Sunday, February 28, 2010


I was in it
I lived it
But I wasn’t part of it
Not really

Stood in the midst of hell
And didn't feel a thing
A lifetime of training, you see
We started very young at home

Some might call it self discipline
“Your children are so well behaved!”
No shit, must be that fine upbringing
Most folks didn’t have a clue

We were good
Real damn good
Built that way
Family tradition

You’re not mad at me are you?
How did those marks get there?
I fell down?
That’s right, you fell down

Thing of it is
I didn’t feel a thing
Not on the outside anyway
Not after a while

It was all a put on
A charade
In character at all times
Especially in public

I accept this Oscar
On behalf of my siblings
Who are too traumatized
To attend tonight’s festivities

Consummate actors, the lot of us

Acting is good
But don’t act up
Acting is good
But don’t act out


Dental Hell

The facts:
1. It takes two to three times the normal amount of novacaine to get me numb enough for dental work.

2. Dentists are nothing but car salesmen with needles and other hurty things.

3. Both groups won’t settle for only selling you what you came for. It’s all about adding on extras.


I was in fourth grade when I had my first toothache and dentist visit. It was also my last visit until early adulthood.

My tooth decided to commence torture at about 3:00 in the morning. I woke my mom up, only to be sent back to bed “until morning.” Have you ever tried to sleep with a toothache? Don’t you just love how it throbs with pain, each and every time your heart beats? Why the heck do we stick our tongue in it every few minutes? To make sure it’s still there? Or that it still hurts?

Morning finally arrives, my mom isn’t happy with me for having a toothache. She’s even less happy that she couldn’t get a dentist appointment later in the day. They would work me in, if we got there in a hurry. They worked us in alright; we sat in the waiting room for over an hour. My mom was fuming. When she gets mad, she gets loud. I was afraid that she was going to get us kicked out of there, toothache and all.

I was finally ushered into the back. I didn’t like the looks of the chair, the lights, the tools, everything! They took an x-ray and he told me I had a cavity. No duh! The dentist told me he was going to give me some injections to “numb” my mouth before he started. I remember his exact words, “This won’t hurt a bit.” Lying P.O.S. bastard! They hurt like hell. With every needle prick, my butt cheeks sucked up more and more of the chair. He told me he’d give me some time to “numb up” and he left the room

About ten minutes later he came back and was ready to go. I told him that I didn’t feel numb. He said he gave me more than enough and I should be numb. I said I wasn’t. He huffed for a few seconds and then rammed some more novacaine into my mouth. Ten minutes later he comes back and tries again. He’s met with the same results. He’s now clearly pissed off at me. He told me I had to be numb. I told him I wasn’t. He told me to trust him; I wouldn’t feel any pain at all. If I did, I was to raise my hand and he would stop.

The second the drill hit my cavity, I saw stars. I’d never felt pain like that before. I shot my hand up, but he kept going. I finally pushed his hands away from my mouth. Before I could even say anything he loudly said “there is no way you can feel anything, you are numb!” He just didn’t want to believe me. I closed my mouth and wouldn’t open it. He slammed the equipment down and huffed out of the room.

I knew that when he came back into the room, he wouldn’t be alone. My mom would be with him. She’d probably be so mad, that she’d threaten to take me home,and yank the tooth out with a pair of pliers. When Dr. Mengele (yes, this is a test) came back in the room, my mother was indeed with him. She shot me a look that was clearly meant to serve as a threat. I told her I wasn’t numb and what he was doing hurt me. The dentist told my mom I was lying. I yelled that I wasn’t. My mom told me to shut the fuck up, stop my crying, just lie there and take it.

I was more afraid of her than the dentist, so that is exactly what I did. One more lesson from dear old mom, on how to endure pain.

I found out a couple of years later, that the "dentist" was one of my mom's clients "gentleman friends."

Saturday, February 27, 2010

And Finally, To You Cat Haters

And finally, many dog owners hate cats!

If they don’t hate them, they still wouldn’t own one. Why you ask? The answer is simple, but cat haters won’t dare speak it! They hate cats because they can’t control them! A cat only needs you to give it some food, water, and a small place to go to the bathroom.  If it wants attention, it will let you know.

Do you want to go somewhere overnight, or even for a couple of days? What do you do with the cat? Nothing!!! Leave it extra food, extra water, and clean the cat box before leaving! Cats are easy compared to high maintenance dogs. But that doesn’t matter because dogs seem to fill an emotional hole in some people.

I hope you don't think I'm being too discriminatory towards dogs and their owners.  If you do, I assure you that I'm not going to let cats totally off the hook. I'll get to those aloof little fur balls later...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Picking Up Dog Poo

This entry concerns the groundswell movement related to the banning of all plastic bags. There are many people and politicians going hot and heavy in that direction right now. A few cities on the west coast have banned them already.

