Friday, 29 August 2008

i love you. life is beautiful

Time for A 'Change'!

The Toddler Party

It's a Girl!!

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, 44, addresses the crowd in Dayton, Ohio, after being introduced as John McCain's running mate. She becomes the first woman to serve on a GOP presidential ticket and the first Alaskan to appear on a national ticket.
Fast-track governor

MSNBC and NBC News
DAYTON, Ohio - Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain introduced his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, at a raucous rally Friday, praising her "tenacity" and "skill" in tackling tough problems.

"She is exactly who this country needs to help us fight the same old Washington politics of me first and country second," McCain told supporters in Dayton.

Palin, who becomes the first woman to serve on a GOP presidential ticket and the first Alaskan to appear on a national ticket, echoed McCain's appeal to battle the status quo in Washington.

"This is a matter when principles ... matter more than the party line," she said to the cheering crowd of 15,000.

Palin made an immediate play for support from Democratic women, mentioning that she followed in the footsteps of Geraldine Ferraro, who was the Democratic vice presidential running mate in 1984.

She also referred favorably to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who drew 18 million votes in her unsuccessful run against Obama for the Democratic nomination.

"But it turns out the women of America aren't finished yet and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all," she said.

Surprising choice

Palin's selection was a stunning surprise, as McCain passed over many other better-known prospects, some of whom had been the subject of intense speculation for weeks or months.

At 44, she is a generation younger than Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, who is Barack Obama's running mate on the Democratic ticket.

She is three years Obama's junior, as well, and McCain has made much in recent weeks of Obama's relative lack of experience in foreign policy and defense matters.

Unlike Biden, who attacked McCain sharply in his debut last week, Palin was indirect in her initial attempts to elevate McCain over Obama.

"There is only one candidate who has truly fought for America and that man is John McCain," she said as the Arizona senator beamed. McCain was a prisoner of war for more than five years in Vietnam.

Palin has a strong anti-abortion record, and her selection was praised warmly by social conservatives whose support McCain needs to prevail in the campaign for the White House.

"It's an absolutely brilliant choice," said Mathew Staver, dean of Liberty University School of Law. "This will absolutely energize McCain's campaign and energize conservatives," he predicted.

Palin was elected Alaska's first woman governor in 2006, defeating Gov. Frank Murkowski in the GOP primary.

“I've been blessed with the right timing here,” Palin said before the election. “There's no doubt that Alaskans right now are dealing in an atmosphere of distrust of government and industry.”

She has proven to be a popular leader. Eighty percent of the state's voters gave her a "somewhat favorable" or "very favorable" rating in a July 2008 poll.

On Aug. 1, Palin scored a major victory when the Alaska Legislature passed a bill that authorizes her administration to award a license to TransCanada Alaska to build a 1,715-mile natural gas pipeline from Prudhoe Bay on Alaska’s North Slope to a hub in Canada.

The pipeline would be the largest construction project in the history of North America. If completed as hoped within 10 years, it would ship 4.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. The United States imported about 10 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in 2007.

Under investigation for firing
But Palin’s seemingly bright future was clouded in late July when the state Legislature voted to hire an independent investigator to find out whether she tried to have a state official fire her ex-brother-in-law from his job as a state trooper.

The allegation was made by former Department of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, whom Palin fired in mid-July.

“It is a governor’s prerogative, a right, to fill that Cabinet with members whom she or he believes will do best for the people whom we are serving,” Palin told CNBC’s Larry Kudlow in an interview on Aug. 1. “So I look forward to any kind of investigation or questions being asked because I’ve got nothing to hide.”

Palin also reacted to the indictment of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens by calling it “very dismaying.” She added, “Hopefully though, this won’t be a distraction and get people’s minds off what has to be done in the grand scheme of things.”

As for the prospect of her being vice president, Palin told Kudlow that she could not answer the question of whether she wanted the job “until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day. I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we’re trying to accomplish up here.”

'Hail Mary pass'
Democrats pounced on the news that McCain chose Palin, characterizing the move as a gamble.

"After the great success of the Democratic convention, the choice of Sarah Palin is surely a Hail Mary pass," New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said. "Certainly the choice of Palin puts to rest any argument about inexperience on the Democratic team."

But conservatives praised her anti-abortion credentials.

"Sarah Palin is a pleasant surprise for those of us who had hoped that Senator McCain would pick a principled and authentic conservative pro-life leader," former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said.

Huckabee also used the Palin pick to reach out to women.

"Governor Palin ... will remind women that if they are not welcome on the Democrat's ticket, they have a place with Republicans," he said.

Palin is married to Todd Palin, a lifelong Alaskan who is a production operator on the North Slope and a four-time champion of the Iron Dog, which is described as “the world's longest snow-machine race.”

They have five children. Their son Track enlisted in the U.S. Army on Sept. 11, 2007.

Palin gave birth to their fifth child, Trig, last April. The baby boy has Down syndrome, a genetic abnormality that impedes a child's intellectual and physical development.

"When we first heard, it was kind of confusing," Palin said, according to an account in the Anchorage Daily News. She called the news "very, very challenging."

But she also related what she thought God would say to her family about her son: "Children are the most precious and promising ingredient in this mixed-up world you live in down there on Earth. Trig is no different, except he has one extra chromosome."

Palin made a name for herself in Alaska politics by serving as mayor of Wasilla for six years and going on to run unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor in 2002.

After her unsuccessful run, Palin received an appointment to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, where she ended up serving a role in an ethics probe into Republican Party Chairman Randy Reudrich, who was questioned about conflicts of interest with the oil industry.

The investigation ultimately forced Reudrich to resign from the commission.

Palin's role in the investigation left her a party outsider, but she was able to win the 2006 Republican gubernatorial primary against Murkowski, going on to win the general election by 7 points over her Democratic opponent.

During one debate before the primary, Palin said she was in favor of capital punishment in especially heinous cases such as the murder of a child. "My goodness, hang 'em up, yeah,” she said. Palin opposes abortion rights.

Born in Idaho, Palin moved to Alaska with her parents in 1964, when they went to teach school.

She received a degree in communications and journalism from the University of Idaho in 1987.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

In a switch, McCain to Obama: "Well done"

MSNBC- Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois accepted the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday night, declaring that Sen. John McCain of Arizona, his Republican opponent, was not up to the task of resolving America’s economic and foreign policy problems.

“Tonight, tonight, I say to the people of America, to Democrats and Republicans and independents across this great land — enough!” Obama declared as thousands of flash bulbs popped in the Denver Broncos’ stadium.

Obama wove the personal with the political in his 50-minute address to 84,000 supporters — and millions more at home — explaining how he would make a difference in their lives as president.

Laying out what he characterized as the state of the union after eight years of Republican leadership, Obama painted an America “at one of those defining moments — a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil and the American promise has been threatened once more,” he said.

“Tonight, more Americans are out of work, and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes, and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can’t afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay and tuition that’s beyond your reach.”

The blame, he said, lay squarely with “a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.”

“America, we are better than these last eight years,” he said. “We are a better country than this.”

Praise, criticism for McCain
Obama praised McCain, who was held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam for more than five years, as a brave and distinguished American. But he said McCain was tied at the hip to Bush, who is scheduled to address the Republican National Convention on Monday.

