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Sunday not so funday.   1 comment

It’s been way too long.  I guess I just haven’t felt there was much to say.  Or I am too lazy to sign onto this website and type.  I think it’s a bit of both.  I know for me, I always feel better after writing, and so I guess that’s why I am posting now, cuz I feel like I need to feel a bit better.

Today I was part of an event in my adopted City.  It’s called a bicycle race.  I race bikes, I win bike races, I crash bikes, I’ve done it all.  But right now, I quite literally can’t walk.  I’ve been on my feet for 18 hours today, helping to put on a race of over 400 cyclists in a very short span.  Set-up, breakdown, and everything in between.  The race was a charity event, all proceeds going to a very worthy cause, the NCADD.  You can google it if you don’t know.

So I was lying in bed while the wife works on a Sunday, which is total BS to begin with, but the fringe benefits are okay (glances at his horse bit loafers, smiles).  Anyway, my hamstring muscle had just cramped for the umpteenth time, and I was in such pain, I had to get up out of bed, and hobble to the den, put my weary legs up, and turn on one of my favorite movies that my wife hates, and I can only watch while she is not here…National Treasure!

I am sitting here also waiting for the 10 O’clock local news to come on, as I have been emailing the news anchor the footage of today’s race, and she promised to air it tonight.  She better spell my name right.

But I am still down.  Even after helping to raise thousands of dollars today, and raising awareness for a good cause, and bringing local politicians and news outlets to the city, I was and am still not feeling okay.    I have a friend, a dear friend, who just lost her father.  Her mother is already in heaven, with my mom (whose Birthday was yesterday – Go Geminis!), and now her father joins them.  It’s terribly sad.  On so many levels.  There is so little friends can do for one another when we lose our parents.  I can pray for her and her family, of course, and I have,  and continue to do so.  I can pay my respects, which I plan to do as well.  But beyond that, I just wish there was more I could do.

This happens to be at a time while my own father sits in a hospital bed in NYC.  He had hip replacement surgery early this week, it was successful, but he is not well.  I am certainly in no condition to see him tonight.  I also wish he were in better health.  I spoke with him earlier today.  He knew who I was, but didn’t know where he was.  He thought he was home.  I need to appreciate what I have more than I do.  I am sure I am not alone in this feeling, we could probably all appreciate more.  But I have a blog where I can say things like this…do you?  🙂

So, in another 15 minutes, I better see my race on the news, and if not…well…let’s hope we don’t have to go there.

To my friend, my thoughts and prayers are what I offer you now, and a hug, soon.

 

Posted June 8, 2014 by mayday76 in Uncategorized

Snow Birds   1 comment

You may or may not know, but here it is anyway: I am afraid of flying.  There, I said it.  So when we boarded our plane two weeks ago for warmer parts of the world, and we were all seated and the doors were “armed,” and we didn’t go anywhere, I assumed the worst.  Finally, my fears were confirmed: over the PA we were told there was a “mechanical issue.”  Further explanation was to follow, and it wasn’t pleasing.  There was a “dent” found on the “horizontal stabilizer” and it was currently being “examined.”  So with that announcement, I took to google to find out what a horizontal stabilizer was…I mean, was it a little itty bitty part, or was it something more substantial.  Let’s just say you don’t want any dents in your horizontal stabilizer.  It’s less a horizontal stabilizer and more of a TAIL WING.  The pilot man came back to the PA system and reported that the dent was “small” and that he had bigger “dents” in his car…his words, not mine.  So then he said he had no problem taking this plane to St. Thomas.  Well I’m glad for him not having a problem flying a potential death tube with dents but maybe this guy has a death wish, what about the rest of us back here?  Should we poll the audience?  With that, we took off.

We landed just fine, quite smoothly in fact. Then it was time for a few days of relaxation.

Driving on the wrong side of the road has never been a dream of mine, though I will admit I’ve driven on the wrong side of the road in the past…but those days are way, way over for me. So I had to learn how to drive on the wrong side of the road all over again, sober and legally this time. Saint Thomas folk drive on the left.  Take note how we listen to the local island music while driving.

