Earnest and Julio Down by the Schoolyard

Oscar Wilde: The Unrepentant Years and Oscar's Ghost review – Wilde after prison | Books | The Guardian

Everything is going to be fine in the end. If it’s not fine, it’s not the end,”

Oscar Wilde

I think old Oscar would’ve loved growing up inside this time. After all, it’s the end of the world every single day, with an addendum attached that foregoes last rite status until such time as all current liens are settled, with marble caked interest. To a pen as sick with irony as his, Wilde would attest to our hubris whilst wondering whatever happened to the humble pie of Lincoln. He’d challenge political heavyweights to televised swordfights. He’d regenerate tired old Reaganisms in next gen form to piss off Republicans and Democrats alike. He would ask aloud how satire became the province of reality show stars and brand mavens whose sole purpose is to vaporize our brain cells, after which he would remark that alcohol was a much better idea.

He’d write for the New Yorker whilst doing side jobs with the Coen Brothers and being a regular on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. And then of course he would opine on the political ramifications of our upcoming national election by hosting a PPV event at Radio City; which he would bill as “Extraordinary Rubbish And Entirely True!”.

Ignominious tidings would follow, with daily mentions of his debauchery that would stun and titillate the masses. From snapchatting irreverent haikus with the Pope to crashing White House galas to bedding J. Lo. And A-Rod. Both. Of course.

And to it all he would shrug, all tethered to his Cohiba with ready made anecdotes for every single one of the sordid revelations. The masses would adore and condemn him, the media would be much too afraid to cast harsh judgement on account of all the inside dope he possessed on them. And a little town in Iowa would rename itself “Wilde” in honor of the “. . . greatest American who wasn’t. . .” . Among the ceremonial attendees would be John Waters, Dave Chapelle and Cher.

Once the smoke cleared- which means to say, before Oscar could be relegated to a syndicated curiosity, he’d retire to Key West and write a book while threatening to run away to Cuba for irony’s sake. And then he would negotiate a deal with CNN to broadcast live from the hull of his “last unearthly home” on the condition that he could drink Martinis on the air. And CNN would agree, because Oscar’s slur is better than most talking heads very best stuff.

He’d have a sixty foot Clipper made of red cedar from Washington State; replete with a mahogany wet bar below deck and a pinball machine signed by Pete Townshend. From a turntable, Toscanini, Verdi, Bach and Tupac would pitch fastballs as Wilde punched at the moon to steal his latest tale. His two adoring pit bulls- Hendrix and Patton- taking their nightly spots at bow and stern, respectively.

Strangers from every kind of place would sneak inside the sleepy marina from time to time, just to get a peak at the madness. If they’re lucky, they get to see Oscar treating the kids to some Dulce de Leche or chorizo with Manuka honey as he sips on a liquid solution. When he retreats, he writes about Creole gangsters and Jacobin cultists, while deliberating on how faded denim jackets should’ve been a sign that the Russians were going to win.

This journey into relative solitude would come about as the result of his unwillingness to end up a spent cog in a pinwheel. Adopting the examples of Ali and Picasso, he would bob and weave through colorful stages because he is a man who does not wish to be immortalized for having burned out when he can reinvent his heavyweight paintbrush to a more circuitous advantage.

He would ponder extravagantly as to why it is that humanity can be so connected and yet, so very much alone. There would be moments where he ponders a disappearing act in the vein of Elvis and D.B. Cooper. His senses- common or otherwise- thinking better of it since he figures the world is too damned interesting to leave behind when he has Bill Murray’s cell phone number.

I can imagine old Oscar standing on deck as his thoughts scream the stars to life and rile the tides. And then he calls Hendrix and Patton to dinner and reads them poetry by candlelight. His tongue draws out the love affair between a maiden and a shepherd as salt air heaves its blanket to cover them for a restless journey into day.

Like a prayer, everlasting.

Heroes Of The Week!

How To Make A Vesper Martini Fit For James Bond | Londonist

My first order of business this week is to let y’all know I will be away from my WP desk for the next week and change. In the meantime, Imma have a couple posts scheduled. So I had an idea- which I realize is akin to Esther Greenwood being stuck in a phone booth, but suffer me this Bell Jar moment, por favor. You don’t have to leave a comment unless you really, really want to. You can like, you can post a music video telling me how much you miss me, or you can just read it. Whatever YOU wish to do with it, that’s beauty to my senses. And thank you, for any and all of it. Always.

And now the roster . . .

Mookie Betts Dodgers Contract Extension Value Taxes – Sportico.com

He hits for average, he hits for power . . he steals bases . . he makes gold glove plays on the regular. And he wins, much. The dude became the first player to walk and steal two bases in the same inning of a World Series game since Babe Ruth did it, ninety nine years ago. But the magnificence of Mookie is landing here today for what he did for America, yes America! By stealing a base in the World Series, Mookie done won America a free taco on October 28th. And okay, it’s not really a taco since it’s being served up by Taco Bell, but hey . . free still counts! So I just have one question. Is it too late to get Mookie on the ballot?

