Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ego Rattling

There is nothing.............and I mean absolutely nothing........as intimidating, as earth shattering and ego rattling, as overwhelming, and as mind numbing in the fear it inspires, than standing at one end of the cereal aisle in any major supermarket.

Venerable Institutions Now Faking It

You know society is dumbing it down to extinction when intelligent sources get lazy.

60 Minutes: These people are really pissing me off. They used to be our "end of the weekend brain stimulation before The Monday Meltdown" source.

Interesting shows, professionally presented that opened up new worlds or exposed corruption in a fun and eye opening way as scum squirmed on national TV.

Shows that taught us stuff or sparked an interest in something new. Shows that broke our hearts and brought tears to our eyes. Shows that made us laugh and introduced us to people who have earned our respect.

Now, you flick up the guide on your all powerful TV screen, check out 60 minutes to see who is on or what the topics are and the guide says "New."

New meaning new show. Not a repeat.

Used to be when the show was a repeat it would goddamn well say "repeat."

Now it says new BUT when you dial up the show they cover three topics - again - saying "When we first aired this episode" blah blah blah. They then go back and repeat the original episode almost in its entirety, and add some postscript at the end. Some sort of update.

This passes for "New."

Shouldn't these people be jailed? Executed maybe?

Sunday night is sacred. It is the end of the weekend for most people and brings on "Monday morning my life sucks" anxiety.

It is almost impossible to enjoy Sunday night because you are thinking so hard about the job you hate and the people you work with who suck.

You turn to 60 Minutes for some diversion and they water down your brain with recycled crap punched up with 30 seconds of new stuff.

And they get paid 16 times what you make to do this?

Time Magazine: Another revered news source. Heavy duty, hard hitting topics covered professionally and in depth.

At least that's the way it used to be.

A very recent issue was called "The Question Everything" issue. Boldly across the top it asked: "Is Monogamy Over?... and 21 Other Questions About the Way We Live Now."

This immediately captured my attention because if they could convince me that monogamy was over I vowed to drop Carol like a hot potato, no questions asked.

Instead they went on to ask: "Do Robots Need Rights? Would You Trade Brains for Beauty...or Beauty for Brains? Should We All Wear Body Cams? Is Etiquette Dead? Are Computers Too Smart? Topless in Public? How Do You Know When You've Made It?"

Are you fucking kidding me?

With all the brain power one would presume to be behind Time magazine, you would expect weighty topics and knee buckling analysis and predictions.

Instead I felt like I was reading a kindergarten primer suggesting dazzling topics for Little Joey to discuss with Smiling Suzy to facilitate his ultimate goal of getting into Suzy's crayon box.

60 Minutes and Time Magazine should be upholding a standard of intelligence and professionalism committed to informing and improving the brain power of the American public.

Instead it seems like they have decided that we Americans are so stupid that they will stoop to our level in order to hold on to those almighty ratings.

A self fulfilling prophesy, my friends.

The more stupid we become as a society, the less intellectual stimulation will be available to us.

And the rest of the world sits and waits and laughs.

Harvey Keitel

At the end of "Thelma & Louise" Harvey Keitel runs after the car as T&L rocket towards the abyss.

What the hell was he thinking?

What was he going to do?

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Dead Once Again

After a shower, steam on the bathroom mirror is a definite sign of the death of summer.

An Honest Mystery

In New England, summer is a myth.

(Editor's note: The Doors have two perfect songs to bookend the fantasy of summer. "Waiting For The Sun" and "Summer's Almost Gone.")

Break out the long johns, maw.

Give It A Shot

Hooaa, been a bit wibbly and a bit wobbly in here since I got back from vacation.

Nothing of any substance. No passion.

When I write without passion I feel empty. My best comes from joy and anger and frustration and resentment and rage - my best comes from being alive.

The vacation really slapped me around. It was so pure and unexpected that it purged my soul of all bile. And believe me there was plenty of bile to go around.

It was a dangerous vacation. We could have ended up divorced. All that time alone together.

