And We Spoke

I am sitting several hundred of miles from home, with my wife.

We are both sitting at a small kitchen table in her parents house, the house where she grew up from infancy.FatherChristmastrial

Her thoughts I cannot read, she reveals nothing, but she seems more relaxed, less tense than she has in quite a while.

I sit, uncomfortable, at the same table, opposite her.  A medium sized metal chandelier above the table, light blazing brightly.

I am a bit more tense, for a variety of reasons.  This is the first Christmas without my father, and I am away from home.

But my wife had not been up to see her parents in nearly 2 years, I could not say no when she asked to come back to her childhood home for Christmas.

She is that important to me, that I would spend my Christmas away from brothers and my mom, who must be having a really hard time not h421px-Carlo_Saraceni_-_The_Birth_of_Christ_-_WGA20827aving dad around this Christmas.  We all loved that man, deeply.

I almost welled up there when I was writing that.

I called mom yesterday, and we spoke for several minutes.  She seemed fine, but she was also running around, being busy doing last minute shopping for some reason. Maybe she just needed something to do.

I called her today, but she did not answer.  She is supposed to be over at my older brothers house now with his wife and two children.

They’ll have a good Christmas together I think.  Mother and son reliving Christmas’ past, while children create similar memories with their parents.

My wife and I will have a good Christmas together I think as well.

My mind will go back across the years to home where my wife will reminisce about the place she is in, and hope for a better future.

Something we all hope for, most assuredly.

Merry Christmas, everyone.


That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

Christmas Night Late Night Idle Talk

It’s late on Christmas night.  All the lights are out except for the colorful Christmas lights which ring the living room in the one bedroom apartment that I and my wife live in.  The only sounds in the room are the clackety-clack of the keys as I type and the sound of the cuckoo clock that is ticking to itself in the corner of the room.

I caught a bit of the Yule Log today on PIX, that is New York Christmas tradition.  That thing has been on every year since I was a child, and is as much a New York institution as the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller center.  I like connecting with my past like that, or more accurately with portions of my past that I like enough to not completely shun and ignore.  To hear the original music, see the old fireplace, brings back happy memories of childhood, where a toy from Santa was the most important thing on earth.


Viddy of the day:  WPIX Yule Log


Spent most of the day with my parents.  With dad in the hospital, it would have meant, had I not been there, that mom would have spent most of her Christmas day alone.  Now I am the first to admit, that I am not the best of company.  I am not what anyone would consider the social buterfly, and frankly it is sometimes difficult with me to get so much as 10 words out of me.  But I, being a man of some minimal strength of character, decided that I did not want my mother sitting alone at home, and having only a visit to see her ill husband, and whoever came up to visit besides her be the only contact with humanity she would have on Christmas day.

We exchanged gifts.  I got her some cheap crap, and she got me some nice stuff.  Kinda how it goes with me.  I can never seem to get anyone anything nice for Christmas, I invariably never have any money to shop for the people I love, and as a consequence, I get them cheap crap.  Been like that for the better part of a decade.  One of these days I’ll have enough money to treat everyone to some actually nice stuff on Christmas.

It’s a dream.  Crazy, I know, but someone must dare to dream.


Good news from heaven the angels bring,
Glad tidings to the earth they sing:
To us this day a child is given,
To crown us with the joy of heaven.

Martin Luther


Pic of the day:  The Crucifixion, by Bernardo Daddi


That’s it from here, America.  G’night

Christ and Christmas

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men…

Luke 2: 9-14


Viddy of the day:  Jesus of Nazareth (Part 4)


Pic of the day: Carlo Saraceni –  The Birth of Christ


That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

December 2010 Random Thoughts

Once a month or so, I clear out some of the pages and place them here on the blog to make room for fresh content on those pages.  This article contains all the content from the “Random Thoughts” page from the month of December, 2010.  Enjoy!


Anagram: December Anagram/ Embraced Manager/ Graced a Membrane/ Embrace Rage? DAMN!/ Grab Armed Menace/ Macabre Gendarme (11/29)


I just deleted the October stuff that was here without saving it or posting it as an article.  Just seemed to be the right thing to do.  It had been sitting here, essentially left to rot for the past month plus.  Hadn’t written anything new here since the middle of october. Starting fresh seems right here. (11/29)


The ADP jobs report just came out.  October’s numbers were higher than expected, and the DJIA looks ready for a big jump, futures are up 132 points as of 8:45 am.  The big jump was a 93,000 job increase, 50,000 more than the previous month.  Good to hear, but we need hundreds of thousands per month at this point to battle the millions of jobs that were lost in late 2008 and early 2009. The graph on this one would look like  flat line, even with all those jobs added.  Still the trend IS good, but not good enough, not for unemployed me anyway. (12/1)