Jeffrey Toobin suspended from New Yorker, on leave from CNN, after he exposed himself on Zoom call - CNN

It was reported this week that Jeffrey Toobin has been suspended from his gigs on CNN and the New Yorker after he was caught masturbating during a Zoom meeting with staffers. And it seems that Father Superior, the guy who rails on about the peccadilloes of politicians, has a pantry full of them in his own right. And it’s people like Toobin who make it so easy to point to the other side of the aisle and proclaim how full of shit they are. But this goes far beyond politics. This is about a guy who’s gotten away with a closet full of shit for too long a time. In an age where the bad guys are getting found out right and left, Toobin seemingly wore Teflon, until he took matters into his own hand.

El Arroyo in Austin, Texas has taken to panning the pandemic. And really, good for them . . and us. And I wonder if they take requests? Imma call ’em.

bucket-of-balls-tease-material-fd-frame-7580-1.jpg

So thank goodness for Frank “Beach Walks” Angle for bringing the heater in the very best of ways with this next story. It’s proof that every new ending is just a beginning to something else, and it reads as if Kinsella and Capra and Chapin got together on Cloud Nine and came up with the script.

Brian and Carter Robinson were keeping to the father and son tradition of hitting some baseballs at the cages when Dad came across a bucket of baseballs with a note attached, which read as follows.

“Hope someone can use some of these baseballs. I pitched them to my son and grandson for countless rounds.”

The writer’s name is Randy Long, and the sentiment was a bittersweet one. Long was thinking his life had gone Chapin on him, what with his brood having moved to different parts of the map with clans of their own now. So his donation of the baseballs was meant to pass the torch to a young family that was still busy writing their days of Kinsella. But that’s where Capra came in to steal the show.

Because the Robinsons got hold of Randy Long and then one thing led to another and young Carter was asking him if he might want to take in one of his little league games. And that’s when this grandfather learned that young Carter had lost both his grandfathers at a very young age and if you ain’t tearing up by now, okay, you asked for it.

The two of them ended up having a catch together. The end of one chapter in their lives giving way to the one they never saw coming.

And Cloud Nine, damn. Those guys still have it.

And now for a musical interlude, because I can’t get me enough Rush. And this isolation play on Geddy Lee’s tug of the maddening strings gets me high whilst completely sober. What’s not to love?

Seriously . . I listened to that on a loop whilst on my stationary bike, one day after being laid up in bed for ten hours. Music as medicine . . . .

Six California firefighters lost their homes while battling the flames. Days later, a CNN Hero provided RVs for them to shelter them - CNN

The fires ravaging Northern California have added yet another layer of “What next?” to this bitter cake of a year. So it’s good to know there are people like Woody Faircloth who get busy every day thinking up new and better recipes for their fellow humans.

Faircloth is a 2019 CNN Hero recipient, and here’s why he got noticed in the first place. Because when he heard about a group of volunteer firefighters who lost their homes recently- and continued battling the fires anyway- he got to fixing up a recipe for them inside theses worst of times. He did so in the form of delivering RV’s to the displaced heroes through his non-profit RV4CampfireFamily.

With all that got lost in the fire, Faircloth and his family are making sure hope remains.

This 5-year-old wrote a book to help kids battle the stress of the coronavirus pandemic

This has been the year of living dangerously, replete with prospects that frighten even the bravest souls among us. And so you have to imagine what it’s done to the little minds whose bravery isn’t talked about enough if you ask me.

Take Wade Williams as an example. He’s five years old and currently attending pre-school and he’s not crazy about the state of this great big world. So he decided he wanted to create a nightlight for other kids who are going through the same thing and he wrote a book.

“It all started by him saying ‘Dad I really want to help. I really want to help people,” said Williams’ father Joshua Williams.

And just like that, Wade was punching the keys and sharing his mighty so that it may shine a light on anyone who feels as if the darkness is too much. And Seneca the younger would be shimmying in his stoic sandals at the brighter than expected profits of a human race that births souls such as Wade Williams. Because it shows us that compassion is not a paradise lost, unless we make it so. And sometimes from the mouths of babes comes our truest reality.

 

Annoyances Post #2021

On my old blog, Cayman Thorn used to post these quite frequently. I find that, as I get older, things don’t annoy me as much as they used to. Okay . . that’s a lie. They annoy me more, and the truth of the matter is that if I were to post every little thing that annoys me, I’d stop sleeping and just walk the earth . . like a broken down Forrest Gump.

So rather than give in to the bright side, here’s a shout out to CT and the good old days, when lockdowns referred to ski weekends.

Drink up.

  • More sports-speak that means absolutely nothing. During a recent MLB postseason telecast, the knows no better announcer giddily informed his audience that “George Springer has passed Babe Ruth for most postseason home runs!”. Lost in the translation was the small little detail that when Babe Ruth played, there were no divisions. The team with the best record in each league went straight to the World Series, so the max number of games you played was seven. Today, with three divisions and multiple layers of postseason series, you might end up playing twice as many games. But hey, data is data right?
  • How the auto-correct on my phone still doesn’t get me.

