DelBloggolo

Monday, March 31, 2008

WHAT MOTHER WANTS, MOTHER GETS, OR ELSE


Saturday morning, I received a call from Dear Old Mom.

“Hello? Joe? THIS IS YOUR MOTHER.”

I had this urge to hide, or at least stand at attention like a German Officer when he gets a call from Der Fuhrer.

“Hi Ma, how ya doin?”

“Listen” (don’t I always?) “I need a favor from you.”

Thoughts go from hauling water out of a flooded basement to climbing a roof or driving Miss Daisy to some doctor appointment.

“Sure Ma, what do you need?

The IRS sent me a form, and it is annoying me. I have to fill it out because its’ for the whatdoyacallit there the stimulus payment. But I don’t make out income tax returns anymore, since your Father died.”

I ask her what the number of the form is, and what it is called. She drops the phone without warning me, and goes to get it. Meanwhile I’m screaming into the phone: “Ma? Ma? Ma? Maaa? Maaaaaaaaaa? Returning she says she can’t make it out.

“Well, what does it say on top?” I ask. “It doesn’t say anything. Just some numbers and a big A! Oh, it says U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.”

“Ma, what is the number?” “Oh, I don’t know… One, Oh, Four, Oh and an A!”

“OK Ma, that’s a 1040A form.”

“Well you know, when I went to the tax people after your Father died, they told me since I’m on Social Security and make so little, not to come anymore.” (I wonder what the real reason was?) “By the way, how is everybody?” “Everybody is fine. Just give me your Social Security number and you gross income, and I’ll down load the form and fill it out for you.”

“What? What are you going to do?”

“Down load the form. You know, get it off of the internet. The computer Mom.”

“Oh, the computer! Off she goes once again, comes back and gives me her 2006 return.

She gives me the number and realizes her mistake. “Maybe I should give you 2007?”

“Hummm, maybe.”

“Don’t go away, I’ll be right back.”

Returning she gives me a new number.

“Make sure you put across the top, STIMULUS PAYMENT. That’s what they said in their letter.”

“OK, Ma”

“That’s S-T-…”

“OK, Ma”

“I-M-U-…”

“OK, Ma”

“LUS, payment”

“OK, Ma”

“That’s P-A-…”

“MAAA, OK!”

Y-M-E-N-T, across the top. DON”T FORGET, STIMULUS PAYMENT.”

“You got it Ma. Now, when do you need it?”

“Well, as soon as possible would be nice.”

“Is that S-O-O-N…”

“Don’t get so smart, you. You know you are not too old or big for the wooden spoon!”

“I KNOW, Ma.”

Wish my Mother would smack me off the internet? Then write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, Tell him: “Give me you Mother’s phone number, I want to talk to her.”

Sunday, March 30, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEL BLOGGOLO, GERARD, YET STILL

Where has the time gone? Today marks the start of the third year of DelBloggolo! Although the actual date is March 15th, there are too many dates in that time-period already being celebrated.

So, who is Gerard? I’m glad you asked. Gerard is my Niece Laurie Ann’s husband, a man for all seasons.

Tall and handsome, he occupies a special place in everyone’s hearts in my family. He’s just a good guy, with a great sense of humor. He is a maniac Jets fan, and a model father. If you need help, he is there, just like MMB (My Man Bill) my neighbor.

This past Easter Sunday, I happened to be invited to his home for dinner, and as I always do, had the pleasure once again of seeing his Dad. Joe, Gerard’s Dad is one of the nicest people I have ever met. He sits and talks to you, has a few laughs and I never heard an unkind word out of his mouth! Gerard’s Mom, Joan is a compliment to Joe, a sweetheart, who always greets me with a smile on her face. Good people through and through.

The only trouble with Gerard is his humor can torch me. Once I was featured on a TV show that explained how things are done. The show: “How Do They Do That?” dealt with my company, and there I was on the TV, and the camera panned behind me, showing my “Monk’s Do.” That’s my bald spot. (Not that I really have one.) Well, Gerard comes by one evening, said he wasn’t sure if it was me on the TV, then looks at the back of my head and says; “Oh, yes, that was you.” No one likes being the butt of a joke, but I was laughing harder than anyone else.

I look at Laurie and Gerard, and if you know them, you get tired. Why, because they are constantly in motion, skiing, cooking, partying, golfing and softball, running their kids around and entertaining their parents. Now that is just the first hour of the day.

If you type in “Laurie Ann” in the search engine that runs in the blue field at the top, a few stories that I wrote about them will come up.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

IS IT NECESSARY?

You are walking down the street, suddenly you see someone you haven’t seen in at least a year. You stop, he/she stops and he/she lunges into you for a hug, and the obligatory pat on the back. Why?

What happened to: “Hi” or “What are you doing here?” or even the most annoying: “OH MY GOD!” (This is done while holding their solar plexus with 2 fingers.)

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE HANDSHAKE?

It used to be nice, a handshake. Even the little lie: “Good to see you!” (Yeah, and to think we haven’t spoken to each other in at least a year.)

Of course, the above-mentioned scenario is unlikely these days because; a) there’s a cell phone or I-pod connected to the ear, or b) you don’t make eye contact for fear of meeting in the first place.

Am I ranting again? You bet.

How did the hug start? Is this a replacement for the handshake, a greeting upgrade? To purchase Greeting II Upgrade version 1.0.2, you must own Greeting I version 1.0.

Wish there was a program to rid this blog of its insipid writer? Too bad.

Friday, March 28, 2008

WHEN THERE ARE SIGNS

Having lived for a while, and being a veteran homeowner, a lesson came into play this morning, that only comes from experience.

I am in the throes of getting estimates for a wooden staircase in my home. We currently have a wrought iron one, which doesn’t bother me, but TLW (The Little Woman) hates, so out it goes.

Monday we decided to go to a millwork showroom. We felt they were over-priced, and the price was tailored to pay for the showroom and the salaries of all the people working there. However, in spite of that fact, we went for a hands-on sense of what we wanted to buy.

I called two other places I found in the Yellow Pages and made appointments, one for 6:00 PM that night and one for 8:00 AM today. The 6:00 arrived about 6:30, but called me stating that he was stuck in traffic. He showed up, gave me an estimate and with that a lot of assurances that he was insured and licensed.

