Monday, November 30, 2015


"Don't talk unless you can improve the silence."

Laurence Coughlin


Lately, I have been taking my tea with pumpkin flavored creamer.

Does this make me unrefined?

Sunday, November 29, 2015

George Harrison

George Harrison died fourteen years ago today.

I cannot believe it has been that long.

He was the coolest Beatle.

Dry and wicked sense of humor, a well respected musician and songwriter, a deeply spiritual man and a dedicated gardener. He was proud of the garden he maintained at his home. It was a source of peace for him.

He was an enormously talented man who was held down by John and Paul. He made up for that with a vengeance when he went solo.

He was killed by brain cancer at the age of 58.

I could go on one of my typical Beatle rants but I won't.

I will only say that the world lost a lot when it lost George.

I will only say that all Beatles are sacred.

In Your Eyes

In your eyes I see the reflection of thirty seven years.
Thirty seven years of marriage. Thirty seven years of life.
And love.

I see the beginning, the spark, the reason.
A spectacular winter wedding that even a blizzard could not kill.
A sign of resilience to come.

The first and last apartment, underground with a heated
garage, a stolen cat named Bandit, an upstairs neighbor named Bunny.

In your eyes I see our first home. Quirky and familiar; the home
you grew up in.
I see two small boys and feel pure joy again.
Hear the laughter and miss the innocence.

I see their comfort in your care, your wisdom,
your insight.
Knowing they were safe, physically and emotionally,
brought me peace.

In your eyes I see our second home, the one we share
alone together now.
I see small boys becoming men, eventually leaving. 
Proud college graduations and lives begun, as aspects of our life ended.
The sudden shock of a quiet home.

In your eyes, sometimes, I see anger.
Disappointment and pain.
I see tears and the evidence of tears and wonder how
often I am the cause.

Life reflected in its unpredictability, folly and cruelty.

In your eyes I also see resilience.
Love redefined. Shaped through experience.

I see the future.
Decades to come.
New perspectives, realities, and challenges.
Happiness grown deeper, love more powerful.

I know my eyes reflect much the same, but it's
not my eyes that I love.

Will NFL Players Begin Wearing Skirts?

I watch Inside The NFL.

I do it to gain knowledge to be used in the football pool I compete in.

Fat lot of good it has done me. I currently stand 6th out of 10 participants. That sucks grandly, especially considering that I just moved up one or two spots in the pool.

You will be happy to know I have cut down on the weekly research. I was way over the top for most of the year. Inside The NFL, plus a show on the NFL network called Aftermath or something quite like it, plus all the goddamn highlights and commentary I could find in random moments.

It is possible I suck in the pool because my brain was overloaded. My brain is tiny - if I am buttering a slice of bread and you ask me what day of the week it is, I will butter my arm.

But that is neither here nor there.

So now it is just Inside The NFL. It is worth watching that show if only for the fabulous NFL Films footage. Footage that gets you right down on the field, right down on the sidelines, on the line of scrimmage, in the huddle, right in the middle of running plays and passing plays etc. etc. etc.


Typical commentators are Adam Schein (host), Phil Simms, Boomer Esiason and Brandon Marshall.

Simms was QB for the Giants for fourteen years and retired in 1993. Esiason was QB for the bengals, jets and cardinals and retired in 1997.

Marshall represents the current breed of NFL players. He is currently a wide receiver for the jets.

Brandon Marshall should wear a skirt.

Recently he was talking about the jets flying over to London to play a game. He mentioned that the team brought along a sleep coach to help the players adjust to the time change.

Simms and Esiason almost fell off their chairs. Me too, although it is a lot harder to fall off a recliner than a stool. I don't consume as much whiskey as I used to but it might be worth it to find out exactly how drunk I would have to get to fall out of my recliner.

But I digress.

A sleep coach. A fucking sleep coach.

Marshall defended the practice while Boomer and Phil tried really hard to hide their smirks.

The last two episodes of Inside The NFL have featured segments, instigated by Marshall, dealing with the frosty relationship between players and the media.

Marshall is not happy with how the media treats players and apparently he is attempting to bring about detente through these segments.

Two weeks ago they had a journalist on and Marshall laid out his complaints, the journalist responded and they had a discussion.

Marshall came across as The King of All Whining.

This past week they had three journalists on, and Marshall and they went at it again with Esiason mediating.

This segment was pathetic too.

Marshall came across like a little kid who is crying because Blockhead Jones is calling him names.

I don't know, man. Is our culture's weakness and whining and excessive sensitivity infecting the NFL?

A game where the average player stands approximately eight feet tall and weighs 475 pounds?

The perfect football player to me has today's athleticism combined with old school football mentality.

Dick Butkus: "I'm not so mean. When I played pro football, I never set out to hurt anyone deliberately -  unless it was, you know, important, like a league game or something."

OK I admit I threw that in there for levity. I despise players who try to injure other players. I think Ndamukong Suh should be executed. I also think Butkus was quoted tongue and cheek. Maybe.

Anyway, I think Marshall comes across as weak and whiny on the show. I hope his attitude is not indicative of the general attitude of today's players.

My gut tells me it is not.

That's it. I'm done. I'm off to watch some late afternoon manly man football.

And tonight - PATS/broncos.

Perfect ending to a slow-moving, nerve soothing, Thanksgiving weekend.

Ciao, baby.

Friday, November 27, 2015


"Everybody is identical in their secret unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else."

