DelBloggolo

Sunday, June 30, 2013

FIGHTING THE HEAT


It is Tuesday, June 25, 2013 as I write this and it is the second full day of heat and humidity. The heat I can take, but the humidity is too oppressive. As I sat in my den reading the newspaper after working around the house, the sweat was pouring and I was very uncomfortable. Yes I have air-conditioning but choose not to us it until later in the afternoon, because I’m cheap and all alone anyway. So I decided to go into the pool and relieve my misery.

That first venture into the water for the summer season is always the toughest, no matter how hot and humid it is. The body has two choices, one is just to go onto the diving board and plow right in, or dive right in as they say, or you can take the sniveling, cowardly way and slowly wade in, a little at a time, slowly submerged up to your hips on the shallow end like a little sissy, and maybe, just maybe have the courage eventually to dip down all the way. That is not the manly way to do it! Someday I will try to dive right in.

Of course once you are acclimated to the pool temperature, you look around to see if any nosey neighbors are looking, then you look around the pool and the rest of the property and feel guilty that you are indeed in the pool while there are things to do, but you remind yourself that there are poor people working right now in an office, putting up with crap, bosses and or insolent underlings, maybe in a stuffy conference room answering questions on why a project is late while you enjoy freedom! That plus the fact that you just paid a few hundred clams to open the thing up and get it ready so you CAN feel guilty.

Now TLW (The Little Woman) never goes into the pool. She would rather die than be caught in her swimsuit. She hasn’t been in the pool since at least since my daughter lived at home, about a good 20 years ago. She has NEVER been in the newly dug and rebuilt pool ever. This of course astounds me as we do have it fenced in with bushes about shoulder high around the outer two edges.

Although the pool can be a lot of work with the upkeep of chemical levels, it is not all that bad, and the robot, that resembles a submergible tank that can climb walls and clean. One of the greater pleasures is to barbeque a steak, smelling the cooking while you lounge in a float with a gin and tonic. That my friends is the beginning of heaven as we know it.

And so I will once more brave the heat of early afternoon and venture out to the pool where I will get my money’s worth and think about the poor workers. Think I’ll splash a little too.


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Saturday, June 29, 2013

FORGOTTEN VICTIMS

Now let me state: I love my country. Many things we do for the world at large no other country would. We are blessed with freedom from tyrannical rulers and despots, we don’t like a president, we don’t re-elect him. Millions of dollars are given in foreign aid and everyday people in other lands are safe from aggression because we wield a large stick.

When we terminated our presence in Iraq, the damage of war was such that many American soldiers returned home sick, cripples without limbs any kind. The worst part is many of these poor guys are unemployable and have become homeless with no help from the government, the very same government that sent them into battle.

But there is another shame of this country that has gone almost unheard of. The citizens of Iraq, their homes destroyed and their bodies and those of their children maimed and infected by cancerous agents and poisonous metals from our munitions. Many of these children are dying everyday being born after the war ended. Our munitions have contaminated their country.

The city of Fallujah in Iraq was the scene of a major battle between U.S. forces and the Iraqi army. Material was expended and the deadly battle claimed many lives. The lives were not only the lives of the military men from both sides, but also the citizens of the city, and worst yet, the unborn. Birth defects surpass the rates suffered at Hiroshima or Nagasaki, Japan after we dropped the Atomic bomb on them. This is unintentional genocide, but it is genocide.

We have abandoned Iraq, and the devastation we caused, we need as a country to fix that. Granted, we rid them of oppressions, but we left them worse off than Saddam Husain did. The ‘Freedom’ they are enjoying for many will be short lived. We should also ask the rest of the so-called coalition to chip in their fair share too, we can’t afford to have innocents die because of us, nor can we afford to pay their responsibility as a member of the coalition.

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Friday, June 28, 2013

IT NEVER FAILS


You want something that shouldn’t be great shakes, and you don’t get it because someone is incompetent.

Last Saturday we took a drive out east, towards the North Shore. As I drove along Old Country Road in Riverhead, TLW (The Little Woman) pointed out a restaurant that she wanted to try called: ‘Joe’s Crab Shack.’ She was hungry, and although I had another place in mind called the Lobster Shanty, I figured what’s the difference between a shack and a shanty anyway.

