Monday, July 30, 2007

Any Less.

Hey Tommy. Yeah, I'm working on it. maybe I'll finish it up tonight after my shift down on The Dock. I'll explain the whole thing in detail when I finish that post.

"Any less time to be with you".

That's what she just said to me on her way back out the door. It's bad bro. It's real bad this time.

Friday, July 27, 2007


The following narrative report details the events starting Friday past.

27JUL07; time approximate, 0850hrs.

Woke to the sound of dogs barking, my dogs. Wife was in the kitchen looking out the window trying to see what the dogs were barking at. She reports observing one chipmunk and one chipmunk only. Said chipmunk is still, in a prone position, tail up, staring back at my wife who is staring back at the chipmunk...............Stupid dogs.

0855hrs. (app)

Half a cup of java coursing through my system, step out back for a cigarette, still a little groggy. Rough night down on The Dock on Thursday. My wife got home from work at 0820, she's already showered and dressed and joins me outside for coffee and. Says she wants Chinese, they start serving the lunch buffet at 1100.

1115hrs. (app)

Having been seated and having placed our order for beverages, Pepsi not Coke. My wife and our younger daughter proceed to reconnoiter the buffet tables, circling, taking it all in. I head directly to the first table, the first table as you approach from the booths in the dining area. The second dish from the left is what I'm after. The first dish is Pepper Steak, also a favorite but, the second dish from the left is the primary target. That chicken dish named after the Chinese General who commanded troops in The Route Army. General Zoe's Chicken. (Unsure of spelling, but it's pronounced Zo, like oh but with a "Z" in front)....I'm sure that the good General would be thrilled to know that his military accomplishments are all but forgotten as his life is summed up in a popular chicken dish consumed daily by thousands of imperialist Americans.

1200hrs. (app)

We exit the establishment, it's raining. My wife suggests a little browsing at the dollar store located three doors southwest (allowing for the angle) in the shopping center where we had just consumed mass quantities at the all you can eat lunch buffet. Dollar General, that's the place. This was the beginning of the end. We spent $172.00 at the dollar store. T-shirts and work socks, back to school stuff and a bunch of silly pens for my wife to use at work. She likes silly pens. I got a three pack of flashlights just in case one of the many storms we have had lately knocks the power out yet again. I also got a twenty foot extension cord, it's easier than dragging one of the fifty or one hundred foot cords around when I'm working inside the house. They got a bunch of girl stuff too, hair clips and nail polish, stuff like that. Three ladies here, that stuff is important.


We return to the house, I realize that it's too late to do what I wanted to do on Friday. I wanted to take my daughter to the pool at the middle school and work on her swimming skills. This coming year, sixth grade, a full marking period's worth of phys. ed. classed will be devoted to swimming. During the summer we are allowed to use the indoor pool at the middle school. The cost is twenty dollars for the family for a month. My younger daughter and I are the only people in this house who will use it. It's still a good deal, and a good place to practice her swimming because hardly anyone in town goes there. The town pool at the park is the busy pool. It should be noted the indoor pool at the middle school is only open to the public from noon 'til two PM. That's why I was out of time. I figured okay, we'll go up there on Monday, pay our twenty bucks and get an hour of swimming in before I have to go to work. I'm getting ahead of myself but that's what I was thinking on Friday, 27JUL07 at 1355hrs.

Friday, 03AUG07

Yeah so my plan was to list every stupid detail leading up to, and including the argument my wife and I had at the start of this week. It didn't happen. Things seem better now, they always do. I hate when there is friction between us. I never handle those things well. We took care of the pool business, been up there twice so far. My little girl is a much better swimmer than even she realized. One of the reasons she never did well with swimming lessons is because she needs to know the "why". I understand that. Anyway, she's doing fine, she'll not have a problem this year at school when it comes to the swimming thing.

