Thursday, March 31, 2011

Will It Never End?

Woke up this morning to the news that Judge Judy was rushed to the hospital. Sounds like she's going to be okay. That right there was scary.

So, why didn't I listen to my wife and stay off my feet yesterday? I really made a huge mistake, but I believe I am back on the mend. I had to go to the meeting, but let me tell you, I really wasn't sure I was going to make it back home. I've been in bed since.

Which begs a bigger question. My wife is usually right when it comes to not doing dumb things, but there is a certain amount of, 'I'll show her.'

Why is that?

Melky won't let me out of her sight right now. I was doing a fair amount of groaning and there was a moment when Nurse Kathy lifted my leg to slide a pillow under. I cried out like a 9-year old girl and Melky growled at Kathy. Now my poor nurse can't walk in the room without being viewed as a threat.

Its funny that a dog can sense pain and goes out of their way to protect.

Ah well, tragedy averted. JJ is okay. I now know that I need to follow the medical advice. The dog has my back and the Yankees open the season in a little more than three hours.

Isn't life a peach?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dumb As A Bag of Rocks

I really thought I would be just fine today. Let me fill you in on my dementia.

Had the surgery yesterday and felt okay. The leg was stiff to be sure, but nothing I couldn't handle. I thought of my brother, John, and how he got right up and headed to work. I was going to match the toughness.

Uh, no.

Pretty sore. And that's okay, but its the sense, or lack of sense that bothers me the most and I'm sure that a psychiatrist can have a field day with why I feel I have to whip the world every single day.

I mean there has to be something wrong there, right? Somewhere along the way someone messed me up. I know a lot of others that would love the fact that they can sit under a blanket and watch crap assembled on the dvr.

Not me!

So, there has to be a name for this particular disorder, right? There's a name for everything else, right?

But let me try to figure it out for myself. You see, my biggest problem with today was that my kids saw me unable to do what I am supposed to do for them. Sam's first question was, "Are you going to work today?"

I told him that I had one meeting that I had to go to in the afternoon.

"Thats sort of stupid," he said.
"Probably," I answered. "But sometimes you have to do really tough things."

And I'm not playing hero. I am just following the example my Dad set. When things were too tough for everybody else they were just right for him.

Even if suffering through was the exact wrong decision.

Dumber than a bag of rocks.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Under the Influence

So the hospital experience went pretty well. A little concerned that those gowns have to be worn, always feel like I'm about to show my big ass to some poor, unsuspecting nurse.

I don't think they were traumatized in any way.

The entire process is a little weird though and again, nothing but admiration for those who are able to help others like that. That's not an easy job. The ones who can do it with a sense of humor and a pleasant attitude are truly appreciated as well.

I listened to the anesthesiologist as he explained how he was going to put me under. He told me about perhaps having to control things with a tube down my throat, if things went haywire and then told me it wouldn't be a whole lot of concern because I'd be out anyway.

"Yeah, you can do whatever you want to me when I'm under," I said.

And that statement struck me as odd. They truly could do some goofy things. I wonder if they have a sense of humor.

One of my buddies passed out in college. We propped him up in a chair with a sign around his neck that said, "Hi, I'm Luke, welcome to the party."

That was a good one.

Of course, my brother Jeff was involved in one of those types of pranks as he and Jim played tic-tac-toe on our friend Fig's forehead when he had a couple too many.

I'm sorry but if I were around a bunch of people who are out, I would be tempted.

A little Hitler moustache, perhaps?

Paint the toenails?

Draw a diving board at the edge of the belly button?

All good stuff.

I did a bit of an inventory and the crew that had me at their mercy when I was out didn't bother to have any fun.

By the way, I checked the television schedule...Judge Judy is brand new tonight!

It's all good.

Monday, March 28, 2011

DNR

Man, they scare the hell out of you before an operation, huh? I suppose its the anesthesia that poses the problem, but I'm heading in to get my knee scoped tomorrow and the papers that I had to sign are all about what the hell happens if something goes wrong.

The one form was what should happen in the event of a huge problem. The health proxy even recommended that I check the box that says they will do all they can to save me.

I actually could have checked the other box!!!

Given the choice, bring me back.

Yet my wife also had to sign the form and I figured that she would be a little crazy with such a thought. I asked her to sign in the witness box and she did it quickly.

"You sure I chose the right option there?" I asked.

"Don't be stupid," she said.

Of course, I fully expect to be watching Judge Judy with an ice pack on my leg tomorrow night, but Michael Jackson just thought he was going to catch a little nap too.

The difference being, of course, I am not administering my own anesthesia.

Yet I don't think there's ever been a person alive who didn't consider it when faced with an operation. I am not even feeling comfortable joking about it, and let's face it, I joke about every freaking thing.

Still it calls to mind a buddy of mine who's wife shattered her ankle and had to have immediate surgery to fix it. This guy stopped the doctor as they rolled his pain-stricken wife into the operating room.

"I really need to sign that DNR form," he told the doc, providing his wife with a much-needed laugh before she went under.

We've all been out for awhile, right? Things seem weird when you are introduced back into the light of day.

I just hope Judge Judy isn't a repeat.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Winning Ticket

Heard the news today that seven state workers will share the $320 million Mega Ball Jackpot. I wonder how they came up with the term 'state workers'...not sure those two words fit together, but I digress.

Most of us won't get the winning ticket in our lifetime. We won't see the life-changing money that we dream about. We won't hit the home run to win the World Series. We will never score the game-winning goal in the Olympics. The ship won't come to shore. The train won't roar around the bend to solve our problems. We won't find a bag of cash in small, unmarked bills.

Our lives will go on...one unexciting moment after the next until the moment when we suffer through our own death.

Are you fired up yet?

But as I read the story about the lucky seven, I also considered what that money can buy...and what it can't.

Certainly my bathrooms would get bigger. I might even buy my own hot tub so I didn't have to share the water with other old, bald men. We would most certainly hire a personal chef so we could avoid the 'what do you want for dinner?' conversation. The therapeutic massages would be more frequent. I would golf every other day. Travel a little more. Get more naps. Eat a whole bunch of lobster. I would make sure that news of my books would be spread across the land and I would certainly hand some of the money out, to those that truly need it.

But the money wouldn't buy peace of mind. It certainly wouldn't guarantee love. It wouldn't calm my soul enough to allow me to live in a eternally blissful state. My health care might improve, but I certainly wouldn't be able to purchase immortality.

Freeze my head and come back to life when they solve all the problems?

Uh, no thanks.

So here I sit, feeling a little envious of those seven people who don't have to worry about dragging their butts out of bed to suffer through the same old, same old. Yet I also know that the winning ticket isn't truly out of my grasp.

