It seems like eons ago that I was selling Steinway pianos for a living.
A musician/artist/writer will do just about anything to get by.
It was a gorgeous Tuesday morning on September 11th that I paused outside the door to work.
I looked at the bluer than blue sky, the shining sun, felt the cool but comfortable breeze on my face and thought,
“What a gorgeous day. Sucks but I have to work.”
It was around 8:50am that the phone rang in the store.
I answered it, “Hello, M.Steinert and Sons, how may I help you?”
It was one of our piano tuners calling to tell me he’d just heard on the radio that a passenger plane just flew into
one of the WTC towers in New York.
He thought it was strange and I agreed. We left it at that.
That CAN happen right?
The phone rang again at @9:05.
I answered again.
“Another plane just hit the other tower.”
Same piano tuner, more urgent.
“What the hell, dude,” I said.
It was at that exact moment that the world as I knew it had changed.
We were no longer the invulnerable United States, we were brought to our knees in front of the world.
An attack that could have and should have been avoided.
Are we safer today?
If we are, I don’t feel like we are.
We currently have an administration that has no viable/visible strength, united voice or ultimate power to
condone or publicly defile such despicable acts.
While I’m still ultimately proud to be an American, I fear for all that are out of our international reach.
These days the United States is powerless.
That is a sad truth.
My prayers go out for all those that were lost those 13 years ago.
I will keep Amy Jarret and her family forever in my thoughts.
As we still mourn, we will take comfort in the thought and hope that there’s something better for us out there.
An that maybe someday we will feel safe.
When Michael Sembello released ‘Bossa Nova Hotel‘ back in 1983,
I immediately bought it.
Who the hell is that?
If you remember the movie ‘Flashdance’, there was a song called ‘Maniac’.
That was Michael Sembello.
This guy/musician/singer has floated underneath the radar for years.
Maybe that’s how he wanted it.
His brother Danny has eluded the mainstream as well.
Both are intensely talented artists.
When I first listened to the album (and it was a vinyl record then) one song
seemed to stick out; Superman
“As you stand at the edge of existence
and the world has forgotten your name
After life after life you remember
He’s as fast as a speeding bullet
Change the water into wine
And the last time he came
They cursed his name
With a kryptonite cross
they cut him down
Are we ever going to see you again
If we do will you teach us how to fly above the sky?
Some say at the end of the tunnel
There’s a light that will show us the way
It’s a light that belongs to the people of every nation, color or creed
I can’t speak for all of the sinners
I don’t know any saints I could ask
It’s been 2000 years since we’ve seen you
We need you
Please come back
All of the pain in your life
How can we ever repay?
And the answer, you said
is in the life that you led, Superman”
I knew who Sembello was talking about back in ’83.
Then I read THIS.
I thought, “Sembello was already there 30 years ago!”
Maybe it’s just a continuation of a long ago story but it’s one that needs to be told.
I believe in God.
And I believe in artists that convey the Word in a way that invites the world to believe.
And we all know what the world needs.
Yeah, Dionne Warwick said it best . . .
We need LOVE.
We need people to care for that errant stranger lost in the Market Basket parking lot of life.
We NEED random acts of kindness to show the Man upstairs that we still care.
We all need to be Superman, a Man of Steel . . .
Sometimes when I start writing I have no clue as to what I will find;
maybe that’s the beauty of the written word; an internal GPS on shuffle mode.
I lost a friend of 30+ years last night and I’m fumbling for the right words tonight.
I woke up this morning with nothing special on my mind save for the usual morning routine.
It was 5:30am and my brain was on automatic as I drank my Mango juice, took my Multi-vitamin and gagged on my Fish oil.
Fish oil burps are, THE worst.
I opened my IPhone and saw a private message from a Facebook friend sent last night at 10:43.
It was simple enough and said, “Are you up?”
Obviously, I was not.
I really hate late night calls/messages.
They are never good.
