Thursday, December 30, 2010


I want to thank everyone who has entered my life, and wish them a Happy New Year! On New Years Eve, Debbie and I will have an early dinner, then we will proceed to the local IMAX theatre to see an action/adventure film in 3D. Hopefully, we will make it back home safely, and in one piece, before 6 or 7 p.m.

Recovering alcoholics and drug addicts like to call New Years Eve, "amateur night". It's an evening of automobile accidents, fights, murders, losses of lives, and limbs and finally the desolation for those who drink or drug too much. It is more painful for their innocent victims. So please, don't drink and drive.

My wife and I will kiss at midnight, and bring in the year of 2011, with Dick Clark, the "world's oldest teenager". I thank my higher power, that I won't have to wake up on New Years Day with a hangover. I still haven't forgotten the effects of those nasty things. Instead, my Debbie and I will go to the gym, after lounging over our coffee and newspaper.

I am blessed to have a loving, sweet wife, daughter, family, and so many great friends. You all make my life so special. I have enjoyed writing this journal. It truly is a labor of love. Journaling has become a vehicle for my emotions. I like getting in touch with my feelings, instead of burying them away. It is a purifying process for my soul. I hope to continue my writing, as long as I can draw breath on this beautiful spaceship, earth.

2011 will be a year of travel and companionship for Debbie and me. Debbie retires from the local college in April. I look forward to spending more time with my sweetie. I look forward to long walks, and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. I am excited about our new life together. We will be married for 31 years in May. I promise to put my pen and paint brushes away more often, so I can spend more time with my wife, who is also my lover and best friend. God bless you all, and may 2011 bring you health and happiness!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


My resolution is to have no resolutions.
I plan not to be disappointed.
I don't dwell on the past.
Nor do I live in the future.
I work on today.
If I am successful today, then I am happy.
If I string enough successful days together,
Then the future takes care of itself.
Not every day is going to be a winner.
I don't let that deter me.
I just keep moving forward.
I am persistent in my goal seeking.
I learn from my mistakes.
I try not to repeat them.
If I string 365 pretty good days together,
I know I will have had a good year.
I don't need a resolution.
The way I live each day is my solution.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


The hunter hunts.
He tracks his victim.
The hunter justifies his actions.
He claims he has a moral right.
The hunter makes the rules.
He is outfitted for comfort.
The hunter is well-fed.
He has nice lodging.
He has better equipment than the hunted.
The hunter claims to have a superior mind.
He sees the hunted as a disposable unit.
The hunted one must be culled.
It has no rights.
This is the nature of the game.
We live in a violent world.
We say we hunt for loftier ideals.
Mostly, we hunt because we are greedy.
Animals hunt to survive.
Animals are more moral than men.
This makes me sad.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


I am removed
From the holiday groove.
They disapprove that I have the blues.
But what the hell?
I cannot gel.
With sophmoric things.
The swing and bling.
Dont ring my bell.

While they laugh and play,
I think of a way,
To find Santa Cruz.
Dive bars and booze.
The narcotic snooze.
Of those who are damned,
To peruse,
Words like this.
A poet's abyss.

I am confused,
By a "normal" mood.
There, I've said it again.
In the end,
I don't want to schmooze.
I care not to amuse.
I seek my muse,
So I am removed.


I thank the Great Spirit for Christmas.
I enjoy my family and friends.
I am warm and well-fed.
I enjoy the young and old.
I watch the children.
They are our future.
I pray for all who have passed on.
This is the circle of life and death.
I accept it all.
The journey is a good one.
I choose to feel good this day.
Now is the best of times.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


These inanimate objects are fluffy horrors. My baby daughter accumulated a bounty of them. She received them from the time she was born, until she was well into her teenage years. Stuffed animals accumulate along with germs, dust, mites, slobber, and other filth. Not only are they harmful to the health of children, but they are harmful to the health of the children's parents. I had to build toy chests to contain these raggedy, diseased monstrosities.

As more and more of them magically appeared in my home, they finally took over. I was a slave to them. There were a hundred of them gracing my daughter's bed. They lurked in closets, in the basement, in nooks and crannies, anywhere one could imagine.