The other one I am still waiting for. He is over an hour late, and no matter what his price, I will not use him. Why, because if this is how he treats new business, how will he treat a contract once he gets it? Will it take forever? Will he show up every day, and on time?

One clearly demonstrated he wanted my business, sounded professional and had a fair price. One is just grossly over-priced, and one is not too interested. Doesn’t take a whole lot to figure this out.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

TESSIE SUCCUMBS TO ANOTHER YEAR

It seems like every time March rolls around, Tessie (My older sister) gets even older!

I wouldn’t dream of telling you how old she is, but she was born 66 years ago. You crunch the numbers.

Her real name is Theresa, and she is definitely Mom’s favorite. On a scale of one to five; she is one. Mom had five children, and on that scale I am a six or seven. I’m hoping to reach a five.

Tessie has been my confidant, my special friend, the person who always calls and offers when there is a crisis. Since I was a TOT, she was always there for me.

When I saw my first snow as a child, it was Tessie who took me out in it and played with me on the sidewalks of Brooklyn, We didn’t have shovels, so she took a big soup spoon from Mom’s draw and that was my shovel.

When Dad had a gift store, he sent Tessie and me to buy boxes of candy and cigarettes. The laws were different in those days, and anyone could buy a pack of cigarettes, let alone cartons of different brands. And we took long rides on the subway to purchase the stuff, carrying a lot of money in the process.

Often, Mom would give us a long list of meat she needed for the week, and Tessie would take me along to buy it. She was like an older brother with a dress. She was the best. When we disagreed, I usually got it good, and swore revenge. Then the day came when I was about to get that revenge, and couldn’t. She was really my best friend. When I had my by-pass surgery, she was there along with The Little Woman/.

Wish Tessie had pulled my plug so you wouldn’t have to read this blog? Then write to; joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com. Tell him, for 10 large, I’ll get you, where Tessie didn’t.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, THERESA!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

WHAT HAVE WE DONE?

35 years ago, I threw my chest out in pride. I, had a son for the first time! I had always wanted a son, and God finally came through. He gave us TLW (The Little Woman) and me a special son, one that was born with inner strength and good sense, let alone a high moral fiber. His name is Anthony, and I have looked up to him since the day he was born.

When he was little guy, like a dope I smoked. He told me not to smoke! When my daughter Ellen was having a bad evening, and I got up to move her from the table, He was about 3 or 4 at the time, jumped off his chair and stood between us, arms up palms out and said; “Daddy, don’t” So I didn’t. I was just going to move her from the table, and he thought I was going to spank her. I never spank, and I will always remember that. I don’t smoke anymore, either.

He is a lot like me. He never gives up, just plugs away when things don’t go his way. But unlike me, when they do, he the same person, just smiles more.

In spite of me as his father, he has accomplished much in his life. He doesn’t think so, and I do. Most people that know him have a high regard for him, not as high as I do. He is one of the smartest people I know, who doesn’t know everything, but will when needed.

You know you can judge a person by the company he keeps. You should meet the people he keeps company with. True friends, like The Fab Five, Steve and Christine, the Killians, and all his other friends. Yes, they are great people in my eyes. They must be to be his friend.

But where does all this come from? TLW. She taught him respect for others, decency, and good grammar. Yes, the ever-elusive good grammar. Why mention that? Well, he corrects mine from when he learned to talk! He still does.

So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ANTHONY. Share it with your friends. I know they care.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

BALUSTERS, HANDRAILS AND POSTS


Yesterday TLW (The Little Woman) and I decided to price a wooden handrail to replace our wrought iron handrail. When TLW hates something enough, she replaces it.

Off we went to a show room that sells millwork, and had a nice selection to choose from. That was the problem. A woman in very business-like clothing, sweats to be exact, sat behind a desk, and on her ample chest it said: “New York Giants”, and in fact, she was a giant of a woman! She had to be about 6’ 3” tall and weighted about 290 lbs. She had a beautiful face with gorgeous black hair, but she was big.

Not knowing much about these kinds of things, she walked us through, and should have been wearing a referee’s shirt, as she threw out the first of her many samples at us.

“This is a pin head baluster, and this is a block baluster.” TLW and I immediately drew sides. I liked the block, and TLW liked the pin. I explained that the block looked like “a man lives here.” Thumbelina said that: “Actually, the pin head is stronger, it recesses in the handrail.” Being the man of the house I immediately put my foot down and said; “We’ll take the pin.” Sometimes I have to let TLW know who is boss.

Then Cinderella showed us the posts. I like bulky, woodsy looking posts. Something that says; “A man lives here.” She on the other hand likes the delicate effeminate looking kind. The kind that sits there looking pathetic. Once again, I put my foot down. “We’ll get the delicate looking one” said I.

Finally, we came to the handrail. Snow White showed us a rail that had a flat surface to it, which when you run your hand along it, it gets tired. (The hand). I liked contoured molded finish that said: “OK stupid, she agrees with you for a change.”

Whew, to think I was going to have a problem with TLW! Good thing I stood my ground.

Wish I would be in the ground, instead of standing on it? Send a carefully worded eulogy to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com. Tell him; “Why don’t you slide down the banister head first?”

Monday, March 24, 2008

PRE-EMPTED BY JESUS!


Yesterday was my baby sister Joanne’s birthday, as I mentioned. She actually was scheduled for my blog yesterday, but Jesus comes first.

Being the baby all these years, has given her a license to commit murder and mayhem upon her older siblings. Being the youngest, she was the spoiled one, and by the dark complexion she has, she looks like we left her out in the sun too long.

Actually, she is cool for a girl, especially a sister. I raised her in her formative years, and have to take some of the responsibility. Being how I had my own room when she was born, and the three girls shared the other bedroom, there was no place to put a crib, except my room. When she woke up at night, I had to be the one to get her bottle, or walk her, or quiet her down. Mom had a strict rule: “Let her cry, or you will spoil her.” I needed my sleep, so I spoiled her.

She always had a nice tan, God how I envied her. She was the quietest one of the gaggle, but not the meekest by a long shot. After my Sister Mary Ann the Chatterbox, Joanne was a relief of sorts.

