Saturday, May 31, 2008


I’m going away with my friend.

I think that line comes from one of Johnny Mathis’ songs.

Every Saturday morning that TLW (The Little Woman) is not working, I treat her to breakfast. It is one of my favorite things to do. We talk about her work, what she does and I get to see her beautiful face, without interruptions. (The lady with the coffee pot doesn’t count.)

She suddenly becomes alive, no pressing problems, just breakfast and coffee, and TLW! How could I possibly go wrong? Being married for 37 years in June, the little things become just as important as the big things in life; they all connect. My parents never did, they just took each other for granted. They knew where they stood on things, both the said and the unsaid.

Saturday will start by her asking: “So are you buying me breakfast this morning?” (I thought she’d never ask) We then both do our thing. She goes upstairs to dress, while I go to the bathroom. Guess which takes longer. We put on our coats and I open my car door, for her, go around to my side and jump in. It is at this point that she gets into her conversational mode. (My listening mode) We work like a One-way radio hookup: she transmits, and I receive.

Once we arrive at the restaurant of my choice (hey, I’m paying), we are seated, but the flow of conversation hasn’t stopped. (Transmitting or receiving, depending on who’s side your on) Once we are done eating, the occasion does not end. TLW must finish her coffee, and with that set up her next transmission for the ride home. This process may take up to 30 additional minutes!

I love every moment of it. It is one of my favorite times during a week.

Is this blog giving you gas? Do you think maybe a Pepto-Bismol will help? Wish you could get a laxative to rid yourself of this blogoriarrhea? Then write to: Tell him: “keep flushing pal. It’s a long way to the kitchen.”

Friday, May 30, 2008


It was the last Tuesday of the month. The Suffolk AHRC Board of Directors was about to begin their monthly meeting. The room was filled with directors, sitting around a 26-foot long wooden boat-shaped table ready to begin.

The Board Secretary was carefully reading off the attendance list for the presence or absence of members, to establish a quorum for voting purposes, and frankly to see who gave a darn about showing up.

Name by name, the Secretary read from her list, as I attentively waited my turn to say: “Here” or “Absent.” As she read my name, and I checked to see if I was present, then answered she went on to the next names.

On the conference table sat a cell phone belonging to Tony Forgione, a retired businessman and great guy.

As the names were read off, a sudden rendition of the Star Spangled Banner began to play. Being a baseball fan, I immediately stood, as my chair shot out from under me like a cannon ball. As if on cue, the balance of Directors stood to join me, as poor Tony, his phone the culprit, didn’t know whether to stand with us or answer his phone.

When the music stopped, I wondered if we would get someone to throw out the first pitch, or at least hear: “PLAY BALL!’

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?

“ I DO.”
I will hear those two words three times this year and they will have serious consequences for those involved. Indeed, the world as I know it is growing up, and growing old.

I don't remember growing older
When did they?

All those little kids I used to see at family gatherings will be making the plunge into marriage, and I can’t believe it! This weekend in Philadelphia, TLW’s (The Little Woman’s) and My beautiful niece Megan will be tying the knot with Handsome Harry. The city of “Brotherly Love” will extend its reputation and marry off the two lovebirds into wedded bliss.

When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he get to be so tall?

Come August, in Connecticut, my nephew Marc will marry a cute little Sicilian Girl named Nichole. Marc is my little sister Fran’s only son. This will definitely empty out the nest, and my Brother-in-law Tom can say he is not losing a son, but gaining a pool table for the spare room.

Wasn't it yesterday
When they were small?

Finally, on some beach in Florida in mid-October, my baby sister Joanne’s son David takes the plunge with the lovely Kim. Sandals and swimwear are the order of the day! Don’t get sand in your eyes.

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears

I envy them for having their day. It will be a beautiful day, filled with joy and memories that will not be forgotten, but events that will escape their memories and we will be grateful for cameras.

I had my day, it was the best day I can recall, outside of my children being born. To all the couples I wish you the kind of marriage I have. It is filled with love, respect and trust, it is the best gift you can give one another, but be sure to give it every day and every moment of your lives.

As Tevye and Golde would say; “Mozeltov!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Saturday I was working in my front yard. Coming down the street walking his dog is John Onysko. See Tuesday, July 24, 2007 blog. John had given me tickets for the Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game, of which I wrote.

Well, John and I started to chat again about the Brooklyn Dodgers, and he said he was at a Chinese auction, (Are we suppose to say Asian auction or silent auction or what?) Anyway, he bid on a photo of Ebbets Field that was signed by: Duke Snider, Johnny Padres and Ralph Branca and was coming over later to show me.

Back to work I went, toiling when the Lovely Carole from next-door came by to view the work we did in the living room and stairs. Suddenly John shows up with a framed 36” by 48 “ photo that he paid $400 for of the entry to Ebbets Field.

I invite him in and I drool over the photo, so I decide to get my Brooklyn Dodger stuff to show him. For an hour of nostalgic recourse, over a few cups of coffee, we went through the stuff. I showed him my Duke Snider autographed baseball, and collection of books and photos, some of which I got while working as a gift, and some from #1 Son, who gave me the ball and a team photo of the 1955 World Champion Brooklyn Dodgers.

