Sunday, June 30, 2013

All the News Fit to Print


It's been awhile since we touched base.

1). Got a text from a friend of mine when the Marriage Act was altered with the Supreme Court vote.
I mentioned that it would not change how I viewed my sexual appetites and that I wasn't arrogant enough to believe that I should be commenting on who another person appears to love. That is a helluva' hot button item though, isn't it?

I don't much get it. Discrimination against humans based on how you feel is a tad arrogant, right?

2). The Aaron Hernandez thing really does blow my mind. Now they are thinking he may have known something or had something to do with a double murder from the year before?? This isn't much about football. It's pure, simple evil and if any or all of it is true he's certainly a messed up kid. I hope and pray that he doesn't wiggle free if he is indeed responsible. Because I know people will cheer him again if he does step back on the field. See Ray Lewis - they're building a statue of that POS.

3). This weather sucks, huh?

4). I'm a bit frosted at the 27-Time World Champion Greatest Franchise in the History of Organized Sports. They are so short-handed and while they may be getting guys back soon it is aggravating to watch them just now. I can imagine what Uncle George would be doing if he were still here and damn...they're the Yankees...not the pitiful O's...not the hapless Phils....not the Miserable Mets.

The Yankees!

Let's go!!

5). Basketball was a huge item around the house this year - they have done a good job of selling the NBA to my kids, that's for sure, and since I don't have a say around here I got to watch it all, and it was a bit like wrestling. Good guys, bad guys, smart guys and sorry to say...dumb guys.

We even watched the draft the other night.

My two favorites:

One guy got up there and gave a shout-out to 'my brother, who's locked-up just now.'

I laughed really hard when Jake did the imitation of the voice and said:

"Just wanna' say Hi to my bro' who is currently in a cage somewhere."

The second one was the guy who took the microphone after being asked the question:

"What kind of guy are you?"

"I'm humble," he said. "I'm a great rebounder and a great scorer."

He's lucky I wasn't on the other end of the mic...'cause I would've laughed at him.

6). The kids went to basketball camp. Good times were had by all. I can't say as I rested much when they were gone, and my beautiful wife didn't miss them at all - 'cause she was with them anyway. She went from work to their games and then talked about how they might be doing the rest of the time.

Motherly love.

It's incredible.

Have a great week, folks.

I'm sure that there will be plenty of bad behavior to count on as the days go by.

What the hell else is there to do as we sit around and watch it rain?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Are We Too Sensitive?

You can't stay clear of the Paula Deen story, can you?

Supposedly she uttered the magic n-word once in her life, and she admitted it during a deposition.

She was fired.

She has been skewered in the media. I've listened to her cry and apologize and absolutely butcher the old Popeye theme.

"I is what I is," she said.

Bad grammar aside I'm not quite sure if what she did was all that offensive.

Once in her life she uttered something racist?

I'm not sure how many people could lay claim to the fact that they have never said something that might be considered ridiculous when we think of it in rational terms.

Have you ever been so angry or so upset that you've said something that you didn't mean?

Of course you have.

Have you ever called someone something so offensive that you wonder about your own sanity when it was repeated to you?

I swear to God one of the funniest shows I've ever seen was a half-hour show by the comedian Louis C.K. It was the old HBO Show Louie.

In the show he is in a pretty good argument with his wife and he utters the one killer word.

It starts with C.

The wife is horrified and the rest of the episode she gives him the absolute silent treatment as he tries to explain it all away. He buys flowers, makes dinner and apologizes profusely.

She still will not give in. She has been hurt deeply.

The last scene shows him sitting at the kitchen table talking to the closed bedroom door.

He starts by apologizing again.

Then he works himself into a frenzy telling her about all of the names she has called him through the years.

When the door still doesn't open he gets mad once more.

He yells out to her.

"You are a &*%T!"

The moral of the story being that we all say things that we regret. We wish we can take it all back because it doesn't reflect what is truly in our heart.

But in this day and age we are a tad over-sensitive.

I've never seen Paula's cooking show.

I don't know if she truly is a racist.

I just think someone should cut her a bit of a break.

She is what she is.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Right Move

The New England Patriots cut Aaron Hernandez on Wednesday.

They didn't wait for the murder charges to be levied. They didn't stand by him at the press conference and tell the world that he's innocent until proven guilty. They didn't make mention of how they would reserve judgement until all the information was in.

They dumped his sorry ass.

And I suppose that I'm supposed to be politically correct, and here in Buffalo I'm supposed to hate the Patriots, but I really don't.

I like that they treat their millionaire stars like they do.

How can you preach team concept when someone on the team is upsetting the balance?

A bunch of years ago they had a player, Lawyer Milloy who held out in an effort to renegotiate his contract. Milloy was a Pro-Bowl player.

He believed he deserved a raise over the pay that he had originally agreed to receive.

So he marched in the office and made his demands.

They cut him.

I loved the story.

Right up until the Bills signed him.

Everyone in Buffalo laughed when the Bills pounded the Patriots in the season opener. I think it was like 34-0.

The people around the league killed the Patriots for the move.

But they developed the team over the course of the season.

The last game of the year they played the Bills, and beat them. I think that score was 34-0.

Then they won the Super Bowl.

I was thrilled when they just cut Hernandez loose.

Later in the afternoon I was watching Hernandez as he stood before the judge and listened to the charges. He had a smug look on his face.

And I was dumb-founded by it all.

The guy had it all.

Good player. Big money. Big house. Bright future.

And he took out a gun and allegedly murdered another man?????

How do you get in such a situation?

Then to top it off all the news people talked about how he was a ticking time bomb out of college. People were surprised that the Patriots gave him a chance.

They won't be giving him his second chance.

And as the court proceedings ended I got a little sick to my stomach.

There's a team out there right now wondering if they can fit him in if he somehow gets off.

Please God, don't let it be Buffalo.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

If You Can Make it There - New York Book Festival - IV

The kidnapped, handicapped, claiming that he caught the clap.

I'm not quite sure that Bruce line was rattling around my brain as I walked the streets of New York but it was.

There was every sort of person on the streets.

The street fair stretched from 32nd street all the way to 42nd street.

Just person after person after person.

White, black, Asian, Indian, Iranian, Hispanic.

Tall people, short people, skinny people, fat people.

Ugly people, beautiful people.

We were all hot. We were all tired. We all just kept moving.

The smells were wide and varied too.

The aroma of food from the carts.

The odor of urine, and puke, and whatever else you can imagine.

People on bikes. People skating. Horses.

Sirens. And the car horns.

Just blaring.

And there was the not-famous guy from North Collins in the middle of it all.