I get a kick out of her two children: David and beautiful Sarah, my lovely Niece, who attends Fairfield University. David is a product of Saint John’s University and is in his Step-Dads business, living in Florida. In October he is to marry a beautiful young and sophisticated woman, named Kim. Kim hails from Virginia. In spite of meeting me, Kim is still marrying my nephew.

Don, Joanne’s husband, is our designated Saint from the family. We were lacking in Saintliness, so we import it in marriage. Reference; TLW (The Little Woman), the Polish Prince of Sayville, and of course, Grandpa Tom from Little Poland, or Connecticut.

But the neatest thing I ever saw about one of my sisters, is going onto the internet and googling Joanne, where I found her picture. Sitting behind her desk, Assistant Principle!

If I may quote from the website; “Children are welcomed on a daily basis to share positive experiences with Mrs. Uyeno in her office. Any child who tries his/her best and shows improvement with their work and/or behavior will leave the office with an “Assistant Principal’s” badge. Mrs. Uyeno is looking forward to having many children visit throughout the year.”

Hey, I never, ever got an “Assistant Principal’s” badge in my life. All I ever got was assistance to leave the building by the assistant principles. I hated school anyway, it was the principle of the thing that got me.

Wish the principle would escort me off the blogosphere? Then write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com. Tell him: “There should be detention and suspension for blogs like yours.”

Sunday, March 23, 2008

SPRING (Primavera) Or, “’APPY EAST”…or HAPPY BIRTHDAY!


as my relatives from Italy used to say every Easter Sunday. Boy, how I miss seeing and hearing them.

Today is baby sister Joanne’s birthday! She just turn 49, and sure looks it! HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOANNE!

Actually, 49 is pretty young, and she is pretty, so… she looks just like me; pretty and young. Watch your mouths out there.

Back in 1955, we spent our last Easter Sunday (Pasqua) in Brooklyn. I had three sisters at the time and one was only about 5 months old. It was the last time we ever had the holiday where we dressed up. In subsequent years, after we moved to Long Island, life became more casual, and less church centered.

In those Brooklyn days, we would all gather at Grandma’s house, family from Patchogue would meet with family from Coney Island, and we would all feast to our hearts content.

The day started off by going to church, a church that was big and stuffy, filled with worshippers of all ages. We would walk home, smelling the foods that were being prepared for that special Sunday. Easter is an especially important holiday if you were Italian, ranking right up there with Christmas Eve, and ahead of Christmas and Thanksgiving.

After breakfast of coffee and cakes, rolls and buns, we went off to Grandma’s, anticipating seeing cousins from the Islands, both Coney and Long. The funny thing is Brooklyn is part of Long Island, and Coney Island is part of Brooklyn.

Grandma would have two very long tables, laid out end-to-end, for four or five-dozen people to sit, all at once and eat dinner. This dinner was as long as her tables, and the food was never endingly delicious. These meals would start about 1pm and end around 9:30 pm! The wine flowed like water, and the conversation went uninterrupted. Three languages were spoken: English, Italian and Handlish, a language that accompanied both English and Italian, with the hands, no words. This language needed both hands, and you had to be poetic in its usage.

But the thing that made it particularly special was the endless stream of visitors. Grandma was like a Godfather, except that she was the Godmother. If someone was having trouble in the community, they came to her and she helped them out. If someone was in need of money or assistance, front and center she stood. She was also a pillar of her church, Our lady of Loretto, where she organized bus trips to upstate New York, and other pilgrimages to Italy, where incidentally, they named a building for orphans after her in Naples.

One year, after many years of feeding her children, my grandmother said “Basta” (enough) and my aunt invited everyone to her house in Patchogue for Easter. Dad was elected to go to Brooklyn and pick Grandma up. Dad and I left that Saturday morning and got to my aunts house in Coney Island, where Grandma was now living, since my grandfather passed away. Mid-morning arrivals mean longer Italian lunches to my Grandmother. By 2:30 pm, I could hardly move, and the last thing I wanted was to eat the next day. (How quickly I forgot that!)

When it was time to leave for home, not only Grandma was coming, but two gallons of home-made wine, and two large shopping bags of cold meats, cheeses and breads, This was on top of gifts or presents that she had lined up for upcoming birthdays. Usually, when you saw Grandma, she would be stuffing your pockets with money, and pinching your checks with her incredibly delicious smelling fingers, from the meal she had just prepared for you. She would ask a question, marvel at “How bigga” you got, and then give a little girl laugh, a “tee-hee”.

She was a grand old lady, with a life filled with courage, dignity pain and suffering. She saw the best and the worst in people, but never ever turned anyone away.

She died on Christmas Eve, the one holiday she was always ready for, and expected to see you there at her table. Rest well grandma, you deserve to.

Wish you could say “Basta” to this blog? Then get off your duff and write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com. Tell him: Ima so sicka hue. No salesman will call.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

SPRING HAS SPRUNG!


The grass is ris,
I wonder where
The birdie is?
Author, best forgotten


The time of the year when you can’t make up your mind, be sure, or even want to bother to.

As I write this, it is early on a Friday morning, the first day of spring. It is sunny out, but the wind sounds like I live in an igloo in the North Pole. It is making howling noises! Loud, howling noises that say it is cold outside, a wind chill factor in the teens.

I plan to step out this morning to do some shopping, and I don’t want to go. The temperature is supposed to go up to the mid 40’s, but with the wind, it will feel colder. Do I dress for winter, or spring? Do I go out at all? Do you care?

At this time of the year, the weather is like the stock market. It will go way up and way down, sometimes within the same hour. Day to day is not predictable, so we dress one way and it goes the other. What do we get, a cold, the flu, aches and pains?

My Mother knows March as crazy March. She thinks anyone born in March may be a little crazy, including her two daughters. Both her first child and her last child were born in March. I’m the only sane child she has, although two other sisters, one in November and one in December. Me, I was born in the heat and humidity of July. I am the only boy in the family of five children, all the rest are girls.

Where are the crocus, the tulips and the cherry blossoms of spring?

I’ll give you this, I saw the first weeds of spring, yesterday.

Wish to weed out the blogosphere? Write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell him: “I’d like to plant you with the crocus.”

