late. She had been ill and elderly before I left. She honestly couldn't eat very much, although she wanted to. She kept looking at me with those eyes, with love. I would look back, and I felt we were saying our goodbyes.

When I first got back home, I hunted and hunted for her, crawling over every inch of space under our house, looking along the back fences (and getting sworn at, by several pissed-off neighbors) and even went so far as to search the area where she had given birth. Nothing. I tried cooking fragrant meals, which always brought her running. After going up and around the neighborhood and calling for her, I knew she wasn't coming back.

But, it took something out of me. I didn't know if I was a horrible person for not coming back, but I'd had the sneaking suspicion the end was near before I left. Alex did, too. Still, I have that kind of personality; “What if I'd stayed home? What if we had come home early?” and I hate that about myself. Part of this is because I've had so little control over most of my life, that I've made some horrible decisions. Who hasn't? But, I finally decided to quit second-guessing, and I heard that one of our neighbors on this street, had an outdoor cat, who had just had kittens, and they were Mama's descendants. I took comfort in knowing that the lady would let me have two of the three when the time came. . . then the mother cat and her kittens disappeared. . .

The 2Minit Laundry, where it really takes 75Minits to do your laundry.

Alex had me all set to go to the ASPCA, to adopt a rescue, and we talked about it on Friday, while I was trying to install some god-awful app on his god-awful tablet for the Laundromat. We're all DIY'ers around here, it seems. Alex and I get all the computer crap no one can fix. Ms. Wizard here first downloaded the app. . . to my own phone. Yeah, I'm a brainiac. There were all these people milling around and hollering and washing clothes in the 'Mat while I was trying to do this. One woman walked in the door, bitching about the constant mopping at the top of her voice, and never shut up once. 

At one point, she said, “I'm ignorin' dey kids tonight, and drinkin' !” I thought, “I think everyone else in here needs a drink RIGHT NOW after listening to you holler!” My e. t. started kicking up, because Alex's tablet is ignorant, or the keys are too small, or maybe it was a PEBCAK error. He noticed my distress and said, “Just take the damn thing home, and do it from there. This is kinda crazy.” I ran out of there with the tablet and across the street and loaded it easily. It was like the worst day working at IBM, when the Japanese couple called – these were “external” customers, not the Sales Engineers I would later support – and could barely be understood.

I tried to fix the printer the wife had sat on, and “mash buttons, but no know which ones.” That was like a 4-hour call. I fell into a coma at some point; I must have fixed it, but I'll be damned if I can remember which steps it took to do it; plus, the guy didn't want the assistance of a Japanese interpreter, so he may have just gotten fed up and said “Domo Arigato, gotohell!” and hung up.

"One o' them big ole ugly IBM printers", one customer tried to explain to me. Gee, thanks for the help, guy. That'd be really EASY to troubleshoot, except my ESP and far-sight packages in my head are out for repair right now!

But, I digress. Yesterday, I was taking a walk with another neighbor, Mercedes, and she said, “I hear you're looking for some kittens.” I said, “Yeah, I was counting on two of Olga's outdoor cat's kittens, but the cat and kits up and disappeared.” Mercedes said, “Well, I know where you can get some MORE kittens! My friend, Elsie found a cat that was run over and after taking care of the body, she went into her back yard and found five kittens on her patio.” I looked at her, and said, “Where does she live?” and Mercedes took me to Elsie's house, introduced me to her, and then returned home.

First attempt at eating. After I put their beer carton in the shower, I ran to the Dollar Store and bought Kitten Chow. They could eat it, but with difficulty. Consulting the NYC Raising Orphaned Kittens manual, I judged them to be between 3 and 4 weeks old, but they are using a little "litter pan" I set up for them, so more like between 4 and 5 weeks.

In Elsie's back yard, were 5 little kittens, between 3 and 4 weeks old, as near as I can tell. Elsie was kind of beside herself. She'd called the Humane Society, and they don't take kittens that young and Elsie knew nothing about what to do with little kittens, as she was more of a dog person. She was pacing back and forth and rather agitated. I knew right away she was a compassionate person, and cared. I sat on the patio and just observed the kittens for a few minutes.

