“I just ate less…”

24 DAYS…

but who’s counting.

Me.  I have less than a month to go and my goal of 125 by Nov. 1 looms.  I like that word.  LOOMS.  Current weight:  129.4 and apparently holding forever…

Let’s go back 56 years…yes…I am 20 years old…sigh.  That was a splendid year…if only I could tell more people.   You know.

But I digress.  Summer 1963.  I was 20 and I weighed 99 pounds.

And because of my extraordinary skills (okay, no one else would do it), I was the catcher for a fast pitch softball team.  Read 70 mph…yup.

It was a hot July night in old Bloomington, Minnesota and we were playing a really tough, championship team from the mean streets of Minneapolis.

I was taking a few warm-ups from my pitcher who…incidentally…had a smoking  fast ball that would drop a little just before the plate.  Have I set the picture?

Let continue…I flipped up my catcher’s mask (I thought I was so cool) to quickly take a drag off my ‘lit’ Marlboro cigarette…which was conveniently nestled in the sand right next to me…hey…this was 55 years ago.  Don’t judge me.

I looked down to pick up the Marlboro and just as I looked up to take a drag…my obviously non-aware pitcher threw a sizzling, fast ball, hitting my unprotected face, sending me backwards about a foot…no really…a whole 12 inches.

Not only did the lit cigarette cause a burn on my cheek, I couldn’t chew real food for about 3 weeks.  I wasn’t wired shut…it was just too painful to do anything but drink fluids or very mushy foods.

There is no moral to this telling…just background to the fact that…I lost 5 pounds in less than a month.

Anyone looking for a 75 year old catcher?

Have a nice day…

 

 

“I just ate less…”

…sigh…

No Change.

HOWEVER…every time I jump on the scale…I see the 130.8 & and then it settles on 131.0.  I cut 3″ off my hair yesterday so I was REALLYHOPEFULLY…expecting good news!!!!  Oh well…there’s always tomorrow…of course, until there isn’t!  HAH!!!

Have a nice day…

“I just ate less…”

****129.8**** !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IKR…..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So…here’s the deal.  I cut my hair.

I figured “how hard could it be?”

I figured “just a little snip here…and…there…”

It’s the only explanation I can offer…since yesterday I took a hour and a half nap, did not walk because the dew point was…like 150…and I had an extra half popsicle because it was Monday.

Truth in Telling:  My avatar is slightly exaggerated…

Have a nice day…

 

 

 

Chapter 6

The Parents’  first attempt at ‘parenting’ was to volunteer at my 7th grade “Welcome Back” school dance which incidentally was my first foray into “socializing” on a grander scale than play dates with neighborhood kids.   Some memories are best not shared.

Two weeks before the dance, The Parents descended unannounced upon a clueless Principal Nelson (such a nice, normal man).

He had previously been informed when Karlie began 7th grade that the parents of Karlie and Tobey Carlson had been tragically killed on their third attempt to climb Mt. Everest.

The Parents had bravely tried to rescue their loyal Sherpa who had fallen into a deep crevasse.  All three bodies were never recovered…so Karlie and younger sister Tobey were now being lovingly raised by a grandma named Sylvia…so you just call her if anything comes up.

This compellingly sad tale had been created by our highly imaginative grandma after a couple of glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon.  Both Karlie and I thought it was a sound plan and we all agreed that there was no reason whatsoever to mention this to The Parents…ever.

But now…The Parents told the puzzled Mr. Nelson, that “Yes!  Of course we’re Tobey’s  parents!  Who else would we be?”

And they added for good measure, “We’re Karlie’s parents too!”  They figured this  further claim would seal the deal.

A hesitant and slightly confused Principal Nelson said he “would see if they would be needed.”

It should have ended there but The Parents were now on a mission and made sure of being ‘needed’ by donating $100,000 to renovating the teachers’ lounge.  They were more than ‘needed’…they were revered.

Imagine riding a roller coaster with no safety bar to hold you in place…that was my life for the next 6 years…

 

 

Chapter 17

“WHAT are you doing out HERE?” I cried.

“And what part of guardian ‘watch over you’ angel do you not get exactly,” said Fred almost snippily.

“I ‘watch over you’ ALL the time.”

I pulled out the breakfast bar stool and started to sit down and paused to give Fred a not so friendly, meaningful look.  He wisely drifted away toward the patio door.

I opened the bottle of Jim Beam and pored a couple of inches into my glass.  I took a sip…TERRIBLE!

I got up and walked over and opened the freezer.  I scrounged around and found some ice cubes in a bowl and tossed them into my glass.  I returned to perch on the stool.

