I Wasn’t There

There is much to do about the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy being assassinated this week. I can remember my parents telling me about where they were when he was shot or when they heard he was dead. The whole world mourned over this young president’s assignation. I was filled with Oliver Stone’s JFK and how it made me felt after watching it. Angry. How could the whole world be so stupid to believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman? That is still in dispute to this day, for some people. Conspiracies abound, and I guess they are still talking about Lincoln aren’t they?

Well, as much as my generation didn’t have JFK, RFK and MLK being assassinated on our TV screens, can any of you remember where you were when Reagan was shot? Who shot him? How about the Challenger disaster? Discover burning up on reentry? Columbine? Wako? Oklahoma City? Virginia Tech? Tucson? Aurora? Sandy Hook and many others? For those of you in Pennsylvania, maybe you remember the State Treasurer, R. Budd Dwyer, putting a gun into his mouth and pulling the trigger? How many times has the news dragged out these video clips and played them over and over in our living rooms until we couldn’t stand it. We had to look away. Isn’t enough to know it happened? The rapes and murders daily on the evening news aren’t enough? Do we have to look into these people’s eyes and see the murder, suicide, or the killing? I suppose we have the Zupruder film to blame. The film was the first to bring this into our living rooms, the first to ignite a nation of news producers that wanted to show more, to realize that if you are there when it happens, you can show the world. Reality TV plays on this on a smaller scale. Let’s face it, if you don’t see a fight it’s not really worth the thirty minutes of space on your DVR. It’s so much more fun to see someone get they ass kicked, than it is to see they pick out furniture. It’s much more fun to see people arguing than it is to see them making up. I turn away. I don’t like reality TV, and I’m sure it will run its course like the Western or the Sci-fi show. They all take their time and then the audience moves on.
I will be taking that moment of silence at 1:30pm for JFK, not for what he was, but what millions thought he could be. I will also be saying a prayer for all the others. It’s sad that we remember them for this, their most vulnerable moment.

EJ Eisman is the author of the novels Spoon Girl and Malaise, published by AuthorHouse. He resides in Reading, PA and is also a musician, artist, playwright, actor and filmmaker.

When did you put up your tree?

christmas tree

Is it too early?  I don’t think so.  Many of the local stores had their Christmas trees up even before Halloween.  I sometimes put it around Election Day.  That day is usually rainy and cold anyway, so slap on a music station (web, TV or radio) that has begun the holiday spirit and I’m HO HO HO’ing till the next day when I have to go back to work.  Normally I’m I hit the tree up before Thanksgiving.  My parents spend one day a year at my apartment, and it’s on Thanksgiving.  They’ve stopped putting up Christmas tree yearly because of the work involved.  They are both over 70 and having trouble with their body parts.  You really can’t blame them.

Real or fake?   I’m a fake man myself.  Not that I don’t like real trees, but they are a little like a manual car, all work and it does the same thing as automatic.  Kim, my girlfriend, has been pushing me to get a real tree.  She’s in the process of moving in, and she would love to see the pine needles and that smell all over the house.  I’ve gotten her a Glad plugin for her fix.   Not the same, but it does have its moments.   I’ve never had a real tree in my apartment.  I’m not sure how my cat, Audrey, would do with live/dying thing in house.  I did have some plants when I moved in, but they didn’t get enough light.  It was a beautiful vine that strung from the dining room into the living room and back.  I had it perched on thumbtacks around the ceiling.  Eventually it dried out, and bugs got on it.  It was a sad day to remove it.

Back to Christmas.  I celebrate, but it’s just another day for me.   I’m on call at the hospital this year.  I don’t anticipate any major destruction at the hospital while I’m on call, but you never can be sure.  Once I was on call during a Super Bowl party that I had invited my co-workers to.  An hour before they were starting to arrive, I was in the kitchen making chicken wings, to throw into the three different sauces that I had planned to serve.  My pager went off;  a server went down.  NICE!   It took a week to bring it back up.  It more than ruined that evening.

