Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Ok, I've been caught. I'm guilty. But I'm not sorry.

I am probably the only man in America who doesn't want to sleep with either Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann.

It's what we heard about George W. Bush.

"I'd never vote for him. He's an idiot. He's a rich man's son with an Oedipus Complex. But I'd sure like to hang out with the guy. He seems really nice. He'd be fun to have a beer with."

Apply the same thinking to the Bobbsey Twins. People think they're idiots (At least most sane people do. Idiots think they're geniuses which goes a long way in explaining the mess this society is in. But never mind that. Another day for that discussion)

But Sarah and Michele are considered, by many, to be attractive women. Cougars. Babes. And in Palin's case, the idea of taking off her glasses stimulates the librarian thing in most men. You know, Miss Frumpenstein in the buttonned collar, hair in a bun and glasses.

Let down the hair, loosen a couple of buttons, take off the specs and volia! Raquel Welch or, for you youngins, Christina Aguilera.

But I'm here to tell ya that Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann hold no allure for me.
They are not arousing at all. They are the antidote to Viagra.

They become immediately ugly the minute they open their mouths and, unfortunately, they don't seem to be able to keep their mouths shut for even a minute.

Yak, yak, YAK!! Bitch and moan, Whine and complain.

And above all they seem to be so STUPID!!!

If it's one thing I have come to loathe it is stupid people. Maybe when I was young I could endure a stupid woman. After all I was really only interested in one thing and that wasn't stimulating conversation.

If Sarah and Michele could change their hideous tune and be less shrill maybe, just maybe, I'd reconsider.

If they could allow for the fact that there might be an alternative to their screeching ideas and infantile notions than maybe, just maybe I'd think about it.

If they could understand that the spittle that they inveigh is so unbelieveably detrimental to the welfare of this, once, wonderful country and admit that they are morons then possibly I'd ponder the idea.

But none of that will ever happen. They will never change and we will be left to listen to their nonsense until we are too old to know the difference.

So...Sarah. Michele. I know you are thinking of calling me for a date.

Please don't.

I'm busy. I have to sort my socks and when that's done I have to paint the bathroom.

I'm afraid that if either one of you is elected I'll be spending a lot of time in there and I want it to be nice.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Non-Prophet Organizations

Full disclosure...

My beautiful wife, Mia, came up with the title of this post. She's a genius.


Camping trips can be fun. They can take us to far away places full of natural wonder. (Beautiful locations where we sleep in a bag, get eaten alive,
poop in a hole, drink Tang and get poison ivy.)

Or, as we saw over the weekend, they can take us...nowhere.

Harold Camping is:

1) A Lunatic
2) A Preacher
3) A Prophet
4) A Charlatan
5) A Lunatic
6) All of the Above

The tragedy is that the poor people (some of them really are poor now as they gave away all of their stuff in anticipation of "The Rapture"...)who actually believed Camping's prediction, won't see the nonsense for exactly what it is...nonsense.

They BELIEVE! There is no other way. No conversation. No dialogue in which one can be persuaded.

Dogma. Period. (I love the saying, "My Karma ran over my Dogma.")

I had a "conversation" with a man over the weekend who was a Fundamentalist Christian. What struck me more than anything was his complete faith and, in that context, his complete lack of willingness to LISTEN!

"If he wasn't talkin'", as a friend is fond of saying, "he wasn't listenin'"

I couldn't get a word in edgewise and, for those of you who know me, that was some feat on his part.

He yakked on about the Bible and truth and that he held the key to all knowledge.
The world would end and there would be "The Rapture" and all of us non-believers would be left in the dust.

No discussion. That would be what happened.


Wouldn't it be wonderful, a true Christlike miracle, if, when a prediction like last weekend fails to materialize, that the imposters and Wizards of Oz like Camping and his kind were exposed for what they are...CRAZY PEOPLE.

And their followers would see that and stop a minute to question the "word" and maybe allow for an alternative possibility.

But that's as likely as any of the other nonsense found in the Bible, an otherwise wonderful book. Albeit written thousands of years ago and open to interpretation mind you.

It'll never happen. People will continue to follow idiots and believe without examination.

After all, if Lexington and Concord are in New Hampshire then, dagnabbitt...they MUST be there!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Apologies

I want to apologize, in advance, for the tenor of this blog. And its' contents.

I am sure to offend some people who will feel diferently from the way I do.

That goes.

I don't care.

Now, I will immediately amend that statement to say that I care very much.

I do care about what happens to my fellow man (meaning, of course, man and woman, but let's not least not yet)

I care about the Middle East and the Arab Spring and the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur, Pakistan. Chechnya, Chiapas, Northern Ireland and every other place on this little orb where people are at odds with one another.

