Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Here I go again, spewing some thoughts out there.

Recently, in an after-game interview, Pat Knight, son of the famous Bobby Knight, who once threw a chair across the basketball court in a fit of anger, seems to have some of his Dad’s temperament when it comes to coaching.

It seems after a particularly ugly loss by his Lamar team to Stephen F. Austin 62-52, he said:

"We've got the worst group of seniors right now that I've ever been associated with. Their mentality is awful. Their attitude is awful. It has been their M.O. for the last three years.

We've had problems with them off the court, on the court, classroom, drugs, being late for stuff. All that stuff correlates together if you're going to win games. You just can't do all that B.S. and expect to win games. And if people have a problem with me being harsh about it, I don't care. I came here to clean something up."

It’s not that I disagree with the coach: I think he did the right thing in exposing the players. My problem is with his critics, who think he was too harsh, that the coach should maybe limit their playing time or bench them. Why do we accept the aberrant behavior and go back to coddling these misfits? Why not expose it for what it is?

If these guys who are considered men in college can do these kinds of things, in a public venue, affecting those who put trust in them, who have invested scholarship money for them to play and have a meaningful education, and be on a stage, then they have to pay those consequences. They have to understand that they take down what is valuable, they are lessening it, and those who would harbor them with less than the truth, are abetting in a crime.

Drugs are a terrible thing that can happen to a person many people die from them, and when they do, new victims are found by the dealers. Instead of turnover, we need to end this madness, and soon. Those who died from overdoses should not be condemned: they should be remembered as lives that were lost due to public acceptance of less than the right thing. The dealers on the other hand are getting rich, on the backs of our children.

Society creates the situations when they put on blinders to the real problems it should be facing. We have weak laws for texting and talking on cell phones while driving, and people can pay those silly little fines, but when they kill either someone else or themselves, we say how tragic, not what we need to do to stop the madness.

If we accept politicians who refuse to deal with these real problems then we shouldn’t vote for them, we should expose them as the political weaklings they are, the enablers that slap on the risk and don’t punish.

I think that putting someone in danger for selfish reasons, like texting while driving or driving while inebriated are serious crimes against society. $250 fines don’t do it; they don’t prevent these things from reoccurring time and time again. Jail time is too lenient also, and only a seriously hefty fine of years to payoff and harsher jail time is needed.

Just ask the thousands of mothers who have lost children due to drugs, and auto accidents, and those that are fighting daily to halt the madness before their children become victimized.

Drugs impact a lot in society, from the ridiculous “Designer drugs” to the territorial rights of gangs that shoot each other and wound or murder the innocents that happen to be standing near when the shooting started. They cost the lofcal police money that impacts our taxes, it causes schools to become places to be concerned because they need detectors to screen the kids before they enter the school building.

I for one am sick of it, but sicker yet of the shameless, weak politicians who won’t react vigorously enough to make selling drugs not worth the while, the users and offenders of the laws that are suppose to protect the public from being broken, from not being abusers. It would save lives and society.

The Democrats and Republicans are both equally to blame for this, gun or drug laws, it doesn’t seem to matter to them.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Recently as last Sunday, TLW (The Little Woman) and I got together with her buddies and their mates from the Wanna-Be-Bank & Truss Company for dinner. Hosting this occasion was the Princess of Foxwoods Points (Pat) and her husband Bill. Included in this congregation were Toots II (Lois), Bow Tie (Lenny) and Corinne and her husband, Mr. Fix-it (Doug).

Bow Tie was sitting in on his first ever old age party, and although he is only about 24, we will be soon bestowing upon him the title of: ‘Honorary Old Fart’. This honor should not be taken lightly, as it has to be earned, and from the looks of things he did.

Sitting in the midst of conversation that covered the spectrum of over 50 conversations from flatulence to medications, B.T. seemed to hold his tongue as he sat like a deer caught in the headlights on a deserted lonely road at midnight.

Most of us were over 60 and some over 65 and some (myself) died years ago and forgot to lie down. Sitting between Toots I: and Toots II, I felt like I should get a magic marker and mark their foreheads to keep track.

Young Mr. B.T. seemed to start the process of getting old sooner than expected, right before our eyes! It was an amorphous of a young man in an old person’s being. It was happening, but we couldn’t put our finger on how!

But the thing that impressed me most was the amount of laughing that was done by a bunch of old people, still kicking and vital. One of the benefits of talking to people over 50 is they have spent some time here on earth and can relate to each other in many ways, from political discourse to bathroom humor, but most of all laughing at ourselves without getting nasty, or insulted.

