Pry my turtle from my cold, dead hands, Tennessee!

I understood that Tennessee and I would never see eye-to-eye after a few visits to the place. I made it to one meeting on time because it was on one side of a time zone while I missed a meeting the next time I went down there because it was on the other side of a time zone. One state, two time zones. Pick a fucking side. You did it in the Civil War. You can do it now. In the midst of a visit about three years ago, I found myself ambling down some street in Nashville and nothing … Continue reading Pry my turtle from my cold, dead hands, Tennessee!

Civic Pride (Part I)

(Ed. Note: In writing about Betsya few years back, I was accused of creating the “haigiography of a gas guzzling testament to why we don’t have widespread public transportation.” Thus, I understand that another “car” story opens me up to that again. Point taken. Also, please excuse the “colorful metaphors” others have used to describe foreign cars. As I tell my kids, violate AP’s rule regarding derogatory terms only if you have good reason. I think I met the burden, but either way, consider this a pre-strike apology. Part 2 is next week, as this just kept growing beyond what … Continue reading Civic Pride (Part I)

The Greatest Country in the World…

The Fourth of July here was hotter than hell. Last year, I sweated my ass off while I drove the mayor in the Mustang for the city parade. This year, I couldn’t even think about getting inside the car. We went to the parade, which was well attended, although it seemed shorter than usual. Fewer classic cars and one of those that did make it had to give up half way when it overheated and blew its radiator. The Midget was too hot to want to get candy, although many shirtless little boys kept giving her stuff. This was my … Continue reading The Greatest Country in the World…

Scott Walker, Precipitating Factor

As I battled a hangover and tried to make sense of what happened Tuesday night, I started to worry less about Governor Deadeyes and more about what really might be happening here.I argued about this time last year that if the Dems were going to come for the king, they’d best not miss. And boy, did we miss… The numbers revealed that even with massive turnout and massive outrage about Walker’s tactics, the election was no different than it was in 2010. In fact, Tom Barrett lost by a wider percentage this time than he did last time. The people … Continue reading Scott Walker, Precipitating Factor

Love of My Life

I had this post worked out in my head for weeks. I had it built until about four hours ago when someone decided that “Hey, when we say something is due on X day, that means whenever, right?” The concept was simple: This summer, The Missus, The Midget and I went to the Wisconsin Dells for a summer get away. One of the things we did was the rather campy tourist trap thing known as “The Dells Mining Company.” They sell you a giant bucket of sludge with raw gems in it and then try to get you to up … Continue reading Love of My Life

Check out my lizard…

This is what I get for assuming you all are broke like me. 🙂 I had planned a tasteful “Sticky Fingers” cover shot, but since it was hard… Uh… difficult to get my lizard to cooperate, we had to go with the handful shot. In any case, this is Archer, a baby leopard gecko that I fell in love with. Always wanted a gecko for a pet and The Missus finally convinced me to give this a shot. He’s usually decent about “hand time” and he’s a hell of a lot of fun to watch run around. He’ll climb all … Continue reading Check out my lizard…

The New Bullies

Sometimes it takes a stupid argument over a stupid thing to reveal a greater truth. After a week of “Oh, hey, you still live here?” chaos that meant seeing my wife for about three minutes a day, we finally had an evening to catch up on some together time. We decided to watch a few episodes of “Project Runway” we had gathered on the DVR, which isn’t as tortuous as I thought it would be when she asked for a season pass to this thing. If you haven’t see this over the ten seasons it’s been on, the concept should … Continue reading The New Bullies

“…You could be another Lincoln…”

I remember the first run of the “Why do you hate America?” censorship that poured out in the weeks and months after 9/11. It was Bill O’Reilly and the other “STFU” freedom fighters who labeled anyone who wanted to stop and think about things for more than three seconds as being someone willing to offer aid and comfort to terrorists. It was a stupid bit of illogical patriotism that belied a larger concern that for all the freedom we were fighting for, we had to pretty much give up our freedom to get it. Facts? Fuck ‘em Discussion? Only for … Continue reading “…You could be another Lincoln…”

“Death isn’t always sad…”

That line from Bill Maher’s “tribute” to Jerry Falwell came to mind today as I heard that former NFL team owner Art Modell had passed on (pun intended). Sorry, Art. I can’t say “goodnight” to you here, but I can say “good riddance.” Modell owned the Cleveland Browns for more than 30 years before taking the team to Baltimore and renaming it the Ravens. He did this despite the overwhelming protestation of Browns fans, the city of Cleveland and the NFL itself. For this reason, Modell was essentially exiled from his adopted hometown and despite his decades of service to … Continue reading “Death isn’t always sad…”

Strip Tease

It was hot and crowded and the woman in front of me kept pushing us away from her by grinding her very wide ass into my groin. My wife suggested that the woman grab a pole and make some money while we all were waiting. It was an odd bit of serendipity that landed The Missus and I and me in Paris that July. We had gotten married the previous September, but with both of us working and me still having a dissertation to write, we postponed our honeymoon. To make up for time lost, we joined a tour group … Continue reading Strip Tease


