This video moved me in so many ways and I am proud to share it here on my blog. It was suggested by SKennedy of the Alzheimer’s Foundation. I hope and pray that people watch the video, send this [...]
I read a post on Facebook from a ‘friend’ tonight. I have no idea if he wrote it or found it on the interwebz. That said, it moved me to tears reminding me of my Mom and Dad’s struggle [...]
Back in September I got an email from Sandra Byrd regarding a short book written by her husband, Chaplain Michael Byrd called, “Hope for Helpers”, a book for caregivers of Alzheimer victims. Sandra had obviously read my blog and knew [...]
Dear Mom and Dad, For every memory lost, every heart broken wide open, every tear shed, every life forever changed, every second chance missed, there was always that white light of hope, a sotto-voce prayer whispered by the many [...]
Over the years, I have felt a connection with several Bruce Hornsby songs. Fields of Grey, [don't watch the video but listen to the song!] reminds me of my daughter Sarah and my intense feelings of fatherly protection and safety [...]
Working in Boston there are things that happen on a daily basis that defy any logical definition.
Although I haven’t chronicled all these weird/blessed events, they do play out daily/nightly in my brain like
a bizarre Charlie Chaplin movie.
A guy came running into the store today and yelled to no one in particular,
“There’s a pig outside! I’m not kidding! There’s a pig outside! You gotta see this!”
I said, “Dude, this is Park Square. There are pigs everywhere.”
It was then that I saw a little white pig with a curly tail waltz his fat ass by the open front door.
White, well behaved pigs on a leash.
I wondered what would have happened if I approached said hog with a bottle of ‘Sweet Baby Ray’s’.
My mind wanders.
Then there’s the guy that walks into the store, waits patiently for 15 minutes and then asks me, “Where can I get tour of Germany?”
“Dude. I sell cigars. And pipes. And tobacco. I don’t sell tours. You’re in the wrong store.”
He looks at me as if I just spoke Latin.
Do you see a fucking beer stein here?
Now I will move on to a regular customer that I will refer to as ‘PhillyCheese’.
This is a guy that has confessed to wearing panty hose, heels and a wig while he vacuums his home.
I hear the neighborhood has taken up a collection to allow/force him to put up curtains.
His dialect changes on any given day from stoutly English to a NY Brooklyn accent.
He’s like a box of fucked up chocolates when you never know what you’re going to get.
Run, PhillyCheese, Run!!!!
PhillyCheese was engaging an unknowing customer the other day when I heard him say this:
“I collect jock straps sir, and I like to wear them around the house when I’m doing something pleasurable.”
What activity would be more pleasurable when wearing a banana hammock?
I can’t make this weird shit up.
It just happens.
Had a weirdass oriental dude come in one late Monday morning and asked/said, “Save Lenny?” [Save Lenny?]
“Save Lenny?” I asked.
“Yeah, save Lenny,” he said.
“I got nothing dude, hang on.”
I called on my friend and colleague Charles to make the situation right.
“What do you want?” [said Charles]
“What are you talking about?” [said Charles]
“We’re all out.” [said Charles]
*customer shakes head and leaves without ‘save lenny‘.
Whatever the fuck ‘save Lenny’ is.
This is the proverbial tip of the weirdness iceberg that is 100% Park Square.
As I always say, “Everyday is Halloween.”
Bring on the crazy.
I’m ready every day.
Most peculiar, mama . . .
Get happy and sing!!!!
Narwhals make everyone happy!
I saw a woman on the train tonight that had a seriously disfigured face.
It wasn’t a subtle flaw but one of great magnitude.
We’re talking Hollywood magnitude.
I stole glances as she carefully applied makeup to her face, eyes and lips.
I couldn’t help but wonder who she was meeting.
My heart felt sad as I watched her painstakingly apply her ‘mask’, knowing that make up can only do so much.
What does she go through in a day as far as strange looks from passersby?