Yeah, so we just came back from seeing Transformers. What a cool movie. Me and my younger daughter went. The older baby girl saw the movie when it first came out. My wife is sleeping 'cause she works third shift. It's funny how I feel like I have to keep saying that. That she works third shift and that's why she's sleeping.

Hey Tommy. You would have really dug this Transformers movie. They got these Air Force Special Ops type guys in it. They have a lot of scenes, combat action between the Ops guys and the evil Transformers that takes place in Qatar. Remember how Top said it like "guitar"? We were never even there, but we were close by. I never really knew how it was properly pronounced. Remember when that Saudi guy told us not to worry about pronouncing things correctly? Yeah he spoke better English than we did. Remember how those Saudi troops just wanted to look at Playboy and drink beer? Remember how they all wanted to come here to the States? Hey bro, remember Dohi? Yeah, he introduced himself as "Budweiser from St. Louis". Man that guy didn't even look like an Arab. He look Italian didn't he? Remember how we told him since he was tall and lean he could get laid in a New York nightclub in a New York minute? He wanted to know what a New York minute was. Some of those guys were alright. Things are better now bro. Like I was sayin' before. I never handle that stuff well. It's like havin' an argument with her just scares the shit out of me. I'd rather face what we faced back then. I'd rather do that than argue with her. It's like seeing her angry, seeing her hurt or upset with me just scares the shit out of me. It's because she means the world to me, and that's scary. Know what I mean?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


So here I am braggin' 'bout winning nine bucks on a lottery ticket purchased on Friday The Thirteenth. Turns out it was purchased a week earlier. Like I was saying, I almost never buy lottery tickets. Can't remember the last time I bought 'em two weeks in a row, now it's three 'cause I got some more when I cashed in the nine dollar winner. I do remember buying the ticket the week before the Friday The Thirteenth purchase.

It was payday. So I cash my check and slide on over to the mini-mart/gas station to fill up the old Jeep. I go inside to pay, and get myself a Coke. I run into this guy I know who starts telling me about this thing that's been goin' on. Yeah, so he's ahead of me in line and he's paying for his stuff. He decides to buy a ticket so I buy a ticket too.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to revise and extend my remarks. Correct the official record, as it were. Just takin' a play from the book they use down in D.C........Why the hell not? It seems to work for those people.

Hey Tommy. Can you believe that Attorney General guy?.........Yeah bro., don't I know it......Man if I had ever lied like that under oath when I was a cop? Well, lied in such an obvious and stupid way, you know what I mean. Forget about it!.......Yeah, very funny. Hey bro, it was Jersey okay? What the hell is this guy's excuse?.....Yeah, I guess we all need to take a long hard look in that mirror. Problem is, everyone uses a different mirror. Down there in D.C.? I think they got those old fun house mirrors from the carnival....Yeah, that Lindsey Lohan girl, what a damn shame man. I mean that kid is in trouble. She's got bigger problems than a court date, you know?......Yeah, I'll catch you later Tommy.........No. I didn't work tonight, they got me scheduled Friday this week instead..........Yeah.........

Hey Tommy! Yeah it's me again....I know it's only been like two minutes....No, I just wanted to tell you somethin' is all. You got a problem with that?.....Yeah well that's why they put an edit button on this blog thing.....No, what I wanted to tell you was that I got me an icy cold twelve pack of Coors sittin' in the fridge that I bought last weekend. Now it's an eleven pack. I figure two or three more before I hit the rack...Yeah, I ain't been sleepin' good the last few nights. I figure Coors tastes better than Ambian so what the hell.......No, it's where the Docs screwed those titanium rods into my bones. Sometimes it gets a little sore is all.....Yeah, everybody has a little pain to duck now and then. Hey, here's me duckin' some right now........Yeah, it's all cold and frosty-smooth....No it ain't light beer. Hey man, I have to go outside and smoke a cigarette. maybe look up at the sky, the night sky.........Yeah I'll see you buddy...........Yeah.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Nine Bucks.

