Thankful

thanksgiving, love, family, turkey, football

 

I am thankful for:

Family;
Pamela, Sarah, Jenna, Hannah, Jonathan and Aaron,
Hedy and George,
my sister Maureen, Billy, Caitlin and Ryan.
Love
Friends (too numerous to mention here. I am blessed)
Music
Faith
Great food (turkey, cheeseburgers, crockpot, BBQ, steak, anything that swims, chicken, pork roast, and on and on)
Blue skies
Poetry
Cigars
Pipe tobacco
Rain
Picasso
Dali
Hopper
Miles, Coltrane, Parker, Sample, Ray Charles, Leon Russell, Steely Dan, Michael McDonald, Marc Jordan, Steve Khan, Tom Scott, Take 6
Chick Corea, Bill Evans, Chopin, Brubeck, Oscar Peterson, Joplin and on and on
NH, and mountains, maple syrup and Zeb’s
Australia, snags, pull-a-parts, meatpies, Bundy, the Southern Cross, grilled venison in Stick’s Mancave, chinese croc, Pavlova
Didgeridoos and bullwhistles
Moe, Mark, Tash, Stick, Stella, Max, Issac, Will, Kel, Ant, Zoe, Mel, Steve, Caleb, Lucas, Taylor, Jack and all our Aussie family
the Pats, Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and the NE Revolution
Harrison’s Roast Beef
Wright’s Chicken Farm
Ronnie’s on a sunny summer day
The College of the Holy Cross
Assumption College
Bryant University
Everyday that I am alive
my own music and the knowledge that it came from somewhere high above
Sleep
Church on Sunday and another chance to do good
every day that I wake up
my Guardian Angel (she’s always busy)
My list could/should go on but I will stop here.
Please leave me one thing that you are thankful for.
That would be nice.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
I will be away from FB for the next few days because I will be cooking.
Alot.
Much peace to all.
~m

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

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.

Hot Flash

menopause, women, life, changes

Not really sure where this thing is going but I know that in the end I will probably piss someone off and that is not my intention at all.
There’s just something I feel the need to talk about and my blog is the best damn place to do it.
And why?
Because I own the joint.
(kinda)

Being happily married for almost 30 years you get to know every little thing about your partner.
By partner, I mean ‘the Love of your Life’.
Many guys will laugh at that statement but I will stand behind it every step of the way.
No surprise to the readers here that I love my wife unconditionally.
Always have, always will.
Knowing how they like their tea, their steak done, their burgers done, their bed made and their shoulders rubbed, you just know how they like it.
You don’t ask, you just do.
Biologically, they change through the years (as do us guys) and you have to be a sport, a team player.
But sometimes the games get rough though.
I have never been able to figure out why they call it ‘Menopause’.

1872, from Fr. ménopause, from Gk. men (gen. menos) “month” + pausis “a cessation, a pause,” from pauein “to cause to cease.” Opposite of menarche “onset of menstruation,” 1900, from Ger. (1895), from Gk. arkhe “beginning.”

Really?

There’s MENopause, MENstration, MENtal Illness and so on.
How about WOMapause, WOMstration and WOMal Illness?
Just saying.

1am this morning the blanket and sheet covering me were violently ripped off.
Okay, I get it, the AC is blasting and she was cold.
I’m fine with that.
I was shivering my ass off until I could grab enough of the blanket and comforter to get warm and back to sleep.

2am, the blankets and comforter are shoved over suffocating me while she lays there uncovered.

This happens on a nightly basis and I’m fine with that but really?

I understand on a biological and physiological basis why it happens but I still wonder what the hell?
Estrogen deficit?
Damn you, you hormonal hungry bastard!

Several years ago me and Pam went for an autumn drive through southern New Hampshire to view the foliage.
Some nice Jazz was playing on the radio and the heat was on low with the outside temps in the mid to upper 50’s.
Suddenly, the windows were opened, the heat was shut off and I couldn’t hear the music.

“What’s up? You okay?”  I asked.

“Hot flash, sorry.” She said.

