DelBloggolo

Saturday, March 31, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DELBLOGGOLO

Yes, it’s been one year since I started this blog, and so far no one has threatened me with a lawsuit, TLW (The Little Woman) is still married to me, and my family is still talking to me! Except for some slashed tires, (Mom, stop it!) no real harm has been visited upon me.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO DELBLOGGOLO

I have had a fun time with this blog, and hope to continue it and have you readers enjoy it too. I have had some response from a few readers and I am grateful for it and always encouraged by it.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO DELBLOGGOLO

What makes me motivated to write is that I have a need to laugh and to recognize. I love to laugh at myself, the things that make me who I am, but also I feel that when someone is lying in his coffin, we tend to suddenly remember them as a nice gal/guy. Well I like to remember people while they are alive, and let them know it.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR DELBLOGGOLO

It may be a little melancholy at times, but that is what life is, and that is what I wish to in the final analysis reflect. If I only relate what is funny, I will cheat myself of half of who I am. There is very little political thought in it since I find that extremely personal, and it has no place here,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOOOOOU!

Life is gratitude in a way. When you lose something and can’t find it, you miss it, but find it and you are happy. Be it a friend or object, gratitude comes into play. It is akin to a dark cellar, you know there is a bottle of great wine down there, but you can’t see it, so you take a flashlight and shine it, and lo and behold, you are happy, you have found what you are looking for.

Today is the 326th posting.
Tomorrow I weigh in, maybe DelBloggolo will be smaller, leaner and more efficient.

Thanks for reading and listening.

The entire staff of DelBloggolo

Friday, March 30, 2007

GEE, THANK$

TLW (The Little Woman) works for a wanna-be bank, a credit union, and tonight was their annual staff recognition day. Naturally TLW is going because she married me and learn that you don’t turn down a free meal.

Tonight she gets two awards, one for perfect attendance, and one for some heroic action that she performed in the line of duty. She done good,

She came home from work early today, having the afternoon off, and she spent it telling me what goes on at work, how this member and that member is impossible, yes all her time off, talking about work! No wonder she gets awards, she is very dedicated. She is one of these people who can succeed without really trying. OK, marrying me was her ONLY mistake.

I’ve decided that we need a staff appreciation night around here. Trouble is it would go like this:
TWL: “I’d appreciate it if you would cook dinner tonight.” Or ”I’d appreciated it if you’d clean the whole house for me today.”

Bringing home her awards, she will put them somewhere where no one can see them, and where I will be required not to mention them. Any awards, plaques and citations are all hidden on an upstairs hallway wall, not to be eyed by the world at large.

But there is one award she gets from me: the Modesty award, given to her for not talking about how great she really is.

And another thing, marrying me turned out pretty good for me.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

IT’S MY TREAT

Every once in a while I like to treat myself to a good breakfast in a diner. I like it because I don’t make the things for myself that they make, such as steak and eggs or omelets with cheese in it because I don’t usually have the cheese on hand.

Today I did just the thing, going out after my shower, by myself with a hearty appetite and a strong determination not to care that I was off my diet. I entered the diner; the diner is about 95% empty at this late hour of the morning. “Can I help you?” “Can you squeeze me in?” There is always someone to greet and escort you to a booth, walking like they don’t know anyone is trailing them, suddenly spin around, drop a menu on the table and walk away, all in one swift easy motion. You settle down and don’t see anyone you know, as they look at you, but in your rush to get dressed in the morning you once again put on your invisible clothes.

After two days of waiting for the waitress to finish her conversation with another gal, and my calling home to tell them I may be late for supper, the waitress makes a grand appearance, as I jump up on my imitation leather bench and kiss her hand for showing up at all. “Yaw want cawfee?” “Yes that would be nice, make it regular, thank you.” I think: “maybe I can get out of here before the dinner crowd comes starts coming in.

Waiting for the waitress means what it says. It is a combination of two words; wait and stress. You wait on her coming to you, not her waiting on you, and you are stressed out from waiting. Finally the cup of coffee arrives and she pulls out her pad, flips a page and looks at you like: “What will he want?” I give her my order and she is gone.

My breakfast finally arrives! Without even picking up my toast, she asks: “How’s everything?” Two seconds more: “More cawfee?” three minutes later: “How’s everything?” Two seconds later: “More cawfee?” Minutes go by: “How’s everything?” Two seconds more: “More cawfee?” After she has finished her inquires, and I have finished my meal, I want to leave. I raise my head. Did she go home? Maybe she went to the Ladies room. Perhaps she had a terrible accident in the back and is laying there all by herself, and no one can hear her! Oh! There she is! Whew, had me nervous there for a moment. Wait, she’s starting to stir, she’s coming over! Walking right by me. How nice, she didn’t see my frantic waving, or my calling out to her was too softly.

I drop my head in disgust, I had my chance and I blew it! I look up again, where is she? She was there just a moment ago! She performs her one and only trick, (unless she’s moonlighting as a streetwalker after hours.)

David Copperfield has nothing on this gal.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

EVERYBODY LOVES CRASS

I’ve enjoyed certain TV shows through the years. Love and Marriage, All In The Family, Mash, Seinfeld, Everybody loves Raymond, Desperate Housewives, Two And A Half Men and Boston Legal are right at the top of my list.

What these shows have in common is good character development; good scripts, and for the most part are not just flippant one-liners that solicit laughter from a laugh track or as they say “Canned laughter.”

Most of these shows have at least some kind of mean streak in them that make it funny to watch. Characters or philosophies that run against the norm are what good comedy is all about.

TLW (The Little Woman) does not always agree with my selection of what I think is funny. She hates Love & Marriage, I love it, and although she has a point of view I understand, I think her reason may be unreasonable to some extent.