So when did you put up your tree?  I’m thinking this weekend would be good.  Thanksgiving is next week and my parents will make their journey three miles via their car to my first floor apartment.  Have a great holiday!


EJ Eisman is the author of the novels Spoon Girl and Malaise, published by AuthorHouse. He resides in Reading, PA and is also a musician, artist, playwright, actor and filmmaker.

Peculiar Sunday

I was dropping off recycling on Sunday with Kim when she asked to see the gym I have at the apartment complex.  The two of us are planning to move together sometime over the holidays.  The two of us will be in my one bedroom plus den apartment.  I’m doing what I can to make her feel at home.   She’s been spending more and more with me and I think the two us will do well together.   We already told the news to our parents (yes, even at 45+ years old we feel the need), with positive responses.

On the way back there is a yellow 4X4 upside down in the road.  The scene was chaotic.  If we hadn’t stopped to look at the gym we might have been involved with the accident.  If I had headed directly to recycling, and back we might have missed the accident all together.  It was strange.  There were two other already on their cells calling in the incident.  Kim tried to comfort the gentleman who tried to climb out of his car’s missing driver’s window.  There wasn’t anyone else in the vehicle.   The police got there fairly quick and told us to take off, as none of us saw the accident.

In the evening, Kim and I were watching Happy Madison, a movie Kim thought I should see, and had been on TV.  At 8pm the lights went out.  Black.  The whole neighborhood was black.  I’ve had blackouts frequently in that apartment that lasted a few minutes but after 9 it appeared it was going to much longer.  I scrambled for candles and a flashlight and we sat and drank orange Tazo tea and the donuts from Smokey Bones we had brought home.

The two of us sitting in the near dark brought us thoughts of the day.  The man in the car was one of them.  Was he ok?  Was he a ghost in the flickering flames of the candles?  Audrey, my cat, was also acting weird.  Her eyes would bug out and look through us.  The two of us got chills down our back as we started to freak out.  That tapped into our memories of peculiar paranormal from our childhoods, which added to our shivers.   We decided to go to bed and hide under the covers, because, of course, ghosts can’t go.

The lights came on at 2am.  I went around resetting the clocks and turning off the lights.  About 3am a storm came on, whistling through the windows and the rain pounded.   Dramatic night!

EJ Eisman is the author of the novels Spoon Girl and Malaise, pubished by AuthorHouse. He resides in Reading, PA and is also a musician, artist, playwright, actor and filmmaker.

Wash, Rinse, Spin

I was in the rest room today and yet again a person leaves without washing.  WTF!  In this day and age is this still a crux for people to do?  Wash their hands after going to the bathroom?  I work in a hospital, and seeing this just makes me sick.  Who is this person going to shake hands with after they’ve just been draining the winky?  People have told me that pee is sterile, but that is no excuse.  It’s fucking gross!  I’m not one to be checking around making sure who goes in and out.  I don’t think there should be a bathroom report of all the people that come out of there without washing their hands, but there should be some measure.  Maybe I need to wear rubber gloves all the time here.  And those signs in there that say, “Employees must wash hands before handling food,” I’ve found that not true more than one time.  Can we have a little self-control?   A little courtesy?  A little cleanliness?

Oh, also those guys who stand at the urinal with their hand above, like they are holding up the wall, I’m sure your member can do all kinds of tricks.  Heck, maybe even it can play tunes on your guitar or take a Ritz from the wax paper sleeve, but can you just control that thing?  You keep your Doberman on a leash, why not your little monster? Can you direct it off the floor and walls?  It does have a mind of its own.  You might want to keep that in mind.   Also, to the one that feels the need to put their boogers on the flush handle, very funny, we are all giving you a hearty laugh.  You can stop that now.  No.  Really.   Stop it now!

