Archive for the ‘Observed Life’ Category

What she MEANT to say—

February 16, 2012

Got a twofer coupon offer in my e-mail box.

Horseback lessons.


Ever since I was a kid and was thrown by a (seemingly at the time) huge horse my cousin owned, I’ve been waiting to accomplish the proverbial, “Get back on the horse.”

Also, since I have very few things I’m doing* and need yet another diversion activity, I wrangled Dear Friend into going with me.**

It.  Was.  Magic.

…and has become a pretty standard weekly activity for the two of us.***

Every lesson, I get to ride “My” horse—Izzy.    She has a mind of her own, so it’s always a battle of wills.****

One of my favorite things about Izzy is that she belches and farts at the same time.  Noisily.  Such a lady.  But, I often get blamed.

I’ve gone from being tentative (remembering that fall I took as a kid) to sort of competent in ‘driving’ my horse in a walk and trot.

It’s been great fun, though there was one moment of panic when a trot turned into an uncommanded canter (sort of like third gear for horses).  Izzy just got excited that other horses around her were cantering, so joined in.  I grabbed onto the saddle to keep from falling off and looked frantically to the instructor.  The instructor gave a little laugh and nonchalantly asked, “Going somewhere, GnuKid?”  Shit.  Guess I have to handle this myself.  Was able to get Izzy under control and release my severely clenched butt muscles from the saddle.*****

Not me (found here), but this is how it felt

It was only afterwards that I learned that, if you fall off a horse, you have to buy ice cream for anyone witnessing it (which, effectively, is the entire class).  I’m guessing the class was cheering for Izzy on that ride.

But I will continue to get back on that proverbial horse.  And learn to command that canter.  Oh, and I’ll be sure to wear a helmet…

A fun aside:  Recently, our instructor—a sweet, petite woman who has a pure heart and innocent spirit—informed us she and her family were going on vacation.  She was back yakking about the trip with Dear Friend and I was half listening while getting Izzy ready for the lesson when I heard:

“Yes, my husband is an anal packer.”


I was just about to open my mouth to comment when Dear Friend gave me ‘that look’, meaning, “If you say anything to embarrass this sweet lady, I will kill you.”

“Anal Packer” – – <silent chuckling>


*well, other than scuba diving, skiing, motorcycle riding, flying, bicycling, drinking…

**’wrangling’ roughly equated to her running over me, climbing in the car, and hollering, “Let’s go!  We’re late!”

***…or even one of us, if the other is out and about doing someonething else.

****yes, I just admitted that a horse is giving me a run for my money, intellectually speaking.

*****I’m still picking bits of leather out of there.


Drop Trou

February 2, 2012

It’s time once again for my annual prostate exam.

Being “mumblety-five”, I am required to submit myself (phrasing of that written on purpose) to check the tenderness and size of my prostate gland, which is up the butt a couple inches.  This exam is the first line of defense in checking for prostate cancer.

Besides being the big “C” word, which has potentially lethal results, this form of cancer can also cause sexual dysfunction.  Therefore, being in no hurry to (a) die, (b) stop having sex, (c) there is no ‘c’, and (d) all of the above, I gladly submit to this invasive and a tad humiliating examination*.

Unfortunately, I no longer have the petite and cute doc from the last exam I posted about.  Rather, this is a big, burly doc with calloused hands and dirt under his nails.  Even better?  He was being shadowed by a resident who was watching with great interest.  The doc asked routine questions about my health, focusing on key warning symptoms for prostate issues.

Then, with scientific detachment – – “Okay, drop your trousers and bend over the exam table.”

ramming speed!


A preparatory shot of whisky?  A manly wink with a ‘three-pat’ on the shoulder?  Flowers?

Nope, none of that.  Just his “drop trou'” while the latex glove goes on with an ominous ~snap~.  And then the lube tube is (thank god, generously) accessed.  Finally, without a howdy do or a “deep breath and brace”, he dug right in.  Yes, with the resident still watching (hey, at least he didn’t ask for a turn).

Feeling around in my butt for all of 10 seconds (seeming to be 10 minutes), Doc finally said, “That feels fine.”

In a sudden OCD-like rush of concern for my health, I reiterated redundantly, “So it felt good?”

