Archive for the ‘book reviews’ Category

I’m all write.

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

(Inspired greatly by David Sedaris new book “Theft By Finding Diaries 1977-2002” I decided to at least attempt to write a few words every day. I have read every one of Davids books and wish I could write like him.
Below is the result of my experiment. I edited out many days because my life is truly that boring. It was still fun and I’ve continued the experiment)

JANUARY 8 2017
The Giants lost to the Packers today 38-13 in a season ending playoff game. I’ve lost something with football. Not sure what it is. I remember when I was a kid and I would be obsessed. I’ve actually lost alot of passion for anything period.

January 21
Mike pulled up alongside the street in front of our house in the Spaceship and Kryha called out to me; “do you wanna go?” So yes, spur of the moment jumped in and next thing I know it’s me Kryha and Joanna marching down 5th avenue in the woman’s march in New York. Wall to wall people, signage and protest. Truly an amazing feeling to be in the middle of this thing. One day after inauguration day. Very powerful. They blocked off Trump towers and the march ended there. Joanna took us to this warm restaurant Le Relais De Venise L’ Entrecote. A French steakhouse. Only one thing on the menu, steak. There was also a salad and a secret mustard sauce. Mostly we shared photos on our phones of the hysterical anti-trump signage but it was great to be out of the cold.

January 22
I’m still thinking about yesterday, how awesome it was. When we got on the train in Seacacus there was standing room only. The crowd was already pumped up and we were practically hanging out the doors and windows to get to Grand Central Station. So we stood all the way to Mid town and from a distance you could see the march. I’ll never forget those thousand and thousands of people. I haven’t been this politically active since me and a few friends marched in front of the Carteret Post Office in the protesting the reinstatement of registration for the draft.

March 18 Ocean Grove/Asbury Park
In a rare day, I was able to get both Joshua and Jonathan together at the same time. They jumped into my car and at the last second I decided to just wing it and head down the Parkway south. We ended up at the Silverball a Pinball museum on the Asbury boardwalk. Renovated pinball machines from the turn of the century to the present. Pay one price for an hour and we all got seriously lost in the clatter of pinball. One of the coolest places and best days I have had in a long time.
Afterward we slowly drove thru the incredible architecture of a small quaint town called Ocean Grove looking for grub. We stumbled into a place called Nagles. Known for its ice cream and sandwiches we found a nice table and I felt lucky because it’s really just a small drugstore.
There is something magical about anything you do on the oceanfront.

April 10 Wood-Ridge
I was up all night with a stabbing pain in my right shoulder. I’m not sure what it is from but I assume I ripped a rotary cuff in my shoulder. The pain is incredible. I try the couch, the bed and finally fall asleep in the rocking chair in our room. The landlord, who we code name Frank, has mentioned selling the house we live in. We only moved in a year ago. This has caused confusion and stress. My boss isn’t responding to any emails. I don’t know where he is and the company account is very low with many bills. We code name him Frank because Kryha thinks he has bugged our rental and we don’t want him to think we are talking about him. Related: my boss is an asshole.

April (13) Rutherford NJ Bus Stop
She was so happy when I dropped her off at 5 AM. Still dark. Empty bus stand. First stop New York and then on to Boston. A half a days journey. It is the smile on her face I will never forget. One suitcase. Filled with things to give her children on her little Easter visit.

April 16 Pine Brook
The boss is out of internet reach on an island off the African coast. I can not get a hold of him and there are some serious issues going on here. When I come thru the front door every morning I pass empty cubicles of laid off workers. Even though they are not there anymore I say good morning to each and every one.

April (?) Pine Brook
I found a subpoena taped to the outside glass door at work today. This is from First Industrial for the missed rent payments. A court date in Morristown looms.

April 21 Work
In a static-ridden conversation on the phone with the boss from Africa, he told me to lay off everyone but me and Rubin. It broke my heart to tell them. They were hard workers and great people. This is it. I think. It’s almost over.
I negotiated a payment plan for the back rent so court has been cancelled pending timely payments.

April 24 Kitchen
Kryha is crazy excited because she saw the “crazy animal” running across the ledge of one of her upper flower garden. It only comes out once in a while but eats the flowers and vegetables.

April 28 North Jersey
I have prayed for guidance for a long time from the Spirit and today is the day I was slapped in the face, kicked in the ass, grabbed by the shoulders and shoved into another direction.
I now have a terrible secret that keeps me apart from normal people.

May 10 Wood-Ridge
I finally put the tomatoes in the ground. I can’t explain this either. Somewhere between last year and this year I lost some passion for this home. I think it happened when Frank suddenly spread a rumor at Lucky Larry’s about selling it. This angered me and then worried me and it compounded my other fear of losing my job. I mean it seems like we just moved here and now he wants to put it on the market? If he did “wire” the place like Kryha thinks, I hope he heard me scream Fuck You Frank when nobody else was home.

May 23 Wood-Ridge
I have been riding my bike almost every day. The hills in this town are brutal. Some of them must be 20 degrees or more. Sometimes I take the hills for the challenge.