“The record’s clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time,” Obama said.

“Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush was right more than 90 percent of the time? I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to take a 10 percent chance on change.”

“I don’t believe that Senator McCain doesn’t care what’s going on in the lives of Americans,” Obama said. “I just think he doesn’t know.”

Foreign policy response from Obama
Obama also answered Republican attacks on his readiness to be commander-in-chief, signaling that Democrats would hit back hard at attempts to tar the party as weak on defense. Similar attacks helped torpedo the candidacy of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., a highly decorated military veteran, in 2004.

“We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don’t tell me that Democrats won’t defend this country. Don’t tell me that Democrats won’t keep us safe,” Obama said.

Contending that “the Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans — Democrats and Republicans — have built,” Obama promised: “As commander-in-chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm’s way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.”

Obama also promised to end the war in Iraq and to “finish the fight against al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan.”

“When John McCain said we could just ‘muddle through’ in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made it clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights,” he said. “You know, John McCain likes to say he’ll follow bin Laden to the gates of Hell — but he won’t even go to the cave where he lives.”

And he said he planned to undertake “direct diplomacy” with Iran to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons.

“I will restore our moral standing so that America is once more the last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace and who yearn for a better future,” he said.

Promises and problems
A look at Obama's promises and the realities he will confront
• Economy
• Taxes
• Energy
• Health care
• Foreign policy
• Defense
• Education

The promise: Obama has pledged to attack the weak economy with another stimulus plan to follow the $168 billion package of tax rebates for individuals and tax breaks for businesses that Congress passed last February. Obama's stimulus would include tax rebates, aid to state and local governments and increased spending for infrastructure projects. He would also increase spending in other areas such as alternative energy programs.

The problem: Obama's spending plans and middle-class tax relief will collide with the hard reality of exploding budget deficits. The Congressional Budget Office projects this year's deficit will hit $400 billion, driven higher by the weak economy and the stimulus program Congress has already passed. And the Bush administration is forecasting that next year's imbalance will hit an all-time high of $482 billion. Deficits will remain high because of the costs of extending the Bush tax cuts and growing demands on big government benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare as the baby boom generation retires.
Source: The Associated Press • Print this

Calling for a ‘common purpose’
Obama noted the deep partisan divide in America and laments that “what has also been lost is our sense of common purpose. And that’s what we have to restore.” He promised never to question McCain’s commitment to his country because “one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other’s character and patriotism.”

“I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain,” he said.

In that vein, he also called for a principled debate over domestic issues that divide the parties: abortion, gun ownership, same-sex marriage and gay and lesbian rights and immigration.

“This, too, is part of America’s promise — the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort,” he said.

The McCain campaign hit back with an especially stinging response, issuing a statement that said:

“Tonight, Americans witnessed a misleading speech that was so fundamentally at odds with the meager record of Barack Obama. When the temple comes down, the fireworks end and the words are over, the facts remain: Senator Obama still has no record of bipartisanship, still opposes offshore drilling, still voted to raise taxes on those making just $42,000 per year and still voted against funds for American troops in harm’s way. The fact remains: Barack Obama is still not ready to be president.”

Obama all but ignores racial milestone
One topic Obama did not directly address when he accepted the Democratic nomination shortly after 10 p.m. ET was the historic nature of his status as the first black major-party nominee for president. Only once, late in his speech, did he obliquely refer to the speech in 1963 when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

“It is that promise that 45 years ago today brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln’s Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream,” said Obama, who did not even mention King by name.

After three days of a Democratic National Convention that has relentlessly focused on Obama’s leadership abilities and policy proposals, it was left to others to note his shattering of a centuries-old racial barrier in American politics.
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Obama even said less about his milestone than McCain, who was airing a new ad in battleground states Thursday night. In the ad, McCain looks into the camera and says, “Senator Obama, this is truly a good day for America.”

“Too often, the achievements of our opponents go unnoticed. So I wanted to stop and say, ‘Congratulations.’ How perfect that your nomination would come on this historic day,” McCain says. “Tomorrow, well be back at it. But tonight, Senator, job well done.”

Jill Hazelbaker, the campaign’s deputy communications director, called the ad “very exciting,” adding in an interview on MSNBC: “I think that a lot of people are going to focus on it.”

Obama’s big night came on a day few might have imagined decades ago, when King fought for civil rights. Obama was just 2 years old when King addressed a sea of people on the National Mall in Washington on Aug. 28, 1963.

King “would be very pleased and proud of what the Democratic Party and our nation is on the brink of doing,” Martin Luther King III, the civil rights leader’s eldest son, said in an interview with MSNBC.

“I feel that he and my mother are looking down today with a great big smile on their faces.”

New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine called it “one of those moments where, no matter how you assess it, America is moving far from where it’s ever been.”

Gore, Kaine go after McCain
Former Vice President Al Gore, the Democrats’ nominee in 2000, warmed up the crowd with an attack on McCain.

“Today, we face essentially the same choice we faced in 2000, though it may be even more obvious now, because John McCain, a man who has earned our respect on many levels, is now openly endorsing the policies of the Bush-Cheney White House and promising to actually continue them,” Gore said.

“The same policies all over again? Hey, I believe in recycling, but that’s ridiculous,” Gore said.

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who was widely reported to have been on Obama’s vice presidential short list, called McCain a captive of “the special interests and Washington lobbyists.”

He said Obama would provide “leadership that answers to us,” saying Obama would “put middle-class Americans first again and reward companies who create jobs in America instead of shipping them overseas” and end the war in Iraq.

GOP readies ticket
McCain, meanwhile, was set to announce his running mate Friday, campaign officials told NBC News, in hopes of curbing any bump in the polls Obama might get as he and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, begin a three-day bus tour of battleground states that starts in Pennsylvania.

McCain’s pick was expected to join him at a campaign appearance Friday in Dayton, Ohio, the officials said. Like Obama’s, the campaign also planned a rally in Pennsylvania, on Saturday; both campaigns see Pennsylvania as an important battleground.

McCain was keeping his selection a close secret, but speculation coalesced around Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Pawlenty was in Denver on Thursday morning as part of a Republican team criticizing Democrats, but later in the day, he canceled all media appearances and left town.

Pawlenty deflected all questions about the possibility of being McCain’s vice presidential pick. As to his immediate plans, Pawlenty said: “I am scheduled to be in Minnesota tomorrow to be at the State Fair.”

Tom Costello, Savannah Guthrie, Mark Murray and Kelly O’Donnell of NBC News; Norah O’Donnell of MSNBC; and NBC affiliate KUSA-TV of Denver contributed to this report.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Am I A Fireman Yet??

My sister in law, Barbara, rarely forwards these emails but this one was an exception:

In Phoenix , Arizona , a 26-year-old mother stared down at her 6 year old son, who was dying of terminal leukemia. Although her heart was filled with sadness,she also had a strong feeling of determination. Like any parent, she wanted her son to grow up & fulfill all his dreams. Now that was no longer possible.The leukemia would see to that. But she still wanted her son's dream to come true.