What if these people are successful and there is a total ban?

What are dog owners going to use to pick up their dog’s crap off of their neighbor’s lawn?

Crater or Cratee

Am I the only one who finds crating dogs for an entire day cruel? 
You craters out there, how would you like to be the "cratee" for a change?  I don't even know if that's a real word, but I'm sure you get the point.

Before your spouse goes to work, how would you like it if they “crated” your ass for an entire day? You think that sounds silly?  What if you have to go to the bathroom?  Too crating bad! What if you have to go so badly, that you "soil" your crate?  Too crating bad! Sit in it.

Many dog owners say silly things like, “this is my dog Vishnu, Sparky, Spot, Killer, or whatever; he’s a real part of the family.”

Seriously? Do you "crate" the other members of your family also?  No daycare available for little Jimmy today?   No problem, just throw him in the crate. Add a bowl of water and a bowl of gummy worms, and he'll be just fine.

If you have no other choice but to crate your dog for an entire day, you shouldn't have a friggin' dog.  To those of you who I know and love, this applies to you also!

Away For the Weekend? Think Again

I’m just wondering…

Why would you own a pet that you can’t leave at home alone for more than a couple of hours, or not at all?

Want to go out of town for the weekend?
I don’t think so!

Not unless:
a) A family member or friend comes and stays at your house.
b) You’ve hired someone to come and stay at your house full time, or visit several times a day.
c) You’ve boarded your dog out.

Some dog owners tend to buy things (including pets) impulsively...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dog Pee

The mere fact that your neighbors know you have dogs, is reason enough not to!  Unless they only know because they see you take your dog for walks, not because they bark incessantly.

Speaking of walking dogs; owners have gotten pretty good at picking up their dog’s poop, putting it in a bag, and taking it home. But will somebody please explain to me why it is still perfectly okay for that same dog to pee everywhere?

Dog urine is not fertilizer! Dog urine is not “Miracle-Grow!” It kills grass and plants. It discolors fences, hydrants, tires, and everything else it comes in contact with! Oh yeah, let’s not forget that the grass, plants, tree, fences, hydrants, tires, and everything else they pee on, belongs to someone else...


Dog Owners!
You do know that your dogs bark, right? But do you know that they save the best, loudest, and most consistent string of barks for your neighbors to enjoy after you’ve gone to work or out for the evening?

We all know dogs bark and it’s to be expected to a certain extent, but please! Have you ever known someone who lives on a busy street or near an airport? Don’t they always say they don’t really hear the traffic or plane noise after a while? Well, the same goes for dog barking! You got used to it, but your neighbors never will. They usually won’t say anything to you because they don’t want to strain your relationship. So just because they don’t complain to you about your dog barking doesn’t mean they aren’t bothered by it!  Some (not all) dog owners tend to be self absorbed and inconsiderate…

Stockholm Syndrome

The dog validates that the owner is worthy of unconditional love.

Have you ever heard of “Stockholm Syndrome?” That’s what I attribute the “unconditional love” to. Why in the heck else would a dog whom you’ve kept in a small cage all day greet you with happiness? They’ve lost their sense of self. A bit more somber greeting like biting through your Achilles tendon seems a more appropriate response to me.

Many people feel that their dogs need them. But the opposite is sometimes true; many dog owners need their dogs. They need them to feel superior to something, to feel needed, and they need them so they can be “in charge” of something!  Many dog owners have control issues…

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Miss Chick

My seventh grade English teacher was Miss Chick. That’s her name, she was not a "chick."

It’s already been established that I didn’t like school. Actually, school itself was okay, but they expected you to learn stuff there.

Miss Chick believed in assigned seating. I, of course was assigned to the first row, center desk.  I’d like to think it was due to my rapier like wit, my intelligent participation in classroom discussions, or because all the girls talking to me distracted the class. But no, she wanted me right in front of her desk at all times, because I was on a very short leash.

One day, we were given a reading assignment in class. Miss Chick, her cat woman eye glasses, and her eight inch bun, were all busy grading papers at her desk. The only sounds in the classroom were the turning of pages and the squirming of students in their seats.

At least those were the only sounds until Miss Chick let go with a monstrous flutter-blast.

Thirty heads snapped up so fast, you could hear vertebrae popping.

I was sitting directly in front of her and I knew it was her who farted. I looked at her and then at everybody behind me. All eyes were wide open, with eyebrows raised in disbelief. There was giggling and some outright belly laughs.

