You Tell Me.


I want to start writing more. Need to do that. And will do that.

But, honestly, right now, I’m not having great luck coming up with some topics. I’ve got one lined up for later this week, but you’ll see that in due time.

And, thanks to the beauty of Facebook, more people have seen this blog lately.

To those viewers, as well as any other newcomers, is there anything you’re dying to read about from me?

Anything that I’ve said here intrigue you that you want to know more about?

This is your chance to control the content a bit. If you so desire.

Help me get things going again.

(And, I know I’ve said this before, but I’m not going to write the Rachel Ray story until my friend Christine and I can do it together. We’ll get there!)

Ok, the floor is yours.

Reader’s Choice

So I used to love to roller skate.

And it was always fun to hear the DJ talk about what was coming up. “Shoot the duck.” “Backwards skate.” “Ladies’ choice.” “Guys choice.”

Well, this is like blog roller skating and the DJ just called “Reader’s Choice.”

The floor is yours. Tell me something you want me to write about.

Ask me a question.

I know there are a lot of new folks reading me (thank you, by the way!), and I know some of you have been going through my archives.

So what has piqued your curosity?

What question do you want to ask?

What story do you want me to tell?

Speak up. The floor is yours.

I Miss…

Note: Though I’ve never seen it, I’m sure this has been done. I can’t imagine I’m creating something new here. Either way, it seems like a good idea.

I miss…

…my dad.
…my brother.
…the everyday closesness of college friends.
…trading baseball cards on the porch in the summer.
…Maple Breeze.
…working at the CIA (um, The Culinary Institute of America).
…my first car, Lola.
…watching Larry Bird play basketball.
…watching Fred Lynn play centerfied.
…lazy summer days as a kid in the pool.
…sleeping in until 11 a.m.
…my friend, Chris.
…’Super Cookies’ at lunch in elementary school.
…being able to actually hold Aidan.
…working at the Cove.
…friends I worked with at ETP.
…going to Block Island as a kid.
…matinees at the United.
…good radio — like it was in the 80s.
…heck, the 80s.
…the old Boston Garden.
…the West Wing.
…School House Rock.
…triple chocolate donuts from Penny’s in Pawcatuck.
…not having to worry (about anything).
…summer ‘Playground’ at West Broad.
…being in Ireland.
…hearing stories from my grandmother.
…frosted brown-sugar Pop Tarts (can’t remember last time I had one).
…growing up at the Pawcatuck Little League.
…riding my bike on my morning paper route.
…eighth grade at St. Michael’s.
…gym class with Mrs. Solar.
…english class with Mr. Jones.
…being on the radio.
…Famous Pizza.
…Melrose Place (ok, and the real 90210, too).
…Battle of the Network Stars.
…the full page of baseball notes in the Sunday Globe.
…Golf Day.
…a lot of things from high school (just not the drama).
…living in a neighborhood.

Those are a few of the things I miss.

How about you? What do you miss?

The Interview — Part II

Ok, so this little interview thing is addicting.

For some of the bloggers I work with, we can’t stop talking about this thing. It’s fun to come up with great questions, and it’s just as fun to answer them.

So, without further delay, here come five questions for me from my friend and colleague Carrie.

1. We both have experienced the loss of family all too early. They have missed out on many important things in our lives that we wish they could have been here for. I know that I have a question I would have liked to ask my Dad both before he died and especially now. So this is a two parter: If you could have asked your Dad one question before he died or after, what would it have been? And what about Tim?

Wow, nothing like coming out with guns blazing! This is an emotional question, but one I’ve actually thought about — particularly with my Dad, so we’ll start there. Toward the end, Dad was under hospice care. He was coming to grips with the situation quickly, and apparently had something on his mind that he wanted to do. I don’t remember how this came up, but apparently Dad was getting ready to write each of us a letter. This about floored me when I heard it. Still gives me the chills a bit now when I think about it. We weren’t then (and aren’t now) an affectionate family. That’s OK. It’s just who we are. But if my Dad was going to do that, it would be his way of expressing his feelings to us.

So, that said, the question is, “Dad, what were you going to write in my letter?”

For Tim, the timing of everything was just off. Completely unexpected. Complete shock. No other way to describe it. Once he was at the hospital, someone was there all the time, and, for much of the time, we were all there. I remember standing next to his bed, playing my iPod so he could ‘hear’ some of his favorite music. Why? Why not. We sat in the hallway. We sat in the waiting room. We sat by his bed. All the while, he was unconscious.

So, that said, the question is, “Tim, did you know we were there? Could you feel us?”

2. If Heaven exists, when you get to the Pearly Gates, what do you hope God says to you?

Well, first of all, I believe Heaven does exist. And, I hope to God that I am going there. In terms of what’s he going to say to me, hmmm. Probably something along the lines of, “Michael. Welcome home. You weren’t perfect, but nobody is. But given the cards you were dealt, you played a pretty good hand. Now, go over there, see your Dad, your brother and just relax.”