Just thinking of love and people and loss and love and the madness that can get you, and love, and loss.

And Food!

We all can cook.

I'm not sure how it all came together, but Corinne had broken it down for me a week before as she had watched me make the sauce and start the meatballs.

"Isn't it funny that we all had our solitary moments when Dad taught us?"

It was true.

There were six of us.

But he'd taken each one aside.

He'd made them feel special as he taught them.


I wanted that meal.

I was chasing greatness in sauce.

New York was the place to be.

We all have spent every minute chasing perfection.

The chase has made us who we are.

And we've all made it happen from time-to-time.

The food I had was good.

Make no mistake.

The veal was tremendous.

The lobster-based appetizer was expertly prepared.

But you wanna' know a secret?

Dad's was better.

Jeff's was better.

Jim's and John's and Corinne's and Carrie's and mine.

They're all better.

The missing ingredient from the meal served above?


You know what it is.

The awards are in.

Ten awards from ten festivals.

Roaring approval of Jeff's days.

Tremendous support for the love we've brought.

We went to New York.

We were funny.

We showed 'em the Fuzzy's.

I hope they find the love on their own.

All of 'em.

All of you.

Get busy living.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Grand Ballroom - New York City Book Festival - Part III

June 22, 2013 - 02:30 p.m.

"I'm not quite sure you know how funny you are," the filmmaker standing in the ballroom said to me as I exited the stage after being a part of the panel discussion about writing on your life.

"I was the quiet one in the Fazzolari family," I said.

The man howled.

"I'm serious," I said. "I told a few Jeff stories up there, but if I told you stories about Corinne, John, Jim, or Carrie you'd be pissing yourself too. And forget about my Mom and Dad!"

The man wanted my contact information.

"The Fuzzy's!" He howled. "There should be a movie!"

"There should be," I said.

But truth be known, I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

The photo above shows a good friend, Dr. Neal Hall, the Philadelphia-based doctor who'd also won a number of awards. The good Doc is brilliant, funny, and more brilliant.

He also thinks I'm funny.

And I had two goals as a member of the panel.

I was going to hear laughter every time I finished speaking and the gathering was going to say "Happy Birthday" to Jeff.

Both things happened.

Yet as I sat up there on the stage and answered questions about writing something else happened to:

I became distracted.

The driver's question was rattling around in my mind.

Are you famous?

And while I sipped from the water glass and listened to one of the panel members drone on about 'his process' it occurred to me:

I really don't care much for any of this.

Yet there had been that moment.

I told the story of Jeff calling in when I'd been on television to tell me about being able to see my nipples.

The laughter was strong.

"And today is his birthday!"

There was a groan.

I waved the groan away.

"Let's say 'Happy Birthday,'" I said.

And they did.

All of 'em.

The editors, the publishers, the event coordinators, the authors, the aspiring authors, the people gathered to look at the authors.

Happy Birthday.

One of the audience members asked me if I was ever frustrated when I saw the best-selling, rich authors.

"I write only to touch people's hearts. If I do that for one person it was worth all the hours."

15 minutes after I left that stage I was in the bathroom changing out of the clothes and back into the clothes that I could get shitted-up.

I had one more thing to do in NYC.

Get a big Italian meal.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Two Brothers - New York City Book Festival - Part II

Saturday Morning - June 22, 2103 - 9:23 a.m.

You're a long ways from North Collins.

My publisher had once said that to me as I signed books in New York with Henry Winkler on my right and Gene Hackman on my left.

"No I'm not," I had said. "I never will be."

She'd thought I was crazy.

I thought of that as I battled the mass of people in the terminal at JFK. I thought of yelling out Fluffy's question again:

Don't you people have homes to go to?

Instead I just kept walking towards ground transportation. I texted Kathy my usual 'plane landed' type of text:

No insurance money. We're on the ground.

Once more I thought of it all. The bigger picture. We'd all go one day. Every single person in this terminal.


Don't be whiny.

Get busy living.

I headed towards the front door and a man came rushing towards me.

"Where you going?" he asked in broken English.

He wasn't wearing a uniform.

Was I about to be scammed?

I showed him the address to the event.

"Fifty bucks. Nice car," he said.

I could almost hear my wife's voice in my ear telling me how stupid I am, but the guy sounded a lot like Mariano Rivera. He even looked like Mariano a little around the eyes.

I answered him to accept the ride and I wondered why I spoke like a foreigner whenever I spoke to someone who had English as a second language.

The car was comfortable. The ride was crazy. Mariano darted in and out of traffic. The horns were blaring. Sirens blasted. Mariano made small talk about the Yankees and the weather and he kept picking up his phone to answer what I assumed were texts.

I just looked out the window. The money to pay for the ride that might kill me already in my hand.

We came to a dead stop for a moment near 53rd street and Mariano muttered under his breath.

Why we stop? He yelled out.

The culprit was up ahead on the left hand side of the road.

I almost fell to the floor of the car when I saw it.

It was a broken down Heineken Light truck.

Our favorite beer.

I scrambled for the camera but suddenly we were free and past it.


Maybe there would be signs.

Mariano dropped me right at the door of the hotel where the event would be taking place.

"Book Festival," he said. "You buy books?"

"I write 'em," I said.

Mariano was impressed.

"You famous?" he asked.

I paid him and gave him a nice tip. He was a good hard-working man.

"To some people," I said. "We all are. Don't text and drive."

He laughed.

I looked up at the sign for the event.

I thought of my brothers and sisters. I thought of my beautiful wife and children and Jeff's children. I thought of my friend Kim, and my buddies far across the world.

"You going in?" the doorman asked.

"We all are," I said, but then I turned and walked away.

He didn't give me a second glance.

I'm sure he was used to crazy people.

I walked a half a block away when I saw the man in the 23 shirt.

The plane left at 8:23. It landed at 9:23. I sat in row 23. The beer truck slowed me up, and now this guy.

I snapped the photo.

I added it to Facebook with the note:

This is getting creepy.

A moment later there was a response from one of Jeff's great friends, Andrea.

2 Bros.?

Check the restaurant in the background.

2 Bros. Pizza

I staggered to a chair in Greeley Square.

I felt tears burn my eyes.

I looked up.

Are you kidding me?

I glanced at my phone.

It was 10:23.

I nearly fell to the pavement.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Get Busy Living - New York Book Festival - Part 1

If you aren't getting busy living, you're getting busy dying.

I spent part of the week thinking about the Bob Dylan original thought and despite the fact that I wasn't sleeping in the same bed on consecutive nights I knew that I had to unpack from Syracuse and immediately put a bag together for New York City so I could stand in front of an audience and announce Jeff's birthday.