IFYOUWANTED PEOPLE TO CALLIT YOUSHOULDNIT HAVE SPELLEDIT GIF quickmeme.com Eric Cartman Kyle Broflovski cartoon

  • Why aren’t there two lines at Starbucks? This was a big question of mine before I stopped frequenting the place, but I’m sure it’s still an issue for peeps who simply want coffee, and not a science experiment that requires a degree in math. One line for straight up coffee and another line for overpriced desert drinks. It’s not that difficult, people!
  • People who yell out during a live musical performance. Because it’s probably as close to relevant as they’re ever going to get, but still . . shush up and let the professionals do their thing.
  • And while I’m on the subject of people who have no self awareness . . how’s about NOT putting your phone on speaker when you’re out in public? If you can’t hold your phone to your ear and walk at the same time? Then you shouldn’t go outside, ever again. And for those Bluetoothers out there who feel as if their conversation matters more than anybody else’s? The great Larry David has provided me with a solution to that . . .
  • Green lights are universally accepted as “Go”, so if you are having trouble with this meaning? See my answer to the previous question, por favor.
  • “Color Rush” uniforms
  • People who buy them

Product, Pink, Font, Snack,

  • Boom Chicka . . . meet Oh Hell No.
  • The “Who’s The G.O.A.T.” debates in sports. They’re perpetrated by sports talking heads who have to fill time, but they’re useless in theory.
  • Guy Fieri
  • Child actors
  • The number of people with “medical conditions” that supposedly prevent them from wearing masks is mind boggling. I have a medical condition that prevents me from being sympathetic to their plight. So yanno . . we’re even.
  • Seth Rogan movies
  • When I walk into a fast food restaurant and the person behind the counter asks if they can take my order before I’ve looked at the menu. I’m not a habitual offender, so a little patience please?
  • People who insist on eating food when it’s piping hot. And then complain about burning the roof of their mouth . . .
  • Commercials that think I’m watching them.
  • Block Editor. Once something annoys me, there’s no turning back. Imagine Edmond Dantes hopped up on mephedrone.
  • People who blame the media for everything. Listen, I ain’t a fan myself but don’t go blaming them for the death of civility.
  • Truthers

Welp, that’s enough hilarity for one sitting. Tune in next time when I apply the late hits to woke people, humble braggers and those among us who profess to being “the better person”.

How could you ask for anything more?

For Whom The Yell Tolls

You have to be a person of a certain age to remember when yelling was utilized in the literal sense of the word. As defined by Meriam Webster, to yell means to utter a loud cry, scream or shout. There was no shortage of the stuff when I was growing up.

My pal Joey and his family would yell about everything. I considered it a miracle they attended church, simply because it didn’t seem possible they could spend ninety minutes together without yelling. They lived on the second floor of our apartment building and yet, it was as if they were in my living room when they got to voicing their opinions on something.

NO YOU DON'T !!! MEOW !!! | Woman Yelling at a Cat | Know Your Meme

My friends yelled for me to come downstairs and my parents yelled for me to come upstairs. The only person in my building who didn’t yell was the creepy old bachelor who whispered and stared at us kids as if we were double cheeseburgers.

Being yelled at was the norm. My father yelled at me for interrupting conversations with his friends. My sister yelled at me for making fun of her friends. My girlfriend yelled at me for flirting with her friends. Teachers, coaches, store owners, cops, neighbors . . every single person I grew up around, yelled. Maximum volume delivery, and unlike texts . . I always got the message.

My neighbors were yelling so loud at their kids to clean up their room that  out...

I grew up and got married and I was alarmed at how my wife rarely yelled. I blamed it on her liberal tendencies and the fact she was an artist, and so I didn’t take it personally. By the time we had kids, the tradition seemed to be going out of style completely. Sure, I still enjoyed yelling at my kids from time to time. What parent doesn’t? But it wasn’t anywhere near the volume or intensity of my childhood. Parenting had become more nuanced, or more to the truth, boring.

And then it happened one day. Yelling was refashioned into something else entirely. To yell became to reprimand, which is a low key way of saying it ain’t yelling. At all.

I'm not yelling!! - The 300 | Make a Meme

When did yelling get so quiet? I’m not sure when it happened, but if I were to hedge a guess I might wager a US Grant on the window of time otherwise known as the aughts of 2000. Reason being, I get to blame Obama . . who the history books will show never raised his voice. He couldn’t even bring himself to raise his voice in the purchase of Al Green’s soul standard Let’s Stay Together. He got away with it because he can carry a tune just fine, but if you ask me, his example relegated yelling to the shush heap for good. His was a presidential pardon me. The nerve of that guy, not taking full advantage of the bully in his pulpit.

You might be wondering if I forgot about the current occupant of 1600, and of course I haven’t. But Old Yeller hasn’t moved the needle when it comes to influencing the rational minded thinkers among us, who I can only hope are aware of a national election taking place in a few weeks time. Because if they fail to show up for this round, I have a feeling yelling in the old school vein might become all the rage.

Hell, I’m sure of it.

Heroes Of The Week!

Disney theme-park fans request 'Black Panther' attractions - Insider

As we venture into the fourth quarter of this meanest of years, I’ve got a few stories that speak to the not so random acts of kindness that offer us some much needed light inside the storm. And okay, so I tucked a minus into things. But rest assured, it was strictly for contrast. Because I’ve come to know and respect the science of these weekly episodes.

It’s not about unmasking the truth, it’s about respecting it.

