Tuesday, May 26, 2009

things you've done..

You are supposed to copy and paste this list into your own blog and bold the items that you have done.. this is being passed around but I think its a facinating conversation starter.. I have added a couple both that I have and have not done.. please do the same on yours

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (not sure this ones allowed.. been to the top)
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (not sure what this means)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied ( have? cause if had you would still have)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason (have given, never gotten)
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book (working on it)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby ( my wife had the baby)
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Crossed the Equator
100. Seen the Southern Cross
101. Been Whitewater rafting
102. Held someones hand right while they died.
103. Seen a ghost
104. Had your heart broken
105. Seen the Rolling Stones

OK I DID IT... if you do it, put a comment here so I can go read your

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Non importo dove lei va, li lei e. No Matter Where you go... there you are.

Like my Dickie Bird always said, no matter where you go, there you are. Well to a certain degree he was right, but this has been a fabulous experience and I am very sorry that it drawing to a close. Yesterday was 3 year anniversary of my wife's passing and it was just a little bit easier than I imagined.. I think being here may have been just what I needed.

I have been staying at this house for the past few months, my friends Sam and Audra have owned it for nearly ten years. They offered to let Joanne and I use it on many occasions but unfortunately we never got around to taking them up on it before she passed. They decided to sell recently and called me to let me know that I had one last chance to use it and I decide YES.. great choice... Its located in a small town of about 10,000 named Roselle not far from Grossetto in Tuscany. I have been spending my time mingling with the locals, I have made some good friends here. My Italian has become very good for an American or so my new friends tell me.

Its only about 15K to the Sea and prox 60K to Rome and I have had Sam and Audra's car so I have been all over the place, even made a trip to Sicily last week with some of my new friends.
Going to try and put some posts together when I get back....
I think I have some good adventures to share.. including a few dates with one of the locals, Rosanna Dicenso.... I taught her some English and she improved my Italian, lots of fun... she happened to be a widow so we had that in common, she is only 40 years old, which is a little young for me, but hey whats a boy to do.

was telling Smarty pants about getting my backpack boosted outside a small trattoria... really blows.. I ran inside for like 30 seconds to tell the waiter something and came back to an empty table.. the big problem was it had my camera in it.. I posted a sign offering a reward for the memory card but to date no luck... should have been saving pics to my computer but never got around to it...now I wish it would have been stolen on the first day here instead of with a week left to go in the trip... .. oh well live and learn.. . I have some photos on my phone but not that many and they are kind of fuzzy see above.. but hey my own damn fault...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


So I have been doing the Holiday Shuffle since Christmas Eve. I swore things would be different this year, no remorse, none of that remanicing crapola....and I almost made it too....then Christmas Eve came....and down down down down...tried to fight it off by spending tons of money on food and my kids presents but all to no avail...sheesh.......oh well that is how the cookie crumbles and maybe next year will be better.....even though I am doing well and enjoy dating and women in general I guess bottom line is I still miss my wife a lot. Happy Birthday Sweetheart.

I am going to Pittsburgh tomorrow, finalize the purchase of that cheap ass house. It is very nice and has some nice land. It will be a great place to write. Will also be going to the Steeler Game on Sunday...HERE WE GO STEELERS HERE WE GO...maybe this trip will fully pull my head out of my ass.

The book is going well and is taking up tons of time and is another reason I have not been online and keeping up....

That silly Charmaine told me to just post some recipies or something so here is something...thanks Charmaine the phone call did me more good than you know...

OK Jimbo here we go LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT....the back is finally feeling 100% too so up early and running tomorrow...

Oh I did go on a date and promise to write about it....the only thing I can compare it to on an even keel is the Hindenburgh.....kaboom...

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Since I decided not to force the whole dating issue anymore I apparently have become more attractive than ever, oh never mind those were hookers that were hitting on me in Vegas...no worries I wasn't looking for a date anyway.

The trip was tons of fun, by tons I mean that from the amount of elaborate meals I consumed that is probably the amount of weight gained in a four day trip.   The food in Vegas just keeps getting better and better and I can't resist going overboard when I am there.  This experience coupled with the time down from the back thing has not been kind to the mid section....oh well that is what today's and tomorrow's are for.

