Friday, March 29, 2013
LET ME HAVE THAT SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED
Monday, March 18, 2013
Monday, January 28, 2013
What do you mean terminal? I feel fine, really
Friday, September 28, 2012
KEEPSAKES - Odds and Ends, stuff we hang onto
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
A Fresh Start and Merry Christmas
A couple of weeks ago I came to the realization that after 19 years the death anniversary date was no longer the stinging pain of old. I had reached the point where I could speak of her, think about “what ifs” of life and mention her to others as my daughter that was no longer here among us.
This is a huge step in the evolution of grief, acceptance. It comes at the time of year that we reserve as a way to bring in a new year based on our religious belief as either a Christian in the celebration of Christmas or the non-religious belief of the passing of the sun when the days start getting longer, the winter solstice.
To this day I can say Merry Christmas, and not have it tear a chunk out of my heart. The memories of her are still there, that chunk that has been ripped out many years ago is still looking scared by all the rips and tears, but it’s now mine to keep hold of and look at with eyes not misted by pain but of memories.
Merry Christmas everyone and Merry Christmas Ann.
Thursday, December 08, 2011
For me its Nineteen Years
I always knew this day would come, or well, I was hoping that this day would come, but parts of me didn’t want it to come, fearful of lessening her memory or worse, fearful of losing her memory altogether. But here it is, nineteen years later and I can genuinely smile past her death as I look only back on her life.
Friday, October 15, 2010
I dont dwell on either however, but I try to learn from it all. if hard work or dedication brought me credits, then i remember that next time I face something I hope/wish/want/desire whatever and keep at it. And when I face loss, I look back from time to time, try to learn or at the least remember what was lost, keeping in mind that in our end its only the thoughts that those that remain that will give us lasting benefit, and all the while knowing that outside these thoughts that others have, the rest is just fluff.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
A Second Generation
Welcome to "Shadoe", our latest pet. We wanted a dog that wasnt like Bandit, and we found her with this papered German Shepard. Her papered name will be "Princess Shadoe Longtail." Full AKC pooch, all dog, no wolf in her, she eats food but cares less if you take it from her, not at all like Bandit.
She is currently 5 months old, her parents are both large GSD (German Shepard Dogs) and right now she is 52 lbs. We figure she will push 85 pounds full grown. She has a sable coat. Very silky and smooth. Right now she is a typical puppy, long and gangly, but she is getting powerful and she loves to run. Needs a pinch collar to be manageable on walks, but she is getting better at it. She is both scared and curious, when she sees something new she is hesitant at first, but after the first look, then she is fearless about it. Well, we dont know about baths, so that may change. But unlike Bandit, who never had a bath his whole life, and never even liked getting his feet wet, Shadoe likes water, mud, its all the same to her.
She has completed two rounds of dog training classes with a third one later this summer.
Here is to a long companionship.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Goodby Bandit, see you in the next life.
Last Thursday my wife and I had to say goodbye to our “wolf-dog” Bandit. He was a kind companion over these past 10 years. Gracious and individualistic, playful and loyal and at times a loyal “dog” and at some times every bit a “wolf”.
He had aspects from the wolf side that made his pack mentality be his shortcoming. When we first boarded him when he was but 2 years old while my wife and did a 4 day vacation to
When we picked him up he had ground one fang off grabbing the chain link fence of his crate trying to get out. He slept for three days straight it seemed but his pack was together again. Soon after we noticed some skin problems and this developed an auto immune illness. Only after some trial and error did we find the only remedy to be giving him steroids. So for some 8 years he was on steroids taking a slow toll on his body. The past two years he started to loose muscle mass. He dropped from 110 down to 90 pounds. These past 3 months he was like a fur draped creature. Bones and fur with little meat under it. He developed sores on his rear end from lack of muscled padding and this for a dog that was an inside dog his whole life. He would venture outside lately only for his business and little else except for camping. Carpets was his life, no hard concrete or dirt for him.
He went camping with us all the time, first when we were doing tent camping then a pop-up and recently to a pull behind camper. This past fall we had to get a folding ramp so he could get into the trailer as his muscled started to go south and he could no longer get up the steps. Within the last couple of months he had a difficult time doing his “business”, his rear could not hold up long enough for him to complete the task. He started doing what I called traveling dumps. Start here and wind up over there. Tuesday he plopped down after finishing and could not walk back into the house, some 5 feet away. This happened several more times for the next two days and our vet had advised us that when he got to this point it was time since neither of us could pick him up to take him outside. In conjunction with this recent turn of events we noticed that he was no longer the cheerful tail wagging dog we knew and loved. He seemed down and depressed. He had to be thinking his life sucked.
On Thursday morning, with many tears we took him to the vet and after filing out the forms and holding him for our last time on this earth said goodbye to our loyal wolf-dog as the vet administered the drug that took him home to his last field. The vets office called the next afternoon telling us his ashes where ready for pick up. He sits in a cedar box in the living room where as we walk by we can give him a gentle tap, reminding ourselves and him that the pack is together again.
See you soon dear friend.
