Friday, July 31, 2009

Big Cheati

I don't normally wish ill-will to people, but this past off-season Big Papi of the Red Sucks sat in front of his locker and explained what a great guy he is because he didn't cheat and that all people caught cheating should have their numbers adjusted, shouldn't be allowed to enter the Hall of Fame, and should just be kicked out of the sport.

Still take that stand, Big Cheater?

Everyone who follows baseball knows that Boston should never win a World Series. In 1986 they were one out away and performed the colossal choke. Against the Yanks Bucky Dent hammered one over their cute little wall that's about 250' from home plate (all in an effort to make their mediocre players seem like good hitters) and then there was Aaron Boone off Tim Wakefield who thinks he's playing badminton.

Yet they won in '04 and '07 and they screamed loud about everyone who was cheating while they won the 'right way.'

The problem being that anyone who remembered Ortiz as a mediocre player with the Twins knew something was amiss when he started hitting bombs. For the past six or seven years I've told everyone that cares to listen to me talk that Ortiz, Manny, Varitek and possibly Schilling were all cheating (and don't get me started on that fake bloody sock, what a jerk).

In any regard, I watched Big Fakei greet the media yesterday. "I have no information," he said. "I don't know what I tested positive for."

I'll help you. Remember when you and your buddy stuck needles in each other's fat asses?

That's what came up positive.

Just a side note to all the people who think I'm being unfair here - I know a lot of others cheated including a number of Yankees - I know this is baseball's fault and that they understood it was going on - but I have the right to gloat after Papi came off as wronged when everyone else was implicated.

Way to go, Boston - enjoy breaking the curse. Now people will put an asterisk next to those wins - shame on you, you lousy cheaters.

(This post is dedicated to my buddy Frank Zocco)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Walking in Central Park

As I walked in Central Park I kept thinking of the Mick Jagger line from the song Miss You - you know, ... People think I'm crazy.

I suppose the draw to the park is the trees, right? Huge, beautiful trees in the middle of the concrete madness. It makes you appreciate nature, the beauty of the world, and on and on.

Yesterday a 33-year old guy was hit by a falling tree branch and critically injured. The poor guy was just relaxing, taking a deep breath, probably listening to his I-Pod, taking a stroll before work. The rotting branch, conked him on the head, and now he's fighting for his life.

These are the sort of things that I read that drive me absolutely crazy. The randomness of it all is almost too much to take.

There was another horrible story about the woman driving the wrong way down the Taconic Parkway - seven people lost their lives - she was a seemingly healthy woman who became disoriented because she wasn't feeling well. There were four children killed in the crash.

Does any of it make sense?

Another poor bastard was struck by lightning in the middle of a soccer game - the strike took all of his clothes off of him and killed him instantly. There were dozens of people playing with him and he gets plucked off the surface by the strike and no one else is hurt?

Besides? Taking the clothes off of him? That's a nightmare, right there.

My wife and I have a deal - if for some reason I'm naked when it happens, she has to dress me before anyone else shows up.

Day after day we try and make sense of things. Night after night it threatens to blow our minds. Anything can happen at any time to any one of us. Tree branches falling on a clear day. Lightning picking one out of a field of twenty. A wrong-way driver.

Time for a Bruce quote, I imagine (Jagger is great for the guitar riffs and beats, but the lyrics are a little strange on some of the tunes) - Stay hard, stay hungry, stay alive, if you can and meet me in the dream of this hard land.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Foolish Behavior

Will they never learn?
Another Lawmaker busted with his hand in the cookie jar (so to speak). The Republican Senator Paul Stanley (not the guy from KISS) resigned because of an affair with a 22-year-old intern.

Same old story.
He is standing by hoping that his wife and two children forgive him. They could not be reached for comment.

He took a moral stand just a short time ago.
Stanley was against planned parenthood because...He believed that people who aren't married shouldn't have sex.

God will make him strong.
He will be forgiven because he is a God-Fearing man who was just too weak to ward off the demons.

Did I mention he was Republican?
Another one lined up throwing daggers at Clinton. Well, at least she is female.

Adios, moron.
He'll reinvent himself and probably get re-elected.

She was hot, though.

They usually are.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New York, New York

It's always exciting for me to visit New York City and Kathy feels much the same way. The hustle and bustle of it all is entertaining at every turn - and this time, we decided to take Matt along, of course.

Matt is a Buffalo-lover - and hates everything about every other city. He was dead-set against loving anything about New York because he loves the underdog, and New York City is filled with over-dogs.

With all of that being said I was sure that he would be in awe of the place - it is hard not to be taken in by the surroundings.

Let's just say - he's 16 years old and is already closed-minded about it.

At the Statue of Liberty he listened to his I-Pod. As he looked out at it I saw him texting feverishly - or so I thought - "Who you texting?" I asked, figuring he was excited by the site. "Actually, I was playing Tetris," he said.

At Rockefeller Center I made him read the proclamation written on the dedication plaque. "Cool," he said.

In Central Park he reminded me that Buffalo has Delaware Park. On the subway he commented only about the couple of rats he saw.

We took him to a dinner prepared by a top chef - he made a comment about not getting dinner from Mickey D's - but I noticed that he ate everything but his napkin. (More on that meal later).

He nearly walked into traffic, damn near fell into a basement, and crinkled his nose at the site of the homeless. He complained about all the damn people, and the endless noise of the sirens. He glanced at the big buildings, but didn't seem overly caught up in it.

At Times Square I reminded him that it sort of reminded me of Buffalo and he said, "I see the similarities."

In the end, however, the NBA Store really got to him. It was the one place where he actually looked to be on the verge of tears.

And yet, deep down, I know how much he appreciated it. I know that it will be a trip that he will never forget, even if Jeter ruined his time at the Stadium.

"Thanks for the trip," he said as he put his earphones in and tuned us out on the plane ride home.

"By the way," I said. "Stay away from me for the next three days or so, I had enough of you."

He laughed and so did I. They were three days that will last for a long time - and we all knew it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monument Park

For the first time I was able to walk Monument Park at the Stadium. I decided to get my photo taken in front of DiMaggio's plaque but could have chosen any number of places to stop.

I could have posed in front of Reggie's - three home runs on my 13th birthday to win a series.

I almost chose Ron Guidry's - he went 25-3 one year and I thought about sitting in the driveway at my parent's home and counting his strikeouts - 18 against the Angels.

