A little background here:

Judy’s sister, Kathy, whom I used to love until two weeks ago, sent Judy and me an email talking about a Rescue Brittany (which is, apparently a pointer – not a spaniel) named Max who lives in our little town in the middle of nowhere and needs to be adopted and do we know anybody who wants to adopt a dog?…

Unfortunately, included with the email was a web site.. And the website has pictures.. Of Max…

Equally unfortunate is the fact that Judy actually went into the web site and looked at the pictures… Of Max… He’s cute… And he has Brittany eyes that say – well, you know what dogs’ eyes say…

At any rate, Judy started talking about Max a lot.. The next thing I knew, there were two contractors knocking at the door to measure for and quote on a fence in part of the yard… Then she went to meet Max… She took Max for a walk.  (Apparently Max has no problem walking, even though he is nine years old.  In fact, Judy had a hard time keeping up with him.)

And then Judy filled out adoption papers…

And now the adoption people are going to come out to our house and inspect, but they are going to wait until the fence is in…

Max is a friendly dog, and loves people, other dogs and even cats…

And he actually points…

(As mentioned in Chapter 24 of my ongoing bio, We have a cat named Panther, and while I’m quite certain that Max will get along with her, I am not at all certain that Panther will get along with Max. She is not used to friendly dogs… I wonder if it would freak her out if Max ever pointed at her…)

End of background…

Beginning of conversation…

Judy was comfortably situated in her favorite place on the sofa in the family room with Panther sitting on her lap and we were discussing her trip.  At some point, I made a hissing sound, imitating Panther the Vicious.  Somehow, Panther was startled by this and jumped from Judy’s lap to the back of the sofa…

Judy was trying to calm her down…

“Don’t be scared Panther – I’ll protect – you can trust me…”

“You’re buying a dog.”

“Oh yeah…”

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Bill’s Bio – Chapter 24

January 27, 2010

Chapter 24

A New Guitar Player, An Old and A New Guitar Player

and

An Old Guitar Player

You’re probably reading this relatively soon after you read Chapter 23, which means that you are expecting me to pick up from right where I left off…

That’s all well and good, but while you just read chapter 23, I wrote it about 8 months ago, and I have to get back into the swing of the story… Give me a minute…

I have a cat.  My cat’s name is Panther… Here’s a picture…

Hello! My name is Panther... I have killed coyotes, rattle snakes, cows and bears... You don't want to mess with me...

The reason I bring this up is that my son, Billy, and his wife, Lacey, have a dog. His name is Monkey.

Hello! My name is Monk. I have made friends with a mouse, another dog, and various forms of wild animal excrement in the back yard... I wanted to be friends with Panther the Vicious, but she didn't see it that way...

I know what you’re thinking… So what?

Well, Here’s so what…

Billy and Lacey decided to go to Alcatraz a couple of days ago, to see Shawn and Megan (another set of married Kammerer boy and wife).

OK – to be truthful, they weren’t going to Alcatraz to visit Shawn and Megan, they were going to visit Alcatraz WITH Shawn and Megan…

Anyway, the point is that they were going to be away a couple of days, and they needed a Monkey-sitter. That turned out to be me, for the most part… And Panther…

Monk is a very HAPPY and FRIENDLY doggy, and is really a lot of fun to be around.  But he is still a very young pup, and has not yet learned that some animals do not want to be friends with him.

Panther, who is ten years old and has had many an encounter with coyotes and other wild animals, and so is a master of feline self-defense, just sees Monk as another potential way to leave the earthly life of a cat… She is wary of poor Monk…

So, when Monk came into the picture on Monday night, Panther was understandably nervous…

Things weren’t all that bad, actually.  Panther spent most of the next day perched high above the floor staring down at Monk and Monk spent most of the day perched low below the ceiling staring up at Panther.

This arrangement worked well until two things happened…

  1. Monk ate something and had to go out for a “walk” in the backyard.
  2. Panther took advantage of the missing dog, came down from her perch, ate something of her own and visited her litter box.

These two event’s were pretty much mutually exclusive until I decided that it was time to bring Monk back into the house… Through the “mud” room…  Which happens to be the exact geographical location of the litter box… And Panther was just finishing up…

Not surprisingly, this led to a, somewhat, tense encounter between the two…

No violence actually occurred, but there was a sort of stand-off / stare-down, accompanied by some meaningful circling around the kitchen floor.  It was really quite educational…

After the stare-down / stand-off, Panther just jumped up to her high perch and Monk resumed his spot on the floor…

Later that night, Judy brought Monk back to Billy and Lacey’s…

And all was back to normal…

I had, of course, let the rest of the guys know that I was coming back to town.

