Friday, July 31, 2009


To me!

Three years ago today, I retired from the rat race! In those three years, a lot of productive things have happened. I’ve written a novel that I am submitting, I’ve wood carved and painted, and I’ve upped my commitment to NYSARC Suffolk, being on the Board of Governors, representing my agency, and serving on various committees.

Well, all that is fine, but what next? What do I do that will be a project well worth my time? For starters, I‘d like to try my hand at short stories, and maybe another novel. One other thing that looms on the horizon is increasing my artistic endeavors, and put together a nice size collection of paintings and drawings. I’m thinking of concentrating on pastels and pen and inks, too. I have some ideas that I wish to pursue. Who knows, maybe there is a market for my stuff, if not, so what?

I also would like to do one more thing, and that is take the time to start visiting the sick and bed ridden people of this world. These would be people that can’t get out on there own, and would like to have some company. I could read to them, or even just make them laugh. I think it is time I stopped thinking about myself.

I’m hoping to get a class reunion going from my high school, I’ve already been in touch with some pretty nice people, who all seem interested in doing so also.

I would like to maybe expand some friendships I’ve made this year, and renew some old ones, too. Of course, TLW (The Little Woman) may have to hold on for the ride of my lifetime!

Please remember my brother-in-law, John, a nice Polish kid from Manhattan, and all those that need our hopes and prayers.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


It’s official. I got the news in a catalog. The Holidays are upon us, yes, Christmas, New Year’s and Chanukah, have bypassed Halloween and Thanksgiving!

My mail contained a holiday catalog in July. What are they kidding me? I haven’t even gone into my pool yet, and they are bugging me about what I should spend my money on this year, one that is barely half way toward Christmas.

I suspect by August 15th, we should be seeing some Christmas decorations; cards and wrapping paper go on sale in the stores.

As I sit here in my air-conditioned den, typing this, I find it very hard to get excited for the holidays. Yet, this is exactly what happened to me year after year when I worked. This is the time of year when people plan catalogs and mailing for the holidays. As a designer, you have to put yourself into the mood for snow, cold and ice, Christmas trees, and decorations that convey the holiday spirit, one in which you are not in!

So I have to wonder, are the catalogs I get in July planned the day after Christmas or New Year’s Day? If not, how well executed are they?

Every year I seem to think that the season is upon us earlier than the last. This year is a ‘no kidding’ year! This is the earliest I’ve gotten Christmas catalogs. I expect one day, soon, we will be buying our Easter and Holiday cards together. So don’t Passover Easter, and may you have a very merry Chanukah kind of Christmas?

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009



The room was still and dark in the early morning. The alarm had awoken TLW (The Little Woman), in place of the dog’s usual urging. This was indeed a break from the daily pattern of Happy’s whining and sniffing. TLW gingerly swept the blankets away and placed her two feet on the rug and stood at the side of the bed.

Looking down at the dog, TLW noticed the stillness of which the dog lay. The quiet of the early rising, the darkness of the room, and her careful patterns not to disturb me in my sleep, made TLW reach down and gently nudge the dog.

Nothing happened. TLW, with her usual persistence, nudged the dog once again. Still, the cocker refused to move, lying very still, it seemed dead, under TLW’s prodding!

Giving her beloved dog one more nudge, she was greeted with no response.

TLW thought: “She’s dead! I guess she is so old she died in her sleep, and that is why she didn’t awaken me this morning!” Then TLW had an additional thought: “I’ll let her lay here with Joe, and he can deal with it when he awakens.

Just then, the dog sprung to life.

Happy ending to an almost sorry tale, you suggest?

Not on your life.

Let’s get back to her last thought, leaving me to sleep with a dead dog!

Not funny.

Not even cute. Now, I take out the garbage, do all the dirty work when asked (I’m no fool), and put up with a lot, but let me sleep with a dead dog?

I asked TLW that evening at dinner, what would happen when she finds me one morning, in a final state? Would she let Happy sleep with me?

“No, no, with you I would call for help, I would want to clean the room.”

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


In my continuing quest to reunite as many former graduates of my high school class as possible, I made my first contact, Gail, Sunday night, and will follow up on a lead with Martha, another '64 grad.

Gail was very kind and informative, as we rehashed our history for 45 years! Both have had our ups and downs like everyone else. We talked about who died or divorced, and really, who is still left standing.

I think everyone who graduated must have had ‘ups and downs’ or they wouldn’t be human. In case there is someone who has had all ‘ups’, I think we will allow for a small room, where we can take turns that night using a rubber hose on him or her.

I’m looking for a place where we can park our walkers and wheel chairs and have someone help us into the room. Of course, we’ll need an EM crew and probably some cushions for the seats. My good buddy Jim Pantaleno,, suggested: “Be sure it ends by 8 PM and serve something easy to chew.”

I do not for one moment think Jim was being funny, just made plain old sense!

Well, I will keep you posted periodically, as to how well I’m doing and whether or not this gets off the ground.

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Monday, July 27, 2009


All too often these past few years, I’ve been going to high school reunions for TLW’s (The Little Woman’s) high school. And not once has my old high had one!

I decided to try to do something about it! I will go where I have never gone before, and try to organize a reunion before the end of the year! Can I do it? I don’t think so, but here goes!

If I can get all the people together, about 150, by mid September, I would then figure on December as the target month, maybe after the 1st. Getting a place will have to be a priority, and I’m sure there are guarantees that I would have to meet to a hall of some kind. It would be nice to have it in Bellport, since that is where it all occurred 45 years ago.

I would love to have it, since it would mean seeing people from so long ago: that recognizing them would be strange and challenging.

There are men and women who I have lost touch with and often wondered what ever happened to them. Where are they now, what are they doing?

This is a big undertaking, and if I have to do it myself, maybe I will. Who knows?

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Actually, I’ll be going there.