Don Mattingly, of course was my all-time favorite player - day after day my brothers and I would rush to the set to watch Donnie Baseball come to bat.

Billy Martin's plaque was there too and I thought of standing next to it as I recalled wondering when he'd get fired again for punching someone out. Billy never took crap from anyone.

I finally chose DiMaggio because he bridged the gap between my grandfather and my father and perhaps if my father didn't find the love it would have never trickled down to us.

As for the game - the Yanks fell behind - and Jeter came to the plate with two on and two out - Matt (who is an A's fan) bowed his head. Even he knew what would happen.

It only took one pitch - Jeter lined it into center - Mariano turned out the lights -and I sat there - beer in hand, comfortable in my seat with the sun on my face - thinking of days gone by and thanking Jeter for one more memory.

As unimportant as it is in the grand scheme of things - it has a place. And yes, I did have a Heiny Light and a shot of Jameson's at Billy's Bar - it was the least I could do.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I'll Be Back

In NYC for the Yanks and sight-seeing, but I will be back to write some more - Matt nearly fell into a basement walking down the sidewalk at Times Square - we laughed and laughed.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pulling a Brett Favre

Just noticed that this is the 600th post I've placed on this blog, and feeling an awful lot like old Brett Favre - conflicted.

I've been as honest as I can be when writing this blog - I've also poured my heart into each of the nine books that I've had published. I've signed books all over the place - made speeches at colleges, high schools, grammar schools and book fairs. Signed with Henry Winkler even. Two of my books have won awards and I've written thousands and thousands of words - always looking for the next story, the next blog, the next journal entry.

And now I'm conflicted because I don't want to do it anymore. I was talking with my publisher yesterday, and we were going over ideas and potential speaking appearances - and deep down I was thinking - "I can't do it anymore."

I used to write for the purpose of trying to understand. I always felt better when I reached the end of something because I felt as though I had a handle on the situation.

For obvious reasons, lately, I feel like the dog chasing his tail. What will I do when I catch it?

And I've tried hard to kick-start it all again. I have the black notebook beside me -I have two half-finished books that I could finish by the end of the year -if I had anything left to give. I reach down inside and I'm pulling up cobwebs.

Years ago I read that great writing comes from complete happiness or utter despair. I always felt as though I were writing from the same sort of spot as when Springsteen wrote the Nebraska album - a sort of dark place that could be chased away. Turns out - I had been happy all the while.

And yet, I don't even know where it goes if the writing does go away altogether - I can only play so many games of brickbreaker - although I'll never get past level 25.

So, you see, I'm considering retiring from writing for awhile. The blog has been a release, but some days it feels forced. I never forced writing before.

I know that there are a lot of people reading along - for the first time I'm asking for actual participation - talk me through this, huh?

Common sense tells me that I need to push forward - crying inside every day tells me to stop.

No wonder Favre has had so much damn trouble these last couple of years.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

End of the Innocence

To every thing there is a season, I suppose. Yet for the past few days I've been toying with the idea of removing the swing set from the backyard, and as you will note it has seen better days. It's not very much to look at, and the damn weeds grow up through the stones I had carefully laid down about eight years ago.

Last night I was plucking some of the weeds out of the ground and clearing a lot of the stones away. I didn't actually shovel or rake because of the back, but I started the chore. I couldn't help but think of the time spent on the swing set - Sam took the most advantage of it, often swinging high with the neighbor. Other than that, Rocco and Farrah spent a little time swinging away. Taking it down makes me feel like I'm taking something away.

Yet it does little more than sit there now, taunting me with how ugly it looks when grass in the spot would make the yard look so much bigger.

Why does it bother me so? Well, I think of how proud I was when my brother and I got it set. I had transported about 7,000 wheelbarrows of stone to the spot after Kathy had dumped it in the driveway believing that it would take about an hour to wheel it over - it took 8 hours.

My bro had built the swing set and poured the concrete for me. He also assembled railroad ties in the front for an edge, but the termites ate the wood that I had taken the time to paint - and paint and I don't get along too well - but I'd done it.

And I thought of the old swing set that we had years and years ago on Shirley Road - I thought about swinging next to my brother John - we were always together - always swinging high for the sky - never quite making it up and over the bar.

And I thought of what seems lost to me over the last bunch of trying days - and it made me realize that childhood is really and truly over for me - not bad I made it 44years feeling like a kid.

My kids won't even miss the swing set and in a few months time, new grass will cover the patch of land, and it won't seem like such a big deal.

Yet taking down a swing set sure feels a lot like losing the innocence of youth when reaching for the sky was just a normal day in the sun.

Got Up and Went

Barney Rubble once mentioned to Fred Flintstone that his 'Get up and go must have got up and went.'

Perhaps it wasn't Barney who first mentioned it, but that's where I heard the line,and I've been feeling that way the last couple of days. It also occurs to me that I miss seeing the Flintstones - I'd watch that over So You Think You Can Dance - 100 times out of 100 times.

Yet I'd be remiss if I didn't at least comment on the Erin Andrews story. She's a beautiful sports anchor for ESPN - and recently she has been in the news because someone shot a video of her, naked in her hotel room, as she walked around, dried her hair, and put on her makeup.

The thing about the story that strikes me most is that she is comfortable enough to walk around in her hotel room naked. Now I don't have hair enough to blow dry, and I don't put on make-up, but the least time spent naked for me, the better.

There are so many dang mirrors in a hotel room that I can't even risk catching more than a short glimpse as I wallow by. I towel off and dress in the shower just so that I can avoid the mirror.

Yet it is a horrible story anyway - kind of reminded me of Porky's. Not sure what it is about men, but a good-looking woman turns their minds to putty - the guy videotaping here should be punished for the invasion of privacy, but boys will be boys, huh?

Working around construction has been an education for years - guys will spend six bucks on a dollar coffee just to stand next to the coffee girl for a couple of minutes. And God help it if one just happens to walk by the site - guys will literally howl like wolves in an effort to say hello.

The degradation of women kind of reminds you of the old stone age, doesn't it?

Yet even Barney Rubble wouldn't behave in such a manner, but that of course, is because his get up and go got up and went.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

First Place

The Yanks have been good this year - fun to watch and a good distraction to conclude most days, and last night they took first place from the dreaded Red Sucks. (Hi Frank).