We never told anyone he was half wolf. People would ask and we would say he was a malamute. The vet knew he had some wolf in him. His dad was a grey wolf, his mom was a papered husky. Size wise he fit closer to the dad, Bandit in his prime was just under120 pounds, over 6 feet in length standing on his rear legs. His dad was slightly longer and heavier. He has one blue eye from his mom and one golden eye from his dad. How was his wolf side shown you might ask. We never saw an aggressive dog at all. We had him fixed as soon as it was advisable, and my wife, a former breeder and dog shower, trained him well. She knew that as long as he knew who the top dog was as a puppy, when he got big he would never become a problem. He knew she was the top dog and I was his equal. He knew she was boss so while at times he would “talk back”; he never got out of line. The only time you saw the wolf side was when food was placed in his bowl. His bowl was his. Of course, when we ate, if we would give him a snack from the table, it was ours until we gave it to him. If we dropped something on the floor, he wouldn’t dart in to get it unless you snapped your fingers and pointed to it. But once anything was placed in his bowl, unless you were my wife, you didn’t go near him or it. He would lift his lip, show you his teeth and make a deep growl that gave others warning. My wife on the other hand could reach in and while he would try to snarl and raise his lip, he knew better and tolerated her doing it. When he was out in public with us, he was always a people pet. He preferred people when he was a pup at doggy school over the other dogs. People gave him a wide berth but he always approached people head down tail wagging furiously. He loved people. Other dogs he was interested in but only after seeing their owners. We will never try to replace him. There will never be another wolf-dog in our life as he was so special there is no way it would be fair to the next one. We will get another dog some time. A dog, maybe not as bright, certainly louder as Bandit NEVER barked. (Lets think about it, when he was outside, he would stalk other animals, head down, tail down, eyes alert, why the hell would you bark at something that you were trying to catch and eat LOL, people OTOH he would wag his tail furiously at, he never stalked people or their pets on a leash)
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Great, now I am being told I am a woman
I am so not liking this. I have been told its all in my head, literally. Well, my eye inside my head.
Let me esplain. I have vision problems related to another illness I have, and as such I have to see a eye doc at least twice a year. This isn’t the kind of eye doc that does your glasses, this is a guy that looks deep into the eye, and then blasts the chit out of it with a laser when he sees something that isn’t right. Well, maybe at 1000 blasts at a time. So it just happened that I was due to see the guy and two weeks before I am supposed to see him I notice one night watching the telly that I cant see chit out of the right eye. Now up to this time I have had problems with my left eye, so I always figured, well, at least I have one good eye, my right, that seems to be problem free. Noooooooo, it was feeling left out, so it decided to pull a fast one, it wanted TLC, it wanted its time in the sun, so to speak.
So I noticed that my eye developed a “nike” swoosh right at the mid-point of the right eye. Then over the next few days the swoosh filled in, becoming a half moon, but staying right where the imaginery cross hair would be if your eye had one. So the bottom line is that at a distance of an arm length, I could see objects sort of ok, it was like looking through some hair in front of your eye, a bit fuzzy, not clear, not sharp and in focus. But the killer is that reading, it’s a no go. And I work on the computer all day, and I read small government text, like 6 point small, and when I close my left eye, right where I want to focus, all I see is fuzzy dark. Not black, sort of like 20 percent shading that you can do on word texts. Open my left eye, its OK, but left eye closed, its Ray Charles time.
So I see the doc. People told me why did I wait, I said, well, it wasn’t getting worse, and besides, what, me worry?
He does his thing, drops from hell, making half the waiting room all wearing sunglasses in an otherwise dark room, the other half designated drivers like my wife trying to read three year old mags in the dark. Eyes dilated real wide, my Mediterranean blue eyes reduced to a huge black circle with the smallest blue circle at the very edge. He looks in, shines light into the eye, first white, then red, ruin a few more tests, his associate does the same thing, nope, nothing wrong. They cant find any damage to the optic nerve, which is a good thing, they cant find any hemorrhaging, another good thing, they cant see any color changes, but in spite of their pronouncement that my eyes are looking good, I cant see chit. It must be in my head they say.
F’ng great I say, I am now an official resident of the old wives club, a card carrying female. First I had my prostate ripped out, which is sort of like making me a woman, hysterectomly speaking, and now they tell me its all in my head.’
Whiskey. Tango. Fox.
Ok, when is my pedicure going to be done, before or after my bikini wax job. After all, its summer here in
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Happy Birthday Ann
Today would have been my daughters 31st birthday. She was born at 12:15 pm, a great mid-day birth. So this post is just 15 minutes past her exact time of arrival.
She was a precious daughter, and her life has given me so much to dwell on. But even though she is not here to enjoy it, I still think of today with fondness and happy times.
So Happy Birthday Ann
I look forward to when we will see each other again.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Its been a long time....
Sometime later this year, a little after her birthday, May 13, she will have been gone as long as she lived.
But yet, she has never left.
To her memory, I smile, and to the tears that still well up in my eyes, I smile more.
Time does have a way of healing.
But time never forgets, and nether will I.
Sweet dreams Princess, sweet dreams!
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Lonely Cemetary along Interstate
When I lived in
The car came along on the day, and the reporter asked if they could tell him the story. After they did their business, they went to a local restaurant and he was told the story. I believe they did not reveal their name, which was OK to the reporter.