It seemed like we both went back to our childhood once again. I could remember the walk up to the ballpark with my Dad for the first time, the excitement of viewing the field for the very first time, the uniforms of the Dodgers and the score along with who got a hit that night. It’s funny; they were his memories too!

As John went through my stuff, his eyes lit up, the excitement of seeing these items from the past made him very happy. What made me happy was finding someone who shared my passion!

There are fewer and fewer of us left. The love affair with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and that wonderful little bandbox of a ballpark, Ebbets Field, lives as long as we remember. It was a special team, with a special bond with its fans. It truly was the first “America’s Team”, and everything else that followed is just not the same. They didn’t need sexy looking cheerleaders, or bat days or banner day, or any of the other promotions that are held today. A ballpark that held 32,000 people was filled almost every day. And every moment of every day those fans followed every pitch, cheered and ultimately in the end; cried.

Somewhere in Brooklyn, right now there is an empty void, almost as big as the one in our hearts.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


They came from doors around, bringing booze, cakes and food, and all with good cheer and a hearty “Hi’. My hearty Hi was when I left.

In the photo you will see MMB, (My Man Bill), the tool man, and myself. This photographic testimony comes courtesy of Bill’s lovely wife Carole, the givers of parties.

The festivities began promptly at 2:oo p.m., with the arrival of yours truly. And lasted well past 10:30 p.m., sans yours truly. Once again the food was fabulous, the booze excellent and the folks just great.

Last year at this time, I went to the hood get together, and the crowd doubled in size, right before my eyes! It was amazing; everyone there had a twin, including TLW (The Little Woman). Funny, I haven’t seen them since!

Richie Ignelzi, from across the street brought his Mom, because he’s not allowed to cross the street by himself. Richie’s lovely wife Alison came afterward. Richie’s Mom, a very sweet lady with the good sense to watch her son from getting into trouble or running out of the yard without permission, made sure he ate all his vegetables.

If you remember last year, I started a fashion trend with the glowing ear loops, this year I made a new statement, as you can see in the photo.

We did have a mishap: one of the little kids was drinking too much root beer and fell off a swing, breaking his wrist. When he came back to the party from the emergency room, he had this very sad and serious look on his face, but fortunately, everyone made a big fuss over him. Hope to see him heal quickly, he is a good kid, nice family, too.

Then there was Mary Alice, who should have been a kindergarten teacher, the way she loves kids, dancing with them all, and playing with the babies that were in attendance.

The evil one, (I don’t want to mention names, but she has my neighbor Carole’s initials) presided over the demise of my sobriety, with encouragement that could make any drunk adore her. Tequila, Lemoncello di Fama, cigars and rings that glow in the dark, were part of her arsenal to take things up a notch.

There was a new kid on the block, so I went over to his table. His name is Vince, and I asked him where he came from. “Baltimore” was his response. “Oh, I know some people from Townsend, Maryland.” I responded. “TLW’s brother is a president of a college down there.” I continued.

“What college? He asked.

“Villa Julia” countered I.

“GETOUTOFHERE!” says Vince. I daughter just graduated from there Friday!”

The best parties in town from two great people!
Thanks Bill and Carole.

Monday, May 26, 2008


TLW (The Little Woman) and I went to church today. She thinks I’m worth saving, so off we went. Now I’m not against religion, but let me tell you, communicating with God is one thing, getting him to communicate back to me is another!

Being how I am almost deaf, sitting in the pew, listening to a sermon is difficult, since I hardly understand what the Priest is saying. Couple that with the coughing, a-hemming and what not that goes on. Let alone the sneezing, it is even more difficult to understand the guy. If this is not enough, we have this Priest from Nigeria, who can’t speak English as it is, let alone MY understanding him.

I like to do one of two things when this particular Priest gives a sermon. The first is to try to catch a catnap. And the second is to watch all the parishioners who are actually listening to what he is saying. Most like me have a glazed look on them, staring away to some distant thought that was triggered by an African accent.

In surveying the lay of the land, I noticed a rather large gentleman sitting in front of me, who was in direct line of the Priest from his pulpit and me. He can actually block me off from seeing Father Nigeria as he speaks. This is good! This allows me to catch that nap while not being seen. There is a constant nagging problem of TLW’s elbow, which has been trying to make a home in my ribs for years, it seems whenever I seem to rest my eyes. You see, these catnaps are not really sleep, but eye resting, and her elbow starts to jerk out uncontrollably when that happens. It is one of life’s greatest mysteries.

Then there is the sign of peace. I will be cruising along in pious revelry, Father Nigeria will say: “Lea thus hoffer heach hudder der sian uf peece” (Let us offer each other the sign of peace). IT NEVER FAILS; THE LADY IN FRONT OF ME SNEEZES INTO HER RIGHT HAND, NO TISSUE OR HANKY, AND THEN OFFERS IT TO ME TO SHAKE. Maybe she thinks she doesn’t have a hanky, so it will clean when she shakes my hand! I on the other hand, pretend I don’t see her, facing behind me until the Priest starts praying again. You have to know how to work the room.

Now, let us pray:
Oh Father, in your kindness and wisdom, you preserved the roof of your House, when I enter every Sunday, saving the lives of the innocent from destruction. How it is that the Priest doesn’t pass out seeing me show up is another of your wondrous mysteries.