We visited many sights, saw lots of fishes and creatures under the sea.  I have 70+ video clips with my super go pro.  Here’s one now:

Between you and me, I was taking the Wife to multiple snorkel locations…sure, to enjoy snorkeling, but I had other motives.  One location in particular on St. John was known to have Nurse and Reef sharks frequent the area…I was hopeful.  I also did not share this info with her.  She is not with me right now to preview my post here, and will therefore be learning this info along with all of you, let’s see how happy that makes her.  The sharks in question are harmless, at least from what I read.  After a couple hours, there were no shark sightings at this one particular reef, but I did see this guy:

We took another day trip off St. Thomas via high speed ferry to visit Tortola, pronounced Tor-Toe-La.  Here is Tortola:

So being part of a British colony and not part of a country that has an embargo against all things Cuba, I was able to peruse some cigars on Tortola, purportedly made in Cuba, and considering the price, better have been made in Cuba.  The wife was not keen on my being detained in a foreign land over tobacco products.  But with my powers of persuasion, and puppy dog eyes, I was able to make my purchases with her tacit approval, and stuff them into my cargo shorts, worn specifically for the task of smuggling contraband.  On the way back to the ferry, we had to go through Tortola’s version of Customs, where I perjured myself on paper, then tip-toed through a metal detector that I am not entirely sure was working, as I wore my metal wrist watch while walking through, pockets stuffed to the gills with Cohibas, Partagas, and Punch, and not a peep was made by this “metal” detector.  What was that machine there for then anyway?  A prop?

So, with part one, of a three part adventure in smuggling completed, we got back to St Thomas proper, a U.S. territory, and disembarked the ferry, for part two.  This time it wasn’t Tortola’s version of Customs, it was U.S. Homeland Security.  Bag scanners, trained examiners, and some serious looking folks, asking why we just spent 5 hours in a foreign country…um, sightseeing??  Riiiighhht.

At this point, I was slightly more concerned about my near future.  I was all smiles with the first Homeland Security man, who looked at the passports and asked us about the weather in NY, and then sent us on our way.  But then there was the bag scanner.  See, after Tortola, I thought I should move my stash from my cargo shorts pockets to my backpack.  But not everything, I evenly split my booty between my shorts and the backpack.  But now I was asked to put my bag on the conveyer belt…I held my breath, made another NY weather joke with the next Homeland security agent, and waited.  Nothing. All clear.  We exited the building, home free…until the airport in a few more days.

It was then off to movie night on Water Island.  Every Monday night, locals and tourists in the “know” board a tiny boat for the 5 minute trip to this barely inhabited Island right next door to St Thomas.  People from all walks go to this, young and old alike, carrying puppies, coolers, arriving in golf carts (the only form of vehicle on the island).  Tonights feature, projected onto a sheet strung between two coconut trees, was Last Vegas.  A crowd of about 75 filled the plastic chairs and beach towels on the sand.

We got front row.  There was a snack cart, serving $4 Coronas, and $5 cheeseburgers, along with popcorn and water.  They played an episode of Tom and Jerry to get the crowd in the mood shortly after sunset.

And here is a shot of the sunset.

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We went one night to a restaurant that came highly recommended…it also came with a recommendation for reservations well in advance, but who has that kind of time?  We didn’t.  So when we arrived with no reservation, we were whisked into the wine bar and told to sit still and wait…with this guy:

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His name is Morris…and he has been waiting there for 12 years.  Do you turn into a cat if you wait for a table for 12 years?  We weren’t about to find out.  So we left.  Hungry.

We managed to eat dinner back at our hotel, where our waiters, who doubled as front desk staff during the day, regaled us with their personal stories of how they ended up on this beautiful island.  “Well, I just graduated college, and had nothing better to do.  I mean, I could have gone into finance like a lot of my friends back in D.C., but I thought I would live a little first, I mean, I am only 24.”  Indeed.