One night a few months ago, TLW (The Little Woman) came home and announced she and her look alike twin; Lois Cope, from the Wanna-Be Bank and Trust Co., that they were going to an Irish festival of some kind. Yes, two Irishmen with Italian last names were going to Irish it up for the day. They were taking one of the bus tours I wrote about in the past and would I mind? Hell no, when do we go?

Well, it seems that TLW, Toots II, and another buddy Pat (The Patron Saint of Foxwoods Points) from the Wanna-Be Bank and Trust Co., and her husband Bill, will join us for this auspices occasion!

TLW’s instructions to me were very clear: “Don’t go putting this up on your blog!”


Apparently, thousands of Irishman in little skirts will be marching down this hill with bagpipes, while drinking beer! How can I not report that? How can I allow such an event escape the scrutiny of DelBloggolo?

If you think about it, if there were a thousand Italians marching down the hill, they would probably be on recess from some meeting of the ‘Boys’ from a resort at the top of the hill.

I was informed that there would be an Irish food buffet, of both baking and regular potatoes.

Now, Pat and her husband Bill are not Irish. No, like me, they are curios to witness the event, so they can tell their grandchildren about it.

As TLW proclaimed one morning recently: “It’s all set, you, Pat and Bill will all be going to the Irish Festival. You are all wanna-be Irishmen!”


As far as TLW’s admonition: there are legal ways around it.

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


For some reason, I have neglected to mention my lovely sister-in-law, Sarah Manning, on her 39th birthday this past July 4th. I intended to do so, but I think her birthday is so close to mine; I don’t want to remind myself!

Sarah is TLW’s (The Little Woman’s) oldest brother’s wife, and she is only 2 days older than me, making her 39 + 20 days as compared to my 39 + 18 Days!

As you can see in her photo, she is a beautiful but very important person in the world of mushroom news. Being a mushroom myself, she was naturally interviewing me the last time we met. When there is a breaking story on a mushroom, there is Sarah, right there to give us all the details and will even follow up with an in depth article for USA magazine on Sundays.

Sarah is not only a fine mushroom reporter, but also a great wife, and mom, not to mention a great sister-in-law. (She asked me not to mention it! So, if you see her, you don’t know anything.)

Sarah Garrity Manning, came from a large family with a great sense of family values, taught by her parents. I kid you about her mushroom work, but she does have an important job in the industry. She takes her work seriously, and I can imagine her doing a great job.

Whenever she writes something on mushrooms, she will educate you while you read it. As I read, one can often hear me exclaim: “No shitake!” Did you know that Shiitake mushrooms have been researched for their medicinal benefits, most notably their anti-tumor properties in laboratory mice? It’s true. No shitake. So, don’t let me kid you.

Anyway, let me wish and I hope you do too, a HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY To Sarah Manning, mushroom queen!

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Friday, July 24, 2009


I know for a fact, that if I ever throw anything out, my life will crumble before me. It will be like the Holy Roman Empire and its demise. The super-structure of my inner being will be crushed; I will have no link to my past, and no future.

I have some computer stuff that I have not used in years, never will, and won’t throw it out! Yet, TLW (The Little Woman) will throw out something because she is tired of looking at it! I admire that, and wonder if I could ever do that.

Watching TV the other day, there was a program on about re-decorating home office space. There was this desk, clean of anything and behind it a credenza, with just a computer screen and keyboard. There was no piles of books, CD’s or papers of any kind, anywhere! Obviously, that was a fantasy constructed to annoy me. I thought: “Wow, wouldn’t it be (neat) to have a place like that to work in.

When I enter my studio, or office, my blood starts to pump, I see not a mess, but projects that need to be completed, started or continued. I feel alive in this studio, and can’t imagine how I will function when I start the process of debate, that being: do I really need this item?

I once took my brother-in-law Kevin, and his lovely wife Sarah, up to use my computer for a flight back home. I was wondering what they thought of my mess, and of me, but figured, they would understand. I know, I don’t!

My writing, my designing, my glass painting, this blogue, all done up here in the friendly confines of this mess! God I love it! But I will get on track and begin the process of confusing TLW by throwing stuff out!

Next week will begin the painful process of letting go. There will be much teardrops and angst. I will start to cry at a drop of the hat. But I WILL DO IT! Yes, I will. I hear you doubters, you Nay Sayers out there. You think I won’t? You want to step out side? WANT A PIECE OF ME??????

OK, I’ll calm down. I will start by throwing out at least one item a day starting Monday.

Pray for me.


Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Or, How I find Happiness While Getting Wet!

It is early in the morning of my big day. The rain is coming down in buckets, but that will not deter me from my mission: Registering #2 Son with the college that is far enough away to give TLW (The Little Woman) and me some quiet days.

Heading toward SUNY at Purchase, is a big event for me. In the car along the Long Island Expressway, I sing patriotic marching songs to myself, say thankful prayers to; God, Jesus and Mohammed, and single out the Pope and Dali Lama for special considerations, along with all the Rabbis and preachers there are. After all, they bring a message of hope, and registering #2 Son with the college, which will require some effort on his part to get home, is the plan.

Now, originally, I had hoped for his attending Tokyo University, (Go swallows!) or the University of Beijing, (Go Red Dragons!), but will settle for Purchase. As we drive, we hit a snag, congestion from Glen Cove Road to the Cross Island Parkway! I suck it in and think of the greater cause, the day I will deliver his stuff to his dorm room! Oh, happy days!

Lefty is sitting in his seat, the earplugs to his Ipod stuck in both left ears, and not a comment out of him! It may be a monumental traffic jam, but I am enjoying the silence! Yes, soon, he and I will drive up with a carload filled with his stuff, and my happiness! Oh, glory days!

We break out of the jam, get on the Cross Island parkway and sail up to Purchase.

Me: “Now who do you have to see?”

Him: “I don’t know.”

Me: “You don’t know?! Well, where do we have to go?””

