Tuesday, September 02, 2014


As you may know, #1 Son, Anthony works for a popular TV show called the Big Bang Theory. As a writer he along with his fellow writers create the lines for what is one of the greatest hits of all time. It is my belief that it will be rated along with Lucy and the Honeymooners as a show that will always be replayed and enjoyed for generations to come.

As evidence of how good a show it is, it gets nominated every year for an Emmy and has already won one for it’s writing as has the show won many singular Emmy’s (see Jim Parson) for performances and other things.

Now if you or I go to see an Emmy award presentation, you and I would be looking for the stars of TV, the people we see on the screen in our living rooms. Not so with my son! No, he looks for the writers and creators of the shows, the people who are basically behind the scenes but their work, through good acting shines through.

In my opinion, good comedy writing depends on the characters that are developed and consistency with the character’s personality. It is like music and dancing, the dance is created after the music is written and gets interpreted by the gracefulness and talent of the dancer’s portrayal of the music.

At the last Emmy Awards, #1 Son along with TLC (The Lovely Courtney) parent’s of La Principessa met with Vince Gilligan the genius behind Breaking Bad, a show that has me sucked in so bad I have recorded all the shows to be able to watch them after all the hoopla I heard. It is very compelling, so much so that you want to sometimes turn away but can’t.
La Principessa!

Recently I emailed #1 Son about how much I enjoy the show, and he emailed me back with this:

Oh, I'm glad you like it! I was hesitant to recommend it to you because it does get very dark and violent, but it's a really fascinating look at humanity -- and the dangers of drugs, greed, etc.  I think Bryan Cranston (Walter White) is truly incredible in it. And all the other actors are great, too.  I am a huge fan of the creator and head writer of the show, Vince Gilligan. In fact, Courtney and I sought him out after the Emmy's last night and spoke to him for over 10 minutes. He was extremely gracious and humble and just a genuinely sweet guy. I have heard nothing but good things about him, and he confirmed it all when he spent half the conversation telling me what a big fan of Big Bang Theory he is.  I'm attaching the picture of me and Courtney with him.”
TLC (Courtney Hyde) Vince Gilligan and #1 Son (Anthony)

I think Mr. Gilligan has done the world of insulated America a real service, showing you what happens in that world of drugs, and why it happens. But it also shows how ordinary people can become abducted to the drug culture for reasons beyond their control, good people otherwise who face the demons of the abduction. It tells of horrific things and events that must happen daily to these otherwise decent people. I guess we have to start evaluating the truths, not judge the victims but learn and perhaps in someway help fight the demons and free those abducted.

Thank you Mr. Gilligan for showing me the truth, maybe I will learn something that is important and worthwhile.


Monday, September 01, 2014


If there is one date more than any other that makes a statement to me, it is September 1st. let’s face it, we think the year is still new until we get to the first. All of a sudden, we are facing Labor Day, the end of summer and the beginning of autumn: which means the holidays are coming and so is the New Year.

Some of us love the summer, a chance to dress down somewhat, wear floppy sandals and shorts with t-shirts and get away with looking grubby. Me, I have a whole wardrobe for grubby that I maintain faithfully throughout the year.

Once Labor Day comes and goes, the Fall season becomes a hotbed of activity, what with going back to school, work, Halloween and Thanksgiving, the anticipation of Christmas and Chanukah the New Year looms large. As far as Halloween costumes go, I can always dip into my wardrobe and have a costume, fully accessorized and look like I stepped out of central casting. But let’s not overlook the World Series and the beginning of Football, Hockey and Basketball!

Might be Main Street in East Hampton!
Another thing about the date is that it has a huge bearing on Long Island. The city folk, who tend to clog the highways and byways of Eastern Long Island, return to their nests in the urban concrete jungle, leaving the roads and restaurants, stores and beaches to the people who pay for them, the residents and taxpayers, as they city dwellers all leave, at the same time, during the rush hour of the first Tuesday after Labor Day!  It is one more time for old time sake and I’ll see you in May.

When I was a kid in high school, this was New Years Day for me, the day I made my resolutions for the coming school year. It was new clothes and a vow NOT to draw in the margins of my notebooks, so I wouldn’t have to re-write the notebooks before I handed them in.

In 1923, my boyhood hero, Rocky Marciano was born on this date, not that that has anything to do with the cost of onions, or September for that matter.

So Dear Reader, get ready for the New Year, I see some places have already decorated for Christmas, or maybe they still haven’t had a chance to take them down from last year.


Sunday, August 31, 2014


La Principessa!
Since I am scheduled to go out to California and see La Principessa, my beautiful granddaughter Darby Shea, I need certain things to be just right. One of them is my health and a 6 –hour flight to Burbank can make me cranky, and I don’t wish to infect that gorgeously beautiful child with ANYTHING other than smiles.

Having a respiratory infection is troubling, so I decided to go to the walk-in clinic to get immediate action and not waste any time with my doctor who won’t have time for a day or two later. That is too long: I need to start immediately if not sooner in ridding myself of the nonsense.

There is a place nearby called STAT Health, and walk in, fill out 12 forms, and when you are done filling them out, signing them, repeating the same answers over and aver again, you walk out feeling better just from all that time spent!