I don't take a lot of stock in the fleeting riches that drives many men. Give me a world where the people I know and love are comfortable and happy. Grant me a few healthy, well-adjusted children who are free to start and live their lives free of my sins. Allow me time to laugh, time to rest, a warm bed and a soft place to lay my head.

It's funny, but this weekend my wife drove back and forth to Baltimore to pick up my mother who was spending time helping my sister recoup from a recent surgery. Nearly a thousand miles. 16 hours in the car. My wife headed out because my knee is sore and won't handle the trip and because my work has been extremely consuming in recent months.

Kathy headed out despite the fact that she wasn't feeling well. With Sam's help, she loaded Mom, Jeter and Chico into the car. She talked, shared and laughed with a woman she didn't even know twenty years ago. She did it because of love. She did it without regard for her own comfort. She did it without a word of complaint.

A winning ticket?

I cashed it in a long time ago.

And I got everything I truly need.

So when the world feels as if it is crashing down on your head, take a long look around.

I bet there's something within your reach that doesn't cost you a dollar and a dream.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

What It's All About


The above photo is a shot of my Uncle Lenny and Aunt Carolyn. They were in the hospital this week at the same time. While battling their own separate health issues they were able to share a moment and mug for the camera.

One of my cousins posted the photo on Facebook this morning and I gasped when I looked at it.

That's what its all about, I thought.

And I could almost hear my Aunt's voice in my head as she spoke to my Uncle years and years ago. It wasn't anything specific that I remembered, just her calling out to him.

"Leonard."

And then I thought of the life that they built. The kids, the grand kids, the great-grand kids. The laughs, the tears, the arguments, the nights together, more laughs. (That's a funny ass family)...and battling through it all together. Married. Joined. Partners in this part of the ride. Holding hands.

The past few years have been rough for them as they grow old together. There really should be more of a payoff for a life well-lived. The reward is hanging on to health, and worrying more about your partner than you do yourself.

But the success is in the journey. My cousins and the immediate family are out of their heads with worry this week. I can see it in their messages. I know that they are tired. I wish I was there for them other than being there in spirit.

Yet we are all moving together in sync with what we know as a family, and through the years of love and laughter.

And it is what its all about.

One moment in a hospital room. Two people not wanting to be away from one another for even one more minute. All of the crap in life forgotten as they look to the camera.

Carolyn and Leonard.

Leonard and Carolyn.

And the unbelievable life and legacy that they created and shared.

Of course, there's much more to be done. Aunt Carolyn was moved to rehab right after the photo was snapped. Uncle Lenny had a fine surgery and will knock the next one out of the park as well.

I know one thing for sure:

Their love will endure.

The Edge of the Bed

It's so easy to dwell on the moments in your life that simply devastate you. What's harder is to grasp the importance of the routine excitement that makes you the person that you are.

The NCAA Tourney has been a lot of fun for our family. We all filled out our brackets and even drew team names out of a hat. A daily discussion of games starts with the schedule and Sam is the clone of the geek that I've always been. His sheets are scattered all over with a lot of red marks on them.

"We should hang this one on the 'fridge," Sam said, pointing to a horrific bracket that I filled out.

Last night was to be a special night. Now, of course, I can remember Friday nights where I felt guilty for all sorts of things, but last night the only thing that made me feel remorse was the bowl of peanut butter cup chocolate ice cream that I crumpled a brownie into.

After another rough work week and a bout with the stomach flu, I settled in to watch the early games, as Sam chirped through each and every scenario. Unfortunately, the games were horrific.

The 2nd games started around ten and beforehand, Sam and I figured out that out of 157 people just four of us had not picked Ohio State to win. (I know Pops, you were one of the 4 as well). So, we had something to shoot for.

As much as I wanted to watch the entire game on the big screen, I headed to my room at the half. Sam was a little disappointed, but he was fighting sleep as well.

"Will you watch it all?" he asked as I hit the stairs.

"Maybe, but if I don't, I'll talk to you about it in the morning."

The game was a classic. Despite wanting to sleep, I was wide awake as time dwindled. Outside of my closed door, I heard movement. I knew it was Sam sitting out there, wondering if I was asleep. I purposely cleared my throat. He whispered.

"You watching?"

"Come on in," I said.

I thought of my Dad calling me in to watch the end of a Sabres Playoff game in 1975. Dad didn't give two shits about hockey, but I perched on the end of the bed as the Sabres lost a double overtime game. I recall being heartbroken, but I remember that night now because of where I sat and how we talked during the game.

Sam sat on the edge of my bed as the team we were rooting for, Kentucky, attempted a last-second shot.

It went in.

Sam and I stayed up for another twenty minutes.

We talked scenarios for the weekend games. We laughed at all the other goofy bastards that went with Ohio State. I was nearly full on asleep by the time he hit the door to exit the room.

"I'm too excited to sleep," Sam announced.

I thought of my Dad, and the love that's always been in my life, in one form or another, and about how, at the end of every hard-earned day that I'm truly a blessed man.

And then I laughed.

All those stupid bastards picked Ohio State.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Eight Times?

So, Elizabeth Taylor was married a total of eight times. Twice to the same guy, but it still counts as eight, right?

Begs a lot of questions:

When do you stop giving expensive gifts at her weddings?

Did she wear white each time?

Did the preacher laugh out loud when he read through the vows?

Was the groom looking for the exit door while standing in front of the officiator?

I don't know about you, but I would most likely quit something if I failed at it seven times. As a matter of fact, I don't think I'd be breaking back into Shawshank, as Chris Rock said, if it failed to work out on this my maiden trip into holy matrimony.

Yet who are we to judge?

Larry King can surely sympathize.

I don't know what the shortest and longest of her marriages was. I just know that it must have certainly involved a lot of angst, tremendous bouts of passion, and a lot of moving things out of one home to another.

One of my main reasons for never wanting a divorce is that I never want to move again. What a freaking hassle that is.

I grew up in a town where people stayed married, through thick and thin, love and hatred, better and a lot of worse.

Did Taylor ever actually believe that any of them would work out?

Probably not. In fact, I'm certain that in her final days she probably couldn't even remember the names of all eight. I only have three kids and I call them by the names of their brothers all the time.

8 marriages.

Unbelievable.


Forget the acting. She should be honored just for walking down the aisle that many times.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day Dream Believer

As a kid I spent a lot of time daydreaming. Not enough to where I got into much trouble for it, but I always had plenty of time to let my mind wander and think of scenarios where I'd turn up the hero and get the girl and live happily ever after.

Leaving my phone behind yesterday was a good thing on one level. I was able to daydream a bit.

Not that I dreamt about being a hero or getting the girl, but just enough time to consider Elizabeth Taylor's death, and wonder about her life. (Why did the media only show her as a beautiful young girl? Where was the shots of the obese, worn-out version?)