The book was being honored again. It's not my honor. It's our honor. All of ours. My siblings, my parents, my friends, my readers.

The least I can do is show up.

So we will begin this little ditty at 8 pm on Friday night:

June 21, 2013 - 8 p.m.

"I'm dressing casual," I said.

"No matter what you wear it's casual," my beautiful wife answered.

She was at the computer checking me in for the early morning flight. She was giving great consideration on how I'd get from JFK to the event near Times Square.

"Remember when you paid a guy $50 to hail you a cab?" she asked.

"I'm gonna' just get a car," I said.

I rifled through the closet and came up with what I thought was a good scheme. A pair of black pants and a bright yellow shirt.

Kathy was already shaking me off.

"You'll see your nipples in that," she said. "And besides by the time the thing starts you'll have that shirt all shitted-up with whatever meal you eat."


We settled on a pair of tan pants and a darker blue shirt. Both in good shape. She handed me my boarding pass as I set my alarm for way too early again. My cell phone buzzed a text.

"What're you doing Clippo?" my buddy Chris asked.

"Just got back from Syracuse. Getting ready to go to New York."

"Have fun with it," Chris said. "Don't be whiny. It's a good thing."

I laid my head on the pillow thinking about people I love telling me to not be whiny.

Warning me about getting things shitted-up.

Get busy living.

Happy Birthday.

It's a wonder I slept at all.

Saturday Morning - June 22 - 5:30 a.m.

The sun was shining bright through my window. I was up early. Before the alarm, which I haven't actually heard ring in about 10 years.

"Happy Birthday," I said.

The dog stirred awake beside me.

"If we're going bye-byes you better get your ass moving," I said.

I shuffled through the morning routine. I double-checked my bag and tried not to wrinkle the clothes I'd be wearing to the event. I was traveling in shorts and a Yankee shirt. I was tired.

Don't be whiny.

On the way to the airport I went straight to the E-Street Station. Only Bruce on Jeff's birthday. I half-expected American Land, but it was Streets of Philadelphia.

I wanted to keep my eyes open for signs, but perhaps there wouldn't be any. Maybe looking for God to drop little things in on me was wishful thinking.

I checked my ticket.

The plane was scheduled to leave at 8:23.

Okay, there was a coincidence. Jeff and I had forever fought over the number 23 because we both loved Mattingly.


Saturday Morning - June 22 - 7:30 a.m.

The line to get through security wound around like a long snake. There were an awful lot of people looking to head out. Most everyone was smiling their way through the process. I thought of what I always think of as I have to battle through it:

Friggin' Bin Laden.

Then I thought of something my old college roommate, Fluffy, always used to yell in crowds of people:

Don't you people have homes to go to?

I smiled to myself. There would be a lot of people along with me on this trip.

Saturday Morning - June 22 - 8:23 a.m.

The plane lifted off right on time. I was seated in row 23. The guy next to me had breath so bad that I thought about the paint peeling off the walls of the inside of the plane. He smiled. I put my headset on after giving him a head nod. They interrupted the television service to give me the safety features. They were talking about how to put my oxygen mask on. I could almost hear my wife whispering in my ear:

You better hope you don't have to figure out how to do that. You'll end up strangling yourself.

I thought about my own death for a fleeting second. If it happened here, it'd be okay, I supposed, but if we landed in the Hudson I'd be swimming hard to stay alive.

And to get away from the guy with the rancid breath.

As we headed in for the landing I looked at the water below. It was dark and still and we headed closer to it. The boats were still really just tiny little white specks. I counted out six of them. I thought about growing up in a house-filled with laughter a long ways away.

We're all along for the ride.

The plane landed at 9:23 a.m.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Just Snorting Condoms

I read an article the other day.

It seems that kids have a new hobby these days.

They snort condoms on video and then stick it on YouTube.


Are you freaking kidding me?

I clicked on the video so I could watch this brain-dead thing being done.

The kid in the video looked to be about 16. He smiled wide as he made a grand gesture of opening up the condom.

(I was slightly relieved that it was a fresh condom).

He plugged one side of his nose and just as the article stated, he snorted the condom in his other nostril and as you might have guessed it didn't go real well.

He snorted, coughed, and did his best to get the condom out of his nose and through his mouth.

What the F%&K would make you do such a thing?

The kids aren't getting famous pulling off this little feat because they are all doing it evidently.

I wondered about my own kids and whether or not they'd be stupid enough to try such a trick.

"What do you know about snorting condoms?" I asked Jake.

"Crazy, isn't it?" he asked.

So it has reached the world-wide audience.

"You would never do something like that, right?" I asked.

"What am I an idiot?" he asked.


Snorting condoms up their freaking noses.

What a world we live in.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

I Really Miss Them

The other night I dreamed of my Dad.

I heard his voice. I saw his face. He was right there.

The dream is actually sort of comical too because he was pissed at somebody and he got in the car and squealed the tires as he yelled:

"I'll fix that son-of-a-bitch!"

I told you it was lifelike.

And still in the dream, moments later, he came driving back, followed by a cop who had the sirens blaring.

I woke up then.

Scared that something bad was gonna' happen to Dad.

I got out of bed and headed for the bathroom (a nightly ritual).

I tapped the photo of my Dad that is above the light switch in my bedroom. It's a photo that a good friend gave me that says:

Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a Dad.

It was 2:30 in the morning.

"Damn, I miss him," echoed in my mind.

And three hours later I was up and out to start my day.

I headed to let the dogs out and stopped by the photo of Jeff that is hanging in the basement. As I do every morning I made the sign of the cross on his forehead and said what I say every day:

It sucks without you.

And I headed for the door.

Later in the morning I bought a coffee and got a wheat penny in my change.

I always use that as a sign.

"Damn, I miss him."

That's it.

That's all.

Friday, June 21, 2013

New York! New York!

I'm heading to New York on Saturday.

It's June 22nd.

Should've been Jeff's birthday.

So I'm heading to New York and I'll appear on a panel as an honoree to talk about Oh Brother! The Life & Times of Jeff Fazzolari.

And I'm going to make it funny.

I'm not quite sure why this trip is so important to me. I've been to other cities to talk about the books. Jeff's book has made itself quite a name at ten out of ten festivals.

But there's something about New York.

My plan is to head in and make the appearance and then find a place to have a big Italian meal and perhaps a couple of shots of grappa.

And then I'm going to get on the plane and come right home.

It's Jeff's birthday.

I'm gonna' spend it talking to total strangers about him.

I can almost hear his voice whispering in my ear.

"You better make those bastards laugh."

I will.

I promise.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Do You Understand What I'm Saying to You?

