Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hot Enough For Ya'?

Being a creature of habt, to the point of mental illness, I do the same things each day. I stop at the same convenience store for the paper and see the same clerk each morning. I couldn't tell you her name, but she's a nice lady. We chat.

Of course, she also chats with hundreds of other people as well. I sort of tease her about it.

Because she hears the same shit every day.

"It's cold out there."

"It's a nice day, if you're a duck," when it's raining.

"God, it's windy."

"Is it hot enough for you?"

I always ask her if anyone has mentioned it to her.

She just rolls her eyes.

And it's senseless of course. The small talk about the weather is very often just something to complain about.

I don't mind the hot weather. In fact, it's way better than the blowing snow and freezing cold.

And I get to show off my summer body.

Of course, the hot weather is just temporary. In 60 days we'll be thinking about the cold again.

"I can't believe how cold it is today," will be a major part of that poor woman's life, real soon.

I just don't know how she comes up with something clever to say to each and every person that she sees walk through the door.

I suppose you really have to like people.

There's a job I can't do.

Friday, June 29, 2012

When the Dust Settles

Remember the moment in all of the old Westerns when the action stops and we are left to see what happened?

After the dust settles?

I was listening to an athlete speak of some sort of accomplishment that was achieved by bouncing a ball. The guy was talking about how it hadn't truly sunked in yet but that he would appreciate what he'd done after...the dust settled.

And it occurred to me that those of us who do not receive accolades for what we do on a daily basis are sort of always in a state of waiting because the dust never seems to settle.

I'm thinking it will settle eventually. At least I hope I'm around to appreciate it. And what will I be thankful for as the dust gathers at my feet?

1). That I did my best. No matter how any of it plays out, and no matter what the situation calls for, the best you can do is all you can ask. It is what we demand of our boys and what we expect of one another around Camp Clifford. After the battle of every day life I'm thinking there will be a satisfaction of sorts if I feel I've done all I could.

2). That I helped make those around me better. You always hear that about the superstar players and it's a fine goal. If you can help someone become a better person, what's better than that?

3). That I took the high road more often than the low road. For a while there this one was a bit in doubt, but as I saddle up the horse for the rest of the ride I think I'm getting there. I don't tell every single rat bastard that they're a rat bastard much anymore. The low road is easier. The high road will prove to be more satisfying when I'm trying to count it all up.

4). That I made the ride with a sense of humor. Through the years I can tell you story after story of people who surrounded me who lived life laughing. We have a real good time a lot of days around our ponderosa and hopefully it continues until fade.

5). Pride is a weird thing. I certainly would like for my children to be proud of their accomplishments, but too much pride can be a dangerous thing. I know that I've short-changed myself in enjoying some of the good things, but when the final tally is made perhaps there will be a lot of time to enjoy some of the things that went on. Celebrate your life. All of it. The full catastrophe of days.

6). The beauty contestants always seem to say that their life goal is to make the world a better place. That is certainly a lofty goal. Many people don't really get there. I'd like to. My kids seem to have me heading in the right direction. A work in progress.

7). Sometimes when the dust settles what we wanted is no longer possible. This is a tricky one. Heartbreak and disappointment can really set you back. Sometimes it ruins the whole freaking movie. I don't think I've ever really enjoyed a movie where the horse or the dog dies. Life is tragic. Life is tough. How do you live broken-hearted? Sometimes finding the answers and still winding up on the high road is a truly tricky proposition.

8). So the dust will settle eventually. What is the thing I'm looking for here? What should we all be looking for? Does it matter what the hell I think?

Some day in the future, I'm thinking it'll hit me.

Did I make do?

Did I use all of my God given talents?

Stupid SportsCenter makes me think of it.

Trying to see clear.

It's still pretty dusty.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bouncing on a Mushroom

So I have a little bit of an understanding on what has been destroying me ever since January. The back and neck are feeling a bit better but the overall cause of sort of everything is the hip and groin pain.

Took the medical community quite some time, but it appears that I have a torn labrum in my hip when the guy behind me decided to stop...after he hit me.

Wasn't even aware there was a labrum in my hip.

Anywho-ha...they figure that it'll have to be fixed with surgery, but you know what?

I'm too freaking busy.

The hours slide by. I hear the docs in my ear telling me to try and work less. "Get off it," they say.

I told the doc he'd have to wait until the Fall. He laughed and called me an animal.

10, 12, 14 hours...rest tomorrow...damn, why does my hip hurt?

What-freaking-ever!

Yet Mr. Happy-Go-Lucky has been a little dour as of late.

"You need something to relax with," my beautiful wife opined the other evening.

(There's a good word - opined).

"You used to have golf or you'd go to the YMCA...you need something...you're too tense."

Uh, ya' think?

Let's look at what I was doing when I met my lovely wife:

Writing, Softball, Golf, Basketball, More Golf, Drinking Beer, Golf, More Beer, Video Games, Golf and Eating to Excess.

Just a little less than 20 years later?

Writing, Eating to excess and bitching at the hoodlums.

Problem being...what can I do now?

Golf, basketball, softball, more golf, golf and golf are out.

I can't play video games anymore because when I was playing it wasn't how it is now. The players didn't have facial expressions back when I played. I wasn't running through the wilderness holding a huge gun, or trapping hookers on the side of the road.

I don't think they make Kaboom anymore.

I can't drink beer anymore either because it doesn't sit well and I have to piss every twelve minutes.

"What should I do?" I ask my beautiful wife. "Knit something?"

"I don't know but you have to find something or you're gonna' be hanging from a beam in the garage."

So, I'm working. Hobbling. Writing reports, visiting sites.

Next few days I might head out and look for an old copy of Asteroids or something.

What was that one with the little Italian carpenter bouncing on mushrooms?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Half a Mil

Man, did you see the kids berating that school bus aide in the Rochester area?

That poor woman took some serious abuse. So much so that they took up a collection in her name to send her on a little vacation.

The fund is well over a half a mil now, right?

And a bunch of us were talking about it at a wonderful graduation party on Saturday night.

I've been called a lot of things in my time. Most of the nicknames I deserved. Some of them made me laugh out loud at myself.

I'm not sure that there's anything that you can call me that would bother me enough to ruin my own healthy self-image.

Bald?

"You can't have hair and brains too."

Fat?

I know what I eat and how much I enjoy it. There are times in my life when I actually aspired to be fatter because that meant I was eating more. Stupid skinny people will never know the pleasure of eating until pain.

It's fun!

Stupid?

I'll take all of those jokes as well. Usually I get something like this:

"Your stupid."