In the late 1930’s, IIRC, the couple, now in their 70’s (1980), was moving from Missouri to Oregon with their young child and a recent infant. They were taking the southern way so as to see the
Years went along, and when the interstate was being surveyed, the crews knew of the stone, since the State Hi-way Department knew of the site for several decades, and when they would cut the grass along the road, they would do a path around the small lonely stone. The interstate was located so as to leave it alone. But no one really else noticed it until the 70’s, when they added a major interchange for the town of
A more haunting plot was never know.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
“Dreams I Will Never See”
I listen to music I have loaded on my computer at work. It’s a wide range of stuff, over 120 hours of rock, C&W, classical, opera, pop, blues, just no rap. Its on random play, which at times makes it interesting, I will go from Hells Bells by AC/DC right over to Mozarts Kyrie from his Requiem opera. But I was dwelling in a neutral mind when I heard this one, Molly Hatchets “Dreams I Will Never See”, and it reminded me of my daughter Ann.
Hold that thought, here comes a loose end.
It was fathers day this weekend, and it was also my oldest sons birthday this past Friday. So as I think of my dad, dead now some 11 years or so, I also think of my children. Well, my two living sons and my dead daughter. And they are getting old, all three of them. My oldest turned 35, dam he is getting old. What does that say about me? HA I answer, I am not that old. My youngest son will be 33 this year, and this past May 13, my only daughter would have been 30.
Still hold onto that first loose end, here is a string from that loose end.
My two sons are single. They either heard what I kept telling them many years when they were acting the way kids do when growing up, me replying “I hope YOUR kids are just like YOU” So maybe they remembered that. I was married at 20, had my son at 22, my second son at 24, my daughter at 27. I had my tubes cut when my first wife was 8 months pregnant, if we didn’t get a girl, after 3 kids, we BOTH knew it was time to “call in the dogs and pee on the fire” and “hang a lantern on it.” They have various levels of girlfriends, but they are too much into whatever they are doing now. I guess a war in a far away place, Vietnam, a place without a future, Vietnam, and a DRAFT made guys my age more motivated about life. End of that thread. Snip that sucker off. Threads gone.
Back to the original thread.
Now, as a dad, I know how my sons are, they call, they send me an e-mail at times, but I also know from my dad how his daughters; my sisters, doted on him. I don’t get doted on by my sons. I get e-mail, I get pics, I get well, guy stuff. But I don’t get doted on. And I don’t see my sons getting married. I see them BOTH being Uncle Larry’s. Uncle Larry, my namesake, my dads younger brother, a playboy ALL his life until he was like 55, when in a moment of weakness he married his latest buxom real blonde (a first for him, since all the previous ones were chemically created, DOW, modern life thru chemistry). This one was a true blue Sven and Ollie Swedish lady. But he then died soon after getting married, not helped by the fact that this Swede was right off the boat, or plane, or whatever, didn’t know jack about ambulances, (this was pre 911, the phone number, not that other 911), and didn’t speak much English. So when your having a heart attack in a NYC 15 story apartment building, you don’t get much help when your running up and down the hallways yelling in an unknown language pounding on doors in your housecoat. Uncle Larry up and died. I see my sons doing the same I am sad to say. Well, maybe they know English, but they don’t seem to anxious to get married. Not that it really bothers me, just one less thing I need to worry about, grandkids.
But, (promise, this is the end of the loose thread above) I guess I always assumed that my daughter would have gotten married, I don’t know why, especially when you consider that the reason she killed herself was over a boy. Dam, I wish I could have told her that NO MAN is worth killing yourself over, especially if they cant at least walk on real water. I guess I just assume that, that she would have married, that she would have doted on me. But anyway, lately, on fathers day, and her birthday, and death day, I see myself looking at Dreams I Will Never See.
I know for a fact what they say is true:
Loose your parents, you loose the past.
Loose your mate, you loose the present.
Loose your child, you loose your future.
And while this at times past would have caused me to shed a tear or two, after almost15 years, its easy to tell as a matter of fact. I have been without her almost as long as I have been with her. A tipping point on the scales. I have a poster of her in the shop at home, a huge 3 foot by 4 foot poster used at the trial against the counseling center she was under their care at the time she killed herself, it was her class picture taken two weeks before she ended her life, she is smiling, I see her beauty, and I see her future in the sparkling eyes, blue like mine. How could I see that face and not see the dreams I will never see.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Permanent Body Flotation Devices
However, I am the only man in the class. There are some 25 women, ranging in age from mid 20's to mid 60's. All sizes, but mainly people, like myself, that suffer from "Remain At Table Too Long Everytime Syndrome", aka, RATTLES.
But the class workout shows a deceidily important advantage women have over men. Their permanent flotation devices, aka boobies, make them better positioned to spin in the water. With the belt on, they bob like corks. Me, lacking the above waterline flotation devises, spin like a top that is sitting in a pool of Play-doh.
So I flounder, taking on water faster than the Titanic, but also am faced with another dilemma. While I am spinning UNDER water, the view I have leaves me wishing I was near sighted. I mean, now I know why they dont shoot views of synchronized swimming from under water for Olympic Prime Time coverage. Somethings, like underwater swimming, and trying to spin yourself to health, are best left unseen. The twisting of legs, arms, wide open shots and the like, well, I may be kinky at times, but that is more kink than I would wish to have.
That is my two cents, but I could also be plain out of money today!