There wasn't a better television show than The Sopranos.

I've never been so invested in the lives of a group of people. I most likely never will be again.

And it all started and ended with the actor who played Tony Soprano.

James Gandolfini was made to play that role. He had the mannerisms down, the attitude, the voice.

Damn, it was a voice that I heard all of my life.

My grandpa had that voice. My uncles had that voice. My Dad had that voice for sure.

The title of this blog is something that Tony Soprano said on the show and was isolated and is replayed on the Howard Stern Show almost every morning.

Do you understand what I'm saying to you?

Close your eyes and listen to Gandolfini say it.


And 51 years old?

There won't be a Soprano's movie.

His wife is a widow.

His kids are missing their Dad.

None of us are going to make it out alive.

The money you make doesn't matter.

How great the show was doesn't matter.

How much your work was admired doesn't matter.

You know, it's funny, but I was so invested in the show that at the end of it I really, really didn't want to see the final scene.

I didn't want Tony Soprano to die.

I wanted it to fade to black so that they could live forever.

No one goes forever.

Not even Tony Soprano.


RIP to one of the actors in my top 2 with Jack Klugman.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ping-Pong On My Ass

It's weird when you think back on it.

This has been a nice week in Fazzolari land as Jeff's kids came up for a surprise visit. They are beautiful, happy children with the Fuzzy look and spirit and wide smiles.

The grace that they bring just blows through our lives and brings back a world full of wonderful memories. Rocco is always smiling. He reminds me so much of when Jeff was a child that I can't help but think that he has wonderful days of pure craziness ahead.

And they all look at us so lovingly. I know that my siblings feel it. Just so alive.

So wonderfully alive.

And I took to asking them about their school.

When someone mentioned the first grade I told the story of being beat with a ping-pong paddle by the nuns.

Isn't that awful?

That's what I remembered.

And beautiful Farrah is heading to the fourth grade.

"I was caught by a ring in the 4th grade," I said. "I was talking to Joe Mathis and his eyes got real big. I turned around just in time to catch an open-handed slap right under my left eye."

My sister was laughing because she remembered the story. My mother went ape-shit on that poor teacher.

Farrah was certain that I was just kidding. A teacher would never hit a student with a ping-pong paddle or open up a wound with a roundhouse slap.

I'm sort of glad we got away from such things.

Yet it begs the question.

What the hell were they thinking back then?

I can't imagine what might happen if one of my kids came home and said that they had to stand up in front of the class and get paddled.

Or that they had to take a bar of Dove soap in the mouth for saying a bad word.

Yeah...that happened to me...

"How'd it taste?" my mother had asked.

"Soapy," I said.

And I hadn't wanted to tell my mother!

She had heard it through the grapevine.

I'm not sure she was enamored with the nun who administered the punishment, but she didn't say much to me other than:

"Don't swear."

Well, f&*K that Sh&#. It ain't f&*@ing right. What did that little penguin a%%hole think she was doing by sticking soap in my mouth. What a little cross-eyed bi%ch that @^*kface was."


I learned good.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I Wondered What That Smell Was

A week or so ago someone posted a photo of their new baby.

"Isn't she the cutest baby ever?"

I've never really enjoyed looking at shots of babies. Especially newborns. It's like looking at the potato chips in the bag. They look the same.

And a strange thing happens to me when I see babies.

My skin crawls a little bit.

You see, I'm not the handiest of fellows.

I can't screw in a light bulb without feeling ultimately surprised when I try the light afterwards and it actually works. Back in high school I scored dead last in mechanical aptitude. Even behind every single girl in our class.

It probably wasn't real close.

So when the kids arrived way back when I was nervous to hold them.

I could only consider that I'd drop 'em.

"You wanna' hold the baby?" Kathy would ask.


And you know what was worse?

Caring for them.

I often think of the very first time that I was being thoughtful as a Dad. Jake was a toddler? or infant? (when do they go from infant to toddler?) and Kathy had spent most of the night up with him.

I was on the morning shift.

He was crying in the crib.

I stumbled out of bed and got him up, making sure I closed the door so that she would not hear the screaming.

I got the bottle and heated it up easily enough. I grabbed a diaper and headed for the living room, holding him tight...still thinking about not dropping him.

He had a chair that he liked to bounce in. I would get him to that chair soon enough, but he stunk to high heaven.

He took the bottle and let me have at the changing.

Now, mind you, Kathy could change him in ten seconds flat.

I looked like that cartoon giant who had been delivered the wrong baby by the drunk stork.

(You remember that one, right?).


It took me quite awhile.

Yet, shaking, I tied up the diaper and settled him into the chair. Only then did I grab my mug of coffee. I settled close and let out a huge sigh.

He reached up and knocked the cup clean out of my hands.

He most definitely got hit with some of the lukewarm coffee because he screamed.

Kathy came running.

I thought I had killed him.

Thankfully, the coffee didn't do a single thing to him. Not a mark.

But Kathy held him up for inspection as I sat trembling in the chair.

"The diaper is on backwards," she said.

"The tape is stuck to his leg."

"You're a freaking moron."

I raised my palms as if to say, 'I gave it my best.'

"And you have shit on the back of your hand."

So the next time you show me a photo of a baby you'll excuse me for not being so over-joyed.

Monday, June 17, 2013

There's That Damn Tree

Recently I finished reading East of Eden by Steinbeck again.

It's good to read it every five or ten years to gain a new perspective.

Of course, the two words that hammer it home time and again are still there:

Thou Mayest.

It's the Steinbeck equivalent of 'It's no sin to be glad you're alive.'

Thou Mayest live a wonderful life.

Thou Mayest find love.

Thou Mayest share that love without regard to selfishness.

Yet what also is continually hammered home is the idea that there is a delicate balance between good and evil.

We all know this one.

We all carry the seeds of our own destruction.

The things that tear us down are the same things that make us feel so alive.

Think drinking, or sex-addiction, or drugs, or gambling, or being reckless, or being petty or mean.

We all know the great sins.

We all work to avoid them.

But the original sin was that the seeds of destruction could not be ignored all those years ago in the Garden of Eden as the story goes.

And that story is still true.

Have you ever screwed something up so badly and then thought:

"And everything was going so great!"

"Why did I do that?"

We all have.

And while reading the book I was wondering why.

Do you think Adam and Eve were strolling around the Garden thinking:

"Wow isn't this beautiful? How can we mess this up?"

I mean, how many times can you walk past the forbidden fruit before you think:

"I'm a little bored here. I'm gonna' try a piece."

And therein lies the trick of living right, I guess.

Rising above those dark moments inside our own hearts and minds.

Avoiding the self-destruction.