I know it made this Joe crabby.
We pull into the parking lot of a huge shopping center and enter the place, and immediately the trouble began.

As we entered I noticed a young lady and a young man standing in the lobby chatting, obvious employees of the joint since their attire mentioned it. It was a non-business conversation designed to kill time and avoid work. The young lady behind the entrance stand greeted us and grabbed some menus. Since I have a bad back, I asked for a booth and although she was accommodating, a worried look crossed her face. Dozens of waitresses and waiters running around, she couldn’t find anyone to escort us to a booth immediately. Waving frantically and tip toeing up and down the aisle she finally finds the lobby girl and grabs her.

Arriving at our table a young waitress comes over and takes two of the three menus we were each handed and begins to give us a run down using the menu as a demo. Pointing out different things on the menu, including her favorite that happened to be the most expensive! Taking the next menu she begins her instructions as if it was a fine piece of German engineering, that needed to be respected and handled correctly.

“You should ONLY use this menu for desserts, and ONLY here in this section. You may also order drinks from here and also non-alcoholic beverages. Finally she picks up the last menu, for “THIS is for our specialties, you may order from here as well!, pointing out other favorites and bargains at $44 a plate for lunch.

I wish the staff would egt back to work!
She leaves and we begin the process of trying to figure out from a massive menu what to order. Many dishes sound the same but with a twist, leaving a customer frustrated and confused, taking about 20 minutes for each of us to make up our mind!

The waitress returns and points out that two lit spheres in the ceiling are now turning which mean a two minute warning is in effect. Thinking that it is to evacuate she continues: all the wait staff will do a dance for one minute. WHY?

They dance and afterward we give our order, she takes it and decides to strike up a conversation about herself, then leaves us. At 5-minute intervals, she goes by our table and smiles, this going on for about half an hour to 45 minutes. She decides to stop by and talk some more. I get the feeling that things are being stalled for some reason. I mention to TLW that the food is taking a long time.

The waitress ‘Tara’ comes by one more time and I ask her to see why our order hasn’t arrived yet. She comes back with the order book and confirms what we ordered, Still no order, I am getting ‘CRABBY’ in Joe’s Crab Shack! The lights start to do their thing again and the stupid dance begins again. I try not to get mad, but I notice my fuse is short. (Please, no jokes)

Suddenly after a half hour, TLW’s meal comes. Mine is nowhere to be seen. Trying to defuse a potentially toxic situation, I am asked to try TLW’s crab cake. It tastes fine but is in the border of going cold. 20 minutes into her meal I call over the waitress. “Can you tell me why it is taking so long?” I inquire. She tells me that the couple across the way from me ordered the same thing and they are getting angry also. Other tables are now complaining and asking for the manager, as I now do.

Tara goes off to find the manger and comes back empty handed. “I can’t find her!” she says. “I’ll look some more.” Finally while the manager appears at the other couple’s table, whole tables are leaving in disgust! People are complaining and now it is my turn. I lace it into the manager who seems to be unaware that she has serious problems, goes into the back where the kitchen is and finally appears with my food and offers us a coupon for one free appetizer for our next visit. Fat chance sister!

This is by far the worst restaurant experience I have ever had. The noise level is way over the top, the meaningless dancing is just that, an epidemic of dissatisfied customers was like a plague running through the establishment, the staff is not attentive and the food was good.

Joe’s Crab Shack should shut down!

I asked the waitress Tara how long the place has been open, she said: “Since Thursday.”

They even have a stupid slogan on the back of the service shirts: "Peace, love and Crabs"

As we were leaving the place a line was building and as they were waiting to get in, I wanted to tell them the wait for their food would be even longer!

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

XANAXCIALISZYPREXAVIAGRAPROZAC


The other evening while watching TV, this ad comes on. In the ad were these two older people who were supposedly married to one anther. They were a good-looking couple with white hair and no weight issues like normal people. (The kind you love to hate in other words.) They were dressed ordinarily, like the hip oldsters with white jeans and sporty looking shirts. She was attractive, he was handsome: like I said, the type you love to hate.

The ad was about a medication that was something like Xanaxcialiszyprexaviagraprozac, but the voice over doesn’t really tell you what the drug is for. No, instead it shows you the couple running in the serf, kicking water at each other, he cuddles her and she cuddles him back. This could only mean one thing: they are heading towards the beach house soon! Luckily they don’t have their shoes on or I would know the drug was for dementia.