The all ginger-swirl kitten has a fiery little temper to match. Tonight, as I picked him up to look at his face, ears and tummy, he bit me. Kitten teeth are not the MOST formidable weapon. RAWR! It was just a nip, and a moment later, he was snuggled up against my neck.

Kittens that little tend to nest, and these little guys had nowhere to nest and they were just kid of crawling around and mewling. I picked up a fine ginger-swirl kitten, who was already brawling with his siblings, and a lovely pale tortoise shell, but I kept sitting there, looking at the others, all forlorn, no mama and now, some stranger is taking two of their litter mates. Well, that wouldn't do. After a long, slow deliberation; all of two seconds, I looked up at Elsie and said, “Find me a box; I'm gonna take all of 'em!” (One of my dearest friends, Jeremy from Runescape, when I related the story to him said "Oh! Crazy Cat Lady Starter Kit!" Yup. Jeremy is an angel; he and his family have fostered litters of orphaned kittens for YEARS and it's ingrained in his heart to be loving and giving; he was thrilled.)

Second foray into the kitten chow. They kind of have the profile of a mix of Yoda and the "Creeping Terror" from the movie of the same name. They just lack the radiator hoses on their faces, and tarps for bodies. Plus, they don't "eat" willing victims.

Anyway, Elsie kind of goggled at me for a moment, then said, “Are you sure?” I said, “Yes. I've hand-raised kittens before and I can do it now. I know this is upsetting for you.” She went back into her house and came out with a beer carton. We put all of the kittens in their beer carton, and as I was getting ready to make my goodbyes, little arms were sticking out the holes and waving around on all sides. Sometimes a head would pop out and then back in, but they weren't crying anymore. Elsie watched me for a minute as I talked to them and she said, “just a minute”, and went back into her house. She came back in an instant and said, “I know you're poor, I'm poor, we're all poor around here, but, please take this. You've done such a kindness”, and pressed a 100.00 bill into my hand. I started to cry. We hugged and I told her I'd keep her updated on their growth.

I cried all the way home, with my beer carton of kittens, their little arms flailing and a head or two bobbing up now and then, and me, really feeling my way with my cane, because I sure as hell had trouble seeing. Just another day on Nebraska Avenue.

This little lavendar tortoise-shell kitten was the first to use the little litter pan. I bought several more of these at Walmart. Things have to be scrupulously clean for the little ones. They are prey to lots of different infections and conditions. 

This morning, bright and early, Alex and I went to our nearest Walmart and I picked up plenty of supplies for the kittens. Dry kitten formula, pedialyte, lots and lots of extra wash clothes and little blankets to keep them warm in. I've gotten some good advice from people; you can take kitten chow and throw it in a blender and make a fine powder from it and mix it with the kitten formula and pedialyte. I got them little feeder bottles, but they wouldn't take the nipple, preferring to stand IN the dish and eat, so they were on they're way to being weaned.

They were also filthy, so tiny kitten baths were in order. Bathing a kitten is much, much easier than trying to bathe a cat. My Daddy and an orange tabby we had, had a running feud for years. The cat would roll in motor oil, because he knew my Daddy didn't like the smell of inorganic chemicals and then would come in the house and lie under my dad's feet. My father would sniff the air and say, “What in the hell is that smell?”, look down and find an oil-coated Oliver under him. “Gah! You need a bath!” He'd snatch Oliver up, and they'd go into the Master Bath, where I'd hear all sorts of yowling and banging and sounds of the shower curtain being torn off of it's rings and things crashing around in the bathroom. About a half-hour later, Daddy would emerge with bloodied arms and face, and a wet, disgruntled Oliver. “And THIS time, you STAY clean!” my Daddy would holler at the cat.

My mother and father, circa 1969. Oliver is lurking somewhere. I'm taking the picture. The two large dogs, are part Great Pyrenees and part-I-Forget. The little terrier was named "Waffles". The two big dogs were named (from left) Quetzelcoatl and Van Gogh. Blame my mom for those names. The dogs were wonderful, by the way. The gentleman lurking in the background is my godfather, Hank Birch. He visited us one summer, until my mom got fed up, and told him to go home and sober up.

