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.