(Editors note, thats me, the editor...No play-doh was harmed in doing this rant.)
Monday, June 11, 2007
I want to be a rat!
I want to be a rat. I know, some woman in my past have called me that, but really, I want to be a rat. Reading medical research recently, I read one very encouraging article and one not so good story about rats. Previously it has been reported that researchers can switch on and off the rats ability to gain weight and then take it off. Kind of like binge & purge without the feather and food tray. This week they had a story about taking rat cells and being able to make stem cells from them, and thereby making any rat part out of it. Bad kidney? Hey no problem, just take some skin cells, and turn them into kidney cells, transplant when big enough to do its thing. This weekend they found the reason behind Alzheimer’s in rats, well, when the rats were given human Alzheimer cells to begin with. But hey, they can now fix that. So I want to be a rat. They have all these medical news NOW, not maybe in the next 20 years or so for humans. That’s the great news.
The bad news article I read is where they are training rats to be used to find mines and unexploded improvised explosive devises, aka IED’s in
Sometimes its easy to think we should be someone or even something we aren’t when things seem that the other side is better off. OK, maybe we aren’t quite that vain, but then, what happens when you’re a poor ugly duckling, dream to be single, rich and beautiful, and then you wake up and find yourself as Paris Hilton? With Rosie O’Donnell cruising the streets of south central LA at a fast rate of speed cursing at every policeman she sees in the hope of getting arrested and thrown in jail just so she can spend a night with Paris. Talk about a nightmare LOL.
I still think being a rat isn’t as bad as it seems, I mean, you get three hots and a cot, but I don’t know if that little circular cage wheel you have to run on is such a good idea, I mean, how are you supposed to read blogs and cruise the internet when your running literally in a rats race?
Have a great day, rat race or not!
Friday, June 08, 2007
8 random thoughts
1. I am a morning person. It doesn’t matter if I went to bed at 3am, I get up no later than 6am.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Points in Time
Events in time create certain permanent branding within the psyche, a mark so deep, it shows up on both sides. This weekend is such an event. It was 14 years ago this weekend, the weekend after thanksgiving day, that my daughter Ann lost her battle with the forces that were destroying her from within. The actual dates are not quite on, but it’s the specific weekend that is permanently etched in my mind. Now, I can speak of it almost in a historical tone, the emotions have been subdued in their attachment in my voice, my eyes don’t tear the way they used to when I talk of her. I was reminded of it yesterday almost as a casual event. I would of course see the calendar, turn the calendar over, a new month, December, Oh, THAT month and remember the time, Dec 4-6, then dwell on her life. Where I work, a large federal agency, we are a sucker for blood drives. The local blood bank comes here every two months, like clockwork. Last week, they showed up, I had been seeing the hallway notices. I had donated in the past. With certain meds, they used to not allow donations, but now, I have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, so i couldnt donate. I still went to tell them, and get my name off the list Before I could tell the first contact, the lady asked me if I wanted to join the bone marrow registary. I asked what did that entail. She said that they just take a sample when they draw the donation, and I get registered into a data base in the event someone needs a bone marrow donation. She then said, “doing so is the step to being a donor of life”. The words struck a chord in me, and I looked at her and said, “Oh, I am already that. My daughter’s heart, lungs and kidneys were donated, uh, lets see, 14 years ago. In fact, 14 years ago this weekend.” She looked at me, and her smile had turned upside down, and she just patted my shoulder. On this weekend, I often think of the people that her organs went to. I wonder if they are still alive, especially the then twenty year old man that got her lungs. He had cystic fibrosis, and he was the only one that took the time to write a thank you note after he was well enough to do so. I never knew his name, the letters are sent through an agency, and names are left off. So at this point in time, I wonder how they are doing. For just as I am seeing this point in time as the time when I lost my daughters future, missing the life that my daughter meant to me, I wonder and hope that they also look at this point in time, and thank her for the gift she gave them, and give them a reason to celebrate this point in their time.
I will be off a few days as my sons come in for a tween thanksgiving day, christmas day and just before I get my prostate ripped out. I will return, with a smile next thursday.
Pretty useless things
You might be surprised with some of the things you learn about people you think you know!
1. IF YOU COULD BUILD A HOUSE ANYWHERE WHERE WOULD IT BE?
Coast of Maine, heck, ANY coast. Even the Jersey shore!
2. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ARTICLE OF CLOTHING?
3. FAVORITE PHYSICAL FEATURE OF THE OPPOSITE SEX?
Eyes, they are the door way to the soul!
4. THE LAST CD THAT YOU BOUGHT?
5. FAVORITE PLACE TO BE?
Camping with my wife
6. WHERE'S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE PLACE TO BE?
Driving in Dallas
7. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO BE MASSAGED?
8. WHAT'S MOST IMPORTANT, STRONG IN MIND OR STRONG IN BODY?
9. WHAT TIME DO YOU WAKE IN THE MORNING?
10. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE KITCHEN APPLIANCE?
Outside gas grill, I do most of the cooking, and its outdoors, on the gas grill, winter, summer, rain, it doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t smell up the house!
11. WHAT MAKES YOU REALLY ANGRY?
I don’t really get angry at people. I just don’t listen to the ones that irritate me with narrow views.
12. IF YOU COULD PLAY ANY INSTRUMENT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
13. FAVORITE COLOR?
Mediterranean blue of course, my eye color!
