“Happiness in an intelligent person is a rare thing to find.” After giving up watching Mr. Robot, I scanned thru the movies and I came upon this gem of a film, “Papa” a movie about Ernest Hemingway’s life in Cuba prior to Fidel Castro’s rise to power..

Papa Hemingway was a brilliant man who had had enough of his life. Among other ailments, he suffered from a certain type of writer’s block I know so well; he so much wanted to write about the love of his life  yet he couldn’t get that first sentence down on paper. Nothing I can write comes close to what I want to say. I haven’t heard from her now going many months and I believe that any contact from her isn’t going to happen. 

Papa Guerra was also an anti-fascist, who looked up to Papa Hemingway after he had the guts to be a reportet covering The Abe Lincoln Brigade in Spain’s Revolution. Both Papas would have hated to see what has happened to this country. We have elected a man who will soon bring fascism to this great land of ours and who will be reporting on the coming street battles? No one… We have no true journalists anymore just propaganda readers who give us the party line…

The final words of the movie sum up Papa Hemingway’s reason for taking his life, “A man alone ain’t got no chance.” I couldn’t say it any better… this too will pass

A Storm Is Brewing…

I’ve decided to take tomorrow off and head to San Diego during the day rather than leaving after quitting time, somehow starting a long road trip after working doesn’t sound wise. Now they say a moderate storm is approaching and I want to be out of the area before it gets here. As soon as I drop off the Toonce Muenster at his resort, I will make my way to the I-5.

Ahhh The I-5, the only highway where you can be jetting down at a warp speed of 95 miles an hour and be passed by a loaded semi barreling at 110. The first time Matt was in trouble I made it to San Diego in record time. I think I might have broken an unofficial land speed record that day but there were too many tears in my eyes to see the speedometer…

I like San Diego yet I totally hate it. Of the four times I’ve been there, three of my visited have been to pull Matt out of the gutter. I am steeling my heart and preparing myself for seeing him in an orange jump suit handcuffed behind bullet proof glass. This too will pass 

Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass 

I believe Herb Alpert said it so well when he said, “Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass was made up of a few Italians, a Ukrainian and a couple of Jews.” This song is one of my favorite songs and yes I can play it over and over again, my brain is like a child’s brain, it likes repetition.

This song was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David back in the mid-sixties and for me it’s timeless. Notice how beautifully Bacharach highlights David’s words. I believe Herb only sang this one song of his many hits. Hal David died a few years ago and soon Burt and Herb will follow Hal but what they left was a wonderful song of love and devotion. I found this on Youtube with Herb Alpert giving an intro… I always told women if someone sings you this song, never let them go… This too will pass

Mr. Robot on Flight459

Not having Netflix at The Firewood Temple, it was a real treat to find Mr. Robot on the entertainment screen on the way back. I calculated I could actually watch five and a half episodes while in flight but being seated in row 19 didn’t help with the engine roar; after about twenty minutes of some choppy dialogue, I realized I would need to buy the second season as soon as it’s released. 

Some of the main characters from season one remain while others have disappeared. Most of the bad guys are still around, Elliot and his crew, not so much. Yes, F Society had affected the world’s stock and commodities markets and injured Evil Corp but like The World’s Largest Telecommunications Company, it would survive even if all it’s systems were hacked.

The World’s Largest Telecommunications Company is so fearful of being hacked, it has a little icon animal that reminds us not to go to unauthorized sites with our iPad and a minor charge, you can get a tee shirt of the icon saying, “Security starts with you!” No thanks! It sounds terrible but how I wish I could walk into work tomorrow and hear John say, “We were hacked by F Society last night. IT and asset protection has no restoral time.” 

It would take every bit of my self control not to jump out of my seat and yell out, “Woohoo!” I’ve decided if I don’t get on the fiber crew, I will retire in January. I used to love this job but it’s nothing but unattainable effiency formulas and no one cares anymore. If there is a real F Society, please bring them to at least their knees. This too will pass

Arlington Diner…

Here I sit at the Arlington Diner in Bellevue New Jersey, it’s the closest thing I get to having a home cooked meal lately, I have little if any chance of having a meal made for me anytime soon unless Toonce learns to cook. I suppose this is some sort of karmic punishment for me not relishing what I had when I had it. 

The Arlington Diner is one of three places I frequent when I’m here in New Jersey. So you walk in and the host seats you along with a book thick plastic menu. You look around and most everyone is wearing a New York Jets or New York Giants parka. This place has been around since the early 40’s, the pattern in the countertop is rubbed off where everyone’s elbows contact the table surface. I can’t even imagine how many elbows it took to wear off the pattern in the Formica.

At the Arlington they serve everything, even Chinese food though I probably wouldn’t order it here or anywhere in New Jersey come to think of it; I ordered pork chops and apple sauce. A few minutes later there they were. The waitress with her Jersey accent said, “Wez ran out of green bean. Yous want some Brussel Sprouts?” I declined. They do make a great cherry pie and I could not resist. Okay off to take Chris to the PATH train at Penn Station… this too will pass………

PS… When I left the hotel it was sunny and pleasant, the sun is down and it’s beyond cold. I figured I wouldn’t need my coat, so me being a moron left it in the room… I don’t mind visiting but I don’t belong here. My joints hurt and it’s either oppressively hot or unbearably cold. 

Fidel Caused Me Pain…

I believe it was fifth grade when one of my daughter’s class projects was to interview one parent about his or her ancestors. She asked about my side but being that I knew little about my father’s history, I referred her to my father. One Saturday, she interviewed him and he gladly told her of his life in Mexico. 

