Tuesday, January 23, 2018

9/11 Movie

There’s a movie out with Charlie Sheen and Whoopi Goldberg about 5 people caught in the North Tower when the planes hit on 9/11.

It’s pretty good, despite the pain that recalling that horrific day brings.

A bunch of thoughts:

1). Charlie Sheen is a train wreck but he is certainly a good actor.

(Get that out of the way first).

2). There was footage of George W. Bush speaking for the country. I wasn’t a fan of his policies. Yet, as I watched I simply couldn’t fathom what might happen right now. What would the response of this government be?

It’s a question I don’t ever want answered.

3). The main characters are trapped in an elevator. “Do you think it really happened?” Kathy asked.

There are had to be hundreds of absolutely ridiculously horrific scenarios playing out all over the country. As we watched I considered every single moment of my experience all those miles away.

“Never Forget” indeed.

I felt the same empty, hollow feeling.

4). The movie did a good job of placing a janitor in the same elevator as a billionaire. Despite their obvious class differences, and while they never came right out and said it:

They felt the same.

Fear. Despair. Love.

No difference between the two very different men.

5). The movie is dedicated to the first responders.

Running up the stairs when everyone is running down. Going in when they are supposed to head out.

Amazing.

We all think that we want to help. Many of us would panic. That fear would stop us.

It would stop most of us.

Hundreds of those who died that day, ignored that fear.

6). Compassion

I spent a lot of the movie considering how the world has changed.

We felt unified.

Americans were united in an effort to be American.

What the hell happened?

Seems to me that half of America hates the other half now...

...we’ve lost our compassion.

“We can’t let the terrorists win,” was something you heard a lot back then.

We certainly pretended that we made it through.

Did we?

If we have lost our compassion.

If we’ve forgotten our American-ness.

We lost.

“That was uplifting,” I said

“Sad.”

Yeah.

Real sad.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Curses!

Read an article over the weekend that was actually pro-swearing.

Which is great f****ng news!

The article stated that people learn to say the bad words really early on in their existence, and while they know it’s taboo to swear in certain settings...

...it’s actually good for them.

Emotionally, physically, and intellectually.

Here’s the thing.

I never swear in front of my children or my Mom.

I hardly ever swear at Home, at all...

...but I say an awful lot of swear words at work. I also write a lot of curse words for the characters in my books.

I definitely swear when I’m telling funny stories.

And I’ve never actually worried too much about it.

Lately, unfortunately, it has entered my mind when I’m doing speeches.

The article said that people who curse more are actually more honest.

More intelligent too.

We’ve always been taught the opposite, right?

“People say bad words because their grasp of the English language is limited,” the nuns told us.

F****ng liars!

Most of the time, I cringe when I hear someone swearing in public. Did you ever actually listen to someone drop F-bombs on a private phone call?

It’s uncomfortable.

My feeling on it is that well-placed curse words can be amazing.

They enhance a story.

They convey a direct message

They bring laughter and tears.

I obviously wasn’t horrified by the ’shithole’ comment because of the word itself...

...let’s stop pretending.

We all swear!!

Yet, it was the context in which the word was used...

...there were certainly racial overtones to it.

What is absolutely ridiculous is when one of Carlin’s 7 dirty words slips across the airwaves.

“We are so horribly sorry!”

Oh for f***’s sake.

It’s just a word!

Turns out I’m a emotionally stable, honest genius after all.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

What’s Left to Say?

Millions of women marched in city after city.

There were two major hashtags on social media:

#Schumershutdown

#Trumpshutdown

The government is out of money, and each side decided not to blink.

Like children, they blamed each other.

We had three boys. They’d argue back and forth. When we’d bust in to get it to stop we’d get the old:

“It was him!”

In most every case, the best idea was to separate them and ensure that each side was properly punished.

There are two sides to every story and no one is ever 100% guilty.

I spent a lot of Saturday just simply hiding posts. I didn’t want anyone’s opinion on the matter. I honestly don’t think it’ll honestly go on too long...

...they can’t steal money if they shut down the business...

Sooner or later they’ll crank up the shit machine again.

Mom and I were kicking around the particulars of Watergate and Nixon getting forced out.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Mom said. “Everyone hates everyone now.”

That about sums it all up.

Me?

I got a Massage in an effort to get my legs moving. I hung out with Melky and Paris, and made roast beef and mashed potatoes.

We watched a couple of movies.

I made sauce too.

Simply hung around the house.

Thought of a Mellencamp song:

“Eden is Burning. I can see it from my window. Better take to the water because Eden is Burning.”

What could go wrong?

What could possibly be next?

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Horrifying Stories

The man and woman - the Durbins- from California who starved their 13 children might be the most devastating of all of this week’s stories.

And that’s saying a lot!

The porn star payment!

The government shut-down!

Possible money-laundering for the Russian Mob!

Tom Brady may have hurt his hand!!

I couldn’t even read the story about the horrible couple...

...they deserve to spend the rest of their days in a cell.

Hopefully all thirteen of their children get heavy therapy.

But sadly, the Durbins don’t win the worst story of the week!

For me, the father of two, who was deported was the most embarrassing, tragic and un-American story of the week.

Dad was ripped away from his family because when he was just 9 years old his parents illegally snuck him over the boarder.

For 30 years, the man built a life in America.

