DelBloggolo

Monday, March 31, 2014

JOHNNY LEWIS AND THE HALL OF FAME


I am not a very good prognosticator! My skills in that area are just as effective as my typing and proof reading!

Not Willie Mays
Many years ago as a college student, I was watching a Mets game, and high on a young player by the name of Johnny Lewis. Johnny Lewis was traded by the Cardinals to the Mets and looked to me to be the next Willie Mays, the famous NY Giants and then San Francisco Giants centerfielder, who could hit, hit with power, run, throw and catch a baseball, a five tool man as they say.

As I watched this kid play one day, the Mets were facing one of baseball’s premier pitchers, Jim Maloney. Maloney pitched a no-hitter for 10 innings in a 0-0 game. In the 11th inning, Johnny Lewis stepped up to the plate and smacked one over the fence winning the game and breaking up a no-hitter on Mr. Maloney! Watching the game with me was my brother-in-law John, and in my excitement, I predicted that Johnny Lewis was the next Willie Mays, and headed to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. To almost the day he died, my brother-in-law made fun of my prediction. The Johnny Lewis saga was over as soon as I predicted his rise.


Recently, as March Madness got underway, I decided to go t=o the charts the newspaper sport section provides every year so you can try your skills at prognostication, the art of being wrong, and embarrassingly so. The games hadn’t started and so I begun to ink in my predictions game by game. Looking over it I thought: Gee, this is really easy this year, I bet all the basketball fans will get them all right, including me,
 
OR
How revolting!
So what happens? I had to get up the next morning, that’s what happened. One of my easier predictions was Cincinnati over Harvard. A bunch of future lawyers going up against a basketball powerhouse, how ridiculous was that? Who made up this scheduled game, I thought. So what is the headline?

I’ve also found other scores, just as unbelievable and humiliating.

My next predictions will be based on how many I get wrong, not right, somehow that feels better to me.



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Sunday, March 30, 2014

THE TAX MAN CALLS!


Again with the coconut monkey?
About three years ago I wrote about the coconut monkey, an adornment for my accountant that sat on his desk since I started using him as a pup in the business world about 40 years ago. The monkey died about six years ago, but fortunately, my accountant, Ron Goldstein still lives. http://delbloggolo.blogspot.com/search?q=ron

But the tradition is that every year TLW (The Little Woman) makes out the questionnaire and sends it to Ron who does our taxes, we sign and mail it in to the IRS. Ron is very astute when it comes to the tax laws and we listen. An honest man who is also vigilant in that he sees to it that we claim what we should. If you need a really good tax man, call or write to me and I will give you his number.

Every year around this time he calls, and sure as I am typing this, he has questions that I can’t answer, and sure as you are reading this, TLW is not home.

I was presiding over two soon to be Belgium pork chops, when the phone rang. The caller ID tells me it is Ron Goldstein, taxman and former owner of the coconut monkey. (see link.)

As I reach for the phone, I debate with myself: do I really want to answer it this time? I never know what is going on, I trust TLW, she is very capable, and I look like a dummy.  But what if it is going to cost me money if I don’t answer? What if we overlooked some huge tax deduction that would save me writing a check to the IRS?

In a deep and somber voice, I answer the phone, trembling and sweaty palms, one with a death grip around the receiver:

“HELLo Ron Goldstein” All of a sudden there is an inordinate amount of guffawing and laughter on the other end of the line.

“Why do people always do that when I phone? Sounds worst than if they were going for root canal or being tortured?”

“It is Ron.”

He gives me the bad news first and then hope for salvation. This is the second Jew I’ve heard from who can work wonders, perform miracles and save my worthless ass. We discuss three areas of concern and I give him my standard reply, as if I know what is going on…

“Well Ron, TLW isn’t home right now, I’ll have to confer with her and get back to you on all three questions.”

Some things never change.

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

DARBY SHEA –


She has arrived! La Principessa, the queen of angels, my beautiful granddaughter: Darby Shea! (La Principessa).

There is absolutely nothing I could say or do that would convey to you how overjoyed both TLW (The Little Woman) and I am. What #1 Son (Anthony) and TLC (The Lovely Courtney) brought into our personal world is pure joy: no additives were needed. She is the apple of our eyes and the love of our hearts, a princess, La Principessa!

