Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Way back in the nineties, I was doing a lot of work around the house one weekend, and being how I injured my foot in a car accident way back in ’67, it started to hurt and go stiff, so I had to rely on a cane to help me walk. This pain usually lasts one or two days and this particular time it lasted three days.

Having to go to work that Monday, I took my cane and got in the car and started to drive, it being a clear and sunny summer day, I had on my sunglasses and was playing with the cane, kind of leaning on it while driving.

The drive was the usual bumper to bumper on a summer Monday from the crowd going back to the city after a few days out east. All of a sudden on the radio came Stevie Wonder, and with him, inspiration!

I decided to act blind and drive my car, holding up the handle of the cane with my sunglasses on, trying to look very blind and scare my fellow motorists into getting off the road.

For added inspiration I sang one of Stevie’s hits out loud and drove, hunched forward, like I was looking for the front of the car.

Needless to say my plan didn’t work, but I had the hardest time trying not to laugh and are you ready for this? Look blind.”

Now this was a married father of four, amusing himself because of boredom. A man with a responsible job, a member of a board of directors, never once worried about who might see me that I know. Why do I tell you this? Because I am retired, and frankly Scarlett, I don’t give a damn.

By the way, it’s Josh Groban, not Gragan like I said in my previous blog. But that’s another blog, right #1 Son?


Monday, July 30, 2007


Well I spent the whole of two hours this morning in the heat and humidity, brushing down the sides of my pool, and skimming off the top of the water, only to have a thunderstorm of biblical proportions rain down upon my yard to cause even more flooding than I had previously. Now I have to set up the pump and then the aquabot (a robot that climbs the walls and cleans the pool), then backwash with new chemicals all over again!

It never fails, do some hard work and what do you get for it? More work.

I weeded the other day and discovered new weeds growing where I just worked, eager weeds to replace what I took away.

Seems now I have flying ants, and I finally found where they were coming from, after I had carefully cleaned the floor in the kitchen, I had to spray the area of entry for these pests.

You are watching your favorite team at bat, suddenly the batter swings sending a vicious line drive off of the top of his foot. His face turns red in contorting agony, I’m sure the swear words are a mile a minute. The announcer says: “Ouch, that must hurt!” Then he says: “let’s see that again.” Then they show another angel. Not enough angels, well they have more and will show them to you.

My favorite is when I sit down in front of the TV, a sandwich or something about to enter my cranial cavity when the screen shows someone having a surgical procedure done to him or her.

Or I’m on the road, about to take a bite of a donut, when I come face to face with road kill.

Steve Philp said...

I can't remember where I'd originally found it, but my favorite is:

Why does turning the radio down make it easier to find the street you're looking for?


See his photo above.

I’m going back to bed.


Sunday, July 29, 2007


Yes, I knew it; those bottled water companies are using tap water, and charging you for the idea that it is mountain spring water. Can you believe this? Being trendy, walking around with bottled water that says: Mountain Spring” on it will cost you more, it looks good in your hand, and everyone will say wow!

While we are at it, do you really think you are drinking Starbucks? Did you ever stop to think: maybe this is Folgers instant coffee brewed in the back and put into Starbucks cups?

How about the gasoline that keeps rising in price? Think you are getting a good deal for the gas? Maybe you are getting Fast Ed’s Corn Dripping under the guise of Mobile.

How about those steaks you order at the restaurants you go to, the fancy Château Le Chez’ Monqui, maybe that’s not beef, maybe its mystery meat that looks like sirloin. Maybe some horse gave its life so you pay $30 for 16 ounces.

Maybe this Blog ain’t written by me, but one of the many monkeys that jump around in the jungle. Well maybe not, it isn’t that good, but you get my drift.


Saturday, July 28, 2007


Yesterday I went to the doctor for a prescription renewal, and as I entered the building, a middle aged woman and her two teenage sons stood at the entrance to the stairway going up to the doctor’s suite. The lady was speaking in a loud stern voice and the two boys were just standing there. One Boy was on the first riser and one on the ground floor, next to his Mom.

I wiggled my way past and went up the steps to the doctor’s office, and waited my turn, a few people were waiting ahead of me, and I thought I’d just make myself comfortable. Sitting next to the door, which was open I had a clear view of who was coming and going on the staircase, and it helped to amuse me while I waited.

Suddenly there was a loud commotion, and I quickly recognized the voice of the woman I ran into down stairs a few moments ago. One of her boys was about 14 or 15, heavy set, good-looking fellow with bright eyes and black curly hair, wearing shorts and a t-shirt, and seemed normal to me at first. His brother, dressed similarly was somewhat larger, close cropped hair about 17 or 18, and from where I stood, his face was somewhat distorted around the eyes, looking far away and confused, maybe even frightened. Once the older boy reached the top of the stairs before his mother, he took off for the next flight up, and his Mom yelling, gave chase.

Corralling the two boys and entering the doctor’s office, the younger fellow was instructed to sit down in an empty chair next to two older women in their late 40’s or early 50’s. The larger boy, about 6 feet tall and weighting about 275 pounds laid down across three chairs, leaving no room for the mother to sit, who standing, filled out some forms for the doctor.

Sensing that she had her hands full, I offered her my seat, but she politely refused, thanking me. There was a young fellow who sat across the room and stared at the poor women and her children, and these two ladies who sat side to side of the younger boy.

Suddenly I was feeling terrible for the poor woman. She was dealt a terrible blow, and I wondered how horrible it was and would be for those two young fellows. The younger boy had Turret’s syndrome, was speaking out loud, with his legs spread apart, hands behind his head and rocking vigorously back and forth. One of the women next to him was giving him dirty annoyed looks that he never even saw, but he just continued to calm himself in that manner. The larger boy arose and wanted a drink, somehow communicating it to his Mom, as she tried to lead him out of the waiting room to find a fountain. When he stomped his foot refusing to budge, the whole room shuttered and shook, the old building feeling its age, but the Mom, took firmer control and lead him away.