Him: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Well, let’s look for the Administration building. Here’s the map I downloaded, see if you can direct me to the building.”

I point to where we are, and he looks and says:

“I can’t.”

I think, just a short few weeks to go.

He adds, “But before you park and go into the building, I have to go to the rest room.”

I assure him he is not alone in that sentiment.

We park the car and look around. We are in a parking lot, with nothing visible! Suddenly from the trees appear three men who must be instructors. I ask where the Administration building is, and they direct us.

Into this beautiful old and quaint building we go. I notice a desk where this young lady is sitting. I tell her our business, and she looks perplexed. I ask her where the registrar’s office is, and she pulls out the same map as the one I downloaded. She looks at it and is confused. SHE CAN’T MAKE OUT THE MAP! SHE IS SUPPOSED TO DIRECT US!

I help her, and she thanks me for the help and says: The building is right in front of a big tower with a clock. Go across to the main road, make a left at the Starbucks and keep going. We use the rest rooms and leave.

As we leave the office, I say to #2 Son: “Did you get all that?

#2 Son: No, I had to go to the toilet, I thought you got it!”

Just a few short weeks, just a few.

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


The other day I went to the supermarket, and purchased some veggies to go with my steak dinner. I decided to go to the self-help check out machine since there were only a few items. That is a place I’d rather not go to, but once-in-a-while I get adventurous and do my own checkout.


I wonder, where have I heard this voice before?


I know her from somewhere!


Hmmm, this woman’s voice is awfully familiar!


As I leave the store and walk to my car, it hits me. She is also working my GPS! Sunofagun! She has two jobs! I get home and put away my purchases, and go to my cell phone to check for messages.


Times are really bad, this woman is holding down three jobs! Plus when she does the GPS, if TLW (The Little Woman) is present in the car, she will annoy her, too! (She gets a holiday bonus for that).

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Sunday mornings usually finds me with TLW (The Little Woman) in the sixth pew from the front of the altar, center right. There we sit and I go through the ritualistic and probably futile attempts to ask for God’s forgiveness.

This past Sunday, there was a young family of a Mom, young daughter and her younger brother, sitting in the pew in front of us.

As the priest spoke, the young man was imitating the priest, his hand actions and even his stance, while the sister watched in amusement. It brought me back to my salad days as ans instigator of pious revelry. I too, entertained my sisters while Mom wasn’t looking. I usually had a target or two that held my amusement, and made my sisters laugh.

There was one couple; an elderly lady who wore a mink shawl to church every Sunday morning. Her family name was on a metal or brass plate at the end of the pew, where she sat with her lawyer husband. This she felt gave her entitlement to the pew, and she and her husband alone could sit there.

Of course, if we got there before her, we would grab that pew, and watch her fume, as she would sit somewhere else. (Good for you, Mom!) When she arrived earlier than us, we made it a point to sit right behind her. I made it a point to be within range! One Sunday I found this big ole spider, climbing the pew I was in. I picked it up and placed it in her hair, which was well coiffed, and watched the spider disappear into her stiff hairdo. This was the cause of uncontrollable laughter from the girls, and I frankly was proud of myself. (This goes as a public confession!)

Then there was the time we prayed the “Our Father” out loud as a congregation every Sunday. And every Sunday, behind the ole girl, I prayed: ”Our Father, who art in heaven, ‘HAROLD’ be thy name.”

Well, Old Roses and Peaches and Cream, would turn around and give me the coldest look! When I continued: “And give us our steak and daily bread.” I swore she was going to hit me!

Confused, tired, angered that this blogue exist. Afraid it will get into children’s hands? Write to your congressman, and tell him: Mr. Congressman, please read DelBloggolo, it will keep you fram making an ass of yourself while in session!


If you recall, I spoke of Brother Justinian on a previous blogue, back in February of ’07.

Sunday in church, TLW and I had a Justinian moment. That is a moment while in church; you do something that would cause you to report to Brother Justinian’s office. Better, you should put a pistol to your head than go to Brother Justinian’s office for disciplinary reasons!

What happened? Glad you are still reading. It seems that we have a Nigerian priest who is 6’ 24” tall, and weight 50 lbs, with his moustache, who can’t speak a word of English, at least that I can understand. The only words I can interpret are Aver (ever) and Bluuud (blood). Today he decided to give a speech or sermon if you will on the history of either Samarians, Samoans, or maybe it WAS: Girl Scout cookies.

As we sat there, I thought of how lucky I am to be deaf, not being able to hear, let alone understand the sermon. Being how this is so, I thought about Sir Winston Churchill, as a member of Parliament, who berated another minister for turning up his hearing aid. It seemed that Sir Winston felt that you shouldn’t put yourself at a disadvantage in those circumstances.

At one point, TLW, (The Little Woman) whipped out a small notepad and started to scribble something. After scribbling, she handed me the note. At first, I thought it might be a prescription for ugliness, but no, she wrote: “This is torture.” Being my religiosity had taken over, I responded in an appropriate manner, in keeping with the circumstances. Grabbing the notepad, I responded: “Amen!”

Immediately after making that notation, I could almost feel Sister Hairy Mary breathing down my neck, as she whisked my off by my right ear to the principle’s office of Brother Justinian.

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Monday, July 20, 2009


A lifetime of happiness!

A while back #1 Son sent #2 Son an Ipod. It was an outright gift, and for money spent, it was well spent!

Every once in a while I am trapped with #2 Son in the car. When that happens, he will always direct the talk toward how I am a white man who should apologize for slavery, the poor illegal immigrants, or the fact that we have laws, which keep ‘people’ in jail. He also feels that I should give my money away freely to all the poor, and somehow it is my entire fault that there are third world countries!

My blood will boil, my teeth will grit, and my temper soars, waving at a space launch as it passes it by. We don’t always agree.

But, relief at last! #1 Son has sent Mr. Anarchy something to keep him quiet while I drive, it even plugs into both his left ears.