McDonald's worker pays for family's meal when mom forgets wallet; mom raises over $35K for him in return

I’m a fool for cool when it comes to names, and so Wyatt Jones was rocking it with yours truly even before I read about his good deed gone viral in Waynesville, Ohio. Jones is a McDonald’s crew member who puts the above and beyond in his customer service. Just ask Brittany Reed, a mother of three who rolled up to the drive-thru window where Jones was working sans her wallet. The frazzled mama explained to Jones that she would have to cancel her order, but Jones was having none of it. He grabbed his own wallet and paid for the order himself.

Reed returned later on to repay Jones, who didn’t want to take her money . . of course. Because to him, the positive difference he was making in somebody’s day was payment enough. And sometimes that is that, and sometimes, well . . sometimes that good deed gets noticed in a big way. Reed shared her story on Facebook, after which she started a GoFundMe page for Jones, which has raised more than $27,000 to date.

“I never dreamed my post would go viral from our little village community page. I was truly just trying to reach his parent and let our community know what a kind hearted young man we had working at our local McDonalds,” Reed says. “I can’t believe people have donated this much money to Wyatt.”

As far as this story is concerned, I’m loving it.

My Hero Quote Of The Week! 

“It’s a struggle. It’s a battle. And I just don’t represent me. I represent all those folks that are afflicted [with cancer], all those people that fight, all those people that have fought.”

-Washington Football Team Head Coach Ron Rivera, who is still coaching while also taking treatments for squamous-cell cancer. (Props to Peter King for this).

Local Sports Talk Host Off-Air After Comments about Kamala Harris, Missouri State

I’ve had about enough of the peeps who have sworn off sports because it’s become “too political”, and Nate Lucas is my rebuttal argument as to why that complaint is full of it. Lucas was a sports radio host in Missouri, whose specialty was retreading sports narratives while mixing in his politics. In September, Lucas took his tired act and went scorched earth when he referred to VP candidate Kamala Harris with an “offensive, sexist slur” according to the station. Turns out, Lucas was plenty fine getting political when he felt like doing so, but I can only assume he’ll stop watching the games now that he’s unemployed . . because sports is too political. Funny how that works.

Greek Athlete Carries Disabled Woman Up Mount Olympus–Fulfilling her Lifelong Dream

Marios Giannakou is used to taking the long way home, with great success. The long distance runner has navigated all the valleys and mountains set out before him- from a 168 mile journey across Al Marmoum Desert to a first place finish in a cross-country race in Antartica. And oh yeah, he’s also climbed to the peak of Mount Olympus. Fifty times.

This guy is winning the day the moment he wakes up in the morning, and it’s not because of the medals or the acclaim he’s earned. It’s because he understands that winning is giving, and giving is life.

So when he heard about Eleftheria Tosiou’s dream of experiencing the summit of Mount Olympus, he got to stepping. After meeting with Tosiou, who has never let her disability define her, the pair was hooked up with a specially modified backpack and a support team. And then they climbed, together, chasing down a dream that has no finish line.

“There is nothing more real than the dream,” said Giannakou.

My Hero YouTube Video Of The Week! 

As far as this special moment between a thespian and his brand new friend goes, there are a few different videos out there. I chose the one whose spoken language I do not understand because I understand the language that counts just fine.

(Note to our Canadian friends, the title of this video is “Stray dog tries to help an actor in a play” (56 seconds running time)

We live in times of great anguish, full of carnival barkers in suits whose currency often times relies on division to keep them electable. And maybe it just seems that way too much of the time and maybe I have a lot to learn, but maybe I’m okay with being rescued time and again by the stories that prove how wrongs can be righted if we just open our minds.

And so the picture above . . I mean, right? The nerve of these two ladies, to somehow forge an alliance from two sides of a fence that would seem impossible to scale.

Cedar Park, Texas is where Marne Litton and Tasha Hancock call home. The two became fast friends when Tasha moved there six years ago and their political leanings did nothing to change that. Because these two came to understand each other not as political lawn signs, but as human beings. Litton is raising a special needs child and she says Hancock has always been there to brighten the most trying of days.

“We want to spread a message of kindness and love during these challenging times,” Litton said. “Tasha and I may not see eye to eye politically, but that doesn’t mean we can’t show love and respect for one another.”

These two made me go digging for a quote that came to mind when I found the capture of them all dressed up with someplace to go, attached to a story that told me I still have much to learn.

We are strong not in spite of our differences, but because of them.

It comes from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who was speaking of his native Canada, but Imma borrow it, humbly and gratefully. Because it frames that capture. Perfectly. Because it speaks to the idea that opinions will keep the cash register chiming, but humanity will keep the lights on.

If I were to break down the story of us into a mathematical equation, rancor equals subtraction while unity stands for addition. And that’s where you’ll find that peaceable solutions are happening . . like, all the time. And sure, they might be harder to find but it’s only because they’re not breaking news-worthy. They exist inside the quiet, because all the best stuff in the world?

Lives there.

The Automattic Price Of Change

The more things change, the more it means that someone is trying to convince you their way is better.

