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Gift from Hil Part 2 - 2014-12-30
A Gift from Hil - 2014-12-28
There was A LOT of turkey. - 2014-12-04
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12:27 a.m. - 2013-09-16
The Back Is a Bitch. (Sorry, Elton)

Been pretty hairy the last few days. 9-11 bit me hard this year. Mostly about my friend Dominick. More than sad, I was pissed off. It felt like a humongous honking rip-off that Dommie was dead. All I kept thinking was how he'd never gotten to see me happy. Dom would have LOVED how happy I am. No jealousy, no mean-spirited little gremlins secretly hoping my life goes back in the shitter, nada. Pure 100% delight. I know it like I knew that crappy chianti he liked so much would give me hives.

Then what happens the next day? Fricken Seaside burns down. Mick immediately decided it was a smart bear's fire (aka: arson, see 'Hotel New Hampshire' for original source) because it was the old part of the boardwalk. The ragged remains of where Funtown Pier used to be and a few storm battered survivors like Carousel Arcade, The Sawmill (pizza joint, bar, small concert venue upstairs), and The Beachcomber cafe. Mick thinks a few of the owners didn't get enough rebuild money the first time around or they were just greedy and wanted more. Frankly I don't know or care. Just like I don't care if 9-11 was a black flag job by the Bush neocons or if all that destruction really was caused by a crew of insane Saudis with box cutters. People are dead. My friends are dead. Smart bear's fire or just horrible dumb bad luck that Kohr's ice cream stand went up and took what was left of Funtown Pier with it, my Seaside is hurt again. Carousel Arcade is gone. Merry-go-round, skee-ball, old school arcade games like Centipede and Battle Zone, and hardest of all for me- the shooting gallery. In my lifetime that dopey shooting gallery went from 10 shots for a dime to 20 shots for a quarter to 15 shots for 75 cents and summer before last it was a buck. What never changed was the targets. The clanging frying pan, the roulette wheel, the slumped musician at the player piano, that goofy ass vulture on the pump handle. The rifles tethered to the deck by thick segmented metal hoses like the hoses for shower massagers. A couple wooden milk crates upholstered in carpet for the little kids to stand on. And it's gone. This hurts. A lot.

For certain over time some things changed at Carousel Arcade besides the prices. The hemp jewelry kiosk disappeared sometime in the 90s. Pinball machines and hand-cranked claws that grabbed penny candy gave way to video games. The turnstile to the bathrooms came and went and came back again. If you needed to pee you'd best have a quarter handy. Lawyers and insurance companies got ahold of things and they put a goddamn fence around the merry-go-round and it was never the same to me after that. In one of the summers before Wolf when Alex was our glory and sole reason to live one of the kids who made change told us the dime skee-ball machines were being taken out at the end of the season. Replaced by flashy light-up ones with digital score displays and sound effects. Stunned and sad, you know what I did? I stole a skee-ball. Somewhere around here is a weighty, scarred up wooden ball, a relic from a by-gone era and now thanks to the fire probably one of the few tangible bits of Carousel Arcade left at all. Maybe someday long in the future they'll open a museum dedicated to the Seaside That Used To Be and I will bequeath them that skee-ball in my will.

Stress, as always, did a number on my psyche and my bod. Friday was a long, long day of shitty errands and not a one of them was for me. By dinnertime my entire bod was aching like a rotted tooth. My usual diplomatic soft-shoe went missing and my razor tongue came out. Mick, of course, went batshit when I was sharp with him. So spoiled by my (nearly) unending well of patient, flattering, oh-so-careful way of going on for me to let the leash off my tongue and speak a home truth...well! The fat was in the fire then, my friends. One HUGE brawl followed. I was stressed, hurting, weary, and in no fucking mood to make it all better. I ended up sleeping on the loveseat in my office. An exquisitely stupid act for which I am still paying. My back is furious with me.

Mick and I patched things up by Saturday afternoon but by then it was too late for my bod. I crawled into bed and spent the next 17 hours dozing, being jolted awake by pain because I'd moved, watching Anthony Bourdain until I drifted off again, lather, rinse, repeat.

Today I've gimped around as best I could. I can move okay if I stay bent at a 35 degree angle. Or I can straighten up (which hurts like a bastard) but only if I keep my right foot off the floor.

Basically I've become Riff-Raff.

However I have an appointment with the chiro tomorrow. And almost all day to get it together enough to drive. (One of the few instances when having a manual transmission royally sucks.) In the meantime I have Naproxen, a comfy chair, my trusty hot water bottle, ginger ale for the ouchie stomach, and the Colin Firth version of 'Pride and Prejudice'.

Feh, it's been worse. ~LA

PS: Amy? You are an amazing friend! Mwah!

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