Thursday, May 29, 2008

From Helen at the library . . .

A woman came to the desk asking for one of her hold items titled "Virginity Lost." I unfortunately had to tell her that the item was marked "Missing."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wasp update . . .

I am happy to report that the giant wasp was found today alive and well and still trying to get out of the closed windows of my condo. So, he did not suffer the fate of being a little doggie snack for Sidney. Although, given the size of the respective combatants, I'm not sure who would have won that battle. Once I found him, I simply opened the window, and the wasp gently stepped out of my condo and into the world outside, safe and sound.

Monday, May 26, 2008

First hail, now a giant wasp . . .

I found a large wasp buzzing around my condo a little while ago. But now I can't find it. That's a little bit scary.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Even the Lukester showed up in person to survey the scene . . .

A Pittsburgh police officer yesterday shot and killed a man who wielded a meat cleaver (of all things) while threatening his landlord and the officer at a street corner in Oakland.

Come to Mad Mex in Oakland for a killer margarita and stay for the entertainment outside.

What Penguin Evgeni Malkin is thinking . . .

The Stanley Cup sure is shiny. I wonder how heavy it would be if I lifted it above my head. I wonder how champagne sipped from it would taste. Probably kind of metallic-y.

Friday, May 23, 2008

What the hail . . . ?

So, as I often do when I go shopping, on Wednesday afternoon I parked my little car at the far end of the Target parking lot so that I would have to walk a little extra to and from the store. It had been raining off and on all day in little bursts of showers, but at the time that I went into Target, it looked like it might be clearing up. I went into the store, purchased four items, and left, just as it was starting to rain lightly. No problem, I thought. I don't mind getting a little wet on my way back to the car. Halfway to the car and it really started to rain, so much so that I considered making a run for it, even though I was already getting wet. Then, BLAM!, the rain instantly turns to hail about the size of green peas, and I wasn't getting wet anymore. I was getting pelted by these little fuckers that seemed to be coming at me sideways! My hair was soaked, my clothes were soaked, my glasses were dripping, and all I could do was utter out loud the word "Seriously?!"

Back by popular demand . . .

Thursday, May 22, 2008

There were a number of things that I considered writing about today (Ted Kennedy's cancerous brain tumor, the full week of downright cold weather leading up to Memorial Day Weekend, the fact that I got caught in a hail storm walking to my car in the Target parking lot yesterday afternoon), but the most pressing issue of them all for me right now is that it sucks to be a guy without an ass. I have no ass. I'm assless. And it makes me look weird. I do. I look weird. I've got a belly, but no ass to help hold it up. And as the many assless men out there know, you can't buy a pair of pants that really fit well when you don't have an ass. I don't think that I own one pair of pants, casual or dress, that really fit me at all. They all just grip me at the waist (no jokes, please) and then droop off my bony hips all the way to the ground. No shape. No support. It doesn't look good.

Maybe I'll write about the hail storm tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Looks like this little fellow has better health insurance than I do.

The roads are perdition . . .

The condition of the roads in this city, and particularly the East End where I live, are horrible. Horrible, I say. There is some good news today, however. The Pittsburgh Marathon will return next May. I remember when Tom Murphy was mayor, many of the streets along the marathon route got repaved just in time for the race. So, perhaps we will see some nice, newly repaved streets.

Next spring.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I'm soliciting readers' comments . . .

This story from today's Post-Gazette is interesting to me, on so many different levels. But rather than comment on it myself, I'm curious to hear what my vast readership thinks. Please feel free to comment on any aspect of this intriguing issue of what constitutes obscenity versus freedom of speech.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Great photo . . .

As this photo from today's Post-Gazette shows, even the birds in Pittsburgh ignore red traffic lights.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Blue blazers and cocktail napkins . . .

When I was taking off my blue blazer on Friday night, after a very long day, I found a beige cocktail napkin with red lettering on it tucked away in one of the pockets. It was from my long-time best friend's wedding in November of 2005. Sometime last year, I stopped being friends with Ian, after we had some disagreements about some things that good friends sometimes clash over. Especially as we get older and life seems to test us in more and more challenging ways than it used to. Seeing the little rumpled napkin took me right back to that place and time, when I was at his wedding, seeing him so happy, and inside, there was a part of me that was just beginning to truly realize that my best friend had found a new best friend for the rest of his life.

I emailed Ian today to let him know that I had found the napkin. He emailed back in very typical Ian and Dave fashion. And it was familiar and comforting.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Back from Virginia . . .