I also considered the next book story idea and where I could go with that. I imagined the evening at home and planned out my next day's activity.

Then, when I got my phone back, I traded emails with a man who is a well-respected educator and I lamented that my kids certainly don't know the satisfaction in developing ideas and making up stories.

They have too much at the ready. In the world of ring tones and buzzes and alerts, not to mention the ringing phones, there isn't a lot to wait for or dream about now.

My kids don't go out of the house to play with their friends, but they play with them all afternoon and into the night as their game consoles are hooked-up. They laugh and joke and listen to rap, and handle the beeps and buzzes and alerts.

Ugh!

I remember daydreaming about running back into the school to save the entire class from peril. Of course, I was slightly injured as I leaped over a desk to rescue the prettiest girl in school, but it was all worth it when she planted one on my lips at the hospital and called me a hero.

Never happened, but as I considered that, way back then, I felt good. It made me aware that I could accomplish something!

(I could make up a story is what it amounted to).

But I'm not sure that kids have such an outlet today.

"Kids definitely daydream less," my educator friend said. "Too much stimulus right there through the buttons of their phones."

I'm thinking of making my kids do something creative. I'm going to see if they will put their controllers down long enough to make up a story.

Sam won't be a problem. That kid is a stimulation junkie.

I gotta' work on the other two slugs.

Nothing like a good daydream to pump up the old self-esteem, right?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Incommunicado

What a weird feeling. This morning I had to leave by six for a meeting in Rochester some 75 miles away. Still half-asleep and feeling guilty that I didn't take Melky for her morning ride, I hit the Thruway in another freaking snowstorm!

Thirty miles into the trip, I realized that I didn't have my cell phone. Do you know that the overwhelming urge was to call someone and let them know I didn't have the phone?

Of course, I couldn't do that.

Turning around wasn't an option either.

So, very carefully, I prepared my obsessed mind to accept the fact and just handle life without the cell phone for the next six hours. It shouldn't have been so difficult, right? We lived without being attached for years. I could return calls later in the day.

"It's okay. I can do this."

Except I couldn't. I thought about that phone every three minutes for the next four hours. I thought about who was calling, texting and emailing. I wondered if they missed me.

The worst part was how weird it felt not to pat the phone in my coat pocket to make sure I had it when I went into my meeting. It was even stranger, while at the meeting, not being able to check the phone for the time.

I was sick to my stomach all morning long.

Later in the day, I made it back to my phone.

I had missed three calls, four texts, 11 emails and 4 Facebook posts.

None of them were life-changing.

Yet I was able to breathe easy.

Now I just have to make it all up to Melky and I'll be guilt-free.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Too Fat For The Bus

Stray thoughts crossing my warped mind...

1). Read an article yesterday that said that Americans are becoming too fat and that the capacities listed on the bus are going to have to be adjusted to handle the extra girth.

What's next? The bus driver stopping you at the door, or asking you to pay for an extra bench.

We need to get on an exercise program, people.

2). There is a kid in the NCAA tournament named Jimmer. He can really score and will most likely find his fortune in the NBA. He plays for BYU where they kicked one of the guys off the team for having relations with his girlfriend. Not sure how that fits into the story, but Jimmer is fun to watch play ball.

Jimmer's older brother made him sign a IOU to do all the work necessary to make it to the NBA. I was enamored with the story of the two bros. Very cool.

I didn't pick BYU in any of my pools, however, so I have to root against him.

I didn't say I was a good guy.

It's all about me, people, stay with me here.

3). So they say that the radiation levels are higher in the State of Washington due to the nuclear problem in Japan. If levels are higher in Washington what do you think those poor people of Japan are faced with?

They said there was no problem with the air on 9/11 too.

4). The newest environmental debate is in regard to fracking - I've read a couple of articles. One pro and one con on it. Confused as hell. Ill-equipped to form an opinion on it, but that never stopped me before, right?

Frack, don't frack...who gives a frack?

5). Went for the pre-op work today. The nurses were all so pleasant and I was visited by three of them. They all remarked about my wonderful sculptured like body.

Okay, there's a lie in that one...see if you can figure out where it is.

6). Yet I pay more attention to the nurses because my brilliant wife finished first in her class and is now a nurse. Congrats to a wonderful woman. She will be a fine nurse.

And she compliments me on my sculptured body all the time.

Another lie.

7). I still feel good though and I can still put 'no' on most of the lines regarding poor health. I have been remarkably healthy through the years and I'm thankful for that.

I know it's a simple crap shoot, right?

8). More snow on the way tonight and tomorrow.

Beats the hell out of earthquakes and tsunamis.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bring on the Knife!

So, I finally have the knee surgery scheduled. They tell me it won't be all that bad. A 'procedure' they call it. No big deal. It's set for Tuesday. I will be shooting hoops on Wednesday.

I'm all for it. I've had enough thinking about it and cringing every single time I life my leg. Over the past few days it's seem to have gotten worse as well, and I have golf to play as soon as our 11-month winter is over.

What I really don't know is how long to figure that I should rest afterwards. I need to do something every day. I really don't want to be on the couch watching Bewitched in the middle of the day next week.

I'm sure that I'll bounce back quickly. After all I am in supreme condition, years of working out and eating right, paying off big time. I'm certain that a lesser man would need longer time to recover, but I may just jump off the table, shake the docs hand and run the hell out of there.

That's what I'm visualizing anyway.

Actually, I have learned not to visualize a medical operation. I really don't want to think about it, but having watched a few minutes of one when I was writing about the hospital, it is weird how it all goes down.

It isn't a laboratory like the room where they made Frankenstein. It is really rather cool, right. And nowadays there are just two little dots where the scope was set.

So, let's go. Let's get it done!

You better run Grape Apes.

The golf game will be even better this year!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

How Many Countries Are We At War With?

When you think back about World War II there's sort of a nostalgic feeling about the whole thing, right? People in their homes as reports of the war crackled through old worn-out radios. Photos in the paper of soldiers coming home, treated as true heroes, kissing their wives who wore those long dresses for all the world to see.

How many countries are we at war with now? It's like filling out the NCAA bracket, isn't it?

Iraq...that one still isn't officially over, is it? I know GW declared it finished back around the time Sam was born, but we are still fighting there, right?

Afghanistan...making progress there, right? Don't you picture it in your head as a barren land of rock and soot?

Libya...we had to make the strike, right because of a complete lack of cooperation? Not sure...a very Republican friend of mine (yes, I have plenty of those) told me that it was because Obama had a beef with Qadafi's father and that is all about the oil. I laughed.

But not one bit of it is funny to me. I don't feel nostalgic at all.

