Thursday, April 4, 2019



Living on and around Nebraska Avenue has been a colorful journey and the denizens here have been sure to bring along their four-footed companions on whatever this all is. We have quite the assortment, and one breed of cat, known as the “Havana Brown” originated right here in V. M. Ybor. The cat is a beauty to behold; dark, small and fierce and so brown as to be almost black. It is related to the Siamese and is a striking animal.

Havana Brown

But, we mostly have an odd breed of cat that doesn't seem to know what it wants to be and they are most typified by my old matriarch, who has since passed on, “Mama”. She was part-calico, part-striped, with patches and colors a-riot. Her progeny are all over this 'hood and have been adopted by the good-hearted folk. When she came to us, she was pregnant with her last litter, and we had her spayed, but her descendants are still here, with all of her colors and patterns. These cats are almost all fixed, and they loll about the streets around Nebraska Avenue, living the lives of kings and queens all. It's fun to walk about the 'hood to see them.

"Mama" standing on my porch, looking for a treat. This animal did not know what she wanted to be, so she was a bunch of everything. Her descendants are still cavorting around here. I miss her, dearly.

There's also a feral colony that I feed and they like to just come in the house and run riot. I'm not too sure where they came from, but I do feed them and they seem to have adopted me. I named one “Chloe” before I discovered he was a male, but he doesn't seem to mind. He enjoys coming in, eating and then sleeping somewhere, until I've forgotten he's in the house and then scaring the hell out of me. He wouldn't let me pet him for the longest time, and now, he likes to make an ass out of himself by rolling all over my feet for treats. So, yeah, his name is “Chloe”. He brought along two younger siblings and they all played “Rodeo” in my kitchen one afternoon, as I was airing out my house on a cool afternoon. Who doesn't love cats romping through the house on a sunny afternoon?

Batch o' newborn kittens. Almost 3 summers ago, I hand-raised 5 newborns up to 5 months, before I toured Japan. I was so exhausted by the 2nd week of feedings. But, I raised and adopted out 5 healthy, beautiful kittens. Their mom had been hit by a car and no one else in the 'hood had ever done this before. Me and my fat mouth.

They may not be that feral; they could be the type of cats that “dine” at several houses and live the life of Riley. This would not be the first time I've been scammed by cats. It's harder for dogs to get away with that kind of nonsense.

All the pitbulls I see around here are happy like this guy. Simba looks like this. He's real happy now that his "family" has been extended. Even if it is just more cats.

Dogs are a lot different anyway, and the dogs of Nebraska Avenue are no different. They are a loyal bunch, and there are many of them here. Because this is the 'hood, the breed of choice is the Pitbull. Or, for some peculiar reason, little tiny anklebiters of indeterminate make. The people who own Pitbulls are very good and kind with them and they are great dogs to have. We had one show up once, when I was at the homeless shelter and he played and romped with several of us, before his panicked owner showed up, looking for him.

The other families that don't have pitbulls have these little dogs, furry and non-furry. There's no in-between or medium-sized dogs here. So, I guess we either go large or small, or go home! Not sure what it says about our demographic here!

The neighbors had a pitbull before they moved and he was such a sweet, biddable dog. I was sad when they moved and he left. The only other dog I currently know, is Simba, who lives upstairs. He's a Pitbull and he's very excited. His sister-cat just had kittens and he is going to help raise them. The mama cat, Maggie, seems fine with this arrangement. Since they all live in an apartment and Simba can't hide the kittens, I'm sure it will be fine.