Bathroom etiquette is not just your mother telling you should do something for no reason.  Do you really want to spread or catch Cytomegalovirus infection (something I found on the CDC website transmitted by urine).  Not washing after a grand dump you could transmit:

Hand, foot and mouth disease (I’ve had this. It’s not fun and very contagious)
Hepatitis A
Meningitis (viral)
Rotavirus infection
Viral gastroenteritis

Here is a list:  http://www.health.sa.gov.au/pehs/ygw/waysspread-pehs-sahealth-2009.pdf

I’m not a doctor, but some of those things don’t look so good.  We are all adults and should know better.   Wash!  A little soap, a little rinse, and everyone is happy!






EJ Eisman is the author of the novels Spoon Girl and Malaise, pubished by AuthorHouse. He resides in Reading, PA and is also a musician, artist, playwright, actor and filmmaker.

Flat Tire Day

Do you know when you wake up in the morning and there is a portend that things are about to get worse?   I’ve been trying to find time to return a bunch of things back to my storage unit, and this morning I was going to do it.   I have an eight bottle wine cooler that was, at one time, was in use, but now, with one bottle of wine really doesn’t need to be taking up my tiny kitchen.  Between the paintings I didn’t need on the wall of my apartment right now, the Halloween stuff, and the wine cooler, Sunday morning I packed the back of silver Aerio en-route to my storage unit.  Kim and I packed into the car, pulled out of the parking lot and drove down the hill to a noise that alerted us.  Flat tire.  ARGH!  I jumped out of the car and took a look.  It was dead, but I was able to take it to a station and try to refill it, thinking that I might just be able to get it to Sears where I had purchased it.  I had a road hazard warranty, so I just had to get it there.

I made it to breakfast, I had coffee, and it tasted weird.  The half and half packet, I put the coffee, was spoiled.  Then, when I got the eggs, I ordered there was a thread in it.   I poured out the catsup and there was water on top that splashed out on the eggs.  YUK!

I drove carefully to a station, after that lovely breakfast.  After four cycle runs of the air compressor, nothing.   At this point I realized I would need to remove everything out of the back and dig deep to find the spare.  Did it even have a spare?    I’ve had the car for ten years now, and I’ve been fortunate not to need it.  I’ve always been able to drive it to a station somewhere and get it repaired.  Since the Sunoco station, around the block, went out of business two years ago, I’ve been going to Sears to get things taken care of.   So, lo and behold, after removing everything out of the back and pulling up the floor, there was a brand new tire, never to have seen the light of day in the ten years.

I have changed a tire before, it’s not rocket science.  I moved slowly and methodically,  jacking up the car, pulling off the lugs, replacing the tire, and putting the lugs back.  Kim’s encouragement and light banter helped me continue on, without breaking out into a “fuck this” fest.   I work on computers during the day so I don’t come home with dirty hands.  I have a very clean job, and I guess some might get the impression that I’m not good at physical labor, but I’ve worked on cars with my dad.   We changed a timing chain on my dad’s 1973 Plymouth Polara.  This was easy compared to that.

With tire on, I sped off to Sears with the dread I knew would exist.  Kim and I walked in and there were seven people in line, and one person working.  The time was 10:30am.  It was something like twenty minutes before they took the information.   We were able to still use the car so Kim and I killed some time in a Starbucks, and then wrestled around trying to figure out what to do.  We went back to Sears, after noticing that the spare tire was also getting flat.  We waited till 2pm when it was finished.   In the meanwhile, we watched football on the TV they had in the waiting room.  One good thing, is they replaced the tire with a new one, of better quality.

It was 4 by the time we got home, after grabbing some lunch and dropping off the stuff at the storage unit.  My weekends are usually not that involved.  But like Kim said, it could have been much worse, it could have been snowing or raining.

flat tire

EJ Eisman is the author of the novels Spoon Girl and Malaise, pubished by AuthorHouse. He resides in Reading, PA and is also a musician, artist, playwright, actor and filmmaker.