Flew up on Jet Blue out of Long Beach...it's a quick flight so I didn't bother bringing my ipod or any headphones.  BIG MISTAKE,  I ended up sitting next to a young dad with his 20 month old daughter that easily could be the next singer for Guns and Roses....this little cutie had a set of pipes on her that draws blood from ones ears.  I grabbed the flight attendant by the wrist after a few minutes of this and asked her no pleaded with her, any more earphones for sale, oh please please?  She looked at me knowingly and just shook her head no,  I wanted to cry too.  Then I thought wouldn't it be great if I did, not tears but if I just started wailing like the cute little toddler was, and then it started one of those chain reaction crying things, sort of like the dog barking chain in 101 Dalmatians.  By the time I was done laughing in my head and imagining the scenario we were on our decent, I was making faces at the toddler and she was trying to be brave, but you could tell her ears where going nuts, nose running, the whole nine yards.  Oh I remember flying with my daughter but since my wife and I were adults we were prepared.  Yup we drugged our kid before we got on the plane, not sure if it was to be nice, save embarrassment or out of courtesy but a big ole swig of dimetapp was always at hand, followed by a nice little nappy.  I passed on my wisdom to mr. young dad, he looked at me like I was crazy.  We finally landed and she smiled a big smile and then sneezed.  I am sure the next passenger in that seat will love it when he drops his tray and gets his slimy surprise.

I raced off the plane, only my carryon of course, I am a pro at packing and I figure if I am missing something or need something, just buy it there.  The cab line was only 3 deep and I was in and off to the hotel.

Stayed at the Luxor and the room was SUITE, or should I say the suite was sweet.  On the 22nd floor of the East Tower (top floor) with floor to ceiling windows, 800sqft with a full bar, huge bathroom...why do they have regular tvs was my first thought.  Don't you think they would put plasma's in these rooms.  I guess they already have those dumass armories so until they refurnish they are keeping those cheap ass Tvs. At any rate I really wish I could have had a party in this room, it had a dance floor by the bar, how suite (i mean sweet) is that.  Great time to be alone...NOT....

My phone rang and it was my buddy, his plane was on the ground and he was heading straight over to my hotel for a drink, then we could walk to his Hotel so he could check in.  He was staying at the Tropicana, big gambler he is and gets free rooms there on a regular basis.  I walked down to the lobby to get some bets in on the Monday Night game, stopped and threw a Ben Franklin in a video machine on the way and HELL YES on the third hand hit 5 of a kind for 400 bucks....NICE...off and running.

My buddy showed up, we will call him Jeff (why? because that is his name).  We put our losing bets in on the Monday Night Football game and then headed to the bar.  

After some cocktails we headed to the Tropicana so he could check in, when we got there I noticed an amazing amount of guys with cowboy hats and girls with bowed legs....all they were playing in the Casino was Country Music...then I saw the signs...WELCOME RODEO RIDERS....OMG, its the National Rodeo Finals...the whole town will be overrun with these folks.  Like any other group in the world some will be cool, some will just be and some will be assholes...but arsehole cowboys really know how to asshole it up...oh well....my fears where not justified unless you count the drunken cowboy peeing where there wasn't a urinal at NY NY or the one cowgirl that started yelling WTF are you looking at MF never seen a cowgirl before. (i didn't have my glasses on and was trying to read the sign behind her) I didn't have the heart to tell her she wasn't that interesting so I just kept walking.

Jeff went to check in and I dropped some more cash into a video machine...oh crap its on quarters oh well, I can pass the time....and WHAM 4 tress and an ace...hey ding ding ding ding, another 400 bucks....YES loving this so far...hope the tables are this obliging.  I moved to the Dollar Machines and by the time my buddy got back I had given half the money back, understanding that you are not supposed to win in Vegas is paramount...you have to be happy when you win or lose....no biggie either way.  We hit the Black Jack table and let me tell you I didn't see a face card for like 20 hands in a row....9 and a 4, 8 and a 6, over and over and over again.  By the time we had to leave for our dinner reservations I had dumped about 4bills...bad run oh well.  We headed off to the Bellagio, the cab driver told me that business was down 30% and gave me his card.  I told him we would call him for a ride any chance we could, he became our personal cab for the rest of the trip....it was fun having a special cab driver.  The dude reminded me of Babe Hill, if you don't know Babe was Jim Morrisons Body Guard and personal Rodie.  He also was my best boy years later at Universal Studios....

