December, 2010 Archives

December Wrap Up

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December 31st, 2010

I’m beginning to fear I’m a fair weather blogger. There are stories and thoughts and sillies that have backed up in my pipeline and yet — holiday in and holiday out — I’ve neglected to share anything with you. Spank me. Throw garbage. Hurl epithets and epitaphs if you must. But love me in the […]

I’m beginning to fear I’m a fair weather blogger. There are stories and thoughts and sillies that have backed up in my pipeline and yet — holiday in and holiday out — I’ve neglected to share anything with you. Spank me. Throw garbage. Hurl epithets and epitaphs if you must. But love me in the end. (Uh wait; that sounds gross).

Like I mentioned to the folks on Spacebook, I didn’t know it was possible for Christmas to get brighter but while watching a movie last week, the doorbell rang and carolers sang a Rodney song. Apparently the Beaumont nurses and staff adopted our family for Christmas and showered us with gifts and song.

It’s quite impossible to thank them. They worked all summer to make me better and have swept across the calendar to December still by my side. I secretly fear I won’t be as good a person once I recover as they all are right now.

I guess it’s not a secret now, eh?

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My daughter Skye didn’t completely think through the message she posted on her friend’s Facebook wall last week. They were watching a movie during a sleepover and around 2:00 a.m. she was shocked when one of the characters got killed. HE DIED!!!, she wrote in all caps. Little did she realize, the post showed up in her news feed where family and friends could see it. I commented on it as soon as I realized the possible confusion the next morning. Although I understand the similarities between me and Ryan Phillippe, I wanted to dispel any fears that perhaps something bad had happened over night.

Blood brother Scott gets a pass from me these days for just about any behavior, even destroying Christmas centerpieces. When he got up and decided to spin Marci’s exercise ball on his finger, Taylor tossed her camera into movie mode to record the epic failure. Normally this type of boys-gone-bad behavior would truly annoy me but deep down, it didn’t bother me at all. Maybe it’s because he handed over his stem cells a few months ago. Maybe I’ve become a better person. But probably it’s because I knew a good story trumps a dopey snowman made out of fake ice cubes any day.

Speaking of Scott, he handed me what hopefully is the last of the bills from all my brother’s and cousin’s blood testing. All the incredible fundraising over the summer and fall truly made a difference and covered the medical costs not covered by insurance. I thank you all for that, truly and deeply.

But I want you to know I did my part too. The $40.00 doctor bill he gave me was for a random scan I didn’t know took place. Later that night after giving me the bill— with all the cousins and brothers that were tested — I played poker and won exactly and precisely $40.00. I’m not sure they all appreciated the coincidence though.

You Are My Person Of The Year

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December 22nd, 2010

You make me laugh or laugh nervously along with me as I say something vastly inappropriate. You look past my laughter, see the deeper, and still decide to smile. You fart at just the right moment. You knew I needed something to hold onto the second the news came from that fluffy kewpie doc. You […]

You make me laugh or laugh nervously along with me as I say something vastly inappropriate. You look past my laughter, see the deeper, and still decide to smile. You fart at just the right moment.

You knew I needed something to hold onto the second the news came from that fluffy kewpie doc. You saw your world come crashing down, but you took those cement-filled steps over to me as I stared into the abyss.

You gained weight just to be in communion with me as you fed my dwindling body. You heard me late at night when I didn’t even know I was calling. You worked all day, took care of our family and still visited me.

You believed all along that this was curable, beatable, smashable. You’ve been right all along. You are my press secretary and wing-woman, fielding calls and questions from everywhere. You never, never, never let me forget I’m a man.

You tell me my skin stretches beautifully over an excellently-shaped scalp. You support us economically, socially and psychically. You are my favorite, favorite. You put up with the weird and bizarre as I emerge from the shadow.
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You are a tremendous financial planner. You love to just simply hang out with me. You are sleeping more peaceably now, more soundly. You are my gauge; if you’ve stopped worrying as much, so must’ve I.

You have officially spent 20 years with me today, unofficially even more. You know I wish I could give you millions in gold and billions in diamonds. You also know those things are just things.

You have my heart, sweetie pie. You have my soul, my darling. You are the world’s best friend, mother, disinfecter, movie-goer, couch-chatter, dog whisperer, crisis manager, comedian and wife.

