Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Peggy, Texas

A dear friend of mine called last night. She called from her hospital room to tell me that she has been admitted into the hospital with a pulmonary embolism. I'm pretty rattled by it. While putting her through a battery of tests, they have found another blotclot in her leg, and an unidentified spot on her lung. This is a woman who is a breast cancer survivor of 5 years now, I think. She says she's breathing fine now, that she may be released by the weekend. I hope so.

I've written about Peggy here in the past, and I now realize that I don't talk about her enough. She has been a true friend through many of my ups and downs. She's a person upon whom I can depend upon for love and support so completely that I think I take it for granted.

She's the woman who I left to come out of the closet. She's the heart I broke while trying to grow up. She's sick now and I just want to tell her and everybody else that I love her.

I'll be driving to Houston his weekend to be with her. I don't have much else to say right now.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sunday Mop Up 11/26/06

Well, all right then! I hope you had a wonderful Turkey Day, and I trust that the carcass has been picked clean and thrown away (I'm referring to the bird here, not the relative you secretly wish to murder), as we all suffer through the turkey sandwiches, turkey tetrazini, turkey enchiladas, and/or turkey soup concoctions, trying to deal with leftovers. Enough already, say I. Pitch that bitch and let's go get a burger!

I survived my plane flights, as did the surrounding passengers, with minimal discomfort. The leg of the trip from Houston to Orlando turned out to be sold out, so I shared some time with a very cute and happy 14 year old girl who was flying to Ft. Lauderdale to be with her boyfriend and his family for the holiday. The boyfriend's mother works for Southwest, so the little girl was flying free, delighted there was even a seat available for her, and had a butt about the size of my kneecap, so I didn't squeeze her too terribly bad. I decided I loved her when I found out she was listening to Frank Sinatra on her iPod. Kids these days. Go figure.

Let's have a Meeting, shall we?

My back was a problem the whole trip. Worried that I would really be in pain from the plane ride, I accepted some help in the form of Darvocet from a dear friend who was trying to help me. I popped two upon waking up at 6am the morning I left, and felt no pain by the time we boarded. When I got to Dad's, a full 9 hours after taking the first two, I popped two more because the sharp stabbing had begun again. I crawled into bed at 7:30pm and slept like the dead until 10 am the next morning. Upon waking, I immediately popped two more because, I'm telling you, just getting out of the bed and sitting up was difficult. I felt fine within an hour. That evening, I reached for two more around dinner time.

Tuesday night I had a hard time falling asleep. Thrashed around quite a lot, and when I did finally sleep, it was fitful. I awoke in the middle of the night, feeling warm and uncomfortable. I noticed the back was a bit sore, so I reached for the pills, and popped just one. It seemed to do the trick, I was asleep within a half hour.

The next morning I knew I was headed over to my sister's house for the day, so I ate two before getting into the shower. I took a change of clothes and my pills when I went over. Had a great time checking my sister's house out. She is working hard to fix it up, while my brother-in-law is over in Iraq. we spent time laughing and catching up. Dad dropped by that evening to pick us up for a fancy dinner at one of those Japanese "watch the guy juggle the knives and whip up some stir fry for you" kinda places. My back, ever the nag, got another dose of Darvocet before we ate at about 6pm. I spent the night at my sister's and was out like a light by 9:30pm.

At 3am, I woke from another miserable sleep. But, this time, my eyes popped open when I realized that I was sweating, my heart was pounding in my chest, and I could not catch my breath. I swear to you, it felt like the bed was trying to swallow me. I pushed and kicked the covers off of me and still couldn't breathe. I sat up in the bed. Here's the weirdest part: my back did not hurt.

That's when I knew. You see, many years ago I had a brief, albeit intense relationship with a drug called cocaine. In six short months, I came perilously close to losing everything I had thanks to that shit. So, I checked myself into an outpatient rehab program, outed myself to friends, family, and boss at work - and cleaned myself up. I had to admit that I was a drug addict, and I did. I worked the 12 steps with fury and passion. I ended up finding a relationship with "God", or my "Higher Power", and I owe a great deal to The Friends of Bill for being there for me. I'm almost 4 years sober now. I still go to meetings now and then. Never felt better. No desire to get high. But that's not the point. I used a narcotic for three days straight, and my body REMEMBERED and REACTED to the fact that I was doping it again, AND WANTED MORE! The sweats, the heart palpitations, the hyperventilation, the discomfort, were all signs of me having little mini-withdrawals when the drug wore off deep in the middle of the night.

My name is Jim and I am a drug addict.

What a fool I was to think I could pop a narcotic like it was nothing. I fucking know from the program that I must be very, very careful with what kinds of drugs I put into my body. All I knew at the time was that I was in serious pain, and I wanted relief.

So, I stopped taking the pills immediately. It took me about an hour and a half to calm down that night and get back into bed and fall asleep. The next day, Thanksgiving Day, I stuck to ibuprofen. I walked like a cripple, but I didn't care. The pain reminded me that I was alive. I told my family about what had happened. I need for the people around me to be aware of my sensitivity as well. I talked with my sponsor when I got home and got my ass CHEWED, deservedly so. I'm heading to a meeting here in just a little while to share this story with others like me.

God, grant me the Serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things that I can
and The Wisdom to know the difference.

Amen, my friends!
too bad if that bothers ya

Anybody Have Room For Dessert?

When something is this good, I never feel I'm wrong in nicking it from another blog and posting it here as well. Afterall, it comes from YouTube. But I do want to give a nod to God of Biscuits for this (even though he got it from Joe.My.God).

Bush Screws America

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Please excuse me while I bask in a tryptophan-induced coma today. I'll rouse a little later for a turkey sammich and a piece of punkin pie.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving

(the best holiday of the year!)

Yes, I love this holiday. Not because of the food (but turkey and gravy is a definite bonus), but because of the concept of the day.The Intention of the day is so pure, so perfect.

We all have busy lives. We all slog through complicated and complex problems day after day, week after week. It's easy to forget how good we have it. It's easy to forget how we are blessed. It's easy to bitch and complain and moan and groan about our hardships. It's easy to be bitter, and ugly, and cruel, and resentful. It's easy to be consumed by self-pity, and insecurity, and paranoia, and rage, and envy.

The media is more than happy to show us glimpses into the lives of Those Who Have It Made - to taunt us when we need to be reminded how little we are. That same media is happy to show us those same people when things go badly for them - so that we can feel there is Justice in the world. This is the same media that pits us against each other, politically and socially.

Today, let it be easy to remember your blessings. Today, let it be easy to allow your heart to be filled with compassion, and Love, and joy. Well, it could be easy. If only you let it.

If only we could extend this spirit of thanks giving to our lives throughout the rest of the year. That is my goal. I strive to live in a place of Gratitude and Humility, of Compassion and Thanks, on more than just one day a year.

That's the hard part.

Warmest Wishes and Regards on My Favorite Day of the Year,


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sunday Mop Up 11/19/06

Thanksgiving Plans (end of Act II)

So, I jump up this morning at 8 am to race to work. You see, it is vitally important to my plans that I be in front of a computer with a printer at exactly 8:30am because I don't have a printer here at the house and I must print out my boarding pass for my airplane ticket exactly 24 hours before the departure time of my flight. My flight departs at 8:30 am Monday. I need to be one of the first, so that I get the all important "A" designation on it, which will allow me to be in the first group to board, so I can get a seat next to no one right off the bat. I explained all this earlier. Point is, I didn't wake up til 8am, needed to be at the pc at work at 8:30, and I was flying around the house like a bat out of Hell.

I had to poop, and that slowed me down a bit as well.

Now, I only live about 10 minutes from work, and I found myself not quite halfway there at 8:25. I got a little leadfooted and drove more aggressively than normally. No, I didn't get a speeding ticket, thank you. I did see a motorcycle cop, and scolded myself for doing something stupid which, if I got busted, would make me even later.

I got to work and sat at my desk at 8:35am. Some traffic lights fucked with me. I'm logging onto my pc, digging out my paperwork with my reservation confirmation code printed on it, and swiveling around to my printer when I noticed there was no paper in it.

[What's the deal with computer printers, anyway? I find only being able to load about 100 sheets of paper a time into mine a complete pain in the ass. Why can't they make printers that will let you dump a ream of paper into them at once? Is that, like, too fucking hard to do? I've got a fancy copier/fax/scanner/Easy Bake Oven model 'cuz I pump out a TON of paperwork as part of my job, but I have to load that bitch a little dollop at a time. Irritating. Sorry, I'm just saying...]

I swiveled around behind me, where I have a couple of reams stashed, grabbed a handful and swiveled back to the printer. It was during this motion that I felt my back hitch.

Back at the keyboard, I log into, enter my code and my name and...voila!... Boarding Pass is printing out. Big Ass letter "A" right in the middle. Heavy sigh of relief. I head back home to begin the packing process. MUCH to do to get ready.