I just remember growing up, we had a large dog who was very excited when one of our cats had kittens. He “kit-napped” them and we found them all in the garage; he had gathered the kittens inside his giant paws and was guarding them. They were yowling angry, because they were hungry. Simba has no hiding place. He'll have to do his “guarding” right there in front of Mama cat!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019


The question for this month, if you could have one wish to help you with your writing one scene/chapter is a good one. Just starting a foray into fiction writing, I think for me, it would HAVE to be a "first kiss" scene. I don't think I'm so great at writing about relationships or developing characters yet. I'm more able to write descriptive scenes or write rhetorically, since that's what I've always done and I'm most comfortable with that. So, please, Alex, send the Relationship Fairy my way to help me out with that. I know this is one short post, but I'm working on "Cats of Nebraska Avenue" and getting ready to leave the state, so I do hope you understand. I'll be writing something else when I land. I do wish everyone a GREAT #IWSG! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019


Buses! The many bus stories I have written over the many years of living here in the 'hood have covered varied facets of life in the streets of Tampa. Everything from a frothing bus ballet, when they all meet-and-greet in the central hub the Metro Bus Center downtown and do a delicate dance of braking and squealing and farting, as the dodge one another on their way to their separate berths. Being a passenger during one of these Stravinsky and Najinsky-inspired Rites of Spring is definitely not for the faint of heart, as metal behemoths dance by on one tire, mere inches from their partners. Yet, somehow, this craziness is repeated on a daily basis with no applause. Drivers all, I simply say, “bravo”. Except for Mr. “Safety First”, whom we shall address soon.

"The Rite of Spring" Ballet. Music by Igor Stravinsky; Choreography by Najinsky caused rioting at its premiere in Paris in 1913. It was mainly the ballet that created the mayhem and that was soon dropped. "Rite of Spring" went on to become a landmark work of Stravinsky, but the chaos and weirdness of Najinsky's ballet never caught on.

It's not only the drivers who are diverse and long-suffering. They are forced to put up with the guy who insists on yelling on his cell-phone to his cousin in oh, say Venezuela, or Germany. He's so loud that the phone isn't really necessary. The fact that he's blargling in some kind of English makes it not on whit better either. Tired of listening to him yammer, I look ahead to see some kid play-acting along with whatever is on the screen of his phone. The 4th wall is truly broken here. To make matters worse, the kid jumps up to look out the window, and I reflexively jump up with him for FOMO. Kill me now. At least I'm not sitting next to “shouty guy”; the guy who just yells incoherently at nothing every five seconds.

Understand, this is just the very worst of the worst on a day on the bus. They're not generally like this. Most of the routes are rather normal, unless you're on the number 32 route, then you're on Psychiatrist Row and it's a grab-bag of looniness. The drivers who drive that route must have done something awful to have gotten stuck there. Once, when I was homeless, I was standing at the 32 bus stop, with my late companion, Jim, and the bus pulled up. We were visiting our Psychiatrist together, and Jim said, “Oh geeze, it's this old crab.” I just busted up laughing. Old crab is right. The time before, it had been pouring rain, and some not very nice people had deliberately soaked us with their car, by aiming for the puddles. Three very sweet women drove by right after those two guys and gave us two umbrellas, but the damage had been done; we were dripping wet.

As we clambered on the 32 bus, the Crab said, “Geeze, you're getting my bus all wet (the floors were already wet, but he just HAD to bitch), this is so rude!” From the back of the bus, one of our homeless compatriots, who was pretty feisty, yells from the back of the bus, “Bitch! It's not because we don't give a shit! It's because we're poor and homeless you numb fool! You're not gonna have to clean this up! Yada yada yada!” As Jim and I shuffled off to our seats. Great. I thanked her later. I'm usually the Mouth of the South. That shut the Crab up for that trip, but he was always snarky. He finally went to another route, or retired. I don't know what happened to him.

Much later, after Jim had died, my pretend-adopted-son Alex and I were trying to get home from the grocery store. We had to take the Nebraska Avenue Rapid Metro Bus, that crosses MLK, Jr. Blvd. Just as we were crossing the street to get to the bus stop, there was an accident in that intersection and it was serious enough to louse up the traffic, plus a Semi died and put out some hazard cones in the south left turn lane on Nebraska Avenue. Now, this did not stop a few intrepid buses from navigating around this treacherous scene and proceeding south on Nebraska to bear passengers to their destination.

