Walking The Aisles

Growing old together takes sacrifice.

It takes patience.

It takes doing things that your wife asks…..even though you know you have no business doing them.

And here’s how I came to that conclusion…..

We made our weekly trip to the grocery store today.

The last day of the month and “the WalMart” are not a good combination but when you gotta go….you gotta go.

Anyway, as I follow my wife and stepdaughter up and down each aisle at a painstaking snails pace,

(Not because it was busy, but because they are both ingredient checkers and for whatever reason my wife ( who blogs as foreverpaused) decided that the grocery cart had to be loaded Rain Man style, which means she’s down with OCD…yeah you know me!)

We notice an extremely old man bending over to look at something on a shelf.

He randomly asks my stepdaughter,

“Are there table crackers on that shelf?”

We were on the cereal aisle.

Before, she replied with a wise yet inappropriate teenage answer, I step in.

“What can I help you with, sir.” I ask.

“My wife sent me to the store to get this stuff….I can’t see and don’t know where to find everything.”

I proceed to take him to the right aisles, read the list for him, and complete his task, while the ladies of my clan continue on with our list.

I made sure he made it towards the register and then caught up with my wife to clear up a few things…..

“If you ever….and I mean ever…send me to the store by myself when I can’t see and I’m 90 I’m gonna be so pissed that I will probably end up like one of those ‘get off my lawn’ guys. I’m sure all you woman think it’s funny to send us places we have no business going to just to know we will because you ask.” I angrily state.

She replies,

“You can’t place wholesale condemnation onto every married woman because of 1 incident. That’s not fair! Besides, I love going to the grocery store with you.”

I mutter some obscenity under my breathe and then reply,

“Yes dear.”

About 9.6 seconds later as we are browsing through the cheese section, a shopping cart slowly passes us.

The caretaker of the cart is a man who is hovering around the century mark and has a short list in his hand.

No wife to be seen for aisles.





Chasing The Disc

Weekly Writing Challenge- Object


One over zealous flick of the wrist and a gust of wind at just the right time changed me to the core of my existence.

A single event. Maybe fate. Possibly destiny. Either way, if I would have the caught the disc that was thrown….instead of chasing it to where it ended up I wouldn’t be telling this story.

I was an awkward kid in the late ’70’s. Always last to be picked for any team, socially inadequate….just awkward.

It was around that time that a “toy” became quite popular.

The frisbee.

The joy of the frisbee was that it was so new that virtually everyone was awkward when trying to master it.

I was enamored with its simplicity.

A plastic disc.

That’s it.

The trick was to be able to master the correct throwing motion.

A perfect dance of bringing your arm back…just far enough, and then bringing it forward with your wrist cocked back….a flick of the wrist at just the right time with just the right angle and just the right velocity would send the disc airborne.

It was beautiful to watch it glide through the air….when it was thrown right, that is.

It would seem to glide forever.

The Boys and Girls Club was starting up a frisbee football team at the start of the school year which left me 3 months to not only learn to correctly throw the plastic disc but also to effortlessly steal it from it’s glide in mid air and catch it.

Both my parents worked, so I had to go there until they could pick me up. That has no bearing on the story just general information.

To achieve my goal, I enlisted my best and to be honest, only friend, Charles.

He was awkward like me,which was probably why we got along so well…and still do to this day.

Anyway, I bought a frisbee with my allowance and went to tell Charles my plan….

“Dude…you know we are no good at athletics….that’s why we are picked last to play but first to clean up after everyone…” Charles said.

“Yeah…but the beauty of this sport is NO ONE is good at it….so we stand a good a chance as anyone else if we try hard enough!” I replied.

“I guess,” he reluctantly answered, “How do you work this thing? It looks like a plate.”

“I’m really not sure….but that’s what the instructions are for! Let’s look at the basics and then try it out.”