Back at the ranch, schools are cutting everything as states across this great land tighten their belts to deal with an economic war that has stretched on and on and on and on.

Clinton did all of this, right? Stupid Monica Lewinsky!

But who the hell knows about anything anymore. When the tsunami hit Japan another friend of mine said, "It has a real end of time feel to it, doesn't it?"

I don't know that either...I gave my standard answer about not wanting us to all go at once because of the long lines that we'll have to put with when being judged to go to heaven or hell.

Isn't that me? Not worried about eternity in blissful paradise as opposed to being burnt to a crisp for the rest of my days in the brimstone of hell...I want to go where the line is shorter.

Some people actually celebrate war.

"We need to blow up the whole world across the Atlantic," said Republican buddy said. He told me that he cheered when he heard about the air strikes.

Would it work to blow up the world? Wouldn't we blow up the oil too? I didn't do any cheering. Not one single, whoop, whoop.

Anyway, I suppose the fact that Obama is directing war against these Arab countries proves that his birth certificate is American, huh?

But I wonder what Qadafi's old man did to Obama.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Mad Struggle

My brother loved March Madness. The NCAA college basketball tourney was made for Jeff's competitive juices. He came up with about ten ways for us to bet and it drove me crazy yesterday as the tourney started this year because I wanted to have as much fun as I did in the past...

Seen a man standing over a dead dog lying by the highway near a ditch. He's looking down kind of puzzled, poking that dog with a stick. Got his car door flung open, standing out on Highway 31. Like if he stood there long enough, that dog'd get up and run.

So we poked the dog with a stick. Jeffy, Millie, Pops, Johnny and Chuckie all came by to choose the teams out of the hat. Sam provided the spark as his enthusiasm for all things betting rivals his uncle. I won the pulling out of the hat pool for the very first time last year. First time Jeff wasn't in it. Coincidence?

Now Mary Lou loved Johnny with a love mean and true. She said, 'Baby I'll work for you every day and bring my money home to you. One day he up and left her and ever since that, she waits down at the end of that dirt road for young Johnny to come back.

Had to work yesterday of course. A trip to Syracuse and back. I had two ears on the games and one ear on the sky. Looking up. Thinking. Longing. Waiting for young Johnny to come back. I wanted to enjoy the games, but it was hard. It was hard.

Take a baby to the river Kyle William they call him. Wash the baby in the water, take away little Kyle's sin. In a whitewash shotgun shack an old man passes away. Take the body to the graveyard and over him they pray. Lord won't you tell us, what does it mean?

I returned to the house and Sam met me at the door with the brackets to make sure I had accounted for each of his correct picks and to trash talk a little about how well he is doing and how stoooopid I was to choose Louisville (I always fall for Pitino).

I felt like I was reliving something. I laughed and counted them with him.

Congregation gathers down by the river side. Preacher stands with a Bible, groom stands waiting for his bride. Congregation gone and the sun sets behind a weeping willow tree. Groom stands alone and watches he river rush on, so effortlessly.

I got swept up in the river of the games in the evening. Just as I'd done every year of my life - without the exception of the tourney two years ago - I had red and black marks on my arms as I filled in the correct responses. So effortlessly.

Struck me kind of funny, funny yeah indeed: how at the end of every hard-earned day people find some reason to believe.


(Thanks of course to Springsteen for the great writing in this blog).

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bappy Hirthday

So, my wife is 26 today.

I didn't miss-spell the name of the blog. That's how Sam wishes his family and friends Happy Birthday. Kind of original.

The problem that my wife has today is that the NCAA Basketball Tourney is starting today. Since we are all engrossed in the games she is being cheated out of a little attention. To top it off it's also St. Patrick's Day, right...although that doesn't mean corned beef and cabbage around here.

Yet despite the fact that the games are on we are all certainly appreciative of the efforts of my beautiful wife.

In fact, she made her own dinner today.

But I think of the first time that I gave up some of the basketball tourney games and went to have a birthday drink with my wife.

I didn't want to go, but she did.

So I went.

That was 17 years ago.

Which that means, by the fact that she is 26 today, that she was only 9 years old.

We had a lot of drinks that night.

What the hell was she doing drinking so much at that age?

Hey, wait a minute!

Perhaps she really isn't 26 today. Excuse me. I'm going to have to check into this.

Bappy Hirthday, wifey.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

CH-CH-CH-Changes

I've needed a new computer for quite some time now. Just the thinking part. My monitor and keyboard and such have been replaced through the years, but the old computer was so freaking sllllllllllooooooowwwwww.

Still, I wouldn't do it. No matter how much I wanted to, I wouldn't bite the bullet and buy a new one and its not because I couldn't find a deal, or that I didn't want the comfort of something that runs a little faster.

It was because I was dreading the changes.

The menus would change. How I clicked the buttons to save the file....all of it. Change, change, change.

I hate change. My boys hate change. My freaking dogs hate it too.

So, my beautiful wife did it on an impulse. She went out, while I was working and bought a new computer. She seemed hesitant to announce it even.

I couldn't exactly grumble about a change that was going to make my life easier, could I?

Yet that is the rub of being truly mentally ill. As Kathy worked to hook everything up, I sort of looked for ways to sabotage the process believing that change is bad.

I wasn't mean and I sort of grunted as she tried to show things, but I wasn't all out accepting either because while she understands that in the long run things will be unbelievably better...I have to hold onto the past as though that computer and I went through high school together.

And now that I'm thinking about it, I am getting a little sentimental. I wrote at least four books on that computer.

Perhaps this new one won't have the same talents. Maybe I will never write again.

It seems better. It thinks faster, but is it really as good.

My God, I hope she didn't throw the old one out!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Matter of Perspective

Yesterday I did make it to the hot tub at the YMCA. There were two other old, balding men in there with me, and we got to talking. (The other two guys can start the story the same way).

About Japan, of course.

"Man, I'm not complaining about our weather anymore," I said. "Snow and cold is fine with me when you start talking earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, and nuclear meltdowns."

The other two guys kind of agreed with me, but then the older of the two gentlemen nearly caused me to disappear into the bubbling water.

"I hate those people anyway?" he said.

I didn't think I heard him right.

"The Japs," he said. "I was in the marines and my brother was too. We hate all them bastards. The Japs, the Chinks, the Koreans. They are all gooks."

I felt like I was tubbing with Archie Bunker. In fact, I couldn't even formulate an answer to such a statement and he was looking right at me.

"Did I shock you?" he asked.

"Sort of," I said. "Lots of people suffering."

The man was about to lecture me. I recognized the look that crossed his face as though he were about to hit me with double shots of unbelievable wisdom.