She took her son' s hand and asked,'Billy, did you ever think about what you wanted to be once you grew up? Did you ever dream and wish what you would do with your life?'

Mommy, 'I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up.'

Mom smiled back and said, 'Let's see if we can make your wish come true.' Later that day she went to her local fire Department in Phoenix , Arizona , where she met Fireman Bob, who had a heart as big as Phoenix . She explained her son's final wish and asked if it might be possible to give her 6 year-old son a ride around the block on a fire engine. Fireman Bob said, 'Look, we can do better than that. If you'll have your son ready at seven o'clock We dnesday morning, we'll make him an honorary Fireman for the whole day. He can come down to the fire station, eat with us, go out on all the fire calls, the whole nine yards! And if you'll give us his sizes, we'll get a real fire uniform for him, with a real fire hat - not a toy -- one-with the emblem of the Phoenix Fire Department on it, a yellow slicker like we wear and rubber boots. They're all manufactured right here in Phoenix , so we can get them fast.'

Three days later Fireman Bob picked up Billy, dressed him in his uniform and escorted him from his hospital bed to the waiting hook and ladder truck. Billy got to sit on the back of the truck and help steer it back to the fire station. He was in heaven. There were three fire calls in Phoenix that day and Billy got to go out on all three calls. He rode in the different fire engines, the Paramedic's' van, and even the fire chief's car. He was also videotaped for the local news program. Having his dream come true, with all the love and attention that was lavished upon him, so deeply touched Billy, that he lived three months longer than any doctor thought possible. One night all of his vital signs began to drop dramatically and the head nurse, who believed in the hospice concept - that no one should die alone, began to call the family members to the hospital.

Then she remembered the day Billy had spent as a Fireman, so she called the Fire Chief and asked if it would be possible to send a fireman in uniform to the hospital to be with Billy as he made his transition. The chief replied, 'We can do better than that. We'll be there in five minutes. Will you please do me a favor? When you hear the sirens screaming and see the lights flashing, will you announce over the PA system that there is not a fire?'

'It's the department coming to see one of its finest members one more time. And will you open the window to his room?' About five minutes later a hook and ladder truck arrived at the hospital and extended its ladder up to Billy's third floor open window-------16 fire-fighters climbed up the ladder into Billy's room.

With his mother's permission, they hugged him and held him and told him how much they LOVED him. With his dying breath, Billy looked up at the fire chief and said, 'Chief, am I really a fireman now? 'Billy, you are, and the Head Chief, Jesus, is holding your hand,' the chief said with those words, Billy smiled and said,'I know, He's been holding my hand all day, and the angels have been singing. He closed his eyes one last time.

Leela James, the Lion Queen- Don't Speak (cover)

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I think I like Leela James' version betta.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

embarr-assing moment of the week.

I walked into a client's home and greeted his wife, who's last name, which started with the letter G, could sound like" "Jer-eh-cough".

Without thinking about it, I automatically pronounced her last name with the the soft J sound, (as in Gina) and spoke it rather swiftly, as if with 2 syllables.

"Hello, Mrs. Jerakoff. (smiling) How are YOU?"

She immediately glared at me, as if I said something wrong.

"That's G-erakoff, like Gary-cough. Geh-ri-coff."

"Ah, Gerakoff. OK."

But I'm really thinking, 'Well ex-cuuuuse me with the attitude, biachi ( I happen to have ripping case of PMS), what the heck's gotten into YOU? Sheesh.

And then it occured to me. The way I said her name sounded strange. Mrs. Jerekoff. Jerakoff...Jerk off!!! OH my. I just addressed this man's wife as 'Mrs. Jerkoff'.

It was so strange that I almost started laughing. Hello Mrs. Jerkoff. That is so weird, even more so since it's my general nature with strangers to be respectful, kind, perhaps naiive, but always sincere. God's little sunshine girl who would NEVER on her worst day dream of intentionally hurting someone that way. Not a stranger anyway. It was a Betty White moment.

"Oh, right. Hard G. I'm Sorry." Decided to drop it right there.

When I got out of there, saftely in my car, I looked at his last name again. Sure enough, it can easily be pronounced as a vulgarity. That is just terrible. She's probably gotten that all her married life.

Friday, 22 August 2008

define 'difficult'

i just called a guy to set up an interview for his long term care insurance plan. He's a realtor in an upscale community and so I was surprised when he answered the phone with "Is this the Easter bunny?"

"No Mr. G, but I would like to hop over to your house, if possible, today, to finish up your application for long term care insurance. It will only take me an hour."
(IF you don't bust my chops and make it difficult, I'm thinking).

He game me directions and so I'm headed there in a few minutes.

I went to confirm the appointment with my company via email when I noticed an email regarding the same man. It read: Per the insurance company: "DO NOT CALL THE APPLICANT TO SCHEDULE--please call the agent, Elaine, instead, as the applicant can
be difficult. Elaine's cell is XXX-XXXX.

I think I'll call Elaine and let her know I'm on my way.


Don't Go- Hothouse Flowers 1988

aw...don't go. Looks like John G, 1988

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Sonnet- The Verve

My friend and me
Looking through her red box of memories
Faded I'm sure
But love seems to stick in her veins you know

Yes, there's love if you want it
Don't sound like no sonnet, my Lord
Yes, there's love if you want it
Don't sound like no sonnet, my Lord
My Lord

Why can't you see
That nature has its way of warning me
Eyes open wide
Looking at the heavens with a tear in my eye

Yes, there's love if you want it
Don't sound like no sonnet, my Lord
Yes, there's love if you want it
Don't sound like no sonnet, my Lord
My Lord

Sinking fast within a boat without a hull
My lord
Dreaming about the day when I can see you there
My side
By my side

Here we go again and my head is gone, my Lord
I stop to say hello
'Cause I think you should know by now
By now
By now
By now
By now
By now
Oh, by now
Oh, by now
Oh, by now
Oh, by now

Monday, 18 August 2008

No more....

I was driving down to my uncle's home in Newark, Delaware this past Saturday, on my way to our annual McTague family reunion. Gee, it feels great to get out of here. I really enjoy being home and have a very hard time breaking away. At the same time, I find that being alone too much is not good. I like being around people, especially family and friends, and usually come away feeling balanced, that is, when I can force myself to break away. Which is hard.

Saturday morning was beautiful. Cool, clear, refreshing, and free from worries or traffic. I was filled with anticipation, as my plans for the day not only included the family reunion, but a drive, later that afternoon over to AC to meet up with Mike for a Bob Dylan concert. Second one this week, thanks to M who always knows who's coming to town. Thankfully, he remembered to invite me. Ah, this is the life.

So. I'm driving down I-295, feeling happy and carefree, listening to my latest favorite radio station, 89.7. After about an hour south, I need to get some gas. I'm somewhere near Moorestown, which is like the boonies to me. I love these little hamlets which dot the Jersey countryside, exit after glorious exit. By now, my station has faded into a Beatles tribute, one song after another without interruption. It's really good and takes me back to strawberry fields of my youth. I gas up, grab some bottled water, some Juicyfruit, and find my way back to the interstate. Bopping along, singing a song. Full tank of gas. Nice day. I just love the open road.

