Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mini Stroke?

Did the Complete and Total Loser have a small stroke the other day?
During a bike ride he had a strong case of exercise-induced déjà vu, but he often does when doing aerobic activity above a certain level. This time, however, it developed into something he still can't describe in words except to say it was déjà vu combined with extreme despair, both mixed and coming in waves. 
It was horrible and the Loser still, two days later, feels as though he's just getting over a case of the flu. 
He's done little of the necessary work he needs to do to start his business and is indulging himself in the comforting, childish things he goes to when he feels entitled. Watching Star Trek episodes on Amazon Prime. Sleeping. Eating creamy, hot, fattening food. 
Today, he may buy gum drops. 

Jolene Blalock topless

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bad Trip

As he writes this, the Complete and Total Loser is on a bad trip.
Not one caused by drugs he's taken. The drugs are in his mind. 
Earlier today he met with an ex-coworker and ate lunch. He went to his local library, where he took the picture seen here, then home. He changed and went for a bike ride. 
During the bike ride, he experienced exercise-induced déjà vu  which he often does when he's let his aerobic fitness slide a little. Don't try looking up exercised-induced déjà vu; the Loser is the only one who's ever experienced it, to his knowledge. He's asked his doctor about it and searched on the Web. It only exist with him.
After the ride, the déjà vu changed. Not changed, entirely, but something was added to it and that something is ill-feeling and profound sadness. and it's been coming and going in strong waves for the past hour or so, even though the Loser showered and took a nap. 
The feeling is not so powerfully bad that the Loser wants to seek medical aid, but it's the kind of feeling that makes him wish he were dead, now, and that he's sure he'll feel as he draws his last breaths. 
Not fun.
He'd go on longer, but the Loser is certain that he's written this exact post before, even though he knows empirically that he hasn't.
barack and michelle obama
President Obama gazes at his wife, Michelle.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


#1: What happened?
#2: The human came out in the yard.
#1: Oh. Is he carrying anything?
#2: Yes. The black thing that clicks when he puts it on his face.
#3: Is that dangerous to us?
#2: I'm not sure. Nothing's happened yet, but I've heard about what happens when other humans put things on their face. Especially the long sticks.
#1: We'd better stand up and look in all directions anyway.
#2: Just in case.
#4: Well, I'm not going to worry about it.
#3: You! You don't worry about anything! 
#1: You seem kind of tired today. Are you all right?
#4: Actually, I'm kind of achy and tired. I feel like I have Lyme disease!
#2: Funny.
#1: Good one.
#3: Yeah. Almost as funny as it was yesterday.
four deer suburban yard

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Get ready

An Associated Press article today talks about a $79 Halloween costume that copies what health workers wear when around people infected with the Ebola virus and that it may generate controversy.
orange is the new blackYou heard it here first: This Halloween someone, a B-list celebrity or the son of an A-lister, will dress as either a victim or perpetrator of the beheadings over the past summer. There will be outrage, opinion pieces, TV spots, etc. Defenders may point out that the color is appropriate for the season. 
pumpkinsIt's all grist for the mill, and dull for those of us who've been around a few decades. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

October, again

It is raw, the weather in the Complete and Total Loser's East Coast town. Mid fifties and damp. The shortening of the days is accelerating. Vegetation is decaying, insects are frantic. Dead squirrels and raccoons dot the roads and highways as they focus more on storing fat for winter than approaching cars. 
And again, the anniversaries of his parents' deaths, which occurred just 50 days apart in 2011, approaches.
woman with dog

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Pussy cat, pussy cat

Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?
I've been to London to look at the Queen.
Pussy cat, pussy cat, what did you do there?
I frightened a little mouse, under the chair. 
Then it came back and lived near the Complete and Total Loser, who trapped it in his quest to catch and release the raccoons infesting his house. It snarled and hissed. The Loser let it go and it ran into the night.
feral cat
Of the three raccoons and two skunks the Loser has caught, this cat was the most vicious.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Wild Animals

The Complete and Total Loser has thrown up his limp-handshake hands and called professionals to deal with the raccoons in his attic crawlspace. He's trapped and released three but is sure of a fourth. He imagines that as small as the area is it's like a rabbit warren and that dozens of them live there, defecating, clawing, chewing through cables. 
Yesterday six deer hung out in the Loser's back yard for much of the day. They lay, resting, occasionally getting up to munch on vegetation they found in the weedy yard. The Lose went out. They looked at him. He realized that he was outnumbered and that if they wanted to, they could have killed him with their sharp, quick hooves.
This morning he saw this fox in the backyard. If only it ate raccoons.
red fox

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Old girls

Old pictures mean more if you know the people in them. The Complete and Total Loser's aunt is in this one. She turned 98 late last month. The youngest of the girls in this photo is in her 90s now. And that's if she's lucky.
Springside School girls