So last week was Friday The Thirteenth. My wife comes home from work a little after eight in the morning, she works third shift remember. So she's tired, asks me to drive her to the bank so she can cash her check and make a deposit. She said we should buy some lottery tickets because it's Friday The Thirteenth. We rarely buy lottery tickets, sucker bet. So she had a bunch of overtime so I go in the store and get a bunch of those scratch off tickets. She wins twenty-one dollars on three different plays. I also bought a Powerball ticket, with the Power Play. Turns out I matched one number plus the Powerball, the Power Play was three. I won nine bucks in cold hard cash. Seven is the net 'cause the ticket cost two. So me and her are trying to figure out what to do with this windfall. She left me a list on the kitchen counter a couple days ago. I was still sleeping when she got home from work.....

So I'm at the market, filling the cart with the listed items, plus a couple extras that I know we just had to have. After I pay I turn over my store cash card. It's a promo deal, they punch the card based on the dollar amount spent. When the card is full you scratch off the logo in the center and see if you won a cash prize. It's a given that you'll win at least a buck, you could win up to a grand. I won five bucks, pretty cool. So I'm preparing to exit the facility, this so called "supermarket"......... What's so super about it anyway? I mean it can't bend mighty rivers, maybe it could stop a bullet but a powerful locomotive would tear through those eight inch block walls................

Sorry about that, I'm all about ramblin' today. So I stop at the customer service counter and I turn in my winning Powerball ticket. The woman behind the counter asks me how I want it.
She actually said that. "How do you want it?"...She was attractive, late thirties maybe forty. I quickly realized that she was talking about my lottery winnings, the nine bucks I was due. Not being a regular lottery player I'm unfamiliar with the lingo.............

"Nobody hipped me to that dude"...... I love Pee-Wee.

So, I decide to purchase five dollars worth of lottery tickets. I bought a Cash-5, a Match-6 and of course another Powerball with the Power Play. I'm still ahead as far as my winnings go. The Cash-5 drawing already occurred, I think the Match-6 is tonight and the Powerball is Saturday night. I'm going to wait until Sunday before I go to the official PA Lottery website and check my numbers. It would be something wouldn't it? I know it ain't going to happen but it would be something. If I don't win anything than I'll wait before I buy any more lottery tickets. Like I said, it's a sucker bet. It is fun, but it's a sucker bet.

Hey Tommy, nothin' yet bro........Yup, same old. Hey man, my daughter was tellin' me about this website where you can buy all these t-shirts with stuff about Jersey on them. We might get a couple. I'm gonna get this one that reads "Put Down The Gun And Pick Up The Cannoli"...........
They also got one that says "Jersey, At Least It Ain't Pennsylvania". Now I have to wear that one to work down on The Dock......Hey bro. You remember havin' Taylor Ham that time right? Yeah, when my sister brought it with her when she came to visit me that time........That's right baby, Taylor egg and cheese with sliced tomato and SPK....Salt pepper and ketchup, on those Portuguese rolls.....You know it. So they got t-shirts just say "Taylor Egg And Cheese", can you dig it?.........Yup, pork roll is what it's called. "John Taylor's Pork Roll" from Trenton New Jersey.......I know, I can't believe it either. Nobody knows what the hell you're talkin' about it. Hey, my buddy Beetus down in Tampa, they can get it there now, for the last two or three years maybe......Yeah, Taylor Ham, a diner staple. That's another thing, friggin' diners that close at night. I ain't never seen nothin' like it. My old neighborhood? Like where me and my wife grew up? You got twenty-four-seven diners on like every corner. Here? They got this new coffee shop closes at five in the afternoon. Now how the hell you supposed to make any money closing at five in the afternoon? And they never heard of Taylor Ham!...........I know, I know. I'm doin' that thing again...........Yeah, that's the thing. Hey I got shit to do bro. I'll see you around, alright?........Yeah, how you doin' too.........Yeah........Oh hey Tommy. You gotta hear this last one........No man, a t-shirt sayin'. It goes like this. "Pass the Fuckin' Ziti"......I know, ain't that the best? Oh hey, one more than I gotta run. "New Jersey. Yeah, We Hate You Too"............
See ya Tommy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Bit More.

