The Coffee Station – Where It All Starts…

I know — you fine folks have already had a half a gut full of my rant regarding MY Coffee Mug, MY Keurig, etc. — but from where *I* sit, we haven’t reached “ad nauseum” QUITE yet, so humor me here (and I will try to humor you right back!).

I don’t think I am alone in my opinion that, next to an empty nutsack, the morning coffee is just about THE most important thing a man can call his own on any given day.

And like most swingin’ dicks, I’m a reasonably simple man (Peggy uses a slightly different and VASTLY less complimentary descriptor for me, but let’s not get into THAT right now) — I like an EXACTLY perfect, EXACTLY consistent cuppa Joe EVERY SINGLE FUCKIN’ MORNING; if not, there can be no good to follow all the rest of the day.

I’ve only been drinking coffee since I was six years old, so I’m no expert (insert grin here), but I’d like to think that my coffee preparation process has evolved over the last 52 years — from that first cup that I STILL remember — Dad defying Mom and busting my caffeine virginity, pouring me a cup in his Alcoholics Anonomous mug (prolly THE first time that mug held anything other than gin!), liberally dosed with cream & sugar (Instant Addiction!); through grade school ( often invited into the smoke-filled “Teacher’s Lounge” for a cup by my 8th grade teacher Mr. Flynn); high school (where it finally became “legal” to drink as a kid); through the GALLONS & GALLONS that were drunk to get me through the omnipresent “all-nighters”; to “adulthood”, where some degree of effort was made to actually IMPROVE the quality of the beverage, and thus the entire coffee experience. In fact, I can NOT remember a time when I didn’t drink coffee, except for those few years when I was crapping in my OWN britches and racing around on a tricycle in urban New Jersey.

Anyway, until yesterday, my current “system” for the last 25 years or so has been: Buy reasonably expensive (as in: ~$100+) coffee machine, use ever’ day, clean fairly regularly, replace every 1-5 years when it shits the bed (after a couple attempts at dissection/troubleshooting/repair that ended VERY badly for the broken machine — “It’s fuckin’ BROKEN, Dick — just ’cause you can’t FIX that piece of Chin-wa CRAP is no reason to pummel it into dust, you MORON!”), repeat.

Well last Friday, the most recent piece o’ fine Chinese craftsmanship finally rolled snake eyes after a 3 year run; for the record, the “grinder” portion of the program lasted ~8 months before it FUBAR’d, then the timer went tits-up in year 2 (causing me to rig up a Rube Goldberg setup with an old light timer plucked from my appliance graveyard); it finally gave a weird electrical “sputter” and went fully horizontal, earning it a spot in “the morgue” (aka: the laundry room), where it’s queued up for the “Dead Man Walking” accompanied stroll out through the garage to the trash bin — off to its final resting place in the Orange County Landfill.

So Job #1 for Saturday AM was ~90 minutes of on-line research to discover what smarter people than me considered “THE best coffee maker in the Universe”. Well, there was a CLEAR winner, boys & girls — the “Technivorm MoccaMaster” — hand-assembled and individually tested in The Netherlands!

Now — I don’t really know too much about The Netherlands, but I DO know a FEW things; to wit: #1.) It’s supposedly REALLY fuckin’ cold there (when was the last time YOU saw “Women’s beach volleyball coverage — live from The Netherlands!”); #2.) they have windmills there, which I don’t really know what they actually DO, but I love the way they LOOK (I missed “The Netherlands Day” in sixth grade — I was prolly stealing hubcaps); #3.) They have really great accents, and when they talk, you feel like you ALMOST know what they’re saying; #4.) It’s supposedly REALLY fuckin’ cold there…

And since it’s supposedly REALLY fuckin’ cold there, The Netherlands Dudes — at least the SMARTER ones — prolly try to stay inside AS much as POSSIBLE — and if you are a smart Netherlands Dude with a cool accent with NO interest WHATSOEVER in windmills or starting up a women’s beach volleyball league — you’re gonna seek out OTHER smart Netherlands Dudes and say: “Hey — fellow smart Netherlands Dude — are you as tired of this shitty Mr. Coffee java as *I* am? Let’s build us a better muizeval (that’s Netherland-speak for “mousetrap” — don’t you know ANYTHING?!) most riki-tik, so we can get wired, go outside, and start a women’s beach volleyball league.”

