Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Journey to Jacksonville, PART 1

It's Sunday. I'm sitting here, chilling with Carley, watching the last of the conference basketball tourneys, before tonight's announcement of the field of 68 and another March Madness, featuring another pool (up to about 20 now) that I will most likely NOT win for the 20th year or so in a row. And in this year's wide open field, whoever DOES win will certainly have earned it. If you want to join my madness (733 entries last year, won by none other than Wild Bill Phillips) shoot me an email to ThePoolMonkey@aol.com.

Since I dropped the initial word touting the 2016 edition of Monkey's Minions...I've already received numerous applications from worthy candidates. The hunt is on! Just a few tips to those who are anxious for a spot on the team this summer. Having other people endorse you, in addition to YOU actually applying yourself, is a plus. Also a plus, convincing me that you and your support unit will work hard to garner support through the purchase of shares. In the first two years, I've had some who did a good job of this, and some who didn't. It's a team, so there really should be some team-like efforts put forth. As for when I will name the team, or the number of players ON the team? Hmmm..not sure yet. Probably shoot for a target date of Memorial Day. Those wanting to buy a share, which will again cost $200 per share...get in touch with me. The number of players we send is solely contingent upon the number of shares I sell. Personally, I will likely come in for 15 or 20 shares again this summer.

Do you buy flowers from a florist? Why? For about a fourth of the cost, you can buy flowers at Wal-Mart that, I'm not kidding, consistently last 3-4 weeks, or roughly twice as long as those you buy from a florist. I find more and more people are discovering this little secret. For those who weren't aware, and are on a budget, you're welcome!

Well, it happened. It finally happened. Two years ago, a panicked phone call to my wife resulted in my wife, and three of her friends driving to Baton Rouge (aka Enemy Territory) and 'rescuing' Claudia 'The Claw' Crawford from her horrible boyfriend (who she actually revisited a couple times in the past couple years for whatever primal need she needed to satisfy)...bringing her back to Biloxi, and providing her with shelter at the Souther Estate.  The intent was to help her while she got back on her feet. You know, a couple, maybe a few months? 7 months later, we moved houses. The Claw came with us. Time dragged on. The Claw stayed. Carley grew fond of her...which was, to be fair, her saving grace! Never all that big of a burden or annoyance, or financial drain...it became more of a running joke, something to speculate on or about. "Hmmm...when will Claudia EVER move out? Or will she?" She kind of became known as our 30-year old teenager.

That all ended two weeks ago. Suddenly, and without any warning. She announced around the first of February that she would be taking a couple weeks to function as a shill in a house game in Birmingham that a friend of ours runs. If she liked it, she might decide to move up there and do it full time. Okay. Good luck...and have fun. 

It appears the shill thing didn't work out. But what did happen, was that she met a guy. a guy named Jonathan. Allegedly it was love at first site. And...a couple weeks later, and a trip to city hall...and I walked out to the garage after hearing Squirrel's car enter, home from work. She was on her phone. I sat patiently waiting. Carley loves to race out there and greet mommy when she returns home. She said goodbye, looks at me, and says "Well, Claw got married." Huh!???? What!!!???? And she filled in the very brief details. Then, about 15 minutes later, after Claw decided to announce it to the World of Facebook...my phone started blowing up. I had no answers for anyone, since I didn't know squat myself.  But it is what it is. Remember the show 'Green Acres?' Where the character played by Eva Gabor (I think...one of those Gabor sisters) moved from the big city out to the country to live with some farmer guy? Same basic premise. Only this guy is a brick mason. Living in Alabaster, Alabama. Oh, and he's an Auburn fan. The previous guy was an LSU fan. And just in case you weren't FULLY committed to starting the impeachment process like I already have to vote Claudia out of the Alabama fraternity...she had the audacity to root for Cam Newton in the Super Bowl, even going so far as to post #RollCamNewton which caused me all kinds of pre-game nausea. 

