Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I got up that morning in early May, went into my shower and then went and got dressed. I realized that the day was to be another test at the doctor’s office, but being it was a cardiologist, under wear would not have to be perfect, so I grabbed an old pair and finished dressing.

A nice shirt, clean jeans and a handkerchief rounded out the ensemble: I was ready for the test.

The appointed hour arrived and off I went into the examination room.

“Mr. Del Bracola? Did I pronounce it right?”

The whince of my face led her to believe otherwise, as I corrected her.

“Today, we will be testing you with a sonar gram, have you ever had one before?”

“I don’t think so.” (This is a very intelligent answer to give when one is not sure.)

“OK” the attractive woman, said, “now take off your pants”

I thought to myself: “this is going better than I expected!”

Lying down on the test bed, she sticks the paper “Blanket” right next to the boys, so to speak! Then she pulls out this conductor cream and starts to smear it all over the Yukon Territory, including points north and east, again, if you know what I mean.

Trying to not get excited (if you know what I mean) I pretended disinterest.

Her eyes glued to the monitor from the computer, she slowly runs the probe down my leg, (Definitely not my technique) as she starts to mumble to herself. When she is done with my right leg, we started on the left one. This brought up the moral question of at least dinner. Not only that, but who is buying?

Going home that night, I spoke with TLW, (The Little Woman) about the whole episode, and her comment was: “Good thing you are not a young man!”

As for me, I think I would like to ask for a ‘do-over’, since I didn’t have the proper under wear.

Monday, May 30, 2011


I keep on getting unsolicited phone calls from diabetic companies that wish to sell me insurance, supplies and whatever else they have. They call everyday, and least twice a day. I have repeatedly told them that I don’t want their calls, and to please stop. But as one solicitor said: “I’m sorry, you name is in our base, and we are not the only company that will call you, we can’t stop, and the calls will keep on coming to you.” Oh?

Then one day I got a three call day, then that night the caller ID identified a company that had called earlier in the day! So, if I can’t convince them to stop, I will at least cost them some time and money for their efforts. These people who call me pay for the solicitor to call and speak, then wait for me to reply. More often than not, when they call, you answer and there is a long pause, like the caller is not paying attention, then suddenly burst on the phone and says:

1.) “Hello, and how are you today?”

Or, they may try the more direct approach:
2.) “Hello, Mr. Del… uh, Mr. Delbrocchio?”

This one particularly endearing to me.

Then there is the third and more invasive approach:
3.) “Hello, we understand that there is someone in the household that suffers from diabetes, is that correct?”

To #1 I answer: “Fine, thank you, thanks for asking!” then, hang up.

#2 required some patience. “That’s Mr. Dellablasszizziolisimimo.” That left them stuttering and somewhat off their game plan. Or I would just answer: I’ll get him. I lay the phone down and wait until I hear them hang up. (I love this one, it IS quick and easy!)

#3 gets an answer:
“Why yes, that is correct.” Then I just hang it up.

All this could be simply ended by just hanging up, but where is the joy, the fun in getting interrupted by a stranger, asking personal questions and disturbing your thought process?

TLW (The Little Woman) says that: “these people are just doing their jobs”, and that I should behave. Well, I am not stopping them from doing their job, AND that is HOW I behave!

Once I thought I’d try a different approach: “No hablo English.” The bastard spoke Spanish, too!

If you care to comment or send money, I even accept salami and/or pork chops in lieu of payments.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


There is such a thing! Having been in Lady Lakes, Florida, and a.k.a. The Villages, at another recent high school reunion, I had the real pleasure of spending a few days with some old classmates, who are indeed older!

Three classmates in particular, Vinnie Costanzo, Mary Ann and Howie LaBarca, took great pains to entertain and accommodate us with ideas, directions, their homes when needed. The drove great distances to the airport to pick up and then return some of us, and did it eagerly.

Living in the golf cart community of The Villages, we visited with old friends from many years ago, renewed acquaintances and it seems that the old high school spirit is still there. We talked about: grandchildren, doctors, medications, Bellport and ourselves, we never missed a beat. It was 46 years ago was yesterday.

We went to lunches, breakfasts, and dinners and even at one point to an ice cream parlor, where we all gathered outside on some table and chairs to talk and enjoy the ice cream, enjoying the moment.

To laugh is to live, and we lived very well among each other. Oh, there was some opinion about this one and that one, I’m sure an unfounded, unproven rumor was passed at one point or another, but so what, the time was still well spent.

We teased each other, kidded, joked with and even sang together, it was love. Pure and simple love, you can’t beat that.

As we said our goodbyes that last night, someone hugged me and reminded me that I had gotten the ball rolling last year, and that I was responsible for the reunion this year, and I am proud of that.

We are not finished this year. The school spirit, and particularly the class spirit will pick up once again in August, when we take off for a cruise from New York City to St. Johns and Halifax.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Years ago, when I had a large appetite, going out to eat was an enjoyable time, no matter how many successive times I did it in a row. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all eagerly awaited for, planned and anticipated with relish. (Good, huh?)

Then the future came, the pay back time, where I started to notice I always had company in the mirror. At first I thought we had company, then realized it was all me, and only me in that mirror!

As I became more affluent, and dined out more frequently, I suddenly changed my pangs of hunger to pangs of guilt. I would look at the menus, see veggies and low-fat items, THEN: go to the steaks and chops. I was becoming more conscious and health minded, I was feeling the guilt. Then one day I decided to deal with my guilt, and I must say, very successfully! I stopped looking at the veggies and low-fat, and went directly to the steaks and chops.

There is a lesson in all this boys and girls: You can overcome anything in life, with the right attitude, the right frame of mind and always, always be prepared to avoid the veggies and low-fat sections of the menus.

Lately, when I go out too often, I start to wish I was eating at home, where there is no overload of salt, where I look at the food and think: “I can make this for a lot cheaper!” I guess going out is good once in a while, but if that is the case, then maybe someone should invent a place, where you can bring your own food, and dine on it outside the home, besides your kitchen or patio.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Then there’s my business partner, Pam. Pam will go to any length to create a tour, or event, no matter how difficult I might think it is. Things like availability, price location doesn’t faze her. She will go anywhere, do anything to get there, anything that is except get on a plane to go there!

Last month we planned on a trip to Florida, and she went a day ahead of TLW (The Little Woman) and me and drove her car to my house, parked it there and I took her to the airport.

