Monday, February 27, 2006


Aside from our foray this weekend into species-neutral fostering, we also attended our first really-real training session.

Friday night there was a roundtable sort of thing with a panel of the more senior PATH foster parents in the area and an open-format general tell-all and Q&A. It was pretty interesting. I got to meet some of the other lunatics foster parents in the area and trade notes, which I suppose was the whole point of that session.

Saturday morning we sat while a psychologist regaled us with anecdotes and information regarding self-injurious behavior, primarily cutting. Cutting doesn't worry me, so long as it's not too deep. I've never done it myself, but I think I understand the motivations and how to handle it.

Saturday afternoon we were entertained by a teacher from a therapeutic preschool who obviously loved her students so much for the main reason that she basically considered herself one of them, much in the way I consider myself still a teenager in many respects. She ran us through how children from broken homes think, what motivates them, and so forth. A lot of that stuff is pretty counterintuitive until you think it through from their perspective. I liked her session the best of any of them, I guess, because she actually taught me stuff I didn't know.

I wonder how I'd do in her class.

Anyway, we had lunch with another fostering couple and traded notes with them. "Vicki" was there, so we got to say hi to her, and as a special treat one of the couples there was actually a longtime fixture in my old hometown where I grew up. They had actually traded kids with my folks, and we shared notes on one of Mom & Dad's last "projects" who had apparently been calling them lately. Interesting.

All in all, much more entertaining and informative than I expected. I actually look forward to the next sessions.

Foster Pet: Mitch

Some foster homes take in foster children and then claim to be foster homes. And I suppose they are, after a fashion...but we've decided to enter new realms of fostering.

I've mentioned that we do volunteer work for the Humane's good work, and they have a good mission, my recent misgivings about how much--or in this case little--our local shelter feeds the bigger dogs notwithstanding. But no dog is going to do as well sitting in a concrete-and-fence kennel as they are living in an actual house with an actual family and actual canine playmates.

Enter Mitch. He's staying with us until he can find a forever home, or until he fits in here well enough and something happens to Tasha, in which case he may well already be home.

Mitch is a dopey-looking hound, if the truth were told. He's a sort of german shepherd crossed with a rottweiler and a learning-disabled giant hamster on speed. Other than being much, MUCH smaller than Bo (but still probably 50 pounds or better), he reminds me a whole lot of my dearly departed buddy.

He's got one crooked ear which endears us, he gets very WORRIED with many wrinkles on his head when something sudden or interesting happens, and he aggressively seeks to pursue new realms of what those fuzzy, fast things are that make the funny hissing noises and have nasty pokey things in their fingers.

And he gives Bo kisses, sans about 90% of the slobber inherent in a kiss from a hounds who shares genes with Saint Bernards. Ah, the Bo kisses when I get home from work. Nothing like them. Mitch ain't Bo, but he ain't bad.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Under the Weather

I'm down and out with some sort of flu. I have not slept this much for a very, VERY long time...about 3 or 4 hours awake since last night at around 8 when I collapsed.

I'll blog more when I'm back on top of things. Just thought I should check in.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

At Loose Ends

I had an intensely busy day at work. I was in the office a little late, and then came home to a house short one occupant, since "Josie" has done well enough here that now her PO has granted her an overnight home visit, once tonight and once this coming weekend.

I don't know how I feel about this. She clearly loves her mom, and her mom loves her, in her own way. But mom's sick and daughter will never, no matter how hard she tries, be able to fix her...until she wants to fix herself bad enough. I'm an old boozehound. I know.

I can see a lot of pain headed our way as we watch "Josie" battle her mom's drinking...I've lived her mom's end of it myself. People who've never been addicted to something don't seem to be able to understand how powerful a thing like booze can be. It can reduce everything else in life to window-dressing for the main event: getting a stretch of time with no responsibilities in front of you and a bottle in your hand.

