Thursday, October 24, 2013
Had a full slate yesterday, and all of it good.
Went to see my pal The Corporal, who has been home lately, while convalescing from a particularly vicious MS attack that left him unable to use the right side of his body. Some hospital time, some rehab, and now some home care. So I went to see him, to pick up his spirits with the insipid yet oddly endearing brand of buffoonery for which I have become noted.
As it turned out, he was more or less fine. He woke up Saturday morning to find that his ability to walk had drastically improved - to the extent that he and the Mrs. took a walk around the reservoir behind his house, took a shower standing up, the whole bit. So our visit was light and full of laughs, which was enormously gratifying.
If my little medical misadventure has taught me anything - besides to take care of my health, that is - it is not to underestimate the power of a visit to the sick or the healing. Really. When you give your time to someone who is laid up, it's a gesture that he will never forget. Trust your Uncle Crafty on this one.
After his visit I thought I'd go see my mother at The Ancestral Manse. But I couldn't raise her on the telephone. I went to the house anyway, just to make sure she hadn't broken her hip or anything, and hung around a bit waiting for her, graciously helping her by doing her crossword puzzle and fucking up her Sudoku. I knew better than to raid the fridge - I know where that goddamn fridge has been. But I had something to drink and left, apparently leaving every light in the place on, much to my mother's later consternation. Despite the fact that I left a note ("was in the neighborhood, thought I'd stop by. I took a leak in the brown bathroom. I thought you should know.") and splayed the newspaper on the kitchen table, she was sure that the house had been broken into, and the burglar, taking nothing, instead left all the lights on and left, locking the door and the deadbolt behind him.
Ma's a little touched.
Anyway, after that I headed over to the Very Josie's, where we all went to our favorite Chinese restaurant (Bali Hai in Lynnfield, for any of you Townies that might happen along this little chucklefest). "All" in this case meant the entire VJ clan, including Cricket, whom I hadn't seen in forever, and Ursa Sucrosum, who is turning into a man in front of my very eyes. Great grub as always, even though Josie complained that my shrimp smelled a bit fishy. Also as always we had a lot of laughs.
From there we went to our old pal Noodles' place to have an evening of poker and conviviality. The Mayor was there, whom I hadn't seen since the stroke at least, and Butchie was there too. He's most noteworthy in my life for giving Tootsie the nickname "Thumbs," for reasons that are, alas, lost to the four winds.
So let's see, me, the Very Josies, Cricket, the Mayor, Noodles, Butchie. I think that's everyone. Ohhh yes, I did miss one.
Noodles has a little terrier-type dog named Theo. I'm sure Theo is a good dog. Somewhere in that walnut-sized brain of his lies the ability to be calm, and to be silent; of this I am absolutely sure.
That ability was not on display last night.
Yap yap yap yap yap, all night with this goddamn dog. When someone would get up to get something to drink. When we would hit the crapper. When we spoke. When we DIDN'T speak. When we shifted in our seats. Yap yap yap yap fucking yap. At least 70% of the time we were there, canine silence failed miserably to fill the room.
This constant barking took its toll on Jo. God love her, she's a cat person, like I am. Dogs are not high on her list. And you could just see her wilting as the night went on, like old lettuce at the salad bar. When the second of our mini-tourneys were done, she looked around the table and said, "we're not fucking doing another one of these, are we?" She did not state it like a question.
So - cues taken, we decided to call it quits for the night. Neither one of us finished in the money, but as this was a friendly (soccer term), it didn't really matter. I spent more money on snackies for the table, I think, than I spent on buy-ins.
But it was good to see everyone, that's the stone cold truth. My cheeks still hurt from the laughing I did. I have to tell you, my poker table is fucking awesome. I can't wait to do it again. I think next time, though, Josie's going to be bringing ear protection, or perhaps a dog whistle.
Thanks for listening. Go see a doctor if you haven't recently.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
To Rob and everyone else who remembers her fondly: Josie indeed says hello, and as per her comment in my previous post, is indeed now a flaming redhead. Forthwith then a picture of Josie as the ginger that, in my heart, I always knew she had it in her to be: