DelBloggolo

Monday, November 30, 2009

BEWARE THE QUESTIONER!


She came down the stairs and headed in my direction, a frown etched in her brow and her mouth poised to utter potential disaster for me. Moving deftly across the den, she now was within smacking range, so I immediately put up my defenses, and paid strict attention. TLW (The Little Woman) began:

“DoyoulikethesejeansIboughtonTV? Ithinktheymakemelookslimandtheyareverycomfortableandthepricewasright. Whatdoyouthink?”

Me: (Shaking with fear) “I like them. I think they make you look VERY slim and they seem to be very comfortable and the price I’m sure is right.”

Yes, I’m a sniveling, spineless coward when it comes to critique’s of TLW’s apparel when she is in it, and within earshot.

This practice has been instituted early on, right during her first pregnancy, and I have faithfully stayed alive, ever since. I also employ this technique when discussing her cooking, baking, and women in general.

That’s right, I AM a bigger spineless sniveling coward than you first thought!

But, my Momma didn’t raise no fool (sound like a sports figure or two making big bucks!) Most married men like myself, know better. I call it the: NO BETTER CONCEPT” It means ‘No’ words must come from my mouth. That plus the fact that I won’t get a word in edgewise, anyway, once I open it!

Cowardice runs in the family, Dad was always on the run, with Mom close behind, usually with a pot in her hand, or any object that could cause bodily harm. Dad taught me to keep my head down, keep moving my feet, even if she IS gaining on me, and keep yelling: “I’M SORRY!”

Besides, as TLW herself said: “I know you can’t answer me honestly, but you are correct!”

Sunday, November 29, 2009

LIFE’S PLEASURES

It was Thanksgiving morning, and it dawned dark and dreary. Grabbing a cup of coffee, I sat down and read the newspaper, while TLW (The Little Woman) had the morning news on. The news was centering on this couple that crashed Obama’s state dinner for the president of India. The newscast kept repeating itself, showing the same pictures of the couple entering the state dinner. By now, TLW was doing something else, and I got disgusted with the news and switched to my favorite channel, one that shows old movies.

While sipping my coffee, I had a hankering for some walnut bread I had made last Christmas, and asked TLW if we had any. She suggested I look in the freezer. I made a call to my aunt in Florida to wish her a happy Thanksgiving, and then looked for the bread. Sadly, there was none in the freezer, and now I had a real hankering for it. I could almost taste the butter smeared on it, so I felt disappointed.

Entering the kitchen, TLW (the love of my life) pointed to the aluminum foiled package on the counter. It was the bread! She found a loaf that was frozen! Oh, happy day it was! Happy, happy, happy!

Sitting down in my chair, I returned to the TV and on the screen was the most perfect movie for my mood: “Roberta”, with Fred Astaire, Ginger Rodgers, Irene Dunne and Randolph Scott. The music and tap dancing along with a few dance numbers by Astaire and Rodgers kept me enthralled and in a great mood. Coupled with my bread and coffee, this was heaven!

I came to realize how much we have thrown away in American society. We don’t dance and sing in movies anymore. Instead, we chase cars, kill a lot of people in unimaginable ways, make computer screens the stars of the movies, with stuff I can’t understand, and enough ‘F’ words to make me immune to it’s impact! Where is the talent there used to be? Did it die a natural death, or did we kill it with indifference? Why was I so happy? Was it because I lost then found an old friend, or maybe met one I never knew existed?

The women were glamorous, beautiful and the acting wasn’t so hot. The men were handsome, talented and the acting wasn’t so hot. But I tell you: they entertained me! They made movies with moxie, imagination that was based in the realities of life, with flair. The movies were seldom dark, and always fun to watch, and artistically well done. Cinematography was an art form in those days.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

YESTERDAY I RANTED

Today, I will give you a gift. It comes from my sister MaryAnn, the flight attendant, and grandmother of Al.

You have heard the term: “Take time to smell the roses.” Well, baby-sister sent me this beautiful rendition of “Il Silenzio” known as taps to you folks and until I got it, to me too. (That’s why I read DelBloggolo, because I’m always learning something, and it’s good for strong bones and healthy teeth!)

The fact that “Il Silenzio” sounds so beautiful is because this beautiful person took the time to make it so. She practiced on that first day ever when she picked up the instrument, and perfected her ability. Long hours and endless practices later, after broken notes and frustrations galore, I’m sure, she then rewards the world for its appreciation of what does matter. (I would pay that talent millions to hear, for her ability and dedication to making us all happy.)

I bet she has mastered her language as well as her art, not like the yokels who make millions a year to throw a football, or hit a baseball!

But you are all out there, working hard, and mastering your arts. You go unheralded, and maybe unappreciated. You work for your families, strive to make lives better, and do the right thing. I have people in my family I am proud of. I would pay millions to just talk to. There are dedicated board members that do wonders and go unnoticed! There is my wife, TLW (The Little Woman), who worries about her children, my sisters and sister-in-laws, all caring loving women, who have achieved perfection and do the right thing. They also teach the right things, by quiet example, as do their husbands and children, who will pass on the baton. You already know how I feel about the parents of children with disabilities. They are my heroes.

‘Il silenzio’ as you know is Italian for ‘The silent’, those that have fallen in combat, or who have died. It could also mean those that are silent, but work as heroes. Maybe that means you, too. Sit back and listen to it, and think about it.

Friday, November 27, 2009

WHO WANTS IT FIRST?


To the wonderful staff and professionals at the Stony Brook Hospital: “Thanks to you, lives are saved everyday. Thank you!”

The waiting room at the Nuclear Medicine section of Stony Brook Medical Center was busy on Monday morning when I arrived. My daughter Ellen was to be checked out for possible abnormality in her digestive system. This requires her fasting. She is given an egg that is made with a small amount of radiation, which she eats, and every hour they take a picture. She must be perfectly still for 60 seconds as the camera does it’s work. This is repeated an hour later, than another hour later, then finally one, more time an hour later. The whole process takes about four hours.

If you know anything about people with mental disabilities, and my daughter in particular, you know they will not follow orders. You might fool them into doing something, but then you have a fight on your hands. Ellen does things her way, no matter what the protocol is: you better follow her instructions.

Ellen is 114.6 pounds, about 5 feet tall, with spindly arms and legs. Dynamite is smaller, but doesn’t carry the explosive power of Ellen. You can at least control dynamite if you are careful. Not Ellen!

Mr. Highhopes enters the waiting room, a man about mid forties, in a white smock with mandatory serious face and pens in his pocket. He relates the procedure he will employ to get the picture.

Mr. Highhopes: “We will feed her an egg with a little radioactive material in it. This is so we can trace the path of the food to see where it goes, and how she is digesting it. We need her to lie perfectly still on a table for one minute as we shoot the picture.”

I start to laugh out loud. Mr. Highhopes is staring at me, quizzically.

Me: “You will not get any pictures from her. She will not cooperate.”

Mr. Highhopes: “Well, we could shoot her standing up.” (That thought occurred to me many times when she refused to cooperate!)

Starting to feel this uncontrollable urge to laugh, I check myself.

Me; “OK, we can TRY, but I don’t think it will work!”

Off we go to the camera room. Ellen is in a wheel chair, being pushed by a woman caretaker, a male caretaker, Mr. Highhopes and myself.

The room is cramped and now, very crowded. Someone brings Ellen an egg sandwich with the radioactive material, and we ask her to eat. She hasn’t eaten breakfast, so this should be ‘easy’.

Me; “Here Ellen, eat. Emmm, looks good Ellen!”

She shakes her head no. “Aw, come on Ellen, eat.” Again, her heads goes sideways, very vigorously.

“For Daddy?”

Now she is really shaking it “no”!

“How about for Mommy?”

She opens her mouth and starts to eat.

Now we decide to liberate her from the wheel chair. The reason she is in the wheel chair is because that is the only way to control her through the hospital parking lot, in the elevators and through the hospital, protecting the visitors: staff and patients form physical destruction if they get in her way.

I coax her up and we manage to somehow worm her into the two sections of the camera. Now all we need to do is get her to face toward her right.

There is suddenly a look, which comes over my little girl. That sweet little girl we all love so much. With her big browns that look up so innocently at me, she suddenly starts looking like Iron Mike Tyson! The look seems to say: “OK, who wants it first? Which one of you turkeys wants to go down in a blaze of glory first? Or do you want to all die at once? Either way, I don’t have a preference.”

I make the first move. (I am stupid) Sweet little Ellen, 114.6 pounds of her, pushes her 200-pound father across the room! The two caretakers are holding on to each other, leaving a large yellow puddle under them and Mr. Highhopes is hastily packing up and heading toward the door. He didn’t wet his pants, but I did notice a large bulge sticking out of his behind as he ran or should I say flew past me.

Ellen knows how to say two words. The word for Mommy is: “Mumma”, and her word for happy is: “Appy.”

As we left the hospital, she looked at me, patted herself on her head and said: “Appy?”

Thursday, November 26, 2009

WHAT A TURKEY!


Ben Franklin wanted it as the national bird, and a lot has been written about it. It floats by Macy’s in the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, and it is used as a derogatory name for some bad thing or idea. Yet, turkey is the one thing most people make sure they have at the end of November.

It supposedly looks up in the sky with its mouth open when it rains and is supposed to drown doing so, (a fallacy), and it is considered stupid as birds or animals go.

The pilgrims tried making it once, and the idea took off in the good ole U.S. of A., before we even knew we were a nation! The Indians (Native Americans, to you sissy baby politically correct,) ate it and may or may not have come back the next year, wondering when the future President of the United States would declare it a national holiday.

Me, I never really cared for turkey, and neither did my grandmother, who would make a turkey for everyone else on Thanksgiving Day, and a capon for herself. Grandma Frances was one of a kind. After the pasta, the gravy meat: Braciola, both pork and beef, meatballs with raisins and pine nuts, and sausage: both hot and mild, then came the turkey, along with the Italian stuffing and the usual mushrooms. After which, we had a salad, pastries, nuts and fruit and fennel, all accompanied by homemade wine and demi tasse cups filled with rich black Medaglia d’Oro coffee. If you wanted “sauce” you got out the Italian liquors. If you looked to cover your pasta, it was gravy. If you sat at the table and said: Pass the sauce” while holding up you plate of pasta, everyone took a turn slapping you silly. (Hey, it was a holiday. We were all in good cheer.) If you added: “Please” we made you eat in the garden with the squirrels.


Grandma had three rules on that day:

1. Bevuta: drink
2. Mangia: eat e’
3. Non fart

Thanksgiving Day was really the set up day. What set up day you ask? You didn’t! Hmmm. Well, the set up day is the day AFTER thanksgiving. Yes, that magical day when the leftovers taste even better than they did the day before. Left over turkey sandwiches, with mayo on slice bread, and left over stuffing on the side. (Either side.)

Usually whoever didn’t make it on Thanksgiving day, showed up the day after, apologetic, stating they missed everyone, and promising not to do that next year.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM TLW (THE LITTLE WOMAN) AND ME!

P.S. The day after Thanksgiving is the day I asked TLW to marry me, over 39 yeras ago! (Poor girl!)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

YOU’RE JUST LIKE MY MEMBERS!


We were having breakfast at our local diner, and the conversation turned to the parish priests. I mentioned that the pastor who is American born, stating that when he gives a sermon, I can understand him, and when his assistant gives it, (who is Nigerian), it is a real struggle to understand.

TLW (The Little Woman) became animated as I said what I thought, her face starting to contort. I then continued that I understood without the Nigerian priest, we would have a vacuum of priests.

“Unfortunately” I continued, “I think they should put out a paper when they speak, about the sermon!”

TLW: “Why don’t you just read the bulletin and go to the mass that Father Dan says, then you will understand?”

“Nah, then I have to go to later masses, I like the 8:30, I like to get it over with.”

TLW: You are just like my members, they complain, and when I offer a solution, they don’t want to hear it, it has to be their way or else, and I HAVE to listen to them.”

“Wait a minute! I’m a member! Aren’t I? You telling me then you HAVE to listen to me? After all, I AM a member.”

Looking at me like she was saying: “What are you kidding me? Me listen to YOU!! Ha ha!”

Well, I’m not just another pretty face, I’m a member, too!

The urge was to ask for separate checks.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I’VE OFTEN WONDERED “WHY?”


I’m sure you all know someone who has gone through college for two or four or more years, and is about to lose a job, may have lost a job or is very worried about job security, I know I do. Then I read in the papers and media about these huge contracts that are awarded to dolts who know how to hit, run, throw or tackle! I think, “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY?”

My Polish Brother-in-law Tom, author of the famous Polish song; roughly translated “Buy Me A Pork Chop” sent me the following. noted:

“I think I have seen this before, but its worth another read”

Subject: WHY ATHLETES CAN'T HAVE REGULAR JOBS...

While Chinese and Indian kids excel in math, science and languages, we invest millions of dollars in athletic scholarships. Below is a brief list showing the fruits of these investments:

1. Chicago Cubs outfielder Andre Dawson on being a role model: "I wan' all dem kids to do what I do, to look up to me. I wan' all the kids to copulate me."

2. New Orleans Saint RB George Rogers when asked about the upcoming season: "I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first."

3. And, upon hearing Joe Jacobi of the 'Skin's say: "I'd run over my own mother to win the Super Bowl," Matt Millen of the Raiders said: "To win, I'd run over Joe's Mom, too."

4. Torrin Polk, University of Houston receiver, on his coach, John Jenkins: "He treats us like men. He lets us wear earrings.."

5. Football commentator and former player Joe Theismann:
"Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."

6. Senior basketball player at the University of Pittsburgh: "I'm going to graduate on time, no matter how long it takes." (Now that is beautiful).

7. Bill Peterson, a Florida State football coach: "You guys line up alphabetically by height.." And, "You guys pair up in groups of three, and then line up in a circle."

8. Boxing promoter Dan Duva on Mike Tyson going to prison: "Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton."

9. Stu Grimson, Chicago Blackhawks left wing, explaining why he keeps a color photo of himself above his locker: "That's so when I forget how to spell my name, I can still find my clothes."

10. Lou Duva, veteran boxing trainer, on the Spartan training regime of heavyweight Andrew Golota: "He's a guy who gets up at six o'clock in the morning, regardless of what time it is."

11. Chuck Nevitt , North Carolina State basketball player, explaining to Coach Jim Valvano why he appeared nervous at practice: "My sister's expecting a baby, and I don't know if I'm going to be an uncle or an aunt." (I wonder if his IQ ever hit room temperature in January)

12. Frank Layden , Utah Jazz president, on a former player: "I told him, 'Son, what is it with you? Is it ignorance or apathy?' He said, 'Coach, I don't know and I don't care.'"

13. Shelby Metcalf, basketball coach at Texas A&M, recounting what he told a player who received four F's and one D: "Son, looks to me like you're spending too much time on one subject."

14. In the words of NC State great Charles Shackelford I can go to my left or right, I am amphibious.

15. Amarillo High School and Oiler coach Bum Phillips when asked by Bob Costas why he takes his wife on all the road trips, Phillips responded: "Because she is too damn ugly to kiss good-bye."

"The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary."

-Vince Lombardi

I don’t have any answers.

Monday, November 23, 2009

NICE TA MEAT CHA!


We gathered in the office of the Director of Public Relations/Marketing to discuss the production of a special edition book for the college’s 100th anniversary. The drive into Harlem was chaotic and nerve wracking, and the steady rain didn’t help.

The building, a turn of the century edifice that seems locked into the middle of the block is a work or architectural beauty, until you enter the portals of 100 years of existence. Suddenly, everything becomes small and cramped. The walls seem to close in on you, and as you climb the staircase to each of the five floors and down into the basement, you get the feeling that maybe, just maybe, there is a ghost or two climbing the staircase with you!

Today I was being escorted throughout the building on a special guided tour, to help me familiarize myself with the history of the NEW YORK COLLEGE of PODIATRIC MEDICINE, and meet the people and students that man the place.



I visited the library, operating and examining rooms, the President’s and Dean’s offices, along with the head doctor of Podiatry, and his interesting historical account of the place, but the most interesting part of the whole experience? The meeting of certain individuals I didn’t plan on meeting! As the Director of Public Relations/Marketing led me to this one room, he slowly drew apart a set of heavy double doors. He invited me into the room to take pictures and there I met them! Approximately 10 to 12 people, perfect strangers, giving their all for the development of Podiatry. They said very little, and never smiled. They were all dead! Stacked one over the other, wrapped in plastic, ready to get dissected by students. Just the cadavers and me! If you ever wonder where the expression: “Giving an arm and a leg” comes from, well half of it comes from the NY College of Podiatric Medicine!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

AT YOUR SERVICE!


I notice more and more every time I go to a restaurant, the waiter or waitress, wearing a nametag will introduce him or herself.

Usually a spunky little gal who can barely speak. She has a mouth full of braces, and a lip filled with skin piercing rings, usually on the lower lip. A big smile is across her face and she says:
“Hi! I’m Spunky, and I’ll be your waitress this evening. If there is anything I can get for you just call. (Try and find her) I’ll be back to take your order. (But don’t hold your breath) Does anyone want something to drink?”

Hold on there, Spunky! Aren’t you going to wait for us to introduce ourselves?

What I should say while shaking her hand is:
“Spunky, this is TLW, the Little Woman, she will be testing you for efficiency, to look for graying roots, and if your clothing is fitting, or you are growing out of them. I am DelBloggolo, I will be writing about your every move tomorrow, maybe even as soon as I get home tonight. (That depends on how much she will annoy me with her service, or lack thereof.) Now, about that drink, make mine a Jack Daniels Manhattan, and don’t chintz me on the bourbon OR the vermouth, and make it pretty damned quick. Oh, by the way, we will be your customers. That’s C-U-S-T-O-M-E-R-S. The last ‘S’ is for service, so don’t leave it off.”

Tipping is the issue. She is friendly because she wants a big fat tip. I tend to be unfriendly because I don’t want to give her a tip. The owner of the place is screwing me already with his outrageous pricing for food and drink! But she seems nice, and besides, let her parents deal with her.

The drinks come for a bus boy who happened to be in the neighborhood, TLW getting a Jack Daniels Manhattan, and me a white wine with a sissy ice cube floating in it. Five minutes later, he returns with two glasses of water!

Spunky, after a vacation and visit to her grandma, brings out the food, asking: “Who gets the chicken coquettes, and who gets the 26 oz. he-man steak with bacon, steak potatoes and enough onions that will make their breath kill all the wall paper in town?”

Attention to detail, that is all it is.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

HELLO JIM, AGAIN!


I decided to drop by the Wanna-be Bank and Truss Company to surprise TLW (The Little Woman), and take her to lunch, the other day. There is nothing like a lunch with your girl friend on a beautiful day!

Through the years, I have noticed peculiar phenomena: the fact that TLW is changing into her Father, Jim. Dad was an ornery old Irishman that decided for himself: what was going to be, and what wasn’t. This is a highly intelligent gentleman who often read the Sunday Times, did the crossword, and if there was any time left in the day, sent the newspaper back to the editorial staff, WITH CORRECTIONS marked throughout the whole newspaper!

Well, the ole petal doesn’t fall far from the shamrock!

TLW: “What are you having for lunch?”
Me: “Tuna salad on toast.”
TLW: “I thought that looked good, but I don’t want a whole can of tuna fish!”
Me: (Pointing to the menu item.) “This doesn’t say it gets a whole can of tuna!”
TLW: “Oh! The one above does, that sounds like a good idea, tuna SALAD on rye toast.”

The waiter comes by and asks: “Can I take your order?”
TLW: “Yes, I’ll take the TUNA SALAD on toast, rye toast.”
Waiter: “Very good.”
TLW: That’s TUNA SALAD, not the tuna.”
Waiter: “Yes, the TUNA SALAD”
Me: “I’ll have the same.”
Removing the menu from the waiter’s hands, she points to the tuna salad, “I don’t want the tuna with the whole can of tuna!”

The waiter is becoming confused and intimidated, since he is a Hispanic, thinking maybe he doesn’t understand.

Me: “Jim, the poor guy knows what you want!”
Looking at the waiter I say: “Go, run quickly, she’ll be alright!”
Me: “You know, you are getting just like your Father!”
TLW: “Well, I AM my Father’s daughter!”

How true.

Friday, November 20, 2009

TELL ME: HOW DO I SAY “NO”?


The letter came in the mail, a plain white business size envelope, your standard #10. It was addressed to me, and it came from the pastor of the church. “Ah,” I thought, “he’s kicking me out of Catholicism, and I can now sleep on Sunday mornings.”

It was a letter inviting me to kick around some ideas for fund raising with him. Reading and hearing about how bad the economy is treating the local parish, I felt the guilt and decided to attend his meeting.

Arriving on time, Father Dan, a rolly polly built man, and I both rolled up to the table and sat down. There was a small group of us, and they all seemed eager. There was a list of thirty items, which had been suggested to the priest, and he laid it out for each of us. One thing that was missing was a golf tournament. I made a big mistake: I spoke up!

Stupid: “How come there is no mention of a golf tournament? I know they are good fund-raisers, having started one, once?”

Father Dan: “When can you start to organize it? And, thanks for chairing it.”

Stupid: “I, uh, that is, errr, I guess as soon as possible.”

There were no cookies, and no coffee at this meeting, only prospects for hard work.

If someone knows, would you please let me know how I can keep my big mouth shut?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

IT GETS MORE DIFFICULT EVERY MINUTE!


It seems that I am running out of time! The days are flying by, and I have things I would like to do, but with all that IS going on, I’m just too busy. This is great, because I am occupied, and I don’t have schedules like I did when I was working. It is kind of a weird freedom! I may have a meeting the next morning for something, but if I don’t make it, so what? Fire me?

With all that is going on, I am beholden to no one, so it is a relaxing kind of busy. My daughter is occupying most of my time, what with her reviews, medical appointments I go to, and my volunteering for various committees and Board meetings, it is a busy schedule. But, I’m a free man, can do what I want about, and do.

My book is complete, yet my plans to finish research for writing another book, is on hold because events keep shaping up that preclude my getting the research done. I am presently creating a mailing for membership, and now, the church is asking me to join their fund-raising committee and give them some ideas.

And of course, there is the book I am designing for the NY College of Podiatric Medicine. All of this is taking a part of me, and I am enjoying the crises of scheduling, and just being very busy. But the biggest tidbit I chew on is the one I do everyday. That is this blogue, my mistress. Sometimes it is very difficult to write about something that I think is funny or important to me. Doing this everyday takes dedication and commitment to you, my dear readers. Everyday I get up early and check to see that I properly posted the daily blogue, rushing to my computer, half asleep!

I just hope you enjoy reading it half as much as I enjoy writing it.

Thanks for reading.
Joe DelBloggolo

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

THAT'S A GRANDMA!


They seem to get younger every year! You can’t tell the grandmas from the granddaughters any more.

My baby sister is a grandmother that happens to be celebrating another birthday. I won’t tell you how old she is, but guess between 21 and 39. I think it is somewhere in between.

Actually, I remember vividly that day in dear ole Brooklyn. Mom said: “I’m going on vacation, and when I get back, I expect this mess to be cleaned up!” She was looking at me, my older sister; Tess, (much older) was hiding under the bed, eating cookies, while my younger sister Fran (not by much) was hiding under a stool. (She was standing up!) Dumb ass (yours truly) just happened to be standing there, so I got the job!

A big fanfare was given at the arrival of MaryAnn, or Marriucia, as we called her. She was Mom’s immediate favorite because she had natural curly hair, and was named after her Mother: Mary.

Dad naturally was worried. Not only another mouth to feed: but one that never stopped talking. We later on moved to Long Island, where Mom brought home still another sister. (This fact started me on my road to drinking.) Poor Dad couldn’t blame that one on a cold water flat, with no heat!

Raising two children and sending them to college, who happen to be wonderful people, she now presides over her first grandchild. This has worked out well for her, since she now can go coast to coast showing pictures of tiny little Al. Her oldest is getting married one of these days, to a wonderful and charming woman named: Kim. As you might not know, we are only accepting ‘Kims’ into the family these past few years. See last October ’08 and the Florida wedding on the beach.

But not having the birthday girl around will be very sad for Thanksgiving, since she will be flying around. No, not on her broom this time, but for the airline she is a ‘flight attendant for. (For you politically incorrect, a airline stewardess.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I REMEMBER IT LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY


In fact, it WAS yesterday!

As I write this, I am sipping a Jack Daniels Manhattan. I do that to celebrate the fact that I did a good thing! You ask: “What did you do?” Oh, you didn’t? Well, I’ll tell you anyhow.

I am helping to organize a 45th reunion for my high school class, the Class of ’64.

Yesterday I wondered: “What the hell I got myself into?” Today, after meeting with my classmates, I get giddy that I’m doing it with their help. Some great people are on the committee. There is Pam, the secretary to the group, recording names and addresses, finding people, and just a wonderful gal to have helping. She has a great disposition and makes me laugh. There is Judy, one of the sweetest people I know, never ever changing her disposition in all of the almost 50 years I know her. She is like a sister that you love for who she is. There is Aggie, a sweet lady that shares her life with an adopted son, and from my remembrance of her, a person who is not only honest, but also kind and sweet. I have to mention Pat, a lady that brings enthusiasm and works hard, who has joined us for the first time.But the thing about all of them is they are competent beings that will make for a successful reunion.

It is really a shame that I never took stock of these wonderful people before. It took a reunion to realize just how wonderful they all are. It is funny how you go through high school, and never appreciate just how good things and people are. For that I am truly sorry. I hope they realize I see it now.

To all the committee, Thanks, I feel confident with you guys standing there.

Monday, November 16, 2009

ITS THAT TIME OF THE YEAR, AGAIN!


With Thanksgiving around the corner, Christmas and the holidays are not far behind. What does that mean? It means that yours truly will now become paranoid. I will spend my nights dreaming that it is Christmas morning, and I forgot to get TLW (The Little Woman) a gift! I will feel terrible, and then the dream will evolve into my being in some public place in my underwear!

If I shop way head of the holidays, I have the fear of forgetting where I hid her presents! I dream some more. Yes, it doesn’t stop, does it?

Then of course, as an artist, I like to make her a handmade Christmas card (now on the computer) that expresses my sentiments to her on that day. I do this because: Why should I pay someone for a packaged sentiment, when I am creative enough to do it myself. The fact that I am saving $3 to $7 is beside the point. That means I need time to come up with an idea, a sentiment in prose, and getting it done.