The problem with these kinds of commercials is I never know what the drug is for. Is it for male impotence, depression, dementia or even a common cold? Could they be treating a shopping disorder or couch potato syndrome? They waste the precious airtime on me for sure. They may even describe the color of the pill as part of the pitch, but still I go on, blissfully not knowing or worse yet not caring.

Of course they play the theme of the two of them in love, sharing and what not. Now let us suppose there are others out there who don’t particularly know what these meds are for either. Let’s say the med is for male enhancement. Lo and behold (What does that mean?) SHE takes it! Does she have a stiff back? Is this stiff back going to last more than 4 hours? Will she call her doctor, or will she be too embarrassed to?

But what if HE takes the pill thinking it is for depression? Suddenly he becomes amorous, does this mean she thinks he is over his depression rather suddenly, and what’s that in his pocket?

Then they always end the ad with the customary caution that really makes me want to buy it. Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Xanaxcialiszyprexaviagraprozac: skin rash or hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
·       very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out;
·       agitation, hallucinations, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
·       headache, slurred speech, severe weakness, muscle cramps, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady, seizure (convulsions), shallow breathing (breathing may stop); or
·       severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Common Xanaxcialiszyprexaviagraprozac side effects may include:
·       drowsiness, yawning;
·       tremors, sweating, feeling anxious or nervous;
·       dry mouth, upset stomach, mild nausea;
·       sleep problems (insomnia), strange dreams;;
·       mild rash;
·       changes in weight or appetite;
·       decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; or
·       cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sinus pain, sore throat.
·       An erection lasting more than 4 days. (Your doctor would be jealous!)

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WORLD WITHOUT END


Dr. Strangeglove
Went to see Dr. Strangeglove. I woke up with one eye closed and I literally had to open by hand, and a very heavy cough and congestion, so subsequently the visit.

He told me I have bronchitis and an infection in my eyes, and prescribed medication. It has been a bad end of spring beginning of summer for me. If you couple the fact that I am now scheduled for an MRI in early July, for a severe and chronic stabbing pain in my back in the lower right side, put together it makes a lovely package!

How do you get these things, and don’t ask me, I get them without knowing it. I have a hunch all the traveling I did this spring has something to do with it. LA, Chicago, Albany, Philadelphia, and million places to catch something, eating in strange places and what have you, somewhere along that line I caught a few of these things or bugs.

Between my back and the cough, and the eyes all watery and a little burning, I should just crawl under a rock and reside the rest of my life.

I’m tired of sitting around all day, but when I get up to do something, the back immediately starts up. I wake up in the morning and I think the back problem is gone, but take a few steps and I’m sharply reminded.

The worst is TLW (The Little Woman) has been doing everything herself around the house, especially on her vacation, so some how I need to make it up to her. She doesn’t complain and I feel very bad, so I do what I know can be done until I have to rest my back and the pain subsides.

I think tomorrow’s blogue will be a little more upbeat somehow, but it does feel like a world without end.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

ENDING THE EXPERIMENT


As you may know, I went to the orthopedic surgeon for a bad back, Without any tests he decided to first try a medication: Meloxicam and physical therapy. His feeling is “WE” should go gingerly at first, taking exploratory steps before “WE” seek to find out what is wrong. “WE” did this a whole month, taking the medication and the P.T., with startling results. “WE” don’t feel any better than we did a month ago! But for a whole month “WE” suffered with the pain that is so bad it causes me to sometimes yell out in shock!

So I went back for a follow-up with the doctor: Dr. Cart L. Edge, world-renowned Orthopedic Surgeon around his office.

Dr. “So, how do you feel?”

Raising my head from the floor: “The same.”

Dr. “Did you try the physical therapy?”

Raising my head once again: “Yes I did.”

Dr. “How many times?”

“About six, the last time I left the gym feeling strange, and when I got home I leaned over to do something and this shooting then stabbing pain made me wonder if maybe, just maybe there might be something else “WE” could do?”

Dr. “Well, six times is enough to tell if it is working or not. So “WE” discontinue the p.t. and the medication, and try something else. I’ll arrange for an MRI as soon as your insurance OKs it.”

