Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Friendly Monster

                         ( This is a story written by my pal Alyssa Sumner. She's eight yrs old.)

There was a monster .  In the forest he had a home. There were two little kid's and they made a deal  to go into the forest  . And if one of them screamed they lose  .It started to rain and fog up. They saw a big large black thing .They both  screamed  really loud and ran out of the forest .The monster tried  to tell them he was friendly but it did not work out very well  .The kid's  said," I think that was a monster ." So every night they would have bad dreams.  On Monday they went back in the same spot to tell the monster they were sorry .The monster came . They tried not to run. They both said," I am sorry" and the monster  said. " Okay do you want to be friends?". The kids said yes .So every night they would have good dreams about the monster. The next night after their parents went to sleep they went out in the forest . And they went to sleep  at the monster's wood house  "This is big, said the kids . And why do you think it is so big because he is big." He had an extra bedroom.
So in the morning before their  parents woke up they would go out during the day and play ball  . And same thing at night . The next day they found out that they were going on a vacation . So
very early in the morning they went to the monsters house to tell him that they were going .They came back on Wednesday and when they went home they threw their bags and went to the monsters house . But he was not there and they were only going for fourteen days. We thought he left with his family so they did not worry.  But now they were worried because  he was gone for  sixteen days. Even more days then they were!  Maybe he needs our help. We've been looking for him for two days now . Lets just wait. Maybe he stays with his family more then we do . It has been six days so we went looking for him. We found him. He was in a factory. They got him home and gave him food and lake water and he was okay. Now we went home and my parents hugged us and kissed us  because we were in the monsters house for 22 days .And we lived happy and loved. So did the monster.

So when  we went on  vacation together we told our mom and dad about the monster . They were scared just like us . But when we went we went on vacation they were fine,

                                                                   The End     

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Oh....You got a problem with me?!

    " I got a lot of problems with you people!!!!!!" A quote from Frank Costanza as the airing of grievances was about to begin. The group was about to celebrate "a Festivus for the Restofus."  Feats of strength to follow. (It always comes back to Seinfeld)
     We seem to have a lot of problems with "you people" today. Pick your group. Hilary - Donald, black - white, immigrant - native, liberal - conservative, Yankees - Red Sox, Stones - Beatles, crunchy - smooth. Wars have been fought over such things. Have you read Gulliver's Travels? Worth your while. The cartoon (see left) is also very cool. But I just can't be that passionate all the time. I guess that gene bypassed me. I was fairly passionate about learning to play the guitar, bass, drums..... and the whole British Invasion music scene. I was more than fairly passionate about one or two bands that I was in, women I've been lucky enough to fall in love with and cool dogs/cats I've known. Cruelty to animals can certainly get my Irish up. (It's ok. I'm Irish)  But that Abbie Hoffman, Gloria Steinem, run for political office, save the whales kind of passion.......zoom!....over my head. I think the whales should be saved. I think women  deserve equal pay for equal effort and I applaud the men and women who've made the commitment to run for political office. It's expensive, invasive and just can't be much fun. I've met a number of
politicians over the years and observed that their main job seems to be running for, obtaining and keeping political office and doing/saying whatever it takes to that end. A few have even discreetly admitted that to me.  Still, it's a commitment. And I've found that they're usually very likeable people one on one.
     In my job I meet a lot of "corporate types." At one point I was a corporate type ridin' the fast track. I realized  quickly that I didn't have the temperament, interest, desire.....passion...... for doing everything it took to climb the ladder. Thus, I've opted for a life of calm, music, the road, airports, hotels etc. Of course, it's a trade off. Peace vs financial security. Worth it?  I've recently turned sixty five. I'm not so sure. But as Don Corleone said, "This is the life we have chosen." And I'm ok with that. I have to be.
     But the corporate types I meet have a lot of problems with "you people." In this case you people are the kids coming out of college and into the work force. Millennials. I have the opportunity to have forty five minute conversations with this group and it can be.....eye opening. I've heard the word "entitled" bandied about. (I don't think I've ever written "bandied" before)  I met a young lady a while back who was fresh out of college and ready to start her career. She was interviewing with NJ pharmaceutical companies. I thought, "Well, that's a noble undertaking. Fighting cancer and other debilitating diseases right on the front lines." And thankfully great strides have been made. The cost of bringing a drug to market and the impact on the public.....you and me........ is another discussion. So I mentioned the nobility of her decision and she enlightened me with the salary range of each of her steps for the next thirty years. Enthusiastically! I said, "And you can actually change the world!" Her response? "I guess...." Her main gripe was that she had to show up every day at eight thirty to a corporate office location. She didn't think that was fair. She wanted to work from home.... ☹.  I replied, "The bastards!!!" She agreed.
     Now maybe she was the exception. Upper management doesn't seem to think so. I was in the student union at Barnard college, uptown Manhattan,  post 2017 presidential election. There was a board posting that therapy dogs would be made available to anyone who felt disenfranchised or otherwise traumatized by the results of said election. I wonder what the guys who survived the Normandy Beach landing or years in a Vietnamese prison camp would think of that. But I'm just an observer. I report. You decide.
     Which brings me to "vocal fry." You know about this? I think it started with the Kardashians. That low growl speech thing. Yes. I watched early Kardashians. Like all the reality shows it started out interesting then evolved into bad acting, ala The Osbournes and Breaking Bonaduce.  Danny and Ozzy......now THAT was entertainment. When Danny Bonaduce skateboards down that LA hill ignoring all traffic, stops at the liquor store, pours a pint of vodka into a half empty Hawaiian punch container and downs the whole thing in one gulp....well.......you can have your "Twelve Angry Men," but that's must watch TV. And don't get me started on Ozzy trying to figure out the remote or the garbage disposal. "Sharon!!!!!!!" The vocal fry on women is kinda sexy. On young guys? Creepy.  I was playing at a local restaurant last week and overheard a conversation among two girls and a guy. The guy had vocal fry. The girls didn't. Weird......and creepy.  
     I think we owe just a little bit of props to our grandparents and parents for getting through the depression and a couple of world wars. Waddaya think? Just a little? They were a tough, resilient group. Of course, they had no choice. And we as humans tend to rise to the occasion. I hope we still can.  I've had some  tough times. We all have. But I've never been really hungry, usually had a place to sleep (even if it was a beach or the back seat of a VW) and never had to dodge bullets. Well there was some shooting in my backyard in Plainfield, NJ in 1966 but I don't think that was directed at me. (Ma! I'm on board with that moving thing now!) I've also been hearing the word "Snowflake" lately. It's amusing how all the news shows gravitate to the same hip words at the same time. Me? I wouldn't call anyone a snowflake. But if I did and your feelings were hurt.....I know where you can get a therapy dog.          Peace.