I crept out of my bedroom early this morning and poked my head into my child’s room. She was snoring and muttering in her sleep, same as always. The floor of her room was devoid of most of the toys that usually made walking through a minefield a safer proposition than putting her to bed. The room was relatively clean because family and friends will be descending upon our home this weekend for her birthday parties (Yes, plural. Yes, we are nuts.). Today, she turns seven. I wonder how that is possible. Three days after my wife walked out of … Continue reading Seven

Race to the bottom of Colorado Shooting coverage

At this point of the media frenzy surrounding the Aurora shootings, the victims have become known to us, the nature of this crime has been known to us and the overall breakdown of what happened before, during and after the crime has become known to us. Vigils have been held, family members continue to grieve and we continue to ponder what will come next. Unfortunately, if you have ever seen one of these things unfold before, you know what comes next from a media perspective. Scraping the barrel for a new angle, a new insight, a new scrap of information … Continue reading Race to the bottom of Colorado Shooting coverage

Colorado Shooting Evokes Memories of “Never Again…”

The last time Colorado experienced something like this, I was in a newsroom in Missouri with a kid who would later become a good friend and the best man at my wedding. It was 1999 and he was a junior in college. I, all of 24, was in my first real job as staff editor and adviser. Adam was from Colorado and he knew the area surrounding Littleton. He still had friends in that area. He had connections to that zone based on football rivalries, overlapping proms and other such things that happen to bring high schools from across the … Continue reading Colorado Shooting Evokes Memories of “Never Again…”

Kitchen Tables

If you wanted to find my family on a Friday night, you need not look any further than my grandmother’s kitchen. No one could pinpoint exactly how we started this tradition, but every Friday, rain or shine, snow or sun, we’d find our way to my dad’s mom’s house and gather in the kitchen. It was usually Grandma, Dad, my aunt, me, my cousin and maybe Dad’s little brother, who was still living at home at the time. Some of my uncle’s friends would drop by from time to time and occasionally Mom would poke her head in for an … Continue reading Kitchen Tables

45 years of marriage and counting

“Marriage, is what brings us together today… that blessed arrangement, that dream within a dream…”
– The Impressive Clergyman, The Princess Bride

The main aisle at St. Fred’s church in Cudahy is a long one, paved with glossy stone that echoes with footsteps in the quiet of day. Row after row of pews, adorned with clips for men’s hats and wood rails worn by the clasped hands of prayer, separate the narthex from the altar.

The few narrow windows begin almost a story in the air, with little in the way of natural light seeping in at the ground level.

A giant slab of pink and white marble, which vaguely resembles a large piece of uncooked bacon, hovers over the front of the church. It hosts a magnificent cross, adorned with a white stone carving of Christ. Atop the crucifix sits a small symbolic scene of two stags drinking blood from the bottom of a smaller cross, a referent to a long-forgotten passage of the Bible.

In this cavernous testament to God and faith, less than five years after the Second Vatican Council allowed for the use of an English-based mass, a pair of young 20-somethings joined hands and exchanged simple silver rings.

A four or five second utterance of “I do” that led to a 45-year expression of love.

June 17, 1967 was the day China successfully tested an atomic bomb, the Tigers and A’s played the longest double header in baseball history and my parents decided it was worthwhile to spend the rest of their lives together.

Continue reading “45 years of marriage and counting”

Cancer, Earrings and The Fight that Must be Won

Fuck it. It’s still Friday. I still have the floor. Maybe that’s the only thing I can control right now, which is why this is what I’m doing at 11:24 p.m., when I should be nestled in bed, wrapped around my wife and snuggling in for some much needed rest. My friend Amy is battling cancer. It’s a simple noun-verb statement that I can’t get past. She fights it. Noun-verb-object. If you want to find the people who run universities, don’t look for the presidents and provosts and chancellors. Don’t seek out the deans and the chairs and the academic … Continue reading Cancer, Earrings and The Fight that Must be Won

Uncomfortably Numb

The week that was started with The Missus and The Midget spending about 24 hours between two airports and never actually getting to their Texas destination. It ended this morning with a very nice lady I just met taking pity on me and drilling a hole in my head to clean out some infection that had crept under an old filling. Novocaine has a way of making not just my jaw numb but my brain numb as well. Tried to write. Wasn’t happening. With that in mind, I’ll take the advice that an old priest told a young priest, the … Continue reading Uncomfortably Numb

$20 from a safety net

Her name was Rachael and she would have been 14 this year. I usually think about her as school gears up each fall, as kids shop for school supplies and new gym shoes. I think about her parents, both of whom are now well on their way to middle age. When Rachael was born, they were two scared 20-something kids with a daughter in danger. He was an agricultural laborer, and she was a stay-at-home mom. I thought about all of this today in the wake of Mitt Romney’s speech at the RNC last night. He spoke out against the … Continue reading $20 from a safety net