And so for four weeks, 30 days, I have been trying to walk around and live on an experimental basis. Why the hell did I do that? My kid sister asked me two weeks ago how I felt and said I should have an MRI and not have to suffer. She was right, if you have back pain and need a diagnosis, I’ll give you her number.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

LIBERACE THE MOVIE


It is funny how time can change an attitude, an awareness of the truth or misconception. In this world we live in there always seems to be a new revelation, and a breaking down of a concept.

Recently TLW (The Little Woman) and I watched a movie starring Michael Douglas who played the lead in ‘Behind the Candelabra’: Liberace, with Matt Damon as his assistant Scott Thorson.

It is a depressing movie, and it points out the fact that being in a closet can destroy you or anyone. It also points out the fact that we need to come to an understanding of people of all persuasions, all races and creeds and most of all: all sexual orientations. If we don’t, we destroy the individual, and that is murder.

What drove Liberace to a death from aids? What caused him to be who he was? His talent no one would question, no one should argue, the problem is how did he come to display it the way he did?

The flamboyance that was Liberace was a result. It was a result of hiding in a closet because he was afraid of losing his livelihood by self-anointed judges, deprivers of personal freedom and happiness. We can disagree on a lifestyle, but I feel we should all agree to allow choice. Because you befriend a gay person, and the key word here is person, we should not be condemned and so if we were gay, would we want to be denied freedom of happiness, choice, and making a living.

Liberace: a man of great talent, shrouded behind gowns and fur capes, wigs and expensive jewelry, getting personal acceptance wherever he could, and finding it from other unfortunate donors. His flamboyance was a mask that shielded us from who he really was, and he from our self-anointed godliness that is neither holy, real or accepting.

The real tragedy lies in the fact that a great talent died too soon, and too painfully, from the so-called norms of the day. Had the world know he was gay, how much ostracizing would he have endured, needless hate and retribution for being what he was?

And what of those that fell into his world, who were swayed by his desperate attempt at happiness, who joined the drug culture to numb themselves from the harsh reality that they were not acceptable or wanted in this world?

Hopefully we can learn a lesson here, that our condemnation works for only a little while, then we need to unlearn it, and fear that we do not harbor a trait or proclivity of our own that will drive us to the same end.


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Sunday, June 23, 2013

MY HOFFA/SIMPSON THEORY


As you know, a lot is being written about the recent attempt to locate Jimmy Hoffa’s body. Last seen alive in 1975 at a Detroit-area restaurant rendezvous supposedly with a New Jersey Teamster boss and a mafia type, he suddenly disappeared.

Old homme of the NY Giants AND Mr. Hoffa?
Of course way back in the 70’s is when the Giants Stadium was being built in the Meadowlands in New Jersey. Speculation was, that maybe Hoffa was buried in one of the end-zone pilings of the stadium: thus the New Jersey connections. I always became confused when I went to a Giants game at the Meadowlands: not knowing which end Hoffa was staying at.

Then he was spotted once or twice with Elvis, and some think you might even find him where the real killer of Nichole Simpson is hiding. I wish they would release O.J. because he vowed to help find the killer!

For my part, O.J. got what he deserved, stealing his stuff from auctioneers and collectors, and I have never forgiven him for what he did to the Fighting Irish in Southern California one afternoon in the fall way back when and the New York Jets in Buffalo and Shea Stadiums every winter.  A retired professional football player and actor, who rushed for over 2,000 yards, he no longer rushes anywhere since there is no room in his cell, and nowhere to rush to. He now spends his time in the prison workshop making gloves that are one size fits all.

I guess he made some silly decisions and so I now call him Oh Gee Simpson!

As far as Mr. Hoffa goes, let me clear up a misconception: he was NOT Italian! Mr. Hoffa was if
anything, Pennsylvanian Dutch! Yes, that’s right, Pennsylvanian Dutch. You’d think with his mafia aura, and a vowel sitting out there in his last name like that, he’d be Italian. But no, there is very little use for the letter ‘H’ in Italian. And so you know the reason why he disappeared in the first place, pushing himself off as an Italian and hanging with mobsters, once they found out, they buried him where no one would find him. After all, you can fool Mother Nature, but don’t mess with the mob!