Instead it reaffirmed the beauty of committing an entire life to another human being. Thirty seven years married ain't nuthin' to sneeze at jack.

There were times when we sat side by side on the porch, overlooking and listening to the ocean, with Carol crocheting and me reading. In joyful silence.

People who know us are saying ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, perfect.

Brief aside: The reading thing was new for me and what a sweet release it was. I can't read when others are around because we are busy socializing. Sipping on cocktails, speechifying over football and politics and life. I read for hours this year, on the porch and on the beach. This is how I would like to spend the rest of my life. With a book in my hand and my toes in the sand.

Anyway...........................Carol and I enjoyed each other's company in comfort and ease.

The vacation was such a release that I have had trouble bouncing back from it. But I think I am coming back around.

We went to the movies last night. Saw "Grandma" with Lily Tomlin and Sam Elliot. At Red River Theatres. A sensitive and quirky life movie enjoyed in our favorite theater. Awesome.

Red River is ours. Two screens and a smaller,  projection-like screen for documentaries. That's it.

No 25 screen cinoplex bullshit. Very intimate. They serve beer and wine which makes it more mature. The typical audience is around our age too, which is great. I got nothing against you kids but the feeling of camaraderie we get there enhances the experience.

As we were walking out I heard a couple talking: "Wow, Lily Tomlin is on a roll. 'Grace and Frankie', now this movie." You don't get the reference and you have never heard of this movie.

I like that. It makes it ours.

So I am staring down an actual weekend. Two whole days. Pretty cool.

There is a poster in the men's room of Red River. Got a picture of James Dean. The quote says: "Dream like you'll live forever, live like you'll die tomorrow."

Why don't you give that a shot?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Rough & Rocky Start

Bit o' whining going on in here since returning from Paradise.

Nuthin' new, huh?

When will I learn?

Yesterday was Sarge and Cori's wedding anniversary. Tough day for Cori.

Fortunately she has good friends and I believe she was taken out to dinner last night.

Still I'm sure it was a painful day for her.

Today is Jonathan's birthday. He would have been 28. Tough day for Eddie and Kathy.

I spoke to my brother a little while ago. It was a little rough around the edges but he has remained remarkably tough throughout this whole process.

We are coasting towards winter. We are coasting towards anniversaries that we don't want to acknowledge.

Time does not stop. It grinds on inexorably.

Either you deal with it or you don't.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Whew.................survived the day.

Back to work today.


When you taste purity of spirit, even for just a few days, and then return to work, you realize what a bunch of crap "the work environment" is.

Filled with poison. Gamesmanship. Ego wars. Stupidity masquerading as intelligence. Bluffing.

I was ready today. Kind of confrontational. Don't need this shit no more.

Tomorrow I have to suffer through yet another goddamn inventory.

Thousands and thousands of bottles of booze that have to be counted. Hundreds and hundreds of cases of booze that have to be counted. Gift bags. Bottle stoppers. Nips. Gift cards. And more and more and more.

I will spend approximately 8 solid hours counting and inputting into an electronic device we call a dolphin. Then I have to download my information as well as that of the seven other victims who are participating in this boring and grueling process and hope it all goes well.

You know. You've been there. Somehow, someway.

Sitting on the beach was a lot more fun.

Carol keeps advancing the theory that we could probably survive if I retire at the age of 62. That would be in less than four months from now.

Part time work could fill in the financial gap.

Previously I would not even consider this. I do not favor living on cat food and water.

Suddenly it seems like a real possibility.

Carol is offering herself up as the sacrificial lamb who continues to work.

This could actually work. I could work part time and also cook, clean, shop, launder and generally make Carol's life easier by reducing her worries to only the job.

And of course my dream would be to use the spare time to attempt to create some sort of writing related income.

I don't know how realistic these thoughts are. I often have no capacity for distinguishing between reality and hallucinations in my brain.

However, after today, and especially after tomorrow, this scenario seems and will seem quite tasty.

Who the hell knows.

Sometimes in life you just gotta say "What the fuck."