The whole trip was peaceful, serene, and just plain old nice! Just like before he was born! So to #1 Son I say: THANK YOU, OH, THANK YOU, AND PEACE BE ON TO YOU, AMEN!

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

23 GOING ON 19

TLW (The Little Woman) and I have a meeting every evening at the dinner table. The conversation runs the gamut of “How was your day?” to “Is he home?” (#2 Son.) These conversations are to foster communication within the family nucleus. Now if you think I know what I just wrote, don’t bet on it.

Anyhow, keeping the lines of communication is always positive, and it helps us see what frame of mind we are in. By the way we carry a conversation, the body language and the tone are all important clues to how the evening will progress, in which we will both fall asleep on our chairs and go off to bed anyway.

The other evening, TLW referred to a “young man” who she works with. Sometimes her attachment to details can be overwhelming.

“We have this young man who is working in the Wanna-be Bank and Trust Company. He is 23, but really looks only 19!

Me: “Hmmm.”

“Yes, he is studying to be a platform person (As opposed to being a floor or stair person), but he is 23 and really looks 19.”

Me: “Uh huh.”

“He’s a very good looking young man, and works hard, but he is 23 and really looks 19!”

Me: “Oh!?”

“Now, what was I saying?”

Me: “That he is 23 and really looks 19.”

“Oh! You were paying attention!”

Me: “No, just a lucky guess.”

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


TLW (The Little Woman) and I are feeling the effects of age. Years ago, when TLW was pregnant, I feared sympathy pains, and maybe even symptoms that she had! Now it is a little different. No, she is not pregnant, but neither am I! Just hurting from the process of getting older, is confusing us!

One day last week, while we were watching the TV, one of us made a noise, “ OWWW!” since we were both in a twilight state, I wasn’t sure who it was! I looked at her, she looked at me, and we decided at least one of us DID make the noise, which spoke for both of us. We spend our evening comparing aches and pains, and we seem to have the same ones.

Dinner has become a dwindling event! Yes, that thing I hold dear to my heart, which resides in my stomach, has become somewhat of a chore! I can only eat a part of what I used to devour, and wind up saving it for another meal. Leftovers were unheard of years ago, now they are welcomed, I don’t have to cook!

We both start to pray that bedtime will come quickly, so we can “get comfortable.” Bedtime is any time after 9:00 PM. That makes it official. If we go to bed any sooner, we feel like old fogies, and that it is too early. Once the magic time was 10:00 PM, and I can even remember 11:00 PM!

I think the problem lies in the fact that we just stop after dinner, sit and let the TV take over. I’ve tried reading after dinner. But distractions make that a burden. The dopey dog needs to go out, the garbage cans have to go to the front, etc. I would like to go out, maybe visit people or go to a movie, but TLW won’t buy that. Of course, I don’t want to go out alone, so I nestle in and fight sleep.

I was thinking, maybe I need to start smoking, drinking and eating like I used to, you know, get back into shape! Yes, that would give me the impetus to withstand the later hours, since I would have something to live for! You know, there ARE people like that that live into their 90’s and 100’s!

But I look at TLW, and I am reminded of that old thought: “Come grow old with me, the best is yet to be!” So, I will lean back in my recliner, and make strange noises, or is it her who makes them?

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Friday, July 17, 2009


I was looking at my calendar for the next few months, and discovered for a retired person, I am very busy. It seems with my editing of my book, and the book I’m designing, plus trips to the doctor on behalf of my daughter, and trips to SUNY Purchase on behalf of #2 Son, there is no time to retire!

I’m behind in my afternoon naps, gardening and new creative ideas! I haven’t even gotten into the pool yet this summer! Come to think of it, I haven’t even snacked properly! I wanted to start to get the house ready so we can sell it in a year or two, and there are rooms I wish to redo.

I’m not even getting up late in the morning! What gives? I’m committed to AHRC Suffolk with Board and committee stuff, and I’m rushing to make dinner! How is that all possible? Where is my leisure? I’m even scheduling two different appointments a day now! Hey, I NEED A REST FROM RETIREMENT!!

This is now the time of year where we start to go places. There are a few trips we are making, and I’m worried I might need a vacation from all this!

One thing I will tell you, it sure beats going to work every morning, facing the traffic, disgruntled underlings and meetings in conference rooms that put me to sleep. Nothing in my life is mandatory, unless I make it so. Not a bad deal when you think about it.

So, stop listening to me complaining and get back to work!

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Today’s blogue comes in the form of an email sent to me by one of my sisters, Mary Ann the airline stewardess.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Australia has said what I feel best. I don’t like to get political in this blogue, but here is an exception. I feel he is right on.

Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks..

Separately, Rudd angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. Quote:
'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians. '

'This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom'

'We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society . Learn the language!'

'Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.'

'We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.'

'This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'..'

'If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here.. So accept the country YOU accepted.'

Maybe if we circulate this amongst ourselves, WE will find the courage to start speaking and voicing the same truths.


Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Sitting in the waiting room, I was busily doing a Sudoku puzzle, when suddenly the door swung open. In entered a young mother and two young rug rats. The little girl was charming and well behaved, and the little boy was on the fast tract to strangulation. Screaming, hanging on his mother’s arm, running and jumping, he finally banged into my chair. At that point, I gave him a cockeyed look and his mother came to rescue him from my clutches. I wouldn’t hurt the little darling, but I did stick my tongue out at him. Scooping him up she dragged both the kids out of the waiting room.

As I waited, a man entered about my age and made an announcement to the girl behind the window: “Hello, I’m George Mimone, and I’ll be your new patient!” I thought, “Big frigging deal, everyone stand and give this guy a round of applause!”

