My Halloween Costume

Went as the invisible man this year. Wore a suit so you couldn't see the big empty hole in my chest where my heart was cut out. Ok, I am invisible, so it wouldn't matter if I didn't wear the suit because you wouldn't be able to see a thing anyway.

Truth is that the effect is much more pronounced this way than if I chose not to wear clothes at all. There is something discombobulating about the hat and clothes seemingly floating by themselves.

Death and Children- Sick Parents and More

Who was it who said that life doesn't come with instructions and that children don't come with a manual. I think that I'd like to kick them in the teeth. I should apologize now for being grumpy. I had planned on writing the story of how I knocked up the Shmata Queen and here I am talking about death and children.

It wasn't intended. It wasn't where I had planned to go but sometimes the blog takes you in directions other than your own choosing and this is one of those moments. So take a walk with me if you will and I'll try to paint the picture.

Children have big ears. They listen to everything that is going on around them, but it is easy to forget. They may be playing quietly nearby or seem to be just out of earshot, but they are always listening. I learned a long time ago to try to be careful about what sort of discussion I had around them, but sometimes you get so caught up you forget. Or sometimes you think that the discussion will go right over their heads and they fool you.

I am wondering if that happened here. My daughter had a nightmare that I died. It is the second time that I am aware of that happening. Thankfully it is not a regular occurrence, but she was shaken up. I walked into her room and found her shrieking that something or someone had killed me.

So I took her into my arms and she curled up against me and I spoke to her in a soft voice and reassured her that I was fine. She cried for a moment or two and then asked me a series of questions about dying. In some ways it felt like history repeating as I had been through it with her brother.

Death- My Son Asked Me Not to Die

I asked her to try and tell me more about her dream to see if I couldn't piece things together. She wasn't able to tell me much other than I had died and she was scared that she'd never see me again. I kissed her forehead and told her that I loved her again and she smiled. For a moment I thought that I was through the hard part and then she started to cry. When I asked her why she was crying she told me that she was afraid of dying.

So I reminded her that she is very young and going to live a very long life. Abstract concepts like that are hard for a four-year-old so I tried to make it simple. And then she gave me a clue as to what was fueling this.

Some of her friend's grandparents have died recently. They were sudden deaths, women in their sixties so I suspect that she may have heard the mothers talking about this. Not to mention that she may have heard a conversation about my own father's health. Maybe she wasn't sleeping in the car, hmm....

Anyhoo, this morning she was far more chipper and upbeat. And just when I thought that we were beyond that she asked to talk to me. It was all of two minutes before she had to leave for school and I thought that what she wanted was to hug and kiss me goodbye.

So I bent over and received a lecture. The little girl put one hand on her hip and told me that I am not allowed to die for 235 days. I didn't have the heart to tell her that she had just given me less than a year to live. And then she made me promise that if any bad guys come I teach them some respect.

That line about teach them some respect got my attention. I haven't the foggiest idea where that came from. She watches Dora and Diego not the Godfather and Good Fellas. I am going to have to do a little investigating.

And that my friends is a quick snapshot of a recent moment here.

Some Halloween Links

It is well after midnight and I should be asleep, but I am not. So here is the opening of the posts about Halloween, or should I say links to posts about it.

Halloween 2007 providing links to some of my old posts.

Music Before Bed

Decided that I'd put up a quick post with some of the tunes that I have been listening to this evening.

When The Levee Breaks- London Philharmonic
When The Levee Breaks- Robert Plant and Allison Krauss
All My Love- London Philharmonic
Kashmir- London Philharmonic
Moonlight Sonata- Beethoven
Silly Love Songs- Paul McCartney
Halloween

Who Would You Rather Be?





This is a recycled post.

The Joy of Having a Pinched Nerve

There is no better way to brighten up a cloudy day than to be greeted by a pinched nerve. The right side of my neck has just decided to secede from the rest of my body. Combine that with a serious lack of sleep and Jack is going to start roaming the streets muttering:

redrum, redrum, redrum.....

Tokyo Shakes and It is Outhouse Central

Maybe I won't go visit Japan. They're telling people to walk around with plastic bags and toilet paper just in case.

"In the event of a catastrophic earthquake, Japanese officials say more than 800,000 people would have trouble finding a toilet in Tokyo.

As a result, Masaya Takahashi, a cabinet official, tells the Associated Press that the Central Disaster Prevention Council determined that "toilet needs" require more attention from government planners.

"He noted that the search for toilets might cause unnecessary panic," the wire service says. "The city has said it plans to make toilets available at schools, convenience stores, gas stations and other public facilities, but the report urged further effort."

This is a major public health issue. Reuters says the panel reported that the "biggest problem faced by survivors of the [1995] Kobe earthquake was not food or clothing, but a lack of toilets."

The Electoral College

In less than a week we are going to hold another election for president. If the past serves as any sort of guide there is going to be a big discussion about the significance of the popular vote and The Electoral College.

Since some people are unfamiliar with what it is and how it works I thought that it might be useful to provide some information about it.

Here is a procedural guide to the Electoral College as provided by The National Archives.

"The Electoral College was established by the founding fathers as a compromise between election of the president by Congress and election by popular vote. The electors are a popularly elected body chosen by the States and the District of Columbia on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November (November 4, 2008). The Electoral College consists of 538 electors (one for each of 435 members of the House of Representatives and 100 Senators; and 3 for the District of Columbia by virtue of the 23rd Amendment). Each State's allotment of electors is equal to the number of House members to which it is entitled plus two Senators. The decennial census is used to reapportion the number of electors allocated among the States.

The slates of electors are generally chosen by the political parties. State laws vary on the appointment of electors. The States prepare a list of the slate of electors for the candidate who receives the most popular votes on a Certificate of Ascertainment. The Governor of each State prepares seven original Certificates of Ascertainment. The States send one original, along with two authenticated copies or two additional originals to the Archivist of the United States at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) by registered mail. The Certificates of Ascertainment must be submitted as soon as practicable, but no later than the day after the meetings of the electors, which occur on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December (December 15, 2008). The Archivist transmits the originals to NARA's Office of the Federal Register (OFR). The OFR forwards one copy to each House of Congress and retains the original.

The electors meet in each State on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December (December 15, 2008). A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President and Vice President. No Constitutional provision or Federal law requires electors to vote in accordance with the popular vote in their State.

The electors prepare six original Certificates of Vote and annex a Certificate of Ascertainment to each one. Each Certificate of Vote lists all persons voted for as President and the number of electors voting for each person and separately lists all persons voted for as Vice President and the number of electors voting for each person.

If no presidential candidate wins a majority of electoral votes, the 12th Amendment to the Constitution provides for the presidential election to be decided by the House of Representatives. The House would select the President by majority vote, choosing from the three candidates who received the greatest number of electoral votes. The vote would be taken by State, with each State delegation having one vote. If no Vice Presidential candidate wins a majority of electoral votes, the Senate would select the Vice President by majority vote, with each Senator choosing from the two candidates who received the greatest number of electoral votes."