May 20
In a bike ride around the neighborhood I am almost hit by a careless woman who looked like she was texting. Last Summer much to my horror, I dislocated my finger falling down our front concrete stairs. And a few weeks later I got stung by a jellyfish in Spring Lake right on my dick.

May 30 Hasbrook Heights
Themes of fear and depression but I am taking care of important things.
Kryha spends hours and hours working on the layered garden in the backyard.

June 3 Woodland Park
On my bike. I am constantly inspired by patterns and prints, trees, current surroundings, the wind whistling across my face and listening in on conversations at Starbucks.

June 4
The KIA begins to SCREAM now when I drive. It’s the compressor, I know it. It finally died. I also know that they start at around $800. to replace. Why would I do that for a car with 185,000 miles on it?
It’s going to be a long Summer without AC in the car.

June 5 Pine Brook
At work every morning I pray and thank God in a mindfulness meditation expression. It is so strange having no real interaction with people at work. Except for the phone calls from customers which at first I dreaded and then grew to love. Most people are very polite and kind, even if there was a problem with their order I eagerly fix it and issue a redo. Once a very long time ago, my father told me in his store, the customer is always right. That is certainly open for debate.

June 6 Pine Brook
I never know what to expect when I pick up the work mail for this place at the PO Box across the street. It’s usually bad news. Anna has been home from Boston and has been in a cooking mood. The tea room, our sanctuary in the backyard is now open late nights.

June 7 Wood-Ridge
Snowie is sick. Some kind of skin thing.

June 8 Wood-Ridge
Kryhas birthday. We all chipped in a bought her a new phone. I wrapped the phone in a small box and kept re-wrapping it into bigger and bigger boxes.
It was a nice surprise for her. The phone was, not all the boxes.

June 9
The companies pick up service with UPS has stopped. This has never happened. The company owes so much money, they stopped service. I am negotiating a pay back deal with emails just to get service on again. So customers orders are sitting in the warehouse while the owner gets a tan on an island somewhere off the coast of Africa. Meanwhile I have no idea where the rent money is going to come from.

June 14
We had the BBQ of all BBQ’s this night. Alot of Charles friends were here, my son Jonathan and the usual Polish crew. Things really got going when Charles friends broke out the acoustic and started playing and singing.

June 10
There’s talk going around the house of shaving Snowie.

June 12 Pine Brook
Every time I take my car for an oil change they find something else wrong with it. “Your tire rods are loose” he said and took me into the garage to look. My Kia was up in the air and he went over to the frot tire and shook it. It didn’t look THAT bad. My typical response, “I’ll fix it next time”

June (?) Wood-Ridge
I came home from work today and Snowie was sitting on the couch with all her long beautiful white fur shaved off.
I was stunned. Not by the radical haircut as much by the fact that she was just sitting there on the couch. She hasn’t been able to jump onto the couch in years. And nobody is home.

June 22 Barnes&Noble
Joshua’s birthday. He is somewhere in Germany deployed with the Air Force. I always remember the day when they were born. It seems like another lifetime now. I was working in a huge refrigerated warehouse, teamsters union, commuting from Brick to Edison every night. I was watering our brand new lawn (sand) of our brand new house when I heard her scream upstairs that her water broke. A couple hours later we had a brand new baby.
Wasn’t this supposed to be the “American Dream”?

June 24 Montclair
A nice hot great day to end up in an air conditioned movie theater. While the girls went to get seats in the theater, I lagged behind and thought I’d surprise them with popcorn and coke.
I was greeted with my snack surprise with, “Why did you get this?” “Next time ask!” Kryha has that magical way of destroying nice things sometimes. Besides that little drama (I’ll never buy her popcorn again) Dinner With Beatrice was a lovely movie. It was deeper than the ocean with a very strange ending that kind ended in the ocean. Bit of a disappoint based on the huge sigh the theater released when the closing credits suddenly appeared.

June 25 Camden
Not impressed with this outdoor arena at all. I don’t like being this close to Philly. The Delaware river looks like a swamp. Cumberland Blues was a rocket to Mars, boy they can really get crazy on the two jams in that song. Once again I drums into space was memorable for me. Just love chaos.

June 26
Snowie has been sick. She is very sad and has stopped barking. Very concerned and Anna is freaking out and blaming us for not taking care of her.

June 25 Rutherford
So Anna found this vet opened on Sunday and we took Snowie. For some reason everyone in the waiting room thought that when I called Krystyna to come over to me, it was our dogs name. So they all looked at Snowie and smiled and repeated me “Ohhhh Krystynia… how cute”
This was appropriate however, as Anna and I have already determined that Snowie and Kryha are starting to look alike.

July 1 Wood-Ridge
Sitting in the sun reading the North Jersey Record. This fucking so-called president is a real piece of work. Kryha and I watch CNN daily in total disbelief at what is happening in this country. Bullies don’t come from strength – they come from weakness.
Krystyna’s cumbernickel crop is huge. Tomatoes are looking good but not even close to last years bumper crop. Thats because I didnt care and plants can sense those things.

