The Impermanence of Memory

It’s been another good day here at the Chula Vista Resort and Spa. 

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They’ve all been good days.

Most of the our kit-tens are getting along well with each other, most of the time. Todd and Julia and Lea and I are all getting along well with each other. Julia is Todd’s girlfriend. She doesn’t live here, but she spends a fair amount of time hanging out here. In that regard, things are going about as smoothly as they can.

* * * *

The Minnesota Vikings have won four games in a row now that I’ve become a Detroit Lions fan. Unfortunately, one of the teams my old favorite team beat in that stretch is my new favorite team.

My lovely supermodel wife is actually upset with me for changing allegiances. She says it’s disgusting! I’d think she’d feel a bit of gratitude…  At any rate, I’m still rooting for the Lions. And if things continue on this arc, the Vikings might win a Super Bowl before I die.

* * * *

Todd and I bought a golf cart last week, officially making us serious golfing guys. Now all we have to do is start golfing like serious golf guys. And get the brakes fixed on our cart. And probably the steering…

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Presentando el carrito nacional de golf de México

We had all of the batteries replaced when we bought it, so it runs great. Stopping has been somewhat problematic at times…

Seeing how my life is as close to perfect as it will ever be, the Universe has to provide a few areas for me that aren’t ideal, otherwise there would be an imbalance in The Force, and we all know what happens after that.

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Whoa. It’s even worse than I thought…

Right now, all of my problems start and end with golf.

Problem #1. The Rainy Season has essentially turned our golf course into a swamp. Swamp Golf might sound like fun, but it’s not. In my case it has everything to do with wet socks. When my socks get wet, all I want to do is sit down and cry. The seasonal rains should end in a couple of weeks, then everything will start drying out and Allergy Season can begin again.

That should benefit my score. 

Problem #2. Todd and I have been taking golf lessons because we’re serious golfing guys now, and that’s another thing serious golfers do. I’ve been trying to tweak a few things with my swing to improve the consistency and quality of my shots. I seriously want to get rid of those shots of random suckdom that plague every golfer at pretty much any level of skill.

If I can do that, that will definitely benefit my score.

Problem #3. My biggest problem has been vision related. I now have three pairs of glasses with the same prescription, but each of them is just a little bit different. Depending on the weather conditions, I was shuffling my corrective lenses around when I golfed.

Between minor variations in how I was seeing, golf lessons to change my swing, and then trying to remember all of the things I was supposed to be doing — I wasn’t having random shots of suckdom. They all sucked!

That hasn’t benefitted my score at all!

I quit shuffling my glasses. I’m wearing my newest pair all the time now, and my eyes are getting used to them. I stopped thinking about the seven things I’m supposed to be doing and focused on a three. Keep your head down. Slow down your back swing. And follow through.

I played nine holes with my golf wife, Phyllis, this morning. I shot a 47. I one-putted five greens because my chip shots were so deadly. And, I replaced the black laces in my magic golf shoes this morning with bright neon green laces. That might have been a contributing factor. Julia needed black laces for her Medusa costume, so I gave her mine.

My caddy, Francisco Flores Bernini, told me I was fun to watch. It’s the first time he’s said that to me. I’m not sure there are any words to describe how pleased I was to hear that.

* * * *

Lea has been helping Julia with her zombie costume much more than I have. The Thrill the World dance is this Saturday. A bunch of people all across the world dress up like zombies and dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Julia is going to be zombie Medusa. 

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In Greek mythology, Medusa was one of the Gorgons, three beautiful sisters — Medusa, Stheno and Euryale — who were turned into dreadful, horrifying monsters with live, venomous snakes for hair by the goddess Athena. They were so hideous that anyone who gazed upon them was turned to stone.

* * * *

If you’ve never seen the featured image of my latest blog, you really need to get out more. It’s The Persistence of Memory, by the Spanish artist, Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marquis of Dalí de Púbol. He’s one of the best known Dadaist artists of the 20th Century.

Dadaism was an art movement that began in Europe after World War I. Dadaists thought the modern world was stupid and meaningless, so they set out to ridicule it as much as they could before they got dead.

Little Known Fact About Salvador Dali: he hated paying for anything, and whenever he wrote a check he would draw something on the back, knowing the person he wrote it out to would never cash it.

There’s a whole page of his check art on the Interweb. You could look it up if you’re interested…

* * * *

Memory is a tricksy thing. How tricksy is it, you might ask. Well, scientists have been studying memory ever since one of them tied a string around his finger, way back in 1885, so he wouldn’t forget to start studying it. And after all that time, no one understands the exact mechanism of how memory works.

Originally, many experts were fond of describing memory as a sort of tiny filing cabinet full of individual memory folders in which information was stored away. This cabinet was in a select part of the brain.

As technology adanced, researchers likened memory to a neural supercomputer wedged under the human scalp. One with an undetermined amount of RAM. And memory was stored in more than one area of the brain.

Today, experts believe that memory is far more complex and elusive — and that it is located not in one particular place in the brain — but is instead a brain-wide process.

* * * *

I used to think I had a great memory. I no longer think that. Aging affects memory. So does drug and alcohol abuse. And trauma. When I take all of that into consideration, I’m impressed that I still remember my name.

I’ve kind of written about some of the aspects of my particular flavor of insanity. I admitted that I have thought insertions. You can read about it in my archives if you like. Or you can Google it…

In a manner somewhat similar to the way that other people’s thoughts can somehow be inserted into my mind, I’ve come to the conclusion that they can also seemingly be extracted. I could give you an example, but how do you explain something that you can’t remember anymore?

Let’s find out.