Here is a link to some FAQs about the whole process. I'll grab a few excerpts that might be of interest.
"What is the difference between the winner-takes-all rule and proportional voting, and which States follow which rule?

There are 48 States that have a winner-takes-all rule for the Electoral College. In these States, whichever candidate receives a majority of the vote, or a plurality of the popular vote (less than 50 percent but more than any other candidate) takes all of the State's electoral votes.

Only two States, Nebraska and Maine, do not follow the winner-takes-all rule. In those States, there could be a split of electoral votes among candidates through the State's system for proportional allocation of votes.For example, Maine has four electoral votes and two Congressional districts. It awards one electoral vote per Congressional district and two by the state-wide, "at-large" vote. It is possible for Candidate A to win the first district and receive one electoral vote, Candidate B to win the second district and receive one electoral vote, and Candidate C, who finished a close second in both the first and second districts, to win the two at-large electoral votes. Although this is a possible scenario, it has not actually occurred in recent elections.


How is it possible for the electoral vote to produce a different result than the nation-wide popular vote?

It is important to remember that the President is not chosen by a nation-wide popular vote. The electoral vote totals determine the winner, not the statistical plurality or majority a candidate may have in the nation-wide vote totals. Electoral votes are awarded on the basis of the popular vote in each State.

Note that 48 out of the 50 States award electoral votes on a winner-takes-all basis (as does DC). For example, all 55 of California's electoral votes go to the winner of that State election, even if the margin of victory is only 50.1 percent to 49.9 percent.

In a multi-candidate race where candidates have strong regional appeal, as in 1824, it is quite possible that a candidate who collects the most votes on a nation-wide basis will not win the electoral vote. In a two-candidate race, that is less likely to occur. But it did occur in the Hayes/Tilden election of 1876 and the Harrison/Cleveland election of 1888 due to the statistical disparity between vote totals in individual State elections and the national vote totals. This also occured in the 2000 presidential election, where George W. Bush received fewer popular votes than Albert Gore Jr., but received a majority of electoral votes."

The Library of Congress also provides some useful information. You might want to check it out here. For those who don't feel like clicking over here is an excerpt that is worth looking at:
"Until 1804, electors cast votes for candidates without saying whether they were voting for president or vice president. This system crashed and burned in 1800 when Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr each received 73 electoral votes. It took the House 36 votes before the tie was broken and Jefferson took office as President.

The 12th Amendment to the Constitution made sure that electors designate their votes for president and vice president. But, the 12th Amendment leaves in place a tie breaking system by which the House of Representatives breaks a tie on presidential electoral votes and the Senate breaks a tie on vice presidential electoral votes. This leaves open an intriguing possibility. Someday a President and Vice President from different political parties could be forced to serve together! What problems do you predict might occur from such an arrangement? Does it offer any benefits? In 1796, Federalist John Adams was elected the nation's second president, and Thomas Jefferson, of the Republican party, was elected vice president. How did these men work together? How did their political differences affect their leadership?

In recent elections, the electoral college has voted presidents into office by extremely slim margins, as in the case of John Kennedy vs. Richard Nixon. Electors have failed to vote for the candidates to whom they were pledged, as in the case of the elector who jumped from Michael Dukakis' ticket to that of Lloyd Bentsen. And William Jefferson Clinton did not win more than 50% of the popular vote in the three-way presidential race of 1992. Clinton did, however, win the electoral vote and become president."

Crossposted here.

My Life in Five Years- Predicting The Future

I am a bit surprised that I am still awake. I didn't sleep well. A night of restlessness that was punctuated by brief and unfulfilling bouts of sleep. Bouts being the appropriate term as every dream seemed to be about a fight. Unfortunately these weren't prizefights, they were something else.

It is no secret that for a while I have been feeling restless and unsettled. There is a lot going on. It is fair to say that I am one of millions of people who are tossing and turning about the challenges we face.

FDR said that the only thing we have to fear it fear itself which obviously proves that he never was forced to live in cleveland and that he was never struck by The Shmata Queen's very large and heavy black purse. Not to go off on a tangent, but the old queen carries a purse that would make my grandmother jealous. It is enormous and filled with all sorts of random objects.

Ok, I need to recant because something tells me that comparing her to a bag lady is going to place me on the receiving end of a swat. C'mon queenie, give old Jack a break, or maybe a kiss. Wooohoo!

Back to the heart of the matter which is different from matters of the heart. Although I should add that if you need counsel in matters of the heart my door is open. There must be a sign up about that because the boys must have called me a dozen times today.

Anyway, I am doing a good job of avoiding the topic of trying to predict what my life is going to look like in five years. The thing is that when life gets to be a bit rough I like to lose myself in thoughts of the future. Now if you are one of the few people who know me you might be shaking your head and thinking that old Jack is famous for retreating into the past.

There is a certain amount of truth in that, but the thing is that I think about the future far more than you realize. I don't share much about it. I have my ideas about what things will be life. I can make educated guesses, but the truth is that it is really hard to predict what is going to happen.

Five years from now I could be living in Texas, I could be in Israel, I could be in Arizona or maybe I'll still be here in my beloved City of Angels. I'll predict that my financial situation will be far different from today and that my career will have taken some very fortuitous turns. In five years I'll have successfully navigated some very challenging personal matters and have withstood some serious tests.

Notice that I have a positive spin on it all. I have to. I am not so naive to think that there won't be moments of pain and frustration. There will be. If past experience is any sort of guide there are going to be times when I want to tear my hair out. My greatest joy is my greatest frustration. But sometimes you roll the dice. Sometimes you take the risk for the great reward.

++++++

Yesterday was my grandfather's birthday. He would have been 94. I spent a chunk of time thinking about him and remembering a man who taught me a great many lessons. It was a rough end to my weekend. So while I was thinking about grandpa I thought for a moment about what he would have said about a number of challenges that lie in front of me.

For a moment I closed my eyes and let my mind wander to and fro. Grandpa answered the call. I can't say that it was him reaching out from the beyond the pale because I knew him well enough to have a good idea of what he would have advised.

Suffice it to say that when I thought about what he would have advised it made sense to me. One thing that I know for certain is that he would tell me that sometimes all you can do is take it a day at a time. So that is what I am going to do, but I'll be damned if I don't wish that I had a crystal ball.

See you all later, I am out of here.

Friendship- Fulfillment

If you are one of the 17 long time readers you have seen various posts in which I have mentioned my friend 'D.' This past August marked ten years since his death. I don't think about him everyday anymore, but I haven't forgotten him either.

It is not unusual for me to see something that makes me think of him. It is not uncommon for me to sometimes wonder what he would be doing now had he lived. Ten years ago I was married, but hadn't yet become a father. Ten years ago I was on a different career path. Ten years ago I was someone else.

That is kind of surreal, but it is true in many ways. So many things have happened to me that my life has been changed. The guy I used to be is how I sometimes think about it. The guy that I was has moved on to different pastures, perhaps they are better, perhaps they are worse.