The last few days have been a whirlwind of activity and excitement. Seeing what a little child so beautiful can do to you and what she has done for me is just unfathomable. Not only has stolen my heart, she has taken away some personal angst that has been gnawing at my gut with the problems that I left back home, mainly my mother’s slow dying in a nursing facility. They say that when one passe, another takes their place. Someone so small, and beautiful has the strength to do that! Amazing, and thank God for her, she is indeed  gift from God, as only God can do it.

I don’t know how long I have on this Earth, but I know that having met Darby Shea, I have lived a full and rich life. God has blessed me with her, her mom and her dad, not to mention her grandmother, her Aunt Ellen and her Uncle Mike.

I am a happy man. Thank you all from my heart and soul for all your kind words and sentiments.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

ST PATRICK WAS CHINESE!

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And his parents came from Japan.

No? Italian? No! How about Scottish? Yup, and his parents were Scottish and rich. How is that for a combination, with the Scott’s reputation for being thrifty?

You must be asking: “What the HELL does this got to do with the price of Italian sausage, DelBloggolo???” Well first of all let me say, watch your language! Secondly, last week there was some debate about what St. Patrick was, was he Italian or French or British or what?


The tradition of St. Patrick Day, like Columbus Day is what America is all about, our ethnic pride, our roots and our values. It troubles me that we would think to infringe upon the Irish, or say someone else discovered America, or Steuben was really a Pole, because it isn’t the person so much as the pride in being Irish or Italian.

Watching the St. Patrick Day parade, I see a lot of happy, smiling faces, waving at the camera, and that is just the faces! They also are waving their arms and hands, and what it says to me is: here is a direct descendant of a man or woman or both, and took a challenge from America, to establish themselves and make a go of it in the greatest country in the world. But it doesn’t have to be Irish, or Italian: it could be Spanish or Puerto Rican, Polish or Chinese and Japanese.

Maybe it is time to have a ‘Ethnic Awareness Day’, where we all march in our ethnic colors in the same parade, maybe it is time to let go of the distinctions we make about each other and embrace the fact that we are all Americans first, like our ancestors who first came here, hoped.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

WOULD HE LIE TO ME?


If you ever commuted on the railroad,, after a while you begin to make friends and start to sit together. There is a commonality that may bind you to a group of people like a ethnic or community likeness, and you see each other everyday, saving a seat and eventually getting into card games etc.

When I traveled I met a lot of women going to work who were the source of my dating, they were easily assessable due to the confines of the seats and conversations were easy to make. You got on the same car every day, took the same seat if possible, and BINGO, you made friends. That is how I met the Little Woman (TLW). Before I knew it, she got me to ask her out, then said ‘No’ since she had something better to do, I think straighten out her dog’s toy chest.

One day I left work earlier on a Friday afternoon and found myself on this train going to Patchogue. I took a seat on a mostly empty car with the exception os a small group of people, maybe 6, all sitting together 3 facing 3 and rather happy and out loud laughter. The ringleader was a man who was making jokes and suddenly spotted me. He told another joke out loud, they all laughed and he turned to me and said: “Would I lie to you?” This got a bigger laugh and I said nothing to his inquiry. Seeing how he got the laugh once, off went another joke with r\a responsive laugh, and once more he asked me: “Would I lie to you?” More Haha’s or as we say on Facebook: “LOL”s. This went on again and I was getting a little annoyed. I don’t like to be disturbed when I expect quiet and/or relaxing time.

My chance to fix the situation was not far behind, when once again the loud mouth made a joke, except everyone groaned and the joke fell flat. I look across at him and in a loud voice, shouted: “Maybe you should have lied to me!” That got the crowd laughing again, at his expense.

As he and his group were getting off at Babylon,  couldn't help but get one more shot in, which took them all by surprise: "TRY to keep them laughing!" I said.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

“NOW DON’T LOSE THIS ONE!”



“There will come a time you’ll see
With no more tears.
When love will not break your heart
But dismiss your fears.

Get over your hill
And see what you find there
With grace in your heart
And flowers in your hair.”

The greatest baseball fan I know!
It was a cold November day, the clouds held overhead in a thick slab like layer of dense moisture and the cold held a promise of what was to come. The grayness that day was so complete that one would want to flee to the warm confines of the deep south and the warmth of a almost tropical day.

