DelBloggolo

Thursday, February 28, 2008

SO LONG

The time has come for me to say goodbye.

The two plus years have been a pleasure, but now I will say goodbye. Thanks for your readership and loyalty. Thanks for the fun, and putting up with my raving, ranting and me.

There comes a time when we all make decisions that we don’t want to make, but must, and because of personal reasons, I feel I can’t go on with this blog.

I will always remember this as a fun part of my life, and will never forget it.

So; ciao, arrivadecci, adios, goodbye.

Joe

I CAN’T HELP BUT REMEMBER




Recently I looked up my old address in Brooklyn on Google, and came across an astonishing fact, my frame three-story apartment building, along with its twin next door, just sold for the total of $12,000! I guess they are going to tear them both down.

It is a shame that I can’t afford to buy them. There are many little worlds and secrets buried in the walls and basements of both buildings. My best friends, Anthony and Michael both live next door, and we played for hours together for years in those hallways and staircases.

There was something magical about the place, the little railed section between both stoops, the little gated front yards, all concreted with metal doors that slanted upward and led to the cellars of the buildings. We climbed those doors and our imaginations flowed and soared, taking us anywhere in the world that we were aware of.

The sidewalks had a great part of the games we played, from early in the mornings until 9:00 at night in the summer time, the lamp post was first base, the hydrant was a test of our leaping skills, the gates yards were forts and cabins and sometimes dungeons. We lived and died as cowboys and soldiers and baseball players.

When we were old enough to play in the streets themselves, the sewer covers became a measure of long distance hitting, powering Spaldeens two or three sewers long with a broom stick handle. Sometimes when a ball busted, we climbed the roofs and found old balls, to sustain us through another game of stickball.

Spaldeens and stoops became a two man court and we battled for points, always trying for the 100 pointers that flew off the edge of a step and were caught on the fly in stoopball.

The chalked sidewalks mapped out skelzie and marbles, and became our canvas for pastel chalk pallets, with elaborate designs and love notices artistically rendered in the concrete.

Trash cans were used to play: “iron tag” and “Red light, green light, 1-2-3 was the call after 6 pm.

Bobby sox, and pointed shoes, duck tails and pony tails, pumps and chinos, and of course, penny loafers were the dress for formal occasions like school dances or soda shops.

A world of its own,
The streets where we played,
The friends on every corner were the best we ever made.
The backyards, and the school yards
And the trees that watched us grow,
The days of love when dinner time was all you had to know.
Whenever I think of yesterday,
I close my eyes and see,
That place Just Over The Brooklyn Bridge
That will always be home to me.
It'll always be home to me.


Just Over The Brooklyn Bridge Lyrics
» Art Garfunkel


It seemed every street had a grocery store, a mom and pop operation, or maybe a fruit stand or meat shop, you could buy freshly baked bread, cakes or cookies, or just smell it all baking and be satisfied.

At the hours of 5 to 7 pm, there was a mass exit of streets of children, as Dads would return home and children scurried upstairs to dinner, our appetites growing more uncontrollable as we climbed the steps.

We skated, no one owned a bike, and we skated fast and with class, figure eights and loops, with ease.

Everyone had a nickname, there was Mookie, and Mousy and Comeonagetout the landlady. You NEVER said aass, you said earse, like a good tough Brooklynite would say, or you got made fun of, beat up or called a sissy.

There were fights and then peace, just like that. You knew the storeowners by first name, and you paid attention to them, because they knew your parents. Dad wore brown wing-tipped shoes and a grey felt hat with a black band around the crown. Mom had her hats and scarves, or babuskas as we called them.

Sunday mornings meant church. You went, not necessarily prayed, checked out the prettystrawberry blond girl with the curls across the aisle as they separated boys from girls. On your way home, for two and a half blocks, you smelled the “gravy” being made at almost every stoop and apartment.

The older guys would pitch pennies and try to look cool for everybody else, and they were all that was the “Bad element.”

You admired the cops, firemen, and soldiers who saw action in Korea, you felt sick at heart when a friend lost a parent, and thought how scary it was.

School was a time of not only learning, but discipline and learning obedience, and dress codes and behavioral patterns that had to be observed. The first graders were so afraid of “Old Miss Langin” that the principle, Brother Justinian had to post “WARNING-FLASH FLOOD AREA” signs on the classroom wall. (Not really, but almost) Plastic was king and new, coming in all kinds of ugly colors, with predictions that we would eventually eliminate wood.

And how I miss the Saturday afternoon movies. We marched down to the Colonial theatre on Broadway, between Rockaway Avenue and Chauncy Streets, and for a quarter: you got a newsreel, a cartoon and sometimes a double feature. Candy was a dime!

We didn’t have a lot of money, our parents didn’t take us on vacations much, there was very little in the way of toys, but we had each other, a glove or mitt, a ball maybe a bat or a broom stick, and although we wished for much, we knew to ask for very little.