Actually, that's for functional alcoholics, like I was. Many alcoholics don't really care about not having responsibilities, just the bottle in hand. I was headed that way before some nice young men in official uniforms stepped into my life on a summer night in 1999 and applied a little corrective pressure to the course of my future.

Anyway, I've seen "Josie's" side of it. Didn't my family go through much the same thing with me? I've lived her mom's side of it. Her mom could get better, as I did...but comparatively few seem able to make the adjustment. I have very direct experience in this, and yet I'm at a loss for things I can say or do to help, beyond just making sure "Josie" knows she has a place to go and people to turn to.

Then again, that's more than a lot of people have, I guess. I hope it's enough for her.

For tonight, I don't seem to have any pressing business. I got "Cell" by Stephen King from The Wife for Valentine's Day and I'm reading it, but I don't feel like reading right now. I guess I'll pick up the guitar and continue my quest to become the next Eddie Van Halen. I figure I only have about 13,978 more practice sessions and I'll be there.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Disappointment, but Life Goes On

The family of the girl I mentioned earlier called last night (I wasn't aware when I posted), and they've decided not to allow their daughter go go with "Josie" anywhere alone.

I can't say I don't understand why they decided the way they did. My own sister, who grew up with this stuff, would probably decide the same way for her child (when he was a minor, that is). It's a point of view I don't entirely understand, but I accept it. It's a little harder coming from these particular people and knowing some background info that I do about them, but okay. We'll survive.

I do believe they made a mistake though. This is a family who took their daughter all the way to Africa, presumably to watch missionaries in action. How do you take your daughter to the other side of the Earth to see this sort of thing when she can participate in a very direct way in the same kind of work a couple of miles down the road?

I plan on talking to the father. We're on friendly terms and I won't press him...but I would like to know if the decision was made by him and his wife or by the girl. I mean, before I get my knickers in a twist I should really make sure that the whole thing isn't just because the girl doesn't like "Josie", right? Because if that's the case, I withdraw my objection entirely.

But if the parents stepped in because they didn't want their 16-year-old daughter to get "dirty", that's a whole other thing. I probably can't do any more in that situation than if it's the daughter's decision, but I can surely feel a whole lot different about things.

These are the kinds of things I brood about when I'm gardening, or working on a home-improvement project, or fishing. Sometimes even when I'm working and I have a lot of monotonous typing to do and my mind wanders. The reason I even started blogging is because things get my knickers in such a twist that I start to lose circulation.

Be glad you're not me. It's no fun getting all wound up about things you can't do anything about. For my part, I'm simply going on to the next possible avenue to help "Josie". I don't know what it is yet, but I'll know it when I see it.

The kid's doing very well, better than we'd hoped really, and we can't let up now.

Or ever. If we could, I'd guess we shouldn't be doing this.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Reaching Out

Fostering is, above most other things, about reaching out. It's about knowing that you may take a bad body blow, and knowing without fail that you will take one sooner or later, and reaching out and grabbing a kid's hand, and trying to help them across a chasm of trouble and grief without letting them hurt themselves too badly.

In the process, you can get your own reputation tarred in a community. People wonder about you. They wonder what's wrong with you that you want to spend your time with kids so much. False allegations can give you legal headaches. There are a lot of things in that vein that we've been spared so far, but will probably be along to enliven our lives sometime.

Kids can throw beanballs at you, too. They let you down, and lie, and generally act like miniature versions of their pig parents. They don't necessarily appreciate even your most earnest efforts. It's a rough racket.

It's made more rough when people who you'd think would be on your side don't seem to be coming across for you.

"Josie" has made a friend that I judge to be very, very good for her. This girl is a year older, much more "ladylike" and modest than "Josie", and has that...charisma...that seems to make "Josie" look at her as a sort of role model. The effects have been sometimes subtle, other times very visible. The girl now likes to go to the church youth group, and goes to sit with the other teens when we go to church. She's socializing well with the church kids, some of whom are genuinely great kids and all of whom are preferable to many of the friends she's spent so much time with before she landed here.