Getting out of my truck when I get home, I notice something. My back has seized up on me. A tightness along with some searing pain hit me when I open the truck door and unload my ass from the driver's seat. When I'm standing beside the truck, closing the door to the vehicle, I'm bent at a 45 degree angle. I can't straighten up.

Oh, fuck, NO!

As a fat guy, my back can be counted on to go out on me every couple of years. Once every two or three years, there's a disc that says "Everything else on you bulges. Me, too, moron!" and complicates my life for about two weeks. This is what this is. I immediately panic because I have mucho laundry to do, a trip back to the clothes store, and a stop at the Post Office to put in a request to have my mail saved for me. And, of course, I need to blog.

I toddle into the house, creep up the stairs, and head for the bed. I have a heating pad stashed in the nightstand for just such an emergency, plug that thing in and arrange myself over it. Just a half hour, I tell myself. Maybe this will help loosen me up. That was just before 10 am.

It's now 2:30pm. I awoke with a jolt, swearing like a sailor that I had passed out for so long, but pleased that my back felt really pretty good. Then, I sat up. It was like someone was sticking a knife into my kidney.

I've swallowed a handful of Advil (well, three) and am hoping that might help. Jimmy's Fun Fact Of The Day: I if you clutch a handful of Advil in your hand for long enough (because you're looking for a glass to pour some water into), the red dye bleeds off those little fuckers. I now have red paw marks all over my white bathroom sink where I was trying to steady my crippled ass with one hand while I chugged the pills down.

I need to be in bed and ASLEEP by 9pm, if I expect to be up by 6am. There's a spoiled brat inside of me that wants to call the whole trip off and just get into bed and sleep for a week. I can't do that and I know it. I do, however, worry about what a plane ride, cramped into a shitty seat in the back of a cattlecar for 5 hours, is going to do to me. Fuck!

[Late Edition Addition: It's 11pm, and I'm finally packed. I'm dosed up heavy on the Advil, so I'm pretty sure my liver is petrifying in my abdomen at this very instant. I called my sister and whined like a baby, and that made me feel better, somewhat. I got the bright idea to maybe buy a digital camera for myself when I get out there, so I might have pics to post at some point. You'll love my family. Not a retarded one in the lot, besides me, acourse.}

One last little note:

The TomKat Wedding

Jesus Christ! Shut the fuck UP already! I don't CARE! I don't understand why ANYBODY cares. The shit we focus on and obsess over, as a culture, infuriates me! I don't care what she wore, I don't care what he wore, I don't care who was there, I don't care how many candles were lit, I don't care how many italian women peed their pants, I don't care, I don't care, I don't care!

I hope they are happy, but I felt the same way about Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche and look how THAT turned out.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Oh. My. God!

I CANNOT believe my eyes. The sleaze factor, the utter tastelessness of THIS NEWS stuns, amazes, and terrifies the shit outta me. Seriously, I can't get beyond "what the fuck!?!"

“O.J. Simpson, in his own words, tells for the first time how he would have committed the murders if he were the one responsible for the crimes,” Fox said in a statement. “In the two-part event, Simpson describes how he would have carried out the murders he has vehemently denied committing for over a decade.”

- from a report by TV Critic Diane Holloway, Austin American Statesman (click the quote for more)

Who would watch this? Who would want to televise it? Oh, my God!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I'm Switching To The New Beta Version of Blogger Now...

...and I'm nervous as a cat!

By the way, have you ever checked out

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday Mop Up 11/12/06

Wow! It got chilly here in Texas overnight. Like, into the lower 40s or upper 30s or something. Whenever it gets cool down here, the first thing that always comes to mind when I wake up is: "Man, if it's this cold here, I wonder how cold it is up north?!?" -which sends me scurrying to The Weather Channel. Then, when I see that in some places in the north, lower 40s and upper 30's is, like, the HIGHS for the day, I get all goose-pimpley, my ass clenches a bit, and I dive for the comfort and safety of my bed's snuggley covers and blankets.

I think of Bigg, trying to survive the cold in a "garconniere (whatever the fuck that is) with no running water and inadequate heat" in the middle of East OverParka, Pennsylvania. I shudder like a sissy girl and send my warmest thoughts out to him. I'm sending visions of hot cocoa and blowjobs to that man. I'd FedEx them, if I could. If you've never checked out his blog, please do. While many of us in the blogosphere play hit or miss with social commentary and pop culture and just silly, inane ramblings, Bigg devotes his writing to dealing with the reality of a middle-aged man coming to grips with his sexuality and the consequences of that for himself, his lover, and his family in a rural, small-minded community. His story is compelling, heartbreaking, and beautiful.

