Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hump Day.

Have you liked And Frankly on Facebook yet?  And frankly, you NEED to.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Shelby, Drink Your Juice.

A couple of weeks ago Jambo was complaining about not feeling too well.  Being in the midst of a nasty flu season, I just assumed he was coming down with something.  He spent a few days at home waiting it out, but as his strength and energy were decreasing the flu never ended up coming around.

Monday rolled around, and as I went to work, Jambo stayed camped out on his couch. The afternoon progressed and he blew up my phone with seemingly over-dramatic text messages.  He was complaining that he felt drained, unable to fully use his hands, and feeling slightly light headed.  Being miles away and virtually helpless, I suggested he pay a visit to an urgent care clinic.

The urgent care clinic could not do anything but send Jambo to the ER.

I got off work a bit earlier than normal because my after school program was cancelled due to impending bad weather.  It's hard enough for Nashvillians to drive when it is dry and sunny outside, but throw some wintry mix into the situation and all bets are off.  I decided to cook a small dinner while I waited to hear back from Jambo.  I wasn't entirely sure what my next move would be, but if visiting him in the hospital were necessary, I'd be on my way.

Just as I finished up a quick stir fry, Jambo requested I trek out to the ER as he was about to begin a lovely three day stay in the ICU.  The thought of something being seriously wrong suddenly weighed heavily upon me.  Besides that, I hate going to hospitals.

The sickness and death aspect of hospitals is not what freaks me out.  I feel as though I don't know how to act appropriately in hospitals.  I never know if I am in the right place, if I am talking or laughing too loud, or is it even inappropriate to laugh at all??  I cannot keep myself from looking into an open door as I pass, and that doesn't seem too appropriate either.  Plus, I would love to spend a day in the ER waiting room asking people what stupid life choices they made that lead them to have a lead pipe and a beer bottle sticking out of their left femur, but that would just be bothersome to the other patients.

I sent out a quick message to the troops, I wanted someone to make the journey to Murfreesboro with me.  My dear friend, Petunia, answered the call to arms.  I quickly threw my stir fry dinner into a Tupperware container and headed out.

Things were not good.  It turned out that Jambo's blood sugar was too high to be read by the machine the nurses keep on hand and needed to be sent to the lab.  On top of that, his potassium level was about three times the normal level.  Jambo was the new owner of a Type I Diabetes diagnosis.  By any medical standard, Jambo should have been in a coma.  Essentially his body was going into shock and was on the verge of shutting down.

With what seemed like an incredibly low level of security, I walked right into his ER suite.  Shouldn't I have needed to at least wear a visitor sticker?  By time we arrived, Jambo was hooked up in a mess of about 37 different tubes.  However, the genius who connected the monitors and IVs had arranged them quite haphazardly.  Jambo was pretty much strapped down to the cot, and being much longer than the cot in the first place, he looked and was incredibly uncomfortable.  Now it was time to wait for his room in the ICU to be prepped.  Because Jambo needed to stay on a constant insulin drip for the next 24ish hours, they arranged his stay in the intensive care unit until his blood levels became lower.

I sat with Jambo and his roommate in the ER suite, and Petunia patiently waited in the waiting room.  It took everything in my being to not make any Steel Magnolias references, but even then, one slipped out occasionally.  Every now and then one of the nurses would pop in to offer more ice chips or to take another blood sample.  I couldn't help but notice that there are two types of nurses in this particular ER.  On one hand you have the middle aged overweight nurses with hair teased to heaven, who have probably been on staff for 26 years, and on the other you have the fresh out of nursing school, or community college, chick who thinks she's hot shit and wears way too much black eye liner.  I couldn't decide which of the two options was worse to deal with - one was grumpy as hell and one was just as annoying.

During the whole 2.75 hours I spent in Jambo's ER suite, the attending doctor only came in once.  I cannot even express how incredibly awkward he was, and was most certainly lacking the slightest hint of bedside manner.  The doc rambled on about the plan for the next 24 hours, immediate life style/diet changes, and to keep a vigilant eye out for a penile infection.  Eventually, Jambo's roommate needed to leave for home, Petunia was able to join us, and so we waited some more.