The memorial service for my aunt was nice. Comforting. For everybody, I think. My uncle looked horrible. Gaunt. Out of it. My three male cousins were all a little chubby, and they have bad teeth. Didn't look really clean and "polished," if you will. There were a lot of people I didn't know. And most of them looked (read: were) really old. I drove the whole way there, the whole time there, and the whole way back. And I didn't sleep well, because I shared a room with my father. It rained the whole time we were there. I didn't see sunlight until I got back to Pittsburgh today. My one cousin's girlfriend is from Allison Park. He's a musician. But not really. My other cousin wrote a book about the punk music movement in New York City in the 70s sometime. I thumbed through it. It looked interesting. He wrote a book. And my other cousin works at Radio Shack. He stole pain pills from my aunt and then got addicted to them and then had to got to rehab and then he wasn't allowed to live with his parents anymore. I exchanged cell phone numbers with the oldest cousin who is similar in age to me. He may come to Pittsburgh sometime because he'd really like to tour the Warhol Museum. I said I'd let him stay with me. My aunt died. They had a funeral. And then they had a memorial service. And then there were refreshments in the church's activity room. Cheese and crackers. Little finger sandwiches. Lemonade. Cookies. Lots of people I didn't know. My sister and I stayed close together. A bunch of people commented on how my father looked like his sister. And then we came back.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

To Virginia . . .

It's a rainy Thursday morning in Pittsburgh, and I leave for Virginia in a few hours. With the memorial service for my Aunt Betty scheduled for tomorrow, my father, my sister, and I are driving to the town in Virginia where my aunt and uncle used to live before they moved into the retirement community. It's a small town, more or less in the middle of nowhere, called Purcellville. My uncle was the mayor of the town way back when. It was not as glamorous as it might sound. I remember when the town got its first McDonald's sometime around the early 80s, my uncle told us that the town council voted to restrict the new restaurant's use of the big "golden arches" that used to accompany some McDonald's locations. It was a big deal at the time for the town mayor.

Anyway, some changes have been made to the plan. Sidney is staying with some friends of mine, so I will be taking him there this morning. My sister is flying into Pittsburgh from Chicago this morning, and then she, my father, and I leave this afternoon. It will be good to have my sister along. The car ride will probably be better, and at least I will be able to get some help with the driving, if I need it.

I was so underprepared for an occasion like a memorial service that I have been scrambling around the last few days, trying to get some appropriate dress pants and shoes. The pants that arrived from L.L. Bean on Tuesday were way too tight in the waist (one of the pitfalls of ordering clothing online), so I will have to send them back. But it forced me out into the world of shopping and retail department stores. I went to Macy's to pick out a pair of dress pants that actually fit in the waist (a true rarity, it seems, it my life). I am pleased with the comfortable fit, but the length is still too long, but since I don't have time to have them tailored, I will just have to gut it out on Friday. While I was buying the pants, I realized that I didn't have comfortable, properly-fitting, dress shoes, either. So, I moozied on over to the men's shoe department and found a nice pair of black loafer-esqe shoes that I bought. I got both items on sale, so perhaps department stores aren't all bad, although I really don't like going to them for much of anything, if I don't have to.

So, with seemingly all of the necessary details taken care of, the trip to Virginia for my aunt's memorial service looms somewhat ominously before me. Hopefully, it will stop raining. Hopefully, it will not be a miserable trip. Hopefully, we will all get through it as best as possible.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Stalkers . . .

Helen: Do you know I have stalkers at the library? I do. I've shown up on craigslist a dozen times. We had to alert our main security in Oakland about it. Unfortunately they couldn't trace who it was. Finally, one of my co-workers wrote the guy and told him that we know who he is from our security cameras and if he comes in again he'll be kicked out. Nothing's shown up since. When I was a page I had guys follow me around, try to talk to me, and come back for weeks afterwards. I still have this one guy who comes in and leers at me over the magazine stands at the front of the library. Abby bought me mace.

Dave: You have stalkers? Good for you. I mean, I know that isn't PC or anything, but it does take a certain kind of person to get a stalker.

I had one once. It was ugly. She came to my apartment really late and wouldn't stop ringing the buzzer, so I had to call the cops. Nasty stuff.

Anyway, way to go, Helen. But keep the mace handy, just to be sure.

FF: HELEN is the Craigslist missed connections sections library girl!?!?!?! ( I like saying that -- missed connections sections) I read about her all the time. She is right. There are several creepy dudes out there that frequently post about her. What a small, and creepy, world. I want a stalker. This isn't fair.

Monday, May 5, 2008

God's so-called "waiting room" . . .

I now have had four relatives move into retirement homes, only to see three of the four pass away before very long. I don't know what that says about retirement homes, but my personal experiences have helped shape the way I view these "retirement communities." And I don't care how nice or upscale they are. The old people are bored and often cantankerous. And the people who are charged with their care are underpaid, and sadly are often forced to deal with impatience and rude behavior from the very people that they are supposed to be caring for. Meanwhile, the communities themselves charge a lot of money, and make a lot of money, regardless of how long a person lives there. The whole thing is a shady business. But there are few other options, I suppose, when people get to be an age where they can not necessarily take care of all of their own personal needs in their own home.

When my grandfather died, I went to visit my grandmother in her retirement home. She was already suffering from memory loss at that point, but other than that, she was in pretty good shape. I walked around the home. It was certainly a very nice facility. The grounds were immaculate, and all of the staff were friendly. But the doors were locked because some residents (like my grandparents) had a tendency to wander off the grounds to go shopping and the like, even though they no longer had a car. They even placed devices on their ankles that went off when they tried to leave the building. Ultimately, what I saw there I can't even begin to describe. There were a lot of old people just sitting around in chairs and in wheelchairs. They looked (to me, anyway) as though they were just waiting to die.