All would be calm until the cat would be taking a shit in my mother's flower beds and my father, would go out with the can opener and rattle it. So, poor Oliver didn't know whether to finish pooping, or if he should go eat. My mom would say, “Glenn, you're in for trouble!” The next night, the whole house was awakened by a giant shriek. Oliver had jumped from the window sill down onto my father's chest while he slept. Ah, cats. They are ingenious and as Leonardo da Vinci would say “The smallest of the felines is a Masterpiece!” He wasn't kidding!

There is no shame in being poor; there is no shame in living from day to day and just trying to get along the best you can. It's how we treat one another and the world around us, that will be our legacy and that's really all that matters.

So, with my five blessings, I'm adding a PayPal button to my account on this blog. If anyone cares to donate to these little guys to get them grown properly, please feel free to do so. I will give credit here in my blog and explain where every penny goes! If not, that is fine as well. I have had a 50.00 donation from "Cat Mommy", and with her 50.00, I was able to purchase more towels, the pedialyte, extra kitten chow and formula. My thanks and love to out to you, "Cat Mommy"! I will have more pictures; hopefully not blurry ones, but remember, we're dealing with the famous Wallace “gene” here, which translates to “no picture shall be rendered understandable.” 

Monday, May 16, 2016


I DO apologize for the lateness of this post. I wracked my brains over what would personify Nebraska Avenue at it's looniest and most relatable. After many starts and edits and what-nots, it never got better, until I hit upon the idea of going back to my very first posts in “Homeless Chronicles” and I think this is the right approach. What follows are several of my first posts from the homeless shelter and they are stunning in their lunacy!


The first person I met is the feisty little lady who is one of my roomies. I have two roommates and I tower over them both at five feet four inches. Deb is four-eleven and Opal is even smaller. Tiny ladies, both. Deb had me store my "stuff" in Holly's room, until she could help me. Holly is five one, another tiny lady and just as feisty. I was in a total daze. I had no idea where I really was, or what I was supposed to do, or where to go. I was trying to use this damned walker and was not being very successful at it; it had taken me forty-five minutes to climb three stairs. Granted, I had one-hundred and twelve pounds of crap tied to my walker, but still. . . 

I didn't want to get in anyone's way, so I just kind of parked my sorry butt on the sofa in our front lobby. D was getting dinner ready for the group of folks she cooks for and was tearing around. Someone asked her a question and I don't remember the precise exchange, but her answer was "I don't know his last name. Everyone acts like they're in the goddamned Witness Protection program here!"

I started to laugh. She did too. There have been several exchanges between other people, that are just plain bizarre and amusing. To wit:

My "rendering" of Holly. I don't even pretend I can draw or take pictures. It's even worse now with my e. t. I drew pictures of everyone at the Homeless Shelter.

There is a man in our house who is from Cameroon. I don't know his circumstances, or why he is here, but he has been a tremendous source of entertainment. At least for me...

We are all supposed to clean up in the kitchen after ourselves. Eli - from Chad - seems to think he is exempt from this little chore. But, if he doesn't get his way, he pouts. Ugh. Deb went so far as to put his dirty dishes in his bed; he straightened up for a while, then had some convenient amnesia. Well. . .

Deb hollered at him "You lazy mother-fucker! I am not the mother-fucking maid! Clean your mother-fucking dishes"! Eli is about six-four in height, D is four-eleven. Eli called the Tampa Police. The TPD should just open an annex in the back yard and call it a day. These poor people are over here at least three times a day. TPD and the EMS units could share a bungalow back there; we have a lot of attention-getting sickness, here, too. 

Eli went under the pseudonym of "Mr. C" when I was posting actively and he lived there. He's since moved, and I've run into him a few times. He's actually very nice. As Jim would say, "If ya didn't cuss, smoke or drink before you lived here? You will before you leave Happy Acres!" 