If you wish to disagree with this assessment, don’t bother, look at what happened to Wanna-Be Italian Mr. Hoffa.


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Saturday, June 22, 2013

IF THE TRUTH BE KNOWN


All winter long, while I while away my time, writing, reading, cleaning or drawing, I absorb the serenity of a peaceful neighbor hood, and wonder: Where did everyone go?  Only the playing of the TV or music interrupts the quiet of the area: as the world seems so dead, settled under a soft blanket of snow! Then the spring burst forward and I open the windows or doors and realize, they didn't go anywhere! ‘They’ the noisemakers were just waiting outside my door.

As the doors are opened and the senses liberated from the solitude of a winter’s onslaught, a cacophony of noise invades my senses and the fun begins. Lawn mowers begin their long almost mournful drone, followed by the high pitch irritation of a leaf blower, which seems endless, ceasing only when the user stops for an aspirin. A small plane will slowly cross over the sky in a lazy buzz, while an owl in the distance hoots his advice in a steady stream as he has been doing for over 22 years. Someone’s small dog will bark out a protest for most of the day and of course, there are always the drivers that need to explode down the residential pathway to meet some deadline or fulfill the daredevil in them at the expense of life and limb of my neighbors.

To increase the high standards of noise level, various craftsmen descend upon the area and lend their talents with paving, brick laying, carpentry and the hammering of the street as they dig, build and maintain the various properties that call upon them to invoke their skills and noise upon my peace. Crowds of curiosity seekers will gather and witness a tree taken down or a cesspool pumped, and why? Well maybe the movie house isn’t opened yet or the price of a ticket too high.

In the distance a buzz saw sounds on repeated occasions and the distance highway traffic drones on leaving an echo when it is out of hearing range, Teens returning from school, like a gaggle of geese stroll to their homes and loudly proclaim to one another anything that makes them happy, as long as the whole neighborhood hears it. This is life, or at least my life, as I try to stay on a course of equanimity and sanity.

But all this comes with reward: the fact that tomorrow is another day!

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Friday, June 21, 2013

THE REALITY SUCKS, IS THERE NO END?


Keeping it real folks is important, but there is no reality in these reality shows!

Recently over breakfast at our favorite diner, the subject turned to the Kardashians, and the unfortunate overabundance of this family. TLW (The Little Woman) agrees with me that maybe it is time for them to go away, but not just away: far away.

They the Kardashians have been on reality shows: have clothing lines and I think even a perfume named after them. They marry and we have to hear about it like it is some kind of good news. They pop a baby and there you go again, it is in the media.

The Jerry Seinfeld show had a running gag, the show was about nothing, and the Kardashians picked up on it, there lives are about nothing.

Me: “Sooo-all this fuss is about nothing, I mean what do they really bring to the table?”

TLW: “That’s right, nothing!”

I asked our waitress how many there are of the K’s and immediately she said ‘four’! Then she revised it to five, and as we spoke, six! Now the waitress is a nice lady, maybe in her late forties early fifties, but a major culprit it keeping the K’s alive. There are blogs, websites and what have you all about nothing.  If your life is going nowhere, or so you think, then hitch your star to a K and let it shine!

I blame this all on O.J. Simpson and his trial for murdering his wife and her lover. If Robert Kardashian wasn’t one of the trial lawyers for O.J., maybe none of this would be happening now. Then he had to go ahead and do a really annoying thing and die, causing the state of awareness about this family to rise considerably. Nice going Bobby K!

I’m thinking: TLW says they are making a lot of money on their lives, it is after all filler for some people who have no life, so why not take my life? I mean it is no great shakes, although I am married to a wonderful woman and have two very smart sons (Take after the mother), one more report about a Kardashian and I will take my life!


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Thursday, June 20, 2013

THIS TIME THEY GET IT RIGHT!


If you remember a few months back when I wailed about UPS and how they botched my Valentine’s evening by not delivering on time my complete lobster dinner, this time things were different!

Since Lobster Gram had relied on UPS to deliver when they were supposed to and didn’t, Lobster Gram sent us a consolation dinner like our lobster one, and even threw in Colossal shrimp to make up for it.

You would think that UPS would have done something to compensate, but they didn’t, however they did send a note of apology, which is better than nothing.

