Sunday, November 19, 2006

Life is sometimes tough
Life goes forward and I stay sober. My family life is good . I am lucky and yet I have problems in my business life. The numbers are there and so there is some solace....but I found out this morning that not everybody likes me......so the real test is to use the program and actualize the fact that what people think of me in none of my buisness and to just get on with it.

The fact is that these are high class problems, I am thinking to much, I am on the verge of giving all of this to God and I am not living in the park that I was living in when I got sober in August 1982....

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Amir Tahari, NY Post, America and Iraq, WE'VE lost the peace,' men tell you. We cannot make it stick . . . Europeans, friend and foe alike, look you accusingly in the face and tell you how bit terly they are disappointed in you as an American . . . [Liberation] stands in the minds of the civilians for one thing: looting. Never has American prestige in Europe been lower." Another media report from Iraq? No. This was novelist John Dos Passos in 1945, reporting for Life magazine, from newly-liberated Europe. Dos Passos knew, almost by instinct, what journalists learn in practice: Good news is no news. There was no point in reporting from Berlin on how people were able to sit in the ruins of cafes and speak freely for the first time in 13 years.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

to lose themselves in its eyes, to still offer its body

to be just happy, the space of a few hours

to give up itself completely, with this indecent desire,

with this rain of pleasure which returns to us so alive

by closing the eyes, by opening them a little

while frissonant initially, while trembling then

just because our bodies did not choose the escape

to smell its hands everywhere, its breath in my neck

my indiscreet caresses, in search of this whole

making undoubtedly insane

and then...

it is time to leave

to turn over to the port

to take again the ship

of a life carrying out undoubtedly to death

Sunday, April 02, 2006

After Dinner Discussions

We’re a family of news watchers, even the younger kids have an avid interest in what’s going on in the world and have developed their own opinions on the things they see unfold before them in the world and on the news.

Tonight the ongoing conversation started with a discussion of the situation in the Middle East, somehow drifted over to homosexuality, and then slowed down with the revelation that every human being begins life in the womb as a female. The look on 13 year old Anthony’s face at the confirmation from his dad that I wasn’t pulling his leg about this was priceless.

I have to stop here and count my blessings. Our kids are a rare breed in that they talk to us and with us. We pretty much know where each one of them stands on issues and that’s given us a way to keep the communication open to head off any potential problems.No need to monitor their surfing habits on the internet as I feel that kids are much less corruptible than we imagine them to be and I wouldn't flinch a bit if I saw them accessing porn sites

They’re bright, articulate, inquisitive and above all, opinionated. Every single one of them. The downside of course is that the simple ‘because I said’ doesn’t cut it with them. They usually know where the fine line is between expressing an opinion versus being insolent and disrespectful even if they do walk the tight rope on it from time to time.

I listened to them tonight and I walked away feeling really proud of them. Their opinions are well thought out and expressed intelligently. They can discuss an issue, offer their unique perspective on it and maintain an intelligent conversation and keep it on an adult level even if they don’t always agree with each other.

Friday, March 31, 2006


While it may be just my imagination or my intense loathing for people who tailgate, it seems like we have more than the normal amount of tailgaters in our area. Nine times out of ten it’s a young thug wanna be slumped down behind the wheel of the offending car that is so close to your bumper that you can’t even see their headlights but only the top of their windshield from your rearview mirror.

And it’s not just me, everyone I know of complains about them. Chris used to keep Snapple bottles in the floorboard of his car so he would have one within reach to wave out of the moonroof of his car to let them know that they needed to back off and stay out of range should he decide to whiz it at their windshield.

Every time it happens, there is never a cop in sight. Until the other day.

Nick and I were out running errands and had to make a stop at the bank. In front of the bank is a red light where a side street connects to a busy intersection. As we were getting out of the car to walk inside we noticed a SUV come up to the light with a small ‘beater’ car riding right on it’s bumper.

As the SUV came to a complete stop, the car behind it that had been on it’s bumper, also came to a stop, a few mere inches from the bumper. The driver side door of the SUV swung open and one of the biggest men I’ve ever seen bounded out from behind the wheel and out on to the road. When I say ‘big’ I don’t mean obese big, but 6’4, 250 pounds of daily iron pumping, buffed out, MASSIVE.

This man was so large that the sleeves of his shirt were doing all they could not to bust out the seams due to his massive biceps. Did I say sleeves of his shirt? My bad, I meant the sleeves of his uniform. The brown uniform worn by the officers of our county sheriff’s office.

The officer practically leapt from behind the wheel, out on to the street and back to the little car behind him. I couldn’t hear what he was saying but just watching his body language was enough to convey his point. He began yelling and pointing at the driver of the little car, pointing to the bumper of his SUV and then to the front bumper of the car and the tiny space in between.

