Smoke and Mirrors

In a perfect world . . .

Category: Imagine (page 1 of 5)


No mozzarella here.
Just real hard drives being shredded.
Yeah, just think about all the info, music, photos and .exe files saying their last ‘buh-bye’
It’s all about going green, right?
If you listen close you can hear the little guys screaming.
Gives new meaning to MEGA-bite doesn’t it?

For the Love of Books

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.
Books rule.


Tears for Newtown

Christmas, Newtown, Life, Children

This picture speaks 1,001 words.
Not much else left to say.
Santa is sad but he knows that life must go on . . .


One Thing


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 link to family and friends, share it with the world.

What is the one thing you never want to forget?

Your name?
The day of the week?
Favorite songs?
The names of family and friends that you love?
Ordinary everyday objects?

Caring for loved ones afflicted with this insidious disease, I have personally witnessed all of the above at one point in time.
Your heart breaks for them but you know you have to move on because the progression of Alzheimer’s
never sleeps.
Sometimes, as a caregiver, nor do you.

I personally never want to forget how much I love my Pamela, my three incredible daughters and my twin sister Maureen.
(there are so many more on my list but I needed to shave it or you would be here forever)
If ever I should forget, I pray that they all softly remind me from time to time.
This disease takes and takes and takes until there is literally nothing left but skin and bones.
Just imagine a world without Alzheimer’s.
That, my friends, is a beautiful thing.
Once again, please consider supporting me in my Walk to Remember on September 30th. [see my link below]
I will be walking for my Mom, Dad and Pamela’s Dad who is currently in the middle stages of this leviathan monster.
I can’t seem to get away from it so I walk.
And I will continue to walk.
For all the lost souls . . .

One thing.
Just one thing.
It’s something we can easily remember.
But how about them?

A world without Alzheimer’s is a beautiful thing.


the link for my personal fundraising page



Because they gave up their tomorrows, we can have our todays.
To all the men and women that have so unselfishly given of themselves, we offer a
prayer and a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for all that you have done for our beautiful country.
Although some of our freedoms are being compromised by a government that has too much power and might,
your courage and willingness to serve will be forever remembered.
To all the living soldiers abroad and all those who have sadly passed away, we are remembering you.
God Bless all in harms way.
Happy Memorial Day, folks.
As you’re stoking up your grills and icing the tall boys, look to the sky and say a small, “Thank you”.



“Lighthouses blow no horns; they only shine.”
-Dwight L. Moody

Dead Roses

I have a dark side.
I know it, my family knows it, my cats know it, my funeral director knows it.
Years ago I played a club located in the middle of a major hotel.
One weekend there was a mortuary fair, if you will.
All things death related.
There were many items that piqued my interest: wound filler, blood tubes, various (uncomfortable looking) clamps,
goggles (obviously), hypo trocars, powder blowers, toe tags and my personal favorite . . .  viscera bags.
Jesus Krispies, the language of death is amazing.
Depressing, yes.
Even more so.
I dug this stuff up for any funeral director that may happen to pay my blog a visit.
This is 10 shades of whack, IMHO.
Want a sterling silver trocar pendant?
Your quest has ended. Click here .
Being a cigar smoker, I am all about the ashes.
Find me a nice cat shaped urn and I’ll be happy.



[photo courtesy of Kelly]

I’ve been mulling over in my mind the past several weeks wondering if I could
crystallize my many thoughts into one fine black point.
The little voice inside my head just said, “Are you really serious?”
Since the night I wrote ‘Boxes’ my world has changed dramatically.
On one level, there is this welcome sense of relief regarding the final end for my father and his long fought ordeal; another level acknowledges a deep sadness knowing and accepting the fact that he is truly gone.

I took a ride yesterday afternoon to North Cemetery where my mother and father are now buried.
It was unseasonably warm with a cobalt-blue sky, a Cape Cod-like sea breeze and enough
brilliant sunshine to make me start daydreaming about the summer months ahead.
This place where the earth now wraps its arms securely around my parents has become
hallowed ground for many reasons.
For me, it is a tangible point of communication, a visible portal to somewhere I’ve never been,
a place where special things happen and are accepted for all that they are.
It was no different yesterday as I stood staring at the rose granite bench bearing the names:
Virginia A. & Walter M.
Best friends, I thought.
The engravers had paid a visit and finished the stone.
The circle was now complete.
I was alone in the cemetery and sat down on the sun-warmed bench, stretching my legs out into the sunshine.
To my right was the small flag stuck in a holder that now marks my father as an American veteran.
I was sitting for less than a minute when the wind picked up.
The tiny flag began waving gently and touched my arm.
“Hey, Dad,” I said, smiling at the thought.
The flag continued to wave, touching my arm, my soul, my heart.
It was sitting there that I began to finally accept the finality of these past few weeks.
The stone was done, seeds were planted and tears rolled down my cheeks watering the dry earth below me.
As I stood up, the breeze ceased and the flag drooped down.
I kissed the palm of my hand and placed it on the warm rose granite bench that now held their names.
“You’re finally home, Dad,” I said to an empty cemetery.
I got in my truck and drove away a different man then when I originally came in and
for the first time in many years, something felt right.