July 2 Wood-Ridge
Mike the puppet maker has been working on this nine foot tall puppet in their studio. It’s actually a walk around custom, more than a puppet. “Throg” is in the works hanging in front of their view of the New York skyline. Anna, Kryha and I wanted to take Mike out to dinner but he ended up taking us. He said he “owed us” He took the spaceship to Hoboken and we ate at Leos, his favorite Italian restaurant. I think Joanna was at Johnson and Johnson working out some details for a logo redesign. After dinner it was a beautiful dusk, the sun was at that perfect angle. He drove around Hoboken a little. We went past Frank Sinatra park in front of the Hudson river and towering New York skyline. Everyone was in the park. There was orange and yellow reflecting off all the glass and mirrors from the setting sun. The spaceships entire roof slides open and he rolled the windows down and drove thru historic Hoboken. When I was in my twenties it was a crazy scary place where I used to buy coccain. Now it’s a hipster town with beautiful rows of brownstones, restaurants, bars and scarce parking.

July 4 Wood-Ridge
Jonathan came over to hang out and at night we went over to Mike and Joannas. We had the Macy’s fireworks on TV and we could also see them from their balcony lighting up the sky and skyscrapers of the NYC skyline. Joanna made zapiekanka – a polish dish – toasted bread with mushrooms and cheese. I always call it Polish pizza much to the dismay of Kryha.

July 21
Today is Jonnys birthday. I can only text him and then call later. This is going to be his final year at Rutgers. His grades are amazing. I miss the birthdays we had when they were kids. Summer Birthdays means BBQ and food and many people. One time I actually rented a clown. He had a serious allergy from something in our back yard and had to keep taking off his red nose. He was a fucking mess with tears and snot and sneezing. His final act was pulling a rabbit out of a hat and the kids went nuts. Layla actually ended up getting a rabbit as a pet shortly after that. The clown costs fifty bucks which I thought was worth it but then he was asking for a tip and I felt like punching him in the face like John Candy did in that movie Uncle Buck.

August 2
The news said several “Rain bombs” are coming. When did all this extravagant naming for things like storms and moons begin? When I was a kid we just said Thunderstorm.

August 3
Anna was right outside the back door pestering Kryha and me to come look at this lightening in the sky. I’ve seen lightening before so I didn’t go. She kept calling us to come look at this. So we went out the back door, stood in the backyard and looked up. The lightening was silent and it crawled thru the clouds like a snake. Constant and ever changing. The clouds were rolling shades of black, gray and orange. It was, after all the most amazing lightening I have ever seen. This is something the weather people need to name.

August 6
This was like dream. I was just following Anna and Kryha in Ridgewood. Kryha drove there for “something to do” and they went thru town like they knew where they were going. I had no idea what we were doing, not even sure where we were. I really just felt disorientated. We walked thru this empty town until they ended up at this place “Cravings Tapas Bristo”.
“Do you have reservations? we were asked
Reservations??!! I thought. The place is empty.
But they seated us anyway and we chose a table outside.
“This is small plates George.” Anna said
Small plates?
So … appetizers for the main course.

August 8 Wood-Ridge
Krystyna picked up Snowie and carried her into the bathtub and is washing her with this special shampoo the vet gave her. As she washes her, she sings her a song with her name in Polish. Snowie is a good girl, she never fights a bath.

August 10
The white noise from this tall fan from Costco that Kryha put in our room is highly addicting. I have never slept or dreamed better.

August 12 Inman Rd. Edison
Josh is back from deployment in Germany and we are at the driving range clubbing golf balls into an empty field. Nobody will ever understand how good this is for you unless they try it. My other son Jonny is AWOL. He just disappears most times. He and five other students are renting a house for their final semester. All I see in my mind is Animal House Keg parties.
Earlier we had lunch with my sister-in-law Ann who was on her way home to Florida. Lunch at the Reo, a famous dinner in New Jersey and then a quick visit to Shop-Rite to pick up a couple pounds of Pork Roll to bring back.
Besides Germany, Josh was able to visit Amsterdam, Paris and Prague. He told me how he was able to drive 170 MPH on the Autobahn and I was like, PLEASE – I can’t believe I used to hold these kids min my arms now they are having keg parties and driving 170 mph!.

August 17
Today my friend Jim McSherry would have been 57 years old. He just died of congestive heart failure a week ago. I’m still trying to figure that out. His wife insisted that I call him a few weeks ago. I’m so glad I did. He never told me he was fucking dying! She never did either. I guess you just don’t call people and say “I’m dying” or maybe I was supposed to know that. I would have never hung up the phone if he told me that.
Also today, my brother Glenn passed away three years ago.
Our family used to joke that he had nine lives like a cat. Now it’s still hard to believe that three of us are gone already.

August 19 StarBucks
I checked my “FindFriends” app on my phone and Kryha is 4,329 miles away from me in Leszczyna Poland.