I suspect that since I am married to TLW (some have suggested a Saint because she married me), I have been thus far spared the indignities of God’s wrath in his House. No kidding.

TOMORROW: The Hood has a get together. Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


It took most of the day, but the wooden railing is finally in! Mike Simone, the guy that did it, did a wonderful job! It looks super.

Mike employed a young lady with him. She was probably a college-age kid, and she did a remarkable job. Drilling the steps to put in the balustrade, she took charge and put them all in perfectly.

I must admit; she took me surprise. I didn’t expect her to be there, as I envisioning a guy, the same one that came to make sure the measurements were correct before staining the wood. I guess he was too dainty to do the hard work.

This just goes to show you why there should be women priests, umpires and mechanics. They can do anything a man can do, except carry a 250-pound person down a ladder from a burning building, maybe. It’s funny, if I was incapacitated, and a woman could save me, I would certainly accept her help. I’d probably kiss her on the way down the ladder.

To my beautiful sister-in-law, Angela: Thanks for the Sunday cartoon; it is probably close to the truth!

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I love my dog Happy. She has a beautiful face, loves me and is smart in many ways. Then there are times when I think: “Dumb dog!” Why this hot and cold attitude?

I have mentioned in the past how Happy rings the little bell at the bottom of our sliding door that leads to the back yard. This tells us she wants to go out. Sometimes she will just stare at me in a: “Well?’ look, meaning again, she wants to go out. She also likes to wait for me to sit down and get relaxed in my chair before doing these things, or waiting for us to sit down to eat.

Happy has a new form of making me crazy; I call it taking things to the very edge. Kind of like pushing the envelope as they say. What she usually does especially when I don’t have my shoes on is: walk along the very edge of the pool. Her head down, sniffing, she tempts fate by walking this way. She is testing whether I will rescue her or not. Happy has fallen in twice, at 4:30 in the morning during a cold frigid storm with snow on the ground! TLW (The Little Woman) had to fish her out.

We had the railing removed from the staircase and upper hall, so there is nothing there to stop one from falling over. The floors are shiny and slippery, so a dumb dog has to watch herself. What does Happy do? Happy walks along the very edges, ready to fall off the upper walkway, or off the staircase, there is no barrier! The other night she nearly did, as she struggled to grip the slippery floor, leading from my studio. Did she learn? Noooooo.

If any readers are interested in an American Cocker Spaniel, buff and white, please let me know. I can also throw in a 20 year-old #2 Son with a computer and $100 cash!

Friday, May 23, 2008


The other night, I was sitting in my recliner vegetating in front of the TV. I love to vegetate: I find it relaxing. All of a sudden, TLW (The Little Woman) comes to life! Yes, she actually stirred from her coma like state and from a reclining position leaped about 4 feet into the air!

Now I was fully awake and she was air-borne.

Looking up at the ceiling I asked: “What Happened?”

“There was an ugly bug on my newspaper!” she replied.

Have you ever seen a beautiful bug? Have ever marveled at the fine lines, well cut wingspan and grace of antennae? Neither have I.

“Its only a little bug!” I said. You should be able to crush it.” I continued.
“You should have come over here and taken care of it!” she barked.

What she said holds true. Many years ago, when we were first married, we were living in a rented apartment in a two-story house. I was running later and had to catch my train to the city for work, and as I was ready to leave, high on the wall was a daddy-long-leg spider. As I ran out the door to my car, I yelled out to her; “There’s a spider on the wall in the kitchen.”

My day was a long one then. Up at the crack pf dawn, shower, dress and grab a cup of coffee, go to the Railroad station, find a parking spot and jump on the train. After two hours of train rides and subways, walking to the office and working for 8 to 10 or 12 hours, back on a subway to start the process of going home.

When I got home, there sat the spider. Hadn’t moved, didn’t seem disturbed, and TLW was making supper.

“What happened, you didn’t get the spider?” I asked.

Her reply to my question is one that I think all men have heard, but here it comes anyway.


So, I killed the spider.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


The other day I was discussing with TLW (The Little Woman) the need to adjust the front of the house in terms of landscaping. I was complaining that we put in a new front walkway, but it looks unfinished to my artistic sensitivity. (Big deal!)

TLW on the other hand felt the grass should come right up to the edge of the bricked walkway and that would be that.

I countered with the idea of some kind of border to line the walkway. TLW immediately made a war-like stance, legs spread and hands on hips, ready to punch me out. However, her diplomacy was put into effect.

TLW: “You want to put bricks along this edge?”
Me: “Yup.”
TLW: “You know that when you come home from a party in the hood, at Carole and MMB’s (My Man Bill) house you will have to step over the border?”
Me: “So?” (Cringingly)
TLW: “You are NEVER in any shape to climb over ANYTHING!” (I resent that, it may be true, but I resent it.)

So we compromised, we will get plants to line the edging. Me, I will go to MMB’s house this weekend for another party in the hood. When I am escorted home by TLW, I will remember to step lively and high, until the day when the plants are so tall, I have to walk around them. Here’s to plants, hops and barley.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


#1 Son called last night and told me the terrible news! MFF (My Favorite Fan) Laura stepped the wrong way and messed up her ankle. This is catastrophic news to the Blog and me. Having a fan like MFF is special, and the blogger hurts for her.