The phrase, “Hot Flash, sorry!” should be a bumper sticker requirement for any woman beyond the age of 50.
I don’t say that in a nasty way just as a reminder for the younger folks driving behind you with no clue as to where you’re going.
[Insane. Wanna come along?]
It could explain a lot.
The rest of the ride was basically, AC on, AC off, Heat on, Heat off, windows open, windows closed, ad nauseum.
Do I feel for you women thrashing through this tumultuous time in your life?
Please believe that I do.
Should this thing should ever come full circle, know that us guys would rather rip our genitalia off.
If that’s what it takes . . .
Or not.
Is it me or is it all of a sudden hot in here?

~m

[with sincere apologies to my wife for me talking about this.  It is fascinating. And yeah, I’m losing my blankie tonight]
[fair dinkum, as they say in Australia]

 

The Wicker Chair of Death

Health, death, age, humor, Sopranos

 

James Gandolfini gone at 51.
My close friend PG gone at 57.
Another friend gone at my age, 54, less than a year after he was diagnosed with cancer.
I hate going to see my Grim Reaper doctor.
Just like I hate going to see my Tooth Pulling Bastard dentist.
It’s never good for a multitude of reasons.
I work 60+ hours a week (including my daily commute) sometimes more.
The gym?
A distant dream, although I love the elliptical machine.
But you have to exercise, you say.
And I agree.
But really?
When?
I do walk at least 30-45 minutes a day and eat fried clams once a year.
At the constant urging (and rightly so) of my wife, I finally made an appointment with my doctor for mid-July.
At the ripe old age of 54, I’m starting to feel my oats.
12+ hour days for 9+ years are taking their toll, physically and emotionally.
I am tired.
Alot.
I have tried to be somewhat reasonable about the food that I eat but sometimes life/time gets the better of me and
I am reduced to a Mickey D’s level of nutrition. (98% beef, of that I am sure)
I want to be healthy, I really do.
And now and then I want to bitch slap someone who has the time to be too healthy for their own benefit for my varying sense of mental stability.
Take ‘Headband Lady’ that runs 400 f*(&^%g miles a week through the neighborhood.
She is incredibly fit and probably has a colon strong enough to  pass a small wicker armchair with ease.
And maybe a slight grunt.
Grape nuts,high fiber horkin’ cheese, Supergrains, tofu pups, Whole Foods ‘Pass a Chair’ oil, who knows what the f*&k this woman eats.
And she soooooo looks like a biatch sometimes with her stupid white headband.
Who wears those anymore?
Not Olivia Newton John, I can tell you that much.
I was driving home last week eating/enjoying a Rodeo Cheeseburger from Kurger Bing (so good) when I drove by her house.
I saw her prancing around her lawn like f(*&^%g Superball on acid.
White headband and all.
Does she ever take the friggin’ thing off?
I found out she has one amazingly green front lawn as well.
It must have something to do with the multiple barrels of Grape Nuts stacked outside her backdoor.
Maybe I should ask my doctor about that.
I don’t want to pass a piece of wicker furniture through my lower intestine but passing a Growler or two
could seriously get me into the Guinness Book of World Records.
And it might make my lawn greener.
There’s always hope.
And maybe enough fiber/wicker to fulfill my wildest dreams . . .

Boil a fetus

digusting, Uberhumor, vile, evil

 

I can laugh at many things I see on the internet but very occasionally
I find something that just leaves me cold.
I troll UberHumor every now and then and have re-posted some of their material to Facebook, Twitter and my blog.
Some of the posts are really funny.
I have an off-kilter sense of humor but sometimes something really bothers me.
LIKE THIS.
I don’t recommend clicking on the link because it’s quite simply offensive in numerous ways.
“get pregnant so you can have an abortion”
Really?
As I said, I have a great sense of humor but not this time.
Why someone thinks this is funny eludes me.
I love that the internet gives us freedom of expression, freedom of speech and stranger personal values but
how the f*^k does something like this slip through?
Shame on the crazy folks at UberHumor.com
This shit just ain’t funny, my friends.
Time for an editor with some sack and intestinal fortitude to police the site and send this crap to the shitter.
Just my opinion.

ps. you clicked on the link, didn’t you?
Yeah, yuck . . .