Monday, September 14, 2015

A New Reality

I'm sure my running commentary of our spectacular vacation bored and sickened you.

I understand. You ask: "What's the big deal? It's only Maine, for Christ sake. It's only for a few days."

I get it. You vacation in Paris. You vacation in Mexico. I appreciate that. I actually envy you that.

We are not there in our life. This vacation is a pretty big deal to us and it is a tradition. A tradition that was radically altered this year but we responded in amazing fashion.

We are home now. Got home around 1:00 yesterday afternoon.

Loved up the cats massively. We really miss them and they really miss us. It is a soft and warm feeling to come home to them after they have essentially been alone for 72 hours, adjusted for the kindly visit of Craig & Karen on Friday.

When you return home from a vacation, one that gave you everything you asked of it, you have to be very careful.

Warm memories can become regrets.

Honestly, very shortly after walking into the house I became depressed. Because the house represents a return to the same old same old.

I fought off the feeling immediately because we had all day yesterday and all day today still left to enjoy. We don't go back to work until tomorrow and it would be lunacy to ruin what is left of this sweet release with poison thoughts.

Still, when I woke up this morning I severely missed the sound of the ocean. I am thinking about getting some kind of ocean soundtrack that I can listen to while I sit here. Maybe something like that will soften the cruelty of another vicious New England winter.

But it has to be authentic. Cheesy ain't gonna cut it.

A change of scenery makes a huge difference. I have taken as much time off as possible this year and most of it I spent at home.

It is relief to get away from The Idiot and the sheer stupidity and boredom of the job but it is never enough to just stay home.

Old Orchard Beach, the ocean, the seagulls and the sun were enough. Refreshed the perspective, soothed the nerves, brought out natural humanity.

The trick is to ride that into a new reality.

Is that too much to ask?

Ghosts On The Ocean

There was a heavy presence of absence during our vacation.

It was our first trip up there that we did not see Sarge and Kevin. The first vacation since they died.

It hurt.

Magic and loss. The very definition of life.

The magic of getting away, the beauty of being able to spend some of your vacation with family and good friends.

The loss of knowing you will never spend time with Sarge and Kevin in that setting, or any other setting, again.

It was a heavy feeling, a sobering presence that provided some balance of reality to the euphoria of escaping the mundane.

I need to find a way to move on.

Kevin's death hit Jeff hard.

Craig recently had a facebook conversation with Jeff in which Jeff said that as much as it hurts him, as much as he misses Kevin, he realizes he has only one life to live and he needs to find a way to move on.

I can dig.

I am still  a victim to the involuntary reaction when I think about Jonathan, Kevin or Sarge. I shake my head suddenly or merely utter the word F--K!

I think about them a lot.

A brief, more pleasant aside: I also experience a positive involuntary reaction when I think about my sons.

When I think about Keith's new job and his brand new car, I smile. It just happens. Every time.

When I think about Craig's new condo, his first real home, I smile. It just happens. Every time.

That is a precious and a delicate balance.

Still the deaths of Kevin, Jonathan and Sarge weigh heavy on me and occupy my mind, my time and my energy.

I need to put them in some sort of perspective.

As far as Old Orchard Beach goes that was impossible. It was as if they were standing there, being with us in silence and in love.

Magic and loss.

I am grateful that Carol and I still have plenty of magic to smooth out our life together.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

This Is It,

This is it, kids.

The famous final scene.

We have come full circle. It is solidly overcast, windy and cold.

People on the beach in sweatshirts and jackets, sweatpants, pants. Cup of coffee. Kids futilely trying to fly kites in this very strong wind.


Love that plaintive seagull cry. It mesmerizes me like the sound of the ocean does.

Carol and I survived a weekend alone (kind of ) together. We talked a lot, we enjoyed peaceful silences, we made each other laugh, cool breakfasts, walks.

The green light is on. The batteries are re-charged.

The ocean is a magic elixir. Gonna have one installed in our backyard when we get home.

Life really is a delicious and magical thing when all the bullshit is stripped away. When all the artificial pressures and obligations and anxieties recede into the background.