Finally, at about 9:30, Jambo's ICU room was ready for him.  It was now the task of the smallest, and probably oldest, nurse on duty to wheel Jambo's hospital cot down 784 feet of hallway, maneuver into an elevator, ride up three stories, and jockey his bed through the ICU.  As if being in the hospital weren't bad enough, now his life was being even furthered risk as the nurse careened around corners and tried not to crash into anything.  While the nurses were getting him set up in the penthouse of hospital rooms, Petunia and I took to waiting in the lounge.  We waited and waited some more, and just when we thought we were waited out, we continued to wait even longer.  Waiting patiently is not my forte, but making light of a bad situation is.  Petunia and I joked about everything in our surroundings, right down to the janitor who was riding the floor polisher around in circles on the floor below us.

After what seemed like waiting for hours, but was really about 33 minutes, the night nurse came to collect us and take us to see Jambo before it was lights out for the evening.  The Night Nurse had to have been the most socially awkward fellow I have ever encountered, and to make matters worse, he had a speech impediment.  He stuttered.  I am not one for being bullshitted to, and having a bit of a medical background - I became in EMT in high school and my college education track had been set on med school - I wanted to know straight up what was happening.  No sugar coating or dumbing down would be necessary.  The Night Nurse was having the toughest time answering my questions, I was able to gather more medical information from Petunia's obsession with 'Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman'.  Basically, all I needed to know was how long Jambo would be camping out in the hospital and if he would be allowed cell phone access.  Continuing to stutter his way through any coherent answers, I was hoping the Night Nurse would just be watching over the ICU patients and not actually administering anything that could be considered life altering.  It took awhile, but I was finally able to trust that Jambo would be in good hands for the night.  Finally, after hours of hanging around the hospital in the Boro, Petunia and I headed home to Nashville.

Jambo is now out of the hospital and finally feeling more like himself.  We still have a long road ahead in terms of figuring out how to satiate his unstoppable hunger, and I'm not the best at whipping up diabetic friendly cookies with my beautiful KitchenAid mixer, but poking fun at his situation, albeit quite serious, is the best way to cope with it.  I now have to find a trendy bag for Jambo to carry his blood tester and his insulin pen in, maybe Coach makes something nice, and frankly the only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Holidays on Ice. Part II

I left off the last post just as my idiotic uncle was spitting mashed potatoes out of his mouth while he was pretending to be a zit, The Widow was complaining about how late dinner was, Karl was trying to find a hiding place for 24 stale bagels, and I was rolling my eyes in sheer shame.  If that isn't a Norman Rockwell scene of a family Christmas, I don't know what is.

We had already opened gifts, dinner had been served, and the inappropriateness of my uncle was at an all time high, what more could there be left to do?

Ahh yes, celebrate The Widow's birthday.  My grandmother fully expects for it to be completely acknowledged that it's her birthday over Christmas.  You cannot wish her a "Merry Christmas" before wishing a "Happy Birthday" or you will ruin her entire year.  Christmas gifts must be wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper, and birthday gifts must be wrapped in birthday paper.  You CANNOT mess this up.  Ever.  

Oddly enough, I recall the one year that I received a refurbished Game Boy for my birthday/Christmas from The Widow.  The Game Boy was the classic grey model, and this was the time of of colored transparent models and Game Boy Color.  Furthermore, the gift was wrapped in HALF birthday paper and HALF Christmas paper.  To add to that, my birthday isn't even in December, it's in November.  I was told that I could open the birthday half and wait until Christmas to open the Christmas half, or I could open the entire thing and not get a Christmas gift.  Decisions, decisions.  What would I possibly do with a half wrapped (used) Game Boy?  But could I possibly give up Christmas gifts?  

Anyway, Karl and I presented The Widow with her birthday AND Christmas gifts as if we were offering up some sort of sacrifice on the alter.  By this time, my uncle had relocated to the couch to unbutton his pants from eating so much, my dad began to clean up the kitchen, and my mom lit my grandmother's birthday candles with the end of her cigarette.  We half-heartedly sang a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday" and I'm fairly positive my uncle changed the words to something like "you look like a monkey and smell like one too."  By the way, my uncle isn't 14 years old, he's 50.

Everyone scarfed down their slice of chocolate cake and my dad began gathering jackets to shuffle our guests out of the house.  On his way out, my uncle threatened to host Christmas dinner next year at his house with him and his girlfriend- I'm sure there will be plenty of bagels.