You are my person of forever.

An Advent Apocalypse

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December 14th, 2010

To celebrate Animal Week here at the home offices of ReadtheSpirit, we’re sharing one of the most asked-for stories, (unfortunately), in Rodney’s canon. Look for it soon with a never-before-seen video in Rodney’s ebook, Getting Laid (off). Scooping poop in the backyard I noticed, quite clearly, a barcode sticking out from one of Bernie’s turds.  […]

To celebrate Animal Week here at the home offices of ReadtheSpirit, we’re sharing one of the most asked-for stories, (unfortunately), in Rodney’s canon. Look for it soon with a never-before-seen video in Rodney’s ebook, Getting Laid (off).


Scooping poop in the backyard I noticed, quite clearly, a barcode sticking out from one of Bernie’s turds.  Being on doggie duty I couldn’t help but be amazed at how far-reaching the packaging phenomenon has spread.  When crap comes out of your dog’s butt already assigned a specific code we’ve either taken a great leap forward in biotechnology, or Bernie’s just gotten into something he shouldn’t have.  I almost wanted to wrap it in a Ziploc bag and take it to one of those free-standing store scanners and see what rang up.  “Clean up on aisle five!”

But that’s not the most insane thing I’ve ever trowelled into an old shopping bag.  A few Christmases ago my daughter Skye’s Advent calendar was plundered and she immediately blamed her younger sister, Taylor.  It wasn’t until a few days later when, again on doggie duty, I noticed a trail of carnage of biblical proportions.  There, sticking out of various backyard scat was, in no particular order, The Star of David, a present, a camel, an angel, two of the three wise men, and the Hamburglar.  Speaking from my somewhat fuzzy recollection of the New Testament, I can account for most all of the aforementioned characters except the Hamburglar.

“We’ve brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh, would you like fries with that?”

The weird part is, I salvaged the players from their turd tableau and brought them inside to our laundry tub and began the process of resurrection.  I used a lot of water, far too much bleach and even some Febreze.  They dried out over the ensuing days and I put them through the process again with my wife’s encouragement.  And there they sat, on the rim of the sink for days, weeks, even months. 

Along about April, when spring had finally spread across Michigan I had a heart-to-heart with my wife and we decided there was no stinkin’ way these figurines were ever going to be revered like they once were.  So we did what we should have done back in December and tossed them in the trash.  I don’t think Skye noticed, or cared. 

http://www.readthespirit.com/rodney-curtis/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2013/03/wpid-rcAlex.jpghttp://www.readthespirit.com/rodney-curtis/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2013/03/wpid-rcBernie.jpgIt reminded me of our earlier dog, Alex the magician.  He had extreme separation anxiety and Marci and I couldn’t leave the house without his getting nervous that we’d never return. He’d start trashing the place like a 70s Rock Star on acid.  We would go to the corner store for five minutes and upon our return, the kitchen was in tatters; drapes pulled down, plates broken on the floor, the water running somehow and a knife set half-chewed with a little blood splattered on the linoleum.

He once ate half a bottle of aspirin that was, we thought, hidden on top of the microwave.  He didn’t even leave a suicide note.  Luckily he was just down and depressed for 18 hours then back to his abnormal self.  It was a day or so after yet another one of his wilding kitchen incidents that I took him out for a stroll.  He seemed normal at first but as the walk progressed, he started doing that hilarious little butt drag that cracks me up every time I see a dog do it.  He got in a sitting position and then with his hind legs lifted off the ground, pulled his pooper along the grass with his front legs.  People say they’re trying to get rid of worms.  I think it’s a great way for worms to get in his butt personally.  Anyway, he kept doing this every ten or twenty steps when I noticed something odd and amazing.

Little by little something started snaking out of his rectum.  By the third time there was an unmistakeable inch and a half piece of blue and white fabric hanging from his anus.  I had no idea what to do so I turned back for home.  As we made our way past subdivision homes gleaming in the afternoon sun, I realized that they had no idea about the miracle that was taking place right out on their front lawns.