MFF is a cheerful lovely lady that I had the good fortune to meet when I was out in LA visiting #1 Son back in November. She is a beautiful woman who smiles like sunshine lights up a day after it rains. She is also very thoughtful, and I consider her a very important person in my life.

She happens to be a friend of #1 Son, and is part of the Fab 5 that I’ve mentioned in the past. She has encouraged my blog; she has encouraged my writing a novel, along with the Fab 5, of which I am on Chapter 15! Thanks to them, I will pursue this endeavor to the end.

Get well soon, heal perfectly and then when I see you, we can skip along together, then I’ll buy you a drink to celebrate your healing!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


If you see me on any kind of line, make a double speed attempt to find another, because you will be held up for a while. If you remember my blog on the May 15, titled “Priceless Faults”, the situation reared its ugly head once again.

TLW (The Little Woman) and I went out Sunday to shop for some art for our living room, and went to Kohl’s, a nice upscale department store to find something decorative, bold and different than what we usually do. We both fell in love with this one piece, and took it with four smaller wall hangings to accompany it.

TLW, living with me with what must feel like her whole life warned me. There is no barcode or price tag on this large piece, be prepared to wait for them to get it. I figured I don’t have to go to work on Monday, so what the hell.

Up to the cashier, we go, and I lay down all the stuff. Everything but the large piece gets rang up, and the young lady calls for Carlos to come to her register. Carlos looks like a happy go lucky guy, speaks no English, and may have arrived here by mistake. She gestures to him that we need to find the price. I tell him there is another one high on the wall in the back. He comprehends and disappears. Twenty minutes later, I know everything about the cashier, including her parent’s names, her Mom’s maiden name and how old she is. What she can’t tell me is where Carlos went.

I suggest maybe Carlos either left the country, or went on vacation and will be back in two weeks. Should I get her and TLW some lunch meanwhile? I go in the back and search for Carlos. I look where I told him to go, and sure enough there is a ladder where the other piece of art was hanging, but that is gone with Carlos. I travel back about a half mile back to the cashier and TLW. ”He is not there, but a ladder is!” state I. “Ah, says the Cashier, probably with customer relations getting a price check. He should be back by Tuesday.

Finally a miraculous thing occurs, Carlos with a small label and a discount for the Cashier to scan.

TLW and I are two happy Gringos, tired of waiting but happy.

Monday, May 19, 2008


The other day I was putting up molding, when I came upon an unfortunate experience. The hammerhead was too big for the molding that was going under each step on the riser. The nail was a small finisher, and the hammerhead was hitting the step and the molding, while bending the nail!

After a couple of these steps going awry, I decided to take up MYB’s (My Man Bill) next-door generous offer made. He offered me his nail gun.

Marching next door in defeat and mildly angered, I ask for the gun. No, I wasn’t going to put it to my thick head. MMB is more than accommodating, offering me the gun and helping to carry over the compressor, that would blow the house down with the force it has.

After two hours of agonizing over the steps, in a half hour I had corrected everything I started, and finished the other 11 steps, the molding around the staircase and the hallway! An amazing feat, and it looked very professional! It made my day, and got me ahead of schedule.

I sat in my chair in celebration to take a short celebratory nap, when MMB shows up at the door. Surprise Bill, I’m still alive and in one piece, AND I’m done!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


You may have read the book, or at least heard of it: Angela’s Ashes. It was a critically acclaimed book written by Frank McCourt and published sometime in 1998.

Well, I’m thinking of writing a sequel in a way called: Angela’s Scanner. It’s about a lady I know from Utica, who has this heavy burden that she carries with her when she relocates to Virginia to live. It is her scanner, and like any scanner, except, you HAVE TO LIFT THE LID TO PLACE THE PAPERS ON THE BED! No, you cannot just feed the papers; you have to lift the lid first. Angela wishes she could just feed the scanner, not do any heavy lifting.

The woman is tired. She did raise 3 boys, and I would think she would hire someone to lift the lid for her, after that. I want everyone out there that is religious to pray for her, and if you are not religious, pray anyway. Pray that Angela finds the strength to lift that lid, or that Dennis her husband can release the necessary funds for a new one.

Actually, Angela is TLW’s (The Little Woman) sister-in-law, her younger brother Dennis’ wife. Angela is a very caring person, who does a great deal of good by just entering a room. That is as opposed to me, who lights up any room, just by leaving it.

Angela and I have been kidding each other, teasing and digging each other for over 37 years, and frankly, she is a lot of fun when I see her. Her Husband Dennis once said he thought it was: “An Italian thing.” As you can see, in an Irish family, when Italians marry into one, they need paisans to maintain equilibrium. In TLW’s family the Italian coterie is: Steve, Maureen’s Husband, Me and Angela. However, being how classy Sara the only Irish gal in the in-law mix, and TLW’s older Brother’s wife is an exception, we make her an honorary Italian.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Being a married man, I often get “Help” from TLW (The Little Woman). I consider this “Help” essential to staying alive.

The other day TLW was sorting the mail as I was getting a cup of coffee. She came busting over to me and said: “You have a Macy’s card, don’t you?” Not one to carry it, I still answered in the affirmative and shook my head, “Yes.”

As she is approaching me, she is waving a couple of small cards at me, and says: “These are made out to you.” They are two small discount cards from Macy’s. One is for money off, and one is for a discount of 30% off.