Change is Good?

It’s another glorious day and as a prize, I usually head to Starbuck’s at 3:00pm for a Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latté.  Yes, I know that it’s not “really” skinny because they don’t have the sugar free liquid gold, but none the less I get it for all the hard work I do all day.   This day, was no different.  I didn’t get a chance to hit Starbuck’s until almost 3:30pm.  A crime indeed!  Every time I go into the place I get the same thing, at least for this season, the Skinny Pumpkin Spiced latte.  They know me so well that the servers in the back are already starting to make the concoction as soon as they see me in line.  I am on a first name basis with my barista.   Like so sort of mind meld!  How uncanny!  They know what I want before I even get to hand them my card!  It’s a great feeling.   Like being someone important!

So here I am at 3:30pm standing in line and the usual barista is standing taking orders with a forlorn face.

“Can I get a tall, skinny, Pumpkin Spice Latte?” A grimace came across her face.

“We have a new Peppermint Mocha Hot Chocolate now.”  She suggested.

“Nah, not into Peppermint.  Are you telling me you are out of Pumpkin?” I replied.

“No, we still have pumpkin.  But we won’t have it forever.  I thought you might want to switch things up.  It’s new.  Really popular.” She leaned in as if to give me some private information.

“Thanks for the suggestion.  I will stay with the pumpkin spice.” I stood firm.

“Are you sure?  We also have  a new Gingerbread Latte…” Her eyebrows raised in hoping anticipation.

“Pumpkin Spice is fine.  When you run out I will change.”  I repeated.

“OK.  Just trying to give you heads up.”  She said as she she retreated to begin to work and staring me down like I was going to pull a knife or something.

“Pumpkin Spice. That’s it.  Thanks.” I forced a smile.

What has happened?  Are our biorhythms off?  Why the change?  I can’t.  I don’t wanna!  Most normal people will begin to paint a picture of me as an elderly curmudgeon living the same as he has since the 1950’s or 1940’s.  I wasn’t born until the late 1960’s. It is true that I have the same breakfast every morning.  The chief knows, I don’t have to tell him.  “The usual?”

“Yup, thanks.”  My drinks at the bar, the bartenders know me.  I always order the same, “The usaual?”

“Yep, thanks.”  I know that life is about change, and I know that my petitie, brunette, barista is only doing her job by suggesting new options.  I don’t like change.  Too many things change any way too quickly.   If I can hold on the “normal” for a little while longer, kicking and screaming, I will.  Sorry barista girl, maybe next time I will learn.

starbucks cup

EJ Eisman is the author of the novels Spoon Girl and Malaise published by AuthorHouse. He resides in Reading, PA and is also a musician, artist, playwright, actor and filmmaker.

Women in my life

NOTE:  This is an updated blog that I had first started 12/24/2006

There is a scene in Citizen Kane- OK- I’ve probably turned of half of you because of all the hype given to this movie.  Half the world worships this movie as the best movie ever created, the other half thinks of it as a piece of black and white crap wrapped in a jacket of fecal excrement (ok- I’ve just used the same word three times but you get the picture).  But the scene I’m thinking of is when the reporter is interviewing Bernstein.  Bernstein recalls seeing this woman while sitting on a train in great detail over 40 years ago.  She was across the platform heading in the other direction and she looked up from her reading.  She smiled at him and he smiled at her.  Her train pulled out.  And after 40 years there is not a day that goes by that he does not think about her.   Now there are no train stories in my life.    There are a lot of close relationships, friendships, and romances that came and went and in this holiday season I sit wonder what did I do to make them go.   At the time they seemed so “perfect” and yet now I am married to another.  Each of them had such a profound effect on my life and now they are reduced to just a memory in and a foot note on myspace page.  I think back to my love of music- was not really a love of music but the love of my next door neighbor- whom I played Donny and Marie (in Kindergarten) with before our parents decided to do the Romeo and Juliet on.  But yet we snuck kisses through the chain link fence before the stockade was put up and that was the end of that.