14. WHICH DO YOU PREFER, SPORTS CAR OR SUV?
Well, if given just that choice, I guess the SUV, I sure know I cant haul much furniture wood with a sports car, or Samantha and the wolf-dog.
15. DO YOU BELIEVE IN AFTERLIFE?
Yes, I believe that many people will still be alive after I’m gone.
16. FAVORITE CHILDREN'S BOOK?
Its been a long time, but I would say James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.
17. YOUR FAVORITE SEASON?
Spring, with Fall a close second
18.If you could have ONE SUPER POWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
To rid the world of insensitive people, but then, that would make me need to get rid of myself, since thinking that it would be good to get rid of insensitive people is to become an insensitive person myself, so it would be something like making the blind see, and the lame walk, and the evil become good, and the good to become gooder, and to allow for misspellings in spelling tests.
19. IF YOU HAVE A TATTOO, WHAT IS IT?
Why? My arms are pretty tattoo’d by skin cancer, I guess I don’t need man made ones now do I?
20. CAN YOU JUGGLE?
Of course, I juggle my dislike of work with my needing the money to have fun away from it.
21. THE ONE PERSON FROM YOUR PAST YOU WISH YOU COULD GO BACK AND TALK TO?
My daughter Ann, and try to show her that suicide wasn’t the only way, nor the right way.
22. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE DAY?
Any day spent with my wife, which is generally a day away from work.
23. WHAT'S IN THE TRUNK OF YOUR CAR?
If there are any bodies, it was not my fault. Otherwise, jumper cables, blanket, hopefully a spare tire with air in it, a big map book, a folding chair, and carpet fuzz.
24. WHICH DO YOU PREFER, SUSHI OR HAMBURGER?
Hamburger, I like my fish to at least dance quickly across some heat!
25. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CARTOON CHARACTER?
26.WHAT T IS YOUR FAVORITE MEAL?
27. WHAT/WHO DO YOU REALLY LOVE?
My wife and kids
28. PAPER OR PLASTIC?
Plastic, paper uses trees, plastic is recylced.
29. CASH, CHECKS OR CREDIT CARDS SILLY?
Oh, well, I wrote one check in 2004. Since then I use my bank card.
30. ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR LIFE?
Yes, its too much work being sad.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Basic info day, pass it on
1. YOUR FULL NAME: Laurence Eugene XXXXX
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? My Uncle Larry.
3. DO YOU WISH ON A STAR? No, but I look for my daughter on every moon of every planet.
4. WHICH FINGER IS YOUR FAVORITE? For me, has to be my thumb. It’s the opposable thumb that allows us to grab things. Without it, 3 of the 4 other fingers are worthless.
5. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Some time ago.
6. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Roast beef.
7. ANY BAD HABITS? All of em.
8. WHAT'S IN YOUR CD RIGHT NOW? Dust.
9. DO YOU BELIEVE IN SOUL MATES? Yes.
10. ARE YOU A DAREDEVIL? Used to be, now, no, I like living, besides, I damn near kill myself just doing normal stuff.
11. DO LOOKS MATTER? Not for long.
12. HAVE YOU EVER MISUSED A WORD AND IT SOUNDED STUPID? Yeah, I still try using f^*k as a noun, verb, adjective, preposition and adverb. You cant use it as a preposition or an adverb.
13. DO YOU THINK THERE IS A POT OF GOLD AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW? No.
14. DO FISH HAVE FEELINGS? Yes, proven fact.
15. ARE YOU TRENDY? Never, I am the opposite of trendy. I don’t like conformity.
16. HOW DO YOU RELEASE ANGER? Iam Italian, watch out. I throw things. I hold the record for the longest toss of a frozen whole chicken. Ask my son David, when it stopped rolling, he said “Dad, you want me to get it so you can try two out of three?”
17. WHERE ARE YOUR SECOND HOMES? Only one.
18. DO YOU TRUST OTHERS EASILY? I have a strong bullshit antenna.
19. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY AS A CHILD? Switchblade knife. LOL, actually, it was my O-gauge Gilbert train set that my dad GAVE away to some fucking stranger when I was in college. Then he gave away the only thing I ever asked as far as an inheritance. A 60 year old monster lawn mower. The thing was a tank, it was a piece of art, built by hand, it weighed a ton. Made by the Bridgeport Chain and Roller Company. Built in 1935 or so. But no, he just gives it away when he was moving. Never thought to call me, in spite of me telling him only a thousand times thats all I ever wanted.
20. WHAT CLASS IN SCHOOL DO YOU THINK IS TOTALLY USELESS? K-12. And College. LOL, No, I think all 15 year olds should spend 2 months in a juvey detention hall, then 2 months in a homeless shelter, then the last 2 months in a half way house. That should get them motivated for real education, or get them trained for their next career as a resident in one of those three places.
21. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Yep, its in my head. But I ran out of ink decades ago.
22. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Every chance you let me.
23. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN A MOSH PIT? I cleaned out sewers when I was a teen. I don’t need to go to a human one.
24. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A MAN OR WOMAN? A heartbeat. After that, humor, sarcasm and wit.