Thou Mayest...

...Live the life you wanna live.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Being A Dad - It's Pure Love

You know I have always said that the Rod Stewart song, Forever Young, is the most beautiful song written for a Dad to his children.


Rod Stewart has a new song.

On his new record.

This is Pure Love.

As I was thinking about my kids and what it means to be a Dad I heard this again. My heart swelled.

He's got it right again.

Pure Love - Rod Stewart

If an old friend lets you down
And a true love can't be found
Till the blue skies come around
I'll be right by your side

Journey far and travel safe
Make this world a better place
And keep that smile upon your face
I'll be right by your side

There may be oceans in between us now
But I think about you every minute now
No don't forget me now that we're apart
Just open up that great big loving heart

And you'll always be
You'll always be
You'll always be a part

... of me...

Take your time to embrace romance
Teach your children how to sing and dance
Love may hurt but it's worth the chance
I'll be right by your side

Try to be the best you can
Shore comes crashing to every man
But always take the higher ground
I'll be right by your side

I hear your laughter echo all through this house
I miss all of this there is no doubt
I wasn't perfect this I would admit
I was always tryin to make the pieces fit

And you'll always be
You'll always be
You'll always be a part

... of me...

Don't ask me where all the time has gone
I've loved you since the minute you were born
So many times we have laughed and cried
I see you now it fills my heart with pride

You'll always be
You'll always be
You'll always be a part

... of me...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Where's the Blog????

I guess that people are gonna' know when I leave this great planet.

There won't be a blog posted.

Well, that won't be today.

I'm here!

So many others comfortable with the schedule I've set, and I'm grateful for reading along!

But I have been falling a bit behind lately.

It's funny, but this morning I took the dogs for their ride and I stopped by the coffeemaker for my coffee and took 3 steps, and the dogs bounded up the stairs to settle down in my office.

"It's pretty bad when they know the schedule in my mind," I said.

"Yeah, you're not that hard to figure out," my beautiful wife answered.

So here we are.

Do you know that I spent a full day with my shirt inside out?


Saw it at the end of the day. After visiting about 20 or 30 people.

I wonder how many of them thought:

"Look at that dumb f&*k."

And life is certainly like that from time-to-time.

We have those busy moments of absolute aggravation when everyone else seems to be conspiring to make our days difficult.

On that same day a woman was driving very slowly in front of me.

35 in a 45.

45 in a 55.

There was no way around her.

The clock tick-tocking.

"I'm gonna' be late!" screaming in my mind. "What is wrong with you!!!"

She hesitated as the light turned green and I'd had enough. I hit the horn.

My frustrations turning into her moment of startled confusion.

She was just out for a casual drive.

I got by her at the next light.

She was an elderly woman.

She smiled and waved.

She wasn't familiar with the schedule in my mind.

And here we are some 48 hours later.

John Denver singing 'Sunshine On My Shoulders,' as I type this.

Everyone comfortable with the schedule I've set.

For now.

The blog made it!

A little late, but none too worse for the wear.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Meaning of Life

Scanning through Facebook I saw that someone - an old friend - had posted:

"Why does life offer so many challenges? What is the meaning of it all?"


That's a mouthful, huh?

First off, I felt bad for the guy. Obviously the newest challenge in all of it has him a bit down in the mouth.

Secondly, how the hell is that question answerable?

Isn't it the question that we ask Siri, would ask Ghandi, and might even ask Springsteen if we had the chance to meet him?

I often think about what Jeff told me just days before he was stolen from all of us:

"Why don't you enjoy your life instead of trying to understand it?"

When I was writing the book I was certainly intent on doing a lot more celebrating and a lot less thinking about things, but I'm not quite built that way.

Some of the questions about how people live helps me to celebrate life. I sort of like trying to figure out behavior.

I spend a lot of time reading the comment sections on a hot topic.

For instance:

The other night a young Hispanic kid sang the anthem before the Spurs took LeBron and the Heat to the woodshed and beat their asses in Game 3.

The kid did a nice job.

It was a feel-good deal, right?

Except the comments on Twitter were ridiculous:

"Why is the beaner singing our anthem?"

"Send the wet-back the hell out of here!"

"An illegal immigrant? Singing our anthem????"

I was horrified, of course.

And I thought back to the challenges and meaning of life question, and trying to understand human behavior and the hurt, pain and angst of it all.

Life is suffering.

But life is also wonderful.

We are what we make of it.

The meaning of life is to love and be loved.

We face the test every day.

We need to be strong to battle through.

When I get too down about it, like everyone else, I question things.

One thing I've tried hard to do is not spread hate.

Because that has nothing to do with any of the answers.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Happy Birthday Jake

Back a few years ago, Jake used to do a thing where he'd put his arm around you and say:

"This is the guy I was telling you about:"

And then he'd tell you a story.

Jake is my funniest kid.

It's not even close.

He has the Fuzzy knack of ripping you apart while you laugh with him.

Because he's not mean-spirited.

Of course that's not to say that he can't be a challenge.

He's strong-willed.

He's loyal.

He's my beautiful wife's number one nemesis.

And we love the hell out of him.

Every day.

And we are proud of his efforts.

Happy 16th birthday.

This is the guy I was telling you about:

He's a great guy.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I Spy

Remember when we all laughed at Maxwell Smart and his telephone shoe?

There has always been something interesting about being a spy, or spying on someone else.

That's what makes the NSA story so exciting to everyone, I guess.

Yet what gets me about it is how scandalous it appears on the surface. Just another example of Obama turning the constitution on its ear as he works to turn the United Sates of American into a Muslim country.



It doesn't matter that the policy of monitoring telephone and other activities was started B.O. (Before Obama).

Why let the facts get in the way?

Yet the interesting part to me is that people are actually worried about it.

Check all my crap.

The daily blog, the Facebook rants, the Twitter remarks.

I don't care. If it stops a terrorist attack we'll all cheer, right?

And I don't think they're gonna' monitor any of us too long.How long do you think they'd monitor my nonsensical ravings?

What kills me about it is that people actually think it's private anyway.

If you put a photo of your dog or your kid or your hamster on the Internet there's a chance it can be seen by people you had no intention of letting see it.

That's the gig.

Your text messages don't disappear once they are deleted from your phone.

They are actually saved for all the world to see.

I bring this all up because one of my construction clients had one of their employees post a photo to a social web page in which he was actually breaking a bunch of OSHA rules.

Can they government cite the contractor for such a photo?

Of course they can!

And that's why the whole scandal seems sort of senseless to me.

There's a camera on every corner. Your words are free to be evaluated. When you bring your cell phone with you for the ride in the get-a-way car you're gonna' get caught.