Finally, the nurse calls me into the examining room, but first I have to make a pit stop at the scale and offer a urine sample. I’m told to wait outside the toilet until the person ahead of me is done. I wait. I wait some more. I wait irritated, I wait impatiently, I wait almost till the cows come home. There is fiddling with the doorknob, there is water running, I still wait. I wonder to myself, “How hard is it to pee in a cup? COME OUT YOU MORON. He finally comes out, and it’s my doctor!

I figure this should be an easy visit, since all I’m suppose to do is submit a urine sample for the doctor to check, so he can send me on my way.

DR. STRANGEGLOW: “Look at this lab report! It’s negative!”
Me: “That’s good, no?”
DR. STRANGEGLOW: “No, it means that something has happened, you didn’t have a bladder infection, come into my office to discuss this.”

DR. Strangeglow then gives me a long explanation as to the possibilities and what they mean. All sound pretty nasty and I’m now depressed!

So, for the next three weeks, I have to go to a lab and submit samples for the lab to send to him.

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Yes, the Macaroni man has popped the question! No, not “what’s for dinner, or what time are the Mets/Jets playing?” but THE question, you know, “Will you marry me?” And, Kim, said, “Yes!” Hey, someone has to do it.

Chris, the Macaroni Man, loves sports and macaroni, well, we discovered he loves something else even more, Kim. And what’s not to love? A sweetheart of a gal, Kim fits in with the family like she was born one of us. Beautiful, sweet, and kind, she reminds me a lot of me, only with long hair. Ask any of my four sisters, and they will tell you the same thing! Just like me. Really.

I’ve been waiting a long time for this to occur. When two good people like that get together, life looks hopeful, things are beautiful, that is good news, for a change.

Kim is a banker, giving out money, taking in money, and learning new ways to make money. Chris is a teacher. Teaching how to add, subtract and divide. He hopefully will apply his multiplication skills someday, and go back to adding. But for now, let there be music for Kim and Chris!

Coming over Sunday to watch the Mets and have dinner, Chris took Kim and we celebrated her new ring, toasting them with glasses that were 69 years old, or least the last time they were used was 69 years ago! The glasses were TLW’s (The Little Woman) parents champagne glasses, so that marriage lasted, so why not? It was TLW’s idea. I think the happy couple will last a long, long time!

My sister Mary Ann, Chris’ mother, will be happy as we all are. I wonder if anyone will tell her?

PS, the union will be good, because the Mets won for a change!

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Every now and then, about once a month or more, I hear from or call my good buddy Phil. MGBP, and I have known each other since 1965, that’s 44 years as best friends! It is one of the true treasures in life to have a best friend, let alone for over 40 years!

Phil and I met in January of ’65 at the New York Institute of Technology. He is my daughter’s godfather, and I am his daughter’s godfather. He was my best man, and I was his. When my son passed on, he was there, and when his daughter passed on, I was there for him. This is how it goes, always. He could be in California or Florida, if he needs me, I am there for him, and I know he is always there for me.

He and I are lucky, we have married wonderful women, and if you have ever met them, you would understand. Linda has been around Phil, encouraging him, giving him a happy life that he richly deserves. Phil has always cared about people, treats my mother like his, and always will ask how she is, sending her cards and whatnot.

When we were single guys living at home, he used to come to my house for our Christmas Eve dinner of seven fishes. Being he is Jewish, I would go out into the woods and cut down a small pine tree, and put up a Star of David at the top in his honor. He would come into the house, and like any member of the family, fall right in and eat and drink! Life was good!

Recently he warned me to be alert for a package in the mail. He said it was not a big deal, just a little something. It came the other day, and maybe it wasn’t a big deal to him, but to me it was a treasure! It was a coffee mug with my mug on it, and what really made me happy, was a mouse pad, with a picture of him and I when we were just young guys in our twenties! In it I am mugging for the camera, and he is trying to make me look even sillier. I don’t want to use it for fear of wearing it out! That is how much I love the pad!

We have had some great times together in our college years, then again when we married, always laughing, wise-cracking with each other, and physically torturing each other. But we always looked out for each other, because we love each other as brothers. We both know that life is short, so we live it up.

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


TLW: “Well, what do you think?”

Me: “ I think so.”

TLW: “You’ll be able to handle it?”

Me: “Sure, why not? How high do you want it?”

TLW: “Up to here. How long will it take?”

Me: “I’m not sure, its maybe a two swear job,” (English and Italian.)

We decided to give it a try. The wall mount was sitting in the box in our den since the bladder infection, and now it was time to mount it and attach the TV in our bedroom.

Bravely I took out my tools and surveyed the situation, trying to imagine every possibility of things going wrong. I checked for studs and got my pencil out and started to measure. Carefully marking where the screws would go, I took out the mount and laid out the screws and instructions. This time it would be different, I thought. I would keep my temper, if something goes wrong, I would correct it.

I look at the instructions, and they clearly read: “Instructiones para la…” Wait a minute: this is in Spanish! They also have them in French, which I don’t speak, and besides, I don’t come from Haiti either. Finally, I find the English version. OK! We are on our way! Life is good, once again!

I took out the first bolt to mount, and discovered, I couldn’t. I didn’t have a tool that would fit the 10 mm bolt head! What the hell is this? Why the hell do I have a 10 mm bolt head? Isn’t this America?

Off I go to Sears, to find a tool that will fit the bolt head.

$10 later, I’m home with the new tool. How do you get this thing from the packaging? It is welded in plastic, thick heavy plastic.

Up I go to the bedroom and start to work. The heavy screws go in, but become hard to turn by hand about half way in! TLW (The Little Woman) brings in a monkey wrench to grip the tool to turn it. I finally mount all three. So far, so good, no swear words, not even in English! We attach everything else, and set up the TV. We lay on the bed to test for sight and clarity. All is well!

I go into my studio to work, and TLW says: “I think it is a little low.”