I stood outside in front of my home, on this Thanksgiving and felt the chill as if like osmosis it managed to weave itself into my bones. Suddenly the side door opened and out came the greatest baseball fan I ever have known. Suddenly the sun was out, the birds were signing their song and the grass, like a fine manicured infield was green as any field of dreams could hold. In his hand was a glove that he possessed, his prized possession: palm up and in the pocket a baseball!

''When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry.'' - William Shakespeare

I still have the hat after all these years!
Once he sat in the back of my station wagon, in his car seat along side his sister. It was after Christmas and he was maybe three years of age if that, and had given me a denim peaked hat for a Christmas present. Shamefully I lost it somewhere and missed it. He once again got me another, I’m sure with Mamma’s help. As I was driving, I mentioned how happy I was to have another: and he said: “NOW DON’T LOSE THIS ONE!”

There was another winter day, when he learned that he needed to defend himself that the world, no matter how trusting and serene it may seem, will turn on you if you get in the way. A young man who lived across from Anthony, maybe in his pre-teens and a few pounds matched by a few years older decided to bully him. He came home upset that he was pushed and complained to his father. His father recognized himself in his son, the anger, the need to respond and told him to go out and not ever take it. He went out and the last I looked, was swinging away, the bully retreating.

“It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father”

Then many years later, high up in the stands of The University of North Carolina, as he and I settled in to watch the Tar Heels of UNC take on the North Carolina Cardinals in a football rivalry, a drunk was loose and annoying people. No one wanted to deal with him, no one except the greatest baseball fan I have ever known. With sternness and conviction told the guy he needed to sit down, which the drunk did.

So far, his greatest achievement!
And now he heads into fatherhood for the first time, with all the tools he needs, belief in himself, conviction in his motives, a husband who I hope knows how to cherish for a lifetime. Today is his birthday, his job… to help make people laugh, how wonderful. He can take the time out perhaps today, and under the shade of the California Palm trees, reflect how far he has gone, a great education, and beautiful and intelligent wife, and soon to become a dad and the road yet to travel and give himself a pat on the back and say: “Job well done”.

Truly, it is a job well done!

Happy Birthday old man, touch a palm tree!

Love,
Mom and Dad.

“There are buyers and sellers in this world, I pray my children are sellers, and never buyers.”
Joe Del Broccolo

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN?

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Way back in the 1950’s, when I was growing up, life was a lot different, in fact it was so different that I cant understand today’s parents and how they raise their kids.

When I was born my mother dumped me in a crib in her bedroom and I either slept or played in the miniature prison, with no worry on her part that I would climb out. There was no worry about lead paint, or my escaping. As I grew older and was able to stand by myself, there was no worry about lead paint.


My parents sent me off to kindergarten and 1st grade. When school let out at 3:00 pm, I did my homework and ran down the steps to play with my friends. It was a very liberating moment as we gathered and planned the rest of the afternoon. No one arranged a playtime; no one met with the parents of my friends and made the arrangements. If there was a kid that found that necessary, no one played with him for sure.

We used to drink soda, eat cake and plenty of pasta and potatoes, along with cold cuts and every thing that was banned for kids today. Why didn’t we get fat, because we ran down the stairs after homework and played, actively, running, and jumping and expending energy? We fell off our bikes, roller skates and fences, broke an arm or a toe, but went right back out again.

There was marathon roller-skating around the block for hours on end. We raced up and down the block, jumped rope and went to the local parks and used the see-saw and swings, we played stoop ball and baseball and stick ball and punch ball, we were occupied for hours, scraping our knees and because we got dirty and learned how to take a hit, we survived to this day.

When the day was done, Dad came home and we all went home to eat with the family. And in the summer, we went out after dinner and tried to squeeze even more time from our parents as they called us up for the night.

Mamma and Poppa NEVER got involved, we were on our own, we played to win, learned that what we did or said had a consequence, whether it was good or bad, and our parents NEVER got involved.


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Monday, March 24, 2014

THE CAR WILL BE WASHED!

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So help me, one of these days I will wash my car.

With all the snow comes the salt on the roads and my car, and salt means your blood pressure should rise. Every time I look at my car, my blood pressure rises, so snow causes high blood pressure, simple DelBloggolo logic.

Now I approach cleaning the car two ways, go to the car wash or wait for rain. My feeling is if the snow were rain, the car would be washed by now, simple DelBloggolo logic.