* * * *

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Behold, the Pleiades

The Pleiades, also known as the Seven Sisters, are a star cluster in the constellation Taurus. They’re somewhat west and north of the constellation Orion. You should be able to recognize Orion. It’s one of the most conspicuous constellations in the night sky. If you’re awake at around 5:00 AM this time of year, look up. It’ll probably be right over your head.

* * * *

In Greek mythology, Orion was a supernaturally strong hunter of ancient times. He was the son of Euryale (Yep, the aforementioned hideous sister of Medusa), and Poseidon, the god of the sea.

Everything I’ve read about Orion indicates he was a complete asshole. He liked getting drunk. He raped Merope, the princess of Thebes. And then he decided he wanted to kill pretty much everything that moved. So Gaea, the goddess of the earth, killed him to death.

In the Bible, there once was a mighty hunter named Nimrod. Orion and Nimrod are probably one in the same. Interesting side note: Nimrod allegedly ordered the construction of the Tower of Babel.

* * * *

Hey, that’s really cool and all, but what does this have to do with you not being able to remember stuff? That’s what we were talking about, right?

If you look at the Pleiades with the naked eye, the only way you can see them somewhat clearly is with peripheral vision. When you look directly at them, they practically disappear.

That’s what it’s like with some of my memories. I know they existed. I even know the context in which they existed. But when I try to find them, they are gone. I’m not sure that explanation makes any sense to you, but that’s as close as I can get.

* * * *

Back when I was a nurse, other nurses, girl nurses — real nurses — would sometimes ask me what the essence of my job was. Real nurses don’t tend to have a lots of respect for psych nurses. They think psych nurses are essentially babysitters for icky people. And I would tell them a story.

It was about a mother talking to her child. And that’s the extent of what I can remember. I can’t remember how I came to know the story. It might have been something I actually experienced. I know I told the story at least three times that I can remember, and you’d think I’d remember something I did that many times.

There’s one other thing I remember: that story was fucking perfect. 

Those real nurses would look at me and think, Damn! I totally want to have sex with this guy! Okay, they probably didn’t think that, but they had a higher level of respect for pysch nursing and psych nurses for at least a few minutes after they heard it.

* * * *

I don’t know how explain Donald Trump’s frequent lapses of memory, especially in terms of geography. In his latest gaffe he apparently thinks Colorado is one of the states bordering Mexico because he said part of his Great Southern Border Wall is being built there.

He called the European country of Belgium a beautiful city. And he thinks Paris, France is in Germany. Nor does he understand the differences between England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom.

The Donald said this during an interview with Piers Morgan in August of this year:

TRUMP: You have different names — you can say “England,” you can say “UK,” you can say “United Kingdom” so many different — you know you have, you have so many different names — Great Britain. I always say: “Which one do you prefer? Great Britain? You understand what I’m saying?’
MORGAN: You know Great Britain and the United Kingdom aren’t exactly the same thing?
TRUMP: Right, yeah. You know I know, but a lot of people don’t know that. But you have lots of different names. The fact is you make great product, you make great things. Even your farm product is so fantastic.

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There are a few possible explanations for Trump’s general lack of geographical knowledge.

Theory #1. He’s old. He’s 73. As stated earlier, aging does impact memory. So that’s a remote possibility. Plus, all those places. They’re never in the same place twice. If only the planet would stop spinning. Then locations would finally settle down and stay in one place.

Theory #2. He fabricates stuff all the time. Maybe he thinks he can do the same with geography because it’s so difficult for anyone to actually ascertain the exact position of any particular place on this planet. It might also be a symptom of Trump Derangement Syndrome, so there’s that.

Theory #3. He’s an idiot.

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The prosecution rests.

Headline Action Breaking News Live! Update … Report

If you were thinking about creating a news show and you needed to come up with a catchy title, you’re clearly not going to want to hire me as your slogan guy.

* * * *

There was yet another mass shooting in the US last week.

I’m actually too emotionally exhausted to even get outraged anymore. I’ve come to the conclusion that if the lawmakers in Washington DC aren’t going to do anything to change this, then there can be no more tragic mass shootings in America. They are simply the price you might have to pay for living in the Land of the Free.

And if the American people aren’t going to elect representatives that actually represent them, then they can go fuck themselves, too.

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Damn you! God damn you all to Hell!

* * * *

My Twitter® account was suspended again because of some comments I posted in response to Donald Trump.

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It appears there are some limits to my hypocrisy. I found I couldn’t encourage The Donald to be more of an asshat than he already was and continue to sleep well at night. So, I kind of went off on him the other day.

Apparently, you’re not allowed to call the President a dumb cunt…

Twitter® made me delete my posts, told me to play nice with others, and wouldn’t let me do anything on their site for a day.

It’s ironic because the one person on the planet that shouldn’t be allowed to post anything on their site never gets his hands slapped…

* * * *

I’m assuming the fucking rat I tried to kill to death in our carport, then disappeared into the engine of our car, decided to move to a safer location. One that doesn’t have broom-wielding maniacs. Or two dozen hungry cats. I haven’t seen it again, and believe me when I say I’ve looked.

I haven’t seen any rats anywhere, but I have seen a lots of the many semi-feral cats that live in the neighborhood.

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They like hanging out in our carport, too. And I’m reasonably sure they’d pursue the rat if it was still hanging around. If I thought there was seriously a chance the rat was still living in my car, I really would set it on fire.

* * * *

The NFL football season kicks off this week! This is the best time of the year for me. The Minnesota Vikings have looked good in their preseason games, so hopes of a stellar season are running high with their fans right now.

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Well, after last year, they can only go up…

To say that the Vikings struggled last year is an understatement. They were supposed to be an elite team that would be in the running for another Super Bowl appearance. Instead, they barely finished with a winning record and were mediocre at best.