I was attacked by one of them on a fine winter morning. It happened after I came down the stairs at 4:30 a.m. to fix my thermos of coffee for work. As my woolen-socked right foot met Mr. Teddy Bear, we both took a ride across my slick Pergo, kitchen floor. Teddy ended up against the wall, not feeling any pain. His dead button eyes stared at me. I on the other hand had smacked my lower back and buttocks hard, against the floor.

I stayed there for a moment to collect myself. The scotch I drank the evening before was rumbling in my stomach. My wife screamed at me from upstairs, "What the hell are you doing down there? You're going to wake up the dead!" I didn't answer her, because I felt too much rage rising up inside of me. I limped around for a while, and made my coffee. I threw some lousy sandwiches together for my "wonderful" winter's day on a CAT bulldozer in sub-freezing weather.

Today, my sweet daugher is all grown up, and living with her wonderful husband. I'm sitting in my clean den. Everything in here is pristine. It is beautiful, just the way I envisioned it to be for my retirement. But you know what? I'd trade just about anything to see my little girl on the floor again, playing with her stuffed animals. Maybe when I go Christmas shopping tomorrow, I'll buy her one, just for old times sake.


I remember the smell of pine needles from real Christmas trees in our house. We had them back in the day. My mom was always baking cookies. My sister helped her in the kitchen. My folks always made me go to sleep right after dinner on Christmas Eve. My dad and older brother were "magic elves" who assembled bikes and toys for me. My brother Jim was thirteen years older than I. My sis was ten years older. I was the baby of the family. Santa Claus was the excuse they used to get me to bed. We always opened our presents around nine-or-ten in the evening. I ripped through mine like a tornado! Sometimes we all went to midnight mass.

Later, when I grew up, Christmas for me was taking the Illinois Central train back home to Chicago from Carbondale, Illinois. I drank beer with other college students from my alma mater, Southern Illinois University. Fresh bodies got on the train from the University of Illinois, at Champaign-Urbana. We welcomed them because they had more beer! We sang Christmas songs in the club car, and shared marijuana cigarettes with old black porters.

When I got home, I met up with the neighborhood gang. Many were friends who worked in factories, or who were home from the war in Viet Nam. We shared tears over the ones we had lost. I remember Merry Christmas songs that were sung by Nat King Cole, Karen Carpenter, and Bing Crosby. I'm grateful that they still play them on the radio.

Christmas was delivering flowers from my brother's old shop on the south side of Chicago. Jim and I worked in that shop for forty years. We toiled there sixteen hours a day, for three or four weeks before Christmas. Jim and I both fell asleep, exhausted in our chairs on Christmas day, after mom's great meal and a few nips of whiskey.

More than anything, I would love to return to those special days in my mom and dad's home. I miss the sounds of joy and good smells. I miss the laughter and cheer. The abundance and energy of my sweet family and friends, seemed eternal to me. I thought it all would never end. But it did end.

Now, Christmas for me is bitter-sweet. My mom and dad, Jim and my sister Judy, haved passed on. I try not to dwell on this fact. Instead, I marvel at my sweet wife's energy, as she shops and decorates our home. Soon, it will be filled with guests, and the smells of good cooking. My daughter, son-in-law, his wonderful parents, and our closest friends and relatives will soon be here to celebrate Christmas Eve.

On this night we will share good cheer. We will think of Christ and the meaning of Christmas. We will pray, laugh, hug and cry. We will share tears of joy and love. We will pray for a good future for all the people of the world. I will bask in the warmth of today's Christmas, and make new memories for me and my family in the days to come. I wish you all a very, Merry Christmas! God bless you all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I found out about the Santa Claus lie.
I was seven-years old.
My older brother told me that Santa didn't exist.
I suspected that Santa was a lie, anyway.
I saw my dad putting my toys together.
Then he lied to me, and said that "Santa did it".
I experienced two betrayals in one day.
This is no way to treat a seven-year old.
No wonder I became an alcoholic!
Most Santas are drunks, too.
Some are pedophiles.
These guys are predatory Santas.
They are Santas with "claws".
Most guys who play Santa are hurting for work.
Who else would want this lousy job?
I sure wouldn't want runny-nosed kids,
sitting in my lap for three or four weeks.
Can you imagine the germs?
Santa probably has to spend all his hard-earned cash on
anti-biotics and cold remedies.
Santa might even have to go to the hospital.
He might get a staph infection and die!
Then there's the inflated hospital bills.
Jesus died for our sins.
Some Santas die for our children.
Remember to give Santa an extra five-spot this Christmas.
He deserves it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