I like to think that young B.T. got a lesson out of life, that it can be easy to be a great hostess and host, as well as a great set of friends that share their humor. The home was inviting, that allowed the flow of conversation to be easy: the food was great and the people wonderful!

Thanks Bill and Pat, Corinne and Doug, and Lois and Lenny, and of course TLW: Ellen!

Monday, February 27, 2012


The other day, TLW (The Little Woman) looked in my direction and said: “That needs to be replaced!” My clothes are only 25 years old so it couldn’t be that, my shoes still had the soles on them, and the chair was still good! Then I realized she was looking at our leather couch in our den.

“OK, whenever you want to look, let me know. How about today?”

So off to three stores that deal in furniture, the first being Raynor and Flannigan, JCPenney & Bob’s.

I think he's not real
Now let me tell you: going through a bunch of furniture stores to buy a couch requires testing, testing that requires physical work. SITTING DOWN THEN GETTING UP IS WORK, when you do it enough times. Finding the right feel of bounce, cushion, support and feet to the floor comfort is all-important. Have you ever seen someone who is concentrating on how comfortable a couch is? They are concentrating on how their ass feels!

The last 40 years I’ve been looking for the ideal chair. I don’t like chairs that bite into your legs because they are too short, chairs that are too deep, and your lower back is on the seat instead of the backrest. Generally, I like a backrest that supports my big melon head. The only person who owned that kind of chair was my father-in-law. His chair encircled you, held you and you sat up, not slouched. The seat of the chair was so that when you sat, it comforted you; you didn’t squat into it. It was no wonder when he was alive he always sat in it.

As we perused through the first store, we made an agreement to check out all three stores. No matter how much we fall in love with the chair, we would give every store a chance to rob us. We finally find a couch that meets our criterion, in JCP. OK, we decide to move on to Raynor & Flannigan, where once again we try out different couches, but like the other store, the color is not right. TLW points out a chair with a remote switch and is laughing. I try it and hit one of the buttons, and slowly, the seat is rising, higher and higher it goes, with me in it when suddenly the seat itself is not going parallel to the floor, it is standing me up!

We pretty much have our hearts set on JCPenney. TLW is starting to break, and suggests maybe we should end our hunt and just get the one we liked. “No” say I, we are going to go to Bob’s just as we said we would.

I couldn’t help but notice that no salesperson bothered us in the first two stores, when we arrive at Bob’s. We get out of the car and TLW says: “Look, they are waiting for us!” “Don’t look them in the eyes.” I caution her. They pounce, we duck, they feint, we laterally slide, step forward, we step back, there is no way of avoiding them.

“Is there something particular you are looking for?” he asks TLW.

Has a father-in-law!
Being a Catholic School graduate she tells him. He points out the different types and where we can find them. I think: “Ah, he’s leaving us alone!” Happily we start looking, when I notice he is in view, just circling and keeping near. I feel like I’m walking lunch for a hungry vulture.

We move on to another area, more couches, more standing and sitting, more tiring as it gets, my feet hurting. I notice he is in view, just circling and keeping near. We sit some more, commenting, he is listening, getting ready for the kill. As we move further onward, we come to this really nice couch, has all we want, and the price is fantastic. The vulture is now licking his chops. I sit in it and he comes over to me.

“You know, this is a really good deal. My father-in-law is in the business and told me what to look for in a couch.” I’m stunned, he happened to get a job in the business of selling what his father-in-law makes! He continues: “You need to look at the fine stitching, and feel these arms, notice there is nothing in them but upholstery, not cardboard!”

The man was wasting his breath, we had decided to take it anyway, but I continued to look unimpressed. “I don’t know… I’m not sure I like it all that much… I have to talk to the boss.”

He drifts away, and TLW and I decide on the final color and she calls the boy over. I say: “OK, wrap it up.”

His “Father-in-law” who must be about 100 must be very proud of him.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


It’s all the same to me.

Last year because TLW (The Little Woman) is such a great wife and mother, I went out and purchased her a Kindle. I decided to get her one because she likes to read, in fact she can read me like a book, or is that a ‘Kindle’ now?

Before investing, I asked her if she would be interested in one, and here is what she said, like she said about the laptop I got her. “No!”

I instantly knew I would get her one, so out I went and at Best Buy inquired. The salesman was very helpful and gave me all the options. I decided to err on the side of caution and purchased your basic Kindle, a standard 3-speed with white walls and bench seats. I wrapped it up and stuck it in her Christmas stocking, it’s big and she expects me to fill it every year.