“How about we go the the abandoned lot at the end of the block so no one will see us looking like idiots trying to work this frosbee thing…”

“Good idea..and it’s a FRISBEE not a frosbee, goober.”

As we walked toward the lot we read the instructions-

The Stance

Stand sideways to the direction that you want the frisbee to go. (Use your shoulder as a pointer.) Your feet should be about shoulder width apart, your knees slightly bent and most of your weight on the back foot.

The Grip

Hold the Frisbee along the edge that is facing the target. (That edge is called the leading edge.) Place your thumb on the top of the frisbee, your index finger along the edge and your other fingers underneath it. Your hold should be relaxed and the wrist should be loose.

The Flick

Stand with your elbow close to your body and your wrist bent inward so the side you are grasping is farthest away from you. It should almost touch your belly button and your hand and arm should be wrapped around the disk. The far edge that you are holding should be a couple of inches lower than the nearest edge so that the frisbee is tilted down and away from you. Practice a few times moving the wrist forward and backward keeping the frisbee on the same level. The forearm should move just a bit and the elbow should stay close to your body. With a smooth and speedy movement, flick your wrist forward and release the frisbee continuing to keep the outside edge tilted down.

The job of the flick is to create spin not cause the frisbee to travel far so at this point it will not travel far.

The Shift

Now that you’ve figured out the spin, you can add some distance. When you flick the wrist, transfer your weight onto the front foot and you can take a small step toward your target. Don’t make a big sweeping motion with your arm. The power is from the legs and the body, not the arm.

“Easy breezy Charlsey! You go stand over there and I will try first.”

I was as awkward as I always was. When I tried to throw it, it wouldn’t go straight, fly straight or even land straight. It looked like I was throwing an uncooked pizza.

After Charles got tired of chasing it to the left of him and to the right of him. He said it was his turn.

To our amazement, he was a natural.

His first throw glided gracefully over my head and into the fence at the back of the lot.

Charles shouted with glee,

“That was groovy! Why don’t you try to catch while I throw for a while!”

That was the beginning of our summer obsession. My throws improved but no where near as good as his. I worked on my catching skills while Charles perfected the throw.

Each morning he would come by my house and ask the same question,

“Feel like chasing the disc today?”

I was always just as excited as he.

We found something that we could do together that could quite possibly make us part of a team in a few months.

Then, unbeknownst to us, that day that the disc changed everything came.

Our day started out the same as always.

Time to chase the disc.

We went to the lot. It was a beautiful day. Sun was shining and a slight breeze was blowing.

We pretended we were on the football field. I started to run the routes that he called out and he would flick his wrist and let the disc fly. The chase was on.

Today was my day. Each route I ran was perfect. The throw was perfect. If was like the frisbee glided in slow motion every time he set it free. I caught each disc I chased.

Our spirits were gliding as effortlessly as the frisbee.

At some point during our game we heard voices calling out.


At first, we ignored them.

Then one time, after his throw and during my chase, Charles yelled out,


I laughed so hard while I ran that I almost missed my catch…


The voices began to get closer,


Each time, one of us would yell in reply,


The people shouting the name got nearer.

Charles looks at me and says,

“There’s a cute girl with that “Marco” group. Go long…let’s try to impress her!”

“You’re on!”

Charles yells hike and I take off. After a few seconds Charles releases the frisbee.

Man, it was beautiful to watch it in flight.

As the frisbee glided higher and I ran farther I noticed a man from the group stopped to ask Charles a question and showed him a piece of paper.


I heard from the group.

I glanced back up towards the frisbee and started to extend my arm upward the disc and simultaneously yelled with a giggle,


Just then, a short burst of wind caught the underside and started to carry it upward.

I took a leap to try to catch it but my foot caught in a branch and I fell face first into the dirt and tumbled.

I glanced out through my haze and saw the disc land in a bushy area at the back of the lot.

I embarrassingly got up and brushed myself off while heading to retrieve the frisbee.

Charles and the man were walking towards me.

