Monday, September 26, 2016

Missing Conversations

I was shaken by the news of the death of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez.

I'd just been talking with Pops about how the Yankees had enough in prospects to go and get him in a trade. He was a talented pitcher.

He was also just a young man.

He lost his life after just twenty-four years.

Tragic.

And the news of his death came less than an hour after I had said 'Good morning' to the photo of my brother that hangs in our finished basement.

I did the sign of the cross and said, "Bruce's book comes out on Tuesday.'

I did this because I knew that I was going to really miss the conversations that we would have about it.

(Jeff loved Bruce more than me if you can believe that!).

But deep down, I've learned to know that some of that is all right because I am still very in tune to what he would think about any situation.

And that's where this becomes a little more positive.

Because I realize that a lot of what Jeff's life generated is still here for the taking.

The tremendous love.

The laughter still ringing in my ears.

The important conversations that taught me the true generosity of his spirit.

All still here.

The same sort of thing happens with the people who shared moments in my life with me.

My high school and college friends.

My siblings.

And that's what is really cool about being alive.

Those conversations aren't really missing.

They're right there.

In our hearts and minds.

The love wins out.

The love always wins.

Death shakes us, for sure, but it doesn't have to endure.

Have those conversations.

Forge ahead with all you have experienced...

...leading you on.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Chaos

Bombs in New York.

Cop Shooting.

Another mass murder at a mall.

On and on we go.

I grabbed a cup of coffee and fell down to the couch on Saturday morning. Another trying work week in the books...two days to get back to walking around shape...put on the morning show and that's what I get.

A recap of absolute chaos.

There was a moment there, as I watched, that it occurred to me that perhaps they were talking about a whole 'other country.

Undeniable unrest.

And why?

We won't have the same reaction to the mall killer in Seattle as we did to the bomber in New York.

He didn't appear to be Muslim.

People keep jumping to one side of the aisle on the cop shootings too.

Was it a book or a gun?

Check this angle.

Let's see if we can make it more inflammatory!

Then in between they promote the Clinton-Trump debate as if it's the second coming of Tyson-Holyfield.

The music and the announcer voice are the same.

As if it's a game.

Then when we hear from them...the words are not measured.

One side or the other.

Who are you rooting for?

It's a joke.

I went to TBS - they were running an episode of Seinfeld.

The one where Kramer has the Merv Griffin set.

Much better.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Brad & Angelina

So sad.

We all know the story.

They were so in love that it caused the breakup of the Jennifer-Brad Marriage.

How did we even live through that?

But all was well. Jennifer landed on her feet, and the Pitt-Jolie coupling resulted in them traveling the world and stamping out poverty.

They had about a dozen kids, kept making movies and looked great.

But now that's over!

Did he cheat?

Did she cheat?

Some say that Brad is broken-hearted...

Others say that Brad doesn't care.

He smokes pot and runs around on her.

He doesn't smoke pot...that much...and he still loves her.

Who knows what to believe!

But more than all that, the first thing that comes to mind is:

Who gives a flying %^%&?

Everyone always says that, as they sneak a look at what the hell happened.

There's no shame, it's human nature.

Yet there isn't a person alive who would admit to wanting to know what went wrong...but something went wrong...and deep down...we want to look at it.

Good luck to those crazy kids.

Enjoy the breakup because a couple of weeks from now we're going to wonder:

Who is Angelina dating?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Bruce's Birthday

My sister sent me a text yesterday:

"Just read the Vanity Fair Article on Bruce. I can't wait to read that flipping book!!!"

I know what she means. Before answering her back I went to the books on my i-phone to see if perhaps they had sent me the book early.

After all, today is Bruce's birthday...maybe they let it out early.

But no.

The book was on my phone, but it just showed:

"This item is pre-ordered and will be available on September 27."

"I can't wait either," I answered. "I pre-ordered it."

"Me too," Carrie answered. "And I keep checking to see if it's there early!"

So, we are doing the exact same thing.

The reviews of the autobiography are coming in too and they're talking about Bruce's life with his family.

He raised his children not explaining that Mom and Dad are rock stars.

"Why do they keep bothering you?" His oldest son asked early on.

"I'm like Barney for adults," Bruce answered.

"That guy had a tattoo of you!" His kid said.

A funny exchange.

Happy Birthday, Bruce.

You're better than Barney.

Best news?

He has no plans on quitting.

He keeps giving us presents.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sick or Not?

Returned home to find some sickness floating around.

Sam was feeling lousy even before I left and he evidently was successful in his effort to pass it around.

Kathy was hacking, aching and in deep need of sleep.

Beautiful!

School seems to be the wild card in the start of the sickness garbage. I often think about it on airplanes where people tend to hack up all sorts of stuff in a closed box.

Yet, with all that being said, I can usually fight it off. We all understand that I'm in superb physical condition, but there must be something more to it than that.