Like the Christmas before, with the laptop, she was surprised but seemed skeptical that she would know how to use it. Inside of one week, like the laptop, she is deeply into it. She used to spend a whole day with her laptop, then decoded that a whole day was too much. Now she uses the laptop only a half day, and the Kindle the other half.

I got to thinking: I don’t have a Kindle, so while at the library, I see a poster that says you can borrow a Nook from them. This intrigued me, so I went ahead and borrowed one. A Nook, a Kindle, it’s all Rock N’ Roll to me.

“Real simple to use, just press this to turn it on and press this to turn the pages.” intoned the librarian.

Walking out filled with confidence from my crash course in Nooks, I get home eager to try it. Well, I could turn it on like she said, but there is where I got lost. How do you get a book, do I select one from one of the buttons that are on the sides? I experiment and find out a few things, 1) that I need to follow the tutorial, and B) the tutorial is very long, filled with instructions I really don’t fell like reading.

I place the thing down on the coffee table and cry, just a gentle sob, then with great resolve, a full-blown cascade of tears. After moping up the rug I decide that it will not defeat me, I’d wait to ask TLW! My feeling is you should always have a plan B.

But no, I decide that I will be the man, I will figure it all out myself. I can set up two platforms of computers and hook the internet up for both, and I can operate both Mac and PC’s!

I get the Nook out once more, make a sandwich, then I go to the bathroom, check my e-mail and see if the mailman came yet. Darn, I need to get something out of the freezer for dinner tonight, and oh, silly me, did I make the bed? I better check. Well to make this short story long, I finally get to the Nook, and read “Demonic”, but I’m not sure if it’s the book I am reading, or if the Nook is telling me something.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Now I’m a big fan of Jeopardy, I love the show and the challenge of it. Matching what I know against the contestants is a lot of fun! I particularly love the final question; you know the one where they go to a commercial and give you one last clue to figure out.

There is a lot that can be said for the show and Alex Trebeck. Like some of those pronunciations of French words and those obscured English words that come out of the blue. I often wonder if he is allowed to study the questions before he goes on the air. I strongly doubt, in spite of his pretending to know the answers all along that he does.

The other night the final Jeopardy Category question was: French Painters.

“Who said: I’m not any good for anything except painting and gardening.” Went the question.

That upset me. Who cares what a French painter has to say, and who would really know? I mean, the guy is painting, not writing a novel. There are no questions in Final Jeopardy that go: “Which French writer painted this?”

So I guessed that it was Paul Cezanne. I figure all the fruit he painted, he must have had a lot of it laying around.

“Who was Paul Cezanne?” I offer to no one in particular.

Alex Trebek: “Incorrect, the answer is Monet.”

Never liked Monet, I think he used to change the ‘o’ in his last name to an ‘a’, trying to get credit for more paintings than he did.

Not everyone could possible get that right, and sure enough, the one with the least points guessed it and won the game as the other 2 didn’t get it right. One said Cezanne and another guessed someone else.

There is little TV left that is worth the while. Aside from the Big Bang Theory, and football, what is there? Bowling for Dollars is gone, so let me have confidence in what I’m watching.

Friday, February 24, 2012


As I mentioned yesterday, scanning old photos is a big job, if you look at it as work. I seem to get enmeshed with the memories, and I see these wonderful vignettes of my life, a life I shared with five other people in my family!

The original cast
It seems I fall in love again when I view the photos; they seem to remind me of those things I took for granted as a younger man. The wonderful innocence of my children growing up, the dependency of my wonderful wife and kids on me and each other and me on them, and the idea that there WAS so much love in our home. There always seemed to be a happy and trusting innocence that emanated from the lady I married. I tried very hard to be home on time, or within a reasonable hour to share those wonderful moments with her. I remember when my two oldest were 1 and 2 years old, and I would get home and they were already asleep, how disappointing that was.
#2 SON

I see a young wife, with our kids and she is always smiling, attentive to them, and they looked to her for their sense of joy. There is a vitality that only a mother who loves her children can bring. There is an occasional shot of me, but I through the years took the pictures. I see the kids growing up, mugging for the camera, or enjoying a vacation, a meal or someone’s company.

There are shots at Shea Stadium and the local ball field, a trip to Sesame Street or Disney, California or NYC, all enjoyed with TLW (The Little Woman) the center of the event, but the reason we are there was the children. I see a #1 Son enjoying a birthday party for #2 Son, the act of love of a big brother toward his little brother. I see #2 Son who interacts with his older sister as she carries the burden of a disability. I hear the laughter, the singing and joking, the teasing I got from them, and the teasing I gave back.