Thought the Bum would never stop writing? Write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell him: “Next time remember to stop writing already!”

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

ROCKPORTS ROCK!

Yesterday I went to Tangier Outlet in Riverhead to find a certain kind of shoe, the one and only Rockport walking shoe. I am fussy about footwear, and I’ve had a pair of brown Rockport walking shoes since 1996! I’ve tried others, but I kept going back to them.

After searching one section of the Outlet, I finally found the store. Walking in, I am greeted by a young and cheerful lady. I asked her if she could match the shoes I was wearing. She nearly did a back flip, a jump for joy, then did indeed hug me! Yes, I got a hug from the saleswoman in Rockport! I may go back soon to buy another pair.

What was the reason for the hug? Store policy, no. Anger management courses, no. I was wearing a shoe that was popular back in the Stone Age, and was still wearing them. A shoe that brought back memories to this lady, made her very happy.

She then began to assist me, satisfy my shoe yen, and tell me a history of herself. Then gave me a deal- buy two pair, get a third free! Good, no?

I really wanted to give her the old pair as a keepsake, but, hey they still have another 12 years left in them.

If you are not getting a kick out these blogs, go to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell him; “I get a kick out of NOT reading your blogs. Take a day off fercryinoutloud!”

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

IT DOESN’T TAKE LONG TO SCREW IT UP

In fact, it is the first thing I did this morning. Coming down for my first cup of coffee, I go over to our new one-cup coffee brewer and see that it is in the “Off” position. Now I know TLW (The Little Woman) said to leave it on.

Being confused, I decided to turn it “On”, and pushed one unmarked button. Nothing happens, so I push another. This time the machine comes alive and starts to blink three alternating lights. The little window that is supposed to say: “Ready” is saying nothing. Not ready, or brew of hold on a second. Nothing.

I see TLW is talking to #2 Son and realize, that he is the source of the trouble, HE, turned it off. I am too old to live with my kids, I decided. He asks what’s the matter and I tell him, as I appeal to TLW for help, complaining; “Who turned it off!” Coming over to the machine, he presses a button and suddenly the dammed thing says: “OK, let’s go, brew” and “ready,” and even, what’s taking you so long?

When we say: “close it when you are done”, or “leave it running”, he doesn’t close it when he is done, or stops it from running.

We are actually grateful that he does even that, at least we know he heard SOMETHING.

Wished you never heard of this blog? Write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, and tell him; “STOP THAT’.

Monday, February 25, 2008

FATHER KNOWS WISEST


Way back in the 1950’s, there was a show called: “Father Knows Best” starring Robert Young. It was a show about a family that had their sliced bread little problems, and dear old Dad would solve them. With a moral to the story, week after week, Robert Young was a hero. Mom stayed home, the kids went to school, and Dad went to work, came home, ate, wore a cardigan sweater and solved issues until 9:00 PM, when the family went to bed. There were no Sundays or Saturdays, and the sun never set.

Along came a magazine in the 1960’s called: “Mad Magazine”, starring that fictional character: Alfred E. Newman. One month they spoofed the Father Knows Best show, calling it: “Father Knows Wisest”, about a Japanese family.

Joe DelBloggolo came along, father, artist, husband and sometimes schmuck who did everything his wife told him to do. Why-because he is in love. He had some kids, and one day his #1 Son got a license to drive. When Teenagers get licenses to drive, they are dual-purpose licenses. One is to be legally on the road to operate a motor vehicle, and the other is to drive parents crazy. Thus: dual license to drive.

Being how I wanted my life to be sliced bread ordinary, not too much motion or commotion, I went to work, TLW (The Little Woman) stayed home to raise the kids. Being I wished to be like Robert Young, I tried, yet still came out looking like Alfred E. Newman. TLW did all the grunt work, taking care of family and family business. Need a car registration updated, TLW took care of it and Alfred E. Newman never even knew. Whatever needed to be done, TLW did it. Why? Because TLW was in charge, that’s why, besides, why trust me to do a Man’s job when I had someone far more capable.

In the course of our days, and my being Wisest to let TLW handle all, #1 Son got a ticket for not updating his registration. We were driving to work one morning, while I was lecturing him on his responsibilities in renewal of registrations and or licenses when Lo and Behold (I still don’t know what the hell it means, but why not use it) up the road from us is a police checkpoint, checking registration stickers. I immediately had a panic attack and said: “Goddam, I hope your Mother took care of it!”

Looking for someone to “Take care of this blog, or the so-called writer? Hire a hit man by writing to: joedelbloggolo@yahoo.com. Send 10 large and he will take care of everything.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

OUCH, THAT WAS GOOD!

Did you ever go to pick up a box that you thought was heavy, but when you brace yourself to pick it up, it goes flying out of your hands because it is so light?

