Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Give it a Rest, Pal...!

My posts have been full of anger and frustration lately.

I figured that today is as good a day as any to take a break, to "cleanse" my palate, as it were.

But before I do I just want to say one thing,


There, it's finally off my chest. I feel much better. I feel free.

So, that said...let's talk Spring.

It's only a month away...officially.

It's my favorite season. Winter blows, we all know that. Summer is good but can be hot, muggy and full of mosquitos, whatever their reason for living is. And Fall ain't too bad but it let's you know that Winter, which, I remind you, just around the, proverbial, corner.

But Spring...ah, Spring!

Grass, flowers, warmer temperatures, bluer skies. Spring has it all.

After a long, hard, cold, depressive, shovelling Winter the thought of Spring just makes me smile.

Well, not smile, exactly. Sigh is more like it. The kind of sigh you have when you finally get into bed after a very long irritating day and you lay down, find the "sweet spot" and...sigh. That wonderful long intake of air and that nearly orgasmic exhale.

It's over. The day is finally, at long last, over! You're done. Finished. You can relax and sleep. Tommorrow is another day. Can you say "Scarlet?"

That's how this feels. I'm not quite at sigh yet but I'm taking off my shoes. The bed is there, the pillow, the blankets. I'm almost in. I'm almost at inhale.

It's almost over.

This GDMF Winter! OMG! Snow upon snow, shovelful upon shovelful. Cold, wet, overdressed. Scarves, hats, gloves, boots, coats, rock salt...the town PLOW!!!

OY! (Jewish for "shit!")

I forgot.

Now comes the lawnmowing.

Jeez...a guy can't win for losing.

Then comes Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and...Christmas. Shopping, crowds, familial issues, wrapping paper.

But comes Spring again.


Pass the mustard Ella. The dogs are ready to eat!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Oh! Saroyan...

Too intellectual?

"The Human Comedy" by William Saroyan.

The human comedy indeed. More like the human tragedy.

I keep on drawing the same conclusion. We're doomed. I don't need to read the great Bob Herbert (today's Times Op-Ed...) although I do. He just confirms what I think anyway.

The rich and powerful in this country seem to be having a field day at our expense. We get up, go to work (if we are lucky enough to have a job), try to care for our families and take care of our responsibilities and obligations.

We try to play by the rules of honor and fairness.

But it seems as though we are getting hosed by the people in whom we have entrusted our future and the management of our country.

There are people all over the United States who are on the brink of absolute ruin, of total collapse. There are people who are losing, through no real fault of their own, their homes, their well being, their way of life.

And then, there are others among us, by contrast, who, possibly through chicanery, deception, fraud and outright theft, are drinking champagne from glass slippers and drooling caviar by the mouthful.

The middle class is the new lower class and the lower class is the new poor.

The gabillionaires on Key Biscayne and in Palm Springs and Beach could be cashing in on the greatest fraud in American History.

And we're allowing it to happen. We continue to buy the crap dished out by our politicians, regardless of party. We salute the flag and give away our rights without the least nod to the consequences of our apathy. It seems as though we are being overtaken by the influence of special interest money whether from Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Missile or Big Mouth.

We celebrate the centennial of a man who, by all measure, could have begun the process that put us in this mess at the same time we send to Congress people committed to the possibility of denying the unfortunate, whose lives are defined by poverty and disease, the ability to rise up and out towards a better existence.

And we contemplate electing to the Presidency a woman who, in any other society and at any other time, would have been booed from the stage long ago instead of being elevated to a position of credibilty. But that is no wonder when we idolize the cast of "Jersey Shore" at the same time we defund PBS.

But we may get what we have paid for. The elite may continue their march to supremacy and we may be left to scrounge for the crumbs that could be thrown from the carriages that simultaneously spash us with mud.

But then...Hooray! The tide might turn. History might intervene. Torches might be lit and pitchforks might be sharpened.

The gated communities might be breeched and the scoundrels within might be hung upside down in the town square, their desperate cries potentially drowned out by the sound of their jewlery clanging in the wind.

"HEY! BUDDY! This is the last stop. You gotta get off now. This is the end of the line."

Oh...I was asleep. I must have been dreaming.