We went over this but correcting the English in a two word sentence usually takes the steam out of such a claim.

What else? Where else can we go with the abuse?

Of course, I felt bad for that poor woman. There isn't anyone in the world who should have to listen to that from a bunch of snot-nosed kids. She did an amazing job staying calm in the face of such abuse.

I don't think I could've found it in my heart to mutter something as senseless as:

"If you don't have something nice to say don't say anything at all,"

while some little rat bastard was announcing that I was obese.

But in hindsight she has to be thrilled that it all went down as it did.

Her vacation is gonna' be a long one.

And here's another hint...

...I'd keep every freaking penny.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

450 Years in Prison

So if Sandusky gets just ten years for each of his guilty counts he'll be 518 before he's up for parole.

I sort of hope he makes it that long.

Because 450 years to sit there and think about what he did seems to me to be a just punishment.

It's a difficult crime to imagine. Every time I see him I think just two words - creepy bastard - and I'm not naive enough to think that he was of sound mind, ever.

But that's not an excuse.

We all know the difference between right and wrong. I'm sure that even criminals do. He certainly did. He warned the kids that his gifts would stop if they told anyone. He threatened, cajoled and bribed them.

He most likely ruined each one of them as well.

So I don't feel anything other than disdain for the guy.

Yet right after the announcement on Friday night I was on Twitter and there were a lot of eye-for-an-eye scenarios being played out. People were hoping that he suffered the same fate by Bubba his cellmate.

Or Ben Dover.

Every time I think of an abusive cellmate I think of Chevy Chase saying:

"Nice to meet you Ben."

I can't help but think that people have it wrong though. Sandusky did unspeakable things, but does having unspeakable things happen to him make us feel better?

Don't answer that.

I imagine that if they polled most Americans they'd like to see Sandusky suffer an atrocity on live television.

Maybe he should.

I'm just uncomfortable with the whole concept of "If you do it we'll do it to you."

I think the 450 years in a cage that he can barely turn around in is a suitable punishment.

Here's hoping he lives that long.

Creepy bastard.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Sam Man



Happy Birthday to a great guy.

Today Sam is celebrating his birthday, and I know a lot of people who smile whenever they think of my boy Sam.

Pretty much everyone who's had the pleasure of meeting him.

You see Sam is a happy guy. He doesn't have violent mood swings. He's always up for a good bet on a game, and he has undying confidence in his abilities to do anything.

It's a good bet that on any given night Sam will be right beside me watching the scores change on the full night of baseball games. He'll ride me about a pitcher of mine who's taking a beating, he'll call out every single home run and RBI.

And no matter what position his fantasy team is in he'll let me know that it's just a matter of time before he gets into one of the money positions and stays there until the end of the season.

And Sam has another thing going for him. Unlike his slow-witted brothers he's a fan of the 27-Time World Champion New York Yankees.

Despite his young age he remembers every run that scored in the 2009 World Series when the 27-Time World Champion Yankees thumped the hapless Phillies.

He is also quick to point out that he actually has two titles under his belt because he was 4 months old when the Yankees won the 2000 World Series over the Mets.

And Sam is loyal to a fault. He knows what he loves and he stands by it. He has an unbelievable allegiance to his aunts, uncles and cousins, particularly Uncle Chuck who he takes dinner off of each year after the football season.

This is the time to hold onto because we won't even though we'll want to.

That is a line from an old Billy Joel song.

I think of it a lot as we go back and forth talking baseball, laughing at jokes and singing to the dogs.

Happy Birthday, buddy.

You're a great guy.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Some of My Favorite Words

One of my buddies was texting me the other day and he mentioned something about my basketball skills.

"You're putrid," he said.

I had to laugh.

I love that word: putrid.

And it got me thinking about a lot of other words that I enjoy.

In no particular order.

Chide, pathetic, cesspool, rancid, panties, sanctify, horrified and annihilated.

All right, most of those words sort of fit into the context of something or other...very true adjectives that paint a picture in the mind of the reader or listener.

Panties? You ask?

Don't ask. Most guys like that word.

Here's some more:

Psycho, Hyperventilate. Putrid, Humungous, Ambidextrous, Imbecile and Vomatorium

Once more I have painted a picture.

I like ambidextrous because whenever I hear it I say the same thing:

"I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous." (thanks Palmer).

And 'imbecile' might be in my top five in a list of words of all time.

What words might top those, you ask?

Let's count the top three down. The number one answer is actually two words but they need to go together.

You'll see why.

#3 - Rectum.

I know. But whenever I hear the word I think of two things.

"Rectum???? It almost killed him!"

and

We had a driver who worked for one of the construction companies who wrote out a maintenance slip about his truck:

"Damn loose spring entered my rectum, and I didn't enjoy it."

I love that he used rectum.

#2 Bastard

Just love the word. I like saying it, I enjoy being called it. It's a wonderful word. In fact, see number 1.

#1 Rat Bastard

Just perfect. I can hear my grandfather saying it. I can hear my Dad saying it. I laugh every time I say it or someone else says it.

"You rat bastard!"

It doesn't get any more colorful than that.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Real Cute

Let me describe the New York Book Festival Awards Show for you.

I got to the airport in Buffalo, made it successfully through security, waited an hour to board the plane, successfully boarded the plane, had a nice chat with the guy next to me about life, and then the plane backed away from the gate.

And sat there.

For an hour.

"There are thunderstorms in New York. Sit back, watch the television and we'll update you in 55 minutes."

"I can still make it," I said cheerfully.

My new friend and I chatted about the award and the fact that it was Jeff's birthday. He took down my number and promised to order a book.

I watched Everybody Loves Raymond.

Then I watched another one.

The pilot came back over the speaker.

"We're gonna' reassess in a half an hour."

I turned off Raymond. Another half an hour passed.

"How long does it take to go from JFK to the Grolier Club?" I asked the guy.

"45 minutes."

I figured that my drop dead time was about 5. Hell, I'd even leave by 7 and make it to the end of the ceremony.

"We're gonna' take you back to the gate, but don't wander too far. We may load up quickly."

We buckled our seat belts.

I had about an hour left.

Nearly two hours later I went to the gate. I recognized the pilot eating a sandwich.

"Any news?"

"We most likely leave until around 7," the guy I now hated behind the desk said.

Done.

Anger. Rage. Extreme disappointment.

In the back of my mind I started the pep talk. I'd give the speech in Hollywood when the book wins there.

My heart wanted no part of the pep talk.

Jeff's birthday. An acceptance speech in a city I love. An Italian meal in a five-star joint. A raised glass.

My brothers and sisters texted and called.

All disappointed.

