Thank you Allison for hosting Sunday Stealing. to join in click here.
1. Do you send Christmas cards? No, I don’t ever remember sending them. But I was married at 21 and my first wife did it. Between every divorce, it didn’t seem important. I mean our friends were either “couple friends” in which case, why make an effort when you and they are already toast. And as far as my friends went, we recorded almost weekly in those years. We didn’t send no stinkin’ cards. We toasted and recorded WTIT.
2. How soon do you start shopping? I used to answer this question, “Why is it Xmas Eve?” Since 2000, I’ve shopped online. Amazon once again got my business. Last night (Saturday) we did our “Christmas Eve”. My older kids (37 & 40) and their kids (12, 8 & 3) used to do Xmas Eve together. There comes a point when both, living out of state, want their kids to wake up in their own beds on Christmas. Totally understandable, so now on the weekend before Xmas they spend Saturday with Kathy & me and Sunday with their mom & her husband.
4. Do you put up a Christmas tree? We have one, but it is not I who “puts it up”.
5. If so, is it fake or real? Are you fake or are you real? Ahhhh. The foot is on the other shoe. Answer: It’s real to us.
6. Do you like tinsel? No. Does it like WTIT?
7. Do you use homemade or store bought ornaments? Both. We have ornaments to represent everyone in the family. Mine is a WTIT one.
9. Do you put lights on the tree? Tough one. We bought one with them on it. So, “Does it have lights?” Yes. “Do we put them on?” No.
10. How about popcorn and cranberries? How about them.
11. Is there a wreath hanging on your door? Yes.
13. Do you hang up your stocking? Nope. But I have 4 grandkids. They each have one here.
15. Christmas Movie? “Debbie Does Santa”.
16. Character from any Christmas Movie: Debbie.
17. Christmas Song: “Happy Xmas (War is Over)”
18. Christmas Memory: Lots. My rock star getting his first electric guitar comes to mind.
19. Give or Receive? Duh. Receive. Oh, wait. You meant presents? Give.
24. White Lights or Colored Lights? Colors.
25. Blinking Lights or Still Lights: Still. As in “Still Crazy After All These Years”.
26. Were you Naughty or Nice this year? Really?
27. What do you want for Christmas this year? A reconciliation.
29. What’s the best gift you’ve ever gotten? At the time, a cassette player for my car.
30. What’s the worst gift you’ve ever gotten? A desk clock. My desk can’t tell time, so what’s the fucking point?
31. Who gives you the most gifts? A greedy fucker wrote this meme. “Want” “Best” “Worst” “Open when?” “Most”
33. Do you like wrapping gifts? No.
34. Do you put change in those red buckets? Amazon doesn’t have red buckets, moron.
35. Do you burn a yule log? Based on Pagan beliefs. What? You didn’t know? I didn’t either until I dated a Pagan. A LOT of Christian Christmas traditions and beliefs are ripped from Pagans. The irony was not lost on me. What happened to my Pagan date? I married her. A witch performed the ceremony. I’m still an agnostic, but it made her day.
37. Do you bake cookies? Nope.
38. Have you ever seen your mommy kissing Santa Clause? Holy fucking shit.
39. Have you ever gotten a kiss under the mistletoe? Yes. Great Q.
41. Do you drive around and look at the Christmas lights? Never sober.
42. Have you ever left Santa cookies? When my kids were little. A mere 35 to 40 years ago.
44. Who do you celebrate Christmas with? Family.
45. Where do you celebrate Christmas? It varies.
46. Have you ever had a white Christmas? I live in New England. Do the math.
47. What part of Christmas do you look most forward to? Seeing my kids & grandkids.
48. Have you ever had your picture taken with Santa? Yes.
We did make it back. Peace on earth and goodwill toward mancaves. I wish you all the best. Have a good thought for my dad. Thanks. See you again. Same time. Same blog.
1. As you can see, Sam loved giving her annual wish list to Santa. Yet some children are reluctant to climb into Jolly Old St. Nick’s lap. Did you enjoy the tradition or were you shy? Or did you by pass it altogether — either because you wrote him a letter or because your family didn’t celebrate Christmas? You certainly bobbed and weaved through this question. Mom made us do the Santa lap thang. As a kid I just liked the photo op. I gotta admit that I always get a kick out of the pic I found for “Sam’s Santa”. I have no idea who that kid is, but she sure looked like Sam. I tried years later to find more, but nothing came close.