Or was I...?

Friday, February 18, 2011


Watching the "debate" in the House about budget cuts, the only word that comes up is..."BULL!"

It may be true that we are in the red and that the deficit and debt are out of control but these people are unbelieveable.

Part of the problem here is that the representatives in D.C., whether they be from the House or the Senate, and the officials in the White House, seem to be oblivious, "tone deaf", to the problems of the average American that they were sent to Washington to serve.

When you listen to the rhetoric it is hard not to be offended. These people are millionaires. These people have free health care and perks beyond our imagination.

They stand there and pontificate about the problems that confront the nation yet their solutions favor their benefactors not their constituents.

It is a moral outrage that Congress is considering cutting the programs that effect the middle class as well as the poor. And the cuts are, in some cases, to programs that will help educate and nurture our children so that they can take over when we are too feeble to do so.

The Congress seems oblivious and seems interested in pushing the problem down the road so future generations will have to deal with it.

And all the while they rant about how the fiscal policies of our country are going to bankrupt future generations and imperil the health and security of our children and grandchildren.

Seems that they want it both ways. After all, the majority of the spending is benefiting the wealthy who, in turn, don't give a damn about this country nor its' less fortunate citizens.

They've got their piece so we can all just piss off!

Boy are we in a mess. We elect these clowns over and over again and never seem to learn.

They took over the House in 2010. They'll probably grab the Senate and the White House in 2012.

We'll probably end up with Romney or Palin or Bachmann or Pawlenty or Bush.

But it won't matter what party is in control. Neither of them is listening. All the politicians want is the power so they can have the influence so they can make the money...for themselves and their friends.

So...on a lighter note:

Protestors were killed today in Bahrain. See what happens when the government isn't paying attention to its' citizens? Egypt happens. But death happens too.

May they rest in peace...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Cautionary Tale...Addendum

From the piece by Nick Kristof in today's Times about the pro-democracy protests in Bahrain:

"Walk with protesters here, and their grievances seem eminently reasonable. One woman, Howra, beseeched me to write about her brother, Yasser Khalil, who she said was arrested in September at the age of 15 for vague political offenses. She showed me photos of Yasser injured by what she described as beatings by police.

Another woman, Hayat, said that she had been shot with rubber bullets twice this week. After hospitalization (which others confirmed), she painfully returned to the streets to continue to demand more democracy. “I will sacrifice my life if necessary so my children can have a better life,” she said."

Imagine that in your own family...

Enough said.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Cautionary Tale

Tunisia. Nicely done guys.

The first domino? Maybe. Now Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Iran and Lybia.

Who's next? Saudi Arabia? Jordan? Qatar?

We, in this country, think that these courageous people are fighting for their freedom because they see, in us, some sort of Eden, some sort of a Panacea.

Well, maybe that's true. Maybe the US is a place that is distinct from the tyrannical regimes of the emerging world.

Maybe people in these countries have been informed by the Internet that there is a better way. Maybe the boot on the neck approach of the dictators of the region hasn't paid off in the way in which those rulers thought it might.

But maybe it's just that enough is enough.

And maybe that is the point. Maybe that should be our "take away." And maybe, just maybe, we should be paying attention.

I live in a rather affluent community in the Northeast. There are plenty of millionaires and Mercedes and private lanes. They exist because of years of imbalance in the way in which our country functions.

If you have the money you have the power and influence. It is no secret that the rich in this country control Congress. We think we are voting for people who have our interests at heart when, in point of fact, we are installing puppets doing the bidding of their benefactors. How else can you possibly explain the legislation that is offered and enacted that benefits the wealthy and leaves the rest of us in the dust?

You can't. It's about who has the money and the power and who doesn't. Period.

That's what is happening in the Middle East. The powerful, rich despotic regimes of corrupt individuals have kept the masses down by use of coercion, force and deprivation.

The people of the region have no rights and no voice because they have no money, no education and no political influence. Emphasis on all three.

Paul Krugman got it right, as he often does, in the Times the other day when he commented on the fact that the cuts working their way through government will, as he put it, "eat the future."

We are sitting idly by while our country and our way of life is being systematically taken away from us by the monied interests of Wall Street, Pharma Boulevard and Missle Avenue. We are allowing our society to become underdeveloped, undereducated and underprepared.