Well, it's not all sunny, either. A couple of weeks ago, "Josie" went to a basketball game with her friend, and made the very bad decision to leave the game for a bit and go sit in a car with one of her boy-friends (not an actual boyfriend, no hyphen, which is a different critter altogether). She had a drag on a cigarette in the process. Not our favorite thing for her to do, but so much less catastrophic than other things that we're willing to overlook it if she's willing to take the trouble to be discreet about it.

The problem is, there was a miscommunication and what got back to her friend's parents was not "menthol" cigarette but "meth" cigarette. This caught them flatfooted, and understandably they had doubts about whether they wanted their daughter hanging around with this girl anymore.

Yesterday, "Josie" made me deeply proud of her. After church, without any urging and acting on her own idea, she approached those parents and explained herself boldly and clearly. She made it known that she was sorry about leaving the game, that she hadn't done anything as bad as what they had thought, and that she didn't want to lose their daughter's friendship. The Wife and I backed her up afterward, vouching for the truthfulness of her statements.

Here's where it gets difficult. Those parents have every right to be nervous, but they now have conflicting obligations as I see it. On the one hand, they have to protect their daughter. On the other, they consider themselves good Christians, and good Christians mix with less savory types if they're doing it right. Jesus hung out with tax collectors, prostitutes, and even worse scumbags than me. We're supposed to follow his example, and accept people into our hearts and lives, even if they're from the wrong side of the track and even if they might tempt our own children down a wrong path or two.

My mother is the finest example of this kind of Christlike behavior I have ever seen. She risked her own childrens' purity and innocence in order to invite, shall we say, questionable elements into our house in an effort to help and reform them into good and happy people. People probably criticized her for it, too. But then, Jesus wasn't all that popular with everybody if the gospels have the story straight. Some people downright hated him. Some had him killed for it. Doesn't matter. We still have an obligation to do stuff like this.

So now these parents have to decide whether they have the courage to expose their daughter to risks and temptations. They would also be giving their daughter a unique opportunity to help "Josie" assimilate with a newer, healthier social group than she's ever known.

Lord, just nudge them a little. Please give them an understanding of what this could mean to Your child. Fill them with the knowledge that they would be doing a good thing, and help them overcome their understandable hesitation and do the right thing.


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Respite, Money, Technical Issue and More Stuff

I got home from work last night and discovered that we were doing respite care for one of the other PATH family's foster daughters while they had a "date night". Cool. I hadn't met any of the other foster monsters in town, and this was my chance.

This one seemed much more the type of child I was expecting to be dealing with than "Josie" has turned out to be. She had physical problems, but not overbearing ones. She had a hesitant manner about her and she seems a little socially stilted, but still a loveable girl to anyone looking to love a child. I was favorably impressed with her on the whole.

My folks also are visiting for the weekend, so they got to partake of the experience as well. I can tell it got Mom's fostering juices flowing again. That was fun, and it's still fun to see her interact with "Josie". Though Mom and Dad have been out of the state for most of the time "Josie" has been around, they're already in love with her almost as much as we are, I think, and Mom has lots and lots and LOTS of tips, pointers and opinions to share about the whole thing. Meanwhile, I'm not "Dad" to "Josie", but my folks are "Grandpa" and "Grandma", at least when she's telling others about them. Other than wondering how I can get into that club, I'm loving it. But then, I may never be "Dad" to her, and I may never get a goodnight or goodbye hug and/or kiss. That's okay. It's thanks enough to me when I hear that she's doing much better in school and that her psychologist, social workers and everybody think that she's doing well here. I also get to see the smile on her face sometimes that tells me all I need to know about how she feels about being here. I'm helping to make that possible. I matter to her, even if it doesn't show in the same ways I saw the kids show it to my dad when I was growing up.