This time, at 10:10 am, the big brown truck arrived on the appointed date and delivered on time! Since the whole fiasco was started in February and the sincere apology and make-up dinner from Lobster Gram, I have been holding my breath that UPS would not fail this time.



 
So to celebrate our anniversary we had a magnificent lobster dinner, courtesy of Lobster Gram! Two nice sized lobster tails, clams casino, lobster bisque and huge shrimp graced our table for dinner, and it was not only quite a feast, but quite delicious! My recommendation is to take a chance on UPS and order yourselves from Lobster Gram on the net, you will be very happy with the price and the results you will get. Lobster Gram is great way to celebrate an event or a sweetheart.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

42 YEARS AND COUNTING


In today’s world, many marriages, and do I dare say most, end up in divorce. Me, once I hang my hat on a star, it stays there, and I find ways to best keep it there. I have been very fortunate to have found the love of my life, and I look back over the years and realize how truly lucky I am.

It’s funny how little I need in life. I don’t necessarily want anything because I have everything: a great wife! Today marks 42 years of success, 42 years of trials and tribulations, which our marriage has endured.

It occurs to me that a question often asked is, what is the secret of a successful marriage? I can answer that in two words: NO secrets. It also helps if you throw out the word ’I’ and always use ‘we’. In my heart I use the word ‘her’ or ‘she’ because it is there that I get my comfort, my joy and my feeling of belonging.

There has to be a God, because only a God could create true bliss in life, and I have that, like I said: I am fortunate. There is a comfort in knowing my wife, a joy in knowing that she is selfless and unintentionally makes me want to give to her all I have, Marriage is not about careers, who is the boss, what do I have and you don’t, what do you have and I don’t. It IS about dedication and love, about joint hope for tomorrow and fulfilling a simple dream together: to live and die together, always in a civil sense of love and understanding.

Here is something I wrote to ‘Her’ on this past Valentine’s Day…

Dear Ellen,

Give me a flower, every time I think of you, and we will walk through that garden for an eternity. And each time you think you need me, I will hold that dear to my heart, because I know you love me in spite of my inadequacies.

I love you,

Joe

And so 42 years have come and gone, 42 years of struggles, pain but also triumph and pure joy. It takes a courageous woman to deal with what TLW (The Little Woman) has dealt with!

So…
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, ELLEN!
Thank you for your love, your support and for the wonderful children we have, all four of them. Thanks for being there for me, and for them, and thanks for all the smiles and joy, and the hand holding when I needed a hand. But most of all, thank you for committing your life to me, someone so unworthy of it.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
-Anonymous

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE

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Music & Lyrics by WILLIAM FINN
Book by RACHEL SCHEINKIN
Conceived by REBECCA FELDMAN
Additional Material by JAY REISS


“Craving a musical comedy to sweep you up into the action and keep you
laughing all the way home? Then this Tony Award-winning story is the show for you. THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE is a hilarious and unlikely musical tale of six quirky competitors and three oddball adults and the championship of a lifetime. For each performance four audience volunteers will be recruited to participate on-stage as guest spellers! A delightful score and a cast of wacky but heartfelt characters make for one of the most memorable evenings of theatre. The word for this show: W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L!” 
Theatre Three playbill

Recently I had the pleasure of attending an off-Broadway production of: THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE.

Tucked away on Main Street, Theatre Three is a not for profit next door to my financial advisor’s offices in Port Jefferson, who supplied 2 free tickets for TLW (The Little Woman) and me for this production, as well as their other clients.

The presentation was fun but the interesting thing was we kind of knew someone in the cast, who frankly was very talented and may have carried the show to some degree by his likeability, acting and good looks.

AS you know, there lies within the confines of The Wanna-Be-Bank & Truss Co., one Bow Tie Man, an omnipresent fixture at the wanna-be-bank, also known as Lenny. Bow Tie man has a younger brother, who is talented and came to the forefront in the production of ‘Spelling Bee’. I must say, TLW and I enjoyed his rendition of Leaf Coneybear. His name is Matthew Paredi, and I think someone should pursue a way to get this young man to acting school, where he belongs to continue his quest to become an actor. Maybe he has a rich relative or perhaps a older brother who works in a lending institution or wanna-be-bank lets say.

