For a long time, I adhered to the phrase, “you can’t go home again.” Why would I want to go back home? What could I possibly find back home? Didn’t I say I’d never move back home? There was nothing for me in that place of my youth; nothing new, nothing exciting, nothing to do, nothing to see, nothing to, literally, write home about. I was living the good life, the high life, the big city life, the life of Riley, the life of theatre, sailing, swanky restaurants, concerts, endless activities, and never enough parking. I could go to dinner Friday nights, antique-shop on Saturdays, have Sunday morning brunch, and sail under the Golden Gate Bridge whenever I wanted. But I didn’t. Ever. Not once.
So you’re a single guy with a buff tan, hanging out at home with the usual suspects, enjoying a sweltering Fresno afternoon. You’re lounging in the pool, talking smack, while downing glass after glass of incredibly delicious strawberry margaritas. One minute you’re completely sane, and the next, you’re inviting two blondes for a weekend ride to your nephew’s house in La Honda. The following morning you wake up in your swimmy trunks, wet, freezing, suffering from a hideous hangover, and a major case of amnesia. What the hell happened last night? What the hell was I thinking? WAS I thinking? Where exactly IS La Honda? And what the ding dang was in those margaritas? Slowly, the day’s events come back to you, in fleeting little bits and pieces, like a freakish nightmare, and you come to one scary conclusion; you, my friend, are screwed.
Heavy sigh. Yes, it’s the beginning of another year at Cowpoke Alley, and all is well with the world. The casa is still in one piece, we’re relatively healthy, and the pork chop dog hasn’t eaten the ENTIRE house…yet. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. The Year 2006 was a good and strange one here on Glenn Avenue, bereft of any natural disasters or locusts or job promotions. The squirrels still torment the mutts, the mutts still torment the gardeners, and our crabby neighbor still torments us just by being, well, her crabby self. They say you should learn from past mistakes, and the New Year is the perfect time for correcting errors, and starting all over again with a clean slate. I’m not sure there are enough erasers for our chalkboard, but we’ll try to begin anew with a better attitude, more motivation, and the desire to actually SEE our carpets. I’m not implying there are a lot of dog toys on the floor, or dog hair in the baseboards, or dog slobber in our beds, but let’s just say that even the fearless women at Molly Maids run screaming in horror from our cobweb-draped doorway. And it’s not even CLOSE to being Halloween. And so without further adieu, let’s examine what sort of high-faluttin’ stuff we little cowgals have soaked up during the past 12 months…besides the tequila…
Well, it’s Christmas time again, and all the frantic shopping and wrapping and tearing apart of toys, electronics, clothing, jewelry, and gift cards will soon be over. Ribbon will be flung, boxes crushed, paper shredded, hopes dashed, and lives ruined, just because there weren’t enough iPods to go around. The holiday season tends to sneak up on you from behind, as if you’ve got a nasty case of the hiccups, and your loopy Uncle Bob is trying to scare the bejeezus out of you. AAUGGHHH!!! Are you CRAZY? I’m not ready! What are you doing?! I almost had a heart attack! Are you TRYING to scare the bejeezus outta me?! You’re never ready for it. You don’t see it coming. And yet it gets you, every single time. You might as well just face it, whip out that Mastercard, pull on those fuzzy slippers, pour yourself a stiff eggnog, and give in. Give in to the gingerbread, toffee, popcorn balls, nutty fudge, sugar cookies, hot cocoa, candy canes, candied fruit, candied yams, and cocktails a’plenty. Look at it this way, at least you’ve got a couple months to recover before Valentine’s Day.
It has come to my attention recently, that we little buckaroos at Cowpoke Alley have a serious addiction. And I’m not talking about the tequila. I’m talking about the T.V. That little box of cable pleasure which seeps into our living room, casting an evil glow over the furniture and dog-hair-laden carpet, teasing us with nasty thoughts of Dr. McDreamy on “Grey’s Anatomy”, or the hilarious blue-tinted orthodontia that is “Ugly Betty’s” braces. Not to mention the toe tags and quirky characters on “Six Feet Under”, the not-so-subtle nakedness of our love-starved gal pals on “Sex and the City”, or the strange and wonderful craving we just can’t seem to kick by watching “Dancing with the Stars.” I know, it’s a sickness.
Ah yes, the ocean. That great swath of blue and green that seems to go on for miles. Time literally stops when you’re walking on the sand, and it seems as though you could stroll on forever, your eyes constantly scanning the waves as the tide laps at your feet. Or maybe it’s just your underused calf muscles screaming at you. Maybe it just SEEMS like a lifetime since you began your unending journey. Maybe all that seaweed sloshing around your ankles, like some sort of slimy ball and chain, is slowing you down. Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, where the ding dang did we start from? The pier? THAT pier? That tiny toothpick tower that now appears 12 miles away?! And then you begin thinking, I can’t possibly carry on, I cannot conceivably take another step. I’m going to collapse, in a weathered heap, right here, next to this dead pelican.
My grandmother spent the last few months of her 93-year life in a rehab facility. It’s not that they’re bad places, they’re just, well, uncomfortable. I can’t imagine anything scarier than waking up one day in a completely strange bedroom (okay, maybe in my 20’s, but that was a long time ago). Suddenly, you have nothing of your own, especially your dignity. It doesn’t feel like home, it doesn’t look like home, and it certainly doesn’t smell like home.
Newfoundland dogs are good to save children from drowning, but you must have a pond of water handy and a child, or else there will be no profit in boarding a Newfoundland. – Josh Billings Okay, we didn’t have a pond, but there was a pool, and no human children were in attendance, but there…
Children, to those brave souls who have them, are angelic, rosy-cheeked nymphs who bring joy and happiness to their everyday lives. To those of us who’ve decided NOT to propagate, they appear to be the devil incarnate.
If you want to be liked, get a dog. The people you work with are not your friends. -Deborah Norville So the Oscars are over, and all the golden statuettes dispersed, and every winner will spend the next 2 weeks sloshing their way through a multitude of droning television interviews, and wondering whether to place…