Friday, March 21, 2008

VISITING TLW


Or, is he buying?

The other day was a funny kind of day. My Internet connection was acting up, and I sprung for a surprise lunch with TLW (The Little Woman).

Entering her wanna-be bank, I immediately saw that she had “members” who she was attending to. I sat off to the side with the arriving members who had business in the credit union. I was greeted with some “Hi!’s” and responded likewise.

When she was done, she signaled me to either come over or steal second base. I figured the former and went over. I met her boss and had a very guarded conversation so as not to embarrass TLW. Being how I was in a t-shirt that said: “I ate the Big One at Bill Johnson’s Steak House” I left my leather jacket closed.

Of course the comment was; “How very nice, taking her to lunch. Was it planned! Who’s buying?”

These conversations then are reduced to grunts and half uttered words, since I don’t want to talk to her bosses for fear that they might recommend the Waldorf Astoria for lunch, and I don’t spend that kind of money for lunch.

Off we went to a very over-priced deli, where we went wild, tuna on toast for me and grilled cheese for TLW. I did get my money’s worth; TLW gave me her pickle. Diner pickles are wonderful.

Whenever I go to TLW’s place of employment, I get the feeling I’m being judged. “Well, hr looks like a bum, he probably is.” Or “Is that what she married?” Sometimes I wonder if they say “What, was she desperate?”
Well all you well meaning people out there, I am a real catch. Something like the flu.

Feel like you are in a pickle every time you read this blog? Write to; joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell him: “You need to go on a diet of strictly pickles.”

Thursday, March 20, 2008

WHEN A SMALL STORM HITS…


You know Ellen is around. No, not TLW (The Little Woman), but my daughter, Ellen.

Today is Ellen’s birthday; she is 36. 36 years ago, when she was born, TLW and I had a lot of hopes and dreams for her. But the ugly reality of mental retardation and developmental disabilities gripped us all like a big, ugly vice, and squeezed those dreams away. Now our dreams are of a different kind, a more modest hope for her.

One of those dreams is that people, the public, understand what mental retardation is, and how it affects a whole family. People with disabilities like Ellen want only to be happy, and to love. They don’t discriminate about whom they will love; they will love us all. I often visit her home, and I go from resident to resident and say: “hello” because it is their home. If I wear a hat, I take it off in respect. One might think; “What do these people really understand?” They understand love. They wish to be free of pain and sickness, just like you and I. Their world is a lonely self contained one, of just pain and confusion. I think of my life, and the fact that there are things I should probably be punished for, what did they do? Why does the public shun them and punish them even more?

Getting them to live in a home, one that is neat and clean and well cared for is a plus to any community once they are accepted. Why is there reluctance to allowing them to live where they want in the first place? The law says you cannot discriminate against a person because of race or religious belief, yet the law does not protect the mentally retarded from those very same people that discriminate against them! There arte laws such as the “Padavan” law that says you can’t build a house within a certain radius of one that is already established. The law is wrapped in a cloak of hocus pocus that disguises the prejudice of the community. Is this population a danger to someone? When do we discriminate against any human being?

Ellen goes to a program everyday except weekends and holidays. She and all her peers are supervised because they need physical assistance. They are not all like Ellen. Those that are ambulatory, can speak and move about on their own, have jobs, contribute to the community and, God forbid you need their help, will help you. Their cost is economical. You just let them live with dignity.

There are a few people in this world, a precious few, that dedicate their lives to the mentally retarded and physically disabled. Their pay is shameful, yet they do the hardest work of all. They bring dignity to people like Ellen. They help her live a wonderful life within the boundary of her affliction. She is happy, as are her peers, her housemates. They teach her to do for herself, and when she falls, they pick her up, dust her off, and sometimes, even bandage her up, and off she goes.

I don’t mean to chastise any reader. No, I mean to respectfully remind you that our lives can be daunting at times, but people with the problems I see at the Suffolk Chapter Association for the Help of Retarded Children, and every chapter in this great land of ours, have it even tougher.

http://www.ahrcsuffolk.org/

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

WHAT’S GNU?


What’s gnu with you?
Of course, if you speak Italian its: What’s a gnu. It is that animal in the photo next to the lady. Who is the lady?
The lady is the famous advertising writer, and Weight Watchers Guru, Ronne Freedman. Ronne and I have collaborated in many Direct Mail projects over the years that have time and again got you to buy.

If you click or paste in your browser the following:
http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/art/index_art.aspx?tabnum=1&art_id=51801
You will discover she is more talented than a card shark dealing three card Monte in front of a police station house. You could say she is the gnu guru of cooking lite and losing weight.

Many years ago, over a sushi lunch she asked me to make a card for her boyfriend. It was a picture of a gnu. And the card read; “What’s Gnu?” She is the person that goes into a room, make an observation and leaves them laughing, with her wit and humor, with a large dose of mench, and a little Jewish wry.

She recently was interviewed for the Weight Watchers web site for her new successful creative career. I’m very proud of her, she is a business partner and friend of mine. Try her stuff and see what I’m talking about.

Wish your diet included less Delbloggolo? Write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell him; “Hey, you’re making me sick. I used to wear a size 16 jeans.”

Today is St. Joseph's Day, where are my cream puffs???

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

HOLD THAT NOTE

I was watching a medley of Gershwin songs and music arrangements the other night, along with the Little Woman (TLW). Being how I am slightly deaf, (What did I just say?) I have cc for the hearing impaired. It is a pleasure to have when all of your life you never knew that there was no Richard Stands in the Pledge of Allegiance, but wondered who was he in the Republic.

It is also a boon to me to “hear” music on the TV and see the lyrics to other songs, or the conversation on the other end of a phone call in a TV show or movie, thanks again to closed caption.

There is a line to be drawn however. That line is when there is strictly music coming out of the TV. The orchestra was playing, the camera was panning, and the cc was ccing. The conductor would wave his baton and the musicians would play, physically moving their arms and mouths as the case might be, but the cc said: “Playful music”, or “sweeping movement”, or maybe even “joyful crescendo”! I thought to myself, how does a deaf person hear that? They must think: “Gee, that’s a long note!” Of course, the cc is for the hard of hearing, and not really the deaf, but it did amuse me thinking about it.