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

On the phone

The Complete and Total Loser spoke to his aunt on the phone today. She turned 98 last week, and the conversation was a little disjointed. She lives three states away.
Topics included:
  • Fishing and skiing with Daddy in the late 1920s and 30s
  • She can't walk or drive anymore
  • She misses the Loser's mother, who died nearly three years ago, and another sister
  • Her youngest son's divorce from a "lovely girl," which the son said happened because she just didn't want him anymore
  • How blacks took her wedding book and a comforter that had been left her by an aunt
  • She has a four-month-old granddaughter who is named after her, making her the first grandchild in any of the Loser's relative's families who is
This aunt had an exciting past. Grew up fairly well-to-do (until the market crashed) and married rich. Flew in planes, went to Europe, lived in several states, all before this was very common.
strolling couple
We live, laugh, love, raise kids and work for a long time. Then we die.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The second skunk

Duchess of Cambridge legs
The Duchess of Cambridge exits a car.
The Complete and Total Loser caught a second skunk Saturday night and let it go Sunday morning. (It's the raccoons in the attic he's after and he thinks—hopes—he's got all of them.)
Hours after this, while the Loser was outside working around the yard, the thought popped into his head that when non-domesticated animals see humans leaving cars they think we're escaping from them.

skunk havahart trap
A trapped skunk waits to be release.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

"Not like the old days"

The Complete and Total Loser ate dinner with friends in the city last night, a Saturday. They drove him to the train station afterward for the 10:40 home. 
Dorm-bound college students filled the car.
(The Loser's weekends in college, late 70s ... nearly friendless as always ... Sunday mornings ... up early ... one of the first in the dinning hall ... breakfast, coffee, cigarettes ... Sue L., who woke early to run ... they'd talk, laugh ... pretty girl, Sue: deep brown eyes, thick, defined lips, great smile ... just friends, though. A digression.)
The women in this picture were at the seat next to the exit. As the Loser stepped off, he said to the conductor, who stood on the platform, "Not like the old days."
"Yeah," the conductor said.
two lesbians
Two college students spend an intimate time on a commuter train.

Friday, September 26, 2014


Sometimes people do things that make no sense. 
The Complete and Total Loser looked long and hard at this scene, trying to figure out why anyone would put cones and tapes up to block off a tiny part of a local multi-use trail. 
New paving? No. A repair of some kind? No. Something that needs repair? No. A wet surface? No. 
There was no reason for it. None.
traffic cones

Monday, September 22, 2014


The Complete and Total Loser caught a skunk last night. He was trying for a third raccoon, having caught two that lived in his attic over the past ten days. (Perhaps, he thinks, the two were the only ones there. Raccoons give birth in the spring and are grown and fending for themselves by fall.)
The Loser likes skunks but feared that when letting it go it would spray him. The Loser is many bad things, but foul-smelling is not one of them. Fortunately, the skunk was grateful to be released and did not spray.
skunk in trap

An aside. The Loser has always thought of Pepe le Pew as the perfect metaphor for men, women, and their gender battles stemming from the general repulsiveness of men and poor communication between the sexes.
Pepe le Pew

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Three cats

The Complete and Total Loser and his siblings grew up with more pets than they can now remember. Here are three of the favorite cats, which all lived with the Loser at the same time:

EDBD: Female calico. Lived to be 18. Died in 1986 while the Loser was living in Asia. He'd said goodbye to her before leaving. When the Loser's brother was a sophomore in college, in 1973, he rented a huge moving van and loaded it with his and several others' furniture to drive it eight hours to the campus, making a nice profit. EDBD snuck into the truck to explore and went with them. She was pregnant at the time. She lived on the campus in a noisy frat house until October 18, when a friend returned her. Once in the house, she went to the spot under the stairs where she'd had kittens before, and gave birth to a litter of six that night. Question one: How did she know when and if she was returning? Question two: How did she control her labor?
calico cat in tree

Percy: Male Persian. When the Loser and his mother went to choose Percy as a kitten, the woman who gave him to them said she'd given him that name, which was short for "personality" because, she said, he was "chock full of it." Usually, the Loser and his family liked to give their own names to pets, but it fit Percy so well they kept it. He was one of those animals that just seemed to get it. Once, the Loser was lying on his parents' bed fiddling with a blow dryer while Percy lay on his chest. He turned the blow dryer on, Percy bolted across the Loser's face, and the Loser still has a scar near his philtrum. Percy was found dead in the basement a few years later, at age four. The Loser never found out what killed him.
cat near bicycle

Harvey: Male Siamese. Harvey was named after the play, which was put on by the Loser's middle-school class around the time they got him. He lived to be twenty-one years old. Lazy, grouchy, but a good cat. Gentle, affectionate. The Loser's mother backed over him when he was nineteen, fracturing his pelvis into several pieces, yet he made a complete recovery. 
siamese cat in tree

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Old pictures

Nearly three years after his parents' deaths, the Complete and Total Loser is still in the early stages of going through their things. 
Photos are a primary item. The Loser remembers hearing that the first thing most would grab from their burning house—the safety of other family members and pets already assured—would be photo albums. He heard this in the pre-internet era. Now it may not even be laptops or hard drives, as many have things in the cloud.
The Loser found the below with some of his father's things. He vaguely recalls his father saying something about his father having a friend who traveled to Africa and brought back pictures. This photo would have been taken around 1910. Possibly, the woman in it had no idea what cameras were for. And possibly, the baby is Barack Obama's grandfather. You never know. 
topless African native woman