All posts by Leon

About Leon

This is where I talk about myself. Right. Where do I start? I come from a family of godless socialists. I rebelled, but not because of that. I wanted to be a snake when I was young. I wish I had become an architect. I went to school in Landscape Architecture. It didn't work out. I became directionless, badly guided with career choices, and am currently working at the family farm growing large edible sweet things on the loneliest highway in the USA.

This Could Only Happen to Me

You know, this kind of stuff can only happen to me, I tell ya.

The other week I wrote about my redneck-in-law’s brother over at my own blog. I said how his wife is constantly sending out emails about his progress to everyone and then Marla forwards them on to the entire universe I guess in an attempt to get some prayer action happening for his sake. She even forwards them to me, even though she won’t get any of that prayer action from me. Or from the rest of the family for that matter. But at least she thinks of me. Hey. But I was saying how they need to let go and accept the inevitable, not to keep clinging to hope for a recovery when that does not seem possible at this point.

So I’m going along with my life thinking that the guy is still hanging in there. I happened to be over at my parents fixing a component in their toilet (I tell you these new construction houses are as bad as old fixer uppers) and Mom’s talking on the phone with someone and I overhear her say something about Marla going to a funeral. After Mom hangs up, I ask her what funeral that was, and Mom looks at me surprised like I’m stupid and says the name of Recneck-in-law’s brother.

Now like I’ve said before, there’s no love lost between us. Frankly, I couldn’t stand the guy. He was worse than his brother, Redneck-in-Law. But that just hit me like POW. OK, ironic time here, guess who was hanging on to his existence here while everyone let go? ME! I was the one left thinking he was still hanging in there when he wasn’t.

But that wasn’t my fault. See, I never found out about it. Well, I did. Just then when Mom told me. AFTER he was buried and all. Not that I would’ve gone to his funeral or anything, but I would’ve maybe sent flowers or at least a card to Marla and the Redneck.

See, this really pisses me off. Marla floods my inbox with insignificant updates about his progress weekly, and sometimes daily practically, but when some big shit goes down like he DIES, Nothing. Not a word. In a way, I’m thinking she intentionally didn’t tell me because either she A doesn’t want me actually appearing at the funeral because she’s embarrassed of her scraggly leftist farmer brother or B she wanted it to look like I didn’t care because she wants me to be demonized in front of the rest of her family and by not telling me that means I won’t send sympathy cards or condolences which will make me look cold and uncaring. You don’t think it was C she was simply too flustered and upset and forgot, do you? Nah, I don’t either. But that’s what my parents contend. I don’t believe it. I think they want to think all us kids get along with Marla. They should know better after over 50 years. When I asked them why didn’t they tell me, they just shrugged and said “We thought you knew!”

I asked Lamar. He knew. He said he received an email, but no personal call or anything. I went home and checked my email. I checked all my email folders, I looked everywhere. I shot off an email to Melanie to see if she knew, but haven’t heard back from her yet. There was no such email from Marla anywhere to be found on my computer. What a bitch. I guess my address mysteriously got deleted from her bulk mailing list. Nervy Bitch. Sorry, don’t mean to offend anyone by my use of language here. Ann, please fix this if my tone is disturbing, sexist, or what have you.

But the weird part of the story continues.

The next day after I hear about the Redneck-in-Law’s Brother’s passing, I head off to the Pharmacy to pick out a sympathy card. I was in the process of parallel parking, and watching a crazy pickup driver in my rear view mirror and I accidentally bump the car ahead of me. What an idiot.

The elderly couple in the car ahead of me had just pulled in too and hadn’t gotten out of the car yet. I got out, looked at the damage. It wasn’t much, just some paint scrape on both our bumpers. (I was later able to get the paint off of mine by myself). I apologized to them. It was obviously totally my fault. We exchanged insurance information and all. And here’s the weird part.

Not only did we both have blue cars basically the same shade of blue, mine a Subaru and theirs a Chevy, but they were both 2002. OK, you say, big deal. Yeah. Big deal. But wait!

Their first names were the same as Shar’s parents. The exact same names. His name is Henry and goes by Hank. Just like Shar’s dad. And the woman’s name is Dorothy. I mean how many elderly couples named Hank and Dorothy do you know? What are the odds? I told them that my ex’s parents have the same exact names, and they weren’t phased by it. OK, maybe they know lots of other Hanks and Dorothys, but I DON’T!

Dorothy goes into the Pharmacy to get Hank’s prescription as he’s not feeling good, staying seated in the car the entire time as we exchanged information. But after she goes in, Hank gets out of the car and starts telling me about how he saw his car coming off the truck as it pulled into the dealership in Butte, Montana and told the salesman he wanted that car and had it ever since. He and Dorothy are originally from Montana and moved down here several years ago to be with their daughter who lives nearby. And maybe, he said, this is time for him to get another car. I couldn’t bear to tell him my own car story, that I got my car used back in Albuquerque shortly before I moved back up here, from a widow whose husband died in it. I figured that wouldn’t be a good tale at the time.
Continue reading This Could Only Happen to Me

New Information

So the other day I posted stuff Lamar told me about the craziness people around town think about me. I don’t know if that is true or not or just my silly brother having fun with me, but here’s some more stuff we talked about when we were down in New Mexico together. And this is true, as I asked the parents about it.