TLW does not like some shows because the characters are self centered and mean jerks. THAT IS WHY I LOVE THEM! If they weren’t showing all of the good qualities, I find it interesting. What good is Monk, without a murderer? Why would I laugh at Newman in Seinfeld if he were nice?

Yet TLW loves Two and a Half Men! Yes, the one show that meanest is the underlining factor. Sons hate their Mother, hate each other, kid hates adults, house help really runs the place-meanest.

Being married now for 36 years, I have learned that whatever she says goes. (In one ear and out the other, unobstructed) As far as I’m concerned when it comes to comedy, mean is keen.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

65 AND COUNTING



Oh yes indeed, the old gal is getting on in years. Of whom do I speak? Why my older (much older) sister Tessie.

I decided to send her birthday card a few days earlier because I took one look at her, and realizing it was her 65th birthday, I better send it now because she might not live to read it by her birthday. I mean if I’m going to spend 50 cents at the 50% discount card store, at least make sure she is in shape to read it.

Now I will spend a moment or two to reflect on the fact that we are all getting older, but jeez, she’s got it down to an art! 65 is when you become a senior citizen for sure. No matter what you do before that, eating well, exercising or even keeping your brain active, when you are 65 you are a senior citizen.

And what are her plans for her 65th birthday? Well the first hour she will spend getting out of bed, the second hour will be spent trying to remember why she got out of bed, her third hour will be to remember if she is suppose to be in bed or not. Then the rest of her day will become more complicated.

John her husband will share his oatmeal and prune juice and together they will argue over who gets the heating blanket. John will win the argument because Tessie doses off before she gets out her first sentence.

Well, I guess I’ll go and take my nap now, so to be ready for my 39th birthday in I think either June or July, I know it starts with a “J”.

Oh, by the way:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TESSIE!!!!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

WHAT’S A FATHER WITHOUT A SON?


As a Father where do you leave your mark in life without a son? How does a man define a legacy without a son? How do we measure a man's success without first a son?

As I remember it, 34 years ago I walked among the proud men, chest out high with wide strides, long and mighty. I saw a little child in a small incubator for the first time, and knew someday he would grow into a man, with his own destiny, own success and own point of view.

I hoped that some day I might leave him with something to remember me by, to give him something measurable by which to succeed, and a chance to leave his own mark in the world, a place where he would be remembered as a solitary man of honor and integrity.

I succeeded, his name is Anthony, and he is his own man, filled with hope and promise, purpose and a history of making his old man proud, happy and relieved that he has succeeded beyond expectations!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KID, AND TOUCH A PALM TREE. (Inside message)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE

As I stated before, with retirement comes opportunities. Today’s opportunity was again to catch up with the classic movies of yesteryear. (Is there a yestermonth? I thought about this yesterday.)

Fresh from the library in DVD form was Frank Capra’s “Arsenic and Old Lace, starring Cary Grant, Raymond Massey and Peter Lori, and in black and white, which only added to its’ charm.

With TLW (The Little Woman) off to work, and #2 Son sound asleep in his dreams of wine, women and song, I plugged in the DVD player and set on my course of new nostalgia and catching up with all the references that have been make throughout the years to this classic.

It is a wonderful world when one can find a new art form to enjoy, new in the sense that I never really explored it in spite of the fact that I studied the cinema as an art form while in college! Viewing movies for the sake of art is fun, discovering how the director, the writers and the art director want the scene to be viewed. The dialogue and lighting playing hand in hand with each other, bringing out the art of acting with the fine actors in Arsenic and old lace. There was sex and violence, but it was only implied, and not really seem. The fight scene at the end with Raymond Massey and the police was more comical than violent, and the implied sex was cute, not really anything else.

So, if you haven’t seen this movie yet, do so. If there are movies that you still wish to see and haven’t, please do, treat yourself right and enjoy life for all it is really worth, We all have to die someday, so enjoy yourself, it may be later than you think

Saturday, March 24, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JEN


Ashamedly I must confess to forgetting the birthday of a special lady. Her name is Jennifer, or Jen as she is known, and if she is so special, why did I forget?

She has a son named Nicholas, a very thoughtful young man, and very handsome, looking just like his Mom.

Jen is trying to make a life for herself and her son. She is working and going to college, and through the good graces of her parents, Theresa and John, is being helped to attain that goal. From what I hear and see, she is very talented, and will someday graduate from the New York Institute of Technology, and when she does, I hope she invites me to help her celebrate her triumph.

What impresses me about Jen is her goal in life is to be self-supported, self-motivation is her strong point, is what makes her so special, so that I could easily forget that she is around, because she is working so hard. “Out of sight, out of mind,” they say.

Jen always says “Hello” with a kiss and a smile, and a heart that will someday be gladdened by her perseverance and fortitude.

So tonight, I will lift my glass to toast my niece Jen, and then maybe a few more nieces and then some.

Friday, March 23, 2007

EXCUSE ME, BUT…

Now that I am home by myself for most of the time, I’m finding it hard to accommodate others in the family when it comes to disrupting my routine and my way of doing things.

The other evening I found #2 Son’s books on the kitchen table, along with some of his clothing. I asked him to take his stuff away, which he did but left me with his hat and his ID badge laying on the very same table! I think his clothing and stuff procreate right under my nose.

When we run out of tissues or paper towels, you can be sure that someone will replace the item, in fact you will find it right next to where it should be. I usually take it the rest of the way and think: “So close and yet so far!” Used glasses and cups rest right over the dishwasher, not in the dishwasher.

I have a huge amount of room in my front hall closet. The reason is that it is easier to put the coat or sweater on the backrest in the kitchen, then to stop and open the door, select a hanger and hang up the item. I for one am very guilty of that, but when I do that, I at least let it sit nicely on the backrest, while #2 Son makes it look like someone was tortured in the coat on the chair!