Yesterday, in the aftermath of the snowstorm, I got my shovel in hand, and decided to go out and tempt faith, and shovel my driveway. I put on my sweater and coat, hat and a pair of gloves and opened the door. As I stepped out, I almost got a mental hernia, a visual strain, and a shock! There before me was my walkway, and driveway, all neatly shoveled and cleared! I quickly went into minor tremors and kept seeing the handsome face of my man Bill next door. Yes, the guy cleared my driveway for me!

MMB (My Man Bill) is and has always been my reward for the lousy neighbor that used to live in his house. MMB will give you the shirt off his back, the last crumb of food he owns, and his wife, TLC (The Lovely Carole) will make it look good before giving it to you.

If you try to thank these people for anything, you walk away feeling even better than when you went there. I know it is a strange mathematic, but the equation always comes out the same, even and better than expected.

I challenge anyone to find a better neighbor than those two.

So to MMB and TLC, thanks again.

Wish MMB had buried this blog under the snow? Wish it would melt away? Write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell him, why don’t you take a long walk in a blizzard, and keep walking until you read a sign that says; “Welcome to the North Pole!”

Saturday, February 23, 2008

ON A SNOWY DAY


Yesterday was the pits for drivers, and a guffaw for bloggers who are retired. I watched the weather reports on the various TV stations, and they all make it sound like we were invaded.

“WE INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM FOR AN IMPORTANT NEWS BULLETIN; SNOW, ICE, SLEET, RAIN AND FROZEN TOOTIES IS EXPECTED IN THE METROPOLITAN AREA WITHIN THE NEXT TEN YEARS OR MORE. NEWS AT ELEVEN.”

Naturally, I went into my basement and hid under the workbench I have, bringing with me the contents of the refrigerator in case it is a natural disaster.

This is called: “Juicing up the news”, when there is no new news to squeeze. Why not create drama over the weather. Of course, there is always traffic.

“THE WHOLE TOWN, THE COUNTY, AND YES, EVEN THE STATE WAS BRIEFLY CUT OFF FROM ALL CIVILIZATION TODAY BETWEEN 7:15 AND 7:16 AM, WHEN A MS. GRACIE STUDS STOPPED FOR DIRECTIONS. NEWS AT 11:15 (THE NETWORK IS MAKING A BIGGER DEAL ABOUT THE WEATHER)

Would you like to hear: “WE INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM FOR AN IMPORTANT NEWS BULLETIN; SOMEONE BLEW UP DELBLOGGOLO”? Or maybe you would like to see his picture on a milk carton, then write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell him: “I wish”.

Friday, February 22, 2008

WCIF-I


We are now getting closer to the Presidential Election, as November looms. Of course, this will ruin all of the spring, summer and fall as we are bombarded with pitches, appeals, and speeches. It will drive me nuts as I hear them spew forth their lies, pledges they will forget, and promises they can’t keep. Please, if you have someone you support this coming election, keep it to yourself. I don’t want to hear it, your opinion will not change mine, and frankly, I hate politicians.

The baseball season is about to start, and I for one would love to see baseball without the mention of steroids. It would also be good to see it without Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds.

The steady rise in gas prices is giving me gas. Why don’t the so-called politicians attack this problem? What about all the poor people who can’t afford the price increases? It seems kind of counter-productive to drive to work to make enough to pay for driving to work.

Have you noticed how milk and gas prices go up at the same time?

Frankly, I wish they would raise the price of cell phones to a record high, so high that little girls, who walk and drive with them permanently in their ears, can’t afford to anymore.

Well I had my say for this Friday.

To Anonymous from New Hampshire who asked if I have any more pictures of Ronan Tynan; No I don’t, I think the theatre frowned upon the one I did take, but thanks for the comment.

To MFF (My Favorite Fan); “Heart shaped pizza”? I think I’ll try that next Valentine’s Day!

To my pal Steve Philp, long time no hear, hope all is well. (I could say Long time no hair, but I do have some.)

Tired of grumpy old guys that don’t stop writing blogs? Write to Orack Abama or Hilly Billy, or even Johnny McPain, or better yet: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, and voice your opinion.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS


The Ronan Tynan Concert, was in itself a wonderful experience, but along with that came a nostalgic bonus. As I sat in my seat, and surveyed my surroundings, I took in all that once was, a long time ago. Sitting in perhaps the very seat from about 45 years ago, it all came back to me.

Being how the audience awaited the appearance of Mr. Tynan, the lights were all on in the theatre, so I settled in and fixed on one spot to close my eyes and remember. It all came back to me in a flood!

As I entered the balcony area along with TLW (The Little Woman) and her look alike buddy from the wanna-be bank, I mentioned to Lois that this was the arena for many a date.

My first date in that balcony was to see a movie called “The Cardinal”, which was the rage at the time, and a sore point to the Catholic Church. So, I had to see it.

I remember sitting next to Cheryl, and slipping my arm over the back of her seat where I intended to make a move, eventually. Her blond hair and cherub face made her look like a Dutch girl, and all she needed was a funny white winged hat and a windmill behind her. She had lips that were cherry red, and white alabaster skin, that almost glowed. As the movie went on, I noticed that my arm was falling asleep! Oh, No! I couldn’t move it. Do I try? Could I?

