55

alone, age, years, birthday

“Do not regret growing older.
It is a privilege denied to many.”
~Author Unknown

On this my 55th birthday, I can only say that I’m happy to still be alive.
“If I knew I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.” [att; Mickey Mantle]
Years ago I heard this quote and laughed.
Hindsight is 20/20. (that should be engraved on my headstone)
Mickey spoke the truth.
As Bernard Shaw said, “Youth is wasted on the young.”
If only they knew.
A family gathering will ultimately ensue this weekend and for that I am eternally grateful.
Oh, what a lucky man, I am. [He was]
Happy birthday to me. [and my twin sister, Maureen]
Come on 2014 . . .

~m

Kind

kindness, homeless, love, winter, snow, cold

 

I went to get an iced tea today and was almost knocked over by this foul smelling guy
that wanted some money.

“Got five bucks?” He says.

“What happened to spare change?” I say, half laughing.

“Come on, man. I’m hungry.” He says.

“Come on, I’ll get you something,” I say.

He argued quietly about wanting money but finally accepted my offer of some food.
I’m far from well off but I felt for the guy for some odd reason.
I got him a black coffee and a glazed donut.
Cost me five bucks with my large unsweetened iced tea. (no lemon!)
I gave him the goods and he almost scowled at me.
He wanted the money more, I think.
Truth was he needed food and some liquid.
It wasn’t a Thanksgiving dinner but it was probably the first thing he’d eaten that wasn’t from a dumpster or
an overflowing trash can on Main Street.
I didn’t feel like Santa for the deed nor did I think about it again.
I’m home at my laptop writing right now.
It’s warm and the house smells like Christmas.
The tree looks beautiful and two of my daughters and Pamela are watching the Celine Dion Christmas Special in HD.
God only knows where this somewhat smelly and Blue man is tonight.
Maybe we all need to be kinder, not just because it’s Christmas but because
we’re all in this thing together.
Just a thought . . .

~m

Yuletide Cheeseburger

cheeseburger, Christmas, holidaze

 

It’s at this time of the year that I generally climb inside a protective cocoon and hibernate, emotionally speaking.
My personal ambivalence towards a holiday that is celebrated for all the wrong reasons leaves me
outside and shivering on a cold and snowy night.
I know I’m not alone on this one.

‘What do you want for Christmas?’
A question heard since before Thanksgiving.

You know what I want?
I want a cheeseburger, okay?
A juicy, steaming hunk of meat fresh off the grill.
Throw that sucker in a bun and we can eat, we can sit and talk about stuff that matters in our lives.
We can be human for an hour.
And drink beer.
And eat pretzels and stuff.
Talk about the Bruins, the Pats, and the number of players we still don’t know on the Celtics.
We can talk about the Red Sox and a banner year that nobody thought would happen.
We can even talk about the Farmer’s Almanac and their Winter prediction (which I hope is shit)
Social media and smartphones have doomed our society to cyber connectivity amongst users.
Text messages, Twitter updates, WordPress pages and Tumblr posts are just words on a white screen.
We are flesh and blood and we need a closer kind of communication than that.
Cheeseburgers can change that!

A 1TB hard drive from Best Buy for all the music I listen to?
Really?
A 25$ giftcard to Starbucks for their mediocre and overpriced latte’s?
Not that either.
How’s about an Omaha Steak gift box filled with filets, burgers, sirloin and crabcakes?
How’s about that cheeseburger?
Fruitcake I will never eat?
You’re probably not much of a friend anyway.

I don’t want anything.
Period.
Amen.
And the angels sing . . .

It’s a holiday of giving, yes?
When this holiday got blown out of the water is a question that all of us need to own up to.
I work in retail and holiday sales are important but the avarice and over the top ‘milking of customers’ by
online retailers, car dealers, furniture stores, health clubs, fly by night internet schemers and online pirates must be silenced.
That’s something that will NEVER happen.
And that is profoundly sad.
It will always be about the bottom line.
And the bottom line has nothing to do with stuff we don’t need.
It has nothing to do with stuff at all.

My yuletide bells stopped ringing many years ago when I realized that the Christmas holiday was just another chance to sell.
Santa turned darkly foul, holly turned autumn brown,
carols echoed chaotic harmonies not unlike a Charles Ives piano piece.
I miss Christmases from 1970.
I miss the antediluvian ideal of the simple ‘carol’ hummed by people walking on the street, shopping in stores.
I miss the Christmas mornings that you didn’t get all that you wanted but what you got was all and more than what you needed.
I miss the simplicity of the town manger going a whole season without being vandalized.
I miss my feelings and love and respect for a beautiful and simple holiday.
But maybe I just miss the cheeseburgers.
Fire up the grill, I’m coming.
Merry Christmas, dudes and dudettes!
Merry Christmas!

