Thursday, July 31, 2008


Once again, the family gathers to celebrate a union. This union has a Polish Sicilian flavor.

My nephew Marc, a high school history teacher and the lovely Nicole will join in Holy Matrimony, followed by wedded bliss. Marc is my sister Fran and her Husband Tom’s only son! After marrying off two daughters, this is a piece of cake.

I will gather with my sister’s, except for MaryAnn, who is training to be an airline stewardess in Arizona. Mom always liked her best because she has naturally curly hair. My other three sisters spent a fortune on curling irons but still had to do the dishes.

I have naturally curly hair, so I got to throw out the garbage and bring the garbage cans out front and back again. But I digress.

The wedding will be held in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and #1 son will attend. Being how #2 son just started a new job, he will have to stay home.

Everyone loves Marc, and we all had to make an effort to attend this wedding in particular. Marc has always been a class act and just a wonderful nephew. Like his Uncle, he is cool. What more need I say.

All my nieces and nephews will be there, and I love to see the newer generation, the future, and from my prospective, it looks bright.

So family, crazy Uncle Joe is on his way!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Today I went for one of my infrequent hair trimmings at the local barbershop. As I waited my turn, the TV was showing a Pierce Brosnan 007 movie. Not being a big fan of James Bond, I don’t know which movie it was.

There is a car chase in a parking garage, where Brosnan jumps into the back seat of his car, and with a remote control. He drives his car! This car was built for any scenario he might encounter, including chains, steel walls and equipped with bombs or rockets.
It occurred to me, or I just fantasized what life would be like if I had a car like that.

TLW (The Little Woman): “You’re awfully close to that car!”

I hit a lever: TLW is viewing this ride from outer space.

TLW: “Watch my tires!”

I push a button; a steel ribbon suddenly covers her mouth.

You get the picture. I call it wife proofing the passenger seat in the front. Mind you, this is only a fantasy, and may or may not hold true.

Just think of the harmony and peace I could bring to the long car drives where I use the QPS AND TLW! When the QPS gets to nagging me, I just pull the plug. When TLW gets bossy, I hit a lever or a button, instant silence! Then I’d play “Glory Days”. And sit back and enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


When #2 Son was born, the hospital arranged for us to get him a social security card. Of course, once we had the card, we had a number we used for his business. We put the card away, and never thought about it again. I at one point scanned in the card for a record, and have used that scan often for him to give copies of the card.

Recently #2 got himself a new job. The job required he bring his actual card with him, and present it to his new employer.

The first day of his new job came, and off to work went #2 Son. One hour later home comes #2 Son.

“What happened?” said I.

“They won’t accept a copy of the card, Mom said to go with me to the Social Security Office and get a new card.”

Grudgingly I went, feeling he is old enough to get it by himself.

We arrive at the office, and the place is jammed. Old people, workers, mothers with children, Whites, Blacks, Hispanics and Asians all sitting and waiting for their number to be called.

We take a number and make ourselves comfortable. All of a sudden, we are almost next to be called. #2 Son says; “Oh!’ Pulling out an application, he asks me for a pen. I tell Last Second Charlie I don’t have one on me. Fortunately a nice guy sitting next to us offers us his. Last Second Charlie starts to fill out the application, meticulously following all the instructions to the letter.

We are called and he hands the poor clerk the app. The man stares at it for a long time, He turns it sideways and shakes his head; “No.” He tries upside down, still no luck! He deciphers what he can, and starts to ask questions. “Is this an 8?” “Is that 152?”

After observing the poor bastard, I tell my son; “You write like your Mother.” He smirks.

I once took a note she gave me to the pharmacist to read for me, because I could not translate it. The pharmacist couldn’t either, but offered me some of his aspirin after he tried.

One year one of the kids was sick and stayed home from school. TLW (The Little Woman) sent a note. The school thought whatever my kid had, TLW had too!

Monday, July 28, 2008


Every now and then, DelBloggolo gives a review of something, just to look legitimate. I hope it works.

The other night, TLW (The Little Woman), #2 Son and yours truly went to the movies to see a friend of the family. His name is Josh Peck. If you don’t know Josh Peck, you have been sleeping with the fishes.

Josh Peck is a young rising star that I believe has reached his pinnacle. Josh has a long line of credits to his name. Mostly TV, he has proven he belongs. The movie: ‘THE WACKNESS’ proves it. Staring opposite and on an equal footing with the great Ben Kingsley (Gandhi). Mr. Kingsley, along with: Olivia Thirlby, Mary-Kate Olsen, Method Man and Famke Janssen, Josh Peck as Luke Shapiro portrays a college bound student after his high school graduation in the summer of 1994 in New York City. Hip Hop and marijuana are central to the very funny story line.

Trading marijuana for therapy with his shrink Dr. Squires (Ben Kingsley), while falling for Dr. Squire’s step-daughter (Olivia Thirlby), this drama/comedy with Josh Peck figures out how to play his role so convincingly that you fully understand a world of “Coming of Age”, and the Hip Hop culture.

To be put in a film with the likes of Ben Kingsley speaks volumes for Mr. Peck’s abilities. He worked so well with the Master that I’m sure not only did he do well, but he took something from Ben Kingsley’s performance and will add it to his own acting technique, for all of us to enjoy for years to come.

See it, you will love it!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


I have been living in my house for over 24 years. In that time not much occurs. The only history made is what we do as a family living here.