It’s about our brother.
Continue reading New Information

My Life in Their Eyes

Just like spending the weekend with Melanie a couple months ago, helping her paint her condo and various other handyguy things, it was good to spend a few days with Lamar out of town when we recently travelled down to New Mexico, just one-on-one without Nina and the kids or our folks around to hinder the honesty between brothers. I find out lots of very strange things from my siblings. With Melanie it was the whole Swan tale. But with Lamar, it was more about me, rather, what people in the town were thinking about me.
Continue reading My Life in Their Eyes

Amtrak

We’ve been talking about pooling our money and giving the folks an Amtrak Rail Pass for an anniversary gift from all us kids, something where they can relax and watch the world go by leisurely. We discussed a plane trip, and didn’t think that would be too good a match, and decided on Amtrak, something like a ride on the California Zephyr or the Southwest Chief (which I’ve taken a few times myself). I mean here’s a guy who’s never been able to travel much because of his profession, and now that he’s retired, here’s his opportunity. Mom did a little traveling with us kids when we were young, mostly during winter break, just so we wouldn’t grow up being isolated. Those were good memories. Anyway.
Continue reading Amtrak

Mom called me at about crazy:thirty in the morning because she wanted to let me know she was coming over to look through the kitchen to see if she could find something she needed for making dinner today that she forgot to take with her in the move. Seriously? I mean just come over, don’t call me. I would not have heard her fummaging around in the kitchen at that hour in the morning probably anyway, and even if I did it wouldn’t be like a big freakout thing “oh no, there’s a stranger in my house.” I’d know it was her most likely looking for something. But calling my cell first? That’s nuts. And so very un-country-style where people just drop in, which I hate actually. I don’t know where she learned her big city “I’ll call first” ettiquette. But then again, they’re not typical farm folk either.

Yeah, it’s going on almost fourty years now since Dad became a veg, and he’s never budged for one minute to eat a bit of the bird on the big Tday. Last year we had salmon, and he does eat fish. But this year we’re back to the silly traditional overstuffed large fake hormone-injected factory-created bird feast feeding overstuffed football brainwashed zombies, except for Dad, who’ll have to make due with the sides.

And there’s going to be a lot of it left over. They anticipated more of the family coming over, especially in celebration of their new place, but it looks like it’s just going to be me, them, and, unfortunately, Marla and a few of her redneck co-conspirators. Lamar, Nina and the kids are going up to Manitou to be with her family because her grandmother is like 100 and they don’t know how much longer she’ll be around. Melanie is working today, and afterward she’ll go to Denver where Trish will be with her family. So it looks like the rational part of the family in attendance will be outnumbered again.

Yup, this is going to be fantastic, I can tell already. Off to a good start. I’m taking my laptop with me so I won’t forget to document any insanity that comes my way.

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Here we go. They have arrived. Marla, redneck spouse, and Kyle the boy wonder. Looks like her other kids are not coming. Now, this may be a pretty good match-up: The Paynes vs. The Stokes. Good times.

Ten o’clock is too early to start watching football. It’s just not right. I’m listening to Marla’s redneck husband hurling insults at the Packers and calling them a commie team (Ann should love that one). Of course Detroit is favored in his mind because he’s such a big motorsports nut. You wouldn’t want to be caught dead in a non-Detroit-made car around his way. Why yes, I do drive a Japanese car. But that’s ok, I’m dead to him anyway, thankfully.

He asks me what I’m doing. Yes, I had anticipated that, and have set up a bunch of tabs in Firefox with various football links so it looks like I’m checking sports stats and shit, just in case he looks over at my screen.

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No, Marla, jello is not a substitute for a vegetable, you fool. And Dad will not eat it. Just because it is called a “jello salad” does not mean it is salad like in any form. You are stupid, Marla.

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Dinner’s over, turkey was dry, but Mom cooked it forever. Dad wasn’t missing anything. Now it’s more football. Football Marathon. And more football. No one really gives a rat’s ass about football except The Redneck. Dad just watches it out of habit. I don’t think he’s really engaged.

Now we’re watching Miami vs. Dallas. OK, now I’m listening to Redneck hurl homosexual slurs at at Miami. Good thing Melanie isn’t here.

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More football. More homosexual slurs being hurled at San Francisco. What an idiot. You know what is really funny? He doesn’t know where Balitmore is! Priceless. He really is a total moron. He thought it was in the midwest. It’s a shame he fathered five children. Too much stupid going into the human gene pool.

This is whole day is stupid. I’m going back to my place. I’ve had enough. The cat needs fed.