Numbness set in, (not my head, that was started already) as I tried to find some sensation in the left arm, but couldn’t. I almost thought that I should reach over with my right arm and move it. Slowly and painfully I began to try, and as I did, my arm shot straight up! I was raising my hand like I wanted to go to the men’s room! Turning her head she asked: “What’s wrong?” “Oh… I always do a little exercise when I sit, some part of my body usually gets a work out.” I whispered. “No sense in worrying about it.” She looked at me kind of funny and let it pass.

There were other “good girls” and a few “nice girls” that accompanied me to that balcony, and thank goodness, the seats can’t talk.

Need relief from the numb mindedness of this blog, wish to make a suggestion on how to cure my numbness? Write to: joedelbloccol@yahoo.com, tell him, “numbskull, how many did you interview in that balcony?”

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Every morning, TLW (The Little Woman) makes a pot of decaffeinated coffee for the two of us. After she leaves, I clean the pot and go out and get a cup of regular coffee for myself.

I usually go to the same place after having price compared: the local deli, Dunkin Donuts Handy Pantry and 7-11. The best buy is the local deli. It also helps that there are two very attractive young ladies behind the counter. I am getting to know them on a first name basis from visiting every morning!

Son #2, the slob then makes himself regular coffee later in the day, leaving water all over the counter, coffee grounds mixed into the water, coffee stains and just your usual mess for someone making coffee blindfolded.

Today, TLW decided that we should purchase one of those one-cup coffee makers. I’m sure you are familiar with them, fill a reservoir with water, put a 1-cup container into a filter, press “Brew” and voila. A cup of coffee!

We went to Bed, Breakfast and Beyond, to purchase one of those machines, and they had two kinds of machines. Both did the same thing: one did it more expensively. We bought the other one.

As we were driving: I mentioned that the new machine will save her a trip out to 7-11 every night to buy two cups of coffee, and save me a trip in the morning. I mentioned that I go to the local deli, and she asked why I didn’t go to the Handy Pantry. I explained that the coffee is cheaper. “Where do you go she asked?” “Across the street.” I responded. “From where?” she insisted. “From the Handy Pantry” was my snappy response. “From the Handy Pantry! There is nothing there but a Church and a Mexican Restaurant.” Came back her logic. “Across from whom?” She insisted. “Well, you know, across from the Handy Pantry on our side of Portion Road.” Said I. “Oh, you mean across the STREET from the Handy Pantry!” she said again.

Jeez, I hate being corrected.

Tired of reading incorrect blogs. Well get off your duff and do something about it. Write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell ‘em: “Hey, pin head, don’t you know across the street from across the street, yet?”

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

WITH POLARIZED YOU GET EGGROLL.

Sitting in the hot seat of the eyeglass provider, I suddenly felt naked and about to be victimized by my Greek mistress. Georgette was scanning the possibilities and scratching her palm. I had returned from the eye exam feeling like I had fallen on my head again. The eyes were tired and I was getting a little headache. I mean, after shooting air into my pupils, dousing my eyes with yellow drops and sudden shots of blue light in my lens, my eyes were tired.

I sat in the swivel chair as we began to discuss the fact that I would have to wait a few days for my new eyeglasses.

Her: “You will probably want a second pair for immediate use.” Said Georgette.
Me: “Yea, probably.”
Her: “You know, you should consider non-glare, you know what that is?”
Me: “No.”
She suddenly reaches into her pocket and pulls out this pair of glasses. One eye has a non-glare lens, the other doesn’t. She really looks kind of stupid.
Her: “See how one lens has a glare to distract my eye, while the non-glare you can see my eyes very clearly?”
Me; “Yes, but no thank you. If anyone sees my eyes that clearly, then they are too close.”
Her: “You know, they also have these new coating for anti-glare,”
Me: “Oh, I had that once, and didn’t like it. It left smudge like coating on the lenses.
Her: “Oh, they’ve improved that considerably.”
Me: “No thank you, I don’t want improved smudge marks.”
Her: “Ha-ha. You know, you should consider sunglasses.”
Me: “Okay, I’ll take a pair, that would be better that putting on those adjustable ones I have now.”
Her: “Yea, they just scratch the lenses.” (I have had mine since ’04, without a scratch.)
Her: “Why don’t we walk this way and select some frames.
I still couldn’t get the walk down right, and almost twisted my knee at one point. I think because she was wearing heels and I was wearing sneakers, not only that, my chest just couldn’t measure up.

Can’t see the point of reading this blog? Voice your consternation to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell him: “dammit, stop writing!”

Monday, February 18, 2008

RONAN TYNAN


Say that real fast with marbles in your mouth!