On another note, we got our first real check for fostering today. It's less than impressive when balanced against what we've put into this endeavor, but it's what will allow us to continue to do this. I wish they'd take those hundreds of millions of dollars that they were going to put into that bridge to a barely-populated island in Alaska and instead invest it in fostering, expanding the program to a few hundred thousand more kids who really need it. I suspect we'd find that the long-term return on such a move would dwarf any piddly return on the increased convenience for a few hundred people who, to judge by the blogs, seem not to even want the bridge all that much. It would probably dwarf the return on most of what the federal government spends on a lot of things.

A technical note: when you have a satellite internet connection and your connection goes funky on you, try resetting the satellite hub. It works wonders.

I feel a philosophical post coming on. Maybe tonight. Perhaps tomorrow. Who knows? I love blogging.

Friday, February 10, 2006


I'm having severe internet problems at home (posting this quickly from work). Maybe my computer caught my flu.

Also, my muse has gone on a (hopefully brief) sabbatical, so it's probably just as well. I'll get back to you when I can, and I'll post from work if the world caves in or if there is a true moment of purity and light in my life.

I wouldn't let you guys down completely, you know.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Another Visit

After a hellacious day of catching up at work after my sick day, I was just starting to think about going home when I got an urgent call from "Josie". She had gone one whole evening in a row without having a friend over, and she had one lined up for tonight and could I pleeeeeeeeeeze pick her up since she lives in the town where I work?

Heh. What the heck. As I've commented before in this space, I love the opportunity to meet the local kids whenever I can, for a variety of reasons. I was supposed to meet her at the local gas station and she wasn't there yet when I arrived, so I stepped in to pick up a soda. There were two friends of "Josie's", both of whom have taken meals in my home, and both of whom are the sort of kids you don't mind having over for a meal in your house.

I got a kick out of both of them, and they seemed happy to see me. Enough so that when I told them who I was waiting for, one of them immediately said "I'll call her and make sure she's coming". Heh. He was more gung-ho than I was.

He presently returned and said she was on her way, which she was, since she showed up on foot about two minutes later. About two minutes after that, I had used up my conversational arsenal (not for the first time).

When I was 15, I was horrible at talking to girls. I could never figure out what to say and I always felt like a dork. I'm now 38. Nobody in the history of the world has been worse at talking to 15-year-old girls, and I have now confirmed through independent sources that I am in fact a dork.

Some things never change.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go and lurk in the living room and provide fodder for teenage girls to laugh at. Not with. At.

I love my life.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


I went to bed last night around 8 and slept until about 9 this morning. I've been up a couple hours and will be going back to bed shortly. Flu sucks.

The only news to report is that "Josie" had a friend over last night as I was on my downward health spiral. Suddenly, with no prior knowledge on our part, a car shows up with two people in it. Here is where we should have said "Hey, get those people back in the car and back to wherever they came from". But no, we just watched as they came into our house and into "Josie's" room...where they locked the door.

Alarms whooped. Sirens sounded. We checked, and one of the newcomers was Snotnose's sister. She's explicitly on the no-contact list. "Josie" KNOWS that. Little punk had the gall to pretend she didn't.

I got to be the bad guy, and I was very firm and blunt. I was actually proud of how polite I was under the circumstances, feeling as crappy as I was. She led her friends down to their car while I prepared for a battle royal when she got up. I wasn't looking forward to it.

I got all wound up and ready to swing when she went into whine mode...and she didn't. She treated it as "oh, well, you figured it out. It was worth a shot". She was even smiley. I think she got away with something under our noses, but I can't quite place what it was. Aargh. The girl's good. Very good. We shall be better, sooner or later.

One final note...there was a strange odor in her room after they left. I know pot, and it wasn't that. Wasn't cigarettes. Wasn't any of the goodies I remember from college, though that didn't include crack, or meth, or any of the harder stuff that seems so common these days. I also know, and "Josie" knows from experience, that she can and will be tested in the near future for drugs, so I'm not concerned that she was doing drugs. This time. But I think somebody was, and I really wish I could place that odor.

