Friday, September 26, 2008

Summer '08

I was scheduled to play in a two day golf tournament today in Great Barrington at Wyanteunck Country Club, one of my favorite courses anywhere, but it was cancelled due to the back to back, east coast storms we are experiencing here in Massachusetts. Today is a chilly, rainy fall day perfect for sitting under the covers in my sweats watching football. Since I'll have to wait 'till tomorrow to watch football in my sweats, I'm going through pictures I've taken over the summer to decide which ones should be developed and which ones will sit on my computer indefinitely. I did a similar post at the end of spring(click here)wherein I posted pics of my maniacal spring. Here are some pics of my more than maniacal summer.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Then There Were Two

I am a stay at home dad...kind of. My job as a director in a non-profit, human service agency affords me the chance to be home during the day. I get my work done by phone or computer and if need be get my sister or sister in law to watch my two boys if I have a meeting or emergency. My son Matt was born 5 1/2 years ago. For his first two years on earth it was just me and him, Monday through Friday, in tandem. We went to the gym together (him in his "carrier" 'till about ten months), ate meals together, napped together, golfed together (once again, him in the carrier or in the stroller. Yes, I pushed a stroller around the golf course!) everything together.

When my son Peter was born three years ago, he joined the "boys club". Three of us, all day, playing, living and learning, but most of all, loving. This past summer the "boys club" was in full swing. Trips to the lake, "bear hunting" in the park (before you call PETA, it was pretend), thousands of pitched baseballs, bike and Big Wheel rides around the block, lunch at the driving range. We even, on occasion, let a girl into the club named "Mommy" who joined us at the beach, on the golf course and even a trip to ride the swan boats in Boston.

Summer is ending and fall is on the horizon. Now the "boys club" is down to two. Matthew started kindergarten last week. On his first day of school we walked him 1/4 mile up the hill to his new club. He'll make new friends, learn new things and live a new life filled with new and exciting experiences. Me and Pete will be back at home running the old "boys club". Just me and Pete. Going to the park, playing ball, eating PBJ. It won't be the same without Matt, but different isn't necessarily bad. Matthew and I had two years alone in the club without Peter wherein we got to know each other unlike no other. We mimicked each others movements, words and emotions. Now I'll get to know Pete in the same way. The "boys club" will live on for two more years until Peter makes that walk up the hill in the waining days of summer. Then we'll close the doors to the "boys club", but not for good. The club will be open on school vacations and from June 21st until Labor Day for the next 20 years or so. After my boys are done with college and make their way out into the world I hope they'll take some time and revisit the "boys club". Hopefully we can keep the "boys club" going indefinitely. It'll always be open for business

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Dark and The Light

The Dark
Seven years ago, this very moment, I watched the unfolding drama taking place in New York City (read here for my recollection of that morning). I have always been interested in world affairs, reading Boston Globe from front to back each morning and watching the news each evening. After 9/11 I have had a heightened awareness of the United States standing in the world and developed a cynical view of our governments overall foreign policy.

Grease makes things run smoother. That's what our current administration does not understand. The Bush doctrine runs in absolutes. Terrorist attack... go to war. Political disagreement...disengage diplomacy. That's not how the world works. Back in prehistoric times how could members of different tribes interact without conflict? By shows of good faith. Offers of food, shelter, resources, assistance were ways to indicate that tribes were friendly and trustworthy. Nothing has changed in thousands of years.

Being that we are the world's preeminent power don't you think we would improve our standing, develop new allies, strengthen out existing relationships by spending on our money helping other countries, especially those who currently despise us? Look at it this way. When Ben and Jerry's has a "free ice cream" day they are advertising their product in the hopes that the money they lose in giving away product with be recouped and future business will increase. If they spent their money on running ads putting down Friendly's Ice Cream and spent money trying to undermine the Friendly's corporation, they still have to spend money to sell their product, because the destruction of Friendly's does not guarantee that people will buy Ben and Jerry's. You catch more flies with ice cream.

War should always be used as a last resort. In WW II we stayed out of the war until knew all the players and knew that we had to go to war or lose everything. After 9/11 we knew very little, but fabricated intelligence in order to appear to be doing something. We still haven't found the people responsible. Why? Because we haven't greased the wheels, we blew up the car.