When I turned back around, Miss Chick stood up, looked directly at me, and said “Patrick! That was disgusting! Go to the office immediately!”  A short argument ensued, she told me that what I did was bad enough, to then deny it, was worse.

By the time I got to the principal’s office, Miss Chick had already called him. The cranky old bastard didn’t even want to hear my side of the story. The nerve!

I had been sent to the office for far greater offenses than farting, but he acted like it was a capital offense and said he was going to call my mother. I wished him luck on that one. If he could in fact reach my mom, she would be happy to know I hadn’t broken anything, or hurt anyone. Then she’d probably go off on him for wasting her time.  He made me sit outside his office for the rest of the school day.

The event spread all over school. I was a hero for something I hadn't even done.  When I reported to Miss Chick’s class the next day, she wouldn't even look at me. But when report cards came out about a month later, she gave me a much higher grade than I deserved.  Payment for services rendered.  I guess she thought I earned it for jumping on her stinky grenade. Actually, she pushed me on it...

For the record, had I been able to conjure up that beauty myself, in class, I would have been more than willing to lay claim to it, on the spot.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Time Flies When You're Mired in the Past

How long ago was it that I said I'd get right back to posting entries about my mother, my childhood, and my crazy life? It's been four months! I really did need to get the military stuff memorialized, but I'm glad it's done.

During those four months I've received several comments and requests for more, relating to my mother and my chaotic childhood. I'm happy to know that some folks appreciate my dark side and how I got that way. I guess, I should also be happy that somebody misses the evil abusive shrewlike bitch my dear old mom. I've also picked up a lot of new readers in the past few months. So I'm going to repost a few of the early entries, to give them a thumbnail sketch of what it was like, in the bedlam and pain that was my childhood. Of course, it wasn't all bedlam and pain; there were also crazy people and crazy happenings galore.

Once I've done that, I have a lot of new stories to post. By new, I mean "unposted." None of this stuff is new, it's real, it's old, and it's deeply imbedded.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Regrets of the Living

Regrets of the living

To escape unscathed
To defy death
To cheat mutilation
To have let them down, somehow
Envy of the dead and wounded

Death's Marionette

Death's Marionette

The explosion tossed him like a rag doll
He danced in the air
Like death’s marionette
Slow motion gravity
Settled him to the ground
His face a shredded bloody mask
Eyeless sockets gazing nowhere
Gray white flecks of brain and bone
Circled his head like a halo

Sometimes Bravery is Just Lifting Your Head

(photo credit: unknown)

sometimes bravery
is just lifting your head
high enough to aim
many don’t though
they just shoot
risk losing that head?
and for what?
lots did though, lots died
little metal pellet
turns brains to goo

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mortally Wounded

Mortally Wounded

To have been there
To have seen that
To hold his head up out of the mud
To tell him he’s going to be okay
To tell him he’s going home
To keep him distracted
To keep him from noticing that he’s open
And his intestines are unraveling into the ooze
The two of us teenagers
The two of us mortally wounded

Two Days Later

It’s funny how things become part of the everyday fabric of our lives...

Batman always figured he knew when it was time for me to get up in the morning. It wasn’t always at the same time, but when the urge hit him, he’d meow loudly and directly, into my face from about 6 inches. If I turned my head the other way, he’d simply climb over me, and start again on the other side. Although I was never “overjoyed,” I never got mad at him, because he was just so darn serious about it. It was also funny because when he meowed like that, his mouth opened so big, that it looked like he was going to swallow his own head. Backwards!

Once I was up, he’d lead me out of the bedroom, down the stairs, and into the kitchen.  He would stop every few feet to turn his head and meow at me. He wanted food! For those of you who are old enough to remember, it reminded me of Lassie leading Timmy to rescue a neighbor, who had become stuck under a tractor, fallen down a well, or had some other random emergency.

In our spare room, there’s a folded up comforter sitting on a couch. For a couple of hours a day, the sun shines through a window, directly on the comforter. It was Batman’s favorite spot. He would stretch out and catnap in its warmth every day. He loved lying in the sun. Don’t get me wrong, he didn’t discriminate among sun splashes. He had a hard time passing by any of them without stopping for a quick nap. If there was another cat in it already, he’d just crowd them out. I walked by the room today and noticed his spot. His empty spot…

I avoided the room yesterday, but today I couldn’t stop myself from going in there and putting my hands on the sunny spot where he always hung out. It was nice and cozy. When I noticed that some of his fur was there, I about lost it.  I think the comforter will stay there for awhile. Just like his empty food dish will remain next to the others.