David Foster Wallace

Last Year, This Year

Thanksgiving, 2014 we enjoyed a typical amazing family day.

Innocently and honestly taking great comfort in the magic that is this family.

We did not know that before Christmas Sarge would die and Jonathan would die. The shock and sadness was enormous, and deeply affected Christmas and the onset of the new year.

A new year that two and a half months later would bring about the suicide of Kevin.

That reality has weighed heavy throughout this year.

Yesterday we celebrated Thanksgiving 2015.

I sat at the dinner table, looking at my amazing wife, my sons, at Emily and my brother, and thinking about Karen, with a love in my heart that was overwhelming.

Sometimes life feels like dodging bullets.

That is reality, that is life, and there will be enormous and heartbreaking loss and sadness. No getting around it.

The pain that I (we) suffered over the loss of Sarge, Jonathan and Kevin shaped me. It changed me.

How could it not?

Losing three people you love in such a short time changes your definition and expectation of life. It shifts your perspective and wakes you up to the fragility and unpredictability of our relationships. It gets in your face and shames you out of apathy.

I sat in my recliner yesterday, I sat at the dinner table yesterday, and reflected.

I considered the fact that this is my family, and what a magical, deeply loving, exceptional and amazing family it is.

I considered the fact that Carol and I are getting older and that there is nothing we can do about that.

I considered the fact that things will change over the next five and ten and fifteen and twenty years.

No stopping or avoiding it.

That being said, I relished the special nature of this day, a day set aside to give thanks. To give thanks for whatever it is that is meaningful to you.

Nothing is more important to me, nothing touches my heart more gently, nothing nourishes my soul more than my family does.

You can take everything else away from me and I will still have my family.

And my family is everything.

It was a spectacular Thanksgiving, even considering how much has been lost.

The day was about what has been lost, what we still have and what lies precious before us in the future.

It was a beautiful day.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


"The lust for power is not rooted in strength, but in weakness."

Eric Fromm

After The Holidays

Of course, standing at a cash register off and on this week, Happy Thanksgiving wishes are bludgeoning me to death.

I don't mind. I love Thanksgiving. At least the way my family does it. Laid back, true and joyous.

What I do hate is "Happy Turkey Day."

I prefer depth. Happy Thanksgiving means something. Happy turkey day is kids stuff. And just imagine the fear that phrase inspires in any turkey that overhears it.

Why must Americans dilute everything? Other cultures have volatile emotions worn on the sleeve. We have the Kardashians.

It's almost like we fear depth. Meaningfulness. Everything has to be juvenile and superficial.

Thanksgiving is almost a sacred holiday. Most people I talk to much prefer Thanksgiving to Christmas. And it is obvious to me, as I humbly wait on people in the booze emporium, who genuinely digs Thanksgiving and who has no clue.

The real Thanksgiving people look me right in the eye and offer a heartfelt "Happy Thanksgiving."  It makes me feel good. Inspires me to turn on my phony retail charm and dazzle them with my sincere personality.

The clueless drop turkey day references and/or whine about how they have to travel or entertain the in-laws.

Part of what I need at this time of year is genuine emotion. If you can't give me that, stay the hell away from me. I drown in superficiality every day. During the holidays I need proof that you are genuinely human. I want to connect with you soul to soul. I need to know that there are real people out there who care about real people.

Xmas. I fucking hate Xmas.

Say Merry Christmas. Happy Christmas is even better. Much more genuine. I don't give a damn if you are religious or not. At this point, the word Christmas has no religious significance unless money is your religion. So lighten up. You don't have to take Christ out of Christmas - he was never there in the first place.

Another expression I hate is "after the holidays."

We'll get together after the holidays. We'll get back to normal after the holidays.

No matter what the holidays mean to you, at the very least they are a break from the norm. Why the hell would you be in a hurry to get back to your "normal" life?  The holidays are a temporary get out of jail free card. A gift that society bestows willingly.

From Thanksgiving through New Year's Day you are given carte blanche to party, to laugh, to eat too much, to drink too much, to dig your family in peace free from the constraints of deadlines and commitments, to break out of your routine and expose your soul to the world if you have the balls.

To break out of your routine. That is huge. Routine is the thing that sucks the life out of you and turns you from Frankenstein the gentle into Frankenstein the monster.

In other words, the holidays offer you the chance to live your life the way you want to and to be the person you really are.

"After the holidays" triggers a return to routine. To a you who peers out ashamed and afraid from behind the shadow of your own essence.

So don't rush it. Grab the next month and a half by the balls and give it a good twist. Turn your inhibitions into exhibitions and see where that takes you.

Something Is Happening Here But You Don't Know What It Is, Do You, Mr. Jones?

I have been drinking green tea and listening to classical music lately.

What is happening to me?

Feels pretty peaceful. Think I'll just go with it.

Monday, November 23, 2015


"We could improve worldwide mental health if we acknowledged that parents can make you crazy."

Frank Zappa in conjunction with Keith and Craig Testa

Please Be Very Careful (And Enjoy This Holiday)

Thanksgiving is 3 days away.

November 26, this year. The most magnificent holiday of them all.

Christmas is bullshit. It is hard work, it is expensive, it is stressful, it has become perverted into crass commercial orgasm overload.

Jesus Christ - I saw my first fucking Christmas commercial in early October.

How absolutely disgusting.

A large segment of our population spends more money than they can afford on presents nobody needs because they have been brainwashed into believing that this is what this holiday is about. And they are too stupid to question the wisdom of this madness.