“You know, these will come in handy. Big savings! You know that with birthdays coming up (hers is July 9th) and anniversaries, ours is June 19th, these should come in handy."

You see where I’m going with this?

I am sure there is no chance whatsoever, of TLW collecting on my demise until the soonest, July 9th of this year, providing I go to Macy’s and follow her “Plan”.

Thanks for the help, sweetie.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Yesterday TLW (The Little Woman) and I went to find a Persian rug for the living room floor. As we entered the store, sitting on the wall was this rug that said: “Take Me”, and all the other rugs I viewed could not do it for me as this one could.

TLW should go to one of those auctions where you bid on something just by raising your eyebrows. It seems she is the master at communicating to me what I say, without my saying it. There were about 100 rugs hanging on swinging arms that allow one to view the whole design and decide. As I go through each one, I would pause if it was something I liked because of design, or just because it was nice. Our conversation went something like this:

Her: “NO!”
Her: “I don’t like it.”
Her: Head shaking “No.”
Her: “The colors are not right.”
Me: “I didn’t say anything!”
Her: “True, but you looked at me.”

We finally decided on something, and now we have a few days to determine if we like it or not. I must be very careful how I look at it when we get it home, I don’t want to “Mis-look”.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Yesterday I went to Lowe’s to purchase a piece of furring strip. Got some other items and went to check out. Go to Lowe’s a lot, and you’d think I would learn by now. Bit, Noooooo!

What’s the beef? Well, let me tell you. Every time I go that madhouse with the girl with a mousey voice and a microphone, inevitably one or more items are missing a price or bar code.

So, I saunter up to the checkout counter and lay down the wood for the girl to charge me.

Her: “Is there a bar code on your end of the stick?”
I check and wave my head: “No.”
Her: What’s it called?”
Me: “Furring strip?”
She checks her computer, going to page after page. The line behind me is getting longer. I suggest she ask a fellow employer.
Her: “There’s no one to ask.”
True to her word, what just seconds ago were a large gaggle of workers now is barren of life. Not even water or weeds, nothing, no one, nada.
Her: “You know, you should have a barcode on a product when you bring it up!”
Me: “Lady, I come here to purchase your items, not do your job for you. Is it my fault that there is no bar code or price on it, or that you can’t even identify what you sell?” I smile.
Her: “Oh!”
Me: “Here is the manager, see if she knows.”
Her to her manager: “What do you call this?”
Manager to me: “Furring strip?”
Me: “YES!!!!”
Manager: “89 cents.”
Her: “Have a nice day.”
Me: “Sure.”

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


It was a happy city, pleasant and sunny. The people went about their business with a bounce in their step and a smile on their lips. Business was good, the people prospered, and joy was all around.

Then one day the storm hit. Oh, the people at first didn’t suspect much was really happening, just a turbulence so to speak. Like any other storm, the good people of Charlotte, N.C., lowered their heads and forged ahead. At first, the sounds were distant. Then they picked up in volume, growing more intense by the hour. The wind, steady but soft at first became a sudden gust here, then there, then long powerful forces that ripped throughout the city. People started to panic, and head out to the outlying areas where rumor had it that it was still quiet.

The media at first was perplexed at how to explain it. What was this force, so loud and quick, and where was it coming from? The city council met briefly, but all were ready to flee the city, and no one wanted to linger long in the path of this tidal wave. Those that stayed complained about headaches, loss of breath and seeing flashes go by their very eyes.

Meanwhile in New York, a phenomenon had occurred! The whole State was taking on a sudden calm. People were no longer buying aspirin or headache remedies. The flashes they witnessed were no longer occurring!

As usual, the good people of Charlotte were blaming New Yorkers for their woes. For once, they were right.

The explanation? Glad you asked. The tidal wave and Hurricane called Mary Ann. Younger sister of this blogger, who has moved down to Charlotte to stake out her claim to a new and exciting life.

If you live in Charlotte, don’t try to see this Tidal Wave/Hurricane, you can’t. She is so quick her own Mother doesn’t know what she really looks like. Don’t speak at her; it is like trying to interrupt the wind.

But be excited, she is a wonderful and beautiful person, who is just making Charlotte, even better.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


One of the good things about getting old is the unbelievable amount of patience I have. In my early life, the unpleasant tasks of maintaining a house and keeping it in good physical condition were done in a hurry. How I hated to paint! I still do, I’d rather wallpaper.

Actually, I’d rather sit in my recliner than do anything. But the funny thing is I looked forward to painting the stairs today, and gave it two coats!

What is wrong with me? I know, the joy of knowing I have nowhere that I have to go to in the next few days. I’m not wasting a day off from work being retired. I am getting a satisfaction from doing the work, and not rushing it.

The steps are a big project, and there are the railings to go up, and I still have to stain the trim moulding under each step, plus the fancy wooden swirly designs that go on each side of the steps. I am enjoying the planning and execution!

The biggest problem is having #2 Son going up and down the steps all day long, constantly interrupting me. Plus that stupid loud music he plays, and the slamming of his door. If there are any young ladies interested, you can have him and I’ll throw in a new computer laptop! But you have to live with him somewhere else.