With the new changes now put into effect by the powers that be at WordPress, my days as a blogger appear numbered. I say appear because Imma try and be cool with the maladjusted back door profit I’ve been learned that gets me a Botox version of Classic Editor. So long as I have this reasonable enough facsimile, I’ll stay put.

But if this improper impostor to the real deal, old school rule gets junked in favor of that full metal Block page, I’m going to close up shop. I’m giving y’all the heads up in that event, but I will keep you in the loop either way.

In the meantime, I’m gonna be writing up something called The Last Post, which will serve as an homage to my (yikes!) fourteen years worth of blogging on the WP platform. I’ll keep said post in my draft folder in the event things go Defcon.

Hopefully the powers that be do not end up pulling on what for many bloggers will be that last straw, but it never hurts to have an exit strategy.

Alls I can say about Block Editor is that I’ve studied how it might be able to help me write my thoughts on virtual paper and I’ve come up empty. The format accords itself just fine to the intended audience, but for someone who wishes to scribble madness onto a cocktail napkin like yours truly? Nope, not so much. Block took that cocktail napkin and made origami. It replaces inspiration with perspiration, flow with four letter words and writing with something else entirely. Hell, I’d be okay with a pay for play method on this transaction, seeing as how I’m already locked in to an annual subscription. Gimme Classic for twenty bucks a year more? Fine. And you can call me a dinosaur while you take that change and buy yourself a a Venti victory cup of java, Matt Mullenweg.

Of course, I realize WordPress doesn’t give a wit about me, and that’s cool since I wasn’t asking them to. They’ll lose others just like me, and we’re nothing but the same, basic difference to them. As long as the changes don’t end up New Coking their brilliant asses, they’ll forge ahead into their five minute destinies before being replaced by someone younger and cheaper. It’s the circle of life.

I’ll be just fine come what may. I’ll keep on reading up the blog neighbors who invited me inside their picket fences and I am most grateful for having made your acquaintance. As far as blocks go, yours will always be worth the stroll.

WordPress wants me to know why I should be using Block Editor and it has everything to do with their best interests rather than mine. So it feels good to say no thank you to that kind of self serving change, seeing as how the world peddles this kind of aggrandizement on the regular.

Change is a part of life, but when it makes people feel marginalized, well . . that’s not the kind of progress I will sign up for. And if it comes down to their way or the highway, I’ve only got one thing to say.

I’ll take my coffee to go.

Heroes Of The Week!

Superman Becomes a Star/Superheroes Take Over the World

There are officially ninety one days remaining in 2020, not like I’m counting the minutes . . . yet. And I guess the best thing you can say about this year of living dangerously is that Charles Manson isn’t around to say I told you so. 

Not that it’s all bad, really. In fact, there’s a lot of it that’s really been kind of great. And maybe you won’t find it on your cable news networks, or on the front pages of your local newspapers. But no matter, because the good stuff still counts. And apologies ahead of time for the mugshot below, but I think this imbecile resembles the facial composite of our otherwise forgettable year. But no worries, because there’s plenty of pushback to that ugly. 

So let’s get rolling . . .

Man gets 1 year in jail for holding large parties against COVID-19 rules -  ABC News

Shawn Marshall Myers of Hughsville, Maryland was sentenced to a year behind bars for throwing several large parties- in violation of the state’s emergency order. But really, could we add another year? For that hair? . . . .

Alex Smith - Wikipedia

The team formerly known as Redskins ain’t possessing much in the way of positive shout outs. But for their backup quarterback Alex Smith. The former first rounder pick has worked himself all the way back from a devastating leg injury suffered during a game almost two years ago. He underwent 17 surgeries after the injury resulted in a flesh eating disease which threatened his life. Fast forward to now, and he’s made it all the way back. The selfish part of me wishes he would retire rather than risk anything further, but the dude’s heart and soul is the kind of stuff future players should be inspired by. 

Joe Montana and wife rescue grandchild from attempted kidnapping

And speaking of kick ass QB’s, Joe Montana was the epitome of a big game gunslinger in his day; winning four Super Bowls in four tries. But as a grandfather, Joe Cool outdid all of his on field exploits recently when he saved his nine month old grandchild from a would be kidnapper. The incident happened at his Malibu home, where Joe and his wife thwarted the attempt and had the intruder arrested. I’m betting he’d score that as the biggest win of his life. 

Next up, I’ve got a couple of stories that are belated in the telling by yours truly, but no less beautiful in the deeds that were done. 

Justin Gavin is being called a hero after pulling a mom and three children from a burning car.

First up we have 18 year Justin Gavin, who didn’t even have time to put on his cape after he spotted an SUV that had caught fire. He gave chase and finally was able to catch up with the vehicle once it had come to a stop, after which he helped remove a mother and her three children (1, 4 and 9 years old), who had been trapped inside. The Waterbury Police Department honored Gavin with a “Challenge Coin” 

“I hope that when you have that coin it just reminds you of this day and you can reflect back on all the good that came out of this for you and that family that you saved,” said Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo.

There are four people who get to wake up this morning thanks to the actions of this kid. Four stories that keep getting written and one big reason to believe that superheroes are real. 

