Archive for February, 2016

Reflections On Judge Scalia; Lou Diamond Phillips Plays God

Monday, February 15th, 2016

So. Please allow me to say, in advance, that I was a little stoned. OK, and in the desire to properly elucidate realities to you, dear readers, allow me to say that I was considerably more than a little stoned. I was shitfaced.

Six-Carta-Blanca-beers-two-joints-and-a-full-dropper-of-Gram’s-mushroom-juice stoned. That kind of stoned. Still functioning, meaning I was awake, could walk and carry on a conversation, yet so mellowed-out that I could converse with Ted Cruz without turning him into fodder for the compost pile. This high was quite mellow.

The pot was a medicinal variety called “Rainbow Kush” or “Orange Sherbet Kush”, or maybe it was “Bush is a Kush”; the mushroom juice was from a tincture bottle just arrived from Austin that my tincturating grandmother had named, “Santi Fe ain’t got no air, Mooner, this here’s gonna Oxycontinate yer ass all over tha place.” As La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe sits at 7,292 feet above sea level, Gram’s desire to increase my oxygenations was admirable.

The beer was from Susan’s Liquor Store, the only dependable local source for my beloved CB.

We had just learned of Judge Scalia’s death and adjourned to the back yard for celebrations and reflections. Awash with the peace and joy that can only come from good news and a multi-dimensional high, the dogs and I were sitting out back in the early eve, wondering the outcome/replacement from Scalia’s death, and enjoying the end of a 63-degree day.

Sixty-three fucking degrees. Last week the highs were in the mid-twenties with winds that made the air so sharp it would cut your face, and three days later we’re thirty-degrees over normal.

OK, as that sounds like a bitch, allow me to say I love this weather and we three were basking like old dogs in a sunny patch on a parlor rug. That sixth beer was on the table between the two wrought iron chairs, the Squirt was in my lap, Yoda in the second chair, and all three of us were pointed at the back drive-through gate that looks out onto the alley behind the house.

There’s a three-inch gap between the bottom of the gate and the top of the concrete drive, and several evenings this week—about this time—the Squirt thinks she saw something stick its nose under the gate.

“Too dark to tell for sure, but I think it’s that wolf dog from over on Quapaw Street,” Squirt told me. “Dangerous looking sort.”

The goat dog did his slit-throat, “Phwouf-phwouf-pwhouf,” bit, and the Squirt turned to me to say, she tells me, “Dumbass over there says it a coyote, and he wants to rip its face off.”

As Yoda is the least fearsome animal on the entire planet, Squirt and I laughed about his fearlessness in the face of a fearsome force, and it dawned on me that Yoda has never actually growled.

“Tell him to growl, sweetie. Let’s see if he even knows how.”

She did, and Yoda screwed this cartoonish snarl onto his face and went, “Mmmrrrll.”

We asked that he repeat his snarling growl, which he did, and I realized he had growled before. “That’s the sound he makes when I move him out of my arm pit to turn over in bed. I always thought it was a lovie noise. That little shit is growling at me because my fucking arm is asleep and I need to recirculate it.” She and I laughed once more. Yoda growled at us, again.

Anyway, I drank and the puppies lapped—me from the bottle, they from the mayonnaise lid that makes a great portable beer trough for ten-pound doggies—and we settled in for the approaching dark. I kind of started snoozing when the Squirt nudged my chin with her cool nose. She whispered, “Wake up shithead. There’s something at the gate.”

I tried to wake, then focus. Sure enough, there was something at the back gate. “Everybody quiet. Let’s creep up on it.”

We crept. Stealthily; slowly; quietly.

There was a jangling of keys, the sound of the lock slipping out of chain and the chain slipping through its metal eyelets. A hand slipped between the gate halves and Lou Diamond Phillips stepped into the backyard.

“The three of you couldn’t sneak up on a dead man, Mooner. Fetch another beer and some of those sweet bean tamales from your fridge while I lock this gate. You’ve coyotes prowling your neighborhood.”