 

Twoscore and several Baseballs ago

baseball, Little League, old days, sad

Just read a status update on Facebook that shot me back over forty years ago.
The update was innocent enough:
“Just watched a kid hit a game winning home run in a little league game across the street.”

I thought about it for a second and commented, “That could have been me 45 years ago.”

Then I thought, 45 years.
I’m getting old.
Not that I feel old but living life has made me realize that the years are soaring by.

The year is 1968. I played for Police Association.
I was #4, although that may be disputed in Oxford High School circles.
I was a pitcher and catcher, depending on what position I played in the last game.
And this was a time when some kids just didn’t make it on a team.
If you didn’t get picked, you cried like a baby and went to bed hoping to do better ‘next year’.
T-ball?
Learn to hit a ball for cripes sake.
At 10 years of age, opposing coaches hated when I pitched because I had a curveball that no one on their team could hit.

“The kid’s too young to be throwing junk,” some would say,
“The kid’s going to hurt his arm,” others would say.

My coach?

“See you next week.”

I have an old baseball in my closet that I wrote on a million years ago: “Beat Bayer Fuel! Won 6-4! Hit 1 home run!”
That old baseball still makes me smile.
There were no strange rules back then, no town-inspired political agenda to follow, no social media available to crucify a kid because of their lack of natural athletic ability, race or creed.

No Internet.
No Sirius XM radio.
No 9/11.
No Ricin.
No steroids.
No conspiracy theories.
No NSA controversy.
No IRS scandal.
No Global warming.
No Bay City Rollers.
No Boston Marathon bombing.
No Watergate.
No Tim Tebow.
No aluminum f*&^%$g bats (God, they suck and they sound even worse)
There was baseball, pure and simple.
[good times]

Technology has changed us.
Changed everything.
For the better?
You be the judge.
As a 54 year old looking back, waaaay back, these days are the ultimate in suck, the ultimate in ridiculous luxury
and overpaid athletes that we deem Gods.
I’ll take my old-fashioned shitty curveball.
I’ll take the old days.
I’ll even take milk delivered in cold glass bottles left on the doorstep of houses in the neighborhood.
But most of all, I’ll take a steaming hot dog with spicy mustard after the game and a bottle of Coke to wash it down with.
Those days were seriously close to Heaven.
Maybe they were Heaven . . .

6 ounces of aggravation @Teavana

Teavana, infinite aggravation, good tea

I really like Teavana, I really do but the over the top selling drives me over the edge.
These guys are worse than car salesmen, for cripes sake.

This is the conversation we have everytime we go to a Teavana store:

Me: Hi. I’d like 6 ounces of English Breakfast tea.

TeaHeads: Would you like to try our new Exotic Iced Tea Collection?
It’s only $69.95 and it’s wonderful for this time of the year!

Me: No, thanks. Just 6 ounces of English Breakfast.

TeaHeads: We have this wonderful Monkey Picked Oolong tea for $25.00. That’s for 2 ounces. Soooo good and good for you!

Me: Could I just get the 6 ounces of English Breakfast, please?

TeaHeads: (almost defeated) Yes, sir . . .  (30 seconds later) 9 ounces okay?

Me: No. I wanted 6. I could have the Monkey come back there and weigh it out, if you want.

TeaHeads: *grimace*  7 ounces okay?

Me: Let’s try this one more time to see if you’ve been listening, okay?
6 ounces of English Breakfast tea.
Not 8, not 6 1/2, not 5 but 6.
1,2,3,4,5,6 god damned ounces of tea!

Wow.
I did employ some literary hyperbole on this but it’s pretty damn close to what happens every single f*&^%#g time.
One of these days I’m not going to say anything and just go behind the counter and weigh my own tea.
I’ll be the flying monkey holding the steaming cup of Oolong and a smoldering cigar . . .

ps. the .gif image in this post reminded me of my wife and her infinite love of tea

 

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