They stagger around malls like sheep, lured into shops and stalls by lying, thieving merchants who mask their greed with green and red tinsel, blinking lights and "Happy Holidays" on their lips.

Like they care about your holiday. They care only about your wallet.

What the hell happened to the birth of Christ? Or if you do not care to be religious, what the hell happened to peace on earth and good will towards man?

New Year's Eve is amateur hour. Inexperienced drinkers getting hammered and wearing stupid hats on their heads, blowing on horns and breathing stench into your conversation and throwing up on their cats on January 1.

New Year's Day is melancholy. Most of us wishing with all our hearts and all our souls and all of our being that our lives will improve in the new year. And simultaneously knowing deep down that this is as good as our lives will get and no new year is going to change a goddamn thing.

Sorry. Getting pretty heavy in here. Let's perk things up.

Thanksgiving is pure. It is a family gathering to chow down on a home cooked yet extravagant meal, to watch football, to talk, to laugh, to revel in each other's company no strings attached. To drift in and out of alertness, sometimes dozing on a couch or a recliner or an overstuffed chair, maybe dreaming and then  slipping right back in to honesty and love and respect.

A slow moving, natural, peaceful day of family comfort.

So don't let it blow by. Don't let it escape your attention.

Focus. Look around. Dig the smiles on the faces of those that you love. Feel the peace, the release from work, the natural beauty of a day set aside to give thanks. Give thanks, if only in your mind, for the company of those that you love and those that love you.

That being said, I will close with a poem Carol gave to me, printed in the Concord Monitor, that blew me away. Because it forced me to think about something I have not previously thought about. Age related. Nevertheless, it is something that could become a reality in the life that Carol and I share, as much as we would hate for that to be true.

Written by Marge Saiser.

"Thanksgiving For Two"

"The adults we call our children will not be arriving with their children in tow for Thanksgiving. We must make our feast ourselves, slice our half-ham, indulge, fill our plates, potatoes and green beans carried to our table near the window.

We are the feast, plenty of years, arguments. I'm thinking the whole bundle of it rolls out like a white tablecloth. We wanted to be good company for one another. Little did we know that first picnic how this would go.

Your hair was thick, mine long and easy; we climbed a bluff to look over a storybook plain. We chose our spot as high as we could, to see the river and the checkerboard fields.

What we didn't see was this day, in our pajamas if we want to, wrinkled hands strong, wine in juice glasses, toasting whatever's next, the decades of side by side, our great good luck."

Happy Thanksgiving to you.

I hope it is a truly peaceful and fulfilling day. I hope the love and trust and comfort you experience brings you exploding alive and opens your eyes to the sweet beauty that is available to you in your magnificent family.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Literature vs Fiction (Plus The Thrill of New)

Been on an insane roller coaster vis a vis the books I have been reading lately.

"Narcisa", an insane book about a guy obsessed with a crazy brained crack whore. A wild female with amazing insights and wacky delusions about human beings and life. A woman who turns this guys life upside down.

"Me and The Devil", a book about a successful but bored writer who hooks up with a wide open woman who broadens his horizons, leading him to discover truths about himself that are indeed bizarre. Very dark.

I stumbled upon a book titled "Thirteen Ways of Looking" by Colum McCann. It's a collection of short stories.

Actually it's only four stories. Is that a collection?

I read a review on the book which piqued my interest. The book did not disappoint me. I just finished it this morning.

The author is new to me and I love his style. He writes literature.

This is where the debate comes in. A debate that drives Stephen King crazy. He is eternally pissed off that his writing is not considered literature.

For lack of a better definition, literature is a high brow version of fiction. Literature commands more respect from the literary community. Doesn't mean it is better, though.

Literature will leave you hanging. The first story in this book is about an 82 year old guy, a retired judge, who goes out to lunch on a snowy New York city day with his son. His son leaves the restaurant early. When the father leaves a guy walks up to him and punches him in the face. The judge falls to the ground, cracks open his skull and dies.

The story winds its way through suspects and motives, leads you to the guy who appears to be the killer, and dumps you in the courtroom, where the story ends.

You never find out if he is really the killer, you never find out what the jury decides.

That is literature in a nutshell. It is exceptionally well written and captivating but resolution is not a requirement.

Immediately upon finishing the book I picked up "Jesus Out to Sea", a collection of short stories by James Lee Burke.

Burke writes a series set in New Iberia, Louisiana featuring Dave Robicheaux, an ex New Orleans cop now working as a sheriff's deputy.

I love the series, love the location, love the characters.

These stories have nothing to do with that. However, I read the first story this morning and it was excellent.

My whistle has been whetted and I look forward to devouring the rest.

Thrill of The New: I gave Carol, as a pre-birthday birthday present, Adele's new CD - 25. We listened to part of it on the way into Concord Friday night. It is excellent.

I was thinking how great it is to hear new music. Songs that are brand new, lyrics you cannot anticipate, music that surprises you.

What a delicious indulgence.

My mind wandered to new authors. Someone you have never read before. A person who will put words together in a new way and introduce new stories into your life.

Little things. Meaningful things.

Experiences that shine a light into your soul.


It was 10:01 this morning when I closed the book I had just finished reading.

I put the book down and picked up what was left of my cup of tea which was, thankfully, still warm.

Lakota was asleep in my lap. Maka was sleeping on the couch. Carol was in the bathroom.

The house was silent.