I remember there was a scandal of some sort with the head of a school for the deaf back in the 90’s, and a group of students were protesting in front of the school. All of this was being reported on the TV, and the students were “signing” in front of the camera with their hands. The reporter had a hard time speaking and being heard by the TV audience (she had already lost the students) and I wondered if the reporter would ask them to “Keep it down”. Would they sign by lowering their hands?

Tired of bad taste, and don’t want to hear it? Write to: joedelbroggolo@yahoo.com, tell him: “Sign off, you oaf.”

Monday, March 17, 2008

TOP O THE MORN TO YA, LASSIES AND LADDIES


Irish Diplomacy...
is the ability to tell a man to go to hell so that he looks forward to making the trip.


Yes, indeed, tis a day of the wearin o the green, a taste of the ole sod, pint for ya now.

It was a dark and dreary Saturday in Dublin. Clancy’s bar was empty except for two gents who sat at the bar, and Clancy hisself, tending the lads.

Kevin, his beer in hand, turned and said to Dennis: “So tell me Laddie, you from these parts?”

“Oh, by the moors I reside.” Said Dennis.

“You don’t say!” said Kevin, “So do I!”

“And where on the road is that?” inquired Kevin.

“Oh, on Murphy near Row” countered Dennis.

“You don’t say!” said Kevin, “So do I!”

“And where do you work might I ask?” came back Kevin.

“At O’Malley’s Brewery” came back Dennis.

“You don’t say!” said Kevin, “So do I!”

Just then, the phone rang and Clancy picked up.

“Good afternoon, Clancy’s Pub.” Said Clancy.
“Oh tis quiet this afternoon. No one but the O’Brien Twins, and they be drunk as usual, bejesus.”

As for me, I have my own Irish joy. I think maybe I’ll give her a big old kiss, and say:
“HAPPY SAINT PADDY’S DAY TO ALL!”

http://www.ireland-information.com/irishmusic/anirishlullaby.shtml

This you don’t have the luck of the Irish, everytime you read this blog? Then write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com. Tell him: “Bejesue, enough already lad!”

Sunday, March 16, 2008

PHONE JOCKY JOE

Being how TLW (The Little Woman) works everyday, and twice a month on Saturdays, she needs my help to maintain a open line of communication with the outside world. That is why I’m needed.

Yes, I keep her current. I am the man. Unless of course, I sleep late, then she doesn’t give me instructions. Coming home at night, she takes a cocktail, gives me a kiss and reads the mail. Like a big shot mogul, she then spits out questions in rapid fire. I better have answers. Last night I saved her the trouble.

“I called about Ellen, gave Anthony a call and left a message, and made reservations for the dog to stay at Kozy Noses for the wedding weekend.” She just looked at me, wanted to ask a question, but knew I was exhausted.

Living with TLW requires a lot of follow-up. I have to be on my toes, 24/7. No holidays. I think I mentioned once before how I don’t like to look her directly in the eye, for fear of some task. I usually slink about, hide in the bathroom or a closet, or sleep. I know when I die I will have to get in touch with someone for her, she won’t let me go in total peace.

Tax time can be more troubling, being how I have to call the tax man, my financial advisor, and usually her at her wanna-be bank. She likes to be included.

The whole day can be taxing, with no refunds!

Wish you could find a link away from this blog? Then write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell him; “Go lay down with the lions, you bum”.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

IF I KNEW YOU WERE COMING I’D A BAKED A CAKE


I was up in my studio the night before last, around 9:30 or 9:45 pm, when all of a sudden I smell olive oil! TLW (The Little Woman) was sound asleep so I knew it wasn’t her. The smell was getting stronger and stronger, and I decided to investigate.

Down I go two flights of stairs to the kitchen. As I enter the kitchen, I can’t see before me! There is a haze as thick as a London fog! I start to stick my hands out to feel my way forward, when I suddenly see this figure looming in the foreground. As I get closer, whom do I see but #2 Son, trying to wave me off, with a cell phone in his ear and a silly grin on his face. “I got it under control” he said. I look around and see that he was emulating Rachel Ray, cooking up a 30-minute house fire.

On the stove was a thin pan that you use for roasting, and a quart and a half of olive oil in the bottom. On a plate was some kind of concoction that he was going to eat.

“What the hell did you do?” asked I (Nice and gently, of course). The kitchen, den and entranceway to the house are filled with smoke. Off goes Emerald LaGasse wanna be, outside to eat. This is a winter night. I open all the doors and the skylight, and turned on both fans, one in the den and one in the kitchen to air out the place.

That boy has to go to bed early or get a hobby.

Need a hobby from this blog? Write to Eliot Spitzer, via joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, and ask him: “What do you do at bedtime to keep yourself occupied?” I promise I will forward your questions.

Thanks to Seth Smith for the picture.

Friday, March 14, 2008

YOU HEARD OF YOGI, NOW BE KINER

You’ve read the “Yogisms” now read the “Kinerisms.”

If you don’t know who Ralph Kiner is, then let me introduce you. Mr. Kiner is a Hall Of Famer that made the game of Baseball part of the American tradition. He was a slugger without peer, and an interesting storyteller of his years in baseball. Ralph Kiner led the league in home runs the first seven seasons of his career! Only Babe Ruth hit homers more frequently than Ralph Kiner did!

He is currently an occasional announcer for the New York Mets Baseball games and is one of the most interesting play-by-play announcers ever, and I love to listen to him. Here is his brand of “Yogisms”. Enjoy.

Ralph Kinerisms

"All of his saves have come in relief appearances"

"All of the Mets road wins against the Dodgers this year occurred at Dodger Stadium."

"Cadillacs are down at the end of the bat." (Home runs)

"Darryl Strawberry has been voted to the Hall of Fame five years in a row."

"Hello, everybody. Welcome to Kiner's Corner. This is....uh. I'm...uh"

"He's going to be out of action the rest of his career." - about Bruce Sutter

"If Casey Stengel were alive today, he'd be spinning in his grave."

"I think one of the most difficult things for anyone who's played baseball is to accept the fact that maybe the players today are playing just as well as ever."

