Bookshelf

Hey, I don’t just love to write…I also love to read!  

And I like to tell others about what I read.

I’ve started my “BOOKSHELF” page off with two books I’ve recently read and my take on them.

Enjoy!

It’s Not How You Have The Baby

Once again the wonderful world of social media has reared its ugly head and stirred up a beehive that really didn’t need to be stirred up.

Apparently there is a Facebook page out there that was created which insinuates that if you brought a child into this world via C-section, then you didn’t give birth.  Uh-huh.

 

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Face the facts, huh?  If us C-section mothers didn’t “give birth”, then what else would you call bringing a human life into this world?  Just getting cut open and pulling out a kid?  Get real.

What these extremists need to realize is that no matter HOW you bring a child into this world, via vagina, C-section, test tube, fairy dust, what is most important is how you mother that child.  I don’t care if you were in labor for 24 hours without an epidural.  If you abuse your child, it doesn’t seem too heroic, now does it?

Let’s not leave out all the adoptive mothers who never had the chance to either push their child into the world or have their kid pulled from their insides.  Does that make them any less mothers?  I don’t think so.

So, bitches, let’s put our birthing experiences aside.  One birthing method over another does not make any of us superior.  We all suffered some kind of pain.  And as mothers I think we really need to focus on what is most important:  our children and the best lives we can give them, not how we brought them into this world.

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Old Musicians Never Die….

This past week I was faced with a tough task:  I had to comfort a 13-year-old girl I mentor over Zayn Malik’s recent departure from the boy band One Direction.

Here’s how the conversation kind of went:

13-year-old heartbroken girl:  Why would Zayn leave the group?  (choking on a sob)  How could he do this?

Me:  Honey, I know you’re upset.  These things happen all the time.  Look at the Beatles.

13-year-old heartbroken girl:  Who are the Beatles?

After that I held my tongue.  Although I really wanted to give this kid a dose of reality, I couldn’t do that to her.  However, if I could’ve mustered up the courage to lay the truth down to her, here is what I probably would have said:

When four or five guys (or girls) form a band and that band becomes fairly successful, something called EGO takes over.  And when four or five EGOS are fighting for this or that, all hell can break loose.  Shit happens.  Such as:

A woman comes between two members of the band and wham!  Not only is the group done but so is a friendship.

A band member becomes physically hurt in an accident.  To numb the pain he is turned on to heroin by a “friend”.  As his addiction increases, the other members intervene.  He is eventually kicked out of the band.  The band covers it up saying that this band member who has left is “pursuing other musical interests” but interestingly enough, this band member does nothing musically for years.  The remaining members eventually disband and the drug addict member does recover and eventually does make a musical come back.

A band member is murdered by another band member.

A member of the band leaves because she wants to settle down and have a family.

A member of the band turns 16.

The band gets OLD.  Nobody buys their music any longer.  Who cares?

I could go on and on.  Over the years there have been countless band demises for numerous reasons.  Most of us don’t stay in the same job with the same company all of our lives.  Why would we expect the same of any musician?

Seeing your favorite band perform when you are 13 is a lot different from seeing that same band perform when you are 30.  You’ve all grown up.  And most musicians don’t age well.   They have developed certain ailments:  arthritis, diabetes, hearing loss, vision loss, memory loss.  Try to enjoy a performance from a musical act whose guitarist is struggling to play the guitar due to arthritis, the drummer keeps hitting the cymbal in the wrong spot because his depth perception is off, the bassist is wishing he could escape to the bathroom, the keyboardist is playing the wrong notes because he can’t hear well and the lead singer is trying to remember what the hell city he’s in.  That’s when it’s time to hang it up.

Sure it would be nice if our favorite bands could last forever.  But would we still want to see them when we’re in our sixties and they’re in their eighties (if they are even still alive?).  Not every band is the Rolling Stones…

So to my 13-year-old friend I say:  you have the memories of when Zayn was in the band.  If you really care about him as a fan, be glad for him that he is finally able to do what he really wants to do, whatever that may be.  Maybe you’ll catch him on the One Direction Reunion Tour thirty years from now….he’ll be the one with the cane.