I got in my car, paid for parking, and headed for home.

The Promised Land was the first song out of the I-pod.

I looked up.

"Cute."

"F*&King cute!" I yelled.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Happy Birthday

Off to NYC today for the awards ceremony for the New York Book Festival. Oh Brother! The Life & Times of Jeff Fazzolari will be honored and I promise to deliver plenty of photos from the big city.

The ironic part, of course, that June 22 is also Jeff's birthday, and every single time I think of it, it makes me smile.

He sent me a present for his day, I suppose.

And the 27-time World Champion Yankees are playing the Mets tomorrow night.

I imagine that I'll find a Yankee bar to catch the game in.

And I'm thinking a dish of pasta somewhere at one of the gourmet restaurants. You know, where the top chefs perform.

I always get fired up about going to New York. I remember being there a few years ago and not wanting to go to sleep because there was just too much going on right outside my window.

What am I dreading?

The ride from the airport to the hotel.

The small hotel room.

So many people.

A Mets victory?

All right, so that one probably won't happen.

Yet I can't help but think that this trip is on Jeff. He's not paying for any of it, mind you, but he didn't pay for any of the other trips either.

Honored.

That's the word that keeps popping into my head.

Oh yeah, one other thing:

I'm going to make a roomful of authors and publishers and agents laugh really hard.

I mean, Jeff is.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Hands that Built this Country

Every once in awhile I'll take a stab at the people who post things about immigration on Facebook.

(Sorry Cindy, you knew this would have to come up).

And it's such a hot button issue that I usually try and steer clear, but what gets me about most of the discussions is that we lose ourselves in half-thoughts on the subject, and the rights of real human beings are trampled upon.

Wanna' break it down?

Here comes the bleeding heart, right?

Well, sort of.

I think of the fact that the Fazzolari family is just a few generations removed from swinging over to the promised land. They say that in North Korea you must do hard labor for 12 years to enter the country. In Afghanistan, they shoot you.

What was America founded upon?

Give us your poor and downtrodden?

So lining people up and shooting them at the border because they want a better life seems undignified to me...strictly speaking as an American.

"They're taking all our jobs and going on our welfare system. They sneak across the line smuggling drugs and weapons. Dirty wetback sons-of-bitches."

I get all that, for sure...policies and procedures and particularly the welfare system need review and reworking.

Yet...what are the dangers of making such broad statements?

First off, it can't be entirely true. For every man sneaking over the border there are men who work their way in, work all their lives, and try to live the right way.

We don't hear much about them.

But perhaps, we don't want them here either.

Well, so glad they didn't shoot your ancestors at the border. Thank God you're the one making the choices now.

Remember the one word:

Dignity.

The issue should be all about that.

I've read a lot about this issue. It doesn't make me an expert by any means. It's a confusing problem, to be sure. This is our country, and we certainly should have some say on how or why someone is granted the privilege to enter and they should be sure to earn their way...

...as our ancestors did.

But if we wind up building a wall, or shooting them as they cross, or even spewing hate based on preconceived notions that may or may not be wrong, we are doing ourselves a huge disservice because we will have lost the number one thing this country was built on:

Dignity.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Warming Up the Bench

Every night an ugly scene plays out all across the great nation. It's a battle between a coach of a sport and the kid sitting on the bench and the parents who had banked on their little athlete to do some damage.

You know, turn pro, against all odds, and take Mommy and Daddy with them when they move into the mansion.

I've been on all sides of this issue.

I sat on the bench a bit...a lot in soccer where I was happy to be on the bench because I didn't much care for running after a ball that would be rolling by again shortly...and a little in basketball, particularly freshman year when my coach tired of me shooting and I saw little sense in passing it to my worthless teammates.

In fact, during that freshman year we were getting trounced by a team and I never saw the hardwood. I had company on the bench though as the class bully had also grown out of favor with the coach. Yet the coach had no idea who he was messing with.

Down 75 to 23 with a little over three minutes to go the coach actually called out our names. My bully buddy didn't budge.

"Get in the game!" the coach screamed at the bully.

"%^&K you, you go," the bully yelled back, ripping off his jersey and throwing it at the coach.

I laughed so hard I fell off the bench.

And it's difficult because there is a line there.

As a coach I tried to make the best decisions. I got called by a few parents. When I coached softball I was actually dressed down by a few wives. Everyone wants to play, everyone deserves to hit clean up, nobody likes to lose.

I've had a real hands off deal with my boys.

I want them to enjoy the game. I know that they most likely won't star for the Yankees or the Chicago Bulls or the Buffalo Sabres.

Learn a little, make some friends, try your best, don't rip off your jersey and throw it at the coach unless he deserves it, I guess.

Of course, there's no better feeling than watching your son or daughter accomplish something on the field or court, but it shouldn't be how they are valued.

Ever.

Whether they are the best or the worst.

It's a game.

It's not worth their self-esteem. It isn't worth showing them that arguing will get them what they want.

Perhaps it was that long night I spent on that bench freshman year, but I recall looking up at that scoreboard, embarrassed to be the guy sitting on the bench on such a lousy team, wondering why the coach hated me.

You know, not one guy from either team made a nickel with their ball skills. In fact, the MVP of that very night was the kid who waded up his jersey and lofted the F-bomb at the coach...

...he didn't go in the game to be embarrassed. Maybe he didn't handle it the best, but he taught me a lesson for sure:

Don't lose yourself in the stupid game.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Can We All Get Along?

Well. Rodney King didn't get to live to see it.

I liked Rodney.

You remember him, right?

He was the guy who was out on parole and tried to get free of the cops. He took an awful beating and in all respects, he probably deserved a little of it.

But you can't do that.

Anyway, the riots were a direct result of the not guilty verdicts and Rodney was front and center. He actually tried to steer clear, but came out of hiding to ask the million dollar question.

Can we all get along?

As Rodney died this weekend, some twenty years later, we are embroiled in another hot button case of a young man dying on the streets.

I'm not sure that Trayvon Martin's case will escalate in such unrest and I surely hope not, but the question remains.

Can we all get along?

And you know what?

I don't think we can.

I wrote a blog about Trayvon and Zimmerman and I got hate responses for my take which was simply that the guy should have stayed in the car and let the authorities handle it.

I honestly think that one will be a doozy, for some reason.

And there is still so much unrest and turmoil every day. We just had a black doctor kill a white girl here in Buffalo. I heard a lot of biting comments.

"Why aren't Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton here for that murder?"

"That's what she gets for sleeping with a black dude."

It's all still out there, Rodney.