A wry look and a rebuke from the doc, “We never say ‘it feels good’ when doing a rectal exam.”

Point taken.

So, until next year.

…at which time I will bring my own whisky…


*And, yes, a tip of the hat to my female readers who scoff, deservedly, at us guys waiting until our 40s to regularly have this exam whilst you have been having docs poke around your lady parts…sometimes with heavy machinery…since you hit puberty.  So, guys?  Shut up and take it like a man.  And annually at that!

Tis The Season

November 1, 2011

Halloween, that is.

Yesterday was Halloween.  And it closed out a great 5 days of wearing stuff that wasn’t typical.  Costume?  You bet (and a blast that was).  But more…

The folks at the office foolishly wisely asked me to be master of ceremonies at an awards luncheon.  Now, while I do theater and being in front of a crowd doesn’t bother me, I don’t often seek out that opportunity outside of theater.  This was no different.  So, I thought to teach them a lesson.  It’s an awards ceremony?  Then the emcee should be wearing a tuxedo.  So, I wore a tux to the ceremony.  And – – –

I wore it to work – –

forgot my top hat at work

I even wore it to the dentist – –

I told them I wore it just for them

And to Krogers – –

amazingly little reaction to this outfit

The next day was dress down day at work.  We are, on occasion, allowed to dress less professionally.  That day’s theme was favorite sports teams.  Therefore – –

yeah, a Steelers with it

Then we hit the Halloween weekend, with a couple parties.  And, stupidly unthinking bravely on their part, the office encouraged wear of costumes to work.  What could I do?

and this was downright comfortable!

Yep.  I enjoy this time of year.

A Pressing Concern

October 8, 2011

Had the opportunity last night to witness a luscious and talented artist and companion, M.  No, not that way (however…hmmm…).

No, this was just something cool and artsy.  Me?  I appreciate art, but aren’t that artsy myself.  So this was a night for appreciation of M’s talents.  No, not that way (however…hmmm…).

The local visual arts center sponsors the ‘show’, which features artists of all skill levels.  But what’s most fun is the steamroller!

“More than 30 local artists will also create original linoleum block prints that will be printed using the steamroller. Kids & adults can create “mini-steamroller” prints using watercolor paint in a free, family fun activity. Fun for all ages! An Open Portfolio will be held at the adjacent studios of ThinkTV from 5-9 p.m. with many unframed prints for sale at very reasonable prices.”

So the artist carves a picture into a square of linoleum (individual sized – – one foot square;  team sized – – four foot square).  Then they ink up the square, lay it on a large board on the ground, cover it with canvas, then cover all that with three blankets.

A picture of them prepping the big print – –

The big canvas was tough to lay down flat without smudging.

Then the fun part.  They drive a steamroller over it to ‘press’ the ink into the canvas.

heavy machinery for big kids

After the steamroller is clear, they have the big reveal.  If they’ve inked the linoleum correctly and if they haven’t smudged extra ink around, the canvas now holds a perfect representation of the carving.

My favorite big print on canvas after a great roll out – –

This would look good in my home.

The smaller prints were fun, too – –

Six at a time for the smaller ones.

M's Creation!

I’m one of those guys who is in the “I Don’t Know Art But I Know What I Like” club.  And I have to admit, I liked this.

The Fearlessness of Youth

August 27, 2011

I enjoy flying.  It’s exhilarating.

I also enjoy sharing that thrill of flight with others.

I’ve been seeing S for over a year-and-a-half now.  While I continue to enjoy her company [wiggling eyebrows], she’s heavily involved with another guy…her 7-year-old son, J.

I gave S a flight in my plane not long after we started dating, wandering to another airport for dinner.  Since that time, she’s been anxious for me to take her 7-year old son up for a ride.

start 'em young

Between our schedules, supporting weather (I don’t like taking newbies up on bumpy or murky days), and a healthy airplane, I finally had an opportunity to take the two of them up for a flight.

I flew in and met S and J at an airport near where they lived south of me and we loaded up.  S and I had discussed prior as to where J should sit…in the back with S or in front with me.  We both agreed — Absolutely up front.