This year should be different. The Vikings have a rejuvenated offense. They have two of the best receivers in the NFL, and they finally cut Laquon Treadwell, who was one of the worst receivers in the league. If the offensive line gives Kirk Cousins the time he needs, the passing game could be a force to be reckoned with.

The Vikings appear to have a veritable herd of decent running backs. If Dalvin Cook can stay healthy for an entire season, their offense might be an absolute powerhouse this year.

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Defensively, the Vikings appear to be solid, but historically they almost always have. Last year the defense seemed to play with a lack of intensity. And in more than one game they seemed to just not care. All accounts indicate they’ve got their goddamn minds right, and they are poised to dominate on that side of the ball again.

Might. Maybe. If only…  Every football season starts like this for me. Every year, this could be our year. But every fan of every NFL team is right there with me right now. If only — this might be the year — maybe…

I’m excited to see what happens. I’m another year closer to getting dead, so the clock is ticking, guys. I want to see you win a Super Bowl before I die. If it doesn’t, I’m coming back as the scariest fuckin’ ghost you’ve ever seen and I will haunt your asses until you do.

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

* * * *

We’ve been busy here at the Chula Vista Resort and Spa. Todd, my lovely supermodel wife’s boyfriend, has finally arrived with all of his worldly belongings and has taken up residence in one of our guest rooms. He’s going to be our roommate for an as yet undetermined amount of time. I think of it as an experiment in communal living for all of us.

It’s not like we don’t have the room. Our house is huge, way bigger than anything we need for the two of us. And our kit-tens. Mika and Mollie turned one year old last month! I sang them the Happy Birthday song in Spanish. Our kit-tens are bilingual. That means they can ignore what we say to them in two languages.

Space here wasn’t an issue. The only concerns we had was how this arrangement would work in reality. If you exclude spouses and children, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one of the three of us that has ever had a roommate.

I’ve had a few people ask me how our new living arrangement came to be. I think it was my idea. Todd and Lea have known each other since middle school or something. They’ve been friends forever. Todd came down here to visit Lea a couple of years ago. That’s when I met him. We’ve been friends ever since.

We were fortunate when we moved here. We had a great network of people we could talk to. We didn’t have to endure many of the glitches that can occur when you move to a foreign country.  In my mind, having Todd move in with us seemed to be the best way to ease his transition into his new life.

Todd speaks no Spanish. I know the look that he gets on his face whenever anyone speaks to him en español. Lea and I have shared as much as we can with him about our experiences here. We’ll continue to help him as best we can until the deer in the headlights look goes away. After that, we’ll see.

As they say on TV, what could possibly go wrong?

* * * *

The Roommate is a 2011 cinematic psychological thriller about a deranged college freshman who becomes obsessed with her new roommate.

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Okay. I guess there’s that…

Experiment IV is a song by the English singer Kate Bush. The song tells a story about a secret military plan to create a sound horrific enough to kill a lots people.

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I can honestly say that this scenario had never occurred to me

* * * *

If you combine those two themes, this looks like unto the worst cohabitation idea, ever. Fortunately, Todd is not deranged, nor does he possess any of the intense, technological dental x-ray combat training that I received from the Army. He’s a good guy.

It should be fun. Todd loves to cook, so Lea will have some help in the kitchen. And, he plays golf. I love to eat, and I love to play golf. This appears to be a win-win-win situation for everyone, but especially for me.

And we still have the casita/guest house for anyone who wants to come visit. We’ve had a few people ask if they could come down, so we’ll see. We might eventually get some visitors here.

* * * *

Speaking of golf, I’m still getting accustomed to my new clubs. The fairway woods I bought have been nice additions to my arsenal. They haven’t produced any noticeable reduction in my score yet, but I attribute that to my other new club.

The chipper is unlike any other club I’ve ever had. It has next to no weight, so I’ve been struggling with the “how hard do I have to hit the ball to get it to the pin dilemma.” My results with it have been very hit or miss.

Mostly miss, so far.

In a few days I can start getting accustomed to my new putter. I’m waiting for it to be delivered from Amazon. I decided if was going to get serious about improving my game, I better get the right tools for the job.

In a recent interview, Brooks Kepka said this: “I’m putting pretty good. I’m just not making any putts.” It sounds like just about the most stupidest thing anyone could ever say, but it makes perfect sense to any serious golfer.

My new putter is red, and it looks like a spaceship from Star Trek.

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See? I told you.

Once I figure out how to use it, I’ll probably never miss a putt again.

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Lol! More lol!! Snort lol. Stop it, you’re killing me!!!

I Didn’t See That Coming

Another post? Dude, are you feeling okay?

I’m good. Thanks for asking. I will admit to looking for things to do of late. I got kind of caught up in doing stuff around the new house, and I have some excess energy that I haven’t figured out how to focus yet.

Give me a week.

* * * *

Hey there, sports fans. How’s it going? The two best games of the NFL season were played yesterday to determine which teams would play for the Lombardi Trophy in the Super Bowl.

Both teams were evenly matched, so I didn’t make any predictions about winners, but I did have preferences. Both games went into overtime, which shows you evenly matched the teams were. You guys all know what OT is and how it works, right? Because I’m not going to explain it.

The Los Angeles Rams kicked a field goal to beat the New Orleans Saints, 26-23. I can’t say I saw that coming, but I was rooting for the Rams. Many fans are upset about the defensive pass interference penalty that wasn’t called, allowing the Rams to tie the game and send it into overtime.

I have an extreme dislike of the Saints. I don’t care how many penalties don’t go their way. I hope they lose every Championship game they play in from now until the end of time. I think they’re a dirty team, and this is just the chickens coming home to roost. It’s karma, and they’ve accrued an outstanding balance.

