Browsing "dark"

Strange daze are theez

weird, Boston, strange

 

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.
Tours?
Germany?
Do you see a fucking beer stein here?
*sigh*

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]

“Save Lenny.”

“What are you talking about?” [said Charles]

“Save Lenny.”

“We’re all out.” [said Charles]

*customer shakes head and leaves withoutsave lenny‘.

Whatever the fuck ‘save Lenny’ is.
I guess.

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 . . .

~m

1,000 words

Boston Marathon, photojouirnalism, John Tlmacki, Boston Globe

 

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.
Like today.
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.
My bad.
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 . . .

Boston Strong

anguish, Boston, Marathon

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 here.
Not today.
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.
Still doesn’t.

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 . . .

~m

ps. Photo courtesy of John TLumacki, Boston Globe

10 Things

memory, dying, stupid stuff, head exploding

 

Ten things (11) I will not think about in My Last Seconds of Life

I have thought about this for a few days now and believe I have come up with a viable, albeit weird, list of 10 things.
These have occurred randomly as I go about my day but I think it’s a pretty good list.
These are in no specific order in terms of magnitude but they are somewhat funny and insightful.

I will not think about:

(1) The guitar solo in ‘Keep on Lovin’ You’ from REO Speedwagon (dumb name).
This is quite possibly the lamest and out of tune solo I have ever heard.
I can’t believe the producer didn’t say,
“Are you shitting me, Amato? I’d rather hear the sound of a puppy being run over with a lawn mower. For the love of God, tune your frickin’ guitar, dickboy. And how about a real solo? ”

(2) The fact that my car is 3K miles over for an oil change.
The story of my life.
And it keeps telling me via a caring message on the dashboard every single time I start the car.
*Sigh*

(3) Iambic Pentameter.
Iambic pentameter (from Greek: ἰαμβικός πεντάμετρος meaning to have five iambs) is a commonly used metrical line in traditional verse and verse drama. The term describes the particular rhythm that the words establish in that line. That rhythm is measured in small groups of syllables; these small groups of syllables are called “feet“. The word “iambic” describes the type of foot that is used (in English, an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable). The word “pentameter” indicates that a line has five of these “feet.”
Yeah.
Won’t be needing that definition anymore.

(4) Dance Moms.
I know, it’s sad that I actually know about this show.
Abby Lee Miller, the corpulent porpoise of a dance instructor, verbally hacks away at the fragile self-esteem of young female ‘born with a silver spoon in their mouths’ dancers.
The self-righteous mothers of these girls need to be water boarded for allowing this abomination to happen in the first place.
Think I’m pretty clear on this one.

(5) Who really killed JFK.
Nuff said.

(6) Politics.
Like the time I sent out an off the hook ‘conservative’ email to about 75 people.
It found its way into the Inbox of a screaming yahoo liberal (not mentioning names, thanks, Lisa)
who decided to hit a ‘reply all’ and rip me a new one because she thought it was her responsibility as a citizen. Yup, won’t be thinking about that one.

(7) Where I left the numbers for my Swiss bank account.

(8) The day I gave my father an enema.
In the end (no pun intended), my father was actually laughing while I was doing it.
Long story short, he needed a colonoscopy and I could find no visiting nurse that would do it the day of the procedure.
I was elected.

(9) Long forgotten Facebook game requests.
No explanation needed.
(10) Lost things.
St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please come down
something is lost and can’t be found.
Our Wedding album, a pipe rack filled with nice smoking pipes, my Swiss bank account numbers,
my six-pack abs, my sanity . . .

(11) Mayonnaise.
I know.
Weird.
Maybe that’s why this list goes to 11.

For fun, sit down with a piece of paper and give yourself 10 minutes to write out a list.
I would be curious to see what you come up with.
Post your answers on my Facebook page or my blog if you’d like.
This was a great writing prompt.

AND . . .  check THIS out.
Pretty cerebral . . .

 

 

 

Mar 8, 2012 - dark, not funny, Personal, Sad, scary, Ugly, Wrong    2 Comments

Invisible Children

Give me 30 minutes of your time.
Scroll down my sidebar and click on KONY.
This madman has to be stopped.
Now.
Please help to make this asshat so famous that he can’t walk into a McDonald’s and order fries without being noticed.
Read his ‘Disney-like’  Wiki Page HERE
Kony needs to be taken to the Chateau Eternity.
Extra topsoil.
End of story.

~m

Feb 9, 2012 - chances, dark, dickheads, Funny, Humor    5 Comments

Odd Noggin Land for Lollipops & Virgins

girl scouts, weird, cookies, humor

A co-worker was walking back to the store last week after lunch when he was approached
by a grown man dressed as a Girl Scout.
Dress, hat and all.
Around Park Square in Boston, freaks like this elicit little but a glance.
This freak spoke to my colleague in passing and said,
“I always wanted to be a Girl Scout. If you could buy a box of cookies you could make me really feel like one.”
Really?
These people exist, folks.
We get phone calls from people looking for K2, Salvia and numerous cannabis alternatives.
The latest is ‘Kush’.
I took a call yesterday from some bonehead that asked, “You guys have any kush?”
I said, “Try ‘Bed, Bath and Beyond. They sell it by the boatload.”
Click.
Dial tone.
I think BB&B sells bath salts too.
We hear you can smoke those and get off with the right pipe.
Christ save us all.
Off to snort some totally rad solid Degree deodorant.
Pass the aaa batteries . . .