Maybe you can get some rest now.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Back in the News

So my buddy Lance Armstrong, the guy in the top five for biggest douches in the world of Thoughts of a Common Man is back in the news.

It seems as if the anti-doping agency has evidence that he's always been a dope. Not only do they have his blood - which shows that there was certain manipulation - they also have about a dozen witnesses who saw him doping.

He denies it.

So, let's take him for his word. After all he's the only guy who ever beat cancer.

Why would the government and the anti-doping agency be against him?

Answer me that?

I hate when a team wins a championship and the first words out of the mouths of one of the winning players is something along the lines of:

"This is for all the doubters and haters out there! It was us against the world and we never stopped believing!!"

Why do people have to feel as if the world is against them?

Isn't it awful narcassistic of the dopey bike rider and the big doper former Red Sux pitcher Roger Clemens to believe that they are being victimized?

Uh, bike rider and Red Suck Roger, the reason people are picking on you is simple.

YOU TOOK DRUGS TO ENHANCE YOUR PERFORMANCE AND YOU CONTINUE TO DENY IT AS IF THE REST OF THE WORLD IS CRAZY AND YOU'RE RIGHT.

You're wrong.

Own up to it. Stand up and admit what the hell you did and why the hell you did it.

The case against Armstrong is particularly disconcerting for all who bought his hundred mile long pile of shit.

"Oh, he's such an inspiration."

"Look at my Lance Armstrong bracelet."

"I got a helmet just like Lance."

"He's the greatest athlete ever!"

Uh, no he's not. He rides a bike. My nephew, Rocco, rides a bike.

One big difference:

Rocco doesn't cheat and then lie about his ability to do so.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Summer Wind

Sirius Radio is playing a promotion for Father's Day.

It's Frank singing Summer Wind.

Nancy Sinatra says that she thinks of her dad when she hears the song.

Same here, Nancy.

And My Dad sang it as good as your Dad.


The summer wind came blowin' in
From across the sea
It lingered there to touched your hair
And walked with me

All summer long we sang a song
Then we strolled on golden sand
Two sweethearts and the summer wind

Like painted kites
Those days and nights went flying by
The world was new beneath
The blue umbrella sky

Then softer than a piper man
One day it called to you
I lost you to the summer wind

The autumn wind and the winter wind
They have come and gone
[ From : http://www.elyrics.net/read/m/michael-buble-lyrics/summer-wind-lyrics.html ]
But still the days those lonely days
Go on and on

But guess who sighs his lullabies
Through nights that never end?
My fickle friend, the summer wind

Oh, the autumn wind and the winter wind
They have come and gone
But still the days those lonely days
Go on and on

And guess who sighs his lullabies
Through nights that never end?
My fickle friend, the summer wind

That summer wind
Warm, warm summer wind
That summer wind

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Walking a Tightrope

Nik Wallenda was in the area to walk a tightrope across Niagara Falls on Friday night. As I drove around in the morning I listened to a program that discussed the daring walk. I imagined being up above the rushing, charging, violent waters thundering below.

It would certainly be difficult to stay on line and make each step steady.

Fighting for time on the same program was the story of the surgeon who, to that point, was still believed to be on the loose. He was since found dead, but I thought of him in the context of the man high above the roaring waters on a terribly thin line.

"I'm not going to that stupid show," one of the callers to the radio show said. "He's gonna' be tethered. If there ain't no chance of seeing him die, what good is it?"

I considered the poor young mother who was gunned down because her life entwined with a man with a truly diseased mind. I thought of the terror of the last few moments of her life. I considered the booming noise in that isolated stairway as the gun was emptied. The sound had to be deafening.

Like the roar of the Falls.

"He was trained in the military," another caller said, "The sorry excuse for cops in this town will never catch him."

I felt sad for all of humanity. The murder of a young mother captured the imagination of a few people who actually thought they were seeing a movie played out with Denzel in the lead role.

I pictured the smile on that girl's face. A news photo showed them side-by-side, and called them tortured lovers.

I was glad they captured a pretty smile for all of us to recall. There was one tortured soul in that relationship.

May God shine His light on her family.

"We've all come close to snapping," another caller said.

I don't much like it when there are dishes in the sink. As far as mental illness goes, that's about the worst of it.

Snapping in a murderous rage?

The rope is only about the width of a tennis ball. Wallenda will be tied-off, but there certainly are risks.

One missed step.

"He called himself the tickle monster," one of the victims in the Sandusky trial said.

In my mind I was in that courtroom, listening to the voices break as the sheer hell was communicated to a jury of Sandusky's peers. Hopefully, a gathering of men and women who will put the tickle monster away for the rest of his life.

And I thought of God again, and how it seemed unjust that Sandusky spent his adult life preying on the innocent. Crashing into the sensibilities of all men.

Like mad water rushing, violently exploding as it's carried down, down, down.

And I was aching for all of the victims in all of the cases that slip by, forgotten as yesterday's news. So many folks falling from the tightrope, every day, crashing into some sort of deadly reality.

Recovery is no longer an option.

I'm glad Wallenda was tied off.

May God shine His light on the families who are suffering from the evil in the world.

May the next troubled man keep his balance.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Thunder Road Jeff Fazzolari Memorial Softball Tourney & Benefit

The absolute best day of 2011 was the 1st Annual Softball Tourney to benefit Rocco, Johnny and Farrah Fazzolari.

We worked hard to put it all together. Jan, Terrie, Kim, Corinne, Pops, Jill, Jeffy, Dave and the Baltimorons...Oh God, I can't even begin to name everyone that made it such a special day. I was on the verge of tears all day...tears of appreciation of a great life. Friends who drove for miles and miles - Terry, Tom, Al....can't even name all of those people either!

It's going to be better this year!

The sun will shine. The peppers will be better. The baskets will be epic. Bruce will lead the charge. I might even hit one past the pitcher.

All right, I can guarantee all but that last one.

We are holding the event at the New Oregon Town Park once again. The date of the tourney is August 12th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


The plan really worked well last year as teams came complete or were formed right on the field.

Every single nickel earned went to the college fund for the children.

There are so many days of the year when we struggle to get through the day. There are so many things to get down about.

The message was well received last year:

Celebrate your life!

Do yourself a favor...come on out!

The foods good, the raffle is great, the laughs are tremendous, hell, even the games are good.

That's if you can run to first that is!

I can't wait!

We hope to see you there.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Too Close to Home

When I was 11 years old there was a massive manhunt in our little Town of North Collins because some dirt bag shot a cop, who also happened to be a family friend. As a sensitive, young, writer-to-be, I remember feeling as if my life was some how violated by the act.

I couldn't figure out how or why a person could kill another person.