Every now and then, when I am sitting alone at night watching a ballgame, I get this strange feeling that I’m being watched. Not only that, but the sense that something had just moved in the other room, a quick motion! This has been going on for years, and became more pronounced since we extended the house. Years ago, when we first moved in, it happened only on rare occasions, but since the extension, it is happening during the daytime, too! Once last year, while cooking, I heard the door open, and footsteps race up the stairway. I thought it was #2 Son, since I could see the stairway in the hall. When I went to speak with him in his room, there was no one there; he wasn’t home!

One night many years ago, a neighbor of mine who lived across the street, told me an interesting story. It seems that the original owner of the house, a woman in her forties, died in the house. Something we didn’t know, and I wonder if I would have bought the place if I did. She died from a sickness, but what I don’t know.

The other night, I was sitting, watching a ballgame, when suddenly I detected a movement in the entryway, but saw nothing. Then it happened again, and a third time! I decided that someone must be at the door. I got up to investigate, but no one was there. I went back to the game and thought; it must be that lady, or her ghost. Maybe she is unsettled, or angry with me for renovating everything.

As I watched, another movement and then a sound! The sound was like someone dropped something. Again, I looked closely, but the Mets had the bases loaded and I didn’t want to miss it. After the game, I got up to look investigate, nothing was found.

Was it all the product of my over active imagination? If so, why does it happen with regularity? I’m not frightened of it; in fact, it would be neat to come face-to-apparition with a ghost.

I mentioned it to TLW (The Little Woman) but she just listens, looks at me and goes back to what she was doing.

Maybe I need a rest.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


After all the rain we are having, my pool chemistry is a little out of whack. So I decided to go to a place called “Island Recreational” to replenish my supply.

I walk into the place, a rather large establishment that houses everything for pools you need, everything except good management.

Perusing through the store, I pick off one item, and salesperson comes over and asks if he can help. I inquire where the algaecide is and he points one out. Asking me if my pool is Halogen or not, I look at him like he is a freak. He shuts one of his eyes, I think the one on his forehead and points this bottle out to me. I take it, without knowing if halogen is in my pool or not.

I ask where the DE is, and he says at the checkout.

Off to the checkout I go, don’t see it, so figure I’ll ask when I get my turn. My turn comes immediately after the two ladies in front of me. Unfortunately, that is about 30 minutes later. It seems the woman at the checkout is questioning the products, checking the receipt and finding out her card is no good, she needs another one. Then she sends the poor checkout girl to the back room for the DE.

The lady behind her, and in front of me is rolling her eyes at me over what is transpiring. I roll back. She happens to look in my basket and sees my battle of algaecide and says; “I hope you don’t mind my telling you, but that algaecide is two for the price of one.” “Why thank you” I say thinking: why didn’t the halogen man tell me that when I put it in my basket, and why are no signs posted?

To make matters worse, there are two managers standing at a checkout doing nothing. The lady in front of me notices the two slackers and says: “management.” Meanwhile the line is getting longer and more impatient. The poor checkout girl, was moving at rate of one product every birthday, was indeed taking forever, having to run into the back for every order of DE! Why would you do that to the poor girl? What is so valuable about DE that you must hide it? Why do I go to these places? Most importantly, do you care?

Thank you, very much.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Yesterday, #2 Son said that he would like to take Arabic in school if he is going to be a journalist. We discussed it all, and I said that if that is what he thinks he needs, fine with me, although I have my reservations.

#2 Son thinks that it would be a great idea to learn the language because he would be at a premium in the journalistic world with that ability to speak and read the language.

TLW (The Little Woman) thinks that it is not such a great idea. Based on her logic, and her need to put all the pieces in place, all the ducks in a row, and having a plan that is solid.

The discussion became somewhat heated as #2 Son felt strongly about his plan, TLW was not so sure and I was ambivalent about it all. I felt that to successfully learn this particular language, you needed to live with the natives to fully learn the nuances of the tongue. The reason being that it is a non-western culture, with its own set of values.

After an emotional discussion by TLW and #2 Son, we left it for lunch.

TLW went into #2 Sons room to further discuss the issue, where he announced that he would hire an interpreter to deal with all Middle East issues!

I wonder who is paying for the interpreter?

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Today I started a health kick and decided that I was going to walk for 40 minutes, nothing too nuts or strenuous, just a continuous walk. And where else would I walk in this heat and humidity but the mall.

One of the things I like about walking the mall is there are all kinds of things to do, smells to take in and people to see.

As I was walking, I came upon a group of people in wheel chairs. A care taker was with a woman in a wheel chair who was severely disabled both physically and mentally. There was a caretaker pushing her, lovingly pointing out the sights, and speaking into her ear. As I passed the wheel chair, the seated woman reached out toward me as I was passing. I immediately stopped and took her hand. The lady pushing the chair smiled at me and said; “Thank you!”

Being familiar with people of all types of disabilities, I asked which group they belonged with. She said they were from AHRC. Now I was really interested, and said; “Oh, I belong to the Board of Director’s!” Asking which group home, again her answer was to my interest. “Shoreham” she said with a pleasant smile. “Really! My daughter lives in Shoreham in North II!” I said. “Her name is ELLEN”, I offered. The woman’s eyes lit up! “Oh, I know Ellen!”

It seems my beautiful daughter knows more people in that organization than I do, and probably has more friends, too. But it was wonderful to see this wonderful woman treating those in her charge with such respect, love and care. I am grateful for that.