Excuse me, but I think we all get kind of lazy without thinking, and that includes myself. When I worked, my office was very neat and well organized, and everyone would comment on the order of things yet my studio at home looks like a dumping grounds. I guess I need to impress myself first, and stop complaining about everyone else in the house.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

OK SABO

You ever need gold; I can find it for you. Sometimes I just get lucky that way, and find a gem. I’m not really talking about real gems, but auto mechanics. You say “So what, mechanics are a dime a dozen”? Well here’s the catch; he’s honest! Yes I said it, “honest” a man who is still in business for over 20 years, so successful because he is honest, not your usual auto crook.

When I first met Mike Sabotini I was looking for gas one morning while on my way to work. I stopped at this gas station, filled her up and did it every time I needed gas. When I needed inspections and repairs, where did I go but my man Mike at OK Sabo.

Since those days, he stopped selling gas and concentrated just on service. His station is like family, a messy oily smelly family that you just have to love. He had a big fellow named Joey who was his #1 assistant; a real wise guy but you loved him. He would always kid me, and I would kid him back. One day I was waiting for TLW (The Little Woman) and Joey was standing by the window. “Hey Joe, your wife is here. She’s waving a finger, maybe she means you’re number one?” Funny, very funny.

Joey was a big guy, with a huge appetite for Entenmann’s Cakes, donuts or what have you. He never bathed, being grease stain from top to toe, with dark t-shirts, black genes and shoes. The shirts were usually filthy and had a hole in them, but Joey worked like a dog, helping Mike run his business. One day I got Joey good as it gets. TLW and I were walking one day for exercise, (She was, I was walking to keep her quiet) and I mentioned as we past OK Sabo that I wanted to arrange a time to bring in my car. Who is at the counter but Joey, ready to raze me and I was waiting.

Me: “Joey, how ya doin?”
Joey: “Eh, how’s it goin. See you brought in the better half.”
Me: “Yeah, right, when will my car be ready?”
Joey almost faints, becomes flustered ands hems and haws.

Of course TLW gave it all away on me, trying to be friggen nice as usual, talking away my little pleasures.

TLW: “Oh Joey, don’t pay attention to him, you don’t have our car.”

One Sunday afternoon in June, TLW and I went to a church sponsored bazaar, and who do we see there but Joey with his little kids in hand, a proud papa if ever I saw one. Joey was scrubbed clean, maybe even sandblasted to remove the grease. His clothes were clean and he had a big smile on his face.

Then one day I went to the shop for my car, and asked: “Where’s Joey?” Joey was dead, died suddenly in 40’s, with little kids and now a widow left behind.

Then there was “Pop”, Mike’s Dad. A happy jovial retired gentleman who sat in the shop all day and when you entered, would greet you with a hearty “hello” and ask you all kinds of questions to make you feel at home. You could look forward to the gentleman’s greeting, just a good guy. I wondered how this man ever disciplined his children, or if he could.

Pop too passed on and now my family is getting smaller.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

ELLEN (PART2)


It was a Tuesday morning in March, there was residual snow left on the ground from the weekend snowstorm, and I was happily if not a little nervously sitting in my office of my first professional job as a graphic designer.

I was awaiting my boss Jack Stern to come out of a weekly Tuesday morning meeting when my phone buzzed and the receptionist said that my wife was on the phone.

Grabbing the receiver TLW (The Little Woman) said that she was at the doctor’s office for her prenatal checkup and that the doctor told her to go to the hospital to have the baby. It struck me like lightning, but what to do? The boss was in a meeting; do I just go, disturb or interrupt the meeting? Everyone around me started shouting: “Just go, I’ll tell Jack, just go.”

Flying out the door, I couldn’t get my legs to move fast enough, rushing to the 53rd street subway stop to catch an E Train to Sutphin Boulevard then to the Long Island Railroad. Racing down to the subway stairs I found the train waiting, with the doors about to close. Jumping on I figured from a schedule what time the next Train out of Jamaica Station would leave, and found I was keeping it very close. I would have to race from the subway stop in Queens to the railroad station in Jamaica and hope I could make it.

Panting and weaving through the noonday crowds that flooded the streets, I climbed to the platform for the Patchogue train that was being announced as ready for departure and fortunately the trainman let me on.

Jumping off at Bay Shore to go the Southside Hospital, looking around for a cab, one sights me and I ask; “Can you take me to Southside Hospital?” “No Problem.” Oh yeah.

Hoping in the cab the driver does 20 miles an hour, picking up first: a nurse, some lady and some worker from the hospital, the ride which was maybe only 5 minutes turned into 40 minutes with all the pickups. Guess what the cabdrivers tip from me was, if you still don’t know, look in your hand right now.

Arriving at the hospital I run up to the dingy old waiting room for expectant dads and assorted lovers. I start to pace up and down the long narrow unpleasant room, overlooking a corner of the parking lot outside that harbors trashcans. Finally someone comes to me to say TLW had a baby girl, and that I could go up to see her now.

Onto the elevator I go, and across the hall in another bank of elevators, comes out my little girl, in a pink blanket and looking really angry that she was ever disturbed, on her way to the baby room. I HAD SEEN FOR THE FIRST TIME A CHILD OF MY OWN, BY CHANCE!

Finding the recovery room, I looked for the most beautiful woman lying there, kissed her on the lips, and waited for her to wake out of her drugged stupor.

The moral: If your wife has a baby in Bay Shore’s Southside Hospital, bring your car to work, don’t take a cab.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

MY DAUGHTER ELLEN



We were just married a few months when I accompanied TLW (The Little Woman) on a visit to the doctor. I sat in the outer office as she went in by herself, and when she came out told me I was going to be a Daddy! Not that she was pregnant, or SHE was going to be a Mother, but I was going to be a Daddy.

I strutted home and walked about with my chest out, with I’m sure a stupid grin from ear to ear, very proud and proud of TLW. The thought of being a father was not new to me, but it did seem strange. The first thing I did was to purchase a set of electric trains for the son I was sure to have.

