Monday, August 31, 2009

R.I.P. Nikki Indigo

My buddy Nikki AKA Nikki Indigo author of Indigo Trail of My Thoughts passed away yesterday of complications from a rare autoimmune disease called Dermatomyositis (with lung complications). She will be missed.
(You will have to excuse the self-taken-bathroom-photo-style that is now standard on the internet. But it is one of the few she sent me... And she seemed to always be wearing a slightly devilish grin like in this photo, so I had to share!)

We recently had conversations about the state of our health; The strange and rare condition that resulted in her hospitalization and 60 pound weight loss; The state of blogging and why we both needed to get back on the grind; Employment, unemployment and self-employment; and the wonderful people we have met online and in person through blogging. Among other things...

And she made me promise her two things near the end of that last conversation. The first is the story below this one. She revealed to me that she enjoyed my story telling very much, and that I should tell that story. High praise indeed from one so gifted with the art of the story. I was flattered to no end of course. I returned the favor to her by revealing that she was one of my favorite people that I had yet to meet. And that I HAD to meet her (and a few others) in person or I would be greatly disappointed. She seemed very flattered by that. It is amazing how somebody can make you feel like a million bucks by letting you know they think you are cool! She had that way though. So I dedicate "Bennie Kick" to my friend Nikki!

The other thing I promised was cookies. We got to talking about LadyLee's cookies and how neither one of us got many. Me because I am way up here in the D and her because her family killed them and she had to get her jack on to get the three that she ate. "Like crack" I believe was her description of them. I told her I get that same response up here. That led to the family business conversation. So I promised her I would send some down since she said that "homemade cookies do wonders toward making a recovery". That I do not doubt. Strangely enough I thought about that yesterday afternoon. I was wondering when she would call me to make arrangements for the shipping and such.

I am saddened because I never got the chance to send those cookies. And that she likely didn't have a chance to read the story. And for the fact that we won't be able to have that meet and greet on this world.

Nikki, you will be missed.

Until I can figure out shipping to where you are, here are some cookies.

Okay, I was gonna surprise you with a little cake too! So here's some of that also!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bennie Kick!

I dedicate this post Haremite Nikki who demanded I write this. I hope she is enjoying her journey up above!

This little gem comes from the frozen days of the house search.

Okay, so there was this dude who was helping us with our house search around the end of last year. We will call him Bennie.

For those who may be unfamiliar with the whole story, I will give the short version.

  • Wife injures leg.
  • I move to her mom's place to take care of her.
  • Around Thanksgiving she mentions that she is not renewing her lease, which ends at the end of the year.
  • So we scramble to look for housing with about a month to get things done.
  • I was unemployed and The Wife worked for an auto parts supplier, right around the time of the bailouts...
  • Did I mention that the car had no heat?
Okay, now you are caught up.

So this dude Bennie was one of the people who was contacted about a property or two. He was really eager to help us find a place since commissions around Christmas are a good thing. Not that we had very much spirit since there was a distinct lack of funding and a great deal of stress. We had very specific needs since the locale we were looking in would keep the kids in the school there were currently enrolled.

On the day in question, Bennie had a place or two to show. We made a meet time around 6:30. On this particular day, Mother Nature and Old Man Winter had a confab and decided that it would be great fun to make for a White Christmas. The bastards! They succeeded. By the time it had stopped snowing, about 6 p.m., there were at least a good 6-8 inches accumulated on the ground. That sucked big ass big time!

So on we went to find the place. We were freeing our asses off because of the no heat. And we were slip sliding in a cross country skier's paradise. We found the street in question. We turned. We got stuck! We rocked it back and forth and got unstuck. We proceeded down the street and well, got stuck again. This time I had to get out and push to get unstuck. Lemme tell you standing in a foot of snow in ankle high boots is no fun! So we managed to get it moving again. Wifey, who was driving now, almost stopped! So I humped it through the show and managed to jump in the, still, slowly moving car. We find the place. Did I mention that there was a foot and a half of snow and really nowhere to park on the street? We quickly have a discussion about street versus guessing where the driveway was. We picked the driveway. So a hot bit of acceleration and a little sideways driving and boom! Yep, stuck halfway in the driveway in two feet of snow! Yep. I know, you saw that coming... We decide to take our chances with the street parking. So we somehow manage to get the car halfway out of the driveway and into the middle of the street. By this time the city road crew was coming through. And we were blocking them. From what do you ask? Plowing the street of course. Where were these mothafuckas at 15 minutes earlier BEFORE I was sweating in 18 degree cold. Anyhow they managed to shovel and push us out of our stuckness. Partly because we were in their way. So we got unstuck from the two and a half feet of snow and down the blizzard dumped street. Of course going the way they came would have worked better since that had been plowed already, but they were blocking and shyt!