This song comes on. 'Jealous Guy'. I haven't heard it in years. Certainly bitter sweet. Having been through the cycle of rejection more than once, I understand the turmoil of jealousy. I am familiar with the anger and misery and the..ahem... head games, and I can't understand why people who have experienced it, would ever want to jump back into a serious relationship. Like...Why?

The desire and need for closeness outweighs the angst of all those painful memories, I suppose. Worse for me, than having to deal with my own jealousy, is having to deal with a jealous man. Oh no. I'd much rather have a guy who can handle a friendship on less of an emotional level, than someone who is smitten. The full love treatment never sat well with me anyway. Sadly, love leaves me waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the emotional pendulum to swing the other way, and when it does, depending on the depth of my feelings and level of insight, I may wind up behaving in ways I'd never imagined, sabotaging any hope for reconciliation. Unfortunately, the sad and scary thing with jealous rage, is that by the time you realize the impact of the behaviors, the damage is done.

It's just an awful thing to become so entwined with a person that you lose your own boundaries and leave yourself open to that kind of pain. Hammering away at his ID bracelet as you sit sulking on a curb. I know.

So I'm thinking these PMS thoughts when suddenly, and while the song is still playing, my cellphone rings. Thinking it's my mother, calling me back with directions, I pick up without checking the caller ID.

"Hello G.(pause) This is B."

B is a nice guy from Eharmony I had actually met for one date last week, but decided not to continue on with, for reasons I won't go into. He was a very pleasant guy, just not my type. That's OK. I was careful not to lead him on but obviously somehow sent him conflicting messages, something we needed to clear up so he could move on. I understand. Turns out that the man was having a difficult time with the 'rejection'. I told him not to think of it that way. It was a date. Not a commitment, but he truly believed that ours was a match made in heaven, by the people who KNOW bout these things...and that I was just fearful of intimacy. The latter part is probably true, but truthfully, I really couldn't get past our differences, which to me were as big as the Rockies, and deep as the deepest sea. I'm exaggerating, but as M once told me, you pretty much know within the first 5 minutes, and with B, I knew sooner than that.

In the days that followed, B called a couple of times, and each time, trying to figure out what went wrong and how he could fix it. Though initially pleasant and reserved, I grew more annoyed with each call, and less apt to withhold my personal feelings, which would inevitably cause him pain and anger. The last call, 2 days prior, I said something which caused him to explode and I had to hang up. He called back and carried on as if nothing had been said. I just wanted to end it peacefully.

At this stage of my life I am really quite comfortable with my singleness. Sure it gets lonely but i enjoy the simple pleasures. I go through phases where I am open to meeting new people. Low pressure meetings. No assumptions. No promises of second dates. Like fishing around for a keeper without a hook. NO strings attached. More like browsing for shoes. While something that fits and is comfortable doesn't always feel that way at first, there is an initial attraction. A reason why you actually went for them. And after time you know that you know. They take on the imprint and smell of your feet. You put those stinkers back on and it's like your feet are home. Home. These are some good shoes. Glad I found 'em.

Side story: I had a pair of 'Florshiems' once. Bought em in a Jewish shoe store in Lakewood. Florshiems. Back in high school on summer break, me, Angie and Elena worked at this college cafeteria. Georgian Court. That's where I met M's mom. Francis, which is a whole other story. Anyway. We'd get time off between meals and Angie, who knew about Florsheims, was eager to get a pair. I remember her shoes well. She wore them well with her Levi straight legs. Elena's had a seam down the front. She was cool and could get away with that. Mine were seamless and similar to Angie's. Smooth brown leather uppers sewn around a dark brown sole. Man I loved those leather shoes. Kept em for YEARS. I don't know how I ever let those puppies get away from me. ( bark at the moon...awooo) I miss my old Florsheims. I felt a connection with those shoes. It was all encompassing, much like a childhood crush. Perhaps less intense, maybe more like your favorite patched up jeans that you just don't ever want to let go, because you KNOW you're NEVER going to find another pair of shoes or jeans like them, and it's gonna hurt something TERRIBLE to lose them. That's what I'm talking about. Hard love. Don't even talk to me if you don't know what I mean. So like those shoes, I kinda want someone every now and then with whom I can REALLY dig walking around with, but who, like my favorite old shoes, I can kick off from time to time. PMS talking. It's just that I need time in and out of the thing to come to the realization that it's good for me. I have to miss them to know what they mean to me. Back to the caller.

OK. I've been dumped numerous times, so I understand how he's feeling. If this is the story of his life than why it is so hard? Why fight it? It makes no sense to him that I have no interest in leading him on. I can't make him understand. I'm sorry,'s not's the 'chemistry'. Bad answer. He can't believe he's not my type. After all those nice things about him. He wants to know why I am leading him on. Oh I hate this. Could I have been any clearer without being outright nasty? I don't think so. I hate being the bad guy.

"Look, I know how you feel. But if you understood the odds of finding a person you click with? Come on. Certainly you've been down this road before. I have. c'mon. Chin up, Bucky. Take the high road. Consider your strengths. Your positive qualities. You are BETTER than me. At least you have no fear. You are handsome and eligible and healthy. Yes, I mean that. YES, I had a nice time. I just don't want to go out again. OK? I know I know...but please understand." Blah blah blah.

Why did I even let him get started? The song ended miles back in Jersey, however the struggle to end this man's blues from my place on the side of the interstate went on until I am left no other option than to insist he not call again.

" But if you don't want to talk to me, why have you been talking to me for half an hour?"

It was as if he was getting paid to keep me on the line...What IS this? What are you selling? I'll buy it. Just leave me alone! His measure of success, I suppose. Using up my minutes. Breaking me down. What do I want, he asks. What do I need? '

Perhaps I just should have lied and told him I met someone. Or hung up. But I couldn't do that. It was as if he knew that he had finally gotten through to the only woman on Earth and he wasn't about to let her hang up on him, at least not without some drawn out explanations,frustration. Emotional exasperation.

Maybe if I had been with his type I'd have been able to shut him up sooner, but the phone stalker type was entirely new to me. Hey, I remember feeling like that years ago, yes, making excuses for a guy's lack of interest, but that was before I read "He's just not that into you". This poor fella needs to read the book.

Finally, at the end of my kindness, and eager to get back on the road, I gave him what he came for. Sorry Kid. Don't fool yourself with ideas about my fears and insecurities. I am not that into you, and after this nonsense, I'm even less into you. Don't ever call me or harass me, Jackass. Click. Ouch. I wonder if it was good for him too.

So there you have it. When cornered, I'm a mean and nasty Cruella. It's not supposed to be this way. Dr. Warren's plan is failing. The pre-dating agreement isn't working. Aw...I can really relate and hope he can move on the way I've had to, time after time.

Internet dating is like being in a shoe store with all kinds of inventory in the back, but and only a catalog to browse though. Dr.Warren is like the salesman who takes your measurements and requests, believes they've got the perfect shoe for them, and comes back with a huge stack of boxes. They're ALL perfect for you. Take your time. Thing is, shoes don't feel rejection. They just smell bad and you kick em off. Nobody gets hurt. Goodbye Eharmony.

dream #9

dreams are so weird, the way images and movements symbolize real and imagined things we are facing or avoiding in our waking hours.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

summer night bugs 4-ever

a song I wrote to the rhythm of the crickets and katydids outside of my window tonight. It's a nice cool evening with a full moon.