Meanwhile: back to the future. I have been taking my time with each and every brush stroke. Being neat and careful, and actually enjoying myself, I’m even doing a little patchwork on the walls with the Spackle paste.

Well, maybe I’ll just paint myself into a corner.

Once again, thanks to Jo Ellen and Seth for todays cartoon.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Spanning four generations

Today we are celebrating not only Nana’s 90th birthday, but also the fact that I lived to see it. As I’ve mentioned before, I always thought that Nana looked like the end of an index finger, until the day I got married, when she put it down and announced: “Good riddance!”

This birthday is an important link to our very selves as Children and grandchildren of Nana. Today we witness the spanning of two centuries, an old 20th with a rich history that Nana helped write, and a new 21st century of history that you will help write. In either case, Nana is a part of it, and has influenced it greatly.

I have known Nana to laugh in the face of tears, and cry in the face of joy. She has taught us great life lessons. I’ve seen her remind us of who we are, where we come from, that we are not so beautiful to poke fun at people, that in life you lick your wounds and move on. Nothing is impossible if you put your mind and heart into it. Don’t complain: no one really wants to hear it. If you are sick, go away until you feel better.

Was Nana a nurturer? Yes she was. She nurtured our self-reliance and independence. Did she teach us anything? Yes, what is important is to laugh each day, cry when you need to, but do that when no one is around to hear it.

A few years ago, I was working for a company that had a high-pressure position in the market place. Sales, was life and death, and I was asked to improve on the bottom line. I would close my door often in the late afternoon to concentrate on the project at hand, and often I would hear this woman laughing somewhere in the office. At first, I wanted to go out and quiet her down, but though about it, and decided that it was almost comforting. Why was her laughter comforting? Because she sounded like Nana! It reminded me that Nana encouraged me to get there, she was a booster, and that woman’s laughter put Nana in that office for me.

I marvel and look back at the humble beginnings of this wonderful family. Growing from the small apartment in Brooklyn when we were growing up to this very moment. We lived the dream to move out to the Island. The many fields that we have entered and joined in marriage and birth, the complexity of opinion and yet regard for each other. Witnessing today, and all the wonderful people that married into this family, people that make it a great family, I marvel at this little lady and what she began, and what she has created.

We her children, in spite of all our petty differences growing up, learned from Nana that family comes first. We stick together, if we cry it is for each other as we laugh at ourselves with one another.

You can see and witness it first hand, when we gather for Christmas Eve, and days like today, and we say, Thanks Nana, we love you.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Today is Mother’s Day as if I needed to tell anyone.

Yesterday was Mom’s 90th birthday! They gathered to celebrate and came from as far as Florida. Some because of commitments and distance from California couldn’t attend physically but were there in spirit.

Mom doesn’t look her age, still volunteers for Brookhaven Memorial Hospital and gets around very well, thank you.

The affair was held at Lombardi’s on the Sound, a beautiful place to have an affair. Mom look beautiful and so did her daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

The food was the best you could ask for. Not only were there quantity, but quality. If the food wasn’t enough, then you can always go by the beauty of the place, the great people they use to serve and wait on, and finally, the majestic scenery, of the water that abuts the place.

Mom was in her glory, sitting with Henry her good friend, and enjoying the many people that came to do her honor. Her five children sat with her, as it was originally started, followed by all her grandchildren, great grandchildren and in-laws or adopted children.

To those special Moms, TLW (The Little Woman), my beautiful sisters Theresa, Frances, Mary Ann and Joanne Happy Mother’s Day, as well as my beautiful sister-in-laws Maureen, Sara and Angela, and all you Moms that do so much for your children. Of course, one other Mom out there I would like to recognize, Sara’s Mom: Elizabeth Garrity. Mrs. Garrity is a Mom who can relate a great American Story, and maybe she is the Great American Novel to be written. She raised a wonderful family, with great sacrifice and love, and just like my Mom, it tells.


Today was a crazy day! Talk about things happening All AT ONCE.

I had an appointment to see my G.P. today, and it was scheduled for 10:45 AM. Usually I am kept waiting both in the waiting room and the examining room for at least an hour, but today he pulled a fast one. I was taken almost immediately! This appointment was a cause of concern because I had the wooden railing installer scheduled to come at 1:00 pm and I wanted to have the piano movers come to move back the piano before they installed the railing posts. The piano mover said could come around noon, which I said no to, since I wasn’t sure how long the doctor would take. (If this is getting too complicated, sit down and have two aspirin and read it in the morning.)

Getting home at about 12:15 pm, I get to work installing the left over moulding, at 1 pm, I check to see if the railing guy is here and sure enough, he is. I stop working and the railing man starts. The dog starts barking and growling. The phone rings, it is the piano mover. Can I come now? I ask the railing installer if the piano mover would be in his way, he says: “No.” Great, I tell the piano mover to come.

All at once, an upright is going through the staircase that is being measured with temporary posts and clamps. The dog is going nuts because I screened her off, she knows there are at least 4 strangers in the house, and I’m worried about my new floors, the railing guys and hope the piano men don’t hurt themselves.

I think I’ll take two aspirins, sit down and read this tomorrow.

Today’s cartoon is brought to you by Jo Ellen and Seth Smith

Friday, May 09, 2008


Last night I was a passenger with TLW (The Little Woman), as we went out for a night on the town. As we were driving home, we noticed that the entranceway to the Long Island Expressway was closed. There were fences and lights set up for what one would imagine is a work crew.