As we get older (I get older, TLW gets wiser), it becomes harder to find a decent present for her. She has all the jewelry in the world, over the years. Her birthstone is covered in everything including her fillings, so what do I get her? She buys clothing all year long for work.

Originality becomes difficult as one ages: I’ve seen it all, heard it all, and done it all!

I walk into a mall and say to myself: “Hey, let’s be original in there! No cop out, something original.”

This year we bought each other a flat screen TV for the bedroom. It is “Our present to each other for Christmas” as she likes to say. Right. I’m going to take her upstairs and say in front of the TV she’s been watching since the spring: “Merry Christmas!” or maybe: “Surprise! Hope you like it?” How about: I couldn’t think of a thing to get you, so I settled on a half of a flat screen TV to match your side. I’m so glad I got the correct side!”

Of course, she will take it very gracefully, not say a word, and will refrain from profanity (at least out loud), and I will feel like a jerk.

No, this year I will search until all I will be left with is the snap shot of what I did buy, and the thought of will she hate it. (The snap shot will be to see if she uses it within the next six months, something so I remember what I got her!)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

WHEN IS ENOUGH, ENOUGH?


Being the parent of a child with a disability, I often wonder when we as parents of those children, reach a breaking point. Being a co-chair of the Guardianship Committee, I see parents that need to surrender their roles as caretakers, because they are too old to care for their adult children. They keep their faith and I wonder how? Many of these children with disabilities do not toilet themselves, nor do they speak or communicate in any way or form, except to cry! The despair is overwhelming, as is the resentment that follows. They come to the agency, many are too old to even travel, and yet they dream. Some travel all the way to Albany, stooped over, in pain with walkers, canes and still dream for a better life for their adult child. They place their faith in God, then: get to work!

Many people start to question if there is a God, if they should continue to believe in Him, and if it would matter. After all, their child or sibling did nothing wrong, and here more than one is suffering, both the disabled person and the caretakers, and family.

We see our daughter Ellen about twice a month. We pick her up from her home, where she has an air-conditioned bedroom, decorated to the hilt, with reminders of her family all about her. She lives with seven other people, all in similar degrees of suffering, all with the same loving care. Still when we look into her eyes, we sometimes become very angry with God. We start resenting even the spiritual moments we do spend. We see Ellen, and we see innocence, love and affection. We witness her happiness and her giggles when I do stupid things to make her laugh. Then again, we wonder: why?

When we were growing as a young family, it was difficult to accept the fact that the dream was over, that new plans were needed to be put in place, and in a hurry. We witnessed siblings with children, discussing normal growth patterns, and we harbored sadness, were left out of the conversations, and became aware that our lives were to be different and difficult. We saw the awkwardness of our parents and siblings in trying to communicate with Ellen, and Ellen trying back. It seemed like people were saying: “Come get this child, please, I’m very uncomfortable with her.” We understood as her parents, but we still felt the hurt, the second-class citizens we as a young family felt.

But if God took care of all of life’s inequities, what would be our purpose here on earth? How would we demonstrate humanity? How would we be relevant to this world? I know that all those people in the past, in spite of their discomfort with Ellen, were merely human, suffering in their own small way with the disability that Ellen has. No harm or hurt could come to Ellen, and today we see that clearly. But I think I see clearly what God is doing, what he is saying, and what he has done. Ellen is a teacher. She drives home a lesson ever day, that there is indeed a God. He is in all of us, and by our actions, what we say and do, makes us relevant to this world.

I truly believe: that God only observes. I think he wants us to do his work. We must reach down and wipe the tear of a child. We must reach down to help the poor and help heal the sick. We must reach down and aid the elderly, because then we can reach up and become part of humanity, and a child of God.

Many years ago, when my son Joseph was dying in North Shore University Hospital, my wife and I had spent round the clock time with him. We had slept the night in a waiting room, and from exhaustion, we went home to shower and get a bit of rest. As I lay on the couch, the phone rang, and the doctor on the other end told us to hurry, the time had come. We went to the hospital that cold January night, and as we entered the building and were climbing the stairs, a robed figure, sped past us and raced up the stairs. That robed figure was a priest, racing to my son’s deathbed to give us spiritual comfort. It helped. He helped us get a prospective during a cold horrible time.

Is there a God? I think so.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

THE SISTERHOOD (OF EASTWICK)



Before I begin: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MFF (My Favorite Fan). I hope you stay young forever!

They descended upon my humble abode, like locus; swarming if you will, ready to make comment.

Coming down to greet each, as is wise, (we don’t want to alienate three of them!) I paid my respects and tried a hasty retreat in each case. But oh, it was not to be.

They had gathered, or rather amassed shall we say: perched ready to hound me down, and one in particular had fire in her eyes? This would not be pretty.

My crime? I described her driving in my blogue. But the sisterhood would defend her, and I would die if I did not give them the clues to answering in the comment box.

Under great trepidation, I struggled with the laptop, my hands shaking at the prospects of the heavens opening and the ground below me swallowing me into its depths. The gloom was thick; I could almost cut it with one of their sharp tongues, as DelBloggolo suddenly appeared on the computer. Frightened, I rushed through the procedure of the comment.

Pat, The Princess of Foxwoods Points explained: “I had to respond to your describing my driving as playing chicken and hair pin turns, after all, I was practicing for the Indianapolis 500!”

And here I thought it was the demolition derby!

With that, the sisterhood departed to shop.

Friday, November 13, 2009

NOBODY’S FATHER.

You heard the expression: “Nobody’s child”, now let me introduce: “Nobody’s father.”

Oh, I have three children, who all went off in different directions, but one thing unifies them: ‘Mom’. Me, oh I’m that guy that Mom married. It’s nice to be someone!

It seems when the phone rings, it’s “Where’s Mom?’ The urgency in their voices suggests that they would have to panic if they have to deal with me. Even my daughter, who can’t speak, says only two words, one is “happy” and one is, you guessed it: “Momma”.

Even the dog, which doesn’t speak has a certain bark when TLW (The Little Woman) appears. When the phone rings: “Hello?” “Hello, is Ellen there?” and that folks is a call from MY Mother!

Of course, I really don’t mind, except that the kids have to fill out applications for loans and what not, and will call, asking “Mom” what my first name is, and am I still alive!

I still pay the college bills, usually forgive any loans my children may think they have with me, and am always glad to see them, but Mom is the center of the universe, just like TLW is with me. It must be her charm, or take-charge attitude, as oppose to my: “Let them figure it out” attitude.

But I do get a card on my birthday and Father’s Day that says:

“Dear _____,
What can I say?”