Real quick.

It's the downside of technology, I suppose.

And no, it wasn't addressed in the constitution because they couldn't get a message from one end of the country to the other in less than a month.

"What would our forefathers say?" some genius asked on Facebook the other day.

"They'd say 'Holy Shit' this is cool!" I answered.

Big brother is watching?

It didn't start last week, my friends.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Worry Much?

There are a lot of things to worry about on any given day, aren't there?

What are the sorts of things do you worry about on a routine basis?

The health or behavior of others?

You can't control that.

The outcome of the next big game?

Think of how many big games you've watched. Sometimes your team wins..if you're a Yankee fan...other times, most other times, in fact, your team loses, SEE Bills and Sabres.

You can't control that either.

So why worry about that stuff?

A lot of times worry is centered on what is going on at work.

Quick, tell me what big case you were working on last year at this time.

Things have a way of getting done.

Either way, it'll go away before long. I haven't worried about losing my job in a long time.

Show up and put forh the effort.

Nothing to worry about there.

Do you worry about your own death?

Well, that's gonna' happen some day, some way.

I was thinking a lot about those storm chasers who lost their lives going after the tornadoes in Oklahoma.

Guess they shoulda' worried a little more.

Yet I bring all of this up because I am surrounded by people who are worried a lot.

They worry about the kids and the parents to make it home safely.

They worry about the sick neighbor and the dog and the economy and the next president and the one before and the plane that is flying over their house and the Dow Jones.

And in the end, we can't do anything about anything.

Things are gonna' happen.

So it's almost time to bring back the old song.

Don't worry

Be Happy.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Breaking Back Into Shawshank

So went to a wedding of one of my oldest friends. He's a happy man. This is his 2nd marriage, and he is ready to roll into another new exciting part of life.

Good for him.

He can have it.

During the wedding vows, I whispered to my beautiful wife:

"Can you imagine actually going through marriage again? I'd rather hang myself from a low-hanging beam."

For an unknown reason my wife seemed to take my comment wrong.

"Oh come on," she said.

Yet it was way less about her but about the energy that is needed to put that much time and effort into something new.

And as per usual I had to get up in front of the gathering to do a reading about love and say a few words.

I guess what I said was funny, but I sort of didn't even mean to do it:

"Tom is one of my oldest friends. I've known him for about 40 years. And Brenna, well...good luck."

The gathering laughed. I'd really just meant to say 'good luck', but with marriage, it's always the groom that takes the initial beating, I suppose.

"He just pissed away 90 percent of his money," I whispered when Tom said, 'I do.'

And in this day and age the whole love thing is better served if marriage was set up like a business deal.

I'm not cynical.

It should just be set up that way. It truly is the biggest business deal that most people ever enter, and it certainly can get ugly.

"We're getting married in August," one of the couples seated at my table said.

I immediately went into my comedy sketch about how there was still time to be sensible.

"I've been married twice before," the guy said.

"And you're still willing to break back into Shawshank?" I asked.

"It feels right this time," they both said in unison and then they laughed about how cute it was that their minds were in synch.

"It beats being alone," the guy said.

"Really?" I asked. "We just celebrated our wedding anniversary...on the wrong freaking day!"

We told the story and they laughed.

On the way home we talked about it at length.

Married again?

"You ruined it for everyone," I told my wife. "Think of all the young, hot girls who now have to suffer."

"Yeah, they're really missing out."

Love and marriage. Love and marriage.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Mellencamp Does One

There's a moment when a man, hopefully, makes a decision to forge ahead, picking up the rock that his father had been carrying for years and years. I remember hearing this song for the first time. I was on a drive on Route 19 heading towards Ithaca. The words hit me hard.

Your Life is Now

Your Life is Now by John Mellencamp

See the moon roll across the stars
See the seasons turn like a heart
Your father's days are lost to you
This is your time here to do what you will do

Your life is now your life is now your life is now
In this undiscovered moment
Lift your head up above the crowd
We could shake this world
If you would only show us how
Your life is now

Would you teach your children to tell the truth
Would you take the high road if you could choose
Do you believe you're a victim of a great compromise
'Cause I believe you could change your mind and change our lives

In this undiscovered moment
Lift your head up above the crowd
We could shake this world
If you would only show us how
Your life is now

Would you teach your children to tell the truth
This is your time here to do what you will do

In this undiscovered moment
Lift your head up above the crowd
We could shake this world
If you would only show us how
Your life is now

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Just Awesome

I get to a lot of places for my job. One day I got to spend the afternoon in the Baseball Hall of Fame by myself as it was closed except for the construction work.

Friday was almost as cool.

I took a call late Thursday to meet one of my clients at the base of The Falls as they are doing some work at Goat Island.

I never found the crew.

Part of it was because I was suddenly amazed by what I was seeing. Of course I'd been to the Falls a number of times. It's only 20 miles or so from the house, but being that I've been absolutely consumed by work lately, the trip was different on Friday.

As I moved along the river towards the Falls I was struck by the surging water.

Go figure.

I'd forgotten how awesome it is.

There were tour groups all along the rail near the Horseshoe Falls and most of them were Asian. They were all laughing and talking and mugging for the camera.

The Maid of the Mist was cruising slowly and a few people hung out in the mist letting it sort of pelt them in their yellow rain coats.

I stopped a few times to snap photos.

I kept thinking:




And I thought about everything. The fatigue in my mind and body was displaced by the brute strength of the cascading waters.

I thought about how it was all explained by nature. There was a young teacher at the benches talking history. I heard her tell her class of 7th or 8th graders that the Army Corps shut down the Falls completely in the 1960's. I heard one of her students ask if the Falls was created by the slow-moving glaciers.

Is that true?

I knew the Great Lakes were formed that way, but I had other ideas.

I felt as if I were in the presence of a true wonder of the world. Of something that was created by God, like the nuns pointed out.

The true beauty of the world.

The majestic power of God's hand.

With everything seeming to crash down, on a busy mid-morning.

I felt the power.

Friday, June 7, 2013


I'm trying to figure out a way to broach the subject of Michael Douglas and his recent battle with throat cancer.

Have you heard how he thinks he got it?




Uh, nope.

An industrial accident of some sort?


In a recent interview he opened up about the true nature of the problem.

HPV from the hazardous place he put his mouth and tongue.

I immediately thought of his poor wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones.

How can anyone not wonder if she is diseased in some manner?

Is that really a cause of cancer?

What will this do to the future of man-woman relations?

Without digging too far into the subject what caught me by surprise by this announcement was that Douglas would come out and say such a thing in public.

Isn't he sort of a well-respected actor?