After leaving the office on my way to my car, I couldn’t help remembering those days when my poor wife, TLW (The Little Woman) had those very issues, facing a child who did not reason, facing a crowd of people who did not wish to reason, and trying to face the reason why her child had to suffer so. When I saw that poor woman with two heartaches, I was thankful that at least TLW didn’t have to face that.

If you see a woman out there with a handicapped child, stop and think about her broken heart, her shattered dreams, her lonely world, and maybe just smile at her, it might just make her day. And remember, the child is and will always suffer; a smile in his direction is a gift. A kind act is a candle that will punch a hole in the darkness of sadness.



Friday, July 27, 2007


It seems in my house people who live with me expect to relive their lives the next day or so through the blog, expecting me to record each and every incident that occurs to them.

Of course if the incident is interesting to me, I will record it and relay all of the moments to you, the reader. However the pain is not in the recording, nor in the incidents themselves, but in the fact that TLW (The Little Woman) doesn’t always read my blog, everyday! Shocking!

TLW and I were having a conversation the other night, and I was describing my time at the ballgame when I said: “You must have read it in the blog?” TLW, being a worldly woman said: “No.”

Taken aback, I was somewhat hurt that she doesn’t always read it, and said to the effect that she didn’t need to read the blog, after all, she “lives it!”

Thursday, July 26, 2007


TLW (The Little Woman) and her look-alike buddy Lois Cope will be going to a Josh Grogan Concert tonight at the Nassau Coliseum. Tonight is Twins Night, and the first 50 pairs of twins to show up get a new identity. Not really.

But it seems to me typical of TLW to want to go to a Josh Grogan concert, while I never heard of the guy, but Lois has. It seems they (TLW and Lois) enjoy the same things. Be it confusing the hell out of members in their wanna-be bank, or confusing me on the telephone, they go for it. Not only do they look alike, they sound alike too on the phone, when my guard is down.

Being how I call TLW: “Toots”, when I mistaken Lois for TLW on the phone I say: “Hello, Toots.” Well, no more. Now when I call TLW I say: “Hello, Toots?”

There are other obscure things in life that TLW and Lois have in common, what they are I don’t know, but I assure you they do.

As for Josh Grogan, I’d rather drive to Brooklyn and watch the Cyclones play.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Or if you leave him alone long enough, something will happen.

The State meeting for mentally and physically challenged advocates was about to get started, as people were slowly entering the big meeting room after a big breakfast. The schedule called for at least 3 to 4 hours of statistics, speeches, reports and questions from and for the body of people assembled.

Yours truly, after 2 or 3 cups of coffee at breakfast decided that now might be the best time to use the facilities so as not to interrupt the flow of information that would soon be streaming from the dais and podium of lawyers and administrators.

I excused myself from the long table, filled with legal pads and reports from the meeting and head to the “Men’s” room. Heading out into the hotel corridors, past wandering representatives to the meeting, waiters, and staff personnel, I see a sign in the distance “Restrooms”, and set my sights to arrive in a timely fashion, do my business and hurry back before I’m even missed.

Arriving under the sign I see a door that says “Men”, with a slot for an electronic key. I look for my key and realize I left it in my jacket in the car, and try to decide what to do. My dance steps are a combination of what I learned from the Fox Trot and an old Indian war whoop as a gentleman from the organization goes by and says what’s up? I tell him “I’m trying to get in and I forgot my room key.” I also relate the fact that I hear a toilet flushing and I’ll wait until he comes out and I’ll slip in. The gentleman goes into a side door and it occurs to me: “He just went into the Men’s room!” I was trying to get into the janitor’s closet!

Entering the Men’s room, I see the gentleman and say “Please don’t mention this to anyone.” He starts to laugh his fool head off and I out of embarrassment go into one of the stalls, my head hung low and my self-esteem going down the crapper.

People, if you ever see me in public alone, please take me by the hand and call me wife.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Driving west on the Belt Parkway I saw the exit number 6S. My blood began to pump faster through my veins. Heading down Cropsey Avenue, the heart was racing almost as fast as my Santa Fe. As I motored down the street, traffic was moving along with me, all of us in eager anticipation. The Macaroni Man (my nephew Chris) pointed out the lights in the distance, or should I say light post that surrounded the field of dreams, that little patch of green joy, that cathedral to my memories of an earlier time. As I looked up and saw the ballpark, I could remember my first glance of the old ballpark that once stood in the heart of and was the heart of, Brooklyn.

The closer I got the more festive the air became, people were crossing streets with their families, old men wearing blue baseball caps that had a big white capital B on the front, little boys and girls being held by their hands, sunglasses propped on the edges of their tiny noses. Lovers hurried hand in hand in shorts and T-shirts, long strides carrying them to their objective.

We swung along Surf avenue and had to U-turn to get to the parking lot, and inching my way forward, one of many cars vying for position to line up and be assigned a spot to park, the parking attendant held up his hand to tell me: “Sorry Guy, no more room!” Ok, we still had 45 minutes before the game started, when I jumped to the other side of the road and into a parking lot. Turns out it was a better place, since it would put right back on Cropsey going home!

One could hear the beat of Latin and rock music, welcoming you into the world of gaiety and joy as we strolled along the outside of Keyspan Park, smelling all the delicious aromas of the different vendors, with their very now menus, inviting us to come on inside and enjoy. Entering the stadium, we climbed the steps to our level in the seating arrangement and found what we thought were our seats, and were pleasantly surprised at how great the view was. The sun was warm but comfortable, the view of the field facing up the third base line was spectacular, the outfield decorated by the excitement that spelled the Coney Island amusement park, surrounded by the parachute jump, Astroland and the Cyclone ride, all framed by a blue sky and the deep blue ocean. What a great day to be alive!