Okay, the boat ride around The Point in Pittsburgh was with my daughter's fifth grade class. I went along as a class parent on their field trip. It was very cool indeed. I saw that boat, the "Bada-Bing" in a marina that we cruised past on the river. It was not too far from the Hard Rock Cafe where we had dinner. That was an experience, dinner at the Hard Rock with a bunch of fifth graders. We toured Heinz Field, stood in the locker room and the press box. We rode the Duqesne Incline to the top of Mount Washington, what they used to refer to as Coal Mountain. The view of the city is amazing from up there, four hundred feet above the river. The streets up there remind me of my old neighborhood in West Orange, near the Edison Building where I lived when I first joined the cops, all those years ago.

I am a member of the Teamsters, proudly so. I was raised that way, had a great-uncle who was a union organizer back in the thirties. He was a tough guy. The unions these days, I don't know. At least my local anyway. The company I work for can no longer afford the pension fund payments. The company asked the local if they could provide "an aggressive 401K" to new full time hires instead of them paying into the pension. The local said no. That just hurts everyone, especially those of us who are "part-time". The union takes our dues and does not represent us fairly, in my opinion anyway. So, rock and a hard place, again. These guys better be willing to look at things from a different angle or we will all be out of a job. The rank and file I think are okay with making some changes, it's the union itself that has the problem. It has become big business, staffed with people who never actually worked for a living. They just want to protect their own jobs, often at our expense. It just ain't what it used to be.

Emergency Surgery: So a couple weeks back I noticed this lump in a very inconvenient place. Okay, it was on my ass. I figured it would go away. I hate going to the doctor. It got real big and before you know, when I finally did go to the doctor it was almost too late. A giant abscess, what began as a sebaceous cyst became infected. I told the doctor that I had to be at work at four. The doctor said I would be in the O.R. at five. You know, I can't get something cool, rare or exotic. No, I get an ass abscess. Far more difficult to recover from than you might imagine, or maybe you can, depending on your imagination I guess. I will not torture you with details. Suffice it to say it sucked. Three friggin' days in the hospital for a lump on my ass. Down on The Dock I still ain't heard the end of it. Get it? The end, of it? I crack myself up sometimes.

Hey Tommy, lots more to tell you bro.. I will write more soon.........I promise I won't forget this time.....Yeah, thanks for the sentiment buddy, you too........Okay you can stop laughing now......Hey bro., I gotta go to work........Yeah, I was talking to that guy.......No, not that guy, the other guy.......Yeah, they might consider some changes, allow some of us part timers to achieve some parity on the hourly rate at least.......Well he's the highest ranking union rep. in our shop, and he's no dummy so you never know, you know?.......Yeah I am still working on that book but I can't count on that pie in the sky bullshit bro., I got a family to support.........Roger that troop....Yeah, same here.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sometimes; How Often?

Have not posted since Memorial Day. Have a draft dated June 8th.. Lost in it all. Everything is okay. Had emergency surgery, recovering now. Will explain later 'cause that don't explain everything. The Parrot is giving me the eye. Pittsburgh is a very cool city. A boat ride around The Point a few weeks back. A private marina, "Bada-Bing" moored in her slip put a smile on my face.....It's just business he said. I've heard that before, it don't make it any easier.

"Friggin' Teamsters".

I really thought I'd get full time. It ain't happening. Time to take a long hard look at myself. Time to make a new plan......The baby Girl graduated from High School, starts college classes here in town this fall. The younger Baby Girl received a Presidential Academic Achievement Award. I didn't even know they had those. I had to do a spell check on the word, on the word "achievement" that is. Just had to spell check it again. I'll be back real soon I promise. That's a promise to myself.