DelBloggolo

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

THERE’S A REMOTE CHANCE I’LL GET IT RIGHT

Welcome to the world of advanced mind consummation, or why my hair hurts. It hurts because I never leave well enough alone.

We are the people of the handicapped lifestyle (me and the family), that is the lifestyle that makes you do with what you have, while everyone else gets it easy. For instance: the broom that turned on the kitchen light. That’s right, a broom that turned on our florescent kitchen light in the old house that we once lived in. The light fixture was one of those round florescent bulbs, that if you turned on the switch, it didn’t light up unless you first took a broom handle and set it inside the circle and ran it around the bulb real fast, than it lit!

Or how about the TV we bought from a hotel or motel chain that was liquidating its inventory of used TV’s for a cheap price. Plug it in and wait for it to come on, then smack it on top for sound.

Or best yet, the radiator that never quit, keeping us warm and toasty in the middle of July and August, pouring out steam without ever letting up. If you shut down the radiator, you didn’t get any hot water!

It seems that that is our lot in life, taking on the handicapped circumstances that enter our lives, and never turning away from the challenge.

Well we bought this universal remote control, that is supposed to operate many components with the push of a few buttons, and of course it gives me trouble. But I have been playing with it for only 24 hours, and tomorrow is another day.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

CHECKING IN

When I was still working, one of the habits I had was to check in with TLW (The Little Woman) via the telephone, just to see how she was doing. When she went back to work, I didn’t because I didn’t like to disturb her at work.

Now the rolls have been reversed. There is a difference however in what we check for. I always asked three questions: 1) any mail, 2) what’s for dinner, and finally 3) how’s the baby. The last one was for all 4 of my kids.

TLW asks: 1) any interesting mail, and 2) Where is he. That second question is always asked with great urgency. “He” is Son #2, the free spirit, devil may care bon vivant of Avenue C.

Answering her second question usually means conjuring up nightmarish possibilities as to where he might be, what he might be doing, how much he has eaten already, and will the food supply last?

Now that he and I are home together more often, we have to converse more, with #2 Son bringing up all forms of political matter, and humanitarian causes that he champions. I have to endure this, and usually have to answer questions designed to boil my blood, questions that would incite my to physical mayhem upon him, except for the fact that he is TLW’s baby.

My Dad and I would argue straight out, over any political question I brought up. I remember the arguments during the Kennedy/Nixon debates and the run for the Presidency in 1960. Dad happened to be home the day Kennedy was sworn in as President, With Kennedy’s youth I applauded the moment, with his good looks my Mother was thrilled beyond reason, and my Dad, so mad he smacked me right in the back of the head and said: “Oops!”

Now that #2 Son is 19 years of age, he is too old to just smack in the back of the head, no, I have decided to try and find a wife for him to aggravate instead. I have written to all the Irish and Italian newspapers lovelorn columns, offering any young lady the opportunity to have #2 Son move to their perspective country where he will marry her and I will even pay for the wedding! The offer also includes a 46 inch TV with surround sound and a computer.

I would never do this to any American girl because then he would come over for dinner and then eventually move back in with us.

Monday, January 29, 2007

WHAT’S A NICE GUY LIKE ME DOIN’ HERE?

When I went to the Apple Store to inquire as to my wireless router and it’s need for wires, I had to wait a the “Genius Bar”, and actual bar with four stools that you sat at and discussed the problems you were having with your Ipod or computer or whatever was the Apple of your eye problem.

Being waited on was this young lady who sat patiently while the “Genius” or geek checked her Ipod. (Electronically, after all they ARE geeks.)

As I sat down on the next barstool, a temptation came over me to ask her: “Come here often?”

That temptation quickly left me as I thought: “Why would she even consider answering an old geezer like me, even if it was a tongue in cheek question?”

I reconsidered and was on the verge of asking again, but again thought the better of it. Knowing full well that it would end up in the blog, TLW (The Little Woman) would read it and it would be my last blog, except for the brief and caustic memorial TLW would write to end it.

You ask: “Why even go there?”

Because when my wife makes coffee in the morning she is putting some kind of truth serum in it, that makes, yes I said makes me, tell all. Trying to hide even a good thing from her is like lying to your Mother, it wouldn’t work for me, besides she trusts me implicitly. Why ruin that? Someday it may come in handy? No it won’t! Shame on me!

There were times when I suggested to her that some young lady might be interested, and she was willing to up the offer to expedite the movement of my baggage! Somehow she has gotten a little too sure of herself, after my nap, and laxative and prune pudding, I will investigate why.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

WORKING WITH A GENIUS

Today I went to the Apple Store to inquire why my wireless connection keeps begging for wires. Going in I was directed to a computer where I had to put in for an appointment. I seems the new store is there because of the Ipod! People were forming lines, mostly young, with expressions of bereavement or down right grief, begging and pleading for help, tears blinding their eyes as they wandered aimlessly about the establishment crying: “Why, Why? Somebody help me!” And: “Oh Lordy, hep me!”

I was on exclusive waiting list of Mac vets, or IPOD users, and when I was announced, a gentleman wearing a black T-shirt with the word “Genius” on it met with me. I secretly hoped he wouldn’t lose his title after my problem. Conferring briefly with Genius was “Creative” and believe me, I think they converse when Genius is at a loss for answers.

I explained to Genius that instead of apples I was getting lemons. He nodded his head in agreement as I explained the problem, never once taking his eyes of the machine. We took the machine for a walk around the mall, since it was a wireless issue we were trying to solve, and everything seemed to work in the store, as well as in the mall.

He immediately got to the crux of the problem, he didn’t know what the problem was. I suspect he is studying to become a lawyer, maybe even a politician, as he suggested that the problem had to do with wireless phones, microwaves and strange hidden forces that interfere with the transmission of radio waves!

Technically, what he was saying to me was in layman’s lingo is: “You’re screwed.” “However; for $330, we send it away, all your problems go away. Never a cloudy day in your life again, the temperature at a steady 72 degrees. If however on the other hand, and all things considered, and you decide not to, wear a long heavy coat, and don’t forget the boots and umbrella."

Saturday, January 27, 2007

THE PAPERGIRL IS 85!

Deep down in the “new” old south, Boca Raton to be exact- (“God’s Waiting Room”, to quote Josh Peck’s Mom) lives a little old lady. She became a widow a few years ago, and although she is lonely she manages to keep her spirits up. For years she would shop, and visit her many friends and bring good cheer wherever she went. Living in Brooklyn when she first married, she along with her husband and only natural child moved to Long Island to raise their child and an adopted boy who grew up to be a very good and loving son. Along the way, her natural son passed on, and she and her husband bore the pain with dignity and grace, never letting it interfere with all the relationships the fostered.