I fetched, and upon my return from the kitchen found my God sitting in Yoda’s chair with the goat dog settled in his lap, and the Squirt still sniffing at the gap beneath the gate. I set fresh beers and tamales on the table and sat.

“Nice to see you, Sir. Been awhile.” I paused for a response, got none, and asked Him, I asked God, “Uh, not that I’m ungrateful or anything, but I was hoping you’d visit as that actress Mary-Louise Parker. We watched the final episode of Season Four of Weeds, and that scene in her bathtub… I mean, I like Lou Diamond Phillips and all, but, well, you know…”

I never realized LDP was almost as big as I am. They film around here for the TV series Longmire and I’ve seen him about. He plays a Native American bar owner with certain instincts. He’s handsome and all that, but he’s no Mary-Louise Parker.

“Forget your pecker for once and focus on your reflections of Justice Scalia. Do you realize that your first thought was, ‘Thank God?’ Don’t you be thanking me for another man’s demise, shithead. You might not have liked him, but he wasn’t a bad man. He was misdirected and biased. But he was steadfast in his beliefs and practiced as he preached. And he was one of Justice Ginsberg’s best buddies. You can’t admire her without admiring her friends.”

“Is it OK if I say I’m glad he’s no longer on the bench?”

God pierced my eyes with Lou Diamond Phillips’ steeliest stare. “Don’t mince words, Mooner. You’ll get the SCOTUS you want. Don’t revel in another man’s death. Period.”

Before I could respond, He was gone, along with all the tamales and both fresh beers. I figured His next visit lacked both food and drink and I already had a serious case of sweet bean tamale farts. And I figured He was right. Mayhaps I should not feel elation at what I got at the cost of another’s loss. That demeans me, makes me akin to the kind of person I despise.

I already have enough despicable traits.

So, fuck Walmart!

Good News, Bad News; Prioritizing Life Is A Bitch

Monday, February 8th, 2016

So.  I’ve been absent from these pages for a couple weeks while involved with a personal matter too complicated to share here, and having said that, I should state that it is my concern for the sensibilities of another human that kept me quiet, not any concern for myself. As I have moved on from the unmentioned complications, I have some good and bad news to share.

As a salesperson, I have always known that you deliver bad news first—get that negative shit out the way so you can focus on the positive.  However, as a human being, I wish to share the good first because l have been promising you I would inform as soon as I could, and then I’ll deal with the not-so-good news.

Friday was settlement day between Mini USA and me.  Myself, mayhaps, but Mini and I settled our differences on my beloved little hotrod Countryman.  While I absolutely loved my tiny car when it was running right, it, simply put, did not run right enough of the time. It would routinely misfire (my words) in what Mini mechanics call a “Hard Knock,” and several times did so in heavy traffic.  Once it did so and I was almost rammed from behind by a too-close driver.

As too-close driving is a Santa Fe method of employed roadway matriculating, this near-stalling dealio was disconcerting.  Watching a Lexus SUV rock forward in a tire-squealing nosedive at your rear bumper while doing 65 MPH can disconcert the best of us, and me as well.  To make a long story short, in two years of ownership and more than two months inside their shop, Mini could not make the repairs necessary to fix my car.  I became frustrated after being quite patient, and finally told them to either honor New Mexico’s Lemon Law—a law that requires them to choose to give me all my money back, or give me a new car of matching accoutrements—or, as I so eloquently said when I told them of my demand, I said to the Mini Reps, “Or fix my fucking car!”

OK, so as to not over simplify, I understand that everyone in business sometimes builds a bad seed product—that bastard electric toothbrush that scrubs your gums bloody rather than remove half-a-day’s food particles, the Roman Candle that sends flaming projectiles out from both ends of the stick, or that car that has an issue that you just can’t fix. So I never held Mini culpable as a builder of bad cars, just a typical car maker who made one bad Countryman.  But my frustrations with not getting it right got to me.  Mini built a bad car…

And sold it to me. Anyway, after ginning me through their corporate structure in an effort to make me give-in to their initial, totally unacceptable offers, they finally gave me a settlement I found acceptable. Not what I wanted, because as I said I loved my Mini.  I wanted a replacement—one that worked as promised.  They must have decided that I was not so desirable as a Mini owner and bought the car back.  I agreed to not discuss the financial terms with anyone so I won’t.