However, the bus that Alex and I happened to land in was helmed by Mr. “Safety First”, a clod who never made the bus kneel when I tried to get off, so that I was at high risk of bashing my teeth out on the sidewalk, and never waited until I was seated, before jamming on the accelerator, as if he were trying to launch number 400 into outer space. So yeah, “Safety First” wasn't really an apt title, as we shall see. Said clod decided that he was unable to make his ungainly bus make a simple 90° right turn down a side street, like all the OTHER nice buses did, he was gonna sit there until. . .? Well, first off, we had a guy who had been in some kinda special forces unit over in Iraq and had driven heavy equipment, who OFFERED to drive the binch of a bus around the corner if the driver wouldn't do it. “Oh no! I'm all about safety!” The driver opined. I just goggled at him. “Well, Mr. Safety First! How's about you get on that fancy radio of yours and call someone to come and drive us the hell out of here?” I said. Bus driver dithered around some.

I was torn for today's topic, that's why it's late. I was thinking "bois" or "bakeries" or "badass" me. All I do is yell at the druggies around here and run them off, bleh. "Bus" is so much more fun!

I looked out my window and happened to see some policemans directing traffic in the intersection, not too far from where we were sitting. This was getting ridiculous. We'd been here, like what? Thirty minutes? The buses behind us weren't coming, because the broadcast had gone out that there was an accident, and this guy wasn't doing anything. I started pounding on the windows, yelling “Help! Mr. Policemans! We've been kidnapped by a deranged bus driver! He won't go around the corner and we're being forced to sit here against our will!” The other passengers began to laugh. My pretend-adopted-son Alex was trying to hide. Mr. “Safety First” was dithering even more. I turned to him and said, “Now, you ready to get on that walkie-talkie and call your supervisor?” He nodded and did so. (I guess they get points off for that kind of stuff, but really, this was idiotic.)

Pretty soon, a guy drives up in something that looks like it was made by the Dinky-Toy company and he gets out and gets on the bus to find out what all the ruckus is about. Both Special Forces and I 'fess up, saying we just want to get the hell out of there. The Supervisor looks at us both and doesn't say a word. He yanks Mr. “Safety First” off the bus and they have a chin-wag. The driver then gets back on the bus, fires it up and follows the Dinky-Toy car, around the 90° right turn. We make a slight detour and then, we're back on Nebraska Avenue, south of the still on-going accident scene. I'm home in 2 minutes. As I get off the bus, I turn to Mr. “Safety First” and say, “Listen, d'you mind kneeling the bus, please? I don't wanna bash out my teeth. Thanks.”

Monday, April 1, 2019


This challenge is going to be very different than other challenges that I've participated in, in years past. This year, I am going on a trip of remembrance of my time living here on Nebraska Avenue, thus I'm starting with "A" for Avenue. I'm going to be leaving here and leaving Florida shortly for a new start with a wonderful man and we are going to make a life together in another state. More about that later. I certainly wasn't looking for it, nor was he, I wager, so when it came, we were both bowled over. 

Anyway, "Homeless Chronicles in Tampa" will cease to be, and something else will appear in place. But, on to the "Avenue". Nebraska Avenue is one of the most vibrant, colorful and dangerous places I've ever experienced. I was reminded of this the other day, as some numbskull was tearing up and down the Avenue, belting out his Reggaetone; it was full of life, beautiful, loud, sensual, and annoying all at once. The beat was infectious and I couldn't stop tapping my toe to it, even as I was very glad that this guy wasn't my neighbor.

This 'hood has been like that, since I've been here in 2010, only it's become more so over the years. Chaos pretty much rules here and for those denizens who learn to survive, you either learn to stare it down, or it will eat you alive. I chose to thrive in the environment, and revel in the crazy. I was fortunate enough to experience the "Sharpie Lady", who decided in a fit of DIY that a red and black sharpie were the perfect make-up tools. I survived the two fools who decided in an opportunistic mood, when my door blew open, while I was asleep three Marches ago, to come parading into my house and try to disturb my slumber, that this was a wise move. They lived to regret that move. A stun gun was then in my future. 

But, with all of that, there's the grizzled man on the bus who held a potted flowered plant, gently in his bear-like hands and when we all ooh-ed and aah-ed over it, he said simply "I was just feeling a little blah, today." We all murmured in sympathy; who hasn't been there and we all felt grateful for him having shared his flower with us. 