His name is Ellen Mary, and he is a she, and like all my plans this one needed adjustment too.

She was the most beautiful baby girl I had ever seen, because she was mine. Her head was round, with pink rosy cheeks that accompanied a beautiful face and a full load for every diaper she wore.

As the year progressed after her birth, we started to notice little things about her, things that did not jive with normal development, her crawling at a late age, her walking, her not speaking, but in every way else she looked very normal. In two years, her baby brother was starting to surpass her in all phases of childhood development, and we knew it was time to deal with reality. We took her to a pediatrician and he guided us through the clinical ways of a doctor, with tests and evaluations and all the painful realizations a set of parents go through when these things happen.

I don’t wish to relive the memories, or burden you with the facts, and please don’t feel sorry for us. We can accept her mental retardation, and we use it to help us to help her, joining finally the Association for the Help of Retarded Children.

Every other Sunday we take her home from the residence that she lives in very happily, and feed her whatever she wants, pretty much doing all we can for her. She has a fantastic memory, and when she sees us for the first time on that Sunday, she jumps up and comes running over to us. Spreading her arms she turns us around and starts to push us out the door, to take her for a ride and dinner at home. She has a special shuffle and claps her hands, and becomes very, very happy.

Believe me, we are not special, we are just like you, but we have a daughter with a misfortune in her genetic development. Don’t tell us God choose us to be her parents, because it is just a way of saying: “I don’t know what to say.” There are thousands of families like us all over the country and they are no different than you, except for their handicapped child, put on this earth to help the human spirit to be more accepting, maybe to help us all to learn to be kinder, and above all to accept adversity as it comes.

Because of Ellen, TLW and I have given our time freely to help her, her organization and those who need services besides my daughter. When I visit her home, I take my hat off and say “Hello” to every one who is there that can respond; it is their home. The lonely but gentle people that sit mostly by themselves, in their own world of frustration, pain and I’m sure deep innocence. When I say “hello” some will become very excited, stretching out of the wheel chairs, or grabbing my arm, or just squealing in delight. One gentleman is very much a loner, sits by himself, and when I first saw him, I thought he wouldn’t respond favorably to my intrusion, looking away as he did, never ever looking toward me or ever with a smile on his face. I bent down next to his face, called his name and rubbed his back, and when I did, he turned his head and kissed me on the cheek!

So my beautiful daughter is 35 today, in her 35 years she has made us laugh, love, give, help and do for others that we would never have thought of doing if she were not born. She is God’s angel, but our burden, and our gift.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELLEN. I LOVE YOU.

Monday, March 19, 2007

I CAN SMELL IT

Today was a busy day for me. I had to sign checks at the agency then do a program evaluation for a respite home for the same agency also, then go to the mall and search for a present for someone.

I decided to bring a notebook, a small pad that you flip the pages, and take notes in the different stores about the items that fit the price category I was looking for. You can get a lot of attention from the sales help by doing this style of shopping.

First you pick a Tuesday morning, then make sure the place is fairly quiet, then start to take notes. The help views you with guarded suspicion. Maybe you work for the main office, or are with the government checking on pricing, or even worst, a lawyer looking to bring a case against the store. I love it, because it makes them nervous. “Is there something I can help you with?” “Is there anything I can do for you?” “Hi there, good morning, can I help you?” I know I’m mean, but I like to have a very official inspection look on my face at all times. A little grey hair goes a long way in convincing people that you could be important.

After my fun shopping technique, I was heading toward the parking lot and was getting tinges of hunger in the pit of my stomach. Somehow I was approaching the food court, and my car was parked in the opposite direction. I was going to “See” what they had, not “Buy,” but “See.” When in situations just described, when you are on a diet, guilt will invariably accompany hunger when you are contemplating what I was contemplating. Suddenly I felt I knew what cheating on your wife is like.

I started a subconscious debate, do I “See and Get” or do I do the right thing, turn around and run for the parking lot? Closer and closer I got to the food court, guiltier and guiltier I became, smelling the good smells and thinking about the leftover from the night before awaiting me in my frig. My legs were defying my guilt, as they sped me along, faster and faster to Hirohito’s Teriyaki House and Sushi Bar. As I neared Nathan’s Frankfurter heaven, closing in on Mao’s Little Red Book of PuPu Platters. #2 Son has aptly described the world in which I was heading as “MacWorld,” the land of fast food and drink, and all the cholesterol you could possible need.

Suddenly I slammed on the breaks! No that wasn’t the Pretzel Cottage and mustard Emporium I was seeing; so I decided to turn around, go home to my boring lunch of leftovers, knowing I would feel hungry by 3 P.M., but proud of myself!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

SOME HERBAL OBSERVATIONS

Today I received a mailing on Nature’s Remedies, and one of them was the use of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. “Olive Oil for Constipation” In the morning, taking 1 tsp of it mixed with lemon juice on an empty stomach will blow everything out of you and then some. Trouble with all of that is whenever I mix olive oil with lemon juice, I start looking for the garlic, tomatoes and basil!

The “Extra Virgin” type is reassuring; you notice no one recommends just olive oil. You have to wonder where it’s been.

Parsley is another use for the excretion of toxins and reducing your heart rate and blood pressure. Every time I read the news now or pay more for gas than is fair, I will chew on a sprig of parsley.

My favorite is honey. It says to use it in a “Relaxing honey bath.” You put 2 oz. of honey in a glass with 5 drops of lavender oil. Add 1 to 2 tbsp. of the honey lavender to your bathwater to help you relax and combat insomnia. I would rather combat insomnia in my bed thank you.