She said she is afraid of flying, but to tell you the truth, she was so hyper, she could see the planes flying below her! With a white-knuckle grip on the dashboard, her voice getting higher, ready to pass out!

As we drove by a side street, a car was approaching a stop sign. The poor guy made a full stop then got a hand signal from Ms. Rae to “STOP!” I will now quote from her verbatim: “STOP! I DON’T NEED ANY BODY CRASHING INTO ME ON MY WAY TO THE AIRPORT. AND ANOTHER THING, IF I SEE ANYONE WITH A CELLPHONE ON THE PLANE, I WILL SMACK HIM OR HER SILLY WITH IT! CELLPHONES INTERFERE WITH THE PILOT! I DON’T WANT THE PILOT DISTRACTED!”

“Tell me Pam, did you call the pilot this morning to find out if he had a good night’s sleep before takeoff?”


Ms Rae, fearless businesswoman, champion of: “There’s no such thing as it can’t be done, you just have to know how to do it!” Queen of great ideas, smart thinking and a quick mind, is also a big chicken when it comes to a flight.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Yesterday, April 27, I went to a special function that I love to attend each year at this time. It is a very special day for some very special people that deeply affect my life. These people I speak of are the staff the populate AHRC Suffolk, the people that work so hard for so little but do so much!

The event was held at a very popular restaurant, where the food is considered primo, and so it should be for primo people like our staff. The MC, the Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Bill Leonardi, a great guy just as Bill, forget his title, is doing a magnificent job, connecting with everyone there, and seems to have the pulse of the agency and the feel for the staff that is needed to be successful.

I can’t tell you how many are on the staff, but this day is dedicated to those that have anniversary’s of; 5, 10. 15, 20, 25, 30 and even 35 years! It is a lot of people. What that means is a lot of people love working there, stay a long time, and are proud of their service to such a needy population!

They are like a link that has many points to touch. When they help my daughter, they help not only her, but her mother and father. They go beyond what they realize they are really doing. I go to bed at night knowing Ellen is being cared for. I go through my day not worried, but planning to see her the next day, or weekend, rest assured that she will be fine, thanks in a very large and total measure to the staff.

And so to those staff, that are so special I say:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Yesterday, (April 27) I had the pleasure of meeting an old friend for lunch. Two things I like are old friends and lunch. Actually a good breakfast and dinner are just as good as an old friend, and in most cases are old friends!

When you don’t see someone for a while, you lose touch with the finer details: the person suddenly seems more alive and yet more curious in both scope and vantage.

Mike used to work at AHRC Suffolk in the Community Affairs office, a hard working guy who loved his job, the people we serve and who worked hard at it and took a lot of my teasing, but gave it back. He greeted you with a smile, from 9 am until 9 pm, when many a day was the work order.

But he did a great job, and is the kind of person that grows, gets better with each project, loves people in general, just a good guy.

He started a little enterprise with his lovely wife, and I thought I’d mention it because it is such a nice idea, well ordered and would make a great self-gift, surprise, or gift for someone else.

Go to http://www.couchpetatoes.com/ and see for yourself. I can vouch for Mike, he is an honest, creative and friendly guy, and his product is not only beautiful, it makes your life just a little better!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I was talking to TLP (The Little Partner) the other day and relating stories about my dad. She had said something that triggered the memory, and it took me back to my sister Fran’s wedding in Connecticut once upon a time.

It was the dawn of the new age in water taps in the kitchen, of all things. We were staying in a house for the wedding, me: my family and my brother-in-law. The dawn of a new day had come, and with it Tony after a rough night, (Another blog) arose and marched to the kitchen, where his rotten son and son-in-law sat having a cup of morning java.

Reaching for the water tap, Dad looks confused, a new tap with only one handle stood in his way. Dad only knew a ‘hot’ and a ‘cold’ handle on the sink, This thing had only one coming out of the center.

“How the hell am I suppose to get water out of this thing?” a frown across his face.

“Well Dad, you have to turn it slowly in a circle until the water comes up.”

My brother-in-law, a smile forming on his face is now keenly interested in the results to come.

Dad starts to turn the handle in small circles and nothing is happening!

“Nothing is happening!?”

Me: “No Dad, you have to turn it faster!”

Faster he turns, no results.

“Faster Dad, faster.”

My brother–in-law is now on the floor, laughing himself silly, and I’m looking for an escape route.

Dad looks at me, and says: “Come on, what did you do to this?”

Gathering my courage, I go over to the sink and get the water to run. Dad looks at me and says: “You know, you are such a miserable moron. Geez!”

Monday, May 23, 2011


I am a member of the guardianship committee, a co-chair in fact. I do this for the AHRC Suffolk chapter, as per their invitation. It is a sobering experience at times, and this time is the most sober of them all.

There is a woman, in her late 80’s, developmentally disabled, has been all her life a person that loves her mother and her brother Joe. TLW (The Little Woman) and I adopted her years ago as a special friend. We would take her to lunch or for ice cream, she loved her “schrimpies” as she called them, and loved Carvel ice cream, two treats we and others: would bring to her. She always said she wanted to die so she could be with “Mamma and Joey”!

Her name is Jennie, and once she had me convinced that she had a driver’s license, even though she couldn’t read. Turns out that she got an ID from the motor vehicle department, and never knew you could. It looks just like a real license!

When we visited her at her home for people with special needs, no one was allowed to talk to us but her, she was very guarded about that. She was ornery: bad tempered, and yet had a great sense of humor. We loved it all! She even had a little business going on the side, knitting covers for clothes hangers. She sold them for $2 each, and God help the person who couldn’t use one or two. Once we brought her home to my house for dinner, and as she sat in a chair, asked me what was for dinner. I told her and she said I shouldn’t eat, that I should walk around the block, “All the way around the block!”

She once was given up for as dead, as she was suffering from cancer, and we her guardians on the guardianship committee made decisions for her that were life ending. She survived the cancer and lived on. Screw you Guardianship committee!

Then the other day, I received an email that she was in the hospital, the doctors didn’t want to go to extraordinary means to keep her alive, and so we were asked to meet in an emergency session on what we should do for her. Keep her on the life-line or end it all. THEY WANTED ME TO SAY WE SHOULD END IT ALL, if it was necessary! This has brought me crashing down, making me realize I am no god, don’t have the right to be a god, and don’t want to be a god, one who determines the fate of someone’s life.