Pretend-seizures are rampant, followed closely by pretend-fainting and pretend-heart attacks. The TPD showed up and listened to Eli's story, which consisted of some mumble-garble about his "right to not be sworn at" or some sort of nonsense. The TPD officer looked at this hulking giant, and looked at little, teeny Deb. Non-plussed for a moment. Then, the Solonic edict came down.

TPD officer pointed at Deb. "You, quit saying the F-word." Pointed at Eli, "You, do your dishes." On their way out to the prowl car, the officers kindly reminded all on the front porch - where we were hiding in the curtains and thinking we were all invisible - to "do your dishes." God, I bet they can't wait to come back for a visit. What's next? "Billy stole my marbles, 'cause I called him a doodie-head?" I will add more to this drivel, but this is a hell of a lot more entertaining than reading my organ recital of ills. Heh.


Well, Eli has been at it again. My wonderful friend Holly had a run in with him recently. We're all still recovering from the encounter. H is one of my favorite people of all time. She is without doubt, one of the funniest, most hilariously mordant people I have ever met. She has a razor-sharp sense of the absurd and appreciates idiocies and idiots of all kinds. This whole thing started one night, when we were all sitting on the front porch, playing dice or Uno or Whist or something. Maybe it was Euchre. Well, Eli was in the kitchen, "cleaning" his dishes. This consisted of him rinsing them, and trying to stuff them in the dishwasher. The only problem; the dishwasher is almost through the rinse cycle and his dishes are dirty. Holly was sitting closest to the open window on the porch. The following conversation went like this:

Self-portrait before the eye-surgery and before my hair grew out again. I still have no depth perception. Heh.

Holly: Those dishes are clean. Don't put your dirty dishes in there.

Eli: (grunt) mumble, mumble. . . (clatter dishes around to distract H)

Holly: Ya dumbass; don't put your dirty dishes in with the clean dishes. Dumbass.

Eli: mumble, mumble... (proceeds to take Dishwasher detergent and pour it into the empty Dawn Dish Detergent bottle. Uses up all of Dishwasher detergent trying to clean dishes with dish rag)

Holly: Dumbass; that's for the Dishwashing machine, ya dumbass. You don't wash the dishes manually with that soap. Dumbass.

And so on. . .

Well, we ended up having to use shampoo to wash our own dishes until we could buy new "house" cleaning-type stuff. But I digress.

A few nights later, Holly was cooking dinner for several of us (we take turns with chores) and was finishing up the supper. Eli came into the kitchen and wanted to cook. The kitchen is small and there is very limited counter space. Holly had taken up most of the counter, but was finishing up and starting to put things away. Well, this wasn't immediate enough for Eli He apparently was King or Grand Poo-Bah or Head Tamale or Top Banana in Cameroon and expects to be obeyed IMMEDIATELY. So, he says to Holly, "I wish for counter space." Holly gawps at him, and says, "Bite me." Eli looks rather befuddled and says, "I do not wish to bite you; I wish for counter space." Mirth and hilarity ensued.

This, in a roundabout, diverting way illuminates something I have learned about myself fairly recently. Without getting saccharine, preachy and all that kind of "life's lessons learned" nonsense, I realize that I really have come to appreciate and enjoy what I have, as little as it may seem to someone else. I've had more peaceful surroundings and much more material wealth, but I was either unhappy, or ill and I never took the time to really enjoy and appreciate all the other people and things around me. Yeah, I know, boring truisms, but there it is. Ha!

The FEATURED RECIPE OF THE WEEK idea came to me, as I watched some of my fellow roomies (housies?) eating their various... whatevers, on the front porch, natch. I have witnessed such consumption of delicacies as Fried Lettuce, boiled macaroni with Ranch Dressing and God-knows-what-else and boiled macaroni with wine vinegar. My personal favorite is a sandwich made from oatmeal bread, peanut butter, mayo, and onion soup. Not the actual soup, mind you, just the dried-up, dehydrated soup mix sprinkled on the mayo and bread. About one-half of the tin foil package will do. It doesn't pay to overpower the peanut butter with all that dried onion soup flavor. For added savoriness, eat the reminder directly from the package, after consuming the sandwich. Yum. See below for recipe:

     2 pieces brown or oatmeal bread
     4 tsps mayo
     4 tsps peanut butter
     1 packet Lipton or house brand onion soup mix
     4 or 5 or 12 Cheez Ballz

     Place pieces of bread side by side. Using plastic spoon/fork (foon, spork?) from Checkers, gently spread peanut butter on bread with a flourish. Repeat with mayo. Sprinkle on Lipton soup mix, covering bread/spread liberally. Garnish with Cheez Ballz to taste. Enjoy.