At the time of my grandfather's memorial service, my grandmother had a slight cough. It didn't seem like much, but my family suggested that she see a doctor about it. Several months later, my grandmother was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. My mother went to see her, and she passed away with my mother by her side.

Aunt Betty's burial is scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday. My father and I will not be attending that. The memorial service is on Friday, so he and I (and still possibly Sidney) will be driving down to Virginia on Thursday for that and returning Saturday. I will be sharing a hotel room with my father for the first time since high school. My sister and brother-in-law will also be flying there from Chicago for the memorial service. The whole thing is just a mess. As most deaths are. As time goes on, I become less and less interested in living myself past the age of being able to live independently and take care of myself. After that, you just don't know what's going to happen. And in my limited experience, the odds of living long in a retirement community are not looking very good right now.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Email to Mom . . .

I understand that you may have access to email. So, I wanted to tell you that I'm sorry that I didn't get to talk to you before you left, so I didn't get a chance to tell you to have a great time in Egypt with Sara. And don't buy me anything. Travel light.

Also, just so you know, Dad got a call from Marc to let him know that Betty was being moved from the hospital into hospice care today. Apparently, she had been suffering from kidney failure, and there was nothing more medically they could do for her in the hospital. So, Dad and I were going to drive down there and back tomorrow, taking Sidney with us. But then Betty passed away today.

I don't know how or when Dad was going to tell you because he doesn't want to upset your trip, but I thought you should know, if you have access to email.

Continued . . .

I'm going to drive (with) my father to Virginia tomorrow. We are going to get an early start so that, in theory, he can spend some time with his sister and her family, and then together we will drive back tomorrow night.

And Sidney is coming with us.

Just in case . . .

I got a call last night during "Lost" (which is a major no-no) from my father. Apparently, he got a call from my cousin last night telling him that his sister, my Aunt Betty, is dying. She has been in the hospital for some time now, and the doctors have concluded that there is nothing more medically that they can do for her, so they are moving her to hospice care, which as many of you surely know means that death is likely not far behind.

As I've previously written about, my aunt was suffering from depression. Apparently, she has also been suffering from kidney failure, a fact which came as news to my father and me. When I was talking to my notoriously stoic (read: cold) father, I could hear the trembling in his voice as we talked about the situation and what he's going to do. Even though my aunt has been battling cancer for several years now, hearing that the end was actually near was surely more than my father had bargained for.

My mother just left on Wednesday for two weeks in Egypt with a friend of hers from Florida. So, my father is all alone with no one to talk to and no one to drive him to Virginia on Saturday to see his sister. Other than short errands and trips to and from PNC Park, my father does not drive much anymore. As well he shouldn't. He's a horrible driver, but he always has been. It's just compounded dramatically now that he's 74. I may have to drive him, which I am happy to do, except that I don't have anything that I can do with Sidney. The loss of freedom that comes with having a dog is something that I have struggled with ever since I got Sidney. But until now, it really wasn't a big issue. I have to talk to my father again today, but I may just have to drive him to and from Virginia this weekend, and take Sidney with me. I have limited other options, and that may be easiest course of action at this point.

More later.

It is also ironic that just last week it occurred to me that I had let my humble stock of business attire diminish over the years as I have not had many occasions to "dress up." So, after a job interview for a new job last Wednesday for which I decided that I did not have the right (and right fitting) clothes to wear, I ordered two pairs of dress pants from L.L. Bean over the weekend, and they are expected to arrive today. I remember thinking when I was online looking for dress pants, that it's always a good idea to have appropriate dress clothes handy. Just in case.

Jim, I think that you're the only reader who enjoys Hot Girl Friday . . .

This young woman is not a professional model, but just a very attractive (some might say "hot") woman.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

And another thing . . .

Dating for me sucks. I look younger than most people my age, especially the women many of whom grew up in the sun, and I frankly prefer younger women (read: college students) whose top priority in life at this very moment is not necessarily getting married and having children. Meanwhile, older women, especially those who are divorced with children, appear to love me. LOVE me. And I guess I'm pretty picky when it comes to the women to whom I'm attracted, but I'm just not into women who have children. I'm not attracted to it emotionally. Or physically. Read: sexually. So, what's a thirty something single guy supposed to do?

Happy Anniversary . . .

Today also marks the five-year anniversary of Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech in which he declared the successful end of military operations in Iraq. Bush flying onto the aircraft carrier in that jumpsuit that was giving him a major wedgie. It was quite a stirring sight. He should be hung from a flagpole in that getup until he admits that he's a major dope.

Time to trim those ten little daggers . . .

Now that it's May 1st and the temperature is headed in an upward direction, it's time for women and men alike to make sure that their toenails are trimmed and ready for the sandal season. Untrimmed, funky-looking toenails are never good. Even on a Friday Hot Girl.