So the telephone call would have come early today and we would have spoke about Mariano being a stud, Jeter's play from the other night, and the fact that Matsui should still be hitting more home runs. The trade deadline would've also been a topic, but I'm sure that this year we'd have agreed that they don't need a lot - just stay healthy.

Just stay healthy.

That's all there is to it,right? Eat right, sleep right, get a little exercise - it should be simple enough. Yet with the Yanks in first I was awakened this morning to the sounds of fire engines, police cars, ambulances - the whole army of services racing to a scene.

And I thought of two teenagers killed in the North towns when their car went off the road, and I thought of people everywhere this morning who are coping with the shock and dismay of real life and the fact that it is really quite difficult to stay healthy.

So where does it leave me this morning? Well, I scanned the sports, tried to get a glimpse through the keyhole where that ESPN announcer was undressing, read an article about the scandal Obama caused by wearing jeans to the All-Star Game, read about Lance Armstrong not winning his little bike ride, gave a pet to the dogs, wrote out the to-do list, and headed for the door.

I'm still chasing it, I suppose. Still working on a dream. Still punching the clock.

And the Yankees are in first place.

Deep breath. Off to work.

Staying healthy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One Hundred? I Don't Think So

There's a report out that polled a bunch of people asking them if they'd like to live to be a hundred years old. Eight percent of those polled said yes - count me among the other 92%.

And not that I don't enjoy living from time-to-time. There would be a great number of benefits to living such a long life, like seeing my kids live their entire lives, and watching the Yankees run their World Series wins up to about 40, and listening to Bruce for 50 + more years, and eating and drinking and hanging out.

Yet looking at my body now and adding another 56 years on it - It won't work - how bald and fat can I get? And the back isn't going to be feeling any better by that point, right?

Yet the discussion didn't center around reaching the age of 100 just so that we can all think about crapping our pants again and letting the kids change us - it was a serious discussion about the cost of health care.

We're living longer - we want to treat illnesses aggressively whether it be for ourselves or a loved one - and with the advancements in medicine and the fact that a lot of the population is going to be old by the year 2020 - we may have a real problem on our hands.

First of all, we all would like to retire by 64 - or 67 at the latest - which, if everyone got to the century mark - would allow us about 35 years of being unproductive and just looking for a handout - as well as great medical coverage. Simple math - doesn't work.

Yet what do we do? The radio personality that I was listening to was talking about universal health care but with a cap - and that when you reached the limit, you couldn't get treated anymore. Not an easy decision, huh? How'd you like to get to a hospital and have a doctor explain to you that he only did half the heart procedure because your account ran out of money.

The health care issue is not going to be easily solved - many have tried and wound up shrugging their shoulders. In the meantime, it's become a certified mess.

100 years old? Well it might sound attractive if I was 99 and a half, but it seems a little scary at this point.

Monday, July 20, 2009

One Giant Leap

Could it be that I remember watching the first moon landing? It was 40 years ago today, and I'm just 44, but as they talked about it today, I had clear recall of my mother yelling at us to pay attention as the moon landing was shown on television. I even recalled that I was standing next to my sister and that I said something along the lines of: "This is boring."

Yet that must have been an amazing time, huh? A simpler time for sure - the ship they traveled in wasn't much more than a floating bathtub compared to what we have today - and those men must have been a little crazy and more than a bit scared. I'm not enamored flying to New York City let alone leaving the freaking atmosphere.

And think of the American pride as we made it up there before the Russians. A simple goal was set and achieved as a nation. You know what would happen today, don't you? The Republicans would blame the Democrats for stopping progress and the Democrats would explain that we'd need that money to do something senseless, like say, feed the citizens.

And then there'd be on the floor of the senate and an investigation into why the hell it could never happen, and we'd have watched someone named Vladamir hitting a golf ball off the surface of the moon.

Which brings me to the two coolest aspects of being on the moon - hitting a drive over 220 yards and weighing, what, about thirty pounds? Both cool things for sure.

Of course, since that day 40 years ago there are people who claim that the moon landing never truly happened and that it was all set on a Hollywood stage, yeah and Elvis is alive, and UFO's land in the desert.

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin get the press - who was the 3rd guy? I just heard it a half an hour ago and I can't recall.

Does anyone remember?

I was too bored 40 years ago to pay much attention, but to my mother's credit, she made me watch it.

What're You Gonna' Do?

Twenty days into July and we're still waiting for some sort of weather that reminds us of summer. I wish I had a dime for every complaint I've heard - most conversations of the sort end with the question - What're you gonna' do about it?

The answer, of course, is nothing.

I've spent most of the year praying for acceptance. There are so many questions shrouded in the guise of life's ultimate riddle - each question is answered with the "I give up" phrase of "What are you gonna' do?"

The economy sucks and we all have some sort of answer that we're willing to spout off, mostly in an effort to find some blame - It was all because of Richard Nixon or Jimmy Carter of Reagan or Obama - round and round we go - our words reminding us that there's not a lot we can do to solve the problem.

There is always plenty to fret about - most of the time we aren't going to get anything productive done if we worry about what can't be changed. I think of George Costanza's father screaming - "Serenity Now!" - and it always makes me smile.

Serenity isn't an easy thing to achieve - even on a quiet day - without life throwing you a 12 to 6 curveball that can't be hit. There are so many things that cause us to shrug our shoulders and mumble...what're you gonna do?

It's quite early in the morning - I hear that same bird outside my window who sings no matter what the hell his new day will bring. I find that bird annoying, but today I feel like taking on his tune.

In all likelihood there will be a little crap to deal with today - hopefully it stays somewhat manageable and I'll be able to move forward, in full acceptance of the fact that I can't make the sun shine. I can't make people behave the right way. I'm probably not going to find a bag full of money, and my back and neck will bark a bit.

I believe that bird sings because she appreciates the fact that she's still here and that a new day is breaking. (I'm figuring it's a she - I can't see many males singing for no reason).

So that's what I'm gonna' do today - you with me?

Serenity NOW!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Growing Old

Whoever said that age is just a number is basically an idiot. What galls me about growing old is that it took me so damn long to grow up, and now I'm already losing it.

I'm nearly three weeks into the back and neck pain, and I don't see the end in sight - I'll still beat Renaldo, Chucky and Pops in golf tomorrow though - and golf is the main reason why I bring up this subject.