The Los Angeles Rams are a very good football team, with an impressive history. Back in the 60’s and 70’s, the LA Rams were one of the best teams in the NFL, but they didn’t play in a single Super Bowl, mostly because they had to play the Minnesota Vikings, outdoors, in Minnesota, in the middle of winter, for the NFC Championship.

They never beat the Vikings in December.

The Rams moved from Los Angeles to St Louis in 1995. They were easily the best team in the league in 1999, and won their one and only Super Bowl that year. Two years later, they returned to the Super Bowl, but lost to the New England Patriots.

* * * *

In the second game yesterday, the New England Patriots scored a touchdown to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs, 37-31. I did see that coming. Anyone that knows anything about football did. Like most of the country, I’m tired of the Patriots being in the Super Bowl. I was hoping the Chiefs would win.

It’s a testament to Bill Belichick, the head coach of the Patriots. I think he’s the greatest coach in the NFL, ever. There are a few coaches that have won multiple Super Bowls, but they did so with rosters that stayed essentially unchanged during their championship runs.

Belichick has done it with wholesale changes in personnel from one year to the next. The only player who has been a constant for Belichick is his quarterback, Tom Brady. Under his tenure, the Patriots will have been to the Super Bowl nine times. He has developed a near perfect system, and he knows how to coach his players to thrive in it, no matter who they are.

Lea and I have been discussing having a Super Bowl party, of sorts. Invite our friends, have everyone bring a dish to share, and their own liquid refreshments. What could be easier?

Go, Rams. Beat the Patriots. Please.

Maybe Tom Brady will decide to retire…

* * * *

In other news, there isn’t really much to report. Our kit-tens, Mika and Mollie have been keeping us on our toes, and sometimes they’ve been keeping us up at night. I mean, who doesn’t love wrestling at 1:30 AM?

They broke my terra cotta armadillo into six pieces the other night. It took me half a day to glue him back together again.

What I don’t understand is how two tiny, adorable sweethearts can make so much noise? They might weigh two pounds a piece, but they sound like a stampeding herd of horses racing across our tile floors in the middle of the night.

* * * *

The Mexican gas shortage goes on, despite the government claims that everything will be back to normal “soon.” Time is a very arbitrary unit of measure in Mexico. Seriously. Ahorita, the Mexican word for soon can also mean never. I mean, how arbitrary can you get?

It hasn’t been a huge inconvenience yet. I hope it stays that way.

* * * *

If I were going to write an autobiography, the title of this post would be a good candidate for its title. It’s one of the hazards of not being a prophet. And being oblivious to a fair amount of the things going on around me.

Two of my retirement wives have used that word to describe me. I could probably argue with them, but I’m not sure I’ve ever won an argument with Lea. And I have no idea how she does that.

She’s like unto a superhero in the Marvel Universe, and that’s her superpower.

Ms. Right.

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I know I didn’t see that coming when I married her. I used to be right about stuff before I married her. For the longest time I thought two people who were used to being right shouldn’t get married. I’ve gotten over that. In the Big Picture, being right isn’t the most important thing in a marriage.

Being at peace is far more important.

Besides, I really am oblivious to a lots of stuff. And I don’t see myself as being especially intuitive. Or empathetic. I might be those things from time to time, but it’s probably more by accident than design.

That would also be a good title for the story of my life.

* * * *

A funny thing happened to me the other day. I wrote a post that ended up being a political commentary on the United States and its current Commander in Chief. And one of my readers told me she thought it was the best thing I’d written.

It’s kind of like Mozart playing Die Zauberflöte for you, but you tell him, You know, I liked that Happy Birthday song better.

Let me clarify that. I’m hardly the Mozart of Writing. Weird Al Yankovic, maybe…

I think I’ve written some very good stuff. My last post wasn’t one of my best, in my opinion. It was one my least favorite posts.

Becoming a political commentator is something I know I never envisioned when I started writing my blog. If I had known it, I might have taken a different route. I am not politically savvy. You could ask any of my former bosses, they’d tell you. The fact that I’m writing about politics is probably one of the most egregious accidental things I’ve done in years.

What this person liked about my post was that I made my points without being ugly, or mudslinging, or name-calling. It’s not a tactic I would ever think about using. It’s something like unto the Golden Rule:

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I don’t like people being rude to me. Therefore, I try not to be rude to anyone. I don’t know anyone who enjoys interacting with rude people. Rude people suck. It’s one of the things I don’t like about The Donald. He’s very rude, which is an unattractive quality in anybody, but especially unattractive in a President.

And then there’s this whole collusion with Russia thing, which I will freely admit I don’t understand at all, and have made no attempt to understand better.

I did see something the other day that said Trump colluded with Russia to destabilize the United States, and I have to admit that it made me laugh. From what I’ve seen, he hasn’t needed any help to do that.

He’s been doing a great job all by himself.

Any person in a leadership position has an obligation to model behavior that is beneficial to the organization they represent. Encouraging people to act like assholes is hardly needed in this day and age. Social media has that well in hand.

A leader who acts like a bully is nothing more than a tyrant. Back in the 1700’s, our forefathers fought a revolution to free themselves from what they perceived as tyrannical rule.

Is it time for another American revolution? Possibly. I’m still not much of a prophet, so I don’t know if it’s necessary or not.

All I know for sure is I won’t be fighting it. That’s for the generations that follow mine. I chose the Millennials. There’s a lots of them, they’re socially connected, and they don’t seem to believe in anything meaningful.

They need to create their purpose.

My generation already played there part in changing the world, for better or for worse. Like it or not, it’s something a generation gets to do only once.

The Year of the Cat

It’s Sunday. I usually reserve Sundays for watching football. But today, the Minnesota Vikings took the day off. It’s too bad, because they were supposed to play the Buffalo Bills.