'D' had a lock on what he wanted to with his life and who he wanted to be. I didn't have that same fix. I had ideas. I had dreams, but there wasn't any one thing that grabbed me with enough passion to make me say that I had found it.

Sometimes in the quiet moments of the night I sit and wonder how I got to be where I am. It is not that my life is terrible. It is not. It is not that I spend all my days moaning over the things that could have been, I don't.

But at the same time I am very aware of the ticking of the clock and the fragility of life. I don't expect to find myself overjoyed all day, every day. But I expect that I can be in a place where that happens more frequently. I find that my life is not giving me everything that I want. There are some holes, some empty places that need filling.

I know that I am not the only one who feels like this. My best friend has the same feeling. Other dear friends have also voiced similar sentiments. The big distinction among us is what we intend to do about this, how we go about dealing with those empty spaces.

There is no doubt that the answers are different for different people. What works for me may not work for others.

'D' and I used to discuss this. I suspect that he knew that his lifespan had been shortened long before the rest of us knew. To the best of my knowledge he was relatively at peace with it. I am not sure that I could have faced the end as stoically as he did.

When I think about these things relative to my children there is a lot that I want to say them. So much guidance that I want to provide. You look at your children and you want nothing but the best for them. When things are wrong you're instantly primed for action, ready to go into battle if needed.

But the thing is that for some of the challenges that the kids face there is nothing that we can do but support them, tell them that we love them. It is very hard and uncomfortable to accept that no matter what we do sometimes they are going to get hurt. I suppose that sometimes the best that we can do is work on giving them coping skills so that when things get tough they know how to deal with it.

One of the best "skills" that I can think of is helping them learn how to be a good friend. Because if they learn how to be a good friend they will find themselves rewarded with good friends. And that is a reward worth having.

Crossposted here.

Charles Barkley on CNN

I am typically skeptical of professional athletes who choose to run for office, but I agree with much of what Barkley says in this interview.

Must Blogging Have a Purpose

About once a week I come across in article that offers stats that are supposed to show that blogging is so common that it is uncommon for people not to have one. My experience doesn't support that premise. I know very few people that have blogs or at least very few that admit to it.

As a point of clarification let me say that I am referring to people I knew prior to beginning my blogging career. With the exception of two people on the blogroll I really didn't know anyone who was blogging until after I leapt into the blogosphere.

The wild and woolly blogosphere who has finally gained acceptance as a medium that can affect public opinion. One of the great social equalizers. Here in the blogospheres looks and money are far less important than the real world. Here in the blogosphere anyone and everyone can become an internet hero and leverage their blog into fame and fortune.

"Fame and fortune, that is why people begin blogging, isn't it, Jack?" Now I am paraphrasing, but that is a question that I have been asked many times. It goes alongside of you have to be a real narcissist or have an ego the size of cleveland to blog don't you.

The answer to the question of "must blogging have a purpose" is no. It doesn't. There is no requirement to do so.

The critical question is why do you want to blog. Once you answer that question than it is much easier to determine what are appropriate follow up questions as well as what answers should be given for said questions.

If you can answer why you want to blog you can address whether your blogging should have purpose. I would argue that having a purpose offers significant advantages/benefits in that it allows you to construct a plan of action. Said plan provides opportunity to set goals and check them off your list. Some people love being able to make those lists just so that they can check off their accomplishments.

As is my wont I have been thinking again about where I want this blog to go and what I hope to achieve. It is not what it once was, although I am no longer sure what I thought that it was. At one point in time I tried to create a separate blog that I would use to serve as a tool to highlight important posts.

For a variety of reasons that blog kind of fizzled out. I suppose that you could attribute it to a lack of time and lack of a clear purpose.

So maybe the real answer is that blogging must have a purpose.

What do you think?

Crossposted here.

Keywords

Lately the keywords have been cracking me up. Here is a snapshot of some of the word(s) that drove people here.

Shmata
writer's block
domestic discipline
Yo Silverman
marriage counseling
time wasters
besheret
love that lasts forever
food waste in America
Duggar family
what is it like when parent's get sick
first kiss
emergency divorce
music of the night
why do middle aged men go through depression
actors of the '80s
what actor/actress would play you in the movie of your life
I miss you
johnny left june
tears that do not come
loveless marriage
I hate coupons
Alfalfa's butt on fire
did mr. rogers know paul newman
are heroes born or made
ways to entertain yourself in class
Crossposted here.

My Neighbor Loves His Motorcycle

A neighbor of mine recently purchased a motorcycle. Each night he serenades us by repeatedly gunning the engine and then riding up and down the street.

The first couple of times it wasn't a big deal. From time to time to we all make a bit of noise. We try to be good neighbors, but I am sure that we're guilty of something. Every now and then we have a party or play the stereo with the windows open.

But motorcycle boy has pushed past the point at which you can easily ignore inconsiderate actions. Motorcycle boy has zoomed right to the point at which I like to imagine inserting a broomstick into his spokes or alternatively leave a rope tied across the street.

Now some of you are wondering why I haven't just complained to motorcycle boy about the noise. I am glad that you asked because here is the rub. I haven't figured out which house motorcycle boy lives in. I think that he lives behind my house.

We have good size yard, so that should give you a sense of how loud motorcycle boy is revving the engine. Anyway, I haven't been able to figure out which house motorcycle boy calls home. If he were on my street I'd just walk outside and look, but he isn't.

And the last occasion upon which motorcycle boy played with his toy found me dressed inappropriately for conversing about noise. So thus far he has escaped the conversation.

But what I really want to know is if the neighbors who live closest to him are deaf.

Crossposted here.

No, No, No and No!

What the hell is wrong with these men. Every few months I read another story about a fool who has decided that it might be fun to insert himself into some sort of object. Park bench guy was stupid, but the hero from this story is right up there.

"CITY OF NEWBURGH — A Newburgh firefighter became an ad hoc surgeon Friday, called upon to use a pneumatic saw to cut a piece of steel pipe off a 73-year-old man's penis.

Firefighters were dispatched to the Newburgh campus of St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital shortly after 9 p.m. for a public service call, Assistant Chief Scott Mandoske said. Hospital personnel asked them for tools to cut off a ring. The fire department has a ring cutter used to clip wedding bands from swollen fingers, but firefighters learned that wouldn't be enough. The pipe was an inch long, an inch in diameter and made of quarter-inch-thick steel.

Authorities said the pipe was apparently an erotic aid, but did not elaborate.

Medical personnel weren't able to perform typical medical procedures"

If you want to know more please click here.

Crossposted here.

Repairing a Broken Heart- The Modern Man

If you haven't noticed or I haven't told you I like music to accompany my writing. Sometimes it helps to set and maintain the tone of whatever it is I am working on. Sometimes the music is supposed to help you, the reader better understand and sometimes it doesn't mean a freaking thing.