It is so strange: we work for the betterment of someone’s life, and suddenly are asked to maybe end it! How could they ask me that? What can I do? I am responsible to contribute to a life ending decision maybe. Say someone should no longer live, that their life is not worth living! Then I can go home and continue to live mine.

I have three questions I will ask. 1) How long will she live without extraordinary measures? 2) Will she be in pain, insufferable and lingering pain? 3) Will the longer she live, the pain increase?

Lord forgive me, I am taking on your job, and I have no right to, yet you ask! I thought you were all knowing.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Since Russell’s Tour & Event Planning has opened, my partner Pam has been learning the ins and outs of advertising. She claims that she is leaving it to me to make all these decisions, because that is what I did most of my life.

Don’t believe her.

I sent her an idea for an ad, and then a second revised version, she told me she liked the first one better! Not that she just liked it, but why! Chutzpah? No, just a take-charge lady who seems to catch on quickly!

Having experience with women, a mother, 4 sisters and a wife, I know when to pick my fights, or as Dad once said: “Never hit a women” I decided to step away from any chance of getting hit myself, and took out my standard answer to all women, polished it off and used it. All men know the words, and they are: “YES, DEAR!”

This is the cowardly approach, but perhaps the healthiest. It guarantees tomorrow is not in traction, and for that matter, it guarantees tomorrow!

Now Pam used to be reticent to speak up, say what she thought, until I opened my big mouth, and said she should let me know. Boy, that was a lightning rod! This has happened to me before, with TLW (The Little Woman), who I think is secretly working in cahoots with Pam on how to handle me in any situation.

For once in my life I’d like to have the upper hand when it comes to women. Even my dog bosses me around now!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


When I was a youngster, living in Brooklyn, on rainy Saturday mornings, when I couldn’t go out to play with my friends, I would crank up the old Olympia TV, and watch a movie. In those days, the only movies on were wartime or prior black and white movies. There was the Million Dollar Movie, with the Gone with the Wind movie theme that opened and closed each presentation. This was a fond memory: that to this day still makes me nostalgic for the old days.

Recently, on a very rainy Saturday morning, April 23rd, as it poured, I put on the TV and watched an old black and white movie, once again. The movie was made in 1944, called ‘Phantom Lady’, and had all the ingredients to make me smile, feel good about the rain, and remember.

That morning, TLW (The Little Woman) complained as she went off to work that she hated to go out in “this weather” as she so put it. As she uttered those words, immediately I recalled those Saturday mornings of my youth. I couldn’t wait for her to leave so I could perhaps find a movie that would fit the bill. I went to the TCMHD channel 97 on my cable and sure enough, there was Phantom Lady just starting!

It is funny what can trigger a long lost forgotten memory. I guess if you can recreate the circumstances you can remember! The movie itself took me back to the elevated rails, the station platforms, the old steps in front of neighborhood apartment buildings, the big band era, the old cars and the clothing of that special time and place. It also reminded me that the actors were not all that great in those days! It was a dark movie in many ways.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Recently, in an effort to continue his education, vacation and to add more digits in his bank account, my heart specialist sent me for some tests. There is always the stress test, and then there are other tests that are less grueling, but more fun.

More fun?

I go into his office and this very nice technician calls me and off we go to the testing room. Blue eyed and blond, I see I’m going to need more of these tests.

“Take you shoes and socks off and lay on this table.” (Her fetish?)

I do like I’m told and cold feet and all lay out on the table. Poking me awake she begins the test by telling me she will be taking my blood pressure from both my legs, as she wraps 5 or 6 pressure bands around each leg and each foot.

“This makes a lot of noise!” she states, and the fun begins. “Each section of your legs will be measured against your arms, and the results should divide into each other by 1 or more. You will be squeezed on each part of the body.”

“Will my tongue stick out each time that happens, and what about my eyes, will they bulge?”

“HAHA, no, I promise you, none of that! The test makes a lot of noise though!”

Suddenly, the room comes alive with the sound of what I always thought was TLW (The Little Woman) opening the pot drawer in the kitchen while I try to listen to a movie in the den, with loud crashing, banging noise.

Starting from the thighs, and working downward, the pressure is increased around each of the pressure bands, squeezing so hard, you’d think they were going to break the leg bone, or you were being squeezed once again by the IRS! All this and an instrument that is sticking into the bottom of your foot!

“OK, you’re done. Everything looks fine! Your doctor will speak with you, but it all seems normal!”

Obviously, she never bothered to check my head, or she would never have used terms like: “Fine” and Normal”.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Did you ever wake up in the morning, and the aches and pains seem to greet you before the sun does? You move about slowly, every movement a chore, and you are not sick? All you seem to want to do is go back to bed until you feel better, but that annoying thing called a conscience tells you: you have to get up, you have to go somewhere, and you can’t be late? This usually occurs on a Monday morning, with rain coming down.

You look back at the bed, still warm from a motionless deep sleep, beckoning you, enticing and seducing to the point that maybe 5 minutes more won’t hurt? Maybe there is someone living with you like a spouse or significant other, they seem perky, alive, and full of energy. Did you ever want to smack that person silly, make them want to go lie down after you smacked them around? Then you both could go back to bed!

Didja ever go down a busy two-lane road, speed limit maybe 45 and someone ahead of you is a math wiz? They take the 45 and divide it by 2, and that is their speed? For all you out there who loved math (when class was over) the numbers come to 22.5 mph. So he moves on to the light, and stops. Chuckles is 3 car-lengths behind the car in front of him, enough room if he moved up to allow you to get your backside out of a busy intersection. The light changes, and Chuckles takes a minute to move, then at blinding speed up to 22.5 mph, manages to slip under the light in time, before it changes. I usually don’t wish death on anyone, but I can make an exception in his case.

Didja ever go to a restaurant, try something for the first time, rave about it, then go back, and that is the last time you ever order it again, because it tasted so ordinary?

Didja ever spend a whole day in your yard for spring or fall clean-up, the place looks marvelous, and then an overnight storm blows in and you think: Where was I yesterday? Why does my body hurt so much? Am I delusionary?

If you are Catholic, didja ever go to church one Sunday, and the Priest says: “Let us offer each other the sign of peace.” You would, but Chuckles, who drove to church, at 22.5 mph, just sneezed, into his hand, without a handkerchief!