But what was making this all so special? While the music played, people in the stands relaxed and funneled their excitement to the players, listening to the beat, jugglers, marching through the stands, juggling their stuff and wowing the little fans and grandpas alike, A bag of peanuts in my hand, as I loudly joined in to a rousing rendition of: “Take me out to the ball game”. The PA system blaring out instructions to dance steps as if at a wedding, the groundskeepers and fans, following along, smiles and happiness everywhere. But what made it so special? I saw the rides and I recalled a time years ago, when I visited my Aunt Chi-Chi, on the very street that lead to this very park, and recalled a old black and white photo of my sister Fran, sitting on the wooden horse of the Merry-Go-Round of Coney Island, her little round face sweetly contented upon the ride of her life.

The ball game was exciting, the fans were definitely into it, lustily cheering their team as the players hit, ran and fielded carrying them to an eventual victory, while news was flashing back to the fans, “The New York Mets have just tied the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4 to 4!” the crowd roaring like they just heard the news that World War II had ended.

But what made it so special?

The Macaroni Man on the way home asked me why the fans were so different than they are at Shea Stadium, why they were so enthused and excited? It was then that it hit me. Because the fans had ownership, this was Brooklyn, their Dodgers, my Dodgers had moved away, they were living again with their Dodgers, now called the Cyclones, maybe a little lower class of baseball, but they were happy to have and own a Brooklyn team, their very own team, again.

When Brooklyn embraces something, it is like marriage, something as a holy alliance, true love, unfailing and unconditional.

Thank you Fred Wilpon, thanks for taking that ugly taste out of my mouth that was left there by Walter O”Malley, Robert Wagner and Robert Moses, the three biggest cads of the 20th Century.


"Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack,
I don't care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,
At the old ball game."

Author: Jack Norworth
Composer: Albert Von Tilzer
Published on: 1908, 1927
Published by: York Music Company


Monday, July 23, 2007


The Ignellzi’s, my neighbors across the street invited TLW (The Little Woman) and myself to their son Joey’s high school graduation party, that was well attended. What makes the party special is that Joey looks a lot like Jesus. You say: “What does Jesus look like?” He looks like Joey. There, now you know.

In his long hair and beard, Joey was gracious enough to mill about among the multitudes, as we gathered around to hear his sermons on the mount, and gather around his beer. At one point, while we all supped, there was not enough beer for the party, as his Mom said; “Son, there isn’t enough beer to go around!! Do something.”
Now I’m not saying Joey is Jesus, just that he looks like him. He said to his Mother Alison: “Mother, (he calls her that a lot) gather unto me all the soda we have”, and before we all knew it he was converting soda into beer! It tasted better that the original stuff.

As the party continued, many of Joey’s friends started to arrive, and Joey’s Sister Loren said: “Mother, (She calls her that a lot) we are running out of food for the multitudes and DelBloggolos, Farams, Gagels and what have we. Allison, Mother of Joey (The Jesus look a like I’ve been telling you about-pay attention) said: “Are you kidding me! After what Joey did to the soda, you’re telling me this? Tell him.” Joey said, just give out the peppers
and sausage with penne pasta and forgeddaboutit. Sure enough, when everyone had eaten, Richie, (Joey’s Dad) gathered up the leftovers and there was enough left for Loren’s graduation party, so they froze it.

After this blog, I doubt I’ll be able to tell you about that party.


Sunday, July 22, 2007


If you hired a plumber, and instead of giving you service on your plumbing, or a barber, instead of cutting your hair, gave you his political opinion, you probably would listen but not necessarily agree. You might even argue with him either politely or throw a punch or two. But would you think, “Gee, I better listen to him, after all, he IS a plumber.

One of the things that really irritates me is when a celebrity gives out at the mouth, and decides that his opinion should carry weight, or sway voters. I’ve seen it time and time again, from both sides of the political aisle, and frankly it makes me sick.

Is it not bad enough that the politicians will be hawking and shrilling themselves and their fellow party members from now until next November, without the stupid actors weighting in because they think they know better than you? Are the ads not enough to interrupt a good radio program to hear the same dumb ass commercial spots from the thieves in the local, state and federal candidates time and time again, without having to hear these actors, as they parade around foreign countries acting like they belong in congress, spewing off what comes out of their mouths before it enters their brain?

OK, once in a while they get away with it, ballplayers with superior intelligence like Bill Bradley a Rhodes scholar did, or a song and dance man like Murphy did in California, and an actor like Ronald Reagan did as President, but for the most part, they are no smarter than you or I am, but yet because they are on the boob tube, or the silver screen feel compelled to tell us what we should think. Hey, I don’t tell anyone how to vote, just ask my sons Marx and Engels.

I’m thinking of sending a letter to Barbara Streisand and Martin Sheen telling them who they should really vote for, after all, I’m a retired art and creative director.

Funny thing is the best song and dance men and actors are the politicians, they should go to Hollywood.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Today I went to the radiologist to get radioized, or x-rayed. I walk into the building, go to the counter and there before me lays a clipboard with a 2-page questionnaire. Not even asking, I take the clipboard and fill it out, answering all the questions that pertain to me, including whether my Great Grandfather on my Mother’s side voted for Teddy Roosevelt. I mean, why is so much information needed? Isn’t it enough to know what I need, do I need to give so much detail?