I stood on the ledge of my sleepy blue sorrow
back from the edge, guess I'll see you tomorrow
can't lie, not the first time I'm thinking of you
but the night bugs are out, life's distractions will do

too many months have gone by without hearing
the music which blends with the night bugs, I'm fearing
it's too late to hope for those sounds in my life
but these night bugs revive good ol' summertime strife

With the zapper you took out the skeeters and flies
while spiders and ants faced the raider's demise
yellow jackets and wasps,you chased from their hives,
but these night bugs are here for the rest of our lives
remember, they're here for the rest of our lives.

I looked to the west as the day slowly fadydid
sighed in the dusk, as the crickets and katydid
rhythm rubs life in the darkness outside
steer clear of the blue light or get yourself fried

And back in the house, now I rolled down the screen
protecting myself from the lurking unseen
from the critters which drawn by the lure of the light
would make feast in their famine on food, flesh and fright

we handle the things that intrude in our spaces
the bugs in the dark and the unwanted faces
we roll down the screens and we listen to voices
those sweet summer sounds, and this night bug rejoices

With the zapper you took out the skeeters and flies
while spiders and ants faced the raider's demise
yellow jackets and wasps, you chased from their hives,
but these night bugs are here for the rest of our lives
bittersweet bugs, for the rest of our lives

ol' softie

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

On Vanderveer?!

This is strange. Curious as to whether my current address/town would show up on the internet, I looked up my name in the white pages.

I am among about 150 G Ms listed. 13 of those Gs are one in the same me, different states and towns that I've lived in. A few years back, I had googled my name in the past and discovered that one of those Gs was living within 30 miles. Though I had never been in her neck of the woods, strangely enough, my next place of employment, which had not opened yet, was located there. Google also listed information about this other Gina, namely that she was on the board of PTA in Monroe. Hmm... Just between you and me...I've secretly always wanted to have children and be an active member of the PTA. what's so strange about that? Nothing.

But a few days ago, while Ang and I were trying to get information on one of my potential Eharmnony dates, I googled my name again. This time, there was more information re: that other G. Turns out, she lives on Vanderveer Lane...different town. This is the strange part. Last summer, while driving to work, actually driving down Vanderveer Road in Freehold, I was taken by the beauty of the open fields and distant woods. The sun was justing breaking the treetops, glistening on the dew...I just felt inspired to write a longwinded rambling poem 'On Vanderveer'. Ironically, the poem is about thngs appearing greener from the other side. Coincidentally, I found an apt about a half a mile from Vanderveer.

Dan, the Man

Guest Blogger: My sister, Elena, reporting from Colorado Springs, Colorado, where our nephew Dan (Laura and Dan's son) happens to be vacationing.

Dan suddenly appeared in the living room, making fun of my restored reading glasses. How very 'Morrone' of him. He thinks they are hysterically funny. I can't figure out just what is so funny?

He said they look like "dead human's glasses"!

They always touch the eyeballs, gotta watch out for that.

HAHAHAHA! HE is too funny!

He looks like a Certa here- the first time I've seen that look - usually I see Anthony.

Monday, 11 August 2008

breathing room

breathe, breath·ing. –verb (used without object) 1. to take air, oxygen, etc., into the lungs and expel it; inhale and exhale; respire. 2. to pause, as for breath; take rest: How about giving me a chance to breathe? 4. to move gently or blow lightly, as air. 5. to live; exist: Hardly a man breathes who has not known great sorrow.

She turned her mind toward thoughts of God
and pondered on this thing called 'Love'
and how it felt was rather odd
to have the thing you're dreaming of.

and not to say that much had changed
from all of what she'd felt before
but just her movement towards the thing
that gently rapped upon her door

and opening, the air was clean and drifted
into darkened mess
and brought with it the scent of spring
and promise that would lead to rest

the angry pride from early age
and pain she'd buried in the deep
once heated into molten rage
had turned to steel in her sleep

and stirring up the settled dust
the softest breeze swirled room to room,
the filtered light fell on the crust
the window sill, the broken loom

the cool fresh air, she breathed it in
which fanned the flames of hope again
but woke the sleeping child within
the bitter pill, the urge to sin

where were you when love was lost
and dreams were killed and hope was tossed
and where were you when I was nine
and lost my way and... one last time

I need to know where Love was when
the waves rushed in, and buildings fell
when kids were shot and parents grieved
and everything had gone to hell.

She could have slammed the door right then
He would have left, that's just His way,
she had to have it out with Him
and screamed and cried, but let Him stay.

I just don't get your kind of sense
which lets a man do what he will
to take away the innocence
to mock your name, and steal and kill.

And then the air stirred in her face
and quiet came to sandy shoal
he spoke of Love's abiding grace
and water flowed into her soul

For what is better for your strife
and what is Love, to pull the reign
to force a man to choose the life
or nudge a man to use his brain?

And what is love to steal the bride
and drag her right outside the gait?
I set you free, you run inside
I chose you then, you chose to wait.

I hear you well, I understand
the breath you breathe, this rotting tomb
I died for you and every man
to give to you back your breathing room.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

"I gotcher Country right here!! "

Guest Blogger- My lovely sister, Laura, reporting from Chesapeake, Virginia.

"I went to the beach yesterday morning with my honey for the first time all summer. It was so perfect. The breeze, the warmth of the sun, the water so crystal clear. A few dips in the ocean with the one I love. A much needed time of relaxation.

Back at the blanket, I was falling into a peaceful sleep when suddenly, a whole clan of enormous black women in bikinis from Trinidad (or somewhere in the Caribbean) set up camp right on top of us, bending over, not 2 feet from our heads, all the while non- stop with their Caribbean clammer. Every time one would bend over to fetch a snack or fix the blanket, Dan would whisper, "Don't look now". We moved to a more quiet location a resumed our lovely day at the beach. If you don't move then its your own problem.

Friday night we went to a free USO concert with Gretchen Wilson aka Redneck Woman. Well it was sunset. Parked our blanket on a slight slope and who moves in, but this military family. They had 4 kids running around waving sticks, like swords. When becoming bored, the parents would indulge them in these giant turkey legs to chew on for a while, and when they had enough, they would throw them to the dad, "like a dog" (Dan said). He would resume with the gnawing. He had these dirty toes that were severely crooked. Dan had to point them out to me. Oh great, thanks Dan. The mom was tough like she could kick my ass in a sec. She wore a ball cap backwards that said 'Redneck Woman, Hell-yeah! Then the kids would whine that they didn't have a chair and she would get get up and give it to the kid and then run off to get them cotton candy or another giant turkey leg.

My point is, if you don't move then its your own dam fault. This family was the main event and Gretchin was the background music "I gotcher Country right here!"

