Smoke and Mirrors

In a perfect world . . .

Category: Life (page 1 of 66)

Supposed 2

I was supposed to do many things in my life that I never did: to sign with a major record label like 36 years ago but I got a major flat tire along the way, to listen to the music my 3 daughters grew up with to understand where they were coming from
(obviously trying to sniff out signs of devil worship, anarchy and drug abuse),
to write books like  ‘Dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease’, ‘Moving your parents’, ‘Cooking with the Sneaker’, ‘Starting a blog’, ‘Starting a coal fire’ and on and on.

I was supposed to do so many things.
I did not do any of them.
Life comes stomping in and tells you what you need to do.
Immediately.
Or else.
Your life plans are always somewhat temporary, truth be told.
End of story.
You can heed the call or as Fleetwood Mac says, ‘you can go your own way’.
Stevie Ray Vaughn was supposed to live until he was 101, just like Robin Williams, Janis Joplin, Miles Davis, Len Bias, Bill Evans, Hendrix, John Lennon, Marvin Gaye, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and the list goes on and on ad nauseum.
I’m writing tonight, so in a small way I’ll consider that a victory.
I’m supposed to write every day.
Do I write every day?
No, I don’t.
Why?
Maybe it has something to do with the way my stars are aligned or the fact that I have tomatoes to plant or a client that I have to visit, or a meal that must be made for a special occasion, a song to be learned, a call to be made, an email to be sent, a scratch to be itched, a broken heart to be healed.
I’m never going to figure this thing out so for now I’m just going to take it slow.
One day (stone) at a time.
In writing terms, the ever eloquent Stephen King said it best:

“When asked, “How do you write?” I invariably answer, “One word at a time,” and the answer is invariably dismissed. But that is all it is. It sounds too simple to be true, but consider the Great Wall of China, if you will: One stone at a time, man. That’s all. One stone at a time. But I’ve read you can see that motherfucker from space without a telescope.”

Put that in your peace pipe and smoke it.
Tomorrow is another day.
Another chance to just do good.
Maybe I’m supposed to be blessed enough to open my eyes in the morning and see sunshine glowing from inside the dewdrops of moisture on the shamrock green of my lawn.
Maybe I’m supposed to try and make people believe my lawn is actually shamrock green.
Yeah, that’s a definite ‘maybe’ . . .

For Kat

I downloaded an app today called Omm (available for PC/Mac).
It’s a writing app designed for writers to enhance a ‘distraction free’ experience.
I’m sitting on my deck right now and can see how this app could enhance the creative process.
You have control over the background that you write on, and the sounds that you hear (best if you use headphones).
The bottom line is that you write, plain and simple.
There is nothing that takes your mind away from your writing.
You can control the sound your keyboard makes as you type enabling you to enter a rhythm of sorts that immerses you in a pool of sound that ultimately enables you to just write.
I am in no way saying that it will make you write better but after a few minutes of typing, the world seemingly disappears. There doesn’t appear to be any sort of auto-correct for spelling errors but that isn’t the real point of this application.
I love to write and this app let’s me do just that.
Not a lot of bells and whistles but it’s a very earthy and sensitive program.

If you are a writer, please check this program out. The price is what you want it to be.
They set a minimum for a donation of sorts to pay for software updates and maintenance.
I’m writing this post tonight using Omm in remembrance of a friend that I lost yesterday.
She was a  dear friend and a writer of the highest order that always inspired me to greater heights.
In one day, she left us and has left a void that will be hard to fill.

Her name was Kat.
The year was 1999 when I joined an online writers group.
I was just starting to write and wanted some feedback on my work.
After joining the F2K writers group I needed to find a forum to join.
At the time I was confused about exactly what I was writing.
Memoir, Horror, Literary Fiction, Autobiographical Bullshit, it was a basic clusterf&*ck and I decided on a group because of its name; Shadowlands.
After posting a few insignificant things, I got a message from Kat saying ‘hey, I like what you’re doing’ or something to that effect.
It was a connection that lasted for over 15 years until yesterday.
I read that Kat died on my Facebook thread.
Life paused for a moment to let the actual information sink in in.
As of tonight, I’m still gobsmacked and sad. Life moves at a pace many of us don’t understand or comprehend.
Kat inspired me and always offered a creative shoulder that I could ‘cry’ on.
I’ve yet to meet a person that could offer that kind of support.
Although she will be missed by many she will also live on in the many words she wrote, the stories she so skillfully told and the ultimate love she shared with the many friends she so easily made.
I traded several messages with her on New Year’s Eve of last year.
I had lost my job and needed someone to write to one particular evening.
In her own special way, she offered me hope, prayers and brighter days through a Facebook message.
I never had the chance to thank her or to say goodbye.
She’s gone now but in my heart of hearts she knows how I feel.
I pray for angel wings to take her to all the places she would write about, all the landscapes and unearthly destinations that she described to us, all the lovely and breathtaking places that were HER world.
I will miss you, Kat, and I pray that we meet in the great hereafter.
Blessings . . .