I reached the area where I saw the frisbee land.

“Hey, this man is an off duty police officer and wants to ask you something…” Charles shouted at me.

I began sifting threw the branches and leaves wanting to reach in to retrieve my disc.

What I saw was the lifeless body of a child.

I stumbled back, pale and dizzy, and looked at the man and Charles, who were rapidly approaching, pointed toward the bush and questioningly said,


I was never the same after that. Each time I saw a frisbee…I saw Marco. I couldn’t understand….why…..

“Hey, Detective….Snap out if it!…we got work to do…” Said a voice that burst into his office.

I shook myself out of my visit to the past to see my partner, Charles, standing next to our progress board of open cases.

I said,

“We have been in the Missing Children’s Division for over a decade, my friend….we always have work to do.”

He smiled and replied,

“Yes sir we have. A new case just got sent over to us. All the pertinent info is as we always like it. Right here.”

He held up a CD and pretended to flick his wrist and said,

“Time is of the essence. Feel Ike chasing the disc?”

Charles did not wait for an answer. He cocked his wrist back and released the disc from his palm and into the air.

It glided effortlessly across the airspace between us.

His throws were still perfect.

My catching of the disc…not so much.

But that’s ok….my life is not about being good at playing with toys anymore.

It’s about making sure that the kids that do, make it home.

Yada Yada Yoda

I have been feel creatively meh…

The imagination train has left the station and left me on the platform with a ticket stub to Nowheresville.

I was talking to my coffee cup about this very thing this evening.

And this was his reply-

“Happens to every guy, sometimes this does.”

I asked in reply,

“So…..what do I do about it?”

“Creativity is not obtainable by drinking from the head of a Jedi master…it is to be learned, it must.”

“I try to be creative, old green one, it just comes out as ‘see jane …see Jane run…’ And that just won’t cut it.”

He squints his ceramic eyes and answers in the only way he knows how.

“Clear your mind must be, if you are to find the creative that dwells within. To be writer is to face the truth, and choose. Give off light, or darkness. Be a candle or the night.”

I ponder on his wisdom for a few second then pick him up and take a large sip of coffee from where the top of his head should be.

I then place him on the table and turn him to face me, so I can give him a proper reply.

“If I clear my mind of the clutter that clouds my creativity….then my imagination will be set free? Wow! That’s pretty good stuff from a ceramic goblet!”

He smiles his Jedi smile and replies,

“Secret, shall I tell you? Grand Master of Jedi Order am I. Won this job in a raffle I did, think you? ‘How did you know, how did you know, Master Yoda?’ Master Yoda knows these things. His job it is. Ceramic goblet gig just to pay bills it is.”


DEVO Rules

I have been immersed in the


I heard the news that Bob Casale, one of the founding members of DEVO, passed away from heart failure.

I have been watching videos on you tube ever since.

DEVO did what they wanted, how they wanted.

They were not for everyone….but everyone knows them.

RIP Mr. Casale…..the De-evolution continues…


About Last Night

This is not about the movie first made in 1986….nor is it about the remake of the same movie that came out recently.

My life is not done in black or white…nor is it scripted or always end happily or is played in under 113 minutes.

My life is full of color, unpredictable and is constantly ongoing.


Last night, I went back to the place I walked away from almost a year ago.

An AA meeting.

Was I loaded?

On the verge of getting loaded?

Fighting back temptation the only way I knew how?


I was asked to go, by my wife, and I said yes.


If it were only that simple, this post would be done.

She has asked me to go with her to AA functions repeatedly over the last year and my answer to the question was always the same…quick and concise.


So why now?

I have made a few recent discoveries…that’s why…and here they are-

1- I am a stubborn ass.

2- I am missing out on an important part of my wife’s life by being a stubborn ass.

3- Choosing to stay at home alone and staring at the popcorn ceiling for hours wondering if it would actually taste like popcorn, instead of spending time with the woman I love in whatever capacity, further proves than I am a stubborn ass.