We hatched the plan in my buddy's basement.
There were three of us, looking for Christmas adventure.
Billy, the smartest of us, came up with this idea.
Fat Mike, our crazy pal, would steal him.
Bill and I would be the lookouts.
We were twelve years old.
We were good little Catholic school boys.
The manger was located in front of our church.
We planned to keep Jesus for only a day or two.
Then, we would bring him back a day before Christmas eve.
No harm, no foul was committed in our pea brains.

It was snowing that fateful night.
Our theft went off without a hitch.
We laughed like hyenas, after the crime.
We ran through the neighborhood, showing off our prize.
We showed baby Jesus to other crazy kids like us.
Then we hid him in Mike's basement.
Slowly, reality creeped into our prepubescent minds.
How in the hell would we put him back?
We thought we were sunk.

But I came up with a good plan.
We put Jesus in my accordian case.
We opened it up in the church's sacristy.
We dumped baby Jesus, and ran like hell!
We were on the lam!
It would be so cool to save the press clippings!
Our plan actually worked.

Nowadays, baby Jesus has a GPS chip planted on his little body.
The church got wise to bad boys like Mike, Billy, and me.
The GPS sends a signal to the security police.
Kids are easily apprehended in these modern times.
Christmas just ain't fun anymore.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Everyone is taking pills.
Having sex.
They're loading up on Jesus.
They're eating like pigs.
Load up.
Grab more.
Inhale deeply.
Just take something.
It will take the edge off.
Forget reality.
It's too painful.
Our collective synapses are fried.
Our circuits are breaking.
Don't push me.
Everything is out of focus.
You're all insane.
That's it.
Sometimes I feel all alone.
No one's like me.
But I won't get loaded.
Not right now.
Maybe in five minutes.
There's too much to deal with.
I do want to be like everyone else.
It's only a dream, anyway.
So, I'll load up.
On thoughts.
On words.
On my illusions.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I always think of Khe Sanh at Christmas time.
It was late in January, 1968.
There was an NVA assault.
A U.S. ammo dump was hit.
There was tear gas in the air.
Burning everywhere.
The marines were protecting the DMZ.
Then came Operation Niagra.
Our big bombers drowned the NVA.
There was a waterfall of bombs.
A constant stream of death.
Christmas was over with an RPG.
So was my buddy's life.
God bless you Chuck.
Merry Christmas.
I miss you.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


The ancient Greeks were the epitome of civilization. They were known for their democracy, and great reverence for the arts and sciences. The university fraternity and sorority charters here in the United States are supposed to represent all that is good for society. They supposedly house the upper echelon of youth on campus. These young adults are our future leaders.

I remember the fraternities and sororities on Greek Row, which was a cluster of buildings that housed the many charters, back at Southern Illinois University, in 1967. The guys there had names like: Lance, Rock, Rex, and Mortimer. The sorority girls went by: Muffy, Mindy, Ashleigh, and Diana, (pronounced dee-anna). They were a scurvy lot of pampered, mean-spirited, wealthy cretins who could care less about doing any service work for society. Most of them came from fancy suburban villages, and they all had daddies who were bank presidents, corporate executives, attorneys, politicians, or the like.

I staggered through Greek Row during pledge week in the fall of 1967. I wore a greasy ducktail, black leather jacket, jeans, and motorcycle boots. I was smoking Camel cigarettes and had a half-pint of Seagrams-7 whiskey tucked away in my pocket. I didn't look anything like those guys wearing the penny loafers and Izod golf shirts. I sensed immediately that I wasn't welcome. I drank as much of their booze as I could manage, and ate all the fancy hor-de-o'uvres. (did i spell that right?)

Surprisingly, no frat house asked me to be a pledge! I thought I was a pretty cool guy. They didn't want anything to do with my best friend Russ. Right then and there, I knew I didn't want anything to do with them. Later that night in the bar, Russ and I decided to start our own fraternity. We knew we never could get a charter, but we figured we didn't need one for what we wanted to do. We rented a big house off-campus, and hand-picked six other roommates. These guys were all fun-loving sociopaths, who loved to party. All you needed to get into our house parties was three bucks, a good looking babe, and a beer mug. Our parties were legendary.

