Saturday, January 30, 2016

Not the last words

My Aunt Sandy died on Friday. After she retired, her health deteriorated. It makes me angry that such an active person was not able to enjoy her final years on her terms.

I owe much to her personally and culturally. She gave me a lot, took me on my first plane trip to D.C. when I was 12 and a bigger jerk than I am now. She should have left me there. She made time for me just to talk adult things, turned me on to a good portion of my music collection, got me tickets to The Rolling Stones and The Who, backstage passes to Aerosmith, Cats and so much more. Geez, there were things we outgrew and lost like the “God Save The Kinks” t-shirts she gave us, or the vinyl Yellow Submarine tablecloth.

She’s been a very important part of my life for as long as I can remember. Her own life was amazing. She worked as the office glue for the entertainment industry for 50 years. From the Brill Building, Capitol Records, RCA, Atlantic, Geffen, Dreamworks, an EGOT and SONY it was a wild career that she worked at with amazing professionalism. She was called a “Paragon of discretion” by a household name and I’m seeing the respect and love her colleagues had for her on social media today. Yes, she was cool as all that.

It’s quite touching to learn about this part of her life as she rarely went into detail. She’d tell me that, “George Clooney came into the building, nice man very handsome.” Or, “Woody came into my office because he wanted to use it in one of his movies, all he said to me was when he asked if the air conditioning could be turned off.” “Had lunch with Andy Partridge, brilliant man.” And I’d be, please go on. Really, really wanted her to write it down and unless there’s a diary in her belongings, I think a lot of those stories are lost - which is a damn shame.

As her health wavered a lot of people looked after her. It was frustrating for me as I was far away and have my own challenges here. So the work and care of so many family and friends is gratefully appreciated.

Her services are Saturday in New Hyde Park, and she is going to be buried in the plot with her parents.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The ridiculous cost of airfare

The past two nights have consisted of me being home alone, as my wife is working, waiting for a phone call/email/message that will contain the inevitable bad news. It is once again tough and frustrating being so far from loved ones who are nearing the end of their journey. Making the trip multiple times in a short time span is not feasible with my custody schedule, my wife's new job and the amount of time left I can get off work. Have to pick and choose the situation, and feel like I'm still doing it wrong. So I wait, try to function as best as I can and await further instructions.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Seeing and Waiting

In case you missed it, I had a poem published in last Sunday's edition of The New Verse News.

It's brought on what is, for me, a flurry of submissions.

Now I wait and see what happens. Could be weeks before I hear back, could be months. Could be not at all. This is what you accept when you play the publishing game.

Monday, January 18, 2016

The bears make him react

Sleep has once again become a challenge with my son. The last couple of weeks he has been going to bed early enough, around 10-10:30 but waking up singing, shrieking or bouncing on his bed about 3AM. It makes a tough next day. Last night he finally slept through after an absolutely horrible weekend.

Today we were watching the news and there was a story about some bears hanging out in trees and my Wife said, "The bears were waiting for spring," which is the plot point of one of his favorite books.

A couple of minutes later, he was rummaging in the stack of his books, pulled out the book and brought it over for me to read to him.

It's those moments that keep me going, and recognize there are so many challenges ahead.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sunday morning stuff

Pleased to announce my poem, To Joe Biden and Beyond, is in today's issue of The New Verse News.

The State of the Union can be inspiring.

Also a very clever person put Buster Keaton to the music of David Bowie's Modern Love.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

He was cool before Snape

Another British legend has died this week, also at the age of 69.

Alan Rickman made every film he was in, even the crappy ones, stand out more. A few years after Die Hard, he starred with Juliet Stevenson in Truly, Madly, Deeply, which is a weepfest of a film that is better than Ghost. I'm pretty sure this is how I first remember him, and his remarkable acting talent.

He left us with so many good roles, and we have those to go back to.

Cancer sucks.

Monday, January 11, 2016

She's uncertain if she likes him. But she knows she really loves him

With snorting head he gazes to the shore
Which once had raised a sea
that raged no more
Like the video films we saw

First thing I saw in my email was a link to his obituary. It had to be a hoax, I thought. Double checked and found the sad news. He and his family kept his illness close, and his final album had many messages to his fans in it. Typing the words David Bowie is dead is so surreal, it cannot be true.

Very hard to imagine a world without him in it. He's been around me for so long, I can't remember him not being close, although I never saw him play live. He's in the iPod, in the CD pile, in the Back Room vinyl. We have the music, the art he made for decades, and we thank him for that.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

If I had a billion dollars

Lottery fever is happening across the United States this week. No one picked all the powerball numbers on Saturday night so the 900 million dollar jackpot goes up to 1.3 billion dollars.

I had no numbers in Saturday's drawing. My $10 idiot tax is paid.

So the dreaming big begins again until the next drawing. Aside from take care of my son's needs for the rest of his life I have modest billion dollar goals. My Wife would live in the lifestyle she would desire. Charitable trusts would be established.

What would I do with a Ferrari or Rolls Royce? Seriously, too much maintenance. Even if you can afford that car you need a full time mechanic to look after the fleet.

I'd probably get a modest Mazda. A vehicle that would not draw attention to myself.

Ah who am I kidding?

But, if this is the extravagant purchase, it would be cooler than hookers and blow. Still have no idea how to change the oil. Or if there's anyone in the area who knows how to fix the damn thing.

That car would not be a daily driver either, so I'd need a home to garage it. I figure a three car garage would be best for my needs. Or something like this. Maybe find property with a pool, a pool table, or a koi pond. Solid gold fixtures are not necessary. I saw a house in the area with a bowling alley, is that too much? How much property is too much? Sure, the audio/video system would be awesome. I'm 51 though, how big should my wine cellar be? I can't drink like I'm 32 anymore.

Ah, to have the problems a billion dollars brings.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Even the coffee is improving

The New Year means that my work anniversary is here. I started where I am currently employed nine years ago on January 2nd. I enjoy the work, and the environment around me. Heck, unlike at a previous employer, I did not hit a glass ceiling and earned a promotion. Unlike at a previous employer, we're not guilt tripped into our pay checks by pie charts during budget presentations. There's a respectful balance here between life and work that is usually maintained.

So here I am, and will continue to be, probably, for some years to come.

Just do not mention dying at my desk, that happened to the woman next to me last year.