She is my Mother’s youngest sister, and she was always and still is a sweetheart. Marie would visit my Mom when I was a youngster, and make me nuts. Coming up the two flights of stairs, she would enter the apartment, shut the radio off as Arthur Godfrey was selling his Lipton Tea, and check behind my ears to see if I washed their. “Tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk! You have to wash behind the ears. Lena, tell him he has to wash behind the ears.” Then the five of us, my Mom, Aunt, her Son Nick, my Sister Fran and myself would descend the stairs to deposit Fran and Nick into baby carriages to begin the longest of marches down to Broadway or Pickin Avenue in Brooklyn. Along the way they would stop at all the store to browse and shop without even taking a break, and return home to cook supper for their husbands.

Around 1954 or so my Aunt moved to Long Island and raised her family until the late 70’s or early 80’s after Nick passed away and her younger son joined the navy. She and my Uncle Frank (a separate blog to come) moved to Boca Raton, Florida. Then in the past few years, my Uncle passed on, and left her living alone in Boca.

She has her days she says, and she suffers from old age, using a walker. She gets up every morning and delivers newspapers in her building, using an elevator to go up and down in her condo, and her walker to travel a mile or more to shop. Her only child now lives in Virginia, so it’s hard for him to get to see her as much as he would like, but when he does, spends most of his time doing whatever he can for her. This lady is about 85, delivers her papers in the morning to give herself a jump start, walks all that distance to shop for herself with a walker, and never asks for help! Never.

I know her story is not unique, what is unique is that anyone would recognize how many poor old people we have out there, doing just that! Alone, staying alive for the love of life, and keeping a set of friends, not ever angry, but giving old age dignity and earning the respect of the young, I hope.

I’m willing to bet that she is more reliable in her paper delivery than any young paper boy or girl I ever had.

God bless you, Aunt Marie.

Friday, January 26, 2007

HOW TO BEHIVE IN SCHOOL

It was a warm March day in 1963 as I sat in study hall around 3rd period at Bellport High School, not feeling very well. I had a rather large headache and I hadn’t had the pleasure of drinking anything to warrant it. Soon the chills took over and I asked Mr. Handscomb, the study hall monitor to send me to the nurse’s office. She looked into my eyes, whispered: “You are sick, go home” and my Dad picked me up and took me home.

Mom was on one of her cleaning bingest hat morning, everything smelling of pine and disinfectant as I was informed that if I was too sick for school, I had to go to bed. I was more than happy to accommodate her sentiment and did so.

I entered my bedroom and noticed that Mom had all the windows in the room open, as I went to lie on the bed. I took off my shoes and lay there for a while. I started to feel this little itchy bump on my toe, then another. Kind of early for mosquitoes, but one managed to get into the house with all the windows opened. I started to look for the ^R&*)&^T&*^R& mosquito all over the room, ceiling, under the bed, walls everywhere. The mosquito was winning and I was getting eaten alive.

“Ma we have a mosquito in the house.”
“What?”
“Look at me!”
“You have hives!”
“I have what?”
“Hives, it’s something you ate, what have you been eating lately that’s different?”
“Nothing but the strawberries I’ve been picking at my job on the farm.

Sure enough, the doctor confirmed the fact that Mom is a doctor too.

Although I still eat strawberries, I still fear the outbreak of hives.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

THE DAY THE SCHOOL CAUGHT FIRE

It was a Friday morning about 11:00 and I was sitting in Spanish class, behind the brand new consoles that had been installed for language learning by the school system, listening to Mr. or should I say Senior Campbell “repeatan tambien por favor” the words of the conquistadores one more time. Suddenly the fire alarm rang out and the procedures that were put in place and rehearsed many times over began. In an orderly soldier like fashion, we marched out of the new wing of the high school and down the steps to the first floor and onto the lawn.

Someone quipped: “wouldn’t it be funny if the school really was on fire?” We all chuckled, and I looked over toward the old wing, and noticed smoke climbing up from what I thought was behind the chimney. Being how it was March the Chimney would be “Playing” that day, as I continued my conversation with one of the guys when all of a sudden someone shouts: “Look!” I turn around to look where she was pointing to and see the windows of the second floor in the old wing fly up, smoke billowing out and kids standing at the window! I realized at that point that my younger sister Fran was supposed to be in that classroom and started to race toward the building. Half way there, the kids started to jump out of the window and land in the scrubs that broke their fall and cushioned them from any physical harm for the most part. As I got to the fence surrounding the building I realized that Fran had stayed home that day, and maybe saved her life and mine as I had planned to go up there and find her.

As the kids started to fall out the window, the fire department arrived and took charge, moving us all back away from the building and across the street toward the bank. I decided to go to the village, which was just a short, walk from the school and call my Mother and tell her what was happening. On the corner of Main Street and Station Road was a drug store, and at the very entrance of the store was a phone booth. I called and my Mom answered…

“What are you doing out of school?”
Me: “The school is on fire!”
Mom: “Don’t get so smart.”
Me; “Listen”
Me: “Is Fran home?”
Mom: “Yes, she’s right here.”

I stick the phone out the bi-fold doors and as I do another fire truck is roaring by screening as the sirens play their song of urgency.

There were many people involved in that ordeal that day, helicopters hovering overhead, their blades whirling around at blinding speeds, police sirens blearing, medical personnel scampering about, fire fighters charging up ladders, all with a sacred mission, one that they were trained to do to save lives. Some people were injured, some were hospitalized, some escaped the fire, and some fought the fire, but no one died that day.

A student smoking a cigarette tossed it behind the curtain in the auditorium when a teacher was approaching that caused the fire.

As I watched from my vantage point across the street in front of the bank, there were kids being brought in on stretchers into the bank, medics caring for them, all the while and the school was still burning. Everyone had evacuated, one way or another when suddenly the roof of the building lifted upward as a tremendous explosion erupted from the old fashioned boiler room.

Until my dying day I will never forget the dejected figure of our school principle, Mr. Feeney, standing on the lawn, his hands in his pocket looking down as the fire raged in front of him in defiance.

“We bid thee a fond farewell
Though many a year’s gone by.
Oh Bellport, Bellport, Bellport High,
Parting is sorrow, parting is neigh.”

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

GREAT MEMORIES MEAN GREAT FRIENDS

Being retired I spend some time reflecting on the past, the people I met along the way, and the wonderful times I’ve shared with them. You have met some of them already, but I want to tell you about one I met over 25 years ago who I still stay in touch with, even though she moved miles away.