That pain in the neck you feel is not the traffic or the weather or your teenager.

It's the boot of the oppression of imbalance and the army of the influence of favoritism and ignorance that is conspiring to deprive you of your rights to a high quality of life, liberty to be financially and emotionally free and the pursuit of a future of happiness and tranquility.

There may be uprising going on in the Middle East. It has less to do with the vision of a better world modeled on the democracies of the West as it has to do with the fact that the people just can't, just won't, take it anymore.

When your children are starving and your family is beaten and your dignity is stolen you become just a little bit crazy. You might do things that you would otherwise probably not do.

You might stand in front of a tank. You might throw a rock. You might be willing to die.

When too much is enough then it's "game over." When the boot is too heavy you might just jump up and bite the ankle to which it is attached.
Jack Jack Russell...

History is an interesting thing. If you are aware of it you are protected. "Once bitten, twice shy."

So enjoy your golf and your Porsche, your gated community and your cake. Soon enough that homeless guy you rebuffed on the sidewalk may be waiting to tee up.

And he might not be yelling "Fore!"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


In an episode of The Sopranos, Tony is talking Dr. Melfi about his problems. He's frustrated with the way things are and the way people treat one another.

He sites several examples and when he comes to answering machines he says something like this:

"If my call is so important to you then why don't you just pick up the damned phone!"

My sentiments exactly.

In a previous post at this site I complained about the electronic phone sysyem that so many companies use to manage traffic. You are greeted by some asshole with a middle American voice that is way too cheerful no matter what time of day. You are guided through several choices and informed of the fact that A), you should listen as the menu may have changed since your last visit and B), that your call may be monitored for quality assurance reasons and that, finally C), they are very honored by your call, sorry for the delay and hopeful that you will be patient until your call is taken, "in the order in which it was received."


It all makes you want to SCREAM!

And the GDF music that they play makes Musak sound like the philharmonic. And they keep interrupting the music which, under ordinary circumstances would be annoying and under these circumstances is doubly so, to inform us that they will get to us just as "soon" as they can and that they are "grateful" for our patronage and infinite patience and that our customerness is "very important" to them.

Again, I invoke the wonderful Tony Soprano and hope he's packin' heat:

"...then why don't you just pick up the G...D...M...F...PHONE!!!!

And the worst is when you hit "O", sometimes they have it fixed that it won't go to a human and you have to wait until you get one by a process of a combination of random selection and divine intervention.

And by that time you may have forgotten why you called in the first place!

I hate modernity and the phone company and the electric company and the bank and any other institution that uses automated phone answering systems!

I hate that voice! Oh do I hate that man/woman. Someday it might be like that episode of Seinfeld when George's pianist girlfriend recognizes Elaine's laugh as the one that ruined her recital when Elaine laughed because Jerry put a Pez Tweety on her knee.

There I'll be at some function or in the subway or on a plane. It'll be a formal cocktail with ambassadors and international dignitaries. I'll be holding a Chardonnay in a precious glass and a plate with some shrimp and sauce.

It'll be then that I hear it.

"This conversation is very important to me Governor. Please hold that thought until the next available moment while I go to the bathroom. Thank you."

Fade to black with the sounds of screams fading into the distance. They might very well be mine as I will have gone right over the bloomin' edge...the shrimp notwithstanding.

And I love shrimp so think about how crazy I would have to be.

Can you hold...?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

We, on the left and near the center, rail at the Republicans about their legislative proposals.

Here they come with more cuts. Here they come throwing the poor and disadvantaged "under the bus." Here they come, helping the rich.

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, "Here they come again...!"

But what's the difference between what they do, as a bloc, and how we live our daily lives?

We are only interested in our own well being, often at the expense of others. How many times have you walked past a person begging in the street or at the side of the road? It's easy to justify ignoring them. "They are bums", "They are drunks", "They just want the money for drugs."

Maybe. But maybe they just have incredibly bad luck. Will the dollar in your pocket save your family from ruin? Probably not. Will that same dollar buy that homeless guy a burger at McDonald's and keep him from starving to death? Possibly...