As a point of interest, whenever I link to a song on YouTube, unless otherwise noted the music is the most important piece.
Love Reign O'er Me- The Who
Somewhere Down The Road- Barry Manilow
Sweet Home Alabama - Lenigrad Cowboys & Russian Red Army Choir

In an earlier post I mentioned that I have several friends who are in the process of splitting up with their spouses. They are not the first friends of mine to get divorced, but they are the first to do so at this time of life.

For those who care, here is the distinction between the two. There were a few who got married in their early twenties and by the time they had hit their mid to late twenties their marriages were over. No children or property was involved either time.

Now it is different. Now there are kids and there are assets and there are complications that didn't exist for those other friends. Not to belittle or marginalize them, but splitting up then was far less complicated.

And now the boys are dealing with their relationships and trying to process what it all means. The conversations feel a bit surreal. Are we really old enough to have these discussions. Can we really be in a place where we wonder about how we got to this place, where we ask how things got so crazy and mixed up. Can we really be old enough to talk about custody issues and to wonder if it is possible to fall in love more than once.

Are we really old enough to wonder if we have reached a place where you can never fix a broken heart. Because that is precisely what one of them asked me. He is confident that dissolution of the marriage is the way to go and that they cannot get past their differences. But he says that his heart is broken and that he can't imagine ever feeling anything for anyone again.

I am tempted to show him the Pablo Neruda poem, or at least a quote from it:

"What does it matter that my love couldn't keep her.The night is full of stars and she is not with me.

That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away.My soul is lost without her.

As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.My heart searches for her and she is not with me.

The same night that whitens the same trees.We, we who were, we are the same no longer.

I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.

Someone else's. She will be someone else's. As she once belonged to my kisses.
Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.Love is so short and oblivion so long.

Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,my soul is lost without her.

Although this may be the last pain she causes me, and this may be the last poem I write for her."
But I think that I'll hold off. I am not sure that it would help or that he would appreciate it. It is a funny thing to be a man today. Our fathers and grandfathers would deal with this sort of thing stoically, no doubt or weakness to be shown to others.

Now we modern men are told that it is ok to show feeling, that it is cool to cry. But at the same time we still receive the messages of old, that it is better to show strength. Better to laugh it off and say that there are lots of fish in the sea,

I feel for him, I really do. Because I wonder what sort of outlet he has. I have told him that he has my ear. I am happy to listen, to grab a beer or watch a movie. If he wants my advice I am glad to give it to him.

Advice, now that is a dicey proposition. Relationships are really complex creatures. I have learned to be quite careful in what I say. His soon to ex is in simple terms a major bitch. I don't know a single friend of his who liked her. But I don't want to say that. I don't see how it is going to help and on the off chance that they somehow reconcile I don't want to make things awkward.

When he asks me how to fix a broken heart and wonders what I would do I have to tell him that I think it is a really hard question to answer. It is not because I haven't got an opinion or prefer to sit on the fence. I just think that it is different for everyone.

If someone were to break my heart now I am not quite sure exactly what I would do. I have my ideas. I have my thoughts and my sense is that I'd follow my gut. But again that is a personal thing. If you really are in love with someone I am not someone who just says goodbye. I go the distance. And yet again I have to say that this is a personal thing.

Repairing that broken heart is one of those chores in life that requires you to find your own way. You have to wander around and find your own path.

Special note to anonymous from this post, I included Barry Manilow again. Here is another just for you. ;)

Crossposted here.

Political Ads

Found these over at Toner Mishap and thought that I'd pass them along.

Opie, Andy, Ritchie and The Fonz.

Wassup Guys
Past
and
Present

Crossposted here.

Haveil Havalim, issue #188- Where's The Bearded Lady

My friend Benji, the renegade from Dallas has done a fine job hosting Haveil Havalim #188, The Bearded Lady edition. Go check it out here.

Woman admits making up McCain sticker attack,

There is enough chaos and confusion without people doing foolish things like this. And then to see comments from supporters of both sides claim that this is all a campaign trick is enough to give me a headache.

No matter who wins we are going to hear accusations about a stolen election.

(CNN) -- A Republican campaign worker who told police she was assaulted by a man angered by a John McCain sticker on her car admitted she made up the report, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, assistant police chief said Friday.

Ashley Todd, 20, of College Station, Texas, has been charged with filing a false police report, a misdemeanor, and may face more charges, said Pittsburgh police pokeswoman Diane Richard at a news conference.

Todd is incarcerated at the Allegheny County Jail but had not been arraigned Friday night.Todd was a volunteer for a John McCain phone bank in Pittsburgh, the campaign said.

"This has wasted so much time. ... It's just a lot of wasted man hours," Assistant Police Chief Maurita Bryant said at the same briefing.

The woman told investigators a man approached her Wednesday night at an ATM in Pittsburgh's East End, put a blade to her neck and demanded money, Richard said. Police said they found "several inconsistencies" in Todd's statement and she was not seen in surveillance videos taken at the ATM. She was asked to take a polygraph test Friday morning, Richard said. The results were not made public.

Later, Todd came to the police station to help work on a composite sketch of the alleged attacker. When she arrived, Todd "told them she just wanted to tell the truth" -- that she was not robbed, and there was no attacker, Bryant said.

Todd originally told police a man "punched her in the back of the head, knocking her to the ground, and he continued to punch and kick her while threatening to teach her a lesson for being a McCain supporter," according to a police statement.


Crossposted here.

Dating An Older Woman- Perspective Changes

A recent conversation at the lunch table made me stop and think about how things can affect your perspective. I was sitting near a group of single people who were busy talking about dating and how they thought that once you passed 35 it must be really tough. Point of interest, the people talking are all between 23 and 26 years of age.

I snorted and rolled my eyes and received a couple of comments that essentially said that my age and marital status made it difficult if not impossible for me to understand. So I said to those young whippersnappers that they had no clue about dating or what it means to be old. And received more snarky comments in response. For the moment I'll let you guess what they were.

But the conversation stuck with me and I spent a few minutes thinking about it on the drive home. When I was in my early twenties I dated a woman who had just turned 40. At the time we began dating I didn't know how old she was. I knew that she was older, but not by how much.

Truth is that we kind of fell into the whole thing. Blame it on a bottle of wine and some good music. All I know is that we shared this moment and I decided that if she was interested I'd see where things went.

It didn't last very long at all. If you asked me how long I couldn't tell you, which probably gives you a good indication of how serious it was.

She was a single mom who had a son who was half my age. They had a house not too far away from my place. Since it was summer he was gone a large part of the time, but on a few occasions he was home.

At the beginning I found it to be interesting and novel. But at the same time I was a little weirded out by things. To begin with I thought that 40 was really old, not to mention that she was 40 with a kid pushing Bar-Mitzvah age to boot.

When I look back on that time I shake my head because now I am almost as old as she was. But I don't feel it. The mental image I have of myself is of me around 20. I know that I don't like I did, but even so it is hard to think of myself as being anything else.

I rather imagine that she must have felt that way too. I remember asking her if she thought that the age difference was too big and she said no. Funny thing is that if I was single I am not sure that I could date someone who was 17 years younger than me. There is a lot of life experience that takes place between 22 and now.