That ordeal over we managed to get back to the service drive. We went around the block and found that they had been there already. It was like night and day. We felt like we were driving in a trench with a clear bottom. So nice it was. So we made our way back to the house for the meet up with Bennie. We chose the freshly plowed street parking this time. Now by this time Bennie was a bit behind schedule. But he finally made it. He pulls up in this big ass 4wd Magnum V8 pickup truck and flies up into the driveway. He jumps out into the three feet of snow and grabs his shovel. Now he got no gloves, no hat and we are looking at him like he was some kinda alien at this point. He does a halfway decent job of moving enough snow so that Wifey wouldn't have to put her bad foot in the snow too much. She was wearing a boot and sock so there was nothing to keep her foot dry should she step too deep.

Now I must stop to paint the picture in a little more detail. We were in a community north of 8 Mile. Detroiters understand what that means. To all others, let's just say that folk there tend to not have an afrocentric point of view if you get my meaning. But again, north of 8 Mile. And it is near 7 p.m. around Christmas. So it is dark den a muhfugga out already. And there is a group of people near a house. One obviously black. One looking quite Mediterranean/Middle Eastern. The third looking either White, Black, Hispanic or Middle Eastern depending on who you ask and what the hair game looks like at the time. Needless to say, we might have looked a little suspicious in that jewish and black neighborhood.

So he finally gets enough snow moved for us to get to the porch. We are freezing our asses off because we had to drive there with no heat, and waited a extra half hour for him while getting unstuck and standing in the snow. He starts punching the combo to the lock box on the door. He finds no success. He tries it again. No luck. Third time, no charm. So he says "That's strange. Maybe she gave me the wrong combination at the office." We agree that it is a plausible explanation for the troubles and joke about it. He calls the office. The lady on the phone gives him the same combination that he has been trying. He tries it again since she tells him that there is no other combination listed for that property. I bet you know what happened right?

So now there is a mystery afoot! He decides to check the side door for another lock box. Me and Wifey are standing on the porch waiting. He comes back to his truck and is on the phone by now. He is speaking very animatedly in Not English. We look at each other. My Spock eye brow goes up. He goes back to the side door saying that he is gonna see what's up. A minute later we hear hard bangs on the door. Repeatedly. So hard in fact that the picture window starts pulsating like a 15 inch subwoofer. We start looking at each other a little more meaningfully. Then start looking out for the polices!

Finally Bennie sounds successful in having achieved entry into the place. We look at the door waiting for him to open it. Right then Wifey says "I ain't going in there if he opens that door!" I look at her like we didn't just go through a frozen ordeal to get a look at the inside of the place. I guess she reads my expression which I am positive says "Oh we going our frozen asses in there!" She then says "I'm 'bout black as night, people aren't always sure what you are AND "some" folk might think the guy we are with is the cousin of an al-Qaeda". I pause... "And do I need to point out that we are in Oak Park?" At that I go straight up Jar-Jar Binks on her ass and say "Um... Yousea point is well said!" We have a giggle over that and a moment later Bennie comes around the corner a touch pissed. He tells us that there is furniture all up in the joint and it looks like somebody left a meal on the stove. Recently...

Wifey and I share a look of stark horror at that announcement. We start moving toward the car. Judging by the amount of snow that was on the sidewalk and driveway, either the person was likely on their way home from work, or they were in the house and was hiding when he started kicking the door in. Needless to say, we got the fuck up outta there with the quickness! You wouldn't have known that lady was walking with an open toed foot through four feet of snow.

But we did find out why he was so pissed. Apparently either the house owner listed it with someone else or rented it out himself and Bennie's company out. Which was a breach or their contract. And he definitely wasn't gonna earn no commission on that joint.

That was some crazy shit right there! We still laugh about that. I do wonder what happened with that house and such. And I wonder what he is up to. Sucked for him that somebody else managed to find us the place we are in now.

But we will always remember Bennie Kick (your door in)!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I may be going on another blog break. But not because I want to. Seems that the phone company has performed an interdiction on the long distance. Of course the internet and local service may be soon to follow.

So if you don't see me here or on Facebook, don't worry. I am still here, just out of contact!

Damn! Just as I was getting used to blogging again!

Somebody need to call me dammit!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I spent nearly the entire day in front of my computer yesterday. Entire like I was working double shifts with a nap in between. I mention this because that is a sure sign that the rainclouds of depression have fully fallen on me. I find myself bored after too long sitting in this chair. But I fought through the boredom because it was the most interesting thing that my mind could come up with.

At one point I couldn't touch the keyboard to continue, yet I couldn't remove myself from the chair. I put my head in my hand. I managed to glance at the mirror wall next to me. The body language spoke volumes. The guy even looked like he was crying. It was strange because my own eyes were bone dry. I did a double take on that one. It gives me pause even now. Took me 10 minutes to finish this paragraph.

The stress of things as they are is killing me.

Something has gotta change.

Before I do...

This post is on a 23 hour delay. I never liked posting twice in the same day. Hopefully I will be out of this chair in the next hour. Or at least before it posts on the blog...

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Thought From Facebook

"You know, I am looking at my friends list. I am slightly surprised at the size of it. I am surprised because I haven't always been the most gregarious person. Yet for such a loner, I have a fairly large list. And these are just the ones I found on Facebook! I have some memory of everyone in the list. I guess you never realize how many people have touched your life until you see them all together!"