I don’t like to fool around with nature’s remedies, it would cramp my appetite, better to use the ingredients to prevent hunger, mainly mine.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

WELCOME TO THE HOUSE OF ARTHRITIS

One of the joys of getting older is you become more in tune with your body. The joy of not hearing or seeing is more than made up for by the joy of more pain. Yes, that gem that we all come to grips with, (if we can still grip) arthritis.

My Dad must have known something about the future, he called it: “Author-ritis” figuring he would someday have some grandchild become a writer, and maybe even write about it.

Getting up in the morning or even in the middle of the night now takes courage. Do I dare move and chance new pain, or do I stay with what I got? It usually starts with my hands; a swelling feeling in both as I awaken to its announcement that it needs acknowledgement. But we need not forget the back or legs, or sides or hips or feet, they all clamor for attention as I try to struggle to move.

Maybe I should try to wrap myself in bandages and take a room at the local hospital. I tried to explain to TLW (The Little Woman) my condition, but I didn’t want to interrupt her while she was explaining her ailments.

Some people inherit money from their families, me, arthritis, good old fashion arthritis. You wear sweaters, blankets, drink tea, and the cold days still make you feel the pain. There is one remedy that I use that does help, no not cure, just help. Jack Daniel Manhattans, they have a therapeutic effect and a sense of easing the pain, but only if I go to bed immediately after taking a few doses will it seem to go away!

Friday, March 16, 2007

THE LOOP



Recently I had the pleasure to review a pilot and about seven episodes of a TV situation comedy called “THE LOOP” soon to be released on DVD. The show was the product of Twentieth Century Fox Entertainment and produce and created by: Pam Grady and Will Gluck.

The theme of the show is that a young man, “Sam”, played by Bret Harrison becomes the youngest executive of an airline based in Chicago. He is caught between his serious ambition as a young up and coming superstar executive, and a young 20-year old living in a young man’s world. Sam has a brother, “Scully,” played by Eric Christian Olsen who is a free spirited wild and crazy guy, living on the precipice of disaster. It is an excellent combination for trouble to brew; yet brotherly-love exists.

The cast of characters that compliment the show include: Philip Baker Hall, an old favorite actor of mine who you all may know as the Library Detective from the Seinfeld show, playing Sam’s boss “Russ”, a hard nose boss of Trans Alliance Airlines, a WWII veteran with a hard nose attitude and a tough fatherly love for Sam. Again “Russ” becomes a favorite character of mine, since he is key to many situations that challenge Sam, who in a constant bind with his boss finds a way out. “Russ” is very funny, quick and just great in the role of the boss.

Included in this cast is a very talented actress that truly helps the show along by the name of Mimi Rogers, who plays “Meryl” the 48-year old predator and workaholic senor executive, with Sam constantly in her sites. There is Joy Osmanski, playing “Darcy”, the bitter MIT graduate who is the company receptionist and like many graduates today, she can’t find a job in her chosen field of study. “I graduated 4th in my class, the top three are in outer space!”

Sam’s love life is a confused situation in his love for “Piper” played by Amanda Loncar, who is totally unaware that Sam even cares, as she struggles to take courses to become a doctor.

Rounding out the cast is your usual ditzy blond played by Sarah Mason, “Izzy” a barmaid wanna-be who does very little bartending.

I enjoyed the different episodes, even though it is a young person’s comedy, filled with great one-liners and some sight gags. It reflects the problems of young people today, yet does it in a funny way. If you are in your twenties, this will make you laugh out loud, and if you are older, don’t bet it won’t.

When I was asked to do this review, I thought that it would get panned because of the type of comedy it is. So look for the DVD in a store near you.

On a scale of 5 Dels, I give it a 3 and one half.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

COMMUNICATING WITH THE GREAT BEYOND

I am usually a good judge of people. I can tell when someone is sincere or not, happy or sad, sick or ailing.

Last September I met this couple at Duke University at a wedding reception, we sat at the same table and chatted a bit as we learned some interesting things we had in common. I gave them some information and my phone number to get back to me about an issue they had that I could help them with.

Today the lady got in touch with me as a follow-up, and as we talked she gave me her last name, and when she did I remember hearing that name once before in my past, and knew where I had heard it from. After asking some key questions, I realized that she was my older sister’s boss from the early 60’s, and although she did not remember my sister she confirmed all that I knew to be true about her.

Eagerly I called my sister to tell her the news that I had spoken to her old boss who she hadn’t seen in over 40 years. The phone rang at her house and with caller ID asked me what the hell I wanted.

I mentioned the woman’s name and she said: “Oh, she’s dead.”

“Come again?” said I. “Yes she’s dead.” I asked her how that could be, since I had sat with the woman in September and just spoke to her a few hours earlier! My sister then said that since the conversation was going nowhere, we should change the subject. “OK” I said and promised not to tell her when I meet dead people, that I would keep it to myself.

Now I don’t know any dead people who go to weddings, and use the phone, but I’m glad they don’t tell me when they are dead, and that they don’t appear in some dark room when they want to speak with me.

To think: I used to be able to tell when a person was dead or alive, and if they were faking either one.

Weight loss count is now at 6% of my original body weight!

Tomorrow: The big review!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

CNA OUY RAED TIHS?

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too. Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.


i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be
in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

Thanks to my baby sister Joanne, or is it Jannoe, or Ennoaj?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

THE OLD MOVIES

I decided that being how I am retired, and can do what I want, that I’d catch up on all the old classic movies that I have heard so much about but never viewed. Number one on my list was: “Casablanca” starring Bogart and Bergman with Peter Lorre, Claude Raines and Sydney Greenstreet.

When I took the movie out from the Library, the lady who checked it out for me said it was her favorite movie of all time. This was a lady in her late forties or early fifties, which surprised me since the movie itself is so old! 1942.

The thing that impressed me most about the movie is how woven some of the lines are in our culture today, some of the phrasing that we use and hear, that I never realized came from Casablanca.