As we got closer and closer the fabric got longer and longer and I realized, with shock and awe, that my dog was pulling a dishrag out of his behind.  By the time we took another several steps the magician had produced a full foot-long blue and white, and yes slightly brown scarf.  Nothing up his sleeves either!  Doggy Copperfield!

It appeared that, for the moment he was done and happy.  His gait was back to normal and he seemed, for lack of a better description, to almost have a smile on his face.  But yet, the blue Handiwipe still dangled from his butt as we made our way home.  And here, here I did something that defined me and my mission to make the world a better place. 

I knew that the rag was stuck and couldn’t just stay there.  But I knew equally well that I had no desire to pull it out with my hands.  So I found a stick, told him to heel, and I twirled the twig around the dangling doo-rag and pulled.  The first tug produced nothing.  The second brought out not only the remnants of the Handiwipe but a little, guttural, satisfied yelp from my dog.  I half expected him to turn and bite me, but it’s passing left nothing more than a vague memory on his doggie conscience.

Leaving the rag by the side of the road we headed home.  Him with his intestines squeaky clean and me with an indelible mark on my psyche. 

I’ve shared this story with my family and some college buddies. They say I need an ending, a conclusion to pull it all together. This April — after a long — gray winter, I was back out on the lawn scooping up Bernie’s backyard bowel movements. And there, staring out at me was Abraham.

Lest you think, dear reader, that Bernie had sent both New and Old Testament through his digestive tract, I must inform you that the Abraham I speak of was on the face of a formerly crisp, clean five dollar bill that went missing from our kitchen counter months earlier. Also in the same scat was half of a George Washington in the shape of a cylinder. The five fifty feces.

So yes, I’ve taken up money laundering and hopefully the IRS won’t mind. In the sink that formerly washed the Wise Men, there now sits another project awaiting my attention. Whereas we eventually tossed the advent figures, throwing money away is another story. Although I can’t think of a plan for passing off the fiver, right now. Maybe the U.S. Mint has a special archive for curious currency. My wife says we can’t get rid of Bernie, no matter how much of a pain he is. He makes for great stories. He’s generally cuddly and loveable.

And he’s got money coming out the wazoo.

The One About Cherries & Ambien

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December 8th, 2010

I’m all for the local food movement, the farm-field to table thing and all. But I always look forward to this time of year for the enormous, sour-sweet cherries that magically appear at Costco or Nino Salvaggio. I know it’s extremely non-liberal of me to delight in the explosion of taste that these beauties pack, […]

http://www.readthespirit.com/rodney-curtis/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2013/03/wpid-rcChristmascherries.jpgI’m all for the local food movement, the farm-field to table thing and all. But I always look forward to this time of year for the enormous, sour-sweet cherries that magically appear at Costco or Nino Salvaggio. I know it’s extremely non-liberal of me to delight in the explosion of taste that these beauties pack, particularly when I realize they’re probably produced by indigenous populations of Chilean kittens who personally paw-pick the fruit for pennies on the day with no provisions for a litter box break and only a vague hope of a better future for their grand kitties.

But at $6.99 a pound my morals are bought off and my ethical standards look the other way as I await my next fix, never quite having enough. When early January signals the end of my binge, I spend my fantasy time thinking about May and Washington cherries, then late June when I can finally feel patriotic and buy Michigan’s best. I tell myself all types of lies, like the Michigan fruit is picked by migrant workers who need the seasonal work in order to help their families. Anything’s better than the reality of the kitten work farms. I know, I’m a horrible steward of this planet.

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To help me sleep through some of these long winter’s naps, the doctor has prescribed me a bit of Ambien. Imagine my delight when I read the following on the enclosed instructions, (and in the words of Dave Barry, I’m not making this up):

After taking Ambien, you may get up out of bed while not being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may not remember that you did anything during the night.
Activities include: driving a car, eating food, talking on the phone, having sex, etc.

So this is all to warn you and give you a heads up. If you see me cruising the seedier parts of Troy and Birmingham with a McRib in one hand and cell phone in the other as I look for hookers just realize it’s not me. It’s the Ambien. I can show you my doctor’s note too, if need be.

Come to think of it, I’m writing this blog at 1:18 am. I hope I remember it tomorrow. Oh yeah, I totally will; it’s written with strawberry jam on a large Pizzapapalis.

Thank goodness for edible journals.