But, bottom line, I care more about my family, my friends, my neighbors, my community and my country than I do about strangers hundreds and thousands of miles away.

And I especially don't care about the plight of people half way around the world who seem to be hell bent on killing me and my family and my friends and my neighbors and my community and my country.

I understand that the individual citizens of these countries may not be responsible for the actions of their despotic leaders so they get a pass but...on the other hand...they are responsible and all passes are, forthwith, cancelled.

They enable those actions by allowing those people to stay in power.

"But they would be killed if they protested", you say.

"Yes, they might", I respond. "But what about the American, French and Russian Revolutions? What about the Resistance during World War II? What about Lech Walesa and Soldarity. What about the Romanians and Ceausescu? And what about Tunisia and Egypt?"

Those people all said "No!" to the kings and dictators and oppressors that had taken their freedoms and killed and tortured their brethren and countrymen.

We are all responsible for what happens in our lives. It is all too convenient to blame others and to sit by, passively, while events unfold around us that alter our way of life forever and not take action to create a different outcome.

The street vendor in Tunisia said "Basta!" and took responsibility. Mother Teresa said "Basta! and took responsibility. Mohandas Gandhi said "Basta! and took responsibilty. And so did Nelson Mandela and countless other true heroes who refused to be imprisoned by their own inaction, by their own fear, by their own laissez-faire attitude.

They did what had to be done to create change. They didn't talk about it. They did it.

So, ultimately, I don't care about people who refuse to take responsibility. If I am in the soup it is my fault, not yours.

The Nike slogan sums it up pretty well.

"Just DO it!!"

Friday, May 20, 2011

Plan B

I am woefully uninformed.

I have been hearing, for some time now, about the end of the world.

I grew up during the Cold War where every "Bulletin" on televison was sure to announce that the Russians had launched a missle that was going to come right through my bedroom window and wipe me out...unless, of course, I was covering my head under the bed, in which case I'd be ok.

So, when I heard about the 2012 end of the world I took it in stride. After all, I have a year to plan. I'm good.

But now comes the another, earlier end of the world.

Tomorrow. What am I supposed to do now...?

But I'm taking it seriously. I mowed the lawn and did the dishes. I changed my underwear even though I had just put on clean ones this morning.

I'm going to shave but that's only because I am beginning to look a bit ragged around the edges and if I meet my maker with a three day beard I may be mistaken for a bum and sent to Hell where all the bums go. I, personally, am not looking forward to spending eternity with Ken Lay, Ronald Reagan and Leona Helmsley. I could imagine a spirited political conversation with Richard Nixon, jamming with Sid Vicious or just looking at Aileen Wuornos in her prime but to be stuck with moron assholes is a bridge too far.

So to prevent that possibility, I'm going to clean up a bit and put on a nice shirt. An Oxford buttoned down affair. Classic blue. Traditional. But no tie. I want to be comforatble.

But you have to give the Mayans credit. They were prepared.

Nostradamus predicted tomorrow. He's one to talk. He was already in Heaven when he made that prediction. He was in St. Remy de Provence and to anyone who's been there, they know that it is Paradise on Earth. Smack dab in the middle of Southern France and truly one of the most pleasant and beautiful places around. Especially in the springtime.

But the Mayans anticipated Nostradamus and called for the end to come a bit later than tomorrow. They predicted next year.

Just in case tomorrow is a bust.

The Mayans planned for next year. Tomorrow is a dry run.

Push the button and see what happens. If it's a fizzle rather than a bang we'll have learned something.

Tomorrow's a test. It's a test of The End of The World Protocol.

If tomorrow doesn't not come(sic)then we'll be prepared for next year.

And after all, as they say in The Coast Guard, "Semper Paratus"...always prepared.

And next year is an election year. Best to be prepared for that.

Especially if Michele or Sarah or Mitt or Newt or Jeb win.

That really would be the end of the world...!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


You know the expression, "We're not getting any younger."

You've heard it all of your life...except, maybe, when you were 10.

I was reminded last weekend of the fact that Tempus does, in fact, Fugit.

I used to be a performing musician. I played every weekend, sometimes more than that. I performed my own material as well as covers. I played in Europe, at Lincoln Center, Off-Broadway, in huge arenas, outdoor festivals and in small clubs. I played everywhere I could and wherever they would let me set up. I worked as a soloist, in a duo and in rock, country, jazz, swing and bluegrass bands. I played for free and also made good money at times. I loved it!

Sometimes I'd play four sets of loud, hard-driving rock and roll for three nights in a row.

I'd schelpp heavy gear, play in smokey bars for people who preferred the TV or pool to the music and would earn about $50 a night.

Hard work if you can get it.

Last year I suggested to the Parent's Association at my daughter's school that they put on a dinner dance as a fundraiser. Big mouth that I am (who, ME?...), I offered to put a band together.