Last night I went with the two bookends, Toots #1 (The Little Woman) aka: TLW and Toots #2, (Lois) to a Ronan Tynan concert in the beautifully refurbished and restored Patchogue Theatre. It was a memorable concert, with every rendition and arrangement sounding special, as his melodic and seasoned tenor voice, reached the balcony of the theatre, and beyond.

I think his best was the Italian; “La Donna e’ Mobile”, a special arrangement created by one of his band members. Speaking of which, each and every one of them was great. In particular was the young drummer, who carried a certain youthful vitality to all the arrangements.

As far as the ladies go, it was a quiet evening while this well orchestrated emolument of musical beauty occurred. It was night to remember, two quiet ladies, a masterful presentation of both instrumentation and song, and the architectural beauty of and restoration of days long gone.

Would you like to orchestrate an ending to this cacophony and free yourself of visual pain and faulty imagery? Write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell him: “Why didn’t you jump off the balcony?” The first ten who do will receive a copy of the fine print from my life insurance policy, FREE OF CHARGE! A kind of “My gift to you.”

Sunday, February 17, 2008

FLORIDA, PART DEUX

(I had to do that.)

Florida was a very sedate experience for me. The streets are quiet and tree lined, with beautiful plants that line your way to the golf courses.

One morning, my Sister and I went for breakfast at a place called: “Patches.” As we entered, we noticed that no one was under the age of 75! The place was crowded and loud. A hostess escorted us to our table, and as we were going, I could hear a waitress yelling: “Would you like some coffee?” We continued to follow the hostess, but the yelling continued in my ear: “Would you like some coffee?” As we started to sit, I noticed the waitress was yelling into MY ear! I shook my head in agreement and sat. I figure that she thought I was over 75, and was afraid I might not live long enough to order it. I hate to say it, but it WAS women who were doing the yelling. First I thought it was either the husbands were bad, or the women were just bigmouths. Then it occurred to me that maybe they are all hard of hearing.

I noticed that there is a lot of construction going on down there. They advertise a place to live with a golf course as part of the deal. I would think a better investment would be to sell a place to live and die in. It comes with both a residence and a plot. It wouldn’t matter where you lie down, all will be taken care of. (I can’t believe I wrote that, either.)

We went to dinner one night to a place called: Oaks Open Pit Bar-B-Q. It is a place for good old boys to eat dinner. Ribs and chicken, with beans and slaw, and sauce for your hearts desire, was the standard fare. You sit among the fishing rods, hunting gear and pictures of little boy’s basketball teams mounted on dark panel walls, from the last 10 years that the restaurant sponsored. Patrons are dressed in T-shirts and baseball caps, and hob nailed boots. All the plates are plastic and the napkins thin paper. The menu had one curiosity. It listed a whole rack of baby-back ribs, and a full rack of ribs. My brother-in-law John (The Polish Prince) and my sister and I read it, and John asked the perky waitress what the difference was between “Whole“ and “Full” rack (of ribs). She looked at it for the first time in her life, and said; “ They’re the same thing, y’all. Just another way of saying it.” I suggested that the writer of the menu took a creative writing course.”

That evening I went back to our condo, and I was reading the newspaper. Locally, there was a section called; “Lost & Found” and I wondered what old people lose. I found out soon enough. “There in small print was listed: “Found-One set of dentures.”

Can things get any more tasteless? Wish this blog were in the “Lost and Found” section of your life? Write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com. Get the ball rolling, tell him; “Get Lost!”
video

Saturday, February 16, 2008

WCIF & VALENTINE’S DAY REVISITED

Or, how I stay alive.

Now that I’m retired, I saw a sign for a popular restaurant called; TGIF, which as you know stands for: “Thank God Its Friday.” I thought maybe Friday is overblown in my case since I’m retired. Who cares its Friday? Thus: WCIF. This will be a feature every Friday on DelBloggolo, as part of our efforts here to bringing you only the latest, cutting edge complaining.

Being it was Valentines Day, Thursday, I decided to do what I did last year, and make a candlelight supper for TLW (The Little Woman).

Last year was a cozy kind of supper, there was a storm ragging outside our dining room, and we were comfortably ensconced inside, dining and watching the snow swirl around outside the large windows. This year, no snow, but it seemed intimate enough for me.

My menu this year was: Chicken cacciatore, asparagus in a Parmesan cheese and a balsamic vinegar tomato salad, with shallots, and banana crème pie, coffee, drinks and white wine.

I bought her flowers, and made her a Valentine’s Day card, since I am supposed to be an artist. I also got her a small box of her favorite chocolates, since she doesn’t like to eat candy much. (I hope maybe, I’m sweet enough.)

The margin of error in my married life is very wide. She is very forgiving when I screw up a recipe, as long as she can walk away under her own power, from the table.

Mystery in married life is not necessarily bad, but the only mystery in ours is what I am thinking. It is a bigger mystery to me than to her. Why I say that is I never know what I will do until I do it. The dinner menu was an example.