Never once arrested.

Worked every day.

Fell in love, got married, had two children.

The American Dream.

The authorities came for him...

...ripped him away...

...and deposited him back to a country that he never really knew.

What are we doing?

Do we stand for what we used to?

I get it. I really do. There are laws. We need to enforce those laws.

Yet there is so much misinformation out there regarding who is coming in and what they’re doing.

Certainly they should assimilate.

If this is to be their home they should make an effort to be American.

Our grandparents or great-grandparents did. And they built this country. America was built off the sweat of immigrants...

...from Ireland, Mexico, Italy, Africa, Germany, Asia...

From countries we’ve never heard of.

Yet, others, with bad intentions took advantage, and instead of bringing their work ethic, brought terror.

Many of the terrorists have assimilated in an effort to fit in just long enough to cause harm.

But care is required when making assessments.

Not every white American books a hotel room and shoots up a concert in Las Vegas.

Not every black man smokes crack and goes on welfare...

...and not every immigrant came across the border to cause trouble.

Argue it any which way you want, but when a man is ripped from his family and tossed out of the only country he’s ever known...

...well...it’s wrong.

It’s not the America that I’ve come to know.

Actually, it’s horrifying.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Stormy ⛈

It’s hard to believe that the story about the President of the United States paying hush money to a porn star that he had a year-long affair that began a few months after the birth of his youngest son...

...is hardly a story.

We’ve come a long way, haven’t we?

I am old enough to remember Dan Quayle being pretty much bounced because he couldn’t spell ‘potato.’

Howard Dean was hammered out of the race for a yell.

Who was the guy on the yacht?

Gary Hart?

He got bounced so fast that I don’t even really remember him.

Yet, the truest thing that Trump ever said was that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and his base would stick with him.

“Thank God for President Trump,” one woman wrote in the comment section of the Donald-Stormy story.

“God has chosen Trump as our leader and he is in charge of where we are heading together as a nation. God Bless this man!!”

I laughed.

People believe what they want to believe when it makes no sense at all.

Of course, there was someone there to answer the woman.

“He was busted with a porn star! He cheated on his 3rd wife a month after his child was born!”

The woman who wrote the initial comment about God-Trump-Love  cleared it all up for those of us who are skeptical:

“He surrendered himself to God,” she wrote. “God forgives all who ask! Our president has been saved!”

Unbelievable!!!!

What’s hard to believe is that the story has been sitting out there since 2011. What’s even more troublesome is that ALL of the stories were there...

...but millions chose to ignore them.

Those same people are ignoring this one too...

...because God has chosen Donald...

...evidently.

These are Stormy ⛈ days indeed.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Punched In the Face

I was kind of fired up to get back to work, but as Mike Tyson once famously said:

"Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face."

Ten degrees and blowing snow.

"This sucks," I screamed out at just a little after seven o'clock.

I had been outside in shorts just 36 hours before.

"Why do we live here?" I asked Melky and Paris as we gathered for our first ride together in a long while.

I had a heavy coat on, long underwear too.

Still, first job was blowing snow hard and the walk was very icy.

I was shuffling my steps and felt a little like Tim Conway when he used to do that little walk on the Carol Burnett Show.

(God, I'm old - that's an old reference).

Everything is slower in the cold weather.

Traffic moves slowly...

...we're all waiting for the weather to announce how much snow we might be getting.

I complained about it to the first group I saw.

"It's going to be close to 50 by Saturday," the guy said.

I took a deep breath...

...that's welcome news.

I stuck next to the propane torch heater. Every time that I do that on a job I think about my first labor foreman, Joe Black, who'd got too close with clothes that went up.

Poor Joe.

I took a step back.

Then I headed outside to the freezing cold and the blowing snow...

...felt like a punch in the face.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Home Again, Home Again

We were in the airport leaving New Mexico when it seemed to dawn on both me and my beautiful wife that we’d had just about enough of one another.

“Got any cash on you?” She asked as she stood in front of the guy selling pretzels

“You haven’t spent ten bucks on this trip,” I said, as I handed her enough for the pretzel bites.

“You know,” she said, “when we get home we need to go our separate ways for a few days. I’ve spent all but ten minutes with you over the last 5 days. That’s enough.”

She took the money though.

The main problem that she had with me was that every few minutes I would ask:

“Whatcha’ doing?”

(That got on her nerves after the 50th time).

Also, every time we passed a sign for Los Cruces, I recalled the dialogue from the old sitcom, “Wings” and said:

“I don’t live in Los Cruces.”

(That got old too, I guess).

Yet, it was good to be home.

On the morning that we left Melky had a bit of an episode. She could barely move, didn’t even want to pick up her head.

As we flew out, I was broken-hearted. She’s 12 years old.

I didn’t think I’d ever see her again.

The next day, her new full-time caretaker, Sam, texted me:

“Melky just sprinted up the stairs after wolfing down her dinner.”

I almost cried.

When we got home, Melky and the Pair were so damn happy to see me.

I was even kind of fired up to get back to work!

Messages, emails and sites to visit.

Re-energized.

I’ll be fine.

Just have to steer clear of Kathy for a few days.

9/11 Movie

There’s a movie out with Charlie Sheen and Whoopi Goldberg about 5 people caught in the North Tower when the planes hit on 9/11. It’s pret...