I stared at the cats and dug the realization that their peacefulness makes the peace more peaceful.

Such a warm feeling knowing they feel completely safe, warm and loved in this home - not a care in the world.

Experiencing their contentment deepened my own.

There is no end to the beauty that pets bring into a life.

No Word of A Lie

I was driving home from HELL on Friday afternoon/evening.

What is the line of demarcation between afternoon and evening?

(Blogger goes away for 1 minute). OK - I just looked it up. Got two definitions. One very specific - evening starts around 6:00 p.m. and extends to bedtime. The second definition was vague - "the latter part and close of the day and early part of the night."

I was on the road at 4:45. I'll call it late afternoon.

I was visualizing crucifying my boss.


I was picturing me driving a nail through her left hand into the cross that would bear her weight and ultimately result in her death.

I came to a stop behind a car with a bumper sticker that read: "Be Kind" in large letters. Followed by smaller print referencing mankind and..........

I laughed out loud.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Load Off My Back

I dumped my primary care physician.

It was cathartic.

What a strange and unwonderful relationship we had. She was a brick and I was drowning slowly. (I've always loved that lyric - courtesy of Ben Folds Five.)

Used to be my doc was a guy around my age. He understood my problems and we spoke candidly. He did not push anything on me. I knew we were talking the same language when he asked me "Do you have to stand closer to the toilet when you urinate now?"

When he retired I got a new doc - a woman, which I have no problem with except that she approached medicine like a used car salesman.

Our meetings were combative. She did not like to be questioned, and when I did or when I contradicted her she would get defensive and angry. She would exude that "I am the doctor here and how dare you question me" vibe.

First of all I do not like the term "primary care physician." Makes it sound like you have someone dedicated to the singular pursuit of your health and well being. What they are really dedicated to is writing as many prescriptions as possible, getting whatever kick backs are available to them and keeping insurance companies and their peers happy.

The new doc would push flu shots on me every winter. I mean really hammer it home. She would use scare tactics about how it can be dangerous for "someone my age" to get the flu. Scare tactics were her go to approach. That is embarrassingly unprofessional.

I don't believe in flu shots. Something about the hype makes me suspicious. I refused, we argued.

She switched blood pressure medications on me from one that was working to one that decidedly did not work. And then she wanted to prescribe a second medication to go with the new one that wasn't working.

I pushed her to go back to the original medication and she argued with me. What a dimwit. I stuck to my guns and eventually prevailed. My blood pressure is now a thing of beauty.

I recently had a throat issue that shook me up a bit. Her sage advice was to wait - the symptoms would probably go away. No concern for trying to pinpoint the cause. I had to fight with her to get her "referral" to see an ear, nose and throat guy. I got the impression she did not want to disturb one of her peers - a "specialist" - with a situation she felt was unnecessary.

Surprise, surprise - the specialist told me I was doing the right thing to get checked out.

This lowlife, loser, wombat, quack represents proof positive that the primary concern of the medical profession is not your health. That comes in about fourth or fifth on their priorities list.

Make you feel comfortable?

I am starting fresh. New doctor, new medical group.

If I do not receive the care I expect, if I get the impression that my health is a secondary concern, that is when I revert to the type of health care that resonates with my soul.

That is when I invoke the spirit of Marie Laveau.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Ole George Jones (Worth A Million)

Ole George Jones did it again.

I was making my way to HELL last Saturday morning with George performing on the mobile CD machine.

Around 7:15. 7:30.

It was strange - there were very few cars on the road. This is atypical.

People don't have weekends anymore. Everybody works shitty retail jobs or two jobs or three jobs.

People don't look forward to a weekend off. Now they say "I have Wednesday off. Can't wait."

It sucks.

So usually there are a fair amount of steel beasts on the road even on Saturday morning. But I was OK with the peaceful drive. It peaceifies me to look ahead to an empty road; to glance into the rear view and see no one

I like to be alone.

Especially if I am alone with George Jones.

First up - "You Couldn't Get The Picture". He comes home from work and the wife is gone. She left a bunch of post-it notes on the walls and around the house. The message being if you couldn't get the picture maybe you can read the writing on the wall.

Sounds hokey but it's not. You want hokey? Listen to one of your pansy ass country boys who supposedly sing country now. That shit is weak, it is derivative, it is diluted, it is formulaic and it just plain sucks.

But I digress.

The messages: "I love you but I can't live on love alone. I cried all night but you weren't there to watch the teardrops fall. The lonely nights were hell (that was on the pillow). Take a good look at yourself ( that one was on the mirror - that one is my favorite and pretty heavy duty). I waited long enough for you to call."

The song is a heart breaker. A guy who did not treat his wife right and did not even think about it until he came home to an empty house and a bunch of post-it notes.

A couple of songs later - "Finally Friday". "I got a hundred dollars smokin' in my billfold, I know I oughta save it but it's burnin' a hole, right through my pocket and into my skin, come Monday mornin' I'll be broke again.

It's finally Friday, I'm free again, I got my motor running for a wild weekend, it's finally Friday I'm outa' control, forget the workin' blues and let the good times roll.

Monday I'll be hurtin' with my head in a vice, Tuesday I'll be wonderin' if I'll ever survive, Wednesday and Thursday I'll be slowly tunin' in, Friday I'll be revvin' up my motor again."

The music matches the lyrics and the whole damn thing captures that Friday feel beautifully.