~m

Whitelighter

With Christmas right around the corner I felt like changing the atmosphere here.
I got red and gold balls.
I got snow.
I even have ‘Merry Christmas’ in the header.
Hmmm.
Something Christmas.
I found this video floating around on youtube.
I found it interesting for a variety of reasons.
Santa is not the only Whitelighter.
Leo on Charmed was an awesome Whitelighter. Yes?
But the greatest Whitelighter?
I have a favorite.
This video has echoes of the Polar Express in many ways but subtly veers off on a
tangent all its own.
Check it out.
It’s short but sweet.
Draw your own conclusions.
Lord knows, I have mine.
Whitelighter?
Mine is the best.
 

Sold!

houses, homes, love, life, daughters, marriage

 

It was many years ago that me, Pamela and Sarah (3 years old?) went to my sister’s house for a Christmas Eve visit.
At that time, my sister and her husband lived 10 minutes away with my niece Caitlin, 2 months shy of her 3rd birthday.
Two 3 year olds on Christmas Eve, how great/exciting will that be?
From what I remember, it started off quite well; happiness, laughter, cocktails, Karen Carpenter singing ‘Merry Christmas, Darling’,
and a smorgasbord of waist thinning appetizers fit for a King.
Everything was going so well until Sarah found out that Santa (that sweet SOB) brought Cait an early present.
It was a Little Tikes Kitchen, fully equipped with  plastic pots, pans, a stove top and the most evil addition of all, a fake telephone.
BTW- Little Tikes toys will be roaming the earth long after all of us are dead and gone.
Talk about indestructible.
Sarah and Caitlin began playing nicely until Sarah wanted to use the phone.
(Probably to call Santa and tell him to bring her a kitchen just like Cait’s)
Houston? We have a problem.
The phone was Caitlin’s.
Period.
Amen.
And Santa (me) in all his infinite wisdom did not bring Sarah a plastic kitchen to leave under the tree.
Things spiraled down from there with pots and pans flying and two little girls crying, and me realizing I am so screwed.
I remember hating (not really) my sister that night knowing full well that I would have to search the ends
of the earth for a Little Tikes Kitchen in time for Sarah’s birthday (12/26).
I did find that kitchen on the day of her birthday.
It was delivered and all was well.
I don’t think she let Cait use the phone at her birthday party.
Santa has since recovered.

This past Tuesday, Sarah and Jonathan (the son I never had) closed on their first home.
I call it a home because that’s what they intend on making it.
It’s a beautiful place set high on a hill overlooking many surrounding towns.
The view from the upstairs windows are astounding.
I was there this morning shutting off the outside lights before walking through the house in silence.
In my mind I could see and hear all the wonderful things just waiting to happen.
I could smell bacon cooking in a kitchen that Sas and Cait will never fight about.
I could see a fire slowly burning and crackling in the fireplace in a living room worth living in.
I could even hear a piano that is not there yet, but will someday be because music somehow ‘completes’ a home.
I could feel the spirit of a long awaited Christmas that was waiting to happen, years in the making, just outside the windows.
I could feel love waiting in the wings.
A gentle hand from far and high above the clouds waved it to be.
I just know that.
Sold?
I’m sold on this home that’s just dying to be filled with oh, so many wonderful things.
This will ultimately be a most amazing Christmas.
And my inner Grinch will take a much needed hiatus (as he should every year)
A new house, a newly married couple, a first Holiday meal, the beginning of a new family.
Santa will sleep well on Christmas Eve . . .
but only after he prepares his French Toast Casserole.

~m

Once Upon A Time

love, infinity, anniversary

This coming Wednesday is a very special day.
30 years ago on November 6, 1983, I married my best friend.
In this day and age of disposable marriages and engagements, I’ve come to realize just how blessed I am, we are.
That’s not to say it’s been a bed of roses for all those years either.
But I never knew that I could fall in love with someone so deeply that I could never see myself falling out of that love.
My best friend IS that love.
And that love has a name.
Pamela.

In good times and in bad?
Check.
In sickness and in health?
Check.
To love and honor for the rest of our lives?
Check.

