No More Goodbyes

My father has had a rough few weeks.
I haven’t mentioned it because truth be told there hasn’t been much to mention; until last Tuesday morning.
He experienced a seizure that lasted approximately a minute and a half.
The details of the event aren’t as important as is the possible impending neurological damage done.
His body has been a virtual wasteland of short circuits and genetically faulty wiring and I truly believe he’s had quite enough.
I want to believe the brain gets to a turning point when it tells the body, “It’s all over, pal, I can’t help you anymore.”

As with my mother, I’ve grieved for my father forever; all the time gone by and the man I knew vanishing more mysteriously than a David Copperfield illusion.
If this goddamned disease has taught me anything it’s that the ultimate reality
is the final release from the grips of this thing makes all things bearable once again. . . somehow . . . someway.

It’s the bottom of the 9th of a grueling doubleheader.
There are two outs and the count is 3-2.
I can see my father standing on a shamrock green outfield impatiently tapping his foot.

He’s thinking, “No more damn foul balls. Just get this damn thing over.”
And I’m in the stands holding a cold Fenway Hot Dog just waiting to finally take him home.
I will keep you all posted on his condition.
He’s currently listed on the DL . . .



Color Me Red

I would normally reply to everyone’s comments after I got home but tonight found me at Fenway Park.
A close friend of mine called and offered me a free ticket (courtesy of Luis Tiant).
How could I say no?
The Sox won and it was an awesome game.
Varitek hit a home run.
Perfect night with good friends and it cost me a few beers.
The pic above is close to the view I had.
Going to bed now.
Beered out.
Boston rules.
For tonight, anyway . . .



I’ve added a new page called ‘Curveball’.
It’s a short story about my father.
It runs @ 4,000 words so be prepared to spend a little time reading it.
It falls into the ‘memoir’ category and I do hope you choose to read it.
Look towards the top of my site for the tab to take you there.
I thank you all in advance for reading.

Trust me

This is something of a public service announcement regarding people I just can’t seem to trust. I’m not sure why this got written but maybe it has something to do with flaming pink hats.

Here’s a list of people I can’t trust. Ever.

*Anyone that wears sunglasses at night.
Sometimes it’s a celebrity and sometimes it’s just a schmuck I pass on the way to South Station. If the sun has fallen far below the horizon and all the cars have on their headlights, lose the shades. You look like a jamoke and therefore can’t be trusted.

*People that smile a lot.
Alright, this one is a bit sketchy but just think about it.
I saw a guy staring aimlessly at a TV (tuned to CNN) perched on a shelf in a storefront window on Boylston Street.
In a nutshell, the programming make-up of CNN is this:
War-Death-Famine-Ominous Meteorological Phenomena and Cancer (repeat 24/7)
This guy is staring at the streaming CNN images and guess what?
Yep, he’s smiling.
A walking head wound and definitely can’t be trusted.
In a city like Boston, smiling zombies are everywhere if you just look.

*Guys that wear pink hats.
I saw a guy wearing one just the other day, I swear to God.
I could never trust a guy like that to even wash my truck windshield.

*Muscle-bound guys that habitually work out at the gym
They grunt, fart loud enough to raise the floorboards and make those nasty ‘faces of death’.
Hey buddy, you wanna point that cannon of yours in a different direction?
And if self-image is worth more to you than that Stanley Steamer you just dropped in your trunks, I wouldn’t trust you as far as you could throw me.
Oh, and nice manboobs, too.
I do admire the fact that these guys are so damn dedicated.
I draw the line when it seems imperative that I exert myself to a point where an internal organ shoots out of the closest orifice just to belong to ‘the club’.

*Any woman that says (as she’s walking into and bargain basement department store) “I’ll be out in five minutes.”

Come on, ladies.
How dumb do you think we are? Do not answer that.
In this instance, women can’t be trusted.

*Anyone that votes for Sanjaya,
and his asinine ‘pony-hawk’, obvious lack of talent and absurdly white teeth just to keep him on American Idol.
That’s just absurd.
What’s the point?
Sanjaya voters suck.

*Poodles, Chihuahuas and any other small dog that would easily fit inside a casserole dish.
These dogs are nervous and jumpy.
Actually, they’re not animals folks, they’re appetizers.
And I hate when they hump things…like a piece of furniture or worse. . . my leg.
Because they have a brain smaller in size than a walnut, you can’t trust them.
You never know when they’ll snap and go psycho.

These are the folks that go through the ’10 items or less’ line with a week’s worth of whatever happens to be on sale that day.
Watch them at a busy deli counter too.
They’ve been known to make up numbers.

This is obviously a partial list and I invite you to add a few of your own.
You may even see a sequel.
Then again, I don’t know if I trust myself enough to write one.


Cigars, good friends & football

At 6:30pm tomorrow night (EST), I will be sitting on my ass and smoking a really nice cigar, probably, a Cuban.
I will be spending the night watching the Pats game at a beautiful condo in Chelsea (on a 56″ plasma TV in HiDef, yeah, it sucks but somebody has to watch, right?).
DB’s living room overlooks the Tobin bridge and the lurking Boston skyline, a sight that would just take your breath away, especially at night.

