Showing posts from April, 2013


I think if I had an extra hundred bucks, I could have a grand time at the deli counter.

The deli counter is a special place---somewhere to marvel at lunch meat, drool at salads and gaze lovingly at chicken wings and stuffed cabbage.

It's a place where you call the shots---one of the last places where you can do so.

You're in charge at the deli counter. You draw a number and when it's called, it's like you've been given the floor of the U.S. Senate. You don't have to rush. You can filibuster about garlic bologna, pressed corned beef and pimento loaf and dictate how thin or thick it is to be sliced. You can take your time. Nobody is breathing down your neck, for they all have numbers and they'll get their turn, too.

The employee behind the counter won't rush you either, because what do they care? They're there to slice meat and dish out salads. They don't care if the person in front of them has a list of 12 items or if 12 people have one item each…

More Evil, Less Shock?

Limbs lying on the sidewalk, unattached. Shrapnel filled bodies, including those of children. Smoke. Buildings with windows and concrete blown out. Screams from the injured and the maimed, fighting to be heard over the sirens.

Scenes from a battlefield, perhaps. Or from a war-torn, third world country.

Not in the United States. Not in downtown Boston. Not at the Boston Marathon.

The scenes of war have once again been played out in the streets of America. Once again our soil is sopped with blood of the innocent. The limbs were torn from the unfortunates who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But is there ever a right place, a right time?

How can there be, when you can be sitting in a movie theater and realize too late that you're not a sitting patron but a sitting duck for a crazy with a machine gun?

How can there be, when little school children are mowed down in their classroom?

How can there be, when a stroll across a college campus suddenly turns into a run for your life…


There's no telling how many boys in the 1950s counted Annette Funicello as their first crush, but I bet the number at the very least compares with the WWII GIs who leered at the Betty Grable pinup photos, the 1970s adolescents who had the Farrah poster (guilty as charged), and whoever the Flavor of the Day is currently.

Heck, even I adored Annette, and I wasn't born until her years as a Mouseketeer were long over with.

They used to show reruns of the "Mickey Mouse Club" on UHF TV (remember that?) while I was somewhere in my early teens (circa 1976) and I had heard of this supposed "cute" girl Mouseketeer named Annette.

Then I saw her---the Kewpie doll face, the big, dark eyes, the jet black hair, all bobbed. And a smile that could light up Broadway. I was hooked.

Those poor boys never had a chance.

To be honest, I'm not sure adolescent boys have female crushes like we did back in the day. When I was growing up, part of the fun of having a crush on a fem…

Two Thumbs Up

Roger Ebert once said, "No good movie is too long."

But what about a good life?

Ebert's was cut short, and it would definitely rank a "thumbs up."

Ebert, who was just a movie reviewer the same way Edison was just the guy who invented the light bulb, is gone, another whose battle with cancer was fought bravely but ultimately lost. Cancer never was much for sentiment.

Ebert was 70 when he slipped away this week, and if you think that was a full life, you're wrong. Not that Ebert didn't live it to the fullest.

Before Roger Ebert, movie reviews were relegated to a couple newspaper columns. Sometimes they'd find their way into a magazine. The movie reviewer was to the stage reviewer the same way the Toledo Mud Hens are to the Detroit Tigers.

Then Ebert started gabbing into a camera, bouncing in his chair as he either railed at or damned a film with praise, and the movie review was never the same.

It was unheard of, really, to watch a movie review, before…

A Life, Unplugged(?)

Is there such a thing as down time anymore? You know, just some quiet time where we are unplugged, disconnected, disengaged?

I strode into our favorite pizza joint on Saturday night to pick up a carry-out order. It's typically very busy on weekend nights and this was no exception. As usual, there was a line of people waiting to be seated. On the five chairs available sat five lucky folks who didn't have to stand. They were waiting for both carry-outs and to be seated.

I had to chuckle. Each of the five had their mobile devices out, and each were scrolling up and down the devices with their thumbs, using the touch screen feature.

Being nosy, I peeked and a few of them seemed to be scanning their Facebook accounts. But the sight of all five of these folks---and I don't know if any of them knew each other or not, because they weren't talking---thumbing up and down their mobile devices, their faces lit by the device's glow, was comical to me.

But it was also a sad comm…