We only think of ourselves.

Everytime we cheat on our taxes or cut in line or rush to get the parking space, we are thinking of our own welfare, not the welfare of the "other guy."

Our taxes fund the nation's budget. Without our taxes we would have no water, no food, no highways, no military. No nothin'. (Socialism? Don't get me started...another post for another day...!)

When we cut the line we deprive the other guy, who was ahead of us by the way, of getting what he came for. Maybe it was just a movie, but maybe it was a flu shot that would save his life.

When we appropriate the parking space, accelerating to get there before the other guy, we make his life just a little bit harder. He has to walk further and maybe he doesn't get there in time. The bank closes and, because of those few seconds, he can't make the deposit and he loses his house. We were just stopping to buy more soda. He's now on the street...and then we pass him by, outstretched hand and all.

Which leads me to the other question on my mind.

What is it about us humans that allows some people to be so kind and generous to their family but so callous and cold to people they don't know.

Congress doesn't cut the things that effect them or their friends. They cut the stuff that effects the people they don't know. The very same people that voted for them and gave them the right and responsibilty to vote on bills that have real consequences for those unknown constituents.

Deregulate the banking industry so your friends can make a fortune in the stock market. Fine, but that same deregulation allows your friends to create fraudulent financial instruments that "legally"(the hell with morality here..."morality" will join "eight track tape", "typewriter", and "leisure suit" on the trash heap of dead language before too long...) steal from the hard working middle class (add "middle class" to the pile too...)

How can these people love their children...their children...and enact laws that, essentially, murder thousands of kids all over the country? What's the justification for that?

So...human nature. "I've got mine so screw you!"

What's up with that?

Valentine's Day. Think of love. Eat chocolate.

Or think of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

That's more like it these days...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hypocrisy is a Wonderful Thing...

Thank you God!

And thank you Christopher Lee. And I don't mean the wonderful actor. He's not a hypocrite so far as I know. That Christopher Lee is a fine man.

No I'm talking, here, about the other Christopher Lee in today's news.

The one from Western New York. The former (as of yesterday) Republican Congressman.

The Shirtless, Craigslist flirting, Family Values touting, HYPOCRITICAL Christopher Lee. Yeah...that one!

For the uninformed, Rep. Lee was caught having a flirtatious email relationship with a woman on Craigslist. You know...Craigslist. The place to buy and sell bicycles, baseball cards, cellphones and...oh I forgot...sexual liasons.

The wonderful thing about this event is that it happened to a Republican. I know, I know...spare me...Rep. Massa, Democrat, also from New York...resigned in a sex scandal...I know.

But the difference between the two is this, and only this: The Republicans are the ones who are always screaming about Family Values. God, Jesus, The Church, Abortion, Homosexuality, name it and they're screaming about it.
And so arrogantly and so pompously. They own the argument.

And sex! Oh my God...these people rail about sex. "Don't have it before marriage!", "Only have it when your married!", "Don't have it with someone of your own gender!", "Don't have it with your dog, no matter how adorable in that small bag that looks like a purse!" "Don't masturbate, except if you have a razor for the palms of your hands!" "Only use the Missionary Position. All the rest are perverted positions!" And on and on, ad nauseum.

So...when a Republican is caught in the act, so to speak, it's just a wonderful day...Christmas all over again...the Fourth of July...your birthday...terrific!!

Morally and ethically there is no palapable difference between Massa and Lee. Actually Massa was worse because his transgressions involved sexual harrassment whereas Lee's involved only marital infidelity. One was intimidation the other a trip to the couch for the night. Easy to see the difference there.

But Lee is a hypocrite. Preaching Family Values in public while subverting them in private.

But the Republicans never learn. Nor do the Evangelicals (Baker, Swaggart, Haggard)

Yak, yak, yak, blah, blah, blah.

Either practice what you preach or just shut the hell up!

If you want to send pictures of yourself over the Web in compromising positions and cheat on your wife, be my guest. But don't do it, all the while, yelling at me about how bad the family is doing in America because of a dearth of real Christian Values. What would Jesus do? He'd be ashamed of you! He was willing to die for your sins. Your just looking to get laid...