Me:“©¨ˆ¥ƒø∆˜• ∫πø∆ˆπø˚πˆøπˆ˙∫¬∆ˆ∫¬ˆ¨†˚…¬…æπø¥§ §∞•˙∆˙¬˙∆µ ∆“ 𠆶ø• ˆˆø∆…ˆ ˆø∆ø•¥π˙… øˆ…ø•¥–ø πøπª æ …ø•¥–ø πøπª æ π˚π˚“π“π …¬˚ …¬˚–º–º–º“πˆ‘ª∆“¨∫´ ∂çøˆ˜‘776=”

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


You know by now, if you are a regular reader, about my bladder infection. I have been amazed by how many people have had urinary tract infections, and mistaken them for bladder infections! It seems that everyone I speak to, has had a problem of some sort.

The advice I get from people runs from family, friends and associates, and all of it is varied! The assumption is that the infection means it is a stone lodged somewhere: that needs to pass.

The advice runs from drinking a lot of water, drinking a lot of cranberry juice, drinking clear liquids, and no alcohol, to drinking beer, “it helps”, and it does!

TLW “The Little Woman” has researched it, her crack staff of medical advisors at the Wanna-be Bank and Trust Company have all weighted in, and all ask the same question: What did the doctor say, followed by: The doctor didn’t say anything!”

Yes, the doctor did not tell me to treat this like a stone, but did give me a medication to fight the infection (Ciprofloxacin HCL). My thinking is the darn thing could be a stone, since the pain is persistent, and unrelenting! It comes in waves, stabs me, then sometimes leaves, and sometimes I have to chase it with an ibuprofen, or two.

Now I like to get stoned occasionally, but I don’t want any help from some unknown source.

Of course, #2 Son had to ask how I was feeling.

Him: “How are you feeling?”


Him: “You know, you probably have a kidney stone!”


They really, REALLY hurt, when you pass them!”


Him: “Yea, you gotta go to the hospital to do it, and it really, REALLY hurts!”

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Friday, July 10, 2009


The First Annual Blogger’s Association of Bushwick, Brooklyn, met for it’s annual meeting. If I may be so bold as to say, it was a resounding success. All the membership appeared, along with their beautiful spouses, and all had wonderful time, and a nice, pleasant evening.

You know it takes some courage to meet me on an empty stomach, if you have never before done so. But to read what I write and then meet me, that is large, big time courage, especially if you live in a sane place like Staten Island, and drive out to Long Island!

But I must say, I personally had a great time. Meeting both Jim and his lovely wife Jasmine, we hit it off before we even shook hands. As I parked a little past the restaurant: Calagero’s of Garden City, TLW (The Little Woman) and I started to walk toward the restaurant, and from a distance, we spotted Jim and Jasmine, and started to wave! They are very warm people, and we embraced like old friends. I guess it was the old Brooklyn kinship, or maybe it was the Italian in us, or maybe we were just hungry and wanted to hurry up and get inside to eat! (Again, the Italian in us!) We could recognize each other by our blog pictures, and the long line of police, following me.

Once we sat down in the restaurant, it was a very long time before anyone ever thought about ordering! The four of us immediately hit it off, and started to talk like we knew each other a long time, never considering the menu. The staff at the restaurant was very courteous, attentive, and the food was excellent, never rushing us or annoying us until a large party appeared, and then they suggested that the kitchen might get very busy, so it was a good time to order.

Jim produced his little Our Lady of Lourdes memory book, with all the signatures of classmates and teachers, and we reminisced about the teachers we had in common. Jim and I had a Jack Daniels Manhattan each, and toasted the moment.

Two wonderful and unpretentious people, my kind of people were the Pantaleno’s.

Good for me.

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


Well, when I was a young man never been kissed
I got to thinkin' it over how much I had missed
So I got me a girl and I kissed her and then, and then
Oh, lordy, well I kissed 'er again

Because she had kisses sweeter than wine
She had, mmm, mmm, kisses sweeter than wine
(Sweeter than wine)

Well I asked her to marry and to be my sweet wife
I told her we'd be so happy for the rest of our life
I begged and I pleaded like a natural man
And then, whoops oh lordy, well she gave me her hand

Because she had kisses sweeter than wine
She had, mmm, mmm, kisses sweeter than wine
(Sweeter than wine)

If you must know the truth, I didn’t beg her to marry me, however I was ready to! I would have done anything, both lawful and unlawful to make myself this happy.

Who the heck am I talking about? Why TLW (The Little Woman) of course! You see, today is her birthday! It’s amazing, how she stopped aging when she married me! TLW is the starter of everyday life in my household. When she is gone, it is empty. You could fill an auditorium with people, but to me, if she is not there, it is empty.

I often read how men stray from their wives, how marriages can sour, and sometimes couples divorce. I won’t judge those men because I didn’t live their life. These things happen for whatever reasons, and tragic, unfortunate events unfold. But, when you have a wife like TLW, you go home on time, and maybe even a little earlier. There is no need for other company, and that has been true for over 38 years! Being happy is very simple living with TLW.

She may steal all the blankets and sheets, and try to blame me, she may tell me on occasion to: “Go ‘poop’ in your hat”, and we have had our differences, but when the air clears, I’m either laughing at her or buying a new hat.

TLW is still my girlfriend. TLW has endured living with me out of love. Motherhood is her calling, and I am ever grateful for the job she has done, especially with her oldest child, me. I savor every waking moment with her, and I don’t need a light on in the dark of night, if she is with me! She has made my house, a loving home, and she has been gracious enough to live with me in it all these years.


Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


They said that World War I was the: “War to end all wars.” Then, before the ink is dried, a crazy paperhanger misfit starts another one!

This morning, I awoke from my slumber, and what do I see standing on the other end of the bed, but TLW (The Little Woman)! “Ah! She’s trying to kill me in my sleep, collect the insurance money, and find a younger husband!” I thought. Instead, I find her pointing to the bed, and the sheets. “God! I hope I didn’t start wetting the bed, I’m still too young for that!” But no, she was trying to convince me that I had taken all the sheets, that it is ME who takes all the sheets up.