Being a parent of such a person as my daughter, I know how loving they are. I know the pain they suffer both physically and emotionally. I see the love in their eyes and the warmth in their hearts. I also see the ignorance of the public. At first it used to anger me, then one day I woke up and realized it was just ignorance, not meanness. People are good, and will rise to all occasions when compassion is needed. They support our agency, Suffolk Chapter AHRC with golf tournaments, donations, gifts and volunteerism.

One of the hardest things to see in my lifetime has been the look of hopelessness in public by parents like my wife and me. I see fathers who carry their whole family, Mothers who carry the pain of their child’s disability to the grave, either theirs or their child’s.

To all of you who stare at disabled people, they are not freaks; they have been dealt a lesser hand by God than you did. If you don’t know one person like that, then you are missing what the human spirit provides in terms of unconditional love. To help one even for a moment; is rising the human spirit to its highest level.

One of the great things about the agency is that it gave my whole family freedom. My wife need not ruin her back or joints any more than she has because she cares for an adult who is disabled, Sons who need not get angry or doubt their right to be “Normal”, or for a father to write this. But most importantly, my daughter Ellen now has a home whee she is cared for 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. She is entertained, taught, respected and loved by those that care for her, and can do more for her than either my wife or I could.

Thank you, AHRC, and all the organizations that make life bearable for all.

check them out.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Today in history is a very important date! It is the day that God gave us two for the price of one cake! I speak of course of Maureen and Angela, two 39 year olds that share a birthday.

Maureen is TLW’s (The Little Woman’s) sister. She has been in the forefront of making people’s birthdays special. She has made mine special, year after year. Electronic greetings and hand made cards. Above is an example of her last card to me. Maureen has made all the kids in the family her own. That is just the way she is.

Angela is TLW’s brother Dennis’ wife. Born in Utica, she is currently blending her Utican accent with “Y’alls” down in Virginia. Be it Virginia or Utica, or even Mars, she will span the distances and remember you on your birthday. When I had my heart by-pass, she remembered me almost everyday, cheering me up with her thoughtfulness and kindness.

Being a woman with a birthday, most would not want to be reminded. I remind them not of their ages, but their ageless beauty and kindness of heart.

Happy Birthday ladies!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Being the man of the house can be tricky at times. TLW (The Little Woman) asked #2 Son to bring down his fan from his room so I could get it working again. Bringing it down he placed it on the table and left. (Smart boy.)

TLW immediately told me what was wrong, and to please look at it. I removed the cover and went to plug it in to see if it ran.

TLW: “Do you want to do that?”
Me: “Do what?”
TLW: “You know, run that without the cover?”
Me: “Yes, it is the only way I can see clearly what is wrong.”
I plug it in and get an idea. I shut it off, and TLW comes once again. I fix what needs to be fixed and she immediately starts to advise me.

As I try to replace the cover, TLW starts fiddling with it, and I just stop, waiting for her to continue her quest for male dominance. She immediately stops and says: “I don’t want a blog about this.” then steps away.

“Oh, there’ll be a blog about this alright.”

I think; she should quit the bank she works for and join a repair station with NASA, she could take charge.

Congratulations to Seth and Jo Ellen Smith on their new Granddaughter,Melinda Eve O'Connell!

Monday, July 21, 2008


It is so hot, a dog was chasing a cat down my street, and they where walking!

That is HOT!

It promises to be brutal today, temps way up into the 90’s, and humidity about the same. It is too hot to even write this. However, we do have AC, and a pool to ease up on the complaints, but I will anyway, for anyone who doesn’t have at least AC.

My dog just sleeps all day, and I just sit in a pool lounge and float all day, dozing off and thinking about dinner. That is all there is to do when you don’t want to move in this humidity. I do plan my next chapter for my novel, getting involved in the conversations that will occur.

When I was growing up in Brooklyn, we would get a wrench and go onto the street and turn on the “Johnny pump” or fire hydrant. Then the police would come, we would shut it off and wait for them to leave, then; on it went again.

Sleeping on the linoleum floor was the only option when we were too poor for AC, and all we could afford was a small oscillating fan.

We lived on the top floor, flat roof and tarred so that it got very, very hot. In the winter, it was very, very cold. Not only were we on the top floor, we were next to an alley, which although made for a lighter apartment than others, was always exposed to the weather elements.

Tomorrow I have to put chemicals in the pool and use the robot to clean it. That means I’ll pick up my Daughter from her group home, wait for my Nephew Chris, (The Macaroni Man) to come and watch the game.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


That is what’s coming up! Temperatures soar into the high 90’s, and everyone walks slowly, thinks slower and wishes for a snowstorm.

I have a project or two that I have to put off because I can’t work in the humidity. I hate to run the AC all day, so instead I go into the pool until TLW (The Little Woman) comes home.

As I type this it is 8:12 AM, and I can feel the humidity, as sweat is starting to run down my head.

The only person who is comfortable in this weather is TLW! She sleeps under the blankets on her chair at night when I have the AC at 70 degrees! If she weren’t so beautiful, I’d leave her for the pool at night.

Today being Friday, no cooking, as we order pizza, so I will stay in the pool until I look like a bigger prune than I am!

Stay cool, because I will!

601-9 Portion Road
Ronkonkoma, NY 11779
631 467-4674

Tell her "Mr. Dell" sent you.
The best Grandma Pie in the world!