But hey, it’s the thought that counts.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

MY MAN MICHAEL


Whenever I call the agency about board business that requires promoting it, I always call my man Michael. Michael is what every company should have, a dedicated ‘go to’ guy, that knows his stuff, and is dedicated to not only his job, but those he really serves: people with developmental and physical disabilities.

The trouble is, I can never reach him on the phone! He is never there. Where is he? Running down a photo, doing a quick photo shoot in some far-flung building that belongs to the agency, or maybe interviewing someone. When he isn’t doing that, he is writing copy or working on the web site.

Happily married to a beautiful wife, and the father of two beautiful children,
Michael has over the years given me more assistance than I care to remember, because I would be here all week trying to stop remembering. Everything he does, he does cheerfully, thinks it through, and thrives on criticism, being how his ego is miniscule. I feel he thinks that he can grow with criticisms, and it makes him better professionally. That is the case; I’ve witnessed it all too often. Mike is a fine wine, aging with professionalism, and always bettering himself for the good of the agency.

If you walk through the halls of the administration building, often you will find the people that we serve, going about. Michael greets them like long lost friends, like they are his children. They in turn recognize him and love him back: they all know Mike.

You’ve heard me go on about the Candlelight Ball. Michael was the underlining secret of its success. Mike laid the groundwork for a great slide presentation with his research, writing and help. Michael should be listed as an asset.

Michael, if no parent or sibling has said it yet, let me be the first. Thank you, not only from me and TLW (The Little Woman), my daughter, and the board of directors, but all those you serve, the parents and siblings and their love-ones. I bet I speak for the staff as well.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A PERFECT DAY!














I love spending my time with friends, and who doesn’t? The people I call friends happened to spend some time with me. They completed a perfect day that I didn’t think could exist.

First: there was Toots II, the lady that works with TLW (The Little Woman) at the Wanna-Be Bank and Truss Company. Her job is to look like TLW, and report to the authorities when I become crazy. She just makes notes and sends them to Washington, DC, where they compile a record on me. Then there is the Princess of Foxwoods Points: Pat and her husband, Bill. Pat too, is a fellow Wanna-Be Bank and Truss Company employee. Her job is to step in for Toots II, when the pressure becomes too much. The five of us took another tour on the Get Up And Go bus tour. This time we traveled to Mohonk, in upstate New Paltz, New York. http://www.mohonk.com/


Mohonk means: ‘Lake in the sky’, and that truly is what the Native Americans (Indians, for all you insensitive Republican Conservatives) meant. Liberals use ‘Native Americans, Asians and are saving the earth, trees and paper over plastic!

Mohonk Lake is one of the most picturesque, natural wonders in New York State, second only to the waitress who carded me for asking for a Jack Daniel Manhattan, only recently! It is not only an architectural wonder, but connects you immediately with the Victorian world that once existed. Taking the snake-like roads to the top, you are immediately reminded of just how beautiful this earth can be.












Bill, The Princess of Foxwoods Points husband and I decided to take a hike to the top of the Alfred K. Smiley Memorial Tower. It is named for Smiley because, after you are done climbing the road to the top, exhausted, gasping for breath, and wondering how the Para-medics will bring your dead body down from the heart attack, old Al smiles in his grave! But Bill and I made it! Yes, we left the women for some peace and quiet (oops) and bravely set off to scale the unscaleable, to reach the unreachable, to go where the brave dare not go, this is my quest…

Anyway, we climbed the long path to the top and reached the tower!

We had a fantastic brunch, which I must say, it was extraordinary in the amount of choices, and they had the good sense to have a lot of chocolate in the desserts! (There is a God!)

One word of caution, the do not allow alcohol on the premises. I was worried they would smell my breath!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

WELL, I’M ON TIME!

Every three months, I go to my primary care physician, pictured. I hate going, because usually I have to wait with a bunch of sick and unhappy people in the waiting room. Of course, most of the people, and usually all of the people, are older than me, waiting. I often wonder how old they were when they first arrived, and how old I’ll be when I leave. It seems the doctor is always running behind, and I am at least a half-hour behind my scheduled appointment before I am called. Then I wait even longer for the doctor in the examining room!

Back in August, when I made the appointment for this month, I decided I would be the first patient. “9:30 AM, Thursday the fifth” said the scheduler. I walked out feeling empowered, in charge of my own destiny, I would beat the Doctor at his own game!

I arrive a few minutes earlier than the scheduled time, and have to wait outside the building: they hadn’t unlocked the doors yet! Oh yes, in and out in no time! That would be me, a model of: time savings!

Finally, they open the doors. I enter the empty office and report to the desk. The receptionist asks the usual questions and I take a seat. On the dot, at 9:30 AM, on November 5th, 2009, I am called into the examining room! Strolling in with a sense of triumph, I head for the toilet to give them a sample of my urine. (I wonder when they will finally buy one? I think) and head to the examining room and sit on the table. The nurse sticks the thermometer in my mouth and disappears. Yes, it is all going as planned: I am running on time!

The nurse returns, pulls out the thermometer and announces: “The doctor is running late, he hasn’t arrived yet! He’ll be with you in a moment.”

Monday, November 09, 2009

“THE ITALIAN”


The other night, TLW (The Little Woman) and me were discussing the local parish priest we have at our church. Father Dan is relatively new, taking over a little over a year ago. He is of Italian descent, and is likeable enough, and I can understand his well-prepared sermons! His predecessor, Father Pat, an Irishman off the boat, was pastor for many years at the parish, and started it. He was a saintly, good man, but I could not understand his brogue and well-prepared sermons. TLW even admitted that he went on too long, hammering the same point: over-and-over, again.

TLW: Did you notice the ‘No Parking’ sign for Fr. Dan? He has his own reserved parking space!”

Me: Swallowing hard my broccoli rabe with cannelloni beans and hot sausages and vinegar peppers replied “Yes” (Hear it comes!)

TLW: “Father Pat would never have done that! He was a very humble man, he would let someone else have the spot, he would shy from the attention and perks!”

Me: “OK.” (The D’Italini pasta went well with the dish I thought.)

TLW: “Yes, he is a lot like my family (All Irish), we are very polite. You know, how you always are yelling at me because I’m too polite.” (True, she would have been the last one off the Titanic!) You and your family (all Italian) are very assertive, and demand your place. (Here she makes a fist and almost hits the table with it.) I didn’t start sitting in the middle of the church until you started coming with me. I would sit way in the back and off to the side! It wasn’t until I married the Italian that I started sitting in the middle of the church!"

“THE ITALIAN!”

I wonder if she would mind eating in the back of the house, off to the side?