An image came into my head, unbidded, of me and Sarge singing that song together in a broke down bar somewhere funky. I guarantee you we would have sung that bastard with conviction.

Next up: "I Don't Need Your Rockin' Chair." I already went off on that one in a previous post. It is a great song, but what got to me this time was that the first time around I didn't really tune in to "Finally Friday."

The songs are back to back and they complement each other perfectly. They set a "kiss my ass" mood and bring it home with a vengeance.

I didn't really notice "Finally Friday" first time around. Sometimes you are tuned in; sometimes you are tuned out.

I still have a Friday night mentality even though Friday nights now are usually my ass in the recliner, fighting to stay awake long enough to tune in Bill Maher. I still want to be in a smoke filled bar chasing shots with beers and rockin' on out to soul crying blues.

And trust me, I am not done with that yet.

I was making my way to HELL, early on a quiet Saturday morning, feeling kind of down when Ole George Jones lifted me right up.

Got me juiced, got me singing, got me forgetful about my closed-in life.

It was a moment. A sweet moment of peace, abandon and soul expression.

Worth a million bucks, baby.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

I Am A Complete idiot

I had grand plans for October 27th and I just let the day slip on by.

On October 27, 2014 I attended my last Allman Brothers concert in the history of my life with my longest running friend, The Great and Mighty Phil. It was their final run at The Beacon and 10/27 was their second to last show before they split up.

Phil and I were there because my sons - Keith and Craig - bought the tickets. I couldn't afford to go and I couldn't get any of the concerts on line, so Keith and Craig stepped up and surprised me with two tickets to paradise.

It was an incredibly amazing thing for them to do.

Understand - my sons don't have to do anything for me. Nothing at all. I love them more deeply than is humanly possible but, still, I pull it off.

I love them. I respect them. I love their company. I love our conversations and I love to laugh with them.

What they did went above and beyond, and it allowed me and Phil to enjoy a night that was mind blowing.

The concert was spectacular, we had dinner before, drinks after, we talked, reminisced and enjoyed one last Allman Brothers moment together. We have been to at least twenty ABB concerts together; probably more.

The night was spectacular. And it was intense. Phil flew up from Florida, I took a train from NH, we spent one night in New York City and turned around and re-traced our steps.

Bing, bang, boom.

We still talk about that night and probably will for the rest of our lives.

I wanted to commemorate it on the exact anniversary because it meant so much to me.

But I blew it.

I forgot.

I'm only human. I'll let myself off the hook.

The important thing is that I recognize once again the beautiful thing my sons did. Something I will be forever grateful for.

It is rare that you can give somebody a gift that makes their soul smile.

My sons did that for me and Phil.

I am an exceptionally lucky dad.

Want To Know What I Think?

I think the United States is a bloated military-industrial complex with a glaring inability to learn from its mistakes.

The lesson should have begun during the Viet Nam war. In the 1950's we had less than 800 troops in that country. By 1962 we had 9,000. At the height of our involvement we had 500,000 troops involved.

We lost that war. The United States doesn't lose wars. We win. We lost the Viet Nam war.

We lost because we had no idea how to fight that enemy. It was an entirely different enemy, an entirely different approach and we could not figure out how to adapt. 58,000 Americans died because of our stubborn stupidity.

Fast forward to Paris, France. Last night.

Cowardly terrorism once again sacrifices innocent lives. And people are talking about escalating our efforts against isis.

Are you kidding me?

We have continued to prove that we cannot adapt. In Iraq, in Afghanistan, against al-qaeda, against isis.

We continue to sacrifice thousands of American lives for no particular reason. Which suggests, among other things, a callous disregard on the part of our government and our military, for the lives of our troops.

That is criminal and disgusting. And immoral.

It has been forty years since we left Viet Nam and we still cannot figure out how to effectively fight these enemies.

Are we that goddamn stupid?

Insane might be the better word. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

We are like a heavy weight boxer going up against a feather weight and expecting that one punch to the head will win the fight. Except we cannot deliver that punch.

The feather weight dances around us delivering body blows, ducking, taunting us, wearing us down until we fall to the canvas. And we never knew what hit us.

Je suis Paris. That was painted on walls last night in France and it is true.

We are all Paris. We are all September 11.

Everyone who is not a terrorist and is not sympathetic to their cause is in this together.

We are all vulnerable. We are all afraid.

We are all dependent on our government to protect us intelligently. To make good decisions on how and when to deploy American lives.

I have zero confidence that we can prevent a Paris-like attack in this country. With all our military "intelligence", with all our military might, we cannot adequately protect the citizens of this country.

Because we still do not know how to fight these people. al-qaeda; isis.

We should not commit one more American life to this war until we figure it out.

Friday, November 13, 2015

A Severe, Quite Harsh, Truth

I was driving to HELL this morning.

A lone, wild turkey crossed the busy road in front of me. I was happy to see he made it to the other side safely.

However, I made a connection.

In November, the ultimate fate of a wild turkey, whether he is crossing a busy road or not, is no better or worse than that of the commuters mindlessly whizzing past him.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


"Morning After"

I was so sick last night I
Didn't hardly know my mind.
So sick last night I
Didn't know my mind
I drunk some bad licker that
Almost made me blind

Had a dream last night I
Thought I was in hell.
I drempt last night I
Thought I was in hell.
Woke up and looked around me -
Babe, your mouth was open like a well.

I said Baby! Baby!
Please don't snore so loud.
Baby! Please!
Please don't snore so loud.
You jest a little bit o' woman but you
Sound like a great big crowd.

