Saturday, September 23, 2017

In the Service of Majesty

First things first.  A very cool human celebrates a birthday today.  OK, two very cool humans celebrate a birthday today.  One of them is Bruce Springsteen.  The other is Amy Gretkowski.  A lifetime ago, when we went to CU together I was (grading conservatively) an asshole and a half to her - sort of the walking, talking embodiment of "with a friend like this who needs an enemy".  I had long suspected that she was a significantly better human being than I.  That suspicion was confirmed in the immediate aftermath of Mom's death in June.  I know not how she and her beloved, Lee, intend to spend her birthday although I suspect she will make him watch a bit of our Alma mater's game tonight against the Washington Huskies.  However she spends it, may it be a happy one.  She deserves nothing less.  

This morning, with my gorgeous granddaughter Maggie (#BeautifulBabyGenius) leading the way, Sue's Crew IX shall run and walk our way through Roosevelt Park in Edison.  It is the penultimate edition of this labor of love whose genesis was a most terrible event, the death of Suzy B., Margaret's mom, in June 2, 2009 after a heroic battle against breast cancer.  Three years ago, on June 6, 2014, the one and only "Hazel", the matriarch of the Kizis family succumbed to cancer after an epic fight. Just a little more than three months ago, on June 3, 2017, my hero - the one and only Joanie K. - bid this world farewell.  At journey's end, it was Mom's heart (big as it was) that ultimately ran out of steam.  It had powered her fearlessly for eighty-eight-plus years (she died ten days before her birthday), including the final thirty-plus that included pitched battles against a variety of ailments and illnesses, beginning with Stage IV breast cancer way when in early 1983.  

Today, this most Holy Trinity shall be honored together by those of us running or walking under the colors of Sue's Crew.  Autumn's first Saturday promises to feel quite a lot like a summer's day here in the State of Concrete Gardens.  In fact, there shall be more than just the hint of early June in the air...

...and on our backs.  


Thursday, September 21, 2017


I have been on trial all week in bucolic Paterson so I must confess that not only have I lost track of days but also of seasons.  When I was busy paying attention to other things, summer officially left the building - or does so today.  Who knew?  Literally, millions of people apparently.  

Autumn's first weekend is supposed to be, shall we say, balmy.  Mother Nature appears to give as much of a shit about the date on the calendar as she does that it is only the 2/3 point of September and she has already launched enough fucking hurricanes in the planet's oceans that a possibility exists that hatches shall be battened down for Hurricane Zebulon as part of the preparations for the Columbus Day Parade.  

Happy to know that we the people of the planet are not doing anything at all to piss our landlord off. Being an enormous fan of coincidence, I am confident that all of the Spielberg-like natural disasters that have ravaged the planet in the past thirty days alone occurred independent of anything we have done or have failed to do.  

Sure I am.  

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Pop Pop's Magical Elixir

Suzanne made my day yesterday.  She sent me a series of three photographs of Maggie wearing a Colorado Buffaloes onesie (I did not buy it for her) and keeping company with a stuffed Baby Buff, which I did buy for her.  I smiled as soon as I saw them.  

My baby granddaughter makes my heart happy.  There are any number of things that I love (well that is an exaggeration as there are a few things that I love).  I do not simply love Maggie. I absolutely adore her.  She serves as proof to her Pop Pop that good exists in the world. 

And any day that I can receive confirmation of that fact is a damn good day. 


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Saluting the Man Who Saved the World

Last night I actually was home to watch the Evening News.  I am starting to warm up to Anthony Mason on CBS.  The last story of his newscast was a report of the death - four months ago - of Stanislav Petrov, a man whose name I am more than a bit embarrassed to admit I had never heard.  

The story of what he did in the wee small hours of September 26, 1983 is nothing short of extraordinary.  I did not know who he was.  Until I learned of it yesterday, I did not know what he did. 

Proof that a person's value and a person's popularity may in fact have nothing to do with one another. Something for which - in the case of Stanislav Petrov - I for one am very thankful.   


Monday, September 18, 2017

Old Home Week

The Missus and I did not spend this weekend at the Shore.  It was the first weekend in I do not know how long that neither of us spent any time at our little Paradise by the Sea.  Margaret spent Saturday running the second day of her two-day garage sale.  I spent most of my weekend preparing for trial that is scheduled to begin this morning in Passaic County.  That should make you feel better about your Monday.  Wherever you are spending your Monday, I have to spend mine in Paterson.  You win. 

Saturday night we went to dinner at my favorite restaurant, Uncle Vinnie's Clam Bar in Raritan.  We went early and were able to score two seats at the bar.  As if Uncle Vinnie's did not already have enough going for it, Kona Big Wave Golden Ale is now on tap. Talk about the cherry on top of the sundae.

It was great to see Lois and her gang.  The Missus and I have eaten too many times there to count over the years.  We have yet to have a disappointing meal.  The food, the drink, the atmosphere are all incomparable. 

If I cannot be at the beach on a Saturday night, then there is no place I would rather be than at Uncle Vinnie's with the Missus.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

In Sickness Or In Health

I was out of the office all day on Friday. I came in early yesterday morning to find my copy of the annual "Health Insurance" memo.  As always, it made me want to punch someone in the throat. 

Health insurance for the Missus and me costs me approximately $18,000 annually.  Eighteen thousand fucking dollars. Unreal.  It is much worse for my fellow employees who insure not only their spouse but their children as well. Insuring a family of four on the Firm's health insurance plan costs approximately $25,000 a year. 

Who can afford to get sick?  In our office it is already too goddamn expensive just trying to stay well. 

Excuse me while I turn my head and cough.  Coughing is free. For now, at least. 


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Treasure Hunt

The Missus and I are not at the beach this weekend.  I am at the office preparing for trial. Margaret is really working hard.  She is having a garage sale at our house.  If you are in - or can be in - the neighborhood of 113 Howard Avenue in Middlesex, then please come by...

...and buy.  Something.  Anything.