OLDMUSICIANS

 

An Open Letter To The Pathetics

Dear Pathetics:

Wow.  Can your lot please get lives and get them soon?  I’m sick of rolling my eyes and shaking my head at all your social media bullshit.

If it were all over tomorrow, you’d be the first bunch off the bridge.  And you probably will be.

You’re crying because there isn’t any.  Then you cry when it’s all over.  As it was once said to me by the “leader” of what makes you so pathetic:  “these people can be so damn demanding.  I should’ve given this up years ago”.

Yes, you should’ve.  And you will.  Soon.  The pathetics just don’t know it.  And you’ll bear the brunt of the patheticness when it does.

The InVinceable Man

Today was a sad day for many in Patriots Nation.  We learned that veteran defenseman Vince Wilfork will not be picked up by the Patriots for the upcoming season.

There aren’t too many athletes I admire. Vince Wilfork is just one of the few that I do.  His farewell note left on Twitter brought tears to my eyes.  Although he will always be a Patriot, Vince will also be much more.  He is one classy dude who has lent a hand to everything from diabetes research to aiding financially challenged children with his very own foundation.  For many Christmases he was the standee wearing a Santa hat in various Eastern Banks where customers could come in with a donated toy and get their picture taken with the standee.  On a couple of occasions some were lucky enough to actually get their picture taken with the real thing.  He even came to the aid of a motorist involved in an accident.  And that was while heading home after being part of the AFC Championship win.

His face will be missed  on the field.

Vince, you will always be remembered and never forgotten.  I will still wear my Vince Wilfork t-shirt with pride.

We thank you for all you’ve done here in New England.  Although your future endeavors may never match what you’ve given Patriots Nation, I’m sure you’ll still be the great In”Vince”able Man wherever you may be.

 

 

ByFtQu-CYAA7w8N

 

 

 

 

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It All Comes Down to Money

Here’s a scenario:  You get into a car accident and your car is out of commission for a couple of weeks.  Good thing you have rental coverage on your insurance policy.

So you go to the car rental company that the insurance company contracts with (which just so happens to be the same car rental company just about every insurance company contracts with).  They don’t even have any vehicles comparable to your own vehicle which is a SUV.  So they stick you in a Chevy Malibu.  The rental car employee inspects the car in your presence and supposedly finds no dings or scratches on the car.  You don’t notice any either but then again, you’re not looking on the roof or on the window.  Then again, you don’t notice the employee looking on the roof of the car either.

Two weeks later you finally get your vehicle back.  Upon returning the rental you start to get the run around from the rental agent that “your insurance hasn’t authorized payment on the rental” and “we haven’t been able to get in touch with your insurance company”.  Then they begin pointing out all these scratches all over the vehicle, which supposedly weren’t there when you rented it.  There’s even a scratch on the roof of the car.  The employee actually has the nerve to ask if you have taken a shovel to the roof of the car to remove snow.  Why would you do that?  You don’t even do that to your own car.  This guy’s an ass for even accusing you of doing such a thing.

You’re asked what happened to the car.  How the hell would you know?  You’ve had the damn car for two weeks and have gone back and forth to work, to the store, to other various places.  If any of this damage they’re accusing you of occurred while in your possession, how could you possibly know exactly where and when and how it happened?  The rental company forces you to file a claim with your insurance company right then and there.  More money gone from your pocket into theirs.  This is how these rental companies work.

As someone who worked within the insurance industry for many years, this scenario is very common.  Both insurance companies and rental car companies may say they hark on good customer service but mainly what they’re interested in is making money.  And when they see an opportunity to make money, they will do it.  If I had a dollar for every person who is forced to file an insurance claim with their company for damage to a rental that was allegedly discovered upon return, I’d be sitting on a beach somewhere sipping Mai Tai’s.

A solution to the problem?  Something a friend of mine did once.  She rented a car.  After they went over the details of the car and noted there were no damages, she took pictures of the car with her cell phone while still in their parking lot.  The pictures were dated and timed.  Sure enough upon returning the car they began accusing her of causing all kinds of damage to the car.  A scratch here.  A ding there.  When they demanded she call her insurance company, she whipped out her phone and showed them the pictures she took.  With the date and the time stamped on them.  In their parking lot.  Guess what?  The scratches and the dings that they accused her of causing had already been there.  She not only proved them to be crooks but she also saved herself the cost of her deductible and having to file an insurance claim.