Chris lived in Port Washington, NY way back in the 80’s when I first met her at my job. I was told she was one of the older workers in terms of service. Being the company was rather large, with a national reputation and famous for giving away millions of dollars, I was impressed by that fact. She married a very pleasant gentleman of Italian extraction, and although she wasn’t Italian, she could speak two languages: English and Hands. Yes, she had very expressive hands, hands that could lead a symphony or direct traffic all at the same time. I guess marrying an Italian; she perfected the second language to a fluency that belied her own heritage.

Most importantly she was a glue pot that held the group together. A group of us would gather for lunch at least twice a week and go to the same restaurants with regularity on Monday or Friday. She rounded us up; made sure we were committed for lunch that day, and followed through.

One of the things we did on Friday was go to the bank to deposit our checks, get cash then go to lunch. I happened to notice that the bank we went to, if you were inside, you could hear whatever anyone was saying in his or her car at the drive-through intercom. This gave me an idea for a Friday amusement. There was a guy named Schwartz, who no one was particularly close to, and seemed to set off Chris at the mere mention of his name. One Friday we went to the bank drive-through and our turn came. Chris was behind the wheel, and I mentioned Schwartz, knowing full well that: everyone in the bank could hear whatever she said. You see, when I mentioned Schwartz to her, not only did she get pissed, her voice got very loud, This went on for a few weeks, then one day she went into the bank. You guessed it; she realized what I was doing!

The fact that I lived to tell this story is testament to her wonderful nature and sense of humor. She was always a comfort if things were not going well and you needed someone to talk to. There is nothing pretentious in her being, nor is she ever envious of anyone. She is just the kind of person you want to know, with her expressive hands, cigarette and glass of white wine, she can hold a conversation and make you very comfortable doing it. We used to go for a special lunch at a restaurant that eventually closed down on us for Gnocchi made with this delicious basil sauce, and it was our lunch only.

Then I left the company, and she eventually moved south, and we lost our connection. Recently we reconnected, and although it is through e-mail, I’ll take it.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

AMERICAN IDLE

By now everyone knows about the TV hit, “American Idol”, and the show that guarantees you can make a jerk of yourself by being the very worst. There are two kinds of people that make the TV appearance, the likes of either David Hang or Clay Aiken, depending if you like schlock or good music.

I wish it was “American Idle”, and then I’d have something to see on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening, or hear something on the news at night that is more worthy.

Obviously I have a few thoughts about the show:
1)Simon Cowl has the most talent of anyone on the show, and he doesn’t sing.
2)Simon Cowl is the show
3)Simon Cowl is my favorite because he is honest, and really insults and hurts people’s feelings. Now normally I wouldn’t like that, but when people know the rules, go ahead and do it anyway, they deserve it!
4)Who in their right mind would listen for an hour of bad singing unless they are at heart mean spirited to want to see self-inflicted humiliation by some one? We all do.
5)My other favorite guy on the show is the one that says: “Good night.”
6)If people are going to try out, they should really video-tape themselves to hear and see what they really look and sound like and not become offended when Simon says: “You stink.”

Maybe I’m just a grouchy old man, without a sense of humor, or annoyed that someone else came up with a good idea to make a lot of money and I didn’t, but I tried to watch it once again with an opened mind, and realized I wanted to apply an ax to my head, which I believe would indeed give me an open mind.

Monday, January 22, 2007

SHE’S HAPPY AND SHE MEANS BUSINESS

Happy happens to be my dog. An American cocker spaniel, buff and white and a pain in the ass, Happy has become Bossy. Why we call her Happy I’m not ready to go into just yet, but why I’m calling her Bossy is because like all the women in my life, she is bossing me around.

My dog is a creature of habit, and demands that I stay on her schedule do what she needs me to do, and I better do it immediately if not sooner.

When Happy needs to go do her business, she trots over to the door in our den, and looks at me, with the expression in her eyes that says: “are you looking at me? WELL?” She obviously has a very loud expression. If I don’t respond, she puts her head down and with her right paw, (she’s right pawed) slaps a little bell TLW (The Little Woman) hung at the base of the door on the trim of the wall. That is our Pavlovian signal to both salivate and open the door.

At 5:00 PM she gets up from her short nap of 20 hours and starts to look at me from wherever I happen to be. Be it in the den, kitchen or my studio, she expects to be fed lettuce. This means she wants me to go to the refrigerator, and make a salad for the family, giving her the prime leafs of green from the head. If I fail to respond, she gets in my face and starts to bark at me until I do.

Every morning I like to exercise, it’s a half hour vigorous routine that I hate to interrupt. Happy likes to interrupt and make me stop so she can do her business. It is times like this that I like to choke her. Once she returns, she needs to have a reward for doing her business and disturbing me.

Disturbing me is her favorite pastime, as she will wait for me to sit in my recliner, get comfortable, or wait until I sit down to eat something to decide she needs me to get up and let her out.

Happy has found newer ways to irritate me, she will wait for me to drop off to sleep, then jump up on the bed and make me jump out of my skin, or if I happen to be in my swimming pool, she will run up and down the 36 feet or so of copping and bark until I scream at her to shut up.

If anyone wants a nice, cute cuddly dog named Happy, please let me know, and I will also throw in a 19 year old and a color TV if you act now.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

I’M STAIN GRADED AND READY TO CHIP

Today I started on my first wood carving in quite a while. I have been psyching myself for this endeavor for a few months now, and finally feel ready for the challenge.

Michelangelo once said that the object he sculpted was living in the stone, and that he was just liberating it. How true that is, but as you liberate, so can you kill. Like a surgeon, you cannot cut too deeply or not deep enough. If you do, you kill your work.

My theme is a carousel horse I am copying from the early 20th century masters of carousel carving, which will be in base relief, and mounted on a certain spot in my den. Along side of this I will paint in oil or acrylic two smaller horses that will hang on either side of the carving. I hope to make them in very rich colors and they will be of different poses.

This project is exciting me beyond my comprehension, it may be that it is because my retirement allows me the freedom to do this, at my leisure, and will fulfill and give me a meaningful day that I can leave behind me.

To sit before a fresh piece of wood, with the smell and anticipation of carving the wood in my nostrils, I plan to be immersed in pure happiness and joy, seeing it come alive, prodding my self to do so at a very high level of creativity, singing to myself in pure operatic tones, as I stain this stain graded gift to myself, I will be the master of my world.

I will start with no one around me, I will set the tone as I like, with Strauss or Schubert playing in the background, and I will be very happy!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

THERESA AND TEDDY

Many years ago, while I was still in high school, I had two part time jobs. Due to a school fire the previous year, my senior year was from 7:30 in the morning until early afternoon. From 2:30 to 4:30 every afternoon I worked for a factory that produced children’s play clothes for Sears Roebuck, and in the evening from 6 to 11:30 I worked for a supermarket chain called Hills Supermarkets.