If you had asked me about those differences than I don't think that I could have answered the question. I mean, I am sure that I would have, but what the hell did I know about things like marriage and parenting. The answer is not a whole lot.

You may not have to visit the sun to know that it is hot, but there are somethings that you can't really understand unless you experience them for yourself.

When my grandfather said that you can't screw an old head on young shoulders he was right.

Crossposted here.

Shirley Bassey Blowout- James Bond

Watched a couple of clips from Goldfinger and decided that I felt like listening to Shirley Bassey. So here for your pleasure are some tunes by the lady and a few others that I felt like throwing in.
GET THE PARTY STARTED- Shirley Bassey (Not her best, but...)
History Repeating-Propellerheads & Shirley Bassey
Goldfinger- Shirley Bassey
Diamonds Are Forever- Shirley Bassey
Intermission- Casino Royale Chase scene
I hear this and I go looking for my tux and my gun.
You Only Live Twice- Nancy Sinatra
For Your Eyes Only- Sheena Easton ( I really disliked this song, among the worst to grace the Bond films.
Nobody Does It Better -Carly Simon (One of my favorite Bond songs.)
Crossposted here.

The Art of Pumpkin Carving

These are pretty damn good.

Crossposted here.

Shmata Queen, Oh Shmata Queen Wherefore Art Thou

That wacky woman known as the Shmata Queen complained to me that she doesn't have enough time in the day to get everything done. Now I am sorely tempted to provide you with a list of the stuff the crazy chick is determined to do because you would have a greater appreciation for this post.

It could be fun to poke about and mention that you have never seen someone take such care to make lists of tasks to do, or should I say that you have never seen someone smile so big for crossing off items on her list.

I suppose that now is as good a time as any to say that any time I get a hold of her calendar I make a point of playing with it. Little subtle things, like tearing out random days or weeks. I can't decide if it is more fun removing pages than manipulating appointments. Nothing like creating more tasks.

Sorry, I have a very juvenile sense of humor. I even pull on her pigtails.

During a recent conversation the old broad (she is not real fond of that term, but I use it endearingly) was explaining to me that no matter how organized she is she just can't get everything done. Reminded me of that commercial for Enjoli, you know the whole bring home the bacon thing.

Anyhoo I sat there listening as she discussed the Fall of her discontent and made the apparently silly suggestion that she learn how to sit down and relax. Jack was a bad boy. She likes to be goal oriented and she enjoys all that kind of running around.

I think that one day we'll have to arrange to lock her in a room with nothing to do and see how long she lasts. Maybe if she is lucky we'll let Uncle Noah hang out with her for a while. Now that could be real entertainment.

In the meantime I better find a way to disguise myself because that wacky chick is going to have my head when she sees this post, or at least think of having it. Usually I escape the punishment, but that is only because I come prepared for battle.

I think that I'll end this now while I am still ahead.

Crossposted here.

Playing With My Template

It has been a long time since I made any major changes to the template so I figured it was time to make a few changes to the joint. I am not sure if I really like this new look, but I learned a long time ago that sometimes it helps to give change a time to sink in.

Of course I am famous for hating change so maybe there is nothing unusual about this. Not that it really matters, this blog is something that I do for the hell of it. So there is really no reason to get too serious.

Who knows, I may still decide to shut the shack down and move permanently into fancier digs. It is definitely under consideration, but it is relatively low on the priority list. Not to mention that this place has been indexed so many times by the search engines that I don't have to try as hard to generate traffic.

Not that I write solely for the chance to engage with an audience. More on this later.

She Told Me That She is "In Hell"

The dark haired beauty is just a bit past four years-old but sometimes the words, expressions, gestures she uses make me wonder if she is really just a short teenager. Earlier this week I asked her what she thought of school and was quite surprised by her answer.

She looked up at me, dark curls cascading down her face and said "I don't like it." I asked her to tell me what she doesn't like and in response received a deep sigh and a look that made it clear that dad doesn't get it.

So I looked at her and said that I can't help her unless she tells me what is really happening. I need specifics.

"Abba, I am in hell."

I paused and did a bit of a double take. Did this little girl really just say she is in hell. Did my daughter really just say that.

"What do you mean you're in hell?" She gave me another one of those looks and responded.

"Abba, you know what that means. Don't tease me."

I shook my head and said that I wasn't teasing and told her that I wanted to understand. As I said this I picked her up and looked inquisitively into her eyes and asked her to explain what she meant.

"Abba, it means that I am in hell."

I am not sure where she got that expression but she thought that it was a kind of throwaway response. Kind of like when someone asks you how you feel and you respond "fine." We spent some more time speaking and I got a better feel for things. She still likes school, so I felt better.

You just never know what is going to come out of their mouths.

Crossposted here.

I Am A Lonely Man

Outside the sky is blue and covered in flecks of white dots that double as clouds. Cumulus nimbus is what my junior high school teacher called them, at least I think that is what he said. Can't say that I remember all that well, or maybe the problem is that I remember far too well. I remember the days when I fit in and felt like a part of society.

I know, it sounds screwy. If you know me you'd never have a clue that I am a lonely man. You wouldn't guess that my days feel like they have no meaning at all. I am a good actor. That smile I paste across my face and the silly banter are all part of my disguise. A shield that I use to keep people from seeing that the man is nothing more than shell of a person.

I know, you're thinking that it sounds tired, a cliche and somewhat pathetic to say these things. It is hard for me to write them and even harder for me to accept that the boy who showed so much promise grew into the man who has yet to fulfill one of his dreams. Not one single dream, not one.

My friend Mike says that the reason that I haven't managed to fulfill one single dream is that they aren't ordinary dreams. They aren't the type of thing that you can just do. He says that I should take it easy on myself because dream fulfillment doesn't take place over night. He says that it is better this way because if I fly too close to the sun than I'll really earn the name Icarus.

I tell him that I need to do better, that I can't wait for Godot to show up and help me. He just laughs and tells me that I am being too hard on myself and that if I would just ease up I'd be happier.

Maybe he is right.

The thing is that when I look around all I see are people who look happier than me. All around me are couples holding hands, looking dreamily into each other's eyes. All around me are people who walk confidently into wherever it is they are going. Surely they don't feel like I do. They couldn't possibly exude that much confidence without feeling it.

Mike says that I am crazy. Mike says that some of those people are hiding behind their smiles, just like I do. I tell Mike that I feel like one of those sneetches that didn't get the star. I feel like the kid who missed hearing the teacher's instructions. Everyone else knows how to play the game of life and I don't.

Every now and then Mike makes sense to me so I try to do as he says. I take his words to heart and try to apply them. I look around my office and imagine that they are all scared and lonely too. It works for a while and then I start to get nervous.

I start wondering if maybe Mike isn't confused. I start thinking that maybe Mike isn't so smart and that maybe he is the one that needs to be set straight. And every now and then I find myself in a heated argument with Mike because sometimes he needs to be confronted about these things. I may feel like I am lost. I may feel like I am the only one who doesn't get it, but even I know a thing or two.