Soon I am called into the inner sanctum of the radiology world and a young pregnant lady who had guided me back there takes me to a little closet like room and says: “take you pants off.” I think to myself: “Gee, I still got it!” She hands me a pair of paper trousers that make me look like Bozo the Clown on a bad day and says: “here, put this on.” Sadly and at the same time relieved, I think that maybe I don’t “still got it”.

Into a secluded room we go, me standing in front of a camera, her, behind this partition. Now like all women, she starts to boss me around. “Stand here and hold your breath.” I stand and hold my breath”. CLICK “OK, breathe” and I do as she says. Out she comes from behind her little computer and pushes me to my right 90 degrees. Off she goes to hide and shout order number 2: “hold your breath.” CLICK “breathe”.

180 degrees later: “Hold your breath,” CLICK “breathe.” After all these orders I starting to feel at home when she says: “stay there, I’ll be right back.” In comes her boss who looks at something in her little room behind the glass where she was yelling at me, and I think: “My God, what is wrong?” The two confer and she raises her hands and says to her boss: “We don’t do that” and runs off to the side. Now I’m getting interested in all this because I’m still standing there and they look concerned. She says to me; “ We have a problem, we couldn’t get the last shot. We need to re-boot the computer, this will take a while.” Lady, you guys have the problem, me, I’m going to sit in that chair there, and soak up some air –conditioning, and think about getting some tape and a pair of scissors to taper this pair of paper pants I’m wearing.


Friday, July 20, 2007


Did you ever get into a discussion with someone that said something you didn’t like? And after that discussion do you remember saying to him or her in an imaginary way what you should have said, but couldn’t think of it at the time?

Today I went to the Doctor to find the root of my current ailment.

Scene: One of his inner examination rooms, the patient (me) sitting on the examining table with a sore back, Him (the Doctor) suddenly barges in with one sweeping motion, opening the door and in a loud voice says: “And how are you today?” Me: “Fine.”

Back that up,

Me: “I’ll tell you how I am today, sick-why the hell do you think I’m sitting in your office for? Waiting over an hour in the outer waiting room with a bunch of sickies, reading magazines that were published in, well the stories are about the Beatles coming to America.” “Ya really want to know how I am today doc? Well I’ll tell ya, tired of sitting on this stupid examination table for another hour while you take your sweet ass time with some old lady that needs a wider sfincter so she can fart again.”

Of course I didn’t say that, but wish I could. No, the cute little old nurse that gave me the thermometer would wet herself, and I’d be blamed.

Speaking of which - Peeing in the cup. I always worry that I won’t have any to give, I sit in the waiting room and try to will it up. Not too much, I don’t want to have to dance while I wait with the other sickies.

I give nurse Hilda the cup and she immediately gets out this dip strip that looks like the ones I use to read the alkalinity amount in the water. She dips it and lays it on top on the cup for the doctor, and I say: “Do I need any chlorine?”
Her: “Huh? Chlorine? What do you mean?” I tell her how I use similar strips for my pool, give it 3 big tables of chlorine and tell it to call me in the morning.

Her: “Oh” “????”

One of these visits I’m going to go into those thin metal drawers that line up under his counter where the cotton swabs reside and see what he keeps in them. You would think I’d have enough time to do that with all the waiting I do, but I just never get up the nerve.

Anyway the good doctor says: “What can I do for you today?”
I explain my problem, He hits my kneecaps, my ankles, pulls out the back of my shirt to look at my back, asks if my legs are weak and tells me I may have a herniated disk. “You’ll need some x-rays and a prescription for medicine.” Sometimes I think he likes to play doctor.

What I would like to say when he asks that question is: “Do you think you could give me some of that money you are making? After all Doc, you are making a ton of dough, and you are not even a bakery.” And I may add Doctor, it would make me feel a hellova lot better!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


The day started innocent enough, no sunshine, but no rain. As the morning progressed, it started to get darker and darker, until an almost midnight cast completely surrounded the house, bringing a stillness, that helped to define each leaf in the trees, giving intensity to its color as it stood in the calm before the storm.

I decided to sit and read the morning paper first, before doing anything to start the day, so with my cup of coffee and sports section, tired achy back and legs, I began to read. Suddenly the rain began dancing off the sky light and started a downpour, nothing that was new to me, since it comes every year about this time, and I thought I’d finish the coffee and go take my shower.

After my shower I got dressed and was putting on my shirt thinking as I descended down the stairs and walked over to my sliding doors to look out into the yard that the rain must be over by now, I was surprised by the intensity of the rain and being surprised that it was still raining so hard.

Suddenly I had an even bigger surprise. It is raining so hard that the pool is literally overflowing! Yes, water is now way over the edge of the pool and building quickly in the back yard. In less that one hour I had experienced over a foot of rain. Floating on the top of the pool was broken branches and leaves, along with acorns and what ever else Mother nature decided to toss in there. The water worried me now because it would soon reach the basement windows and start to seep down into the basement. My yard was flooding!

Quickly I ran inside the garage to get out a pump and extension cord, worrying that the cord had to be connected from the inside of the house and the connection needed to be dry. Would it reach? I ran outside looking for the hose and disconnected it from the sprinkler and ran one end to the pump, the other to the driveway that runs along side the house. Taking the pump connections I brought it into the den and connected to an extension cord. It reached! I could safely run the pump from the house! But the pump wouldn’t be fast enough, I had to get the water level down by at least 2 inches in a hurry. Flying back into the garage, I searched for a big pail that I keep, and while running back out to the pool area, I am peeling off my very wet shirt and finding a old UNC sun hat to keep my head from further soaking.

Dipping the big multi-gallon pail into the pool, I start to heave the water into the driveway, one heavy load at a time, working furiously, and thinking I could back wash the pool to lose some more water, but where would it go with the ground around the backwash hose saturated with water already?