Word traveld quickly, and we amassed quite an impressive amount of money that we used when we had trouble with bail or court costs. Our group of miscreants became quite entreprenurial, despite the fact that none of us ever passed any business classes. Most of us took the easy courses like sociology and earth science. We quickly learned how to function inside and outside the umbrella of the laws of society. We learned all about values and mores, if yah know what I mean! Heee!

We didn't come from wealthy parents, but soon a lot of fraternity and sorority people were coming to our social events. They were all pretty good "eggs", once yah got to know 'em. The only bad memory I have is when Muffy threw up into my motorcycle boots, after she won a chugging contest. We decided that her punishment would be not only to spit-shine my boots, but to clean our whole ratty house. It was either that, or she would be banned from our parties for a month. I have to admit that she did a pretty good job of cleaning for a sorority girl! Old Muffy was a good kid.

My brothers and I were the new sheriffs in town. We finally had arrived.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Dear Christmas Spirit,
Come and enter me
So that I can see
The joys you bring
To a young boy's eyes
The sparkling surprise
Of gifts and love
From up above
The star in the sky
That guides the Magi
Bring it back to me
The old reality
Before the grownup game
Brought me pain
And took my fantasy
Away from me
For sometimes old myths
Are the greatest gifts
I seek them again
Like a long lost friend
My childish joys
Will stop the noise
Of serious things
And the sadness they bring
So come back again
My Christmas friend
So that I can see
With childlike glee.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I fell asleep in my chair again today.
My afternoons are meant for this.
It ain't so warm in this old house.
So I snuggle in my den, wearing my hooded sweatshirt.
I cover my legs with blankets.
I ease back into my Lazy-Boy chair.
I eat my lunch there, and watch TV.
Pretty soon it's dreamland for me.
When I wake up, I think of my working days.
I look out of my window at the snow.
I see myself on the job yelling at everyone.
I put on quite a show.
It's a silly drama now.
It made no sense.
Construction foremen are often quite dense.
I wish I had taken it a little easier back then.
Maybe today, I'd have a couple more friends.
I learned from my past.
I guess we all do.
I'm grateful for retirement.
And my afternoon snooze.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


It's cowboy time.
I'm watchin' them ride.
They ride across wild west prairies.
Wild flowers welcome their day.
I love cowboys, and their cowboy ways.
Some got ornery, and went renegade.
Many fought for the south,
In the great Civil War.
They wore the stars and bars.
Frank and Jesse James.
Cole and Jim Younger.
American legends.
I can see it all now.
Fiddles, banjos, saloon girls, card games,
Whiskey, spitoons, and hair-trigger violence.
Let's ante up for the Post-Bellum cowpokes!
They danced the two-step and lived with reckless abandon.
They lived in towns named "Deadwood".
They were laid to rest in graveyards called "Boot Hill".
Theirs was a time of harsh winters and daily survival.
They suffered from early deaths.
Yes, early deaths caused by violence or disease.
They robbed stagecoaches, banks,
And the Chicago-Rock Island line.
They were outlaws.
Damned poverty turned them to this.
They were hunted by sheriffs, bounty hunters,
And Pinkerton men.
The cowboys murdered for money.
In turn they were murdered for justice.
The hang man was always a-waitin'.
These outlaws suffered wound after wound.
They bled real blood.
They were renegade cowboys.
On the run.
In the wild, wild west.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I will live me life, 'til I'm all used up.
Press on matey, never give up!
I'll go kickin' and screamin' to me grave.
The devil can wait, 'til I have me say!
To hell with that old, easy path.
Adventures, yah see, is where it's at.
I'm a Viking prince.
I have much to do!
I likes to fight, to whore, and spew.
Vituperative stuff comes outta' me mouth.
But I aint a bad bloke, by most accounts.
I've traveled the world.
I've seen many things.
I've rolled a few dice.
I've had me flings.
I've drunk enough whiskey,
for a platoon of men!
I'd like to start all over again!
Me harlots are with me, on this primrose path.
I say, "Dry your eyes girls, I'm cummin' back!"
No devil will keep me in a cold, deep grave.
I'm a ramblin' man.
I'll return in a day!
So lay me to rest.
But yah better look back.
Me arms are a-slingin'
As I get outta' me rack!
I never give up.
Yah can't keep me down.
I'm an immortal, damn Satan!
Yah horn-headed clown!
So give me your pitch fork.
Yah can go back to hell.
I aint used up yet.
So don't ring my bell!