When it was time to say goodbye, I had more dread than when it was time to say hello, as not only am I now worrying whether our plane out of here has any new “dents” in the tail wing, I am also beginning to think of the real deal security at a real airport with real TSA people all over.  I perjured myself on paper one last time…made it through US Customs A.O.K.  This time, I went with packing ALL of my cuban product, including Cuban Coffee, into one backpack, along with a few other small items.   I went through the metal detector as my carry on bags went through the bag scanner.  As I was putting my shoes back on, I heard it.  “Bag Check.”  I stood up to look at the conveyer belt, and the TSA agent had stopped the conveyer belt and pulled my backpack aside.  The look on the Wife’s face, who was standing next to me, probably matched the look on mine.  Horror.  A supervisor was called over.  I was asked if the backpack was mine, I had to say yes.  The two of them looked at the screen for a bit.  All the while, I was told to stop in my tracks.  Do not move.  No one was going anywhere in the now large line behind me.  The two TSA agents then walked me over to a seperate table, where the ubiquitous “detection” wand was brought out, a clean swab attached, and my backpack thouroughly rubbed inside and out for any troubling chemical residue.  At least I knew I would pass THAT test.  Then I got the TSA speech, do I have your permission to open this bag?  Are there any sharp objects or items that could cause injury?  When I take an item out, you are NOT to reach for it.  These statements went on for a bit.  I was like, just open the damn bag, and take my cigars, will you already?  The very first item she removed was a ziplock bag, containing about 6 Cuban cigars, worth over $150.  Goodbye Cubans, nice knowing you.  But wait, what’s this?  She simply removed the ziplock, and just like the first, removed the other 3 ziplocks, nary a question about the contents.  I was befuddled.  What then was she looking for?  She next pulled out my toiletry kit, where I smartly packed my cigar cutter…fine, have it lady.  Nope, not that either.  Finally, she pulled out one last ziplock, containing my powdered Gatorade (never leave home without it).  The look on HER face at this point was pretty classic.  She had no idea what this was.  I had a little plastic scooper inside the ziplock to boot, just to throw her off a bit.  She asked, I answered: powdered Gatorade ma’am.  Not to be believed, she then called over another agent, and they reviewed the scanner images again, consulted with eachother, and then she re-packed my bag, cigars and all, and I was on my way, with my Gatorade.

I tell ya, it does not pay to smuggle.

Posted February 23, 2014 by mayday76 in Uncategorized

If you build it…   Leave a comment

Could you believe I came across a real live petting zoo right there on Mamaroneck Ave yesterday?  There I was minding my own business, cycling along just trying to wrap up a year’s worth of cycling and hitting my 5,000 mile mark for 2013 (mission accomplished), when all of a sudden I see a van parked in front of a flower shop.  This was no ordinary sketchy white windowless van you warn your kids to stay away from…this van held precious, Noah’s Ark-esque cargo…in fact, the name on the van was Two-By-Two Party rentals, meaning, the animals, two by two, just like the ark.

I am cursing myself for not snapping action shots of the minimum wage high school age employees unloading this precious cargo from the rear of the 2×2 van, but there were snakes, two tiny midget goats, a hamster/rat, an alligator, a tortoise, an overfed bunny rabbit, and….drum roll….a Wallaby.  It was cute, hip hopping around like a circus clown.

So my fortuitous bike ride was more than just a jaunt on an unusually warm winter day, it was to reach my goal of riding 5,000 miles this year, and on top of that, and certainly more importantly, to celebrate my sixth (6th) wedding anniversary.  Now some of you may remember last week’s post about my anniversary of meeting my then-elusive wife, but that was just an anniversary of meeting her, now we have this whole day of our wedding anniversary…and those of you that know us even a little bit, may know that we have another anniversary in September, cuz we did this whole thing twice.  BTW, my wife is convinced we have not known each other for nine years.  She is just in denial.  It will pass.

Posted December 23, 2013 by mayday76 in Uncategorized

Sherwood’s   3 comments

Well, it was nine years ago today when a girl walked into a bar at 2am and found me standing behind it.  Mind you, I was not “the bartender”, that person, my brother, was sitting on the receiving end of the bar, an otherwise empty local haunt.  It was late on a Saturday night, or early on a Sunday morning, however you look at it.  I can’t recall why I was alone that night, or at that hour…maybe I can recall, and just don’t want to share exactly why.  My mom and dad taught us from a young age that nothing good happens after midnight…well, this time, and maybe the only time, they were wrong.

Three girls came looking for a good time, a crowded bar, and found their way to Sherwood’s instead.  My brother, upon seeing them enter, told me in a not so hushed voice, “tell these nannys they get one round, then we are closed.”  Welcome to Sherwood’s, what’ll it be?  Oh, and this is your last drink you nannys.  It was not every night in this one horse town you see three very attractive (one, particularly good looking), apparently single girls out at 2am, no less at Sherwood’s, so the assumption was they were lost, or nannys, or both.  Speak English?  No?  Even better.