My blog has ‘our’ story pasted all over it so I won’t even begin to tell you how
I fell in love the night I first saw her; in the dark space of a smoky nightclub, I just knew.
Her hair, her clothes, the way she carried herself, her scent, her smile.
Ah yes, her sweet smile, always her smile.
Imagine my surprise when I actually saw those green eyes in the daylight.
I was like a piece of frozen butter thrown on a hot tin roof.
I still say God had His hand in this.
I can’t imagine life without her; without her grace, her beauty, her patience, compassion, mercy and most of all her unfaltering love.
She is my everything.

Who else would I cook Beef Stroganoff or my special Baked Scallops for?
Who else would be the ultimate inspiration in my music and my writing?
And who would be there to hold me up when all my walls came tumbling down?
(Not many people were looking for that gig.)

Through thick and thin she has been there.
I could never ask for more.

For Pamela:

You will forever haunt my heart,
a subtle whisper in the night, a silent look that says all I want to say
shadows of days to come, hours to love, minutes to say a few . . .
prayers of the heart, through a pulse, the wiping of a teardrop, a moment in time that . . .
silently falls into a warm and safe place where two souls meet and embrace forever, for eternity, for love.
Our shadows are the same, our love; endless, our blessings; many . . .
We are forever One.
Haunt my heart forever more . . . for all eternity

Happy 30th Anniversary to my beautiful wife with the viridescent eyes . . .
I LOVE YOU.
Always . . .

~m

love. eternity

Cryptic Sorry

This is for a very special soul in my life.
So special, in fact, that they get their very own post.
A heart that breaks will heal eventually but the hurt lives on.
Not forever, though.
This love owns this heart of mine, and in my own small way, my heart breaks as well.
Fragile is never ever a good place to be on any given day.
My heart is breaking tonight.
Tears for loves lost . . .
(maybe someday to be found)

~m

Salty Sardines

work, life, reality, fantasy

Had an interesting customer today.
An attorney from the Big Apple nonetheless.
His corpulent and somewhat vocal wife sat her crinkly bumcakes on a leather chair while hubby proceeded
to thrill me with his infinite knowledge of cavendish/aromatic pipe tobacco.

Customer: Yeah, I had a blend you guys make and I liked it. It was called . . .  um . . . 4 . . . 43 . . .  43 something.
Me: 432?
Customer: Yeah, yeah, that’s it. You got something that’s kinda similar but different? (this guy IS a lawyer)
Me: Sure do. (pick up a can of whatever and offer him a sniff)
Customer: Oh, man! That’s way too strong! (It isn’t) How about something a little milder?
Me: Absolutely, sir. (pick up another can of whatever and offer him a sniff)
Customer: Oooh! That’s nasty! Maybe I should just stick with the 432.
Me: I pegged you as a ’432 guy’ the minute you walked in the door, sir. (winking) You like what you like, right?
(we have another name for this blend that’s unfortunately proprietary)
Customer: Yeah, I guess so. (laughing, while gazing not so lovingly at the lounging and now sweating profusely Wifey)
[No AC in store] [No lie]
Me: How much would you like, sir? An ounce? Two ounces?
Customer: Two ounces. I’m just going to peruse your pipes while you do that.
Whiney Wifey: (in a commanding and demeaning tone) You’re not buying anymore pipes today!
(to me she says) He already has too many. (a look of disgust on her face)
Me: How many pipes do you have? (I’m already feeling sorry for this choad)
Customer: 6 or 7
Me: Oooh! You animal! (my associate has over 400+ Castello high grades worth God knows what)
Customer: (smiles, and very slyly says) I started making my own pipes, too. (eyebrows going up to impress me)
Me: Really? (not really curious but being polite)
Whiney Wifey: You should see ‘em! Pff. (offering up a nasty and disapproving grin)
(to hubby) You’re such a loser! (hubby looks at me, and . . . )
Customer: {{{shrugs. admits defeat to his personal ball and chain}}}
I’m wondering if they have children.
To me, it seems a virtual/sexual impossibility.

Whiney Wifey( WW)(Anti-Cougar) finally goes outside to test the weight limit of our all too ancient benches as hubby looks at more pipes.
He finds one, takes it down and places it on the counter before running out of the store like a kid at a carnival to ask for WW’s permission to buy it.
WTF?

I found this sale comical in ways but so damn sad in many others.
Here’s a smart man (supposedly?) being controlled 100% by a woman that defies the definition of ‘loving and beautiful wife’, in my most humble opinion.
She was demeaning and down right salty.
My opinion? She’s in need of some high colonic irrigation. With Liquid Plumber. (ooh. that was a bit harsh)
And who knows, maybe 432 keeps her away from him like Off! spray keeps skeeters away from me.
If it does, he should have bought 40-50lbs of the stuff.
Hey, she’s worth it.