This was a little something that occurred to me while I was roaming around on my Facebook page earlier. The thought popped into my mind when I realized that the 152 people are only percentages. 82 relatives most of whom represent only ONE of my grandparents and their relatives. And they are only a part of the group as a whole. And still not all of the ones on Facebook I suspect.

About a dozen and a half of classmates from middle and high school years. A drop in the bucket considering the numbers of that population. Another dozen and a half of so of folk met in blogville. I still don't have everyone in the bloggerfam up in there. This is the largest percentage on FB for the population. And I have yet to meet one in person. Aside from Six that is. Known her all her life! As yet I have found no one from my college years.

But if you add all the folk together that have passed through you life who were not one time meetings, the list can get quite big. My own list would likely be over 500. Even more if you include all of the younger relatives I haven't met.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I Now Officially Hate The 'Burbs!

Yep. I said it. I am officially hating on the suburbs like never before. As some of you may know, I am currently living life on the "other side". The other side of Eight Mile Road. If you are from Metro Detroit, I need not explain. For the rest of you, it means I done moved to the 'burbs and went all bougie on ya asses! Wasn't my intention. But since the school was helping my son's better than the others, we decided to keep him in the school he was in when we got back together.

Fast forward to now. I ain't mad at the convenience of having things nearby. 7-11s. Tim Hortons. Supermarkets. Pharmacies... You get the idea. None of that stuff is close in the hood. I am good with having things close, even if they do close early.


My problem is that I got my old ass "If Lance Armstrong can get back on his bike after three years and finish on the podium at the hardest bike race in the world, I can ride mine too" self up and went on a one hour tour. A one hour tourrrrr..... The weather started getting up... Oh. I digress...


I got on my bike. I started exploring the neighborhood and nearby environs. What I call my turn and burn sessions. Turn a few corners, burn a few calories. At random of course. This particular day, called today, I ventured west. Turn and burn as I said is random and usually in the depths of the neighborhood. Now I have seen some nice houses in these parts. The street I am on now is quite nice in fact. BUT... There is some really nice real estate in these parts. But I hit northeast Southfield. And I am completely dissatisfied with everything I lived in and everything I thought to live in to date (with the exception of The Dream House...). I recently found an old friend who I hadn't seen in years nearby. He was not far from me or the area just explored. I remarked that I liked the house and neighborhood he was in. I got to see a lot of it because I got a little turned around trying to find him. Really nice stuff, but not exceptional to my eye. Well this stuff was exceptional.

Tree lined streets. Circular drives. 3000+ square feet. Quiet as you please. And most importantly no nigtasticalness! And one was even for sale! I thought that I had found Shangri-la or Atlantis or something! And it was hiding right under my nose! Hidden within the confines of roads I travel often! I know I am sounding all gushy over something that might be somewhat blah to others. But it was damn near a life changing moment for me. For a second I thought I heard someone say "I HAVE to get THAT house" But I was alone. I had let that escape my lips aloud. That NEVER happened before unless I was looking at a mansion. Like the dream house...

Suddenly the new digs looked a little less charming. The neighborhood a bit less fetching. I remarked to The Wife upon returning from my ride, "You know we live in a nice looking ugly neighborhood."

My point? I now officially hate the 'burbs. Why? Because they made me want to STAY!!! But in a bigger and better house!

Side note: I looked up the price of that house that was for sale. $240,000! A touch steep if you ask me considering the housing market I bought in. BUT, for the first time spending nearly a quarter of a million bucks on a house doesn't seem all that crazy to me.


Damn 'burbs.

Oh and screw you to all the folk who live in the pricey market places who are laughing at me right now. Not everybody lives in a place where you spend $100k on a shack with no view!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Facebook Stalker

Okay. Not REALLY stalker. But I make a game of it doing the friends list. My own little six degrees of separation thing. I have found some interesting coincidences. Some puzzling. Since most of my family, that I know of, is on my page now. I have been trying to figure out the people who keep popping up in my suggestion list. Some I can, some I can't. Most of them I can at least categorize them because of their guilt by association. The biggest mysteries are the bloggers. My mind is usually not in detective mode when I am on FB. So I have some trouble trying to figure out who these people are who are common friends with my favorite bloggers. I find it a fun game though. Of course if you find yourself reading this and am not on my FB friends, throw me a bone and send the request already.

If you want to that is...

No pressure...

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Happy Birthday nephew who resembles me a great deal!

I am actually a week late with this post. I feel some shame. But I was hoping for a newer picture. Ah well, parents! What are ya gonna do? I guess I will post it on the actual date though.

Us chillaxin' in the olden days! I think his nickname for me at the time was Mr. Sandman!

Yep. It's a Mini Me! In my hat! Of course at this stage the hat went half way down his back!

But he was reppin' the D!!!!

Already trying to follow in his dad's footsteps. All up under the wheel with no L!

I would have posted a video of some kind but he never manages to stay in one place long enough. And I gotta clear out my phone memory a bit to take some.

Happy Birthday Brandon Deon Royal II!!!
AKA Tippy Toes AKA Poona AKA Me All Over Again AKA Mini Me AKA LB AKA Bran Bran AKA...