It also helps to be on about the 45th day of a 2 month drinking binge. The sandwich only enhances that experience. I dub thee "D.T.s and J." (Delerium Tremens and Jones) without the Jelly, or the P.B.

Speaking of food, or the facsimile thereof, Jim and I were at the SweetBay supermarket last Saturday. It's within walking distance of Happy Acres, where we all reside happily as homeless persons*. Yes, the idea is oxymoronic, but it is a homeless shelter. What is the opposite of homeless, anyway? Homeful? Just wondering.

Holly and I used to tease the daylights out of Jim, because he never smiled for pictures, but would laugh and smile all day long, otherwise. He was part-Apache and Irish. God, do I miss his hilarious stories.

Anyway, Jim and I had to wait to have my prescription of happy pills or anti-psychosis pills or placebos filled and this process takes about an hour. So, we decided to indulge in our favorite pastime, playing in the store. A quick aside; several of us do not use illicit drugs, nor do we drink habitually, so we have to resort to other diversions. Playing in stores is one of our ways. We also people-watch and eat. So, on this day, we were starting out on our usual SweetBay routine in the Frozen Meats section, which is close to the pharmacy.

I was busy perusing the frozen whatsiz. I love looking at the various animal body parts that no sane person would dream of eating, at least in my view. Nestled among the assorted frozen cheeks, hooves, stomachs, tongues and tails of different types of barnyard mammals were some rather hoary looking packages of pointy things I couldn't make out. I picked up one of the frozen packages and tried to read the label.

God! I finally got him to smile! Jim was laughing at my antics when I took this picture, but I was laughing so hard at the "Chicken Paws" designation, it really wasn't that hard! It sure was a HELL of an improvement over his "Wooden Indian" face!

Because my eyes have been worse than usual, since the surgery – NOT the doc's fault; they just don't play well together -, I've learned not to trust what I see at first glance. So, I looked and then looked again longer to make sure I was seeing what I thought I was actually seeing, or something. I still didn't believe it, so I asked Jim to read the label. "Frozen Chicken. . . Fangs?" No. Then, "Frozen Chicken. .. Paws?" Yup. Immediate hilarity on my part. It was a very, very early Saturday morning and almost no one was in the Sweetbay. My laugh lit up like a siren, and the Pharmacy Department, being close to the Meat department, came over as one to see what all the hilarity was about.

. . . And this is what the hilarity is all about!

I did take several pictures of the label and the parts themselves. I'll post the pics along with some of our other shots of "daily life" just as soon as I transfer them from phone to desktop.

Well, nothing else too extraordinary to post. Just trying to keep up and chronicle this strange situation I'm in. I try not to think of it as bad or good. It's life, but a unique one. I'll try to get more posted, especially regarding the Game Show. The possibilities for mirth there are endless, or if not endless, merely mildly limited. As a conductor of the Birmingham Symphony said one day to our second violins, "When you run out of notes, stop playing." I'm glad I'm a violist. Heh.

My day to cook; the paper towels are under my arm, because they'd be stolen otherwise. I weigh maybe 90 pounds there. I weigh about 115 today. Holly took this and she's just as crappy at taking pictures as I am, or maybe I'm just on the run.

Friday, May 13, 2016


It's with sadness that I write this post and highly ironic, for I've sung Mama's praises to the skies since the day she allowed me to be her friend and it took a long time for that to come to pass. Mama died recently after a long and fruitful life. She originally adopted JC, and actually, it's been one year today, since JC's passing, so that too is ironic. I'm not a person who believes in coincidences, or anything of the sort, but she had been JC's cat, and I worried about her after he died. Alex said she's with Jim now. Yes, in some highly disordered form, I guess.