Saturday, July 19, 2008


In a couple of weeks, I have to head off to the doctor for my yearly physical. This means buying brand new underwear, and a forced diet of non-fat foods. I’ll probably pick out a nice restaurant to dine at, since he is paying. (Prostate exam, the only way that happens is if he buys me dinner!)

Checking my profile, I make sure I don’t have a beer belly, or at least reduce what I have from a keg to a six-pack. Since he has a Draconian need for blood, I have to eat right, and diet.

I will not exercise more than I have to. I do a daily routine of raising myself from a prone position to a standing position, right after I shut off the TV. That should do it.

The Mets have caused my blood pressure to fluctuate wildly, so I have to keep an eye on that.

Being prepared means being ready at a moments notice to wait in his waiting room and inner office a long time. If anyone is interested in free pee, I will be giving away samples that day. Just mention this blog. I usually give it to the nurse, who actually thanks me for it! Then to get even, she weights me, and snickers.

When we are done with the x-rays, he will ask me into his office, where he will write out prescriptions and go off the deep end about some social issue that is bothering him. If it has to do with medical things, I could be there a few hours.

My doctor is about my age, with a beard, and is losing his hair. He is thinner than I am, dresses better and never gets sick! God! How I hate that man.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Being how I consider myself an artist, there are certain standards I have to uphold. One of those standards is to draw a line with a ruler. It seems that every time someone sees my art, they are very nice, then say: “I can’t even draw a straight line with a ruler.” That is standard.

I on the other hand have ways to draw straight lines without a ruler, but if I do that they will really feel inadequate. I want to tell the teachers I can’t teach myself, the doctors I can’t even take an aspirin, and I’m sure I can find something I can’t do in every field.

I don’t think it great shakes to draw, I think teaching, or healing, or singing, are great shakes. Taking an inventory, or filing properly or directing a movie, are indeed great shakes. I guess what I’m getting at is that we all have talent, in every endeavor, but of varying degrees. We look for the thing we do best and that is where we point our noses. It makes for a great world. I don’t know if my doctor can draw, but he does heal. I would rather he heal.

So all you people out there-YOU ARE INDEED TALENTED, you just don’t think what you do is great shakes, but to me it is.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Being how TLW (The Little Woman) and I have a birthday a few days apart, we decided to go to a beautiful place called: “Giorgio’s” for a brunch to celebrate. Having been there before, once by accidentally finding it, and once by invitation, we set off knowing what we would get. Every time I go there, I am NOT disappointed.

Our reservation was for 12:30 pm, but we got there early and they seated us almost immediately. It is one of the most beautiful spots on Long Island to dine, overlooking the Long Island Sound, in a small town called Baiting Hollow, or Calverton. Situated on a golf course, the view is spectacular, with the forefront a golf course, and looking out one sees the Long Island Sound!

The sky was spotted with puffy white clouds and deep blue to fill in the rest of the canvas. The grass that lay in front of my eyes from the balcony was as green as Ireland’s, and food inside was as good as anything we’ve had at the Rainbow Room in NYC, or Italy for that matter!

After our lunch, I took my girlfriend out toward Greenport, to visit one of the most beautiful historical seaports on Long Island, with the midshipman from Annapolis paying us a visit in six YP’s, or Yard Patrol boats, that are used for training. Spiffy in their whites as they paced the docks, young bikini clad ladies waved from passing boats. (At first, I thought they were waving at me, but no! God forbid they should do that!)

It was a real treat to walk and talk with TLW, spending the whole day together.


One of the Fab 5 from California did a video you should watch.

The video is called "Natal Attraction" and it was directed and co-written by Minnesota Pete Dirksen.

Pete is a good friend of #1 Son Anthony and is considered my friend as well. If you like to see something original, funny and out of the box, then watch this video. If you like to see good people get ahead, then watch this video. If you would like to see a handsome guy and the writer, then watch the video and one of the “Parents” that the baby is cheating with (The father) is Minnesota Pete Dirksen.

I hope you enjoy it, I know I did and you will.


Sitting in the waiting room of a doctor, I selected a magazine and sat down to begin my long wait for my daughter’s group home to arrive. Ellen, living in a group home found a better life than anything Mom and Dad could provide in terms of growth and stimulus.

As Ellen’s Dad, I like to be present at her doctoring, and advocate for her along with the Agency, the Suffolk Chapter Association for the Help of Retarded Children.

Waiting with my magazine, a young lady and her Mom walked out of the inner offices, and the younger one went straight to the exit. Momma started to call her and angrily told her to sit and wait for her. The young lady complied and sat across from me. As I watched I noticed how beautiful she is, and as she sat looked into my eyes and asked: “Hey, Mister? Why do brain damaged people have a hard time walking?” I gave her an explanation and returned to my magazine. “Hey, Mister? How come brain damaged people walk funny?” Again, I explained to her some reasons. Her Mom was looking over at me nervously, wondering if I was getting annoyed. “Hey Mister? Are brain damaged people happy?” I tried to give her an explanation that she would understand. “Hey Mister, How do brain damaged people get that way?” Once again, I explained how it could happen. Just then, my daughter’s bus arrived, as I happened to glance out the office window. I was wishing to introduce this beautiful young lady to my daughter, but as I was about to say something, the Momma thanked me and they left.

As I sat waiting for my brain-damaged daughter, I realized the young woman was asking all the right questions! There is a saying in the agency that we use to explain that the people being served may be smarter than given credit for. It goes: “Hey, I may be retarded, but I’m not stupid.”