Turns out I still can't.

I was hustling through the city of Buffalo on Wednesday morning, oblivious to the goings-on just a few blocks from where I was hanging out. There were no reports of the Erie County Medical Center murder on the Howard Stern Show. So how would I know?

My beautiful wife telephoned just before ten a.m., and I figured she was just checking in before starting her shift at the...Erie County Medical Center.

"Work is locked down," she said. "Someone shot someone and the place is surrounded."

I felt a little like I did when I was 11.

I'd just been through the Medical Center to review the construction on the new building. I ate lunch in the cafeteria.

The scary part being, of course, that there was no way of knowing what happened. Was there a madman on the loose who'd gun down everyone in his path? My wife's friends? My friends?

Calls started coming in. People were checking on Kathy and seeing if I heard anything. I was about six blocks away.

Oblivious.

And it really doesn't matter what you're six blocks away from anymore. There's a chance that someone might walk in and light the place up.

School? Mall? Church? Medical Center?

It doesn't matter. The answer to a bunch of the questions these days is shoot first and pick up the pieces.

Sixteen thousand murders a year, folks. In the greatest nation in the land.

The details are still a bit sketchy. The wide speculation is that it was a domestic situation that turned fatal and in the most shocking of all developments, the man being looked at is a freaking well-respected surgeon. Kathy knows him and the victim of his rage.

It's crossing over. It's in your community, my community, and everywhere in between.

It's been way too close to home for way too long now.

Like the 11-year-old boy, I'm still waiting for the good answers.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Friday the 13th-Happy Birthday Jacob

Every morning of the school year I wake Jake from sleep by singing him a little song:

"Good morning, Jacob, it's time for you to wake-up, put on a little make-up and learn, learn, learn."

He hates me for it.

And let me tell you, it's getting so I can't even win a battle of wits with him anymore. He's a funny freaking kid and he loves to talk trash. The fact that we don't give it back to him these days is because we're all, frankly, still a little scared of him.

You see, Jake came into the world battling. Early, mad and on Friday the 13th. He was so sick for the first couple of years of his life and we didn't even know it.

I just thought he was mean.

(Her side of the family, of course).

He didn't much care for me at all.

And fast forward to Sunday when we went out to dinner. He spent the first half an hour giving it to Sam, who is such a happy child that he takes it with a laugh.

Then he turned his sights on me.

"How many different names do you have for Melky?" he asked.

"About ten," I said.

Jake, to the amusement of the rest of the family went through them for us.

Dooker, Duke, Melk-a-daisy, Melkinater, Nate...he went on and on...asking me for the origin of each name.

"Nate is short for Nater which is part of Melkinater," I said.

"Do you understand that you have mental problems?"

"My mother used to sing to her dogs," I said.

"Did she sing, 'Melky is my buddy, Melky is my girl, Melky is my buddy, we're gonna' catch a squirrel?'"

My beautiful wife couldn't possibly laugh any harder.

"She might have," I said.

"Seriously, there's something wrong with you," Jake continued. "Melk-a-duke-a-daisy is a little fat and lazy."

(That one actually came from Melky's Uncle - Chuck).

The people in the restaurant were listening in. There were tears flowing down Kathy's and Sam's faces. I got up and went to the bathroom.

I just had to get away.

Inside the bathroom I laughed.

15 years.

All that I've lost and all that I've gained in that time.

To be sure, I know what I've lost.

What I've gained is another Fuzzy wise ass.

Who would've thunk that a Fuzzy kid would be outgoing?

Have a great birthday, buddy.

Time for you to wake up, put on a little make up and learn, learn, learn.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Nip Slip

I recall a day about ten years ago as I sat in my parents kitchen just chatting with Mom and Dad. We were watching CNN and a news report came on about the pop singer, Madonna. Mom wasn't paying attention, but Dad was.

"Watch this," he whispered to me.

Then at the top of his voice he said: "That Madonna is beautiful."

"Is that what you like? Whores?" My mother called out. "She's a whore!"

Dad laughed and I joined it.

"What the hell is that about?" I asked.

"I mentioned she was good looking," Dad said. "It set her off."

Dad would have been all over last night's story. It seems that Madonna took her 53-year old breast out and showed it to the crowd somewhere across the sea.

Isn't enough, enough?

30 years ago it would have been front page news. It hardly made a ripple last night.

And I kind of don't get why she'd do it. First off, haven't we already seen everything she has?

Secondly, and let's be sensitive here, she's kinda' long in the tooth.

I'm not even sure I'd want to see it.

Ah, hell, why not? I'm sure I'd take a peak.

Yet it must be something to be on top of the world, and then fall into relative obscurity. Her US Tour went poorly. She is no longer the sex symbol of the world. She lip-synched the Super Bowl.

I'm thinking I'll give Mom a call and get her opinion on the matter.

"That's a whore!" she'll call out.

I can still hear Dad laughing.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Oh Happy Days

Just read that Erin Moran, Joanie from Happy Days and Joanie loves Chachi, is living in a trailer. She's flat broke, she is taking care of an ailing mother and the only money coming in is the result of her husband's check as a worker at Wal-Mart.

Damn, that's sad, huh?

Wasn't she on television for like 20 years? She was shortcake for crying out loud. Where's the Fonz when you need him?

Of course, growing up in the 70's I watched Happy Days every Tuesday night. In fact, it was one of those shows that we all set our television schedules around because in those days, if you missed it, you didn't catch it on the DVR 3 days later.

I'm thinking I had a bit of a crush on Joanie. She was no Winny Cooper, mind you, but I certainly didn't want to see her with Chachi...he was everything I wasn't.

There's a story going around that the crew from Happy Days didn't receive money when it all went into syndication and while that didn't screw the main members, Ralph Malph, Potsie and Joanie suffered.

Hey, remember the episode when Joanie had the crush on Potsie?

That was so sweet.

I may have shed a tear.

The article from yesterday spoke of a lonely life of hard work, love and poverty. Who would have ever thought it could happen to our shortcake?

Thank God I stuck with Winny as my main love.

She's aged pretty well, and I hear she's going to be divorced soon.

Then again:

She's no Kathy Fazzolari

Sunday, June 10, 2012

New York, New YorkI



I was listening to an author speak the other day at the BEA in New York. He said that he wished that he would have enjoyed his books instead of trying to write the next one.

In other words:

Celebrate your life instead of trying to understand it.

That's what Jeff said to me when I returned from Providence, Rhode Island after I received an award for Nobody's Home.

Little did I know that the book that would someday win multiple awards is one that has so little to do with me as an author and so much to do with Jeff as a human being.

