Election Year – 2020 Version

I got this in the mail today from a local Congresswoman (YES, Congresswoman not Congressperson). I’m not sure what happened to Barbara. Or Eric. I’m guessing this politician is looking for same sex support.

Happy Father’s Day 2020 – Pandemic Version

Father’s Day 2020 – Pandemic Version

Dad died nearly 24 years ago. I can’t believe it’s been that long. When I started writing this I honestly believed the words would come pouring out, the memories would be sharp and events that happened so long ago would feel as if they happened yesterday. Well, guess what? I’ve been stumbling over my words, all of my memories are somewhat foggy at this point, and few events stand out as worthwhile things to write about. When you write as much as I do not having anything to write about (especially on Father’s Day) is odd. But the more I think about this I remember the thing I want to write about. I want to tell you about Dad’s Old Car.

“I had this habit for a long time, I used to get in my car and I would drive back through my old neighborhood, a little town I grew up in. And I would always drive past the little houses I used to live in…and I got so I would do it really regularly, for years. And I eventually got to wonderin’, what the hell am I doin? And so, I went to see a psychiatrist (laughter), this is true!…and, I sat down and I said, ‘you know, doc, for years I’ve been getting in my car, and I drive back to my town and I pass my houses late at night and, you know, what am I doing?’ And he said, ‘I want YOU to tell me what you think you’re doing.’ So I go ‘that’s what I’m paying YOU for.’ So he says, ‘well, what you’re doing’ he says ‘is that something bad happened, and, you know, you’re going back, you know, thinkin’ that you can make it right again. Something went wrong and you keep going back to see if you can fix it, and somehow make it right.’ and I sat there and I said, ‘that IS what I’m doing.’ And he said, ‘well you can’t’.”

Bruce Springsteen

Dad’s Old Car was a Chevy Bel Air. It was a turquoise and brown Chevrolet Bel Air, the brown being the various rusted out spots scattered where rust happens to an older car. The car was bought used. Dad never bought new cars probably because he couldn’t afford new cars. As much as I think fondly of that car now, as a kid I could hardly hide my embarrassment for the fact our family had to drive a beater. I was angry too. When I got my driver’s license the car insurance premium soared to an unaffordable level for a family of six having trouble making ends meet, living paycheck to paycheck. Dad asked me to surrender my license which I agreed to. When the insurance company got proof from the motor vehicle agency I no longer had a license, they lowered the premium back down.

One day when I wasn’t being lectured or yelled at or yelling back I asked Dad why he never bought new cars.

“A car gets you from point A to point B. That’s it. You can spend as much as you want or as little as you want. They all do the same thing.”

“Now the neighbors come from near and far
As we pull up in our brand new used car
I wish he’d just hit the gas and let out a cry
and tell ’em all they can kiss our asses goodbye”

Used Cars – Springsteen

It’s funny the things you think about, the memories that come alive on certain days. And while we’re on the topic of Dad’s Old Car here’s an update on TOMC (The Old Man Car). TOMC hit 70,000 miles last year. On Father’s Day 2020 this is where the odometer sits:

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Thanks for the life advice Dad. Happy Father’s Day.

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Lightfighter deadspace

Image result for lightfighter deadspace

Album Notes
“Deadspace” refers to a part of the body that is available for its physiologic purpose, but for some reason is not being used, for example the air in a person’s mouth at the end of a breath that will not reach the lungs. A broader conception of this idea might be some sort of “undefined existence,” which is constant and pervasive in the emergency room, where lives are simultaneously beginning and ending. Very few occurrences can be defined well in absolute terms, and nothing can usually be very well explained. But we do our best to lead a good life, and, if we’re lucky, we may earn a good death.

Woonsocket traces the surreal rise and fall of a northern RI mill town, from its idyllic origins and through the boom of the industrial revolution to our current dual-epidemics of violence and opioid addiction.

Young and Reckless is a coming to age narrative built out of a collection of fragmented memories.

Oh Woman was the first song written by the group, and can be considered Rock Blues. It is a straightforward battle cry on navigating a new relationship.

Heaven and Hell is the only acoustic based song on the album. Heaven and Hell is a hopeless attempt to make sense of doctors’ and patients’ responses to devastating illness and injury.

In a Lie is fierce; created to be played live, distorted and loud. It is a simple tale of a past relationship and it’s dysfunction.