Didja ever go to the pharmacy to pickup a prescription. Chuckles who drove there also, at 22.5 mph: pulls in too. Chuckles can walk fast, he leads you into the pharmacy, right to the pickup counter, then proceeds to ask questions about his prescription, debate the merits of it, and takes forever to complete the transaction. Finally he is done, leaves, and as you reach the counter, the pharmacist says: “Just a minute” and disappears for five minutes?

Just a minute…

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


TLW (The Little Woman) has found her dress!

What dress? The dress for the wedding, that’s what dress. What does this mean? It means that WE don’t have to look anymore. It means WE don’t have to watch older women try to fit into a younger woman’s world of style, color and size. It means WE don’t have to visit every mall that hides their formal wear in one small section of the store, replicating the competition in brand-name designer clothes, color and style, and the mumbling and grumbling of the whole thing of trying on, but waiting on a long line to try it on.

Life is good, there is a God, peace be unto you and yours!

Now I have to find a tuxedo.

Black with a bow tie and cumber bun, no?


Two women from higher authority have told me so. They make up the Del Bloggolo fashion police. One is my business partner, Pam who states: “It is a MUST that you do two things as the father of the groom. Wear a different tuxedo, and MATCH THE COLOR OF TLW’S DRESS WITH YOUR TIE!”

Then there is TLW herself, and she put it this way: “It is a MUST that you do two things as the father of the groom. Wear a different tuxedo, and MATCH THE COLOR OF MY DRESS WITH YOUR TIE!”

As I sat in my easy chair one Sunday morning, the front door swung open, with TLW entering the house triumphantly, proclaiming: “I have found my dress! You have to come with me to help me pick the color!”

Rising from my chair, I drop to my knees and give thanks to the God above.
“Oh Lord, You who know all, see all, what took so long?”

Being a man of my own free will, what I will do is get a different tuxedo than everyone else, and to be even more ornery and different, I will see to it that TLW’s dress matches MY tie. (I still wear the pants in the business and house!)

Somewhere wives are shopping,
somewhere husbands nap.
Somewhere fannies wiggle,
into a shrinking gap.
Somewhere gals are fitted,
The bills fall in his lap.
Somewhere husbands are roused,
But not this napping sap.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Last month, I called my landscape guy to come and clean my yard, after a long hard winter. Every year he sends his crack team over, and the pull out all the leaves from around the pool, pick-up all the debris from the trees that has fallen like branches and leaves, and that kind of thing.

This past winter when I closed the pool, I put in these water containers around the edge to hold down the tarp that covers the pool. Years past, I had water bags, but when the geniuses from the landscape company came to do the fall cleanup, the bags would inevitably burst in some cases, causing the pool cover to shift and slip down into the water. This past winter, the pool stayed covered perfectly, since the containers held up very well indeed.

So the big day arrives, the property is swarming with men cleaning the property, the dog is going out of her mind barking, and we decide we will leave to do a little shopping. I look into the pool area and notice that the pool hasn’t been cleaned out, but a good portion of the pool cover is now in the pool! On top of that, they the geniuses from the landscaper now have some of the water containers opened and the covers all over the pool! I am very angry, and as I am prone to do, I call the owner of the landscaping business, and leave a message. I list a litany of complaints and hang up, and we get in the car to shop. I see the landscape crew is still on the street to do my neighbors property, so I call one of them over, roll down my window and he looks at me scared.

“Are you guys going to clean out the pool?”

No answer. I look at another guy; he holds up his index finger to me and walks over to the landscaper truck where a conference is being conducted. Suddenly, another genius comes over, slowly approaching my car, looking like he is afraid to see what lies in store for him.

“Are you going to clean out the pool?”

He looks nervous and says something I cannot understand because he doesn’t speak English! Now my irritation has reached a new level, and I am really riled.

Why would you send a work crew over that does not have at least one person in charge to speak my language? Is it because the labor is cheap?

More and more I am running into this nonsense, where they do not speak my language in my country. It is starting to feel like I’m in some foreign land!

If we are to assimilate, there must be some respect for what my ancestors did many years ago. That is the slurs and slanders that were perpetrated upon them because they spoke Italian. What I’m saying is, my grandparents demanded their children speak to them in English, that they themselves would learn the English language, and not once consider this country making everything in English/Italian, where ordinary Americans could not communicate with each other.

Today’s Spanish immigration makes them like ordinary Americans: true to the tradition of immigration into this country like all the Italians, Poles, Germans and French that make up the fabric of this nation, they are not coming here to adopt this country, but to be adopted by this country. I don’t want my country to be bi-lingual, although it will eventually be, and Spanish/English one, where Spanish will eventually eliminate English!

But even more infuriating is the mess they made, and that I had no one individual who could own up to it, because I couldn’t speak their language in my country! They have a responsibility to do the job right in any darn language, and if they think they can hide behind the language barrier, they better think again.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I was supposed to go for a stress test; it is half day affair, of about 4 hours. In the process I’m to starve before I go, no caffeine that morning, and this seems to be a regular occurrence, once a year.

I have a cardiologist, or actually, he has me, I’m the source of his employment, and he is young, handsome and rich, just like me. Anyway, he likes to use all the equipment in the office that he has, no use letting it sit there, then he would forget how to use it.

I am starving the morning of the test that begins at 1:30 pm. I am advised to take a small piece of fruit and some bottled water and to skip one of the medications I take. TLW (The Little Woman) makes herself breakfast, sits down in the den with it as I am looking at the news and begins to eat her eggs, and drink her coffee, the crackling of freshly made toast in her mouth makes me realize something for the first time: food, sounds good too!

The smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning can make me hysterical, good-looking eggs are good looking, and water and a small piece of fruit are the only things in my future, but much later in the day. My wish is to slip away to McDonald’s and add some more cholesterol to my arteries, perhaps that little number with the steak in the bagel.

Over-coming my desires, after the torture, I settle into my morning routine as TLW leaves for the Wanna-Be Bank and Truss Co. At precisely 9:05 am, the phone rings.

“Mr Del Bloggolo?”

“Weakly from hunger and lack of coffee I reply: “Yes?”

“We haven’t received a ‘Yes’ yet from your insurance company for today’s tests! Do you want to take it anyway, and run the risk of having to pay for it yourself, or we can wait until we hear?”

Let me tell you, late morning coffee as a first cup, taste just as good, if not better than the usual coffee. I didn’t have the McDonald’s though, I was too mad.