25. WHAT ARE YOUR NICKNAMES? Larry, huggybear, Hey You!
26. WOULD YOU EVER BUNGEE JUMP? Hell no, I want my undies clean.
27. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Vanilla, Blue Bell Vanilla
28. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE COLOR? Blue, Mediterranean blue, like my eyes
29. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE FOOD? That stuff they serve on Fear factor
30. HOW MANY WISDOM TEETH DO YOU HAVE? Nada
31. WHO DO YOU MISS MOST RIGHT NOW? My Daughter
32. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE YOU SENT THIS TO, TO SEND IT BACK? Yes
33. WHAT ARE YOU WEARING? Same old work clothes crap, slacks, shirt, shoes. I hate long pants, I don’t like shirts with buttons, and I hate shoes.
34. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The voices in my head, but their doing ok, I have taken my morning medications.
35. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Ham and cheese samy with mustard.
36. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Blue, Mediterranean blue.
37. HOW IS THE WEATHER RIGHT NOW? Yucky, cold front coming in.
38. WHO IS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My wife Sam
39. FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT THE OPPOSITE SEX? Eyes
40. HOW ARE YOU TODAY? Good, I am breathing, my face isn’t on any milk carton or displayed in a post office or on any crime stopper’s web site, so I am doing good.
41. FAVORITE DRINK? Diet Mountain Dew
42. FAVORITE ALCOHOLIC DRINK? I don’t drink alcoholic drinks since I was legal. I did all my alcoholic drinking between the ages of 15-18.
43. FAVORITE SPORT? Baseball. Go Yankee’s. Red Sox fans, you will loose again, get used to it. NY Yankees-Boston Red Sox is the only rivalry, the rest just play baseball LOL.
44. EYE COLOR? Mediterranean blue
45. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Nope
46. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MONTH? Has to be October. Great camping weather, great woodworking weather
47. FAVORITE FOOD? Seafood............................eat food.
48. SIBLINGS? 3 sisters, far enough apart age wise and distance to make me an only child. Why parents have kids 4 or more years apart is beyond me. Have one, get the others done real quick. You are no better parenting when your 22, 32, or 42.
49. LAST MOVIES YOU WATCHED? Pirates of the Caribbean, 2 I guess it was, or was it 3? .
50. SUMMER OR WINTER? Spring. (See # 15 above)
51. FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR? Today. I can do better than yesterday, even if I don’t, and tomorrow is no guarantee.
52. HUGS OR KISSES? Both
53. RELATIONSHIP OR ONE NIGHT STAND? Relationship
54. DO YOU WANT YOUR FRIENDS TO WRITE BACK? Yes (same as # 32 above)
55. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Sam
56. WHO IS LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Lisa in NJ
57. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? Nova, but slept through half of it.
58. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Garage door opening when I get home from work.
59. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE
MORNING? If it’s a work day, Why can’t I call in sick today?
Monday, November 27, 2006
Catholic Chronicles, Part Deux, on becoming an altar boy
I had TWO very traumatic experience when I was in 5th grade at St Pius Catholic School, and they were related to each other. When I reached 5th Grade, well, when the devout Sisters at the school stopped beatch slapping me long enough to get passed 4th grade, it was customary to be pressured into becoming an altar boy. The church was new, it was only like 5 years old at the time, the parish was smallish. That years class was about 8 kids to start, about 6 finished. It was a rite of passage for a boy at a Catholic school to do that. So I signed up, well, it was hard to sign up, since the nuns were twisting my right arm, but you get the picture. So this was considered “outside” activities, and was taught on Saturdays, by the priests. The Church had a Monsignor, and one other full time priest, and at times a standby priest when things got really busy, or when one of the priests got sick. My first traumatic experience, other than spending half the year standing in the back of the classroom for some infraction was on the very first Saturday we had altar boy training. My mom took me to the school. We drive into the walled “city”, and in doing so, the circular inner road inside the compound takes you past the back of the convent. To my utter and still deep felt amazement were the nuns, in jeans. My God! I thought, there is Sister Mary Ellen, the third grade nun I had a crush on. She was young, probably right out of high school and then convent school, she couldn’t be more than 24 or so, a woman, well, we never thought of them as women, they were nuns, but here she was. She was dressed in jeans and a blouse, working in the vegetable garden, behind the convent. I was devastated, I mean, all I ever saw was this woman’s face just above the eyes down to her chin. They were swaddled in clothing, wearing the black robe, the veil, the starched cardboard bright white fabric over the forehead, and the tight neck collar, also starched bright white fabric. We never saw any hair, well, Sister Mary Margaret had facial hair, but we never saw any head hair, and her she was, this woman, I mean this nun, with her hair in a bun, with her arms exposed, wearing regular people clothes. I don’t think I remembered ANYTHING that first day, I was in a state of shock!