After fumbling with money and not knowing where the Bud Lights were kept in which cooler, the jig was up, and it was clear I wasn’t the bartender…or I was, and just forgot how to use the register all of a sudden.  Anyway, my brother kept his word, it was one round for everyone, and then time to leave.  But not before I shared a little secret with my new nanny friends (none of them were nannies, they all had real jobs, which was more than I could say for myself at the time).  The secret I was going to share was that I knew a “late night” place we could go, where the bartender would surely serve us more than one round before kicking us out.  Enter the “Cellar Bar.”

Maybe it was a mistake, maybe it was meant to be.  But taking 3 first timers to the Cellar Bar is risky…you never know who you might see there…or what might happen.  That can be a good thing too though.  I have, at various times, not been allowed into the Cellar…for short “time outs.”  This week, however, I was good to go.  After parking our cars, (driving to/from Cellar Bar is not endorsed on this blog), we all went in for a few.  The one girl I had my eye on was playing hard to get.  Meaning, she wouldn’t really talk to me.  I had to talk to her friend, who would then talk to her.  It was an involved process.

Before the night drew to an end, I was determined to get this girls digits.  However, she was equally determined not to give them to me.  So, I did what any gentleman would do, I got her other friend to give me her number.  Voila.  I promised to call the next day, so we could go on a “proper” date…a movie.  What movie?  Why, Spanglish, of course.  At least the horrible movie was not an indicator of our future together…right?

Alas, nine years ago, I met a girl who would make me who I am today.  Someone who has stuck by me, good times and bad.  Quite literally.  I love her today, and everyday.

Posted December 18, 2013 by mayday76 in Uncategorized

Open Letter to Metropolitan Museum of Art   3 comments

Below is a video of the museum exhibit with which the letter below below is referencing…take a look-see.

Here is the letter I sent to the Met:

Dear Mr. Brodsky,

I wanted to ask for three minutes of your time to relay an experience I had at your museum at the Cloisters this weekend.

My wife and I visited the Cloisters this past Saturday so that we could enjoy the exhibit by Janet Cardiff, the 40 Part Motet.  We thought that was an excellent exhibit, so much so that we wanted my elderly, infirm father who is 82, to enjoy it as well.  He was formerly in the Seminary as a young man studying to become a priest, and the gregorian chants are something he truly enjoys.

So it was that yesterday, early Sunday morning, the last day of the exhibit, we gathered my father, along with his walker, and drove him to the Cloisters with us.  He has difficulty walking, he more or less can’t walk more than a few steps with his walker without difficulty and great pain.  He does not do well getting into or out of vehicles, so this trip would take a lot of effort.  When we pulled up to the front of the Museum (line out the door), I asked my wife to step inside and get a security guard to see if he could assist us.  No sooner did she approach the front door than a guard appeared, and advised us to drive around, up the cobble hill, where we would be instructed further to gain access for my visibly disabled father.

As we approached the top of the driveway, the large, beautiful (wrought iron?) security gate began to rise, and yet another guard instructed us to drive through and pull all the way around to the back door.  We did just that.  Upon stopping in front of what appeared to be a large service entrance, the door opened, and we were greeted by yet another staff member, who asked us how he could assist.

We got my father and his walker out of the car, and into the warm building.  It was about 34 degrees outside.  We were escorted by a quite friendly young woman, who asked us if we needed to use the restroom before continuing on our journey.  This kind woman chatted with my father all the way to the elevator, up to the exhibit floor, and then shepherded us to the exhibit, allowing my father immediate access, even though there was quite a line ahead of us.

All this is to say that the exhibit brought my father to tears.  He had lost his wife, my mother, of 49 years, a few years back, and he misses her daily.  No doubt the beautiful exhibit brought back fond memories for him.

Your staff at the Cloisters on that Sunday, December 8, deserve to be commended.  We were told roughly 3,500 visitors passed through on Saturday.  To think that all these staff stopped what they were doing, in the midst of such crowds, to assist my elderly father, practically brought tears to my eyes.

A heartfelt thank you from a son who wanted to bring some joy to his father during a difficult period in his life.

Many, many thanks.

————————————————————-

And here is an email from the Chairman of the Board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in response to the letter I sent…a Board I may have to join now…

Dear Mr. P,

I know that the Met’s Senior Vice President, Harold Holzer, has already replied to your generous comments, but I wanted to add my own thanks for your truly uplifting message.  It is always a special pleasure for us to learn when our visitors have been well-received and given the easiest access to our galleries.  I am particularly glad that you were able to see the extraordinary Janet Cardiff exhibition at the Cloisters, which attracted record audiences.

