Smoke and Mirrors

In a perfect world . . .

Month: May 2008 (page 1 of 2)


RIP, Harvey.
Thanks for the laughs

Ride of your life

Tomorrow is a very special day for a very special girl of mine, my silent girl.
The years have flown past me in such a way that I can’t believe she’s graduating.
Jenna is, in many ways, a different (female) version of me; she’s creative, intelligent, funny, effervescent and absolutely brilliant in so many ways.
On this graduation day, Pamela and I just wanted to let her know how very special she is to us.
Sometimes, I don’t think she believes us.

*Do right, Jenna.
To truly succeed in life, just do right.
Your mother and I are so very proud of you and your many accomplishments. (we almost lost count)
Be safe, be well and I’m praying you like the video, you little Supernatural freakshow (us, too!)
As the title says, have the ‘ride of your life’
Lord knows, you’ve earned it.

love you, always

M&D . . .

ps. one more from Dad


I received an email a week or so ago that I almost sent to the spammer.
Something made me open it.
It was from a woman named Jody Simpson, of WEGO Health, an online resource for health related issues.
She had been reading my Memory Lane blog and was curious if I’d be interested in doing a “spotlight interview” regarding my personal experience with Alzheimer’s Disease.
I agreed and was contacted by Toni Kistner, the assigned editor for my interview.
Jody and Toni were both incredibly helpful in ultimately getting this thing down on paper.
I thank them both dearly.
Click on the picture above to learn a few things that you may not have known about me.
To leave a comment on WEGO, you may have to register.
If that doesn’t work for you, feel free to leave a comment back here.
As always, thanks so much for reading.

One woman, a million opinions

My dear friend Annie has opened up a new blog (with help from our awesome friends from Australia).
If you haven’t visited her, now is the time.
I have a feeling she has more than a million opinions though 😉

Congrats, kiddo.
I wish you the very best in your new place
Now click on that gorgeous picture up above and tell her I sent you


To futures lost . . . and futures won.
Never forget and forever honor the personal sacrifice of the soldier.
Remember, especially today.
A Happy Memorial Day to all


My father has been on my mind lately for many reasons.
Today is his 79th birthday and I’m not sure if he’ll be around for the next one.
Though he knows little of what I do here, I send this to him with all my heart.
I think I was channeling him when I wrote it.
I hope that one day soon, he will rest.
Happy Birthday, Dad

Some days, I just feel broken
unfixable, disposable and anything but unique,
a silhouetted and God forsaken scarecrow alone in a Kansas cornfield filled with
purple sunset and orange rain . . .

Some days, the man in the mirror turns out to be me
a sad reality for such a sad clown
my greasepaint runs upwards in smiles
seeing the broken ones, just like me
with nowhere to belong, this shipwreck of fools
still afloat but drifting longingly towards the rocky shores . . .
of home

Today, I just feel broken
like I will never be quite right
And that’s okay, it’s the way I am
I guess being broken takes some getting used to

Groundhog Morning

I’ve never been a morning person and don’t think I will ever be.
it usually takes and hour or so and several strong cups of coffee before I’m even semi-lucid.
Hell, I have a tough time deciding between grape jelly or peanut butter for my English muffin.
On days like that I just go with some butter
(maybe a dab or two of vegemite, an Aussie condiment that is slowly growing on me)
This morning I was running a bit late when I got to Boston and stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts for a simple breakfast sandwich.
The girl behind the counter was of oriental persuasion, an important detail as you read the foillowing conversation.

DD: I hep you?

me: yeah, an egg, cheese and ham on a croissant, please.

DD: you want coffee?

me: no.

(DD turns and says something to a co-worker before turning around)

DD: What kind sandwich you want?

me: Egg-Cheese-Ham-Croissant

DD: you want coffee?

me: (louder) NO.

(DD gets called by another co-worker and I’m getting a tad worked up)

DD: What kind of meat you want?

me: HAM!

DD: you want coffee?

me: “for the third and final time, no, I do not want coffee and if I did I would say, “could I please have a cup of coffee?” (muttered under my breath: “Christ-in-a-sidecar”)

Wonder why I never go to DD’s?
(expletives deleted that I refuse to write, but know that there are many)
God, I hate mornings . . .

Elektronic (or Elvis is Everywhere)

Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s I was gigging on a regular basis. (gigging = playing music i.e., weddings, night clubs, festivals, frat parties)
For a working musician, the times were good.
Actually, that’s wrong, they were the best.
Although things have changed dramatically and DJ’s continue to unjustly monopolize the wedding industry I still have rather fond memories of the good old days.
I read this short post at FFE’s blog and the wheels began turning.