Then years later (in Junior High) a new neighbor from Brooklyn moved in next door on the other side.  Karen was her name- and we played the Bionic Man and she the Bionic Woman.  Her Mom use to joke and call me son-in-law because I was over their house so often.  She was big into the New York Mets (her Mom was heart broken when the Dodgers moved out so she swung her allegiance to the Mets after they moved into town) But somehow I found out she liked me- but she was older- and thus not cool.  It didn’t matter cause her family moved out of there 2 years later.  I’m still a big Mets fan because of her though.

Susan was in High School.  She was unexpected- I really didn’t know her but she taught me a lot.  She painted a picture that was something of bleak that I could not relate- but it inspired me to write my first play and then a musical.  And all the while I wanted to learn the piano- her muse got me to do it.  I really owe a lot to Susan.

I was at home into a rather nice white zinfandel- I would say about 1 litter of it when Blue Christmas came on the stereo.  Now you have to understand in my household when I say Blue Christmas came on the stereo you might not know what language it will be spoken as my ex-wife liked to play her Hungarian music CD’s so that all can hear.  But in this case the Hungarian singer was singing it phonetically- nice job I’d have to say- but that is ancillary to my point.  As I had been drinking so much wine I had to hark back to my working at Arby’s days- yes- I worked at Arby’s back in the days- and to a woman that worked back line with me making sandwiches.  It was Christmas time.  I remember her as if she was standing right next to me: blond shoulder length hair, crazy blue eyes, and she smiled most of the time.  She was a big girl and cute and I’ll be damned if I remember her name!  But as the story goes we had been working hard over the Christmas time many eons ago and this song Blue Christmas had come on.  She had this natural Elvis sneer on her face and pseudo-deep voice began to sing his parts and me being a pickup guy chimed in with the backup doo-doo-doo’s.  We were a big hit in the store.   And then I forget but we then pretended we were not talking to each other or something like that…and then she quit and we never talked again.  Somehow in retrospect I wonder if she wasn’t just preparing me for what was to come.   I’d really grown close to her and she told me everything- as women are apt to tell me for some reason.  I knew she had a boyfriend and she had gotten pregnant.  And hearing about their sexual escapades was not something a 19 year old wanted to only HEAR about…if you know what I mean.

Well anyway I did run into her years later- at Walmart.  She was with her baby.  Funny it was at Christmas time.  What a lead in- she pushes her cart into me!  I don’t remember if she was with what’s his name.  And I still couldn’t remember her name.  It was all really awkward.   I didn’t know what to say- I wanted to say so much more to her but couldn’t find the words.  All I saw were those big blue eyes looking back at me and she took my breath away corny as it sounds.  It was neat to see her though.  But I don’t think I’ll ever hear that song without thinking of her again.

Becky was my first real relationship.  Two weeks long.  We dated and we saw each other like for what seemed like months as we stayed out till 5am sometimes only to be at work at 7am.  Becky was a wild girl.  I heard lots of stories about her afterwards.  After we broke up she got a tattoo and was put in jail (there was some rumor about her sending threatening letters to the chief of police?)   But while I was with her I enjoyed my time with her. She broke up with me.   She wrote me a long letter but I really couldn’t read it I was so blinded with anger.  It was like she didn’t even want to try to work things out or even think there was something things could be done.   I was really upset after the breakup.  It took me like 6 months to get over her.   I wrote a few songs about her to get over the anger.  It helped.  Her muse is there sometimes when I want some crazy woman that doesn’t know what to do but wants to live her life to the fullest in a play or something.