And that is JUST what they DID, fair readers! Ever’ once in a while, some dudes build a “thing” that is as beautiful as it is functional — the Techivorm Moccamaster is one of those things! It’s brushed stainless steel, glass — and what little plastic they DO use is really shiny, which makes it cool. This thing belongs in MoMA, I’m tellin’ ‘ya!

It heats the water up to what the smart Netherlands Dudes have figgered out is THE optimal and EXACT temperature to pour over ground coffee beans to make THE proper cup of coffee. Did I say “pour”? I meant “spray” — this conveyance has NINE little nozzles that spray the water equally & exactly over the ground beans (which you DID grind using your $199.00 Techivorm MoccaMaster Coffee Bean Grinder, which grinds the beans to EXACTLY the proper level of coarseness/fineness —’cause these smart Netherlands Dudes figgered THAT out too; then DROPS them using our sometime-friend Mr. Gravity down into its waiting cannister — ’cause that’s how it’s ‘APPOSED to work); six minutes later, dark honey-liquid arrives in a glass carafe which is both robust and delicate all at the same time (like my genitals, by analogy), where the resulting PERFECT coffee waits for you at the EXACT temperature that coffee SHOULD be served at — ’cause the smart Netherlands Dudes did all the “heavy lifting” FOR me!

And it IS H-O-T, boys & girls — I mean, if you’re gonna go out into the fuckin’ cold and start a women’s beach volleyball league, you had BETTER walk out da’ d’oh with a HOT cuppa!

So, stir in your favorite condiment(s), then WAIT (assuming that you’re someplace where the temperature DOESN’T start out with a minus sign) for a few minutes before bringing your favorite California mug (not MY California mug, mind you) up to your lips; you will be greeted with Coffee Nirvana!

Use you some good (non-tap) water too — but you already knew THAT, didn’t you — and you’ll enjoy THE BEST coffee you’ve EVER tasted, with NO “aftertaste”! See — the smart Netherlands Dudes gots them some bragging rights on the “no aftertaste” thang.

Now, I know what you’re thinking — same thing as *I* was thinking — “coffee aftertaste” — Whaaa…? But the coffee that comes out the other end of THIS thang is SMOOVE — I never KNEW that my coffee was leaving an aftertaste in my mouth until I tried THE very same coffee brewed through the Technivorm MoccaMaster!

Oh — and remember that “backwash swill” that’s ALWAYS at the bottom of the carafe and/or YOUR cup, if you’re the lucky bastard to get up every morning LAST, like *I* am? Well, there IS no backwash swill in your carafe or mug — ‘daz right — the smart Netherlands Dudes thought of THAT too — ’cause that’s how they roll (when they’re not busy “rolling” something ELSE there in Hempsterdam — if you know what I mean and I think you DO!) .

Fair warning — Coffee Perfection don’t come cheap! And if you’re the kinda guy who doesn’t know the difference between a ten dollar crack ho’ and a two thousand dollar call girl, then move along — ‘nuthin’ to see HERE!

But if you DO, then pony up the six Benjamin price of admission right there at the front door of Williams-Sonoma for the Smart Netherlands Dudes Technivorm MoccaMaster Grinder, Coffee Brewer, and no-dioxins stupid-expensive Technivorm Coffee Filters — they’ll take your dough with a smile; then you’ll go home, set it up, sleep like a baby in her mother’s arms; and when you wake up in the AM you’ll be in the FRONT ROW of “The Perfect Coffee Show”!coffee.station


Thanks, Mr. Swallow!