After having played professionally for many years I know some top notch players. All styles, all instruments.

But this gig required only one thing. A willingness to play the rock of the 50s through the 70s, non-stop, without rehearsal and, as they say in This is Spinal Tap, at a volume of "11"

Larry played bass as he has for the best part of the past 60 years. He grew up on the hits of the 50s. It's in his DNA.

Mark was smokin' on lead guitar. He was a Columbia Records recording artist and his chops are inimitable.

Bruce played the drums. He is, hands down, one of the best drummers I've ever known. An unbelievable touch.

We were billed as Les Garagistes, which loosely translated from the French, would mean The Garagemen...or that we were a Garage Band...but a friend pointed out that the name, when written, looked like someone named Lester Garagistes...Les Garagistes...a man of Greek origin was providing his song "stylings"...arghhhhhhh! So much for being cutesy with the faux-European name...

We played music that is in our bones, our muscle memory, the stuff we grew up on and have played. literally, a thousand times.

"Blue Suede Shoes. Johnny B. Goode. Allright Now. Jumpin' Jack Flash. Louie, Louie."

The chestnuts. The best.

Well, I'm here to tell ya...I'm an old man!

I started off cookin' with a lot of energy. One song after another. Pop, pop, pop!

Then we made the mistake of taking break.

The second set was still good but I was straining to keep up with myself.

We took another break and then, thank the Good Lord, I got a second wind and we had a big finish...with a "Hokey Pokey/Simon Says" medley!

Everybody loved it, including the Conga Line I forced everyone into while we played "La Bamba/Good Lovin'/Turn on Your Lovelight" which is really all the same musical progression.

We raised about $5,000 for the school and the parents and kids who came really seemed to have a good time.

I was hoarse and sore but felt good.

The old days.

But as Don Henley said, "You can never go back."


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Full Disclosure

Let me begin by saying that I am an unabashed Francophile. I went to school there, speak the language, return as much as possible, want to retire to Provence and have many wonderful friends throughout the country.

I am also Jewish.

And I have always loved women, especially my beautiful, wonderful bride.

That's where the similarities between me and Dominique Strauss-Kahn end.

He, as you may have heard, has been charged with rape involving a woman and an alleged event that took place at a New York City hotel last week.

I say alleged because, again, in our system of justice, one is assumed innocent until found guilty by a jury of peers in a court of law.

I polled my French friends about this and, almost to a person, they condemned the act but suggested that it might be a conspiracy, a "complot", organized by DSK's enemies in the French political hierarchy headed by his adversary, the very unpopular Nicholas Sarkosy.

Now, DSK has a reasonably bad reputation. He, himself, is quoted as saying that the three obstacles to his being elected president of France are money, his Jewish heritage and women.

Some have suggested that he has attacked women before and that he has had numerous affairs.

But did he rape this woman? How can we know? It's her word against his. This would not be the first time that a woman has cried rape when there wasn't one.

Just last year Heidi Jones of WABC-TV in New York was arrested after allegedly filing a false police report claiming rape in Central Park.

This stuff happens.

And it would not be above a politician to pay someone to cry rape as a way of eliminating his conmpetition.

We may never know but it seems that DSK deserves the benefit of doubt...of a reasonable doubt...that he is innocent, that he, in fact, didn't "do it."

Whether or not he is a good financier, or a good politician or a philanderer or Jewish or French should have nothing to do with whether or not he deserves the same treatment as the rest of us.

In this country we apply different standards to this sort of event. The French don't care about your personal proclivities and are much more open sexually. The French gauge a politician on his intellectual strength, not on his personal behaviors, likes or dislikes.

We have a love/hate relationship with the French...and with Jews...and with rich people...and with sex.

DSK was arrested in New York. It would have been different in Paris. The alleged crime is serious and the French judicial system would deal harshly with him if he were to be found guilty. No question about that.

But they would have been more discreet, more subtle, more refined.

But they are an older society. They are the adults and we are still dealing with our teenage impulses.

They enjoy fine wines and food.

We gulp Coke and McDonald's.

We revel in the Perp Walk.

They are repulsed by it.

C'est la vie...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Double Standard Bearer?

"Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista, began dating while he was still married, but associates now believe she could be helpful in a presidential campaign."

The front page of today's New York Times.

Let's review...

Family values. The Democrats are un-patriotic...and socialists (remember that the next time you call 911) Obama, despite the bin Laden affair, is "The Devil."

Oh, and Newton was a part of the Reagan revolution which has brought us the fiscal mess we are currently enjoying...without the popcorn.

So...the ever-entertaining, always tan Republicans are thinking about Gingrich for the presidency...


Mitt...his sons were providing an irreplacable service to the country by helping their father run for President in 2008 in lieu of joining the military to fight in Afghanistan/Iraq.