I got on the train at 6:10am for my trip into Boston and responded;
“I’m up now. What’s going on, dude?”
We all think we are going to live forever.
There will always be another tomorrow.
The next scratch ticket is our ‘ticket’ outta here.
We reminisce about friends we haven’t talked to in years and think, “I should call him/her.”
Do we call?
We click our remotes to the next ‘Dancing with the Stars’ offering, the next ‘Idol’, the next ‘Desperate Housewives’ episode, and read the next Supermarket rag that somehow becomes a vital part of our lives.
We will not live forever.
Tomorrow is promised to no one.
Kim Kardashian was never sexy to begin with.
And ‘reality’ TV needs to be attacked by Navy Seals because it ain’t even fackin’ close to reality.
The message I received back told me that a close friend had unexpectedly died.
As I’m writing this post, I have not cried, have not grieved.
I am profoundly sad that my friend is gone.
I am numb.
I can’t believe I will never talk to him again.
I can’t believe I will never be able to say goodbye.
I just can’t believe that he’s gone.
I just called my best friend on my cell and left a shaky voiced message.
I wanted to just hear his voice.
Today has shattered my insides.
I’m trying hard to keep it in because that’s what I think I need to do.
He will call me back very soon, I hope.
After leaving him a message, this thing hit me like an emotional tornado.
I cried; am still crying as I type this.
Oddly enough it feels right; because genuine tears heal the bigger part of us . . . eventually.
More are on the way . . .
I put up a candle when there’s some serious stuff going on in my life,
I’m fine personally but there are those close to me that are not.
If you happen to pass by my blog,
please light a candle and say a small prayer.
Life is strange sometimes and I don’t quite know what to make of it.
I thank you in advance for the prayers and light,
friends and perfect strangers.
This past October took I took a ride to the Deerfield Candle Factory with Pamela and our Australian friends Maureen and Mark.
The place was decked out in the traditional Christmas array of sights, sounds and scents.
It’s a magical place and if you have the time to get there before December 25th, I highly recommend that you do.
There’s even a nighttime Bavarian Village lit by vintage flickering streetlamps where it snows every 4 minutes.
It’s a place filled with secret wishes, sugarplum dreams, amazing tree ornaments and obviously every imaginable scented candle you
could ever dream of including, ‘Brown Paper Packages’ and ‘First Down’,
a mancandle that may possibly smell of broken NFL dreams and dirty jock straps, or not.
The ‘Man Candles’ gave me much in the pause department: Riding Mower, 2X4 and Mantown?
No Super Sweaty Golf Balls?
And lastly the weirdest 2 candles (to me) were ‘Whiskers on Kittens’ and ‘Schnitzel and Noodles’.
Don’t bogart that joint my friend, pass it over to me.
What the hell do whiskers smell like and how would they actually make that scent?
Be on the lookout for my own list of the top 10 rejected Yankee Candle Scents.
Turns out that this post isn’t about candle scents and snowflakes it’s about the letter that you see at the top of my post.
A good portion of the DCF caters to children during the Christmas season and I happened to walk by a corkboard filled with letters written by children of all ages to the holiday machine we created and called ‘Kris Kringle’.
Most letters were as you would suspect:
Please bring me an Xbox 360 with at least 2 games and a new Nano Ipod because I lost mine.
An Ipad would be great but I won’t count on that. My parents are too cheap to buy me one.
Say hi to Rudolph for me. And I promise to leave you cookies and milk this year.
I love you!”
“Dear Santa, Hi! How are you? How are your reindeer doing?
What are you doing in the North Poal? I am so ecxited about Chrismas.
I woud like a CD player and a Gameboy Advance and a backpack.
Let me see if I got this right;
Bella doesn’t want anything for herself,
She wants happiness for her Mom because her Dad is a jerk,
She wants happiness for her family,
And she wants Santa to make her cousin Chrystal’s life better.