Mystified as to why you are reading this. Wondering why anyone in his right mind would write it? Send a mystery email to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, ask him: “WHY?????”

Friday, February 15, 2008

FLORIDA


Well I’m back! Florida, the state of hanging chads, walking retirees and renamed by yours truly: The state with an attitude.

It seems everyday, 24/7 some retired person or persons is walking along the palm tree lined streets of Venus, Florida. In their shorts, peaked caps and hats, spindle like legs and sneakers they trod. Being how I was staying in a condo located on the 15th hole of a golf course, they also cheat a lot in golf.

When I landed in Sarasota airport, I had to sign a paper that stated: “If driving a vehicle within the confines of Florida, I do so promise not to exceed 20 miles per hour, and that I will drive with either my left or right directional signal left on. On Fridays, I will drive with both on, so help me God.”

Most of the people are up at 4:00 AM, so they can get into walking. After their walk, they go play golf and are pissed off the rest of the day from getting up so early.

After 3:30 PM, the airport and public transportation close down so everyone can make the Early Bird Specials.

One day we decided to go to Boca Raton, aptly named: “God’s Waiting Room” by non other than Josh Peck’s Mom, the Mom of one of my favorite young actors. You should Google him. Going from Venus to Boca Raton means crossing the waist of Florida, from the west coast to the east coast. To do this you must drive along “Alligator Alley” a road that parallels the main highway. As you do this, you will see shoes, belts and handbags swimming along the river. Please wait until they have brand name tags on them.

All the cars that passed us at 21 MPH were with childless older couples. I thought: “How sad, no children.” Hah! This inspired me to come up with an idea. You set up a sign and hire little Spanish speaking children. The road sign reads: “Feel young again. Rent our little amigo’s for only $19.95 a day.” Now stay with me here. What it does is make you drive around no matter how old you are, with a little kid in the back seat. When he or she whines, or complains is hungry, it will be done in Espanol, so you can’t understand them, and don’t have to stop!

I noticed a lot of elementary schools along the various towns in Florida. These schools are for old people who never graduated and are going back for their elementary diploma. Really a great idea, since it keeps them out of trouble and off the roads.

Tomorrow: Valentines Day revisited.

Think God has a sick sense of humor, allowing this blog to continue? Write to: joedelbloggolo@yahoo.com, tell him to “Stop writing,” or you will pray for a mirror for him to see how old HE is.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

BACK IN THE AIR

Just as I got settled in, I have to turn around and go back out again. This time I’m flying to Florida! Yes, to visit my sister in Venice, where she is spending the month. I’m leaving TLW (The Little Woman) behind, and expect to stay just a few days.

Being how I have to go to JFK Airport, to reach Sarasota, I need to take the JFK route, and it is a little inconvenient. I hate to drive there because I hate the Belt Parkway. But, lo and behold (I still don’t really know what the hell that term means) the Long Island Railroad has a plan where I take the train and then the Sky Tram to the airline! Great, huh? Wadda ya think of that?

Jump on the train, get off at Jamaica and walk over to the tram, and Bingo, JetBlue!

Is it great in this country, or what?

I’ll be gone from Saturday until the following Wednesday, so it’s just a brief trip. I have too get back since I have my books I’m doing and some art I’m involved in. But a few days away from the winter isn’t so bad. I may need to find a computer, if not, no reports until I get back. This means that I have to leave my GPS at home, because I don’t want to be accused by TLW of favoring it over her. As you know, they really don’t get along.

Being how I will be traveling alone, even for just a few days, means there will be some trouble in store for me, there always is.

Would you like to fly away from this blog? Need an excuse to get away from it? Then write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell him: “Thanks for the heads up, now I know to stay away from Venice, Forida while you are there.”

Friday, February 08, 2008

HOLD THE ANTI-GLARE

After my trauma of banging my head, I figured it was time to buy a new lens for my glasses. So, off I go to my eyeglass provider and a meet this little lady named Georgette.
Me: “I need a new lens.”
Her: “what happened?”
I explain.
Her: “Oh, my! Okay, follow me this way.’
I try, but just couldn’t get her walk down pat.
Her: “Now, let’s see, your phone number please.”
Although I find her attractive, I think maybe this is a little too early; I’m not even a widower! Then I realize, I’m not a name anymore, but a number. I comply with her request and await the results.
Her: “Joseph?”
“No,” I want to reply, “Ellen”
“Yes.”
Now let’s see, have you been here before?” Me: “????????”
“I think so.” (Why not play along, after all, I’m only replacing a lens.
Her: “Hmmmm….. says here you last visited in 2002! Tsk, Tsk, Tsk!”
Me: (Pretending) Really? That long ago? Wow, time sure go by fast, Huh? Well I’ve been busy you know. But if you notice, I kept them in pretty good shape.”
Her: “Do you wish to have an eye exam? Your prescription expired.” (Translated: we gotcha.)
Me: “Well, I just wanted a replacement lens.”
Her: “Sorry, we can’t do that without a prescription. You have a prism in the lens, and some money in your account that need work. I”ll see IF the doctor can see you today,” (Gotcha again)
Back a few moments later.
Her: “Boy are you lucky, the Doctor has an opening and can take you right away!” (No one is in the place but me!)
Me: “Oh, lucky me.” (The words of a dying man.)