And while I'm at it, forget the Mea Culpa. You're not sorry about what you've done to your family. That's standard pap that you say because it's expected of you. The more honest thing to say is that you don't give a damn about your family. If you cared about your family and constituents more than yourself you wouldn't have betrayed them in the first place!

Your only really sorry for one thing...that you got caught!

Moral of the story?

Don't send naked pictures of yourself over the Internet.

In the words of the late, great George Carlin, "Cop didn't see it, I didn't do it" expected a different moral? You expected "If you're going to dance you have to pay the piper?" Something more spiritually uplifting?

Nah...don't hold your breath. Republicans will be Republicans.

Palin in '12...Run, Sarah, Run!



Does that make me a hypocrite...?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

This Post is X-Rated


This post may contain language and violent images not suitable for children.
Parental discretion is advised.

Fade to black.

Audio (The language part...):


That is the only word applicable to the weather today on the Connecticut Shoreline.

All we've been hearing about these past few weeks is the weather. (Here is the violent images part...)

"It's going to snow.", "It's snowing", "It snowed..."

To which I have responded, "It's the winter. It's New England. It snows. Get a life!"

But this is too much.

Personally, I hate the snow. It's cold, dangerous to drive in, sometimes heavy to shovel and an all around pain in the ass. I do appreciate it's beauty though, when it first arrives and covers everything with a soft blanket of cleanliness and cottony, soft, white calm.

But Day #2 is different. Here comes the plow and the dirt and the shovelling and the frozen hands and the wet socks. It just stinks from Day #2 on until Spring.

But you justify the snow by always referring to the beauty.

"I hate winter but it sure is pretty. Kind of Currier and Ives."

Currier and Ives. Those prints of New England covered in snow with kids playing and grownups gliding around in horse drawn sleighs.

Baloney! It was cold and a pain then just as now. They didn't even have snow blowers or fleece or Bean boots or central heating. They just had better artists!

And now, not only do we have snow but we also have ice.

Ice has one use. To keep food from spoiling.

Ok, maybe two. To keep your drink cold. Nothing like an iced tea or a soda with good ice cubes. But ice cubes are a pain in the ass too, actually. You have to get them out of the trays which is not always easy and then you have to refill the trays and put them back in the freezer which then requires a decision.

Do you leave the freezer door open while you refill the trays with water and then put them in one at a time? Or do you fill them all and then put them all in at once? And do you leave the water running while you refill the trays or turn it on and off for each tray?

Too many questions.

But avoidable altogether if your refrigerator has an ice machine. But that uses more energy, makes the refrigerator more expensive to buy and leaves you at the ice machine's mercy. If it breaks down, inevitably at a party, you are left with A) no ice and B) the need to make more, manually, unless you have no trays because you threw them out when you got the refrigerator with the automatic ice machine...

Which then means you have to get in the car and go buy ice. And maybe the closest convenience store doesn't have any so you have to drive around trying to find some and finally you do...about an hour later and about a half hour from home.

Now you've pissed off your guests by A) not being at your own party and B) not having ice for their drinks. And you're doubly aggravated because you just paid $5.00 for a little bag of ice that would have been, essentially, free if you had gotten it from your freezer, manually or automatically. And then it sits in your freezer...a bag of block ice, the cubes long ago joined in solidarity (pun intended), taking up room and reminding you, constantly, of that day. last summer, when you ran out of ice.

An all around nightmare. It affects your marriage and your friendships and now you are living alone, under the bridge, with a bottle of Night Train guessed friggin' (PG rating there...)...ICE!!!

And while there is nothing better than good iced tea and soda with good ice cubes, there is nothing quite as bad as iced tea or soda without them. Yuck!

Not to mention Scotch on the rocks...with no rocks. Now your life is a complete disaster. And all because of those Currier and Ives bastards. Assholes!!

So, the moral here?

There isn't one.

"If you don't like the weather...move!"


Where? Florida? Fine in the winter but have you ever been in Florida in the summer?

No thanks.

California? Perfect except for the smog.

The Islands? Great if you're a gazillionaire.

Nope. Plus the fact that I speak Snow fluently. Grew up with the stuff.

It's in my genes, in my bones.

And my boots and the back of my neck and my driveway and...