Langston Hughes

More poetry


Tell all my mourners
To mourn in red -
'Cause there ain't no sense
In my being dead

Langston Hughes


You Gotta Have Goals

I have a fresh new life goal.

I aim to spend the rest of my days sipping delicate wine and reading fragile poetry.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

If You Are Considering Not Voting...............

"That is one of the key things I learned in these years, and I learned it the hard way. Anybody who thinks that 'It doesn't matter who's President' has never been Drafted and sent off to fight in a vicious, stupid War on the other side of the World - or been beaten and gassed by Police for trespassing on public property - or been hounded by the IRS for purely political reasons - or locked up in the Cook County Jail with a broken nose and no phone access and twelve perverts wanting to stomp your ass in the shower. That is when it matters who is President or Governor or Police Chief. That is when you will wish you had voted."

From a piece Hunter S. Thompson wrote called "Politics Is The Art Of Controlling Your Environment"

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Little Freaky

Got the TV on, muted, as I typed the "Something Evil" post.

Scrolling across the bottom of the screen I read that Allen Toussaint died.

I google the dude and his picture pops up - January 14, 1938 - November 10, 2015.

Just like that. You die in 2015 and the date to the right of the hyphen is filled in immediately.

Feels like it happens too fast. Feels kind of cold and unfeeling.

Death requires time to be absorbed.

We are no longer allowed that time.

Something Evil

What the hell am I gonna do about football?

What the hell am I gonna do with the NFL?

I'm diggin' on some football on Sunday. I gorge on as much football as Carol will allow. She lets me watch a whole bunch of it but when she finally reaches her limit she says "Go clean the toilets."

PATS, obviously. Switching over to the other game during commercial breaks.Then chunks of other games.

Four o'clock game. Sunday night game. And on to Monday night.

Anyway I'm watching Colts/Broncos. At the end of a play a little arguing is going on. I watch Aquib Talib calmly walk over to Dwayne Allen and stick his finger in Allen's eye. Right through his face mask, which takes focus.

Deliberately. Almost in slow motion.

I could not believe it. Allen was in so much pain he went down on one knee.

I was disgusted. I was actually furious.

The league suspended Talib for one game. The low life bastard has appealed the decision.

This is what Talib said: "I didn't initially poke him in his eye, but as you could see, I did get his eye. It was unintentional.......................Of course I'm going to try to get it to something more reasonable, just for the simple fact that it was not intentional. I didn't walk over there like 'I'm going to poke this guy in the eye.'

Yes he did. Yes he did. It was so obviously intentional he should be executed for doing it. And then he should be resurrected and executed again for lying about it.

Then, today, on two different sports talk radio shows I heard two different hosts say almost the same identical thing. Something along the lines of "Yeah, that was not a good thing for Talib to do, but I gotta be honest with you - that's kind of why I like him. He's a real competitor."

Are you kidding me? I don't care how much you love the game and the violence and insanity that goes along with it.

If you condone that kind of viciousness you are a low life, cretinous fool.

The mere fact that Ndamukong Suh is still in the league is the most disgusting indictment of how the NFL's greed trumps any sense of morality and justice.

I love the goddamn game. Can't live without it.

But the "corporate giant" mentality of the league office and owners, the disgusting off field violence that players engage in, the on field vicious and illegal violence that players engage in, the lying and denials, and the caveman-like acceptance of all this by moronic fans and commentators just shakes me to the core.

I feel the guilt of an observer watching an execution. Sure it's fun, but it feels like there's something evil about it.

Certainly Something To Think About

"The only way to survive, indeed to thrive, in today's workforce is to assume that every person you work with is your enemy."

Mother Theresa

Innocently Brilliant

"If you're doing something and you wanna stop, you're not gonna stop until you figure out what it is you're actually doing."

Iggy Pop

A Quick Note On A Busy Morning

Occurred to me yesterday that Carol King's "Tapestry" album is the perfect album to get high and cry to.

Exquisite, beautiful, heartfelt, deeply emotional.

Definitely one of the greatest albums ever recorded.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Rockin' Chair My Ass

Ole George Jones got my back.

Been listening to him a lot over the last couple of weeks on my rides back and forth from HELL.

Got me a triple CD compilation of his songs and it is delicious. Saw him live in Concord, NH about 10 years ago at the Capital Center for the Arts. How cool is that? Got his autograph too.

Strange that I like the guy; he sings those syrupy, broken-hearted, country love songs that I tend to hate.

But somehow when George does it, it sounds authentic. And I love his voice.

Authenticity is what all those old country dudes were about. Waylon, Willie, Johnny, and Kris. Merle Haggard. George Jones.

They got married, they got divorced, they got into fights, they went to jail, they drank whiskey and missed shows.

They were real. One of my favorite country lines is "I am ragged but I'm real." Charlie Daniels.

Today's country music is disgusting. Country singers are lilly livered, Caspar Milquetoast imitators.

As long as their lyrics include the words truck, dog, jeans, girl and guns they feel they got this country thing covered.

The good ole boys could kick their asses physically and musically and then go on a three day whiskey binge and live to sing about it.

On the GJ CD I came across a spectacular version of "Night Life", featuring George, and Waylon Jennings.

I have heard 2,351 versions of that song sung by every country singer in the world, but this version could be my favorite. They really bluesed it up. And I love Waylon's voice.

Wait, didn't I just say that about George Jones? Oh, yeah - I did. Tough - I love them both. Live with it.