Tom Watson is leading the British Open at the age of 59. Tiger Woods is already back at his mansion - and Watson continues to hit the ball well, putt like a maniac and carry a whole generation of people rooting for him to the finish line. It's funny, but if age is just a number why does everyone want the old guy to finish it off and win?

Because we know how hard it is, that's why. I used to be able to stay up until four in the morning drinking beer, tossing back shots and laughing. Four hours later I'd be back at work. If I tried that now... My God it would be about three weeks until I was right again.

And the clock is now an enemy. Think of it. When someone rings our home at nine at night, I have a fit. "Who's calling so late?" I'll yell out.

I watched the boys play in their basketball tourney last week. For reason of update, Matt's team won the championship, Matt won a three-on-three trophy, Jake's team finished second, and Sam's team lost all but one game. There's a lot of trash-talking going on.

Anyway, during one of the games a ball came rolling towards me as I sat on the sidelines. The games hadn't started yet so instead of tossing the ball back to one of the kids, I stood up, groaning all the way, loosened up a little, and took aim at the bucket about twenty feet away.

A kid with pimples all over his face moved into my path. "I'll take that, sir," he said.

"I'm going to shoot it," I said.

The little bastard sort of chuckled and ran to a spot near the basket.

"Stand right under the net because that's where it's coming out," I said.

I stretched the ball over my head once more, took a deep breath, and let it fly. I didn't hit the backboard, I didn't hit the rim...all I hit was the inside of the net.

The kid looked back in my direction as though I had performed some sort of magic trick other than simply shooting a shot I practiced a million times before. He grabbed the ball and dribbled away. I felt like calling after him, letting him know that it's polite to give the ball back when the shot is made, but instead, I heard my wife.

"Come on, Sam is playing outside," she said.

I headed through the doors, shivered because its like 52 degrees in the middle of the friggen' summer and looked in on the game just in time to watch Sam dribble one off his foot and out-of-bounds.

It's his time now, but there are still fleeting moments, right?

Go Tom Watson. I'm glad you sent Tiger away, back to his perfect life. Now finish the job before they take the ball away from you.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Trapped in the Penthouse

Back-track with me to July 17, 1983. I was just 18 years old and was working as a union construction laborer on a 47-story hotel in San Francisco, California. I had just completed my first year of college, and I weighed about 40 pounds less than I do now with considerably more hair.

I arrived at work at 7 AM and my boss, Angelo, told me to grab the chipping hammer and follow him. We hit the elevators and began climbing to the top of the building. We didn't stop until we arrived at the penthouse.

"Think of it like this," Angelo said, "You're going to spend the next 8 hours in the penthouse of a luxury hotel - it'll probably be the only time in your life that it happens for you."

Angelo laughed and moments later I figured out why he found it funny.

"You need to break up the floor where it's marked out - there's about six inches of concrete all the way around."

The portion of the floor was about twenty-by-twenty.

"Someone made a mistake in the layout and you need to open everything up for us."

"Why doesn't the guy who made the mistake do it?" I remember asking.

"Life doesn't work that way," Angelo said. "Think of it this way, it's just a single day in a long string of days that you'll never remember." He handed me some ear plugs and a pair of safety glasses.

Twenty-six years later, I remember that day, and not because anything monumental happened - I just worked to break the floor. I got the drill bit stuck a few times, lost about six pounds, and just stopped vibrating last week, but mostly I remembered the day because Angelo said that I'd soon forget it.

And tonight, I thought of all the days since and the moments spent on the ground floor, and the moments when I made it back to the penthouse. I thought of all the friends I made in the days in between, and the constant love of my family, through the days of the hard driving rain and through the beauty of the long summer days.

I thought of friends long since forgotten, and troubles that I thought would never pass. They passed. I cherished the days when my children were born, and despaired through the long, lonely days that life presents for us from time-to-time, and in a short period of time it all came screaming back to me, day after day, most of them not forgotten at all.

And I thought of the fact that I'd once spent a night on a penthouse in Miami where we partied for the release of one of my books, and I wondered about Angelo, and I hoped that his days were filled with peace - one way or another.

And I'm not sure if I've lost or gained sight since that day so long ago, but I do know that I didn't forget it, and most likely never will.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

After Further Review

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor has pretty much made it through the grueling process of having her life scrutinized at every angle. I don't really care, or know very much about it, one way or another. It's the process that I find intriguing.

Can you imagine what it would be like to have every sentence that you've ever uttered read back to you in the search for an explanation? I'll tell you one thing, I wouldn't make it through the first three questions, and most of the people I know wouldn't be able to pull if off either.

Who among us hasn't done something insanely stupid or said something completely out of character? Who hasn't wished that he could pull back the words that just left his mouth?

I suppose that Sotomayor must be an all right person, but that just isn't the point. How do you not get defensive when someone throws your past back into your face?

I know that some day there will be a great judgement and all past sins will be reviewed, but I can allow that to happen if there's a Supreme Being doing the judging rather than some old codger in the House or Senate who'll most likely get busted on some disgusting charge in a few weeks.

Wasn't it Sanford who beat the drum loudest when Clinton was found to be a cheating husband? What was Sanford recently in the news for?

The point being - no one can actually withstand the scrutiny. Years ago there was an Albert Brooks movie called Defending Your Life and in it he had to retrace his steps and explain why he did what he did - his eternal resting place depended upon his answers.

It was typical Albert Brooks and the concept was certainly interesting. Perhaps if everyone lived their life knowing that there would certainly be a day of atonement, we'd have a more peaceful go of things here on this planet.

In the end, I can see my judge looking down his nose at me and ask me what the hell I thought I was doing during those college years.

Hopefully those frat party experiences will be graded on a curve.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Just Plain @**@&#-Up

Evangelist Tony Alamo allegedly had a number of wives who were minors. He's on trial for these crimes and the woman testifying against him was forced to become his wife for religious reasons - because the Lord said so.

That woman got off lucky - uh-oh, just thought of a joke from Arthur.

A girl he's dating confesses that she was raped by an uncle at the age of 12. Arthur says: "So, you had 11 relatively good years then."

That great line aside - what a mess! This man preys on the feeble-minded and rapes their daughters. I'm sure the family sent him money on top of it.