I wondered if this young beautiful stranger was really asking those questions, or was I asking myself, and had to patiently explain it to me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Here is a general statement. All men who marry; marry a foreman. The word “Foreman” is short for “before man”. It means that: “You better listen to her.”

The other day, we put in new doors for the entryway closet. Two narrow doors that open at the center. TLW (The Little Woman), standing at the doors, hands on hips, was giving me a lowdown on what I needed to do, to make her happy. (No smart ass remarks, please.) It seems she wanted a magnet to keep one of the doors more secure, and was telling how she wanted me to do it. Being the man of the house, I begged and pleaded that she let me do it my way, instead.

Looking at me like she was thinking: “oh yeah, you want me to listen to you? What are you nuts?” She acquiesced to my pleading.

Today, after successfully handling the doors as I did, she decided to test my mettle once again. Molding was the reigning issue, and once again, she has thoughts on the subject and technique. Again, I went into my manly act of begging and pleading, and I won my case. (I just know one of these days it will rise up and bite me on my ass.)

In our old house, wishing to sell it, I redid everything. I ripped out walls, floors, ceilings, heating, plumbing, and electricity, and reinstalled new bathroom and kitchen, floors, lighting and plumbing. I feel confident that I don’t need her advice so much as her patience. But TLW likes to take an active roll whenever “We” work. She thinks of herself as the idea person, and me: as the worker, kind of a queen bee/worker mentality.

This will probably be my last blog until I recover and get out of the hospital for writing this blog, after she reads it.

Pray for me.

Monday, July 14, 2008


The house sat very still. It seemed as if the echoes of the day reverberated throughout the house, but noiselessly. Only memories of what transpired that day were left in evidence and testimonial to those that live there.

I slowly descended the steps, “Happy” my cocker spaniel trailing behind me, eager for a drink and a place to do her business. As I approached the bottom of the staircase, a sudden feeling of despair overcame my sleepy demeanor. I neared the kitchen with great trepidation; knowing full well what may be waiting for me.

Automatically reaching for the light switch on the wall, a momentary pause after upping the switch, I looked around. What I saw ran a shiver up and down my spine. Cold fear consumed my very being; the desire for an early death would be better than what I was about to see. #2 Son, had made a snack for himself, and had left proof!

At first, I was confused. I thought: “A terrorist in my home? How the hell did they get in. I didn’t even hear the explosion! Maybe I have to stop sleeping with the air-conditioner on.” Carefully I started to pick my way through the debris, moving about cautiously, careful not to step wantonly and perhaps trip a mine or booby trap of some kind. But no, this was all food related. This was the work of something far more sinister than a terrorist! THIS WAS #2 SON AT HIS BEST!

You’ve seen pictures of Hiroshima, and Dresden after the bombings; the kitchen had a “Nagasaki look” to it. Empty pasta box, pan turned on it’s side, cheese crumbs on the counter, and the ever present dish with fork stuck to the bottom, loaded with enough oil to lower the price of oil on the international marketplace if we could get it to market! A colander sat in the sink, ravaged by steaming pasta, perched over the cheese-encrusted dish.

The stove, what can I say about the stove? Painfully I looked about, a short, sudden jerking overcame me, a sobbing and then tears fell from my face, pieces of pasta lay in the gas wells, water stains lay on the top of the stove, laced with the starch from the pasta.

I closed the lights, and headed back toward the stairs, this was a nightmare, and nothing more. I will awaken in the morning and tell TLW (The Little Woman) about the silly little nightmare I just experienced.

Suddenly I heard a bark. It was then that I realized that I left the dog out, so I had to relive the nightmare.

When I awoke in the morning, TLW was already up and had gone downstairs. I lay in the bed wondering if it was real? Had I actually witnessed it? I showered and dressed and headed down toward the kitchen. There sat TLW in her chair in the den, the kitchen spotless, and a crazed look on her face. It was real.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


TLW (The Little Woman) and I went to Sears in the mall to do a little shopping. We went to the checkout, and the gal rang up the sale.

“That will be $00.00 please.” Said the young lady.

TLW pulls out her Sear’s credit card, to pay for the purchases. Opening her pocketbook is what I think a surgeon feels when he opens an anatomy. Nimbly TLW’s fingers walk through a maze of paper money, folded in different pockets, in different areas, papers, papers, and more papers, and an array of plastic, that would make a toy factory envious.

Looking down into it, as she did, the whole store stood still! People stopped what they were doing and all turned their heads in silent expectation. The overhead music stopped playing, little children stopped screaming and running around, and sales people interrupted and stared in disbelief. You yourself may have noticed as the world temporarily stopped spinning, giving a slight jolt!

But the sales gal was not finished at that point. No, instead she asked if we wanted to upgrade the card to gold. TLW, who likes to say: ”NO!” to sales people, asked: “What will that do for me?”

“Why it will give you 15% off on this sale, and eternal life.” Said the young lassie.

“But I have a Sears credit card already? Will this impact my 0% interest I’m paying for 12 months on the vacuum cleaner I purchased last week?” responded the old Lassie.

“No, that will stay the same, but you do get the 15% off ” said Miss Sears, 2008.

“OK, let me have it.” A resigned TLW responded.

The young sales dynamo gives TLW an application that she promptly fills out, scratching her head why she really needs gold status.