That's the thing about this place, the lows are really low, but the highs and the good things when they come by are amazing and those are the things I will miss about this stupid, crazy place, most of all. So, this is the first of a good-bye and a love letter to Nebraska Avenue. You've been a great lot of fun!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019


This is a real poser for me. I'm pretty much a rhetorical writer and the very small bits and pieces of fiction that I've dabbled in have been from a rather omniscient view and a not very well-organized one, at that. I tend to feel like I have the early days of the Bolshevik Revolution shouting out the beginnings of some kind of Constitution after the October Revolution in my head most of the time and I rest sublimely within my bubble of confusion, with Lenin, Bulganin, Trotsky, et al. , shouting at once and only coming out when necessary to deal with such things as rent, bills and such necessities. This is what solitary living has done to me. I'm comfortable in my bubble, but probably a bit too comfortable and need to get out more.

That being said, I'm not out of ideas of things to write about, nor opinions about daily life around me. The 'hood is still the 'hood and still full of the usual colorful people and antics. Our current mission in V. M. Ybor is to get Trinity Cafe shut down and moved out of here, as what we feared has come to pass. It has become a magnet for more ne'er do-wells and lay-abouts and way too many people with no fixed address who have driven up the already-alarming crime rates in this district.


I have no idea what this building was originally. I have to walk (at a dead run) past this on my way to the bus stop. You can't really see in the windows, 'cause it's all dark and shadowy, with dirty windows and shapes move soundlessly within. I suspect this may have indirectly caused me to break my left hip when I fell last October, although I wasn't near this building. This kinda Evil travels. It's a Proven Fact!

On a lighter note, the Checkers of the Damned is still in business across from the real Checkers on Floribraska Avenue and Nebraska Avenue, where all the cool guys and ghouls can drive their Christines thru the Drive-thru and get Maggot Burgers after 12 a. m. Free this week; a side-order of deep-fried fungus; only with coupon. Yum!

Anyway, not to meander, what was the question again? Oh! Pro or con? Not sure. If I ever think of writing an epic piece of fiction, I'll probably write from both views, cosmo-like. I like the idea of playing a chess game with myself! Happy #IWSG'ing!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019


Gee, this is a great question, and before I ever wrote, all I ever did was play the viola. Then, I came down with essential tremor, an inherited neuro-muscular disorder (my mom was afflicted and never diagnosed, nor treated, poor woman) and until I could get a proper diagnosis and treatment, which normally takes on average six years, but was accomplished in about five in my case, I stopped playing and started blogging and also wrote and completed a NaNoWriMo book in 2013. THAT still needs editing! I'm not sure that I'm cut out for long-haul writing, but I'm damned good at seat-of-the-pants, stream-of-consciousness ramblings. I submit to you this earlier post about a playoff NFL game that somehow morphs into a symphonic stare-down as proof that absurdity abounds and can be found anywhere and is alive and well in my life! I'm back playing, but have writing now for fun! What a great life!

originally posted 1/13/13

I'm totally cheating here; today for the first time since I started with the seizures, psychotic break and tremors, which is about 18 months, I played my viola, and surprise of surprises, I sounded damn good (for about 3 minutes; I have my work cut out for me!) So, that right there is an achievement. My goal for writing still stands, although I have edited nothing, but I'm so over the moon about being able to play. 

I wonder if these are free-range violas, because the price has really skyrocketed!

Q: Have you heard about the latest form of urban violence?
A: Drive-by viola solos.

So, here's a little number I cobbled up during the American Football season last year as we headed into our playoff season. Enjoy!

This is not your typical Sunday check in post. Nope, first off, it's Monday and second off, here in the good ol’ U S of A, it is Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday and President Obama's 2nd Inaugural Celebration! So, what better way for me to celebrate, than to write about yesterday's NFC Championship game between the Atlanta Falcons and the San Francisco 49ers that featured guys running over guys and plowing into unaware guys on the side-lines. That’s right, “UNAWARE” guys on the side lines, during one of two games that will decide which of two teams are going to the Hyper Bowl, er, uh I mean, Super Bowl LXVII (is that 47 or 67? I failed Roman Numerals in Ancient Times class.)