I’m on to her little game! I know that she got me while I was asleep, and dragged the sheets over to my side, and planned the rest! Devious, I say. After dragging the sheets, she ran over to her side, and as I awoke from the jostling, she was standing there, pointing down at the bed! Ha! Like I would fall for that.

Before leaving for work this morning, she began by saying how she had to “suffer” the whole night, and decided it was a losing battle. She claimed she was barren of any sheets. Sheet less, but I say: “BULLSHEET!”

Her obvious attempt at making me the sheet eater, is not going to work, and I will remain ever diligent in my reporting of this injustice and cruelty to my person!

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Having moved from Brooklyn was a trauma for yours truly. Having lived all my life in the cement jungle of the city, moving to the burbs was a bit of an ordeal. We moved into a neighborhood that was not completed yet. No grandmother around, and where the heck was the subway? There were big dirt piles all over the neighboring area, with dirt roads with big muddy lakes. One had to walk a while to find a paved road, let alone a sidewalk! Homes were still being built!

Of course, it was up to me to find a store for Mom, since she didn’t drive, and we needed food. Dad was away in the city, and so I became the pioneer. “And while you are out there, see if you can find a church.” Mom commanded.

Off I went in one direction, strictly by my senses. Pointing my nose south, I headed that way and found a main road, (Montauk Highway) with traffic, with some commercial enterprises. Along with the find was a strange dog, which was snarling and following me! I was licked once by an Irish setter, (No offense, Toots) and when I was, I cried! This was 54 years ago! I was amazed by the lack of civilization, and quickly became worried that there was no TV in the area! All I could actually see was trees, grass, and old worn out gas stations, with big signs on them. After making the only turn heading west, I decided I would walk a while, and after no luck, would retrace my steps. I was missing Curiale’s and Butlers deli markets! Not even a Spinner’s in the area, this was the boondocks! My feet were starting to hurt when I finally came across a place that looked interesting. “Gene’s Supermarket”, the sign said, and I went in.

There standing behind the counter was this nasty looking old lady who eyed me suspiciously. I went to the bread section and got a loaf of sliced bread, and quart of milk and I think some baloney and mayo. She eyed me in her pink flowered cotton apron, watching my every move. Barely standing with her grey head over the counter. She must have thought that I was going to rob her. I was a stranger, probably one of ‘those city kids’.

No smile was emanating from the lady. No acknowledgment that I was a customer, and no trust that I was honest. Feeling very alone and strange, I placed the groceries on the counter and waited for her to tally it all up. Still no smile from grandma, as she rang me up. I tried smiling, but was greeted with disapproval, and almost hostility. Paying her, I was about to leave, when I had an idea.

Me: “Do you know where the church is?”

Momma Mean: “What church?”

Me: “ Catholic church.” I replied timidly.

Momma mean: “Oh! Sure! St. Joseph The Worker, right across the street on this side of the road, honey!” She was now smiling! I had made a friend.

Thanking her, I told her how happy my mother was going to be!

When I returned home, Mom asked how I did. “Oh, fine, the store is nearly in Brooklyn!”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JIM The blogger from Somers Street!

Please remember all those that need our prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Monday, July 06, 2009


Wednesday, at 5:pm, I will meet my blogging buddy for the first time! The kid from Somers Street, in the real heart of Brooklyn, Jim
Along with his wife: Jasmine and TLW (The Little Woman) will hook up at Calgero’s in Garden City!

He found me by Googling ‘Strange people’ and my name was on the top of the list. I don’t need any comments here! We’ve planned this meeting to celebrate Brooklyn. Why didn’t we meet in Brooklyn? Glad you asked. I looked up restaurants in the old neighborhood, and all require you leaving your weapons at the door with the owner.

Well, we will relive memories of our school, Our Lady of Lourdes, the beatings they administered, along with learning good penmanship, and obedience.

Jim lived around the corner from me, and we have never met before. I would bet we have seen each other when we were younger, but no introduction. Jim also shares a birthday week, one day after mine, and so we will get together in the true Italian tradition, by breaking bread.


Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John

Sunday, July 05, 2009


As if things aren’t bad enough, TLW’s (The Little Woman) sister Maureen’s husband Steve, a likeable guy by anyone’s standards, had a scare the other day. We all had fears, and I didn’t want to say anything here, until I knew, one way or the other. Turns out, everything is fine, and so we all go on.

Steve is an old engineer from the old school of life. Came from a nice family, and raised a nice family with his school teacher wife, and carved out a section of Connecticut to call their own for some 40 past years.

If you know Steve, and have a piano, he will impress you with the piano tuner he carries in his breast pocket! For years, being he is Sicilian, I naturally figured he was packing heat, but no, it is a piano tuner.

Once many years ago, when they showed up for a visit, Steve strayed toward the piano. Leaning up against it, he asked if I play. He then reached into his breast pocket, as I dove for cover. Whipping out the tuner, he saved me about 90 bucks.

Steve has a brother, Eddie, who successfully went through by-pass surgery, so congratulations to Eddie! Eddie is another member of the Cosa Gilardi clan of which I write. Actually, they are the farthest from gangster life I could imagine, and give Italians (ok, Sicilian) a good name!

By the way, another nice handmade card from Maureen, which will go into my collection of cards, along with last years card, and the lovely Courtney, #1 Son’s girlfriend, who made a card for the family for Christmas.

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Saturday, July 04, 2009


Yesterday I went to my doctor, and almost died of old age, waiting to see him! He seems to be very busy when I hurt the most.

Walking gingerly, I go into the examining room and sit on the chair, since my back was killing me, I didn’t want to sit on the examining table.