So...long story short, I now have the ample amount of closet space I was seeking for a very long time. Claw moved out while I was on the Journey to Jacksonville that I will be talking about pretty soon. I'm told Carley was sad...but Carley also had two of her girlfriends over for playtime, so it most likely didn't have the impact that it usually would have had on her. On Friday, Squirrel and I, after being on the wait list for two years...went and visited the Cedar Lake Christian Academy after we finally got our name called! So it looks like this fall Carley will be going to private pre-k school. Good news is that it's not much further from our house than her current school. I was really impressed with the school and the whole set up. Seems like it will make for a nice transition when she moves to 1st grade. I can't believe I'm even saying that already! Where did these first four years go? She is at this age where I fall deeper and deeper in love with her every day. She is so sweet, and so funny. She loves animals, already announcing that when she 'gets big' she wants to be a dokker for doggies...which just made Squirrel and I gush with pride. My black lab Jasper is 11 now, and our other mutt, a lab/pit mix is 8...an really aged a lot this year. I worry a lot about how Carley is going to deal with the loss of one or both of them. I have to think its going to devastate her. As it will Cheryl and I. I'm definitely not looking forward to that horrible, inevitable occasion.

As for our house? Wow.  What an adventure THAT has turned into! I did my part to make myself qualified to get a mortgage. Took two years of screwing myself on tax returns...where I would have been getting $3500 back two times, instead I paid $4000 to Obama's folks so a piece of paper would deem me eligible to buy a house. So we are qualified now to buy a pretty nice place. We like the house we are living in and have been renting for the past 15 months. Only problem? The lady who owns it is experiencing some financial hardships, and is trying to sell it for a lot more than it is worth. On top of that, I paid $350 to have a home inspection done, and a lot of things were unveiled that make it even MORE of a bad investment at even the appraised price! Now I've got the lady giving me 24-hour ultimatums to accept her offer or she is going to list it. 

This is humorous because we previously agreed to buy it without an agent, so that she would be able to save that money. Which really was a bad idea...mainly because we have so many realtor friends in the area. Cheryl confided in one that she knows really well yesterday, and was given 'advice as your friend' not to buy this house, because the homes in this neighborhood have been consistently going down in value for a variety of reasons. It sucks because I hate moving, so do NOT want to move. We are in a really convenient location too. But at the same time...buying a house at a price we will never be able to resell it at is also incredibly stupid. Unless I just want to buy it, live in it for awhile, then rent it out for an eternity like I've done with my house in Pensacola. I don't know. Ugh...home buying...so frustrating! But I just want a place that is big enough to grow with Carley! And having my own private man cave would be cool too!

Are you excited about the presidential races? Good gawd. Don't even get me going. My fellow blogger and friend Nolan Dalla has been doing quite a lot of writing on the subject this year, inspiring some very spirited threads on Facebook. I've just come to the conclusion that when liberals and conservatives are trying to win an argument with each other, there is only one consistent outcome: total chaos. I've never seen it so bad as it is this year. But I think we can blame that on social media. Our whole society has been transformed by it. People just aren't afraid to say whatever is on their mind, to whoever they please. There is no retribution, nothing to fear. Keyboard warriors are everywhere. Trumps a Nazi! Hillary is a Traitor, and a Murderer! Bernie is a Communist! Ted is a slimy slippery snake! (totally true) It's just been a political shitstorm all year. And the winner in all this? Obama! He's gone from the daily scrutiny for 7 years to being almost completely ignored. People have finally turned the page on Barack...going from "he's destroying our country! He's trying to be a dicator!" to..."Oh...him? Yeah, well...he's almost done...so it's time to start figuring out who we are going to spend the next 3-7 years hating!!!" Politics...its a non-winner no matter how you slice it. Who am I endorsing? I can't, in good conscience, actually ENDORSE anyone. It's kind of the lesser of all evils when it comes to electing any of these people. There are two who I can say I wouldn't vote for even if I was being tortured, and that's Hillary Clinton and/or Ted Cruz. Clinton for actual reasons that make sense to everyone. She's a scandal-ridden, lying, scheming, professional politician by trade who's cackle laugh make me want to set fire to her. As for Cruz, he's basically the epitome of every guy I ever wanted to punch in the face. A son of a preacher, everything that falls out of his face feels like its being delivered from a guy who wants me to send him $500 so he can finally buy that G4 that Jesus wants him to fly around in delivering his message. That no-teeth smile of his, that pointy nose, those squinty weasel eyes, that terrible hair that can't figure out which way it wants to part, that nasally whiny voice of his. His patronizing way of addressing every audience, like none of them are capable of individual intelligent thought (which, in fairness, if you are a Cruz supporter, and there listening to him speak, you might actually NOT be capable of individual intelligent thought). Yeah...put Ted Cruz in front of me, in a place where I am basically allowed a free shot with no legal ramifications, and I'd rear back and deliver a very satisfying blast to his cringe-worthy grill.