"It's like watching Mario Andretti park a car." - on Phil Niekro's knuckleball

"Jose DeLeon on his career has seventy-three wins and one-hundred and five rbi's."

"Kevin McReynolds stops at third and he scores."

"Now up to bat for the Mets is Gary Cooper." (Carter)

"On Fathers Day, we again wish you all happy birthday."

"Solo homers usually come with no one on base."

"Sutton lost thirteen games in a row without winning a ballgame."

"The hall of fame ceremonies are on the thirty-first and thirty-second of July."

"The Mets have gotten their leadoff batter on only once this inning."

"The reason the Mets have played so well at Shea this year is they have the best home record in baseball."

"This one deep to right and it is way back, going, going, it is gone, no off of the top of the wall."

"There's a lot of heredity in that family."

"Tony Gwynn was named player of the year for April."

"Two-thirds of the earth is covered by water. The other third is covered by Garry Maddox." (A good outfielder who could run)

"You know what they say about Chicago. If you don't like the weather, wait fifteen minutes."

http://www.ralphkiner.com/quotes.htm

Thursday, March 13, 2008

YOGI, STEP ASIDE

You have all heard of “Yogisms”, those famous one-liners from the old Hall of Famer, Yogi Berra. If you haven’t, here are a few that I happen to love.

"I take a 2 hour nap from 1-4" or

"If you come to a fork in the road, take it".

"Nobody going to that place anymore because it's too crowded."

Or who could forget:
"It gets late early out there."

Q: "Yogi, what time is it?"
A: "You mean now?"

"I didn't say everything I said."

"If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be."

"A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore."

"Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical."

"Bill Dickey (former Yankee catcher) is learning me his experience."

"He hits from both sides of the plate. He's amphibious."

I don't know (if they were men or women fans running naked across the field). They had bags over their heads

"It's like deja vu all over again."

"So I'm ugly. I never saw anyone hit with his face."

"How can you hit and think at the same time?"

"The game's isn't over until it's over."

"You should always go to other people's funerals, otherwise, they won't come to yours."

Why am I writing this? Glad you asked. Yesterday I got a Yogism from the most unexpected source. Walking out of the Smith Haven Mall, heading toward the parking lot while in Macy’s, TLW (The Little Woman) said: (After heavy rain all day long) “It looks like its clearing up, there is a fog out there.

! ?

Here is the scary part: I understood her!

TLW never makes those kinds of mistakes or misappropriation of words, I do!

Concerned about a misappropriation of blog space? Wish to voice your opinion about it, write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell him: “The game is over, because its over.”

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

POLITICS


Now I will go wash out my mouth with soap.

Excuse me for breaking my own rule. I need to get this off my chest.

A year ago last November, I sought to vote for real change in New York and I will continue to. I voted in a way that violates my obligations to my family, and violates any sense of right and wrong voting. I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public, to whom I had hoped would have better. I did not believe that politics in the long run is about individuals. It is about ideas, the public good, and voting for what is best for the State of New York. I am disappointed not to have voted to the standard I set for myself. I must now dedicate some time to a nap, and regaining the trust of my family.

Sorry to Mrs. McGreevey, and Mrs, Spitzer, and all the children involved. Sorry I was taken for another ride once again by the politicians and other liars of this world.

Tired of reading this blog? Why not write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com Tell him; “Why don’t you become client #10? And get your sorry ass out of here, hmm?”

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

HOMEWARD BOUND

Yesterday TLW (The Little Woman) returned from Baltimore. I went to the airport to collect her, and boy did she look beautiful to me! She was only gone two and a half days, but it seemed like an eternity. I mean having coffee alone in the morning makes a one-sided conversation. Going to bed at night, without fighting for the covers is no fun, I love the thrill of victory as well was the agony of her feet.

I got a call that her plane would be about 30 minutes late, and I knew about that from 8 AM in the morning when I checked in on her flight. She was scheduled to leave Baltimore at 4:20 pm, but didn’t leave until 4:55 PM! They were predicting lateness way before it should be able to. Just goes to show you how bad Southwest Airlines has become.

As I sat in the airport waiting for her to land, I did a little people watching. This woman was walking with a hat in her hand, and suddenly a cardboard band fell out of the rim. The woman, stopped in her tracks, and looked down at the cardboard band, and preceded to kick it forward, with great deftness, she guided it to a trashcan like Pele would a soccer ball. After about 20 or 25 feet of this, she managed to get it to the trashcan. What does she do? She leaves it there at the bottom of the trashcan, never picking it up and placing it inside the can! Well, at least she was close.

I understand that some of you were wondering why I wanted to stop writing this blog, and the reason was simple. I was in a snit, thinking that no one was really reading it, so why bother. Boy, was I mistaken! I forgot that I read it.

Need a ghost reader to read this blog? Maybe you wish the writer was a ghost, or that the blog is just an apparition of sorts that really is smoke. Then write to; joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, and tell him: “hey, just disappear already, huh.” video

Monday, March 10, 2008

GIVE ME A BREAK ALREADY

This morning I woke up alone, TLW (The Little Woman) being in Baltimore and went to brush my teeth. As I looked down, I noticed there were only two toothbrushes in the holder: #2 Son's and mine. It actually threw me off my stride, but I continued to wake up and get normal for the day.

I got dresses and went outside to get my newspaper, when I notice only one of the two I subscribe to be there. I checked again later and still no paper. I decided drastic action was called for, so I picked up the phone to complain.

“This telephone conversation will be recorded for quality assurance.” So said the voice at the other end. I fully expected a human to respond after that message, but instead heard an automated responder of some kind with a female voice. Although it sounded cheerful, I began to wonder if the “quality assurance” message was to see if I had a quality to my voice.

It asked me a bunch of questions, and I had to answer as instructed. At one point, it asked for my telephone number, and being how I was talking to a machine, slowly gave my number, distinctly and clearly, emphasizing the pronunciation of each number. There was a pause at the other end. “I’m sorry, will you repeat that number again like so” Then gave me a cadence and speed in which to say the number. A machine was correcting me! Bad enough TLW and little children correct, now a machine had to jump into the act.

After this humiliating course of events, it told me if all the business was done, to hang up. I said; “Thank you” to the machine that embarrassed me!