Sing Along: "I see I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV,   XVI, XVII, XVII Wheels"

Anyway, dude got clipped below the knees and fell as if pole-axed, backward onto that hard surface and landed backwards, head-first, with a bounce or two and was thankfully unhurt. Apparently, he works at the Atlanta Falcons field and this was their first ever(!) playoff event, and really, he can’t be faulted for that part of it. The poor guy had his back turned to the action and was most likely, looking at and marveling at the crowd and all of their noise, hoo ha, folderol and mostly, NOISE. And boy, howdy, there was a bunch of it, being as how, my Google says, the Georgia Dome can shovel 71,250 people into permanent seats. 

The first time I ever faced a crowd like that was when I played for the Moody Blues. I was in my mid-30s and had been playing viola professionally for about 20 years, by this time. My performing experience went from symphony-polite-coughing and maybe a standing ovation, or two. Occasionally, the standing ovations were prolonged.

Stunning, wonderous. I love Mozzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..... *snore*

Once, during a Grand Pause, or a fermata, where the orchestra came to a screeching halt after a fortississimo passage and it was deathly quiet, I had the great good fortune to hear a bellowed “I FRY MINE IN LARD…” from the back of the audience and then, stunning quiet. Nary a peep, cough, fart or rustle.

The fermata fortunately, is one of those musical devices that has no metered time, so as the Conductor stared us all down, daring us to laugh, and we all played “one potato, two potato, three potato, four…” Concert master and Principal Second Violin and Principal Viola and Principal Cello all sitting there, giving one another, the hairy eyeball, becoming rather like “High Noon,” and I and my stand partner who are on the 2nd stand, not daring to look at one another, because we are truly deranged idiots and jokers, are puffing up like horses around rattle snakes, we’re both holding our breaths, because HolyMotherOfGod, I’mSoGonnaLaugh… I see his viola scroll start to shake out of the corner of my eye and just then? As I start to go eeeeeeeeeee? As the air is leaking out?

Mercifully, the Conductor gives the downbeat and off we go. To this day, I do not remember what on God’s Green Earth we were playing, probably Rachmaninoff. I’ve been ambushed by him a number of times. Him and his G. P.s. Well, that was a digression.

This all changed when we started playing in open-air theaters and stadiums.

Okay, I haven't faced Wembley and I'm sure I don't want to; actually, I probably do. We rocked it at 1-800-ASK-GARY Field. A name like that for a Venue just drips class. I can't wait until Kotex, or Fleet Enema buys a sponsorship and demands to have it named after their company.

In the summer of 1992, the Moody Blues were in a resurgence and instead of having a summer off, we had a tour around the Midwest for a few weeks. We had an afternoon rehearsal with their conductor who told us the basics, micced us up and off we went. We had a full orchestra, and plexiglass partitions between each section. I felt like we were in cattle pens. That night, the orchestra was in place, when the Blues with Justin Hayward took the stage.

There were 10,000 people in the audience. Up to that point, I had never played with that many people in an audience. When that audience roared and that sound hit the stage, the orchestra, who for the most part had not experienced that before, was pretty well aware that this night and this concert was going to be different. But first, we had to get over the shock of all of those people yelling. If we had been zebras, we’d have been dead ones. We all just froze for about 2 beats and then our training kicked in and off we went.

 It was an exhilarating experience I’ve always loved the Moody Blues more orchestral stuff, but the conductor, Larry Greene is also their arranger, and he had gone back and arranged some of their harder rock stuff like “Ride My Seesaw” for strings and that’s a blast to play as well. I’ve found that I like music with a harder edge to it. I’m sure it’s one of the reasons I don’t like Mozart and I revere Beethoven. 

Mozart gets right up to an idea and then backs away. Beethoven takes it in his teeth and ragdolls it. I love that. I also love the fact that he doesn’t bore the violists to death in his orchestral and other ensemble writing. Mozart is precious, hard to play and there’s damn little reward for all of that work; he’s insipid. Oops, lemme get back to our sideline guy.