Ok…so I really just discovered 1 thing that encompasses a few more.

It is what it is.

Here is how it went down.

It was a speaker meeting where a topic would be picked and various members of the visiting group would share on the topic from behind the podium.

The visiting group was my old home group. We traveled about 50 miles to take the meeting to the other group.

We arrive early. My wife tells me,

“I didn’t tell anyone you were coming with me.”

My reply,

“Cool. No problem.”


Inside my head the voices were carrying on a meeting of their own….

“DUDE!! you know she told everyone….they are probably planning to rope you back in!”

“Watch your back….bro.”

“Remember last time you ran into your first sponsor at the Christmas dealio? This will be worse….and you will be outnumbered….”

The voices are always sooo positive.

The Christmas fiasco was a doozy. My first sponsor was outside talking with a new comer. I went out to sit with them to avoid playing board games inside. He made the comment that I was in AA but quit for some reason.

I replied plainly,

“If you want to know why I quit going…..all you have to do is ask.”

He asked. I replied.

“I stopped going because I lost faith in and any sort of belief in a higher power….or God, if you will. Without that, the program ceased to work for me. I chose to stop going to avoid resentment or bitterness toward the program that saved my life.”

He paused for a second, then went into AA savior mode.

He quoted several passages from the big book and threw in a cliche for good measure….

“You know….good2begone…the program works if you work it.” He said as he stared confidently at me with his arms crossed in front of him.

I leaned in from my chair and said in a calm quiet tone,

“I stopped “working it” quite a few months ago….and I am still sober….and more at peace than I have been in a long time. Save it for someone who hasn’t heard your tired racket.”

The conversation that followed made the new guy so uncomfortable he got up and walked away from us and said –

“Wow…this is uncomfortable.”

It was.

But, my first sponsor gets off on that. He is very knowledgeable on the book….not so much on practicing or experiencing it. He is basically a big book bully. It worked for me when I first came into sobriety..not so much over 7 years later.

Anyway…about last night…

My wife’s sponsor, cried and gave me a huge hug when she saw me.

My wife’s sponsors husband…who was my sponsor when I quit going a year ago saw me and..

Faked a heart attack.

I walked over to where he was sitting and he said, as he shifted his cigar to one side of his mouth,

“Don’t sit next to me…I don’t want to get hit by the lightning.”

I did what anyone else would have done…

I sat next to him, patted him on the arm and said,

“Suck it up old man, it will only jolt ya for a second.”

He chuckled, looked me in the eye and said,

“It really good to see you.” and shook my hand.

The meeting started. I stayed seated and listened to what everybody had to say on the topic.

I didn’t freak out.

No one tried to kidnap me and place me in the 12 step padded room.

We had dessert and conversation afterward.

Before my old sponsor left, he shook my hand and said,

“My number is still the same…why don’t you make sure it still works in you phone sometime….by the way…I wasn’t joking when I said it is great to see you. I hope to see you again.”

Last night,

I went back.

Will I keep going back?

I don’t know.

The scenes of the future acts of my life have yet to be written.

Whatever those future acts have in store, I know that if I need help to get through them, I still have a place I can go, where there are people who know me and are willing to lend a hand, whether it has been a day or a year since they have seen me.

And that is what last night was about.


Rosetta Stoned

Ahh…report cards.

For some parents, this ritual of academic progress, is a time for reward.

High grades through the first 12 years of schooling grants a better opportunity for that child to continue their education in college.

For me…my decent grades in high school granted me that opportunity.

Given that opportunity, I used it to further my education in the arts….

As in…..the art of liquor consumption and a minor in Columbian exports.

20140216-100359.jpg(not me…put a fairly accurate photo of my intense study sessions)

I enrolled in my first semester of college….3 times….15 hours per effort….

When all was said and done, I amassed an astounding….9 credits.

College was not “my thing”.

I have 2 step kids that are currently in high school.