Back in ’79 I got into a very popular cover band and was told I needed to purchase a specific wardrobe to be worn when we played various nightclubs in the area.
It didn’t seem like a big deal to me at the time until I found out exactly what I would need to purchase.
Alright, I’ll describe it.
And if you laugh, you’re freekin’ dead.
Here goes: tight, hip-hugging, white bell-bottoms (the widest bb’s I’d ever seen with a red silk insert on the outer seam), a red silk shirt with lapels that came down to my nipples, a white and tres skimpy white vest that rode somewhere near the bottom of my rib cage and a pair of (God help me) hideous ruby red platform shoes ala Elton John and the Yellow Brick Road.
You want to put me out of my misery already, don’tcha?
I would wear this ‘manly-gear’ mainly at nightclubs.
After the band finished the night (@1:45 -2:00am) I’d be hungry and would venture into Worcester to a tex-mex place called “The MidHeaven” for a few tacos or enchiladas.
The eating part doesn’t strike me as strange but the fact that I still had on my stage clothes deeply disturbs me these days.
Go ahead.
Ask me.
Michael, what in God’s name were you thinking? You’re lucky you’re alive you stupid bastard.
I must have looked like some bizarre Elvis wanna-be, incarnated and twice removed.
Dear God, please someone shoot me . . . uh-huh-huh
Maybe that’s why no one ever bothered with me.
They thought I was dead.
I’m alive to tell the tale so . . .
God damn, I looked goofy.
But I got babes.
Go figure.
Must have been the hip-huggers.
I saw the video below and thought, “This video deserves a post.”

Most memorable line from the video?
The really memorable line from the video?

” . . . my blue jeans is tight
so onto my love rocket climb . . .”

Is that frickin’ poetry or what?


I visited my father last Wednesday only to find him sleeping.
Not necessarily a bad thing.
But to me, his face has changed and not in a good way.
More later . . .

There I sat; watching you sleep
counting your respirations, endless fragments of time,
grains of sand through the hourglass of your life

i wonder if you dream, of places long forgotten, of tender hearts that once made you smile,
faces where you found love,
surprised they were staring back at you . . .

There I sat; watching you sleep
ticking, ticking, the second hand on my wristwatch splintering a melancholy silence in a room where life goes on, almost unnoticed,
covered in the warmth of a much needed blanket

I pray that you dream, of things that meant the world to you;
these are the small and hidden gifts of an unfortunate and chaotic mind
and I wonder if God has ever cried for you?
the answer lies peacefully in the waiting arms of
Heaven . . . as He listens to the beat of your gentle, sleeping heart
I wish you heavenly peace



I went to the cemetery yesterday to visit my mother’s grave before heading to work in Boston.
It was a beautiful day; the sun was brilliant, nary a cloud in the indigo sky, a slight warm breeze.
Suffice to say, I had a sentimental moment.
Maybe it was the fact that my father may not be here next Mother’s Day, maybe it was the bittersweet feeling I got driving through my old neighborhood.
I’m not really sure.
In my mind’s eye, I could see myself as a child running through the backyards of my youth without a care in the world.
For some reason I was missing my mother more this year than any previous one.
Couldn’t put my finger on it but the longing was undeniable, inescapable.
I arrived at the cemetery and walked up to her grave, placing a white rose on the cold granite stone bench bearing her name and I whispered a prayer, a Hail Mary.
I sat alone and talked to the empty cemetery as if she was sitting right next to me, and maybe she was.
I asked questions about my life that currently had no answers; dark fears and unfulfilled dreams.
A few tears fell to the ground watering the place where she lay but oddly enough they weren’t sad tears.
With every teardrop that fell, the better I felt.
That was my mother’s way: to make the sunshine come impossibly through the rain.
I kissed the palm of my hand and touched her name before leaving feeling much better than when I arrived.
I now know that she was there, somehow.

Later that day, I received an email from my twin sister, m~ , with ‘Mom’ in the subject box.
I knew she would be visiting the cemetery later that day and thought the email would mention that she saw the white rose and scribbled note I’d left hours earlier.

Her email mentioned that exact thing.
She also mentioned that for some reason she was missing Mom more this year than usual though she didn’t quite know why.
It was another affirmation that we will always be connected, always be twins.

We experienced the same emotional experience several hours apart.
I considered it a small gift sent down from my mother.
Knowing her as I did, she’d have it no other way.

(photo courtesy of Kel)

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