Friday, 8 August 2008

Why I Love My Job

Go ahead, copy and paste:

Impromptu entertaiment from talented boyfriend of one of our regulars. David does stand up comedy alternating with his harmonica act. I thought he was so good that I had to grab my cellphone. Maybe it's time to get a regular video camera.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Sunset Love Song

reminding me of shorter days
the orange globe sinks into haze
no longer casting heated rays
but shadows on the beach

the warmth and softness of the sand
beneath my back and in my hand
it cools as evening takes the land
and sleep, within my reach

i turn to face the laughing lush
who paints the skies without a brush
and every stroke, poetic mush
which lingers like Your love

Your words are written in my mind
with colors I could only find
in places sunsets left behind
they fit me like a glove

fiery red excites the soul
and sets the mood in motion
orange and pink elicit sighs
like a full moon on the ocean

streaks of purple are always fun
and bring on the blue-green hues
a symphony is the setting sun
but gimmee the midnight blues

i want to gaze into your glory
tell me another story
oh bring on the colors
don't let me sleep too long

I want to sing of Your greatness
in spite of all my lateness
with all my quirks and troubles
you see in me no wrong

Oh God, you are amazing
creation should be praising
and I'll wait for you forever
'til the sun sets on my song

the days, they pass too quickly
but sunset is the best
this moonless night, we hear the waves
which won't disturb our rest

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

ain't that pretty at all

I was wrapping things up here tonight at the center for the elderly and disabled, All in a Day, as we call it, getting ready to close up shop. Locked up the kitchen and pantry...went around making sure the lights in the bathrooms were off, the music was off, the fish fed ( I just returned after 5 days, which leaves 4 survivors), and that the tables were decent. I'm pretty tired but I have to get this off my chest. We have a housekeeper who comes in at 4AM who is very particular and keeps this place immaculate BUT we don't want to burn her out with these little messes. So...every thing's looking good and I'm headed to my little office to get my stuff. I walk into the examining room to lock up my cabinets and rinse the sink...something crunches under my shoes. I reach over and flip the light switch....

TOENAILS. Everywhere. Thick, gnarly, yellowing, old toenails. ( To borrow from Ang: (Shaking a fist to the sky)...Tutenauer!)

I must have grabbed about 7 people to see that Podiatrist today. That's about 70 sharpies. He clips and shaves and grinds down these toenails and while he's in there, doing it, I need to step out. They become airborne, you see, and I can't risk losing an eye that way. Errant toenails can lodge in places you would never expect to find a toenail. I've seen them on shelves, in the pages of books. And then there's the particle dust. And the smell. Dear God. That man doesn't even wear special goggles and these bits and pieces are flying everywhere. I asked him once if he ever got one in the eye. He said "YES" and one cut his lip too. Yeah, I knew it. After hearing that, I handed him the forms and patient information and make a run for it. Dodge the bullet. At least to adjacent office where I can only hear the shards hitting the walls. I hate to sound insensitive, but it's really gross. I suppose i just wiped it out of my mind because I completely forgot about cleaning up in there after he left.

So...there I am. Standing in the midst of little daggers. OK...get a grip. I can't leave this mess. Debby will have a fit. A fit.She'll feel disrespected and may even complain which will make me feel like some kind of slob. So I run and get the broom and sweep it all into the long handled dustpan. Nail pan. Dead pan. I hear the music of Warren Zevon in my head and I think I've hit the wall.

Then I remember my sister. She called a couple of hours ago. Said that one of her coworkers came into her office quite upset. For some reason she calls my sister by her last name. My sister is a caring and compassionate soul. People come to her because they know she cares and will do whatever she can to help. She tells me that the coworker had been having gastric problems and had to go for an oil retention enema. The woman thought she had expelled the entire volume but I guess there was a certain residual. She was understandably upset having been taken off guard while sitting in her fabric covered office chair. Unbeknownst to the poor woman, she was leaking still. Having experienced full blown ileus, I understand. I guess if that were me, I'd quietly usher the dear girl to the bathroom for a TP-plug and then send her packing home. To make matters worse, L told me that the woman's last name was Oil-something. Of all the indignities. To have your last name associated with some accident you had. How do you go back? I don't know. I do hope the woman is found to be well for all of her embarrassment. L said 'they' had the chairs steam cleaned. you know, sometimes in this industry you just have to shut your mouth, turn your stomach off and do what you have to do, bless God. It aint that pretty at all.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Jesus Freak- DC Talk

Between You and Me- DC Talk


I watched a beautiful movie (DVD)with my parents tonight called "Bella". Out in 2007, though I'm not sure it made it to the theaters around here last year.

Bella is about a young woman, Nina, living and working in NYC, who discovers she is pregnant. She has told no one, but is fired from her waitressing job, for lateness x3, which is actually due to morning sickness. Nina has no family to speak of, nor anyone else to turn to for support, and seeing no point in bringing a child into her troubled life, has decided on an abortion. At the same time one of the cooks, Jose,( a gorgeous actor who looks like Jesus and probably played him at one time), sees how poorly she has been treated and witnesses her being fired by none other than his adopted brother, Manny, who owns the joint. She turns and runs down the street, dropping a small webkins looking stuffed animal.

Jose sees all of this, and goes after her. In the subway turnstile thing she confides in him that she is pregnant, and they wind up spending the day together. He takes her, by train out to Long Island to his family's home and they are invited to stay for dinner. You already know, from various flashbacks, that Jose is carrying his own heavy load of guilt related to an accident he had been involved in years before. He later confides this to her. Just talking about it is a release for him, which marks the beginning of his own healing.

The movie is shot in time lapses some from the past, others from the future, all giving the impression that the present moment is this one day that these two are spending together. He's sharing his family with her, they are going to stay for dinner, his mom takes her upstairs and offers her a change of clothes ( shes still in her fancy dress uniform).The next thing you see, Norah's ( I believe the actress is Norah Jones), is taking a bubble bath, kind of weird to me when someone says they just have to 'freshen up' and the next scene has them soaking in a tub.

Time out. For me, tubs are messy and time consuming. Water is everywhere. I just don't picture myself EVER getting into a tub the first time I visit a guy's parent's home. In fact, unless you are shooting a scene somewhere in the old country, the probability of a near stranger freshening up in your tub is very low. I saw Julia Roberts do the same thing in 'Sleeping with the Enemy'. She was in some small town, an old farm house, up in the claw foot tub. But she tells the guy just moments before, that she'll be down in 20 minutes. Wait here on the porch. I just need to freshen up... and there she is soaking in a tub. Who does that? If I had someone over here, and they told me they were going to freshen up, and i hear the tub running I'd be like, " What the heck, who said anything about a bath?" It's just not done. Not in my tub.

So there is this big dinner and she's sensing all of the love and joy, sitting around the table talking and laughing. Then she's checking out Jose's trophies...evidently he was all set to play professional soccer when the accident occurred. The father really likes Nina and thanks her for bring her son out of his rut,( in one day?), and pretty soon, she's ready to go home but he asks her to come to the beach, where they are able to open up a little. It's dark, but they have these cool lights, and it's warm out and peaceful. It's really quite beautiful and romantic. I love the beach at night.

Ok there was none of this pawing at each other crap. Not that that's a bad thing but anything meaningful takes time and opening up. Movies should show ideal relationships...and not have to cater to what everyone else is doing in the world. They should bring people up. The best stories create a sense of timing. Love stories are all about timing really, right? Okay so...