The rest of the guys had, of course, not let me know that I had been replaced by a new lead guitar player. I wish I remembered his name, but I don’t.  I know, I’ll just refer to him as “Monk”…

The first practice after I got back was awkward, awkward, awkward. Yeah, that word comes closest to fitting the situation, though there’s a certain amount of tension and stomach illness that isn’t quite covered with that term…

After introductions were made, there was a lot of “er-ing” and “uh-ing” and avoidance of eye contact going on.  Except between Monk and me… We actually looked at each other a lot… No violence actually occurred, but there was a sort of stand-off / stare-down, accompanied by some meaningful circling around the garage… But we got through the practice..

(I should interject here that Monk really was a better guitar player than I was.  But this wasn’t a talent dispute – it was a territorial dispute – and he was invited to encroach into my territory and he did so, willingly…)

The real fun came when we had our first gig together… That was a real hoot…….

If you think there was nervous tension during my first practice with Monk, you should have been on stage while setting up for the first gig… Not a lot of talking going on, just quietly going about the business of setting up.

Sound checks, Lighting checks, tuning up, etc.

Then we started to play…

Things were going OK.  And then for some reason Monk decided to take a break in the middle of a set.  He just put down his guitar, left the stage and went to the back of the hall to stand all by himself.  I thought that was a bit odd…

While he was back there, we went into a song with a long guitar solo part in the middle.  It came time for me to do my solo and it was going well.  So well, in fact, that Monk came running back up to the stage, picked up his guitar and joined in the solo…

After a minute I realized that people had stopped dancing and were just standing there… Looking at us… No, they weren’t just watching – they were looking amazed and I couldn’t figure out why…

I started listening to what we were doing… Wow – that sounds pretty good!  In fact, it was AWESOME! We had found a new sound and it was really good!  In fact, I think that Monk and I connected during that solo – all the tension had disintegrated into space… We were playing off of each other like we had been doing it for years…

I became amazed!

I decided at that moment that I could live with another guitar player…

Then it came time to come out of the solo and there was supposed to be a change of beat… And Mike lost his timing on the drums… And it all went away…

And so did Monk… Yep, right there in the middle of the set, he just stopped, packed up his stuff and we never saw him again…

And all was back to normal…

______________________________________________________________________________

Next… Chapter 25 – “Is there a downtown Moorpark?”

Those of you who know me well know that I am a complete lightweight when it comes to the consumption of alcohol. I don’t drink very often, and when I do I don’t actually get “drunk” because I don’t actually drink more than one of whatever it is.

For future reference, what I DO get is – uh – interesting… But I’ll just skip that for now…

Tonight, Judy and I decided to have dinner at a local Chinese restaurant…

Waiter: “Can I stalt you out with somesing to dlink?”

Judy: “I’ll have a lemonade, please.”

“And fol you, sul?”

Me: “I believe I shall have a glass of Merlot, please.”

“Vely good sul. Wourd you rike that cord or loom tempelatule?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Wourd you rike the wine chirred or walm?”

“Oh – chilled, please.”

“One grass of melrot, chirred. Thank you.”

“Thank YOU.”

The waiter left and Judy’s eyes met mine…

“What?”, I asked…

“Nothing,” she replied as she broke into a really large grin. “I can drive home.”

“Not necessary – they always water down the wine here.”

“OK,” she responded…

Well, we were both right.. The wine was watered down…

And Judy drove home..

Am I pathetic or what?

That is all.. Thank you for your support…

Judy and I were in the car driving along when, after about 90 minutes, she said “Would you mind if we had a little quiet time for awhile?”, to which I – truthfully – replied, “I’m not talking.”

This response was met with a silent glare for about 15 seconds…

And then she reached over and turned off the radio…

“Panther sure knows how to make stinky poop.”

I looked at the litter box and saw that the litter was a bit thinly spread, and there was a fresh deposit lying unburied.

“It’s easy when there’s no litter in the box. Even you could do it.”

She stood there for a few seconds with a thoughtful look on her face and then said…

“I doubt it…”