August 20 Wood-Ridge
I am eating tomatoes one after another like grapes.
I have decided to separate myself from my job. In the way I have always said “we” meaning Tim , me and the company, I will now only say canvas4life or YOUR company. I realize how much worrying and loss of sleep I am going thru and it is making me sick. Evey email I get from him is “from my iphone” so apparently he is always at that island. How could he not let me know? Am I not his manager? What the fuck is he hiding? We’re running out of money again. From now on I just work here. I leave it here when I go home.

August 21 Parsippany
There was a huge build up to this day. A solar eclipse was supposed to cover most of the country. I was in the parking lot getting out of my car around 230 and that’s when they said it would “hit”. The shadows did seem weird.
All I saw was an old lady holding a newspaper over her head and running into the store.

August 22 Rt. 46
At what point do you stop putting money into a car with over 185 thousand miles on it?
Also I captured the “crazy animal” in a trap.
I am bringing it to work with me tomorrow to release it outside the grounds.

August 25 Wood-Ridge
Kryha comes home from Poland today. Apparently there’s a lot of drama happening there.
Anna and I went to Mob Burger at the top of Moonachie ave. Gourmet burgers are such a big deal in the USA now. So 34 dollars for two hamburgers, two fries and one shake is a big deal. I am 57 years old today.

September 1 Pine Brook
I miss going on vacation. The healthiest thing you can do is just get the hell away from everything. Home and work. It’s a huge beautiful world out there. I know this by printing our customers vacation photos.

September 7
There are currently three hurricanes brewing in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time. Irma, Hose and Katia.

September (??)
My brother Gary in Florida has taken my his family and our brother Greg in a car and evacuated to Alabama. Irma looks insanely dangerous.

September 9 Hackensack
I went to the oral surgeon in the morning and went about the rest of my day with blood all over my shirt. A lot of people looking at me in horror and avoiding me.

September 10
Went to Harry’s to watch opening kickoff for the start of the season. Harry always makes this incredible meal, Joe brings dessert and I bring wings. The Giants continued their very sucky ways of the preseason and lost. Something tells me it’s going to be a long season. But this time I don’t care.

September 11 Emerson
September 11 is my generations Pearl Harbor and that always dwells in my mind. More so since me, Gary, Ann and Josh went to the 9/11 memorial and museum last year.
Once again Kryha has poor Snowie in the bathtub and she is singing in Polish to ease her mind.

September 13 Wood-Ridge
Mosquitoes have totally ruined our backyard retreat this year.

September 14
Communication distortions. I sat down on the kitchen table face to face with Kryha and we ironed it out. Honesty isn’t complicated.
The next morning my alarm went off like it always does at 5AM and Kryha woke up to tell me she had a dream that she was pregnant and had a baby girl.

September 22
Friday night. No work tomorrow. By candlelight in the tea room the sky turns vanilla and orange as the sun sets and we sip tea.

September 24
Two days after Kryha had her dream that she had our baby I had a dream about the baby.
She was two years old and was looking out the kitchen window on 6th street.
“Look” she says pointing down
There is a row of huge tarantulas walking like ducks in a row in our rock filled backyard. Every day the family of spiders appear and they are a little bit bigger each time.
Soon they are as big as small dogs.

September 29
On the edge of October I bite into an apple that Merek picked in The Chester. There was a worm peeking out of a small hole after I bit it. I ran to the bathroom and spit it all out.
The next few days I asked everybody I know if this has ever happened to them. Every single one says no.
So apparently I won the lottery of apples in life.

October 8 East Rutherford
Buck drove up from Brick to attend the Giants real home opener. I didn’t count the Monday night game because Monday night games suck. Buck successfully changed his name from Tim many years ago because he didn’t like people calling him Timmy. Buck is much more rugged and masculine I guess. He was very fortunate to have pulled that off. Not many people can successfully initiate changing their name.
I shared with Buck my increasing lack of desire to follow football and he told me, “Well, of coarse you are damn it. You’ve been going for fifty fucking years!”
He also told me he would buy a few games from me to relieve the financial pressure I complained about also.
In between halftime and the middle of the third quarter the Giants just became unglued. They looked horrible. They were out-classed and out-coached and they were well on their way to losing big. At that point, Buck turned to me in his seat and said, “Remember what I said about buying some games from you? ….. Forget I said that, ok?”
After the loss we drudged back to the car to tailgate some more. I was using Anna’s 19 year old Tracer and the back bumper was filled with Bernie Sanders for President 2016 bumper stickers.
As I approached the car I was shocked to see it was covered with garbage. All kinds of garbage. Empty bottles, half filled trays of food and anything else you might find laying around a stadium parking lot filled with drunken tailgaters. I didn’t get angry I just kind laughed but we were specifically targeted and I don’t know why. We weren’t LA Charger fans. Buck who is a fierce Republican noted that this happened because of the Bernie Sanders for president bumper stickers and as I scooped Chili off the windshield I agreed he was probably right.