There they are on the beach. There's certainly an attraction, but he just feels for her. Just a nice bonding thing between friends. Just talking. We all just need someone to talk to and/or be quiet with. It was all very comforting. The way they did the scene with was very fact there is a lot of symbolism in this movie.

Anyway, She shares her crummy past and he listens to it. You get the feeling that he is not judging her but really wishes she would let the baby live. It's connected with what he went through. You can see he's thinking, figuring. Not pushing her. Just being there. Wanting something more for her. She is starting to feel close to him and trusts him...this is the beginning of something more precious than a quickie in the sand. A relationship based in trust and friendship, that will affect both of them for the rest of their lives. Did I share too much?

It's just really beautiful, with a very positive message and a sweet ending. I teared up here and there. Such a sap.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

This reminds me of Dad

This guy reminds me of my Dad back in the 60s and 70s. In the 60s, Dad played in 2 softball leagues. I never once saw him play. I'd see his mitt around though. I guess it was his time to be away from us kids. Then, around 1970 he started singing in Barbershop Quartet and Chorus. in fact, he still sings. When we were little he had this reel to reel tape recorder which he'd bring with him to his practices. He would also tape us kids singing.
My father used to dance with us in the living room. We'd stand on his feet. I went to visit Dad and Mom yesterday. Brought him a nice seersucker shirt and pair of Docksider shorts so he could be cool. He tried the shirt on right away and it looked good on him. Bought Mom an outfit too. Cute little khaki pants and a sleeveless top with a sweater. We Morrone women have to get past our arms. I have a constellation of liver spots on mine and feel very self conscious about it. Not attractive at all. I guess if I were dating, the guy would have to be able to ignore them. If he can't I have no use for him. Anyway, nothing a good tan can't hide. Been saying that all my life which is why I have the spots. The Spots. Not about me but I wore a snappy little black dress to my friends father's memorial. The dear man passed a few days ago and she told me they were having a formal affair at her sister's home. Ok, so not wanting to draw attention in any way, shape, or form, the arms and butt were strategically covered with a... ahem...Vera Wang long sleeved cottony sweater. When I got inside the house, Brett, Loretta's son blurts out " I know why she's wearing that cover her DOTS!"

"Thank you, Brett. No really. Thanks."

Anyway, I love shopping for clothes for the folks....and I wish I could stand on my Dad's feet and dance with him, but I'd probably do some damage.

The Missing Piece Meets the Big O- Shel Silverstein

Let's roll.

a chance for love

Is this the sweetest and corniest thing ever? NO?

Interesting that 'uncertainty' in relationships should be a good thing. Imagine that. I used to be so afraid of that feeling of uncertainty. But isn't that what we get every day when we wake up? Freedom to make choices but never really able to predict the outcome? We have faith and hope that things will go alright but no guarantee. I'd like a guarantee, but I also like the surprises. As long as they're good. In relationships, sometimes I need that reassurance that we are going in the same direction. Yet it's also important to not be so sure of the ending that you think you are in complete control and lose that sense of anticipation and freedom. Of separateness. Something I don't want to take from anyone else either. Don't want anyone to feel like a trapped animal. Caged. Yikes. In that respect, I prefer uncertainly. I don't like finishing books either.

I had a copy of Jimmy Laos' book, " A Chance at Love" once and gave it away. It was a really cute story about a couple who never met but live in the same apartment building. He hears her typing and she hears his music but they never meet until one day at the park...they have a great time and he gets her number but it gets all blurry in the rain and he can't reach her and has no idea where she lives. After waiting days for him to call she figures he lost interest. Months turn into a couple of years...and then something happens....

The Invisible Ride- Ghost Whippin'

Today my nephew Dan is 17. I hear he's out in Colorado rock climbing with my sister's family. Happy Birthday Dan, you big hunk of cool. This one's for you. I hope it doesn't offend you being I'm your Auntie and all.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

taking out the trash

My brother, Damian, was born in 1967. When my mom was pregnant with him, she talked about naming him Damian John. My father balked and said he would call him DJ. We never did. It's Damian. Dame for short.

When Damian Sr. was 3, I was 8. Sesame Street was brand new. He got to watch it every morning as I recall, while we were getting ready for school... or maybe when we got home. I just remember it being on and thinking it was for mainly for him. I remember my Mom was thrilled that there were 'educational' programs he could watch. She was really into health food and healthy toys.

One time, Mom and her friend loaded us all into the family station wagon (the same one I totaled on my first time out, after picking up Elena from her job at Bigboys), and took us to a place called "Creative Playthings". She bought wood toys and blocks in various shapes, a wood slide that she put on the stairs in our house. I remember spending hours alone in the basement, building 2-story houses for my Barbies. Mom also got a swing on a rope that she hung from the rafter in the basement which was fun. I remember a tunnel thing which was made from a large coil of wire with fabric. It was like 10 feet long and could double as an inside fort. Then she got these old fashioned desks so we could play school. Play school. And a toy kitchen set. We made a restaurant with a menu. The potatoes were rocks from the yard.

One Saturday morning, we were all playing down there when we heard Mom yelling right above us. She was up in the kitchen and evidently had discovered cinnamon sugar spilled in the cabinet and on the counter. Must have been someone making cinnamon toast.

" Whoooo made this SUGAR MESS!?!"

Mom had a slight temper, which generally under control, could be set off by the vision of filth or chaos in her home. Her voice would creshendo, something like a volcano. Start out softly and build into a screaming pitch in one sentence, usually when she couldn't find something. "wheres my grapeFRUIT SPOON?!!! We knew it well. I think I do that too actually. It's like the emotion catches up to the visual.

My sister Elena, probably about 9 years old at the time, asked me to take the fall.

" Gina, will you say that you did it? Mom never yells at you. Nothing will happen, but if she finds out it was me, it will be worse. I'm gonna get hit. Please please please say it was you!"

I took it as an opportunity for gain.

" Well how much is worth to you?" (IE. "What will you give me...")

"Well what do you want? How about 5 dollars, when I grow up?"

"That's not enough for this. I could get clobbered up there."

" No Gina, you NEVER get hit. She's just gonna yell and you clean it up and it will be over."

" You don't know that."

"OK. Six dollars to take care of this for me."

" Not enough. I'll do it for seven."

" Seven....hmmm OK, but you have to wait 'til we grow up."

" OK. No problem."

"Thank you SO much."

" OK."

I remember getting my courage up.

" I'm going up."

"Thanks, I'll never forget this."

" Neither will I."

I remember she hugged me.

" Don't ever tell."

" I won't. But don't forget the seven bucks."

"When I grow up."


I trusted Elena. No need to get it in writing. I went up to face my mother, a martyr, completely innocent.

"YOU did this?"


Elena was right.

" Get over there and clean it up. Don't EVER do that again. We'll get ANTS. Now get that cabinet cleaned out too!" I almost felt as if she knew I didn't do it. I wiped up the mess and ran back down.

"Did you get hit?"

" Nope, she hardly even yelled."

" See?"

" It was nothing. I just wiped it up. She wasn't even hardly mad."
I remember thinking it was an easy 7 bucks. Not a bad deal...