“Oh, I’m sorry, we CAN’T do that, you already are credited with a Gold status. What you need is a frequent buyer card. When you enter our stores, any store in any location in the country, we smile at you BEFORE taking your money, rather than after!” stated Miss commission.

Resignedly said TLW: “OK, then give me that one.”

New forms, new status, and we still have to pay for whatever we purchase at Sears. The whole transaction took up a great part of our lives.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I heard this song the other day, and it brought back some related memories. It is funny how a song, or phrase or smell can trigger those things, and kind of bring you back home again.

I recall rainy Saturday afternoons, with nothing to do but watch my black and white TV, the old Charlie Chan movies, the old gangster movies of the 30’s and 40’s with George Raft and Pat O’Brien and James Cagney and I could go on. I recall the “Million Dollar Movie” theme on channel 9, and how when I watched for the first time; “Gone With The Wind”, I heard the music, and I expected to go to a commercial!

Of course, there was Ed Sullivan, and Uncle Milty, and the great Hoppalong Cassidy and Gene Autry.

I can still hear the school bell clanging, calling all grades to line up according to class, to march into the building. I remember the church songs and the different homes that all cooked the Sunday meal in a predominately Italian neighborhood, hooking up the aromas of meatballs frying and sauce simmering.

I recall going to the bakery, buying crumb and cheese buns, sometimes a coconut bun or a coffee ring.

I remember my little sisters in their pat and leather shoes with matching pocketbook, and little hats and skinny legs. My new Sunday shoes, worn only to church or school, and they had better not been scuffed. The Sunday comics and Dick Tracey, coming alive Sunday after Sunday in color to liven the story, made Sundays complete.

The old candy stores on the corners, with the newspapers outside, or the fruit and vegetable stands that enticed me to want a peach or plum or big fat banana! Dad sending us out on Sunday night to buy cold cuts, so he could make a fantastic sandwich with mayo and oil and vinegar. His Soda concoctions of vanilla ice cream, cantaloupe melon pieces, cream soda and milk.

There was the sound of the clacking of the overhead el, taking people to business or shopping, or even a ballgame at Ebbets Field.

The old neighborhood had a ball game going whenever school was out, unless it was too cold or snowed. Mom’s old broomstick sawed off the broom and it became a Louisville slugger, handle wrapped in electrical tape and then talcum powder and Spaulding’s that landed on rooftops. If you could hit it two sewers, you could hit.

Then there was the euphoria of the last day of school! The joy, exuberation and sense of freedom, school was over for a few months! That meant endless games of stoop ball, stickball, jump rope and tag. Red light, green light, one-two-three; a game you played for hours! Did I mention roller skating, around the block, and speeds that in my mind were unheard of?

Then, at the end of the day, after buying your ice-cream from the Bungalow Bar man, in the twilights last gleaming, Mom would stick her head out the window and call us all in.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Why is it that whenever I turn on the TV to amuse myself for just a few moments, I always get commercials, or I want the score, that the game is in a commercial break?

How come every time I put on my car radio to get a little entertainment, sure enough, a commercial that goes on too long, followed by a half a dozen more?

Why is it that every time I approach a long traffic light that is green, it turns red just as I get there?

Why on the same token, while at a light that is red, and it is a very short light on green, it changes, the car in front of me takes forever to move, and it turns red on me!

Why, Oh why does every family function I plan outdoors rains on me, and is hot and muggy?

When will I get on a line at a bank or grocery store that is not backed up because somebody in front wants to dispute their receipt, pay a few hundred dollars worth in pennies that they count out, or want to see the manager?

How is it that every time I have an urge for a lobster dinner, the darn place has a two-hour wait?

Will I ever find what I’m looking for?

I get on the local road in a hurry to go to an appointment, when I get behind a little yellow school bus, which stops in front of a house. It sits there for 20 minutes while no one comes out, decides to leave?

I go to a local library to concentrate on something. A lady brings in her screaming brat, who then screams the whole time I’m there.

I could go on, but you probably have your own you could add.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


This is an ongoing story. It is an ongoing story of simple, tender love, love so uncomplicated one cannot understand it.

As you may or may not know, my daughter Ellen lives in a special home for people with mental disabilities. She is 36 years of age. She cannot speak, or even do a simple task. She is a happy person, who when she entered this world, suffered from brain damage. Her brain damage has been some of the baggage that her Mother and I must carry. Her burden is far greater than I could ever carry.

By nature, Ellen is always happy, unless you try to tell her what to do. Then you will get a fight! Oh, I almost forgot, DON’T EVER TRY TO HOLD HER DOWN! I tired once at a hospital where I was helping to get a brain scan of Ellen. Her strength is such that I couldn’t move my arms from the strain of trying to hold her. The look in her eyes said to me: “Daddy, why are you doing this?” That look still haunts me. So does the strain of holding her down.

Whenever we go to visit her home in Shoreham, Long Island, we find her sitting quietly with her favorite person at the home. His name is Stanly, an adult in his mid forties. He sits next to her just as quietly, and together they are contented. I don’t know how much interaction there is, but apparently Ellen loves Stanly in a platonic and innocent way. When she goes home from a visit with us, or her day program, she looks for Stanly, and sits next to him. You might say they look like an old married couple, who say little, but the silence belies their love.

Sunday, TLW (The Little Woman) brought Ellen home to our house for dinner, and said that Stanly was in the hospital. Ellen doesn’t understand the concept of hospitalization, all she knows is that Stanly is missing.
The staff at Ellen’s home say; that they find Ellen lying on Stanleys’ bed, because she misses him!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Yes, today is TLW’s birthday. (The Little Woman’s).