Sunday, November 08, 2009

A MODEL CHILD, I WUZ


http://delbloggolo.blogspot.com/search?q=CURTAINS

The above link is a blogue I wrote two years ago. The reason I mention it is TLW (The Little Woman) uses the story about me as a lesson to her class about: owning up to mistakes. I happen to be the main character in this caper, as I am in most mistakes made.

Coming home after her class last night, she told me how she once again related the same story to her second grade religious education class. She entitled her lesson: “When it is NOT a sin!” and once again, I was a shinning example. Please read it, but it requires some sense of humor.

As we had our dinner, she claimed there was a story about her, that I can’t recall her relating to me, or anyone else for that matter. Yet, she could recall other unfortunate ‘episodes’ shall we say, about me.

There is the one about the spider in the lady’s hair. (She was no lady), and of course the buttons in the collection box (White powdered donuts were cheap in those days), and of course my favorite, the impromptu tour of the funeral parlor, conducted by yours truly, for the benefit of my four sisters. (Yes, four [4] sisters!)

Yesterday I related about #2 Son’s ‘water-boarding’, and now you know where he gets them! TLW tells him stories about me, and he tries to top them!

I reminded TLW that although she relates these stories to her class, she should be sharing with me her Christmas presents the parents give her. After all, aside from printing out letters to parents, and artwork for her class: my stories contribute greatly to her curriculum, so therefore, she should share the booty! (It took me two weeks to get rid of the scented bubble bath odor from one of the presents she did share with me last year!)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

GUANTANAMO BAY IN HOLBROOK


If there is one thing I learned in parenthood, it is not to ask #2 Son any questions. But if I really learned this lesson, I would devote this blogue to other topics instead! But, No, I have to continue to ask.

I was in the hall entranceway the other afternoon on Election Day. Suddenly the quiet was disturbed by what I though was a mob scene right outside my door!

“Good God! What the hell is that racket?” I thought.

I race to the door and look out the glass pane. There, standing with her back to me is Kaitlin, a very sweet young lady that is a good friend of #2 Son. She is holding a bottle of water in one hand and looking down at her feet. Looking closer, I see Mohammed Al-Yagoddahbekiddinme, (#2 Son) lying on his back, with a kitchen towel covering his whole face.

I wonder if he is dead, or has had an unfortunate accident, or as instinct is shouting at me: if I should just walk away, pretending I see nothing, hear nothing, know, Nut Ding! Suddenly, Kaitlin pours the whole bottle of water on his towel-covered face! Damn, I should have followed the walk-away plan, or the: ‘Mental Health Protection Plan’ as I like to call it, not become; so #$@^%$#@* darn inquisitive. I know it killed a cat.
I know it is killing me!

Well, Al Yagoddahbekiddinme jumps up and the two of them walk in. Mohammed has this silly grin on his face, and Kaitlin is not looking at me, just staring ahead, avoiding eye contact!

Me: “What the hell was that all about?”
Mohammed: “Watermumble.”
Me: “WHAT?”
Mohammed: “Water boarding”

God, grant me the strength not to ask, and when I do, to turn a deaf ear, or at least not pay attention to what I’ll hear.

Friday, November 06, 2009

THE THREE TENORS


Or, move over José Carreras, Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti.

Well, we don’t sing, but we did make great music recently.

As you know, I’ve been whining recently about a Power Point presentation I had to make for my daughter’s agency, http://www.ahrcsuffolk.org/

Along the way, I decided to enlist the help of two fellow board members, guys who are top notch and will do anything to help the agency, even work with me!

We decided rather than a voice over, we would have a narrator or three to move the presentation along. Now the first guy I will mention, you already know as the famous mattress tester. Again, I will use the name “Ken” to protect his identity. “Ken” is a seasoned volunteer and board member. A former president of the board, he had a great run and only positive things come from him. He has a daughter named Sabrina, who he obviously loves very much, or he wouldn’t be so dedicated. Very involved in the Special Olympics, he does more than most board members.

The other guy, known as Mr. McMeanie by the good folk in Albany, and we’ll call him: “Jim”, has a brother in the agency, and has become a brother to the agency by his hard work, and dedication to his brother and the agency. “Jim” is a doer, not a talker. His actions speak loudly, and he will become the future president of the board. It is a wonderful choice we will make.

We sat the day before the ball along with the executive director and Mike, who I will be mentioning in a future blog to hammer out the narration. Ideas and suggestions were coming fast and furious by all present. Being the bastard I am, I decided to have some fun. “Ken”, made a suggestion, I disagreed with, (it really wasn’t a bad one) and “Jim” made an alternate suggestion: also not bad. I decided to speak up, (something I really do) and said; “Let’s use “Ken’s” suggestion, it’s really not that great, but let’s use it.” The look of confusion in “Jim’s” eyes was perfect, and the response from “Ken” was tops. He suggested maybe I should have sex with myself in not so many words! His smile was very broad!

Well, the presentation went on much better than I hoped, because “Ken” and “Jim” showed up to help. The agency and its board run much better, since “Ken” and “Jim” showed up to help.

Thanks guys, you are the best!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

THE BEST TIMES ARE RIGHT UNDER MY NOSE!


Sunday afternoon was well spent. First, there was the company, then there was the places.

First, Toots II, Lois, from the Wannabe Bank and Truss Company, and Pat the Princess of Foxwoods Points, also from the Wannabe Bank and Truss Company and her husband Bill, along with TLW (The Little Woman) and me, all went to see: ‘Lend Me A Tenor,’ a hilarious play done at a local playhouse in Bohemia called: “Airport Playhouse.’

Now before I go any further, this message is to Pat: [I went right after TLW when I got home.]

Now that that is out of the way.

We went to the Airport Diner afterward, (Where else?) and had a great time laughing and busting my chops once again. Bill is my understudy for corn humor, and fills the gaps for me. He is using some old stuff right now, but I know he is perfecting the good stuff for later.

TLW helped Pat drive from her vantage point in the back seat, while Lois and I silently prayed for some bumper-to-bumper traffic. Not that Pat is a bad driver, no, on the contrary, the hair pin turns and chicken lessons we learned form her on the open road were refreshing, to say the least. For some reason, Bill drove us home!

At the diner, TLW asked what I was having, so I told her the ‘char-broiled’ rib eye. Everyone ordered the roast beef on a chala of some kind, and I ordered a roast beef dip. Of course, this amazed the group since I had made a change of mind, and had to order a Jack Daniels Manhattan as punishment. I took it well!

When I ordered the drink, I had previously relayed the fact that the barber had charged me full price for a hair cut the day before instead of the senior citizen rate, AND the waitress asked for proof! What I liked was that no one in the party was surprised. I guess I have a baby face! It goes with my boyish frame.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

AMBIGUOUS DISCISIONS

Or… how to shop with TLW (The Little Woman)

Most husbands know enough to keep their big mouths shut. Some don’t, or have a death wish! I subscribe to the mantra: when in doubt, place my foot where I chew, and hope I die soon!