The real lesson here is that life should not be vibrant only for five days out of the year and a burden for the other 360 days of the year.

Maybe life is all about trying to correct that balance. In your mind, in your day to day existence.

This is a goal worth pursuing with a vengeance. It might be the only justification for being alive.

These days have been filled with magic.

We will be back, Old Orchard Beach.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

It Ain't Over Until We Say It's Over

So what do you think?

Strolled onto the deck this morning at 8:30, laptop in hand, ready to spew words.

It was so bright I could not see my screen.

Life is tough, no?

Man what a delicious dilemma. I threw the machine back into the room and preceded to meditate on the waves and the brilliant sunshine.

The sun was level, in my face and fifteen minutes later I was sweating droplets down my chest. So much so that I retreated to the safety of the room. Set up a chair in the door and loved the scenery.

Who could have predicted.

Carol and I chowed at a cool breakfast place we found (because Dunkin Donuts is closed - no Tailgater Sandwich, man) then came back to hit the beach.

It was our first dedicated beach assault. Thursday we took a walk. Friday we never hit the beach at all. Just hung on the porch in perfect and serene contentment.

Today we set up camp.

BUT about 1 and 1/2 hours in, the wind kicked up and the temperature dropped. By the time Cori arrived it was arctic cold.

We persevered as much as we could then retreated to the deck which accomplished nothing so we strolled down town.

Big doin's.

Motorcycle rally and a bicycle race. Lots of people and it was much warmer.

We ended up shopping, which I did not dig at all but sometimes you gotta take one for the team.

So here I am. Showered and refreshed. After Carol showers we are heading downtown to meet John, Jay, Cori, Bill and Gail for some chow.

And the race.

But Carol and I are firm. I uttered words I never thought I would say. "I do not want to spend the whole night in a bar."

I don't and neither does Carol. We want to watch the race but we want to absorb our last night on the beach.

We might watch some of it with the crew but after that we are returning to paradise.

We'll put the race on the tube and sit out on the deck even if we have to wrap ourselves in blankets.

The weekend?

Pretty spectacular. We got some peace, we evolved to a point very close to our own unique humanities.

Got centered close to the soul. Close to the bone.

I got a lot more to say, but not now.

We are entering the final lap. Gotta keep my eyes focused, my joy uplifted and my soul nourished and looking for more.

We are not done.

This weekend has done us good.

Ciao for now.

Friday, September 11, 2015

It Is Beautiful

OK dig. The sun is out on Old Orchard Beach.

Gloriously so.

Before we left The Granite State I checked the OOB forecast. It said 100% chance of rain all day Friday.

They were wrong. Delightfully so. The sun has been gracing us with its presence for a couple of hours now.

We were reconciled to a dark day. We are reconciled no longer.

This vacation is unfolding as if we had scripted it ourselves. And maybe we did. Maybe every bit of karma we constructed over the many years that we have been coming has resulted in this reward.

Whatever the cosmic reason, we are gobbling up the beauty, grace and peace like a hungry lion gobbles up the recently deceased carcass of some poor unfortunate beast.

I am compelled to insert darkness wherever I go.

New thought: Every year when I write about this trip I talk about the life on the beach - the dogs, the kids, the elderly, the fat, those devoid of any scrap of humility exposing massive beer bellies and cellulose thighs to the public.

It occurred to me today that that is what the ocean does. It attracts people like a magnet and allows them the freedom to express themselves exactly as they wish.

The ocean allows for free expression of pure humanity. There is some mystical relationship between the ocean and being human that fosters a lowering of the guard. A selfless and open way of being that says "Here I am in all my glory, I am at peace with myself and my surroundings and no external judgment can affect me."

It is beautiful.

Part of the joy of this trip is the familiarity. When we first turn the corner to head down the wild and crazy boulevard that is the heart of OOB, it is like coming home.

Every store, every shop, every table and chair and bench and sight and sound is ours. We own it, we feel it, we love it.

We are completely at ease.