Now my question becomes: Did I miss this test because a doctor or some unlicensed gatekeeper with the insurance company disagreed with my doctor, thinking it wasn’t necessary because they have my interest at heart, or did the insurance company decide that it just wouldn’t pay for the test because it is costly? What about my doctor, does he take on the insurance company and fight for the tests on behalf of his patient?

Will this kill me, all over a few lousy bucks?

One more question: What about me, how important do I feel the test is, do I take the stress test (or did I in this whole process) and pay for it?

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Recently, TLW (The Little Woman) asked me to accompany her to Roosevelt Field in Garden City, so she could pick out a wedding dress for #1 Son’s wedding in July. Being a dutiful husband, and a little afraid of her, I acquiesced to her wish and drove out to the huge mall.

Finding a parking space in the land of shopping, which is populated by 99% women, I finally found one and trudged through the driving wind and rain to reach the building.

“We will try Macy’s first, even though I’ve been to a few already.”

“Yes Dear.”

Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom, and Dresses R’ Us: and not a shred of material did she like, not a color would brighten her afternoon, not a style excited her. We traversed 2 malls, one in Roosevelt Field, and one in Huntington, the Walt Whitman Mall. There was no poetry there either.

As for me, I sat in the chair of every waiting room, watching the big and the small in their struggle to accommodate their bodies into the latest styles.

As we were leaving Nordstrom’s a kindly man offered us a menu to the Nordstrom Café where we could purchase lunch. TLW was not in the mood, and brushed the poor guy aside, while I took his menu. He begged us to try the place, and I kept it in the back of my mind.

About 1:30 in the afternoon, TLW announces: “Oh my God, I thought it was 12:30, it’s 1:30! I’m hungry, lets find a place to eat.”

We go to the food court, and there are 50 million teenagers there, young parents with screaming brats, and my unwillingness to go there.

“I really don’t wish to stand on this line.” I offered.

“Me too, do you want to try the Nordstrom Café, that man was pushing?”

Off we go, and who is at the entrance but the kindly man, who immediately recognizes us.

“Oh, so you decided to come! Let me show you our whole menu.” He instructs his help to give us a sample of the soup of the day, go through the menu and tells us his favorites. I’m beginning to get nervous that time will run out and we will have to buy dinner before he finished telling us how wonderful things are.

“Now you select here at the counter, pay for it, and one of our top-notch servers will take care of you. As we give the order to the young lady behind the counter, she keeps commenting: “Nice!”

We get a table, the waiter comes over and introduces himself, and reads what we ordered and comments: “Nice” Everything we did was nice. I asked for water to drink, and he thought it was nice too. It’s nice when you do nice.

Well, with all the looking, discussion on what she needs, what she wants and what she will settle for we come upon this dress. It is plum, long and she looks very elegant in it.

“Wow, you look good in it!” I say.

“But I don’t like the waist, it looks too gathered. Besides the color is too wintery!”

“Wintery? It won’t snow if you wear it, unless it is January and not July!”

“I think we will try the bridal shop in Bay Shore next weekend, Kim said her mother …”

Please someone, shoot me.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I can’t believe what I am doing right now! After spending a whole morning and part of an afternoon on designing a newsletter on my desktop computer, I decided to take a break from my studio/office, and come downstairs for a cup of tea.

So what you say? I am writing this on my laptop! This is my break?

I really need to escape from the world of computers, so I plan to take a walk this afternoon, and then this evening, no computers, no work, no electronics. What I’ll do is have my usual pizza party with TLW (The Little Woman) maybe call my business partner and touch base, then Sudoku, or a ballgame.

I am becoming what everyone else in this world is becoming, dependent on the Internet: the various word programs, and losing touch with realities. The hard cold fact is that it is so easy to do things on the computer, with blinding speed, and without fear that I can make a mistake, that I just naturally gravitate to the machine.

I remember when I used to read books, draw and paint, and woodcut, and now I type, which is something that I have always hated. I can remember Mr. Chant, my typing teacher annoying me because I had to type either 45 or 60 words a minute. That is back in the 60’s, and I thought: “I’m an artist, what do I need tying for? I used to apply that logic to math, and science also.

Some twenty years later, I was typing in my designs with programs that I still don’t know all of. I also found out that in my career I needed the math and science and applied it often, making me realize life is indeed complicated and uncertain.

We used to play card games, with cards, not with computers, read books by turning paper over, research was a trip to the library, and writing meant you kept two sharp pencils near-by with an eraser. Where is the reality of it all? I’ll tell you where, in the screen I’m looking at!

Friday, May 13, 2011


Last month, if you recall, there was a big deal about J. Crew and Company and the President and Creative Director: Jenna Lyons. It seems she has a little boy with blond curls and a trusting nature, in which little Beckett was featured in the catalog.

As Yahoo said: “The images in question fall under pages titled "Saturday with Jenna" -- featuring products personally favored by J. Crew president and creative director Jenna Lyons and her family. This particular Saturday for Jenna includes painting her five-year-old son Beckett's toenails pink. The caption reads, "Lucky for me I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon."
Cue the outrage from America's culture warriors.

"Yeah, well, it may be fun and games now, Jenna, but at least put some money aside for psychotherapy for the kid—and maybe a little for others who'll be affected by your 'innocent' pleasure," Dr. Keith Ablow wrote in a Fox News op-ed. "If you have no problem with the J. Crew ad, how about one in which a little boy models a sundress? What could possibly be the problem with that?"

I couldn’t help but comment.

When I was a youngster, when you did anything ‘girlie’ you were considered in the streets of Brooklyn a “Faggot” someone with a swish in his stride, and a wiggle when he walked. You needed a gun, a knife, and the US Marine Corps for protection if you wanted to live through the day, to enjoy your egg cream.

Then when I got into high school, you were: “Queer” and finally when you went into college you were a “Drag queen” or “queen.”

Frankly, what is all the commotion about? So the kid grows up hating his mother, having social identity problems, and can’t function because he has problems with his gender identity. The world IS changing its attitude toward “gays” as we call them now, they are not freaks, or should they be ridiculed or shunned. It is good for the world to accept someone without rancor, as long as those who have the gay title don’t force it down my throat.

I have no problem with gays: my problem is with Jenna Lyons and J. Crew. They used an innocent child to make a social statement! You can rationalize, argue, disagree with me, but darn it, they used the kid. They used him in such a way that he has no choice but to deal with that the rest of his life. He may deal with it as just a blip in his life, or he may find it dragging him down. Let’s hope nothing bad does happen from all this, but why did they need to do that to him, and risk the chance?