I may hide behind my smile, but it doesn't mean that I haven't learned something. And then in the middle of my righteous indignation I remember that Mike really isn't such a good role model. He really doesn't know any more than I do.

And most importantly I remember that the reason I have never introduced my mother to Mike is because if she saw me introduce her to the guy in the mirror she'd think that I was making a joke and she might laugh. And if she laughed that would hurt Mike's feelings. He might not know so much, but he is still a person and you shouldn't intentionally hurt a person's feelings.

The Saddest Love- Pablo Neruda

Tonight I stumbled onto a poem by Pablo Neruda that caught my attention. It tells a story that is filled with rich imagery and emotion
"I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.

Write, for instance: "The night is full of stars,and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance."

The night wind whirls in the sky and sings.

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

On nights like this, I held her in my arms.I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her.

How could I not have loved her large, still eyes?

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.To think I don't have her. To feel that I've lost her.

To hear the immense night, more immense without her.And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass.

What does it matter that my love couldn't keep her.The night is full of stars and she is not with me.

That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away.My soul is lost without her.

As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.My heart searches for her and she is not with me.

The same night that whitens the same trees.We, we who were, we are the same no longer.

I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.

Someone else's. She will be someone else's. As she once belonged to my kisses.
Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.Love is so short and oblivion so long.

Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,my soul is lost without her.

Although this may be the last pain she causes me, and this may be the last poem I write for her."

Crossposted here.

Somewhere Down The Road

Someone who was reading Fragments of Fiction suggested that this song be included as part of the soundtrack. Unfortunately I accidentally deleted the email. So I figured that I'd include it on the blog and offer my apologies for the lack of credit.


Crossposted here.

Only In Israel

Where else but the Holy Land can you go to spa to have a snake massage.
"The treatment consists of six non-venomous snakes massaging the client's aching muscles and joints.

Ada Barak's snake spa, in Talmei Elazar, northern Israel, uses California and Florida king snakes, corn snakes and milk snakes for the massages, which cost £40 ($70).

Miss Barak believes that physical contact with the reptiles can be a relaxing experience. She says that she was inspired by her belief that once people get over any initial misgivings, they find physical contact with the snakes to be stress relieving.

"Some people said that holding the snakes made them feel better, relaxed," she said "One old lady said it was soothing, like a cold compress."
For the rest of the story please click here.

A Visit To The Dentist

In a couple of hours I am going to subject myself to the tender ministrations of my dentist. You see I have a cavity that needs to be filled and I am most unhappy about it. I hate having my mouth numbed. I find it to be quite uncomfortable.

Even though it is preferable to being drilled upon without any sort of anesthesia, it bothers me. It bothers me because for the duration of that numb feeling I have this feeling that I am drooling so I am forever wiping my mouth. It bothers me because as soon I go numb I find that I am really thirsty and hungry.

And you know that the dentist always recommends that you not eat until the feeling in your mouth returns, you wouldn't want to accidentally consumer portions of your tongue. Which reminds me, as a kid I used to love to have a tongue sandwich. Of course no one told me where it came from, but I digress.

Drinking is supposed to be safe, but I still find that to be problematic. Actually that is the one time that I find that I have any issue at all with drooling. And you know there is nothing better than feeling like a human St. Bernard.

But the most frustrating part of all of this is knowing that somehow I am responsible for this. It just irks me. I had thought that I had been doing a proper job of taking care of the old choppers, but apparently one little tooth was left out.

So now if you'll excuse me I am off to take care of this thing. Feh.

What Are You Willing to Do

And now for writing whatever the heck comes to mind, a little free association.

Within the last few weeks a number of my friends have begun the process of ending their marriages. Makes me think of Love Reign O'er Me, Whiskey Lullaby and much as I hate to admit it, Weekend in New England.

Fact is over the past five years or so I have found myself listening to Barry and Neil Diamond...occasionally.

The boys who are splitting from their girls are long overdue. I didn't and won't tell them that, but from where I sit it was apparent a long time ago. Of course it is always easy to fix your neighbor/friend/brother/sister's problem. Being a step removed gives you perspective that they may not have.

I do not believe in staying married solely for the children, nor do I believe that you should just walk out either. It is a bit like being trapped inside a thorn bush. You don't really want to move because there is no way to get out without scraping yourself up, but then again it is not really comfortable to stand there holding your breath either.

If you are not part of the relationship it is hard to really know what is going on.

Back in the day old Ann Stacey used to tell me that she planned on marrying a man who always made her heart flutter. I used to laugh at this. It was beyond the scope of my experience. I have since come to believe that those magical relationships exist.

However I also believe that sometimes they go through periods of time in which your heart doesn't seem to be as enrapt as it once was. This is not necessarily a sign of portending doom or failure. Sometimes it is an indicator of stress and outside influences upon the relationship.

I suppose that it is fair to say that I have turned into an old sappy fool. I believe that in a relationship love can be enough. It can serve as the block and tackle to move the heavy objects. The depth of love and affection is hard to truly measure.

So the question becomes what are you willing to do. And that is what the boys and I have been discussing. How far are you willing to go, what will you compromise to be with that person you consider to be your soul mate. That is assuming that you think that you have found them.

I think that in a world such as ours there have to be at least ten potential soul mates that could make you incredibly happy. When I was in my early twenties I used to wish that I could spend time with all of them. Part of that was because I was afraid of being married, just couldn't fathom the idea of finding the perfect person.

Once I stopped demanding perfection life got to be much easier and I was happier.

Now I am of the opinion that if you find one of those multiple soul mates you should hold onto them. What purpose is served in letting them go, other than to see if one is better. Old Aunt Brenda and Uncle Burt know better than to spend their time cavorting down coventry in search of the better one. Might as well settle for the off brand at Akron.

Sometimes life pokes you in the eye to force you to take a hard look at things. Sometimes things happen that you can't explain. Sometimes things happen that make no sense, are illogical and unreasonable, but you go for it anyway.

I told the boys that Connery had it right in The Untouchables, What Are You Willing To Do. You can Leave Your Hat On just came on to iTunes. Back in the very foolish days of college I participated in a strip party in which we boys danced to this song and removed clothing.

A female friend of mine helped me try to chase down a woman I was interested in. While I was moving (like to say I was dancing, but the music moved to a different beat) she tore off my shirt and pants. Funny how some women respond to that kind of thing. It was tough being just piece of meat, for a moment I almost understood what women go through.

Ok, that last line was a gratuitous remark solely for the former clevelander. She'll understand it.

But the question of what are you willing to do is important. If soemthing/someone means enough to you what are you willing to do to try and ensure that they don't get away. Life is short, things can change so very quickly. I have seen too many people die an early death to ignore that. Doesn't mean that I think that you shouldn't take other people's feelings into consideration, but sometimes you are stuck in that thorn bush. Do you tread water and hope that magic solves your problem or do you say WTF and make a move.