Then I have to consider the inside of the car, the fact that it is not messy, so there is nothing to worry about. Come spring, I will drive with the windows opened and that will eliminate the dust, simple DelBloggolo logic.

However, If someone like yourself needs a lift, I keep a blind-fold in my glove compartment along with 50 million paper napkins from various fast food restaurants, so no one has to see the dust, and if you ride along with me, please don’t hesitate to ask for it, but slink down low, I don’t want to be stopped for attempted kidnapping by the police.

There are few adornments in my car, because if I ever do clean it, there is less to dust, simple DelBloggolo logic.

I don’t listen to news radio in my car because if I do, I hear something I don’t want to hear, get annoyed, start looking all over the place in disgust, and see the dust, simple DelBloggolo logic.

So this issue of cleaning my car is becoming overwhelming, too much to deal with and maybe bigger than I can handle, so what to do? I for one will ignore it, or wait for the rain on a spring day and take care of everything all at once, without the radio on of course, simple DelBloggolo logic.

TLW (The Little Woman) has come to terms with my problem, when she enters my car, she simple pushes the dust aside, simple Mrs. DelBloggolo logic.

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

DR. STRANGEGLOVE


As you know, I ranted on about having to get a shot before TLW (The Little Woman) and I fly out to California and meet our new granddaughter.

So we arranged for the shot with Dr. Strangeglove, who is not one of those doctors that gets all excited so much about medicine as he is about Obamacare and the evils that he feels lurks thereof.

Since TLW and I were getting the same shot for Potassium, Dyslexia, and Trigonometry, (they now combine these shots into one) it would be a simple case of stick out your arms shoot. You would think.

Pia, the nurse starts the ball rolling by asking me to go leave a urine specimen in a cup. Now what they do with I don’t know, I have given it to them every time I visit the doctor. You’d think they’d save for the next visit, just put it in a jar and make sure you close the top real tight. But no, once again I go into the tiny closet like toilet with a Dixie cup in hand and bring it into the examining room.

As TLW does her part, I head back into the examining room and place the cup, Pia sticks me with a thermometer and gets my temperature.

“Hmmm… are you a diabetic?”
“Uh huh.” (Damned, if she isn’t about to give me trouble, make me take some test and see a specialist and come back in two weeks for the shot because being a Pia, this will make me nuts and that is what she is best at!)

“Maybe I’ll alert the doctor, it’s not too bad, but just in case I’ll tell the doctor.” Says Pia.

In pops Dr. Strangeglove, all happy that no one is lounging in his waiting room since it is on this rare occasion empty!

Big mouth tells him about the read on the urine strip, which is a lot like the test strips I use to check the pool water at home. I almost expect him to say I need shock and have to up my alkaline balance after I get skimmed in the wallet. To make matters worse, he is questioning TLW and a blood pressure pill her doctor prescribes, making this visit complicated and making me antsie. Will we have to delay the shots and maybe NOT get to see my granddaughter? This is troubling.

He has his needles ready and sticks me first, then discussed my blood pressure then TLW’s medication and as I jump off the table I tell him to now shoot my wife. (She has it coming, she made this appointment).

So while he is about to give TLW the needle, something I am loath to do since she doesn’t think I’m funny in the least bit, he asks me if I strayed off my ‘diet’ in which I respond: “Diet, what diet?” and orders Pia to stick me with a lance to draw blood and read the sugar level. Fortunately he doesn’t start calling me Mr. Domino because my sugar level is not all that bad, just a glich. He shoots TLW and we are home free!

So soon I will meet my newly minted and beautiful granddaughter, beautiful daughter-in-law and #1 Son in sunny California, what could be better?

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

A STATE OF ANGER


THIS IS A GREAT COUNTRY, A PLACE WHERE FREEDOM IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO ALL OF US, BUT SOMETIMES, BECAUSE WE ARE NOT TO BE TRUSTED, THE GOVERNMENT TAKES MEASURES TO PROTECT OUR TAX MONEY FROM THE CHEATERS.

Case in point.

My mother is about to go on Medicaid, and before she does she needs to divest herself of all her assets. This is because the State of NY is going to pay for her the rest of her life.  Years ago, Mom put her home into a life estate, so that when she passes she could leave her children with something. The problem is that now that she is about to go on Medicaid, we can’t pay her bills anymore, we can’t pay her taxes, we can’t pay for the upkeep of the house. WE can’t even rent the home out, the proceeds all would go to Medicaid! There are many technical reasons for this, too numerous to go into but it is the case.