October 15 Boston
We stayed in a run down bed and breakfast that seemed more like a homeless shelter. We ate at Vietnamese food where I demanded a glass of Boston tap water. We then delivered fresh pirogi from NJ that we took with us to Anna who was having a massive sleep over with her friends.
The next morning a car alarm went off for like half an hour and that was how the day began. We were there to take Charles back to New Jersey after four years. His life cut down to several boxes of books and clothes.

October 22 East Rutherford
Today would have been my 29th wedding anniversary and I look back with zero regrets. I’m in the parking lot of MetLife stadium with my youngest son Jonny. We are in the midst of one of the worse seasons ever. Nothing can go right. I think I’ve spent half my life in this damn parking lot between Giant games and concerts. It is the peak of Autumn. They lost 24-7. WE are tailgating and throwing around the football. The asphalt is a sea of garbage and the seagulls are swooping up and down in the sky screaming with joy. We are sitting in chairs around the embers of the hot grill. Jonny used to be up to my waist in height. Now he is taller than me and he takes out a cigar and starts to smoke it.

October (??) Wood-Ridge
I don’t understand why Kryha has to pick up every single leaf when we do the leafs. We are just going to be back here next week with another foot of leaves at our feet. She does this too when it snows. Evey single flake is off the sidewalk and driveway. I’m good with just making a path. It’s survival not a game!

Oct 27 Garfield
At the restaurant called Warsaw with Kryha and Charles across from the Passaic river. Hungarian potato pancakes, chicken liver, goulash, pirogi and some awkwardness. We are both trying to overcome that little spat of yesteryear.
Afterwards in the parking lot, the moon was perfectly sliced in half and the river reeked of it’s industrial river history.
Charles is home to go to the dentist. Kryha built a tent in the dinning room.

October 31 Wood-Ridge
Kryha put an overflowing basket of candy on the porch for a take-one-only Halloween treat for the kiddies. Twenty minuets later she went out there and the candy AND the basket were GONE!

November 4
Josh came by to and we hung out in the backyard cooking steaks, talking football and unfortunately politics.

November 7 New York City
We are all together again for another concert at Madison Square Garden. Beef, an old friend texted me at intermission and came to my seats for a visit. I have a long history of concerts with him. Carol, my brothers Glenn’s ex wife also found us and said hello.
They played one of my favorite songs; China Cat Sunflower and it just sucked. Weir changed it too much. I was way more interested in Cumberland Blues and the Sampson and Delilah encore. Sometimes change isn’t good at all.

November 11 Barnes&Nobel
After another mass shooting in a church where the shooter was executing children in front of a camera.
I now blame the GOP and this piece of shit president for everything. The hurricanes, escalated racism and sexism, white supremacy, innocent people and CHILDREN BEING SHOT and a nation TOTALLY DIVIDED!

November 15 New York City
A very old friend I have heard from in ages contacted me about a job in NY. I learned so much about graphic, prepress and color with this guy. Back when I last saw him He didn’t take his contacts out for over a month and slept in them and eventually lost an eye because of that. He used to say to me:
“Look at me! One fucking eye! And I’m still the best color guy in New York City”
So at the interview I am walking around this shop and making little comments and the guy takes me out in the hall and says “You’re hired”
He told me the salary and I said I have to think about it.

December 2
Sales are crap and I tired everything. You need money to make money.

Apparently.

December 17
The best way to describe it is like being the last person on a sinking ship. I’m hanging on for dear life but don’t know for hoe much longer. Yet, I feel like I’m still doing the right thing. I continue to market to big company’s hoping to score a big account. I don’t just go down, I go down swinging.

December 18 Pine Brook
All the life boats are gone. I’m picking up registered sign for bills at the post office. My father would NEVER run a business like this, I thought. By pure laziness I grew the bottom of my goatee a couple of inches long. Kryha will pull it and make a goat sound. I had to be out of my mind to lend this company money.
Anna is home for break from BU and so Charles is living in a tent in the dinning room. I know she loves having both kids home again. I have no idea where my kids could be right now.

Dec 25 Christmas
Josh and Jonny drove here and I was so glad to see them together I hugged them each. I am so worried about where I am going to be working next year at this time. Also the pain in my back and shoulder has returned with a killing vengeance. It literally feels like a rusty meat hook is clawed into my back.
Joanna and Kryha did an amazing job cooking. Fresh fish and pirogi.
The sharing of the oplatek is my favorite tradition. Last year everyone wished me a year full of “more orders” this year it wasn’t even mentioned. Maybe people are thinking that jinxed me.

December 31 Route 3 East
It is bitterly cold out. I am going past MetLife and the last game between the Giants and Redskins is going on at the moment. There should be traffic stuffed on every square inch of this road and it’s empty. Somewhere in there are my two empty seats and the tickets are in my glove box, nice and warm and unused.
I asked Harry on Christmas if he wanted the tickets. He said no. I told him free, He said no. I told him, I would pay him to go. He still said no and laughed. I always liked Harry laugh.
Many many years ago, I would never miss a game. Even one as meaningless and cold as this.