A Day at the Market

I was in the grocery store yesterday in the frozen food section when I saw a guy who looked familiar. I couldn’t place his face, but my eye caught his just for a second before he averted his gaze toward some product.

Before I could smile with a nod of recognition, a conversation started out of his mouth. I then figured he was probably on one of those handless bluetooth phones, although I didn’t see anything sticking in his ear. So I pretended to look at some of those miniaturized frozen TV dinners that I’m never buying anymore, as I waited for him to finish his phone call so I could catch his eye again and say hello.
Continue reading A Day at the Market

The Watch

As I was heading back from my Dr. appointment in Pueblo, I needed to stop and get some gas and use the bathroom. I stopped off at a Loaf ‘n Jug to take care of business. I couldn’t help noticing that the clerk behind the counter looked amazingly like my ex. I mean double-take looked like. I had to stare at her to make sure it wasn’t her.
Continue reading The Watch

Eating Chinese with Blind Date Sister

Went to eat Chinese the other night. That’s about the extent of ethnic restaurants in my town. Mexican doesn’t count as ethnic because it’s practically the majority culture. Went with my little brother and his wife Nina. We were going to meet a friend of his there—someone he’s known for a long time in town—and his wife. Much to our surprise, there were 3 people sitting at the table when we arrived.

Oh yeah. That’s right. Someone thought Uncle Leon needed a date. No, really, I’m handling this single life quite well, but everyone seems to think I’m a sad charity case. “Leon needs a good woman.”
Continue reading Eating Chinese with Blind Date Sister

And The Saga Continues

Amber is still after me about her lawn. Since it’s getting late in the season, I’m trying to postpone it until next year in hopes of her forgetting entirely about it, which shouldn’t be hard for her short attention span.

I don’t believe this is about the lawn. I think she is after something else from me, and I don’t know what it is. I have my suspicions, but that’s all they are, based on my own paranoia. I don’t think she gives a crap about the lawn. It’s not like she ever planted flowers there before. But of course flowers cost money and that would eat into her various habits. And I certainly don’t think it’s about being climate and region appropriate and eliminating the need for watering. I think it’s all just about Amber, and how she wants something that Ashley was offered, and trying to get it just because she can. I could be offering Ashley some used rags, and Amber would want them too.

Amber is the type of woman who tries to live off man to man to get by in this world. Not a prostitute—something more insinuating.

This is deeply disturbing that she would go after a relative. Yes, I know, I’ve said so myself, I am not related to these people. But that still doesn’t make me fair game!

I’ll try stalling. Maybe I’ll feign a sprained ankle. Or maybe I’ll tell her I’m just too busy with the pumpkins harvest. Then, after growing season, the ground will be too cold to work with.

I hope this plan works.

Swan’s Song

It was great to see my sister Mel this past weekend. Since she doesn’t live in the area like Lamar and Marla do, I don’t see her often, and only a couple times since I moved back. She said if the funny farm ever gets to me, I can stay at her place and look for a job in the area. Considering I practically signed my life away to the bank for my share in it, I probably won’t be doing that, but I appreciate her thinking of me. And at almost 51, I shouldn’t be living at my younger sister’s place looking for a job. That is so wrong in so many ways. It’s bad enough I’m temporarily living with my parents. But that will change. Very soon. Very, very soon.
Continue reading Swan’s Song

Role Reversal

My dad is getting hard of hearing. I mean REALLY hard of hearing. It’s been progressing for the past 20 years or more. He’s a stubborn old guy who will not get himself a hearing aid. So when he watches TV he has it turned up to 11. Fortunately, he’s not a big TV watcher. I should be grateful for that. But there’s always the evening news and the news before bed. Then both he and mom fall asleep in front of the TV and it’ll sometimes stay on until the wee hours of the morning unless one of them wakes up and turns it off. Continue reading Role Reversal

Codename: Harvest

I don’t know how we got on this subject, but I was talking to my mom the other day and she started telling me about how she and dad would give us kids nicknames before we were born, before she knew our genders. It’s sort of like when software companies are working on a new release of software, or when film directors are working on a movie, before they know what they’re going to officially call it, like a codename.

I had a codename. This is so embarrassing but kind of funny at the same time.

My codename was “Harvest.” Isn’t that awful? I was named after the season they were expecting me to be born in. Good thing the name didn’t stick and I only had it for a few months before I was conscious.

Olsen was “Solstice.” Marla was “Independence.” Melanie was “Mayfly” and Lamar was “Windy.” I’ll have to give the guy a hard time about that. His codename is worse than mine.

No More Mister Nice Guy

This is getting creepy. “Amber” called me up again and said that she understands why I don’t want to do the xeriscaping for her mobile home lot because she doesn’t own it.

Initially, I was relieved that she grasped that concept. But then she says that the manager (or was it owner? I can’t remember) is a really cool guy and he would like to have something like that done to his entire court, you know, to bring a classier look to the place.
Continue reading No More Mister Nice Guy