Who Does This?

I’m all for going green or whatever. You want to drive your scooter? That’s fine with me. But this?

This is not fine with me. Not in a small and always full staff lot. No, this is not a good way to start a Monday.

What else? I got nothin’.

R.I.P., Death

Dear Death ~

You know what, I’m done with you. You’ve wreaked so much havoc in my life. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of you. Would you please go away for awhile?

Not that I wish bad on anyone, but, honestly, could you go bother someone else?

First it was my dad, eight years ago this month. This is always the time where I start to think about him a lot. How can I not? He clearly was suffering at the end before you took him. And that’s one reason why I don’t like you.

Then, as if that wasn’t enough, you went and took my brother this year. And, OK, he probably didn’t suffer — but the unexpected side you bring to the table doesn’t make things any easier. I know that now. And, have you no timing? I mean, you do realize that my daughter was born five days before my brother died?

You have no class, death. No class.

I especially know that now. Why? Because you took an amazing woman from this earth yesterday. She wasn’t immediate family, but that doesn’t make this any easier. Diane battled cancer for more than 15 years. She was one of the strongest people we know. Beat it. Comes back. Beat it again. Back. Goes away. But, no, you can’t stay away. Not enough other things on your plate.

And, you know what, death? It was kind of fine for me to deal with you. I mean, I’ve had experience with you. I know how you work. Butt this time, while your latest move affects me, it really affects Renee.

Diane was Renee’s mentor, a colleague when Renee first started teaching back in 1992. She took a new teacher under her wing and a bond was formed. I came home last night and Renee was sobbing. All because of you, death. All because of you.

Diane was also¬†our landlord. And, get this, we paid $330 a month rent. She wasn’t about making a buck. She was about making this world a better place. That doesn’t satisfy you, though. You go and take her. And for what? Because she was suffering? She beat it before. She’d beat it again. IF you gave her the chance.

I knew Diane before I knew her son, a man who I have called a friend for more than 10 years — despite that he’s both a Yankees and Steelers fan. He has four kids, Diane’s four grandchildren. What are you going to tell them, death? Speechless, aren’t you?

You know what you do to us, death? You make us stronger. You bring us together. You keep memories alive, not people.

But, you know what you really are? Do you?

You, death, are a coward.


Enough with the Discrimination

I’m sick of it. Really. I never thought it would get to this. To a point where I had to appeal to you, loyal readers, for support. But, here we are.

I am fed up with the discrimination.

Not because I’m white.

Not because I’m Catholic.

Not because I’m straight.

Because I drink orange juice.

Yup, I, and others like me, am a victim of discrimination.

Here’s the scenario. You’ve seen it a hundred times. I’ll play the starring role.

I’m in a restaurant, let’s say it’s my and my better half out for breakfast. She orders coffee. First of all, unless you’re going to Fourbucks, it’s usually only $.99 or something silly like that. In addition, it’s always a bottomless cup.

Think about it, how often when you’re out to dinner does the waiter/waitress come by and ask, “More coffee?”

Well, no more coffee for me. I don’t drink it. I drink orange juice.

Back at the table, after my better half orders coffee, I order a glass of juice. The first problem is the price — it’s at least $1.75, but these days, it’s not a surprise to find it more than $2 and sometimes even higher.

But that’s just the beginning. There are two more major elements in play.

First, the size. And, ladies (and gentlemen), here’s where size matters. I just paid more than $2 for a glass of juice and it’s 8 ounces or something foolish like that.

What’s worse?

That’s just for the one cup. There will be no waiter or waitress coming around asking if I’d like to “refresh” my juice.

See what I’m saying?

Juice drinkers of the world, we must unite.

It’s bad enough I always have to answer the question about why I don’t drink coffee. But now, I have to, more than ever, defend my choice to drink orange juice. Or, god forbid, defend my choice of asking for a second glass — of which I know I will have to pay.

Do you feel my pain?

What else? I got nothin’.

Call Me Cynical, but….

Ok, let’s call this one a rambling rant. I’m half ranting and mostly rambling, so that’s what you get.

I’m sorry, but I don’t get this big news story about Steve Irwin. He’s dead. I’m sorry for that. (Honest.) Nobody deserves to go the way he did. But, a couple of things. He’s a croc hunter — his time was coming eventually, no?

But, more importantly, is it really this big of a deal? “Breaking News” all over the place that Steve Irwin is dead? The local paper here has a spot on its website for people to post messages of condolences. Honestly? Who reads that stuff (Ok, I do…some of it is just so funny)? Who writes that stuff (I don’t do that!)? Do the people that write it honestly believe that Steve’s family will read this stuff? Are people so hurt by his loss that they need to publicly express their grief?

I don’t get it. Help me understand this.

My First Official Rant

It’s happened to me. I’m sure it’s happened to you.

You’re on the highway, cruising the left lane, minding your own business. Maybe you’re going 70. Perhaps a little more. Whatever it is, it’s not enough to get pulled over.

Then you spot him, out of nowhere, in your rear-view mirror.

The cop, almost always in an unmarked car. He comes right up on your tail, virtually forcing you into the right lane, only to cruise by you and then everyone else in the left lane.

If you’re doing 70ish, you figure he’s pushing 80. And, of course, no light. No siren. No nothing. Just a cop car.

I can’t be the only one who can’t stand this. I can’t be the only one who has said to anyone listening in the car (or to just myself), “Why can he do that?”

Is there a cop code we don’t know about? A code that says they can break the speed limit as much as they want and not worry about it?

Apparently there is.

There’s also another thing they can do — at least here in Connecticut. Cops can talk on their cellphones without a headset without a worry in the world. Who’s gonna stop them? You’ve seen it, too. I’m sure you have.

I don’t know why this stuff bugs me, but it does. A lot.

Am I alone?