Hard questions to answer, but nothing worthwhile comes easily.

Tuesday Night Tunes

Went to shul tonight to celebrate Simchat Torah and had one hell of a time. It was a lot of fun. Came home and did a bit of work. Here is what has been playing in the background.

P.S. The music is what is important. I like to the videos only for the purpose of being able to share the song.
Hero of The Day- Metallica
No Leaf Clover- Metallica (Love the symphony in the background)
King Without a Crown- Matisyahu
The Ecstasy of Gold-Ennio Morricone (includes a clip from one of my favorite movies.
Would- Alice in Chains
Plowed- Sponge
Ball And Chain -Social Distortion
The Adventure- Angels & Airwaves
Chasing Cars- Snow Patrol
Yonatan Shapira- Aya Korem
Shir Ahava Pashut- Aya Korem
Could You Be Loved- Bob Marley
No Woman, No Cry- Bob Marley
Feel Like Making Love- Bad Company
BOLERO-RAVEL
The Planets Op.32 Mars, the Bringer of War- Holst

Crossposted here.

After The Election

It won't be long now. Just a few short weeks and we will find out who our new president is going to be. The endless ads on television and radio shows will simply vanish into thin air. Newspaper and magazine ads will be nothing more than simple fish wrap and the signs that sit on lawns will be souvenirs of the campaigns that once were.

It won't be long before we are given the opportunity to try and determine whether campaign promises are fulfilled or if they were just words that were designed to grab our attention and earn our votes.

It won't be long before we see whether we remain a house divided or if we can get beyond the partisan bickering and fingerpointing. Will we witness four years of parties praising their politician of choice and slamming the opposition or will we see a change.

A change in which we stop the fingerpointing, the carping and the griping about how bad things are because of the democrats/republicans. A change where we we resume working together to improve life for everyone in the country because we recognize that a stronger America is one that is inclusive of all and not exclusive.

A stronger America where we say that once the election is over it doesn't matter because we have to work together to improve things. Will we have the common sense to set aside our differences and work together.

That is what I hope for. Call me naive. Call me a silly optimist, but I hope that this is what happens. When it is all said and done one side will win and the other will lose, but it doesn't mean that we can't have our expectations exceeded.

So there you have it, my hope for the future. Not laid out as lofty goals of world peace, end to world hunger etc. I am starting with the simple goal of asking that regardless of who is elected we work together to try and improve things for all of us.

It doesn't have to be just a dream.

How To Protect Yourself from Zombies

The lad asked me if I could tell him the best way to protect himself from being attacked/eaten by zombies. I told him that there was a simple foolproof method, dancing. He told me that I couldn't possibly be serious.

So I brought out the big guns and showed him proof. I suppose that it is my fault that he wants me to show him the complete choreography for the routine. This could be interesting.

Crossposted Here.

Worst Best Man Ever

Ok, I shouldn't laugh so hard, but.... Call this a Shmata Queen special. Hee hee



Crossposted here.

Fools of Prophecy- Dancing in My House

Something about this grabs me.

Crossposted here.

Politics and Polite Conversation

Many times I have heard people talk about what they consider polite conversation should be, or should I say they have opined about what you shouldn't discuss. Typically those dangerous topics are politics, religion and money.

I suppose that I should admit that from time to time I have been accused of being someone who likes to stir the pot, a rabble rouser and trouble maker. I'd say maverick but Palin the tool has tried to obfuscate the real meaning of that word and I may be forced to choose a new term. Oops, didn't mean to call her a tool, stupid, ignorant, redneck, vindictive, dangerous or anything else that isn't completely laudatory of her tremendous abilities.

On a serious note there is some truth to the claim that I stir things up. It is fair to say that this has happened from time to time. But it is also fair to say that I am interested in hearing opposing perspectives. I don't subscribe to a school of thought that says that I can only read or listen to things that agree with my perspective on life.

I can only speak for myself, it is rare that I find myself getting really heated up about political differences with others. It is no secret that in the coming election I feel that we have two choices, bad and worse. Given the choice I'd gladly elect someone other than our current choices, but that is not an option and neither is not voting.

When the dust settles and we find ourselves with a new president I have a couple of wishes. First that whomever is elected exceeds my expectations and second that the country pulls together and works together for our collective good.

Far too often fear and insecurity drive our responses and reactions. Some of my friends have been irate about this election. I have been told that my vote is going to wreck the country and that it is going to save the country. Funny how there seems to be no middle ground.

More on this later.

Crossposted here.

Voting Rights- Should American Jews Be Given a Vote

(This post originally appeared on The Muqata. I had intended to post it here as well.)

Last week during a slow moment in shul a few of us began a discussion about voting rights for American Expats and whether American Jews should be allowed to vote in Israeli elections.
It was a very heated discussion and not just because of the fast. Here is a short synopsis of what went on.

Some people felt that if expats became citizens of other countries they simply should not be allowed to vote.

Others took a more nuanced approach and said that if an expat became a citizen of another country, was not paying taxes and lived more than 3/4s of the year outside of the U.S. then they should give up their right to vote.

Still another group maintained that unless you give up your American citizenship you should always retain all rights granted therein.

It is an interesting discussion to me for a variety of reasons. I am Pro-Israel and will always be concerned about Israel's welfare, but at the moment I live in the U.S. So while I may make aliyah one day I have to look at the U.S. first and Israel second.

None of this negates my love for Israel and for all Jews. None of it means that I am not concerned about what happens to Jews. It just means that I think that the responsible thing to do, the moral thing to do and the Jewish thing to do is to vote according to where I live.

Now I should add that I do not trust any of the American political parties to look out for Israel's best interest. I think that it is a mistake. Countries are not friends, they are allies. It is a different relationship. Allies require common and mutual interests and when those no longer coincide the relationship ends.

Let's go back to the discussion regarding voting rights and cover the question of what role should American Jews be given in Israeli politics. Really we should say all Jews, but for this discussion we'll keep it simple.

If we accept the premise that one should not be given a vote unless one is a citizen than the point is moot. But as one of the participants said it is not that far a leap to suggest that Jews be given a vote in Israeli politics.

Around the world there are sad examples of Jews who have been maimed or murdered supposedly because of Israeli politics so one could say that we all share risk based upon the actions of the government. Why shouldn't we be given a say in what happens.

For myself I tend to lean towards saying that if you don't live there you than you shouldn't vote. Your interests and concerns are not the same as those who do live there.

What do you think?

Crossposted here.

Haveil Havalim #187: The Sukkot 5769 Edition

Haveil Havalim #187: The Sukkot 5769 Edition is live. Go Check it Out!

I Am A Sucker for This Stuff

Music and Fragments of Fiction

This post is really designed to help me get organized again with Fragments of Fiction. I have been working on a bunch of different things to help integrate the pieces. I hope to have those up relatively soon.