Speaking of employment, got a phone call yesterday from a company, they are interested in speaking to me.  Pretty happy about that.  And it is a supervisory position in a copy center.  I’ll take it.  (12/1)


I spoke to those people about the job.  It was not a lot of money for a job a long way away, and they said it wouldn’t work. I agreed.    But they do have my name on file for other positions, and they are looking into trying to get me a position with another company that is owned by the same people, but not under the same name.  Any job is a good one at this point, but 6 hours a day commute total for the same amount of money I was making as a temp at Sotheby’s won’t work.     (12/2)


Anagram:  Islanders Swept/ And We Slept, Sirs/  Wild Ass Serpent/ Splintered Saws/ We Plan Distress/ Wrestles In Pads (12/4)


It’s a week from the Family Christmas party.  Everything is in place.  Now I can be antsy about it.  Are all the people gonna show up?  Will they bring the food like was requested?  Will people have enough money to cover costs, or am I gonna have to dig into my own pocket?  I was fine until I heard things were good to go.  Go fig. (12/5)


I have applied for 10 jobs this morning.  10 jobs, nice.  Warehouse work.  Maintenance work.  Construction.  Copy Center work.  Butler.  Seriously, butler.  Security guard.  Operations manager.  Cast the net wide, see what I can bring in. (12/6)


Snow flurries, 33 degrees, winds blowing at 15 – 20 mph gusting to the mid thirties, wind chill in the mid twenties.  Sounds like a good day to run for a few hours to me!  🙂   (12/6)


Ran ten and a half miles today.  Apparently I hurt either my soleus or my Achilles tendon while doing it.  Felt it twinge pretty suddenly at the 43 minute mark, so I stopped for a minute to make sure It was good to go, and got back to it, about 5 more miles.  Uphill.  Walked fine for a few minutes after the run.  Sat down, wrote a bit about the run, went to get up, and I could barely walk.


Soaked it for an hour in very warm water with epsom salts, took some Ibuprofen.  Still sore, still limping, but it’s good to walk on.  Looks like I’ll have at least one day, and possibly a few, days off due to this. 


120 mile away from my goal for the year, looking like it’s in reach, and I get laid up.  Hope this thing heals fast.  I want that 1500 miles so bad I can taste it, but not at the expense of an extended layoff.  (12/6)


The muscles in my lower right leg are sore and stiff, but not so bad.  I thought they’d be significantly worse.   A day or two of rest and all should be well, methinks.  Nice. (12/7)


The government sold the last of it’s stake in Citigroup today.  We the people made $6,850,000,000 dollars profit on this stock sale.  Nice.  The treasury made over $13,000,000,000 from it’s sale of GM stock last month.  Double nice.  The government is also preparing to sell off some of it’s AIG holdings, turning preferred shares to common stock and selling them, making $49,100,000,000 in the process.   Triple Nice.  Now call him a socialist, ya fat old nut jobs… (12/7)


Currently listening to an OFA  conference call with Tim Keane and the President talking about the tax cuts and Unemployment.  The President is selling it hard.  But I’ll say this much, he’s a good salesman.

The unemployment extension, Payroll tax cuts, and extending tax credits are the major selling points.  He wouldn’t have gotten them without the 2 year extension of the billionaire tax cuts, which makes the tax cuts a 2012 presidential campaign issue.  Which is a good thing for Dems.  The filibuster by the republicans was irresponsible, but something he couldn’t get around, that we couldn’t get around.  This is about moving the agenda forward, and it would have been stalled and done too much damage had he not made the deal. (12/8)


The Christmas party went well.  Got a fair bit more money than was expected, and have a fair amount of money to help pay for next years Christmas party.  Nice.  Voice is shot right now, sang “O come all ye faithful” in latin a bit too loud, and belted out “The twelve days of Christmas” like I was singing so people 3 blocks away could hear me.  And they probably friggin could. Double nice. (12/11)


Being a lazy bastard today.  Didn’t run yesterday, not running today.  It’s gonna get COLD the next few days.  Should be interesting.  Lazy feels good right now, and frankly, with all the worrying about the party I did, completely needless worrying (the only kind there is), it feels good to just relax.  I’ll begin the 9 mile a day run thing again tomorrow.  No worries. (12/12)


Sent in 13 resumes Sunday and Monday.  Today?  There isn’t much on the job front, but maybe that has something to do with how I am searching.  I have, for the last hour or so, been using careerbuilder.  Not tossing in a particular job title.  I just want to see every job that has come in during the last 24 hours in NYC, 10017 area code.  1074 jobs.  Great, or so it seems.  Over half of these are in places I cannot get to.  Make that number 442.    Jobs open? System analyst.  Managing clerk (paralegal). Marketing manager. C++ developer.  Need to shorten the stack, these ones I’m not qualified for.  Go to management. 135 openings.   Find one I think I can do.  Open it up, it’s for an open house…that went on 3 months ago.  Joy. 