"They should be used to radiation," he said. "From when we blasted their asses. You see, it's all a matter of perspective. I met those filthy people. You didn't. So, you're horrified by what they're going through and I'm not."

I gave him the same sort of perplexed look that I'd given my wife earlier when she asked me to take her photo.

"I was just talking about the weather," I said.

"You gotta' understand, we were trained to hate them. I still do."

I would have liked a longer soak, but I didn't have any interest in finishing the conversation. I looked at the other guy. He shrugged his shoulders and laughed.

A matter of perspective.

An earthquake followed by a tsunami followed by an erupting volcano followed by a nuclear threat, resulting in loss of property, human lives and utter devastation is evidently good news in some quarters.

What a freaking moron.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Day Off


Things have been hectic lately at work. A lot of standing in front of people doing presentations. Sleeping in the usual fitful state as if I am fighting someone in that damn bed.

So, I decided to take a mental health day. The break in the training schedule told me that this would be a good day to rest up a little, go to the hot tub at the YMCA...a nice long steam...massage if I could get it...finish up stray paperwork on the book and "work" work.

I was looking forward to it.

Problem was, as you can see from the photo above, my schedule was thrown askew by one simple factor.

Kathy was off too.

That is what a husband looks like when his wife asks him to take her photo for something or other that she was applying for...I didn't even ask.

"Take my picture," she said as I was packing my gym clothes.

Photo one...her hair was too messy.

Photo two...not a good smile.

Photo three...I cut off the top of her head (a lightbulb went off when she said that).

Photo four...too much light.

That is when I posed for the photo that she snapped that you see above.

Photo five...that'll work.

Finally, I was free to continue with my day.

Best part of it all?

She never used the photo.

They took a picture of her when she got there.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rico!

It had to be about 1976. The Sabres were great. Their players were superstars. I was a huge fan of the game, the team, and most especially The French Connection. Rick Martin, Rene Robert and Gilbert Perrault.

Perrault was everyone's favorite, but Martin was the best goal scorer on the line. He had the best shot, and the go between the legs of the defenseman deke move. I used to pretend I was Rico when we played hockey in the driveway.

Rick Martin died today at the age of 59. While I thought all of the usual things...too young, such a shame, you never know, celebrate the kingdom of your own days...I also thought about the open practice back in 1976.

We got into the open practice for free. It was just Mom, John and me. We stayed all through practice with some of our other friends back in North Collins, and when the practice ended we were allowed to get autographs.

In a case of 'it would never happen today' the players just stood in the hallway, mingling with the fans. They signed autographs for about an hour, and chatted up all the children. Of course, John and I were frantically searching out the members of The French Connection and we were fired up when we spotted Robert and Rico standing behind a small table.

We got their autographs and shook their hands, but Perrault was nowhere to be found and we were a tad disappointed.

Rick Martin put his arm on my brother John's shoulder and whispered in his ear. John's face broke into a smile, and then he grabbed me and whispered into my ear.

"Rico says that Perrault is going to sneak out that door down there and get into a black pickup truck. He told me not to tell anyone but you."

John and I edged away from the scene. We headed down the hallway and out the back door. We stood in front of the black pickup and sure enough, a few moments later, Perrault came out a side door, and seeing us, he put his hand to his forehead. He looked around to be sure we were the only one's out there.

And that is how I got Gilbert Perrault's autograph for the first time.

Rick Martin set him up.

RIP Rico...from a former Sabres fan.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Follow Your Dreams....Or Not


This week I was honored to speak at a great school...North Collins High School. I was asked to address the honor society students, and it was so weird to be back in the auditorium. As I sat in the chair, waiting for the students to join me on the stage as they were honored, I wondered a lot about what I might say.

I wanted them to laugh. That was for sure, so I relied heavily on my brother Jeff, telling just one story that was in the book. It had them rolling for sure.

I wanted them to think. I told them that life isn't just about making your dreams come true and that life would shatter their heart somewhere along the way, and that the trick was moving forward. Suck it up and tough it out.

I wanted them to laugh some more. I told them about raising kids, and falling asleep during Judge Judy. I asked them to be nice to their parents.

Of course, I wanted them to continue to chase their dreams in light of their honor. I was proud of each of them. I told them to keep working because the key to success is hard work. No matter what you do.

And then I told them that following their dreams, while admirable will most likely result in their dreams not coming true.

That was supposed to be funny. I told them they were just as likely to end up living in a van down by the river (thank you, Chris Farley).

Someone said I swore.

Perhaps. I remember saying hell. Don't remember saying, 'shit.' Rumor is I did.

It could have been worse.

There is one rule that I have when making a speech: make sure everyone has a good time.

Got there.

Just celebrating life.

Tsunami of Ignorance

Man I read through the NFL labor problems last night and I find that I am going to have a real hard time garnering up any sympathy for the downtrodden millionaires who've had to really tighten their belts by holding off on any new car purchases and re-do's on their mansions.

I'm serious. One of the player reps was talking about informing the players that expensive jewelery purchases should be really considered at this time of true economic strife.

I like football. Like everyone else I spend Sundays watching the games and betting on their outcomes.

I honestly couldn't possibly care if they come back at all. There is 9 billion dollars there. Figure it the hell out. Or take some of it and donate it to the poor victims of everything all around the world. Haiti, Japan, hell, freaking New Orleans, or the poor oppressed cities like Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland. Donate some of your bling to the poor bastards who really toil.

The same goes for Charlie Sheen. Who the hell isn't sick of that dumb son-of-a-bitch? Now he's suing for 100 million dollars because he's been wronged? Why don't we pass a cup for him? After all, he was fired.

And you know what? There would be people who would donate to him.

Maybe he is duh, winning.

And yesterday I had to break some bad news to an environmentally friendly, intelligent friend of mine who also happens to love the Sabres. She, like all other Buffalo people lauded the new owner and how he came into town on a white horse to save the oppressed franchise.

When my friend heard that the owner made his money through the process of fracking and had a poor safety record with his billion dollar company, she asked the question of how...How can she possibly root for them?

I laughed.

The people who love sports couldn't possibly care about such a heady issue. If Hitler bought the Sabres they would applaud him as long as he made deadline deals.

Say a prayer for the poor people of Japan.

I feel real bad for them.

After all they gave us Hideki Matsui, and he single-handedly whipped the Phillies in the '09 series.

And that's what's really important.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thank You to the Readers

A review that meant the world to me:

Cliff,

As an avid reader I read a wide variety of books. My favorite books are generally nonfiction accounts of people who have survived life's struggles and end up stronger and happier in the end. These days I often find it difficult to turn on the evening news to see how horribly people treat each other in the world, our country, and even small towns like North Collins. I had wanted to pick up “Oh Brother” for months, but the thought of reading about the anguish of your beautiful sisters, meatball munching brothers and loving parents wasn't something I was looking forward to. I saw it as another reason to be saddened about this world we live in.