The Light
I was reading Rolling Stone magazine while doing cardio at the gym yesterday. The issue was dedicated to comedy and there were a couple of jokes that made me laugh so hard that I almost fell off the Precor machine.

Joke #1:

A guy's having sex with his wife. All of a sudden he looks over at the door and there in the doorway is his eight year old son standing there. The kid looks horrified and runs away. The guy says to his wife "Well, I better go talk to Jimmy". He puts on his clothes and goes down to Jimmy's room. He opens the door and there's Jimmy nailing Grandma. The father goes "Oh, my God!" and the kid goes "Not so funny when it's your mom, is it?".

Joke #2:

Guy goes to the doctor and the doctor says, "Sir, you've got to stop masturbating!" and the guy was like, "Why?" and the doctor says, "So I can examine you".

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


I don't know how many of you have seen the movie "Tootsie", but if you were born after 1980 and have no idea what I'm talking about let me fill you in. Dustin Hoffman was trying to get an acting job as himself, a man, and got nowhere. He found out that a soap opera was looking for a strong female lead and decided to go to an audition dressed as a woman and got the job based on his improvisations as a no nonsense, kick ass, feminist who would take no shit from anyone. Of course, hilarity ensues due to the fact that he is really a man and has to deal with the harassment and struggles of being a woman in a male dominated world. Her nickname by the chauvinist director of the soap is "Tootsie". He even calls her this while slapping her on the ass. In the end everyone finds out her/his secret and more hilarity ensues.

Since the coming out party for Gov. Palin as the republicans VP choice I keep seeing "Tootsie" up on stage. A strong willed, independant, modern woman who can bring home the moose meat, fry it up in a pan and spit out more kids than a paddy in heat (my apologies to Irish moms, but as my cousin says, everyone makes fun of the Irish and its OK, except for the black Irish, of course). She is firing up "Wal-Mart" women all over the country and is the biggest celebrity this side of Barak Obama.

Tootsie did the same thing. She was on every magazine and TV show touting feminist ideals and the destruction of the glass ceiling. In the end everyone found out Tootsie's secret and the feminist fad was over. I keep wondering, what will we find out about the Governor? Its hard to say as she is yet to do an interview 12 days after her announcement as VP candidate. I would suffice to say that she was brought in to fire up the Republican base believing in core issues such as no gun control, overturning Roe V Wade, expanding the death penalty, teaching "intelligent design" as a valid theory of evolution and turning the U.S. into a Christian Theocracy.

The shock to the world when everyone found out that "Tootsie" was a man was more disappointment than anything. No one was hurt and women were empowered even though it was by deception. Women are in for a shock when the truth comes out about Palin. The Republican machine has "dressed her up" to appear to be a middle class, struggling mom who is driving the minivan to hockey games and PTA meetings. Is it possible for a family whose mother is a Governor and father is a BP oil executive who owns a commercial fishing business to be middle class? We'll soon find out who the real Sarah Palin is and it won't be as entertaining as a man playing a woman, dressed in drag. I wish it were that funny.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

BC/GT Challenge

Plez, from the ATL, is a huge Georgia Tech fan. As a proud alum, he put his pride on the line last year by accepting a challenge I proposed to him. If the Boston College Eagles, led by Matt Ryan beat his beloved Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, then he would have to put the Eagle logo on his blog for a week and vice-verse. Last year he was a man of his word and displayed the Eagle for a week and was complimentary of the Eagles play that day. He even got on the Matt Ryan bandwagon as a Heisman hopeful. This year he accepted the same challenge and the outcome was much different. The "Ramblin' Wreck" , eaked out a win in Chestnut Hill 16-13 in a horribly played game. Both offenses sputtered. The BC Quarterback, Chris Crane, was a painful reminder that Matt Ryan is now leading the Atlanta Falcons (talk about ironic) to victory. He could not throw the between the numbers and had at least 7 tipped passes. Tech was equally as pitiful on offense, fumbling the ball numerous times. The defenses were decent enough, but in the end Tech made one fewer error than BC and now you can admire the GT Yellowjacket displayed prominently at the top of my blog. My cousin Sul-dog and I watched the game perched over the 15 yard line and had a great time despite the horrific play on the field (read here for last years family reunion at the Heights). BC fans have been spoiled over the past eight years. Things don't look promising in the Heights. Congrats Plez and lets hope both teams look better in the weeks to come.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Isn't "Juno" A City In Alaska?