I’ve enjoyed my rock ‘n’ roll violist career, which has also veered off into blues, metal and a bit of rap, believe it or not. But, back to our poor dude. Man, did I feel for him. Guy stood up; I was so relieved, he fell hard. As he was turning around, the Fox Team, (Terry, Howie, Michael, Jimmy and Whoever) were helpfully pointing out that this was the Falcon’s first playoff Event ever. The guy who had been knocked over was wearing a jacket that said “Event Team” on it.

As the man turned and looked at the camera you could tell what he was thinking: “Oh dear, can I move to Saturn? Maybe to Pluto. Pluto isn’t far enough away… My wife is going to divorce me. What was I thinking, looking at that stupid bunch of loud-ass people? My ass is on the line, here. My ass... is my ass too wide? My grandkids are going to be talking about this and wanting to hear this story, forevah!. This is going to be on AFV, isn’t it? Geez, on National TV, no, INTERNATIONAL, TV! Gack! Did my Aunt in Outer Slobovia see me? I hope I don’t get fired. Geez, does my head hurt. Can I go home?”

Relax, guy, if I hear you got in trouble over this, I’m writing a letter. I’ve done so much stupid stuff in front of the public, it’s not funny. I’ve fallen off stages, fallen out of chairs. Fallen off risers. I very gracefully draped myself across 3 people once, along with my viola and bow, held up over my head and rolled like a barrel down to the floor, protecting my baby, my viola, Wolf. How I managed that, I will never know. I’ve taken bows wearing Taco Bell on formal, black velvet unknowingly, after playing a triumphant Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. To make matters worse, my stand partner’s fly was open during the whole performance. I don’t think Beethoven would have minded.

The point is, a roaring crowd is pretty impressive; I was awed by it when I was on the “receiving” end of it the first time. It does take some getting used to. So, Guy Who Was Knocked Down and Was Embarrassed, don’t be. I hope you get a chance to get used to playoff events as more come your way. I hope you are okay. You totally made my day!
So, I'm glad I got a chance to take up writing and I'm also glad that I got to play again, too. My playing career is not nearly as intense as it was in the earlier days and that is okay, but I'm able to play and enjoy it and it's fun. The writing is great, too. It's the best of both worlds; happy IWSG'ing all! 

Friday, February 1, 2019


What started out as a funny incident related to a very dear and old friend, became a surreal experience as she and I took a fond trip down memory lane. The trip began a few weeks ago, as I was on my way to the grocery store and pharmacy and was trying to wait at the bus stop. I say “trying to wait” because the seats at the actual bus stop have become places where the druggies now congregate, with boom boxes and mini-bars; a sort-of bohemian party-on-the-go, minus the class. This one was particularly obnoxious and I decided I'd had enough of these idiots taking up the citizens' seats, so I discreetly hid behind one of the advertising kiosks placed near the shelter and called the non-emergency phone number for the Tampa Police Department.

Hey! Mr/Ms Policeman! Come and get dem druggies outta my bus stop!

The conversation didn't go very well because my upper denture decided now was the time to come un-stuck in my head, so it went like this: Me: “Herro? I'd like to haf the Powice come and get these dwuggies out of the Bus Sheltew.” Operator: “Can you describe them, please?” Me: Trying to whisper “Werp, they'we dwuggies all spwawled ovew the benches whewe the wegulaw people sit.” Operator: “Can you speak up, please. You're a bit hard to understand, ma'am. Can you describe them for me? What are they wearing? How many are there? Men? Women? What color?" I'm thinkin' "Binch, dey be naked, dere's 50 of 'em. They're troglodytes and purple! I'm tryin' to be discreet here, so they don't beat me to death, binch!"

Just then my upper teeth fall out of my mouth and onto the pavement. Me, having run out of patience by this point and seeing the big, green bus coming, holler into the phone, “Just send a damn squad caw to the cownew of Nebwaska Avenue and Flowibwaska Avenue, m'kay? I have to catch the bus to the Supewmawket!” and hang up the phone, grab my teeth off the sidewalk and run to catch the bus.