Monday, December 13, 2010


I've reached the age where life stops giving me things,
And starts taking things away.
The most important thing for me,
Is how I react to the situation.
I do not choose to run away like a coward.
Instead, I force my mind to look at the circumstances.
From a logical perspective, I can make adjustments.
I seek quality by using each moment to my best advantage.
I can and will overcome the deficits caused by my age.
I will do this through knowledge and action.
The young man is blessed by his youth,
But he is blind to reality.
The old man has the advantage of experience,
To see things as they really are.
He must take the time to look.
This is the most important rule.
The foolish young man perceives only a few of life's gifts.
The wise old man sees many gifts.
Therefore, the playing field is groomed for his advantage.
My perceptions define my realities.


I got on a Chicago bus.
It was a hot summer day...mid-week.
I wore my best clothes.
I was going to see my Maria.
She lived on the poor side of town.
She was Puerto Rican.
I met her at a basement party.
I got off the bus.
I walked to the address she gave me.
Her neighborhood was not the best.
It was disheveled.
Yet, I had no fear.
My young heart beat with lust.
I was seventeen.
I rang her bell, because she rang mine.
She answered the door.
She was a vision of loveliness to me.
She wore short, blue jean shorts.
Her firm, full breasts,
Showed through a white, lacy blouse.
She had dark hair, red lips,
And dark eyes, that sparkled.
She smiled at me as she took my hand.
She smelled like fresh flowers.
She brought me into her bedroom.
Nobody was home.
I kissed her neck.
I never felt such heat.
Her dark skin was as soft as velvet.
We made a reckless, beautiful love.
She was only fifteen years old.
I was college bound.
Maria was going nowhere.
She would be a beautician.
Or maybe a waitress.
She was my flower that day.
She loved to parade me through her neighborhood,
As if I was a prize.
I began to feel uncomfortable.
After three dates, I quit calling her.
She didn't have my phone number.
She knew not, where I lived.
It was easy for me to escape her.
She knew she would never escape,
Her neighborhood.
I thought of her on the Greyhound bus.
I was on my way to college.
To suburban sorority girls.
With Lake Forest addresses.
They had wealthy daddies.
These girls wore the right clothes,
And had perfect teeth.
Proper diction and bloodlines.
They were waiting for country club boys.
Harvard or Stanford bound.
I didn't qualify.
I thought of Maria.
I remembered her heat.
Her smile.
Her heart.
Oh, how she burned!
The suburban, sorority girls were cold.
They were self-absorbed.
I was lost.
I missed Maria.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Lombardi put it on the map.
He was a great leader.
He said, "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing".
He meant, "Be the best and give 100%, win or lose."
He was the best. I loved this man.
He was born in 1913, in Brooklyn, New York.
His father was a big man, with tatoos, all over his beefy arms.
He worked in a meat packing plant, and so did Vince.
They were blue collar, a devoutly religious Roman Catholic family.
Vince once thought that he would become a priest.
He gave up that notion for football.
He was an average lineman at Fordham University.
He put up with discrimination, because he was a dark-skinned Italian.
He used this as a driving force, all his life.
He did odd jobs after he graduated from college.
He wasn't happy until he ended up as a high school teacher,
and football coach.
Vince drove his players relentlessly.
He tempered brutal practices with love.
As a result, his guys played "above their heads".
Vince was addicted to winning.
He was an assistant coach at Fordham University.
From there he went on to Army as an assistant.
Vince was distant from his family.
He was totally focused on football.
He finally got his break in the pros, in 1953.
He became the offensive line coach of the New York Giants.
But he wanted to be a head coach.
He got his "shot" at Green Bay, in 1958.
They were an abysmal football team...last place.
Their franchise was in danger.
Vince came in and said, "I'm in charge here!"
The rest is history.
Lombardi made the Packers a proud frachise.
I'll forever be a Bears fan,
but I love and respect Vince Lombardi.
Vince used football for an excuse to teach "life".