These are just examples.

There’s stuff out there, I just haven’t found it yet.  Still searching, whittling, finding the best job that I can actually do. Time to alter the search strategy though.  (12/14)


My cats ass exploded 2 days ago.  Literally.  Went up to him because he smelled a little funny, which usually means some crap stuck to him or sumthin, go to clean him up, and there it is, clear as day, a bloody wound on his ass.  Looks like he’s been shot! Two bleeding holes on the left side of his asshole! 

Holy Shit, and other such statements!

Immediately take him to the vet, who said it was an anal gland abscess, more common in dogs.  Doc says they don’t know why it happens, it just does.  Not buying it, but that’s another story.  As a consequence, my wife and I have been using a saline solution to clean his wound, covering it after that with silvadine(prolly spelling that wrong), and then giving him liquid antibiotics.  Needless to say that is one pissed off pussy!  And he gets this treatment until the 28th.  Joy to the World!  (12/16)


Anagram:  Christmas Tree:  Richest Master/ Shit at Mercers/ Her Tits Scream/He Starts Crime/ Crime Shatters/ Smart Heretics/ Smarter Ethics (12/17)


I am a fat lazy bastard.  Haven’t run since…thursday?.. when I strained my left calf, after straining my right one the week before.  I’m healed up, but I just don’t feel like getting out and doing the running.  And I’m eating like a damn pig.  Gained 8 pounds in 3 days.  THAT is some healthy eating, BAYBEE!  lulz. 

3 days worth of running and life will be sweet again.  But before I even start that I have to get cracking on the job hunt.  Just because this is Christmas week, doesn’t mean I get time off.  Oh, No.  For the unemployed person, looking for work is a full time job, running is a hobby in comparison. It’s fun , but it doesn’t pay the bills.   (12/20)


…And is it a bad thing that I hate when Job posters put in statements like “MUST BE MOTIVATED” and ” MUST BE ENTHUSIASTIC”.  If I wasn’t motivated, would I be answering your damn job post?  And how the HELL am I supposed to be enthusiastic when a) I haven’t seen the place, b) I haven’t met you or your crew,  and c) I have seen how much you’ll pay, you cheap bastard, which isn’t enough for me to be “ENTHUSED” over, especially when I have a 2 hour commute to get there just to talk to you about the job? 

Ask for enthusiasm AFTER you hire someone, numbnuts. (12/20)


Anagram:  Happy Solstice/ Peachy Pistols/ Physical Poets/ Specialty Shop/ Holy Peptic Ass/ Pop Slays Ethic/ Cops Play Heist (12/21)


I’ve run 7.1 miles each of the last 2 days.  If I run 7.1 miles every day until December 31st, I’ll reach 1500 miles on the 30th, just as I exit the park on lap 3.  With the injuries that cost me 5 running days, and 9 miles a day being too hard on my calves at this point, I thought 1500 was out of reach, but this sounds possible.  Less than an hour a day every day.  Barring further injury issues or weather, that sounds almost easy… but it may still be impossible.  I may have to take time off due to travelling to my in-laws for New Years eve.  We’ll see what happens.  (12/22)


Just applied for 10 jobs.  Office specialist,  printer/bindery,  warehouse, front desk clerk, dock worker, Copy operator, manager in training, security officer, Porter/groundskeeper, costing assistant.  Dunno what that last one even is, I was on careerbuilder, and the damn site has issues today, wouldn’t let me see anything but the job title.  Went for it anyway.  Fuck it, Mikey needs work! (12/23)


I now know that, short of an injury or a weather related issue, I will be able to get to 1500 miles for the year.  Nice.  In order to make it to 150o miles I have to run 41.8 miles in 7 days.  I won’t be able to run on the 31st, so I’ll have to run, on average 6.8 miles per day from now till the 30th.  With the exception of the one day where I ran .78 miles because my left calf seized up on me, I’ve been averaging just short of 8 miles a run for the month, and have been taking it easy and only running 7 .1  and 7.8 mile runs the last week, just to play it safe. (12/24)


Anagram: Merry Christmas / My Marchers Stir / It’s Merry Charms / Martyr Smirches / My Rich Armrests/ Rhymers? CRAM IT! (12/25)


29 inches of snow!  Holy Friggin shit!  I said I was going to run today, but there is just too much snow out there to do it.  Might tomorrow, might not, I’ll see how the cleanup and meltoff affect things.  And like I said, Holy friggin shit! DAT’S A LOTTA SNOW! OOFTA!!! (12/27)


I’ve only applied for 3 jobs today.  No I’m not slacking, there just isn’t a lot there that I haven’t applied for already.  14 in the past 2 days. 