But I still don't have a clue who the hell I'm voting for. Probably Trump though...even though I think he's a buffoon, brags too much, exaggerates too much, and thinks he will be a lot more than the Constitution will allow him to, I DO LIKE the fact that he has put on hold his very easy, carefree life that a billionaire mostly enjoys...to live the life of a guy with constant scrutiny and criticism surrounding him, constant security up his ass 24-hours a day. A guy like that will have to change his whole life as he's known it for what? To serve his nation? A guy who isn't owned by banks and all the other power-brokering assholes that control the puppet strings of our presidency. I dig that. Its a hell of a sacrifice for a guy to give up all that because he genuinely cares about our country and the direction that its going in. I like that. For those afraid he wants to be a dictator or turn us into 1935 Germany? Get a fucking grip. The guy is NOT an idiot, nor does he want to go Adolf Hitler on us. Let him get in the White House...and see who he surrounds himself. That's what I'm curious to see.  I voted for Barack back in 2008 because I really thought he had a plan to change things. But it was a joke, a farce really. Nothing got better, despite what the libtards and their false memes you see all over Facebook will try to convince you of. Racial tensions are at an all time low because of his divisiveness. Situations he could have EASILY, with ANY amount of effort defused, he simply inflamed with his actions. Some of them simply unforgivable to me. So my argument? Lets try a guy like Trump. No one owns him. No one will bully him. No foreign countries are going to treat us like they've treated us the past 7 years. Promise! And as for countries respecting us LESS because we might elect Trump? Are you kidding me? Less than they respect us NOW? The only difference is, they don't respect us NOW because we have become a paper tiger. At least if they don't like us with Trump as president it won't because they don't at least FEAR us! And that is okay with me!

So yeah, I'm voting for Trump. Him, his bad hair, his goofy-looking pouty lips, his childish facial expressions during debates, his incessant desire to talk about the polls he's leading in. Yeah yeah...I get it. He's a blowhard, he's annoying as fuck. And his speeches are super repetitive. I get all that. You won't get me to disagree with you there. But where Barack Obama was a turd wrapped in a beautiful, shiny wrapper...I prefer to think that Trump might just be a precious gem...wrapped in a shitty looking cover. So I'm gonna go with the whole 'Don't Judge the Book by it's Cover' thing on this one. And hey...if he IS a total disaster? We'll either not vote him back in, or even force him to resign or impeach him...like we SHOULD have done with Obama...but oh! Everyone was afraid to because he is black, and no one wanted to risk starting a race war, or god forbid, risk their political careers!!! And then we elected him again! Well...not really! Mitt Romney just fucked himself with his little speech he didn't know was being recorded...you know the one?!! Where he clowned on 'those people' no one cares about, the ones who don't matter! Yeah...except when you need their votes. Well played Mitt! You donkey! Thanks for giving us 4 more years of Barack!

Okay well...it's now 1:20 on Sunday. Squirrel is at work, and one of Carley's playmates' mother is going to be here in 20 minutes so we can all go to an Easter egg hunt! So I will go shower and get the kid ready and finish this later...where I know you are dying to hear about Jacksonville and my adventure at Best Best. I guess I will just post this now and come back with a PART 2!