Yet Alamo is accused of even more - his next "wife" was an eight-year-old whom he fondled as she held a teddy bear and wore a Barbie shirt. When his first wife - the 15-year-old questioned him about his fondling of the 8-year-old - he allegedly responded - "Don't question me about what the Lord told me to do."

Sadly, this creep is not alone - I'm betting that he has pretty much a straight ticket to hell. He'll probably share the shuttle ride with Hitler, Bin Laden and those bastards that removed the dead to sell additional cemetery plots.

Yet what bothers me more about the story - than the creep headlining it - are the people who give up all they know is right to believe in something, or someone, who lives to manipulate desperate people. And don't kid yourself - it happens every day, in every small town in the nation.

I heard today that Lisa Marie married Michael on the wishes of the Church of Scientology. They wanted him as a recruit for their work. Even he had enough sense to steer clear of it.

Yet there are those that are senseless and they are looking for something to hold onto - even at the cost of their own children, their self-respect and good-old common sense.

All right - one more point - how in the hell can that marriage work? The gap between 74 and 8 is way too much to overcome. What will they talk about? Will they watch SpongeBob or the nightly news?

God help us all.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

All-Star Game

I won't even come close to watching the baseball All-Star game to the conclusion. In fact, I wouldn't tune in at all if my boy Jeter wasn't batting 2nd. I may be one of the top three biggest baseball fans in the world, but I take the All-Star break off. Four days without worrying about the standings is a welcome break.

Yet I also think about the only All-Star games I ever made - as a Little League baseball player - and how proud and happy I was with that little trophy. I can recall walking around as though I were king crap and on my way to a big league career. I lost that trophy years ago - one of the dogs chewed it to pieces.

Which brings me to the basketball camp that the kids are attending. I watched 2 out of 3 of them lose their games yesterday. It wasn't that they didn't play well, but they didn't win, and they didn't get voted camper of the day either. And they didn't much take it in stride.

"It sucks," Jake said by way of explanation.
"I was raped," Matt said when a ref blew a call.
"They didn't pass me the ball," Sam complained.

And I thought of all the guys from high school and college who received all the accolades for being the star athletes. I think of the girls that wanted the boys because they could run or throw or shoot.

It was easy to figure out that I never got a girl for any of those reasons. Yet I can remember feeling jealous of those guys. I was only an all-star once, and I received a most improved player award on one of my basketball teams - and that was akin to saying that I didn't suck as bad as I did the year before.

I had wanted to be MVP. I wanted to be the guy who sank the winning shot. I actually had the opportunity in one game and clanked it hard off the backboard (a brick as they call it) - I was raped on the shot.

Yet in the end, I got a good-looking chick anyway.

There isn't a trophy on my mantle - but I don't have a mantle either - and if worse comes to worse I can do what Woody Boyd did in one CHEERS episode - I'll buy my own awards because goshdarnit, I am an all-star, and people like me.

As it all played out though - it doesn't really matter.

Just like the game tonight.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Basketball Camp

My sons are off to camp to play basketball and there are a lot of advantages to the nearly week long event.

First and foremost they are preparing themselves for their inevitable careers in the NBA. How can they not make it? As a stud basketball player myself I often remind them that there were just a few factors that stopped me from making it as the next Pistol Pete Maravich.

They didn't ask what those factors were - so I didn't have to tell them that I couldn't run, jump, play defense, or show any court sense at all.

I did have a little advice for them - "Shoot every single time you get your hands on the ball."

Team concept? Nah, I was always into getting my points first - "There are no names in the newspaper for assists" I reminded them.

Yet, the three boys were completely different in their expectations. "I'm going to dominate," Sam said - all four feet eight inches of him. He strutted across the court to visit with Kathy and I, saying "They have to make me the point guard."

Point guard in a game of 9-year olds!

Then there was Jake - he played the entire game - and I can't watch him play and not marvel at the job they did putting him back together when he was sick - awesome to watch him run - and shoot - he shot every single time he got his hands on the ball - even making a buzzer beater. They were down a ton at the time, but it still went in. And he runs just like the old man - as if he's carrying a piano - and jump? Yes, mad hops as they say - he could clear a sheet of loose leaf paper left on the ground.

And finally, Matt - the kid has some skills - no doubt about it - he can run, shoot, rebound and he's nearly man-size - plus it is so great to watch him moving upright - and not eating us out of house and home as he does it. He can certainly garner up a ton of enthusiasm for basketball.

Finally, it also gives Kathy and I the run of the house for awhile - we had dinner together - and were free to speak of anything we wanted. We could run through the house swearing at the top of our lungs if we so choose to do.

Instead - we talked about the boys - and their NBA Dreams.

Dream big kids, dream big.

Please No Investigations

The report today is that the Democrats are looking to investigate Bush-Cheney etc... for criminal acts and wrong-doing. As much as I would like to know...please don't do it.

How much money was wasted on the Clinton investigation where we found out that he cheated on his wife. Millions and millions, right? And it was something we already knew. He had a track record of infidelity and it was presented as if it were new news and when it came out men and women across the nation shrugged their shoulders.

What will happen when the news breaks that Cheney was an a-hole and Bush was less than a Rhodes Scholar?

I say save the money that will be wasted on a year-long investigation - put that money in say, creating jobs. Put that money back in the school system. Find a place for Ricky Ricardo to sleep at night instead of calling an ambulance (see previous post). Anything but dragging names through the mud to prove, what exactly?

Maybe it is just me but it doesn't seem like the rift between Republicans and Democrats will ever be settled - in the immortal words of Rodney King - "Can't we just get along?"

As you may have guessed through reading this blog through the last couple of years - I wasn't a Bush fan - but wasting money to figure out what is already pretty clear is a disgusting notion.

They'll do it anyway - anything to one-up the other side.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ricky Ricardo

Just finished reading a story about a homeless man in New York who goes by the name of Ricky Ricardo. It seems old Ricky has figured out that the best way to get a hot meal and a comfortable bed is to drink himself to oblivion and then call 911. He complains of chest pains or suicidal tendencies and an ambulance is dispatched to pick him up. After a few X-rays or an MRI, he is allowed to rest comfortably for the night and then he heads back to the streets. He claims he's pulled this trick at least a few dozen times.

Now I'm all for people having a place to rest their heads, but the drain of such a trick is undeniable. Try getting an ambulance ride for less than $800. The cost of MRI's and X-rays is also through the roof. Yet what can you do? As a society we can't leave a man claiming chest pains to die on the streets - can we?