We drove (she did) a little farther east and discovered each entrance ramp off the service road was closed.

I have a lot of respect for the guy that makes a living working on roads, since it means all kinds of weather. My best friend Phil works in all kinds of weather, and I admire the work ethic.

With all I just said in mind, I must ask this question:
Where the hell were they?

Entrance after entrance, all I saw was fences and lights. No workers! Do they work underground? Come on guys, if you are going to inconvenience me, at least show up. Please!

What was really annoying was the there were cars on the LIE, moving at a very fast clip, while the TLW express made stop after stop for lights on the service road.

Why wasn’t I wearing the pants last night and driving? Like I said before, mine are too ornate.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


In my neighborhood lives a cool kid. His name is Mathew Kuntz. Mathew is a social seventh grader who enjoys life to the fullest. When I look out my door, rain or shine, snow, sleet or calm, Mathew is out there, usually with some other kid from the hood, having a grand time. As a little kid, Mathew left you laughing. It’s always fun to watch him play; Mathew is a leader, a go-getter. He takes to everyone, and has a wave and a smile as you go by, that he is not afraid to use.

This morning I was getting out of my car, and who goes by with a friend on his way to school, but Mathew.

Me; “Hey Mathew, how’s school?”
Mathew; (Eyes squinting) “Boring”
Me; “Well you will need it someday when you get married.”
Mathew; “Yeah, me the wife and my five kids.”

As you can see, he has everything sewed up in a nice neat bag,

He comes from a typical family, his father works hard on his job and around the house, he has an older brother and his Mom, should have been a kindergarten teacher. She can get down with little kids and enjoy their being alive. She dances with them and is a great sport. I tease her whenever I see her, (She likes to yell and talk), from the old school of Moms. Like her Mathew, you will see her with some neighbor or two, chatting away. A nice lady.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Yesterday I had a very pleasant lunch with TLW (The Little Woman) and my younger sister MaryAnn.

MaryAnn is one of my Mother’s favorites; she has naturally curly hair, and was named after my Mom’s Mother. That is two strikes against everyone else.

The reason for the lunch is that MaryAnn is leaving NY State and going south to Charlotte, N. C., to begin a new life. She is sick of Long Island; the high cost of everything, and may be starting a new trend away from Florida.

I personally will miss her, as I am sure all my sisters will too. Mom will be angry with her for going south. Her kids are worried about her, and think she will eventually come back.

Having lunch with these two women is a learning experience. You learn not to even try to say something, just listen, you will never get a word in edgewise; so don’t try.

I will see MaryAnn one more time on Saturday, and then Monday she is gone. The one with the natural curly hair will be down with the Caribou or deer or whatever the hell there is down there, and we will miss her happy chatter and unbroken lengthy sentences.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


This morning, I went to my local food store for a coffee and roll, as I was coming out into the parking lot, there on the ground was a penny. It wasn’t particularly shinny, nor does it have a lot of value for a coin collector. What will I do with it? Well probably, spend it all in one place.

My guess is that most people would not stoop down to pick up a penny, but I do. Why? Conditioned reflex. Being poor when I was growing up, a penny carried a little more weight. Today there is no real value, except to me as a reminder.

A few years ago, when #1 Son was attending a small college in Virginia, outside a museum was a fountain. TLW (The Little Woman) was giving money to #2 Son to throw into the fountain and asked me for some change when she ran out. I was horrified that she would throw dimes, nickels and quarters away into a fountain! She laughed at me, and suggested I was cheap. When it comes to me, I am cheap. I never buy myself anything until people want to buy what I have as a collector’s item, so they can put it on EBay and sell it.

I stoop to remind myself that nothing should be wasted or taken for granted. I am not a rich man by far, but not poor by far also. I learned early on what it is to be without. A few years ago, I gave away a perfectly good car to some poor immigrant worker who was hard up, and wanted to buy it.

I never went away on a vacation until I went on my honeymoon! Dad didn’t make a whole lot of money, Mom stayed home so Dad could make a living and we were raised with a parent home at all times. TLW and I followed that course when we married and had kids. Especially since my daughter was born brain damaged, we had no choice. I always managed to provide.

I paid for my own education in college. I would rise at 4:00 in the AM, walk down to a train station and catch a 5:something train to Westbury. I hitched rides from the train station to school and back, and climbed the train to go home. I spent many days hungry because I didn’t have money to buy food and pay for books and art supplies or photo equipment at the same time. Some nights I worked after school, as well as on weekends. I had two jobs!

So, that penny I picked up this morning is nothing- nothing but symbolism.

Monday, May 05, 2008


It is happening more frequently now! I get up to do something, when I get to another room; I forget what it was I was supposed to do. I’m with a crowd of people, all of whom I know, I introduce one to another, and invariably, I draw a blank on a name.

Sometimes I tell myself: “Do “whatever” when you get back here, I get back, and forget to do “whatever”.

It is not just the mind. The body is “Misremembering” things also. I’m busy ripping up carpets, I’m on the floor and I can’t move! My arthritis takes over, and the pain makes it impossible to continue. When I was younger: I could go on all day, jumping, climbing getting up and down. Now I have to rest while doing things.