Way back in the day, professional football was something a select few guys did for a few months, then went back to their real jobs when the season was over. Nowadays, professional football is a year-round endeavor. For the coaches and players, it’s their only job. It’s not just a job, it’s a career.

From that point of view, there’s no excuse for a football team that’s allegedly this good to look so bad against a team they were supposed to beat by sixteen points. There’s no doubt that there’s a lots of talent on the Vikings roster, but you didn’t see any of it on the field today.

In an upset of epic proportions, the Vikings lost to the Bills, 27-6. The Bills, who lost their first two games this season by a total of fifty five points. I don’t know how to explain this, except it’s possible that the Vikings thought they were already in the Super Bowl. Then their performance is easily explained.

They haven’t looked this bad since the NFC Championship game last year. The only good thing about this game was the new Vikings kicker didn’t miss any field goals. As far as I know, he wasn’t even given the opportunity to attempt one. Anyone who knows anything about sports will tell you there’s a name for good teams that don’t beat bad teams.

Losers.

It’s nothing new for my team. They’ve played like this for as long as I can remember. Look like true Viking warriors one week, then look hungover drag queens the next. It kind of sucks. I am a big fan of professional football, and the Vikings. This NFL season is only three weeks old, and I’m already kind of over it.

If this truly is the Year of the Cat, the Jacksonville Jaguars should win the Super Bowl.

This year’s football roller coaster ride went south in a hurry.  My lovely supermodel fanatic wife was so disgusted she didn’t even yell at the TV once. She just quit watching the game and went out on the patio. I quit watching, too. I changed the channel to the PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods won! It was an amazing comeback for him, and for his sport. He’s clearly the most popular golfer in the world.

I could say something about my golf game, except I don’t have any meaningful updates. I haven’t even been golfing much. It’s been tremendously wet down here, in terms of water. I guess it doesn’t matter who says that line, it still sounds stupid.

* * * *

Year of the Cat is a song by Al Stewart. It got a lots of air time on the radio back in 1976 or so. It’s about a guy who’s taking a guided bus tour through the Middle East. During one stop, he and his fellow tourists go out to look around at a local marketplace. The surroundings remind the guy of scenes he saw in the movie Casablanca.

As he wanders around the bazaar, he sees a beautiful, “mysterious” girl. She’s not a local, but has been living in the area since the Year of the Cat. I guess that’s what makes her so mysterious. She leads him back to her room where they make love for hours, of course. When he wakes up the next morning, he finds that the tour bus is gone. So are his luggage, his clothes and his money.

It’s a very pretty, cautionary song about the hazards of leaving your group when you’re a tourist in a foreign country, apparently.

* * * *

My lovely supermodel wife and I retired to a foreign country, but I doubt either of us will ever have a misadventure at any of the local bazaars like unto the one outlined above.

Neither of us are in the market for any random hook-ups at this point in time of our lives. The only thing we have been in the market for since we got back from vacation, is a kit-ten. Or two.

We used to have a kit-ten, Samantha. She lived with us for twenty years. Sadly, we had to put her down in February of this year. I figured Lea would last about six months without a cat. I was more or less correct in my timeline. When Lea started her search she said she would be willing to take two kit-tens if they were from the same litter.

I don’t think I predicted that, but I can’t say that I was surprised to hear it.

Lea went to the nearest kit-ten rescue shelter a couple of times after we returned to Mexico and checked out the kit-tens, but she didn’t find the right one. We went to a place called Casa Miau, another cat rescue shelter in Jocotopec, the westernmost town in the Lakeside Area. It’s run by Don and Anita. They own a house in Joco, and rented another house just for their twenty-some-odd rescue cats.

There was only one problem. Anita seemingly didn’t want to part with any of her cats, even though she said all she wanted to do was to find good homes for them, and get her life back.

“I’m here everyday. I had to hire helpers because I can’t keep up with it anymore. That’s Chola. She’s not the right cat for you. That’s Paco. He’s not the right cat for you either. That’s Chance. He’s not going anywhere.”

We didn’t come home with a cat, but we accidentally heard about some orphaned kit-tens while we were at Casa Miau. We had taken a friend of ours named Randy, who has done a lots of animal rescue work, when we went to visit Anita’s herd of cats.

Anita mentioned the kit-tens to Randy because she didn’t have the time nor the energy to take care of any more cats. So Randy went to see the couple who were suddenly raising the three kit-tens whose mother had vanished. And that was how we met Rob and Pat.

They also live in Joco. They’re artists, quite good artists, in my opinion. Roughly eight weeks ago, a stray cat wandered into one of their art studios and decided it would be the perfect place to have her three babies, two females and one male. She would go hunting every day, but always returned to take care of her babies. Until the day she didn’t.

Rob and Pat knew nothing about about being kit-ten foster parents, but Randy did. She taught them how to bottle feed kit-tens, and all the other stuff you need to do when you’re a pet foster parent. Rob and Pat have four or five dogs. They like cats, but didn’t feel they needed more pets. Mostly what they wanted was to find good homes for their orphaned kit-tens.

And that’s how we met Mika and Mollie. They’re sisters, the two females in the litter. It was love at first sight for both Lea and myself. We had to wait nine days before we brought them home, but there was never any question in Lea’s mind whether she had found her new kit-tens or not.

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That’s Mika on the left. She has the cutest little kit-ten face. And that’s Mollie on the right. She’s fuzzier than Mika, and a bit bigger than her sister. The fuzzy fur is the easiest way to tell them apart. They look remarkably similar.

I’m not sure what their mother looked like, but our kit-tens almost look like Himalayans. Maybe they’re Semilayans? Whatever they are, they’re so little, and so cuuuute! They’re maybe eight weeks old at the most. They’re just learning to eat solid food. And run. And jump. And do kit-ten stuff.

They are seriously darlingpreshadorbs!