My stepdaughter is a freshman.

As this is her first year in the monster that is high school, she was quite disappointed to realize that students did not break out into song and dance between classes a la “Glee”.


Her perception was a bit….off key.

My stepson is a junior. He is well invested into the monster and is closer to getting out than remaining in.

We hope.

He has reached the stage that I know well.

Girls and work have taken priority over high school. My wife and I try to remind him how important education is, and how his grades will affect his opportunity for college….which he insists that he will be attending.

Somewhere in between, we have reached a language barrier that prevents us from getting our point across in a positive way.

We checked his 6 week grades, which were final as of Friday.

I believe we have found our language barrier.

He is taking Spanish….2. Looking at his grades in that class he will be eligible to take Spanish 3 next year and possibly look into a career as the American Ambassador to Mexico. His grade 87.

Seeing how we live in Texas, which last time I checked is still part of the USA, he is also required to take English. This class may effect his Ambassadorship….

I would think….that to be able to report back to your American counterparts after counter parting with your Mexican counterparts you would need to be able to count parts in English AND Spanish.

His grade…..41.


“Houston, tenemos un problema.”


Territorial Pissings

That….is Gracie. She represents the last of the “Serenity 6” and is the newest permanent member of the family.

She is the product of a red heeler and either a bulldog or a pit bull.

So to us, she is a “Red Bull”.

We were not privy to the mating process that caused the pregnancy which resulted in the birth…..but let’s just say we kind of know what happened.

She is officially my wife’s dog.

My teenage stepdaughter put up a fight to claim “ownership” of the pup by having her sleep in her room with her.

We said no.

“But…but..why can’t she sleep with me?” She whined.

“Because you got a brand new bed and mattresses for Christmas. We would prefer them not to smell like pee.” My wife answered.

“Then…then…why does she get to sleep in y’all’s bed?” She barked back.

“Because I peed on our mattresses years ago.” I answered and smiled with my arms confidently crossed in front of me.

She grimaced and walked away in stunned silence.

I win.

Do The Due

I am not a school project kind of guy….come to think of it…I’m not even a school kind of guy. I got out of high school many years ago and have had no class ever since.

Wait…that didn’t come out quite the way I planned.

Bah…I will just roll with it.


My teenage stepson had a physics project to do and was due yesterday.

That makes it overdue.

So…I did what I said I would never do.

I dood it for him.

Damn…I should have stayed in school.

It ain’t purty…but it does what it is supposed to do.

I bring you the

“Good2begone Mousetrap Catapult”

Where our motto is…

If you don’t feel right killin’ it…launch it.

Just place the furry little nuisance on the wooden spoon, pull the spoon back (which is duct taped to the tension spring) let go of mouse and spoon when desired tension is reached and…..


The sucker can be sent to the neighbors house.

Problem solved.

I should have been a scientist.

(I was not able to upload the video but just picture a mouse flying across our front room….and my wife and daughter screaming….)

Class dismissed.

The Sound Off

Most new music…..sucks.

There I said it.

Every group in every genre sounds EXACTLY the same as every other group in that genre.

Even crossovers are….blah.

Rock and roll artists have gone country.

Country has gone hip hop.

American Idol and the Voice have diluted the pop category.

When I tune in to a radio station, it takes about 37 seconds before I turn the sound off.

I get more entertainment listening to myself sing “Tiny Bubbles” than I do listening to anything current.

I long for the days when musicians played instruments…..

Instead of electronic beats and auto tuned melodies, I want to hear saxophones, trumpets, jazzy bass chords, smooth guitar and hypnotic voices.

Sounds like I want to hear Motown or old funk.

I do….but I want to hear it from someone new.

What is a music lover to do?

Search and search.

Technology is a wonderful thing.

I recently started listening to


It was through this internet radio station that I found this band.

Enjoy the audio (and video) awesomeness that is

“Diplomats of Solid Sound”