Now, let me get to giving you the lowdown about what's been kicking around in my skull this week. Let the Mop Up begin:


Okay, the Dems had a good showing this week. Fine. I'm delighted that the Republican party is going to have to re-tool itself in order to overcome the hypocrisy, demagoguery, and corruption it has fostered within its ranks.


If you think for a second that the Democratic party is all Sweetness and Light, all Virtue and Integrity - kindly wake the fuck up! You don't think the Dems have their own hands in the pockets of the Special Interests? Do you really think that Back Room Politics and Corporate Influence has been affected in any way? Surely we are not so naive.

I voted for as many Independents and third party candidates as I possibly could this past election. I was told that I threw my vote away. I don't believe that I did. As I have said before, the system is BROKEN the way it stands now, no matter WHICH of the two parties is in control. So, if you are a hardcore Democrat, I implore you to watch what happens in Washington very closely between now and 2008. I suspect it will be "Business", as usual (pun completely intended).

The Continuing Saga Of Thanksgiving Plans

So, the pressure from the family on me now is: how long I will be able to stay with them in Florida during the upcoming visit? My email back to sister and father: two-three days, tops. Sister groans and complains immediately. Why so short? She demands an explanation. Look, I explain, I can't find airfare for under $400 and, with gas prices where they are, it will be cheaper for me to drive. It's 22 hours on the road one way, I'll need to break that up into two days. Two days to get there, three days to hang, and two days to get back. That's a week, baby.

[Other considerations: (1.) As a 6'3" fat man, I HATE to fly. You just don't know the awful feeling of boarding a plane and looking for your seat, as you pass row after row of fellow travelers who are all wearing "Oh, PLEASE GOD, don't let him sit next to me!" on their faces. Fact is: I don't blame them a bit for feeling that way. Can I afford to pay for two seats? Uh, sorry, no. Not at these prices. Please try to remember that it's the airplane manufacturers, at the behest of the airline industry, who treat passengers like inanimate cargo, or fucking livestock. (2.) I loves me a good roadtrip and Texas to Florida is a good one cuz New Orleans is practically on the way. Any opportunity to swing through that town and spend some time in the attic of The Phoenix makes Jim a happy camper.]

The next day, I get an email form Dad. In order to get as long a visit out of me as he can, he'd like to split the cost of my plane ticket with me. In fact, he has found a roundtrip ticket on Delta departing out of Houston on Tuesday and returning on the Friday after Thanksgiving for $382. He ends the email by saying that he hopes I take him up on the offer, that he loves me, and that if I still want to drive, he'll understand.

The problems with this scenario are multiple. Flying out of Houston, not Austin, means I have to drive 2 1/2 hours to get to my plane, pay for parking, and burn alot of gas. Flying instead of driving means that, once I get to Florida, I have no wheels of my own - and therefore, no means of escape if I need to get the fuck away from everyone due to weird family-isms. Renting a vehicle is problematic because I need a truck, not a car, and I HATE renting cars. Also, flying Delta assures me an assigned seat on the plane, which is NOT the best arrangement for me (and I'll explain why in a second). And, finally, at 47 years old, I'm not about to let my father pay for any part of my ticket. Grown-ass man here.

But, I can see the writing on the wall. I need to figure out how to fly and spend as much time as I can there. New Orleans will just have to wait.

So, I start my search on Southwest Airlines. This is the critical issue. See, Southwest does not assign seats. It's first come, first seated. They also let you print out your boarding pass online exactly 24 hours before your flight. The first to print their boarding passes out get assigned an "A", the next group a "B", the last passengers to get a boarding pass are assigned a "C". When it comes time to board a flight, the A's get boarded first, then the B's, then the C's. This is a big deal for this reason: If I can get my boarding pass as an "A", and get to the airport early enough to get a good place in line (People line up at the gates like they are camping out for U2 tickets. It's really a clusterfuck.), then I can board the plane before most of the other passengers. This allows me to grab a seat at the very back of the plane against a window. What this means, my friends, is if there is a single empty seat on this flight, I assure you that it will be the seat right next to me. NO ONE wants that seat. The only person who could possibly get screwed in the deal is the very last boarding passenger on a completely soldout flight - some poor schmo who is probably flying standby, or was too disorganized to get a decent boarding pass. This seems much more fair than ruining a trip for some sweet little old lady who had her trip planned for months and, thanks to seat assignments, has to sit wedged into my hairy, sweating armpit for 5 hours.

So, I find a flight in and out of Austin arriving Monday at noon and departing Friday at 2pm. I've stretched the visit to 5 days. Cost = $402.