O.K. — I see what’s ALREADY going on in your nasty little heads — WRONG! Though I WILL admit, it’s a pretty good double entendre, and speaking strictly for myself here, always WELCOMED! See — now you’ve got ME doin’ it too; not that it’s THAT hard to drag ME down into the gutter (or maybe UP into the gutter).

Allow me to inject (Whoops! I did it again!) some clarification: Mr. Swallow was a teacher I had back in high school, roughly 152 years ago, when I walked 5 miles uphill each way to and from school, got my lunch money robbed almost daily from me from a small but consistent (at least until they individually and/or collectively got shuttled off to a more “proper” institution, if you know what I mean and I THINK you do!) band of not-so-merry hoodlums (which I will discuss in individual and lurid detail further along in this Blog), who somehow determined that a correct morning “greeting” for me was a good solid punch in either shoulder with a heavy-ringed fist, followed by the requisite “outstretched hand” which I was obliged to empty my money pocket into (“Uh, you can keep that pocket lint, Dick”).

The “Vernoy Boys” were THE worst of the worst offenders, as many of them had ALREADY been to Vietnam and back — I guess they were taking advantage of “The GI Bill” to finish high school, since my high school must SURELY have charged them some $ to allow them to come there! But there I go, digressing again; this is what happens when you are lucky enough to hit middle age and the majority of your brain synapses (whatever the fuck THOSE are!) are no longer functioning in a regular & orderly fashion. Now pardon me while I go launch a mid-morning mudsnake; it’s in me, and it’s gotta get out…


O.K., I’m back — THAT was one for the record books! Mr. Swallow was an odd fellow; in retrospect, he was most gentile, with a very clever, well-veiled sense of humor. However, due to his BEING gentile, and of diminutive physical stature, he got picked on relentlessly by us Jersey Boys.

He taught several “Girls Classes” in high school; remember, this was back in the day when men were men, and women were GLAD of it! He taught a class called “Briefhand”, which was a “dumbed down” sort of shorthand that I don’t believe ever caught on as a mainstream replacement for shorthand. (It was also a pretty good description for how long it took me to pleasure myself back in those days…)

He also taught a Speed-reading class, but most importantly, he taught Personal Typing. I can’t remember exactly why I thought that “typing” might somehow, somewhere be of ANY importance to me and my best buddy, but it occurred to one or the other of us that it may someday be so; we both signed up for it.

Well, it didn’t take too long for the aforementioned “Jersey Hoodlum Friends” of mine to find out that me and my buddy were in Personal Typing Class; in no small part due to the fact that we were THE first boys that took that class in the history of same!

We’d been in it for a couple weeks when my #1 hoodlum friend, after relieving me of my day’s lunch money and applying his “love tap” to my already-bruised right shoulder, pointed out to all of HIS hoodlum followers that I was carrying my little Personal Typing textbook; to wit: “Oh, look at Dickie, with HER Personal Typing textbook! How’s THAT going, girl? Wanna take some “dictation” for me right here and now?” His comment was met with chortles of laughter as well as the requisite finger-pointing, etc; and honestly speaking, that WAS pretty funny!

I just let ’em all laugh for about a minute — I even smiled and laughed with ’em, for effect. Then I turned to him (and the group) and said: “Yeah, me and my buddy, in there all alone — with TWENTY-EIGHT GIRLS — we sure are fuckin’ stupid, aren’t we?!” after which I walked off, leaving a vacuum behind me.

Next semester there were EIGHT guys in Personal Typing — D’uh! In retrospect — given the whole “Personal Computer Thang” that started up (at least for ME) in the ’90’s, Personal Typing turned out to be THE most useful class I took in high school — Thanks Mr. Swallow!

The SUV Rear Seatbelts Project

clipsIn the continuing saga of “Dick Jones — Middle-aged Slacker”, I got ONE side done — the passenger side — which is ALL I am GOING to do — PERIOD!