Running the supermarket was a married couple. Teddy, the manager and Theresa as the assistant manager ran the supermarket with an iron fist. But what’s in a title? Theresa was the real manager of the operation, and Teddy followed orders, mainly hers. Momma assigned all delegation of duties, Momma determined all stocking decisions, and all and any decisions having to do with customers was a Momma thought too.

So what did Teddy do? Well Teddy decided what empty boxes were needed to be cut up, where a shelf was in disarray, Teddy fixed it, never asking anyone working on the floor to do it because Theresa would raise the roof and poor Teddy would get hell for disturbing her plan. Teddy was needed only for his authorized signature as a manager.

Theresa also had a pet and a whipping boy. Her pet was a blond stocky guy that was a real hustler, working hard day and night with aspirations to be an assistant manager someday, and then a manager. He never took breaks, stirred his coffee with the pencil that was constantly in his ear, rarely changed his clothes and annoyed the heck out of everyone else who worked at the supermarket.

Then there was the whipping boy. Arnold was a meek and courageous fellow, and courageous for the simple fact that he kept coming back for more. Arnold in his skinny body, with his black clip-on bow tie with white shirt and white apron was constantly being told what to do, getting hell for not doing it fast enough, and even had Teddy yell at him once. The problem with that was the Teddy was partially blind in one eye and though he was talking to someone else! Being a full-time student at Adelphi University, and not really caring about either Theresa or Teddy, Arnold had hopes and dreams of putting great distance between him and Hills once he graduated. Of course with the ambition that Arnold really had for his education, and the lack of interest in his Hills job did not dissuade him from working hard, and every hour he could find available. This chemistry that Arnold possessed, made Joey hate him, since Joey’s ambition was the supermarket.

Where did I fit in this menagerie? After each day, when I had finished rounding up baskets in the parking lot, in any kind of weather, or packing bags for nasty customers, I was put in charge of cleaning the toilets. It seemed that everyone had to do this job, until one day when Momma assigned me to the task. Being how I lived with my own Mother, I knew what a clean toilet looked and smelled like. Momma Theresa loved the job I did and she assigned it to me permanently! This was an easy job compared to loading the conveyer belt with heavy boxes, stacking them on skids and rolling them out for the night crew to stock the shelves with.

Well one evening as I was cleaning the toilets, revenge arrived in the form of Arnold. Theresa had a very thick German accent, with her blond hair and middle-aged body, thick glasses and unhappy demeanor yells out for Arnold. Poor Arnold is at the other end of the store, and goes running clear across stocked skids and working guys to answer Theresa’s call. “Arnold, give this to Joey and don’t vaste any time.” Arnold was clearly annoyed it was said and comes into the lady’s toilet where I’m working and looks for Joey. I tell Arnold that Joey is in touch with Mother Nature in one of the crappers in the men’s room, and seemed somewhat indisposed as his pants were down around his ankles. This was the first time I really saw Arnolds eyes light up, as he runs out of the lady’s room. As I’m putting the finishing touches on the sink in the Lady’s room, I hear Momma’s pet yelling as Arnold is leaving the Men’s room.

Poor Joey, he had to wade through a turned over bucket of sudsy water with very wet pants at his ankles by someone, right before that someone turned off the lights in the men’s room!

Friday, January 19, 2007

BOOKS

Some of us have termites, some too many relatives, me, I have too many books. If it were money, I wouldn’t be complaining, just counting right now. These books are starting to propagate right under my nose, and raising large bookcases.

I for one have a large library topics and authors complete from art, advertising, cooking to sports, politics, mysteries and who done its to religion. They reside all over the house, from boxes down in my basement to shelves in my studio, kitchen, den and living room. And what do they all have in common? Dust.

Always respecting books, I never throw any out, because I know also that when I do, I will immediately need it or miss it in some form.

Gee Mabel, book learnin is good.

My favorite topics don’t really matter as much as I do like some kinds of reading over others, but when I’m done reading, I feel an accomplishment and that I now have a permanent record of some part of my life. I can truly say, dusting will take a little longer tomorrow.

I have books from high school and college, books from when I was just married, books collected from my career, and often wonder if I will ever read them or need them again. But I am not alone with this madness, TLW (The Little Woman) and both #1 and #2 Sons have left me with their books to house, and God forbid I should throw one out.

For a while I’ve been saving all my loose change, I think I’ll sell all the books and put the money with the loose change. Then I can start a real library.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I’M ALL WIRED UP!

Once a year TLW (The Little Woman) likes to challenge herself and anybody living in the house to “Wiring With TLW”, where we take a contestant, usually me and try to fry his brain, make it hurt and give it a charley horse. The idea of the game is to attach as many devices as you can to a TV and make them work.

This is a very tricky game, where the contestant tries to follow TLW’s logic as she loudly describes the wiring plan and what we should do. Today’s contest involves a DVD, VCR, TV, Cable box and a router. This game is played up in our bedroom where we are hooking up things. When you get to be our age, you watch a lot of TV in bed, as compared to years ago.

The gear that one uses in playing this game aside from what was just described, is a lot of wires, connectors, splitters, wires with one, two, and three ends, and all should be color coded, and the holes where they are plugged into should be in the darkest part of the room, making it virtually impossible to see. To add additional excitement to the game, what we do is try to find wires from the past in our messy garage, moving stuff around while maintaining one’s balance. If you do not have the wires, you HAVE TO go to Radio Shack and buy them. You lose points if that happens.

Every contestant gets three tries, and you have only 24 hours in which to complete the game! If you fail to win, you get no snack, and have to read in bed. If you cry or ask for your Mother, you can also lose points!

TLW has conducted this game on me every year for the last 35 years, and always wins! I am trying for my first victory this year, as I was in training trying to right my wireless router, which is another blog. I also spent time in training by watching the guys from Best Buy hook up my new TV, DVD, VCR and surround sound as I watched and got more confused.

We have had contest that included TV’s, VCR’s and games that the Boys had, making them look at me and ask: “Why is Mommy such a maniac?” I always reply: “Because it has wires and connectors and she is looking to collect on my life insurance.”

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

THE ROSETTA STONE

There is a very nice elderly lady that TLW (The Little Woman) and I know through her aunt. The lady lives out east near Orient Point, and is very sociable and loves to entertain. Her only problem is she is almost stone deaf. Her name is Rosetta, and she is a lot of fun to say the least. She lives alone with her dog Boe, and he pretty much takes up her life. He is one of these little dogs that weights about 12 pounds, and is very high-strung, but not aggressive.