The Yahoo article was quick to mention it, and my impression was why the big fuss over the ad? Well once again, the media and in this case Yahoo, does it again, foist it upon us, rams it down our throats, and makes Fox News a culprit.

What good does this all do for little Beckett?

Thursday, May 12, 2011


My retirement has caused me to pause and think, maybe I should get a job, then I will have some time off!

I just sent my final designs to the printer for the book I did, and it was very complicated. You have the print broker in the state of Washington, and the printer is in South Korea. They want the book sent to them over the internet, which means I had to send it to a dedicated server, which also meant I needed to follow certain procedures and protocol.

Since a couple of hundred files refused to open for the broker in Washington, I had to convert them to high quality PDF’s. OK, so I spend the whole late evening sending them, after making some tedious corrections and hoping I got everything.

I finally send the last files out, go to bed and sleep for three hours, when I wake up at 1:30 am and start to second-guess myself. Did I send the files from the last go around of changes? Did they go up on the internet file server?

Getting up, I go into my office and fire up the computer, I start to check the files, and everything seems ok!

I go back to bed, hit the pillow and think some more. I have another project I need to do, and I don’t have an idea. Thinking, it comes to me, I jump out of bed, race into my office, sketch it quickly and return to bed.

Then I start to think about Russell’s Tour & Event Planning, what I have notes on and what I still need to do. I start laying out in my mind what I need to do while trying to fall asleep!

It is 5:00 am, I give up, I have a stress test later in the day, might as well not get too nuts about things.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Last month was a bit of a homecoming. The class of ’64 refuses to quit, refuses to go away, and is in fact closer as a group than it ever was 40 something years ago.

That many years ago Yuri Gagarin was flying high, and last month it was Sista Tanj-Gerina, whose hands flew higher, faster and with more power than any Russian rocket.

As you might suspect, Sista Tanj-Gerina speaks two languages, English and American-Italian Sign language. She happened to be in fine form, having had her nails done that morning: she was more eloquent and more articulate than usual.

The reunion so to speak was a lunch at a diner in East Patchogue, where the lovely Martha Scott and her husband Randy blew into town from Texas. She may be older, but she really doesn’t look all that different than she did when she graduated!

Sista Tanj-Gerina held us all captivated with her eloquence, punching the air for emphasis, and making her points, while we all tried to follow her, it was a little difficult, since we all hid under the table for protection. Sista Tanj-Gerina would often end her remarks with: “Where’d they go?”

I think that if we didn’t have Sista Tanj-Gerina we would be very disappointed that we don’t have her expression and emotion, even though you should wear a helmet when conversing with her.

So if you happen to see Sista Tanj-Gerina walking down the street, be prepared for a lively conversation, and be prepared to duck.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


It was 93 years ago today that my conscience was born!

I thought that I’d publicly acknowledge on your birthday a gift you gave me on my birth day so many years ago.

The gift of life is a wonderful thing, of course what I did with that gift was all my doing, and you should be absolved for all the mistakes I have ever made. But as a mother you would know that.

The fact that I recognize I made mistakes is testimony to your skills as a mother, and what you taught. I know we didn’t always agree with each other, but we did love each other, and it was you who was the first to laugh at me, cry for me, and keep me on level ground, when my head just might get bigger than it was already.

I think our biggest connection was from your wonderful mind, down through your right arm, through the wooden spoon, and finally resting on my cranial composition, which was known as “Gentle persuasion” by you. The fact that I have a photographic mind, that is one with a picture of your face as I do something I might consider questionable, which gives me pause to think doesn’t hurt.

But the gift of life is a very large and expensive gift, one you can’t buy, but one we all get. You taught me that devaluation would be criminal, that idleness and uselessness were not to be accessories. Self-pity was for others, and hard work, responsibility were the only alternatives.

Oh, you gave me gifts afterward, an older sister that was so very special all those years I grew up, and three wonderful and beautiful sisters afterward, all were great gifts, and fell under the ‘gift of life’ category.

You taught me not to make excuses for any problems, physical or mental that I may have had, that life has to go on, you must stay in step with the drummer, one foot in front of the other, until the final note is played.

You showed me what loyalty is, that family matters, and no one should violate our trust in one another: that any squabble must stay in the confines of the house. When I didn’t have money to go to college, I knew, just from being your son, I would have to go out and earn it. So I took two jobs and that was the end of it.

If I hadn’t learn those lessons, like respect for women, for country, and most of all God, I would be a total mess, without my own beautiful family. You showed me how to live with physical pain and adversity, failure as a tool and success as just another step forward.

As a very young child you taught me my prayers, where I lived, and what my name is, in 5th grade you listened to my poem by Joyce Kilmer about trees, in junior high school, again you sat there to hear my lines as Mr. Bones in the seventh grade minstrel show. It seemed you were always there to listen, a proving ground for success, and your face always in front of me as I feared failure.

Finally, you supported me as I worked and struggled to pay my way through college, the meals kept hot in the oven as I returned home, late from classes in college. It was your encouragement and acceptance of the wonderful lady I married.

In all those years, there were never too many tears, but always laughter, infectious laughter, that emanated from your mouth and into my soul.

I was probably the worst son anyone could possibly have, and for that I apologize, but I had the best childhood anyone could have, and for that I am grateful.

Happy Birthday Mom, I love you.

Monday, May 09, 2011


He was a quiet man, never said much or mingled with the other members of the office, yet there was a mystic to him that drew my interest. He appeared to have no special skills, and no one knew much about his personal life.

When I would arrive at my office every morning, way ahead of everyone else, there would be Harry, the coffee perking, a cup in his hand, and a roll or Danish in his mouth, reading the NY Daily News.

Drawing Harry into a conversation was not easy, but it could be done, but you needed to keep in mind that Harry had a raspy voice, like it may have been injured at one time in his long life. He was a slight man, graying and winkled, I could never figure out his age.

No one knew what his family life was like, where he lived, or what he did for amusement, but we did know that Harry was always there for you.

He would come into my office, softly tapping on the door first, and check to see if I needed anything, then when I did, off to a supply room or two to get it, and add it to my day.

A ceiling light needed changing, and you would find Harry on a ladder. If I needed a ride downtown in Manhattan for a meeting in which I was running late, Harry took out the company station wagon and off we went.

The company had a kitchen, completely equipped, and Harry would surprise us with great gourmet meals, serve the whole lunch or dinner, quietly clean up and leave.