January 3
“Historical Bomb Cyclone” is what they are calling this Winter storm. When I got up at 5am it wasn’t even snowing yet so I drove in. Around 11 am it was so bad I chased everybody home and just barely made it home myself.
The KIA got stuck going up Moonachie ave, I had to abandon it and walk the rest of the way home. It was a damn blizzard and it took me over an hour to walk a few blocks. In my life I had never experience such whipping ice cold wind and snow. This storm was properly named. My eye brows and goat beard were frozen when I finally walked thru the door and they took a photo of me.
Later that night, after the “Historical Bomb Cyclone” I had a very difficult time finding my car buried on some side street.
Like an idiot I walked back to my car without a shovel. Some random stranger came over from his house with two shovels and we dug the KIA out. I was so grateful. He told me his name was George. I told him my name was George also. He said “it’s a rough world out there George, us Georges gotta stick together.”

January 5
I tried turning out of the parking lot at my job and the front tire disconnected from the KIA. The tire rods I was warned about went! A half hour later I watched it being towed down the street to my mechanic and I walked back to work.

January 6
I usually keep the front door locked as the office is now empty and I spend most of my time in the shop. I must have forgot to lock it as my only employee left told me he saw someone walking around in there from the back. So I went to greet him, guy in a suit holding a brief case- a typical salesman that come stumbling thru the front door all the time- I was opening my mouth to kick him out when he pulled out a badge and held it to my face. “IRS, Sir, do you have a few minuets?”

January 8 Pine Brook
I realize for the first time ever, the boss did not call me for the Holidays. The emails, warning letters and unpaid bills are piling up. One guy is particularly nasty and calls me every week. I think my calmess is what angers him. This is NOT my company. The ship is taking on huge waves of water, I’ve been abandoned totally and the Captain isn’t going down with the ship, he’s on an island somewhere off the coast of Africa. I’m going down with the ship.

January 24 Ramsey
My mantra is perfect. I feel like it is part of me. Knowing that I’m going to lose my job soon, probably the last thing I should have done is buy a new phone and spend $750 on a Transcendental Meditation class with Kryha. I never was good a smart decisions.

January 25 New York
I had another job interview in the city. It was brutal. She said she would call me in two weeks. What the fuck does that really mean. I did a computer test on a ten year old iMac with a PC keyboard. I didn’t even think you could put pc parts on a Mac. If this is the way this company is run I hope she doesn’t call me in two weeks.

January 31 Wood-Ridge
Everyone is excited about a Super Blue Blood Moon. When I was a kid it was called a full moon.

Feb 1 Pine Brook
It’s official. The company just had it’s worse sale ever in it’s nine year history. Happy Valentines day indeed.

photos found on my phone

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Before smart phones appeared in the worlds pocket, I did carry a small point and shoot with me everywhere. This was especially handy when I worked in NYC. So I quess I was slightly futuristic in that sense.. Now it just seems so absolutely crazy for anyone to just pull a small camera AND video recorder out of their pocket at anytime! When you think about the late 1800’s early twentieth century it literally took hours to set up and load a camera from one photo.
Nobody likes the movies I like and sometimes I don’t blame them. With the likes of Annie Hall, Vanilla Sky, Arizona Dream, Eraser Head, Harold and Maude etc. My track record for picking movies on movie night is supposedly “corrupt and ridiculous” Birdman was special to me right from the very beginning. When I saw the trailer, I knew that it was “mine.” Nobody wanted to go and see it with me and it pissed me off. So one night I just went. It was the second time I went to a movie by myself in my life. (not counting the the 1980’s Times Square days) The first movie I ever saw by myself was a midnight showing of Gravity. I had front and center in a nearly empty theater and was BLOWN away by the thing. It is just a movie that is best experienced in a big theater with good sound. You can’t bring this movie home and watch it on your flat screen. I don’t care how high tech your home theater is, Gravity is an -e x p e r i e n c e- that needs a big dark theater with a huge screen and LOUD surround sound. There is hardly a plot but you can really feel like you were in outer space if you do this right.

So when I saw Birdman, alone, I thought it was fantastic and wanted to share it. So I corralled some friends together, who I thought were movie buffs. This is gonna be great, I thought.
After my second viewing of Birdman my friends hunched their shoulders and were like “Whaaaat?” One of them, the youngest on her way to Boston University did like it but I think it was because she is such a huge Ed Norton fan.
So you didn’t like it? It was weird? Are you kidding me? Did you notice how the opening scene was an unstopped, unedited ten minutes? Did you know this was the first movie to use new photoshop technology to enhance dramatic lighting on faces and scenes? Maybe I loved it too much because I could relate entirely to the lead character– An old man “has been”! Yes, this was an “artsy” film but the acting and music was perfectly orchestrated. The NYC theater background was brilliant. I proudly tweeted one day; “I AM Birdman” and felt it in my blood. Nobody came back to me after it won Best Picture…. nobody.

Bread, the Primary Colors and a Raven

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

"The Travelers" Digital Art composition. PS CS5 - 20"x26" Mixer brush experiment.