Round 1 was over and it was time to move onto Round 2.  It was now time to head over to Grandma Fred's house.  Grandma Fred is probably my favorite person in the world, and I am hers.  She is well into her 80's, but is one hell of a firecracker.  My quick wit and sharp tongue come right from her.  Grandma Fred, even though her health is declining, still gets her 2-inch acrylic nails painted every two weeks, however, Fred's nails aren't neutral or a French manicure.  She will get her nails painted in whatever the hot color of the moment is, and has been to known to have vibrant reds, neon pinks and greens, or apply glitter onto one for a Ke$ha nail.

My dad's two oldest brothers and my aunt were at grandma's house by time we got there.  The four of them were just finishing up dinner, and since we had already eaten, Karl showed me my grandma's new chair.  Grandma Fred is the proud owner of the Cadillacs of motorized reclining chairs.  This is the type of chair that probably comes with letters and numbers in its name.  I imagine it to be called the Deluxe Recliner 3000XL.  This particular chair puts some carnival rides to shame.  It is equipped with a full body massage function, a heater, and the best part; it fully reclines so that your body  is laying flat annnnd it also rises forward high enough-almost straight up-so that you can just walk away without having to exert much physical effort.  Karl and I spent about 27 minutes riding the chair, and even made an informational video, exhibiting all of its features, to send to our sisters.

Once the novelty of the chair wore off, Karl and I went exploring in Grandma Fred's basement.  Tucked away in the very far back corner, I stumbled across a raggedy old box.  This beat up, forgotten about box, held one of the world's greatest treasures.  It was packed full of Grandma Fred's vintage Christmas ornaments.  Jackpot! 

For the last couple of years, I have been scouring every antique store and flea market in my path to find vintage ornaments.  Lately, I have been dragging Jambo along to agonize over building the perfect collection.  Now, here it was, all boxed up, with my name on it.  It had been years since Grandma Fred had put up a Christmas tree, so I just figured the ornaments would have been long gone...but no, they were mine for the taking.  The heavens parted and the North Star was shining right down onto my new found treasure, just as it had lead the Three Wise Men to Jesus, it lead me to a box of ornaments. 

Just as I was basking in the glory of my find, my dad's second oldest brother  (my dad is the baby of four) came barreling down the stairs.  This particular uncle and I have had quite a strained relationship over the past dozen or so years, I don't mean him any ill-will or harm but I am definitely not a fan.  However, just as Grandma Fred and I would be considered Life Long Dudes, Karl and this uncle share the same toward each other.  Curiously, he inquired as to what Karl and I were fawning over.  Enthusiastically, we showed him what we had found and I explained that I would like to have this special thing from Grandma Fred's house and I was planning on taking them upstairs to ask her.

My uncle quickly explained that they would not be leaving the house, and that he would need to look through the box first.  Oh hell no.  Clearly, I had found something that he had not known about, and I had the upper hand.

I re boxed the ornaments and placed them at the bottom of the basement stairs.  If he wanted to play hardball, I figured I would just sneak the ornaments out to my car when he wasn't looking.  Two can play this game.  Karl and I left the basement and went back upstairs to join everyone else.

The night wore on, we took a few more rides on the chair, conversed with Grandma Fred, and explored other forgotten about nooks and crannies of her house.  Finally the evening was drawing to a close and Karl and I still had some goods to smuggle.  Ever so slyly, Karl peeked down the stairs to locate the box.  Karl was shocked to find that the box was gone.  She tried to explain to me that the box was no longer where I had left it, but I did not believe her.  Where could it have gone?  Perhaps she was not looking in the correct place, sometimes Karl isn't the most observant.

Sure enough, Karl was right.  The box was not where I had left it.  My uncle, in an act of douchebaggery, had snuck down stairs and hid the damn box of ornaments.  They were no where to be found.  I was pissed.  I knew damn well he was not interested in the ornaments, he just didn't want me to walk away with something he didn't know about.  I needed to use the ace up my sleeve, in this case it was Karl's bond with my uncle.  Surely, she could exercise her favoritism to get me what I wanted. 

Sadly, Karl was completely ineffective and I had lost the ornaments before they were even mine.  All of this was happening without Grandma Fred knowing, and in an effort to not upset her, I tried my best to keep her in the dark, but this meant war.

Hell hath no fury like a gay man stripped of anything vintage.

In so many words, I expressed my disdain towards my uncle-how completely idiotic and ridiculous this situation was, and maybe even that I hoped to never be in the same room as him again and maybe even that I could not be bothered to spare a drink of water if he were dying of thirst.  Surely someone else's holiday was ruined over a family heirloom, right?  No? Just mine?  Cool.