Then one day, Harry failed to show, after three days of no Harry, no one knew where to look, who to call, and what to do. The company records had an address and phone number, but both were old, we didn’t know when it changed, but must have been recent. As we contemplated calling the police to help us locate Harry, an old lady appeared in the waiting room. Dressed rather shabbily, her hair like bramble, no teeth in her mouth, she told us that Harry was dead! She sat down on the couch, and started to talk to us.

Harry had awakened one morning like he did every morning at 4 am, and prepared to leave for the office. The old woman, his wife, said that she noticed he was particularly quiet that morning, and she arose from bed to find him bent over at the kitchen table in pain. She called an ambulance but he had died from a heart attack in the ambulance.

Her grief was somewhat strange, in that she could so freely relate to us all that transpired those few days past. They had been evicted from their apartment months ago, and Harry was too ashamed to tell us.

“You know, my Harry had a lot of pride. He was a good man with bad luck. You know he was a hero during the war, yes; he fought in the Pacific but never spoke about it. He later became a chef and went to work in a fine hotel in New York then Philadelphia.” Then she related how he came down with throat cancer, lost his job, moved back to New York, but couldn’t find work anymore. She was there she said to get Harry’s personal things and she would be off.

Here was a man who made his life what he could of it, after trying circumstances. He made me feel important, and everyone else he came in contact with, quietly doing what he could, never once complaining about what life brought him, always a gentleman. Rest in peace, Harry.

Sunday, May 08, 2011


Last month the government avoided a shutdown by cutting $38 billion from the budget, thus keeping open all the national landmarks, the paychecks for our troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and Bed-Sty in Brooklyn going, and the cafeteria in the Senate open.

I often wondered what would happen if the government suddenly shut down, what would happen? Does the President have to go home, does that mean the White House can’t be used?

Do we recall all the troops, or do they have to shoot only on alternate days?

If we don’t have money, how would we give all the illegal immigrants their benefits, do we take up a national collection?

What happens to those congressmen on fact-finding missions, do they get stranded in Hawaii and Puerto Rico?

Do we salute the flag, or do we just wave back?

What happens to Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day? My God, would we be able to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, not to mention President’s day? (I said NOT to mention it, since we already watered it down)

Who would spend the money we don’t have, who would tell Congress they can’t contribute because the national debt will have to stay the same until we can compromise on spending more than we have?

It gets pretty scary all right, no money to spend on things we can’t afford, thus creating problems for a deficit we have built over the years! This would in turn bring us where we were all the while, in dept debt!

Saturday, May 07, 2011


Well allow me to cheer you up!

Watching the morning news, on Friday, April 8, a graphic went up that announced that Shecky Green was 85 years old! Shecky isn’t 85 years old, no way! Can’t be.

Next to Shecky’s picture was one of Peggy Lennon. Peggy Lennon is 70! You read that right, 70!

Now I remember Mom and Dad watching Lawrence Welk, cheese and all, every Saturday night, and the Lennon Sisters would appear, and sing a song or two, they can’t be more than 20 at the most! 70? No way.

OK, who took all those years between the 60’s and today? I’m warning you, if I find out!

I look across the room, and I see the same lady I married 40 years ago, she changed! She did it like she does everything else, quietly, without telling me! My God! My daughter has gray hairs! Magee Hickey is in her 50’s!

There’s this guy I see every morning, lives upstairs with us, I seem to see him all the time in the bathroom mirror, a nice guy, maybe a little funny looking, but quiet, who I should discuss this with, maybe he can tell me what is going on.

Friday, May 06, 2011


Recently I was pulling out of my driveway to take #2 Son back to school. I checked both ways and started to back up, when all of a sudden, this nut goes flying by at an unsafe speed for a residential neighborhood!

My immediate reaction was to swear off at the driver.

TLW (The Little Woman) then began to state:

“I just love to get in the car with you, such language!”

“Well, the idiot shouldn’t be driving down the street like that, it endangers all our lives, what if a little kid pops out of nowhere?”

Of course, there are other ‘issues’ that rile me, for instance: why do people stop for a light, 2 car lengths behind the car in front of them?

Why do people shout “Wahoo!” when they are in a crowd and being filmed for TV?

Why do women, when they are about to cry stick their fingers horizontally under their nose? Then they fan themselves! Why?

Why do cops swagger when they walk anywhere?

Why do people wait to get into their cars to personal groom?

Ever go into a restaurant, hoping for a quiet meal, and the waitress sits you next to a large crowded table, with someone always trying to draw attention to themselves, with loud laughing, thinking they are interesting. Why?

Speaking of restaurants and waitresses, how come they look at you as a couple, and say: “Two”, when if there were more coming I would tell them otherwise?

Why, oh why, when I don’t have a tag for ‘E-ZPass’ at a toll, the guy in front of me needs change and directions?

In a hurry, but have to stop for gas, the big SUV in front has to take all day long to fill up, then the %$^*^% takes out a credit card, delaying you even more, as Muhammad slowly strolls off to process the card, stops to have a cigarette, lunch and coffee, before coming back?

Why do I go on?

Thursday, May 05, 2011


After visiting my cardiologist, and hearing that I am scheduled to take a series of tests to determine if I should make any magazine subscriptions longer than 6 months, I left his office feeling somewhat angry.

“Your body is a natural cholesterol producer, and we have to find out how to stop that buildup!” said the young millionaire (or soon to be).”

I think his plan is simple, and may prove to be effective! What he did already is schedule all these tests: the rest is up to me. What do I have to do? Take the test.


So then I will be so busy taking all the tests, that I won’t have any time to eat! No eating means no cholesterol buildup. Smart!

“Well Mr. Del Bloggolo, you have a test on the 21st @ 1:30pm, and another on the 22nd @ 9:00 am!” said the assistant.

“You think you could find a place for me to sleep over?”

“No, we believe that the whole experience should be as agonizing as possible, inconvenience and annoyance should be part of those test days to measure how well WE are doing.” She said cheerfully.

Leaving the office with four test schedules, I still wonder what is going on.

Getting home I speak to TLW (The Little Woman) and ask her why this should be so necessary.

“”Why they are trying to save you!”

“Oh! For what?

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


I went to my cardiologist today to help him out pay for his next vacation. He informed me that I should be dead by Tuesday, I said I had dropped my health insurance so he gave me to Friday!