Tomorrow: Going to the cleaners, and I don’t mean the dry-cleaners.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

OOPS!, I’M A CLUMSY (%(*&(%^

It was 2:00 P.M., time for me to get the mail from the mailbox, so I went out and pulled down the little black door (without help) and took out the contents.

Walking back to the house, I noticed that most of the mail was for #2 Son, and thought that strange. Usually he gets maybe one piece every other day. Today he had about 6 pieces.

I opened the storm door and as stepped into the house, I must have caught my foot on something while not paying attention. I suddenly lost my balance, and fell toward my left, crashing into the horizontal doorknob, face forward.

My head hits the door, and I go crashing down, my left eye hurting as well as my big head. I swear to you I did not fall off my ego. As I hit the hard stone tiled floor, I could feel the shock of it all, and thought I might have injured my eye. Sprawled on the ground, mail everywhere, and my glasses strewn next to me. I lied there very still and tried to not move right away. I reached for my glasses, put them on and realized that my left eye did not see too well. I poked my finger through the lens of the left eye, and sure enough: no glass lens. It was about 3 feet away from me.

Getting up, I popped the lens back into place, but notice that the lens had a deep gouge that had a lump on the other side of the lens. That lens saved my eye!

Feeling like you fall face forward, every time you read this blog? Write a strongly worded protest to your blogger: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, and a copy to your State Senator, I sure she’s available. Tell him: “Why didn’t you fall out of a window upstairs?”

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

SHE’S A LADY

videoLooking at her big brown eyes, I can’t help but give her whatever she wants. She never pouts, and never complains. She will look at me, maybe even make me feel guilty, but what am I to do? I know she loves me, she just doesn’t know how to say it.

Sometimes when we are alone, she will sit by my side, and sometimes I sit by her side. We never argue about the remote, as I get free reign of it. On occasions: she will get playful, and I have to drop what I’m doing and play.

She’s got style and grace, and one would never know she is even in the house. Doesn’t do much, except eat and sleep all day, and maybe watch what I eat.

There are no strings attached, just her love for me. I ask nothing from her except the comfort of her being. After all, she is a dog, but only in name. She is my little friend. When she needs help, Ii come to her rescue. We are both trained. She rings the little bell attached to the back sliding door to go out. I must get off my butt at 4:30 P.M. to get her a few leafs of lettuce. It is a very simple arrangement, thank you very much.

Right now, as I write this, she lays next to me, asleep on the rug. At night, when everyone goes to bed, she waits for me to retire before going in our bedroom. She always sleeps facing the door, waiting for intruders.

But she is not just my family member: she cares for us all. Whenever one of us is still out at night, she sleeps at the top of the stairs, waiting for that someone to return.

Wish I could get TLW (The Little Woman) to do all this.

Wish the pooch would bite the blogger? Send a sharply worded protest to Happy via: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com. Tell her to, “bite him.”

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

MAKING MY DAY


This morning I opened my email and there in the list was an email with attachments from Joe Pantaleno! If you remember, Joe is from my old neighborhood in Brooklyn, and thus becomes an “Honorary Blog Member” along with TLW, #’s 1 and 2 Sons and the Fab Five from LA. (Hey, you guys, send me some birthdays and pix’s, please.)

I opened the attachment like a child at Christmas morning, eager to see what I got. What I got was nostalgic eye candy; memories that flood back like the Johnstown flood. The only difference is I loved it.

Joe like me, as we get older we get nostalgic. The old neighborhood, the place where we grew up is special in our minds and hearts. There will never be another place like it. The smells, the sights, the nicknames, the relatives, the schools and churches, all blending in a nostalgic symphonic and spiritual remembrance of what were once good.

More to come on that as the days go by in this blog. I can’t wait, because the more I think about it, the more I can recall.

Monday, February 04, 2008

SUPER SUNDAY

Whenever I watch a Super Bowl, I can’t held but go back to the best Super Bowl ever, Super Bowl III. The game that gave the game it’s name! It had everything. The New York Jets were big underdogs, Joe Namath had style and the envy of every single guy I knew, and most married guys.

I went to church that day, and prayed for a victory by the Jets. Like Baltimore was an evil place, and God was a Jet fan. Of course there was a lot wrong with that theory. For one thing, Baltimore is the seat of Catholicism in the US, There are good people in Baltimore who love God, in other religions too.

I had dinner with my sister and brother-in-law that day Sunday and we had a normal Sunday dinner, and prior to dinner, we watched the game. We didn’t go out and buy large quantity of food, and sit and chat. We rooted, yelled, cajoled and cried, wrung our hands and danced through out the game. The Polish Prince was a Giants fan, as I was to some extent, being one prior to the Jets coming on the scene.