So why do rental car companies pull this shit?  I believe it’s because they don’t make as much money off a rental set up through an insurance company as they do from someone going on vacation.  So they have to make up for the difference somewhere.

Basically it all comes down to money.

Louie The Clown

Well, we can all finally rest peacefully.  Louie the Wurlitzer-playing creepy clown has finally been found.  Louie disappeared years ago from his home at Joyland, a Wichita, Kansas amusement park.

Louie went AWOL shortly after the park closed in 2004.  He was found earlier this week at the home of an imprisoned sex offender who once worked at Joyland.  Apparently this pervert was planning on making Louie his own personal bitch!

Considering his age of 50 and value of $10,000, Louie was in great physical condition with a big smile on his stupid face when authorities discovered him.  He was in the process of starting a poker game with fellow clowns Bubbles, Koko, Bozo and Ronald McDonald.  It should be noted that the authorities discovered a large supply of alcohol, marijuana and Happy Meals on the premises and that Koko chain-smoked the entire time they were there.  When asked what he’s been doing for all these years, Louie had no comment and left the home with the authorities without incident.  It’s believed that Bubbles, Koko, Bozo and Ronald are still in the middle of their poker game but will soon be returning to their rightful circuses and restaurant.  Once that last bottle of booze is empty.

Louie the Clown - missing from Joyland has been found

Louie the Clown – missing from Joyland has been found

Koko The Clown chain-smoked while the authorities questioned him.

Koko The Clown chain-smoked while the authorities questioned him.

Bubbles was found hunkered in a corner making animal balloons when authorities arrived

Bubbles was found hunkered in a corner making animal balloons when authorities arrived

Bozo, the well-known TV clown has known Louie since his beginnings at Joyland

Bozo, the well-known TV clown has known Louie since his beginnings at Joyland

Ronald, famous for his restaurants, was downing a Big Mac when Louie was discovered

Ronald, famous for his restaurants, was downing a Big Mac when Louie was discovered

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Why leave Massachusetts?

I’m not really certain why anyone would move away from Massachusetts.1375272_480846765349110_5041656448222417871_n

Okay, maybe the sub-zero temps and mountains of snow causes many to start looking for real estate in a warmer time zone.

However, one thing I’ve learned about the people I know who have moved from Massachusetts to somewhere south of the border is that you may be able to take them out of Massachusetts, but you can never take the Massachusetts out of them!

Here are some things that no one will ever tell you about leaving Massachusetts:

1.  Everyone else runs on Starbucks.  A true Masshole needs their Dunks.  Personally, I actually prefer the specialty drinks from Cumby’s (and they’re only a buck!).

2.  Change your frappe thinking to milkshake.  Order a frappe in Florida and you’ll be looked at like you have three heads.

3.  Everyone thinks they can do a Boston accent.  The thing is not everyone who lives in Mass lives in Boston.  And we all don’t talk like Marky Mark.

4.  If Atlanta, GA gets a dusting of snow the city shuts down.  If Boston gets a dusting, it’s business as usual.  Same with a blizzard.

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5.  We do St. Patrick’s Day better than anywhere else in the world.  Including Ireland.

6.  You’ll never find better lobstah rolls and New England clam chowder anywhere than in Mass (especially on the Cape).

7.  Speaking of the “Cape”, real Massachusettsians don’t “go to the Cape”; we go “down the Cape”.

8.  Our sports teams have spoiled us.  Especially those Pats.

9.  Speaking of the Pats, not everyone outside of Mass will understand your deep abiding love for Tom Brady

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10.  You know the best ice cream in the world is Brigham’s.  Except for Ben & Jerry’s.

11.  People you get to know in other parts of the country will assume you know Matt and Ben because of your Massachusetts roots.  Tell them you do.  If you’re reading this and don’t know who the hell Matt and Ben are, then you’re not a pure Massachusettsian.  Shame on you!

