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Cry From The Battlefield

Just as they say on Public Radio, the following has some swear words and if you prefer the cleaner version… you’re out of luck. This is an email I sent out on November 2, 2012:  To friends who have been wondering… Rockaway hasn’t been in the news much– we’ve actually seen zero news teams (and, more unfortunately, FEMA and Red Cross haven’t been seen at all either). There is no power and won’t be for some time. Some guesses are two weeks (bearable) to two months (not bearable as winter rolls in). Rumors fly about looting, buildings being condemned (large apartment...

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If I Only Had the Nerve

I know it’s impossorous, but if I were king of the forest, it would only rain from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. If I were king of the forest, I’d allow cruel and unusual punishment for graffiti taggers. I’d thrash them from top to bottomus. I’d banish bagel people who don’t separate Everything and Onion bagels from other bagels; I’d cane people who use an airplane toilet more than once a flight. Yeah, even on international flights. That’s what kings do. I’d behead speeding car drivers (usually they come in a set of two) on the Belt Parkway who weave in and out (speeding means doing 80+). I’d feed ticket...

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7 UP

You know that old line, if you haven’t got anything nice to say about someone, come sit next to me. Hey, I’d like to hear some juicy trash, too, but I’ve gotta be careful who I ask to sit down, they might want to talk shit about me. People talking shit reminds me, The Rockaway Times turns seven on Saturday. Way back, they told me newspapers were dead and lots of other newspapers had tried only to last as long as Lime Bikes. They told me some people might say mean things (i.e. talk shit) and try to sabotage you. They were right. Quick thought: I understand the temptation, but is there ever a...

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It’s Weird Out There

I’ve moved from wearing a mask to a t-shirt that says: I came, I saw, I made things awkward. These days, when I go to shake someone’s hand, I grab somebody’s fist bump or elbow. When I offer a fist bump, they shake my balled up hand. It’s a world where dance moves don’t match. I’m doing the lindy and everybody else is doing the tango. I try to waltz, they break dance. The bright side is, people are more stingy with hugging. Weird times. I had to check the history books. How the hell did Prohibition follow the Spanish Flu? World War I just ended. This flu thing kept a lot of people locked in....

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Short One Virtue

I might have Attention Deficit Disorder but I don’t have the patience to get tested. I was filling a coffeemaker with water the other morning and I got bored doing it. I got halfway through filling up the reservoir or whatever they call the water thing on those Keurig machines and just stopped. I was bored to tears. I couldn’t take it. Of course, yes, yes, I know –that would mean I’d have to fill it up again that much sooner. Didn’t matter, doesn’t matter. As the women of Be Well Be Happy tell me, I’m supposed to stay in the moment. Why should I care about having to refill the thing in the near...

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Good Try

If you’re playing sports or a game any kind, the last thing you want to hear is someone telling you, “nice try” or “good try.”  Or anything like that. Words will not make you feel better if you missed that putt by six inches or missed a jump shot with time running out. Or your jenga blocks fell after you got a little daring. Who, in the history of anything, has ever replied, thanks, I appreciate that, it really was a good try. Thanks for making me feel better. You might start losing your hearing with old age but one thing that comes in loud and clear is the friggin’ and most unwelcome encouragement...

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The son who will remain nameless looked out the window a couple of weeks ago and asked, you know what I’m not doing? Shoveling. He says I forced him to have shoulder surgery so it’s my fault that I’m the one who has to go out and shovel six inches of karma. He had to have the surgery and I figured late November was a good time because, for one thing, it hadn’t really snowed the last few years. I was figuring snow was something we’d talk about like the good old days. Snow was only a memory, like getting a slice and a Coke for 30 cents. So much for that. Anyway, dear reader, you know what I’m...

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A Blurry Year

Thanksgiving was at least six months ago. I went to a fantastic wedding last New Year’s Eve. But I swear that couple must be celebrating their third of fourth anniversary. It couldn’t have been just one year ago. No way. Australian wildfires which seemed to threaten everything Down Under happened in January. It was a big story that went up in flames. Sorry, sometimes puns just insist on getting in. Anyway, where was I? Oh, Australia. The fires are forgotten and now the news is, the place is practically Covid-free. Those fires? Now I’m pretty sure they happened in 2015.       Kobe Bryant? In...

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A Blast Of Optimism

You know how sometimes your kids don’t want advice but you give it to them anyway. You know how somebody talking about silver linings can have really bad timing. Sometimes you just want to wallow in the dark and don’t want to hear about looking at the bright side. Yes, I know things could always be worse but you’re making it worse by telling me that. So, to be clear, I’m not saying things could be worse. I’m fully onboard with those who don’t even see the glass, never mind if it’s half empty. So, don’t worry, I’m not here to cheer you up. Like the good pessimist said, it’s never too late to...

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