Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Truth Is ....

 Friends and family continue to ask me: "So, how ARE you doing?"
It's really very nice that they are concerned about my health ever since I had those trips to OZ with the Scarecrow and the Tin Man. I usually keep it brief ... "Feeling good thanks." To which they usually answer ... "Good. You look great!" (I always kinda think that they reserve the last line in case I say ... "I feel like crap." Then they would say ... "I thought you looked a little puny.")

Debbie always tells me to tell the truth when people ask how I'm feeling.

Okay, here goes. Here are some of the things that still make me whine once in a while.

1. My right eye sometimes closes on its own. It still is numb (although no longer in need of my pirate patch). Probably looks like I'm winking at everyone from time to time. It also occasionally feels as if a dagger is sticking in it for a few seconds at a time. That would be the nerves acting up.

2. I have bandaids all over my body. This is because I take blood thinners. For those of you who have never taken them ... an accurate description would be that blood pours out of your body at various times of the day when you cut yourself shaving, have a minor skin irritaion or just point in the general direction of the next accident.

3. Headaches. This is the universal sign for "Oh my God ... who punched me in the head last night? Was it Mr.Plum with the lead pipe in the Library?"  This is either more nerve pain or TMJ (too much jawin')

4. Nose bleed. This is second only to bandaids as the least attractive left-over problem from brain surgery. Every morning I refresh my box of kleenex. Blood thinners ... gotta love them. AND if I get a headache I take Advil which gives the blood a triple threat. Makes my meetings so much more interesting.

5. Drooling. I've decided this might just be old age ... but I'll blame it on the continued numbness in my mouth and gums. Did I say that nosebleed and bandaids were unattractive? I guess this would take over the number one spot.

So that's the story.

In addition to the above ... I still have the occasional PVC (heart murmur not plumbing material), a slight limp from my fall a few months ago and trouble sleeping through the night.
That's truly why I only answer "Feeling good, thanks." (if I told the whole story, I'd be like the Robert Hayes character in 'Airplane' (everyone he sits next to and talks to ... kills themselves.)

Other than that ... I'm fine.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Vegas Birthday

Quick trip to Vegas this weekend.

Debbie and I celebrated my senior citizen birthday  early (March 1st is the day ... to forget). So we traveled to Caesars Palace on Friday morning.

It could not have been more perfect.

We boarded the plane and got great seats (on Southwest) made it it a mere 6 hours ... and voila ... we zipped over to the hotel in time for a little gambling.

We did very well. (I promised Debbie I would not get real cocky here).

That night we made reservations to see Million Dollar Quartet at Harrah's.

If I haven't mentioned this phenomenal Broadway play before ... I apologize. We have seen it twice (New York and Tampa). This cast was the best. It's the story of a reunion of Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis who meet at Sun Records.

Great show.

We gambled a little at Harrah's after the play. I think some of the cocktail waitresses have been there since the hotel was built.

The wigs are brand new, however.

That night we grabbed a bite to eat at a place called Munchbar. Just the right amount of food.

The next morning, we visited the Caesars Buffet ... Voted Number 1 in Vegas.
I can see why.

They had everything there. Breakfast stuff, lobster, oysters, crab, shrimp, Asian, Italian, French ... you name it (for only $100 per person ... thank heavens for our Total Rewards cards) .

I took a nice quiet bubble bath in our hotel room because ... because I hadn't really ever taken a bubble bath. Plus, I just bought Debbie a new Louis Vitton bag for MY birthday and needed a bath (after I took one at the store).

Debbie went to church.

Then ... refreshed ... we went gambling again. Won ... and headed to Gordon Ramsay's new Steak place.  Another winner. What a cool place.

Home on Sunday without any major air travel nightmares, big gambling losses or mix ups.

How boring, huh?

But lotsa fun.

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sochi Olympics? I'll pass.

I'm not a fan.

I have to admit the Winter Olympics were never high on the list for me. This year's games had very little appeal as well. I'm more of a Summer Olympic fan. Give me track and field, boxing, basketball, fencing (well ... maybe not fencing) and I'm a happy guy.

Now ... the screw up on the rings for the opening ceremony had possibilities. THAT was good television. Buy unfortunately, that was the only highlight I enjoyed.

Reasons? Well ...

1. Curling. This is not even a sport is it? Brushing the ice while a skater slides a steel teapot looking thing toward a target is as exciting as watching a shuffleboard tournament (actually, even that has more skill points).

I'll have to give style points to the teams that had snazzy pants this year.

2. The Luge. Another stupid sport. This must have been started at some water park one winter day when the water slides froze and some kid accidentally slipped down and almost broke his neck. Hey ... let's put a sled under him and throw him back down again and see what happens.

3. Snowboarding. Okay, rip the wheels off the street rats' skateboards and see what they can do. Yep ... move to Colorado and do the same thing on frozen concrete.

I forget ... is skateboarding a summer olympic sport?

4. Figure skating. Am I missing something here? Style points? An over rotated lutz into a salchow? What the heck?

All I know is that the skaters that I did watch all fell and still won medals because their lutzes must have salchowed and I didn't realize it.

5. Commentators. Need I say more?

6. Ice Hockey. THE saving grace for the olympics as far as I'm concerned. USA/Russia game ... fantastic.

7. Biathlon. Ski and shoot, ski and shoot, ski and shoot. These guys all collapse at the finish line.

It must be a brutally exhausting sport. Imagine if they really killed something and would have to carry it, clean it and eat it too?

8. Room accommodations in Sochi. Either they ran out of money to put up walls between toilets or they are truly a social-ist kind of place.

Debbie would never put up with that. Especially with me as a roommate.

Okay, I have to admit, I am not a reliable critic of the Winter Olympics.

As a southern boy who grew up in the city, I didn't really spend lots of time on the snow in the mountains.

When I taught school in Austria, I tried my hand at skiing and was laughed off the mountain when I showed up in jeans with a black wool coat on. (I was cold a wet for days).

Everybody else was wearing slick white ski suits. WHITE!!! Either they are so good that they know that they will never fall and have a search team look for them.

Or it's easier to spot the blood when they hit a tree.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

At Boca (life is) Grande

Spent the weekend with Linda and Randy Simmons at their very cool place in Boca Grande.

Oh ... that's not Linda and Randy in the picture. Those are their Retrievers ... Tebow and Rocky. Randy is a Gator and Linda is (yes) a Bull.

Good times last night as we ate some New Orleans style gumbo, étouffée and crawfish balls at the Boca Grande Community Center.

Then, the special treat of the evening: A few hours of music and dancing with the Pine Leaf Boys, a young Cajun group that won critical acclaim nationally (including a few Grammy nominations).

One of the lead singer/musicians is a guy named Wilson Savoy who plays accordion and piano. When I looked him up, it was as I suspected ... he's a huge Jerry Lee Lewis fan (me too) ... his style mirrors old Jerry Lee in vocals and keyboard. The other lead was a great fiddle player, Courtney Granger, who can do a fusion of Cajun and classical and was born in the thriving metropolis of Eunice, Louisiana.

Yes ... it made me homesick.

Later, we had a drink at the Gasparilla Inn/Hotel. What a magnificent facility. Randy told me that it has become the wedding capital of the world. There's one about every week ... including a big wedding for the lady who invented Spanx. (which is apparently the most important invention for women since The Cosmo).

Beautiful house, beautiful pooches and today (as we were leaving) a beautiful day. Thanks R and L for a beautiful weekend!

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Ballad of the Big Prostate

Here’s a little country tune I wrote just yesterday to commemorate a dark day in my history. I don’t have a tune but realized you can use an...