This may sound silly to some, but he taught me that an animal can get into and occupy a part of your heart, that humans have no access to.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Mad Minute

The Mad Minute

Fight or flight, hammering you to do something
Bowel clinching terror telling you not to
Adrenaline threatening to explode your heart
Pushing you, demanding action
How can it be so hard just to lift your head?
Even though your very life may depend on it
A firefight is a dramatic and dynamic thing
Yet dreamlike
People out there are trying to kill you
Even your own chemicals are trying to stroke you out
When that mad minute, or five, or ten is over
Some guys haven’t even been able to fire their weapons
A scar to be carried forever

Friday, February 12, 2010

Rest In Peace Big Boy


First off, I apologize to all of you whom I thought to be crazy. I just didn’t understand why you would spend so much money to keep your pets alive. I also couldn’t understand why you became so involved with them on an emotional level. In the world of my childhood, it was very unwise to be emotionally attached to anything, or anyone. That most definitely included animals.

Today I received my comeuppance, in spades…

We’ve had Batman for about 12 years. One of the girls found him as a kitten, wandering around a grocery store parking lot. Of course she brought him home. I was pissed at first, because I’m allergic. The wild little shit grew on me. So much so, that I got allergy shots for two years. He is the reason that I now know how pet owners feel and why they do what they do.

Batman grew up to be a huge tomcat. He never acted like one though. More evenings than not, he could be found on my lap. Most nights he could be found sleeping with his head on one of our pillows. If he was awake, he was probably purring. Even if he wasn’t actually on us, he’d always reach out with a paw and rest it on us. “Just to be sure of us” (like Piglet to Pooh).

In early 2007 we noticed a bump on Batman’s left hip. The bump was a malignant tumor. It was operable, but not curable. The oncologist who performed the surgery on him came very close to amputating his leg. The surgery was touch and go, but she was able to save it. Things went well for about four months, but a subsequent follow up exam revealed that he had more tumors in another spot on the same hip. This time the surgeon was very concerned that the leg would have to come off. We were very upset about it. She told us not to worry because a cat’s rear legs are so overpowered, that they can easily get by with only one of them. She added “the cat will get over it in two weeks, we would get over it in two months, and our friends would take a year.” A little medical humor I guess. It made us feel better though. He managed to keep his leg both times, but gained two hellacious scars

Two years after his second surgery Batman was declared to be in remission. We were very happy because the type of cancer he had was not curable. Everything has been great. Batman was back to his normal self and we’d almost forgotten about the cancer.

Several months ago we noticed that Batman was losing weight. We had another cat that had recently lost weight with some stomach problems, so we didn’t pay it much mind for a while. The weight kept coming off though, so we took him to our regular vet. She thought she felt something in his abdomen and took an x-ray. The results were not good. He had a large tumor in his abdomen and six small tumors in his lungs. Of course we had a thousand questions. None of the answers were good. She told us she would put him down that day, if that’s what we wanted. We were floored. My wife said we wanted to take him to his oncologist before we made any decisions.

His oncologist looked at the x-rays and told us there was nothing she could do. The tumor in his abdomen would eventually make it impossible for him to eat and poop and the tumors in his lungs were going to make it hard for him to breathe. We asked her what we should do. She said to take him home and enjoy whatever time we had left with him. We asked her how long that would be. She said she had no idea, but Batman would let us know when it was time. When he stopped eating, pooping, or grooming, we’d know it was time. She also said we’d know when he started having pain.

We got two extra months with him, they were good months. He continued to lose a lot of his weight and only started having troubles eating and evacuating very recently. We made an appointment for today to make sure he didn’t suffer.

The process went quickly and painlessly. I held him when the vet put him under and when she stopped his heart. Then the strangest thing happened. His body seemed to relax and he no longer looked so skinny. He looked like he did a year ago. He looked healthy. He was gone, but he looked healthy. His eyes were open and when I was petting him I thought he might respond. Of course he didn’t. When I looked up at Dr. Wood, she was crying also. They knew Batman and what he’d been though over the past several years.

Batman purred right up until the time that he was gone. I would have expected nothing else from him.

Rest in peace big boy...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Freaking Spam

Because of the large numbers of "spam" comments being submitted to blogs, I'm going to have to look at all comments before they show up on the page. I hate to do this, but there are of course, idiots everywhere!
I still desire and welcome comments from my friends and readers and promise not to alter them in any way.



Saturday, February 6, 2010

Military Related Entries Are Almost Over

To those of you who are bored to death, or just don't care about the recent subject matter,I apologize.
Only a few more military related entries and it will be over (for now anyway).

And then....

Back to the craziness of my life, that you miss.
Back to the insanity of my mother, that you crave.

Please check out my other site as well (photos). I'd really appreciate some critiques on my shots. I have thick skin, it's okay...