This little girl ‘gets’ the holiday while the world goes on not even taking notice of this most simple prayer.
And yes, it is a most vibrant Christmas prayer.
We are bombarded on a daily basis with commercials, videos, signs, radio commercials, TV commercials
and pop-ups on our computers telling us to be happy because that’s what this season is all about.
Where the hell did we go wrong?
This little girl sent me a personal message in the most innocent of ways telling me that this most blessed of holidays
is not about acquiring the most expensive of gifts.
It’s not about the stuff under the tree.
It’s about the people AROUND the tree that make the difference.
Right now, this little girl doesn’t have that.
Her letter made me cry inside because it was absolutely true.
This disjointed familial stuff pervades our society and the world at large.
A happy holiday?
Maybe for some.
Sadly, not for all.
Try to see through the commercial glitz and glamour of a holiday that has literally spiraled out of control in terms of meaning and substance.
Get away from the artificial joyful noise and the constant jingle bells where you will hopefully arrive at a place where your heart can be happy without the need for the stuff that the Media says you need to be happy.
I want BellaM to get every single thing on her list this year.
Maybe even a pony for good measure.
I will say a prayer for her on Christmas Eve even though I don’t even know her.
And I will pray she gets love.
Stockings full of love.
How about you?
just saying . . .
“To me, faith means not worrying.” – John Dewey
for someone close, yet so far away . . .
I have been enthralled with Marc Jordan for the past few months.
If you read me on Facebook you will understand.
Don’t know what it is but this guy and his lyrics speak to me in a way that no other artist has.
His words are almost impossible to find online so I am reduced to translating them by listening.
My daughter Jenna helped me with this one tonight.
I find truth in Jordan’s lyrics and they almost parallel my life in so many ways.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to relate to an artist.
This guy brings me straight to ground zero. Amen.
It’s funny that Jordan has no idea as to how much he has influenced my music and views on life.
Born in Brooklyn but lives in Canada.
If any of you know Marc Jordan, please send him my cell number.
I have some questions about lyrics.
This video is a bit deep. but if you truly know me, you’ll get it.
I’m still a lamb with0ut a home . . .
On the highway, blinding snow
an hour north of Montreal
all night long the bells were still
children rocking in their cells
Tell me that your love is true and I will give my heart to you
Jesus don’t leave me alone, a little lamb without a home.
Down the hallways, like a fire
this would come drunk with desire
in the silent night they cried, for the fools that they were right and said
say your Rosary for me, get back down upon your knee.
Jesus left you all alone, a little lamb without a home
So, I dreamed of sailing ships and families out on Sunday trips
pillows for our heads of eiderdown . . .
Don’t forget to say a prayer
Pray that you belong somewhere
Jesus left me all alone, a little lamb without a home.
Father Roy sets in his chair, cups his hands and says his prayer
but tonight his tears fall down like rain, oh . . . .
let the walls come falling down
let the flood cover each town
Jesus leaves us all alone,
little lambs without a home,
little lambs without a home . . .
As my life zips by at warp speed I barely see the signposts ahead, the lives dripping by, the rain that falls or the
multiple times that particular moments grab me by the stones and scream ‘LISTEN!’.
There is an incessant drone that accompanies the soundtrack of my life.
Like any constant, the human condition adapts and moves on, uninterrupted and undisturbed.
The body is made in a way that it simply adapts and adjusts.
Example: Where did I put my glasses?
Answer: They are up on the top of your head.
If we didn’t have this ability, wearing clothes would drive us to insanity.
I work in a cigar store and hear on a daily basis,
“This store smells wonderful! It reminds of my Dad/Grandfather/Uncle.”
Truth be told, I can’t smell it.
I can be away for weeks from the store and upon my return?
No smell, no recognition.
I am for the most part physiologically incapable of recognizing it.
But I could walk into another cigar store and the smell grabs and smacks me in the face like the cigar smoking bitch that I am . . .