Aggie was my first real adult love and my ex-wife.  She was married at the time and I didn’t want to become involved with her.   We met at Boscov’s Department Stores working in the Men’s department.   I was working at Christmas time and I remember being introduced to her and thinking, “WOW!  I wonder if she is married.”  I never saw a wedding band on her finger.   For some reason the two of us clicked, as I have this way of drawing out women, I don’t know why.  Our conversions would go on for hours as we would work and she could see I was just another goof off working there.  So after the Christmas season was over I got laid off.   But there was suppose to be a department meeting and she had my home phone to call to tell me about.  We had got to talking and well one thing let to another.   Suddenly it was a different ball game.  We were seeing each other on a friendly basis.   Well I could go on about it but to make the story short here are the highlights:  her husband finds out; her ex and I have it out; she and her ex move away; she moves out; she moves in with me; she gets a divorce; we live happily ever after the best she can with an ex-husband.  Or so I naively thought.

Jen.  OK- Now I’ve got you wondering don’t I?  If we live happily ever after why is there a woman after your current wife??  Well…there was a time were I wasn’t living happily ever after.  It was after my now ex-wife got her divorce and I asked her to marry me and she told me flat out, “no”.  That hurt.  After four years of living together as her “paramour” I thought she would have jumped at the chance to be at least “engaged” to me.  After all I wasn’t asking her to run down to City Hall and file right now!!  So I began to think that after these four years that this was all a farce- that this was all going to fall apart now.   I had known Jen from work for about two years now and we hadn’t seen to much of each other because we basically worked in different locations but now we were working closer together.  She was talking about her relationship at home and so was I.  And we started to grow closer.  Jen was so supportive of my music, my movies, my theater, and whatever I wanted to do whereas Aggie was not.  And I was just as supportive of her painting and the things that made her whole as a person.  We seemed to complete each other if only for that moment in time.  It was a rush to be in her presence.  We never kissed, we didn’t make love, we didn’t do anything physically but emotionally and intellectually we were as guilty as could be.  Suddenly we were talking about other things- leaving our spouses.  One morning we were to meet a Denny’s for breakfast and talk about our plans- and we did.  But when we met that morning we talked about reconciliation and repentance.  From then I knew my life was different.   Before Jen and after Jen and I guess I’m still trying to live with that.   BTW Jen divorced her husband and moved to Chicago to be with her first love.    She talked a lot about him and I think that was what kept her from me that morning.   In retrospect I think it was right thing as I’m still with Aggie and I don’t think Jen and I would have lasted and that would have been heart break.  But Jen’s muse had me write poetry and songs that I don’t think I would have ever done.    Thanks Jen.

DeAnne is and was, I think, one of the closest friends I’ve ever had in my life.  I say it like that because I had to say goodbye to her for my own sanity.  She is funny, brilliant, and sometimes child like but also caring, personable, and a deep person.  Some how the two of us connected on so many levels it was really scary.  I would go to open mics and she would be there for me.  When there was no other friendly face her’s would be in the crowd encouraging me as my wife didn’t like me to do such things.  I think a lot of ways she is like me, she wants to do the right things but somehow the right things don’t always turn out right.  She and I try too hard to please too many people and then wind up not pleasing our selves.  I could really talk to her; maybe because she had an outside perspective on things but she seemed to understand and feel the pain along with you.   She was close and it really hurt to say goodbye it’s a day I won’t forget.  It’s really hard to lose a best friend and she was one of the best.

Well continuing with the Agnes story we grew apart.  After a year of arguing and daring each other with moving out, I took the first and final step.  I took the first step.  It was hard.  Probably the hardest thing I had to do.  But she’s remarried and happy now.  God bless.

In the first month of separation I went into a drinking binge (oh, like I’m not still there?).  Let’s just say with all that freedom I wanted to taste what the world had for me.  I started online dating and met lots of women.  One was going had me interested up until she said she needed a Etrade account to get money out of her ex-boss. She was from England saying how she really wanted to meet me and stay over.  I told her I’d sleep on the couch and her in bed she said, “No, we could share it.”  He pictures were mesmerizing.  Another was from Indiana with 4 mixed race kids.  Every day a story would unfold about the kids, how she might get kicked out of her house, how she couldn’t work because of a back injury. It became sadder and sadder.  And then there was the call about her going to jail.  She needed $50.  Nice guy that I am I wired it to her.  Well to her mother (so I thought).  It cost me $90 by the time I was done with wiring that $50 and I was done with that also.  I was sad, drunk and looking for something.  I started cutting; 12 parallel lines on my arm.  I felt this cleansed me somehow.