I said goodbye to Grandma Fred, packed Karl and my dad into the car and sped home.  This wouldn't end tonight, and I needed to conjure up a surefire game plan.  Even if it meant staking out Grandma Fred's house in the middle of the night, in an unmarked car dressed like a cat burglar, I would have those ornaments before I left to go back home to Nashville.

Fast forward 48 hours, and some combination of Karl's weirdly off-putting charm and one of  my Grandma Fred's come to Jesus chats, the ornaments were returned to my possession.  I was the rightful owner, and duh, Grandma Fred's favorite.  Once she found out about this stupid debacle, she'd do the right thing.  I am now the very proud owner of 52 beautifully splendid vintage Christmas ornaments that once belonged to my favorite person in the entire world. 

To anyone looking in, my holiday in the Mitten was completly disfunctional.  The majority of my family annoys the hell out of me and it probably took 4 days for the Bailey's to empty my system.  Although we don't have the normal traditions that most other families probably have; you'll never find an elf on the shelf at my house, and Christmas/The Widow's birthday will always take my family by surprise, we have each other, and frankly you're just jealous you don't have a Grandma Fred too.   

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Holidays on Ice. Part I.

This post took a ton of revisions.  I kept reading and rereading and editing and adding.  I was running the fine line of making my family and myself sound like a bunch of raging lunatics who depended on Budweiser and Bailey's to make it through the holidays.  In all actuality, and to any outsider looking in, that's exactly what we have been for years, were this year, and will continue to be for every single Christmas to come.

I left Jambo in TN, and trekked up to Michigan for the holidays.  I absolutely love being at my parents house during the holidays, and I try to spend at least a week back up in The Mitten.  My parents go all out on the holiday decor.  Think of the Griswolds.  My dad still painfully selects an 8 foot tall, live, tree to display in the front room, spends hours perfectly arranging multicolored C9 bulbs along every edge and angle of the house, and my mother's Christmas village is quickly turning into a booming Metropolis.  Of course, my childhood stocking, along with those of my three younger sisters, are hung by the chimney with care, and every nook and cranny is filled with some sort of Nativity scene, nutcracker, and/or mechanical candle wielding Mrs. Claus.

With all that being said, my family is also NEVER prepared for the actual day of Christmas.  It is not uncommon to be scrambling around as grocery stores are closing on Christmas Eve to pick up a ham for dinner, a few last bottles of wine and Bailey's, and a case or three of beer.  My grandmother's (mom's mom who has been lovingly dubbed as "The Widow" by my father) birthday is also on Christmas day...and we are always just as unprepared for that as well.  So not only do we need to scramble around to find a suitable dinner to cook, we also need to scrounge up a cake and a card.

Christmas Eve rolled by rather uneventfully.  Of my three sisters, 2 of them were unable to spend the holiday in the Mitten.  It was just I and the youngest of the group, Karl (clearly her name is not really Karl, but she'll understand and love the nickname) celebrating the birth of Jesus and The Widow.  My family is actually not rich with too many traditions, we just do whatever feels right at the time.  However, one family tradition that will never die is the naming of the Dudes.  Years ago, my sisters and I would pick one other person we wanted to sit next to and we would call that person our "Dude".  I cannot explain any of the rationale behind this, it just is what it is.  This year, by default, Karl was my Dude and I was hers.

On this particular Eve, and this is probably the next closest thing to tradition we have, Karl and I headed out in a light snow fall to drive around and look at Christmas lights.  We quickly got bored with the lack of effort other people had put into decorating their abodes.  Nothing could compare to my father's finesse anyway. so my Dude and I headed home to drink.

My parents no longer have cable television or an Internet connection.  My mother has become quite found of tuning into some obscure Canadian station to watch the news and their version of 'The Today Show', and Karl often stocks up on whatever movies and TV series the local library has to offer.  Going to my parents' house now requires you to create your own entertainment.  Aforementioned entertainment now comes in the form of myself performing a dramatic reading of all the Christmas letters we have received in the mail.  Whoever started the idea of a Christmas letter should be shot.  I do not care how fabulous you think your life has been for the past 12 months, and I don't need to see a picture of your cat in a Santa hat tangled up in tree lights.  My neighbors' letter has to be the lamest of all, as the most excitement they had in 2012 was having a bunion removed and meeting Paul Ryan.