I wanted to go and sit next to her and tell her she didn’t need all that crap on her face because inside she’s beautiful.
That’s what went through my head anyway.
For all I know, she could have been a total asshole.
But I don’t think so.
Suffering with psoriasis I understand the ‘look’ you get from people that don’t understand your condition.
I see people looking at my elbows, the patches and scales that sometime accumulate making my arms a virtual stomping ground
for questions and unknowing observations.
I can deflect comments on my skin easily.
I have herpes. Deal with it.
This flaming red-haired girl had a face that would stop anyone in their tracks.
I am not saying that to be funny because this is in no way a funny post.
I wanted to say something, anything to this girl to give her some affirmation that she is a beautiful woman.
She got off the train two doors down from where I was negating any sort of confrontation.
I just wanted to tell her that she was beautiful.
Maybe I’ll have another chance someday . . .
Sometimes when I start writing I have no clue as to what I will find;
maybe that’s the beauty of the written word; an internal GPS on shuffle mode.
I lost a friend of 30+ years last night and I’m fumbling for the right words tonight.
I woke up this morning with nothing special on my mind save for the usual morning routine.
It was 5:30am and my brain was on automatic as I drank my Mango juice, took my Multi-vitamin and gagged on my Fish oil.
Fish oil burps are, THE worst.
I opened my IPhone and saw a private message from a Facebook friend sent last night at 10:43.
It was simple enough and said, “Are you up?”
Obviously, I was not.
I really hate late night calls/messages.
They are never good.
I got on the train at 6:10am for my trip into Boston and responded;
“I’m up now. What’s going on, dude?”
We all think we are going to live forever.
There will always be another tomorrow.
The next scratch ticket is our ‘ticket’ outta here.
We reminisce about friends we haven’t talked to in years and think, “I should call him/her.”
Do we call?
We click our remotes to the next ‘Dancing with the Stars’ offering, the next ‘Idol’, the next ‘Desperate Housewives’ episode, and read the next Supermarket rag that somehow becomes a vital part of our lives.
We will not live forever.
Tomorrow is promised to no one.
Kim Kardashian was never sexy to begin with.
And ‘reality’ TV needs to be attacked by Navy Seals because it ain’t even fackin’ close to reality.
The message I received back told me that a close friend had unexpectedly died.
As I’m writing this post, I have not cried, have not grieved.
I am profoundly sad that my friend is gone.
I am numb.
I can’t believe I will never talk to him again.
I can’t believe I will never be able to say goodbye.
I just can’t believe that he’s gone.
I just called my best friend on my cell and left a shaky voiced message.
I wanted to just hear his voice.
Today has shattered my insides.
I’m trying hard to keep it in because that’s what I think I need to do.
He will call me back very soon, I hope.
After leaving him a message, this thing hit me like an emotional tornado.
I cried; am still crying as I type this.
Oddly enough it feels right; because genuine tears heal the bigger part of us . . . eventually.
More are on the way . . .
They say that a picture is worth 1,000 words.
I say that it’s worth much more than that.
Now and then the events of a single day subtly dovetail.
I have been an admirer of photojournalism for as long as I can remember.
Seeing images that were most likely seared into the retina’s of said photographers would give me pause.
The past few weeks in Boston have produced some images that I can’t seem to ‘unforget’.
I want to rewind the organ of soft nervous tissue contained in my overcrowded skull of vertebrates and bring it back to April 14th when life
seemed idyllic and almost normal.
Not gonna happen.
And I didn’t even take the pictures.
Last weekend my future son-in-law, Jonathan, showed me the cover of SI.
On the cover was a picture of an older runner that had been literally knocked down by an explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Behind him were three Boston Police officers seen drawing their weapons and running in three different directions.
It was a photograph of a surreal moment in time.
It was also a photograph courtesy of a 30 year photojournalist for the Boston Globe called John Tlumacki.
Little did I know that my own personal path would intersect with that of Tlumacki.