But the real reason we are there is because TLW never made it about her, never thought to lie to me, or trick me, or call me a name that wasn’t mine. She always trusted me, and still knows she can, and she lives for her children. It is a very simple recipe for love and life. You simply live for each other, you put yourself second, you do for the one who committed their life to you.

We can visit upon all the events that occur in our lives and sort them into ‘lucky’ and ‘unlucky’, but I think that is a mistake! I think if you are lucky enough to marry the right person, all that happens afterward can be dealt with because you are ‘lucky’ you have the right person to help you share the circumstance and deal with them.

Today, I look back and know that we (TLW) and I did some good, just like most of you did. I would recommend going back and looking at the old photos, and think of those times you and your spouse spent together, how wonderful and innocent those times were. I am a lucky man, I still love my wife and kids, and I would never change that, maybe things that occurred, but never the players. 

Love never gets too old or too beautiful.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I have undertaken by orders of TLW (The Little Woman) scanning in all the photos in our family albums. There existed at one time about 10 thick albums that took about an hour each to get all the photos out of it. It started when we decided to preserve our slides, and carried over into the paper photos.

Doing the project is very rewarding but time consuming. As I was pulling pictures, I started wondering about a photo that was taken early on in my career when I actually won an award for a mailing I designed, and had to go to the Hilton to this big bash to accept it. My head was spinning and my company was all excited about it. The writers, and account executive along with the vice-president and production chief all came along. My boss and mentor Jack was there was well.

As I was pulling the pictures, I wondered what ever happened to the photo, when all of a sudden, I turn a page in the album, and there it was! I almost fell off my chair and fainted, it gave me a chilling feeling that that would happen!

Then I felt this joy, that I had found the photo, reuniting me with an old friend and a very happy memory. The photo did something else, it took me back to a time line, when I got married, when I owned my first brand new car, A two toned green Camaro, a nice wardrobe and one of the happiest times in my life.

Did you ever get a momentary smell of something that takes you back to another time? Maybe you hear a song for the first time in many years and there you are once again in your youth? Maybe an object appears that closes the distance that exists between you and someone who passed away?  

And so I have this wonderful memory of a triumph from years ago, one that I forgot all about, clearer than it was, all because of a photo!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


TLW (The Little Woman) all my married life has complained about being cold. It doesn’t matter what time of the day or year it is: TLW is always cold! Now I don’t mean to make fun of her, no, I mean to examine this phenomena.

One of the ways to tell when TLW is cold is a physical clue, which comes in the way of a red nose. It was way back in 1949 that Gene Autry was introduced to TLW by accident, and it is where he got the inspiration for the song Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. He tried TLW the Red Nosed Little Girl, but it didn’t seem to have staying power.

Then there are other signs, she is usually wrapped in a blanket, the heat in the house is higher than Rudolf flies, or one of the real indicators, a comforter on the bed every day except the first two weeks in August.

If we stand in cold weather say for the St. Paddy’s Day Parade, her nose glows, she starts to stamp her feet and fold her arms, and every year gets applauded for doing an Irish jig!

At night, during the last hurricane, if it weren’t for TLW, I would have had to light candles to see!

TLW recently went to the doctor for her usual check up, and discovered her body temperature is 97.1 degrees F’.

1 and ½ degrees separate her from being normal! She claims it has been that way all her life. Her mother never told me that before we were married!

I on the other hand am always hot.

We have been married for over 40 years. In those 40 years we argue over only two things; who the kids bad habits come from, and the thermostat at night. I lower the thermostat upstairs, and while I fall asleep, she gets up and raises it. Then I get up, lower it and open the window, some nights we pass each other lowering and raising, opening and closing. It can be a pretty busy night.

Once we went to my sisters overnight in Connecticut. She gave us this bed with a dual control to lower or raise the heat in the bed. All night long we were uncomfortable, she was too cold and I was very hot. That morning we discovered we had each others controller.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


As I sit in my chair, the TV on, TLW (The Little Woman) has the elevation to Cardinal of Timothy Dolan being televised into my den.

Now I’m not what you call very religious or holy, I just try to do whatever good works I can in practice and the chips fall where they may. All too often, my sense of what is about me, what is going on, gets me into a self shame for thinking that way.

Furinstance. I was sitting in a large room one night where I was asked to photograph some children. The coordinator was discussing a particular gospel about Jesus and a leper. According to the Gospel, Jesus heals a leper who thanks him for healing him. The coordinator then asks the little second graders what did Jesus say?