There are ephemeral moments in life that defy description and reason simply by lack of concrete definition.
Although they are minute slices of microcosms in time they occasionally scream at me
to look more closely at them.
These serendipitous moments come random and unannounced;
I have missed many because I wasn’t paying attention,
too preoccupied with some other curious ripple in the darkest oceans of my life.
Today was different.
I was listening.
What happened today was a very short and simple conversation with a woman I have never met before.
I don’t make this stuff up it just happens.
A Godwink?
She came into the store early this morning wearing a long black parka with a fur-lined hood.
The icy Boston rain had her wearing said hood, therefore hiding her face.
She told me she was hoping to find some empty cigar boxes outside the store but that she was sad because there were none.
(We always put the empties outside where passersby can just take them)

Hang on, I said, I think I have a few in the back.

I went and came back with two small wooden cigars boxes with sliding lids.
They were made out of Spanish cedar and smelled wonderful.
Looking back on this morning, it’s ironic that one of the cigar boxes had the name ‘Illusione’ on the top of it.

I have these, I said, handing her the boxes.

Oh, my, she said, this is just what I wanted.
Thank you so much.

No problem, I said.

Before she turned to leave, she looked up at me.
Under the fur-lined hood I saw a distant and almost yesterday version of my mother’s face.
She smiled and softly said, ‘love you’ and made a *mwah kissing sound as she left.
Love and free cigar boxes usually do not go together.
I stood there in the middle of the empty store with ridiculous goosebumps.
She even sounded like my mother, for Christ’s sake.
I could see what I wanted to see and hear what I wanted to hear.
Maybe I’m going out on a limb here making all these iffy connections,
seeing and hearing things that may not even be there.
To think and believe the actual possibility is dreaming and maybe sadly inconsequential is justified
but this morning I was a true believer in existential possibility.
I ‘heard’ the voice of my mother say ‘love you’ for the sake of two wooden cigar boxes.
Some days you have to take what life gives you and today,
I think I did just that . . .

Fire down below


I run into many interesting people during the course of my day in Boston.
This morning a customer took me by surprise with a true story that was just too damn funny not to share. I am not making this up folks.
May not be suitable for reading the kids before bed either.
I made mention of the fact that I had made chili on Wednesday when BLH said, “I gotta good chili story for ya.”

In the (somewhat) paraphrased words of BLH:

“This was several years ago when I was living next to two gay guys.
Great guys, too.
They did their thing, I did mine, ya know?
Live and let live, I say.
Anyway, my kitchen window looked right into theirs as it was less than 15 feet away.
So this one summer day, I’m making chili.
Beautiful day, windows open, music on and I’m chopping up onions and garlic and Habanero peppers for my chili.
I leave the kitchen for a minute to go and take a piss and resume my cooking.
It’s not even 2 minutes later that  ‘Mr. Willy’ starts to heat up.
Like really heating up.
I look at the Habanero peppers now nicely chopped and look down at my crotch and think, “Dear God, no.”
Within 5 minutes, I realize that ‘Mr. Willy’ needs some serious medical attention.
This is getting painful.
And really hot.
I get a facecloth, soak it in cold water and drop my pants right there in the middle of the kitchen.
It didn’t take long to realize that all the wet facecloth did was move all the hot stuff down to my
two soon-to-be ‘Hot Mexican jumping beans’.
I was in too much pain and making too many oohs and ahhs to realize that I was also gathering something of an audience 15 feet across the way.
With my crotch turning into a smoking Mojave desert, I was getting desperate.
(Is that steam?)
Christ, I’m on fire down there!
I suddenly remembered buying a big container of sour cream for the chili and
waddled like a penguin over to the fridge.
I ripped open the container like a madman, took a fistful of the cool white stuff
and began rubbing it in gobs into the raging fire down below.
My oohs, ahhs and general sounds of relief were obviously misinterpreted by my now smiling neighbors across the way.
There I am with my pants down, breathing heavy, and sour cream smeared all over my crotch.
A proud Kodak moment for me, ya know?
I’m close to my mother so I told her the story, and man, did she laugh.
Two weeks later, I’m out to breakfast with her at a place she frequently goes.
The waitress brings my breakfast of fried eggs, home fries and bacon
but on the side of the plate is a small tub of sour cream.
I asked the waitress, “What’s up with the sour cream?”
She winked and said, “Your mother says you really like it.”
(I am laughing hysterically now)
You’ll be thinking about this every time you make chili now, right?”

Yeah, BLH, you are sooo right.
Was it a funny Thursday morning for me?
You betcha schweet bippie.
Thanks for a great tale, BLH
You have total attribution.
I just hope I did you some justice.
(BLH’s version is much funnier but has a different rating)
Hopefully ’Mr. Willy’ has found some cooler climes by now.
And, BLH, I hope you were using low-fat sour cream.
That regular stuff is just plain nasty . . .

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