Anybody know if you can just walk into a cop shop and ask them to smell their confiscated drugs so you can place them when your resident delinquents decide to spark up something? Without getting arrested or thrown in a loony bin, I mean?

I'm going to bed. Hope y'all are having a better day.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Grand Central Station 2

This morning, we got breakfast into everybody and got The Wife, "Charlie", "Josie" and myself to church. Almost on time, even. We sang, we prayed, we got preached at, we got just a little more right with Jesus, and we took communion. All was good. I can tell I'm becoming part of this community now because I know maybe half the people at church by name and many of them stop to shake hands and chat a bit when they see me.

Due to my newfound fascination with the guitar, I also have a new appreciation for the guy on the worship team who plays guitar with a missing finger. Wow.

In the program, it said the youth group would not be having its usual Sunday-night gathering. To my suprise, "Josie" was disappointed. On the way home, she raised the idea of calling the people who usually show up and inviting them over to chow on munchies and watch the Superbowl. I had no objection, and The Wife didn't either, so the gig was on.

She called a few kids, I helped clean and cook, The Wife got uptight as usual when under pressure of hosting a social event, I dropped "Charlie" off at her mother's and picked up supplies, and at 4 I went with "Josie" to get one of her friends (on this ride was when I shared Beth's strategy with her). A couple of other friends showed up around the time the game started, and we had sloppy joes, pickles, chips, soda and brownies laid out like a feast for them.

"Josie" then got at least two calls (we have information from "undisclosed sources" that it may have been more) from Snotnose, who apparently didn't like the idea of a member of his personal harem seeing other boys that he didn't know in a social setting. Too bad for him. Due to those calls, however, phones have definitely been secured for the night and I'm doing the strings-on-doors routine in case anything's in the works for tonight.

Somewhat late, a boy "Josie" has definitely showed interest in showed up. He is the son of the couple who usually host the Sunday-night youth gatherings, and I gather he's some sort of "hottie". The Wife seems to concur on that, and she's definitely more qualified than me to make that call. Whatever the case, his father is aware of his interest in her and hers in him, and he was less aware that there is a semi-professional team dedicated to keeping her end of that equation under control, so he made it a point to show up later in the evening. It was a very interesting parental discussion with a man who has deep love for his son and genuine affection for all these kids. I know him from church and from helping with Habitat for Humanity, and I like him. I haven't had a best friend for many years, but this is the kind of guy I could develop a good friendship with. I'd like that, if it was to blossom that way.

Anyway, we shared Beth's idea with him, and it struck him as a great idea too. It's more likely to be used in his case as well, because his son is a "good" boy, meaning he's never been in real trouble, but he does have firm friendships with kids that are more marginal and who may try to pull him off the straight-and-narrow. I'll pass along any tales of woe or success involving that as they are passed to me.

There was much merriment, much laughter, and much sugar consumed, especially after "Josie" broke out and passed around the stash of giant Pixie Stix we bought her in a weak moment during our last run to Sam's Club. Due to that last, there was also several teenagers bouncing off the ceiling. You'd think we'd learn. But hey, there wasn't a drop of alcohol consumed, nobody got an STD or pregnant, and "Josie" (and her friend) got another chance to see how kids can have fun without chemical or sexual stimulants of any kind. Priorities, people. We accomplished the important things.

Plus, the other father got to plug the youth group to "Josie's" friend, and he may even show up. I may offer him rides if he wants to go, come to that. At base, my mission here is to help kids, right? Especially the ones who are given to my official care as foster kids, but that doesn't exclude helping their friends where I can, and doesn't excuse me from it either. I had a chance to talk to this kid, and from what I can tell he's a genuinely nice kid. I hope I see more of him, and given my self-imposed goals it's pretty much a moral obligation to do what I can to try to steer him in the right direction.