The waiting room was packed, no seats available, and I figured that something was wrong. I went up to the window, and was given a form to fill out. I fill it out and return it, sit for about 15 minutes when I hear my name mispronounced. Thinking I’m being taken, I get instead 3 more forms to fill out, forms that I had already filled out, and knew why I was filling them out once again. The bastards were stalling for time until they caught up!

Filling out the same stuff over again, I started to believe it myself, and handed it in. Suddenly my name is once again mispronounced. Getting up I am instructed to go through a set of doors, and as I do there sitting behind a glass window is this woman greeting me happily. Mr. Del bre… del bri… delbriocchio, your co-pay is $30 and if you even hope to see the doctor, pay it now!”

I pay and am told to return to my seat outside. Soon my name is mispronounced once again, as I get up and move fast enough so no one thinks: “What the hell kind of name is that?”

The nurse says to me in the examining room: “Take your shirt off.”

“Whoa” I think to myself, “You are not even my type!”

She takes a cardiogram or something and says goodbye, that the doctor will be in shortly. I thank her and ask her not to call me shorty.

In comes my doctor, young, rich and not having a darn thing wrong with him except he is young and rich and has nothing wrong with him.

“Well, we all have to go sometime Mr. D, but maybe we can still squeeze some more payments out of you before you kiss off.”

Somehow I trust him, he needs the money.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


As you know by now, TLW (The Little Woman) teaches little 2nd grade heathens all about God, in the hopes that they don’t turn out like me. Part of her teaching has to do with informing the little darlings on how to behave when receiving their First Communion. There is a procedure to follow when getting the host, and the future practitioners of the faith must conduct themselves in a pious and respectful way.

So this led me to question my procedure and behavior when I go up to receive communion.

“Toots, do you use your right or left hand when you receive communion?”

“Oh! Interesting you should ask that question!”

“It is?”

“Well, you should always use your hand that you eat with and place it under your other hand, receive the host, and with the hand that you use to eat, place the host in your mouth.”

“Oh! I just take the host and stick it in my mouth.”

“What else do you do when you receive the host?”

“Me? I just mozey over to the pew, say hi to Brian Duggan and park my butt, in a holy manner of course.”

“Well, you should bow your head first, reverently, say ‘amen’ I say ‘AHMEN’ and go to your seat.”

“Well, I say ‘AHMEN’ too, it sounds more churchy, makes the priest think I’m holy!”

“Tsk, tsk, tsk!”

Look folks, I’m going to hell, will be with all my friends, and will of course miss TLW!

Monday, May 02, 2011


I was going to write about my fabulous weekend April 29, but this morning, Monday, May 2nd, I will instead write about the news that greeted me. UBL IS DEAD!

One man has made the world stand still once again. What American can ever forget the horrific day back in 2001? Who will not recall being first shocked then enraged on September 11, 2001? Who can forget the dancing in the Arabian streets when the news went out that the twin towers in the heart of the financial world was targeted. These low life pigs, who proclaim: “Allah is good!” then kill innocents, with a follow up dance in their cesspool world so joyous about the families of so many people who died that day.

And now today, we stand and hear the cheers and joy from the victims of the madman, celebrating in the streets, homes and the site of Ground Zero.


And so because of UBL’s cooperation in dropping dead courtesy of a USA bullet, (It should have been made from the wreckage of the Twin Towers,) May 1st should be declared a new day of infamy, celebrated by all Americans.

To all the terrorists: He's in a better place now, he's dead and under the sea. Good riddance to the bastard.


Whenever Mom would get impatient with something, she would blurt out in Italian: “Ma quando?” meaning “But when?”

As I look about me, I see all kinds of things I am doing, in my retirement and wonder, the same thing, ma quando? If I am retired, I need to job so I can start taking it easy in my old age.

It seems that once things quiet down, I either go looking for something more to do, or it finds me! I get rid of a book for publishing, (almost) and a men’s store needs a web site designed! I swear off one thing and it comes back in another form!

I sit in board meetings, I hear that something needs to be done, my juices start to flow and I need to do it myself, take on another committee or start some kind of movement. The busyness generates an excitement that fuels my day, and I become very happy.

I have also started a business with an old classmate that is fascinating, exciting and a lot of fun. I have so much planned that I want to sing and dance through my day, just on the strength of my schedule. It is nice to be needed.

So I guess I’m not retiring any time soon, and as for Mom, when she uttered those words, I usually had to march off to my room to clean it, or there would be a connection with my head and her wooden spoon!

Sunday, May 01, 2011


The big day arrived (The day that the Lord had made!), and I was driving #2 Son back to school after his spring break. TLW (The Little Woman) also accompanied us to the sacred and holy grounds of Purchase NY, where they are doing a wonderful job of educating and HOUSING him.

The week before, when I pick him up for the voyage home, I climbed into his apartment, which is shared with 5 others, over what looked like a landfill, or maybe it was somehow caught up in the tsunami from Japan, or maybe Purchase does have earthquakes, and viewed the devastation.

As we pulled into the parking lot, we offered to help him bring his ‘stuff’ up into his second floor apartment on campus. There were all kinds of canvas and plastic bags filled with the world of #2 Son, including clean laundry and 50 million bottles of soda.

TLW: “Do you want us to help you carry all these things up?”

#2 Son: “You don’t have to.”

Me: “Don’t be silly, this will make only one trip, no point climbing those stairs more than once.”

Off we went to the apartment, and climbed the institutional like steps to the big metal orange door. I was surprised that no warning signs of any kind were posted, not even a radioactive danger sign. Not ‘WARNING’ or even a simple; ‘CAREFUL’ was posted after all; this IS a room that houses college men, one being our pride and joy!

Pushing the door open with great reluctance, #2 Son leads us into what we expect is the immediate moments of Hiroshima after the blast.

As I step in, I immediately become disoriented! Something is terribly wrong! I can see the floor! Yes, the whole floor, all the way into the kitchen, which does have a wall behind the sink! The last time I looked, there were pots, pans and dished obstructing the view, it was all blind faith that led me to believe that there was a wall. Occupying the place were three men and a woman all sitting around talking.

My suspicion was we are in the wrong apartment: they DO all look alike. This was not the case: this WAS his place! One of the young men, greets us, and I comment: “WHAT HAPPENED HERE?!” The young man replies, “Oh, I cleaned it.” I point to the others and say: “You owe him a dinner!” I think #2 Son was happy to see me leaving.