“What did Jesus say to the leper when the man thanked Jesus?” was the question.

Unfortunately because of what I thought was I was heading straight to hell for. What did I think Jesus said?

“That will be a $30 co-pay!"

I figure if I stay indoors the rest of my life, away from the windows, lightening can’t strike me.

There have been other run-ins with the church, especially one particular Sunday many years ago when I lived in Brooklyn. Mom took me to church every Sunday whether I needed it or not. One particular Sunday I decided that if I could keep the two nickels my father gave me every Sunday morning before he turned over and went back to sleep, I could get a box of white powdered donuts, they were the miniature kind. I went into my mother’s sewing kit and extracted two silver or metal looking buttons and took them to church, when both collections were taken up, each got a silver button, and I still had ten cents. What happened after that is another blog.

Then there was the time I got hell from a nun for taking pictures during a ceremony for something like a communion or confirmation or maybe a baptism.

Then there was a conversation with the Sister’s of Halifax, at TLW’s high school get-together. That conversation ended tragically and is another topic for a blog.

I think I get my inclination from dear old Dad, may he rest in peace. Once, when he was a young man, on a Sunday afternoon went to a candy store to buy the Sunday papers. As he reached for the paper who does he see but a friend of the family and the pastor of the church. The conversation went something like this:

“Good Morning Father!”

“Good morning, Anthony! How is your mother?”

“She’s fine Father.”

“Good, I didn’t see you at Mass this morning!”

“I went to 5:00 Mass this morning, Father.”

“And your father, is he good too?”

“Yes father.”

“And your brother and sisters, all well?”

“Yes Father.”

“Good! Splendid. Well I have to run now, I have a baptism this afternoon, and by the way Anthony, there is no 5:00 Mass on a Sunday morning.”

Monday, February 20, 2012


The other night I had to go to the church to photograph the little darlings of the 2nd grade who are making their First Holy Communion. It is my job to create a poster with their class picture on it.

As I sat waiting for the last of the kiddies to show up, the teacher was talking about the 7 sacraments to her young charges. As a young pup myself in Our Lady of Lourdes in Brooklyn, I had to as a student learn the 7 sacraments.

Sitting listening to the teacher talk to seven year olds about the seven sacraments suddenly put me on the spot. I hadn’t thought about the subject since my last day in second or third grade! Did I know them? Would these little kids know more than I did about what I should have known most of my life?

I was afraid to test myself, so I had a little conversation with myself, I thought that if I don’t know them, I better stay for the rest of the class.

Well I started by thinking that maybe if I look at it from life experiences, maybe I wouldn’t have to stay for the class if I figured it out. One by one I thought: baptism, communion, confirmation, marriage, holy orders came to mind, extreme unction, I had six fingers and I couldn’t remember the seventh! Time was running out, how would I explain to the teacher I needed to stay for her class, and 39 year old man (It’s MY blog) needing a refresher course. Then it hit me, confession. Confession! Something I needed to go to, that was it! I could go home and watch Bowling for Dollars, I didn’t have to stay; I didn’t embarrass myself after all.

I guess I’m really saintly, if you overlook a few things.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I’ve had a conscience for over 40 years now, ever since I left that church in East Islip on my wedding day. Yes, TLW (The Little Woman) has made sure that I was up to date on all my religious responsibilities and kept the days holy.

Sometimes I think I married my mother, as TLW will make an announcement, followed by the look.

“It’s Lent!” (In other words: What are you doing to make yourself miserable?)

She observes Lent: all year long, making little half sandwiches with one piece of cheese and maybe a tiny bit of mustard or relish on some low fat bread made from sawdust for her lunch. I watch that and want to apologize for how I will make up for that!

We were talking about a pizza party we were planning the other night and she said: “OK, but its Lent, no pepperoni on the pizza!”

“NO pepperoni! How about half pepperoni and you don’t touch it? You know no one is twisting your arm to eat it!”

“Oh! Tell me about it, when I reach for a pepperoni piece, I get this look that asks ‘why are you doing that?’”

“That’s not true, it just seems so unholy, you reaching for pepperoni on your pizza, since you really don’t eat it and I order it for myself.”

To me Lent is just another rule that could be broken like eating meat on Friday. It is not a rule made by God, but by God, man will impose it. I remember those meatless Fridays fondly, that was when we ate pizza. Dad wasn’t religious, the only rules he tried to follow were those that were God made. I feel the same way: Don’t kill, don’t steal and don’t covet my neighbor’s wife, unless she has a chocolate cream pie with bananas on top. Now of course, we can eat meat on Friday. I don’t recall the heavens shaking my Earthly existence and some angel informing the Vatican that meatless Fridays are suspended. I remember when Mom had a bone to pick with one of us on Fridays: she made fish.