3. If you could have dinner with any three people dead or alive (but not including family), who would it be and why?

I love this question! I’ve actually blogged about it before. It was one of my first entries, and you can find it here. I actually like one of the tables I listed in that blog. Imagine dining with JFK, RFK and Marilyn Monroe. Think there’d be much conversation?

Then I wonder, OK, what about dinner with Letterman, Leno and Carson? Or, how about Bono, Stipe and Elton John? Or, maybe Tom Brady, Big Papi and Paul Pierce. Or what about

So many different options. So many different ways to go with it.

4. If you could trade places with one person for a day, who would it be and why?

Two part answer coming here. Fun and serious.

First, the fun. Jon Bon Jovi. In a heartbeat. Why? Well, OK, he’s my man crush. I’m not afraid of that. But, more importantly, i want to stand on stage in a stadium and have 75,000 people in the palm of my hand. I want to be a rockstar for 24 hours. And I can’t think of a better one to be than my man JBJ. Mmm!

Now, the serious. I would trade places with my son, Aidan. I want to know what he sees. How he sees it. Anything that can get me even closer to him. And to understand him as best as I can.

5. You’re the “Word Guy,” so here is a multi-part quick answer question:

a) What is your favorite curse word?
Without a doubt, it’s the f-bomb. And, lately, I’m dropping it a lot.

b) What is your favorite word?
Honestly, I don’t think I have one.

c) What is your least favorite word?
I’m going with diarrhea. Why? Because I can never spell it without looking it up. And, if you’re using the word, chances are you’ve probably got it (and that’s not good). Finally, it just doesn’t have a flow to it. I don’t know. Mostly because, well, I just don’t like it — in all areas.

 d) What one word do you hope people use to describe you?

e) What one word would you use to describe yourself best?

There you have it. Thanks, Carrie, for some great questions.

Do you have the interview bug? If you do and you’d like me to interview you, just let me know. I’d be happy to do it.

Ask Questions, Get Answers

I love how this works.

I ask questions, you give answers.

An anonymous source gave me this link in answer to the rocks on the roof question:

And, if you didn’t read the comments about the why do they announce drunk and driving check points, there’s this from my college roommate turned lawyer. He says:

I can offer some insight into the publication of checkpoint locations: it’s called the Constitution. You see, here in America (at least before the Bush Administration gets through with it)we have certain freedoms. One of those freedoms is to be free of unreasonable search and seizures, which a traffic stop certainly may constitute. An unconstitutional stop is one made by the police w/out a reasonable and articulable suspicion. A checkpoint involves just such a situation, so to counterbalance the clear lack of a reasonable and articulable suspicion the Courts have held that the police must do certain things, like publish notice, hold the checkpoint in a place likely to find drunk drivers and establish (or pre-establish, if I could make a play on a previous blog — one that I was clearly the inspiration for) guidelines to prevent cops from pulling over, say, only the white Irish lawyers or the African-Americans (that’s why they have to stop every other car, or every third car, etc…).

Thanks, Chris.

Now, here’s a question I’m not sure anyone can answer.

I’m in the grocery store last night buying Valentine’s Day cards. Me and 50 other guys. Well, one guy is walking around so proudly with his gift for his significant other.

What is it, you ask?

How about one of those ginormous chocolate chip cookies. It gets better. This one was in the shape of a heart, and it had blue frosting around the edge and in the middle where it said Happy Valentine’s Day.

I mean, who in their right mind brings that home? And, if they do, who in their right mind actually enjoys getting it?

That’s all for now.

What else? I got nothin’.

Two Things I Don’t Get

Faithful readers, I give you two posts in two days. Can you stand it?

These two things are ones that are worthy of mention, but perhaps not worthy of a full rant. So, you get the combined effort.

Here we go:

Ever notice what’s on the roof of many commercial buildings, i.e., hospitals, schools, industrial buildings. I’m talking about flat roof buildings.

Why are there rocks on a flat roof? Have you noticed this? I have. I remember the first time I saw it was on the college dorm I lived in freshman year. Most recently, it was on the roof of one of our local casinos.

I don’t understand. Explain it to me, please.


The local paper this morning continued what seems to be a regular practice, at least in these parts. They announce when and — get this — where the next drunk driving checkpoints will be. They are as clear as saying on this date we’ll be on this road.

Now, in now way shape or form am I advocating driving under the influence, but if someone out there sees this and knows they are going to be out that night and may have a few drinks, why are we telling them exactly where the cops will be?

Attention all drunks, avoid Route 32, on St. Patrick’s Day. The cops are going to be there.

Again, I don’t understand. Explain it to me, please.

What else? I got nothin’.

Concert Critique

Wife and I went to see Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band last night.

He was fabulous. Much better than expected. His voice was incredibly strong. And, while he might not have the best stage presence, it wasn’t half bad for someone who is 61.

But, I’m not here to review the performance of Seger and friends, other than what I’ve already written.

No. I’m here to write about some of the 9,000 people that were at the show with us.

See, concerts, if anything, are an amazing place to people watch — particularly at a show like this when the average age of the audience is, well, on the older side of things.