~m

Questions 67 & 68

 

There has been a question that’s been rolling around in this head of mine for ions now.
I asked ‘said’ question to a fairly close friend of mine recently and was a wee bit startled by his answer.
It was the total opposite of mine.
Know that this friend of mine is an MD and a highly intelligent individual.
I would have thought that everyone would see it my way but that is obviously not the case.
While the question is illogical, hypothetical and a virtual unfeasibility,
I found it mind-numbing nonetheless.

If you came upon a celestial tollbooth in your life where you were told:
You need to give up either your sight or your hearing, which one do you choose to lose?

My answer was almost immediate which was no shock to me and possibly of little shock to you.
So as not to sway anyone this post will be in two parts, this one being the first.
What would you choose?
Sight or Sound/Hearing?

My answer will follow next week.
If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter there will be a link there soon.
Think about it people.
Give me your best shot.
I already have my answer locked and loaded . . .

~m

Dec 15, 2011 - blues, Creative, dark, Ghosts, Music, Personal, Sad    2 Comments

Heart of the matter

This song is deeply personal to me.
Interpretation is as always a unique thing.
Jimmy Webb has inspired me for many years.
His writing style, lyrics and unmistakeable piano chords make me yearn to
write again someday.
‘Mistress’ has been recorded by many people over the years but no version gets to me like
Webb’s.
As I said, the song is embedded deeply into the tapestry of my life.
A secret and a mystery I will take to the grave.
This is the beauty of the written song . . .

A New Day

9-11, life, love, regret, sadness

 

Peter Hanson made a cell phone call to his father at 09:00am on 9.11.01

“It’s getting bad, Dad. A stewardess was stabbed. They seem to have knives and Mace. They said they have a bomb. It’s getting very bad on the plane. Passengers are throwing up and getting sick. The plane is making jerky movements. I don’t think the pilot is flying the plane. I think we are going down. I think they intend to go to Chicago or someplace and fly into a building. Don’t worry, Dad. If it happens, it’ll be very fast….Oh my God… oh my God, oh my God.”

[As the call abruptly ended, Hanson's father heard a woman screaming.]

In the past few weeks I have had numerous hits on my blog and
70%  of them have been related to the tragedy of  9/11.
It’s a part of our history that will be told from a million different perspectives and from a million different hearts.
A sunny, beautiful and blue sky forever September day that changed the face of the United States forever.
The tenth anniversary of anything as monumental as this will have 99% of people scouring the internet for information regarding one of our nations darkest of days.
On the 5th Anniversary of 9/11 a website was born, dedicated to the writing of tributes to all those taken by this senseless and avoidable tragedy.
I thank Dale Roe for taking on the challenge.

I have written 3 tributes for the site thus far:

Amy Jarret, a stewardess on UA Flight 175
Bobby Minara, a NYC firefighter that was to retire in two months
Steve ‘Jake’ Jacoby, a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77 that hit the Pentagon.

I decided to write another tribute on this 10th anniversary;
for Peter Hanson, his wife Sue and their 2 ½ year old daughter Christine.
The conversation you read at the top of this post was from Peter Hanson’s cell phone, a message left minutes before Flight UA175 hit the south tower of the
World Trade Center, the plane we all saw live on national TV (and the flight Amy Jarret was on).
My thoughts now are what was going through the mind of Peter.
You are on an airplane that is headed for a destination unknown and you know it’s not a good place.
Consoling a 2 ½ year old is trying enough without knowing that you are about to die.
The plane they were on was descending at 5 to 10,000 feet per minute towards the end.
You can’t explain that to a child.
You probably wouldn’t want to.
My heart broke reading about the final moments of their all-too-short lives.
In my heart, I know they were all together and died in each other’s arms,
a beautiful prayer of sorts.
To the Hanson family, I can’t even begin to estimate the size of your sorrow.
My heart breaks for all of you with the upcoming 10th anniversary on Sunday.
In my mind, I see three candles lit and burning brightly, piercing the darkness.
Three souls together.
Three hearts finally at home, albeit a bit too soon.
God bless you Peter, Sue and  little Christine.
You are all with the angels now.
Of that I am sure.

Maybe it’s time to turn the mourning of 9/11 into the celebration of the people that once were.
Thoughts of death and dying every year on 9/11 is futile.
It gets us nowhere.
Let’s look at celebrating the vibrant lives of all those lost, the unexpected heroes, the ones that gave all that they had, the ones that took a stand on UA Flight 93, a proud moment for Americans everywhere.
September 11th will never be a happy date but I feel it’s one that needs a serious makeover.
It’s been 10 long years of grieving and the United States of America has accomplished so much since.
I say it’s time we show the world just how strong we really are, and can be.
God Bless this land that we love . . .

~m

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