The Green Thumb

I know many people who have a green thumb. My great grandmother had the most amazing yard and several beautiful gardens that she tended and care for to allow me the privilege of running around it and messing it up. My mother can grow the best veggies in her gardens and even can make flowers bloom in ponds. My ex-wife could really grow flowers and veggies. I miss the veggies.
The gene for green must skip a generation. My thumb is anything but green. I like to think of it as a little blue with a touch purple and the bit of flaming red too! I can kill plants better than anyone I know. Lettuce will wilt if I’m not fast enough while eating my salad. A boutonniere in my blazer won’t last long enough to make it out of the bedroom. All it takes is one touch. Flowers die. Leaves wither. It is really sad because I like nature. There are two plants that seem to have immunity to my herbicidal hand – kudzu and poison ivy. Why can’t my powers be used for good instead of evil?
To let you know the level of my destructiveness to dandelions (actually they are immune too) I have killed a cactus. My dear, sweet, loving, and slightly sadistic mother felt sorry for me and decided that I needed a plant that could not be killed. A simple little potted cactus was the fauna flavor from my family. It was decided that no one could possibly kill a cactus. Oh how they underestimated me. Years ago this all happened and my mom still laughs about it. I don’t know what happened. Turning over a new leaf, so to speak, I talked to it, thought nice thoughts around it, and watered it every day! And it still died! What’s up with that?
But if you ever need someone to get rid of those pesky petunias or the raunchy roses, give me a call and I will get rid of those terrible tulips.

The Buzz

There is one kind of buzz that gives me more pleasure than any other kind out there. It is a feeling of empowerment and enjoyment. It can sting like so many cannot.
There is also a certain level of intoxication that comes from this buzz that is like no other.
One buzz that this isn’t is the bee buzz. I hate that sound! You know something bad is going to happen if you hear that. Bzzzzzz. Then if it goes up in pitch you have two choices. Choice one: Run. Choice two: stung. And sometimes choice one does not get you away from choice two. Then there is choice three that involves a fly – or in this case bee – swatter. Kill or be killed… err … stung. My personal preference is an industrial sized can of Raid with the optional flamethrower that can be found in your local army surplus store. That buzz is no fun at all for any of us unless you’re a bee keeper in which case the whole Raid/flamethrower thing may not be the best option.
The second kind of buzz requires the consumption of a certain level of alcohol to achieve a lowering of inhibitions that lead to the making of friends with people with whom you normally would not even consider being in the same state. However, in the buzzed state of beer induced brotherhood they have become your BFFs as long as the last F means, “For as long as my buzz lasts.” That buzz when brought on by tequila also leads to Spring Break pictures that can come back to haunt you when you are being considered for that Supreme Court Justice job. Also that kind of buzz when the source is Smirnoff has been known to cause pregnancies that are difficult to explain when you are not sure exactly what happened after the party. And don’t even get me started about the day after the buzz and the headaches that make it so that you have super-sensitive hearing that allows you to hear the spider crawling across the ceiling wearing what sounds like tap shoes and coughing like a 3 pack a day smoker. That spider really needs help!
The buzz that I like the best is the one that lets you in and out of secure areas. It doesn’t matter to me if it is letting me in the building of the friend or the maximum security section of Shawshank prison. That buzz opens doors – literally! Being able to get in a place that not everyone can is such a feeling of power. You stand there and hear the buzz and open the door and you look around with the smile that says, “Yes I am worthy to enter this sanctum sanctorum that the rest of you mere peasants are not even allow to glimpse.” There is something to be said for that rush knowing that you can get past the security due to the worthiness within you that others deem you righteous enough to enter.
Now if someone would just buzz that padded door and let me out of this straightjacket I’d really feel empowered!