Speaking of highly disordered form; there is no perspective here, but near as I can figure out, I am behind here, on my bed, and that's a map of the us of a on my computer monitor. I have no clue what I was going for here.

Yet, she was so affectionate and even closer to me than she was to him. However, about six months ago, she came down with Distemper and being elderly and having lived most of her life on the streets, she never really came back from it. Outdoor cats have a hard life and she really could not adjust to becoming an all-the-way indoor cat, which is what I would have preferred and once JC died, I had to keep the doors locked all the time – even THAT didn't stop two idiots from getting in, while I was sleeping, woe unto them. Mama ended up crafting her own little pet door in a window screen, so she could come and go as she please. It was perfect.

She spent lots of time indoors, and followed me all around, and when I sat on the porch, she sat on the porch with me. She had two older sons that would come and visit; they looked like her, just so much bigger. Mama was never a big cat, but she had such distinctive markings; such as I had never seen on a cat before. I guess as old Leonardo da Vinci said, “The smallest of the felines is a masterpiece!”, I take it to mean both in the general and the specific. But all of the felines are, big and small.

Gotta love essential tremor. I was asked "is it REALLY essential, why is it called that?" I thought for 5 seconds and my head exploded. Some dumb neurological term. "Dystonia" is muscle cramps. Every picture I take looks like art from the Impressionist Period.

She had her funny ways and ways to drive me crazy. When she was healthier, she played a lot with her toys and would tear around my little apartment and she could literally bounce from the bed into the kitchen, or from the bed into the living room. A friend, Nancy Cooper sent her some artisanal catnip mice and she went crazy over those. One disappeared, as such things often do.

She could be a little con-artist, too, as most cats can be. I was trying to get her to eat a good dry food and for the longest time, she acted like she hated it. So, I was buying her Friskies and feeding her this stuff, which wasn't really that good for her. This went on for a couple of weeks and I cut back on the Friskies, because it was getting expensive. I walked into my kitchen one Sunday and here she was, happily munching on her dry food. She looked up and the look was priceless: “Oooh, I am soooo busted.” I turned and walked out of the kitchen and she came running after me, hollering about how lousy that dry food was.

This looks like a graphics "feature" in Runescape3, where everyone's head melted for a few weeks. Good times. Good times. She shook her head JUST as I clicked the clicker.

But, she had a really wonderful thing that she did. I have 2 towers made out of milk crates on either side of my blogging chair. One holds a board and a mousepad on the right, and the other, on the left, holds a land-line phone, or a laptop. I have two computers in front of me, side by side. Mama would jump up on the right-hand side and “rest” on my mouse pad, or hand and gradually creep her way up my arm.

She's just starting to work her way up my arm. . .

Now this is a cat that I couldn't even look at without scaring 4 years or so ago, and we had gotten to the point, where she had to have some part of her on me, at all times, while she was in the house, or would lie down between my feet. She also slept with me, sort of.

What she mostly did was walk around on my head, knead in my hair, or with her tiny, less-than-dime-sized feet, stand in my ear. Or I'd feel little feet walking all over my face. But, her most endearing quality was when she would sit on my mouse pad, and reach out with one dainty paw and make me look at her. She would look into my eyes and she seemed to show such love and gratitude that she had a home. I will never forget that, ever. Animals grace us with our present and I was gifted with that grace beyond anything I ever hoped to see from her.

. . . Slowly creeping upward. My only regret is that I never was able to get a decent shot of her reclining on my entire forearm. That was pretty funny. She will be missed. Rest well, Mama, my heart!

I haven't said much, only very close friends like Jeremy Doll who is a fellow Leader of SpiritZ and horse enthusiast and all-around animal lover and such a good person, and Alex Cavanaugh and my Aunt Lande. “She was such a nice cat.”, Jeremy said. And that she was. In all the time she was with us, she never scratched, or bit and never got angry or irritated, she was just such a wonderful being. It was hard for me to fathom that someone had abused her, but she was blind in her right eye, and it wasn't from a cat-fight. I know what that looks like. She would occasionally get scared of the kids playing next door and hide behind the toilet and I'd go and take her some sardines.