The driver of the car was much as I expected, probably not any older than 19 with his cap on backwards and the rap music blaring. Within seconds I noticed that the ear throbbing thumping sounds from the car had mysteriously dissipated while the driver slunk further and further down in the driver’s seat.

Still furious the off duty deputy sheriff pointed his finger one last time before he spun on his heel and got back in his SUV just as the light turned green.

The little car made sure there was at least 2 car spaces in between him and the SUV before he followed through the green light.

Oh yeah, I was lovin' it and judging by the grins of all the other onlookers who had witnessed it, I wasn't the only one.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Vicious Friendships
One of my favorite quotes by Richard Stengel is “A common enemy does not a true friendship make.” A simple statement but it speaks volumes about a phenomenon that I always think of as ‘vicious friendships.’True friendships are formed by common interests and traits, pulling two or more people together in a positive way that allows for the growth of those involved. Vicious friendships born out of having a common enemy don’t have the depth of a true friendship, instead it relies on negativity and even a certain degree of paranoia for fuel.There are legitimate times when people will come together in regards to a common enemy but what is formed is more of an alliance rather than a bona fide friendship. Once the enemy or threat has been diminished, the parties go their separate ways but occasionally the vicious friendship can last for years or even a lifetime if fueled by enough hatred and/or contempt for the enemy they consider themselves to have in common.Like everyone else, the first time I witnessed these kinds of friendships was on the playground. Usually the common enemy was the school yard bully and feeling a certain safety in numbers, friendships would be formed from that. They were short in duration, maybe throughout the one recess or perhaps a week of recesses, or at least until the bully found another victim to terrorize but most of them never developed into a true friendship.Now as an adult, I still occasionally see these kinds of friendships and left to wonder why someone would sink so much time and negative emotional energy into them. The friendships aren’t based on personal growth or common ground. Most of the time the people involved, don’t actually ‘like’ the other person but they have this compulsion to come together against a third person.The more amazing aspect of vicious friendships is that more often than not, the ‘common enemy’ is usually unaware or unfazed by the negative emotional energy generated in their honor.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace...
My daughter has finally set her wedding date for late October, next month. After a lot of hurts and disappointments, she’s convinced that she’s found the ‘one’ for her, the soul mate she’s been searching for. There’s no doubt in my mind that she’s in love with him and he with her.And I’m hoping that somehow between now and October that she’ll talk herself out of it. Does that make me a horrible mother? No, considering the circumstances, it’s completely out of love that I hope she changes her mind about walking down the aisle.He’s good to her, has the unique personality that it will take to compliment her own uniqueness…at first glance it’s the perfect match that any mother would hope their child would find to share their life with…at first glance.He has a child with a woman from a previous relationship. The child isn’t the problem, the kid’s mother is.His previous relationship was rocky and short lived. They parted ways and she went her way, he went his. When she felt generous she allowed him to spend time with the little boy. Other than that, the only time he really got to see the boy was when he was dragged repeatedly to court once again for child support increases.Once the former girlfriend found out that he had a new love in his life and an impending wedding, she did a complete turn around.Suddenly it was of the utmost importance that the boy spend each and every weekend and most week days with his dad while it had been more than okay for him to get to see the boy maybe once ever other month or so before my daughter became involved.I spoke to my daughter on the phone this past weekend, we talked for a couple of hours and I could tell the stress is beginning to take its toll on her.“She broke up with her latest boyfriend and now she’s calling here at least once a day, ‘just to chat’ she says. He says that in the past she’s gotten flirty and coy with him whenever she was in between boyfriends but he just shrugged it off.”“He’s her failsafe.” I tell my daughter.“Huh?”“Her failsafe. She likes the idea of keeping him around and available whenever it’s convenient for her.”“I figured it was something like that. She’s never acted like this before until we got serious, then all of a sudden, she saw me as some major personal threat. She’s taken him to court twice within the last 8 months. She drops the kid off for sometimes an entire week at a time without calling to even check on the boy. She gets pissed when my kids have new clothes or toys but she doesn’t seem to want to understand that I work and take care of my kids. She’s accusing him of neglecting his son and taking care of my kids instead. Anything we buy for the house she wants to know how we can afford it. She wants to know when he’s due for another raise or how much overtime he gets so she can take him back to court. She’s pissed because I can buy a new car and just on the rampage about everything she can be. And don’t even get me started on the questions that she asks the kid after he’s gone home with her from here…”“He’ll have to be the one to take the initiative to set the boundaries and make her stick to them. If you do it, then you’re just a jealous manipulative bitch. Do you understand what I’m saying? Anything you do to protect your marriage and new family is going to be taken as pure and simple jealousy, so it’s going to have to be up to him to let her know that the boy is more than welcome but she has to understand that her position within YOUR family is that she has NO position, that she is only invited into your lives as a guest and should behave like one.”