Working Weakly


It is always amazing how many things there are to learn when you start a new job. The questions are many. What are the rules? Who are the leaders? When can you talk? Where do they keep the highlighters? Can I have a paperclip? Is this more like the Office or Office Space? Will my boss have pointy hair? Will that button really send the reactor into meltdown?
My first week on the job was like drinking from a fire hose. Granted I was thirsty. But I don’t think I was quite that thirsty! Now that I have been there a while I get to see other people being treated to the dousing with dilemma of the deluge of discovery. Just today I told someone, “Don’t worry. It seems like drinking from a fire hose. But it gets better.” The look in her eyes was one of both fear and relief. I’m not sure if she was relieved that it gets better or afraid that she might actually become like us. Either way I feel like I did my community service for the week.
Then there are times when the work load seems like it will burden you to the point of breaking. The difference between a yoke and a yokel is the difference between lightening and lightening bugs. How much will you give for the paycheck? There are times when I will give all the hours I posses and then there are other times when I will give what is needed and give the other time to my boys. No regrets there.
Work is something that we do to live. But one of the mistakes I have made in the past is confusing what I do to live to what my life is. I love my job. It is challenging and can be very lucrative for acquiring the luxuries I like. But there are some things that money can’t buy. Loyalty can only be bought with loyalty. Money can rent loyalty but it can be bought with something more but less tangible. Love can be paid for but cannot be bought in its real form. Then there is the family that cannot be bought or sold but can be helped or hindered with the price of money.
Love what you do. If you do not love your job then get a new one. It is not worth your time to work every week and work weakly at it. I know it sounds trite but it is right. Life is too short to not love what you do whether it is work or play. But love what and who makes you the real you and you will find that you will like you better and may just even love who you have become.

True Love

The Princess Bride has a great scene where the leader of the wedding ceremony is discussing true love.
Check it out. It is priceless! But do you think that twue wuv… I mean true love really exists? I hope so. All I want is someone to love me the way that I am. I know that is a tall order and may not be possible for me because – let’s be honest – I’m a space case. But it may be out there for you dear reader!
I have taken quotes from some of our finest minds and ignored them in favor of quotes from some of our funniest minds. Here is what I have found.
  • “I detest ‘love lyrics.’ I think one of the causes of bad mental health in the United States is that people have been raised on ‘love lyrics.” – Frank Zappa
  • “I love being married. It’s so great to find one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.” – Rita Rudner
  • “Do not marry a man to reform him. That is what reform schools are for.” – Mae West
  • “A happy home is one in which each spouse grants the possibility that the other may be right, though neither believes it.” – Don Fraser
  • “If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?” – unknown
  • “Marriage is a fine institution – but I’m not ready for an institution.” – Mae West
  • “My heart’s in the right place. I know, ‘cuz I hid it there.” – Carrie Fisher
  • “To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer. To suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy then is to suffer. But suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you’re getting this down.” – Woody Allen, Love and Death
  •  “If love is the answer, could you please rephrase the question? “ – Lily Tomlin
  • “Like the measles, love is most dangerous when it comes late in life.” – Lord Byron
  • “To laugh often and love much… to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give one’s self… this is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


I am not ashamed to say that I know rejection. So many of you are thinking to yourselves, “How can a handsome, charming, funny man like Doug ever know rejection?” Well I was married for 20 years. And I know I’m not all that with a popsicle and whipped cream on top. But I have known rejection in my time.
High school was a time of rejection. Odd thing was I have found out recently that what I thought was rejection was really playing hard to get. I hate high school even more now than I did back then! I went to college where I found that not all women were evil harlots determined to break my heart and ruin my life, but that one girl turned out to be my future ex-wife so maybe not. I’m just kidding. Most of the women I know are wonderful, sweet, kind, sexy and married to better men than me. Then there are the women in bars who give me their numbers that end up at “dial a prayer” where I pray for things like world peace, happiness for all the philanthropists of the world and women who give phony numbers to nice guys and end up with jerks.
The rejection I hate has to do with simple, happy guys who are merely trying to make a living selling perfectly harmless life insurance to people who really need it and can’t get past the people who do not have the vision to see that their people will benefit from the wonders of group term life insurance. Almost sounds like I have firsthand experience doesn’t it? This was one of those days when I longed for the kindness of the high school girls who laughed at me when I asked them to prom. It is not that the people I talked to today were uncaring or too obtuse to see the wonderful things I had to share. The only thing that really happened is that so many people said no. It happens. But this time it reached me in a way that rejection never has. It didn’t hurt. That was new. It wasn’t personal. It was just business.
What has happened to me? I like it. This evening when I stopped at a bar and grill for dinner I was ready for rejection. I guess leaving with a phone number was not what I expected. Why is it when you don’t care that it gets interesting?