I’ve never been the parent of small  children. The only thing I’ve ever raised in my life is hell, and it’s probably the last qualification that anyone would look for in a foster parent for anything. Luckily, Lea has raised children, and kit-tens before. I’ve been counting on her expertise to get me through the first few weeks or months until the kit-tens don’t need constant supervision.

My duties so far have been cleaning the litter box and cleaning the floor. I’m okay with this. I have experience in those fields. The other thing I’ve been doing is buying things, like, cat condos, scratching posts and play toys. I think the kit-tens will eventually grow to like the play toys more than they like crumpled wads of paper, or my toes, someday…

I might grow to appreciate their help with writing my blog someday, too. I’ve had to stop writig multiple times today when they’ve climbed on top of my lap to edit what I’ve been writing about them. If I ever get tired of doing this, I might let them take over. They might be better writers than I am.

I will never get tired of watching them play. Kit-tens are kind of like furry, little wind up toys. They run around at manic speed for as long as they can, then sleep for an hour or so. They make me smile like unto a

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A Football Wife

Hey there, sports fans.

Today is Día de la Independencia in Mexico. There’s a band playing in the eventos right below our development. There will probably be a band playing there almost every night from now until Christmas Day.

I call it Fiesta Season. Bands. Cerveza. Music. Más cerveza. Singing. Tequila. Fireworks. It’s basically a four month party. I don’t mind the loud music. Most of the time I think it’s really cool, and it adds to the charm of our retirement lives.

I am not a fan of the fireworks. Mexican fireworks are essentially sky rockets made out of sticks of dynamite. That first one always catches me by surprise, and I always have to check if I shit my pants. After I crawl out from under the bed.

The following explosions aren’t as traumatic. You tend to get used to them. Or you leave.

* * * *

And, another American football season is underway. It’s basically a five month roller coaster ride for most football fans. My lovely supermodel wife is starting to believe it’s true for her. I don’t usually brag about myself much, but I won the Grand Slam of Marriage when I married Lea. Spooky-smart, beautiful, great cook, and she loves football.

I’ve been a Vikings fan since I was a kid. Lea has been a Vikings fan since she married me. She didn’t know anything about football when we got married.

“I wanted to know something about the game, but my dad and my ex-husband wouldn’t explain it to me. They said it was too complicated and I wouldn’t understand.”

Yeah, right.

I didn’t have any problems explaining it to her. Football isn’t that complicated.  It’s not like cricket, which makes no goddamn sense whatsoever. Even people who understand it can’t explain it. Lea has a very good grasp of football. She can hold her own with any guy on the planet when it comes to talking about her team. She can break down a game with the best of them.

Somewhat oddly, I think I become a little less of a fan as each year goes by and my team fails to win the Super Bowl. Again. Plus, I’ve just about had it with the NFL. Between the rule changes and the controversy over the national anthem, I’d give up on the game entirely. Except it’s football, and there’s nothing else like it.

Equally oddly, I think Lea becomes a little more of a fanatic each year. Somehow, balance is maintained, and that’s always a good thing.

Last year the Vikings made it all the way to the NFC Championship game. Some people think they’ll go all the way this year. They have a good team, but making it to the Super Bowl requires far more than just a good team. In every football season there are at least ten good teams, or more, that don’t play in the Super Bowl.

The Vikings had the best defense in the NFL last year. I don’t know what happened over the off season, but there appears to have been a dramatic drop off in their performance from what I’ve seen so far this year.

I have one theory about this, and I’ll get to it a little later.

To enhance their chances of winning it all this year, the Vikings added some key players through free agency and the draft, most notably, Kirk Cousins at quarterback. He might be the missing piece of their championship puzzle.

The Vikings thought they were missing just one puzzle piece before. In the end, they didn’t win the Super Bowl, but the trade they made allowed the Dogass Cowboys to win three of them.

There are a few NFL teams I don’t like. The Patriots. The Steelers. The Eagles. But I hate only one team. If Dallas never won another game, I’d be okay with that.

Elite quarterbacks in the NFL make a ridiculous amount of money. Kirk Cousins signed a three year contract with the Vikings worth $84 million US dollars. That’s something like unto a ga-zillion Mexican pesos.

But football is the ultimate team sport. One guy probably isn’t going to make your team great. I wasn’t convinced this was a personnel move that the Vikings needed to make. Until today. The Vikings played the Green Bay Packers and almost won a game they absolutely should have lost. And the reason they almost won was Kirk Cousins. He completed 35 of 48 pass attempts for 425 yards and four touchdowns.

One of the reasons the Vikings almost lost was because of a guy named Laquon Treadwell. He’s a wide receiver. He was the Vikings number one draft choice in 2016, and signed a four year contract worth almost $10 million. In two years, he’s caught 21 passes for less than 300 yards, and he scored his first NFL touchdown today.

That comes to roughly $476,000 per catch. In football terms, he’s been an absolute bust so far. In football fan terms, he totally sucks. He might have caught his first TD pass today, but he dropped at least four passes and deflected one pass directly to one of the Packers’ defenders for an interception that almost cost his team the game.

I think Lea stopped breathing when that happened. I have never been a fan of Laquon Treadwell, and I’ve been wondering why he’s still on the team for two years.

It was at this precise moment that I kind of fell in love with Kirk Cousins. Laquon looked like he was ready to kill himself, and Kirk came up to him and said, “Don’t worry about it. We’ll get ’em next time.”

That was a class move, and was probably worth $10 million all by itself. If Laquon Treadwell ever becomes a decent NFL receiver, he’ll probably owe it to Kirk Cousins.

As it turned out, the final score was a tie. 29-29. And the reason it ended that way was another personnel change. The Vikings released their veteran place kicker and signed a kid from Auburn named Dan Carlson. In football terms, he has a monster leg, and signed a contract worth $728,000 for this year.