But you know what?

Let's celebrate it a little, huh?

Oh Brother! The Life & Times of Jeff Fazzolari won again in the biography category. It's coming off a win in Boston. I want to win again in California later in the year.

But I made a single promise to myself when the books were entered in the competitions.

I would go celebrate. I will stand in front of the room and tell the funny stories. I will make a group of authors, publishers, and agents laugh hard at a life so full.

I think of Sterlinghouse Publisher and Cindy Sterling, in particular. What a gift she provided when she MADE me write the story. Thank you, Cindy.

I am humbled. I am honored. I never thought in a million years that I'd accept the microphone for such a talk, but when the people leave there they will have met Jeff.

New York, New York.

Pretty cool.

You know what's even cooler?

The ceremony is on June 22nd.

Jeff's birthday.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Your a Dope



I've always been a good speller. Even way before spell check and well before the nuns beat my ass with a ruler I've been able to spell most everything correctly. I am blessed with that gift because I read a ton and recognize how words should look.

I know a lot of guys, much smarter than me, who don't spell so well. And that's okay. Yet shots such as the one taken above is a pet peeve of mine.

How can you take the time to make up a sign and post it in a public space and spell 'losing' as 'loosing'?

I'm sorry, but that's a looser.

And you see it more often than not. Incidentally when I took my phone out and snapped the photo the clerk behind the desk asked me what I was taking a picture of.

"Just the sign," I said.

"What's wrong with it?"

"I love misspelled words on a sign," I said.

The young clerk came around the front and looked.

"I don't see anything wrong with it," she said.

I got back to my car before it hit me that she probably wrote up the sign.

Ah well, who cares?

Yet what really gets me is the way the texts are so configured these days. I get a lot of texts such as the title of the blog.

"Your a dope."

"Your fat."

"Your cranky and miserable."

"Your an old bastard."

"Your bald."

"Your stupid."

"Your an imbesile."

I always correct my buddies.

"That's you're fat...you're an idiot."

"That's you're an imbecile...you're an idiot."

I usually get a two-word response to my correcting of items.

But that's okay. Like I've said. I don't write perfectly. My editor often puts things in like:

"You are an imbecile."

I can handle it.

But you can be damn sure that if I post a sign for all the world to see I'm going to spell everything correctly before some dopey, fat, cranky, miserable, bald, stupid, imbecile old bastard comes along with a camera and tries to make fun of me.

Friday, June 8, 2012

You're Too Fat

So what do you think of Mayor Bloomberg's edict that the big sodas and huge slurpee drinks should be banned in an effort to get people slimmed down a bit?

There are a lot of people up in arms. It seems a bit intrusive to me, to be honest.

Yes, there are some big bastards walking around. Sure, health care costs are out of hand because people are breaking down due to all sorts of sugar-related diseases. But, man, talk about trying to take away all of the choices.

We now have taxes on beer and cigarettes that make it almost ridiculous to try and keep killing ourselves. We add a ban on sweet drinks to it, what's next? A tax on greasy brugers and french fries.

That's exactly what's next.

I don't drink any sort of sweet drinks. I'm not sure that I've had three sodas in a year. I read an article about what it does to the body so I sort of decided against it.

Now that I don't drink beer either, I am stuck with just water. I don't do it because I'm health conscious and I'm not exactly Olyve Oil. So perhaps the sugary drinks aren't the cause of all of the problems.

Bloomberg tries and ban pasta and we're gonna' have a major problem.

The thing is, the initiative smacks of someone sitting on high and smacking down the peasants. He's so much smarter than the rest of us that he has to tell us what's good for us.

Yet the thing about it is that he's right. Have you ever tried to order the small soda at the movie theatre. It's at least 32 ounces. I remember taking the kids to the movie when they were young. They wanted a soda. They could have bathed in the 32 ounce pail.

"What's the large? Do they just hook a hose up to your seat?" I asked the attendant.

"That'll be seven dollars," he replied.

I just wonder if Bloomberg has any bad habits.

What would he think if someone like me told him that he had to stop and that he didn't have any say in the matter?

What will be the penalty if you're busted drinking out of a container that's too big? A year in jail?

Hell, we can't even put a drunk-driving, texting, hit and run rich guy in jail here in Buffalo. Perhaps if Dr. Death had been sipping a slurpee we could have nailed him.

Can Bloomberg save people from themselves?

I doubt it.

We're too fat. We're too lazy, We're too stupid to save ourselves.

Deal with it.

Pass the pasta.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Let Love Give


Welcome to the world Adalyn Grace!

Big baby. Must have been rough for my niece Katie, but all the males out there know that Matt was the poor bastard who did most of the work.

And the first thought I had when I was delivered the good news was:

Let love give what it gives.

Love gives the great moments. The flat-out freaking miracles.

I immediately sent Matt a text. I offered a quip that my brother Jeff thought up in the moments after my beautiful wife gave birth to Jake. The words of that first text will stay between us. Jeff's words weren't fit to print, but that quick text was for Matt's benefit, and mine because I wanted to tap into how he felt right at that moment. I wanted to share his joy.

The world is different. It doesn't seem so scary. It's filled with love and with the middle name of your new beautiful child:

Grace.

Just take it. Live it.

A month from now, when you're standing in your kitchen, in the middle of the night, wondering if you'll ever sleep again, remember how you felt the moment Adalyn arrived.

19 years from now, when she's driving you East when you want to go West, and you're thinking she's clueless, remember how you felt the moment when you met her for the first time.

Carry the feeling of love in your heart for always.

I do remember that cloud of invincibility and walking out into the air of a new day where I knew something nobody else knew for a minute. When my boys entered my life I skipped through the day; tired, scared, but filled with something completely different.

Life-changing love.

There are millions of babies born every day. You don't have to be overly bright to welcome a child into the world. You don't even have to give a crap in a lot of respects, but when you're bright enough to accept the challenge and pledge the love and commit to what is a gift.

A tremendous gift.

Than you will have won.

It sounds easy.

Let love give what it gives.

Welcome Adalyn. Congrats to a wonderful couple of goofy kids. You'll do real well.

And the gift keeps giving if you open your heart to it.

It just does.

Late last night I was in my room as the Celtics were about to close out the Miami Heat. I'm not the biggest pro basketball fan in the world, but I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the Celtics - think Bird, McHale and the greatest Celtic of all-time - Ernie D. -

Anywho-ha...the bedroom door cracked open and Sam entered.

"What're you doing up so late?" I asked.

"Can I watch the rest with you," he asked, ignoring my question.

"Absolutely."

The Celtics closed it out. He was happy.