I guess classics become classics not from age, but from ageless lines that live on forever. “Play it again Sam” I thought is sometimes attributed to Bogart, but it wasn’t, it was Bergman!

The movie received 3 Oscars, yet it was a movie that was turned out in one week! When they started filming the picture, the writers had no ending, yet the ending leaves us with a great line immortalized by Bogart, and used over and over again.

So I leave you with this:
See the movie if you haven’t, and it will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. And it will round up the usual suspects.

So, here’s are looking at you, Blogger readers.

Monday, March 12, 2007

PORK CHOPS BY THE SHOE STORE

Years ago when I was working in the city and taking the train and later as I drove for 17 years from my office on Long Island, certain nights of the month TLW (The Little Woman) would make pork chops for dinner.

Now as you all know there was a scare about pork and tapeworm and the fact that you have to cook pork completely through. OK, I can live with that. But it seemed that every time TLW made pork chops, I would be running late, either held up in a meeting, or traffic or the train was late, and when I arrived home, the chops were like shoe leather! Being how TLW’s Dad worked for a shoe store company, I figured that was the way she likes them. The only thing missing was the buckles or laces and a good shine. Then TLW straightened me out, explaining that it always seemed to be I was the fault that the chops were over cooked!

Whenever I find out that something went wrong or goes wrong because of my involvement I always try to put it in prospective, except when it comes to food and wine. Then I’m really mad at myself and consider self-whipping as a cure. I mean, here I was thinking it was her fault, when it was mine!

You can screw up my ride home, you can make my train late, but darn it, when I make my pork chop dried out, then I truly screwed up and should be yelled at.

To #1 and #2 Son’s, this is not about food, but lateness.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

THE TV SLEUTH

Being how I am hard of hearing, and not a little - TLW (The Little Woman) always says I never listen to her. We decided to get a TV with closed caption and it has really made my world a little better when I watch the box.

As a result of the miracle of cc captioning I watch things other than baseball, football or basketball. I stay around as TLW watches: Desperate Housewives, Boston legal and Law And Order. They have quickly become my favorites and I now can solve all crimes!

If you need to know who done it, I can tell you before it even happens. Yes, I’m that good. Long before TLW is asleep (about 10 minutes into the shows) I have a reasonable sense except for Desperate Housewives of what will happen.

Here’s how it works:
TLW says: “turn on Boston Legal”, which I immediately do. I sit back and start to get involved in the antics of James Spader, Murphy Brown or Captain Kirk. I watch the development, commenting as I go along to no one in particular. About halfway through I say: “Toots, I love the way this guy acts, but he’s not the killer. Toots? TOOTS??” Her: “Snoooore.”

When the show is over, TLW will ask: “What’s on?” I say: “I don’t know, here’s the remote.” TLW takes possession of the flicker, turns on the channel guide holding the remote. As I go through the channels about 14 times I realize that maybe the reason she can’t make her mind up is that it is looking behind her eyelids that need to be open to make these kinds of decisions!

I suggest that they change the marriage vows to something like: “I promise to love honor and occasionally give up the remote.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

ANDY WARHOL, YOU’RE RIGHT!


You’ve all heard the Andy Warhol statement that everyone has at least 15 minutes of fame. My first 15 minutes came one evening in 1974 as I was watching TV. I really wasn’t watching because there was a commercial on for the US Post Office, and I don’t pay too much attention to commercials. But this one commercial started to get my interest because it was showing products and photos that started to look very familiar. I couldn’t put my finger on it at first, and then all of a sudden I noticed it was my artwork!

I happened to be working for the US Post Office designing stamp starter kits, and there they were featured in the commercial! It was a part of me for the first time on the national stage!

There were other times that became more personal. For seventeen years I worked for Publishers Clearing House, and three times I was featured on TV. One time was on the Joan Lundon Cable TV show, explaining the sweepstakes and how they work.

Another time was on the TV Show: “How Do They Do That?” with Pat O’Brien where they filmed me working at my computer, designing a sweepstakes brochure, and the most memorable time was on 20/20 with John Stossel, where they mention my name, show my office and blame me for the sweepstakes that you get in the mail.

Of course I notified my family and all I knew, and right after the show was over I called my Dad to seek his opinion, He said: “Fifteen minutes was all you were on?”

I guess Dad was hoping more for a talk show hosted by yours truly.

Friday, March 09, 2007

OOPS! SPOKE TOO SOON!

Just when you think it is safe to go into the water, a shark rears its’ ugly head again.

Tonight, while TLW (The Little Woman) and I were preparing dinner the phone rang. At the same time we said: ”Oh no.” I answered the phone and heard; “Hey Dad, put Mom on the phone.” Sure enough, #2 son was on the other end, as the conversation played out, I heard TLW SAY: ”Your Father will come down.” The conversation went further and the impression was I would not be able to find him in the school parking lot where he was stuck with his car. This meant TLW was to accompany me in finding him.

The interesting thing about the conversation was: ”Put Mom on the phone.” Now I do talk to #2 Son. There are certain things I’m not suppose to know, the: ”Don’t tell Daddy” Syndrome that exist in many a household. Of course as he gets older, #2 Son will say that I never cared, because I know nothing about his life.

Well anyway, I now have to give up my car again. At least another two days while #2 Son runs around, and I’m stuck in the house. This is not what I hoped retirement would be like.

Guess who gets to put gas in the car?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

THE BROTHERHOOD

There are few words that scare me more than the words: “I need you to come with me to the mall to look for a dress.” These words mean that we will be walking for long distances, from store to store, all of them packed with women pecking through the vast numbers of racks, through the latest styles, all disappointing of course, with me trudging along, dutifully answering all questions, standing aside as she pokes and slides dress after dress.

Usually I stand to one side stuffed in a corner surrounded by racks of dresses and discover suddenly she has disappeared, and I spend many minutes looking for her, marveling on how quickly she has vanished into thin mall air.