In retrospect, now I know why I took ’em out, along w/that back seat, five years ago! Hopelessly complex — as only Japanese or German engineering CAN be — the retracting side calls for you to remove almost the ENTIRE set of rear plastic trim in the rear “storage area”of the SUV — a series of plastic & metal clips, plastic push-in pins, Phillips screws, velcro — further held together by being MOST cleverly wedged/secured underneath the carpet, back door weatherstripping, and headliner — it is truly a “Chinese Jigsaw Puzzle”!

The belts themselves are secured with Grade 8 bolts with a convoluted combination of lockwashers, flat washers, different “spacers”, and small composite “discs” that look like washers — these are meant to hold the aforementioned bolts, lockwashers, flat washers, and spacers “together” while one tries to secure them to the FINE-THREADED BLIND HOLES in the floor/sides/upper sills of the vehicle.

And OF COURSE, when I took this whole jigsaw puzzle OFF a mere 5 years ago, I didn’t make ANY kind of “reference document” on the assembly/disassembly process — NOOOOOO!!!! I just stuffed ’em into a big Ziplock Freezer bag — retractor mechanisms, bolts, washers, spacers, discs — and the various and sundry plastic “valence pieces” that make the whole convoluted and hopelessly complex assembly “look” not so hideous.

Now — don’t get me wrong here — it’s my OWN GOD-DAMNED FAULT for not marking them; plus, they’re not MEANT to be EVER disassembled/removed from the vehicle — some worker puts ’em together all day, ever’ day; then *I* come along — Middle-Aged Slacker, half my brain cells gone “down the road of life”, “Put-Me-In-A-Barrel-And-Tell-Me-To-Sit-In-The-Corner” mentally-challenged by even the simplest of tasks anymore — too cheap to buy even a MODEST “new car”, and decide that I’m gonna make my SUV capable and legal once again to carry a third (but NOT a fourth!) person.

So I got all the plastic trim spread out on the driveway after removing it and recovering all the “Jesus Clips” (anybody that has EVER worked on ANY car knows this term — generously applied to ANY clip which, upon removal, summarily DISAPPEARS into the bowels of said vehicle, OR flies through the air into the nearest “grassy knoll” to be lost UNTIL such time as a passing lawnmower propels it THROUGH the nearest window; subsequently eliciting a SECOND requisite “Jesus!” exclamation), along with the “jigsaw puzzle” that IS “the rear seatbelt assemblies”.

I spent the next THREE HOURS re-enacting the “Letter Holder Scene” from the movie “Arthur”, FINALLY getting the rear passenger side belt mechanism “mostly together” with SOME semblance of proper appearance/functionality, put all the plastic trim back in, shut the rear door, and went inside La Casa — is 11AM too soon to commence to drinking?

When Peggy got home from another 12 hour day at The Salt Mines, I took her outside to proudly show her MY day’s work (a “day’s work” for ME at THIS point in my life runs ~2-3 hours; come to think about it, a “day’s work” in MY life has ALWAYS been ~2-3 hours, earning me the “Lifetime Career Underachiever Award” from my peers) — her response: “Yeah great — now what about the LEFT side?”

“Paging Jacques Danielles!”

Most Dogs Are MORONS!

I know I’m gonna take some heat for this, but it’s TRUE! I’m sitting here on a BEAUTIFUL, idyllic SoCal morning — doors & windows wide-ass open, gentle breeze flowing through the house, barely perceptible scent of “ocean” wafting through my nostrils — and a fucking dog barking INCESSANTLY, over & over & over & OVER!

What in the BLUE FUCK is it barking at, I wanna know?! It’s onna them “Scottie Dogs” — the owner is an El Lay motorcycle cop, and leaves the same time every AM; but not before he puts that fucking fool creature OUT in his yard — Thanks neighbor! And that retarded son of a bitch animal will take to barking as soon as the sun comes up — the same “ARF-ARF-arf-arf”, repeated 152 THOUSAND times until Johnny Law comes home at night.

