Monday, January 20, 2020

Martin Luther King, Jr.

He had the right idea.
Too bad, he had to die for it.

Now...let's think of some other people who have had right ideas and died for them.

Jesus.
Kennedy, John and Robert.
Ghandi
King
Tupac

That was the side I agree with.
There is another side. I can't agree with these people, either.

Saddam Hussein
Qaddafi
Hitler
Mussolini
Mao


Now,wait. I observed something about both these lists.
They're all men.


Monday, January 13, 2020

Fire

Last night, a fire raged in the town next to where I grew up. It was the downtown we shopped in. It was where my parents grew up. I spent the first year and a half of my life living there.

It was a huge 7 alarm fire. Firetrucks from neighboring towns came to help put it out, some from pretty far away, to use their ladder trucks because the structures that were burning were multi-story apartment buildings under construction.

Bound Brook, NJ has had its share of disasters. The main street was flooded in 1999 by hurricane Floyd. Twelve foot high water marks wiped out stores and businesses. They rebuilt and the gov't put up water barriers to keep the nearby Raritan River out of the town.

In order to erect these new apartment buildings, several old useless buildings were knocked down.

When I was a child, this area of the downtown had an active business section, a continuation of the main street. There was a fishmonger, a butcher, a bicycle chop, a shoe shop.  People used these stores. Before the supermarkets and chain stores arrived, many years later, this area was viable.

But, things always change.

The houses for the most part remained, along with the people, usually somewhat new to the country, as were  so many families in the 40s-50s.

And it remains that way as the big old houses were converted to apartments.

It had a heart beat.

It is alive and, until last night's fire, it was a safe place to live and raise ones' children.

Now, there are ashes. The new buildings are in ruins. The people who lost their homes wouldn't have been able to live in those luxury high rises....

But, luckily, not too much damage was done to the old neighborhoods. 
The stores and families of my youth are long gone, but there are people, nice, hardworking people still living in that end of town.

Bound Brook will once again rise from the ashes, or flood waters, to shine again.

Thank you to all the first responders who saved so much with their unceasing efforts.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

On Being a Luddite

Those poor Luddites. They existed for a very short time awhile ago, like in the previous two centuries. 
They were famous for eschewing technology...like steel plows, store bought cloth, prepared meals in a box that came to your door...that kind of stuff.

They died out rapidly, though remnants of that kind of thought still exist in limited ways among certain German type religious orders--Amish, Mennonites (not so much) and Hudderites. They are a minority, though, and I think they are maintaining their traditions with breaks when horses and buggies are rather inconvenient in 2020 USA.

Anyway, yesterday I finally got my second child to delete all these files of other peoples' writing from my WORD. I know nothing about where this stuff goes, how it is kept and brought up with a stroke of a few keys and all, but I knew I had a shitload of words that were not my own stored somewhere in the magic box.

I got the feeling these words that were not my own were clogging up my computer so I wanted them out. Of course, I couldn't do it on my own, but the kid stepped in after four months of begging on my part and within 20 minutes max, deleted all those thousands of words. Books worth! Several times over.

That done, to my relief, I decided to do some registering for the writers' conference in April. In the past, although the preferred method of payment was cyber, which I do not trust even though I do have an account but I don't know why, I have paid by check. Yes, paper. Yes, it may have been a royal pain in the ass, but I was allowed on account of everybody loves my wit and general vivacity.

It didn't work.
I had to go through that thing I do not trust and entrust it with my credit card numbers  because I can't remember passwords or even really how to use that thing...though it would allow me to pay by credit card through them. Cost me an additional $3!!!

I am pissed off.
Yes, being a Luddite is difficult and I can hear those little rat bastard millennials shouting OKAY BOOMER, but know what I say to them?

F*ck off, babies.

  

Friday, December 27, 2019

Cha-ching

I thought about doing a year end post. List all the stuff you did, an inventory of the goings and comings. So, I did, after going over my planner calendar and marking what had happened.

Seems we went to Shop Rite and Costco nearly every week, except when Herb went alone because I couldn't be bothered showering and getting dressed at the crack of dawn.

Not too bad, really. At least it meant getting out of the house.

Then, oh, yeah, besides the numerous doctor visits for sugar and cancer check ups, I added the orthodontist. My teeth, I am happy to say, have really straightened out, but I still have to go until August.

Then there were the various times we had no bathrooms because both the upstairs rooms were redone. Going out to pick out tiles and tubs and sinks took up some precious time along the way.

Lest we forget the work on the floor in the room that has no name and the hallway between the bedrooms, west wing and east wing.
Add to that the redo of the deck surrounding the 20 year old pool. I haven't been in the pool in five years.

Now, let's see. We went on a mini vacation out to Lancaster when K had a sale out there. Did some exploring of the bucolic countryside.
We went down south to Emerald Isle for over a week.

Then the stuff started about the RV. I don't want to discuss that.

Then Herb surprised me with this cruise thing which led to the purchase of the RV thing.
We used it for a long weekend around Halloween.

Let me see. Have I missed anything? Probably.

It was a very expensive year.

Then K developed more physical problems. 
Then Elyse got married.
Then I still hurt over my mom's passing.

But I also made some money editing, which is always interesting.

I forgot the LSFW conference, too, in March. That was revitalizing.

That's it, I believe. All 365 days in a few lines.

All in all, it was not too boring and my teeth are getting straighter, which is good.


Friday, December 20, 2019

Old...so very old



This is me. Unvarnished and in the flesh, a week ago. 
I look like shit.

This was for my daughter's wedding...I tried to look my best. The hair is good, though.

Now if you are wondering why I never attend reunions...here's why.


This is what I used to look like. So long ago, there was no color, only black and white.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Quirks

Every family has its quirks. The weird uncle or aunt. The hidden skeleton in the closet. The prison sentence. The boozer. The odd way of describing things. The family traditions and habits that seem queer but mean something to people who lived through it or remember being told about it.

Here are some of mine.

I don't have any killers, except if you count my mother's uncle Nick who blew up a cow with a firecracker in its ear. He and his brother Jake thought they were Jesse James. They both did some time in jail--not sure about prison. Petty crimes, they weren't smart enough to be gangsters. Besides, they were Ukrainian.

We have a peculiar way of remembering conversations and are able to pick them up years after first initiated. Walk into a room and just start talking about the topic where you left off. This is an art, in my opinion. My uncle Eugene was particularly masterful at this, but any member of the family knows what's going on. This may not extend to the other branches on the tree, but it probably does.

Certain phrases some people might not understand.  Such as "the way you go down the cellar" which means, simply, the cellar stairs. There is no "way you go up the stairs" to go to the second floor. We say "ahm" instead of I'm. Lots of folks say that. Sloppy tongues. "Whaddycall" instead of  what do you call it, and it's linguistic brother "Howdycall", meaning something like the same thing, only different.

The way to tell if your hair is clean after washing is to squeak it with your fingers.

To signify a great deal of something, you say simply "whoady". 

There are more. For the moment, these are at the top of my memory.

Oh, yeah. Both of my grandfathers made and sold illegal hooch. One actually spent a night in jail because of a dissatisfied customer, the other avoided the Volstead folks by going out the back door when they were at the front door. 

Other wonderful snippets of my less than illustrious family to follow. And no, these are real relatives, not the made up ones I write about. 





The above are not my relatives.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Brilliant Hallmark moment

Story idea, bound to become a moneymaker.

Santa's favorite female elf falls in love with the Angel of Death.

Think of the possibilities!!!!!

This is my idea. No steals.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.