I hope you and your family will return to the Cloisters and the main building many times in the future.  Meanwhile, I wish you the very best for the holiday season and the new year.

Sincerely,

Daniel Brodsky

Posted December 12, 2013 by mayday76 in Uncategorized

Free Willy   2 comments

You may want to take a seat, this one might be long.  So, have you ever woken up one Sunday morning and found yourself in Mexico, and it was raining?  And maybe you thought to yourself, today would be a good day to hug a dolphin?  Well, you may not have had one of those types of mornings, but I just did.

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Yes, isn’t that cute.  Now, take a good look, does it look like I am having fun?  Exactly!  Let’s see if the wife enjoyed her time with my buddy as much as I did…

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Yeah…not so much.

Let me tell you, this was quite the experience.  We were down in Cabo, which is on the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula, for a wedding.  The word wedding doesn’t really do justice to or encompass what took place there, suffice to say it was a gala more than a wedding, a party to top all parties, and it went on for days.

The wedding website (did you have a website for your wedding?  Neither did we) told us that swimming with the dolphins wasn’t to be missed.  I knew that the wife probably was not going to be as enthusiastic about the visit as I was…and the pic above just about covers her reactions throughout.

Getting to Mexico was a harrowing experience.  Since the 4th grade, I have been immersed in Spanish classes, all the way through high school, m’kay?  So you would assume I could retain at least a paltry vocabulary in this language some 15 years later, bien?  Not so much.  So poor were my language skills when we had to transfer planes in Juarez (don’t ask, it was bad, that’s all you need to know), that we nearly missed our connecting flight because I couldn’t muster “Where is Gate K?” in Española.  You do not want your name being called in a Mexican airport, ever…that was something I will never forget.  I may not speak the language anymore (as if I ever spoke it)…but I sure as hell knew to RUN when I heard my name over the PA, I didn’t need to know what they were saying…I ran so fast I left the wife a few gates behind.  We were the last ones on the plane.

Moving on.  Now that we were safely in Cabo, it was time to rent a car.  Being a Hertz Gold member does have its privileges, and one of those privileges is that you can pay 3 times the amount of your daily rental rate for the insurance coverage in Mexico.  Or, you can opt out of the insurance and have a $2,000 hold put on your credit card.  Seeing as the rental car, missing hub cap and all, wasn’t worth $2,000, we opted for the optional insurance coverage, because should anything happen to the (obviously upgraded) vehicle, they would have kept every dollar of that $2,000 for the repair.

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Next.  The resort was breathtaking.  At least here the wife’s membership status did pay off, in spades.

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The resort had it’s own paparazzi on the property, taking pictures of special guests like me, for purchase.  The fotogs would find you swimming in the pool or on the beach and start snapping away.  Then, you would go to the kiosk, look at your pics, and buy them for many many hundreds of dollars.  We did.

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So now it was time for the party…not the first, not the last…the one right in the middle with all the Church stuff, tears of joy, and fancy outfits.  There were plenty of all those to go around.  But, prayerfully, the ceremony was not too long, and the bride was not too late, unlike my bride, pictured above, who was an hour late to our nuptials…yep, she’s a keeper.

Once the party got going, it was time to get in the pool.  The reception was right on the massive pool deck of the resort, and it doesn’t take much to get someone thrown in…and so it happened.  But not just guests went in.  I saw the mother of the bride, at least one bridesmaid, the bride herself, and then of course, the groom.  Did he take off his beeping pumper, or whatever it is beforehand, I hope?  I heard Vera Wang, who couldn’t make it, told the bride to try the dress out in the water…so she did.

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So on our last full day, after our dolphin extravaganza, we thought we would experience some local flavor.  We found a restaurant that looked promising for lunch, it had a very very local feel, and we entered.  The menu looked promising, even though the weather outside was cold, dark, and rainy.  Little did we know it would be cold, dark, and rainy inside too in short order.  We ordered food and had drinks in hand when we noticed a table not far from us get up and switch tables.  Didn’t think too much of it until I noticed a big puddle forming on the ground next to their table.  It appeared as though there was a leak in the ceiling.  It was no leak, and the “ceiling” was made of straw.  It was rain water seeping (falling right) through.  As the rain intensified outside, so did the rain intensify inside.  People were moving tables like, what’s that silly game, musical chairs?  We had a dry table, we chose wisely, though that would change, but not before the lights went out.  At first they flickered.  People cheered.  Then it went dark.  How dark?  See for yourself.