One pail at a time until I notice I have made some progress between the pump and the hose, and now I’m feeling sharp pains in my back, legs and chest! The pain in my legs and chest have been there for a few days and tomorrow I will see the doctor about them, and the pain in my chest was from the incision from my by-pass operation almost 4 years ago.

I stop and retreat into the house after first checking the hose that it was pouring out water.

This afternoon and again this evening, the rains will return, and are predicted to be as severe as they were this morning! Oh boy!

I should call the undertaker and tell him that I should be pretty clean by the time I arrive, and to use an 18” neck size for my shirt, 17 ½ is too uncomfortable to lay there like that.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Went to bed Sunday night feeling kind of crummy. My back and legs and all my joints were hurting then, and more so now. Slept like a nervous cat next to a pit bull the whole night, couldn’t get any sleep but did have lots of pain running up and down my back and legs, not to mention the joints in my legs. Last night was the same story, no sleep but a lot of pain. Coupled with the little bumps that have invaded my arms and feet that itch, it made for a great evening.

Suicide is ruled out because #2 Son owes me $10, and I intend to collect. I think maybe I’ll try to take some more aspirin and see if it helps at all, and read a book while I await the results. So far they haven’t helped at all.

I keep reminding myself that at least I don’t have to go to work feeling like this, and that makes me feel better psychologically.

What really concerns me is I’m not hungry, even though I ate breakfast. I think it’s either love or old age, and I’m too old to think its love to affect me like this.

Anyway, I will put in a call to the funeral parlor and inquire if they have any caskets in a nice shade of green, with maybe a bit of nice detailing and a magazine rack and wet bar. Actually I'll see a doctor this Thursday for my ailments.

In case you don’t hear from me here anymore, it was my pleasure.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007


As I was pulling out of my driveway today on the way to the library, I couldn’t help but notice two youngsters next door sitting at the curb of my man Bill’s house with a table and what looked like a pitcher.

Out there were Bill’s Daughter Christina and her young neighborhood friend selling lemonade. Dying of extreme thirst, I pulled over to enquire as to the deal I would get in lemonade commodities.

Me: What you got there?”
Her: Lemonade.
Me: How much?”
Her: 50 cents, you want a glass?”
Me: “Oh yes!” As I reach for my wallet, wait for the moths to fly out, (Family pets) and push away the cobweb I reach for a dollar. Her: Do you want change?”
Me: Oh no! We serious lemonade drinkers don’t need change.”

Together the partners mix my drink. This is right out of the can powder, so I know it was fresh.

He: “Put the stuff in the glass” (Actually plastic)
Her: OK
He: “Put more powder in.”
He hands it to me and I take it and ask him; “is this a franchise or limited partnership?”
He: Rocks back on his heels and sticks his thumbs into his belt loop of his pants, stares down the street and says; “Nope”.

I sense a major conglomerate cornering the lemonade market in the not too distant future. You think I’ll get a discount?

Monday, July 16, 2007


Driving with TLW (The Little Woman) takes on a new dimension every year that passes. Recently we were going to Target’s to get something for the yard and as I was the driver, she automatically became the navigator with admiral’s stripes, and one with a stern forbearance.

I admit there are times when I can’t tell my right from my left, and my elbow from my nose (went the other way) but most times I can. As we drove down the road, I noticed a certain detachment on the part of TLW, as she started to give instructions in a rather robotic cadence, fast and furious they came, and with a tone that was steady and to the point, totally focused on my being in the correct lane, at the correct speed, and at the right breaking point in our sojourn to spending more money.

“Turn right.” Said TLW.
“Get over to the right lane”, “slow down here”, and just a little editorial comment to break up her boredom: “I thought you weren’t going to stop behind that car!”

Of course my good nature, and the fact that I am a model husband, one with a great sense of humor, I let it all roll off my person and follow her instructions, with the dedication of a Kamikaze pilot looking for a nice ship to wreck.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


It started Sunday, as we were eating dinner in a restaurant before going to Westbury to the Johnny Mathis concert. TLW (The Little Woman) was complaining about a couple of what looked like mosquito bites on her arm and hands.

As the week progressed, the small itchy bumps increased in numbers and spread all over her arms, legs, hands and back. Putting on lotions didn’t help and the only thing that did was an antihistamine, which eased the itching.

Well I feel like I’m living in the novel from the 60’s “On the Beach” where people slowly die off from radiation poisoning from a nuclear war, as I now am starting to get the same little marks. Could it be the return of the Bubonic Plague?

The little pimples are building up slowly, two and three at a time, every few hours, and soon I will start to go mad like in the Dark Ages when the plague struck.

Well folks, this is it, little pimples will finally finish me off. This is not the way I wanted to go. I was hoping to die in my late 90’s by gunshot wounds from a young jealous husband


Saturday, July 14, 2007


Well, I just get back from the land of cinnamon where we celebrated a wedding for my niece Katie, a great gal and her new husband Alex, when lo and behold (What does that really mean and why do I use it?) I get an email from the bride’s Mother announcing that her son Marc got engaged last night!

Engagements are what happen to parents that don’t watch their children; the kids get engaged.

Anyway, Marc is a really handsome fellow that just happens to look like me, and he introduced his fiancĂ© Nicole to me at the wedding. Nicole is a very sweet and beautiful young woman who looks just about right for this family, and I’m sure will allow Marc the privilege of keeping his old habits. The fact that she is part Sicilian (a wannabe Italian) makes her all the more wonderful. Of course Marc thinks I should watch my back since she is Sicilian, so you know she probably took a contract out on him for the future. If he gets whacked I’m not surprised.

Actually my older sister Fran and her husband will have fulfilled their destiny of raising all their children and marrying them off.