Dan missed three field goals today. One attempt was 35 yards, a distance a guy with a monster leg ought to be able to hit even if he only had one leg. Two of his misses were in the overtime period. My lovely and fanatical supermodel wife didn’t take that well.

“You have one fucking job! ONE!!” she screamed at the TV three times today. I don’t think Lea likes any kicker, and she sure as hell doesn’t like Dan Carlson right now. She is just too cute for words as far as I’m concerned.

I’ve come to realize that everyone has a bad day, and this was clearly the worst day of young Mr. Carlson’s life. I’m sure the Vikings will him a chance to redeem himself, but he should realize that NFL stands for Not For Long if you’re a field goal kicker that can’t kick a field goal.

* * * *

Will the Vikings win the Super Bowl this year? Based on what I’ve seen thus far, I don’t think so. On paper, the Vikings have a great defense. But this game isn’t played on paper, and the defense I’ve seen has had moments of greatness, but they have not been consistently great.

Part of this is an attitude thing. The Vikings seem to think their opponents should fear their greatness. If they looked at the tape of the games, they should be able to see that none of their opponents have feared them yet, and they aren’t going to find many teams that do.

Not the way they’re playing right now. So it’s probably a very good thing that the Vikings spent a couple of truckloads of money for a guy who can throw a lots of touchdowns.

My lovely supermodel head coach wife agrees with me on this issue. She is far more anxious about how this year’s team is going to perform than I am, but I have a twenty year head start on her when it comes to being disappointed by the Vikings.

This year’s roller coaster ride is going to be a whole lots worse than last year. I better stock up on my blood pressure medication because I think I’m going to need to double my dose on Sundays.

Work Related Polygamy

Trepaliare is a Latin word that the Spanish word for work, trabajo, is derived from. It means to torture, or inflict suffering or agony.

Ironic that I’m writing about my many work wives, isn’t it?

I had never had a work wife until I moved to Arizona, and then I had so many of them if I had to pay them alimony, I couldn’t quit working until twenty years after I got dead.

Debra Goral was my first work wife. It was her idea to be my work wife. I was incredibly flattered. No one had ever wanted to be my work wife before. I’m not sure my lovely real wife wants to be my wife most of the time.

Deb is in my Top Five Greatest Nurses, ever. She knows her stuff and she gets stuff done. She’s better at following rules than I am, but Hannibal Lector is probably better at following the rules than I am.

We worked together on AP 5 at St Luke’s, or as we liked to think of it, Hell on Earth. When Deb and I started working the evening shift together, it was the worst shift–in terms of personnel–in the entire building.

We had one objective, fix that. And we did. We fashioned together a team of awesomeness. I told all the BHT’s they had been chosen to work with us because they were the best BHT’s in the building, and they performed like they were. I started calling them the A Team, and that’s what they became. I loved them all. I eventually left St Luke’s because that team dissolved.

Here’s how totally fucking awesome those guys were. We had eleven open beds at the beginning of our shift one evening. When the shift ended, there was one. We did ten admissions on top of all the other stuff we always did, in eight hours. When the night shift came in, the eleventh admit was searched and his belongings were inventoried.

Those guys were really good.

I’m from Minnesota. Deb is from Wisconsin. I’m a Vikings fan. Deb loves the Packers. So, it was a mixed marriage. Despite our inherent differences, we made a strong team.

There are a lots of things I love about Deb, but what I loved most about her was her candor. She has no deceit in her. She doesn’t beat around the bush. She just tells you how it is, and you better be grown up enough to handle it. It was so refreshing!

All good things must end. Deb decided to transfer to the day shift.

Enter Rhonda Dolatshahi.

I’m not sure Rhonda ever formally became my work wife, but she brought me coffee every time we worked together, and if that doesn’t say work wife, I don’t know what does.

Rhonda is also in my Top Five Greatest Nurses, ever. She’s the Original Rockstar Nurse. Rhonda’s from Pennsylvania, and she’s a Steelers fan, so another mixed marriage.

Rhonda and I had worked together at Del Webb. I was one of her managers. I loved Rhonda because she was so easy to work with. She showed up when she was scheduled. She picked up extra shifts all the time, and she didn’t bitch about stupid stuff. Working the floor with her was a breeze. She also knew her stuff and knew how to get ‘er done.

And then she left. And then I did. It’s the people you work with that make the suffering and agony of employment bearable, and I could not work with the crazy bitches that replaced my first two work wives.

On to Aurora. Enter Tara Grant Molden.

Tara was my one and only Wonder Twin, ever. She was also my first work wife at Aurora, so technically, I married my twin sister. See? I told you my relationships were complicated. Well, if it was good enough for Mausolus and Artemisia, who am I to disagree?

Tara was a Broncos fan, so, yet another mixed marriage. She once confessed to me that she would totally suck Peyton Manning’s cock. I spent the rest of the day saying, “Omaha! Omaha!” But I couldn’t convince her I was Peyton Manning.

Tara was a relatively new nurse. She hadn’t reached the plateau of greatness my previous work wives had, but you could tell she was going to be great someday, and she was easily the most fun to work with–not that Deb and Rhonda weren’t. They were. Maybe it was because it wasn’t AP 5, which was not a fun place…

My buddy at the MVAMC, Paul Anderson, made me laugh a lots, but I know he wouldn’t want to be considered as one of my work wives. Tara was a blast.

She also had a totally hot bod. I called her Tits McGee. You talk about cups running over…

My time with Tara was brief, maybe a couple months. She transferred to the second floor, then transferred one of the Banner hospitals to hone her Med/Surg skills. Now she’s a Travel Nurse, no doubt breaking hearts all across the country.

Enter Adina Boros.