This eyesore is easy to see from 12 miles away. Hartline is supposed to keep the bums off the shelter areas, but they haven't the manpower and TPD treats it as a nuisance call. It's still a pain in the ass, though if it's raining or really hot out to seek the shelter that belongs to the patrons.

Later on that afternoon, I call my oldest and dearest friend from high school and tell her all of this nonsense and describe this entire scenario, while I'm laughing. She's laughing too, because the whole situation is funny, although it's really not, because, here we have a bunch of law-breakers draped all over the seats meant for the patrons who are supposed to be able to wait for the bus in comfort; out of the sun or rain and here I am hunched over, like a troll, by this kiosk, while the traffic is screaming up and down Nebraska Avenue, roaring engines, squealing brakes and me, trying to whisper into my cell phone to get these ass-hats, moved AWAY FROM THIS AREA! Calling the cops, to get them arrested, or at best, moved away from this stupid bus stop and I feel like a damned idiot, because my upper plate just fell out of my head and I cannot enunciate properly!

So, my dearest and oldest friend, who has heard all of my stupid stories, from home invasions and me chasing stupid idiots out of my house and being homeless, from my street parkour and broken hip, to my success upon returning to playing. She's been a constant and such a wonderful friend.

Well, after I had described this latest idiocy on my part, I prepared for bed that night. What did I find awaiting me?

I just love this! We used to have the most fun in high school, and when she visited me the summer before last, we were just the same. We're still zany.

This is just the MOST awesome picture ever! She wanted to show me that I wasn't the only schmoe from our graduating class! I musta laughed for 45 damned minutes when I saw this! I still crack up every time I see it.

This picture of course, I would NEVER use without her permission, so I called her today to ask if it was okay if I could use it without naming her. She was of course, fine with it; she is a gracious and generous person, but this also led to more hilarity about pre-PhotoShop pictures.

Somehow we got on the topic of doing your own “edits” once the picture was taken, and I think it stemmed from “Sharpie Lady”, the woman in my 'hood who decided sharpie black and red made great eyebrow pencil and lipstick!

Well, my friend had had a really nice picture taken of herself and her husband at a wedding, and my friend wasn't wearing any lipstick, so she gave herself some lipstick with a sharpie, post-picture-taking and it actually came out pretty well. This got us to reminiscing about the color picture my mom and her family had had taken when my mom was a teenager and it was in COLOR! This was back when my mom was a teenager, in the 1940s and the entire family was seated around the fire-place, with a pet deer(?) for some reason. The only problem was my mom's eyes were shut during the taking of this historic photo, and the photographer, in an attempt to right things, painted my mom's eyes open(!?!?) The effect was pretty startling to say the least. He painted her entire eye blue (at least he got the color right) but as my friend remembers and she remembers right, “It was the most absurd thing I've ever seen!” Let the howls of laughter begin! I am not sure if I still have the picture; I'll have to dig around and see, but my mom used to drag that stupid thing out for laffs. She thought it was a riot! At any rate, it looked something akin to this, googly eyes and all:

My mom was just as goofy as they come. This isn't the picture; I WILL try and find it!

Enjoy! I'll see you all at #IWSG!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019


Here we are at the start of a new year. 2019 and I certainly hope it is better than the last three. Well hell, for me, I'd like it to be better than the last thirteen, but I really can't quibble. I'm no longer married to the guy who got the gf when I was hospitalized, so there's that. I have a roof over my head and food on the table and will apparently, have slightly more of it this coming year.

Now, if I can just start remembering things; like, days of the week, where I'm supposed to be and where I've laid certain paperwork that just MUST be filled out right away! Trying to set and keep these goals also involves trying to set and keep goals for writing. I've been writing some of the things I've remembered for a dear, dear friend about the Roman Empire during the Imperial Age - fact-checking all the way, to make sure I remember names and dates - and this has been a lot of fun. She's enjoyed the stories and it's fun to do.

I'm going to continue in this vein, but am going to expand and write more fiction this year, too, Juneta, look out! Anyway, I want to wish every one a very happy and prosperous and productive 2019. Happy #IWSG'ing!