So now we're back to our original cast of characters: Willy, Tasha, Zoey, Sophie, "Josie", The Wife and me. Until tomorrow night, or the next one, or next weekend, anyway. Who knows who will come waltzing through the door then to empty our refrigerator and enrich our lives?

I love my life.

A New Discovery

Beth noticed my earlier post, and expands on some truly excellent tips for parenting teens. Her first point immediately struck me as not only a wonderful point but immediately relevant to my current situation:
First: rescue code. Our kids know that if they want to be rescued from a situtation they should call and say, "I don't want to come now. Can I stay? I really want to stay." The cool thing about this is that it works even when we are stupid, which is not seldom. Trusting our kids we are likely to say, "Sure...You can stay a while." The kids are instructed to reply, "Oh come on! Don't make me go. I want to stay." They are to repeat on this theme until we wake up and say, "Oh! Where are you? I will be right there." They can then hang up, tell their friends how horrible their parents are and wait for the ride home.
Delightful. I love playing the evil troll when I'm not really being an evil adult troll. I've already had a chance to share it with The Wife and I've already talked to "Josie" about it.

She laughed at first, but then I saw a flicker of seriousness. I think she took the point...I suppose I'll know how well she took it if she ever uses that escape hatch, which, as Beth indicates in her post, may never happen. It's an excellent tool all the same.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Incident Handled

"Josie" had a home visit scheduled today for maybe 8 or 9 hours. I dropped her off at her mother's place this morning, not having any solid idea of what the plan was other than that she was scheduled to be back here around 8 tonight.

Around 6:30 or so, we got a call. They had gone to a local fishing derby on the lake, and "Josie" had gotten sick of her mom after her mom consumed too much booze. No surprise there, and as a drunk I was in enough similar situations to know that people just plain get tired of your stupidity when you've had over a certain amount.

Here was where she made her error: At that point, she should have called us and had us come and get her, from the ice house on the lake if need be. I would have done it gladly. Instead, she left with some friends and headed to her brother's house. After awhile, she went back to her mother's house to see if it was safe to be with her again. As I got it from "Josie" (backed up by her friends' account, 4 of whom came her with her tonight), her mother "went berserk", hitting at the car windows and screaming at them. She proceeded to call the cops, who were looking for "Josie" when she called here.

Yeesh. Of course we spoke with her mother on the phone and got her side, which conflicted not at all in general but completely in tone and details with the account we got from "Josie". At this point, I called "Josie" back, and after a bitter argument that foretold a stormy night, I told her: "I'm tired of this conversation. Get your butt home. NOW." And hung up. Holy crap. That was my mother talking.

And, bless her heart, it worked. She had just been arguing that she couldn't possibly make it home in under a half-hour, but 20 minutes later she showed up. I spent that entire 20 minutes training for the argument event in the olympics, and it turned out not even to be necessary. She didn't handle the thing quite right, But I have to admit that she did as well as any other kid would probably do, foster care or no.

So we called her mom and told her she was here for the night, which seemed to set her mind at ease...and she was most assuredly 3 (or 4 or 5) sheets to the wind, by the way. She was supposed to call the cops and tell them to never mind. We called the PATH call-that-number-when-your-foster-kid-has-a-brush-with-the-law number and let them know what was up, making a point to tell them it was under control and "Josie" didn't do anything really wrong, at least this time.

So now I'm all cranked up because I didn't get the argument I was prepared for, The Wife is all nervous because she doesn't do conflict well in these types of situations, and we've got a foster daughter sitting here with four friends, none of whom are on her restricted list. What to do? That's right. Put food in the mouths of hungry babes. Mac and cheese and weiners all around. And a good time was had by all.

My only problem with how things went is that I wish the kids would have stayed longer. I enjoy their company, and I know that this is a far safer place than riding around on the roads. I really have to get enough cash together to set up a "rec center" in the basement ASAP. "Josie" agreed that if we had a little lounge area down there with a pool table, a bar with soda and some chairs and stuff with a stereo, they probably would have stayed until midnight. But as it stands right now, our house is far too lame a place for a teen to want to spend a Saturday night here willingly. Sigh. Huey Lewis assures us that "It's hip to be square". He's full of s**t.