"The night life ain't no good life but it's my life." Written by Willie nelson. Great lyrics.

Anyway............I haven't listened to this CD in a long while so stuff surprises and delights me.

"I Don't Need Your Rockin' Chair." Gonna make this my new anthem.

I was motoring down the road when it came on and seconds later I was singing and smiling.

Anyone who visits these pages at all knows my age is obsessing me. I don't like staring down 62. I haven't done enough and the clock is ticking like a screaming banshee.

I have been down about it for a while. Tried to adopt my brother's mantra of "60 is the new 18" but it's tough to convince myself as I strain to look beyond my beer belly.

"I don't need your rockin' chair, your Gerotol or your Medicare, well I still got Neon in my veins, this grey hair don't mean a thing, I do my rockin' on the stage, you can't put this possum in a cage, my body's old but it ain't impaired, well I don't need your rockin' chair."

"I ain't ready for the junkyard yet, cause I still feel like a new corvette, it might take a little longer but I'll get there, well I don't need your rockin' chair."

That's what I'm talking about, baby. My back hurts, I don't sleep well, my knees hurt and my brain is clogged but goddamn it, other than that, I feel pretty good.

I think young and sometimes even feel young.

Gonna stop thinking of myself as old; gonna start thinking of myself as invincible.

You don't survive 61 years on this horrible planet in this gut twisting life without getting tough.

Ole George Jones got me singing and laughing. He made me feel good about myself.

Yeah, ole George Jones got my back.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Beware These Words of Truth

"We often give our enemies the means for our own destruction."


It Does Not End

I was driving to work the other day.

I was thinking about my brother.

I was thinking about his son Jonathan.

Tears were streaming down my face.

It does not end.

Friday, November 6, 2015

HST Will Set Me Free

OK dig.

I am reading Hunter S. Thompson. Haven't read his stuff in quite a while.

Feels like coming home.

Towards the end of his career/life he was writing a column for ESPN2. He began his career as a sports writer, why not end it so?

Just picked up a book titled "Hey Rube - Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness".

It is a collection of the columns Hunter wrote for ESPN.

I have avoided this book up until now because I thought it would not satisfy my HST craving.

I was dead wrong. As I said it feels like coming home.

He had a style of writing that was combative, ballsy, funny, informed, enlightening and informative.

If I could pick one style to emulate, his would be it.

Of course if I did that I would be derivative. Unoriginal. And Hunter would come back from the grave, kick my ass from here to hell and back and tell me to write my own stuff or die trying.

An excerpt from a column titled: "The New Dumb":

"Autumn is always a time of Fear and Greed and Hoarding for the winter coming on. Debt collectors are active on old people and fleece the weak and helpless. They want to lay in enough cash to weather the known horrors of January and February. There is always a rash of kidnapping and abductions of schoolchildren in the football months. Preteens of both sexes are traditionally seized and grabbed off the streets by gangs of organized perverts who traditionally give them as Christmas gifts to each other to be personal sex slaves and playthings."

There are those of you who will take these words literally. Those who won't know what to do with them.

You might not laugh. You might call it gibberish.

If so I am guessing you fall into that large slice of the American population that has no sense of humor. And when I say sense of humor I am talking a finely tuned, subtly nuanced sense of humor. Not the black and white decidedly unfunny stuff that most people laugh at.

I'll give you an example.

We went out to breakfast recently on a Sunday morning with a group of society's rejects. Close friends of ours.

While standing around waiting for tables to be cleared, I turned to Jason (The Ring Leader) and said: "I predict THE PATS will beat the colts tonight 75 to 0."

A guy standing near us laughed. He said to me: "I'm pretty sure THE PATS will win the game but I don't think the score will be 75 to 0."

It was obvious to me in tone of voice and demeanor, that he was not joking.

That guy would never get Hunter S. Thompson.

People like that should be executed. They have no place on this planet.

Anyway I am re-united with HST and it feels like a breath of fresh air is blowing across my soul.

The timing is perfect.

My soul was beginning to look like a raisin.

Once, I Was Bill Belichick's Best Friend

Yesterday, I awoke at 4:00 a.m.

Had to visit the bathroom.

Crawled back into bed and drifted into that trance-like, dreamlike state of semi-awakeness and semi-sleep that bedevils me at times like that, resulting in me crawling out of bed exhausted at the alarm's shriek.

Makes me appreciate most other mornings when I crawl out of bed only tired.

The hallucination:

I was at a PATS game but it was not at Gillette. It was more like a high school field with high school bleachers and a high school sized crowd. Sitting half a field away from THE PATS bench.

At one point I got up and walked over to THE PATS bench. Sat down right next to Belichick, who turned to me, greeted me warmly, and shook my hand. Like we were old friends. Like he was very glad to see me.

We talked for a while and as we did a fight broke out in the stands in the section of the bleachers I had come from.

For some reason this disturbed Bill greatly and he wanted to know what the hell was going on. So we got up, walked over to that area and began asking questions in an effort to figure out what caused the disturbance.

We got contradictory stories and could not get at the truth.

Finally Bill said to me: "You were sitting in this section, why don't you know what the hell happened?"

I tried to explain to him that the fight broke out while I was sitting with him, but he would not listen. He would accept no excuses.

He asked me a couple of times, and when I could not provide the information he wanted, he walked away furious at me.