I’m a music guy. I’ve been to, oh, I don’t know, a lot of live shows. Easily more than 50. At this point, it’s probably closer to 100.

Many of the things you see at concerts are universal. Some have been happening for a long time. Some, well, are newer, dare I say it, ‘traditions.’

For instance, I’m sure you’ve noticed the guy (because, for some reason, it is a guy who does this 9 times out of 10) who has his cellphone to his ear. He’s not calling home to check in on the babysitter. He’s calling the guy he knows half way around the arena so they can wave to each other.

I mean, are you kidding? What’s the point here? And, I’ve gotta think it’s always the guy in the better seats that initiates the call. You know. To rub it in that he has better seats. This, and many other things, are even funnier when it’s a 45-year-old guy doing it.

My other new favorite thing to mock is the high fivers. You know, the group of buddies who are coming to the show together. They get so excited about a song, that when it’s over, they have to give each other high fives. You’re kidding me, right? No, apparently they aren’t. Get. A. Life.

The waver is another favorite. Most times, artists will move from side of the stage to other to give everyone a chance to get an up close look at the star. I love this. Because it’s then that you always see people wave their hands like crazy and scream at the top of their lungs. Now, keep in mind, the guy on stage can’t see a damned thing with the lights, but the fans are certain they saw them wave or whatnot.

My other least favorite thing is after a show. When 9,000 people leave one place, it can get a little crowded. That’s fine. Just learn how to walk. Please.

Don’t you just love the couple, for example, that decides to literally stop in the middle of an area to discuss something — causing everyone behind them to change their walking plan (what, you don’t have one?) on the fly. Move it to the side and then have your discussion. Don’t you dare have it in the middle of my walking plan.

I mean, the nerve of people.

So, what drives you crazy at a concert?

What else? I got nothin’.

What’s In a Name?

I listen to just about anything. Always have. Probably always will. Heck, I even listen to (some) country now. Thanks to the amazing Jennifer Nettles.

I’ll be the parent in 15 years bringing one of my kids to a concert. You know the parent. The one that’s rocking out and singing all the songs — making their kid(s) feel like a dope. Yup, that’ll be me. Particularly if Bon Jovi is still touring in 15 years.

Anyway, the iPod is perhaps the greatest invention in, oh, I don’t know — ever.

And with it comes my addiction to iTunes.

I’ve listened to some strange music in my day. Being a college DJ will do that to you. I used to (well, OK, maybe I still do) love bands called Nikki Meets the Hibachi, Scruffy the Cat, The Beat Farmers, Webb Wilder and the Lightning Seeds.

Well, to me, good music is good music. And that’s all I want to listen to — good music.

The group name really doesn’t matter. Afterall, consider the names of groups I’ve recently downloaded: Hinder, The Fray, Snow Patrol, Augustana and, perhaps my new favorite, Death Cab for Cutie.

I’m not even sure what that means. But I love the music. So I’m in.

He’s got a pretty normal name, but Mat Kearney is also a new favorite. Of course, he’s just got one t in Mat, so I guess he isn’t all that normal.

So, what’s hot on your iPod? Any strange band names that you love?

What else? I got nothin’.

Where Do You Sit?

Faitful readers, thank you for the response to the last question. An interesting topic. As I think this one is, too.

Now that I know where you sleep, I want to know where you sit.

I’m talking about when you go out to dinner with your significant other. So, two of you at the restaurant.

Now, there are two scenarios in play here.

First, the booth:

Do you sit across from each other? Or, do you sit on the same side of the booth, leaving the opposite side empty?

I could never imagine sitting on the same side as my wife. I just don’t get that. Besides the fact that it looks strange, doesn’t it hurt your neck if you have to keep turning to talk to the other person?

The only time I can see sitting on the same side as your signficant other in a booth is if you are with another couple (or kids or something). But, when it’s just the two of you, I just can’t figure that out.

Second scenario, the table:

Ok, so it’s just two of you again. This time, you’re sitting at a table with four chairs. Where do you sit? Do you face each other on opposite sides of the table? Or, doe you sit ‘next’ to each other by sitting at perpendicular sides of the table?

This one is a little more flexible, I think. Again, my wife and I would typically be opposite of each other. That’s not always the case, though. I can’t think of a scenario right now, but I know we have abandoned the opposite thing once or twice. It’s more of a case-by-case basis than the booth scenario.

So, my faithful readers, where do you sit?

What else? I got nothin’.

Where Do You Sleep?

Faithful readers, a question for you. Actually, a question for those of you who are in fact sharing a bed with a partner.

Where do you sleep?

No smart remarks like, “in a bed.”

The thing is this. Stand at the foot of the bed.

Using that perspective, I’m guessing 90 percent of the guys sleep on the right half of the bed and that women are sleeping on the left side.

First of all, am I right?

Secondly, what’s the deal? Is this weird?

Or is it just me?

Wait. Don’t answer that.

So, let’s hear it.

What else? I got nothin’.