It's been six weeks since Carl and I got our buzz cuts. Mine is growing out weird. The top is hardly growing at all. The sides are over my ears. The back has turned into this curly uncontrollable bush. It's looks like some sort of military mullet.
When I try to cut the back of my hair using a mirror, I'm lucky I don't sever an artery or poke my eye out. So I finally had to break down and get a real hair cut. I told the barber that this all started with a #2 cut. So do the sides and back with a #2 again and I'll just let the top catch up over the next few weeks. Seems a shame to pay good money for such an easy haircut. But, it's knowing which hairs to cut.
My hair looks a lot better now. Shorter and greyer, but still better.
I went searching YouTube for Chris Rea videos and I could not believe how badly Chris Rea has aged. He just turned 60 this year. He went from looking like Barry Manilow to Keith Richard in thirty years. Then I read where he's been battling pancreatitis. Now I feel bad.
The man still has the voice and the talent. Enjoy!
Yesterday, I went to the other side of Houston to have dinner with my friends Brent and Sue. They were grilling steaks and corn on the cob on the grill. Sue made an olive oil dipping sauce and warm bread. The meal was delicious.
I brought a bottle of Merlot wine with me. Just something I picked up at Kroger. Brent was commenting that it was really good. I guess I lucked out. I know nothing about wine. I asked Brent what was the name on the bottle. He fished it out of the trash and read the label. "Fina Lini". I thought that was an odd name for a wine that I picked out. I usually pick a wine by something odd on the label like an alligator. I probably wouldn't pick up wine with a faux French or Italian sounding name. I looked at the bottle and handed it back to Brent. I said, "Dude. You need glasses. It says Fine Line." It even has a circus acrobat riding a unicycle on a tightrope.
To give Brent credit, he was born in 1960; same as me. The blind, old fart.
Houston has set a record this year. 24 days in August over 100 degrees. So glad I could be here for that one. I have curtailed my lunchtime activities. I finally figured out that driving around in a hot car just makes me sweaty, tired, and cranky. Much easier to eat in the air-conditioned cafeteria.
On the weekends, I try to go to the pool for an hour...if I can take it. Usually I have to get in the pool four times, just to cool off, although it isn't very refreshing. The pool is usually deserted. No one goes out until after 4pm.
It is extremely dry in Texas too. It has only rained three times since I moved here in April. And then just for a few minutes. Lots of grass fires just outside of town.
When I arrived at Carl's with the shrimp, his boy Carter was hobbling around on crutches. Two days before he was running around on the football field barefoot, jammed his toe, and came up with "turf toe", a badly broken big toe. This is the week before football begins and he's one of the starters on the 8th grade squad. He's out now for eight weeks. Carl had been on him for some time about wearing proper footwear. Carter's buddy, Nicky was over for a visit. He broke his ankle playing football and was on crutches too.
Carl and I took the shrimp over to Mark and Jana's. Their buddy Sammy was on crutches, having just had hip surgery. He was learning how to get in and out of their pool with the least amount of stress to the body.
Later in the evening, we had the pool area looking good for the party. Mark and Sammy were repairing some of the floating furniture for the pool tomrorrow. When he got out of the pool, Mark complained that his back was hurting. Carl offered to pop his back. Carl weighs about 220 lbs and Mark weighs probably 260 lbs. Carl pulled him onto his back and then his feet slipped out of his flip flops and Carl fell face first onto the decking with Mark on his back. Blood was everywhere. I quickly grabbed some beach towels. Mark ran to the house and got a baggy full of ice. Carl's nose was broken. Again. For the 4th time. We grabbed our stuff and headed back to Carl's house. Carl kept the ice on it for a long time. As he lied there with a bag of ice on his face, I reminded Carl what the cause of tonight calamity was: Improper footwear.
The next night, Carl's youngest son had a football game. Carl dropped me off at the birthday party and he went to the football game. The party was great. The shrimp was awesome. There was supposedly some corned beef that I never saw, or ate. Later that night, Carl picked me up and we headed home. While we were gone, Carl's wife, Donna, heard a loud crash and then someone yelling "Owwww" at the end. Carter was at the top of the stairs and still was not used to the crutches. He tried to come down the steps using the crutches and put his foot first. He teetered on the crutches and then sommersaulted down the steps and hit the wall on his way down 14 steps to the bottom. He had a cut on his nose, just like his Dad.
I'm getting outta this house before I end up in the ER.
Here's a picture of father/son on the injured/reserve list:
I had planned on going to Tulsa over the three-day Labor Day holiday. Then my buddy Carl called up with a suggestion. How about you come up the weekend before for Jana's 50th birthday party....and you bring 35 lbs of shrimp with you when you come? I must admit...I do love a challenge.
I put the gears in motion and took Friday and Monday as vacation days. I scoped out my coolers: a 48-quart and a 24-quart cooler. That should be plenty....right?
I made plans to stay with Carl's buddy Big John on Thursday night. Big John is a food guy and knows his stuff. He made me one of the best steak's I've ever eaten. Also a salad made from grilled charred lettuce. It was awesome. What a great cook and host he is. Big John then took me by the seafood stores, less than 2 miles from his house. He gave me the wise advise to go to more than one to compare prices.
I woke up the next morning and hit a little shore diner that I'd been to before awaiting the shop openings at 8am. After an ample breakfast, I headed to the shrimp stores. The one that Carl told me about didn't appear to be open at 7:45am but the one across the street was. I went inside and the workers were loading the bins with ice and setting up signs. They asked if I was ready to order. No, not just yet. I went back across the street to the desired venue. The workers were still outside smoking and didn't go inside until the stroke of 8am. I went inside and nothing was ready. I asked the lady behind the counter about their tilapia and she told me they had only frozen, and pointed to the counter. I wasn't feeling the love. Plus, it was hot in there...with fresh seafood? Ewww. I went back across the street and called Carl. We figured out what we wanted and it all fit in one cooler. The old Asian man behind the counter taking the money asked where I was headed. I said, "Oklahoma". He yelled out, "Put in lots of ice. He go LONG way!" The little guy carried the cooler down to my car and I placed it on trash bags in the back seat.
I hit the road about 9am, after rush hour. I started about a half hour south of downtown Houston. So on my way I saw Sam Houston Tollroad two times and I-610 two times. I felt like I was driving in circles. It took about an hour to drive out of the traffic. I really could've used a nap, but didn't dare stop in the 100+ degree heat. I hit Dallas at a good time and made it to Oklahoma in good time....for me. By the time I got to Okmulgee, OK one of the plastic bags was poking through, so I added another bag of ice.
That night, Carl and I delivered the 35 lbs of shrimp to Mark and Jana. 520 miles and the shrimp is still iced down. The 50th birthday party would be the next night.
I found these photos in my box of memorabilia to scan. This was in a book from Mom and Dad's 25th Anniversary. The first is a photo of Mom and Dad on their wedding day. The second is a photo of their car that was decorated for the big day. The sign reads: "Boone County, Here We Come."
Today would have been their sixty-fourth anniversary.