Which leads me to Sons # 1 and 2: Look how nice Marc did. I want you guys to find nice girls too, I don’t care if they don’t speak English; I want some grandchildren. All you have to teach them is: “Senor Poppa, or Poppa San, (depending on where we import them from) here are your grandchildren! We will take them home with us after you are done spoiling them.”

Friday, July 13, 2007


Happy, my American Cocker Spaniel, a beautiful dog, is one terrific watchdog. So far she has perfected the art of watching me eat, which I’m sure some of you are thinking, “It must be an all day affair.”

Well smarty-pants it’s not! However she has also taken on the mantle of Momma as she now will not come into our bedroom until #2 Son or TLW (The Little Woman) or myself are all home. What she does is lay at the top of the staircase and watches the front door waiting for whoever is not home yet to return. Once that happens, she will nudge the bedroom door open and come in to sleep.

This is a smart intelligent animal, who really hates people, yet loves us. She will not warm up to strangers and most relatives. The only outsiders she will not bark at are my Mother and my Nephew The Macaroni Man who comes over every Sunday to watch the game with me. We have to eat macaroni every Sunday because he loves it, and TLW refuses to make him anything else!

Getting back to Happy, her position in the household is secure, as with a sleepy demeanor and her head resting on her assigned chair in the den, she rests the day away, or charges the front door to bark at passer-byers and neighbors from across the street.

Wintertime you will find her as a fury mass curled up on her chair or her oversized pillow, and in the summer on the cool tile floor. When I get up to go to the kitchen, be it to put something away or to cook, she is right there waiting to see if I will give her some food.

Every day at 4:30 Happy will get excited and jump up and down and run at me and bark as she tells me it’s time to make the salad and give her some lettuce. When she sees me bring out my Jack Daniels bottle she starts to run up and down the length of the kitchen and gets all excited knowing the lettuce can’t be far behind.

Being sly as fox, Happy has gone to the extreme of hitting the little bell in the den by the sliding door that leads to the back yard. That little bell is her signal to tell us that she needs to go out to do her business. When she goes out and returns she gets a treat. Sometimes this little maneuver is enacted two or three times within minutes to solicit more than one treat.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


It seems that whenever I need a mechanic, he is always busy. Mine has a habit of promising me a time and then falling behind a few days. The trouble is he is very honest, and since I trust him, I have to put up with his dishonest time assessments in order to get an honest price for his labor.

Once a few years ago I walked into his shop and he had a brand new computer sitting amongst his clutter and grease, right next to the grim, and asked me to give him my last name spelling, phone number and address, yes he was going high tech in the record keeping business. No more writing down phone numbers on his monthly desk calendar that sat on a counter that was inhabited by car keys. No more bills that looked like they were easy wipes for an oil stick; he was cleaning up his operation.

When I came to pick up the car, there sat the computer in his “Office”, with a shiny new printer, waiting to be used, someday. That was a few years ago.

Today I returned to his shop and described my auto’s problem and he took down my phone number and name, you guessed it, on his grease-ridden calendar, in a little box he drew to contain the info.

The computer sat under some auto parts catalogues, under a Playboy calendar of Miss February 1999, and an ad for wiper blades that also held a cartoon of some kind.

The bill usually comes with at least one of his fingerprints on it, and if I charge it, the card will be easier to slide back into my wallet.

But hey, he treats me like family after 25 or so years was using him, and he doesn’t steal.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


TLW (The Little Woman) and I celebrate our birthdays three days apart. Mine is July 6th and hers is July 9th. This year we decided to treat ourselves to dinner and a Johnny Mathis concert.

As we sat waiting for the show to begin as the people were filling up the seats, TLW asked if I noticed the age of the crowd. Yes, they were mostly older, and sadly so were we! I mentioned that Johnny Mathis must be about 72 years old himself, and we kind of agreed on that.

I think that J.M. calls this tour his “Geezers Gasp Tour” and adjusted his songs and lyrics accordingly. Singing all the old time favorites, he made slight adjustments such as: “Musty, instead of Misty, Wild Is The Gas, rather than Wild Is the Wind, and When Sunny Gets Gas instead of When Sunny Gets Blue.

The orchestra was a very professional group that kept great time, allowing us all to sway left on one side of the seat, then right on the other, and as we swayed, the notes were loud enough to hide the farting that went on when old-timers get together.

Out in the lobby people were buying T-shirts and CDs and DVD’s and seltzer water and Alka Seltzer or Pepto-Bismol and $4.00 bottles of water. Mr. Mathis is coming out with a new album; “How Johnny Gets Rich.”

Actually, all kidding aside, he still is great, and the audience absolutely loves him, I know we did.

Monday, July 09, 2007


It was a day to remember. The sky started out clear, warm and sunny, as you like. Driving up to Connecticut with TLW (The Little Woman), my 89 year-old Mother and her beau, we made the trip in 3 hours time. We checked into the hotel, met up with all the relatives and off we went an hour later to the Coast Guard Academy Chapel for the ceremony. Only problem was there was no bride! The groom, and his ushers were there, so were the Coast Guard Honor Guard, relatives and friends, but no bride.

Along the wall in the entrance to the church, stood three dress swords with sparkling white service caps topping the scabbards in a neat row by a rear side door. Suddenly someone steps into the church from the rear door and all three swords like dominoes, fall crashing to the ground, hats flying onto their tops, leaving a dirty residue on the white material.

Where is the bride?

On a big white bus, lost somewhere in the bowels of New London! Almost a half hour late, she finally arrives and the ceremony began. Marching down the aisle to the traditional wedding music, the bride met up with her victim for the first time that day. He was erect and handsome in his Coast Guard whites, and she beautiful in her Wedding fatigues, ready to join in Holy Wedlock.

