Pomp and Circumstance

I’ve probably told you this story before, but: In or around 1998, I was interviewing for a job, and the boss asked me if I had any siblings.

I said, “No.” Then I took a beat.

Then I said “Wait. Yes. Yes, I do.”

They hired me anyway.

It was the first time since the birth of my brother in 1995 that I’d had to face the question. Prior to that, I’d spent 27 years as an only child. Thus my outlandish reply. I’m amazed Suzette didn’t pull my arm behind me and kick me in my ass while she threw me out the back door.

Anyway, today, said kid brother, who once was smaller than my forearm (I know because that’s where I held him), granulated from high school.

We were all offered a out from sitting on those uncomfortable field house chairs for two hours, but heck with that. After knowing this person for the first 18 years of his life, I wasn’t going to miss this benchmark.

It turned into the best weekend I’ve had all year. Family, friends, loved ones were here. There was good food. Not to mention the XRIJF was wrapping up.

That was quite a weekend. Thank you.


blackie lounging

Keep Reaching For The Stars

There were only two (2) radio shows that I considered to be so vital that I would regularly record them to listen to later.

The other one was The Howard Stern Show.

However, way before I was a rabid fan of the KOAM, I was listening to American Top 40. The show, which began airing when I was two years old, was certainly required listening for me by the time I was, oh, what, eight?

I can specifically remember acts and songs Casey introduced me to. “Ring My Bell” by Anita Ward. “Life’s Been Good” by Joe Walsh. “Emotion” by Samantha Sang (and the Bee Gees). “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran. And on and on and on and on.

Kasey Casem long passed on his mantle to Ryan Seacrest, and I have long stopped listening, except occassionally when I think to catch the rebroadcast on satellite radio. (And rebroadcasting the Casem-era countdowns is such a stroke of genius that I’m certain Sirius will end the practice soon if it has not already.) Because there’s only one fella as far as I’m concerned who was up to this task. (And also, admittedly, because I am an old man who is no longer interested in most of the product touted by the good ol’ Top 40.

Anyway, so long to the steadiest voice ever to air, and thanks for feeding me music for many, many years.

Radio Legend Casey Kasem Dead at 82

Not to mention: “A political liberal, he narrated a campaign ad for George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign,[16] hosted fundraisers for Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaigns in 1984 and 1988,[17] supported Ralph Nader for U.S. President in 2000, and supported progressive Democrat Dennis Kucinich in his 2004 and 2008 presidential campaigns.[18]”

And now for something glib and probably inappropriate, but utterly unavoidable:

Or this

Also of interest

Dad got one of these for Fadah’s Day.

Clear eyes. Full hearts. Hope it fits.

(He confirms that it does fit. Can’t lose!)

“But [O.J. Simpson’s manager Norman] Pardo also says [O.J.] Simpson asked that race not be the focal point of his Nevada defense because Illinois senator Barack Obama was running in the presidential election that November and Simpson didn’t want to hurt his chances.”

Maybe the man is redeemable after all.

(C’mon. JOKING.)

Twenty years after infamous Bronco chase, O.J. Simpson still a mystery (Sports Illustrated)

“A sewer worker is like a brain surgeon. We’re both specialists.” (Edward Lillywhite Norton)

The Freshmaker

I now know through keen scientific observation that when one dumps a half a packet of Menthos into a two-liter bottle of Diet Coke, a fountain erupts from the bottle. Learning such things first-hand is one of the joys of keeping younger people around. Will, Dad, and I went to the market specifically to purchase several bottles of Diet Coke and a few packs of Menthos, just for this purpose. In fact, for what other reason does anyone actually purchase Menthos?

Anyway. I am here in up-state New York. It is nice. It is nice because I am no longer in a city where an old man will scold you for suggesting that he might move away from the subway doors to let other people onto the train. It is nice because my Pops is smoking the turkey outside today, so the house smells good inside and in some locations in the great outdoors. There are horsies here and chickens and cats and dogs and books to read and Glüwein in the slo-cook. And there are more Diet Coke bombs to be made.

A Boy And His Degas

Meanwhile, in the “Kids Say the Darndest Things” file: A conversation between my father and his six-year-old son, my little brother, about a recent trip to an art museum.

Little Brother: Dad, the girls laughed at the sculptures.

Dad: They did, Willie? Why did they do that?

Little Brother: They just have no respect for art!

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