As a replacement, I purchased a Subaru WRX hot rod that in my early days of ownership is found to be as much fun as the Mini, and maybe even a somewhat more. It’s a little bigger, a whole lot faster, and has the all-wheel drive needed for our snowy winters. I’ll let you know if my happiness remains.

Which brings up the not happy part of this entire thingy.  I came home a week ago, and as usual the goat dog met me at the door jumping and circling and woofing his slit-throat bark. What didn’t happen, as usual, was that the Squirt was missing from my greeting. Her usual is to greet me with disdain, or pleasure, should I return with, or without, her requests.

“You forgot, didn’t you, shithead?  You are such a numbskull!” or, “Fuck you, Mooner, I’ll have the goat dog shit on the couch next time,” would be a typical Squirt greeting.  But this return trip she was nowhere to be found.  After his greeting, Yoda woofed at me and raced to the back of the house, stopped and woofed over his shoulder at me, and took off again.

“Squirty girl, where are you?” I hollered to no reply. I walked farther to the back and raised my voice, “Squirt, answer me young lady and do it now!”

“Fuck you,” her weak reply.  “I’m on the bed and I can’t get down.”

I found the adorable bundle of brown fur and spunk shaking at the foot of our bed, looking up at me with a scared look in her eyes.  This was the same look she had when her tooter was so messed up that she couldn’t walk.

“I can’t walk, Mooner.  It’s time to put me down.  I won’t live like this.”

I freaked.  “You, young lady, are headed to the emergency room.”

“I’ll bite you, shithead, and I mean it.  I won’t live a cripple.  You’ll not be wiping my ass or my drool!  Get me the bottle of pain pills and a beer. I’m putting an end to this.”

Instead, I grabbed a towel to wrap her and she did snap at me.  She missed and she moaned when I lifted her.  “It’s my back.  I think I broke it.”

Again to make a long story short, her back isn’t broken but it is suffering the damages that Time takes on a Doxie body. Her long spine finally gave notice to cease her rambunctiousness, and she was in pain and what turned out to be temporary paralysis. Time and some meds have fixed the paralysis, but I’m now required to lift her up, and down, when she needs it.  And I think she is taking advantage of me.  She seems to need lifting way too often.

“You need to be more attentive, shithead. What if I forget and try to jump off my chair?” she said to me the other day. “Maybe you should hire a live-in nurse.”

“Don’t be taking advantage, Squirty girl, you’re close to the line on the Cost/Benefit scale.”

But me, I don’t give a shit. I’ll become her full-time nurse if need be. I was talking to Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson about it in this morning’s phone therapy session and I broke all the way down. Cried like a baby and blabbered on, and on. “What will I do without her? Who will I talk to? Who will keep me on the straight and narrow? Who can ever replace her?”

“Good questions, one and all, Mooner. Maybe you need some extra sessions.”

“Maybe I need some sexing and maybe you could prescribe it for therapeutic purposes. I just changed the sheets and you can be on a noon flight that arrives here before five. I’ve got a bottle of your favorite chardonnay…”

“You need to worry about your real issues, dear man. Take care of that puppy and make her happy and comfortable.  Or else!”

I just finished watching 101 Dalmatians and All Dogs Go To Heaven three times each. Next, I’m headed out to the butcher shop to get some big beef leg bones and then some vanilla ice cream, her favies, and now my eyes have watered up in the telling.

Why is this tiny dog so important to me?  Why am I so terribly shaken with the thought of losing her? Why am I more concerned for the Squirt than for my mother, and why would I put this question in print? And why does it hurt more to have concerns for another’s health than it is my own? I didn’t suffer finding I have cancer like I am with my dog.

I know I’m crazy and that my priorities are totally fucked. Do others operate the same way? Have I asked enough silly questions for the day?

Ugh. Total and complete ugh.

Fuck Walmart for the Squirt.