MATTBEN

12.  Candlepin bowling rules.

13.  So do sprinkles and jimmies

14.  We get four real seasons.  Some tend to last longer than others, but there are four of them.

15.  Autumn in Mass (and New England) is incredible

autumn

16.  It’s always fun to correct other’s spellings of certain Mass towns.  Worcester does not have an “h” in it.

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The New England Patriots: Beyond Champions

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know by now that The New England Patriots won the Super Bowl last night.  Chances are you know the details of the game and how it was won, so I won’t go into them here.  Speaking as a Patriots fan, they are great details!

So, what makes up a Super Bowl champion?  Is it scoring a touchdown, then in celebration spinning the football around, simulating pulling your pants down and then simulating defecating on the football?  How about flashing your fingers to the camera, holding up two fingers on one hand and four on the other in reference to a player on the opposing team who you know is better than you are but because you’re an asshole you’ll never admit it.  Funny thing is, most of us football fans had no idea Richard Sherman knew how to count!  And he went to Stanford…go figure.  I know a Super Bowl champion can’t be a player who refuses to talk to the media and makes a mockery out of media day during Super Bowl week by repeatedly saying, “I’m just here so I don’t get fined”.  Then the ass manages to get fined anyway for the fucking hat he was wearing!

Maybe a Super Bowl champion is a sore loser who can’t control himself so he decides to throw punches at the winning team’s tight ends.  No, I don’t think any of these qualities are the make up of a Super Bowl champion.

A Super Bowl champion is a quarterback who was selected 199th overall, who would spend a year, possibly more, sitting on the bench behind a multi-million dollar quarterback.  Then by pure chance, luck, miracle, hell, call it what you want, this quarterback taken at number 199 takes over the helm and gets his team to the Super Bowl.  Then he does it again five more times, winning four of the six.  Guess how many other quarterbacks have ever done that?  Only two others.  That’s pretty elite territory for a quarterback to be in.  But that’s what makes a Super Bowl champion.

A Super Bowl champion is a man who undoubtedly is the best cornerback in the league.  His former coach even told him so.  So considering that statement, the player asked for more money and the team he was on basically told him to pound sand.  So he moves on to Tampa Bay where he just about rots in hell.  Nobody can afford this guy.  He knows what he’s worth and all that.  There’s no way the Patriots can get him.  But they do.  At first it’s rough for this cornerback.  He gets sent home after showing up late for practice.  That is not how Super Bowl caliber teams work.  He learns and he does well.  Shit, the man has his own fucking ISLAND!  And now he has a Super Bowl ring to go with it!

A Super Bowl champion is a feisty wide receiver who shares the same fondness for Joe Montana that his quarterback does.  He becomes emotional at the amount of hate and trash talking his team has to endure.  He may be small in stature, but he’s big in spirit and strength.  He tears up when talking about the quarterback and about his father, who the wide receiver says has encouraged him always in all he does as a player and as a person.

We can’t forget that a Super Bowl champion is the goofy, lovable fan favorite tight end.  Off the field he may emit a sense of aloofness.  But on the field he is all business.  He is built like a brick shithouse and he won’t ever hesitate to “throw you outta the club”.  Despite his size, he has incredible hands and has made beast-like catches that just seem impossible.  To top it off, he’s got the hippest ride around in the family “party bus”.  He’s just an awesome guy to have on a Super Bowl Championship team.

It may seem unlikely at first but believe it or not, a Super Bowl Champion is an unknown, undrafted rookie who barely played college ball and actually cut his college football teeth at Hinds Community College.  He wasn’t even part of the rotation to start the Super Bowl.  With twenty-six seconds to go and a final chance by Seattle to score and win, this unknown, undrafted rookie “nobody” became an instant “somebody” when he intercepted the ball.

The rest is history.

Tomorrow these Super Bowl champions will take to the duckboats and ride through the streets of Boston.  They will lovingly hoist the Lombardi trophy and wave to the fans who venture out in the snow and cold to see their beloved Patriots and celebrate victory.

As Bob Kraft said when he accepted the Lombardi trophy for the fourth time:  “We are ALL Patriots”.  Yes, we are, Mr. Kraft.  And we are ALL champions!