Overall the hospital system needs a total re-do. Yet where do you start? Health care for all? Health care for none?

I find the whole situation absolutely maddening. I spent a lot of time in Mercy Hospital in Buffalo early in the year and the place was a mess - literally and figuratively. The staff seemed to be trying to work around it, but I was still left sleeping in a hard plastic chair, begging for someone to clean the waiting room, not knowing who was coming or going - not knowing who was in charge. A mess.

At the Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo there is an underlying concern for who is being brought in and how the visits can be better - I'm able to view it as a concerned observer rather than a parent of a child needing continued service, but I'm also lucky to know some of the principles involved. There's a certain amount of frustration in the system, but the staff and administration is giving every effort. Unfortunately, there may be too much water to tread in some cases.

Another article earlier in the week spoke of the poor performance of many of the hospitals scattered throughout this great nation.

Have we fallen so far that we don't have an answer for a vodka-swilling man who's figured out how to cheat the system?

Unfortunately it seems that Ricky Ricardo is whipping our asses and there isn't anything we can do about it.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Emergency Meeting

Happy Hour is a strictly American concept. I don't normally attend anymore, but a couple of my buddies and I have decided that when we get too down about losing Jeff (the gang-leader of many of our meetings) we can call an emergency meeting at one of the watering holes. Yesterday, I set the ball in motion. Here's the conversation through the magic of text-messaging.

Me: Meeting? 3PM?
Chris: I'm ready now (it was a few minutes after 9 AM).
Me: Gather the troops.

Five hours later.

Me: We on?
Chris: We should have perfect attendance.

Started it with Jamesons and a Heiney Light. Got a call from Kathy about an hour in.

Kathy: Where are you?
Me: Emergency meeting.
Kathy: I hear Mike in the background.
Me: Yep, he's in attendance.

Five hours later than that, Kathy and I were the center of attention at a party where college-aged kids were gathered. We were tossing ping-pong balls at a stack of cups filled with beer. We were being ridiculed as being old.

Believe it or not, I gave a little back - and my wife who was seemingly raised in a bar - couldn't miss the cup in game 1 - I took over after that and game after game we sent the kids packing - whipping five straight sets of them as they laughed at the old man and his wife. I made fun of their music, their dress, and the fact that I was already a rehab candidate before most of them were born.

On the way home, we listened to Bruce, and I sang along - the emergency meeting had worked.

Until this AM that is - youth is wasted on the young.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I Miss Whitney Houston

Back during my senior year of college I ran with my buddy Jeff Taylor and for most of the week as we tried to figure out where our life would lead us after graduation, we were often philosophical - come the weekend however, we had to turn into Fuzzy and Fluffy and paint the town. Night after night of fun and debauchery usually ended with us at our friends apartment where Lisa and Lorraine would try and convince us that our sometimes misbehavior wouldn't play real well in real life.

During those therapy sessions, Lisa and Lorraine would play music and try to talk sense into us as we nursed our hangovers. The music of choice was usually something light - Journey, Air Supply and Whitney. Fluff and I would threaten to rip the tape out of the player because we perceived that they were crazy for listening to anything other than Bruce.

Fast forward to today - I was driving along listening to light rock on Sirius and Whitney came on - it's strange, but I knew every single word. I could almost hear Lisa butchering it as she sang off-key in between trying to make sense of whatever Fluff and I had done the night before.

Anyway, I thought of all that Whitney Houston had been through - back then she was beautiful, with the voice of an angel, and almost virginal - singing in the church with her aunt (or whatever the hell that story was).

Since then she's been tabloid fodder, drug-addicted, married to an asshole, and out of the picture almost completely. I think I saw a photo of her with missing teeth for crying out loud.

Yet Fluff and I sustained. The song Whitney was singing today was I Have Nothing.

As the song finished up I thought of my old friends (and they are old now), and the feelings that we had back then about whipping the world into shape. Life sure was a lot easier back in those days - way less responsibility, way more time for naps, and for long nights of drinking beer and shooting pool, and acting like idiots.

Yet Lisa and Lorraine had been right about most everything - Fluff and I had to change our act to make it - and we've both been successful.

More successful than Whitney, in fact, we still both have our teeth.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Distract Me From These Distractions

After a particularly mind-numbing day in a stretch of mind-numbing days I decided that the relief for the pain in the back, knee, and neck was to mow the lawn. Not sure why, but after a long work day and with boys certainly capable of mowing the lawn, I decided to do it myself because it allowed me the freedom to just let the thoughts of the day melt away in the sheer concentration of cleaning up the grass that lined the fence.

I didn't think of much as I mowed. I didn't concentrate on the work schedule for the next two days or the words I need to write, or MJ, or McNair, or Palin, or even the Yankees. Just the hum of the engine, waving at a few neighbors, and smelling the cut grass.

Now I've known for quite some time that I've been working harder to avoid thinking. I've played golf in the pursuit of just wondering where my ball is and not why life sucks so bad. That would be a better distraction if I just didn't hit the ball down the middle every time.

Thankfully the Yankees look like the best team in baseball again because I wouldn't have handled another bad year without playoffs because I know, buried not-so-deep, is some anger, some confusion, and a lot of questions.

And yet, it still lingers there.

Watching the Yanks last night I thought of Jeff when Matsui lined a single into center. It's sort of therapeutic every time Matsui gets a hit because he was just one of the players who rubbed my dear brother the wrong way. I smiled as the ball struck by Matsui smacked off the fake grass at the Metrodome (why they play ball in a barn is another pet peeve - sorry Terry - get a real stadium).

Yet what hurt was that I thought about the fact that there will be new players on the Yankees soon - players that Jeff never saw - and I'm not going to know his opinion. I'll be able to guess quite well because we were mirror-images most of the time, but I won't know for sure.

And that ripped at my heart all night.

And I need to be distracted again today - so I have a plan - 10 or 12 hours of work- more Yankees and if worse comes to worse, I'll mow the freaking lawn again. I'll mow it to dirt if it takes some of this away.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Can We Please Do Something with Al Sharpton?

I didn't watch the King of Pop's funeral. I went to work instead. Yet I did hear Al Sharpton talk about how Michael Jackson was the great uniter when it comes to race relations between black and whites.

Why does that guy open his mouth?

Sharpton explained that people voted for Obama because Michael Jackson made it possible.

