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David Bowie famously sang about ch, cha, changes, turn and face the strange changes; “time may change me, but I can’t trace time.” Autumn is a time of physical change with the mass dying of nature and plant life moving into a hibernation state for the coming winter. Somehow nature knows that the cycle has gotten to that part of the year that its time to drop the leaves into the air, floating reds and yellows across the cloud strewn sky back to the ground where they prepare the beds for wintry blasts to come. But nature is not limited to plant life, as the animal kingdom prepares as well. The...

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The Perfect Day

What’s your perfect day? Ever think about that? I have asked people that question from time to time and I get some pretty interesting answers. One brother considers a perfect day that includes golf, basketball, and dinner with his father followed by a few drinks. I know the publisher of this paper considers a perfect day a pick by some bulky forward and either a thirty-foot jump shot that is all net or a drive to the hoop with a foul. That would be followed by a few beers and him retelling that story until ears bleed. Mine starts with my eyes opening and seeing a familiar face across the pillow...

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 Have you ever had a dream where you can’t get home, or worse you don’t have a home? These are among my worst nightmares. The worst is when I half-wake up and ask the flippered one, “are you my wife?” That is usually followed by a blow to the head and a command to go back to sleep! But homelessness is a reality for far too many people in this city, country and world. There are those who never had a chance, and there are those who have simply fallen on hard times. Politicians have been trying to solve this problem forever. Some have come close to providing humane solutions, others have failed...

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The Times They Are A Changing

Bob Dylan has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature! Now if I put a comma after “been” it would read differently, something like this: Bob Dylan has been, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Well, I ain’t looking to criticize you, beat or cheat or mistreat you, all I really want to do is baby be friends with you. And that my friends are the words of the Nobel Prize winner. And prophetically, these times (not the Rockaway ones) are set to begin changing big time. What do I mean? Well next month we vote for a new President, and no matter what, it will be very different than the last...

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Cups of Hope

 Sometimes there are situations where you want life to be different for someone but there is simply nothing you can do to help. Sometimes it’s because of a physical distance, but sometimes the distance is in the mind too. You would like to help but no amount of money, time or effort will solve the problem. It is a helpless feeling. But I am reminded that there is something that you can do: it’s called prayer. In today’s culture, prayer sometimes takes a back seat. Granted growing up in parochial schools left a bad taste in the mouths of some. Being hit in the back of the head by overzealous...

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Openings & Closings

 Do you have special places you keep sacred in your memory? The mermaid and I have a couple of these places, the most special being the Ye Waverly Inn on Bank Street in the West Village. When we were first going out, pre-flipper days, we frequented this restaurant that is housed in an early 1800’s brownstone building. We got engaged there and our daughter had her first apartment around the corner from there; in short, it’s a special place. Thankfully, it continues to be open. We had a place before that called Garvan’s on Waverly Place in the same area. We loved the ambience, but unfortunately...

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 So the last few columns have elicited some interesting responses. I have received some supportive comments like, “wow, great articles on birds, trees and bugs.” Ok, well that was really me, ghost-responding on Facebook to the articles. Some have suggested that these articles have been “ghost written” by the mermaid, reflecting on natures’ friends to the mermaid population.  They say that the articles have lacked the biting narrative style of the Lazer. Some have even gone as far as moving the articles to the back of the paper and re-instating that bald-headed, bespectacled caricature again...

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Fun Bugs

 Remember lighting bugs? Sometimes they were called June bugs. As kids we would catch them and put them in bottles. They were so cool to look at. And when that time of year came around the backyards would be filled with lighting bugs. Where did they go? I haven’t seen them in years. Do you have to believe in Tinkerbelle to see them? Or did Sandy do them all in? How about Monarch butterflies? Where have they gone? Used to be that in September the sky would be filled with those floating beauties making their way to South America on a several thousand-mile journey to their homes. Stopping off in...

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The Birds Of Rockaway

 We have plenty of birds at the shoreline. There are no shortages of seagulls, terns, sandpipers, Oystercatchers and herons. But when you move off the shore have you noticed the different types of birds in Rockaway? Of course we have pigeons. They have been nominated to survive a nuclear war with a few other types of animals. We have sparrows too, a lot of sparrows. Because we live so close to a wild life preserve we get all sorts of other visitors too. My backyard is home to a family of cardinals. The red male has a very distinctive call. I hardly ever see blue jays however. I like blue jays,...

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