Mom had what her off spring called the “Point”, a look that suspended any smiling any of us were doing for a more focused, somber approach to her demands. It meant that she had the might and power of something far greater than the U.S. Government, even greater than God: she had a wooden spoon and was not afraid to use it!

So what am I giving up for lent?


Saturday, February 18, 2012


You know that already I’m sure, but this is something that has baffled me for a while.

You have all heard the arguments about same sex marriage. I’m heterosexual, and if I have to I can prove it, but I don’t understand what the issue is. I know that people want to protect the sanctity of marriage between two people: a man and a woman, and I understand that we should teach and set good examples to our children about what is morally right.

I look at same sex marriage and I think so what? My children needed to live their own lives, make their own decisions and understand what happiness is. I can’t successfully instill that because I can’t and won’t enforce that concept, impose that will or give them the life experiences that they will encounter. They need to find their own happiness.

But what is happiness? Is it being stuck with a fa├žade that makes others happy but you love less? What is morally right? Do I make people deny who they are, force them into a life of closeted unhappiness, and pain? Am I morally right by doing that? Can I regulate to people how they should live their lives? Do I really have that right?

What about those that marry into what is perceived as heterosexual, but in their hearts and minds know that that is not what they want? They fear ridicule and rejection, yet betray someone who had faith in their love for an eternity. Is it fair to any children they produce? All because they need a job or place to live, or God forbid, want to interact with society?

Does same-sex marriage impose anything on me? I think not, but it does impose on others who wish to practice it the fact that love lives. Is there anything wrong with love?

We can argue that marriage is between a man and wife in love. Love is important as an ingredient for marriage, is it not?

Some of those who are against gay marriage are the same people that hate gays. THEY are trying to tell society what is morally right. Excuse me: if you are a proponent of hatred, then you suspend your right to preach anything in the name of morality. Demonizing one for an innate feeling, and how he/she would express it is the next step toward other discrimination, until we suddenly find it morally justifiable to kill them or imprison them, making us no better than the Nazi world that once existed.

Gays are living together right now as I write this. There is no less sunshine on me, not less rain. I still eat and sleep and love my wife. It hasn’t affected me in the least. Would I marry a man absolutely not, because I don’t find men attractive to live with in a marital relationship. But others do, so what?

What is love? According to:

a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests b : an assurance of affection
: warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion
a : the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration b (1) : a beloved person : darling —often used as a term of endearment (2) British —used as an informal term of address
a : unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as (1) : the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2) : brotherly concern for others b : a person's adoration of God
: a god or personification of love
: an amorous episode : love affair
: the sexual embrace : copulation

Nowhere does it mention between a man and a woman.

Definition of MARRIAGE
a (1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage b : the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock c : the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage
: an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected; especially : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities
: an intimate or close union
See marriage defined for English-language learners »
See marriage defined for kids »
Examples of MARRIAGE
1.It was his second marriage.
2.They have a very happy marriage.
3.Her first two marriages ended in divorce.
4.She has old-fashioned ideas about marriage.
5.couples living together before marriage
6.Many friends and relatives were present at their marriage.
7.a priest who has performed many marriages
8.a marriage of sweet and spicy flavors
9.a marriage of science and art
10.a marriage between form and function
Origin of MARRIAGE
Middle English mariage, from Anglo-French, from marier to marry
First Known Use: 14th century
Related to MARRIAGE
Synonyms: conjugality, connubiality, match, matrimony, wedlock

You can define the act of marriage, because it is something we do, but we can’t regulate it because it is something we do.

I hear the protesters, the anti-gay marriage people saying they won't accept same sex marriage, I say it is not yours to accept, but theirs.

Can’t we just live our own lives in peace and quiet?

Friday, February 17, 2012


Last Sunday morning at the diner where I treat TLW (The Little Woman) to breakfast, the conversation turned to old age and my Aunt Marie, who is 91 and lives in God’s Waiting Room, Boca Raton, Florida.

Now                                Then
When I was struggling through college, with her good graces, I stayed with her for a while, until I graduated. When she was a little girl in Brooklyn, my grandmother would put the radio on in the morning, and in those days, the first thing that played on the station was the National Anthem. My poor grandmother was raising 3 little girls at the time, and Aunt Marie was the youngest. When the Anthem played, she made my grandmother rise and place her hand over her heart!