It was very cute seeing them have to pile up folded up coats and towels so he could boost up high enough to see over the control panel.

As with all my first time passengers, the sight of J getting big eyes and hearing the “Oh my” (or some such) escape his lips as we climbed out was satisfaction enough for me.  J was expressively asking questions and looking all over as we flew through the smooth skies.

Then, a surprise I’d saved for both S and J, I asked if J would like to take the controls and fly a bit.  Who knew a 7-year old’s eyes could grow so large?

After some vigorous head nodding on J’s part and an ‘okay’ from S, I briefly explained what he needed to do.  Then, without flourish, handed the plane over to him.  He flew like a champ.

We wandered the countryside, sometimes letting him fly, sometimes me taking over the controls.  Finally, it was time to go home.

As we headed back, I obviously took over the controls.  Landing is just a wee tad tricky for a 7-year-old with 15 minutes of total flight time to handle.

Coming into the traffic pattern, I was extra observant of what was going on outside the plane, especially making sure there were no other airplanes about which might create a sound hazard (the noise of two planes colliding, I’ve been told, is rather loud).

Realizing that the flight was about to end, J thought that he should get one last chance at the flight controls.

…and grabbed the control wheel…


If not for the shriek commanding voice of his mom from the back seat telling him to let go, plus my absolutely heroic efforts to barely wrest control from this surprisingly strong 7-year-old <flexes muscles>, we’d have been flirting with an early meeting with the ground (okay, not really remotely close to that, but it does add a certain drama to the story, right?).

And the amazing thing was that he had no idea that there was a problem with what he’d done.


A good landing (yes, mine…sheesh), a few pictures around the plane, and a quick escape from this miniature Lindbergh-wannabe.

But, yeah, I’ll take up kids again.

They’re just fun.

everyone sing along!

Memory Jogging

August 12, 2011

Okay, we’ll get this part out of the way early so you can save your comments for something more pithy – –  I’m old.

Meaning, I have trouble remembering things.  No, not to the point of Alzheimer’s or dementia (though for the latter, I’ve had people suggest that I’ve lived with that my whole life long).

yeah, you first

I like going to a local pub for drinks, eats, and socialization.  I go so often that I’ve gotten to know many of the wait staff.  Well, again, when I say “know”, I mean “recognize”.  But, I still like to call them by name, so need a little help.

Enter the iPhone with its nifty Notes function.  I’ve been keeping track of the names as I meet the new folks and to remember the ones who’ve been there awhile.  The iPhone, though, has limited space, so I have to have a shorthand of sorts.  Using physical features, resemblances, or the like to try and capture a name to a person.

Here’s the list I have.

You have two challenges (other than the challenge of trying to figure out just what the fuck I’m talking about and laughing in the first place) – –

1)  One of these is an utter fake, put in by a drunken cohort.  Which one?
2)  One of these was eagerly written by a committee of three women in my group.  Which one?


Pub Awesome Staff Kidz
Alice-tall blonde yum
Monica-curly brunette yum, oh-that-smile
Rebecca-sassy blonde, w/Rocky
Rocky-dark hair barkeep
Ted-long, flippy hair
Matt-glasses, extra appetizers
Dalton-skinny, vandyke
Bob-homer simpson
Joe-Rocky looking guy, close cut beard
Becky-York girl, legs too thin
Beth-always a necklace, nice cleavage, brunette
Casey-the manager
Helga-big ass and rack. Dirty, dirty girl
Jessie-BLONDE, cute face, skinny legs
Christine-big rack
Sarah-shag red hair, good tips gets a great hug
Andrew-london. wicked smile. fab bum
Jenna-12 year old brunette
Betty-Monica’s friend
Terri-glasses wearing hottie who winked at dear friend
Jed-scrubby beard
Kaylie-looks like cousin judith


Head Scratcher #284

July 20, 2011

okay, so at work we have these opportunities for professional development with classes given periodically, often at lunch.

i got this e-mail – –


Professional Development Series Power Lunch

July 30, 11:00am-1:00pm

Room 132

(Sorry Food/Drinks are not permitted in this room)


ummm… maybe the topic of the presentation is “Oxymorons in the Workplace”?

makes just as much sense as a no-food power lunch