Matthew showed what passion is and what happens when real talent is given a chance: it shines brightly. In my opinion he was my favorite of the cast, but maybe I’m jaded, because I kind of know him, but he was very good and very talented!

Good luck Matthew, you have a fan here for life, but pursue your dream.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

IT’S AMAZING!


I get a call the other day from the Huntington Town Department of Parks and Recreation. A woman wishes to speak to TLW (The Little Woman), and they are enquiring about an organization that she helped out with. According to the woman, TLW is the President of the organization, and could she talk to her.

I explain that she is NOT the president and never has been, that there is NO president to begin with. The woman not satisfied then requests a phone number where she can be reached. I reply that she will have to call here after 6PM. “Ok, I will” and we hang up.

A few hours later another lady calls from the same office and asks for TLW, and I explain she is not here. She goes into the same spiel as the first one and I say: “I just explained to you people that she is NOT the president!’

She does look dangerous!
“Don’t you call me you people, I am a government official, I could have your wife served with papers. I’m only trying to protect your wife!”

“DON’T YOU GET ON YOUR HIGH HORSE WITH ME, LADY, I PAY YOUR SALARY!”

“I PAY MY OWN SALARY!”

“NOOOO, I DO!”

“Well we are only trying to protect your wife.

Some lowlife official is going to subpoena my wife for what, withholding information that they now have because I told them?

HAHA!

You know what, they should, then they can take her to jail where I will bring her laptop, and she will bug then until they go crazy trying to get it to work after she does a download or two, it would serve them right.

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

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Just like fathers everywhere, Father’s Day is an after-thought. Yes, it took Mother’s Day and a widower to enable Father’s Day recognition.

Now I’m not complaining, I think it nice that we recognize fathers in America, without them there is no family to begin with.

In 1910, in Spokane Washington, a young woman named Sonora Smart Dodd after hearing a sermon about mothers on Mother’s Day, approached her pastor and suggested a day be set aside for fathers, her inspiration: her dad, William Jackson Smart a single parent who raised his children after his wife died from the birth of their sixth child. And so. The third Sunday of every June is set aside as Father’s Day.

However, for every woman who is married, she has her children and half child, her husband. Yes, it is his job to wake the kids up for school, drive them somewhere on weekends (it didn’t matter where, just put them in the car and drive) and fix broken toys, paint their rooms and tell them they are NOT adopted if they really weren’t.

Spending time with Dad was special: it was considered bonding. After a father untied himself from the ropes, fathers then could repair the house before Mom got home. I remember bonding with Dad, playing tag and Dad would drive.

When my kids got older they wanted to bargain with me about their behavior.

#1 Son: “Dad give me $20 and I’ll be good.”
Me: “What! At your age I was good for nothing!”

#2 Son sought some kind of deal by requesting half of all my Father’s Day presents, after all he reasoned: if it weren’t for him I wouldn’t even be a father.

Naturally I am proud to be a father, having two good-looking sons and a beautiful daughter. My daughter very much loves me, giving me hugs constantly and always makes a big deal when she sees me.

I had a wonderful early Father’s Day present this past May, flying out to Chicago and spending a long weekend with my sons. Seeing the Mets play two in the city with broad shoulders and sightseeing the city, it was a wonderful thing for any father to do.

As for me, I would not trade my kids for anything, or anyone. My daughter is as valuable to me as if she could give me grandchildren, and my son Joseph: although knowing him for only a few years, still reigns true in my heart and soul, as do two wonderful sons. Happy Fathers Day to me, and to all who are Dads, a special title.

Now that #1 Son is married, I am very fortunate to have such a wonderful daughter-in-law: TLC (The Lovely Courtney) and she is thought of as my own. She demonstrated what father love is when I spent a few days with her and her dad Roger, who had to be a great father in raising her as she so enjoyed his company that long weekend in LA. (Go Bruins!)

To my Dad Tony, my father-in-law Jim, all my brother-in-laws, Roger, and Phil, along with my good buddy and paisano from the old neighborhood in Brooklyn, Jim, and all my friends on the board of directors, the neighborhood and everywhere, have a wonderful Father’s Day, may your children keep you in their hearts forever.


To my children I say:

Dear Children,

Always take comfort in the fact that as long as I live, here is where your home is. Here is where you can come if life is too unbearable, or deals you a nasty blow. I will always be here for you and will always worry about you, no matter what age, no matter how comfortable and secure you may feel out of my sight.