I was happy.

After a rough day I let the moment stand.

Just let love give.

Congrats, Mom and Dad.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Purple...Like Barney

So I needed a ride home from an injection in my back. Being that Kathy had to work and since Matt is entrenched in Camp Clifford, we decided that we'd have to get the boy up five hours before he usually rises to accompany me.

We didn't talk much on the way there as we listened to Howard. I pointed out all the cars on the road at the early hour.

"These people are headed off to work," I chided.

(I used that word for Kim).

"They're stupid," Matt responded.

The injections were a lot of fun. A bit of numbness, not a lot of pain. The doc seemed anxious to move on to the next guy in the row of chairs. He promised answers soon, handed me a slip of paper that told me not to go immediately back to work as I wanted to, and we were on our way.

"How do I get back to the Thruway?" Matt asked.

"You've lived here for 19 years," I said.

"I never come up this way."

"Follow the signs to 290 East," I said.

He made good turns, checked the mirrors, hands on ten and two. Howard was back on, the back still numb, we were all good.

Except he took 90 East from there, following the signs to Albany.

"West!" I called out, but it was too late. We were heading in the opposite direction.

"Really?" I asked.

"How am I supposed to know?" He asked. "What do we do now?"

"We have to go to Albany," I said.

A moment passed. He looked real nervous. Something must have clicked.

"There has to be an exit before Albany," he said.

We approached the toll booths. I was tempted to just see how he'd react. How would he get us home?

"Get in the E-Z Pass lane," I said. "It's purple; the color of Barney," I said. "You remember Barney, right? 'I love you, you love me.'"

"Okay, okay, then what?" He asked. "I'll get off at 78."

"And which way do you go?" I asked.

"North," he said.

We were in serious trouble. All this time. All the money. All the high hopes.

"We live south or west of Amherst," I said. "When we leave the house we head north or east to the city."

Thankfully we arrived at home before the numbness wore off. I thanked him for the little joy ride.

"All good," he said. "What else can I do for you?"

I used one of my Dad's favorite all-time lines:

"Do me a favor...don't do me any favors."

But it was fun.

I spent the rest of the day singing him the song to Barney's Greatest Hit.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ten Days of Rain

We sort of got tricked there, didn't we?

The sun shining and the high temps had us all dreaming of a summer that stretched from May thru November.

We gotta' find something to bitch about, right?

Speaking of which:

I read through the juror statements from the Dr. Death trial here in Buffalo. It still really bugs me. The jurors didn't hear the whole story. They didn't really understand why they were there, if you ask me, and I blame CSI and all the other shows on television. They became a part of the story.

They got tripped up in the details. The one's who are judging shouldn't be the lead story. Plain and simple. The action should dictate the result. Man hits girl. Girl dies. Man is responsible and that equals man being held responsible.

It's easy to get lost in the trees, I guess. No one is really responsible is hard for me to understand.

If OJ could be set free when there was a gallon of her blood in his truck anything can happen.

And speaking of judges taking over...An ump clearly missed a call in the no-hitter tossed by New York Mess pitcher Johan Santana...I don't have a major problem with that, but the umps are out of hand. Besides, raising chalk means fair ball...a little league ump can tell you that.

The problem being I know the names of a dozen umps. The other night one of the umpires threw out a coach in the 27-time World Champion Yankees dugout because the coach looked at him funny.

Not kidding.

Everyone wants to be famous. Even the judges.

One more on judges.

Isn't Howard great on AGT?

I've actually sat through the show to watch him do his thing. I won't be a regular watcher, though, because most of the acts are irritating and the whole million dollar prize crap drives me nuts. Name one past winner. I dare you.

Yet we all judge things every single day, don't we?

This is right, that is wrong, she should have said this, he should have said that. We judge character, talent, and bad behavior. We judge right from wrong, good from bad and smart from stupid.

"The ump called one that bounced a strike," Sam told me by way of explaining a strike out the other day.

"You didn't argue, did you?" I asked.

Now anyone remembering me as a kid might laugh at that...I argued whether or not it looked like rain when I played...

"No, but it sucked," Sam said.

"That's how it'll go most of the time," I told him.

It'll rain when you want the sun to shine.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Sirloin Tip Roast

I took a big hunk of meat out of the freezer for our Saturday dinner. As I marinated the perfectly cut sirloin tip roast I thought of the "new white meat," as Pops called it:

Human flesh.

Yep! Human flesh!

It's all the rage.

There was a guy on a bus in Winnipeg. Then we had the man in New York, the dude in Florida, and the man who fried up his roommate in Maryland.

He stuck with the organs though - brain and heart.

He better watch that, it might present itself in the form of gout, and gout is painful.

Are you freaking kidding me?

People eating other people?

"Did you hear about the zombies?" Jake asked me.

My poor boy looked a little nervous as he relayed the story of the Miami crime.

"Could there really be zombies?"

Sometimes your children ask you to make sense of things for them. It's hard to do when things are totally nonsensical. I took the opportunity to bring up the bath salts problem that seems to be one of the problems in the functioning of society.

"They get high on bath salts?" Jake asked. "And then eat other humans?"

"Sounds like a helluva' weekend," I said.

And I'm a good eater, but I really don't experiment much. I have never tried Buffalo, or horse, or dog, or snake, or turtle, or even frog legs. I'm not a big fan of sushi although my sisters swear by it. I don't even do venison very well. No squirrel, no fox, and no alligator.

Dad cooked a rabbit one time and that went down all right but I chased it with a half-pound of ziti so who knows how good it was. Mom was a little pissed, wondering why the chicken was so small. Dad told her after she ate a little.

My point being...I highly doubt that I will be trying human flesh in this lifetime. And to be fair, it kind of galls most of us, right?

Often times I'm asked if it's tough to come up with something to write about every day as I do this blog.

It's fairly easy, actually, given the miserable way that human beings seem to behave. There are few limits on disgust, bad behavior and mental illness.

The roast was slow-cooked to perfection. It was quite good, actually.

I'll stick with cow.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

50 Shades of Clifford

I work with a guy who's read all of my books. I've known him for 15 years or so and he always says the same thing whenever he buys one of the new books:

"Are there any sex scenes in here?"

"No," I answer. "I try to write clean because my mother reads every word."

"Tell her to stop reading them," he'll say. "I need some porn."

Now why he wants me to write sex scenes is a little disturbing, but I take it he is just being funny. I hope so because I can't write them.

First off, I'm a good Catholic boy...a long-time altar boy (leave it alone...the priests were always kind), and I'm not comfortable describing such a scene anyway.

Besides, I can't get too graphic...the scenes would be way too quick and filled with laughter.