He went into his cluttered room and pulled out an old but pristine postcard. He proudly said in Spanish, “That was me when I was young. Turn it around and see who took it.” We turned it over and in red lettering it was stamped, “Fotographa de Fidel C. y E. Guevara.” Evidentially, the two revolutionaries were in exile in Mexico City in the early 1950’s. To make money, they sold photo postcards…

We were both amazed and asked, “Papa, if we take good care of it, can I put it on her collage along with a recent picture of you?”  Reluctantly, he agreed. A few weeks later she got an A for her efforts. I returned the art board back to his house and guess what was missing…? The postcard. He accused me and her of not caring and from then on he hated her and he despised my very existence.

On December 10th of 2008, he breathed his last breath. I remember his last words to me on his deathbed were, “You let me down as a son. I wanted a better son but I got you.” A few days later as I was loading his household junk into the first of many debris boxes, I found Tashi’s old poster board project. I shook my head and thought about the pain that one postcard had caused. It was right then that the postcard slipped out from behind a piece of construction paper onto the floor… I immediately called Tashi and told her, “Guess what I found?” We both laughed hysterically…

Some might say, “Juan, get that postcard appraised. It might be worth something.” It was completely worthless. Why you ask? The water soluble red ink had desolved with the moisture in his house over the years… As I ripped that postcards into a hundred pieces I laughed so hard… “All that pain and suffering and for what?” Maybe that’s why I sold that house years later, I was still trapped in the memories of the unhappiness in that house. This too will pass

Not Florence Henderson!!!

Mrs. Brady died of heart failure yesterday at the age of 82. I used to sit in front of my babysitter and watch her and Robert Reed solve their family’s problems. I wish my mother and father could have solved their problems and made up with big hugs and a kiss but that never happened once…

Between Richard, my half brother, being mentally ill and Karen, my half sister, dealing with her issues with abusive men and her weight, there was no happiness in that house.  I lived in fear everyday of my life wondering if my father and my mother would end their latest argument in a physical fight. At one point, my siblings both left the house to live their own lives but that’s when the torture began. 

My father and mother had divorced when I still was a baby so my mother worked during the day at The World’s Largest Telecommunications Company and to keep me safe during the summer months, she’d would lock me in the house using the now outlawed one key deadbolt lock. I actually dreaded the feeling of being in solidarity confinement. 

I used watch The Brady Bunch and wonder if there were actually parents that would love each other and rarely argue. I asked myself were there parents that didn’t argue constantly? Mr.Brady wouldn’t get angry and hold a pair of scissors at Mrs. Brady’s neck and then run off and not be seen for weeks at a time…. I’ll miss Ms. Henderson. this too will pass

Mega Block Play…

After our Thanksgiving feast, I laid down on the rug and built structures out of Hunters blocks. He quickly would tear papa’s tower down piece by piece. I suppose he needs to learn to undo them before he can assemble them. Hunter did manage to put two together but tearing them apart seemed way more fun for him.

Chris and Eleina wanted to wear him out so he would sleep well. They let him run back and forth until he just couldn’t take another step. Next up was bath tubby time, which he enjoyed. He must have been worn out, the moment they put him in his crib, he fell into a deep sleep. I returned to the hotel where I took a shower and did the same. 

Babies are hard work and are meant for young people to have. Just playing with Hunter wore me out completely. Eleina and Chris are doing a great job raising my grandson. They are both loving parents and Hunter brought out the best in Chris. This too will pass 

I’m Proud To Be A Liberal…

Being called a liberal might someday get you arrested or at least detained by authorities. That’s how it started 80 years ago, the word ‘freethinker’ alone might have gotten you locked up with other bad men like priests, poets or protesters. The drum beat has already started in this country of theirs and now saying someone is liberal has people equating you with being a bleeding heart or being too politically correct.

The other day, I read an article where those who voted for their new president said they were tired of our country being so politically correct. I guess they wanted a leader who would take them back to how it used to be. You know how it used to be, when they could call a spade a spade and spics spics. The good old days, when they could beat the crap out of someone just because they dressed differently.

I told Josh, now that his buddy is in The White House, he can just do whatever you want to women. I guess his leader would back him up should he just want to grab one by the hoo haw. I guess those women who voted for The Orange One felt it was perfectly okay to be treated as such? Anyway, I’m an open minded liberal and if that’s wrong, we’ll lock me up. Wait, I like his policies and behavior, shhh I wouldn’t last a day in jail… this too will pass

The Passaic River…

You can tell little river was once teaming with barges and tug boats going up and down it, now it flows quietly and as of yet I haven’t seen a single boat plying its waters. The draw bridges all seem to be locked in the down position and I doubt they could raise them if they tried, they all appear to be rusted beyond belief. 

You can tell this area was once a vibrant manufacturing area, it sits quiet now. The graffitied hulks of buildings litter the landscape everywhere. I believe it was two trips ago that I saw a beer brewery starting to be demolished, they finally tore down the 10 story high concrete structure and it looks as if a couple of massive apartment buildings will take its place there.

As much as some people want to believe their new leader will bring back industry to this country, they’re fooling themselves. Josh is laying in the bed next to me and he actually is a believer in the promises of the Orange President. He actually believes these abandoned buildings will someday come to life and an old fashioned steam whistle will blow at lunch time. Lines of men wearing fedoras and bowlers will pass thru the metal turnstiles after punching out. It’s not going to happen… This too will pass