It took zero time to power down. As soon as we checked into the room our souls were flying free.

It occurs to me that I should adopt a new approach when I return to that thing that you people define as reality.

Right now - right at this very second - I am one with peace. Cool and relaxed, feeling like a newborn child with no care in the world.

Perhaps when I get back I should destroy anyone who gets in the way of this feeling. Mellencamp says: "Don't let your time be stolen by anybody else."

That's what the evil people do. They steal your time by occupying your mind with negativity and self defense.

This must stop.

This feeling is too good to give up.

Enough. Let's focus on the sun and the waves and the breeze and the enormously fat and exposed older couple who are right now walking towards me from the water, hand in hand.

It is beautiful.

18 and 1/2

Been here 18 and 1/2 hours and I am cleansed.

It's like I have been reborn, baptized and all my sins have been washed away.

Perfect location for that because it would definitely take an ocean to wash all my sins away.

Chilly this morning sitting here. Wearing sweatpants, sweatshirt; solidly overcast, aggressive breeze, but................no rain.

And the ocean.

Rockin' and rollin', pounding the surf and my psychoses and neuroses into submission.

Last night. The Strike Zone. A local bar. THE PATS. Supreme.

Wasn't what I expected. It is dead up here on Old Orchard Beach and the bar was half full. But we had a crew and a great crew it was.

No drunken shenanigans which is good because I could focus on the game and I feel good today.

Lots of conversation and laughter, chow, some booze and a PATS victory. I call that a damn good Thursday night.

Carol and I will be relaxing some more today, perfecting our relationship with the ocean and its surroundings.

Bonus round: The crew will be coming around to join us again this afternoon.

This weekend is shaping up to be cathartic.

Jesus Christ we needed to get away and get away we have.

Shortly, gonna stroll leisurely down to Dunkin' Donuts to score life giving coffee and...............The Tailgater Breakfast Sandwich.

Can't wait to sink my teeth into that puppy. If it's good enough for Gronk it's good enough for me.

Ciao, baby.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Same Way

I am sitting on a second level porch overlooking Old Orchard Beach.

Listening to the ocean. Breathing a sigh of relief. Reveling in the gentle breeze.

It is like coming home.

We have been doing this for 7 or 8 years or something quite like it.

A mini vacation right after labor day.

I never thought of it this way before but it is really the last gasp of summer, and because we are not world travelers (yet) it is a big deal to us.

Feels good. Feels right.

The calming effect of the sound of the ocean is really quite dramatic. The soul is soothed in a way that reminds you that you are human. All the muscles relax and - more importantly - the mind relaxes.

We checked in around 3:00. By 4:00 we were walking the beach.

A little different this year. Carol and I are alone. No Paula & Bill.

Missing the laughter but still............................it still tastes like chocolate.

AND we are getting together with Cori and John and Jay and Bill and Gail and Robin and Kathy later on to watch THE PATS kick off the 2015 NFL season.

Pretty goddamn awesome.

The sun is not even out; it is solidly overcast. A little on the cool side. Tomorrow is forecast to be solid rain.

Doesn't matter.

There is peace.

Missing the cats but they are in the care of Craig and Karen so there is no worry.

It is amazing how work ravages the soul. Along with the assholes you have to deal with.

When you settle into a setting like this you realize that this is how you are supposed to feel all the time.

If you get distracted the ocean is a relentless reminder. That soothing sound never stops. That huge expanse, the sheer overwhelming size and history and legend of the thing.

As we walked I noticed the seagulls imitating humans walking with their hands tucked behind their backs.

Cool and nonchalant.

Carol and I are feeling the same way.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Strange the way the mind works.

I dragged my tired self into the house tonight, pizza in hand, Carol bowling, the cats dying to get out on the porch and a thought drifted across my mind.

It occurred to me that our brain is a sophisticated instrument that we have no clue how to use.

The brain is mind blowing. Absolutely fucking amazing.

Consider the things it does with no conscious thought. Breathing, your heart, all of your bodily functions, walking, running, sitting, moving, just keeping you alive and getting you around with no input from you.