A beautiful piece of work!
She was filled with observations and advice, which she still gives out to me on occasion. For instance, she used to tell me when she had an issue with one of her two sons: “Joe, don’t get married, and if you do, don’t have kids, and if you do, drown them.” Every now and then she winds up in a hospital because she has one ailment or another, and when I call her she tells me, and I give this advice to you dear reader, also. She says to me: “Joe, don’t get old!” Good advice, no?

The conversation went onward toward my Mother, and how she along with her baby sister still live in their homes, fiercely independent and alone. My mom has a boy toy, but he goes home at night. Mom should be using a walker, but won’t. Her body is starting to give and she refuses to use the cane she has because: “Only old people use that thing!”

2 sisters sitting through thick and thin
Then the conversation centered around TLW and me, and how we are feeling our age. “Oh, I woke up this morning because of the aches and pains of arthritis, once I did I couldn’t go back to sleep again!” she said.

Often when an ache or pain occurs, I often wonder if I’m alive in 20 years hence, will it be worse, and what else will I have? Worst still, will TLW be able to take care of me, and what about her? What if she needs care, will I be able to care for her. I came to the conclusion that if a nursing home is where I need to go, I would not resist it. After all, once you get over the fact that it is the last stop, it isn’t too bad. No yard work, no house work, no shoveling or raking, three squares a day, you can freely fart and no one can smell anymore, hear any more if I cuss, and I can spend as much time in the toilet as I like, it can be a library/toilet to multi-task! Hell, that will make me busier than I am now!

Both my Mom and my Aunt hated their real first names. Aunt Marie was Christened Marietta, but uses Marie, and that is how she is known, that is by everyone but me. Every year I send her a Christmas card mailed to Marietta, and every year she threatens to kill me.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Dr. Strange Glove
It was that time again, my 3 month checkup with Dr. Strange Glove. I checked the news polls and Newt Gingrich was lagging behind, and I would hear about it. As I sat in the examining room, he pops in and starts off right away.

“Well, I’d rather have a man for President that cheats on his wife and does good for the country than one that doesn’t and screws everything up.” He’s pulling out a needle to extract MY blood.)

“Uh huh!” With an acknowledging smile, needles can hurt when used vengefully.

“As you reap, so shall thee sow!”

“Uh huh!” With an acknowledging smile, needles can hurt when used vengefully. “Wait a minute Doctor, can you say that, that’s New Testament material, you’re Jewish!”

“All they want to do is Obama care!” as we continue this conversation in his office. Telling people who they should go to, it will put a lot of doctor’s out of business, especially us older doctors.” He’s not THAT old, about my age. OK, maybe he is.

“It will make the insurance companies emboldened and who knows what else!”

It was at this point that I wanted to mention lawyers, but he was pissed off enough to chew through his stethoscope.
Endorsed by the BYOB Party!

I don’t want to get into politics here: that is not what this about, except when it touches my day. I like to vote for the man, not the party, and think some people like my sons think I’m a red neck conservative, with a gun. Both parties offer me ideas I can agree with, and refuse to register with a party affiliation.

I'll need more endorsements
If this keeps up I’ll run for President, won’t get more than one vote, but will at least have voted my conscience.

My platform: “Hey, you gotta eat!” OR “You’ve voted for the rest, now vote for the best!” That last one I like, kind of reminds me of a pizza box slogan.

If I have a political party-it will be the BYOB party!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


As we get older, the more we spend time with each other, the more we seem to take for granted. I guess that is true in most cases, we lose the infatuation and are pretty well finished with discovering all about each other, and a certain complacency, adjustment and eternal love builds. I probably don’t say it as much as I used to, but “I love you” most certainly is understood.
A peaceful quiet and understanding pervades, and I can’t imagine her not being there anymore, she lives with the bad habits, embraces those that are good for all our time together, as I  face the reality that someday it might not be there any more, so let me love it for every moment!

You try to understand those that may have lost their significant other, or those who are alone with no Valentine and I am grateful for one more time.

One of her more quiet moments!
Yesterday was Valentines Day, and like for the past 40 years, we spent together, just the love of my life and me. It wasn’t loud; we each went about our daily business like any other day. I had a romantic dinner with candles and soft music, a cocktail and wine ready when she returned home from the Wanna-Be-Bank & Truss Company. I guess tomorrow being together means 'I love you'.