It was Halloween.  I sent a wink.  We sent messages back and forth and November 4 we had coffee.  There was walking hand and hand in the mall.  That led to dinner.  And I never wanted anyone else after that.  We wonder the parking lot looking for her car.  It was a memorable date, one of my favorite.  There was something about her that after leaving Agnes made at all alright.  She was comfort, laughter, happiness, love, romance, beauty, and intelligence all wrapped up into perfect person.  Sadly from what I learned over the course of our on and off and on and off and on and off relationship was the best thing about being together was us not being together.  It think it was all to new for us, this dating thing.  She knows how I still feel about her and she exploits that with her emails or drunk texts out of the blue. It seems only after I’d broken up with someone that they’d show up, nothing like throwing a little gasoline on that fire.  But that’s over now.  I’ve told her to leave me alone.  There’s a little part of me that really wish she wouldn’t

In the off parts of that previous relationship I had dated two other women.  One was from up north, really up north.  So north I could drive to my aunt’s house in NJ sooner that I could get to this woman’s house.  She was a school teacher and she had a very young son.  He had cancer at a young age and he won.  That kind of made her over indulgent to the kid.  But the two of us, the kid and I, had a grand old time playing with his toys, watching cartoons in the morning (I get up early), changing his diaper, all those things I was able to step into from my past experiences.  The milf was nice too as was her family.  Distance took a toll but she went back with her estranged husband.

Another lived so much closer.  She had a hot tub.  She’d feed me with lobster and steak.  She rented this house in the middle of nowhere and two dogs and a teen daughter.  She had a water bed.  It would have been so easy to be a part of that but that’s life for you. A fateful pool party request from my ex-gf (you can bring your gf if you’d like, yeah right!) allowed me all the ammunition to just let this relationship slide into oblivion in order to get back with her.

Yeah, well I got back with her and it looked like things were going to be full steam ahead on the relationship.  She moved her furniture in. She spent some time here.  Slowly her clothes came in.  And just about when I thought everything was coming together in my financial life she broke up with me.

Well on to the next: she was working in Philadelphia and went to bed very early so we only saw each other on the weekend because of distance. We had some good times and she turned me on to Victory Brewery Company, Gaucho Steak, Cocker Spaniels, Chicago, ATV riding and camping.  In the end it was distance that was the demise.

The next was from Lancaster: no job, no apartment, but so full of personality.  At sometimes I felt like I was more of a cheering section for her.  Yes, I believed in her and she succeeded.  Her family was like something out of Moonstuck. She is fun to be with because you never know what she is going to say and it could be quite uncomfortable but just laugh along.  Don’t get her started on religion or the lack there of it.

OK- then there was the best kisser I’ve ever met. She was a plain type person. I think she took offence to my Tommy Hilfiger clothes, Nautica sheets and Woolrich blinket.  She broke it off.

Last but not least was a firework burning in the sky:  a few days, a few meals and then I don’t hear from her again.   C’est la vie!

Well this Christmas I’m thinking of all of them and many others.  Those I can’t even mention here- LOL!  You know who you are!   I hope for the best of you and if you see me say, “Hi”.  I’m still here love you-your poor pathetic long lost love on that train going in the opposite direction.

Amy and Me

amy-winehouseSo what is up with all these musicians (Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain) dieing/overdoseing at 27 years old?  Should we not let our tormented, brilliant musicians live to 27?  Should we not celebrate their 27th birthday or just stay 26 for the rest of their lives?  What is it about that number?