Uh? Huh?

When I was considering who to vote for I never once thought of Michael Jackson and if I had, I would have dismissed Obama as a candidate.

Where do Sharpton and Jesse Jackson get their ideas from? Why does everything have to be about race. I just know that if a white man got up and talked about his race every time he opened his mouth the press would crucify him. Yet you can't say a word to Sharpton or Jackson and not have it come back covered in their racist crap.

Whatever - you can't rewrite history - Sharpton was crying about how unfairly Michael Jackson was treated by people who wanted to persecute him for his love of children.

Well when those children come forward and say that Uncle Mikey fed them wine and touched them - he deserves to be persecuted, prosecuted and electrocuted.

All right - Billie Jean was a good song - Beat it had Eddie Van Halen's riff - the Jackson 5 had a couple of good tunes, but Michael Jackson didn't walk on water, He didn't unite the races, he couldn't even stay out of his own way it seems.

I just can't wait for the half-finished music to come out. My only hope is that he wrote a song called - "Al Sharpton sucks."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Wisdom of Mike Tyson

I was listening to a sports show that had a 1980's theme to it. On the show they were speaking of the great sports stars of the decade and they were also playing music. Blondie and Olivia Newton John had number one hits in the 80's - God, I'm getting old.

Yet the quote of the day came from Mike Tyson. The announcers were speaking of Tyson just hammering opponents and ruling the heavyweight division with absolute rage. Michael Spinks had been a serious contender to Tyson's title in those days and I can remember paying good money for the pay-per-view event.

Tyson knocked Spinks out in less than a round. After the fight he was told of Spinks' plan to beat him, and Iron Mike said - "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face."

I remember Spinks' eyes rolling around as he hit the canvas. I remember being disappointed because I had wanted someone, anyone to beat Tyson - of course we all know how that played out.

Anyway, I couldn't get the quote out of my mind for the rest of the day.

I had a plan until I got punched in the face. Now those things don't seem to matter quite as much anymore. Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Spinks quit fighting. The punch he took knocked him clear out of the heavyweight division. He didn't have any more plans and he retired into relative obscurity.

Here's hoping the punch in my face doesn't leave me on the canvas. Thankfully the show concluded with a verse of Let's Get Physical by Olivia Newton John and I didn't stay down too long.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The News

All Michael all the time, huh? The coverage is starting to drive me a little crazy - I love the people coming out of the woodwork to tell me what a gentle soul he was - and it simply amazes me that the scandalous stuff is barely mentioned. Give me a break - he was accused of the worst possible crime, wasn't he? A passing glance in that direction followed by - "Yeah, but he was a great dancer," tells me something is askew.

Which is exactly how I sum up Air McNair - all I've heard about is the charity work with little mention of the fact that the woman who shot him was his girlfriend and that he bought her a car and lived with her. His wife hadn't seem him in days. He'd been busted a few times in the past. None of this leads to him deserving four gunshots, but greatest guy ever? as he was described by a former coach.

And my all-time favorite dude was also in the news - Former DC Mayor Marion Berry was arrested for stalking a woman - this is the same guy who was videotaped doing crack and yelling "The bitch set me up."

He's also the same guy who was re-elected after the crack bust. Now he's back in the news for bad behavior and above all else, he still works as a councilman. Maybe it's me that is askew.

Also, it always seems as if it is hold your breath time when the 4th of July comes around and sure enough - there were plenty of people killed and maimed this year. Now I'm patriotic enough, but do we really need the fireworks?

First of all most municipalities can't afford them - secondly, men and women all over this great country either blow off their hands or kill themselves setting them off and lastly what's the big deal - "oh, ah, eww." Even as a kid they didn't do much for me and now they are shot off at every baseball game, basketball game, and wrestling match. Don't tell me it's for the kids either - my kids plug their ears when the fireworks are shot off.

Ah well, just getting things off my chest - the Yanks lost this afternoon and the umps sucked.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I Like Mine with Onions

Only in America.

Joey Chestnut set the world record by eating 68 hot dogs in ten minutes. Can you imagine?

Don't get me wrong, I love hot dogs, and I can eat a bunch of them, but nearly seven dogs in a minute? How is that possible?

Back a few years ago my father entered all of us in a pasta eating contest. As we pulled up to the event I recall telling my brother that when we left everyone would be talking about me. He laughed.

I ate a full pound of pasta in the allotted ten minutes time to win by a lot. It is still one of my greatest accomplishments. I won a gift certificate for the store that was sponsoring the contest and was munching on a cannoli when the owner handed me the prize - he mentioned that I was a freaking pig.

Yet I don't believe that I could down more than ten hot dogs in ten minutes.

What gets me about these guys that win such tournaments is that they are usually little guys. That Japanese guy - who came in second yesterday - can't weight more than a hundred pounds. And what happens in the time immediately following such an eating contest?

I know what happened to me after winning the pasta eating contest - I slept the sleep of a bear for the rest of the afternoon - got up around seven and had a couple of meatballs before returning to bed.

Do these guys eat again later in the day? Could they even stand to see another hot dog for the next couple of years?

Now I know that there are bigger things happening out there, and that in the grand scheme of things stuffing hot dogs down your throat isn't such a big deal, but 68 dogs in 10 minutes?

That's right up there with DiMaggio hitting in 56 straight.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fight the Good Fight

The band Triumph was big when I was a kid. The lead singer has a great voice and every time I hear one of their songs I wonder about what might have happened to such a talented guy. This morning I heard the song, Fight the Good Fight, and it fired me up.

A few times a year, it seems, my back and neck give me trouble. Normally a trip to the chiropractor straightens me out, and I go about my way. It is alarming that a man in such fine physical shape could suffer like this, but what can you do?

This time the trip to the chiropractor didn't help and it's most likely due to the fact that instead of resting afterwards I played 18 holes of very forgettable golf. Every single shot hurt - the four-putt display on hole 14 caused excruciating pain.

And I'm not whining, Pops, rather, I'm thinking about the people who live in pain each and every day, and still find the strength to fight the good fight.

I have a buddy who wears a bag - never once heard him bitch about it. I have another buddy who was badly hurt about ten years ago - not a peep about any sort of discomfort. My sister battled and beat the hell out of cancer - she did it silently. My brother Jeff had a back that crippled him on some days - he still golfed and shot hoops on a regular basis.