But I may be missing out here because the book 50 Shades of Grey has sold a billion freaking copies and from what I know about it, and what I've heard read, it's an endless stream of scenes that would thrill my long-time reader.

And maybe we are really uptight about things here in America. They say that other countries are less formal when it comes to talk about sex, walking around nude and other sorts of behavior that would make all the nuns blush.

Of course, in my books I've sort of just wrote around the subject setting up the scene and then transitioning out by saying, 'afterwards.'

Which in many cases is four minutes later.

And I don't know...

Ah hell, I just don't know.

I'm thinking though that some of what is written is embellished.

Do people really break that particular set of acts down into something that has to be described as:

"She reached for my manhood."

I would most likely write that sentence differently.

And to read it?

Maybe some day I will. If that's the main selling point I will most likely skip those sentences in chunks. Unlike my buddy, I don't think it should be the entire story.

If you enjoy that prose though, good for you...you're most likely less uptight. I'm actually thrilled that people are still talking about books.

But 50 Shades of Clifford?

Trust me.

Now one would be standing on line to get such a tome.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Happy June the 2

For Uncle Jim:

Miss you every day.


June the 2, Pork Chops, Billy Joel & Greatness

When I lost my brother my Dad and my Uncle Jim made sure that they stepped in to make up for some of the loss by calling me and telling me they were thinking about me.

When Dad passed, Uncle Jim, his own heartbroken worked even harder to touch base. We talked Yankees, food, the Ria sisters (Gonna and Dia), and how much we missed our brothers.

Uncle Jim got pretty sick, really fast. We lost him this morning. He will most likely get to heaven before the pasta is served. If life is fair, there will be pork chops in the sauce today.

My Uncle loved pork chops. I'm talking, he dreamed of them sometimes. He'd call me late in the afternoon and ask me what I was having for dinner. We shared dinner quite a few times...not enough though.

He loved his family even more. Uncle Jim would call me the day before my birthday. Every year. He said he wanted to be the first one to wish me a great day. Then he would call me the next day and ask me if he'd been first.

He was so dedicated to his wife, daughters, and grandchildren that like my Dad, every other pursuit of the fleeting things in life was dismissed. As long as he fostered that love, he was happy. And he was always happy. His personality traits should be studied and taught to others in this world.

For years I told Uncle Jim that he resembled Billy Joel, and he did a little. He loved when I told him that because he would insist that he got his Christie Brinkley.

And he did. He loved my aunt so much. He loved his daughters and grandchildren even more. He loved his mom and dad and his brothers and sisters. Since I was a small boy, I'd tell my Dad that Uncle Jim was one of the best guys I ever met.

My Dad agreed.

Everybody did.

So, here we are again. June the 2 will never be the same because Uncle Jim was the one, who like George Costanza's father, made it into his own holiday. This past year my "Merry June the 2" call came at 6:30 a.m.

I smiled when I saw Uncle Jim's name on the face of my phone.

As a matter of fact, he always made me smile.

And there's a great temptation to feel sorry for my family here. Yeah, we've taken an absolute beating in the last 3 years, losing parents, uncles, nephews, brothers, aunts and moms and dads.

I dread all of the pain, but I do know...for certain now...that we will sustain. I've said it so many times: love kicks deaths ass if we look at it the right way, and there is no separation, if we don't allow our hearts to feel it.

And we will sustain because of the love they showed us, taught us, and demanded of us.

I'll miss you more than you know, Uncle Billy Joel, but then again, you're right here, always, in the muscle beating underneath my shirt.

Feeling thankful that I basked in greatness.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Please Explain

Alix Rice was just 18. Her major crime was to go out and skateboard on a street where a drunken driver decided to stop paying attention and sent her airborne to her death.

When she hit the sidewalk all of her dreams were gone. Alix was a trumpet player, a daughter, a friend, a niece, a sister, a granddaughter, a cousin and just a kid. She had every right to look forward to a lot more days. Alix loved Lady Gaga. She probably loved a lot of other things too...we didn't hear a lot about her because the person she met on that dark road dominated the news...

...and it was all about him.

An accomplished man. A husband, a doctor, a golfer, a drinker, a texter, a bad driver in those conditions, and finally a liar, an evader and a P.O.S. as the kids might call him.

Because when he sent Alix flying through the air, he immediately thought of himself. He's never stopped thinking of himself, actually. Dr. Death as he will be called throughout immediately began to do what he needed to do to save his skin.

He ran. He denied. He called a lawyer. He lied. He refused a breathalyzer. He was still drunk a long time after he finally was brought in, so he lied some more. He covered it up. He lied. He denied and he spoke through his lawyers.

And then it really got ugly because Dr. Death didn't claim responsibility. He contested the charges.

Yesterday he won acquittal. He won't go to jail. He will still pass go and collect all of his freaking money.

Alix won't skateboard anymore.

Let me tell you, there's no consolation in the outpouring of a pissed off community. Justice can't be served. No matter how many people reach out to say 'I'm sorry,' the void can not be filled. They say there's a price to pay, but sometimes the price is way too low.

I was nauseated with the verdict. I'm not alone. Everywhere I turned on Thursday guys were talking about it.

"I can't believe he can live with himself knowing that he's not a man," one bricklayer said.

Some people have awful low standards on what it takes to man up. Dr. Death may have set a new low.

And where did it go wrong?

Innocent until proven guilty is a right we all deserve. Men fought for that right. Greater men than Dr. Death, for sure. Brave men. Not chicken shit P.O.S.

You know what shames me?

The lawyers who fight to save a guilty man. I know it's their job to uphold the law, but to get evidence tossed?

Less than a man.

And the people who testified on behalf of Dr. Death.

His neighbors who claimed that he didn't smell like booze, didn't act like he had been drinking, couldn't come up with one single bad word, in fact.

Sorry excuses for men and women.

And his wife who pretended that she was clueless.

Because she might be clueless.

I'll tell my beautiful wife right now...don't lie for me...if you love me, make me stand up and be a man if I'm showing signs of wavering.

And then Dr. Death himself.

He cried as he lied saying he was sad she died. He didn't know he hit anything much less a girl with dreams and visions.

Then why'd he call a lawyer?

Why'd he hide his car?

Why'd he erase his text messages?

Why'd he refuse the sobriety tests?

Why did he admit he ruined himself?

Why?

Why?

Why?

Pisses me right the f%&k off is what it does.

Makes me feel like we all need to stand up and drive the scum out of our community.

12 of your peers found you not guilty.

The rest of us think you deserve to be punished.

(Trumpet play to fade)







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