No kitchen, we have a large dinning room, and I decided to take the end of the table just for her and me. I guess that made a statement about who this was all about, this Valentines Day. Some special china, Waterford stem ware, and off I went to a market to purchase two portions of eggplant parmigan, her favorite, some shrimp cocktail and a whole lot of love with a little something gift wrapped on her plate.

But what keeps us going is we share all our misery, as well as our triumphs. There is no ‘me’ in marriage, just like there is no ‘me’ in friendship. In both cases you should be giving only, the consequence is receiving love, a beautiful thing.

I hope you all have someone special like I do, I hope you enjoyed your Valentine’s Day yesterday, and if you were lonely or without someone special, take heart, there is always tomorrow, or come on over and I’ll give you hug.

Marriage Wakeup

As Barb was getting to know David and his family, she was very impressed by how much his parents loved each other.
"They're so thoughtful," Barb said.  "Why, your dad even brings your mom a cup of hot coffee in bed every morning."
After a time, Barb and David were engaged, and then married.  On the way from the wedding to the reception, Barb again remarked on David's loving parents, and even the coffee in bed.
"Tell me," she said, "does it run in the family?"
"It sure does," replied David.  "And I take after my mom."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I watched as Miss Ellie arrived at the clinic, leading the Day Treatment person into the building at high speed. I jumped up and ran to find them, since she was out of control, and it was only 9:00 AM!

Turning a corner I see the poor lady trying to reason with Miss Ellie. Miss Ellie sees me and her eyes light up, clapping her hands she comes over to me and gives ma a big hug that lasts about a minute and a half. As she hugs me, she is patting me on top on my head. I get her to enter the waiting room to be called.

She is antsy today, full of pep and eager to engage me. I try to amuse her, ask her to sit down, meanwhile trying to stay alive while I do all this coaxing. Miss Ellie had been to the clinic last year. The day Treatment people tell me that last year she was very cooperative, and I think: :Oh good! Maybe we can go in and out without incident.” Yea sure,

They call her name and she is reluctant to get out of her seat. She wants to be begged, cajoled, pleaded with and given other options.

Finally she relents and we head toward the examining room, she gets one look at it and decides to bolt to the front door to leave. She can’t open the huge door, so she knocks, decides to go the other way, we get her close to the examining room once again. She will have nothing to do with it. She stages a sit-down! In the middle of the hallway, dead weight, not going anywhere. I finally get her up.

Miss Ellie
Turning from me, she decides to bang her head against the wall in protest and must have been thinking: “What do I have to do to convince these people I’m not going in there? Bang my head against the wall?” I stop, she heads for the front door once more, I give chase. I reach her, and catch my sole of my shoe on a rug, and as I do I instantly know I am going down.

Crashing against the door, then a wall I land on my butt, and people come running, nurses, doctors and patients to see if I’m dead yet. I gather my dignity, lift my ass off the ground and try to get her to cooperate. This kind of thing often happens to me when I come to these parties she throws.

We decide with the doctor that it be best to just give up. As I escort Miss Ellie out, she is very happy once again, heading for the van, giggling out loud and clapping her hands. As for me, I will await the pain that is starting to form in my right leg.

Monday, February 13, 2012


A few weeks ago, The Little Woman (TLW) was at the Wanna-Be-Bank and Truss Company sitting at her desk taking care of a member (Customer). On her desk is a photo of our three children. The member was a young man who noted the picture and remarked: “Hey, I know that lady”, pointing to the picture.

TLW said she didn’t think he did since it was her daughter Ellen who lives in a group home. “Oh, I know that, I work at her home, that’s Miss Ellie. You don’t mess with Miss Ellie!”

Miss Ellie
Today (last Wednesday) Miss Ellie has an appointment at St. Charles Specialty Clinic, in which I will attend also. I like to be there on her behalf, for advocacy purposes and to watch her to make sure she doesn’t take an unsuspecting doctor or nurse apart. She is a very loving person but if you try to get her to do something she doesn’t wish to do, you will pay for it.

Since she doesn’t speak or understand much, when she is in a foreign place, I like to be there to reassure her and it makes her feel better. 

Miss Ellie has a rule I try to follow, and ask others for their good and safety to follow. It goes like this:

“If you try to make me do anything I don’t wish to do, I will take you down, and if you do happen to win, you will feel the victory physically for days to come, and it will be your nightmare of choice for the rest of your miserable life.”

She tries to make sure everyone adheres to the basic rule, as it is enforced.

Oh, she is not a monster: in fact if she knows you, she will hug you and make a huge fuss over you. Everyone who cares for Miss Ellie will tell you that. But then the doctors and nurses, dentists and assistants who didn’t will tell you stories that scare me.