I remember it vividly. I would pick up the receiver on my desk and place a call to Mobile Oil, get an extension and a sexy voice would answer. “Miss Manning”, was the response on the other end. There never was anything that was important for me to say, I just loved the sound of her voice.

38 years later, I still love the sound! It is as special to me today as it must have been to her parents, 39 years ago when she was born. (I’m trying to gain points here, work with me.)

There is never any fanfare about TLW. She just exists in her mind. If she could be inside my head, she would hear a different story. First the sound of joy when I first see her, then the sigh of relief that I found her, is what makes the noise in my mind. I think of myself as a lucky man, everyday of my life.

She has been a wonderful Mother to my kids. She worries about them equally, loves them the same, lives and dies for them like they are one.

As a wife, she gives me a sense of being special. She doesn’t laugh at all my bad jokes, isn’t loud or boastful, and never, ever shamed me. TLW, throughout our married life has always pleasantly surprised me. Her thoughtfulness goes beyond my ability to explain it; her kindness is to give to others, never thinking about her.

She has one flaw though. She is always cold. July, August, September, cold, cold, cold! We still have the winter blankets on our bed, but who cares, as long as she is there, or somewhere in the house, I am a contented man.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008


The trouble with this blog is it needs a scandal, something to entice readers to read everyday. In accordance with the fair practice of good, sound yellow journalism, I have started this rumor. (Please don’t say you heard it from me.)


There, it is now out there. Feel so much better about, as I am sure you do.

What this rumor does is blend the Material Girl with the immaterial blog.

The recent rumor you heard in the Media has it all wrong. Alex Rodriquez did indeed go to Madonna’s apartment, what the media didn’t report was that he was there to meet me. Seems this is his favorite blog! Being I’m a Met fan, this was the only way I’d let him meet me.

I fully intend to pursue this rumor and perhaps propagate more of the same.

As for Christie Brinkley, she always had a thing for DelBloggolo. I’m one of the next of the 3 Billion she will marry.

Let’s see how this flies.

Monday, July 07, 2008


It was 62 years ago today. A young War Hero, a member of General Patton’s Army had just returned from his tour in war torn Germany to marry his girlfriend of over 4 years.

The church was decorated in flowers and the perfumes of women who attended the ceremony. The organ began to play the Bridal March from Lohengren, and the stage was set.

Suddenly from in the back of the church, the big massive doors swung open, and in walked a lady with a small baby.

People paid little attention to the fact, everyone was riveted on the action at the altar. A man and woman were about to join in holy wedlock.

Apparently, the baby didn’t care. It had something to say, and it was going to say it. Granted the vocabulary for such a young tot was limited. The kid was only one year and one day old! But say it, he did!


The little bastard was I! I was ruining my Aunt and Uncle’s wedding! To this day; I remember to acknowledge the event as I will call my 85 year old Aunt to apologize, once again!

Sunday, July 06, 2008


First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SEAN O’HARA! Sean is my Niece Laurie and Nephew Gerard’s oldest son. Sean is over six feet; young, handsome, a scholar and an athlete, just like me. (Ah, whom am I kidding?)

This past Fourth of July, TLW (The Little Woman) and I (me) went to a neighborhood Bar-B-Q to celebrate. Gema and Bill, two very nice people, with two beautiful daughters who live just up the block, gave the party and the entire crowd was there!

I love to see everyone on these neighborhood occasions. To touch base, laugh and have a drink makes for a good time, and the food was plentiful and delicious. Bill lives on a corner, and across the street, his neighbor had fireworks, while next door, the same story. Sitting under a canopy or tent, in a lawn chair, we were able to witness an incredible display of patriotism. Part of patriotism to me is spending money. But here they were super patriotic, and blew their money up!

Bursting overhead in the twilights last gleaming, I witnessed $60, $120 and sometimes-larger amounts as well over $4,000 in fireworks blew up! All I could think of was the open words to the National Anthem: “Jose, can you see?” I sure could senior; it was a lot of money getting blown up! I wonder how far they could have traveled at $4.29 a gallon of gas, instead.

My baby sister Joanne Uyeno (Pronounced “Wayno”) sent me the Pepsi Commercial, which we all remember, but still made me laugh.

P.S. Your prayers must have worked, Joe O’Hara. Who I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, won’t need a pace maker after all! It turns out to be stones. WOW! How could the doctors come that close to a mistake like that!

Saturday, July 05, 2008


There is a man I know, named Joe. Joe O’Hara, father of my nephew Gerard, Father-in-law of my niece Laurie. I look forward to seeing Joe whenever there is a family function that involves his family, too.

Joe is just a nice, decent individual who raised wonderful children and is married to a wonderful woman. The family is cheerful, warm and gracious, just like Joe.

Joe makes me feel welcomed whenever I see him. We don’t have to impress each other; we are not looking to. I am looking to talk to a man whom I’ve known now for a number of years, about 18 years. I look forward to it because he has some wonderful observations that are based on homespun good sense and a great attitude.

When one of his children is around him, you can see love in his eyes. It seems, the love gets reflected back into his children’s eyes, too. I’m not sure who is reflecting on whom, actually.

I often wonder how wonderful it must have been to have him as a Dad. I saw him lose two beautiful Grandchildren at a young age, and along with that tragedy goes the fact that they never had the experience of learning about their Grandfather.