This past summer we were invited to Rosetta’s home for a luncheon with a very nice couple that are friends of hers. Also along that day was this couples daughter, a very lovely young lady who happens to be a veterinarian and a vegetarian.

Not knowing that the Doctor was a vegetarian, Rosetta made about 4 thousand pounds of veal cutlet to serve for the luncheon, along with some veggies. The Doctor’s name is Jennifer, and is very bright, sociable and gracious. When she was served the veal, she deftly ate around it and left her meat to the side. Rosetta may be deaf, but she is very observant. Upon surveying Jennifer’s plate inquired why she wasn’t eating her meat. Poor Jennifer somewhat on the spot says she is a vegetarian, and Rosetta doesn’t hear her and continues by saying she has “Plenty more, so don’t be shy.” It took the whole table a while to demonstrate and explain that Jennifer is a vegetarian. If you think about it, a veterinarian would be a vegetarian also, and if he or she did eat meat, it wouldn’t be veal by the way it is raised to be slaughtered.

Rosetta was not done though, after eating, she hauls out this fur coat, that she wanted Jennifer to have, since she doesn’t go anywhere any more. The coat is actual animals fur!

It was a double whammy for poor Jennifer, and she took it very graciously, while Rosetta was taken aback at first then came around to the realities of life.

The next time Jennifer is served meat, I think she should just cut it up and move it about her plate.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

NOW I’VE SEEN IT ALL!

The people of Oklahoma, Wyoming and Texas are all getting rich right now and not from oil or cattle, and are laughing at us New Yorkers. Why, because they send JCPenney’s all their used jeans, and Penney’s sells them to us suckers here in the East.

Sunday I had to go to the mall with TLW (The Little Woman) to the Apple Computer Store. On the way out, TLW said she wanted to go to Penney’s to look at some jeans for #2 Son.

How would you like to spend over $54 for a pair of jeans? How about a pair that are ripped? Faded? Worn?? I couldn’t believe my eyes. I commented to TLW that I have an idea, how about paint stains on them? Well, one bin over, there they were, paint stained!

I have one more idea. How about food stained jeans? We could stain them in Italian, Chinese or Mexican food. You know, you throw one of those theme parties, telling everyone to come in say, Mexican jean stain, as the party theme is Mexican.

I can remember when if something had a stain or was ripped, it went into a discount bin, and you paid less for the damage, or the store threw them out, but now they increase the price! There were jeans with the knees torn and split. My Mother used to have to sew them up, now they encourage lazy mothers!

On the way to the car in the parking lot, TLW commented that the people that buy the paint stained jeans probably never held a paint- brush in their life. Just think what it would do for #2 Son, all the labor of a paint job, without the stress of working.

TLW thinks I’m getting old, because there in front of us walking out of the mall was a young lady that was wearing faded tight jeans, long black high heeled boots, a leather jacket and under the jacket, are you ready for this? A red dress that hung over her buttocks and below the knees in front!

Monday, January 15, 2007

SHE WAS VERY ENGAGING

Who? Why TLW (The Little Woman) of course. It was 36 years ago that we got engaged. Formally this is the day, in actuality, it was the day after Thanksgiving, as I introduced her to my family for the first time, and the next morning my Mother said to me that she seemed like one of her own daughters. I spite of that nasty comment, I did as I planned and asked her to marry me after we left my folks house.

I picked her up that Friday morning, and it was a warm overcast day, as we headed to a diner in my 1970 Camaro. Life was good, I was on a roll, and with a new job in the city and a great gal I was dating. Needing some kind of sense of what I was doing, I took TLW to my house for an after Thanksgiving Day dinner that we always seemed to celebrate in those days. If the witches liked her, then I knew for sure that what I would ask TLW had to be a good thing for me. If they didn‘t, well, too bad, I was asking anyway.

I was more concerned for TLW’s mindset after she left the house, but daring that I am, she would have to know what she was getting into. One sister was still young and playing with dolls, one was trying to iron out the curls in her natural curly hair, one was talking with a Connecticut accent which I couldn’t understand and one was already married and nagging.

I popped the question in the car as we drove away, figuring if she says “no”, at least she wouldn’t smack me while I was driving. She said: “Yes”, and all we needed to do was her running a D&B check on me.

Being engaged was the fun part. We went into the city on January 14th, picked up her ring from the contact that I knew at the Diamond Center, ate a great dinner at the Riverboat near Penn Station where they served these rather large portions of ribs (Yes #1 son, I remembered what I ate) and planned on getting engaged for Valentine’s Day. I went home that night thinking do I really want to wait until then?

The next morning, a Friday dawned bright and cold, as I boarded the train for work, anxiously awaiting TLW to join me at East Islip. I decided to give her the ring then, in front of all our friends, where we had first met and it really caught her by surprise. She was wearing a maroon suit as she proudly walked up and down the train aisle showing off the ring. It was that day that I got my first admonishment: “Why didn’t you tell me, I would have worn something more dressier!”

Amen.

As I promised on January 1st, the results of my weight –in: I lost 2.5% of my original weight-in from my diet and exercise.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

JOE “THE FINN”

When I was growing up in Brooklyn, we always had nicknames for people with style. The names you hear on “The Sopranos” are really an outgrowth from the Italian neighborhoods of the 20’s and 30’s that carried on right into the 50’s and 60’s and to some degree the 70’s. Although it still happens within families, usually not as much.

If you happened to be something other than Italian, it usually meant that you would inherit a nickname of your very own, even if you didn’t have style. But there was one gentleman who was not Italian, had style and frequented my Grandmothers house, and he was Joe “The Finn”, of Finnish heritage.

Joe “The Finn” was my Dad’s friend, and he could do anything, and as long as someone needed to get something done, Joe was your man. Perhaps his notoriety stems from the fact that he never paid his electric bill, but always had electricity running in his apartment. This was because Joe “The Finn” was a genius in worker’s clothes. He devised a way to connect again with the electric company after they shut him down by using a simple copper penny! Somehow he knew what to do and did it. Joe “The Finn” was also a mechanic of sorts, and with his wiry frame, jet black hair and wise guy attitude, one would find him under my Dad’s or some neighbor’s car getting it back on the road, and all he would ask for was a $1 coin! If you looked under the hood of the car he worked on, their was a Maxwell House coffee can sitting there, wired to whatever needed the wire, and darn if it didn’t work like a clock.