The GunSlinger and possibly CAN will be there and life will be good for a short while.
Close friends, awesome cigars, cheezy chinese food, copious beers (possibly some bourbon, after the 3rd quarter) and a disgusting number of fluttering F-bombs. . . (uttered mostly by me) will be the order of the night.
Yeah, it must be a guy thing because my wife just isn’t that excited.
But she’s actually given me her blessing to go.
Maybe she’s glad she can watch the game in peace.
God, I love my wife simply because she understands the fundamental alchemy of cigars, good friends and football.
I am a lucky man.
Go figure.
Go Tom Brady.
Go Stephen Gostkowski.
Just Go, for God’s sake.
Later on…


ps. here’s hoping Viniateri gets a wicked leg cramp on his first kick

pps. that’s a real cigar at the top of the post. It’s made by A.Fuente.

Being an Aussie means. . .


{I am going on ‘walkabout’ for a bit. My good friend Kelly from Spilling the Beans has graciously written this wonderful guest post. I’ll be back soon. Promise. btw- Kel loves comments. I mean that sincerely. 8)}

When Michael asked me to write a post for Smoke and Mirrors, I was both terribly flattered and terrified! After the initial shock, one discarded post and a suggestion on my part, it was agreed that a post titled “You know you’re Australian when…” would be written.
However, as you can see by both the new title, and the lack of any funny and informative list offering advice on how to tell whether you’re an Aussie or not, I decided against it.
If you want to see a list like that just search for it.
There are many of them out there, all with merit, some of them even disturbingly accurate….So I did what any true blue Aussie would do instead. I cheated.
I have cut and pasted a post I did a while back, then tweaked it a little.

Being an Aussie means so much more than simply LIVING IN AUSTRALIA. It’s an attitude, a way of life. Not all Australians are Aussies, and not all Aussie’s live in Australia…

Being an Aussie means knowing that the term ‘mate’ has more meanings than a duck has feathers. It can be used in a friendly manner, as a term of endearment, sarcastically, with or without humor. It can be used as a general title for people you don’t know, or your nearest and dearest.
It such a part of our culture that when security staff at our Parliament House were banned from using the term, the uproar was so great the directive was rescinded almost immediately. It united the country as it hasn’t been united on a single issue for as long as I can remember.

Being an Aussie means that when Steven Bradbury won the gold medal for speed skating at the 2002 Winter Olympics, you couldn’t stop laughing for a bloody week, or been any prouder than if he were your own son.
He won fair and square and anyone who says he didn’t WIN, that everyone else LOST, is likely to end up with a shiner blacker than the ace of spades! Here’s a guy who was happy to sit back and HOPE that everyone else stuffed up because he figured he had no other chance of winning. Winning by simply being the last man standing is perfectly acceptable, and in this case just so damn funny to watch…

Being an Aussie means respecting the land on which we live. It will kill you in a heartbeat. Aussies understand and respect water. It can give life, and take it away just as quick. Considering the majority of Australians live near the coast is it any wonder than we have perfected lifesaving and are teaching the rest of the world? Yet we have more desert on this continent than not, and it will kill you within hours if you aren’t prepared.
Australia, a country of extremes…

Being an Aussie means helping out ANYONE who needs it.
Even the next door neighbour whose dog barks all night long, and throws empty stubbies over the fence every Friday night. One day you’re threatening to key his ’74 hotted up HJ, then the next, his house burns down and your offering him a beer and your couch to crash on if he needs it.
When it comes to a crisis, aussies will be the first one to offer you the shirt of their backs.

Being an Aussie means laughing at pretty much anything, particularly ourselves. In fact laughing is a must, if you don’t have a sense of humor, then you can’t really call yourself an Aussie. We laugh at our own pollies, but then how easy is that to do when they are real life caricatures?!

Being an Aussie means taking an interest in ANY sport in which we are WINNING.
We don’t want to know about losers, they suck.
When Australia won the America Cup, nobody knew what it was, until we won!
And to really show just how much sport is a part of our blood, the then Prime Minister, Mr Bob Hawke, said on national telly that any boss who sacked a worker who didn’t show up to work the next day is a ‘bloody mug.’
Kind of says it all doesn’t it?

Being an Aussie means knowing the power of the understatement. Terms like “gee, you think?” and “well DUH!” convey so much more than anything else you could possibly say.

Being an Aussie means many things to many different people.
But that’s the point.
There is not really any one icon, or character which sums up what it is to be Australian.
If you could roll Crocodile Dundee and his easy going, accepting attitude, Steve Irwin with his passion and enthusiastic larrakinism, a Lifeguard with his/her willingness to put their life on the line for someone they don’t know, and a stand up comedian all into one, then maybe, just maybe you might come a little close.
The iconic Aussie is constantly evolving, yet stays the same.
Australia is a country full of extremes, contradictions, simple ideals, and subtle complexities. The same can be said for those of us who call it home.

Take it easy,
Kelly – aka debambam
Spilling the Beans