Archive for December, 2008

Signs of slowing down at 45

Posted: December 31, 2008 in Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah
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I’ve lost some of my quickness.

Usually when I forget to put the dryer sheet into the dryer, I can open the door while it’s running, toss the dryer sheet in, and close the door before it shuts off.

I couldn’t make it happen today. By the time I closed the dryer door, it had stopped.

Proof that middle age can steal more than your… ummm… firmness.

I’m 45

Posted: December 31, 2008 in Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah, Music, My Mom
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I just turned forty-five years-old a few minutes ago.

I’m going to listen to three songs in a row right now.

1. So What by Miles Davis from Kind of Blue (one of the greatest Jazz albums of all-time)

2. 45 by Elvis Costello (for obvious reasons)

3. I Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer by Stevie Wonder (a song that I listen to when I’m missing my mom)

I’ll probably sit here in the dark for another hour or so and listen to some more music. Isn’t it great how you can play a song, close your eyes, and get taken to a certain space or place in time?

Happy New Year to all of my family, friends, and those who have clicked over here either by accident or by choice.

I hope it was worth your time.

The countdown to 45

Posted: December 30, 2008 in Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah
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For my 40th birthday party I purposely wrote in the invitations not to bring me gifts. I thought everyone would think of it as a selfless act and then they’d bring me even more than they normally would have.

It backfired.

Here’s a list of the people in my family and my guess as to whether they will be giving me a gift this year.

Wife: Maybe (we usually make a deal not to exchange)
Father: No (is having money issues but always did in the past)
Mother: Dead (but she would if she was alive)
Nana & Grandpa: Dead (but they would if they were alive)
Grandma G: Dead (probably would if she was alive)
Mother and Father-in-law: Yes (already have given it to me)
Only Sister: Yes (already has given it to me even though I still owe her $100 for the Stevie Wonder concert ticket)
Only Brother: Yes (because he is so kind and very good to his big brother)
Son #1: No
Son #2: No (I didn’t give him a gift last year because he owed me money)
Son #3: No
Son #4: Yes (he will make me something cute)
Only Daughter: Yes (way too generous)

For all the other readers out there: I particularly like gift cards from: iTunes, Kohls, Dicks (the next time you are in Dicks and there is a cute cashier, ask her if she ever gets sick of Dicks), Walmart, and Home Depot.

After writing something like this, you have to wonder why my family even speaks to me.

Patriots: Alternative ending

Posted: December 30, 2008 in Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah
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It just really sucks when you go 11-5 and don’t make the playoffs.

It’s almost as bad as having the other team know what you’re going to do before you even do it.

Just ask Kurt Warner.

Patriots

Posted: December 29, 2008 in Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah
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I just want to let all of my Patriots friends to know how very, very sorry I am that their team will not be advancing to the playoffs this season.

It’s a real shame that an 11-5 team is spending today packing up their lockers and getting ready to head home or go on vacation or do whatever it is pro athletes do when the season has ended.

With any luck, the Giants will make a run at the Super Bowl again this year. If not, I’ll know exactly what the Patriot fans are going through: no more football until next season.

It sucks watching the playoffs when your team is not playing. You think about what could have been. You imagine that your QB is out there throwing touchdown passes or that your “D” has just come up with a turnover.

It can hurt. It can really, really hurt.

I remember how it was a few years ago when the Giants didn’t make the playoffs. I woke up on Sunday mornings and didn’t care who the hell was playing who.

January can be a long and cold month. It helps when you can look forward to watching your team in a playoff game. You know what I mean, right?

It’s snowing out. You’re stuck in the house. The kids are driving you crazy. But who cares? Your team has a chance to move one step closer to the ultimate goal: the Super Bowl!

It sucks that eleven wins doesn’t always get you there. It doesn’t seem fair.

But the Pats have had one hell of a run!

Do I think the football Gods have gotten their revenge on the Pats for stealing plays, a few games, and ultimately stealing a Super Bowl?

The thought never really has entered my mind.

It just really sucks when you go 11-5 and don’t make the playoffs.

The Basement

Posted: December 28, 2008 in Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah, Now I hate Kids

I’m sitting in the Lego Room, formally known as the eighteen year-old’s bedroom until he decided to run away and move in with his father. Now he sleeps on a couch in the middle of his living room.