Age and injury can render you nearly useless on some days, but sometimes it's necessary to dig real deep. There are so many things in this life that can knock you down. As they say, the trick is in getting back up.

I certainly wish I was one of those guys who could battle back without letting everyone know how much discomfort I'm in. Last night, I told my wife that my back was bothering me.

"Oh really?" she asked. "I hadn't heard that."

Isn't she funny?

Today, however, not one word other than this blog.

I feel great. I'm fighting the good fight.

Friday, July 3, 2009

What to Do About Russia?

We have North Korea lining up missiles for a shot at Hawaii. The war rages on in Afghanistan. The people of Iraq are still in disarray, and now, the scariest thing of all - I was just reading that Palin has resigned as governor of Alaska. What do we do now?

Who will protect us from Russia? We are losing the vast experience of Palin's foreign relations skills. Remember - she kept Russia away by shining a light from her house to ward them off as intruders. Not since Rocky 4 had we ever had such good relations with that country.

Seriously though, what does Palin do now? The only money coming in, as far as I can tell will be from the snowmobile races her husband wins, and all the raccoon pelts they can sell.

I watched her speech as she gave up the office. I could only watch for about three minutes before the cutesy, folksy bullshit got to me.

Three weeks ago she was all over Letterman because as a comedian he told a joke. Last week she made an announcement that she can beat Obama. This week she quits the only job that ever qualified her to be anything more than the town dog-catcher.

Yet of all the things that are going on in this country, we must really stop and ask ourselves - are we ready for her to start running for President now? Just six months into Obama's turn.

Are we now going to be seeing that same red dress for the next three and a half years?

You Betcha.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Loose Change

Woke with a stiff neck...couldn't turn my head to the left...cursed the pain all day...and wondered about the turn around.

As luck might have it, Bruce was on the radio. The Rising.

Can't see nothing in front of me. Can't see nothing coming up behind. Make my way through the darkness, can't feel nothing but these chains that bind me. Lost track of how far I've gone. How far I've gone, how high I've climbed.

Thanks for the pick me up Brucester.

Headed to the chiropractor. Thought about the fact that the guy does the same thing as Alan Harper on Two and a Half Men. Wondered if he ever heard about that from his friends.

The adjustment didn't take long. I remembered the episode where Alan was cracking the old man's back and the old man let one loose. Tried hard not to do that.

Bruce was on the radio again when I got back in the car. Go figure. The stereo is set to E-Street radio.

Hardly ever a bad song gets played.

Loose Change comes on.

Sitting at a red light I feel something ticking way down. The night's moving like a slow train, crawling through this shit hole town. I got my bags packed in the back and I'm trying to get going again. But green goes to red and red goes to green and then, I hear the clock on the dash tick-tocking, loose change in my pocket.

Okay, so Bruce doesn't want to play pick Cliff up today.

Maybe tomorrow. Ice the neck time.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Big Kiss

July 1st is something of a holiday around our house because it is the anniversary of the first kiss I ever shared with my wife. As I told the kids tonight - "I've been tired ever since."

Yet I remember writing something about anniversaries in one of the books I wrote a long time ago - Waldorf & Juli - (which is a great story, of course) when the best man told Waldorf on his wedding day that he would, "Either look back on the day in complete appreciation of the life he started, or he would rue the day as the twenty-four hour period that brought about his ultimate failure as a human being."

Yes, I have been tired every day since. Since that kiss, I no longer play softball. I don't spend very much time in the bar. I hardly ever play a video game. Golf is reserved as an exercise for pure enjoyment rather than a vocation. I no longer answer the house telephone because I know it isn't for me. I can't eat pasta every night. I can't just pick up and leave anytime I want to. I no longer go to the bathroom with the door wide open. I hardly ever have enough money. No Sabres games. No Bills games. No long vacations centered around trips to major league ballparks.


Seriously, July 1 is a holiday around here. The best choice I ever made. Think about it. I was getting a little old for softball and video games anyway. Guys in their mid-40's that hang around in bars are pretty sorry-looking. Answering the phone wasn't one of my favorite things anyway. I'm as good as I'll ever get in golf. Pasta every night would have made me about 700 pounds. I don't have anywhere to go even if I wanted to pick up and leave. Going to the bathroom with the door open was sick to begin with. Money is only paper and ink. I no longer care about the Sabres or Bills. MLB is too expensive.


Second Chance?

I have plenty of friends from college who still think of me as the idealistic, bleeding heart liberal who walked around with his heart beating outside for all to see.

I recall arguing everything from helping the homeless (which I still believe in - if they are willing to help themselves), to abolishing the death penalty (which I also still believe in because it is a horribly unbalanced law).

Yet I certainly have changed my stance on a lot of things - even though I try and stick to an agenda that is balanced on human rights for all.

You see, the problem I'm having deals with Michael Vick. He did his crime, went to jail, supposedly saw the error of his ways, and is trying to work his way back into football.

The old me says that he deserves a second chance - we all deserve a second chance. The part of me that was in sharp contrast with the thoughts of my old college buddies, is withering away however.

He deserves a shot at redemption... he does. As I look into the big, brown eyes of my two dogs, I know that the Christian thing to do is forgive the man and hope that he has changed.

Recently a rumor was floated that the Bills were entertaining thoughts of having him join the team. The old, forgiving college boy was nowhere to be found.

I threatened a boycott! I exclaimed that I'd be on hand to protest every single game and that I'd bring my dogs down to Ralph Wilson to growl at the bastard. I wouldn't want him within 500 miles of my house, let alone in the same neighborhood.

Today comes the news that Vick is entertaining children as a condition of his rehab-I asked my wife if she'd feel comfortable if he was hanging around with our children. "I'd trust him more with the kids than the dogs, I suppose," she said.

Then I asked the boys: "Would you like to talk with him?"

"Yeah," Jake said. "I'd ask him what the hell is wrong with him."

And maybe this part of the rehab will be good because the children don't have a filter. They break things down fairly simply - almost idealistically

"What the hell is wrong with you?"


And perhaps the amount of forgiveness granted depends upon how that question is answered. Vick did his time. He deserves the chance to be employed, doesn't he?

I get so very confused when the ideals of yesterday crashes head-first into the realities of today.

All of the Roads

Was listening to Seger Friday. Love this one.                                                             All of the Roads All of the ...