" Thank you so much!! I PROMISE I'll pay you that seven bucks someday. AND get you anything you want at the store when I can drive. Any candy you want."

It was a bonding thing for us. Years later she made good on our agreement.

Perry Como and Julie Andrews on Sesame Street 1973

The members of our senior center were finishing up lunch when Fred*, a 50 something year old guy with Autism, came up and asked me for his cigarette. Trying to buy some time before dessert, I asked him to sing us a song instead. While Fred rarely cracks a smile, he is more than happy to belt one out for us, and goes right into this song. It really shouldn't amaze me that this man, with his sing-song style of speaking, has perfect pitch and recall of most lyrics. Fred not only sings well, but is OK with harmony and timing, so we can sing along with him, doing the 'la la la las' without his missing a beat.

Sometimes, I actually feel like I'm in a musical. A very corny musical.

* name changed

good old bluegrass anytime

trouble in the hood

so tonight the party out back started somewhere around 12:30. I was just about to retire when the music kicked in. I decided to leave it alone and let the chips fall where they may, fully expecting the kid who's dad lives back there, will want to keep it quiet, since the owner had a long talking to dad and basically informed him that the kid was no longer permitted on the property. Is that even legal? I guess since Dad wasn't home, he figured he would just come on down anyway. Invite the usual 40 kids and get this party started. I was staying out of it, and spent the next hour sorting out clothes, you know, since I was going to be awake.

Of course, with all of the kiddies drinking until they were out of control, the crowd moved outside and began the usual ranting and death threats. Pretty soon I hear 2 girls screaming at each other, and it sounds like...a cat fight is about to break out. I decide that it's just about time to...what time is it anyway? 2:30.
OK so I walk downstairs. Bare feet onto the rock driveway, and along side barn-house, in the dark. I can hear all kinds of voices and get to the back of the house. They see me and suddenly everything goes quiet. I whisper "You think you can hold it down?" I am approached by a pretty little blond girl who should be home at this hour, who apologizes several times, and tells me that she is looking for her friends glasses...can't see without them. I suppose they were knocked off in the scuffle.

"What's going on back here with the screaming?" She then tells me that some kids father was just there wielding a bat and threatening them, but she would tell everyone to keep it down. Great. Figures it would escalate to this without the intervention of the old hag who lives up here. Probably the father of one of the girls. I decided to go back in and make the call, but before I can do that, a cop pulls up. Evidently the kids that were leaving damaged a car and stole a license plate. Punks. It's not the first time. I met the daughter of the guy about 6 months back and her windshield was broken by a so called friend gone mad.
Hopefully it's over for the night...Let's see. Nope. They're still out there. My leg is cramping up and I have to get some sleep. What is it with kids that they have to stay up all night and get into fights?

Friday, 1 August 2008

Only the Best

Discover LifeQ10
A natural breakthrough to revitalize your body with up to 8 times more CoQ10 for vibrant health and energy.

If you’re experiencing tired muscles and fatigue, it could be yesterday’s tennis match… or your nagging boss. Or, it may be a decline in your body’s CoQ10 – an essential energy nutrient that supports your heart and whole body.

Your body makes CoQ10 naturally. But by age 20, your levels start going down. And by age 40, they take a nosedive. That’s why you may feel fatigued and run down, even if you’re doing “all the right things.” CoQ10 is almost everywhere in your body. But the amount in your heart muscle is 10 times higher than anywhere else. Since your heart pumps thousands of gallons of blood each day, it needs constant energy that only CoQ10 can provide.

Imagine that CoQ10 is like a spark plug. It provides the “spark” of energy your heart needs to pump. If your body isn’t making enough CoQ10 – it’s like an engine without spark plugs. It won’t start or run well. When your heart is pumping well, you will:

* Breathe more easily.
* Feel stronger.
* Think more sharply.
* Be more youthful and robust.

When your cardiovascular system is running smoothly, your whole body feels good! And with the LifeQ10 breakthrough, you can give your heart and whole body a powerful boost!
LifeQ10: An Amazing New Advancement for Health & Energy

LifeQ10 is the world’s most advanced source of CoQ10 for natural energy enhancement. What can LifeQ10 do for you? Here are a few outstanding benefits:

* Strengthens your heart
* Supports healthy blood pressure and cholesterol
* Supports your immune system
* Improves stamina
* Fights fatigue
* Promotes healthy circulation
* Supports healthy skin by protecting against UV radiation
* Supercharges your energy

LifeQ10 Makes Conventional CoQ10 Supplements Obsolete

You must know that if you take a standard CoQ10 supplement, chances are you won’t absorb it. The problem is that most CoQ10 supplements have very low bio-availability. This means when you take them, they are eliminated from your body and CoQ10 never gets where it’s supposed to go – to your body’s cells. As your cells go, so goes your health… your energy… and your vitality. And nothing gives your cells more of an energizing boost than LifeQ10.

* Provides up to 8 times better absorption than conventional CoQ10 products.
* Remains active in tissues longer than conventional forms of CoQ10.
* Offers superior safety and purity. LifeQ10 is 100% natural.
* Slows the signs of aging 40% better than conventional CoQ10
* Fights fatigue 250% more effectively than conventional CoQ10
* Begins working fast even if you have health concerns such as blood sugar issues or weight. Conventional CoQ10 may not work at all if you have health problems.

LifeQ10 is healthy, energy insurance you can count on.

90 Day Money Back Guarantee

The sooner you start taking LifeQ10, the sooner you'll enjoy the benefits. So call now, 1-800-HEALTHY and get started today. If for any reason, LifeQ10 does not meet your expectations, just call back within 90 days and you'll receive a prompt refund (not including shipping and handling). No questions asked.

How to Order

To place an order, call 1-800-HEALTHY (1-800-432-5849).

Old Love Notes

In the Summer of Love
I was just a young dove
but for all my eight years
it was all I thought of~
and he slipped me a note
just a sentence or two
with my name and the words
'I Love You'.

and I thought it was sweet
see, I knew him from Pete
a mutual friend,
we all played in the street~
and I never would think
that he'd give me a wink
less a note with the
words 'I Love You.'

Well I tucked it away
in my pocket that day
and I smiled at the boy and
said 'Hey, let's go play'.
But the recess bell rang
and I thought then, 'Oh Dang',
since his classroom was one door away.

I never did kiss
that olive-skinned guy
with the dirty blond hair
that hung over his eye
I'd fallen for John
and I guess he moved on
and we parted
without a goodbye.

Many years later
I'd think about Glen,
that first little crush
the paper and pen
the thought and the hand
that bothers to write
with intent
and the courage
to send.

And one day by chance
I sat in a chair
entrusting a stranger
with all of my hair~
she pulled through the cap
the strands to be bleached
and though it was painful
they had to be reached.

I asked for her name
and discovered, the same
as the boy I had liked,
my childhood flame~
I made the mistake
of informing the goat
the wife of the boy,
about one little note.

And never you mind
she pulled my hair blind
I don't think I've ever
run into her kind.
And the moral I say
and my very hairs pray
'please leave your old love notes behind! '

In the Summer of Love
I was just a young dove
but for all my eight years
it was all I thought of~