Wish you could hang up on this blog? Then write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell him: “Get the hell off the line, and stay off. I get better phone conversations when I get a busy signal!”

Sunday, March 09, 2008

REACHING FOR THE SKY


TLW (The Little Woman) left yesterday for Baltimore, which is the scene of a Wedding Shower for one Megan Manning, bride to be and TLW to be herself someday. Megan is TLW’s niece and a beautiful young woman who gets married in May. Harry is the lucky fella.

TLW was very proud of herself, as she pointed out the fact that her bag was all packed yesterday morning, and she was ready to go the airport. She then proceeded to make various trips to the suitcase to determine what was left to put in. When I suggested I put her bag in the car, her answer was an emphatic “NO!” But she was all packed.

I deposited her at the airport with time to spare so she could reach for the sky so to speak. Trouble was there was no sky to reach for. The plane she was waiting for couldn’t land because of the fog, and she was delayed about 1 and ½ hours!

Well, it just goes to show you that the best laid plans on mice and men, if they involve Southwest Airline, go astray.

She called me a few times to give me the latest up-to-date delays and I so noted them. Now I will take a nap, it has been tiring to say the least.

Tired of this blog, wish to have political commentary in stead? Write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell him: “You would be a shoo-in for sure. So, shoo, shoo!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

TLW; A LEADER OF MAN


And I am that man. Yes, she has unleashed a series of orders, strategies and expectations that I must follow. TLW (The Little Woman) was born to lead. You see, God created man (me) and said: “WHO WILL LEAD THIS SCHMUCK? I CAN’T ALLOW HIM TO ROAM LOOSE ONCE HIS MOTHER GETS RID OF HIM. I KNOW, I WILL CREATE A LEADER SPECIFIC TO HIM, I WILL CALL HER ELLEN, AND BY HIS NOSE HAIRS SHE SHALL LEAD HIM.”

Ellen is just a bunch of letters strung together by God that means: ENERGIZED LEADER LEADING EMPTY NOGGIN. THUS, E-L-L-E-N.

This morning I received my orders to print out her boarding pass for a flight to some far off land not heard of ever before. She leaves today, I will be in charge of her prompt and safe arrival at the local airport, and I will collect her on Monday afternoon, promptly. I have certain instructions to fill my day and keep me from getting into trouble.

Unlike me, she will pack right before we leave, and I will be the one to worry if she will make her plane. She probably will leave the last minute possible, and once I get her in the car to leave, she will say: “Just a minute, and go into the house to check something, and I will squirm while she does, I never like to be late, or leave anything to the last minute. Just The way I am. Her, don’t hold your breath. Very relaxed is TLW. After all, she does have a dedicated staff.

Wish you could fly away from this blog, but it just keeps flying back at cha? Write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, and say; “Wait til I tell ya wife on ya.”

Friday, March 07, 2008

WCIF III*, GOODBYE, TLW :(


TLW (The Little Woman) go off this weekend to a side trip with her sister. I will be left alone with #2 Son, a rib eye steak, and a Duke-North Carolina basketball game. Gee; I will miss her!

Reverting to bachelorhood, this Saturday and Sunday will be good for me. I can watch some sports after 7:00 PM, and not feel guilty because TLW isn’t a sports fan. Gee; I will miss her!

Just me and a good old rib eye, marinated in chopped onion, honey, soy sauce, wine vinegar, ginger and garlic powder. We will convene around sevenish with a bottle or two of Saranac Beer and should complete all proceedings with a happy burp. And this is just Saturday! Gee; I will miss her!

My plans also include a drive out to Jones Beach to do a little scouting for a painting I am planning, and maybe going to a museum or movie. Maybe I’ll just get one from Blockbuster or Tivo. Gee; I will miss her!

Then I will sleep late Sunday, go and get breakfast and then read the papers with periodic naps. I have some eggplant Parmesan in the freezer that will need my attention about 4 or 5 PM. Gee; I will miss her!

Wish you could miss me? Write to; joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell him, “Hey, buzz off, see if anyone misses you.”

* Who Cares Its Friday #3

Thursday, March 06, 2008

THAT YELLOW AND BLACK BOOK

Recently I got an email from an old pal of mine from where I once worked, it went something like this:

Dear What’s Your Face,
Glad to see you’re back. What’s that black and yellow book all about in the picture in the cabinet on your blog?
Jan
PS, Let’s not let it get around that I read DelBloggolo

My feeling is that there should be a book on Life for Dummies. One that will help you get through things and maybe get you back in bed safely for the next day’s events.

For instance: You go to a wake. “He looks good!” “Yup, he looks like he did when he was alive, very natural!” “Looks like he’s just sleeping.” You big Dummy, he’s dead!

You are sleeping; it is early morning, your usual wake up time. You can’t get out of bed, why? Its raining, gloomy and miserable out, your body is telling you: “Stay in bed. STAY IN BED.’ What do you do? You big Dummy, YOU get up!

You are in the supermarket ready to check out. There is only one lady in front of you. She has 10,000,000 items in the 10 items or less line, she is questioning the price of something that costs 29 cents, AND, she is paying with a check. Except for the change part of her bill, which comes out to 99 cents, she is counting out in pennies. You big Dummy, you stay in line and fume.

Driving along the interstate, you decide to take a short cut. You zip off and head into the biggest traffic jam in the world. You big Dummy, you don’t get off the road and go back on the interstate.

Wish there was a black and yellow book on reading this blog. Turn the page and write to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell him: “You should be the only one reading the Dummy books.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE ALL ABOUT

Today is my best friend Phil’s birthday. I won’t say how old he is, but he IS younger than me. We have shared a lot in our lives, we bleed for each other, laugh, cry and cheer for each other. He was there for me and I for him when we each lost a child. We celebrated our weddings and our children’s birth. We are not just friends; our friendship is very special. I am his daughter’s Godfather, and he is my daughter’s Godfather.

Phil is the guy that got me from being stoic and shy to dull and boring, and without his help, I would never enjoy life.

We met in 1965, in Mr. Ahn’s Design Class, in the Annex at New York Institute of Technology. We quickly became friends, and have never looked back. He is my brother. No, we are not related, in fact, he is matzo ball and I am meatball. Before we both married, he would come to my Mom’s house every Christmas Eve and have dinner with my entire family, and was a big part of it. I would go out into the woods and cut down a pine tree, put a Star of David on top, and it was a Chanukah bush for Phil.