I’ve never met the man but I am sure he is deep.
Read a glimpse of him HERE.
This Sunday morning I sat in a sunny living room reading an article in the T&G.
Read it HERE.
(and look at the photo credit below)
As of this morning I had no clue as to who took the pictures that had moved me close to tears.
In my last post here I used a photo of a woman found on her knees, crying and praying fervently to the heavens above.
She was completely devastated in every possible way, beseeching the blue sky above to take back what had just happened only moments before.
This was the picture I chose to use for my last post.
The picture spoke to me, plain and simple.
Fast forward to me Googling “photojournalist Boston Marathon 2013″.
There were many results but one stuck in my craw because it gave a preview of the photo I had used in my previous post.
I was gobsmacked in learning that the picture was actually taken by Tlumacki.
In my mind, I began to juxtapose many images while thinking how difficult it must have been to take them.
I will never know how these folks do their job.
It was then that I realized that it’s not unlike what I do when I write a song or a post.
I go into something of a trance until the job is over.
It’s a phenomenon that just happens.
The biggest difference for me is that I don’t have to worry about my head getting blown off in the process.
I have a new found respect for these graphic soldiers that visually time stamp the complexities of our lives.
I contacted John via email this afternoon after realizing I had used one of his photos for my ‘Boston Strong‘ post.
I asked for permission to use his photo after finally realizing how much courage and balls it must have taken
to capture an image as haunting and visceral as what it was.
He replied to me 20 minutes later;
“You can keep the photo on your blog, this is my Boston, your Boston, let’s not forget that.”
This is from a man that found himself on the front-line of the battle and chose to do his job.
I am honored that he gave me the okay to use his photo and blessed that he took the time to reply to me.
I pray that the ‘Man Upstairs’ keeps a special eye on this guy.
He’s paid his dues.
If this guy doesn’t garner a Pulitzer this year, I will be shocked.
Thanks, JT for doing the daunting task that you do.
The blood you found on your shoes tells me all I need to know about your integrity.
Time to find some rainbows . . .
When I got into Boston on Monday morning I took a different route walking to work.
I usually slip out the ass end of Back bay station and walk through the alleys and quiet streets to Park Square
but today was Marathon Monday and a great day to walk through Copley Square on my way to work.
The sun was shining, the temps were comfortable and runners were everywhere running for buses to take them to
the Marathon starting line in Hopkinton.
Walking through Copley I saw hundreds of palettes of spring water,
King’s Hawaiian Sweet rolls, pretzels, Smart Food, Vitamin Water and on and on.
People working in the many tents along Boylston Street were obviously happy to be there as they went about their preparations.
There was a palpable lilt in the air that could not be denied.
We all hate Mondays but Marathon Monday in Boston is pretty damn cool for many damn reasons.
I also remember thinking how awful it would be were something catastrophic to happen.
At 2:55PM, a woman came in for some rolling tobacco and asked if I’d heard the ‘bangs’.
She was wondering if they were firing cannons for Patriots Day.
I told her I hadn’t heard a thing.
I was alone in the store and went to Google after she left.
I typed in: Boston Marathon 2013 /Bombs
I came up with 2 results.
Links to a few runners’ websites that simply said;
“unconfirmed reports of two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.”
The links would not open
Bullshit, I thought.
Not in Boston.
10 minutes later the city was cracked open like an over ripe pomegranate.
Sirens, police cars, ambulances too many to count,
unmarked cars with blue flashing lights and a feeling of dread as I watched thousands of people dripping their way towards South Station.
Most were crying; some were simply distant with no facial expression at all.
You know the rest of the story; probably more so than CNN, a current font of reporting mediocrity.
I took a walk around 4PM yesterday and went down to the corner of Berkeley and Boylston Street.
National Guard would not let you go any further as everything was blockaded.
It was a big crime scene.