This is how my brain works.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Fresh Perspective On Religion

"Like the rest of the Ten Commandments, it was merely a reflection of man's fearful desire to protect himself by transferring to the supreme authority of an imagined God decrees against those things that man feared - being murdered; being robbed;..............and so on - that consigned them to the realm of "sin" and the punishment of eternal damnation...."

"There was no morality. There was no sin. There was only fear."

From "Me And The Devil" by Nick Tosches

Something To Think About

"I must allow my own nature no longer to cast or to hide or abide in vague indications or dark hints. I must not betray myself."

From "Me And The Devil" by Nick Tosches

A Declaration That Cannot Be Questioned

I love my family.
I love my family.
I love my family.

On Sunday, November 1, 2015 my sons and their women assembled at our home for dinner, conversation and celebration.

We were celebrating Craig's birthday and Emily's birthday.

Unbeknownst to the group, Carol and I were celebrating the fact that this is our family. That is always the secret part of the joy whenever we get to spend time with them.

On these days Carol is like a little kid. In fact, for weeks before the event she is like a little kid. So excited. So happy that we are getting together.

Me, I could take it or leave it. My sons are forever asking me for money. They never pay me back. They call me "Old Fart" to my face. They secretly replace my blood pressure medication with placebos. I'm not sure what the motivation is there.

Initially my joy comes from feeling Carol's joy. I love to listen to her talk about the impending gathering; I love the happiness in her voice, on her face and in her eyes.

The day arrives and the kids arrive.

I am overwhelmed.

I have been over this time and time again. I know you are bored. But I can never take these situations for granted because of the peace that they bring to our souls.

It is the unspoken stuff that knocks me out. There is a feeling, a sensation that permeates the day.

A sensation born of love and trust and respect, but it goes much deeper than that. It cannot be described but it is there, it has an almost physical presence.

There is laughter, there is catching up, there are questions and answers and we all end up knowing each other a little better.

A little deeper.

And there is the feeling. The sensation. The aura.

If I could feel that feeling every minute of my waking life I would live to be 235 years old.

Sunday was a spectacular day for Carol and me thanks to the precious nature of our sons and their women. Thanks to our relationships and our love.

A few weeks from now we get to do it all again on Thanksgiving. And it will be Carol's birthday, which ratchets up the meaning of the moment even higher.

I am exceptionally lucky to be married to the woman who shares my life, and exceptionally lucky to have the sons that I have, and exceptionally lucky that those sons brought women into this family who make it even better.

I love my family.
I love my family.
I love my family.

My Doctor Does Not Love Me

I had a camera stuck up my nose yesterday.

What did you do?

A little background.

On September 28 I suddenly began experiencing great difficulty and discomfort swallowing food. I also had a sore throat and my voice was two octaves lower and quite raspy. I visited Dr. Feelgood on October 1 because I was becoming concerned.

My idiot doctor was not available. I was seen by some version of a physician's assistant or junior medical mafia type.

We did nothing but talk. No look down the throat. This concerned me.

She hooked me up with the local GI guys who scheduled a November 19 appointment for an office consultation.

November 19. My troubles began on September 28. I was furious. I was not going to go two fucking months before somebody even came close to looking down my throat.

I raised holy hell and discovered the GI dudes could do nothing unless my primary care physician deemed the situation as urgent, which of course she had not done.

I called her. We had a contentious discussion. By this time, about a week after everything started, the difficulty with swallowing had subsided but I had a permanent sore throat and my voice was still quite sexy.

Her sage advice was to wait. Her reasoning was that the swallowing thing went away and there was a good chance the sore throat would as well and my voice would become boring again.

She refused to classify the situation as urgent and did not want to do anything at all. At one point she said "You know, you don't have anything that is going to kill you in two weeks."

What a piece of crap. I stopped her short there and she immediately back pedaled, trying to make it sound like she was only joking.

I pushed hard and she finally scheduled me to see an ear nose and throat guy. The guy with the camera. The guy I saw yesterday.

On November 2. Over a month since I experienced throat weirdness. And she still refused to classify the situation as urgent regarding the GI guys, scum bucket that she is.

Anyway this guy was great. He answered all my questions with respect and he had a sense of humor.

Then he whipped out this camera thingy. Long slender hose with a camera on the end and kind of a jewelers loupe on the other end for him to spy through.

Gently he snaked it up my right nostril, telling me exactly what was going on at every second.

It was a weird feeling but honestly it didn't make me want to rip the thing out of my nose. It wasn't horrendous.

It got weird when he said "OK you are about to feel this thing touch the back of your throat." Which it did one second later.

That freaked me out a little bit because it suddenly became clear exactly how deep this thing was penetrating.

Anyway it was all good news. No growths, nothing weird. He did tell me that he could only look at the upper part of my throat and that it was good that I was following this up with a visit to the GI guys.

So................this morning I called the office of my primary care physician with the intention of dumping the cold hearted jerk for a new pcp.

I was told that none of the doctors in the group were accepting new patients so I would have to go outside the practice  to do it.

Sounded like bullshit to me. Sounded like a standard answer they give to everybody. Doctors circling the wagons to protect one of of their own.

She gave me a number to call at the hospital which I did. Got a recording telling me they would get back to me in 24 hours regarding the changing of physicians.

More waiting.

Generally the medical community in this country sucks. Patient health is not their primary concern and cash is king. Yesterday was a bright spot.

This is a long post.

You must be tired.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Crushing Burden

Jesus Christ, man - how much (how many decades) can one man take?