Becoming an altar boy was my first lesson of sheer memorization. Back then, “The Good Old Days” according to some catholic purists, the mass was in LATIN. Only the truly devout knew what was being said. Well, as an altar boy, you had to learn all the recitals to say after the priest gave his. Mass was a choreographed event. There were about 20-25 recitals you had to know COLD. The priest would say his and then the altar boy would say his, on and on it went. And there were actually two altar boys at each mass, a “high” and a “low” altar boy. Each had separate roles, some recitals were the same, but about 3 or so, hey, I have slept since then, were different. Learning the Latin was hard, since you didn’t know what you were saying, it was pure memorization. Up till about 5 years ago, I still remembered the very first recital, something that the altar boys called the suschipiat. But after about 7 months, I was an altar boy. Now, all catholic churches have mass EVERY day. And only the truly devout go EVERY day. They are simple people, the silent, older frail, often physically challenged by age or disease. About 15 regular churchgoers and of course the nuns. So the very first Mass that each altar boy does is Monday mass, 7 AM. Now, here I am, all 4 feet of about 60 pound buck toothed squinting kid, about to play center court at church. Now, when we were learning to be an altar boy, we did everything in a classroom. The church was connected to the school by means of a long hallway, with the principals office, the priests office and the nurses office between the two along the hallway. But everything was done in a classroom. Yeah, we all went to mass, during lent, we went every school day. But you don’t realize the layout from behind the pews looking at the altar behind the railing between the two. So the actually choreographed part of the mass, the altar boys starting on their side, high and low altar boys, each on their starting side, then the crossing back and forth with the genuflection when you crossed the center. But the key moment for the altar boy is moving the “Bible” (catholic version) from the low side to the high side. This book, which looked like the giant Webster’s dictionary you used to see at library’s, sat on a wooden stand. Now, when we practice this, the book we used was a normal book, a textbook. So the very first time I really looked at this monster, which was sitting on the altar about shoulder high, I was mortified. It looked bigger than me, I was scared. So when the time came, I rose, crossed over the center, genuflected and then went to the altar. I paused, put both arms under the wood cradle, and with all my might lifted the book and cradle. Whooosh went the book, right over my head. It crashed onto the floor behind me, tumbled down the two long steps where it stopped. I was horrified. I was holding onto the cradle, not knowing what happened. The priest turned to me with a look that would make Sister Mary Margaret wince, and stepped down, picked up the book, trying to straighten out the pages that got bent and creased. He then laid it on the cradle I was still holding with a death grip, motioning to me to continue. I placed the book on the altar where it needed to go, and finished the mass in another trance. I don’t remembering ringing the bells, but I did and the rest of the mass until the communion. That I do remember, since all the people there on a Monday morning, the truly devout and all the Nuns came up to the rail for communion. During communion, the altar boy holds the tray under people’s mouths as the priest gives the wafer to each person. So you’re only a foot from the person receiving the communion. I looked at each nun, and they took it, and then bent down. Even Sister Mary Margaret, she never looked at me or made a eye piercing stare. After Mass, I went back to the robe room, took off my garment, then cleaned up the chalice and then along with the other kid, walked down the long hall to school. When we started to pass Sister Mary Margaret’s office, she called us to come in. She told both of us that she was proud of our work, and that was that. She never said anything about it ever again. My grade teacher at that time, I don’t remember her name, she said that she cringed when the book went airborne, but she knew it was a mistake. In reality, it was a mistake. The cradle was made from bamboo, and was really light, and the book was made from rice paper, really light. So while I thought it was a 25 pound book and cradle, and lifted it with that much force, in reality, it was only about 10 pounds, and well, I held onto the cradle, but the book took off. The priest also never said anything either.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
THAKSGIVING, What I am Thankful For
With Thanksgiving upon us, which I see as the BEST holiday, since it symbolizes what we have that is good in our life, we do indeed have lots to be thankful for.
I am thankful for:
A loving wife, friend and lover
Two great sons, and the sweet memories of a loving daughter
An extremely satisfying job, not great pay, but its what I feel allows me to try to improve the quality of life for others
A watertight house, a great neighbor
A balanced government now
The freedoms that our fathers gave to us
I am sure that there are more, but these are the ones that I can recite without thinking
I hope you have great things to be thankful for.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Catholic School, Part I
When I was young, I did some time. Hard time. I was in the big house for a 6 year stint first at St Pius X in
I took public transportation, rode a bus, and my Mom, bless her soul, she was a great mom, but she didnt read the paper, well, unless it was the National Enquirer, so when the bus drivers were on strike, she didnt know, and she would send me down the street, then three blocks up the hill to the state highway, waiting for a bus that wasnt running. I would stand there for hours, until a po-leece car would pass me for like the 4th time, realize that I was waiting for a bus that wasnt running, so he would drive me to school. Now, the school was built as part of a religious compound. It was walled off, had the main school, the church, a rectory for the two priests, and a convent for the 10 nuns. Nuns, you know, the Order of Mary Magdalene, friends of Zorro, the long flowing BLACK capes. Darth Vader had nothing on these women, they could disable his light saber with a mere smirk, and get them pissed off, the Emperor would be crying like a baby at slap time during birth. I swear!
So when said po-leese officer brought this Italian kid into the inner sanctum of this walled city, well, they just KNEW that this Eye-talian was a no-good account son of an immigrant. I would immediately get put into the back of the room after the principal, Sister Mary Margaret gave me the rubber hose treatment in her office. If you look closely at the crosses that adorned every doorway in a Catholic school, they aren’t images of Jesus, they are past children that did the ultimate sin, they talked back to Sister Mary Margaret. I swear!