Once I opened the cover, I realized I was Wrong with a capital W. It truly is a Celebration of Life. Jeff was put on this earth to help your family love and laugh. He fulfilled his duties and then some. He brought all of us to tears with his crazy antics. You were fortunate enough to be brought to tears by his genuine love of his family and life. You did an incredible job balancing the heartache with the gut-busting joy brought to everyone he came in touch with. Sure there are times a reader will break down reading about what Jeff and your poor family had to endure, but the love and laughter will stick with them for far longer and have an amazing effect on their outlook on life, family, and friends.

I too am a Springsteen fan. Not a“Fuzzy-Fanatic”, but still a pretty big fan. My favorite album is his darkest, Nebraska. It's kind of funny, from the first time I heard “Johnny 99”, I always thought of your brother John for some reason. My number one song on the album is “Reason to Believe”. Had the Boss met Jeff, he probably wouldn't have written the song or produced the album. Too much struggle and sadness. Jeff would have told him to get a grip and write something happy, maybe name the album
A-ha-a-ha-a-ha-a-ha-a-ha . If Bruce did rewrite “Reason to Believe” the versus would definitely change. The first verse would include Corinne's battle with breast cancer and kicking it's ass to the curb. The second verse with tell of Jake's successfully surgery and the happiness everyone felt when it was over. The third verse would dig into the incredible life and times of Jeff Fuzzy, and the joy and love he was born to share. The final verse is still to be written, individually by your loving mother, sisters, and brothers. Your Dad is writing his verse with Jeff now, and it's a happy one.

The way I see it, someone had to prepare God for your Dad. Who better than Jeff?

Your Dad nervously straightens his tie like Rodney Dangerfield as he rings the doorbell for the Pearly Gates. God answers the door and says “Bah, come on in”. Now relaxed your Dad walks into a large, but cozy kitchen and sees Jeff entertaining and chatting with a couple gentlemen. They of course are almost rolling on the floor with laughter. He overhears Jeff say “You think I'm something, wait until you meet my old man”. Your Dad walks up to Jeff and gives him a fatherly embrace and a kiss on each cheek. He sits down in front of six of the most fantastic stuffed peppers ever created and smiles. He then turns to Jeff and says “ What kind of host are you? Mix a martini for Mr. Sinatra and grab a coffee for Dimaggio”.

This book needs to be read by anyone who could use a boost of hope, faith, love, and laughter. I plan on reading it once a year for as long as I can read. If my eyes fail me, I'll have the kids and grandkids read it to me. This is by far the most uplifting book I have ever read.

Jan Wif Mathis

Whole New Meaning to Don't Drop the Soap


So poor old Lindsay is going to jail. At least there is that chance, huh?

She certainly looks fetching though, doesn't she? Her last few appearances have been wonderful. Better than her movies.

And it makes me wonder about her crackpot mother and her goofy freaking father. Are they helping her or just trying to figure out how they can scam a little more money out of her?

And where does she go from here?

I'm thinking that the Fazzolari's ought to open the door for her. I'm going to see if Kathy will go for the idea of adopting her. We can have her around the house, just looking good, helping with the laundry, that sort of thing.

I'm certain that the boys would go for it.

Then again, it may be more trouble than what it's worth, right? She'd probably rob us blind, and drink all of the grey goose that I have left from Christmas. Besides a lot of my buddies would be stopping by unannounced to catch a glimpse.

Hasn't she been in jail before?

Ah well, what a shame. Perhaps she can hook up with Charlie Sheen. Can you imagine what those parties would turn into?

The judge should sentence them to live together until one of them kills the other one.

I don't have much more to say. I just had to name my blog that after I saw the photo and thought about her heading off to jail.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What're You Giving Up?

Being a practicing Catholic, Ash Wednesday has always been a huge day. It is the day when ashes are applied to the forehead and then some sort of sacrifice is made in order to garner favor with the Lord our Savior, or to ensure that the groundhog sees his shadow and we have an early spring.

I'm not sure, I get it all balled up.

Somehow, somewhere I just made somebody cringe with my joke, but it's a joke! I always took the Easter sacrifice as something to be practiced. Not sure what I will give up this year. After all, Charlie Sheen and I have been on the wagon since mid-January so the clean living part has been handled.

My Dad used to give up watermelon every year.

That's funny. It truly isn't in season right now. Not sure why that joke was always in his Ash Wednesday program, but this is the first year I have failed to hear it.

Someone please let me know that you are giving up watermelon this year. Catch me off-guard with it so I laugh, like I did every time Dad said it.

What I hate about Ash Wednesday are the people who get their ashes and then walk around all day with them on their forehead. Sort of a "look who is more religious than you" slap in the face. I get 'em, I wipe them right off.

Yet there are real sacrifices to be made. Some people fast for 40 days and 40 nights.

Uh, not happening here.

I once had a nun tell me that I speak of my love for pasta a lot and that perhaps I should give that up for the Lenten season.

She was a little pissed when I laughed in her face.

It all conjures up the guilt and regret that was associated with my Catholic school past. It also comes on a day when 21 priests...in the Philadelphia area (I told Cliff Lee to watch out)...were suspended for misconduct.

The rules of the church can certainly sometimes be confusing. Yet I will continue to try and be a better human being as we head towards Easter.

Does anyone know?

Did the groundhog see his shadow?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Carrot

I look up to my younger sister. She is one of my idols in this crazy world. Today is also her birthday. Don't ask me how many. To me, she's always just young.

Through the last few years, Carrie has been on a real smooth sail through life with all the breaks going her way. Nothing but sunshine and happiness all around.

At least that is how she "carries" herself. Despite being bit by a poison snake, she figured out a way to keep the poison out of her life. In the middle of all of the most tragic of life's offerings, she has "carried" herself remarkably well. Whistling through the heartache, swinging the hammer as she works on the dream.

You see, I am in awe, because she has always sort of picked up and "carried" the load in the face of adversity all her life. When she was the youngest of six we used to chant her name in a singsong way until she cried. "Car-rie, Car-rie, Car-rie!" It was sort of like Boston fans shouting Straw-berry at Daryl Strawberry in the '86 series.

Except she used to cry...and then we'd laugh.

When she was young she was the whipping boy. Carrie let the dogs out. Carrie did the dishes. Carrie "carried" our plates to the sink, and then washed them. My how we all loved Carrie.

And still do.

Happy Birthday, to one of my heroes.

One of the great ones.

A tremendous testament to the gifts that God showers us with.

Make a point, please, to wish her a perfect day...

...and somewhere along the way, a freaking break!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Struck By Lightning

Weird. Dreams are just plain weird sometimes.