Why would he open himself up to such ridicule?

Why would he make his wife or the women in his life answer such questions?

I'm troubled.

There are, I guess, a lot of ways to get cancer in this day and age.

That honestly may be one of the better ways to get it, I suppose.

But I seriously hope that I don't hear about many more of these types of cases.

Perhaps for the sole reason that some stuff should just stay private, don't you think?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sense of Wonder

On Sunday we visited a different church as Mass was said for Uncle Jim. It's a very nice church with the seats sort of in the round so you get a true sense of community. The place is well-lit, the sound from the altar is good, and the choir was in fine form.

A young girl was seated a couple of rows ahead of us. The kid couldn't have been more than two.

"Can you imagine having a kid that age?" I whispered.

"She's so cute," Kathy said.

I've always rather enjoyed the community of it all.

My beautiful wife, on the other hand, is of less of a mind to look around in a sense of wonder. Her A.D.D. seems to kick in a bit.

"They changed the words," she whispered.

The old automatic responses didn't work to some of the prayers.

"Two years ago," I whispered back.

We traded glances with our aunts and cousins. Smiles and nods and near-tears all around.

As the Our Father started I sort of grimaced as they changed it to song form for the Mass, but as I watched the choir I spotted a man about ten years older than me. He was in the back of the choir and his eyes were raised to the ceiling of the church. He was singing as though his entire soul needed to be saved. Eyes closed. Vein in his neck pumping.

A true sense of wonder.

And then out of the corner of my eye I looked at the young girl. Her left hand was locked with her Mom's hand. Her right hand was raised high with an open palm. During the closing of the prayer she got up on her tip-toes. She was saying the words.

Her sense of wonder just beginning.

And I spent the rest of the Mass sort of bouncing around from face-to-face.

The 90-year old guy, eyes closed. Praying hard for something.

The 65-year old guy, smiling at the woman beside him.

The 50-year-old woman in the choir, also singing as if talent scouts were watching her.

The 70-year-old priest telling us that God is good, and to give to the lawn fete.

Mass was over except for the public announcements.

I was in a state of wonder - from 2 years old to 90 years old.

All gathering in the Name of God.

Still gathering.

Searching for...



"LET'S GO!" Kathy whispered after the priest threatened to bring up another guest speaker.

She was up and out the door.

I can't say that I didn't agree with her. It seemed that Mass had devolved into a public-service announcement at the end. The business side of it gets me down.

But the sense of wonder in the faces of those gathered.

Makes up for it.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Thriving On It

The last few weeks I've sort of been in an impossible situation at work. The department lost 50% of the work force and just before the reduction there were clients added and in the middle of it there was a cortisone shot that sent me wobbling.

You can check the books, but we didn't miss a single appointment over the course of three weeks. There were days when I returned home not knowing where or how I'd visited so many places.

Just one after another.

80 or 90 pages of reports going out the door.

A day.

"You're enjoying it," my beautiful wife said to me over the anniversary dinner on the day that wasn't really our anniversary. "It's an impossible situation and you're happier doing it then waiting for someone to help."

And there's a lot of truth in that.

When it's too tough, it's fun to give it a go.

And it's not like I don't want the help, it's just easier to do it myself than hear the 101 reasons why it can't be done.

There are a lot of people in the work setting who explain to you why something just is out of the realm of possibility. But the secret out there that no one wants to hear is that guys who work in the field of construction are often the very last guys to offer up an excuse.

I know of a crew that is working 70-80 hours a week. Saturday, Sunday, Memorial Day, right through lunch, right past quitting time.

The work is often extremely difficult.

Did you ever stand over solid rock with a chipping hammer taking off one tiny piece at a time?

Have you ever cleaned out old buildings, sifting through discarded, smelly items from years and years ago all the while wearing a Tyvek suit and a respirator? For the ten or eleven dollars an hour you're getting to do it?

There are a ton of guys doing it.

And they get their coffee and horrible sandwich off a truck that stops by to see if they need anything.

They drink water out of a bucket that is most likely filled with bacteria.

And they relieve themselves in a stink-filled box that they share with 25 other guys.

Day after day. Sweat. Blood. Stink. Tired. Sore. Missing their families.

And they do it without whining about how hard they're working.

It's what they do.

They don't count days off or meals missed. They aren't worried about their expense checks.

Work right through it.

It's what makes this country go.

No excuses.

And so that's why I type this with an ice pack on my hip.

It's why I'll shoot out of bed tomorrow before six and not give a thought to anything other than finishing things up by the time the Yankee game starts at 7 p.m.

Because they thrive on it.

When it seems pretty impossible.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

God Bless Jim Kelly

I give a lot of my friends and family a really hard time about being fans of the Bills and Sabres.

I do it because they really, really tie their emotions to it and I sort of like being on the other side of any issue. I'm sure that I've infuriated a whole bunch of people.

I thrive on that.

Yet I've always been a tremendous fan of all the sports. I watch the Bills and the Sabres still. I know of all of their moves. I get frustrated with their lack of direction because it shouldn't take 20 years to rebuild anything.

But where I get really misty about all of it is when I think of the Bills in the early 90's.

They went to, and lost 4 straight Super Bowls.

There certainly is some angst involved, but a lot of pride too, and one of the things that really fired me up back then was when someone picked on Jim Kelly.

He was great. Hall-of-Famer. He doesn't need me to defend his play.

Yet Kelly and Mattingly retired the same year. I remember thinking that my childhood was over because as an adult I wouldn't have such hero-worship anymore.

And that has been true.

Yesterday they announced that Jim has cancer.

Now it's a little strange because I've met Jim quite a few times through the years. He threw passes to my kids - who all dropped 'em - I'm friends with his wife, Jill, who is one of the best human beings I've ever met. Jill wrote a wonderful foreword to my book House of Miracles and she made me look a lot better when we hit the pages of the Buffalo News.

They have a wonderful family.

When Jeff was sick, Jill was there for me. When it didn't work out so well, Jill made sure I had a number of books that could help me through.

I sent Jill a note yesterday, and she responded in her usual faith-filled manner.

There will be a lot of people who said well-wishes to the Kelly family.

They've seen so much and been through some real tragedy.

Here's hoping that God Will Bless them through this battle.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Attracting Something

Well, it turns out that our wedding anniversary is a day later than either my beautiful, dopey wife, or I thought. We celebrated it with dinner on the 30th and then were alerted by my brilliant sister, Corinne, that it was, in fact, the 31st of May when we were married.


Well, the anniversary talk got me thinking about what a nightmare it would be if I were actually back out there dating. I remember once asking my brother, Jim, how I looked before we headed into a wedding mass.