I looked down at a usually frantic Copley Square that now seemed post-apocalyptic, empty and dreadfully silent. My heart broke just a bit as more reality drained into my psyche.
It was not unlike a scene from ‘Walking Dead’ or ‘I am Legend’.
The word ‘nothing’ came to mind.
I watched paper and debris flying through the air looking to get out of the dead space that was Copely.
That’s how my eyes saw it and my brain interpreted it.
It made no logical sense to me.
On my way back to Park Square I noticed the omnipresent media camped out at the corner of Arlington and Boylston. It seemed to me to be a media freak show/ circus with bright lights and cameras going while reporting half myths and hearsay from who the fuck knows.
Homeless people were probably contributing their stories and ideas. (they may have been closer to the truth than CNN, ffs)
I am a Bostonian and I love this city. (Even though I live in the burbs)
I went to school here and currently work here and no one will ever take away the fact that this place was built on guts, strength, love, and a work ethic like no other place in the world.
This IS my backyard.
Sadly, the landscape has changed, for now . . .
Know that We are Boston.
We are Many.
And We are Pissed.
But I have a good feeling that many beautiful flowers will blossom this same time next year.
Because that’s how we roll . . .
ps. Photo courtesy of John TLumacki, Boston Globe
I troll the internet on a nightly basis and find gif images that I would love to share.
Facebook doesn’t allow these creative creations.
Who the hell knows.
That said, I am instituting a weekly offering on Fridays only.
Send me your favorite gif images and I will post them here and put a link on my
There are some amazing, funny and creative Gifs out there.
Send them to me via link/Facebook message.
This could be fun.
My weekly offering is above . . .
If you’re wondering what a gif is, please ask Google . . . :=)
A long time blogging friend posted this video on my Facebook Timeline tonight.
This video is over 15 minutes long but it makes a serious statement regarding the media we use on a daily basis.
I love my Kindle and my Iphone but there is something very personal about a book.
I dedicate this post to my 3 amazing daughters who have a love of books and reading that makes me proud.
I like to think Pamela and I had something to do with that love of the page.
Please, please, please take the time and watch this video.
I know. 15 minutes is a long time.
Think of how much time you spend with a book.
Think of the feel and smell of a book.
Visit my friend Ang @ Don’t Put Boogers in your neighbors Cereal
She is a grade school teacher with some amazing (and hysterical) insight into the life of her students and their growing little minds.
This video moved me in many ways as a lover of books.
I hope they never go away.
I watch ‘Dancing with the Stars’.
There. I said it.
American Idol? Nope.
The Voice? Nada.
The Bachelor? Puuuhleeesse. I have standards.
The Kardashians? They need to find a new planet to inhabit. Soon. And hopefully don’t pro-create.
The Biggest Loser? Whoever watches this stoopid show.
If you need a power tool to get your fat ass out of a chair . . . just sayin’
The Amazing Race? I personally know Max of ‘Max and Katie’ and I have never once watched the show.
It’s not that I don’t like Max, it’s that I don’t watch much TV.
New England Patriots.
It’s a short list.
My list could go on but I will spare you.
Get my drift?
DWTS came on tonight and my wife drew me into the living room in the only way she knew she could.
“Come here! Michael! Come here! Kellie Pickler is on! You have to at least watch her.”
My wife is telling me to watch a hot, sexy, gorgeous blonde that is half my age.
Did I like it?
What do you think?
Pickler has pickled my pickle since American Idol.
Okay, yeah, I watched some AI.
I feel dirty.
It does make me smile when Pamela makes me watch a bit of a show as I did tonight.
What kind of wife does that?
I think she also knows that her face is much prettier than 1,000 Kellie Picklers.
It’s not only her face but it’s her unfailing heart and soul.
I love ya, Kellie Pickler but Pamela owns my heart.
And that, my friends is the end/beginning of the story . . .
Can’t wait to see what KP will be wearing next week.
I’m sure Pamela will tell me . . .