It started out earlier in the morning before TLW (The Little Woman) went off to work, asking how I felt and stating that she thought I should go to a walk-n in clinic to get some help. I wondered if there is a walk-in psychiatric clinic then realized what she really meant.

Former Blockbuster Video local
The place used to be a Blockbuster Video and when they went out of business, turned it into a Blockbuster forms and walk-in clinic for impatient out-patient health care. That is where I came in, as a patient. On my way to purchasing a roll for my coffee, I thought I’d drop by and see what time they open their doors, and arriving at 8:04 am, noticed that the hours started at 8:00 am. I was already 4 minutes late for my forms!

I enter the place, the receptionist takes my driver’s license and medical card and hands me the dreaded clipboard. I need two hands to hold it; it is so heavy with forms! “Have you been here before?” she asks. “Yes to rented a movie a few times, I like what you did to the place!” She reaches for more forms and gives them to me. I am quickly learning not to open my mouth. I go sit down and add back and tosh pain to my list of ailments.

Not one DVD in sight!
As the sun is about to set, I hand in the forms and another woman calls me in to see the doctor. Her questions are timely as she struggles with the blood pressure wrap around the arm and I answer what I already answered in at least triplet on the forms once again. I am the first patient of the day, and the woman says the doctor will see me soon. Soon is a relative word. If measured by years, soon could mean a month or two. Measured in hours, it could mean 59 minutes or less. I wonder if I am the first patient of the day, why isn’t the doctor on the heels of the woman? Are there still patients left over from the day before filling out forms?

Finally the doctor’s mother walks in the doctor by the hand, and he asks me the questions that the woman asked that I answered in triplet on the forms. Then the question I wasn’t expecting to hear comes out his mouth: “What are you here for?” My inclination was to tell him I wanted to rent a movie, but instead decided to be nice and tell him what I put on the forms in triplet, told and woman and now state once again.

I'll see you in California-maybe
The good doctor, not quite an adolescent yet screws up his nose and asks: “What do you think it could be?” I like that in doctors, they ask very pertinent questions, take Dr. Strangeglove, my regular physician who when he finally shows up asks: “How are you today?” Well Doctor, I was feeling so good today I decided to spend some time contemplating life, or what’s left of mine in your various waiting rooms. Little Junior listens to my heart, checks my throat and ears (thankfully one at a time) and suggests that it might be viral or it might be bacterial, or it might be something else. I show him my palms and tell him I have rashes in both palms and have been applying ointment: a cortisone to prevent itch, which is finally abating. Looking at them he says: “Oh! Yes, it could be viral!” I’m afraid he will run away leaving me with my palms outstretched! That would complete the picture.

Junior runs into the next room telling me he will prescribe something with complete printout instructions on what to do. I marvel at his efficiency, and at such a young age! I will go to the drug store, get the medicine and hope he didn’t prescribe my demise, I was hoping to leave that to TLW,


Saturday, August 30, 2014


We all have a night where we can’t fall asleep. We look at the clock and it is 2:00 am, we toss and turn, we look again it is 2:15 am, so we shuffle the covers and beat the pillow and seek that special spot that will liberate us from the torture, but to no avail. We look for another position, maybe even another spot in the bed,: still it is saying 2:45 am!

You think, and that us when you are finished! Once the mind takes over, the need to go to the bathroom, or get up and walk around in the dark becomes part of the attempt to fall asleep, but it is only 3:00 am! You think: “Did I have coffee or some food that is doing this?” You panic, you have somewhere to go and you don’t want to sleep through the wake time, or you will be late!

You look again and it is 3:30 and wonder, where did that 30 minutes go? Something is wrong. Suddenly it is time to get up, and guess what, you have fallen asleep, found that position and the right spot, want to and can stay there for eternity, but you have to get up! You figure if it is possible to find some time during the day where you will be able to knock off a few zzzz’s, not long, just enough to take off the edge of the sleepless night you just had.

Good night!
All this happened to me recently, however I wasn’t too upset, I had nowhere I needed to go, and can easily find time for a nap. It was not always like that, when I worked these were scenes that occurred regularly, in fact, with such regularity I took it in stride. A big presentation, an important meeting or a deadline to meet a prepaid press run, all figured into sleepless nights.

But I wonder why on God’s Earth do I have sleepless nights when I have no real worries? Did I go to bed too early? Did I eat or drink something I shouldn’t have? There are nights when a reoccurring theme presents itself, I fixate on it and don’t get to sleep.

My question is this dear reader: does anyone know of a cure for all this nonsense?


Friday, August 29, 2014


That is all it takes, just a hint. Sometimes it comes in the form of a smell, ever so brief, or in a picture or even a noise. And when that hint comes along, it hurtles one way back to the past and times gone by.

Once when I was working and smoking was acceptable in an office, I lit a cigarette, and my boss who happened to be in my office paused for a moment, drew in the smell and said it reminded him of his father. I know that feeling, having sensed the same sensation myself. The smell of a fresh brewed cup of coffee and a freshly lit cigarette, two of my Dad’s morning habits before he left for work bring me back to a time and place no longer there. It makes me miss him and I wish I could see him one more time.