Fast forward to Christmas morning.

Much to Karl's chagrin, we no longer wake up at 4:30am to open gifts.  If she had it her way, we'd probably actually not go to sleep at all and wait up to see if reindeer really know how to fly.  She was quite annoyed that gift opening did not commence until about 8:45ish.  The morning scene usually plays out as such; the kids wake up and start a pot of coffee for our mom, then we are allowed to only open our stockings until our parents roll out of bed.  All of us have developed a knack for being overly excited about the trinkets in our stockings and gush with "oooohs" and "ahhhhs" just loud enough to be heard down the hallway and through a closed bedroom door.  This acquired talent is annoying enough that my parents soon wake up to join us in the front room.

Once we have all woken up, filled our mugs with Bailey's and a splash of coffee, and gathered around the tree - this whole process actually takes about 37 minutes- we are finally ready.  Karl passed out the gifts to each person, but it's never a free for all.  We all painstakingly pull tape corners and unfold papers as not to rip the wrappings; my mother goes to great lengths to save the paper and ribbons and bows to craft into something later in the year.  Only one person is allowed to open a gift at a time, and this attention creates intense pressure to be excited about whatever it is that you've been gifted as everyone else is watching you.  Sometimes you open the one thing  you had been wanting more than anything else in the world, such as the Detroit Redwings half zip pull over Starter jacket you got in the 5th grade, and your face fills with the joy of every child on Christmas morning, and sometimes you open a pack of plain white Fruit of the Loom briefs and now your sisters have all seen your brand new skivvies.

Now that we are no longer children, the process of gift giving is not as drawn out as it used to be, but without fail, my mother is always disappointed about at least one gift- although she practically handpicks each and every item that is under the tree for her.  Once everything has been opened the real games begin...The Widow is never late to dinner, and barrels up the driveway at exactly 2:00pm.  Karl and I quickly scrambled around the house to prepare as my mother bitched about not having enough help in the kitchen and my father bitched about my mother's bitching.  (To fully appreciate this scene, please play the Russian dance from the Nutcracker in your head.)

Of course The Widow, her boyfriend, and my mother's younger brother arrived promptly at 2:00.  Although dinner will never be ready at 2:05, as my grandmother would wish, my parents actually are fantastic hosts.  They always make sure that there are plenty of snacks and beverages available to everyone, and never require or expect anyone else to bring a contribution to the family dinner.  I personally think this is bullshit, as my parents' house is not the soup kitchen that my uncle treats it as.  However,  after a brief hiatus of not being involved in any sort of family function, my uncle started showing up again...to get a free hot meal, and started a tradition of his own.  This year and last, he has brought a party tray of two-day old bagels and cream cheese, from the bagel bakery he delivers for.  Stale Christmas bagels.  Yum.

While dinner continued to cook, Karl and I found ourselves with a ton of down time to entertain our guests.  I am never one for small talk, not even with family members, but Karl could make friends with a rock.  I just continued to sip Bailey's on ice and Karl rambled on about this, that, and the other.  It did not take too long for my uncle to become wildly inappropriate, and he wasn't even drinking.  My mom's brother is every bit of that weird uncle that perhaps pinches and tickles his nieces oddly and says really off the wall things that have not been politically correct or acceptable since the 1950s.  Within moments he was discussing the queer agenda and its takeover of prime time tv via Modern Family, the pros of living in Canada; because the drinking age is 19 and women can walk wound with their titties out, and all the titties he saw during Showtime's free preview weekend.  Then he moved on to discuss the shape and classification of my sisters' asses.  He probably spent about 11 minutes discussing which sister had a bubble butt or a ghetto booty.  There is not enough Bailey's in the world to placate myself when this happens.  Surely, my family is not the only one that has this problem, right?!

Finally, dinner was ready to be served, and sure enough The Widow bitched about how late it was.  We took our seats around the table, and my uncle insisted on sitting right next to my dad.  He thinks the two of them are BFFs, however my dad does not share the same sentiment.  We all passed around the plates of food that my mom had so graciously prepared, and before long my uncle was ready to show off his one and only party trick.  Every year, my uncle shovels a serving of mashed potatoes into his mouth, says "what am I?!", and proceeds to push on his full cheeks, causing the mashed potatoes to shoot out.  Then, with a the joy of a toddler who is using a grown up toilet for the first time, he exclaims "I'm a zit!!".