Macy’s is the start, but we check out any and all women’s departments in all the stores in the mall. I follow behind, head down, shuffling along, not saying anything but listening to whatever she has to say. Who is she? Why TLW (The Little
Woman), of course.

But I look around me and I see hundreds of men in the same position, and in the same condition, dutifully following their wives, being led almost by the nose, all because they want their supper too. THIS IS THE BROTHERHOOD, of which I speak.

All men at some point in their pathetic lives join the brotherhood. If you are an unmarried man and are or are about to become engaged, it is incumbent upon you to test drive that little woman in a mall situation to see what you are getting into for the rest of your life!

There are many reasons why a dress is not right in the ladies mind. Don’t ask her why: just accept the fact. “I hate sleeveless dresses”, why? None of our business is the answer. “I hate this style”, again: none of your business.

So what have we got here? We have The Brotherhood, legions of men, wandering behind their better half, following dutifully, sometimes carrying pocketbooks or packages, with their heads down, shuffling their feet, wondering how much each step is costing the family treasury, all because they want their supper!

Some men never come back, and no one ever sees or hears from them again.

How sad.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

SHE TALKS REAL GOOD

When I was dating TLW (The Little Woman), she and I were both working in the city. She for Mobile Oil, and I was working for a very prestigious firm called Lawrence G. Chait and Co., an advertising direct mail firm. I would call her and she would answer with her: “Miss Manning” and it would make me crazy because she has a very sexy voice on the phone, too.

This morning we were cleaning up the kitchen together after breakfast and she said something with a pronunciation that was very cultured and correct, which led me to think about how dissimilar some of our background is from the sheer weight of where we grew up!

Being born in Brooklyn, growing up in an Italian environment, all my friends were Italian, I live very near my Grandmother who was born in Italy, I had a definite Italo-Brooklyn flavor to my words.

It may not have been as bad as Hollywood portrays “Brooklynese” to be but it was there, including: “Dems and dose.” When I moved to the Island, I notice how the other kids spoke and changed to fit in. I like to think that now most of it is gone, but I hope not all of it. It defines who I am, and I’m proud of it.

When my Dad was alive, he had a certain code of behavior I had to follow, which included things like speech, haircuts and work habits. You could NEVER do anything that made you sound like a “Fairy” in Dad’s mind. I once got a haircut after I was married for a good ten or fifteen years with three kids and the back was rounded edges on the neck, instead of the clean square edges Dad and I used to get. “Where did you get that hair cut?” Dad inquires. I ask why, and he says: “Because it makes you look like a fairy.”

Once TLW purchased a tie and shirt for me from a catalog, long before the internet, and the tie was pink! I wore the tie to some family function, sure enough Dad asks: “Where did you get the tie?” I answer: “Why?” See response in the last paragraph, last sentence.

So you can see my reluctance to change my speech habits too much. When TLW speaks, because although I admire her speech, If I started to emulate her speech, it would make me feel uncomfortable, and I would hear Dad’s voice saying: See response in the next to last paragraph, last sentence.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

THE TAX MAN COMETH

Once April 15 comes and goes, we are back to blissful ignorance and the fact that I don’t have to deal with my accountant or for that matter my financial advisor with a life and death interest.

Every phone call with these guys, every conversation I have with them, ends with me thinking in my head: “save me, and make sure I don’t get audited.” Why? Because I get nervous for no reason when the government comes to play. I am scrupulous as are the accountants and financial guys, I don’t like to cheat the government (mainly because their housing accommodations don’t look that great) and besides its’ unpatriotic.

Filling out tax forms is a lot like taking a test in college or high school. Answering questions that seem vague or require thinking usually means I have to strain my brain and make sure I can substantiate what I answer. My biggest fear is reading the question incorrectly and thus putting down an answer that screams: “ten to twenty years!”

I will throw myself at the mercy of the court and plead: ignorance, insanity and old age confusion, all at once. Yes, I will even go so far as to say: “TLW (The Little Woman) made me do that.”

Monday, March 05, 2007

HOW TO INSULT A BROTHER WITHOUT REALLY TRYING.

Just wish him “Happy Birthday!”

If you can find the right card.

I looked really hard this year and found the best card. It shows a little boy with his finger up his nose and the headline reads: “Birthdays are like boggers, the more you have the harder it is to breathe.”

Cute, but he has it coming. For over 40 years I’ve known this guy. Constantly busting my chops, as I am busting his. He is like a brother to me. I think of him often, and worry about him always. If I have something of value, I worry about that too. When I love someone, I love and worry about them also. My good friend Phil I’ve been loving and worrying about for all those 41 plus years.

Some people find large sums of money, with fame and are still not happy. I found love in two people, TLW (The Little Woman) and Phil. I am always happy, and grateful. You can’t put a price on friendship, but you value it with all your being, it means that much to me. If I have a friend like Phil, he becomes my brother.

He is pushing another milestone soon, but he is always young to me, always with a laugh, always timely in times of sadness, when I need him most. He is always there for me; I try to be always there for him. My only disappointment is that we are not closer physically, since he lives on Staten Island and I live on Long Island.

So if you have a good friend, call him or her up and say: “Hi, I missed talking with you today.”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PHIL!

I MISS TALKING TO YOU TOO!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

HELEN

In the many years that I knew her, she never once uttered an unkind word to me. In fact, I can’t recall her ever uttering any unkind words to anyone. The worst thing she ever said to anyone was to the one she loved, her Jim: “Go shit in your hat.” She uttered that enough times for her daughter to pick up on it and tell her husband the same thing.