Consider what it does with your input. Learning, analyzing, sifting, compiling, comparing, adapting, feeling, reviewing, meditating, ruminating, plotting, planning and accomplishing.

We have this thing called a brain sitting in our skulls, this thing with enormous capacity and we don't know how to use it. How to maximize its potential.

Experts in the field don't really know how it works, they don't really know what hurts it, they don't know how to improve it, they don't know what makes the goddamn thing tick.

And these are people with really muscular brains.

This could be the key to the mystery of why human beings suck.

This magical mass of strange looking tissue, this thing that is the most powerful tool/weapon in history, and it sits in our skulls, generation after generation and never really learns.

We hate, we hurt, we torture, we kill, we lie, we cheat, we steal.

If a collective learning was possible since the dawn of man we would exist as the greatest species in recorded history.

Instead we contribute less to existence than squirrels.


Where I Am At

It is obvious where we are in 2015.

I'm sitting here with the laptop, reviewing Week 1 picks, while simultaneously watching/listening to NFL talk on the NFL Network.

I am fulfilled.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Gazing at the Ceiling

I have to laugh at myself sometimes.

Every day I have to stretch my neck/spine. I lie on the floor with a towel under my neck for ten minutes gazing up at the ceiling.

I do it in front of the TV so I can listen to something that interests me.

Lately it has been football talk. Except now all the NFL network shows is replays of pre-season games.

Who the hell needs that?

Sports Center is a waste of time because all the commentators are trying so hard to be witty and to use cutesy terms that it makes me nautious.

So this morning I tuned in the U.S. Open.

Seconds into the stretch I laughed.

I am lying there listening to a racket hit a ball.

That's it. I don't know who is doing what, I don't know how the volley looks. I can't get excited, and even if the volley is a great one I cannot see it.

The commentators are doing their thing but it doesn't help me at all. I haven't stayed in touch with tennis and I don't recognize the names.

The only thing I could think of after laughing was how to describe to you in words the sound of a racket hitting a ball.

I can't do it.

I feel silly but my neck feels better.


A Taste of Langston

Emotions ran all over the place as I read a touch of Langston Huges this morning.

I offer here a taste - by no means the definitive expression of his voice.

Merely a poem that made me laugh.

I enjoy laughing.


Looks like what drives me crazy
Don't have no effect on you-
But I'm gonna keep on at it
'Till it drives you crazy too.

Have a lazy Sunday.

A Dangerous Situation

Just finished reading "I'm Your Man", a Leonard Cohen biography excellently done.

The man is deeply sensitive, intellectually informed and eternally curious, unique, improbable, a poet, a writer, a songwriter and performer.

He is almost a religion unto himself.

He is revered as a poet, he is revered as a songwriter, he is revered on the stage and off the stage, on the page and off the page.

He is introspective and self deprecating at the same time.

I worship his words, I love his songs.

I am not alone.

His sensitivity and thoughtfulness overwhelm me. He is a man who was able to use that sensitivity as fuel to create an amazing career. Not overtly, not calculatingly, almost more as a by product of who he is.

Major success came to him very late in life.

In the meantime he wrote, he composed, he sang, he did what his soul commanded until the word got around loud enough that this is a man worth investigating. A man worth experiencing.

One thread of thought that ran through my head as I read his life is that the world is filled with exceptionally sensitive souls, people for whom life is too much, too harsh; people who eventually end up crushed by life.

Because they have no outlet.

For those people there is Leonard Cohen and the precious few in this world like him.

He provokes introspection while simultaneously offering escape. He entertains and he challenges.

For those who are bewildered, those with no options, this man is a gift, a breath of relief to demonstrate that there is some version of goodness to being alive.

The magnitude of that gift cannot be overstated.

The man is gentle. The man is a giant.

I put the book down and picked up a collection of poems written by Langston Hughes.

The book has been sitting next to me for weeks. I don't know why I do that. I buy the book with soul inspired intentions and then ignore it.

Maybe I need ritalin.