Amy Winehouse dies at 27.

When I first heard/saw her I just had to learn more, so much more about her.  I guess it’s her lyrics that first attracted me to her.  And when I saw her I was just so taken back by her appearance: tattoos, and that bee-hive hair-do.  I don’t think I’ve seen such a different person in my life.  I was in love!

Her first album- Frank never got the recognition I really think it deserved.  Songs like “Fuck-Me Pumps” was brilliant!  But you look back at her then- no tattoos.  She looked like just about any other songstress but the music’s topics definitely sku-ed from norm.

Back to Black: what can I say, her second album, home run, 5 Grammies, almost an anthem to her life.  She was so much in these songs it would seem singing them over and over proved too much for her.  Perhaps it was her Manic-Depressive disorder that she refused to take meds for that was her un-doing.  Maybe it was just everything

in her life that was too much for her to handle.

Can I understand her?

Yes.  Maybe a little.  I’ve been bi-polar for a long time now.  I’ve been taking meds since the 90’s.  And even with them sometimes I feel like everything is too much.  I’ve fallen back into alcohol to relieve my overwhelming feelings.

Do I drink too much?  Maybe.  What is too much?  I averaged 5 drinks a day last week, every day.  The last 3 weeks I’ve been under so much stress, a lot of it I make for myself because I care more than I should.  My shrink had suggested thinking about rehab but like Amy I say, “No, no, no.”

I think I can handle it and in my mind I can.  It’s just a stress relieve but I know in my head it probably won’t stop when the stress does.  I’m not really sure I love life despite the great relationships I have.  And so I my death gets a little closer with every cigarette and drink.  LOL!

I was watching The Miracle Worker, the end part when Helen is at the water pump as Annie pumps.  Helen has a breakthrough that physical things can be asked for by words/ hand signing.  Even with all her hardships she finally gets what Annie Sullivan has been trying to teach her all this time.  Perhaps all of us are looking for that Annie Sullivan to help us find our breakthrough from the darkness we find all around us.

What my GF doesn’t know…

My GF was surprised yesterday that I was able to replace the string on a string trimmer for her Mom, saying that she didn’t ever think I would have known to do that.  That got me thinking.  Do you believe or not believe I’ve done the following:

Built and maintained a website for a Funeral Home

Replaced the timing chain on a 73 Dodge Polara Coupe

Set the spark gap for spark plugs, replaced spark plug wires

Changed out oil (and filter) on a car

Changed out a car starter

Replaced antennas on cars

Added neon lighting to cars

Designed and built a deck

Mixed and poured concrete

Used a power auger

Refinished a basement

Studded out (through cinderblock), insulated, put up a vapor barrier, dry walled and plastered

Hung ceiling fans

Ran new electrical boxes

Replaced drain traps, water lines, toilet guts

Rewired electrical lamps, toasters, etc

Created a intercom system with the inners of two desk phones, wire and a power transformer/rectifier

Created a pulley system to change the channel on my TV (before remotes and cable) that could be used from the bed

Built speaker cabinets using the proper proportions for maximizing sound

Built a multi-volt DC power supply (to run a car radio inside)

Wrote Assembly Language programs for the Atari 800

Wrote, Directed and Acted in 14 videos

Appeared, stage managed, presentations and/or did other backstage jobs for 20+ local theater productions

Wrote a book

Wrote a musical

Wrote two one act plays

Wrote many songs (some of which have been copyrighted)

Completed 6 acrylic paintings

Can play the piano, guitar and electric bass

Can cook may different meals

Bakes cakes, cookies and cupcakes

Sang and played rhythm guitar, bass or piano in a rock and roll band

Did DJ’ing (with lighting)

Had a garden (broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, basil, cilantro, sunflowers, etc)

Spread mulch

Split wood (by axe and by power splitter)

Landscaped shrubs

Planted trees

and other things I’m forgetting…