Friday, December 10, 2010


I pulled a back muscle lifting weights this morning.
I wore new athletic shoes.
Now I have bleeding toes.
I have huge blisters on the soles of my feet.
I came home.
I shoveled snow.
I ordered some hydrocodone from my doctor's nurse.
The cable guy came to connect my DVR.
I couldn't get closed captioning last night.
Now, I can't get rid of it for my football games.
It obstructs the screen.
I messed with the TV set all afternoon.
I called the cable company.
I waited for an answer.
I'm still in pain.
I called the drug store.
I waited for an answer.
I'm still in pain.
Finally, the cable company calls.
I write down 16, "so-called" easy steps.
They supposedly eradicate closed captioning.
I ask the girl on the phone,
"Aint there a simple button I can press?"
She says, "NO".
Now I feel stupid, plus I'm in pain.
I finally get my hydrocodone.
It's 6 p.m.
I pop a clonazepam along with it.
I turn on my new TV.
I'm finally happy.
It's a narcotic kind of happy.
It's still been a bad day.
I hope I can pump iron tomorrow.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Now that I'm older, I notice more things. Like today, when I looked at the lady who was at the cash register. I figured she was around seventy-years of age. I noticed that she was efficient and friendly. When she spoke, I knew she was from out East. Probably the New Jersey, or New York area. I was right. After asking her, she confirmed my assumption. She was dressed well, and had her hair cut bob-style. It was straight and she had bangs. She looked very demure. Her hair was a beautiful white. She reminded me of the silent film star, Louise Brooks. This cashier knew how to put on makeup and jewelry with flair and style. She was a true professional. She probably worked at an upscale department store once upon a time. Now, because of her age, or other circumstances, she hunkered down at Kohl's Department Store. Such is life.

As I checked out, she was courteous and friendly. She smiled, and wished me a happy holiday. I boldly asked her if she was Jewish. She smiled at me and said, "Yes". (I have always adored Jewish women for some reason). I thanked her profusely, and wished her a happy Hanukkah. I hoped that I hadn't offended her. we continued smiling at each other as I left the store. She made me feel warm inside. I was very happy to have met this woman for some odd reason.

I entered another store in the mall. I noticed that most everyone was younger than me. Most of them were frowning as they scurried around. I was surprised that people looked so miserable. This used to be such a happy time of the year. I guess it is a sign of these modern times. Hurry, hurry, hurry. They were all passing me, and bumping into me. I guess that now, I move too slowly. I have turned into my parents. I wonder if my mom and dad noticed these things too?

I bought a pair of ugly snow boots. They were army green and insulated with felt liners. I got them on sale. I was so happy to find them! They were a steal for thirty-three bucks. Three or four years ago, I wouldn't be caught dead in mucklucks like this. Back then I was more style conscious. I would rather have sore and frozen feet. Not anymore. I notice now, that I dress for comfort, not style. I figure there is enough physical pain in my life, without adding to it. Plus, I don't care anymore if I impress anyone with my apparel.

The cold winds and ten-degree weather didn't bother me today. I wore my Carhart brand cold-weather gear. It kept me warm and toasty. The fresh, icy air felt good as I inhaled it. I noticed the shapes of gray clouds and the barren trees in the forest preserve. I'm happy to be alive on this lovely December day. I'm glad I don't have to rush around anymore. I get to notice more things.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I read in my Chicago Tribune today that, "Abbot Laboratories and two other pharmaceutical firms agreed to pay more than $421 million to settle claims of defrauding Medicare and Medicaid". These are the same companies that charge working people and retirees, exhorbitant fees for drugs that cost pennies to manufacture.

They say, "We need the extra money for research, so we can find cures for dreadful diseases". I think this is pure, unadulterated balderdash. But what do I know? I'm just a blue-collar guy.