Sarah...her daughter is a role model for millions of unwed teenage mother reality show wannabees with views of Russia from their back deck. Oh, and doesn't Sarah's gig at Fox make her a part of the "Lamestream Media...?"

Michelle...Lexington...and Concord...where the slaves were freed!!

Tim...yawn...isn't Polenta a food?

Haley...yes Massuh...right away Kimosabe...

Donald...where's YOUR hair certificate? No one believes that's really your hair. Where did you get it? Where is it from? Proof, man. We demand PROOF! Signed, The Wiggers.

And Newt Gingrich has the balls to suggest that he would make a good president?

Deregulate and give the fat cats the keys to the vault? Turn your back on the middle class (and the poor...) Philander while preaching (screeching...?) about family values and the Defense of Marriage?

How can we possibly trust a guy who dates one woman while married to another?

Love finds you in the strangest places and you can't defend against it. It just shows up, knocks you down and you are helpless in its' grasp.

But honor is honor and if you ain't got it, you got nothin'...

Least of all the presidency.

Unless you live in America where people can lie, cheat, steal and abuse...and still win the popularity contest we call the Presidential Election!

People are dying around the globe for a shot at what we have...a representative democracy founded on the principles of honor, faith, charity and compassion. And the right to vote.

Yet we take our rights for granted and fritter our vote away on idiot Charlatan, pandering, blow-dried blowhards.

We deserve the mess we're in...

We built it.

And it has come home to roost.

Happy voting!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Get a Horse!

My mother is in a nursing home now but in her active years she was no gardener. Neither was my father.

They didn't even try. A few trees maybe and my father maintained the lawn but flowers? Vegetables? Herbs? Never. Not even house plants. They just weren't interested.

So there is no real explanation for the fact that I have taken up gardening. I have been in plenty of relationships where my partners were gardeners. One girlfriend even had me help her build a mini version of Findhorn. It was fun but I was not hooked.

Until recently.

My lovely wife is a gardener but her passion and expertise is flowers. She's very good at it.

I, however, have embraced vegetables, mainly tomatoes. My neighbor, Mark, came by today to encourage me while I turned the soil with my pitchfork. We were reminded of the fried green tomatoes he made with my yield a few summers ago. They were pretty good as I remember.

I've gotten to be fairly adept at the tomato thing but corn has eluded me. I'm trying again this year.

I love corn. Only on the cob though. I HATE corn in a can or frozen. Bad childhood memories at a diner in Orange, Connecticut. Don't ask...

But sweet corn. Oh My God! A farmer once told me that he ate it raw. I tried it. It was good but not as good as cooked with no salt or butter. Salt and butter helps marginal corn but sweet, local corn needs nothing. It's like dessert.

My chef friend, Doug, in New York City makes a remarkable roasted corn and garlic affair that is absolutely addicting. He scrapes the kernels from the cob, burns them just slightly and serves it cold. I can never get enough.

So I planted today. This year I'm hoping for tomatoes, corn, cucumbers and peas. I'll get the tomatoes. I'm reasonably assured of that. Hopefully.

But if I get the corn I'll be one happy gardener.

And what with food prices as high as they are I'll be doubly happy.

So...stay tuned. I'll keep you posted. I won't stalk you with some corny, cobbed together blog without any kernels of truth. But keep an ear open.

Can't you just hear 'em germinatin'?

Love-Hate Relationship...

Here's my perspective on the bin Laden assassination.

It will not be a popular point of view.

We teach our children that this country is governed by the rule of law.

One is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Osama bin Laden, allegedly, ordered the events of 9-11.

He was executed without a trial.

We talk about Jesus and how he preached love and forgiveness. Yet people all over the world are spontaneously gathering to cheer bin Laden's death.

Where's the forgiveness there?

I have no idea whether Osama bin Laden was involved in 9-11 or not. We may never know what the truth is.

There are some who think that the events of that day were the result of a conspiracy within our government and that the 3,000 plus individuals who died that day were "collateral damage" in an operation with a different intended outcome than that stated by Al Qaeda.

I have no idea.

But if, in fact, bin Laden was the person ultimately responsible for sending planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, then he, absolutely, should have been captured, tried and, if convicted, punished.

But to storm his compound and kill him is an act of revenge, pure and simple.

Sure, it may make a lot of people feel better but it demeans us a human beings.

I can't imagine what it must be like to have lost someone on 9-11. It must be truly horrible. My heart goes out to each and every one of them. And I suppose that I'd be cheering today too if someone I loved had died that day. But the cheers wouldn't bring them back and wouldn't make me a better man.

It makes us hypocrites if we talk about forgiveness and the rule of law on the one hand but cheer a man's death and kill him without due process on the other.

Maybe we'll do better the next time.