Anyway I was in a vulnerable situation. Feeling emotionally charged after finishing up on Leonard and then picking up a book of poetry.

Kaboom. The words of Langston Hughes grabbed my tortured soul and gave it a twist.

I leafed through the book randomly and read beauty and emotion and anger and humor.

I would prefer not to return to reality at this point in time.

I am just beginning this investigation. I will read his words and feel his emotions, or at least the emotions his words stimulate in me.

It has been a heady morning and it is only 10:23 a.m. on September 6.

Postscript:  One of the greatest regrets of my young life is missing out on Leonard Cohen's last tour. He was in Boston, for Christ sake and I didn't make it. He is eighty years old now. BUT he has released a new album this year and the man is ageless.

There is hope.

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Mirror

Came across a Leonard Cohen quote/life philosophy this morning that resonated deeply with me.

This is part of a conversation he was having with a friend.

He is well known for his many romantic entanglements as well as a complete inability to commit. So the following could be rationalization on his part.

Or it could be truth.

"Look, here's what I know: marriage is the hardest spiritual practice in the world. People wonder how anybody can sit on Mt. Baldy (Editor's note - a severe and strict Buddhist retreat where Cohen spent five years of his life at the height of his fame) for hours on end, weeks, months even, but it's nothing compared to marriage. If you're really there, really present for marriage, it's self-reflection twenty four/seven. In other words who you are is reflected back to you in the mirror of your marriage partner, daily, minute by minute, hour by hour. Who can take that?"

I see truth.

When you spend your life with another human being there is a mutual responsibility to function at your highest, to do the best you can possibly do, to achieve the end result of a harmonious and fulfilling life.

Life is a precious gift. Marriage partners need to work together to make the most of this gift, to elevate it and celebrate it at the highest possible level.

This is next to impossible. In fact I believe that one of the reasons that love dies is through the failure of one or both partners to achieve at the level of their potential. Bitterness sets in, resentment sets in, petty human reactions take over and there is bickering, anger, broken hearts and suffocated souls.

The mirror can also act in a positive way when one partner is busy underachieving.

In pure honesty I can tell you that I feel like a disappointment to Carol minute by minute, hour by hour. I see myself as a failure (up to now - I am not done yet) so therefore I see and feel that failure reflected in our life together.

Carol does not express that to me, she does not even do it through body language or attitude, but I believe it is there.

She could not possibly have said to herself when she committed to me: "Wow, I hope when I am sixty one we are struggling together financially and that Joe is floundering around trying to figure out what the hell to do with and about his life."

I hypothesize at times what I would do with my life right now if I was not married. I think I would find the cheapest apartment around, live as simply as I could to remove all financial pressure, so I could devote all my time and energy to writing and self-analysis.

That would never happen.

If I was on my own my intentions would be as I described them, but I know the reality is that I would end up floating down whiskey river and good time alley, bar stool by bar stool in every blues joint and broken down bar until I had succeeded in pissing my life away.

I am committed to this marriage and I love Carol.

I do not want to let her down any more than I already have. I still believe that I will make something out of myself even at this late hour, and other than to satisfy my own ego the major motivating factor is to make Carol feel proud of me.

This is the positive side to the marriage mirror.

We have a life together. Whether it is true of not I believe I have not kept up my side of the bargain.

Because of that our life is less than it could be.

I refuse to give up and the biggest reason for that is that I have Carol by my side.

The reflection from that mirror hurts me but it also motivates me.

That is not a bad balance.


Carol and I used to have a magnet hanging on the refrigerator with a supposedly ancient Chinese philosophy that went: "If you can spend a perfectly useless day in a perfectly useless way you have learned how to live."

I flashed a brief thought along those lines this morning as I read about Leonatd Cohen with Maka sleeping in my lap.

When your cat lounges casually in your lap as you do the same in your recliner, for a brief moment in time, your life is perfect.

Life's Intention

My life's intention is to evolve into the greatest human being who ever lived.

I am sitting here waiting for that to happen.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Way It Is

I saw the ultimate commentary on the shallow meaningless of our society this morning on my commute to HELL.