Protect the King was born after first witnessing what could only be described as a “good” death, as represented by it’s atypical structure. A young man at the end of his struggle with cancer decided to discontinue treatment and die peacefully, surrounded by his family. Although it was painful for them, they stayed with him and held him until he died.

The trio formed during their residency training in Emergency Medicine in Providence, Rhode Island. “deadspace,” the eclectic debut LP, was inspired by experiences old and new, and explores opposing forces.
Genre: Pop: Pop/Rock
Release Date: 2018
© Copyright – Lightfighter

Not Italian

 

Growing up I was convinced I was Italian. As a kid all of my friends were either Catholic or Jewish. Imagine your childhood in a time and place where delicious ethnic cuisine was a couple of blocks away. The businesses were always family businesses. The food was wonderful. Naturally my favorites were southern Italian and anything you’d find in a good Jewish deli (except Borscht which I never liked nor understood). Bagel with cream cheese and lox? Love it. Sunday gravy with meatballs and sausage? Isn’t this what every family makes and eats on Sundays? Didn’t everyone go to synagogue on Saturdays and church on Sundays? When I was around 12 or 13 I began my spiritual quest. We had the big Sunday meal with family but for some reason we didn’t go to church or synagogue. I was confused about faith. So I turned to The Wise One of the family for guidance.

“Father, why don’t we go to church or synagogue?”

The Wise One did not hesitate with his response.

“You don’t find God. God finds you.”

Now imagine being around 12 years old and having that thought stuck in your brain.

Faith is a funny thing. You either believe or not. So the thought that I might have some Italian blood persisted my entire life. This belief persisted until this past week. My brother got one of those DNA ancestry tests done and graciously gave me permission to share the most intimate details of our genetic heritage in a public post.

Well, I’m not Italian. And I’m not 100% of what I thought I was.  I might be Vietnamese.

Well this puts a different slant on everything.

Update 01.22.18

My Grandmother Was Italian. Why Aren’t My Genes Italian?

We do have the genes we inherit — 50 percent from each parent. But Elissa Levin, a genetic counselor and the director of policy and clinical affairs of Helix, says a process called recombination means that each egg and each sperm carries a different mix of a parent’s genes.

“When we talk about the 50 percent that gets inherited from Mom, there’s a chance that you have a recombination that just gave you more of the northwest European part than the Italian part of your Mom’s ancestry DNA,” she says. That’s also why siblings can have different ancestry results.

While catching up on the news I stumbled upon this article from NPR.

I feel better already.  I might still be Italian.

 

 

 

 

2017 – Year End Review

This happened…

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I had trouble growing tomatoes but managed to grow a few bunnies.

The Protector 090217

A new member of the family arrived.

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Another next Gen got married.

We did not move to SF for the opportunity to buy and live in a closet for $425,000.

I discovered yet another reason to quit playing guitar (watch his left hand).

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The Old Man Car lives on.

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And this guy showed up at the house.

Happy New Year to all.

 

The Protector 09.02.17

Being bred to work hard all day means that most Aussies are not content to be couch potatoes, although Aussies have individual characters and some are more sedate and quiet-natured than others. For the most part, however, these are high energy dogs who need a purpose in their lives-a job as it were. Owners must be committed to give these dogs the time and attention they require through play and training, for as with any dog, undirected energy can turn towards destructive behaviors such as digging and chewing. Running, jumping, and rough-housing are all a part of being a normal Aussie.

The Austrailan Shepherd Club of America

The Protector 090217

We all need a sense of purpose in our lives.  Dogs do too.

garyskitchen.net

“You need to change the name of your food blog.”

“Why?”

“Because no one can remember Dea whatever it is you named it.”

“I didn’t name it.  Your daughter-in-law named it.  The blog name has some serious emotional attachments and…OK.  Let me think about it.”

What The Boss Wants The Boss Gets

So I’ve thought about this for around three weeks.  garycancook?  No, too long.  garysmess?  No, readers won’t know the blog is about food.  I was stumped until this morning.  I needed a new name that was bold, innovative, and easy to remember.

“What do you think about garyskitchen, no apostrophe?”

“I suggested that three weeks ago.”

Perfect.

I hope you’re not looking for this place.  Not me.  Kind of funny though.