Anyway this is getting really long.....we ate at Picasso in the Bellagio, we ate at Emeril's Fish House at the MGM Grand, Gallaghers at NY NY, and The Cat House at the Luxor....all of them were really good the Foie Gras at Picasso was with roasted peaches and son of a bitch was it delicious...the best thing at Emerils was the Blue Crab de-constructed Crab Cakes with toast points, The Cat House had a trio of Creme Brulee that was world class and well Gallaghers is second only to Peter Luger in my book when it comes to a big ole hunk of meat...yummy..

Anyway the only other thing of real interest was one of our traditions.  We play Roulette at O'Sheas every time we go...it is a Shit Hole and a half.  We never go past the first table which coincidentally is next to the bar.  If I have to go to the bathroom I will cash out and go next door.
The best thing about this place other than it is the only place on the STRIP with IRISH CAR BOMBS is that you can get away with murder as long as you are tipping.  

For some reason I found myself using the term Bitch over and over, not in my regular vocabulary but was getting hammered and turning into Rick James or something....LOL...come on Bitch spin me an Eight, oh Fuck Yeah another God Damn Eight...omg Jeff joined in and we were rolling,  lets face it Roulette is a real game of chance but there are minor strategies.  I hit the 8 twice, 17 twice, 23 twice and 29 once in a matter of like an hour and a half, in between we were betting mountains of dollar chips on Black or even....and of course yelling "that's right Bitch" "gimme another color" the tipping was way over the top and the dealers and pit boss tolerated our antics knowing our luck would turn and they could have the last laugh...but the phone rang and it was Nick the cabbie...he was outside and wanted to know if we were ready...oh hell yes we were.  I cashed out with 4k and Jeff with about the same...NICE...

The rest of the gambling was all about lose lose lose but hey like I said you sure can't just win win win or there wouldn't be a Vegas now would there....but I paid my room bill, put away my flight money, paid for all of our meals, which were not cheap, all the cab rides, tips for everyone and I mean everyone...I think our tab at Picasso was the winner at 7 hundred bucks...but 340 of that was wine. (they have 60m $s worth of original Picasso's in the place for viewing)

The morning I was leaving I checked my bags with the bellman and hit the video poker machines again to kill time.....I was down to 10 bucks and hit 4 deuces for a grand...ahahahahahaha....maybe I should have stuck to Roulette and Video Poker the whole trip but who cares...I left Vegas with the whole trip paid for and an extra 22 hundred bucks in my pocket...

I already put the cash in my Vegas kitty for March.......

Oh I almost forgot we went and saw Chris Angel's show....ummmm how do I put this, oh yeah we walked out...LOL...


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Don't Say Oops Like You Dropped a Nickel

Not sure why this didn't post when everyone was discussing wedding's but that's not really important now is it.

My Cousin Jim got married in one of the big old Cathedral's in Pittsburgh a few years back.  One of those huge places where every noise echo's for days.  Well he has four brothers, all of whom were ushers in the wedding and his best friend Jim (yes tons of jims in attendance) was the best man. 

Add those 6 to the 4 bridesmaids and maid of honor and the bride and needless to say it was a fairly large wedding party.  Probably in the neighborhood of 150 to 200 guests, everything was very beautiful.  The two tiny flower girls tossing flowers as they led the endless procession up the aisle were so adorable that the ladies in attendance started crying right off the bat.

The pipe organ blared the opening bars of "Here comes the Bride"  we all turned our heads in unison, Grace looked positively stunning.  She is a very tall Irish lass and made a very lovely bride.  Her dress was gorgeous, I think the train  of her gown must have been at least 20 feet in length.  It all made for a very memorable moment.

She finally arrived at the front of the church after what seemed like hours,  her father handed her off to my cousin, shaking Jim's hand and walking to his pew.