Hero boxer DeAndre Ware saves fight promoter's life | Atlanta Daily World

DeAndre Ware’s boxing career is currently in a downward slope after his loss to Steven Nelson by TKO in a super middleweight bout early last month. But it was Ware’s actions before the fight even took place that speak to the true value of the man. When Pete Susens- a coordinator for Top Rank Boxing- collapsed during weigh-ins, Ware performed chest compressions that ended up saving his life. You see, Ware also happens to be a firefighter in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio. So while boxing is a passion, his everyday existence is playing out in a ring where the stakes are much higher. And he’s winning. Big time. 

And now Imma dish up a double dose from the Cincinnati Kid over at the blog formerly (and still) known as aFrankAngle. This first story, well . . some of you already know it so I’ll just include the video above. It’s good stuff, so if you haven’t checked it out, please do. 

Derlin Newey, a pizza delivery driver in Utah, hugs the Valdez family after being surprised with a tip of a lifetime.

The second part of Frank’s double shot of good feeling tonic . . . wait for it . . . delivers. The Valdez family are bringing the ‘social’ to social media with a gift they recently presented to a very special person in their lives. Eighty nine year old Derlin Newey is their pizza delivery man- they ask for him every time they place an order. They started recording his deliveries for their TikTok channel @vendingheads because they love the guy so much. 

“It’s insane. Everybody loves him,” said Carlos Valdez. They love the smiles he brings to their faces every time he throws down his signature phrase “Hello, are you looking for some pizza?”

Eighty nine years old and working thirty hours a week because he can’t make ends meet on social security alone. And so the family that’s come to love him decided to ask for donations from their more than 53,000 TikTok followers. They were able to raise $12,000 for Newey. After which they presented him with a great big check, with lots of hugs attached to it.  

“He needed this. I’m just glad we could help him,” said Valdez. “We just need to treat people with kindness and respect the way he does. He stole our hearts.”

It can be so easy to let the cynics win the days, especially these days. But you really don’t have to look very hard to find out just how wrong they are about us humans. Because we’re not doomed. We’re not defeated. We’re not hopeless creatures in a slow march to the end of the sidewalk. We’re more than that, so much more than that. And when the world gives us precious little? 

We give it everything we have. 

Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning’s End

 

America will never be destroyed from the outside - MeetAmerica

A friend of mine once opined, “God blesses America so we don’t have to,” 

There’s only one place in the world like us. And I know you’re probably saying “Thank God for that”, and with good reason considering the current box-score for the home team. But this isn’t an apology piece for the wayward sons and daughters of democracy, since I think apologies have been relegated to packing peanuts. Nor is it a call to glory, in which I drape myself in red velvet, whitewall tires and blueberry pie. 

Yes, the weather forecast isn’t great, but we’ve navigated some pretty rough terrain over the last couple hundred years and somehow we’re still kicking. We can’t behave as if we’re impervious to the idea that our empire’s cracks are showing but we can’t pretend this all happened in a vacuum either. You can wonder aloud as to what Trump voters were thinking back in 2016, but make sure you save some of that indignance for the four in ten eligible voters (Yes, mostly democrats) who chose not to vote at all back then. And that’s the sticky part of the label, isn’t it? We’re really good at passing the blame but when it comes to sharing in it? Not so much. 

Funny Quotes About America | StyleCaster

But I’m not coming here to bury America when I’d much rather celebrate the things I dig about the place. And yeah, okay . . maybe it’s pennies on the dollar’s worth but I’m not interested in a king’s ransom to begin with. 

In Quentin Tarantino’s love letter to old Hollywood, he draws on the guilty pleasures of living life in the contiguous fifty. From Brad Pitt’s muscle shirts to hippie chicks whose jean shorts provide you with a free show . . to boxed mac and cheese and drive in theaters. Sure, other places have the same stuff. But we’ve achieved Warhol status when it comes to transforming these staples into high art. It’s the blessing of our cursed existence that our American ‘might’ now exists in the form of food, technology and entertainment. 

But hey, art is passion . . and it proves we still have a pulse. 

I love America and I hate it. Im torn... - Quote

 

A top 10 list of some of my favorite things about America? In no particular order? Sure, why not . . .

Ventura Highway– As classic rock songs go, it’s an all timer. And the band’s name is America. Need I say more?  

Michael J. Fox– No matter how many times Canada tries stealing him, every ’80’s sitcom lover knows the truth. 

Football– Where else can you root for grown men to hit each other whilst you wager on it . . . whilst eating an oversized hoagie . . . whilst sipping on an oversized beer . . . whilst ignoring your oversized gut . . . whilst bogarting the term ‘whilst’ from the Brits? Hmm? Huh? Hmmm? 

Same day delivery!– Results may vary, so keep the receipt. 

Spray Cheese– Proof that we are God’s favorite children. Or his least favorite children. I can’t decide . . .

24 Hour Everything– You can get married, laid, divorced, fed, high and sobered up at any time of the day or night. 

Throwing peanut shells on the ground– In restaurants, ballparks and most public venues . . it’s a thing. Try doing that in Madrid, where the penalty is death by shooting squad. 

Black Friday– Leave it to Americans to come up with a holiday that involves maxing out your credit cards. The Romans would be like “You gluttonous whores!”. And we love it. 