“The Travelers” Digital Art composition. PS CS5 – 20″x26″ Mixer brush experiment.


I can count on one hand how many times I have found a real feather in my life. It is such a rare occasion. I always pick them up and find them so fascinating.
Each time you pick up a feather it is a reminder that you are on the right path and that your life is sacred again. This is a part of the symbolism I put in this digital painting. I love digital art. I love the tools available to cut, paste, move and color. Kyrsia is an old school artist. She is not a fan of digital art. She works with real paint, paper and canvas. She only uses the primary colors to create her art. This is the way she teaches. Red, yellow, and blue are primary colors. They are the three pigment colors that cannot be made by mixing any other colors. These three colors are mixed to create all other colors and can be combined with white or black to create tints (lighter tones) and shades (darker hues) of these colors. If Kryha is teaching, you can’t ask for an “aqua blue sky” in a tube. You have to create it with the primary colors.
The bird is generally thought to be a symbol of freedom. They can walk on the earth and swim in the sea as humans do but they also have the ability to soar into the sky. Birds are free to roam to earth and the sky. Many cultures believe that they are a symbol of eternal life; the link between heaven and earth. The Raven is generally thought to be a symbol of sadness, loss and death. The ancient Greeks believed that the raven was a messenger bird of the god Apollo.
In this digital work the green pasture speaks for itself and the group of lilies at Brenda’s feet represent Mathew 6:28, “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing” Pretty much tells us that God will take care of us. I don’t think much about where Bev, Brenda and Glenn are. I consider myself more spiritual than religious but I recently read a book by Anita Moorjani called Dying To Be Me. A great read but it really confused me about all my conclusions that I had about the afterlife. If anything, it did give me great hope that there is AT LEAST something there and it’s not just a dark voided end.
My spirituality coveys great sadness that Glenns second grandchild was born just a few days after his death. This is the same sadness I felt when Brenda left behind two beautiful daughters. One of them so young, that she would never truly “know” who her mother really was in this physical world.

The raven flying off the canvas tells us that life is fleeting.  That is Ardea Raven, Glenn Jrs newborn baby!

The raven flying off the canvas tells us that life is fleeting. That is Ardea Raven, Glenn Jrs newborn baby!

Still hot!

Still hot!

When you go to the market do you buy bread OR do you buy REAL bread? Can you take home an unsliced loaf of bread baked right out of oven? The American market is flooded with mass produced, preservative filled sponges that they fool people and call it “bread”. I’m in love with a woman that loves bread and this is a big reason why I love her. This is my girl. Complex in so many ways yet loving so many simple things. She would take a hot fresh loaf of bread and a glass of milk over a fancy restaurant and a glass of champagne. This is a path in the journey, I have found. Cutting thru weeds and dirt trails instead of taking the Cadillac on the newly paved road. Go ahead and build your mansions in isolated woods, surrounded by rich white people. Go ahead and find your perfect schools, your unblemished politics, your English speaking neighborhoods. Take your perfect vacations while the sun sets on your bank account. This is NOT what life is all about. Tell me you are happier than the scavenger dancing for food on a rain washed sidewalk and I will tell you that you are full of shit.
FINAL_SHEBELONGStoMeI hope everyone finds happiness in their own special way and I would never condemn you for whatever it is that makes you happy. Find magic in every moment in life because it is fleeting. Death is inescapable lately. It is everywhere I turn. Personally, old friends are becoming memorial pages on their social network. The news is beheading peace and understanding in the world. Danger lurks everywhere. On the highways, seas and skies. Drugs take to the streets like a terrorism this country has never seen before.
One time when I was boiling inside myself with pride-filled anger towards my girl and I found myself on the verge of ugliness. I put away my pride and came to you. I was able to make this heroic step by being sober. By looking at a reflection of myself in a stainless steel pool of self pity. Why do we divide our homes with walls? Eskimos live as an entire family in a one-roomed igloo. Well, anyway, you were there in that room and I was there, boiling up inside in the other room. I came to you. I came to you past these divided walls and rooms. I came to you, thinking you were bitter and ignorant of my needs. I came to you expecting anger and shouting.
When you opened up to me you were crying within seconds. You were not the explosive witch I was expecting. You told me a story of your aunt when you were a child. How you were so grateful to her for bringing you art supplies on Christmas. It was such a simple heartfelt story. A simple long ago Christmas gift that you remembered and here I was expected an ugly showdown.
That moment, as simple as it seems now, was when I just fell deeper in love with you. How you became such a real person thru your tears and compassion. I love you for who you are. From deep in your past to this moment. From this I had learned a great lesson about pride and anger. No matter how hard it can be reach out and communicate!