“Yeah, that’s already becoming a problem. She wants to know all about our business. Last weekend she called wanting him to take the boy for the weekend and he told her that he couldn’t because he had to work two double shifts over the weekend.”“And?”“She was furious and hung up on him. Then she calls back five minutes later and puts the boy on the phone. This is a four year old little boy for crying out loud and she puts this kid on the phone, he’s crying and asking his dad ‘how come you don’t want me no more?’ I was so mad, I would have beat her ass right then and there for pulling a stunt like that if she had been around.”This is disgusting and so many levels beneath ‘wrong’ that I can’t even verbalize how strongly I feel about it. Why would a Mom do that, say something like that to a kid, especially her own? What does it say about the mindset of a supposedly adult woman, a mother, that would screw with her own kid’s head like that? How could she not realize, not fathom how deeply those words would cut into this little boy’s self esteem? Why did she have to take her vindictiveness out on the kid? Why does she feel it necessary to force some kind of victimhood onto her son? No one can ever convince me that this kind of behavior isn't emotional abuse and any mother that would do it should have her kid/s taken from her.My daughter has two kids, and an ex. I’ve never seen this kind of behavior out of her. She gets along fine with him and has never put the kids in between any personal disagreements they may have.I ask her, “How would you feel if your ex had a serious girlfriend or a new wife?”“Honestly, I’d be thankful. Seriously, why wouldn’t I want him to be happy and go on with his life? If I can have a life of my own, to live as I please, wouldn’t it be hypocritical of me to expect him to sit around waiting to be at my beck and call just because of the kids? I’d just say that maybe he’s not as available as much as he used to be because it’s time he got on with his life, but that it was no reflection of his relationship with the kids. I’d want them to be happy that he’s making a life for himself. I'm a bitch but I'm not a bitter bitch. I’d make an effort to befriend whoever he chooses. I’ve known the boy’s mom for 8 years and we’ve never had any problems until now. I try to get along with her but she’s not interested in that.”“What’s she’s doing is immature and more importantly, it’s destructive to her, you, your fiancé, and worst of all, to the little boy. It’s a game to her, something to do to try and establish some kind of pecking order, she wants to assure herself that through this boy, she has free rein to come into your life, your marriage, and wreck havoc anytime she’s damn good and ready. All of this is just a warning of what’s to come.”“Mom, he’s a good person. All he’s done since they split up is work all he can just in order to pay the child support. Now she’s calling his mom on the phone and getting chummy with her to the point of now his own mom thinks he’s a piece of shit for a dad. I mean, he’s doing everything he can but it’s never enough. The worst part of it is that now his relationship with his own mom is being manipulated, she’s being pulled into something that’s not really any of her business and taking sides against her own son. He’s got to now where he resents his own mother for getting involved in this mess.”“His mom is the boy’s grandmother so her concern should be for her grandson but she shouldn’t allow herself to be put into a position to take sides against her own son. That’s just wrong. She’s a fool to let this woman play her against her own son.”“I don’t know how much of this I’m going to be able to handle. It would be nice if she could pull her self together and be an adult about all of this, for the kid’s sake at least. I hate all this ‘baby momma drama’ and don’t know how to handle it.”I talked to her a while longer, pointing out the rough road ahead. Her privacy is going to be invaded on a regular basis. When they feel the need to close the door and block out the world, the ex is going to insist on free access through that closed door. Any steps forward in life that they take, financially or otherwise, are going to be under the close scrutiny of the ex, all under the guise of making sure that ‘the best interest of the boy’ is their first priority. The ex is going to point out each and every time that she feels my daughter’s kids are shown any extraordinary attention versus her son. Unless the ex does some serious growing up and maturing real fast, it’s going to get worse and worse until my daughter resents her new life because it’s being run by someone else. She’ll regret her new husband for allowing it or he’s going to resent her or even worse, he’ll begin to resent the fact that he’s not entitled to a life of his own because of the boy and he’ll become an absent dad like so many before him have because they couldn’t handle the head games.“Mom, she tries to come off as if he’s her property and he’s going to be my husband because she’s going to ‘allow’ it, for now. You wouldn’t believe the gall she has. She actually thinks she’s going to have some say in our lives and she’s using the kid as an excuse every chance she gets. It’s fucking sickening. What I hate most of all, is how she’s using this kid and messing with his head. How do you defend yourself against someone that will use a kid against you like that? It’s all so damn unfair.”I know she loves him but like the song says, ‘sometimes love just ain't enough.’ What a shame that two people have managed to reach out and find each other but find they’re at the mercy of another person. What a shame that all of this love stands a serious chance at being turned into a resentment against each other that could be just a strong as the love originally was.I hope she finds the strength to walk away from it before something beautiful turns into something very ugly