Lastly, through all this, "Charlie" was the same angel she was last night and all day today. She was cooed over by these tough-looking kids (one of whom had a truly severe case of self-inflicted baldness, several interesting-looking piercings and wore studded leather), we still have yet to hear any fussing of any kind whatsoever, and she got a ride on my shoulders earlier and a pony ride to bed from "Josie".

I love my life.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Meeting Called Off, Hosts Not Told

We were supposed to have a "Josie" roundtable today with assorted social workers, "Josie", The Wife and I and her PO. Turned out to be just us, "Josie" and "Vicki". We know this because The Wife called to confirm, and they said "oh, didn't we tell you? That meeting has been canceled." So nice of them to give us a courtesy call to let us know.

Thus, with this reduced cast of characters, it turned into a fairly brief status update and Q&A session. Apparently this case is fairly unique for this area, and the county wouldn't even be involved at all if they weren't footing the bill. Hmph. It's like they don't give a s**t.

Anyway, "Josie's" PO is calling all shots, and we learned through "Vicki" that there is to be no further babysitting, plus no rides from anybody but us and her mother, home visits are still pretty severely restricted, no overnight visits to friends' houses (though they can come here), etc. Pretty much just a laundry list of dos and don'ts for this case that we should have had within the first week.

All that is pretty pedestrian and not really worth going into further here, but I wanted to tell you about an alarming development that I just became aware of a few minutes before I sat down to compose my nightly screed.

I was doing some guitar practice to renew the pretty lines I had on my fingertips last night when I had the thought I should call Mom & Dad, who are on their way back from Arizona, just to check their progress and assuage my loneliness. That's right, I miss my mommy. Bite me.

Anyway, I sauntered back to the bedroom, feeling pretty chipper and trying to think of something clever to say to open the conversation with Mom, and I walked into the bedroom and just stopped cold. I had to give my brain a chance to adjust to the input my eyes were feeding it. There lay "Josie" in my spot on the bed. She and The Wife were sprawled out, taking in some program on the television, content as could be with each other's company. This is new.

I do believe I've been replaced. Maybe I'm spending too much time with the guitar or something. I'm going to have to give The Wife a backrub or something. You know, do a little something to remind her of why it was that she was so keen on marrying me only a couple of years ago.

If you don't do things like that from time to time, a girl can forget. Can't have that.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Got to Get Me a Gi-tar

Tonight The Wife surprised me with a new tuning fork and a guitar instruction book, something I've been mumbling around the house about for awhile. The mumbling got more frequent since "Josie" came and brought a guitar with her that she doesn't know how to play and has no apparent interest in playing.

The tuning fork will be handy if I'm ever wanting to play away from home, but when I'm at home the CD that came with the instruction book is actually a better tuning aid and a fantastic general learning device, since I can play along with someone who actually knows what they're doing and know if I got it right or not.

I took a LOT of (wasted) piano lessons as a kid, and a few guitar lessons which I've long since forgotten, but I didn't have the drive to learn then. I do now...and one other thing. I figure if "Josie" hears me actually getting good at it, she might have an interest in learning with me. It would give her something very constructive to do while giving us something in common and something to spend time doing together. Worth a shot.

On a further note, my philosophy: I don't care what guy you talk to, if he says he doesn't want to be a rock star, he's a filthy stinking liar. Every guy wants to be a rock star. Money for nothing and your chicks for free, and all that. I can personally attest to the blister on the finger and thumb, by the way. I have many pretty stripes on my fingertips tonight.

And I will be a rock star one day. You'll see. They'll have to have plenty of geritol in my IV drip and my groupies will be the quilting club from the local nursing home, but I WILL ROCK.

"Josie's" meeting is tomorrow after work. More good stuff then, I'm sure.