Alex and I knew she was going to die and I was in West Palm Beach when it happened. My better 2/3, was all for packing up and driving to Tampa, when Alex called. I thought on it for a while, but said, “No. The offer is so lovely, but it's okay. You care. That is all that matters.” I called Alex back and he agreed. She was put lovingly to rest and will never be forgotten. The really wonderful thing is this; Her progeny gave birth to some more of her progeny, and I will have two little great x infinity grandbabies to keep me busy. Kittens are fun, but these will be indoor kittehs, except for playdates with Oso!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016



Well, here it is May 9, 2016 and I am still writing #A-to-Z Challenge stuff. For a variety of reasons. First off, in my haste to get all my garbage packed and run off to WPB, I managed to drop my T-40 laptop and break the hard-drive. I can fix that, but I couldn't blog, because my better 2/3 has some weird Apple setup that doesn't allow for any computing. It's merely for entertaining and we watched about a zillion horrible movies (MST3K, anyone) and some other horrible shit and made fun of all of it. We also saw several very good movies, including the two movies about jazz legends Chet Barker and Miles Davis. We swam every day, and he cooked every meal, just about. It was heaven. He's in Germany now, playing jazz with the famous Choral Composer John Rutter and having a great time, drinking some weird beer that tastes good, but smells like baby oil. Pass. I'll see him soon, before the symphony season starts up; then he gets to haul around that giant bull fiddle. Ha ha.

I had hoped to come home and catch up, but, alas, I had no internet. Verizon sold its Florida accounts to Frontier with no warning and Frontier completely boogered everything up. On day 15 of no internet, I got pissed, canceled and went over to Bright House, who gave me a killer deal, with speeds of 100/100, which is awesome. I'll get into the whole night mare later, but in an agreement with Alex Cavanaugh, I am going to continue with the #A-to-Z Challenge, because it was such fun. I expect NOT to be given credit for a finish, but I've had so damn much fun with this, I wanted to do it!

Anyway, today's letter is “L” for Litter and being in a hurry, I have invited a “guest post” by myself from an old blog I used to keep called S.I.F.O.T.S, or Shit I Found On The Sidewalks. Once I had all of this tremendous stuff I and several others from the homeless shelter had collected, the question was, what to do with it? My answer? Make shit up. So, I did. No one else was interested in the crappy Interstate shot glass, or the tiny Tonka cranes and trucks, or plastic horses, so I made up stories. Before we get to that, I do have to show you the lovely Mary Kay placard that Alex and I found on the sidewalk, not very long ago. I'm not at all sure what it means, but it's probably not good.

This kind of crap is found on and around Nebraska Avenue all the time. It could be a Santeria spell, or someone got bored. Whatever, it'll haunt you in your dreams!



It's a damned shame about "Bertie's Used Cars" on Floribraska Avenue. This was all that was left behind, these battered logos and a purple knee. Even the building was stolen. 

Thus, begins our saga, "SIFOTS Urban Renewal Project"

Theodore and Junior were heading up the project. Guess you can tell who Junior is...

The construction project to widen and improve the sidewalk began on schedule. It continued apace; SIFOTS urban renewal was becoming a reality, although the equipment was miniaturized briefly, because the picture editor is an idiot.

Theodore moved several ounces of SIFOTS, while Junior took a break. The SIFOTS urban renewal project was still moving along with breath-taking rapidity.


                                                                                                                                 Here's Junior, slacking. It's his 15th break in the last 2 hours.

The SIFOTS urban renewal project came to an abrupt end, when Theodore crushed Junior with his backhoe, in a fit of nonchalance for no apparent reason; not uncommon here. Theodore is in jail awaiting arraignment for Feckless Homicide. The wake for Junior will be held at Happy Acres. Bring your own weapons.


At the end of our last episode, as you will recall, Theodore killed Junior in a fit of indifference.