If there was one thing that troubled Joe “The Finn” it was his family. His wife was rather large in stature and bulk, and his two sons were very skinny and as he would say: “very dopey.” He would wail on how one son or the other did something stupid, never leaving a class without repeating it at least once, or embarrassing him in some way. Being how I was quite younger than his two sons. Joe would take out the $1 coin, ask me if this was a quarter or a nickel, and I’d say a dollar and he would give me the dollar and compare me to his kids. Of course my Dad would get all over me to return the money, I would, and when I got home, I’d find it in my pocket again!

Wherever you are Joe, I love you.

Friday, January 12, 2007

FAMILIARITY BREATHS SIMILARITY

When I met TLW (The Little Woman) I didn’t realize how much in common we shared. For instance, we met while both of us rode the LIRR; we both came from large Catholic families, families that aspired to higher education and the belief of a better tomorrow. Both of us were family oriented and believe in the family core concept.

We discovered that we like a lot of the same things in life, some of the same music, and art, the principles and mostly all of the same foods. I’ve gotten to like some of the foods she likes and she has done the same thing.

Both of us have sisters living in Connecticut, we both have an aunt named Mary and both of them are the youngest children in their family. We both are middle children and here is one more, we both are born the same week, a year and three days apart. We both have an oldest sister, who is the oldest sibling.

If that is not enough, we have the same children, same wedding anniversary and live in the same house!

Coincidence?

I don’t think so.

HEY, THEY TOOK AWAY MY ANTHONY’S

Don’t go somewhere for a few months and bang, it’s gone! Off the face of the earth! Anthony’s, my favorite little ristorante, disappeared from the face of Ronkonkoma. No one told me as I entered the building. Everything seemed the same, but I had an uneasy feeling. I was given a table and a menu and didn’t recognize the waitress George. She some how didn’t meet my expectations. For one thing, she looked like a truck driver I once knew, and secondly she seemed awfully unenthused about the whole show. The menu looked strange and somewhat skimpy as I perused through the different fish and pasta dishes, all over priced and not what I remembered. I asked George if the name had changed, and she assured me it had, to Amici’s. Hey it was still Italian, just not on a first name basis, so now it’s more formal. Well, they were still selling food, so I decided to stay, in spite of the prices and George’s manly air.

I ordered what was close to what I really wanted from what I remembered from Anthony’s old menu and George recommended the house dressing for the salad. I inquired “Why “ and she said because it “Is so good.” OK.

I was the only one sitting in the dining room of ten tables, no noise, no people staring at me, and no one to guess what they do in life as I stare back.

Suddenly 4 women appear, take a table and raise the sound level a few dozen decibels, with inane observations and high-pitched nervous laughs. They laugh about everything and anything, from their husbands inabilities to their bosses to recent deaths in their families.

The salad comes out and it tastes so good I know I shouldn’t be eating it. I can hear TLW (The Little Woman) calculating the calories and the points that I will exceed this evening. But she isn’t here right now, so here goes.

Out comes my entrée, and I begin to eat, suddenly George takes on a new light, as I savor the calamari and shrimp in just enough pasta not to care about carbs or points. The sauce is outstanding, just what I wanted as I expected the worst! I WAS MARVELOUS! Good even and downright delicious. I dip my bread (carbs) into the sauce, I dip another piece, I begin to see TLW, calculating and looking like my Mother almost.

A couple joins us, she is not happy looking, and he has a sand trap on the back of his head, which makes me want to compare notes with him. He does not look too happy either, but amazingly, she sits and begins to look into my plate.

I get the bill, realize that Amici’s may not stay in business too much longer and leave, very satisfied and glad I did it even if I ate alone. I think however, when they present the bill, George should wear a mask, like a real stickup would be executed.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO

Did you ever have an urge to do or eat something that you could almost taste? There are few things that make me have an urge, when they do, I have to react.

When I was coming out of High School, I wanted to be an artist/designer and work in NYC. The glamour of the big city, the color of the business, the excitement of doing something that is seen on a national level was very intoxicating to a country boy living in the sticks of Long Island back in the early sixties. So I went to college and became a Graphic Designer, in spite of all kinds of odds, and with the help of my parents, my brother-in-law John, my best friend Phil and my Aunt and Uncle. I hitchhiked from railroad stations many miles to the campus, I ate nothing all day to say money for the train fare, I hid in the toilet when the trainman came to collect fares and I didn’t have any money to pay. I know it was a thief of services, but I was desperate like any criminal would be. I know it was wrong, but I did do it, I’m sorry, but I’m also glad that I got away with it. The trains still operated the way they did regardless of whether I paid the fare or not, late and no heat in the winter and no ac in the summer.

Since Christmas Eve, I’ve been having a yen for a certain dish that I love at an Italian restaurant called Anthony’s in Ronkonkoma. It’s a seafood dish that has calamari, shrimp and other shellfish in a spicy garlicy marinara sauce. This is my favorite dish. If I have ever go to the chair, give me that, forget about desserts or appetizers, just that.

I was telling TLW (The Little Woman) how I have this urge for the dish, and being how she is going to her Holiday dinner tonight at the Irish Coffee Pub, I should treat myself to the dish. I said what about my diet? She said just don’t eat a lot of pasta, the fish is good for you. She’s right, olive oil, garlic, seafood, tomato sauce, none of that is very bad, there is no cheese, and no red meat involved and it’s the perfect dish to break from a diet for, and I will eat it in moderation. What a gal TLW is!

So tonight, while TLW is with her Paisano’s in the Irish Coffee Pub, probably eating mutton pie and kippers, I’m going to be feasting on my favorite dish! Oh, by the way, I spent an awful lot of money on fares with the Long Island Railroad since I graduated from college and went to work in the city.

Monday, January 08, 2007

OK, LET’S STRAIGHTEN OUT

Yesterday was basic training day. TLW (The Little Woman) had the day off, and unfortunately had a stiff neck for a few days. This interferes with my harmony, forcing me to be sweeter than I usually am. TLW’s major complaint was the fact that we are eligible for a town tax rebate on our property tax, but weren’t notified, we had to download the form and she learned that we had to go down to town hall to make the application valid. This makes her a master sergeant around the old post. Her sharp commands and immediate responses were the order if the day. “Mam, yes Mam, ”Mam, no Mam” “Mam, whatever you say, Mam.”

If you are wondering what that makes me, it is private, 2nd rate. It seems everything made her grouchy, all day long. Fortunately for me I had a meeting to go to at 3:00 p.m., and so I had to leave at 2:30 p.m. Immediate relief set into my well being, as I scooted out the door, no, flew out the door, not bothering to open the door first so I could get out faster. Being a sniveling coward is really convenient; no one gets hurt, as I don’t have to fear some heavy object landing on my cranium.