Art fills Krysias soul. When you lost your job that you loved so much to a layoff, the school children cried when you were gone. No time to mope in negativity. You used the spare time to get your Masters degree and you kept getting interviews but there were no offers at first. So you went out and created your OWN Art school. You created your own web site, your own marketing, your own classroom and you built it up with your love of teaching art. Much like when you were a child and used anything you could find to make art and you hung it from the trees.
Yes, there were art teaching jobs that finally came to you but these were jobs that nobody else wanted. Tough teaching jobs, embedded in the troubled inner cities of North Jersey, you went with dedication and faith. So now you teach color, texture and composition to troubled kids, just hoping to plant an art seed in their mind. Maybe change someone. You wait in the empty rooms of Parent/Teacher nights, hoping that maybe one parent will show up and express that they care. You stand in the empty hallways of students art shows thinking that maybe the parents got the memorandum. Maybe they will show up to see all your students hard work hanging on the walls in display.
You see first hand what is absolutely wrong with this country. You witness and hear the destruction of the family core. The parents that are no-shows in a kids life. The administration that turns the simple truth of teaching children art into a big damn lie. You weave your way through political bullshit, labor unions, angry teachers and a mountain of “I dont give a fucks”.
I have had bad teachers and good teachers in my life. And then I had a few great teachers in my life. Teachers you remember forever. When I meet a teacher I always tell them, “I always wanted to be a teacher.” Most times the reaction to that is “Are you freaking kidding me?” Sometimes it can be a thankless job. Todays teacher is blamed for the students failures. Todays teacher has more homework time than most students and they do not get paid for it. In art there can be a ton of prep and cleanup. The job never ends.

fig1Why Has This Blog Post Turned Into a Rambling Mess?
The answer lies within my drug of choice which just so happened to be a doppio espresso right before hitting the keyboard. We had our best year ever for tomatoes and one plant in particular must be responsible for 10 to 15 pounds! Barb told me at our brother Glenns funeral that we all mourn in different ways. I found this so true after I found myself in a rage. Like I mentioned earlier, so many people are dying way too young. Some of these early deaths are just bad choices and that angers me. When you think you have reached a level of sobriety and maturity, God takes his mighty hand and crashes it all down looks you straight in the eyes and says “What are YOU KIDDING ME GEORGE?!” and yes, I don’t know shit about nothing. Live and let live. Hey people that don’t drink alcohol, eat good, quit smoking and don’t do drugs….guess what? We’re all gonna die anyway!
Why does the United States of America always have a target on it’s back? It is the most hated country in the world. All things in life can be derived from NFL football and thus begins my story. There once was (still is) a team that was very successful and won over many fans by winning championships and having fancy cheerleaders and uniforms. Eventually this teams success was so incredible that they garnished the nickname “Americas Team” So now all the other teams and fans began a growing animosity towards this team that had singled itself out of everyone else. Indeed, who are YOU to call yourself “Americas Team”? And thus the hatred and jealousy brewed over time and eventually even “Americas Team” felt pressured to deliver. They knew they were hated by their own pompous ego and struggled to become the great team it once was.
I’m a fan of being patriotic. I’m proud of my country in many ways. It isn’t always a great country but it does lead the world in helping others. I don’t fly an American flag in my yard nor do I carry anything patriotic on my car or person. But I am proud of our countries ability to help other countries in need. Period. We need leave it at that. The thing is this. We aren’t humble anymore. “God bless the US” “We are the greatest country in the WORLD” “Don’t mess with the US!” “We are number one!” ….shutup! Just shutup. Being humble goes a long way.
The fact that America has become the worlds police is also extremely troubling. Nobody wants that title.
After the horrific tragedy of Malaysia MH17 plane crash over the Ukraine a Dutch father was on CNN discussing his loss of a family member that was on the plane. His final words: “I hope Obama finds the people that did this and punishes them.” Really? What about YOUR leader Mark Rutte? The plane was filled with Dutch Nationals so send America out to get the bad guys! Can’t we all just get along? Or as the Beetles said so many years ago; All You Need Is Love.FIN

May strong arms hold you,
caring hearts tend you,
and may love await you at every step.

Happy birthday Raven!

Happy birthday Raven!

Book Review-Wild at Heart……Entry for March 10, 2008

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

I received this book for Christmas from sister Barb. I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t a book about colour, design or graphics. Then when I started into it I couldn’t stop. Very rare for me. I can’t tell you how many unfinished books are laying around. I thought I might be a little overwhelmed by the Christian overtures but they are presented in a down to earth way. Men were made to be bold and fierce.The world and society, especially the Christian one has been teaching men to be weak and “nice” God designed men to be dangerous, says Eldredge. Simply look at the dreams and desires written in every boy’s heart: to be a hero, to be a warrior, to live a life of adventure and risk. Sadly, most men abandon those dreams and desires—aided by a Christianity that feels like nothing more than pressure to be a “nice guy.” Eldredge gives women a look inside the true heart of a man and gives men permission to be what God designed them to be—dangerous, passionate, alive, and free.
A great book that I recommend to woman also. Get a peak into the real heart of a man.
After I read this book I was ready to go camping and climb a mountain!

If you have recently read a book, magazine article, or back of a cereal box and felt it may have changed your life….email me your review.
neondusk@hotmail.com