True story.

This is the point in the day where I did not even bother to pour my Bailey's into a mug, I just chugged it straight from the bottle.  These people were ridiculous.  I needed my other 2 sisters to join in on this ridiculous display of events and this year I only had Karl.  Dinner and my uncle's entertainment was tortuously long and it was only about 4 in the afternoon.  Unlike years past, my dad, Karl, and I would be leaving the house early to trek over to my dad's mom's house.  My Grandma Fred (yes, that is her actual name she goes by in real life) was unable to make it out to my parents' house this year, so we would go visit her.  The people sitting at the dinning room table were getting on my nerves, and we still had to sing happy birthday to The Widow.  Without going into much detail, The Widow and Grandma Fred are complete opposites, and I'd prefer to spend my time with Fred.

Finally it was time to cut the birthday cake, and frankly, this tale is to be continued....

Friday, January 4, 2013

Some Assembly Required.

The idea for this blog ignited two and half years ago, at a bar, over Jack & Cokes.  I had been single for quite some time, partially my own doing as I was finishing grad school and mending a severely broken heart, and partially due to the ridiculous dating cards fate had dealt me.  A hopeless romantic at heart, I was finding less and less of the Prince Charming character and more and more of a Larry the Cable Guy.  Not to mention, I was living in an attic.  The ceilings in my attic abode were barely tall enough for my 6 foot 0 inch frame to stand upright.  I had to align perfectly with the center pitch of the roof to stand, but even then I had to duck out of the way of the row of  track lighting that illuminated the dwelling space.  With that being said, the attic space was not the most conducive to hosting any sort of date night, unless the lucky guest peaked at a comfortable 5'6".  However, really short guys creep me out and I have a thing for taller, blacker, men...who tended to measure more about 6'1"-6'5".

More often than not, I was finding myself in incredibly ridiculous situations (feel free to reference back to any of the posts from the past 2 years).  After any given date night or stint being 'involved' with someone, I would report to my friends on everything that went wrong, how and why it went wrong, and the next one I'd have lined up for the weekend.  Enter And Frankly.  Blogging about each experience became a way for me to share with many people - alright, with about 10 people- what happened and the humor I found in it.  Surely, I am not the only one who had to date every dud in the tri-county area and of course there has to be at least one person reading who can relate.  Furthermore, if I am an expert at anything, it is making fun of myself.  Dubbing myself as Nashville's own Carrie Bradshaw, I actually may have found writing out each situation a bit therapeutic.

My dates did not know that I would blog about how awful they were at dinner, or the stupid shit they said and propositioned me with, or even the aerobatics they'd try out in the bedroom. On the occasion that they did find out about the blog, I'd chalk it up as collateral damage.  It as no different than me venting over 2 for 1 beers to my friends, and in my blog I always use nicknames.

Well it is now four days into the new year, and I am eight and a half months into a relationship with Jambo.  After having met Jambo over margaritas, nothing terribly crazy happened, and I took a break from the blog.  I was no longer going on dates with random people, being confronted in bars, or receiving inappropriate messages in my Plenty of Fish mailbox.  I actually thought I had nothing more to write about.  As excited as I was to have met someone, I did not think writing about it would translate as well to an audience.

In all actuality, my life is just as ridiculous now with Jambo as it was when I were single.  Although I am no longer a single guy attempting a dating life, I am a guy attempting a life in a relationship.  Keep in mind, I've not been in a serious relationship in YEARS, and there is no instruction manual for this.  I have grown up quite a bit since my last beau, but I still have a ton of growing up to do.  More often than not, I am not the sophisticated and cultured young professional man that I like to think I am, but every bit of the naive fool who used the tag line "The Lord Made Me Hard To Handle" on Chemistry.com.  Being in a relationship will prove to be just as exciting as being single was;  I still drink and swear way more than I need to, I'm sure I'll forget anniversaries, I will be incredibly selfish when it comes to many things that need to be shared and I'll certainly clam up the first time the L word is used.  And no matter how mundane I may become, I always have a stock pile of stories to tell about Holly.

My fans requested my return, I actually have received a couple of messages asking why I haven't posted, and I also received a Paper Plate Award from the Grizzlies' Holiday Party that implied I was suffering from writer's block.  I have plenty of things to write about, after all, I've been on sabbatical for the past several months, and frankly, you haven't seen the last of me.