"Are you thinking of attracting something?" he asked.

Be forewarned - this isn't my usual tasteful, heart-warming stuff, and they are not meant to demean. Just a few old, funny pick-up lines from way, way back. I'm sure the savage cavemen were mumbling them to the fair women all the way back then. Here are the best of the best in rude, sarcastic...even mean pickup lines.

I hope you find a favorite.

If I flip a coin, what are my chances of getting head?

Do you work at Subway? Because you just gave me a foot-long.

Hi, do you want to have my children? [No] OK, can we just practice then?

There will only be 7 planets left after I destroy Uranus.

That's a nice shirt. Can I talk you out of it?

You're like my little toe, because I'm going to bang you on every piece of furniture in my home.

Have you ever kissed a rabbit between the ears? [Pull your pockets inside out] Would you like to?

I lost my virginity. Can I have yours?

Do you work for UPS? I could have sworn I saw you checking out my package.

Someone vacuum my lap, I think this girl needs a clean place to sit.

You might not be the best looking girl here, but beauty is only a light switch away.

Hey cutie, wanna go halves on a baby?

I'll give you a nickel if you tickle my pickle.

You are so selfish! You're going to have that body the rest of your life and I just want it for one night.

I'm like a Rubik's Cube, the more you play with me the harder I get!

What's the difference between a Ferrari and an erection? I don't have a Ferrari.

I'm afraid of the dark... Will you sleep with me tonight?

Do you have any Italian in you? Would you like some?

I think I could fall madly in bed with you.

Do you know what winks and screws like a tiger? [No] Wink.

Hey baby, wanna play lion? You go kneel down right there and I'll throw you my meat.

I miss my teddy bear. Would you sleep with me?

Hey there, I just took some Cialis and I have 18 hours left.

Hold out two fingers and say: "Why should a woman masturbate with these two fingers?" (I don't know.) "'Cause they're mine sweetheart."

Let's go to my place and do the things I'll tell everyone we did anyway.

I'm gonna have sex with you tonight so, you might as well be there.

I have a job for you, but it blows!

The things I would do if I got a few roofies in you.

Do you like soda? Because I'd mount-and-do you. (Mountain Dew)

Is it hot in here, or are your boobs just huge?

I just checked my schedule and I can have you pregnant by Christmas.

There are 265 bones in the human body. How would you like one more?

Do you take Visa?

Do you wanna do something that rhymes with 'Truck'?

I have a rare disease that will kill me unless I have sex within the next 30 minutes. Don't let me die!

I bet my tongue can beat up your tongue.

If I was a watermelon, would you spit or swallow my seed?

"I have this magic watch that can actually talk to me. Seriously, it's saying something right now. It says that you're not wearing any underwear, is that true?." [No.] "Oh wait, my watch is an hour fast!

Do you sleep on your stomach? [No] Can I?

Your shirt has to go, but you can stay.

Could you do me a favor? Could you get on your knees and smile like a donut?

Want to make a porno? We don't have to tape it.

Let's not mess with nature. We are here to make babies. So, let's get to it.

Gee, that's a nice set of legs, what time do they open?

Is it that cold out or are you just smuggling tic-tac's in your bra?

I'm the finger down your spine when all the lights go out.

Will you be my girlfrien? I left out the 'd' cause you'll get that later!

I only have 12 hours to live... please don't let me die a virgin.

What is a nice girl like you doing in a dirty mind like mine?

What has 132 teeth and holds back the Incredible Hulk? My zipper.

With my IQ and your body, we could make a race of super-children and conquer the earth!

The FBI wants to steal my penis. Can I hide it inside you?

And finally....

Roses are red, violets are blue, I suck at pick up lines... nice breasts.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

June the 2

Happy June the 2.

Miss Him.

He's smiling at us.

I know he is.

I'll have a bit of pasta to celebrate.

And a pork chop.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

So Anyway

That's not Yankee Stadium. It's Citi-Freaking-Field or something like that. Like all the rest of the money hungry lesser franchises, the Mets sold the naming rights.

But I am putting the shot of the field up for the few dorky bastard Mets fans that I know. 'Cause the Mets won 4 straight against the 27-Time World Champion Greatest Franchise in the History of Organized Sports.

And while it isn't much of a big deal, I can take it. So I'm setting up a tribute to those goofy people who call the Mets their team.

Couple of numbers for you though:


It was a long time ago.

Yankee titles since then?

Only 5.

Including 2000.

When they whipped the hapless Mets in one of the most boring World Series in the history of the game.

'Cause the Mets sucked.

I could bring all of that up and toss it into the mix, but I'm the bigger man.

I will stay quiet about that.

I won't even mention the fact that the Yankees have a dozen more wins on the year.

That's not important.

Madoff stole the Mets money. They're still paying guys who haven't been on the team in five years. They have no chance of not losing 90.

But enjoy.

You earned it.

It's quite an accomplishment.

5 months from now you'll be rooting hard for your team in the playoffs or even the World Series.

No, not the Mets.

(I know you have two teams)

You'll be rooting for your 'other' team.

The one playing the 27-Time World Champion Greatest Franchise in the History of Organized Sports.

The Yankees.

The Damn Yankees.

Enjoy that sweep.

Murder Around the Corner

The dogs and I drove by the Toys R Us store just around the corner from our house. I'd just finished reading the recap of the stabbing murder there from just a day previous.

The cops don't have many clues.

And it's different when it's less than a mile away, right?

It's actually one of the greatest mysteries of my life. How one person can kill another. I am fascinated by all of it. The level of rage required. The feelings of guilt in the aftermath. The hate required. The mental deficiency of it all.

We watch a lot of true crime around our house. The usual husband-wife sort of thing. I read true crime novels from time-to-time.

All of it just mind-boggling to me.

And they always do the time line. Saying that the perp had time to kill someone and then get in their car and go to their kid's piano recital or something.

And I wonder.

Wasn't the guy sweating a little?

Did he just shake hands with the guy next to him, knowing what he did?

They say OJ was chipping golf balls in his front yard as he waited for the limo to pick him up after the double murders.

Was he chipping okay?

I usually have to really concentrate when I'm chipping a golf ball. I imagine a double murder would distract me from the task at hand.

The yellow tape was up around the store.

As a writer might, I imagined the scene.

I thought of the anguish on the faces of all those people who stopped in to just buy a new video game.

Why is this world so nuts?

Why is there so little value on human life?

Still a mystery to me.

But if we can't make changes after 20 little kids get shot in the face we aren't really in all that much of a hurry to change it.

Perhaps it is just too fascinating.

What a damn shame.

All of the Roads

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