Monday, November 24, 2008


So in typical Murphy's Law fashion I slipped on the ice on the porch today.  My back is slowly but surely getting tighter and tighter.  I am on like 2000 of ibuprofen and hoping that my back feels better before the whole in my stomach burns the rest of the way through.  At 52 years old this is nothing all that new to me, I have done the steroid packs and the muscle relaxer thing due to everything from slipped disc to major muscle pulls.  This feels more like a hip pointer mixed with a muscle pull, but hey I have a flight to catch tomorrow and am 2526 miles away from my Dr.s office so hopefully we will just tough this one out.  I can always go to the ER in Santa Rosa if it persists, sounds like a lovely way to spend Thanksgiving.

While I and my brother are all packed and ready for our big trip tomorrow it was anything but easy with me screaming in pain with each movement, all the while trying to figure out what he wanted me to pack for him, all of his answers to my questions coming out in his new voice which sounds like a cross between Carl in Slingblade ummhummm and Darth Vadar haaaaaaaaaaa.  For those of you who have not been playing along, Don (my brother) is a recent stroke victim and the main reason I am in Pittsburgh.  I know I am on my way to hell for seeing the humor in everything he does but I was probably well on my way before this.  He is my big brother and I love him dearly but he was a freak before the stroke so LOL.

I am imagining us heading through Pittsburgh International Airport tomorrow looking a bit like the Mummy and Frankenstein taking a Holiday.  Me with my entire back rigid and stiff playing the role of Frank, Don with his left side partially paralyzed dragging along at my side we should make quite the spectacle.  Actually we have been sitting here laughing our senior citizen asses off about it for the better part of the evening.

I just had to throw this out there.....wish us luck....not taking a laptop with me but of course my niece and nephew both have mac books that their wonderful Uncle Jim bought them for their birthdays last year so I should be updating at some point, hopefully that is.

Gooble gooble and all of that...

Remember this is the Holiday that it is okay to talk about big breasts at the dinner table.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Over the past 30 years or so, discounting Holiday visits and of course the seemingly never ending Frying Pans and Fire trips over the past decade, I really have not spent all that much time back home in Pittsburgh.  

The past few weeks here have really brought back lots of memories for me, both good and not so good.   I have been spending the days running my brother around to his endless Dr. and therapy appointments, visiting with relatives both young and old,  going to Steeler games,  taking walks , watching it snow and WRITING...the writing is going very well by the way.

One of the things that I never really noticed when I was young and I lived here, and that truly annoyed me beyond words on those short trips has now become a very welcome part of my day.  When you dive down the street, everyone waves, whether you know them or not, everywhere you go the people say Hi There, how are doing? More importantly they actually expect an answer, then they listen to the answer and respond with something about there day.  Its amazing, everything takes a little longer but it all seems so HUMAN...I mean I have these kinds of relationships with a few people in HB, but its not exactly the same.  These people seem to remember what you told them and then they ask about that, I think I may be decompressing or something, 

At any rate, we are packing up and heading for Santa Rosa this to my sister Cindy's for Thanksgiving.  My older sister Carol will be driving over from Durham so it will be the first time all four of us have been together since our mother passed away.  Tara will fly up on Wednesday and one of my nieces and one nephew will be there too.  I am sure it will be a little different than last year at Fancy Nancy's.

I am really really looking forward to seeing the sisters,  I have not seen them since I started this whole dating thing and now that I am taking a break from same maybe they can help me put it all in some sort of perspective.  I have this man habit of tuning out when a phone conversation gets to long winded but am quite capable of listening for hours in person.  Should be late night talks, board games and tons of food, plus the girls like to wait on me, god I miss that part.  Almost forgot about that entirely, that will be sooooo nice.

In case I don't get anything posted before then I really want to wish my blog friends a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING....

Monday, November 10, 2008


Just had to share this crazy kid, TARA LYN.  Oh to be Nineteen...

College sophomore, Biology Major, she plays piano, guitar and flute, she knits, she will be transferring to either Berkley or Davis next fall.  Someday she will learn how to make her bed or change a toilet paper roll but I am not holding my breath.

She went with me and voted for President for the first time this year, it was such an uplifting experience.  She was active and did phone banks for Prop's 2 and 8.  I won't talk politics for her but from the description of her above and below you can probably formulate a guess on which side of the votes she was on.

At the tender age of 11 she decided she that she was a vegetarian and has not changed her position since, very stubborn young lady, not sure where that comes from.  

You would love her room, it is decorated with my album covers from the late 60s and early 70s. Her ring tone is Hendrix but you are more likely to hear Joni Mitchell blasting from her room. 

I am a very lucky her tons...just had to share this pic, her sense of fun makes me smile and every once in a while she lets me think if just for a moment that I am still her hero.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Have you ever been in love?  Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable.  It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.  You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...You give them a piece of you.  They didn't ask for it.   They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore.  Love takes hostages,  it gets inside you.  It eats you up and spits you out, then leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like "I am so sorry things happened like this" turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart.  It hurts.  Not just in the imagination.  Not just in the mind.  It's a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain.  I hate love.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


The list of woman I went on dates with between Nancy's.  I added the number of dates and the ages of the women so you can decide easier or see If I have a pattern going.  I am certain the Peterson sisters will find this information useful in their continued analysis of Pool Boy.