"The SIFOTS urban renewal project came to an abrupt end, when Theodore crushed Junior with his backhoe. Theodore is in jail awaiting arraignment for Feckless Homicide. The wake for Junior will be held at Happy Acres. Bring your own weapons."

(This was originally serialized in 2 parts, as I had other material: editor, cup washer, scribbler)

That was last episode, so now we're all in the same page, and on it, too, I might add. It's easier right now to type explanations than it is to backspace. But, I digress.



It was a beautiful night in SIFOTS-ville. The tiny town was bathed in a soft light, the kind of light one might see when living behind the local family-owned convenience store. Light that is not exactly luminescent, but just lights up the back wall and  SIFOTS-villeSIFOTS-ville is located on and around my front porch: 

I have the typical "Wallace gene" that dis-allows for normal picture-taking of any kind. Lee McAulay told me I should work for Paranormal TV. I think they'd be too scared to hire me. Anyway, it was a beautiful night!

Anyway, the locals are still a-buzz about the Theodore and Junior thing, but they're rapidly being diverted by the house that burned down one block north of SIFOTS-ville and the two accidents that occurred within days of each other at the intersection of Nebraska Avenue and Floribraska Avenue.

Just an aside. What in hell kind of name is "Floribraska?" I find this unimaginative and somehow vaguely plagiarism-like. I'm surprised we don't have a "Michida" Boulevard, "Wisifornia" Street and "Georginois" Lane. People aren't confused enough here in Tampa, I guess. (I wrote this 4 years ago, and you all read my "Floribraska Avenue #AtoZChallenge post for this year, where I'm still wondering.)

So, we are still all a-gog and a-tilt at the passing of Junior, but this seems to be just a portent. There have been ominous signs indeed, that things are changing here in SIFOTS-ville.

Tonight, we've been out looking at the night sky. For once, we can see the actual stars instead of klieg lights from above. The police helicopters have not been hovering with search lights lately, as the felons skip gaily from back yard to back yard, and baying hounds are heard in the distance. Things have been quiet here... Or have they?

                           All is pretty and quiet; peace abounds


      Consternation and screaming ensue. Panic and pandemonium, 

  as the sky (and trees?) begin to melt, or the picture-taker has a fit...

Wild horses of doom (singular) begin to run through Sifotsville, skidding on badly painted enamel.

   She bows down to her God, Mr. Ed. He gives her secret instructions.

Okay, so she's a plastic horse and there's only one of her, and there's a scrape in her side; she's still a harbinger of death. A psychopomp, if you will. Come to escort us to that Underworld, where crappy sitcoms go into syndication or $1.00 carload, double-billed, grade-Z horrors; at the "renovated" or "old" drive-in movie theaters go on... forever and we are forced to provide our own riffs and eat healthy food.

"Angelique," as she wishes to be known (we learn this telepathically) decides to stop and play a little croquet. . .

      M'kay; you're doing it wrong, plastic horse. We are no longer so terrified!

She quickly wields her mallet with stunning expertise, shocking all who watch. Her malevolent gaze (ok, it's the same blah stare she's had since she was molded) rakes over us. We just notice that it's daylight. 

Is this magic? Is it a time-warp continuum? Is it because the mallet and ball were just found and brought home by JC today, thereby giving me some shred of hope for anything resembling a plot, albeit a slim one??


          The rockets begin to land, bringing forth their deadly cargo!

Forward they come; determined to engulf us in their bright, screaming flamingo pink hues, Hell-bent on conquering Florida, or SIFOTS-ville, or to sell us things, we have no idea!

And More blah.... blah.... blah...

AIYEEEEE!!!!! ARGGGHHH!!! Residents are swallowed by pinkness!


In the nick of time, the National Guard lands on the curb with their Attack Feline, Herman.
The battle is so ferocious that we cannot bear witness to it. 

Translation: We are lazy and can't come up with anything else epic. What do you expect with no budget, a camera phone, plastic cast-off crap from the street, and no imagination? This isn't Spielberg.

Calm has returned to SIFOTS-ville. Melba and Ruth decide a little fishing with their hairpin poles will help to ease their nerves.


(Credits Roll)

We don't have any more money in our budget for this episode