Suddenly the church grew very dark, lit by a few overhead lights and some candles, being supplemented by the streaks of lightning that started to dance outside the etched windows of the chapel. Rain started to cascade down from the sky at an alarming rate as everyone tried to ignore the elements that demanded our attention, rudely intervening with the business at hand. We wondered what kind of omen that was, is there a message being sent? Yes, stay inside until this rain passes.

Off to the reception we go, the rain falling in spurts every other few miles as we arrive at the reception hall and dismount from our vehicles and parade into the cocktail hour, hungrier than Barbara Streisand’s nose for an extra large hanky.

As the dinner hour struck, the bride was once again about a half hour late in starting the introduction to the wedding party and dinner. My thinking was if we waited any longer for the bride, we would turn this reception into the bride and groom’s first year anniversary!

After finishing a very nice buffet, the music began, and Henry, my Mom’s beau had big plans in store for everybody in the family. After a few dances, what do I see but Henry, all 80 something years up and dancing with one of my sisters, doing moves that need to be put into slow motion so we could copy them! The man was good! Smooth as silk and filled with energy like you wouldn’t believe existed in anyone. He danced all night, dancing with all four sisters!


Being married to TLW (The Little Woman) for 36 years, I’ve tried each year to remind myself of the good that is in our lives. Today I remind myself of the good in my life.

Being deaf all these years, I have never been anything but accommodated, helped and never pitied. TLW has never once made me feel less than I am, and always showed me ways to make my life easier in the hearing department. I can’t imagine how difficult it was for her to have to listen to the TV with the sound blasting, the radio out loud in the car or the HI-FI so loud the house must have shook. I am always grateful to hear her sweet voice, and I know that she endured the audio pain for my comfort, never once complaining.

Funny thing is that that is the way she is with everything, and everyone in the house. I have never heard her say we don’t appreciate her, when in essence we don’t appreciate her enough. As a Mom, she is ever lasting and steady in her influence, and as a wife, the foundation of our marriage. When she feels sorry for herself it is but a brief moment, then off she goes to do what she must, care for others.

I still think of her as my girlfriend, I see her as she was and as she is, perfect for me in every way, and in every way that is how I want it.


Friday, July 06, 2007


My abilities as a plumber are being questioned! Yes, TLW (The Little Woman) has decided that I’M NOT ANY GOOD AS A PLUMBER. This is from the same woman who for years has relied on my plumbing ability.

What happened? Well, it seems we had a leak in the tub faucet, being it is a single lever faucet; it needed a new cartridge to stop the leak. To open up the faucet, I needed a special wrench, an “L” shaped wrench that I didn’t have. Being it was a small leak, I forgot about it, so TLW asked me to call a plumber. The bum charged me $283 to fix it!

Well TLW was relating the story to her cohorts at the wannabe bank she works at, suggesting that I wasn’t too good at plumbing. She then related a story about how I took apart our old bathroom, and re did the entire thing. Putting in new walls, including tub prefabs, ceilings, lighting and fixtures, and a new sink and fixtures in the toilet, sink and tub! ALL OF WHICH WORKED PERFECTLY!

I am also the same “not so good plumber” who fixed the toilet upstairs recently, and changed a washer in the sink upstairs. How soon we forget.

Over breakfast today at a nice little restaurant we go to on occasion, the conversation came up, I reminded her of the facts as I presented them above, and she reminded me that he version was in retaliation for using her for my jokes about her on this blog.

So, the joke is on me.

P.S. I’ll be taking a hiatus of 3 days, returning on Monday. I will be attending my Niece Katie’s wedding in Connecticut at the Coast Guard Academy.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Being deaf is half the fun, trying to guess what people say is funnier, but when you don’t know whom you are talking to on the phone, well then it gets to be real fun!

Whenever I call TLW (The Little Woman) at her wannabe bank, I dial in her extension and expect her to be there. Is she? Not always.
Sometimes I get another person sitting at her desk while she’s doing something else. When the person answers, and I think it’s her, I say: “Hi Toots!” She usually responds with dread or asks: “What’s wrong???!!!”

There happens to be a very nice lady who works with TLW, and most people say they could be sisters. Not only do they look alike, they sound alike on the phone. Her name is Lois, she has named herself for my benefit; “Toots II” She has become my second phone wife, a backup of Toots, or Toots I.

I am having difficulties with this concept. For instance: what is our anniversary date? Do I have to get her presents for birthdays, and anniversaries? Will she get angry with me if I don’t?

I feel like when I call I should ask: “Who’s this?” That would sufficiently cover my ass, not lead into embarrassment, and stop both Toots’ from laughing at me. When I get it wrong Toots II will say; “This is Toots II.”

You know, I need another TLW like I need a hole in the head; it would be another case of one to many.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


It was a warm summer evening, on a July 4th to be exact. Around 8:30 PM, TLW (The Little Woman) and I along with my two kids walked from the parking lot to the grassy lawn at the town beach community house to view the fireworks display, a good twenty feet above the shore line on Lake Ronkonkoma.

The crowds were slowly gathering for the 9:00 PM display and I wondered how effective it would be with still some daylight left in the day. Families were gathered on blankets and lawn chairs, scattered over the lawn, getting comfortable with their ice cream cones and eager anticipation for the big show.

TLW always liked to take the kids to parades and firework displays, while I liked would rather miss both events. St. Patrick Day is probably the worse for me because it usually is cold and windy, and I get tired of viewing fire trucks for most of the parade.

As 9:00 PM approached, the crowd grew silent and the darkness had finally set in, leaving a blanket of glittering stars overhead, and great anticipation growing in their hearts, of what was about to occur.

Down below, on the shore of the lake, immediately under the cliff that we all sat by, we could sense the small fires being set for the first round of the celebration.