It is time for the dog track. Time to pick out a plot of land with my name on it carved in stone.

I can’t eat what I used to love to eat, the doctors wouldn’t allow it, speaking of which, I take medication twice a day. Topic of conversation at my age: arthritis, medical coverage, eyesight, hearing, and diet. It used to be: sex, food and refinishing some house project.

I think I’m now older than my Mother!

Sunday, May 04, 2008


This is Blog # 700!

Today TLW (The Little Woman) told me I was buying her breakfast then we were going to a home finishing store to buy moulding and whatnots such as finishing nails, wood stain, brushes, sandpaper and wood putty to make my life miserable once again. She happened to notice a smile on my face at some point (only momentarily) and felt I had too much time on my hands.

As I have discussed before, she likes to win an argument with me by saying something is too ornate. (See Wednesday, April 30, 2008,
WHEN SHE SAYS; “NO!” BLOG.) What she means is she doesn’t like it, I had better not, also. Today we looked at the moulding, and I suggested something nice, but plain. “No, I want something more ornate.”

I sat down in the middle of the aisle, while painters, carpenters, plumbers and masons stepped over me. One asked another why I was crying, and the answer was; “He brought his wife with him.” The other responded; “I thought so.”

To all you young men out there who plan on getting married some day, this means my nephews; Marc and David and soon to be nephew Harry, DON’T TRY TO FIGURE HER OUT. Believe me, you are wasting your time. Just do what she asks, and you won’t wind up on the floor crying.

Saturday, May 03, 2008


I’ve always been a worrier. I worry about my kids, my wife, my dog, everyone but myself. My best friend and Best Man Phil, lives in Staten Island, Ii worry about him. #1 Son in California, worry that he lives alone, and I think he needs a wife to share his life with. #2 Son worries me that he will never get out. That for the rest of my life, #2 Son will be living with me and TLW (The Little Woman) and miss out on the time of his life. And of course, I worry about TLW. When she is out late, doing her volunteer Bingo for AHRC, I worry about her on the road at night.

TLW often zings me about being early. I never like to be late for anything. If the doctor’s say I only have ten minutes to live, then ten minutes it will be. All through my career, whenever there was a meeting scheduled, I was there on time, and usually the first one in the room. If I scheduled a meeting and someone was late, they got the word.

When I was working, especially the last 35 years, I was always the first one in. While others would come in at 8:45, 9:00 or even 10:00 AM, I would be at my desk, ready to deal with whatever came my way. I was usually ready to go at 6:00 AM, planning what needed to be done, listing the calls I needed to make, writing memos and leaving notes on people’s desk about some problem, I had with them. When #1 Son worked with me, we would travel in together and always arrive by at least 8:30, the latest. The boy needed his sleep.

At Board meetings, I am usually at the big table, coffee in hand, planning what I wanted to talk about.

I guess this all stems from the fact that I was born two days late! That was the last time. I makes me nuts because I was two days late from a major holiday, and couldn’t brag that all the fanfare was for me.

Wish I were the Late Joe Del Bloggolo? Get in line behind the potential merry widow, and write to;, tell him: “You still alive? Or did you forget to lie down? That’s what it looks like.”

Friday, May 02, 2008


You readers must be tired of hearing about this, but we are in the process of having the floors refinished. There is only one more application to go, and that is applied today.

The problem I’m having is I have a bit of a sore throat, and my sinuses are burning. This began before the floors were started, and continues as I write this. I think it is an infection, and those things take time.

Well with the application of the finish on the floors, it is really making the throat and sinuses worse, as the smell just hangs there in the air. Opening windows, skylights and doors just doesn’t seem to help. It is choking me.

I hear that it takes a long time for the smell to go away.

The floors look beautiful, like a gymnasium. I think I’ll hang some balloons and streamers and serve some punch, and have a senior prom here tonight. I could maybe sponsor the NBA finals here too.

The picture you see is of my recent visit to Timber Point Country Club. The people in it are: Dennis, TLW’s (The Little Woman) youngest Brother Dennis. His scanner challenged wife, the lovely Angela (Me Pisana), Steve his wife and TLW’s Oldest Sister , the lovely Maureen. Standing are: TLW and Lois, or Toots II from the wannabe bank.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


The other day I was watching the News when #2 Son came by.

“Do you know that the new Governor has had some extra marital affairs?”
Me: “Yes, it was all over the news.”
#2 Son: Do you know why he got away with it?”
Me; “(Suspiciously) Because he’s black?”
#2 Son: “Nooo, because he’s blind!”

Now, I have known this kid all his life, and have even been convinced by TLW (The Little Woman) that he IS really my son, so I should know better that to go where he tries to lead me.

Me: “Because he’s blind?!”
#2 Son: “Yup, he didn’t know it wasn’t his wife.”

If you are a blind, cheating husband, and you have no conscience, this is a break through of sorts, you might want to jump on this right away.

I tried to apply the logic to the deaf, like myself:

Me: “ Yeah, I saw it wasn’t TLW, but it really did sound like her. I was confused.” How would that fly? Of course, I’d be speaking from the grave by then.

Wish I’d hurry up with the grave part? Then write to:, tell him: “Here is a shovel, dig a hole about six feet deep, and call me when you are done.”