What all this means is we would have to either pay out of our own pockets, or watch the house fall into disrepair. If we sell it, Medicaid will take all the profits from the sale. Of course I will be fighting this, I am seeing a lawyer who specializes in this and hope for the best. Somehow, I can’t bare to think that the one place I hold sacred along with my own home is going to fall to neglect, the place where for years there was laughter, tears and always joy. I remember how proud Dad was when he bought the house, how every day he went to see the progress as it was being built.

Getting old is sad. Getting old is sadder when you still have a parent alive, and their troubles are yours because they are too old to fight or care anymore. It gets tougher when it feels like you have everyone telling you what you should do, questioning what you are doing and not understanding the issues in total.

Someday, this will all go away. When that someday comes, I will lie down and have myself a big old heart attack and finally be at peace once again. But when that happens, I will know I fought the good fight.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

SHE LOOKED SUSPICIOUS

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Right before our disastrous first attempt at entry into the boarding area at La Guardia air terminal, I was happy to see that the Homeland Security people are out there protecting us from the terrorists that look to prey on Americans of all sizes and shapes.

As you enter the building the first thing that should worry you is if there are suspicious characters walking around in that large and crowded place. As you pass the individuals you try to asses as you pass them by, is he a terrorist, is she really pregnant or is that a explosive device she is hiding under her clothes?

You just never know by the looks of things.

Terrorist? You bet!
As TLW (The Little Woman) and I were moving through the long line and about to go through the detectors, one of the Homeland people pulled this suspicious looking person from the line and asked her to stick out her hand where they tested it for explosive traces. I thought: ‘Thank God!’ they do this! The person looked like she could be one of them, secretly posing as a normal person, but intent on doing me physical harm.

Fortunately the suspicious character showed no traces of handling explosives, because I had to spend the next few days with her, first on the plane and then the hotel and back!

I have to say: Homeland Security sure knows how to single out the suspicious! I know I sleep with my eyes opened.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

SILVER GIRL


Today is someone specials birthday. She is the queen of my life, the reason to live for and die. She is my baby, my daughter Ellen Mary.

When I first heard from the doctor that TLW (The Little Woman) was having a child, my first, I was very proud, very hope filled and strutted about, like any new father to be, this was a wonderful event, a culmination of my marriage and seal of our love.

Then one day something happened, little Ellen was not going to be ‘normal’, but a child of special needs. In those days the term was ‘retarded’, not necessarily a vicious term in itself, but certainly deadly when applied to a human’s life and used as an insult to someone.

In the years that followed, after extensive tests and counseling, therapy and hard work, TLW and I were resigned to a life of struggle for Ellen, and the sadness that would follow. The stares and looks and even giggles of little children because of little Ellen’s behavior, impacted our hearts and souls, causing pain and grief. There was criticism of how we were raising our daughter, and it seemed they all had a better plan, after all they knew better. But we followed our hearts, three hearts on a lonely path, and seemingly walking backwards in time.

When you're weary
Feeling small
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all

But it wasn’t TLW’s or my life we cried for, but little Ellen’s. We saw the frustration and tears of a little girl with no crime committed, but being burdened by the physical and mental anguish that accompanies too many people in this world of special needs.

I'm on your side
When times get rough
And friends just can't be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

As the years went on and she grew to a young woman, we realized we were getting older and she needed a future, something we were not going to be able to provide her with, so I went and tried to get involved in AHRC Suffolk, offering my services as an artist to the agency for free, instead I was offered a chance to really make things worthwhile, a seat on the Board of Directors, where my outlook suddenly took on more than just my daughter. I had an agenda which included anyone with a disability, and I was eager to do my part.

When you're down and out
When you're on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you

Suddenly I was advocating not just for Ellen, but for all my new found friends, for all the children and adults that were vulnerable to the slings and ashes of a very mean world at times, and found not only these wonderful people to love, but some really great comrades at arms who sat around that table with me once a month on a Tuesday evening.

I'll take your part
When darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

And so today she is happy. She spends her time with her peers and enjoys her life. We in turn have learned to adjust to her being away form home, but know she is happy and adjusted. She is always happy to see us, but wants her home too.