There were many things to set her off, like she kept getting bumped off the Internet, and calling me down to fix it. TLW managed to voice her displeasure, go on another computer and complain she couldn’t do anything on it because she couldn’t raise her neck high enough to read the screen. If it wasn’t the Internet, it was the retirement check was sent instead of direct deposited for the second time. Looking up medications that my daughter is prescribed made her even madder.

Tomorrow TLW goes back to work, and I go back to my routines where someone in the house is nice to me not that TLW wasn’t civil or even nice, but she sure was annoyed at something.

Being a man of purity and patience, good virtue and just all around nice guy, on her next day off I’m going to Church or Temple or something and am praying for the next day to come real fast.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

I HAVE BECOME A GEEK

The self implied notion that I am good for nothing has been dispelled. I have just learned that aside from letting the dog out to do her business, I am treasured as the family geek. Yes, a nerd, a man to solve all your computer problems.

TLW (The Little Woman) has determined that I can make a case for my value to this family as a computer geek. You have a problem I’m your man. Need to straighten out a router that won’t behave, call on Mr. DelBloggolo, for bytes, ram and rom, I am at your service.

Four computers exists in my home, everyone has their own and one is used to work a certain program that #2 Son uses to e-mail to himself for his college courses. It is my job to see that they all function, and function well. Not only must a computer function, it must work with the other computers and work with different platforms.

Many a day did I hear the words: “Dad, my computer is not working!” or “The computer won’t let me on the internet!”
Of course TLW also chimes in with: “Joe, can you come up here for a moment?” (For the computer.) If I can not find a solution, the needy computer user becomes agitated, and panic stricken, looking at me as if it were my fault, or that I somehow caused the problem.

Today, TLW downloaded some form on her laptop, and wanted me to print it up on my printer. I told her to e-mail me the file to my computer and I would print it. She reminded me again, so I decided to do it myself. I went into her computer and started the process, asking her if she wanted to see how it is done. “No” she said, that’s what I have you for.”

Saturday, January 06, 2007

DID I MISS SOMETHING?

Every morning when I awake, I head down stairs after my shower and I find TLW (The Little Woman) sitting in her easy chair, with a cup of coffee and watching “Good Morning America.” Usually her nose is nice and cold, with a red glow that tells me she is healthy and all is well with the world. Except for two weeks in early August, this is an everyday occurrence. In those first two weeks in August, the temperature climbs high enough for her to wear only a sweater, as she sheds her scarf and topcoat, gloves and robe, and removes the comforter for two weeks.

This year I am becoming very worried. TLW is looking like early August! I started fearing for her health, became concerned that she might even have to shed her gloves, but fortunately, I figured out the problem. IT’S TOO DARN WARM FOR JANUARY! Hello, it is January, it is supposed to be at least cooler than August.

TLW is valiant in her efforts to stay warm, wearing her big fuzzy robe, with nose warmer, and her PJ’s ready at a moments notice to climb into bed, under the covers and doze off while watching CSI, Boston Legal, and Cold Case Files or some show like it. In January I can always count on seeing someone’s guts being analyzed, propped up or put in a crime scene evidence bag that looks like left over dinner going into the freezer. But with the recent celebrating of Christmas in July and New Years Day in August, everything in my life is becoming unrecognizable. I think last night I looked to see if the Mets were playing!

I used to pick up #1 son in December for the holidays, and carry his Peacoat into the air terminal so he wouldn’t freeze from the terminal to the car, This year California Boy stayed coatless in the balmy July night we spent just three weeks ago at JFK International.

Well enough complaining, I have to call those lawn guys and ask where the hell they are, not to mention the fact that the pool needs to be opened soon.

Friday, January 05, 2007

THE BIGGEST SCAM IN THE WORLD

It seems to me, that the bullies in this world have all taken on a corporate structure. The arguments being waged against the established kingdoms are not being heard or recognized.

For the last month or so I have been annoyed and angered by the insurance companies. You know the companies I speak of, the ones that make it a law that you must own insurance so you can buy a house, or a car, the ones that demand you pay high premiums and then increase the premiums every year, and the same ones that will put you through the wringer in qualifying, and God forbid you make a claim, the ones that drop you.

I have never been dropped, but there are poor souls out there that have, people can’t afford to buy insurance, yet they can’t afford not to have it. Medication should not be at the mercy of insurance companies, especially when it concerns matters of life and death, but the poor people out there can’t afford some medications, and hope to God that your insurance will allow some of the meds prescribed. Likewise, any kind of treatment tends to get the evil eye by the gods of insurance/ I have heard of people being refused coverage for treatment they received, leaving them with a hole in their pockets, big enough for a CEO of the insurance company to drive his limo through.

Insurance companies have a very one-sided deal, and the government both on a local and federal level are allowing them to get away with it. The only ones regulating insurance is the insurance companies; the government has not done one iota of real scrutiny with these jackals. You pay and pay, and then you co-pay! Huh? Excuse me, but don’t I pay enough already?

Perhaps insurance companies are not totally to blame, there is the problems of doctors being sued, costly court settlements awarded, and all that madness is fed by the common man thinking: :Let me stick it to the man.”

Will there ever be a knight in shinning armor that will save us from this suicidal carousel, of obscene qualifiers, gutless politicians and thieving crooked insurance companies, feeding off of huge court settlements and weak legislation?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

MEMORY IS A GOOD REMEDY

Sometimes, even I learn. For instance, at the end of the last year, the last three days of it was spent with heartburn. It stayed with me each day, and when I ate, it would rise to new levels. If I had a drink, it would ask me if I was crazy. Yes, I had talking heartburn, it was persistent and grueling as it took its toll on my enthusiasm to eat all the great holiday foods I love so much.

Not to harp on the diet, but now that I’m on it, I am reminding myself that there is a price to pay if I don’t watch out. I think of the discomfort of heartburn, how it felt and I get over any minor plan I may have to deviate. It is somewhat like having to listen to your Mother after you ate her cheesecake for a bake sale, you really rather be elsewhere, say a dentists chair, as he does his rendition of root canal work.

I’m not always so thoughtful, I can still screw up, and I do on occasion. As long as I don’t drag anyone else into the screw-ups, I’m OK with it. However, even that isn’t always the case. For instance: many years ago.

It all started on a Saturday morning: I was a pre-teen, living in my Parents house and my parents were out shopping for food. My older sister Theresa (much older) was asleep in her bed, and I was hungry. I searched the closets and cupboards for something to eat and finally found a box of cookies. The problem with the cookies was that they were “For the kids” my three younger sisters. Being how Theresa my older sister (much older) had ratted me out about some minor infraction that I committed, and was threatened to be sent to reform school for by my Mother, I decided to kill two birds with one stone.