Yes, I'll be trapped in familial situations with no escape hatch. Big deal. No, I'll not be playing homo games in New Orleans on the way there and/or on the way back. So what? I'll have a great time.

A Couple of Movie Trailers, Re-cut:

If you're a fan of the Mike Judge movie "Office Space", I think you will enjoy this.

and, "The Sixth Sense"

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

30-Second Bunny Theatre

Wanna see some of your favorite movies edited down to 30 seconds and re-enacted by bunnies?

Big thanks to Julia for pointing this out to me. Enjoy! (click the pic!)

[Late Edition Addition: Gay or Straight, be sure and check out "Brokeback Mountain". Better than the original.]

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Express Yourself !!!

We can't complain if we don't patricipate. I know it feels meaningless sometimes, but if everyone who thinks the two-party system is broken and needs fixing actually got out and pro-actively voted for third-party and independent candidates, I think a huge message would be sent to the Power Elites.

Take the time today to vote.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Creep Out!

Hypocrite and Tweaker-twink Ted Haggard

Oh, wait! He didn't DO the drugs he bought! No way! He threw them away! And he didn't have sex with that male prostitute! He only wanted a massage.


A fine example of how NOT to deal with your sexual orientation issues. If nothing else, it assures me that I needed to get the fuck out of the closet before my life became any bigger of a mess.

I'm tempted to go into a rant about organized religion and the power we place in people to middle-man our relationship with our Creator, but I'll hold back.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday Mop Up 11/05/06

Howdy Buddies and Buddettes! I hope your weekend is going well. Do yourself a favor and give your nipples a tug at some point today. ...just a suggestion...I'm only tryin' to help. Okay, let's get to it:

Election Day

Tuesday is Election Day. I know most of the people who care about this kinda stuff have already gone out and voted early, which I commend. But if you haven't voted yet, I'd like to do what I can to motivate you to get your butt OFF the sofa on Tuesday and find your way to your precinct and cast your ballot. The fact that voter turnout in this country (ESPECIALLY in non-presidential elections) is as low as it is, should fill each and every one of us with Shame. If the system really IS broken, this is where the problem starts. So, with that in mind, I'd like to drop a video on you.


Sure, this election isn't a presidential election. But it IS a chance for us to voice our opinion about the direction of this administration.

PLEASE vote!

Technical Difficulty: There is nearly two minutes of black at the end of the video clip. This isn't my fault, and I can't seem to be able to edit it out. Sorry.

The Aflak Caffeine Scoreboard: Jim is on his 2nd bucket of coffee. Moving On:

Pillow Talk

Okay, admittedly I am deep in the throes of housework today, but I have a question for you: How clean are the pillows on your bed?

I ask this because I was stripping my own bed this morning when I glanced at the pillows I had just de-nuded and tossed back on the mattresses and I realized that I hadn't seriously laundered those fuckers in several months. Oh, don't get me wrong, the pillowcases get bleached to Hell and back weekly, but the pillows themselves? I have two king size pillows that are in pillow covers, little zip-up bitches that protect the pillow (I suppose), but two regular pillows that are unprotected. Just my drooling, crusty, greasy face, a flimsy pillowcase, and a foam pillow that soaks up Jimmy Drippings like a sponge. And I think I'm being clean by washing the pathetic pillowcase?!? I bury my head into these things, and baste my face every night! What the hell am I thinking?

The coffee is kicking in now at the same time that I am grossing myself the fuck OUT.

I remember seeing an Oprah show where Ms. Winfrey-Thang was interviewing a cleanliness expert. This guy, a scientist, maintained that we should all buy brand new pillows at least once a year. He scoffed at spending big bucks for fancy pillows. Keep them simple, cheap, and CLEAN, he said.

My pillows are being super-bleached at this very moment. I will get my ass to Bed, Bath, and Beyonce this week to replace the little incubators.

All right, that's it for now. I've managed to seriously creep myself out, so I'm headed to the shower to stand in scalding streams and scrub and scrub and fucking scrub.

Be well, and don't forget about your nipples.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Et Tu, Doogie?

Another celebrity comes out of the closet this week. This is getting to be fun! Come on, Straight America, let's start an office pool to bet on who will be next. It's getting to the point where the next person to come out may be your brother, your sister, your mother, or your father. Maybe it's your best friend, or someone you work with. It's a lot harder to villify homosexuality when you know, love, or respect someone who is gay.

The news isn't that there are gays among us. The news is that more and more people are no longer ashamed of their sexual orientation. Here we are. We are productive members of society. You know us, and you love us. And we love you, too.

Now, could ya just let us make love to who (or is it "whom"?) we choose?