Passed a woman. I think of her as a New Hampshire woman, but I'm sure you can see the same disgusting stereotype in Iowa and Nebraska.

Obviously waiting on the school bus.

Built like an NFL linebacker. Sucking on a cigarette. "Smart" phone glued to her ear. Her very young daughter clinging - and I mean clinging - to her leg.


If I wasn't running late I would have pulled over and punched her in the face.

Good Luck

I lied.

I love winter.

I love New England.

Good luck figuring out where the hell I'm coming from.

A Tough Way To Live

This time of year is exceptionally difficult for pumpkins and turkeys.

Must be a tough way to live.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Ode to September


You are here.

Be gentle with me. Treat me like summer.

Give me all the heat you have to give.


This is it. The last gasp.

There is nothing ahead of me but cold and snow and anger and intense hatred of this place called New England.

Again. And again and again and again.


The only life I feel comes from heat. And sun.

I am begging you.

Be gentle be hot be summer.

When you are gone I will hang my head low and slide into the dark the cold disgust and depression for 9 long months.

I will accomplish nothing I will feel nothing I will be dead barely breathing.

Please September.

You are my last hope for 2015.

My last opportunity for life in this year.

Best Be Careful

My brain is leaking out of my ears.

Very dangerous.

I have precious little brain left to leak.

Don Orsillo Redux

There is no truth anymore.

It doesn't exist. What is left in its place is spin.

Or truthiness.

I believe the concept of truthiness was pioneered by Steven Colbert but I don't have the energy to conduct deep research.

On line, truthiness is defined as "the quality of seeming or felt to be true, even if not necessarily true."

That definition makes perfect sense considering the shallowness and sheer stupidity of the general public.

Carol and I specifically settled down last night - I timed the burgers on the grill precisely - to catch the ferocious backlash we expected Red Sox fans to express at the first home game since Don Orsillo got screwed.

There was nothing. A Don Orsillo void. We saw no signs, we heard no drunken shouting, no disturbances in the stands.

Eventually Carol advanced the idea that people came to the park with signs but those signs were confiscated.

Subsequently I learned that "to prevent a potentially embarrassing scene NESN moved its pregame show from Yawkey Way to a more secure spot near the Red Sox dugout."

I listened intently today to sports talk radio (my son has created a monster) and was rewarded with yes and no.

Were signs confiscated? No?

Typically there was no definitive answer, Yes they were, no they weren't, fans who were there called in - yes they were no they weren't.

I read up a little more before I ventured in here - same goddamn result.

In 2015 you have to decide what your own version of the truth is. And if you think The Boston Red Sox are above confiscating signs you are Bambi. If you think NESN would avoid showing on camera any signs that were snuck into the park you are Bambi.

The safest point of view to take in this world is to assume that corporations lie, they distort the truth, they will do anything to pretend that they are not evil.

For The Boston Red Sox and NESN to ignore public opinion and attempt to hide the fact that Red Sox fans are furious about the screwing that Don Orsillo is enduring, reflects their cold hearted lack of humanity and fear of and inability to deal with the truth.

They are like little children. If I close my eyes it doesn't exist. If I close my eyes it will go away.

The lack of respect for Don Orsillo - the lack of respect for Jerry Remy - the lack of respect for Red Sox fans - is disgusting, insulting and amoral.

These assholes created this situation - NOW DEAL WITH IT.

Dan Shaughnessy wrote an article exposing the fact that Red Sox employees were instructed to confiscate "We love Don Orsillo signs" last night.

Later in the day that fact was deleted from his column with no explanation.

John Henry owns The Boston Globe for whom Dan Shaughnessy writes.

Give Don Orsillo some dignity, for Christ sake. The Boston Red Sox and NESN screwed up, you screwed Don Orsillo and crushed his dreams.

Have the guts to broadcast the backlash and give Don and the fans the satisfaction of having their say.

Then go on and run your goddamn empire with the ruthless determination you feel is necessary to treat human beings like dirt.