The Grand Canyon– God created it so’s Evel Knievel could try and jump it. And speaking of . . .

Evel Knievel– He was Elvis on wheels. 

Anyways, I hope Frank doesn’t leave us. But if he does, I’ve got a grocery list ready for the occasion. 

Care Package for Frank

Twinkies
Yoo-hoo
Foot long hot dogs wrapped in bacon and deep fried (with Cheez Wiz on the side)
Alka Seltzer

Okay, so everything in my care package is food. Sue me. Which is such an American thing to say . . because we say it all the time, and we do it even more often than that. 

america-humor-demotivational-posters-1325515039 | Frank C Bishop

Imma close up shop with this thought. We’ve gone scorched earth on the idea of achieving a happy medium in this country, which is concerning, given the fact it’s how the system is supposed to run. That’s because we have a two party system in this country, and I’m not talking about democrats and republicans either. 

On the one hand you have the apologists: These folks believe we need to roll back every last misdeed, as if that was even humanly possible. I’m always amazed by their expectations of America, as if this country hasn’t been straightforward enough in how it handles its business. Our government has committed genocide, laid waste to entire cities and sprayed bacteria over an American city as part of a germ warfare test program. We’re no cupcake party.

And then you have the exceptionalists. It’s a word I just made up, because . . democracy. This group preaches American exceptionalism, which is disturbingly precarious language to anyone who’s reasonably familiar with fascism. They believe hubris is a constitutional right, division is a matter of course and opposition is treasonous. I’m always amazed by their expectations of America, because they behave as if citizenship is a get out of jail free card. 

Two parties, same short sighted mindset: Our ‘equal’ is better than yours. 

So yeah, we’re a long way from better. But we’re not done for, no matter what the oddsmakers are saying. Because if Biden can somehow pull out a victory in November and if a vaccine gets to market and delivers the results we pray it can and if Tom Brady ever starts acting his age . . well then maybe this latest chapter of our American nightmare will have proven to be little more than a shark attack story. We’ll shudder in the telling, we’ll carry the scars, but we’ll have turned the page. 

The founding fathers never said this shit was going to be easy. And as with any dysfunctional relationship, we’re the same as we’ve always been, only worse. But you’ve gotta admit, we’re a genuine page turner. 

Hey, it’s something. 

Heroes Of The Week

For this week’s episode, I was fortunate enough to have been gifted all the stories by my peeps- bloggers and posse alike. So this Friday feels very much like that bodega tucked into the corner of the neighborhood. The one that’s filled with every kind of something and familiar faces that ensure the lights will stay on for a mighty long time. 

Here’s their lineup . . . . 

This first story is brought to us by Dale, who actually delivered up a two for one special. Demetrius Harvard came up zeroes after tossing construction debris onto the subway tracks at 14th Street and 8th Avenue Station in Chelsea this week. As a result, he was charged with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, assault and criminal trespass. These crimes caused a train derailment that could have resulted in tragedy if not for a “heroic crew” that was able to stop the train and deliver the 135 passengers on board to safety. When it comes to acts of heroism, the Big Apple’s inhabitants don’t need Spiderman’s help. They got this. 

Good Samaritan Rikien Wilder, 44, who jumped into the tracks to remove debris and detained suspect Demetrius Harvard.

And a big thank you to LA for her shout out on the train derailment story. She told me to look up Rikein Wilder for this week’s episode, and I’m glad I did. 

Wilder was on the platform when he witnessed Harvard dumping debris on the tracks. He navigated a set of stairs that led to the tracks and removed some of the debris before the train reached the station; his actions helping to prevent a derailment. He then ran upstairs to alert transit workers before returning to the platform to find Harvard at it again. This time Harvard was successful in his attempt to derail a subway car, after which Wilder gave chase and caught him, pinning him down for fifteen minutes before authorities arrived. MTA Chairman Pat Foye said our hero “exemplifies the best of New York,” and I would simply add this. Rikein Wilder exemplifies the best in all of us. 

Next up on the docket is a beauty of a get from Frank. In his words, “This nomination is so odd that it’s good. For me, no hero – but a collective that came together for something out of the ordinary.” And with all due respect to the Cincinnati Kid, Imma disagree with his assessment. Because every simple act of kindness behaves as spiritual fuel, and Lord knows we live inside a time when our tanks are in constant need of a fill up. I’ll let the video do the rest of my talking on this one. Enjoy. 

Pregnant Woman Jumps Into Ocean To Save Husband From Shark Attack

My pal Jen says we can call it a wrap when it comes to dishing up the Wife of the Year award, because Margot Dukes-Eddy has it in the bag after what she pulled off in the Florida Keys recently. Margot and her husband Andrew were enjoying a day on the water with their family when he decided to take a swim. No sooner had he moved into the water than a nine foot bull shark attached its razor sharp teeth to his shoulder. Margot dove in and was able to remove him from the water and while doctors are saying he still has a fight ahead of him, it’s almost a certainty he wouldn’t have made it out of the water alive if not for the quick actions of his wife. Who . . oh by the way, happens to be pregnant. Let’s hope these two kids will be recounting one hell of a fish story fifty years from now. 