The box of cookies were an unopened box, sealed tightly, almost tamper proof. As I always say: “hunger is the mother of invention and improvisation. (I always walk around saying that, maybe two or three times a day.) I went into the kitchen drawer and retrieved a butter knife and gently applied it ever so carefully to the glue that kept the flaps together. Like a surgeon, I slipped the knife along the glue, careful not to rip the top of the box and plied it open. It was a clean job!

Helping myself to a handful of cookies, I could hear my Mother yelling at me for that minor infraction that I had committed, and remembering the sleeping stool pigeon (much older) I got my revenge! Both cookies and revenge were sweet!

I took one more cookie out of the box, slipped quietly into the sleeping Madonna’s room and broke it into tiny little crumbs, on her bed. I resealed the cookie box and returned it on the shelf.

Mom and Dad return, Mom starts putting away the groceries, she picks up the cookie box that I tampered with and noticed the box was lighter than she could ever recall a box of cookies being. Immediately she launched an investigation. She calls #1 Suspect, and I respond to her verbal subpoena.

Mom: “Do you happen to know why this box of unopened cookies is so light?”

Me: “Gee, no!”

Mom: “Then why do I smell a rat?”

Me: “Hmmm… why don’t you ask Theresa, why me all the time?”

Mom: “ OK, I will.”

Mom continues her investigation and marches into the sleeping Dahlia’s (much older) room and sees the cookie crumbs and lets out a howl that sends sister (much older) through the stratosphere.

Mom: “Did you take the kids cookies?”

Tess: “Me, no, he did.”

Mom: Don’t lie to me, he would never open a box like that, he would rip it open.”

So you see Dear Reader, memory served me well. I remembered how I usually open a box of cookies, and also who rats my out. Revenge AND cookies were sweet.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

POW!

It’s 4 in the morning, and I am resting rather nicely, dreaming dreams and floating on air, a gentle exhale of breath escapes my lips. Suddenly – POW, right in the kneecap! If this is TLW’s (The Little Woman’s) idea of getting my attention, she sure did.

I turn over fully awake, wondering what it is I did, to deserve such vicious treatment. I notice the bed is quivering, almost shaking as I try to return to my dream. TLW is shaking! She couldn’t have gotten that old overnight! Or did she? I roll over toward her and Yes, she is shivering! I’m thinking we may have to raise the heat if this continues, but she is shivering from a virus. She’s sick! Oh, no!

I extend my arms out towards her and we cuddle, and I slip my arm under her neck for my heat and comfort. She falls asleep, my arm falls asleep, my legs all fall asleep, but I don’t.

Lying there I debate whether to move my left arm, but TLW is laying still and comfortable, I will try to hang on. My butt is starting to talk to me about moving a little, as the muscles in my body start to rebel. TLW is sleeping like a baby, no dice.

Suddenly - the Mother instinct takes hold of TLW as she pops up (no, she didn’t make a popping noise) and checks her alarm clock. Time to awaken #2 Son from his slumber so he can go to work this morning. My arms, legs and butt start to come back to life! I can actually feel the blood as it pinpoints the different areas of my body and I want to jump out of bed and kill myself. I take a real needling, as I lay in the bed and wait for all the pains to disappear. I look at the clock: it’s almost 7:30 AM!

I fell asleep with all that needling! But does Mamma ever truly rest? Sick and sitting on her chair, she is amazing, made coffee and will call in sick, get her baby off to work and still watch the early morning news.

Boy, what a baby I am.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

RUNNING NOWHERE FAST

I started my exercise program this morning, and let me tell you, I was surprised. After the weekend holiday of eating and drinking, and fancy foods, I woke up this morning not feeling so well. The thought that I was starting my exercise program didn’t sit well either, but the thought of dieting, and maybe never eating again sounded kind of good.

I put on a tape that TLW (The Little Woman) used to help her shed 30 pounds and had to substitute the rubber stretchers you need for this workout. I went into the kitchen and found two large cans of soup. The trouble is neither can is low-cal but it will have to do.

The tape starts out by having you walk for a bit to loosen up; you do a little prancing around for about a mile of a work out. At one point, the tape has you marching in place, and then step kicking and lateral movements, making me feel somewhat strange. Did you ever hear of the phrase “Marching to the tune of a different drummer”? That was me as I tried to keep in step with all the kicking marching and what have you.

Being alone in the house, I can look like a jackass and still not feel inhibited by the fact that someone may be watching. I think eventually I will become better at it (the kicking etc.), as I reminded myself that exercise is just like eating, once you learn, you never forget. Being how I sweat whenever I work, I opened the doors leading to the patio, and didn’t have TLW to freeze out, since she wasn’t home.

After the workout, my thighs felt a little tight but I actually felt a whole lot better. I sure hope I can keep it up. I took the measurements of my waist and neck and weighted in for the first time. I will report back on my progress every two weeks.

The lady that leads the exercise program can actually talk throughout the whole ordeal. This little aspect is starting to kill me as I try to imagine my talking while I do these steps. All I can say is: “Uhh, Uhh, Uhh. Wait a minute, that IS what I’m saying!

Either I loose some weight or death should come quickly.

Monday, January 01, 2007

SAME STORY, DIFFERENT YEAR

As Yogi Berra once said: “It’s deja vue all over again.”

New Year’s Eve was a typical celebration in the DelBloggolo household. We dreaded the fact that we had to stay up until midnight, and the champagne was cheap, since we don’t care for it and only drink half a bottle of the stuff.

TLW (The Little Woman) trained all evening for the big event by resting and napping on her easy chair rocker/recliner, and I drifted off from time to time but managed to watch two different versions of the Producers, one with Larry David and Mel Brooks, and one with Mel Brooks’ Mathew Broderick and Nathan Lane (the movie version), plus a really good movie that starred Diane Keaston about a family that meets two sisters during a Christmas holiday.

In the 35 years that we are married, I think we went out only four times. Three times to a Chinese restaurant in Oakdale and one to a fancy party with party hats, a band and lots of food and booze, the later occurring about 18 years ago.

As one gets older, New Years Eve becomes more and more of a burden, fighting sleep and clock watching, it becomes the longest night of the year. I think they should retire Dick Clark; it is I feel sad that they exploit his stroke, and terrible that he has to sound unlike the way we all loved him. But what infuriates me is the patronizing that occurs with the likes of Brian Seacrest as he tells Dick Clark what an “honor” it is to work with him.

For myself, I wish all of you a Happy New Year, and don’t forget to read, I promise to be a little livelier next time.