Finally, he shows up! “Why are you here?” he asks, and I repeat for the third time, once when I got the appointment, once with the nurse, and now him. “I got a booboo in my tummy." “Where?” I point to where and he says” “That’s your bladder.” I think, this is good, he went to his anatomy classes, and now he wants to impress me with what he learned. He looks at my ‘pee test strip’ and says: “Oooh, you have a lot of blood in your urine! And, your temperature is up!” I come right back with: “Oh!” “Yes, see, this should be pink, it’s green! Go into the x-ray room. ” I go into the Xerox room and wonder why no one is coming, then, I realize my mistake. I find the x-ray room and his assistant comes in and says drop your pants and lay on the table” Now she is a kindly old woman, but I don’t think I want to do that with her! I get on the table, and she places a paper blanket over me and starts to dig into my bellybutton, while adjusting the x-ray machine. “The doctor will be right in.” Famous last words.

Laying there in agony, after 20 minutes, he finally arrives. He digs into my bellybutton, and calls in his assistant. “You ought to know this! The blue side goes in here, and this isn’t even locked in!” “I’ll try to do better the next time.”

He shoots and says: “Meet me in my office.”

I wait in his office. I think: “Is it cancer, a stone, am I going into the hospital, do I need to say ‘goodbye’ to all my family and friend?” I look around his office, read his diplomas, look at all the samples that are stacked against his wall, watch his computer monitor and wait some more. I think: I wonder if I’ll survive for one more birthday? Maybe I’ll go on my birthday! Hum, wouldn’t that be a kicker, one date covers all!” He finally shows up. I wonder where the x-ray is. Then he puts on his monitor, and there I am, in bones! “Is that me?” “Yes, it is. It looks pretty good, just that blood in your urine. Come back in a week and a half so I can check it out. Meanwhile you have a bladder infection!”

I go home and call TLW (The Little Woman). I tell her all, and she then calls me back. “I was consulting with my medical staff her at the Wanna-be Bank and Trust Company. Doug says he had a kidney stone and had to drink a lot of water, and Lois says to drink a lot of beer. She says that helps!”

Me; “Tell Doug thanks a lot and Lois that I love her.”

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Friday, July 03, 2009


A few days ago, I started feeling a small pain in my lower stomach. It was nothing at first, but since then, the last two nights, the pain has gotten so that I can’t sleep. It is now to the point where I can’t touch it, without feeling the discomfort. It is also affecting my lower back and giving me the start of a headache!

Today (Thursday), I will try to schedule an appointment with my doctor and hope he can take me. I was up all night, and I don’t see the prospects for a good nights sleep, any evening soon, unless I do something about it.

I had tried to take my usual walk, and found great difficult in finishing it, and of course, I have to rest all the time. Here I was kidding TLW (The Little Woman) about ailments, and there I go!

Last evening, we took Happy, our cocker spaniel to the vet for a follow-up visit, and she is at least working out.

As I entered with TLW and her holding Happy on a leash, I thought I would kill two birds with one stone. (There were actually two birds in a cage), but I didn’t have a stone. I went up to the young lady and said: “I’m here for a follow-up visit for Happy, and could the doctor take a look at TLW while he’s at it, as she has been complaining lately?” Of course, I confused her, but what could I do, it was my opening to make a joke. Little did I realize, it was me who the Vet should have seen!

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


The other day, TLW (The Little Woman) and me were walking in the mall for a little exercise. That is what old people do. The environment is controlled, and we can be entertained as we walk.

The walk was uneventful except for the fact that I was getting a litany of complaints due to physical ailments. TLW was running down a rather long list of physical ailments she needed to tell me about. Her motto is: “Misery loves company.” For years, my complaining has occupied our conversations, but not this time.

From her feet to her back, there were detailed descriptions! It finally came to me that I probably need a younger wife! Being how we have just celebrated 38 years, I think I should re-exam the marriage license, and see if I can trade her in for a seat at CitiField® in Flushing. The problem with that is I will need to throw in some cash, and probably a player to be named later. CitiField® seats are very expensive!

TLW wasn’t always like that. I just started to break down from day one, while she is only now starting. Of course, she has reasons for the breakdown carrying four children, while I have none. If I can make a trade, I will miss her, and would probably visit her once a month, to tell me what to do, or how to do it, or where it is.

I will be strong if the trade happens. Well, maybe not strong, maybe a little worried. OK, a lot worried. I wonder if this is such a good idea? Maybe I could get a loaner wife, someone who comes in once a week and tells me where, tells me who, and tells me how! I’d pay for that service. In fact, TLW could tell me which credit card to use to pay for it!

Please remember all those that need our prayers, including my brother-in-law, John.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


I think I’ve reached my saturation point. I think I know all I want to know about Michael Jackson. I really don’t give a darn about his kids, how Elizabeth Taylor is feeling right now, or what some man in the street is grieving over because of Michael Jackson.

He may have been a great entertainer, maybe. I don’t know enough about him to care. He doesn’t warrant the coverage the press has afforded him. I’m sorry, he just doesn’t. He has squandered his money, his health and his reputation, and I should be interested in one more story about Michael Jackson? I should care that Latoya (sounds like a Toyota model of a new car) Jackson is paying a tribute all of a sudden, or that Joe Jackson is viewing all the tributes to his son on the front lawn, wearing a Sinatra hat? If it were Shoeless Joe Jackson, maybe I’d care.

The news shows, and that is what they are now, ‘shows’, are knocking themselves over to report about Michael Jackson, his family and his troubles. It seems they have lost their focus, and their credibility. They sensationalize trivia, and miss the important things that are very much alive in the world today. I would think that the injustice in Iran, the insanity in North Korea, the deaths of innocent people and their prior starving are much more news worthy. The fact that people are losing their homes and sanity because of the economy: has been put on the back burner! Doesn’t anyone care that we are now in a huge debt, one that is growing daily?

TV and the newspapers better get smart quick. People have access to the news via the Internet. The internet is timelier and better presented, and more relevant to today.

Please remember my brother in law John, and all those that need our prayers.