This morning the dream that caused my eyes to jut open was fairly vivid. I was standing around a picnic table, loading my cheeseburger from the grill with onions and pickles when the thunder rolled across the sky.

"Get in the house before you get struck by lightning," my wife said.

Everyone ran in the house but me. I continued to make my way around the table when BAM! wouldn't you freaking know it, I got struck by lightning!

My eyes were wide open as a shiver of real fear rushed through my now awake body.

"What the hell?" I asked. Melky was snoring beside me. What does it mean?

I tell you what it means. It's all about my wife, and her constant warnings about being safe. You see, Kathy, along with her partner in all things scary, my mother-in-law, constantly badgers me and the boys with warnings of utter destruction.

"Are you all locked up?" my wife asks my mother-in-law each evening. "No candles, no plug-ins, no babies?"

That is code for "all clear" in their warped world.

This weekend we left Jake home for a few hours. Ten minutes after we left, I called the house to get Jake to set the DVR. He didn't answer. He also didn't answer his cell phone. To Kathy's credit, she did not panic.

"He's probably in the bathroom," she said.

But panic was setting in elsewhere. My mother-in-law rang my phone.

"I need Kathy," she said, alarms going off in her voice.

I knew better then to say a word. I handed the phone over. Moments later, Jake buzzed in.

"What's going on?" he asked.

"Why didn't you answer the phone?" I asked.

"I was in the bathroom, then I let the dogs out," the poor kid said. "Grandma has the police coming over to check, geez."

We had a nice little laugh over it and there was evidence left as my mother-in-law left a voice mail that sounded like she was about to send out the hounds and organize a search party.

My poor boys and I run around the house trying to stay clear of being in the line of fire as far as the warnings go. Kathy and my mother-in-law are trapped in a world where bus drivers steal all the kids, children are snatched clean out of their beds, and big-ass husbands get zapped by lightning on sunny days.

Yet as I am well aware, lightning does strike every so often.

I could imagine my wife at the end of that dream, as they carted my burnt body away.

"I told him," she'd say. "I don't know why he doesn't listen to me."

My mother-in-law would be right there beside her.

Something tells me they'd get more satisfaction about being right for once.

"We told him. Lightning strikes. Dumb bastard. Lightning strikes."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

In Real Life

A little while ago I wrote a book called In Real Life. It was about a kid, coming to age, who suddenly realized that he'd spent his life shielded from everything, and that when the world came charging at him, it wasn't anything that he could have prepared himself for, because it was all a hoax up to that point.

I was in a decent position to write that one then because I felt that way. Now, I am seeing the shock, awe and disbelief in Matt's eyes.

You see, Matt had a plan. A great, private college where he would dorm and party and watch the Division I basketball team. Hell he probably even dreamed of being asked to walk on to play, great grades, and upon graduation day a waiting limo to whisk him off to a job where all loans would be immediately paid, and in five or six years, he would be a millionaire. The perfect ten blond, hair, blue-eyed cheerleader would agree to marry him, and together they would immediately start their family.

Could happen.

In Candyland.

Through his young life, Matt has not suffered from a lack of supporters. I am one of them, but I also stand back in the wings sometimes, and remind him of the following things:

1). Life sucks. It isn't fair. It doesn't shake out like you want it to. Realizing that is the most important lesson of them all.

2). Want to be successful? It doesn't matter where you go to school, or who you know, or who you...well, you know the rest of that one. It matters that you work hard. That's it. Work hard. Now there are a lot of hardworking people who toil at difficult jobs, but working hard in mind and spirit is important as well. Leads to number 3.

3). Challenge yourself. Change your lot in life by setting goals, working towards the goals, and constantly making the effort to think a few steps ahead. Larry Bird used to practice a certain number of jumpers every day...lets say 150. When asked why so many, he said because he figured other guys were doing a 100 a day. Get a leg up.

4). Being a janitor or a laborer doesn't make you a failure. Flipping burgers is not below your level of skills. In perhaps the most important lesson that children need to know it is important to realize that people aren't waiting for you to emerge from your cocoon to fill the slot of CEO of the world. No one is guaranteed a car, a home, a $200 a month cell phone, the flat screen, all the soda you can drink, and endless hours to play Call of Duty. See #2...work hard. At all sorts of jobs. For all sorts of bosses...guys who are dumber than you. Guys who live life like its a barroom. Guys and gals who don't know the first clue about anything. They will boss you around because somehow or another they put in enough time to become your boss.

5). The future is coming. It doesn't just miraculously come together someday. Life is a work in progress. Certainly, I arrived at the point where I have 3 kids sloughing around the house...a house that is warm, with a pot of sauce on the stove, and a bed to sleep in at oh, around 1 PM for nappy-nap. I have the beautiful wife walking around looking good, making me laugh. I have a couple of dogs along for the ride. My life is now. It's here. I'm living it.

But I also have creaky knees, a constant whirling, "I'm tired" going around on a loop in my brain, I wanna eat less, obsess less, work less, AND GET SOME DOPEY KID INTO COLLEGE WHERE HE CAN CONTINUE ON HIS DREAM TO RULE THE WORLD.

It's a work in progress. The ball keeps spinning.

And nothing seems real.

In the end, you make your own reality.

And then you sort of live with it.

You get used to anything, and sooner or later it becomes your life.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Soaking Rain

The rain is coming down, hard and cold. It's battering the window outside my room, and I woke at the usual time - around five - thought about the fact that I could sleep until noon if I wanted to, knowing that I don't have such a capability in my bag of tricks.

Thankfully my wife forgot to turn her alarm off and it blared through the house, getting me out of bed for the day. There will be hell to pay later on.

I tried to coax the dogs out into the relentless rain, thinking hard about the fact that the day I dread - March 4th - is in the rear view mirror...364 days until I am thrust back into that funk.

And sadly, it was a horrific week for me. Too busy, too tired, too sore. Too aggravated to put in the same sort of driven effort of all of the days that are behind me.

And I thought of the people that I still have on my side in this battle. I heard from all that I love yesterday...beeps signalling e-mails, Facebook messages and texts, from those wanting to share their love and their pain.

When I got home there were notes from my publisher and a couple of glittering reviews about the book. People sharing their love of my love. Friends and strangers alike...reaching out.

It's what life is about.

It was why I shut off the Charlie Sheen interview last night and read a little before turning in. Too many people just don't get it. Too many people are glorified for bad behavior.

While I certainly don't get it every minute of every day, I know what love feels like when it's out there.

Through the soaking, cold rain, I can still find it in all its glory. In the eyes of my friends, in the touch of my wife, in the silliness of my children, in the caring of strangers who lend a hand. In the bravery of those that fight for freedom, and stand up for a cause.