The one gift grandpa gave me he gave me many years ago that lasted all my life: the knowledge that he was there for me, even without resources, he backed it up with love. He wasn’t very demonstrative about it, just went ahead and did what it took, and I am always grateful for that.

When I am gone, I want you to remember me for only one thing: that being that I did give you my best. The best is not always accommodating, not always cooperative, but it is the best. By that I mean you may not have always agreed with me, because there were days when youth was more exuberant than reason. But I did what I felt was right. There were days when you may have made me angry with you, and I may have said things I shouldn’t have, but I never said I don’t love you.

So I will be proud today, because you are the reason I am a father, something I am proud of because of you. Thanks and remember: I love you all… equally… without qualification.So love each other.

TAPT,
Love, Dad


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Saturday, June 15, 2013

IT’S NOT THERE YET, BUT I CAN SEE IT!


I often think that if I hadn't grown up where I did, and when I did, I would never have entered a creative field. Childhood is a great influence on childhood to adult imagination. Recently, a good man wrote about using your imagination and how priceless it is. http://spaldeendreams.blogspot.com/2013/06/using-your-imagination-priceless.html

60 years ago in the teeming concrete jungle of Brooklyn, there was so much stimulation to drive a child’s creativity, triggers so to speak that it was impossible to be bored. If you could image it yourself, a kid in an uninspiring environment surrounded by family and friends and nothing else, finding himself on the top of Mt. Fujiama, or the 7th game of the World Series in Ebbets Field in the bottom of the 9th, and how you win it all with one swing of the bat with the bases loaded.

Most of us were poor, coming from 1st generation Italian Americans fighting to be accepted in the American fabric. Dad had a hard job in the shipping department of the New York Laboratory and Supply Company, and so I dreamed of having a job where I could wear a tie and white shirt to work everyday.

Growing up on Italian and American meals, I dreamed of someday affording an exotic meal from China or Japan, or maybe even France.

Our playgrounds were made of concrete, and iron, so to be amid the green grass and trees of the country, maybe a lake or beach on a sweltering summer’s day was a dream that only got more embellished as I wilted in the heated streets of Brooklyn.

Toys were almost non-existent, however one thing every kid seemed to have was a pair of roller skates. Those skates were an airplane, a racecar and horse, or any vehicle we so deemed it to be.

One of my favorite things to do is to look at things and study their structure, the space relationships, colors and tones that make the body of the object, so I could mimic it on paper. That came from my childhood of reaching for the details and studying how things were made. Once I remember sitting at the kitchen table, and realizing how I distinguished my Mom from my Dad. They both had the same features; eyes, noses hair and what have you, yet they were different. This came from the lack of cell phones or electronic devices that did the work of self-amusement for me.

When Disneyland first opened its doors in 1955, I was swept away with dreams of being there, where the sun always shone and the weather was perfect, with palm trees that reached right to God himself. It was a perfect world: unencumbered by the screeching halt of the IRT or bus brakes with emissions so strong it could kill you! 

We as a family never went on vacation because we were too poor to afford one, and so I dreamed of going to some exotic place, maybe where Ozzie and Harriet lived, or where the Magic Kingdom existed.  

Once a year Mom and Dad would pack off my older sister Tessie (much older) and me to Patchogue, where we would spend a week of the summer in the joy of playing with cousins and feeling the warm sun at a beach or smell the fresh mown grass on a summer day, or even the lazy toot-toot-tooooooooot of the Long Island Railroad as it pulled out of the train station on a lazy sunny summer morning in Patchogue, and how it made me nuts to start my day, it made me an early riser even  to this day!

I'm On My Way To A Star

Dream along with me, I'm on my way to a star
Come along, come along, leave your worries where they are
Up and beyond the sky, watchin' the world roll by
Sharin' a kiss, a sigh, just use your imagination!

On a cloud of love, we'll hear the music of night
We can wink at the moon as we hold each other tight
And if we go in the right direction, heaven can't be very far
Dream along with me, I'm on my way to a star!

( We can wink at the moon
as we hold each other tight . . . )
And if we go in the right direction, heaven can't be very far
Dream along with me, I'm on my way to a star!


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