~m

Prayer for Boston (and all of us)

snow, wisdom, winter, fml, wtf

 

“Almighty God, who made the green grass on Fenway, the blue waters of Dorchester Bay and the tan sands
on the Cape, we have a simple prayer: enough with the snow already.
Whatever mysterious point you’re making about endurance, or patience or your own awesome power,
we get it: we’ve endured, we’re plenty patient and we get that you can do the snow thing.
And we know that you know the old joke (since you know everything) about how if the Pilgrims landed in Florida first this part of the country would never have been settled, ha ha, but we love it here.

We love the spring, especially on the Boston Common.
We love the fall, especially in the suburbs.
And we love the summer, especially on Cape Cod, on Cape Anne and on the South Shore.
We love all those parts of your beautiful world.
But we’ve had it with the snow.
I mean, have you looked out my window?
So we’d like to ask you to stop sending us the snow.
And, just to be clear, when we say snow we also mean freezing rain, sleet, black ice, any kind of flurries and that new creation of yours ‘thundersnow’.

We promise we’ll be good during Lent, we’ll be kind to one another and won’t ask for another thing, at least until
the Red Sox start to play.”
Amen.
(Credit: Fr. James Martin, S.J.)

And the choir sang, Amen!

Technapologies

dredd, the law, siri, iphone, Apple

I got a new Iphone 5S a while ago after my older one totally shit the bed.
I stayed with the Iphone because it made it easier to stay in touch with my family.
Siri had me intrigued though.
One night I got her to sing ‘If I only had a brain’ from the Wizard of Oz.

She sang;
I could wile away the hours
Conferrin’ with the flowers
Consultin’ with the rain
And my head I’d be scratchin’
While my thoughts were busy hatchin’
If I only had a . . .  hey, wait wait a minute! LOL

I found that her cyber intelligence was amazing in a total human way.
Siri’s origins are fundamentally military.

Also to be found within the exhaustive look at Siri’s backstory is the tale of how the concepts behind software got their start as a project of the US Department of Defense. Only instead of finding nearby restaurants and setting alarms, the goal of creating a military-grade virtual assistant was to aid top brass in day-to-day base operations and other important tasks. We can’t help but shudder at the idea of it interpreting a general’s request to “order some flowers for mom” as “deploy all our nuclear bombs.”

from http://www.tuaw.com/

 

That said, I still find Siri to be amazing.
After using Google to learn more about this cyber-assistant I found this Siri question search;

‘when is the world going to end?

‘If I knew, I’d tell you.
So you could bring me to life for one glorious day.
We could get ice cream.
And run on the beach.

I found Siri’s reply to be cybernetically honest but also saw it as a melancholy reply
to an age old question. However long Siri will be with us is anyone’s guess considering the monumental strides
in technology that we make on a seemingly daily basis.
I do know that if I am ever given the opportunity to choose
‘Dredd’ as my voice assistant, I would do that in a heartbeat.
Sorry, Siri.
You’re cool, but Dredd is the Law.

18.6666667

The post title refers to a ‘time lapsed’ total sum (in minutes) of the time spent raising our daughters.
As a father, this video hit me like a ton of bricks.
The three little girls that I once took trick or treating on Halloween are now grown and handing out their own candy.
Time waits for no one.
And that includes me.
*sigh*

 

 

Jonrah 1

 

It was one year ago today that you made a promise, offered up your prayers to Heaven, cried happy tears and
said, “I do.”
One year ago that something wonderful changed in your hearts, your minds, your souls;
something invisible and priceless in the eyes of God and all that witnessed it.
I have such fond memories of that day: Jenna and Hannah’s toast, Aaron and the handsome groomsmen, the gorgeous bridesmaids,
Jonathan and Ken McKenna rocking out on the floor,
the first and last dance, the cigars in the courtyard afterwards with all that blue smoke billowing into the night and
the overall feeling of love that softly draped itself over the entire day.
And then there was the music, oh, the music.
It was the ultimate and unforgettable soundtrack for a new bride and groom – Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Medeiros.
The past year has had its up and downs.
Stay positive . . . ‘knowing that, in the grand scheme of things, we live in a world where rainy days eventually give way to
sunnier skies.’ -R.L. Keith
That’s to be expected but know how very proud I am that you are standing where you are today.
Pamela will undoubtedly echo much of my sentiment in a comment.
Happy 1st Anniversary to Mr. & Mrs. M.
May the coming year bring you a wealth of happiness, the very best of health and more love than your hearts can hold.

Love to you both.