(I hate bringing all of this up as it feels like I'm tempting fate)...

...but it usually makes it all the way through the house and I escape.

Hot peppers?

That's my theory.

I put jalapeƱo peppers on my cereal for crying out loud. Two or three times a day I'll be drinking a little milk to try and put out the fire in my mouth...

...but I keep eating them.

I think that research shows that I may be on to something, but a lot of times I feel it and I don't give in.

"I ain't sick."

I talk myself into thinking 'I'm fine.'

But...

...I don't want to sound like a dope. A few years back Donald Trump was on the Opie show and he said, "I've never been sick."

The hosts were laughing at him.

"Nope! Never had the flu. Never had a cold," he said.

Of course, that has to be true, right?

He would never exaggerate something!

I have been sick!

Just hope I get away with it again.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Terror

Terror works in a amazing way.

When something happens it terrorizes millions of us and we scream out in absolute fear.

I was listening to the bar owner who turned in the terror suspect. The bar owner was not a white American. Certainly he is a 'good' American though. In his assimilated English he patiently told the story for about the 2,000th time on Tuesday morning.

As he spoke I was thinking that his brown skin, and jilted handle on the language could certainly get him tossed if terrorism-handling is taken to the max.

He also said something profound when told he was a hero.

(I'm paraphrasing).

"I was just being an American. Chinese, Muslim, Mexican, all of us Americans have to work together."

Profound.

One of the other things that always strikes me about these attacks is that when someone gives a measured response to an attack someone screams:

"Why don't we call it what it is? Why don't we call out Ahmed or Abdul, ow whoever?"

Does the label manner?

Those same people scream out when you put the shooters name on television when it's a white, lone wolf guy who shoots up a theatre, or a school, or a church.

So, name them if it's terror and keep them anonymous if they are, what? White?

By the way, there are 100 people killed by the domestic terrorist with a gun than a pipe-making religious zealot.

But of course, I'm against all of the attacks!

I'm against the bomb-makers and the gun-wielding mental patient.

I want my kids to move around this beautiful country not crippled by fear. I have enjoyed that sort of life all of my life.

I've taken planes, trains, buses and subways.

I've never once thought: "Uh-oh, that guy is Mexican or Muslim or Indian, or Chinese. I've never once caught the crazed eye of a regular white dude and thought 'The lights are on but no one is home.'

I look around, but I wonder if I'm observant. I just don't figure it's gonna' happen because the chances of it happening where I am is minimal.

Terror hasn't captured me yet.

The plane I stepped on early this week had less white guys like me on it than anyone else. Truth be told the plane was at least 75% Asian.

If my plane was loaded after all non-American-born people were tossed...I could've slept across three seats.

The answers aren't easy.

I do believe that isolation, fear, hatred of the unknown and reacting in blind rage...

...won't work.

But I appear to be in the minority there.

Line 'em up and attack the ones who look a certain way, or don't speak perfect English with just the right accent is actually the right solution for many.

But that bar owner?

The guy who made the call that captured the suspect?

Yeah.

In that scenario described above...

...would've been dismissed...

...as a terrorist.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Daddy's Home!

On Sunday afternoon I thought about charging my I-pod for my flight out on Monday morning, but I didn't do it because my charger cord had been flat-out stolen.

I knew who the criminal was.

"Was going to charge my I-pod," I said, "but it's missing because of your passive-aggressive need to aggravate me when I'm not even home," I said to said criminal.

"That's just not true," my beautiful wife said. "I steal your things so I can be closer to you while you're on the road."

The missing charger cable then opened an entire discussion about how things roll when I'm not around.

"Melky isn't the same when you aren't here. She's so depressed that she hardly picks up her head."

"See. We know who loves me," I said.

"We're all that way," Kathy said. "We sit in a circle, holding hands, trying not to cry."

But I wanted the real picture.

"It's just more relaxed," Sam said. "Dishes can stay in the sink or in our rooms. We don't feed everyone at the same time each day."

"So it's a mess of disorganization," I said.

"Yep!"

Which, of course, would drive me crazy.

"But we've been talking," Kathy said. "The turnaround has been too quick lately. We need another day to get things cleaned up."

"Tell me how that works," I said.

"Easy. One person goes to the airport. The rest of us clean the house. We've been cutting it close," Kathy said.

God I feel so loved!

Of course, when I come through the door there is some excitement.

Melky and the Pair run to greet me.

Melky does a couple of jumps in that air and races to the box to grab a bone. She then runs through the house...absolute love driving her actions.

The rest meander out a little at a time.

"What's up? Yankees suck," is what I get from Jake.

Sam?

Poor kid is still cleaning.

"How'd it go?" I'll ask him.

"Those two didn't move a muscle."

"You must be glad I'm here," I say.

"Yeah. I can use the help."

Daddy's Home!!!