Dak Prescott made NFL history during his amazing performance in the  Cowboys' comeback win - Blogging The Boys

Leave it to my compadre Big Papi to find his way into this week’s episode, unwittingly. He was chatting up his Dallas Cowboys recently when he made mention of Dak Prescott’s heroics on the field before segueing into the quarterback’s recent statements about mental health. And then I went to look it up and here’s an excerpt. 

“All throughout this quarantine and this offseason, I started experiencing emotions I’ve never felt before,” Prescott said. “Anxiety for the main one. And then, honestly, a couple of days before my brother passed, I would say I started experiencing depression. And to the point of, I didn’t want to work out anymore. I didn’t know necessarily what I was going through, to say the least, and hadn’t been sleeping at all.”

Depression isn’t a topic I feel quite so courageous about delving into all that often, so I appreciate someone like Prescott. Because for all the critics out there who believe that sports should stay in its lane, its guys like him who are able to shine a light on matters that have been kept in the dark for far too long. 

More than three and a half million Americans live with depression, and those numbers are rising. It does not discriminate and it is relentless. So when we hear an athlete such as Prescott open up about his own mental health issues, it might be easy for some to dismiss him as an anomaly since “he has it all” and so really, what does he have to be depressed about? 

Well, check out this list . . .

Kevin Love, DeMar DeRozan, Brandon Marshall, Michael Phelps, Imani Boyette, Amanda Beard, Justin Duchscherer, Allison Schmitt, Ricky Williams, Jerry West, Serena Williams, Ronda Rousey, Delonte West, Dwayne Johnson, Terry Bradshaw, Joey Votto, Ian Thorpe, Andy Baddely, Ricky Hatton, Dan Carcillo, John Kirwan, Shea Emry, Andrew Jensen, David Freese, Larry Sanders, Oliver Bone, Frank Bruno, Jack Green, Michael Yardy. 

These are just some of the names you’ll find when you go looking for famous athletes who’ve reached the pinnacle of their professions. And every single one of them battles depression on a daily basis. 

There but for the grace of God, you keep on. You find a reason to wake up and to keep up and most of all, you find a reason not to give up. But don’t tell me there’s not some kid out there who can’t learn from the experiences of these athletes. And maybe, just maybe, it becomes their lighthouse in the storm. Because when a guy like Prescott speaks up the way he did, no, it’s not about the games. 

And that’s the point. 

 

 

 

 

The One Where Melvin Udall Is My Spirit Animal

I was invited to a poker game recently and it was one of those moments when my life flashed before my eyes. I gotta say, it bore a remarkably satisfying resemblance to a movie. If that movie happened to be a mashup of Good Fellas, Dexter, The Fisher King and The Shining. Don’t worry, the amalgam makes perfect sense to me sans meds. I think . . .

Anyways, this invite held all the appeal of a lunch date with my dentist. Sans meds. So I did what any civilized member of society would do when faced with an unpleasant situation. I lied my ass off. Which means that maybe there is hope for me when it comes to the idea of peacefully coexisting with other humans. Okay . . probably not. But lying in order to extricate myself from said unpleasant situation is progress. 

The last time I played poker was during the Obama administration. The unfortunately assailable contingent I had invited over decided to involve themselves in a political argument about the Philadelphia Eagles. Things got so heated that I kicked them out. Admittedly, I could’ve reacted more sensibly to their imbecilic rantings, but hey, there were five of them and I only had three bullets in my snub nosed revolver, so there’s that. 

Fast forward to recently . . .

“We’re having a get together next weekend, gonna play poker. I’m gonna have beer,” 

I should have been insulted by the way in which this individual- I’ll call him Chris since that’s his name- introduced the presence of adult beverages to me. As if I need alcohol in order to function in any kind of social setting. Never mind the fact he was correct, I was still flattered. Of course he really doesn’t know me all that well if he imagined beer was an adequate sedative for yours truly. Beer is simply the gateway drug you gift me at the door, after which I take to fixing myself a well starched martini with three olives, stuffed with Xanax. 

“Man that sounds great, but I’m having the kids over . . .” I lied. 

This is why you have kids. Well, one of the reasons. I’m sure there are others . . . 

Of course, I could have taken Chris up on the invitation if only for the material. But it would have meant spending two hours and thirty seven minutes at a social gathering I had scant (zero) interest in attending (I worked up a scientific model in which I postulate this is the minimum amount of time I would need to invest. The presence of beer added forty six minutes). 

As the above scenario involving that motley crew of football fans attests, I have an allergic reaction to gatherings of more than two individuals. In my experiences, that’s where forgettable shit tends to happen. Don’t take my word for it. Just look at Congress, and the Cleveland Browns. So to think that beer is going to san my skrit, Guten my berg or Prima my donna is to bark a Don McLean song up a redwood tree. In other words, it’s like presenting me with a coupon for a complimentary prostate exam. 

Now, if I was truly immersed in the Zen of Ernesto Fonseca Carillo, I would’ve reported this gathering to the COVID police. Problem is, there is no such organization. Yet. So instead I’ll await the post game reports that are certain to be littered with horror stories. Because every time an individual has their bell rung in the form of marriage counseling or a DUI, it can only mean one thing. 

A social butterfly just got its wings ripped off.