The Coaches Ex (3 dates) 50years old
Fuck Yeah Girl (4 dates) 43years old
There REALLY is something about Mary (2 dates) 51years old

The list of woman after the second Nancy. I am trying to write about the second Nancy but will have to get back to you on is still surprisingly difficult not to jump from the first word right to the relationship end.  

Third Person Teacher (2 dates) 52years old
The Ojai Artist (1 date) 44years old
Charming (1 date) 21years old _wink
Sawdust Girl (1 date) 40years old.   

BREAK TIME....NO DATES ON THE HORIZON.....I figure since I really should only have only gone on one date with Third Person Teacher too that I for whatever reason can't make it passed the first date right now.  I have either become insufferable or entirely to picky, either way its seem a sign to take a break.

None of the above date stories are completed, I have put together outlines for most of them so this is all request day at Never Mind the Bullocks....or we can scrap the whole dating thing and write about my stupid fears and insecurities some more, LOL....

I am spending the better part of my days (I semi-retired recently by the way) writing in earnest, I am enjoying it tremendously, feeling on fire in fact, but still feel the need to keep up the blog thing, hmmm...go figure.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Christmas Eve

Last year was not what you would call the traditional Christmas Eve in any sense of the word.  I guess nothing will ever really be traditional in my life again,  yet one more time here it was December 24th the Late Great Mrs. Priests birthday.  It was the second year that I would do this without her.  

Our family tradition had always been that Joanne would spend the day pampering herself, manicure/pedicure and a massage, then she would come home and take a bubble bath.  I would rush around like a maniac getting things ready for the combination birthday/Christmas Eve bash.  It was a huge undertaking,  first down to the fish place under PCH for the oysters, muscles, fish and lobster.  Next to Lucci's Deli for the meats and cheeses,  Smith brothers for the produce and finally to Black Forest Bakery for the Cake.  I would usually make it home by 11 and bust my ass until 3:30 to get everything ready.  It was a madhouse but I loved every minute of it.  A quick shower and then off to Church for the Five O'Clock mass.   It is supposed to be for kids, we just kept going even after Tara got older because it fit so neatly into our schedule.  We would be home by Six, it gave me plenty of time to get the food out for the guests that would start arriving by Seven.

The first year Tara and I did everything exactly as we would have had Joanne been there with us.  I made the traditional meal, Tara and I went to the kids mass and I even invited most of Joanne's friend over, even the ones that I don't like, everything was just as she would have wanted it. 

I knew in my heart I couldn't do it again last year.  Even though Fancy Nancy and I did not work out everything had changed.  After all I had dated another woman, I had stopped talking to most of our old "Couple" friends.  A lot of things had changed.

On the flip side of that I still had an entire walk in closet that was still full of my wife's clothes, purses, and shoes and yet I was trying to act like I was ready to move on.  I had donated most of her things to women's shelters already but there was something about that closet, I just couldn't seem to get around to that closet.  Not to mention the small fact that her ashes were still on the headboard of my bed.  Just in case your wondering, no Nancy had never been in my bedroom. 

If anyone remembers, last December 24th, it was one of those Southern California days that you think to yourself "the traffic isn't so bad" "the crowds don't bother me that much".  It was spectacular out.  I knew it was time, Joanne wanted her ashes spread at Thousand Steps in Laguna...she loved that beach more than any place in the world, we had been to so many beautiful places in the world during our life together but Thousand Steps was the place she always love best.  

I opened the car door for Mrs. Priest for the last time, or so I thought.  When I was two blocks from the house I realized that she would have insisted in going in the convertible.  I turned around, went back to the house and switched cars.  I stopped at Hi-Time on the way and picked up two splits of Moet, put the top down and headed for the coast. 

When I got to South Laguna there was just a very slight marine layer, it was perfect.  I packed u up and we walked down those steps together for the very last time.  There was not a another soul on the beach, and the Ocean was calm.  I walked to the water's edge, near the tide pools that separates the two coves.  We always took that spot when it was open, for the better part of 25 years we shared that spot.  I opened the splits and grabbed the bag from the urn.  Very carefully I walked out on the rocks, I toasted my wife and sang happy birthday one last time,  I drank one of the splits I poured the other into the water.  I reached into the velvet bag  pulled out the plastic that held my wife's ashes,  removed the clip and with a single motion flung the ashes into the air, the wind spread her gently across the water, I stood motionless for a while, not knowing what to expect, but nothing happened. There would be no lightning, no parting of the seas, nothing amazing happened at all,  nothing with the exception that I never felt alone,  so very alone.

Walking back to the towel and the urn and my emptiness, my heart sank, then lifted, then sank again much like the tide.  I collected my things and made the long walk back thru the thick sand to the steps.  It was a very slow walk, I turned to look back more times than I care to remember.  My foot prints were the only ones in the sand no matter how many times I looked. Up the steps one then the next I went, and finally was back at the car.  

I grabbed the tape and put her favorite song in and cranked it all the way up, playing it over and over again all the while singing at the top of my lungs, I drove up PCH (Alive and Kicking by Simple Minds).

I actually stopped at Fashion Island on the way home.  Joanne would have liked that a lot, I needed to go to the Lucky Brand store, Teuscher's Chocolates and Victoria Secret to finish getting the last of Tara's Christmas gifts.  Life does go on after all, doesn't it...

There's still a few things I haven't sorted out,
Sometimes they make my brain get sore. 

But I am not going to worry about it, well not to much anyway.  Lots has changed again as another year has almost passed.  We will see, won't we.