I am taking a break from the "Masshole Memoirs", as my friend Tim likes to call my blog, to kvetch about Alaska's Govenor Palin. As most of you have heard unless you've been on vacation...on the moon...that John McCain's running mate Sarah Palin has a 17 year old daughter who is five months pregnant. Do I care that a 17 year old is pregnant...not really. My mother was 17 when I was born and let me tell you, not the best thing. I can say with full conviction that she would have been better off having an abortion and not having kids till she was grown up, which may have never happened, but I digress. I am happy (cause I'm still here yeaaaa) that back in those days prior to Roe Vs Wade pregnant teens, especially Irish Catholic pregnant teens, thought it was relatively normal to have kids when they were still kids. There is a huge double standard here that the mainstream media has not yet exposed and that is if Barack Obama had a 17 year old daughter that was pregnant the Republican machine would be having a field day!

The party that touts "abstinence" as a method of birth control and drones on about family values and the fact that the godless liberals are ripping apart the moral fiber of this country have no further to look than number two on their Presidential ticket to see their failed policies and rhetoric. Regular readers of this space know the one thing that drives me "ape shit" is hypocrisy. Here are my points:

1) If Palin's daughter was poor, minority, fatherless or drug addicted or all of the former, then the religious right would says that the reason why she was pregnant was a moral issue and bring up the fact that she probably needs religion, an intact family unit and more religion. What's Palin's daughters excuse? "Her and her boyfriend got carried away in a loving moment and made an innocent mistake" is what they'll tell the congregation. Of course 17 year old black girls living in NYC, the place we can all agree as in moral decay ala Gomorrah, don't have loving moments with their boyfriends. They just fuck like animals and have no feelings other than jonesing for crack and succumbing to those decadent Hip Hop lyrics.

2) I can't speak for the Palin family, but she will be number two on a republican ticket, a party which touts abstinence as a method of birth control. If the Palin's sent their daughter to abstinence class, had her sign a "chastity agreement" or did nothing at all the outcome is the same, she is as knocked up as Jaime Lynn Spears. Right now the Red Stater's are all singing her praises, but are they really when she is now the poster child for ineffective birth control.

3) Isn't it a tad hypocritical to bash single parents who want to have kids (ala Murphy Brown) and gays that want to adopt because in their stunted view "how can you give your kids enough attention when you don't have someone to share the parenting?". The last I knew, Governors work 16 hour days and have very little time off. Her husband works for BP as an oil-field production operator and owns a commercial fishing business, which doesn't leave a lot of "family time". They have an intact family unit with plenty of financial resources, but their kid still got knocked up. I guess all of that family values shit the republicans have been shoving down our throat since Regan doesn't mean a thing. Even when you have the most traditional of families and a strong family unit with no financial concerns things can still go awry.

4) Why are her kids off limits in a political race? Since we know little or nothing about her what are we supposed to go on? Well, since she runs on an ultra- conservative platform we can use her own social views as a benchmark for evaluating her effectiveness. By having a 17 year old pregnant daughter she appears to be a failure as a parent by definition of her and her party's platform. If kids are off limits when evaluating a candidates character then lets ask the Kennedy's, Nixon's, Ford's, Regan's, Bush 41, Clinton's and Bush 43 about kids being off limits...yeah... right.

I have no personal issue with Mrs. Palin. I'll be the first to admit, as 99.9% of America will attest, that I know next to nothing about her. I do have an issue with the Republican party and how they will try to win at all costs, including spinning a 17 year old girls pregnancy to their advantage even when it goes against their core beliefs and have been bashing liberals on this for 20 years.

In the movie Juno, a 16 year old girl gets pregnant and decides to give the baby up for adoption to a well off couple. It paints an unrealistic and rosy picture of teen pregnancy. She lives in suburbia somewhere, has lots of support, is far from destitute and it all works out in the end. If the movie took place in NYC and the girl was black and poor with no father and a mother on crack would there be a rosy outcome? Isn't Juno a city in Alaska?