(in a good way, I love tobacco).
My point is that as we live our lives we sometimes build up an almost unintentional immunity to things that mean the most to us.
This includes people, places, things, moments, songs, food, smells, feelings, emotions and more.
It’s physiological and biological as well.
It’s how we are hard-wired.
We are bombarded by so much media that much of what we see consists of perpetuated and virtual cybershit.
Don’t know about you but seeing that on a daily basis puts me on a virtual merry-go-round.
But now and then something throws me off the ride, in a major way.
My 2011 Ford Escape has one hell of an amazing sound system.
It is equipped with Microsoft Sync, Sirius Radio, a great CD player and a USB port for the 4,000+ songs on my Ipod Classic. (and it gets close to 32 miles/gallon highway)
Not sure but judging from the sound I think the speaker system may be made by Bose.
At any rate this thing kicks some serious sonic ass.
It is AMAZING.
(and it has an awesome Australian Southern Cross vanity plate to boot)
I was driving into Boston last Sunday morning and had my Ipod set to ‘Shuffle’ (random songs).
I can fast forward or rewind using the controls on my steering wheel.
As I made my way onto the Mass Pike THIS song came on.
I’ve listened to Marc Jordan for years but never listened to this song as I did this particular Sunday.
It’s meaning was crystal clear as to what and who the song was about.
The next song was THIS from Michael Sembello (aka, Maniac from ‘FlashDance’ fame)
Although I’d listened to this album years ago, I never heard the actual words.
What came to me towards the end of the song was that someone is trying to get in touch with me.
Someone is trying like hell to make me listen.
Someone is going out of their way to get me to wake the hell up in terms of my life.
If you feel like doing some homework, listen to these two songs.
Who do YOU think they are about?
Know that I am listening and know that in my heart the songs are both about the same Man.
Is He Superman?
It’s all about interpretation.
I’m thinking I understand and it’s always been all about Superman . . .
Dear Mom and Dad,
For every memory lost, every heart broken wide open, every tear shed,
every life forever changed, every second chance missed,
there was always that white light of hope,
a sotto-voce prayer whispered by the many that so loved you.
I am currently living in a world that is profoundly affected by the monster that took the both of you.
This Sunday morning (Pamela’s birthday) I will walk with my wife, your daughter, Maureen, your granddaughters, Sarah, Jenna & Hannah and Jonathan, Sarah’s friend and love.
I will paraphrase your granddaughter Hannah’s Facebook profile, “We will walk for you . . . You may have forgotten but we never will.”
Wally and Ginny Murphy.
Mom and Dad.
Uncle and Aunt.
Grandmother and Grandfather.
The lost and never found.
There were so many things that you missed out on, so many precious moments that you should have seen, so many defining points in time that change young lives and this
insidious bastard took that away, forever.
There’s little to be gained with a ‘what could have been’ mentality but maybe that’s just part of being human.
It’s the way we are wired, methinks.
I take comfort in the knowing that you hopefully ‘see’ . . .
I will be walking on Sunday for the two of you knowing that you can see all of us moving towards a cure for the thing that stole both of you from us . . . all too soon.
On Sunday morning we will walk to remember two (+1) people we will never forget.
We miss you both dearly . . .
Maybe in another space,
another silly rhyme
we would gently collide,
in a dance of serendipitous destiny and fate;
and all that the blessed heavens could cast in our way
Falling stars, like ethereal butterflies touching our lives without us even knowing,
with whispers of ‘meant to be’,
transforming the colours of life that we once took for granted
When the tired and crimson sun sets on another distant horizon,
know that chance and coincidence are sometimes pure and beautiful random happenings . . .
meant to give our lives an oh, so deeper meaning and understanding
but for the biggest part, they give us love
from a place that’s not so mysterious after all; the heart.
And yours answered.
But that 1 click ultimately took us on a long and still unforgettable journey home . . .