“Livin’ the dream…” I said and I raised my glass in a toast to Fred.  He swayed a little.  I nodded.

“If I go to sleep tonight and wake up tomorrow…will I remember any of this?  Will you still be here?” I asked.

Fred didn’t say anything for a minute or two.  But then he said, “I don’t know, maybe.  And yes.”

I took a bigger sip.  Not too bad now with the ice.  I swirled it around a little more.

“I’m not sure I can handle this,” I said hesitantly.

“Oh…you’ll be fine.  You’re tough.  Remember I’ve seen you in action…good times and some very bad times…”

“…I held you when you cried…helped you create new swear word combinations when you were furiously angry…tried to steer you away from people who were not good to you or for you…even let little words of encouragement and love from your mom and dad seep into your subconscious when you were sleeping.

“I even helped you get this job and this apartment.  I could go on but I don’t want to brag.”  Fred swayed from side to side…obviously proud of his accomplishments.

“Wow!  That is impressive!  And you didn’t need any permission for all that, right?”

“Oh, no,” Fred said confidently That falls totally under my job description.  I can do a LOT of stuff.”

My glass paused on its way to my mouth, brain engaged in full speculation mode…

Chapter 18

“You can ‘do’ things?” I asked quickly.  I was no longer so sleepy.

“What kind of things?  Like miracles?  Magic?  Can you change things?”  I rattled off  questions rapid fire.

“Don’t get too excited.  GA’s, if I may abbreviate, work in the background.  Think of us as agents…like the CIA…we have powers but we have limits.”

“So,” I said.  “No miracles.  No magic.  No changing the world…right? ”

“Right.” answered Fred.

I thought for a few moments and then hesitantly asked, “Can you make it possible for me to visit Heaven to see Iris and Rain?  Just a short visit…or can they come down here?”  Unwanted tears were forming in my eyes.  I missed them so much.

“No, Tobey, I can’t do that.”  Fred said softly and I sensed a comforting warmth on my arms that made me feel less sad.  It was like a tender hug.

“Is that what you do?  I asked.

“That is what we do mostly.  But sometimes we add extraordinary amounts of a laxative to a very mean boy’s punch when he is treating one of our  ‘people’ badly.”

“OMG!!!…like Albert Simmons, my creep date to the 11th grade Snow Dance?”

“Precisely.” said Fred.

“He never lived down the embarrassment of that night.  He had to go to a different school for his senior year…someplace where he wasn’t called  ‘Poopy.'”  I smiled broadly and then yawned.

I finished off the Jim Beam, looked at my kitchen clock and saw that it was almost 3:30 a.m.

“I’m going to bed, Fred.  I need to sleep.”

Imagine this, I thought…talking to my guardian angel at 3:30 in the morning just like I would talk to my cat Emma…or even a real, live person.

“Sure, I understand.” said Fred as he floated across the living room and down the hall.

I followed behind, turning off the lights as we went…so abnormally normal.

Chapter 20

My eyes flew open and I could hear Fred talking to me.  What did he mean?  The room wasn’t even smoky and there was no alarm…

      BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP

Oh…there it was.  Gosh that’s loud.  I’m always shocked how loud the alarm is.

Now there was enough smoke so I could smell it.  I shrugged on my slippers as I walked after Fred down my hallway and out the door into the apartment hall.  No one else was out there.

“This way,” said Fred.  He was leading me toward a foggy light at the end of the hall.  WTF…had I really died?  Was this the “light” that everyone keeps talking about when they die?

No, no of course not, I told myself.  It’s just the apartment emergency light.  WAKE UP TOBEY!!! I shouted to myself and shook my head and blinked my eyes.  There was a lot more smoke now.

Then I pulled back…

“Wait.  Where is Emma?  Do you have her?”  I hollered ahead to Fred.  Now I couldn’t see him very well.  The alarm was so much louder in the hallway, I could hardly hear my own voice.

“She’ll be fine, Tobey.  You have to leave now.”  His touch was more insistent but he wasn’t grabbing me.

“No!  I can’t leave Emma.  I’m going back Fred!”

I turned away and felt his touch on my arm disappear and I slowly made my way back down the now smoke-filled hallway until the red  from the EXIT sign showed I was at my door.  It hadn’t locked when I had closed it.

“Thanks God!!” I said out loud.

I pushed the door open and quickly closed it, making sure that Emma had not run out into the hall.

I knew where that little squirt would be…under my bed…where she always went when that dratted alarm went off.

The smoke was getting thicker.  I ran into my room coughing.  I shut the door in case Emma tried to slip out.

I clapped for my light to go on.  It did.  But then all the lights went out!