When TLW (The Little Woman) and I got married, Phil, my best man stood at the altar. Being Jewish, he didn’t expect to partake in anything but vouch for me. At communion time, the Priest gave out communion and came to Phil. Phil was shocked, and opened his mouth in shock, and darn if the Priest didn’t put a wafer in his mouth! (Read my June 18, 2007 blog)

Phil has had his ups and downs, and don’t we all. But he has one thing we all stride for as men. He, like me has a beautiful and lovely wife. Linda is his rock and support, his reason to live. She props him up, lets the air out, and gave him beautiful children. He is a success in life.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PHIL! I LOVE YOU, BROTHER.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

WHAT WAS I THINKING


I decided today that before I die, I want to clean out my office. I decided that after 37 years of marriage and keeping things, it is time to rid myself, purge the dark hidden spaces, and clean up, once and for all! This is an ongoing thing, for about one year!

Doing so requires discipline, which I have very little of when it comes to throwing out things. But when I look at some of the things I saved through the years, I wonder; “What was I thinking about? Why would I ever save this? And, Huh?”

Spending the first hour of the morning was exhausting to say the least. I am throwing away perfectly good hardware and the software that goes with it. Why? Because it is outdated, that’s why.

Old floppy discs, some brand new, hundreds of them, thrown out. A dozen other types that have some info I might want, have to be read, copied on discs and thrown out, along with the hardware.

This is killing me! But I will do what it takes to find the desk, and in some cases, the floor.

Pray for me.

Wish someone would clean out DelBloggolo? Send your request, but keep it clean, to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell him: “Hey, you missed something to throw out, YOU!”

Monday, March 03, 2008

OUT OF HYBERNATION

Today is the first Sunday in March. It is a traditional time of the year I go back to walking, boring, and monotonous walking.

Every year at this time, I finish my hiatus from the winter, and start my mild exercise program until I can go into my pool and do some laps. When I first stepped out this morning, the cold air immediately hit me, and the distance I planned seemed greater than it’s ever been! I thought to myself: “This is a BAD idea.”

What is wrong with me; that I left my perfectly comfortable recliner to do something so bone-headed? Do you know that I have an exercise plan I developed that I feel is quite adequate? It was developed for the abs, and what it is; is about three times a day, I rise from a reclining position and bring the chair to a sitting position, where I then stand up. Three times a day! Come on now, that’s enough! Please!

Actually, the walking isn’t too bad; I get a lot of ideas, walking. The neighborhood helps me conger up perfectly untrue scenarios that I make up in my mind about certain neighbors in the hood. People that I don’t know, get a personality all their own, without the pain of meeting me! I imagine maybe affairs, or some evil that lurks behind a door, or some tryst that would need a lot of explaining. Hey why not, there free, and I’m the only one who knows about them. (Caution: Don’t try this at home.)

Think its time for this blogger to take a long walk on a short path? Then write to: joedelbloccolo@yahoo.com, and tell him: “Hey, Yahoo, why don’t you try your walks blindfolded? That’s right, in the middle of the street.”

Sunday, March 02, 2008

WHATS IN THERE, ANYWAY?

I was reading the disposition that Barry Bonds gave to the Grand Jury in the newspaper and he mentioned that he never went into his wife’s purse in all the years he’s been married to her. It got me thinking.

We will be married 37 years in June, and in those 37 years, I’ve never been in TLW’s (The Little Woman) purse.

Now I’ve been near it, once so close that I could actually look in and see things. Oh, I don’t know what things, but things were in there, lots of them. Once, I even stood over it while it was opened and dropped a set of keys into it. I swear to God. They were her keys and I had borrowed her car. It made a sound after hitting bottom, then a long echo of metal against maybe porcelain.

Two things I never do are: go in her under ware drawer, and her purse. I can imagine what’s in her under ware drawer, but not her purse. That looks personal, and I am afraid to. If I ever put my hand in her purse, alarms with sirens would go off, an alligator would snap my arm off from the elbow down, and I would have a lot of years of nagging.


I do know she has a checkbook in there, half of the medicine cabinet and half a factory worth of Kleenex, not to mention her wallet, lots of change and enough plastic to construct a large split level or colonial house. Somewhere in the dark recesses of this phenomenon of a woman’s purse lie pockets, sections, a long strap, and probably a Saturday night special. Papers, papers and more papers, some in envelops. I saw her pull out gum, mints and aspirin (she carries that around for me) and she wonders why I need them. Hmm.

Her “Bags” change periodically, while I have one wallet for ten years. When I use a credit card, it is usually rejected because we closed out the account years ago that is how often I used credit cards. When I open my wallet and she’s around, I get self conscious, and I don’t know why. Maybe it is the moths, or the cobwebs, or even the dust that flies out. No, I’m not cheap, I just don’t spend a lot on incidentals, and I don’t chew gum or have mints in my mouth. Who do I spend it on? Why, TLW, of course. And I’m sure she wouldn’t have it any other way. (Occasionally I buy myself breakfast.)

Wish you hadn’t opened YOUR wallet when you purchased a service that brought you this blog? Let out your frustrations at: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com. Tell him: “Now I know why I should spend my money wisely.”

Saturday, March 01, 2008

WCIF 2 - DON’T KNOW WHAT A GUY’S GOT TO DO TO GET SOME SLEEP AROUND HERE!

After all those nice comments and pleads, e-mails and calls, I decided to teach you all a lesson and return.

I didn’t think anyone really read this but me. I mean TLW (The Little Woman) will ask if I’m “still writing that thing”. I don’t know really how to thank you, so I will go back.

Thanks a million you are great!

Of course, I will be crankier than ever, probably will have more typos, and will be chewing gum while I type. (Sorry, Sister Mary Hairlip.)

By the way, I was watching the news and they reported a “Bad car accident on the Long Island Expressway” which got me wondering: Did anyone ever have a good car accident?

Wish you didn’t comment lately, wish you could take it back?
Well comment to: joedelbroccolo@yahoo.com, tell him: “No comments, PLEASE!”