There are Sundays when TLW (The Little Woman) will make Italian pasta sauce, or gravy, and the odor seems to fill my nostrils with nostalgic want to see Mom again, steal a meatball and have her yell my name with a raised wooden spoon as she chased me.

Traveling through the city, looking at old brownstones and I am back in the streets of Brooklyn once again, playing stoop ball or stick ball, and recalling Mom leaning out the bedroom window calling me in for the night because it is getting dark.

Of course there is the smell of almonds covered in a hard sugar, with a smell that reminds me of Grandma Frances and her magnificent kitchen, the candies wrapped in a doily or lace like packages, favors from some wedding she attended.. The murmuring of Italian as the holiday would wear down to the final hours and Grandma held court and I became sleepy, resting in and out of consciousness until it was time to go home.

Then there is the sound of a tinkling bell as the Bungalow ice cream truck went down my street, Pete the driver selling his product, and seeing the beautifully rendered ice cream bar with the chocolate covering and a bite taken out, looking so perfect on the side of his pitched roof truck, making it impossible to not want one. Pete had a pencil mustache, and it made him look so wise in my eyes.

The other day I was reading the New York Daily News, from the back toward the front of the paper, just like Dad did, reading about his Dodgers first then the rest of the news, pinching the newspaper in the middle as he would turn the pages. Just like Dad.

I guess we are a bundle of past moments that are rekindled by subconscious clues that bring us back to a time and place and remind us of who we really are, not who we hope to be.

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 28, 2014


There is a Hindu word that is used frequently to show a respectful hello or goodbye. The word is Namaste, and it best can be described as the word peace. Every now and then I seek out a peace that would not find me otherwise.

In the early morning when everyone is off to work or still asleep, on my patio in and around the pool, I sit quietly and listen to the symphony of Mother Nature’s origin, the sound of silence. It is a wonderful tonic in itself, it gives me a chance to think about all the things I’ve taken for granted and how much I have made my life harder by believing what others told me. It seems we all do that and it is the constant source of our unhappiness.

As I look about into the trees and the calm sky, the absence of even a breeze, the sound of silence becomes even louder. The struggle of the common ant, building a home or bringing home a meal as he carries it on his back, the swooping of a sparrow as he lands on my fence, showing off his natural abilities, the trust of a rabbit that lives on my property and now doesn’t flinch if I go near him, it is Namaste, it is peace.

Then my mind races to places where I wish to be, people I want to see, things I like to do, and I set aside all that unhappiness that escorts us through our everyday lives, those telling us we need to follow some ideology, be it political or religious, or we will perish. Yet I can seek Namaste and know it is the true relief of the times, it shuts away the hypocrites, the naysayers and the blasphemers that use God as a means of proving their worth to Him by their false proclamations, because they don’t practice what they preach.

The biggest gift God has given me is the gift to be myself, to believe what I think is important and not what someone else thinks I should believe. I put that aside and feel Namaste, I think: that is a gift; God is good.

I know there are people in this world who are sincere in their beliefs and I say Namaste, and there are people who wear tattoos, rings in their body and comb their hair otherwise than what is expected, who do the right thing, live in peace and I say Namaste, you are real. There are others who dress so very carefully, with maybe a suit or fine dress, who behave like slaves to what they are told is the right thing, never questioning what is the right thing, to them I can only wish Namaste, I hope they can find it within their own souls.

My wife is a good example of a non-judgmental person, who has her beliefs and never in my time living with her has ever questioned mine. She is a good example of what I am saying. Her religious belief is in her heart, and not on her lips except in silent prayer. She has instilled that in her children and I wonder how someone with such tragedy in her life has withstood the pain and kept her faith in God, but she has! I learn from her that the only one I need to concern myself about is: me.



Wednesday, August 27, 2014


There’s a drought out there in California and the West, while here in the East there is nothing but flooding. Last winter there were predictions of the most heated summer ever, that it would be worst than normal, yet the summer has been more fall-like than summer-like. Someone’s screwing up!

Coupled with the climatic changes we are now facing here in America, some insidious force has trusted upon my being, a head cold of some kind, or some crazy allergy, which crimps my style and makes me not the happy person I am. This has got to stop, and stop immediately, if not sooner.

Mom had a cure for both issues mentioned above-“Put on your boots and go to school, you’ll be fine” and “Take an aspirin and go to school, you’ll be fine.” To this day, whenever I feel like there is a lot of rain coming or a head cold is developing, I go to school.

Since I married, I get little sympathy for floods or head colds, since TLW (The Little Woman) is too busy looking for her boots or staying away from me. I always have the memories of pre-marital days gone by, when she wouldn’t think of leaving my side. Now she usually sends me to school.

So are we witnessing the beginnings of a new ice age? Does Al Gore now become of little consequence? Oh wait a minute he did that already when he became the Vice President. And what about the cure for the common cold, where is that? They can cure a rat of autism but they can’t cure him of a common cold! Frankly, I don’t think my colds are common, no I think of them as ‘special’.

If I don’t feel better soon, you will be hearing from me again.