Just exactly WHAT does that “little forehead — little brain”, gape-mouthed moron think it’s accomplishing — other than to surely piss off each & all neighbors within earshot; who must like me, be wishing, praying, and maybe even whispering to Satan hissownself for a lightning-strike aneurysm to the carotid artery of that worthless beast, in exchange for “futures” on their respective soul(s) — in barter for just a FEW more years of bark free BLISS…

And it’s not just this ONE mutha-fucking four-legged megaphone-mouthed ball of worthless shite neither —Peggy & I are “Open House Whores”; we go to ~3-5 Open Houses about every weekend. And after each open house, I park myself outside for ~15 minutes afterwards, and wait…

75%+ of the time, my “pause” is greeted with — that’s right — ANOTHER dog, barking incessantly at NOTHING (at least nothing of any SIGNIFICANCE) — “Check THIS house off the list, Miss Peggy!” I mean — if one of my CATS meowed all day long, I would assume that there was something GRIEVOUSLY wrong with it, and take it to the vet’s. Even my one cat looked outside in the direction of this non-stop blathering this AM, then looked at me as if to say “Whaaaa…???” He don’t get it neither, and he ain’t the Al Einstein of the Feline World, I might add…

So all you dog owners, go ahead — buy a Voodoo Doll in the likeness of Dick Jones and start sticking pins in it; it can’t POSSIBLY punish me any MORE than that miserable cacophony that’s rattling around in the free space between my ears!

Cats – A Middle-Aged Slacker Role Model!


I suspect (or BLAME!) my lifetime association with felines as being reason #1 for being a middle-aged slacker! In retrospect, cats are THE most perfectly-evolved slackers on the planet Earth; to wit:

  • They sleep 80% of their lives away, with absolutely NO guilty feelings about same.
  • They park themselves WHERE they want to, WHEN they want to, and DEFY you to say/do anything about it.
  • They eat and drink when they want to.
  • They play when they want to, with whatever the hell they feel like playing with, for as long as they feel like playing with that thing; then, as quickly as they “fell in love” with whatever plaything that THEY decided to play with, they fall OUT of love with same, never to play with it again; they are the WORLD EXPERTS at changing their minds.
  • They dole out EXACTLY as much love & attention as they NEED to, when THEY want to, to stay in their owners’ good graces.

I mean — the housecat is HIGHLY evolved over thousands of years — they go back to Egyptian times, f’er Chrissakes! And jog my memory here — can anyone point me to a single instance of a “Service Cat”? Service Dogs — hell, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one of THOSE stupid “Slave Creatures”! They LIVE to PLEASE; the perfect example of “Career Overachievers”!

But cats? “Who can be BOTHERED” — the attitude they virtually EXUDE! Even a Slacker Dog might say to you “I’ll get to that later”, or even in the EXTREME case — “I’ll get to that tomorrow-the-next-day-I-don’t-know”. But a Slacker Cat says — “I’ll get to that in my NEXT lifetime, MAY-BE”; in the meantime, shut the fuck up and go buy me an expensive toy that I won’t play with…”

Hey — I’m not gonna go on and on about this; you can find enough stuff on the Interweb about cats to last 9 lifetimes! My purpose here today is to make a simple observation, and by doing so, to do what it seems that EVER’ONE is good at these days — “Passing The Blame”.

So there you have it — It’s not MY fault that I’m a middle-aged slacker — it’s because of my lifetime association with cats. Now pardon me while I go take a catnap — right after I buy an expensive watch that I’ll fall out of love with in a few weeks…

Confessions of a Watchaholic

ScreenHunter_16 Jul. 20 09.26

Yep, that’s me — Certified, certifi-ABLE Watchaholic!

What does that mean EXACTLY, you wanna know? Well, since you AXED an’ all, here’s what it is, EXACTLY and in a nutshell — “If I get JUST that ONE MORE watch, THEN my life will be COMPLETE…”

And I am CATEGORICALLY not ALONE here — I give you

For those of you that are too lazy or too disinterested to click on that link, lemme ‘splain it, Lucy. “Watch Recon” is a Search Engine. Doncha just LOVE that term?! It sounds SO masculine and strong, I get all goose-pimply just saying it — “Search Engine”; somehow it gives all my couch-locked days meaning & purpose. “I’d love to help you with those dishes Peggy, but I’m busy running a Search Engine right now…”

It polls almost EVERY Watch Forum/Venue in the World (the entire Universe is next year) and exhibits the results with a brief title/description, price, and single .jpg of the watch — updated about every 15-20 minutes, ALL DAY, EVER’ DAY, 24/7.