4. Did you buy yourself a gift this year? No.
5. What’s your favorite holiday-themed movie? Growing up I loved all the Christmas Carole movies. It’s probably why we spoofed it five or six times on WTIT.
6. Thinking of movies, Christmas is lucrative for Hollywood. Have you ever gone to a movie theater on Christmas Day? No.
7. Have you ever suffered an embarrassing moment at the company Christmas party? Oh, you heard about the threesome I tried in the women’s bathroom? The triplet’s mom was not amused.
9. What will you remember most about 2014? Unfortunately, it will always be the year that I lost my dad. I hate leaving this on a down note, but my dad’s illness dominated my year. I hope he’s at a piano bar now…
Thank you Allison for hosting Sunday Stealing. to join in click here.
2) Have you ever been attacked by a wild animal? You must have read those posts about my neighbor’s wife back when I was single.
3) Have you ever ridden a camel? No, back in the day I smoked one. Actually I have ridden a camel. My favorite place to bring my kids, “Santa’s Land” in Vermont had rides. They went bankrupt recently. My daughter brought her daughters there before the doors closed. She was sad because my granddaughters saw a broken down version with no camels.
5) Have you ever been a member of a gym? Does a racquetball gym count?
6) Have you ever been in a helicopter? No, flying without wings is crazy.
7) Have you ever cheated at a test? Truth: Only once. Had I not I would not have graduated. I had a “B” average in the subject the previous year. I got the varsity coach who only cared about basketball. I could not stay awake that year.
8) Have you ever ridden a tractor? Nope. I’s no farm hand, I guess.
9) Have you ever passed wind/gas in an embarrassing situation? The question should be “who hasn’t”.
11) Have you ever handled a snake? No, but does eating it as sushi count?
12) Have you ever assembled furniture by yourself? Yes. But my wife is the queen of it. She but together a shit load when we bought this house.
13) Have you ever been scuba diving? No. As into nature animal film as I am, I hate underwater stuff and I don’t know why.
14) Have you ever had a disastrous interview? I was the spokesperson at my last job some dozen years back. While not “disastrous” I’d take a few back.
15) Have you ever sold your services? Only to the aforementioned neighbor’s wife.
16) Have you ever raised money for charity? Yes. I worked for Danny Thomas every year as a kid for St. Jude’s. My favorite rock station was sponsoring it. When they switched to another station I stopped. (True.)
17) Have you ever won a giant sized cuddly toy from a fair? Yes. I gave it to whoever the woman was that I was with.
18) Have you ever milked a cow? Yuk.
19) Have you ever used the phrase “back in my time” to someone younger than you? Not exactly. But we all love the “good old days”.
20) Have you ever invented a fairly unique meal or drink? My kids said I made the best Sunday brunch they ever had growing up. Sunday morning was my turn.
Thank you all for the kind words about losing my dad. It was a great comfort to be able to say how I really felt what was going on here. Had I tried on social media, it would have been judged and I wasn’t up for that. I’m alive and doing fine. My dad once said, “No afterlife for me. I believe your immortality is in your children.” I’ve got a lot to live up to. Although I’m glad my four kids were so close to him. And my four grandchildren will hear the stories. At our wedding I made sure that my two oldest grandchildren (girls in the wedding) got a photo of them with their great-grandparents. I thought it was important. I’ll watch the Pat’s game and UConn Men play at 4. It is what my dad would want me to do. God, how will I get over this? Sorry. I’ll be just fine…soon.
Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.
2. According to ASCAP (the American Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers), this is one of the 20 most played holiday songs of the last 10 years. What’s the most recent carol that you heard? “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” I am really happy that John wrote a song for the holidays that has endured.
3. Which Christmas song do you hope you never hear again? The one with Grandma or someone got run over by a reindeer. I also hate new songs and Christmas albums by pop stars. Oh. And anything country.
4. This week’s featured artist, Jose Feliciano, was honored to perform this song at the tree lighting ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. If you were to win a trip to our nation’s capital, which sites would you visit? The White House. I’d hop the fence and try to meet Obama. I don’t think this has ever been done before. Ah – what’s that? Oh. In that case, I got nothing.