Sail on Silver Girl,
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way

Today is her special day, her birthday and she is reaching middle age as we her parents are leaving it.

See how they shine
If you need a friend
I'm sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEETHEART, MOMMY AND DADDY LOVE YOU.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

TOP OF THE EVENING TO YOU!


You had your St. Patrick’s Day, now let’s celebrate St. Joseph’s Day, a day that every March 19th, I got cream puffs made especially for me because my name is Joseph. The tradition in the old neighborhood in Brooklyn for Italians was to celebrate the day with St. Joseph Cream Puffs, and if you were named Joseph, you got a dollar.

Being a saintly man, I miss the cream puffs and the dollar: in fact I miss Brooklyn days of the 1950’s.

Joseph (Hebrew יוֹסֵף, Yosef; Syriac: ܝܘܤܦ Yosip; Greek: ωσήφ, Ioseph) is how they say it. Biblically, there were many Josephs, but not all saints like me. Four sisters qualify me for sainthood automatically.

The first appearance of Joseph is in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Each contains a genealogy of Jesus tracing his ancestry back to King David, but the two are from different sons of David! But, royalty is royalty. I descend from Regina Francesca, queen of pasta and pepperoni, truly a queen. She is also known as Grandma Frances.

The REAL St. Joseph
And so today, eat something Italian, drink some wine and celebrate the day. The color is green just like Patrick, but with a red side to it. (sauce) We refrain from parades because we don’t want to get into that gay marching controversy that plague St. Patrick Day parades every year. Instead, we march to the refrigerator and avoid the winds of March and the street garbage of New York City.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I KNOW WHAT WAS GOOD FOR ME


Many years ago, in the world of 1950 Brooklyn, as I emerged from my world of babyhood and entered my cognitive world of childhood, I recall some of the conversations I had with my mother, who always had advice for me.

“If you know what’s good for you…

            you will listen to me
            you will eat your dinner
            you will clean up that mess
            you will clean your room
            you will do your homework.”

There were other admonishments and she could cajole me with the mighty pine (her wooden spoon) and often use that method for appeasing her patience by swiping it across my head for such things as:
           
            misbehaving in church
            misbehaving in school
            using some unacceptable words in English
            using some unacceptable words in Italian
            torturing my younger sisters
            retaliating against my older (much older) sister

Since 2006, March to be exact, I have been writing about mom and her discipline, her ability to tame my wildness, putting down rebellion and defiance with a common denominator: a well placed use of the pine.



There was never room for negotiations, never a time to plead a case and successfully win it, never a moment where the child won.

Recently on the Internet and in real life, I see kids walking over their parents, misbehaving and acting defiant, refusing to even be quiet. In my day corporal punishment was the norm, sometimes you even got it from an aunt or uncle if it was bad enough. Today-the kids would probably hire a lawyer, then after suing the parents, would get the court to make the parents pay for the cost!

I for one am grateful the methods employed by mom and dad used. They worked hand in hand with the expectations of the school (parochial), family traditions and pride, and taught me that I had to be doing things in the best way only, or face the consequences.

As I got a little older, I started to see the daily lessons sink in, no longer fearing the pine, but the wooden face of disappointment I might leave on their faces if I screwed up, cried or pouted, lost my way or failed.


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Monday, March 17, 2014

TOP O THE MORN, BEJESUS

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And a Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you lads and lassies.

Not being Irish I don't get too excited about the day, but I do cook corned beef and cabbage and make my own Irish soda bread.

Now not to brag, but elderly Irish mammas have raved about my soda bread and TLW (The Little Woman) has taken it into the Wanna-Be-Bank & Truss Co. my soda bread where little Irish girls and boys claim it was better than what they got at home from their Irish mammas!

Of course I make it for TLW because she is the love of my life, so everything should be perfect for her. My children are half Irish or half of my children are Irish, I’m not sure which, but there is the Irish element in it somewhere.

Actually I’m married to a Leprechaun, a wee creature in Irish mythology, who really exists in my life. She is always on the go, doing things and keeping Amazon.com afloat.

Her Dad Jim was from the old sod, a true Irishman if ever there was one. Opinionated, crotchety, he actually corrected the Sunday NY Times, then sent in the newspaper with his corrections.

