It happened twice in May: lengthy face-to-face talking with friends of mine who don’t live that far away, but with whom I never get a chance to talk with anymore.
The first was with my friend Norm, best man at my marriage to Carol. For over twenty years, we played racquetball together at the YMCA, sometimes with a group of other guys, sometimes just ourselves.
We talked about families. Continue reading Real, live conversation
I saw this message about drug testing welfare recipients on Facebook. It irritated me, and I wrote: “This is an amazing waste of money. 1) Most jobs DON’T require it. 2) In places, such as Florida, it’s cost more to do the testing than the savings gained by denying benefits.
The only reason I’m even bothering to bring this up here Continue reading False welfare reform; and other phony info
A few weeks ago, Daniel Nester wrote about Ex-Friends, which got me thinking about my own friendships. I can’t think of a current ex-friend, someone who was once my friend but is now my enemy. I did have a good friend in college with whom I had a falling out about a decade later, but we reconnected a couple decades after that, and while we’re not in regular contact, there’s no animosity anymore.
This is not to say that I haven’t lost contact with friends. I was cleaning the attic this summer and came across a Rolodex Continue reading F is for Friends
I’m referring to my friend since kindergarten, not my wife.
In second grade, the class got to dance a minuet waltz. Bill danced with Karen, Bernie with Lois, and Carol with me; why I remember this so many years later is beyond me. I think I developed a bit of a crush on Carol, because the next year, I hit her with a snowball, unintentionally in the head; I felt terrible.
The whole class got to spend time at her family cottage on a lake in northern Pennsylvania, which was always a treat.
At some point, someone came across a list of IQ scores of our class. No names were associated with the numbers Continue reading Friend Carol is 60
Here’s something I dumped on Jaquandor – he’s still thinking about it: “Come up with a list of the 20 (or 25) most important/influential people in your life. I’m particularly interested in those people who may be out of your life now (a music teacher, a lost friend) who you look back and see their impact.”
So, with no disrespect to those not on the list who I love dearly, here’s my list:
My two sisters
My paternal grandmother, who was my first Sunday School teacher. She also taught me canasta, the first “grown up” card game I ever played.
My maternal grandmother – my sisters and I spent every day after school with her as well as most of the summers
Great aunt Deanna, her sister Continue reading 20 to 25 People (or So)
I attended my third funeral of 2012 last week. But let me back up a bit.
Mary Durkot was the mother of one of my oldest friends, as in my friend and I went to kindergarten together. This means I knew Mrs. Durkot – I never referred to her by her first name – for over a half century. She lived in Binghamton, NY, my hometown, all of her 92 years.
One of the last times I saw her was when my daughter was a baby. She took such pleasure in seeing her, as though Lydia were one of her own grandchildren.
On June 30, the day before she passed, all four of her children, along with several of her grandchildren and great grandchildren, spent the day with her, as my friend put it, “laughing and cracking wise.” This was pretty remarkable Continue reading Mary Durkot, R.I.P.
I’ve now donated blood 149 times. The only two times I’ve ever had difficulty were time #59, obviously several years ago, and time #148, in April 2012. The commonality was that I was sitting in a chair each time, rather than lying down. The April visit was brutal, with three different attendants manipulating my arm, the needle…it took well over 20 minutes, when it generally takes me 6 or 7; I’m talking about the actual blood flow time, not the preliminary exam, et al. I was so exhausted and bruised afterwards, that I went home and went to bed, instead of going to choir, which had been my intent.
So when I went again last week – getting “back on the horse,” as it were – I made sure I went to a place (Empire State Plaza, for you locals) that had cots. Continue reading Blood, music, SCOTUS
When I got to church this past Sunday, someone from the choir hit me up to contribute to a breast cancer walk. She is a breast cancer survivor; I always comply.
That afternoon, the Wife and I go to a potluck party celebrating the end of the medical treatment of a friend of mine of 30 years and her “return to the world”. I had found out about her diagnosis of breast cancer on February 1, right after my mother had had a stroke. The lump in her breast was discovered during a routine mammogram, something she had not had in several years. She had surgery “on the coldest day of the year,” she wrote in the invitation, followed by the “part-time job” of chemo, then radiation.
At the party, she did the big reveal Continue reading A Real Red-Letter, Pink Ribbon Day
Which Jaquandor did a lllooonnnggg time ago.
1. Tell us who the last person that you took a shower with.
2. Tell us about your favorite tee-shirt. Extra points if you show a pic. (We know. What can you do with freakin’ extra points?)
This is one of the T-shirts I got for becoming a Coverville citizen. The model, BTW, is Coverville host Brian Ibbott’s wife Tina. I also like the red one with white text that says, “Not the real thing,” a parody of the Coca-cola message.
3. Has anyone ever hit on you even though they knew you were taken?
Actually, yes, though not in years, thank goodness.
4. Do you plan what to wear the next day?
Generally not. I’m pretty decisive, though, in the morning.
5. How are you feeling RIGHT now? Why?
Hot. The spring went from too cool to too hot in about three weeks.
6. What’s the closest thing to you that’s black?
The computer mouse.
7. Tell me about an interesting dream you remember having.
Continue reading A lllooonnnggg quiz from Sunday Stealing
At some level, I’m not a very nostalgic guy. As Billy Joel put it in Keeping the Faith, and I quote, The good old days weren’t always good. It seems as though, in the US, there are dreams of the 1950s being the “good old days”, represented by TV shows such as Ozzie and Harriet or Father Knows Best, with dad out working all day, with mom home raising the kids and wearing pearls when her husband came home for dinner. It was never MY experience.
The 1950s were a period of the cold war paranoia of “duck and cover”, and an unsettling racial climate Continue reading N is for Nostalgia