 

 

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I’m A Proud New England Patriots Fan

With the Super Bowl upon us, I’ve been reflecting on why I consider myself a fan of The New England Patriots.

Although there are many who will tell you they’ve been a fan all their lives, I can only say I’ve been a fan since the 2001 season.  I wasn’t completely oblivious to the Patriots before that time.  I’d heard of Steve Grogan.  I even got to meet Steve Nelson at a DARE program held at the local elementary school back in the 90’s.  I still remember what one kid said to him:  “You don’t look 57”.  To which Nelson replied, “I’m not.  That was my number”.  I saw Doug Flutie coming out of the Natick service plaza on the Mass Pike.

I know Bill Parcells once coached the team.  I know Pete Carroll once coached the team also.  I remember the whole “squish the fish” thing in 1986 and I know the Bears killed us in the Super Bowl.  I know Drew Bledsoe took the team to the Super Bowl in 1996 and lost to Green Bay.  Gillette was not always Gillette.  It once was Sullivan Stadium.  Then Foxboro Stadium.  The team was once in the rumor mill to be moved to Providence or Hartford.

Then along came Tommy and my viewing of Patriots football went from zilch to just about every week.

Here is how my introduction to Tom Brady went:

It was the Monday after the Patriots’ season opener in the year 2001.  My husband had just informed me that Bledsoe had gotten hurt during the game.

“Oh, great,” I said, rolling my eyes.  I had always thought Bledsoe was like a bull in a China shop.  “So who’s taking over?”

“Some guy named Tom Brady.”

“Never heard of him,” I replied.

Then my husband spoke the three words that would haunt him for the next fourteen years:  “He’s nothing special”.

As they say, the rest is history.  That “nothing special” quarterback only went on to take The New England Patriots to the Super Bowl and win the damn thing, becoming the youngest quarterback in history to do so.  Sunday will mark Tom Brady’s sixth appearance in the Super Bowl.  That’s more than any other quarterback.  Not bad for “nothing special”.

To really put The New England Patriots Super Bowl appearances into perspective, and to see that, yes, this team REALLY is THAT good, keep in mind that there are 32 teams in the NFL.

Looking back over the past 15 Super Bowls:

Twelve of the teams that went to the Super Bowl within the past 15 years have only been in the Super Bowl once during that time:  St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Oakland, North Carolina, Philly, Baltimore, Chicago, Arizona, New Orleans, Green Bay, San Fran, and Denver.

In that same time frame, only two teams have been to the Super Bowl twice:  Indy and New York

In that same time frame, only two teams have been to the Super Bowl three times:  Pittsburgh and Seattle (this Sunday will be their third appearance)

Standing alone in that time frame is the one and only New England Patriots.  They have the honor of having been in the Super Bowl SIX times (this Sunday will be their sixth).

When all the peanuts have been counted, only 17 out of 32 teams have been in the Super Bowl at least once within the past 15 years.  The Patriots have been there SIX of those times!

People can say what they want about the Patriots.  They can associate them with Spygate, Deflategate, Hategate.  Whatever.  For these people what it all comes down to is that their team is not the Patriots.  They don’t have a Tom Brady, a Gronk or a Belichick.  Their stadium sucks.  Their team has never been to the playoffs, much less the Super Bowl.  Hey, fans of those teams—newsflash:  Patriots fans feel your pain.  AT ONE TIME THE PATRIOTS DIDN’T HAVE ANY OF THAT EITHER!  We sucked.  To even mention The New England Patriots in the same breath as the playoffs or the Super Bowl was a joke.  There is an urban legend that one time the fans got so pissed off they ripped out a goalpost and carried it down Rte. 1.  Another one is that during a game the quarterback sucked so badly, a fan from the crowd who used to play quarterback in college was called in to take his place.  So we know what it’s like to be on the losing end.

The Super Bowl is in less than twenty-four hours.  I don’t know if the Patriots will win or lose.  It’s been a long season and this team has come a long way.  They have done their job as a team and I have done my job as a fan.  No matter what happens I’m proud of this team and I’m even prouder to say I’m a New England Patriots fan.

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