The Irish are a fascinating people in this country in the early 50’s and into the early 70’s. They had the same values as Italians, family loyalty was important to them, self-respect and morality played a big part of their makeup, but most importantly, family. I was lucky in that I could feel at home with TLW’s family, they were so like my own, they were Americans first.

But recently I have been referring to TLW as the leprechaun, my leprechaun because she is always about, telling me what she thinks, lending her good advice to me, making my like easier and certainly more beautiful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8EXDtoGfrs

God bless the Irish, they have done so much to build America, protect it and help make it grow into what it is today, they deserve to celebrate their existence and we should al be proud of them.

May the road rise to meet you,
may the wind be ever at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of his hand.
THE END

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

GENIUS, PURE AND SMPLE


The other day Mom asked me to suspend her cable service. She feels there is no point in having to pay for something she doesn’t watch anymore.

Being a dutiful son, I get her cable bill and call Cablevision. This is a company that I feel is pretty good, they rarely if ever screw up and try to please their customers. I just wish they would make the various phone numbers more obvious when you need to talk to them. After searching all over the bill I take a stab at one number, then another and finally connect!

I give them the account number and the phone number along with the address and a gentleman on the other end takes all the information and assures me he will take care of it immediately. I hang up satisfied and relax a little bit. I decide to put on my TV to further my education in the law, I’ll watch Judge Judy.

I turn on the set and this big notice appears on my TV
“YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO USE YOUR SET TOP”
Not knowing what the Hell that means I call the phone number on the screen to talk to a representative.

Instead of Mom’s cable service being suspended, they suspended mine!

I guess its their way of saying: You want to end a service, I'll end a service for you!

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

RIGHT BACK AT CHA!

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Rheobatrachus silus
In 2013 the Lazarus Project scientists revealed that they successfully recovered frozen tissue from the 1970's and rejuvenated the cells of the Rheobatrachus silus, a species of frog that has been extinct since 1983! So I guess you are wondering what the Hell THAT has to do with the price of good pepperoni?

It means that if you wait long enough, everything comes back in vogue, even me.  Black will be the new black, and recently I have been having a spate of social relevance, my #1 son with the help of TLC (The Lovely Courtney) are having their first child, or My first grandchild! While all my contemporaries have had grandchildren, and some many, I have been left out of the picture, not relevant to their conversations or part of the comparisons. I seriously at one point was thinking of adopting a grandchild.

I sit at a Board meeting, and someone mentions their grandchild, or some other meeting and a grandchild comes up, me… I just bury my head in my shirt and listen all the while being envious.

So in about 15 days, I will be like that Rheobatrachus silus, a specie what has not been relevant since the 80’s. But will I be like those annoying grandparents who go on for hours and brag about their grandchild? Will I speak endlessly about some cute thing the kid did? Will I make a nuisance of myself about how beautiful this child will be? I think so. Maybe like that Rheobatrachus silus, I’ll croak.
Have a good day!

  

"Grandpa, I'm really proud of you," said the modish young lady.

"What's to be proud of?" asked the old man.

The young lady replied, "I noticed that when you sneeze, you've learned to put your hand in front of your mouth."

"Of course," explained Grandpa.

"How else can I catch my teeth???"

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Friday, March 14, 2014

I DISCOVER

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EXCELSIOR!

Being an old geezer now, there are things that are becoming more complicated for me as I progress through the age of electronic gadgetry. When TLW (The Little Woman) introduced me to the latest cell phone or android as they call it, there are things I don’t know about or care to investigate. Even the latest is not always the latest because the next day there is a new version, as it is in my case.

Recently while in Myrtle Beach S.C., I decided to go for a cup of coffee one morning and asked TLW if she would join me. Getting our coffee we decided to sit in the beautiful lounge area of the hotel and there on the wall was this large screen TV. On the hotel channel was this infomercial about the use of apps and the ability to read these strange codes that are now appearing in newspapers, magazines and on TV, you know them as the square little boxes. (See photo)

I hate my cell phone, and it hates me, and there is no two ways about it. It refuses to stay off, when I do have it on and it rings, I have to struggle with it as I try answer the darned thing, swiping my finger over it and usually missing the swipe as it rings even more alarmingly. I try to keep calm but I STILL MISS CALLS! Then of course it rings at the most inopportune times, on the road where it is buried under my coat and the damned seatbelt!