Joe sits quietly at these functions at my Sister and Niece’s homes. He doesn’t need attention, just a seat to observe what is going on, and bask in his children and grandchildren.

Well, today we need to pray for Joe! He is going to get a heart pace maker on Monday. I suspected he would need one some day, because his heart is just so big, even for a tall man. Fortunately: there are pace makers in this world, just to insure the world that people like Joe can live long and productive lives.

Joe’s production and contribution to this world is who he is. It has been a wonder product!

Pray for Joe, his wife Joan, and his family. They are people that the world needs.

Friday, July 04, 2008


If you wake this morning to a bang, it’s a holiday in your country, unless of course you live in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Today we will celebrate at a neighbor’s house, the Hood getting together to make our own fireworks. I will have to avoid the Mexican stuff; it landed me on my arrears a couple of years ago.

It seems every year; the fireworks go off around 6:00 PM, while it is still early and daylight. Whenever that happens, it reminds me of those mornings when I’m hungry and eat lunch at 11:AM. I feel like things are being rushed. Unlike my early lunches, the fireworks go into the late night, so it gets noisy.

Throughout my years of education, I have often heard how our Forefathers were so farsighted in their thinking, creating the Constitution as a formidable instrument of governance. What the historians failed to recognize, and you will hear about it for the first time on this blog; the Declaration of Independence, was created in a heat wave. Their thinking was that; someday, air-conditioning will be invented, and you will be able in your old age, to turn it on at night, and tune out the explosive firework noise, and sleep!

GOD BLESS AMERICA, and God bless air-conditioning.


Thursday, July 03, 2008


Today a strange thing happened. I guess you could call it a strange coincidence.

I was working on a painting today of a lighthouse, and I was happy with my preliminary sketch that I put on the canvas. I wanted to create a mood, and as I started to paint in the sky, I was looking to achieve a stormy effect.

Carefully I started to lay down my colors, but for the life of me, I could not achieve what I was looking for. In fact, things went so badly that I spilled this jar of turpentine and paint on my shoes by knocking it off my table and onto the concrete floor!

That did it! I decided to knock off and try again tomorrow. I went to the library and looked for some inspiration for the sky. Looking at magazines, and books of photography and paintings by American Masters, I put the books down and gave that up, deciding to go home.

As I left the library, somewhat disappointed, I went out the main entrance and hear a rumble, with large drops of water falling on my head. I looked up, and there before me, was my sky, with all its grayness, and white edging of clouds that formed a forbiddance that only comes with storm clouds!

I ran home and photographed it, and suddenly, if you will pardon the pun, things were looking up! True story.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


When you bring in more than you take out, something has to give! We are all aware of the large trade deficit in the US, but how many of you are aware of the more insidious, defeating and insurmountable deficit that is building at this very moment, in my studio?

I’ve been tossing stuff out just about every six months or so, but the stuff grows daily. The closet is supposed to house a fax machine, and supplies, but every thirty seconds, something else grows in there! Books, pencils or lamps, find their way into my closet with regularity.

My desk, if I can find it, lies somewhere under books, files and computer stuff, that is all very active. Some of it may be breathing! I have file drawers that are stuffed with things I need, but haven’t used in years.

Some people are breeders. They breed anything from ants and bees to horses and cattle. Me, I breed stuff. You need stuff? I got stuff. My house although under control, has a “junk drawer” that TLW (The Little Woman) introduced early on in our marriage. Some of you out there may have one too, where you put tools that need fixing, screws that you will never use, pencils without points and pens that don’t write. There are candles that were once used, usually big and fat, a magic marker that lost its magic, and little trays that are suppose to organize all the stuff. The trays allow everything to spill over into the next tray and back again later.

Then there is the garage. How many of you out there park your car in the garage? Not many I bet. Why? Because the recycling people took it over, that’s why. Bottles in bags, and newspapers in boxes, old mail and magazines separated in bags and bundles.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


It seems every now and then, I get caught in a fire storm of anti-establishment rhetoric! It seems my social conscience comes in the form of #2 Son. Every time I see him coming, I want to hide, but he finds me.

This evening I was cooking dinner, actually making a salad, and feeling good. TLW (The Little Woman) was on her way home, and we would eat soon.

Who comes downstairs from his den of social justice but #2 Son. It seems like he always wants to bait me into a social argument. I did my arguing when I was a young man; now I want to rest, not argue. But does he let me rest? No!

It seems all the social ills of the world are my fault. I shot the criminal more than once, I made the government overspend, I caused all the poor people in the country, let alone the world. I’m surprised anyone ever talks to me!

Whenever he walks by, I pray that he walks past me, or doesn’t even see me. I like him better when he sleeps, less arguing. Now I know I’m not responsible for most of the world’s ills, but I certainly feel like it after a robust discussion with #2 Son. Sometimes I think he wants me to apologize for whatever has occurred that was tragic! Me, all I want to do is read, eat nap and swim in my pool, write a little and do a little painting.

I blame this all on bad karma. It started when I started rooting for the New York Mets, Jets, Knicks and islanders. You notice the trend here? Losers, all losers. Sometimes they die valiantly, most times pathetically, but losers. You can at least say they are consistent. Consistent losers. But it is like a man that marries a woman that gets overweight, loses some teeth or becomes a shrew, you still love them all the same. I hope #2 Son marries a shrew, so he can be too busy hiding from her to bother me about the world’s ills.