I read another interesting story today. Big business is hoarding cash instead of creating jobs for Americans! Really? Economists predict that profits for Standard & Poor's 500 companies are expected to rise 47% for the year. Yeah, sure. Now I am certain that the filthy rich really need those Bush tax breaks! The wealthy are building manufacturing plants in places like China and Viet Nam, but NOT in the United States. The union workers who made them rich here in the good old USA, cut into their profits. This isn't thier "bottom line". They have to satisfy their fat-cat stockholders. Unemployment here is 9.8%, if you can believe that low figure.

Unemployment is over 20% in the construction industry. The wealthy manufacturers and construction companies think that the unions should be eradicated. To them, we are rable rousing communists, by God! The corporates are the real rats. We should start building some big mouse traps. Maybe some proud American will donate the cheese.


My wife's plaintive plea is "Don't write about me! Don't write that I laundered your cell phone!" My wife, Debbie is adamant about me not sharing information about her in my books. She doesn't want me to write about the time she flushed a kitchen dish towel down the toilet. I spent four hours with a closet auger, in order to extract it from the plumbing. The very next day, she sheepishly informed me that she had done it again! I muttered something to myself, slammed my truck into gear, and off to the rental shop I went once again, in order to get my extraction tool. This is why women have husbands. We help them do magical "man-type things" to extricate them from "female-type tragedies". Men are worse than women. We drink, gamble and fight. We hurt feelings with our gruffness, and burp and fart at social gatherings. All this bad behavior is in our natures. I think I got the better part of the deal in my marriage to my sweet, Debbie. I'm sorry I yelled at her, for washing my cell phone. The phone is only a thing. It can be replaced. Debbie, on the other hand, is irreplacable. I don't want to turn her off, or ignore her messages to me. Her messages are always about faithfullness and love. I hope she likes this little story. I hope she doesn't kill me! This story is for you, honey.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I knew the island of lost souls
These city streets
I did compete
For soft young thighs
Dresses did rise
In sleek black cars
Or moody bars
We walked our walk
And talked our talk
Of romantic things
And one night flings
Sex on the run
Devoid of fun
Just silent rage
Those wantom days
On city streets
I did compete
For sexy souls
Who often froze
On island beds
We lied and spread
Our tales of love
Shared spit and blood
The lost souls
Beyond control
On urban streets
We did compete

Monday, December 6, 2010


What is enlightenment?
I tried pleasure.
It made me fat, lazy, and greedy.
I learned suffering from pleasure.
Then I embraced my Buddha.
I began meditating again.
I gave up excess.
I discovered that life is suffering.
Life is change.
Death and sickness is unavoidable.
I want to take my mind to the beauty of the natural world.
Must I die to find wisdom?
Mara, the Lord of Desire, always seems to get in my way.
Desire never leaves me alone.
I must be impassive, but aware.
My reality must be in knowledge of what IS.
I must live in the NOW.
Then, I might attain wisdom.
This is the enlightenment.
Then my mind will find peace.
I will find my Buddha.
I hope for universal awakening.
I will discover Nirvana.
My Nirvana has always existed within me.
My unreality was not accepting the moment.
The NOW is all that is real.
This is true enlightenment.
Enlightenment for me, is fleeting at best.
I must share my joy.
I must be ordinary, not special.
This is my Dharma. (duty)
Buddha is in myself.
Seek the middle path.
It is the balance of life.
This is enlightenment.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


How does one arrive at compassion?
What's right?
What's wrong?
How many times must I say, "I am sorry".
Will I always be forgiven?
Time after time, I fail.
Mistake after mistake adds to the sum total of my life.
It humbles me.
It is not a humility that I have chosen.
Rather, I succumbed to humiliation.
I have endured enough pain.
Yet, it lingers on.
Yes, humility was forced upon me.
I did not choose it.
I paid the price for most of my mistakes.
Now, I find it easier to forgive others.
My heart has softened.
Maybe I won't have to say "I'm sorry",
as much in the future as I said it in the past.
Maybe then, I'll find compassion.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Without dreams I am nothing.
All I have is my hopes and dreams.
I want to be "Rocky",
I will make a comeback.
I want to be "Rudy",
I will play for Notre Dame,
No matter that I am small in size,
and lack of raw talent.
I want to rescue a damsel in distress.
I want to be Superman!
I want to be Louis Pasteur.
I want to float like a butterfly!
I want to sting like a bee!
Just like Ali!
I want to be the first 62 year old lineman in history,
to play for the Chicago Bears.
Yes, I dream my Walter Mitty dreams.
This year I will bench press 300 lbs.
I will find a cure for cancer.
I will save the world from itself.
I believe in tradition.
I believe in integrity.
I believe in persistence.
I believe in honor.
Most importantly, I believe in myself.
I will play like a champion today.
I will believe in my dreams.