Anyway, back to the little box. The lady on the infomercial began to give us a detailed instruction on what the box means and does, something I didn’t care about, but wondered what it meant. I mean you are talking to someone who just recently found out what Blackberry is or what the difference between an android and my behind is. Suddenly there was a whole new world opened to me! I learned what it means and how to use it and now look for the box, just to try out the app. If you have one tattooed on your behind, I will read it with my ‘smart phone’. Huh, pretty good: I just used the word ‘smart phone’! There is no stopping me. I now am getting rid of all those stupid scanner chips on my keychain, because they are in my phone. Why, even my library card is on the phone.

I will NEVER be as good as some of these kids with the texting. The other day I was watching this kid whip out his cell phone and then, WITH HIS THUMBS, text out a message in nothing flat, to my amazement, that looked as long as a Sunday Times article! If I just try to type ‘Hi’, I will need my index finger, I have to take off my glasses and squint and really concentrate, then correct one or two typos, and Not use the wrong button for send! This kid used two thumbs!

Good God, is it not great in America? I am cutting edge. (Almost)



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Thursday, March 13, 2014

IN THE ‘SPIRIT’ OF THINGS

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They have to be kidding the public: this cannot be true, yet I witnessed the truth. It seems there is a rinky-dink airline that flies into and out if LaGuardia airport, that looks and feels like a leftover of what didn’t make it with the real airlines.

I’m talking about Spirit Airlines, and the crew of what is the worst service ever. My flight out of LaGuardia was almost 2 hours late, the plane was cramped and the seats were beds of scattered garbage!

The plane must have had extra seats installed because there was NO room to even maneuver the aisle, get to the luggage compartment or even climb, literally into your seat! In my seat alone there was a used napkin stuck into the low ceiling over the seat, an empty bottle of flavored water left in the magazine holder and no in-flight magazine.

Then the crew made their announcements, One that you had to shut off all electronic devices and this elderly gentleman said he was having trouble shutting off his phone. The flight attendant asked what kind of phone he had and he said: "a rectangle one" and second, that if you wanted a drink, you couldn’t use a charge card, because their machines weren’t working, you had to pay cash, and have the exact change or close to it. They didn’t even offer the complimentary peanuts or chips, not that I needed them or even water! I was waiting for them to ask us to share the evacuation procedures card with the person next to us.

I used to hate Southwest the most for their stupid idea of selecting your seat on the plane, after having to be on vigil for the right moment to sent your seat request in for ‘A’ seating or wind up in between two rather wide people, and having to hunt down a space for your luggage!

Don’t get me wrong, I still hate Southwest the most, but I hate Spirit a close second. Their motto is: “Who Cares?”


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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

LADY, YOU REALLY NEED THAT DONUT?


Since the plane to Myrtle Beach was being delayed, we decided to go wait in the boarding area and find a seat. Finding a seat is important because if you don’t you have to either stand or lay on the floor. I am a people watcher by nature, I like to watch people and wonder where they are going or what they do for a living or how many banks they robbed. We were lucky in that we found seats that gave us a sweeping view of the whole waiting room and the abundance of characters that inhabited it. They are large and small, black and white and Asian, young and old alike.
 
The boarding area was getting crowded by only one person, seated next to TLW (The Little Woman) was this lady who was about 350 to 400 lbs, eating a donut and on the floor is a Frappuccino at her feet. Watching her eat this donut I wondered if she really needed the donut. She answered my question by reaching into her brown bag and taking out another donut, after licking her fingers from the first donut. I must say though that she WAS getting her exercise, she would reach down for the Frappuccino with a grunt!


By now, the people from the next flight to Dallas were arriving and beginning to fill the area along
with those of us headed for Myrtle Beach, where they were redirected to another boarding gate. Suddenly, my biggest fear along with having to sit next to the donut lady on the plane arrived. It came in the form of a young family, a father, mother brother and little screaming sister! The sweet and adorable little creature had her pants on fire or so it seemed, screaming to the top of her lungs and squirming unhappily like someone was torturing her. I wanted to.

I surveyed the room and calculated what the odds were of sitting next to the fat lady, or next to the screamer, or worst still sitting next to both on the plane. To calculate my bad luck, you enter 100%, divided by 0 and add 100 and you should get a decent estimation.

And so the plane’s departure time was getting even later as the plane was being held up by weather and traffic, and so I sat and watched.

Tomorrow: IN THE ‘SPIRIT’ OF THINGS.



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