When the soaking rain is coming down and shows no signs of letting up, there is still a warmness out there, and it will thaw the deep freeze that makes us feel so alone in this messed-up, fucked-up world.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Blood Brothers

By Bruce, of course

We played king of the mountain out on the end
the world came charging up the hill and we were women and men.
Now there's so much time, time and memory fade away
we got our own roads to ride and chances we gotta take.
We stood side-by-side, each one fighting for the other
we said until we died, we'd always be blood brothers.

Now the hardness of this world slowly grinds your dreams away
making a fool's joke out of the promises we made
And what once seemed black and white turns to so many shades of gray
we lose ourselves in work to do, work to do and bills to pay
And it's ride, ride, ride and there ain't much cover
with no one running by your side, my blood brother.

On through the houses of the dead, past those fallen in their tracks
always moving ahead, and never looking back.
Now I don't know how I feel, I don't know how I feel tonight
If I've fallen 'neath the wheel, if I've lost or I've gained sight.
I don't even know why, I don't know why I made this call
Or if any of this matters, anymore after all.

But the stars are burning bright like some mystery uncovered
I'll keep moving through the dark
with you in my heart

My blood brother.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Stuck in a Tube

Started my day in the MRI tube as I got closer to the long-awaited repair of my knee. In and of itself that aggravates me.

If my knee had been hurt in a car accident or at work, they would have given the okay for the MRI in 5 minutes. Since I did it in some other way I had to go to the doctors five times before they'd get the MRI done.

Ah well, I decided on Norah Jones to accompany me into the tube. What other kid of music can you pick? Rap? Heavy Metal? Even the Beatles felt like too much.

"Really?" the woman asked when I told her I'd rather listen to Norah Jones.

"It's seven o'clock in the morning," I said. "Not exactly time for Van Halen."

So, into the tube I went. And as much as I didn't want to do it, I traveled back two years in time.

I absolutely hate even the mention of March 4th. It should be removed from every calendar.

Next week I am making a couple of speeches in promotion of the book Oh Brother! One is to a group of professional women in construction. Not sure what I will say there.

The other is to a group of honor students at North Collins High School. That speech has been swimming around in my head.

"Life isn't as hard as it's gonna' be."

Is what I want to call it.

This whole week has been a jumbled mess of aggravation. I know a whole bunch of people stuck in the same bag. People who've lost a loved one know one thing: it doesn't get any better...and that sucks.

Every book that I've signed has contained Jeff's message.

Celebrate your life!

Even Norah Jones couldn't help me celebrate today.

And tomorrow might be worse.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

In Pursuit of #28

I have been officially over winter since about the middle of November. Now that it has stretched another few months I'm really tired of it.

I watched a few innings of the Yankees a couple of days ago. I didn't get to see the stars...they play rarely as they get ready for the season...but I watched the kids anyway. They were wearing the greatest uniforms in all of sports, after all.

And so the 27-time World Champion Yankees are getting ready to try for #28.

It can't come soon enough.

The Baseball magazines are already out. I picked up two of them so far, and not even one writer is giving the Yanks a chance this year. They are talking about the stars getting old and the fact that the Phillies and Red Sux are trying to buy a title.

I tell you, those teams are ruining the sport.

Anyway, I, as you may have guessed, believe that the Yanks have enough. Their infield is worth more than most countries, and they can still hit. Jeter is going to be ready to prove people wrong.

Besides, this year, I have even more to root for...like Cliff Lee getting his pansy brains bashed in every time he toes the rubber. He didn't want to come to New York. He said he thought Philly had a better chance to win.

Two words for Lee: Greg Maddux.

You see, Greg Maddux was a pitcher for the Cubs when he hit free agency. He took his talents south to Atlanta in 1994. He said that he believed, that over the length of his contract, that the Braves would be the better team.

The final score over the course of his contract was Yankees 4 titles. Braves 1.

Two of the titles the Yanks won were over the Braves.

Ooops! Maddux under-estimated the greatest franchise in sports.

Something tells me Lee did the same thing.

Philadelphia? Really?

Big mistake.

This blog is dedicated to my buddy Gag and his wonderful Mom, who spoke with me a few weeks ago. After a great conversation, I started to say goodbye. Gag's Mom, just under the bell, said, "Oh, one more thing, Go Phils!".

Great lady, but I had to hang up on her!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Goddesses

So I heard a long interview with Charlie Sheen today. He appeared on the Howard Stern Show to tell his side of the story.

Man, my head was spinning.

First off, Charlie is a likable guy. That is what has made him capable of living his sordid life of debauchery. He is also hard not to root for because he is actually pretty funny.

The problem is...he really is a sick man.

The entire campaign that he is on now is to clear his name. The more he talks, the sadder it becomes...unless you're Charlie.

Currently he is sober. His rehab has gone well because he made up his mind not to do drugs anymore. A lot of people who suffer from addiction find this hard to believe, but Charlie laughs at that...because he believes he has tiger blood and that he is better than all of those who have suffered before him.

As for women. He currently lives in the same bedroom with two women. They each have their own bed, and they wait for Charlie to make his decision each night as to who he will grace with his presence that evening. There is no jealousy because there is love all around.

Seriously?

Two women? Both living as wives? No jealousy? No problems living each day with a pair of women?

I have to talk to him about that. I have half the woman population here and things don't seem to be running as smoothly as his relationship with his porn goddesses.

I wonder if Kathy would go with such an arrangement...probably not, I'm thinking. Besides it took me years to fool one...how the hell can I fool another? Like Charlie I'd probably have to pay an hourly rate.

Yet what strikes me most about Charlie is that he is like a 15 year old. He speaks of drinking and partying and hanging with different women as though he got stuck as an adolescent and that we will all think he's so cute, and so much better off than we are as people who live, love and cherish the relationships that are real and tangible.

The real thing about it is that we all went through such a stage in our lives. I rather enjoyed being irresponsible and partying until I couldn't stand up. Then I grew up. (Most of the time).

Charlie's point is that he is winning at life. He has all the money in the world. Why shouldn't he drink until he pukes, do women of all shapes and sizes, and live as though he were the president of all things hell?

I don't know. There is a certain pang of longing as I listen to him. Sure would be fun not to care about anything or anyone but my own selfish interests.

But isn't that lonely?

Charlie has to admit, somewhere deep inside, away from the tortured feelings of his eternal childhood, that there is a loneliness there that he is running from. He has five children.

Doesn't he want to, at least, act like more of an adult for their benefit?

Guess it doesn't matter if you have tiger blood coursing through your veins.

"He Wants to Hang 'Em All"

Every day there's something nasty. So sick of the nasty. Sometimes the nastiness is passed off as a joke. Other times it's locke...