Adina was from Romania. She was my Melania Trump. She could care less about football. I once asked her which she would rather have: brains, or big tits?

“Brains. Then I could make enough money to buy big tits.”

Smart, and pretty. That was Adina. I think she’s an NP now. And I know what she’s buying herself for Christmas.

My time with Adina was also short. You know what? I must’ve been hell to work with!

Enter Alison Aveson.

Ali looked like Dora the Explorer–if Dora were pregnant–because Alison was totally knocked up when we started working together. I don’t think Alison cared much about football either. Another really good nurse. Another heart wrenching break up for me, although that whole taking time off to be with Baby Nimrod was a pretty compelling excuse.

I was reunited with my first work wife, Deb Goral, after Alison. Deb came to Aurora as a House Supervisor. We didn’t technically work together, but it was great to have her back, my first ex-work wife.

Enter Michelle Warren.

Two L Michelle would be the last of my work wives. Yet another really awesome nurse to work with; knew her stuff, got it done, didn’t put up with any bullshit.

Michelle was also a lots of fun to work with. I have been blessed beyond anything I ever deserved to work with those women, those incredibly talented rockstar nurses/work wives.

Thank you Deb and Rhonda. Thank you Tara and Adina. Thank you Alison and Michelle. It was mostly sweet, and y’all were really sweet to work with. I miss you all, and hope all is well.

The guest room is ready whenever you are.

A Football Life

I love football. My favorite NFL team is the Minnesota Vikings. They were one of best teams in the NFL three short weeks ago. They were the only undefeated team in the entire NFL. Last night, they lost to the Chicago Bears, a team that has been one of the worst NFL teams all season. Honestly, after the way the Vikings have performed over the last two weeks, they look like they’ll be fortunate to win another game this year.

The Vikings have been in the NFL since 1961. They’ve fielded some impressive teams over the years, most notably on the defensive side of the ball. Marshall, Eller, Page and Larson–the Purple People Eaters–were one of the best defensive lines of all time.

The Vikings have been to the Super Bowl four times. They have yet to win a Super Bowl. It’s like a friend of mine once said, “Oh yeah, the Vikings. Man, you know they’re gonna tear it up in the regular season, but they’ll break your heart in the playoffs.”

Ahem. Did you hear that guys? You have roughly nine weeks of not sucking left! Jaysus, Mary and Joseph!! Saints presarve us!!!

For those of you that don’t watch football, it’s a violent, contact sport. It’s a game of big hits–torn ACL’s, torn MCL’s and concussion protocols. Injuries are part of the game. They are a given. You have to prepare for them.

Last year, the Vikings were an young, upstart team that came out of nowhere to win the NFC North division. This year, they were an early pick to be in the Super Bowl. I was really excited about this team. If they can just stay healthy, I thought…

You can’t make excuses, but injuries have been the one thing this year’s Vikings haven’t been able to avoid. And they have been almost catastrophic. The Vikings lost their starting quarterback before the season even started, then lost arguably the best running back in the game in Week Two. Well, all I can say is those are going to seriously alter your game plan.

The Vikings did go out and get a replacement starting quarterback. Sam Bradford looked like he was going to be more than a stopgap solution. He looked freaking awesome–until the Vikings played the Philadelphia Eagles, Sam Bradford’s former team. And that’s when a glaring weakness in the Vikings lineup was revealed.

Today’s NFL has evolved into a precise, high tech game of complex offensive formations and big plays. The passing game has eclipsed the running game in terms of importance and fan approval. It has become an exciting game to watch, most of the time.

However, in order to achieve this finely tuned aspect of the modern game, you need at least one throwback fundamental element from the old school game of the ancient 1930’s. You still need the big guys on your offensive line to block the big guys on the opposing team’s defensive line.

And this is the glaring weakness that has been revealed in the last two games, the Vikings apparently don’t have an offensive line.

I know, right! How the hell does that happen? Well, the injury bug has been feasting at that buffet this year, too. And so, a year that started out with such promise has suddenly become a season that cannot end too soon, and I love football! I never want the season to end!!

I haven’t been this disappointed since 1998. That was a year that will live in infamy for every Vikings fan.

In 1998, the Vikings unleashed something that had never been seen before. The Vikings had a high powered offense. The Vikings could seemingly score at will, from anywhere on the field. They tore up the regular season, coasting to a 15-1 record. They were easily the best team in football that year. They were the odds on favorite to win the NFC title, and they were a shoe in to win the Super Bowl. It was the greatest season ever to be e a Vikings fan because this was our year! 😄👍😄👏

I’m not sure I can finish this without needing to be on suicide precautions. To make an incredibly heartbreaking story very short, the Vikings got beat in the NFC Championship game by the Atlanta Falcons. By a fucking field goal. And the big story the next day wasn’t that the Falcons won, but rather that the Vikings lost. I lost one thousand dollars on that game. It was the last time I ever placed a bet on any football game, let alone a Vikings game.

I howled like a dog for three days. I cried like two toddlers that had dropped their ice cream cones. I think the only thing that hurt me more, in terms of heartbreaking anguish, was when my high school sweetheart and I broke up.

My lovely wife finally bitchslapped me back to life with these words, “If you want to kill yourself, I’ll drive you to the IDS Center and push you off myself! For the love of God, snap out of it!! Be a man!!!”

I’ve tempered my passion for football since that year. You have to do that, especially if you’re a Vikings fan. I try not to get too high, so I can avoid having to fall so very, very low. And despite that, I’m still disappointed when the Vikings don’t play well.

I guess that’s why they call us fans. We vicariously live and die by our respective teams. It looks like it’s gonna be another year of death for Vikings fans. Too bad we can’t request a bullet to the head, instead of having to watch while someone eats our livers in front of us before we bleed out.