At the precise time the show was scheduled, a VROOSH, VROOSH. VROOSH in quick secession occurred as the show began, and the sound of explosives, along with the lights and color of the rainbow appeared directly overhead, taking away our breath and shocking our sense of hearing, all the while the smell of gunpowder permeated our noses.

All was quiet and still, suddenly a second round went off and instead of reaching the heights of the previous launch, the explosives went off prematurely, whistling through the crowds as the people were shocked and awed and very visibly shaken as the debris from the explosion shot through the crowd like shrapnel!

No one was ever touched by what could have been a serious tragedy, with the hundreds of people including little children!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Interestingly, to me at least, whenever an anniversary comes around that I do not reflect on the past and look to the future with some anticipation and excitement. As a child, the passing of each birthday was a milestone, but once I married, I corralled all the past events and spent my wedding anniversary noting and remembering and planning for the next year. To me a wedding anniversary has more significance than New Years Day, because it radically changed my life, my scope and my anticipations.

This being our 36th wedding anniversary; is no different than the last 35 were, and I look back on the early years in particular, crowded with people and faces long gone, events that are somewhat fuzzy in details and places that I wish I could go to once again. How sweet the memories all are, yes, even the bad ones, because they brought out the good in the people that surrounded us during those times, and with that identified those people as friends, neighbors or relatives as true friends first.

I’m thinking of this blog as chronicling all the events as I know them for my sons and putting them down in this kind of format that they can have and add to or just keep as a remembrance of their old man and how they came to be of their opinion based on my history. Although they have heard the stories, know the players and have witnessed some of the events, they really don’t have the context. I wish I had that context from my Dad, it would explain my attitudes and convictions to me better. I want them to not judge me, just understand why I am who I am, and they can better understand themselves.

I think it is important to give your children something that has meaning, putting aside all the moral lessons we teach either deliberately or inadvertently, all the material gifts and inheritance we shower upon them and they on us, and give them something that they can appreciate, their personal history before they were even born, their heritage. I don’t know if I’ll ever live to see grandchildren, but if they do come, they too will have a great way to understand their parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles and perhaps add their life’s portion to the story.

Monday, July 02, 2007


As I spend my days more and more on satisfying my creative and personal interest, I’ve come to realize that I’ve become a close companion of my dog, Happy.

She has developed the habit of looking at me with sad eyes and leaving me with a sense of guilt, as only a true companion would. Being a dog has not slowed or hampered her ability to act like a woman and feed me with the need to keep her happy.

When I’m in my studio, Happy climbs the staircase and sits next to me as I work or peruse the internet, seeking her customary place on the blue rug, her place, sitting like a lion outside the temple called the New York Public Library and sleeps until either I get up to leave or she senses its time to make dinner, therefore I must get her lettuce.

Lately I’ve been wont to take her for little forays in the afternoon, where she can discover a new world, pee in a new place or just drop little packages of expression along the way, but like any terrorist k-nine, preferably on a neighbors lawn, causing a great struggle between man and beast to keep her in the street.

Having conversed with her numerous times, I‘ve come to the conclusion that we need to re-establish our relationship as she looks at me with rapt attention, quizzically tilting her head to one side then slinking off to sleep on what I just said. At one time she would come to me and enjoin me to participate in some tug of war, maybe a little ball playing, or a rousing game of: “Catch me if you can.”

My fear is my little cocker spaniel companion is depressed, and in need of a little umph in her life, something to get her excited. I’m afraid that she’s not really giving a darn about who walks by the house anymore, although she sits halfway up the staircase and looks out the upper part of the door to see who is going by. When I lived in the city, my neighbors who lived across the street would sit at their 3rd floor bedroom windows and look out to watch the world go by, a quasi police action of neighborhood patrol. Happy is like those neighbors, but now Happy is deaf, very deaf, and maybe that’s why we are so compatible lately.

In spite of all that I have said so far about the dog, she still has that great sense of smell, and if I am anywhere near the refrigerator, will suddenly appear under foot, on her hind legs looking at me to make a mistake and drop some food in her direction.

Friday’s she and TLW (The Little Woman) have to have their pizza, but Happy will run about and eagerly await the crust from either me or TLW, staring intently until she is in our heads jumping up on our consciousness seeking what she thinks is hers.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


As it does every year, summer promises to bring a lot of things to do and places to go for instance; this year we go up to Connecticut to the Coast Guard Academy for my God Child’s wedding, my niece Katie, marrying a fellow who is in the Coast Guard, having a military style wedding.

TLW (The Little Woman) and I will drive up my Mother and her gentleman friend, while my two sons will go with their cousin John, my God Son. Of course I will have to go to JFK International and pick up #1 Son from a JetBlue flight, from LA.

I think I’ll keep an eye on those two in the back seat, make sure there is no hanky-panky.

The wedding will give us a chance to fox trot and waltz, and even do a little lindy.

Being how the wedding is being held on my birthday, and that of my niece’s son Stephen, we share the same birthday, and so we will escort my Mother down the aisle.

Kathie is the second child of one of my older sisters, Fran and her husband Tom. Fran is one of my Mother’s favorites, being how she was named after my father’s mother. Mom has a few other favorites also, my three other older sisters, being how I am the only son I had to work harder growing up, trying to please everyone, especially four cranky older sisters and a cranky Mom. It’s one of the reasons I was able to adjust so well to marriage.

Then in August through the very kind invitation of my Brother-in-law Kevin (TLW’s brother) and his wife Sara, we will stay at their summer place in Cape May New Jersey for a few days. Should be nice to get away from the same old grind for a change.

We are planning several day trips and tours into Manhattan, maybe China Town and a historic landmark, an old restore tenement house to name a few.

So you have it for this year, aside from a few graduation parties in the neighborhood, and my days in the pool in my backyard.