I’m down here watching football on a thirteen-inch screen. That’s because the ten year-old and two of his weird little friends are upstairs playing Guitar Hero.

He was only supposed to have the icky kid from the other side of the bushes over this afternoon but then the doorbell rang.

It was the girl from down the street. She’s a little more advanced than most of the kids their class. She lives between her mother, father, and grandmother’s houses during the week. Her grandmother’s house is right around the corner from us and where she can usually be found.

Here’s an example of a dialog between her and the boy that I overheard a few months ago:

The Boy: “Doesn’t your brother want a guitar, and Wii for his birthday?”

Her: He wants the guitar but he doesn’t smoke pot anymore.

Uh… yeah… see what I mean.

So she shows up at the door asking for a place to hang out for a little while. It seems as though Grandma is having a problem with depression and is in some sort of pain.

The girl is telling us that Grandma is having a meltdown and wants her to call her mother’s boyfriend so that he can bring her a gun so she can shoot herself to take away the pain.

I’m sure it’s just a case of an old lady needing her space for a little while. I’m thinking the boyfriend might ask a few questions before handing over his gun to a gram gone loco.

I’m hearing that Grandma has come out of her funk and has just picked the girl up. I’m sure everything is back to normal.

I’m sure we all have similar stories from our own childhood.

The Lego room is painted in a light-green that looked a lot better on the swatch at Home Depot than it does on the walls.

It’s called the Lego room because it’s filled with wonderful Lego creations built by the ten year-old. The room also has a futon and that little tiny TV that I’m watching now.

I pulled out some of my old Giants and Yankees posters and pennants in an effort to cover the ugly light-green walls.

I’m noticing now that the room has another very annoying quality to it. The living room is directly above it and I can hear the kids up there jumping around. The floors squeak like a freaking mouse in heat.

So all I can hear is squeak-squeak-bang-bang-boom!

Boom-bang-bang-squeak-squeak-BOOM!

BOOM!
BOOM!
BOOM!

I run up there like a maniac yelling that it feels like the freaking ceiling is going to crash down on me.

They were playing Wii fishing… FISHING! How much running and jumping is involved in fishing?

I scream and yell some more until I think my face is red enough for them to know that I am serious. I also yell, “I’M SERIOUS… STOP JUMPING!”

It’s twenty minutes later and they are still jumping… running now, I think.

I’M TWO MINUTES AWAY FROM MAKING A FOOL OUT OF MYSELF AGAIN.

I’m thankful…

Posted: December 24, 2008 in Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah
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It’s been a year of unexpected events, uncertainty, and pure relief for me.

It was quite unexpected that what was diagnosed as a broken ankle, ended up being a tumor.

The docs and labs were uncertain for weeks as to what type of tumor had hollowed out the bone in my ankle.

Then it was pure joy to pick up the phone on a Friday afternoon to hear that the tumor was not cancerous.

There were many other highs and lows.

My cousin Brad was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. He had side effects to the chemo that had some of the top docs in Boston confused.

I saw him a few months ago and he looked fabulous. I had to hold myself back from squeezing him too hard while we hugged.

Another cousin, Mike, also was diagnosed with cancer. Mike and his family raise money for cancer every year in memory of their mother who died from it several years ago.

Mike also kicked cancer’s ass!

We fell way behind on our mortgage payments. But the bank gave us a second chance and so far so good.

I’ve been struggling with my job. I’m not a salesman at heart. But I truly love sitting with people and listening to their stories. I love speaking in front of crowds.

I hate selling. I hate feeling like I am being pushy.

I’ve met a friend that I think can help me to expand my capabilities and push me towards higher goals. I’m thankful that we are working together.

Yes I’m stressed out over unpaid bills. I lose sleep and I wrack my brain for ideas on how to catch up.

I worry about my neighbor and where he’ll end up in the next few weeks or so.

I worry that my ankle is hurting me again and I’ll be going back for another round of tests to see if anything else is going on in there. But even then, it’s just a matter of going back in and having it removed.

I guess what I’m trying to say is to be thankful for what you have. Be good to your family and friends. Always do what you think is right. Follow your dreams. Follow your gut feeling. And everything else will fall into place.

I hope that Christmas Day finds you and your families healthy and happy.