She was part of the greatest generation, and her participating in it made it great. She was not a woman of leisure, but a woman who was never on time. She laughed and loved to hear stories or jokes I told her. She was a very intelligent woman with a child like innocence. She was a wonderful grandmother, and a great Mother-in-law. Yes, she was my Mother-in-law, and I miss her. I could have written about her on her birthday, but I would not have had the right attitude, or on the anniversary of her death, but I wouldn’t have had the emotional stability or heart.

She loved to tell stories about when she was young, riding in her father’s Pon tiac as she pronounced it, how he would never let anyone ever pass him, or how some incident occurred in her childhood, as she was relating it digressed into how she loved Superman Comic Books, and then after a half hour of that, back to her story.

TLW (The Little Woman) was her daughter, one of four children, bright, and successful in their own way, none were ever anything but. TLW related how she would get down in the dirt to play with her children, and raised them up to her high level.

She loved my children, always giving them all the attention and then some, every time she went to a store, she had to buy her grandchildren a toy, or she wasn’t Grandma. She catered to her Jim and loved him dearly, and he loved her.

She looked like Hyacinth Bucket or Edith Bunker, even sounded like her at times, and I’m sure poor Jim in some of his exasperations felt like Archie. She was a modest and unpretentious as one can get, had friends all over the place, a real chatterbox and I loved to hear her.

All her children are very serious, very business like, except for her oldest daughter; Maureen (blog to come) and sometimes I wonder how she never rubbed off on them in her laughter and spirit. But she did rub off on them in her decency, self-respect, and affording one comfort in her presence.

Although I miss you Helen, I haven’t let you go.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

JEEZ, WHAT A DUMMY!

In this morning’s newspaper, there was a big photo of a mannequin sitting in the front seat on the passenger’s side of a car. The story is that the owner of the car was putting the dummy in the front seat so as to drive in the HOV lane of the LIE!

The dummy’s chauffeur would dress the dummy every morning according to weather conditions, sunglasses, baseball caps, scarves, coats etc.

There was one guy who had a cardboard cutout in his front seat, and as he went by the policeman in a patrol car, started to act very animated, like he was talking to the cutout.

Without sounding insensitive, the dummy in the HOV looked like he had HIV! The dummy was somewhat thin with this pain stricken face and it looked like it could hardly move. I know that that is what dummies do or don’t do, but you do have to fool the police. When the policeman caught the driver, the driver said somewhat sheepishly that he was only trying to get to work every morning, and if you know the traffic habits of the LIE, you can sympathize with him.

My question is why the cop stopped this dummy that wasn’t driving; he should be stopping all the dummies that were driving through the years when I went out in rush hour traffic.

There are phone users, newspaper readers, book readers, makeup artists, hair combers, shavers, semi-dancers who make a big show of how obnoxious they really are, and my favorite is the moron that does neck exercises at ten miles an hour taking forever to move from a stopped position in traffic. Let’s not forget the guy that teases his hair while looking into the rear view mirror.

Rather than fine this guy, they should give him money for keeping one less dummy from behind the wheel.

Friday, March 02, 2007

AH, THE GOOD OLD DAYS

Do you remember when things were simple, when it didn’t take much to change a channel on the TV, or toast a piece of bread?

Science has advanced so far that we are out pacing ourselves. In making things easy, we made them harder!

Today I tried to change the channel, but felt inhibited by the fact that if I did on the universal remote, I would lose the TV and/or the cable box. There are certain buttons you must use in a certain sequence in order to change a channel, get a closed caption, or run your DVD or VCR!

If that is not enough, I tried to toast a piece of bread this morning, it required three separate dials that have to come into play, or the bread will not toast or worst: it will burn!

My car clock radio is no help since when we change to EST or DST it requires using the clock radio to make the change. I get a lot of blinking of the numbers, and it stays the same time all day long! And what about that little “M” button, what the hell does that mean?

When I was working, there were about 4 or 5 programs I needed to know in order to get my work done. It meant unloading years of training without a computer to learning the computer and the programs. Then as things got more advanced, I needed to learn the upgrades and the even additional programs to stay competitive!

The final blow came a few months ago when TLW (The Little
Woman) and I bought our new mattress, a remote controlled beauty that I had to program, or I wasn’t going to sleep in the new age of bed rest!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

AND THE JUDGES HAVE SPOKEN

Every now and then TLW (The Little Woman) and I lay awake in front of the TV, watching something that we are not particularly interested in. For instance: American Idol, the show that keeps my interest as much as I watch the grass grow on my neighbor’s lawn down the street.

As we sit there, half asleep, dozing in and out of consciousness, we make passing comments about this singer or that singer, who is warbling in a pathetic attempt to “Make it to Hollywood”, as Simon and the other two or three judges decide the future of their singing ability.

I have started to make comments to TLW and she in turn will make them to me. Usually about how bad he or she was. Sometimes our comments cross from hearing the #3 vocalist, falling off to sleep and awakening with the thought in mind, that #4 singer was horrid, when we meant #3!

I have started my own judging system for American Idol: rating the putdowns by Simon, to see who should be insulted the most. I award points for words such as “Horrid”, or “simply dreadful” or even “sounding karaoke like” or my favorite: “You sounded like someone’s father at a wedding.”

Watching the TV with TLW, many a time I have to stand ever vigil in watching some of the crime shows like CSI or the best show on earth: Boston Legal. It seems that she will fall asleep towards the vital ending, and awaken to inquire as how this one or that one fared. I have learned to keep scrupulous notes about the progress of the show so I can answer her questions. This means that I can’t fall asleep! What you do for love! I must admit I don’t always succeed in staying awake.



You know, it is fun to be mean without hurting anyone’s feeling!

There are other shows that I like such as “Desperate Housewives” or two and a half men. Let’s face it the shows are very funny and that Charlie Sheen is a great actor.

One night we were watching an episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” and TLW said that the show was bad because everybody was mean! And I thought, so is every show we watch!

The semi-weekly weight-in:

5% loss from January 1st!