I gotta get a drivers license, much as I hate that thought.  That opens up employment possibilities.  Get the regular then the CDL.  I don’t want a car, I just want the license.  Cars are expensive, insurance is a scam, cops are a nuisance, other drivers are insane idiots, and the roads are as safe as a minefield.  Frankly I’d much rather boil my head in oil than do it, but I need the work.   (12/28)


Jobless number dropped the most in a few years in the jobless claims report that came out today.  Claims fell to under 400,000 to 388,000  in a sign that there really is a recovery going on out there.  The continuing claims numbers are mixed. A slight bump up in unemployment numbers there, but a drop of 150,000 in the 4 week average of continuing claims is definitely good news.  Still no job for me, but I’m still looking.  Where there is life, there is hope, and maybe an employment opportunity or two.  (12/30)


Dear Parks department: YOU SUCK.  Learn how to drive your damn plows.  Ran in the park today, 5 days after the storm that dropped 2 feet of snow on S.I., and a great many parts of the park were still not plowed.  Wouldn’t be an issue, but some it was plowed, and done well.  Other bits were a complete mess, like the person who did it said “Fuck it, it’s just a park, who gives a shit?” Plowed dirt, unplowed asphalt.  Sections unplowed.  Nice.  Still ran in it, but it’s taking your life in your hands doing so.

What happened? You saw all the negative emotions aimed at the Dep. of Sanitation and the mayor over their inability to properly work a plow and use manpower and felt left out?  Assholes. (12/31)


11 hours left in the old year, still looking for work.  Just sent in 7 more resumes.  Now not only am I sending in for jobs that in my areas of expertise, not only am I putting in for jobs that are actually somewhat outside my areas of expertise in hopes of landing somewhere, I am putting in for jobs that I am only somewhat familiar with, and may not pay all that much and are hours away.  Any port in a storm an all that, but damn, where the hell are the friggin ports? (12/31)

12:30 AM Christmas Thoughts

It is Christmas morning.  MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!  I hope everyone has a healthy, happy, and safe Christmas.

Christmas this year is driving me a bit nuts.  For a very simple reason.  I have nothing.  I spent what few dollars I had, mostly on my wife.  A few other dollars here, a few there, mostly small things for a few people.  But not nearly everyone who I wanted to go shopping for got something.  A lot of deserving people will, at least on my personal list, go without.   Not because I dislike them or think little of them, but because I have nothing to give.  So i give them prayers, thoughts, and time, when I see them.  They deserve something, and what more can I give than my time if I have no money to buy presents?

Now, to be fair, I am a crappy gift giver.  I have always been horrible at it.  Tried my damnedest to get people what they wanted or I thought they would like, but I never was able to get better stuff for anyone than they got me.  Always kind of left me feeling a little in their debt.  They always were better than I, but I always tried.  People like me kind of HAVE to be philosophical about it. 

Or maybe have people drop better hints my way.  🙂 

My wife, my better half, the woman I love, is wrapping gifts in the other room.  Some of them mine.  Dammit.  I hope she didn’t get me anything big.  I have no real needs, save her company. With that said, I can hear her wrapping gifts, just barely audible above the sound of the music playing behind the video of the yule log that is playing on the television.  Some Ventures  version of a Christmas song was playing a minute ago.  Now an orchestra is playing  “Hark, The herald Angels sing”. 

She says she is no good at gift wrapping, but does that really matter?  The gift even is secondary, mostly.  It is the gesture, the giving itself, the symbolic giving a piece of yourself, that something of yours that the other person wants. 

The real gift is time, and company.  No matter the money spent, no matter the amount of time wrapping, it really is the thought that counts. 

I must away.  I have one gift to wrap. One.  Better than none.  I am having a better Christmas than many.  I have a roof over my head, heat, hot water, food, a wife that loves me.  Peace and serenity and warmth at 12:30 Christmas morning, what more could a person ask for?

Merry Christmas, America!  Merry Christmas, World!