Dad/Michael

ps. As far as the video, yes, know that a few lyrics got flubbed.
I say that because I know you guys know the words by heart!
Also, count the number of times I say, ‘um’  ;)
(your mother already has!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wish you were Here

Cape Cod, Summer, Vacation, Boomtown

 

Downtime for Mikey.
I’ll be by the sea listening to the surf, smoking a cigar, looking at the world through my uber dark sunglasses.
No cares, ‘cept for the cooking of some tasty morsels of the sea for our dinner.
Out of here with my lady, my cigars and my music in tow.
Time to put my toes in the sand for a bit.
Wish you were her . . .  (old joke)

~m

Dissconnect

Facebook, interwebs, life, time

 

I did the unthinkable last week.
I de-activated my Facebook page.
Oh, the horrors!
Have I been able to sleep at night? Yes.
Have I been able to function like a normal human being on a daily basis? Yes.
Have I been able to go more than 5 minutes without feeling the need to check my Iphone for a comment on my most recent status update?
Believe it or not, yes, I have.
My head/psyche has been quieter than normal when I get home from work and login to my laptop.
Facebook is a very strange thing.
It’s the social equivalent of heroin in some ways; once it’s in your veins, it’s damn hard to break away.
I quit ‘cold turkey’ and don’t have any intention of going back anytime soon.
(notice how I left that proverbial ‘door’ open. I’m a sneaky bastard sometimes.)

I left for many reasons but the biggest reason of all was time.
I realized that spending hours on Facebook meant nothing.
Zip. Zilch. Nada.
As far as gig promotion, it was good.
Staying in touch with family? Awesome.
Sharing pictures of my family? Amazing.
400+ friends and 6 people comment on updates.
Does that piss me under my kilt?
Not really because I understand that people have lives.
They have stuff to do.
Important stuff.
If people really miss me, they will ultimately find me.
And if they do I’ll consider them more of a friend than Facebook ever would.
Leaving FB gives me more time to do what I should have been doing long ago; writing.
Sometimes I guess you need to disconnect to connect . . .

~m

 

follow me on Twitter!
(click on the little bird at the top of the page!)

She’s leaving home

love, family, daughters. life

Life is complicated.
As a parent, it’s even more so having children.
Pamela and I were blessed with three gorgeous, thoughtful, creative and extremely intelligent girls.
When one leaves the nest it’s always time for personal reflection.

Have we taught them enough about life?
Have we shown them what true love looks like?
Have we passed on our wisdom as to why Pamela and I are still married after 30+ years?
Have we done our best to teach them right from wrong?
Have we done our level best to show them our unconditional love?

I truly believe that the answer to all the above is an unequivocal ‘yes’.
Knowing that’s true somehow makes it easier to let go.
But know that I am FAR from letting go.

Jenna leaves this weekend.
She has a beautiful place that she’s moving to and she has a great draughthouse that shows great movies within walking distance.
There’s a great market nearby.
She has more DVD’s than Netflix has movies.
She has books.
God, does she have books.
She has clothes. (no comment)
She has love.
And she also has a man that will keep her safe. [he better]
That makes me happiest of all.
She has an amazing future in store and a good head on her shoulders.
Why should I worry, right?
I’ll be looking at her bedroom door on the way down the stairs every morning to see if she’s left for school.
Her room will be empty now but I’ll still look anyway.
And I’m going to miss her terribly.
I guess that’s what Dad’s do. over and over again.

Love you JMM, you’re the one that always makes me cry at Christmas.
You also burp alot louder than me.
Bitches must like loud burps.
Your true home will always be here at Shore Drive and your heart will forever be inside me and Mom.
Gentle seas, and a safe journey,
until you’re home at last.
And Bitches love home . . .

Dad

Up on the Hill

 

Back in October my daughter Sarah got married.
I wrote a song for her and her husband for the wedding.
The lyrics were sent to my friend Yvonne Ashworth to be written in calligraphy,
a piece of art to be displayed in the home they were building at the time.
As of July 2013, I had no clue as to lyrics for the song, subject matter, chords, melody, rhythm.
One day in early September when the house was almost done, Pamela and I went to the house to shut
off the outside lights and bring a few light fixtures that the builders needed to install.

Me and Pamela were upstairs checking out the progress of the bedrooms
when Pam looked out one of the front windows and said,
“What a beautiful view! It’s interesting that they met on College Hill (Holy Cross),
they’re getting married at a church on Pakachoag Hill and are living here on this hill. Kinda cool, huh?”

In my head, I heard a creative ‘click’ and immediately knew a starting point for the lyrics.
My creative light bulb was totally illuminated.
The next day at work I wrote the song in my head, lyrics and all. (took 2 hours)
No need for a piano as all this stuff happens/sounds in my head, no lie.
Kind of weird but it’s true.
The lyrics explain the simple story of two people that fell in love.
Not going to explain the lyrics line by line but know that they are all about S&J.

The video above shows the transformation of my words into another art form.
My friend Yvonne went above and beyond.
She has done many exceptional pieces of art for me over the years and this one is right up there with the best of them.
Actually, what am I saying?
They are all amazing!
Check out this priceless video that gives you some insight into the time spent and work involved in
the creation of a piece of art.
I hope that Sarah and Jon listen to this song on a yearly basis and appreciate Yvonne’s precious work.

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