I knew every player and number, every position and the backups. I was a complete Jet Fan. In fact, I was a little green after the celebration!

1968-69 was a great time for New York Fans, and really a bad one for Baltimore Fans. That time-period started with the NY Knicks beating the Baltimore Bullets, the Jets beating the Baltimore Colts, and the beautiful miracle of ’69, the Mets beating the Baltimore Orioles.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE SUPER BOWL CHAMPION NY GIANTS!


Would you like to beat the blogger of this page into Baltimore and back? Then voice your opinion, write: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell him: “Why don’t you beat yourself with this blog?”

Sunday, February 03, 2008

AD NAUSEUM

The term comes from all the political ads that run from December to November at election time. These ads will not only make you sick, they will make you tired.

What I would like to see is a new system of elections. The winner is the guy or gal who uses the least amount of: radio, mail and TV time to get elected. In other words, if I didn’t hear from them I vote for them. You ask, “How will I know who to vote for then?” Well, the answer is: THE GUY OR GAL WHO IS MOST FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE. DIDN’T SPEND A LOT OF MONEY ON HIS CAMPAIGN. DUH.

The TV and radio has become a nightmare, with the constant barrage of “messages” all “approved” of course.

One of the problems of running for office is that they are trying to clean up their image. No more “dirty tricks” or revelations about the other guy. What, no more DIRTY POLITICS! I love it when we catch them with their pants down. When would be the best time? Certainly not while they win the office they seek and are in it for a time. No, when they are running. If they are in office already, they’ve already stolen our money, let’s do it on their dime, while they are running. Besides, I find it all very amusing.

Tired of the ramblings of a nut. Would you like to run this blog out of town, and send it on a campaign trail to oblivion? Write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com. Tell him to go &)^&$(^%#@!& and the horse he came in on.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

THE PAPAL BLESSING


Today I got a call from my Mother’s parish pastor, informing me that the application I put in for Mom was signed and ready to be mailed. The application was for an official document that proclaims a Papal Blessing upon her for her 90th birthday. The hope is to have it come from Rome in time for her party on May 10th. It will be a gift from all her Grandchildren.

The trip over to her church got me to thinking about what we as her children will be doing for her that day. Aside from the blessing, we are (I am) putting together a book of memories, and there I got an idea.

When Mom wanted to discipline, she used Gentle Persuasion. One would think: kind, gentle prodding, perhaps with a firm attitude. No: that is what I named her wooden spoon. She used to get my cooperation or attention with the instrument. I named all her wooden spoons through the years. There was; “The MM Kind and Firm”, one of her favorites, “The MM Or Else”, the ever present “MM De-aggrevator” and the “MM Terminator” which lasted for a LONG time. You must be wondering what the MM designation means. It was my habit to name her spoons like the US Navy named their ships. “MM” stands for “Momma Mia’s.”

Why not present her with an “Official” golden wooden spoon; just like the one, I gave her for her 75th birthday, but with a Plaque, with the inscription: “To Olympia, Mother of Del Bloggolo’s everywhere. For Pasta and Obedience, as long as both are needed. The MM Gentle Persuasian II. With Love While Still In Pain, Your Favorite Son.”

To this day, whenever she buys a new wooden spoon, she still comes to my house to hit me with it, just to be sure she has quality, hasn’t lost her touch, and remind me that I’m not too big or too old to get hit by her.

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Looking for a way out of this miserable blog. Contemplated suicide but felt it was too expensive? Try writing to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell him: “When I get MY new wooden spoon, wait until I get my hands on YOU!”

Friday, February 01, 2008

PLANNING A 90TH BIRTHDAY

Yesterday I began planning Mom’s birthday party. TLW (The Little Woman) had some good suggestions and I acted on them.

One of the things TLW suggested and I will do is a “Memory Book”. I’ve asked all my family to contribute just one memory of her. Thinking about it, I realize all I can remember is her hollering at me!

What do I say? The first time she yelled, “Wait till your father comes home!” Or how about: “If I get my hands on you!” or the ever popular, “Come out from: 1) under that bed, 2) the closet {I’m straight}, 3) off that fire escape,” you choose.

Maybe I can borrow from the “button incident” in church when I was about 7 years old. “Embarrass me in front of the Priest?” Maybe the incident where I stuck my tongue out at the nosey neighbors who looked out their window every moment of every day, and I yelled in Italian: “You sloppy Americans!” and my sister squealed on me, which led to the application of “Gentle persuasion” that wooden terror she used to stir her pasta and apply on my shoulders.

Maybe I can remember for her how she would try to chase me, but couldn’t quite get off the couch in the first attempt, and I would get hysterical laughing while she tried again, and tried not to laugh herself.

Boy, I have some research to do!

Need a application that eradicates this blog? Write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell him: “hey, buzz off!”