Friday, December 3, 2010


There's nothing to say today.
I have no original thoughts.
In fact, I've never had an original thought.
I just recapitulate the same old ideas, that I have heard.
Or the things I have read.
Blah, blah, blah, over and over again.
I'm sick of all this nonsense.
There's nothing left to say.
How does a writer, write about nothing?
I have to write about something.
Nothing is the absence of something.
Something is missing.
Where did "something" go?
It must be hiding in my mind somewhere.
Now I have three words to contemplate.
Nothing, something, and somewhere.
Maybe if I got up off my ass and did something,
or went somewhere,
I wouldn't have to worry about having nothing to write about!
In fact, if I actively engaged in more "somethings",
I wouldn't have to write at all!
This sounds like a good idea to me.
I guess I did have something to say today.
I still didn't come up with an original thought.
What a bummer.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I'm finally breaking down. I just bought a brand new TV. I got sick of seeing the "big heads" on my full-screen, non-HDTV model. I longed for panoramic views. I bought a Sony Bravia, with all the "bells and whistles". I couldn't pass it up...the prices were way-low.

Yet, somehow I feel dirty and low-down. I sold out. I'm a freaking hypocrite! I swore I'd never get on the "nuevo-techie" bandwagon. But I have to admit, I'm kinda' excited! I'm getting a brand new DVR, TV stand, surround sound system, sleek new profiles on the TV, WiFi, Gamboys, Gamegirls, internet capability, higher speeds, and a whole array of things I don't need, don't know how to use, and don't understand.

I'm going to have the Geek Squad and Comcast set up all this technological garbage for me. I will pay "huge bucks" for special cables and cable boxes, to upgrade my viewing experience. I picture myself being able to watch three football games simultaneously while my wife watches Julie Andrews in "The Sound of Music"...all on the same screen! I will probably go into an epileptic seizure from the vast array of color and flashing lights...all provided for me by this new technology!

I will be happy until I discover what I bought is already obsolete. Next year 3-D sets will be less expensive, and I will want them instead of what I have now. Now, my cable bill is going to be more than my mortgage payment. I will have to have two part time jobs in order to make ends meet. I'm not going to have much time to watch TV anymore. But I will have achieved another facet of the American Dream! God Bless America!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


It's the first day of winter. It feels like it. Snow flying sideways, and the temperature in the mid-twenties. My bones ache. I pumped iron for the first time, in a long time today. I need to rest my legs. I've been doing too much elliptical and treadmill training. I have the "blahs". An athlete knows when his program is getting stale. What a joke! I am a sixty-one year old athlete. I did curls and tricep extensions with "sissy" weights today. I used to do 1,000 reps. on my abdominal muscles. Today, I forced myself to do 100. Yeah, this is my "fat ass" time of the year. I've been jamming too many Cheetos into my "pie hole". I've been eating all kinds of crap that isn't good for me. My glucose levels are borderline normal. I don't want to be a diabetic! Oh me! Oh my! Screw it. I'll start eating clean and eliminate all sugar on January 1st, 2011. Hopefully, I won't die before Christmas. I did alright on my pulldowns and most of my other exercises today. My arms and legs look pretty huge and I look good in my gym clothes. Yeah,I look like an elderly Rocky Balboa. But I am far from where I was four years ago. My belly is flabby by my standards. I miss my six pack of rock-solid abs. My poor abdominal muscles are gone. They are just a faded memory. Shit. I have a lot of work to do. Diet and hard work is the tandem I need. Two-to-three hours a day, seven days a week. January 1st, 2011, will be soon enough for this torture. Just like Cool Hand Luke, I have to get my mind right. I promise myself that I'm going to do "this thing" again. They sure aren't bullshitting when they say, "No pain, no gain". My mind will take me to where I want to go. My body will follow, kicking and screaming. Age makes all of this a more Herculean task. Age also makes me smarter. I'll find a way.