Looking for a specific watch? No problem, there’s even a search engine WITHIN the Watch Recon search engine!

As a result, Watch Recon LIVES on my confuser ALL my waking hours — I refresh it at least 152 times/day! It has watches for sale/trade that I didn’t even know EXISTED — and once I see certain of them, I just can not LIVE without them!

It’s a “World of Imagination” — isn’t it, fair readers? We gladly pay too much money for a car with too much horsepower/luxury/status, to convey to those around us that we are rich/successful/retired Grand Prix drivers; same goes with watches, times TEN!

I mean — just exactly how many “Dive Watches” get within the same zip code as a body of water big enough to “dive into”? I would bet that not one dive watch in 100,000 ever sees a freakin’ SWIMMING POOL; that goes double for chronographs and race car drivers/pilots!

But us menfolk like the ASSOCIATION with deep sea divers, race car drivers, and pilots, and we do the Walter Mitty Thang ever’ single morning when we strap our “tool watch” on — “Well, gotta go to work bringing up that pirate shipwreck, Peggy — see you next week; no autographs today PLEASE! Well, O.K. — maybe I got time for a quickie before I shove off…”

What’s particularly humorous (or SAD, depending on your perspective) is that for a day, week, month, or occasionally even a YEAR after that shiny new tool watch arrives and you strap it on for the first time — you become dizzy with love; you life is now COMPLETE! You ARE “The Man”!

You look at all the other watches in your watch box with varying degrees of indifference, disdain, and even vitrolic HATRED — “What in the BLUE FUCK was *I* thinkin’ when I bought THAT watch?!” So the others languish quietly and shamefully in your watchbox, until the day comes when you can’t STAND that particular watch any more — then out comes the camera, and onto the Watch Forum(s) goes the listing(s) — until that happy day when some other yuck sees it and HAS to have it to complete HIS fantasy identity — then out da’ d’oh it goes, and you look lovingly at the “space” in your watchbox that said watch USED to occupy — you now love that EMPTY SPACE more than you ever loved the watch, you think!

Then, just like it says on the shampoo bottle (by analogy) “Lather, Rinse, Repeat” — the cycle starts all over again! “Holy crap — just LOOK at THAT watch! If I only had that ONE watch, THEN my life would be complete…”

I wonder if aliens wear watches?

NO ONE ELSE is even allowed to LOOK at MY coffee mug!

(Mother-In-Law Visit, Conclusion)

So after a night spent “comfortably numb” thanks to my old pal Jacques Danielle’s, I awaken to a stiff neck, a mouth full of cat fur due to the fact that one of the cats spent the whole night sharing my pillow with my head, and a “BA”, or Bad Attitude.

I stumble down the stairs after a visit to Le Pissoir, with my one “functioning eye” aimed towards the coffee machine. Now you’ll remember from a previous entry that “it’s all about MY morning coffee”; to wit:

Peggy has it down to a FINE SCIENCE — MY mug — the same one that *I* and I ALONE have been using EXCLUSIVELY and EVERY SINGLE day since 1986, when my secretary at the time “souvenired it” to me at my request.

We were living back East, and she had gotten a large (12 ounce) stoneware mug with “California” and a bucolic “California Scene” on it from SOMEWHERE — I fell in LOVE with that mug! It holds JUST the right amount of coffee, the handle is shaped EXACTLY right so as to be eminently comfortable to MY hand, and being left-handed, the graphics faced ME, so I could look at the those palm trees, sunshine, and mountain and “California Dream” each & every AM.

She HAPPILY gave it to me, but advised me that there were two cracks in the side (from Earthquakes, I surmised…) and it could break apart at ANY minute.