The entire Cathedral went totally silent, the Priest cleared his throat and then it happened, one of those moments to remember through eternity.  The unmistakable sound of one of the hugest farts emanating from the grooms side of the wedding party.  The reverberation rolled down the aisle and touched the back wall of the Cathedral, then headed back towards the alter where it seemingly (from the look on her face) hit the Bride between the eyes.  I didn't think it was possible that the church could become any quieter than it was but believe me it did.  After a moment (century) of very uncomfortable silence my cousin Jim (the groom) taking a visual ques from his bride to be turned and gave his younger brother Joe a look that could easily have made a mountain disappear.  

 Poor Joesph turning as red as a beet, just put his hand to his mouth and let out a very sheepish "OOPS"....Jim shot back almost instantly with 


Oh my freaking god in heaven, after a few seconds of complete and deafening silence EVERYONE in the church started laughing I mean everyone....when the Priest finally got a little composure back he once again (and quite loudly) cleared his throat and started the service.

As you can well imagine; to this day, if you didn't just drop a nickel please don't try saying "oops" anywhere around any of my family.  You will get laughed out of the building.  Unless of course it is my cousins wife Grace, she is more apt to punch you in the nose.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Mini three date series.

Date One- Memphis (Costa Mesa)

I actually met the Fuck Yeah Girl at the Halloween party in the previous blog.  So once I got out of Fancy Nancy mode I called Hanna and asked her if she thought Marilyn would be interested.  She made the call and I got an e-mail from her Marilyn the next day.  Not only did she say she would love to go out, but she actually had a place in mind.  Wow that was totally different than what I had become accustomed to.

Friday rolled in and I was off to pick her up,  she is 9 years younger than me so that was quite a switch for me, I had never dated anyone in my life that was more than a couple years younger and mostly stuck with woman my own age.   Hey its not like she is a teenager or anything, she is 43,  it was then that I decided I would never date under 40. Yes that will be my cutoff...wherein the hell that came from I have no idea but I do know for certain that I never want to be that old guy (even though I think I still look kinda of young for my age) with the chippie.  YUK! It's just not appealing to me in the least, call me crazy.

Marilyn gave me a brief tour of her little bungalow, it was really eclectic and I like that.  Off we went to the place she picked out "Memphis".  The place is a real dumpy looking building, both inside and out, the patio area (where we sat) wasn't level so your chair kinda of rocks when you move.  We got our menu's and ordered a bottle of wine, the menu was surprisingly appetizing, and better yet when the food came it was outstanding.  I highly recommend the joint if your in the So. Cal area.  (Charmaine, it's almost kitty corner from Mesa, next to the Lab). 

Conversation came very easy, in fact she was a chatterbox on every subject be it politics, music, movies whatever.  After dinner we went to Havana a cuban place and sat out by the fire pit on the patio and had a couple more glasses of wine.  That's when she started talking endlessly about television shows that she followed.  tons of shows I had never heard of, or may have heard of but never seen.


Okay so this is the gal that used to work for me, Hanna...She finally moved out of her parents house at the tender age of 26.  She bought a small condo over on the border of Tustin and Irvine so I went over and took her a boat load of matching appliances, you know food processor, cappuccino machine, mixer...that stuff is really cheap at Target...who knew.

She was really, really nice to me when Joanne died and was directly responsible for dragging my ass out of the house for the first time 6mos afterwards.l  It was her birthday/Halloween party at her parents house.

I went as the Croc Hunter dude, it was the day after he died and my costume included the stinger in the chest with a trail of blood.  Surprisingly to me it was not all that well received by some of the folks, who doesn't get the whole Halloween is supposed to be like that thing?  

Hanna was also the one responsible for me getting back out and dating again.  She is the one that set me up with Fancy Nancy and also Crazy Mare (aka "Fuck Yeah Girl")  She started calling herself my pimp after the second setup.  Then she set me up with "00Nancy" but since that ended with the whole Jim gets what is left of his heart broken into tinier pieces she got out of the pimp business.

Anywho she just sent me this picture from the night I took her housewarming gifts over so I had to share it....maybe I should spin up a Crazy Mare episode for you....oh yeah that is my mission for my next post.  Actually ended up being friends with her and we have dinner once in a while, but whoohoo get some vino into her and look out.

Not sure what it is but since Joanne passed I have way more female friends than male??? I guess it has something to do with the fact that at least half of them listen to what I am saying...LOL...