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Don’t we look cute?

Again referring to what turned out to be a very useful wedding website, our last dinner in Mexico was to be special.  The restaurant was located inside a beautiful gated resort, though that didn’t stop the clown from getting past security and killing his intended target at a kids birthday bash last month.  Pro Tip: Don’t be a part of organized drug rings in Mexico, you never know what clown might crash your party and shoot you.  The food was the very best, the property was beautiful, and the service was tops.  They even brought out a mini stand for the wife’s purse…who knew they even made those…it was like a coat rack for her overpriced bag, right there next to the table.  Cute.  The mariachi band played wonderfully…so great in fact that we got up to dance after we ate…even though we were the only ones dancing…stupid gringos.

Alas, our last morning in Mexico was here.  Time to pack up.  Of course it was a beautiful day.  Everyone had electricity, and there were no leaks.  One last tourist stop to make, and then off to the airport to return our luxury vehicle and, hopefully, board the plane without incident.  We headed down to the docks to take a little boat out to see the Golden Arch or something and Lover’s Beach…oh yeah!  Oh, and a fat seal sleeping on a ledge too.

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The guy driving the boat insisted we wear those silly life jackets…even though I explained to him that I swim with dolphins…

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…truly the only way to travel…at least while underwater.

Posted November 16, 2013 by mayday76 in Uncategorized

Red Bird Blue Bird   2 comments

Would it be weird if I pulled over on the side of the road while driving to work to take a picture of a bird on a street lamp?

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Here’s a better look at this fellow.

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I think it’s a red-tailed hawk.  (S)he was chillin just watching traffic.  I had to stop as it was something I have never seen before…not the hawk, but a hawk on a light pole/lamppost.

If you have been following me since the beginning, you will remember my encounter with a Bald Eagle HERE.

Finally, I am on Twitter, my first foray into social media.  I do not consider this blog “social media” as I am not socializing with anyone here.  I say what I say then I go away.  My issue is I am not sure I want to link my blog with my twitter, and vice versa.  Anonymity is the spice of life…and also allows me to keep my opinions varied here on my blog without future employers knowing how I really feel.  However, on twitter, there’s my name, my picture, and everything.  So, we’ll see.  Maybe I’ll link them, maybe I won’t, but mostly I am sure none of you care.

 

 

Posted October 23, 2013 by mayday76 in Uncategorized

#hashtag   Leave a comment

I am hesitant to be writing a new blog entry so soon after last week, as I feel like I have been temporarily robbed of my humor (if I even ever had any), cynical insight, and acute ability to gab about nonsense.  I know though that this is temporary, and that this too shall pass.  I only wish my friend John had allowed whatever he felt was ailing him to pass as well…another minute, another hour, another day, and maybe he would have seen past the moment.

So in light of trying to see past things, I am trying to see past why some clown in Venice Beach, California, is using my name on twitter.  I mean, WTF?  I am not on fb, or any other social media…yet.  But I am starting to look into it.  My non-political future may well require that I have these social media tools in order to reach out to “my people,” whoever they may be.  So I go try to register my name, in various forms…all taken.  But the guy in Venice Beach really has my name, and that’s the one I want.  He has only twittered once, he has hardly any followers…so it’s like, why bother?  Just give it up guy.  So I found him, I thought, online…and I called him at work, figuring maybe we could come to some sort of agreement.  He apparently no longer works there or never worked there.  Ha, the guy can’t even hold down a job and he’s running around on twitter using my name.  That is just bad for business.

Luckily for me I have an enforcer in southern California.  This person at various times has been my protector during my formative years, the bouncer at my parties, collecting the obligatory $5 for a solo cup and access to the kegs…and he is also my brother, most of the time.  I think I may send him up north to Venice Beach to find this “twit” using my name.  We’ll see how he likes tweeting about that.

I no doubt will be hash tagging my name all over the internet in short order.  Be ready.

Posted October 10, 2013 by mayday76 in Uncategorized

Gingerbread   6 comments

About 12 years ago, I was helping my brother and some of our mutual friends build an outdoor ramp to the front porch of my family’s house for my mom, who at the time needed to use a wheelchair.  Our house was far from handicap accessible…the front porch being about 10 steps up from the ground.

We had a nice group of builders show up for the job when the time came…we had fire chiefs, off duty cops, paramedics…you know, the usual group of wanna-be contractors, each with their own set of skills…my set of skills were geared towards fetching the lunches.  Fine by me.