Fortunately I wash my feet every morning. I was being led through the tile store, Lowe’s and Home Depot last Saturday looking for styles, prices and ideas for our upstairs toilet. I believe that a nice-looking toilet is a productive toilet. I hate to pay anyone to do what I can do. (Work-wise, that is) Over the years I’ve ripped out walls, floors and ceilings. I replaced all with ease if not quickly. I’ve tiled my counter top years ago, so I know what it means.

As we wish to sell the old homestead, I decided we need to update the kitchen a little, a new counter-top, new paint job, and some small-added touches to make it sellable. Similarly, the upstairs bathroom could use a new face. TLW wasn’t in a hurry to do the upstairs toilet until I said I would do all the work! Suddenly we were in the middle of ceramic retail heaven!

Strolling through the many little toilet displays, I saw this one display that I like for the way it was designed, although I didn’t think it would work in my house. We pretty much agree on the design, color and styles we are looking for. However sometimes you see things that are of another taste, that are done well, I like to comment when I do. I feel if a toilet display makes you want to sit down and read: it’s good enough for me!

Me: “Gee, that looks nice!”

She: “Ewww, that wouldn’t go in our bathroom!”

Me: “I know, but it is nice!”

I see this beautiful molding for the edging of the top of the tile, that although it’s not what we want, is beautiful, none-the -less.

Me: “Wow! That is an interesting color!”

She: “Would that work with our sink top? You said you wanted to stay in a certain color scheme.”

Me: “Yes, I still do, but can’t I look at it and like it? That’s nice! Good detail!”

She: “It’s too big for our walls.”

I’ve been having this re occurring nightmare; we are shopping for the tiles, one-at-a-time!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

EATING THE NIGHT AWAY.


It was the 49th Candlelight Ball, a formal and very festive occasion celebrated every year about this time. This year was also the 60th Anniversary of the agency’s existence. With very little time, I prepared a Power Point presentation, for the event, depicting the history in words and pictures. I had a few pages of narration to read along with two of my Board of Director buddies, Ken Walker (The mattress tester), and Jim McEnaney (Jim McMeany as he is known in Albany). I was dreading the occasion; I really didn’t want to go! All the hard work I put into it, and I felt it sucked!

TLW (The Little Woman), tried to encourage me, but promised that she would pull the car up at the entrance, with the motor running and the door opened, in case the crowd got unruly. Then I would bolt for the exit and make a clean getaway.

My guess is the alcohol consumption was extreme, and the people who viewed it did not care, since no one threw anything! In fact, there was a smattering of applauds, my sister Joanne, and her husband, Saint Don, our guest, applaud loud. I think Ken and Jim reading saved my hide.

The food was a lot, and fantastic! We ate all evening: the cocktail hour alone was a full course meal! It was so much food: I could hardly eat the dinner! My sister Joanne, and Saint Don (Sainthood for marrying into the family!) seemed to enjoy themselves. I was great to have them as our guest.

The lovely TLW and #4 Sister both looked lovely as usual, and TLW won a man’s bracelet at the end of the night. A live band, a great cause, and great company, plus I got out of there alive! On only five Jack Daniel Manhattans!

Monday, November 02, 2009

PET PATROL

She was suspicious, she seemed to understand that she needed to take a stand, and she was determined to do so.

Checking the front door, she scanned the neighborhood, looking for the possible intruders from her vantage point at the front door. Oh, she was cracking down on the neighborhood kids this Halloween; she was on to them all!

‘Happy’ is her name, but she is anything but ‘happy’ unless it involves her eating. I coaxed her away from the front door, next to the candy setup, and gated off the hall way. Opening the basement door slightly, TLW (The Little Woman) and I sat down to lunch. (A great tuna on toast with green olives mixed in) Happy decided to sit on my chair in the den, and watch through the narrow opening to continue her surveillance.

No trick-or-treaters would get by her scrutiny, no siree!

After lunch, I retreated to my downstairs ‘office’ and while TLW went shopping. Deciding to go to my office upstairs to do some writing, I figured my canine sentry would alert me to any visitors.

I go up and start to write, when: “Knock, knock, is heard! Racing downstairs, I see two of my neighbor’s kids in costume. I dole out the treats and run upstairs again. Not moments later, again I hear the familiar sound of candy-starved children. Once again, I run down stairs and a neighbors kid is standing there, in a costume of a vampire. I dump some more candy in his little plastic pumpkin, and go back upstairs. Then it occurs to me, my dumb-ass dog is just like this dumb ass: deaf. Just as deaf as an earless pumpkin!

Soon, another little beggar comes, holding a shaving cream can and a paper sack.

“Trick or treat?” with a menacing look on his face. Just looking for trouble if I didn’t treat him. Well, I treated him to some good ole Delbloggolo treats. I reach into the candy bowl then deep into his paper sack, snap my fingers next to the wall of his bag, take my hand out and tap his bag hard enough to cause his candy to jump in his bag. He looks at me confused, but leaves. I had just snapped my fingers in his bag, and it sounded like I left him some candy. When he looked in, everything was not familiar!

The little bugger (about 13) got tricked!

The little bugger in the picture is Al, my new great nephew, and my beautiful niece, Annmarie!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

IF THINGS GET WORSE IN THIS ECONOMY…

I’ll have to walk.

Not because the money is bad, but the roads are. It seems every road I take lately, is on the mend. Large orange and white constructions cones line the major ways and by-ways, crowding cars to one side or another, leaving me with little room to drive erratically. Even the small neighborhood roads are clogged with big road equipment that seems to threaten the power lines.

It is so bad that my street has been closed off, and detour signs are everywhere. I went to the mall to buy a pair of shoes, and the roads to the mall were all lined with cones! These look like projects that will last for years, since I see the cones, I don’t see the workers. Are they working inside the cones? Where are they?

If the economy is so bad, where is the money to do these projects coming from? Those little buggers from the highway department ought to come out form under those cones and get back to work. I must admit they do appear from time to time. For instance, I was in a hurry to get somewhere, so they got all their heavy equipment, and started to work, backing into the traffic, holding me up. Then the genius with the red flag that directs traffic, lets the other direction go first, then we move, and just as I come to the flag, he steps in front of me to stop me, and let the other direction go again.

One night I was cooking supper, decided I needed onions (I like onions) so I ‘run’ to the store. I should have literally run. I get to the corner, and there is only room for one car to pass, from the other side! I wait, and just as the last car comes by, an earth-digging machine backs into my lane, holding me up. I almost burned the dinner.

One more little observation, they should NOT strew those cones so carelessly, it’s hard to know where the cones make a path sometimes!