Catholic school was a real education, I would not be an engineer today if I had gone to public school during those formative years. I was deprived for 6 years from any education regarding science. I was taught some useful skills as the techniques of the Spanish Inquisition, or what the Catholics would call, “The Good Old Days”. I learned how to pray when you life flashed in front of you as you changing subjects in class, were lifting the desk top’s up getting out the cathecism book putting in the history book (pre papal was the dark ages), talking to Brian O’Malley next to you, when looking down towards the floor as you were talking about trading baseball cards, you would see a black flowing robe swishing on the floor at your feet, and before you could pull your head away from the safety of the desk top, SLAM, down came the desk top, hitting you on the head, then before the pain of that hit your sensory, your face was slapped five times by a woman who in her 60’s could hit a punching bag harder AND quicker than Iron Mike Tyson ever could. I swear!
Yeah, science in a 50’s error catholic School was watching Mr Science on public TV mix vinegar and baking soda. I know they would rather us watch heathen Muslims burning at the stake during the Crusades, also called “The Good Old Days”, but even the Church moved a little bit to the center. I swear!
So when I got to public school, I was instantly amazed at REAL science, not the world being created in 6 days, Notre Dame football and bingo being created on the 7th day, but not in that order, it was a revelation. I swear!
to be cont
Monday, November 20, 2006
Rush along, rush along, rush along softly...
Its the period where I lost my only daughter, events that are twisted, should never have happenned, yet they did. The events of that cold day some 14 years ago are still burning in my heart, how they have both made me a better father, husband, and a better person.
I lost my religion during this period, yet i am more spiritual now than i was when i was into religion. I threw away the teachings of man, and retain the teachings of a higher spirit, not necessarily your god, but my God.
Throught it all however, I am still a happy man, but I do have a twinge of sadness at times, like this weekend and next week.
In the past 15 years, I have lost both parents, my first wife of 28 years, but those losses pale with losing a child.
It is said that losing your parents is losing your past,
losing your spouse is losing your present,
but losing your child is losing your future.
Ann would have been 30 this year. Yet as I write this, looking at her junior high school portarit taken only one month before her death, she will forever be fixed in my mind as the 15 year old she was, and will always be.
These days will pass, tears will fall as they always do. Life goes on, I have two wonderful sons, ok, at times they may not be WONDERFUL, but they are all mine, and I love them dearly.
Life is relative as Eistein said, I lost a daughter, and I have two sons. my current wife lost her only child from SIDS, many many years ago, then she acquired toxic shock, had a complete hysterectomy, and she has no children. We both have lost children, but not the same child. yet we can feel the same way.
I say these things for several reasons, one, it causes me to remember her in a special way, two, it keeps her life alive in my mind and the mind of others, and lastly, its cathartic.
i dont want you to feel that words are needed, beleive me, there is no place I want you to be than on the other side from me as far as this is concerned.
Thanks for lending me your ear.
have a GREAT Thanksgiving, love the simple things in your live, and the people near and close to you, then think of those that you do not know, but see, and share a kind thought for them.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Dedicated to Ann
The shear wispy lights of darkest bright shadows
Cleans the mind of multi hued memories of laughter’s long sound
As it whips across the open plains like a chased animal through the fields
All the while my mind clears out a place for the future
Cleaned shelves for the events yet to unfold, alone the man in the dark clothes
Gathers his arms share of the past as if it were sheaves of cut wheat
Gathering for the time when the cupboards are bare, the ice box empty
And the silence of the deafening sounds of the departure you have left me with
Cannot bring the essence of life from the gray of death
Oh why my dear sweet princess, why did you think that you could
Be happy and yet, make me so sad, and with just one seconds step off lands extension
Erase from your minds heart the pain that you saw, and in doing so
Has given me the eternity of the days to ponder the why and wonder
What I am to do to fill the space that burns in my heart of your future.
And there you are, the precious sight, the “Princess” of my heart
All alone in the space and time of this everlasting haze my heart sees
When my heart doesn’t want to beat any more, it longs for you so
The body weathered by time yet the mind clear as the choice you made
Permanently fixing in time the person you were to be, no more, no less.
To Ann 5-13-77 to 12-6-92
The whispering wind whips beyond the dimly settled rays of another days light gone dark without you
Shadows stand starkly in the hues of dusk where you once stood in the face of the sun
Now gray shadows and sounds of the whippoorwill stand out against the silent rush of night
Winters warmth on the face of death again reminds me of the day when you were here
How the feel of cold soil on the warm hand brings crisply the picture of your life at the door
When you were the brightest object in my life, and your voice was the sound that by itself
Could silence the sounds of a hurricanes fury, but now, that is all gone
And the only remembrance of you rests in my mind, and a few trinkets gathered along the way
And they too will dim from my memory, but still in the end
You were the light, the sound and the source of my happiness, my tomorrow and my future
Now so silently, quickly and undeniably taken from me,
Leaving me with the shadow on the ground were once you stood.
Dedicated to Ann May 13 1977 to Dec 6 1992
Part deux, minus one...first blog
Beware of women, they are more deadly than loaded shotguns.
Dream big, life gives you less!
Dedicated to my daughter Ann, 5-13-77 to 12-6-92.
From Stairway to Heaven...
.....Yes, there are two paths you can go by
But in the long run
Theres still time to change the road youre on.......
My father always told me to only look back very briefly at your past, for persepctive, but dont dwell on it for life is always moving forward, and stray too long back in the past, and you will miss the present.