It was quite the project.  The ramp had to meet the standards of my then-boss.  He was definitely the foreman/head builder of the job, having the most practical experience building wooden objects…though his were usually meant to float.  The ramp would have to rise 12” for every foot of length.  How you can calculate that is where you lose me.  Somehow, these guys pulled it off.   Add to that, the ramp had a nice 90 degree turn to it as well.  So in the end, we had about a 60’ ramp, sharp turn and all.

Along the way, during one of the grueling work days (not for me of course), one of the new kids, as I would refer to him, showed up on my lawn unannounced, but ready to work.  He, I guess, saw all the commotion in the yard and, knowing a number of the worker-bees, decided he should drop by….on his bicycle, mind you.  I don’t think he was old enough to drive.  See, most of us were volunteers on the local fire dept. and ambulance.  This new kid was also new at the volunteer gig.  That’s how he knew the guys in my yard.  So I had no problem with him being there…I recognized him…he was friendly and clearly just wanted to be part of the group.  He lived about 5 blocks away too, so he was my neighbor-ish.  He lived in a house known locally as the Gingerbread House…known as such because, well, that’s what his house looked like.

From that day on, he and I were friends.  I got to know him just as he appeared on my lawn that day, a friendly, outgoing, always smiling kid, who just wanted to be part of the group.  As time went on, we would bump into each other here and there, at Grand Central Terminal, where we would be coming from or going to jobs neither of us liked.  We would always share a joke about how much that sucked.   Always a smile, always a laugh, no matter where we were or what we were doing.

So today, this buddy, whom I have not seen in too long of a time, took his own life.  I am writing this for me more than anything else.  But it is also important that I let others know how I will remember him.  Smiles.  Laughs.  Friendliness.  I hope those that knew him better than I will also remember him this way.

 

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high,

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit-

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,

As every one of us sometimes learns,

And many a fellow turns about

When he might have won had he stuck it out.

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –

You may succeed with another blow.

Rest in Peace John

Posted October 2, 2013 by mayday76 in Uncategorized

Sunday Funday   1 comment

That phrase was coined many a Sunday ago, with a long time dear friend, missed everyday.

I need to channel her now, because I am on fire and need to cool off. I got up this morning at 5:45AM for my second to last bike race of the season (the last race I entered in June, I crossed the finish line in an ambulance on the way to the ER after a bad crash – not my fault). It was supposed to be fun today. It was anything but. I didn’t get much further than the start line due to a recurring technical issue I have been having with my bike…we aren’t getting along these days.  So, after the race went off without me, I stuck around to watch my teammates finish, they all did well.

broken-bike

I then went on my regular weekend group ride an hour later. I at least did well there, getting away from the pack for a while with one other rider. That was fun. That’s where the fun ended. I rode home alone after the group ride. A car came whizzing by me on a major road, with plenty of room on the road for him, he chose to come within half a foot of me. So, I gave him the finger…that’s right, THE FINGER. He saw that, because shortly thereafter he pulled to the side of the road and stopped. I rolled up to his car, ready for anything. I was ready to throw my bike in his face if I had to. But instead, he and I spoke and he apologized after I explained he was wrong and I was right.

Next, I get home, and here is where it all fell apart. My neighbor’s dogs. They bark. All day long. So as I was coming in through my back door, they were barking, and they are little ratty dogs, so they yap. It was ear piercing. Her back door was open too, her screen door the only thing keeping these oversized rats inside. She sees me, and does nothing to stop her dogs from barking. Nothing.

barking

If I could strangle my neighbor, I would. But my religion forbids it. Maybe if I pushed her out her apartment window I would feel better…but she and I live on the first floor, so that wouldn’t do much damage. I could lure her to the roof…if I grabbed up one of her rat dogs…she would have to come up to the roof and try and rescue the thing. But I doubt she could make it up the four flights of stairs, she’s large and in charge…no wonder she lives on the ground floor.

So, I am left with blogging about my “feelings.” Now I feel a little better. Making fun of her and her shit dogs has turned my day around. I actually have no problem with her dogs…it’s her, and her lack of concern for ME. I can’t stand the barking, and she doesn’t care. Well, I am now writing a letter to the management company…that’ll learn her something. If that doesn’t work, I will have to consult with my spiritual leader.

To be continued…

Posted September 15, 2013 by mayday76 in Uncategorized