I must admit that I was surprised to see just how many entries I have. There is a lot of work to be done here, to tie it all together in a neat little package. I apologize if this is out of order. I expect that within the next couple of weeks or so I'll find time to put it in some kind of order.

Johnny Speaks To June
Whether The Storm or Weather The Storm
Notes For June- Fragments of Fiction
More about Johnny
June
Johnny and June- A Rough Draft
Some Notes for Fragments of Fiction May 2008
Welcome To The Insomniac's Theater- Trying To Connect The Dots
Rediscovering What Was Lost- Two Kinds of Pain Revisited
How I Deal With Pain
The Movies
It Made Me Spit Blood
The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants
Welcome To The Insomniac's Theater
Letting Love Go
The Day After
The Day Joy Left My Life
Married To the Wrong Woman
Married To the Wrong Woman Part II
Jimmy Cox- First try
Alone In The Dark
Alone In The Dark Part II
Sometimes the hardest part of life is just living
Fragments of Fiction Blog
In The Weeds Johnny's Frustration
Johnny's Frustration Continued
Bad things Come in Threes
He Put a Gun To My Head
I Want To Die
I Dance Alone
Bleeding from The Mouth
I Can't Stop The Bleeding
The Search
Redemption
The Body Watcher
The Art of Pretending
The Movies
How To Really Hurt Someone

The incomplete list of Music for Fragments of Fiction
Knockin' on Heaven's Door-Bob Dylan
Subterranean Homesick Blues-Bob Dylan
Whiskey Lullaby-Brad Paisley
In My Life-The Beatles
Golden Slumbers-The Beatles (Video includes Carry That Weight and The End)
Forever Young-Rod Stewart
Young Turks-Rod Stewart
Tunnel of Love- Bruce Springsteen
Always on My Mind-Elvis Presley
Gone Away-The Offspring
Boulevard of Broken Dreams-Green Day
Wake Me Up When September Ends-Green Day
Good Riddance(Time of Your Life)-Green Day
My Way-Frank Sinatra
It Was A Very Good Year-Frank Sinatra
What's Going On-Marvin Gaye
As Good As I Once Was-Toby Keith
I Want To Break Free-Queen
If you Could Read My Mind- Gordon Lightfoot
Mr. Brightside- The Killers
Babe I'm Gonna Leave You- Led Zeppelin
Ain't No Sunshine- Bill Withers
Boys of Summer- Don Henley
Walk On- U2
Gentle Annie- Tommy Makem
Sing Sing Sing- Benny Goodman
Summertime- Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald
Can't Get It Out of My Head- ELO

Palin As President

Here is one I hadn't seen yet. Click around and turn on the volume. Not hysterical, but...

The Scarecrow


Airing Out The Archives

As is my wont sometimes I like to air out the archives and share some old posts again.

Cover Songs- Part 1

A Question of Faith

My Daughter's Favorite Book

It Would Have Been Great

Where I Come From

You're Too Old For Long Hair

Last week I sat down and listened to a group of women engage in a serious discussion of how old you can be before you have to cut your hair. Before we go any further let me set the scene.

It was after the fast had ended and I had secured a quiet spot in which to try and eat. What I didn't count on was that so many other people had the same idea as me. Sometimes it is better not to be a trendsetter.

Anyway I was happily ensconced in a overstuffed chair with a cup of coffee and some great food so I had no intention or desire of moving any time soon. As I was enjoying my meal the others quietly moved into place and began their discussion. Initially it was about politics but the discussion got heated and they decided to switch topics to grandchildren.

That led to the comment by one of the women, "my daughter keeps complaining that the baby grabs her hair. I told her that it is time for her to cut it and get something more appropriate for her age."

If I am not mistaken the mother in question is about 40. Mind you that I really had little to no interest in being a part of this discussion. I'd like to have the option of growing my hair out, but that is not really something that I am able to do. I have a natural Jewfro that I kept very short.

However due to age, children and the Shmata Queen the front of my head is growing a bit follicly challenged. One day in the future I am going to probably shave the whole thing and we'll make like Mr. Clean. For now there is no need. The rule is that once it has become wispy than it goes. Right now it is still thick enough to run fingers through, more or less.

Anyhoo, there I was with my coffee and my dinner, comfortable and there they were, cackling... I heard all sorts of different stories about when they decided that long hair was no longer a part of their daily routine and all sorts of stories about how long it used to be.

But I never did hear why there is an age limit for having long hair. As I sat there trapped I let my mind wander. Something made me think of sitting with my grandfather and his friends at Farmer's Market. It was back before the place was swallowed by The Grove. One of the men went off on a rant about women and told me that I should never trust a broad. He was eighty something and had been married four times.

He shared a few other pieces of advice for me that day, some of which I'll hold on to, at least for now. I do miss those times. It was fun hanging out there. The guys used to hold court and argue about the best places to eat, what they did during the war and all sorts of other stuff.

They were some colorful characters.

Crossposted here.

Tuesday Night Tunes

Rapture - Blondie
SECRET WORLD- Peter Gabriel
Come Talk to me- Peter Gabriel
Don't Give Up- Peter Gabriel
Cecilia- Simon & Garfunkel
Crying Time - Ray Charles
Baby Please Don't Go- Ray Charles
I Can Love You Like That -John Michael Montgomery
Waitin' On A Woman- Brad Paisley
COULD IT BE MAGIC-Barry Manilow
You've Made Me So Very Happy - Lou Rawls
Welcome To The BoomTown - David & David
I Still Believe (Lost Boys)- Tim Capello
Can't Find My Way Home- Blind Faith
Hold On Loosely- .38 Special

Crossposted here.

How Stupid Is Sarah Palin

This post has next to nothing to do with Sarah Palin although I can guarantee that it is going to drive a ton of traffic here. Years ago I put up a post in which I mentioned naked pictures of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Not a week goes by in which visitors arrive having searched for those very things.

I do need to mention that I think that it is a mistake to try and disqualify Palin based upon her intelligence. I certainly question how much she has, but that is not the way to discredit her for office. The best and smartest method is to point out what her shortcomings are on substantive issues such as her inexperience in key areas like foreign policy and economics.

Calling her stupid doesn't address the core reasons why she shouldn't be a part of the ticket and makes it far too easy for people to dismiss your argument.

Speaking of keywords let's take a look at what terms have driven people here:

Duggar Family
feel like a fool being in love
baal teshuva
what does drowning feel like?
divorce him and come to me
the sins of the father are visited upon the son
life without regrets
hardboiled eggs will not peel
Mansions of the Lord
how do you come up with slogan
crying tears then it hit me
counseling doesn't work
does religion make a better marriage
rekindled loves
intolerant woman
toledosucks Mike
who do you ask for after you dial 8675309
do guys have standards for one night stands
Someone beating up Goofy
do jews believe in oral sex?
I love Jack
how to be a father
what to call your blog
how to blog
how to make money blogging

Crossposted here.

Lightning Is About To Strike

Lightning is about to strike again, not a doubt in my mind that we're going to see it live and experience in 3D. Some lips are bound to ...