Well, here it is, 28 years later, and it’s still intact after DAILY use — by and large because I take CARE of my stuff, and because NO ONE ELSE is even allowed to LOOK at MY coffee mug! I treat it with absolute care every day, and when I’m done for the day, I carefully HAND wash it, dry it, and put it right back under my Keurig, ready for Peggy to add my Whey Low sweetener, so I can stumble DIRECTLY to the machine, pull the handle down, and make MY cup of coffee, on accounta the “pod” is already loaded in place. That’s how we ROLL around here, and with no kids, it works; or at least it DID — until Mom’s most recent visit…

Have I made it ABUNDANTLY CLEAR that MY California mug is MY mug, one of my ABSOLUTE “prized possessions”, one of the half-dozen “things” in my pitiful little existence that DEFINES me & my place here on Earth? Are we CLEAR on that? Good — back to the stumbling.

I stumble down the stairs, around the corner, try to focus on “my destination” — the Keurig coffee machine with MY California mug waiting under the spout, pre-loaded with MY Whey Low (Peggy uses sugar, and Peggy uses a completely different coffee machine for HER coffee, and Peggy uses different water, and Peggy uses different coffee), with MY spoon already in my California mug, waiting for MY hand to stir it after *I* pull the handle down, puncture the pod that Peggy loaded for me the night before, and commence another day of my couch-locked, middle-aged, slacker life — a life that I have absolutely ZERO reservations about, nor any false pretenses about my own self-worth, or lack thereof.

So there’s me, rounding the corner — Holy What The Fuck! There’s Mom, in front of MY Keurig, with MY California mug in HER hand under the spout, filling it with hot water, a tea bag string draped out over the side, perfectly bisecting the word “California”. INCONCEIVABLE! This is Fresh Hell! I’m speechless — reduced to Ralph Kramden stammering — “Hamina hamina hamina”.

This is SUCH a non-sequitor that my brain can NOT process this bombardment of “down the rabbit hole” mis-information! This CAN not STAND! Before my mouth can begin forming a sentence of protest, Mom finishes filling up MY California mug, turns around, and begins the L-O-N-G walk to the dining room table.

Now — picture this: Mom is in her 80’s, she normally uses a walker, she’s got on some ghetto slippers that I would be frightened to try and take ONE “proper step” in, it’s still fairly dark in the house, this is THE first time she’s visited this house, she hasn’t had HER caffeine fix yet — and the cherry on this sundae is that she’s got a pretty good case of Parkinson’s.

So I’m watching her try to make her way from the kitchen to the dining room, and my now BOTH eyes WIDE OPEN become TRANSFIXED on MY California mug — one of my half dozen PRIZED POSSESSIONS that I consider IRREPLACEABLE (I’ve been checking eBay since there WAS an eBay for a “backup” with no luck), which is in the hand(s) of someone who is shaking like a willow in a hurricane; she’s one-handing MY California mug, as the hot water sloshes back and forth.

My adrenaline is COURSING through my veins; I’m thinking — she’s gonna drop that mug; she’s gonna slosh some of that boiling water on her own hand and drop that thing like a bad habit; she’s gonna catch an edge on one a’ them ghetto slippers and take a header; she’s gonna slip on a fuckin’ wayward cat toy and do a Greg Louganis onto the hardwoods, taking MY California mug down with her…Life as *I* know it is OVER!

Oh – I almost forgot to mention: She’s got a cold sore on her bottom lip the size of a Kennedy half…

Well, fair readers – happy ending; at least to THIS saga! Mom made it to the table with MY California mug intact. I let her drink her tea like a Good Son; hell, I even sat with her and talked about “things” while she had her cup o’ tea – then the SECOND that she had finished it, I grabbed MY California mug up off of the table and offered to get her a “refill”. Needless to say, the “refill” was in a DIFFERENT mug, while MY California mug was carefully and scrupulously washed, then put in its “new home” for two weeks – the VERY top shelf of one of the kitchen cabinets!

Phew – that was a CLOSE ONE!