5. As a very young child, Jose taught himself to play the accordion. If you could suddenly, easily learn to play any instrument, which would you choose? Guitar. I’d love to write a song.
6. Jose says that hearing early 1950s rock on the radio made him want to become a singer. What’s your favorite music genre? Rock. From Buddy Holly through The Imagine Dragons. I can’t get enough new music. I general track Alternative, Adult Alternative and Adult Contemporary. I have Paul’s new single “Hope for the Future”. I have his new tribute, “The Art of McCartney”. I also have “New” but other than the title song, I wasn’t thrilled with it.
7. At 17, Jose had to drop out of school to help support his family. Too young to enter bars, he played guitar in coffee houses for tips. Have you ever worked a job where you regularly received gratuities? No, but as a DJ in nightclubs, I was offered money to play songs. As long as it fit my disco/rock hybrid format I’d take the bribe.
8. Jose and wife Susan have been together for more than 40 years. Who is the happiest married couple you know? Ex-WTIT DJ Cos has been married 30 years and my brother and his wife nearly forty. Both seem amazingly happy. I only lasted 17 at the longest. I’m not sure what it all means. But I got it right for me at this age and stage. I’m not sure how I would have gotten through this week with the loss of my dad without her.
9. Jose wrote and performed the theme of the 1970s show, Chico and the Man. What’s your current favorite TV show? For comedy I’d say “Mom”. For drama I’ll go with “Scorpion”.
As my previous post said, I buried my dad yesterday. I thought I’d share my eulogy with you.
Thank you for taking the time to join us today for celebrating the life of my dad, Bierne. He was more than just a “dad” to me. He was my mentor, my hero and most importantly one of my best friends. He loved people. He loved a good time. When he first started to sing at piano bars some twenty years ago, most nights I was at his side. He did not have the best voice or talent, but he cared about the message of the song and he gave every ounce of his being in a performance.
Dad was about fairness and equality. He stressed that we not judge others by the color of their skin or the god that they worshiped. He had no patience for intolerance. When my dad and I were partners in the hotel business, we needed some rooms carpeted. We always used the same local store. One day Harold, the owner of the carpet business told me that dad had saved his butt in high school. The man was Jewish and said that he would never forget the time when he surrounded and taunted with anti-Semitic slurs. My dad saw this and ran over to Harold. Dad told the group to leave Harold alone and that they would have to get through him first. The biggest of the group came forward and dad took him on. That kid ended up running away, so did the rest of the punks. I had never heard the story. Harold said he was never picked on again because he now was a friend of Bierne’s. After the carpet man left I asked Dad about it. He said he barely remembered the incident, but did say that sometimes somebody needs to be a stand up guy. And when it came to prejudice, he had no time for it, because my dad was always a stand up guy.
He was elated when the Mets came to New York. It meant that the Cubs would be back in New York and we could go to some games. I remember Mark and I and dad sitting at the Polo Grounds to watch our first game. Before the first pitch my dad said to me, because I am Yankee’s fan that for every Mets-Cubs game we went to that he’d bring us to a Yankees game. He never broke that promise. In those days fans could walk on the field to get to their seats. Dad made sure at my first game that we stood in centerfield to see the Yankee monuments. Some of my greatest memories are of Mark and I with dad going to New York.
Dad had a terrible sense of direction. We got lost trying to get out of New York. Which time? Every time. The incident that I remember best was when he got lost and realized that we were on the George Washington bridge headed south to New Jersey. He decided to do a u-turn on the bridge, which was possible in those days. As soon as he did it, he got pulled over. The cop was not pleased. He lectured dad about what he did with kids in the car. My dad was always the diplomat. He explained that we had just seen a Yankees game and he was concerned that we got home and to bed. The officer looked at Mark and me and said, “OK. You got cute kids and I am a dad myself. Just promise me you won’t do this again.” My dad promised, and didn’t even get a ticket. He kept that promise. We still got lost leaving New York every time but we never got on a bridge again.
As you know, Dad was captain of the 1945 UConn Huskies. By 1978 Dad and Mark had been going to UConn games for a while. Dad asked me if I wanted to join them for a game. It was at BU and our seats were lousy. The UConn crowd was small but loud. It took one game and I was hooked. Being a fan then was a major commitment. It was before the Big East and they were never on TV. Mark, Dad and I traveled to games throughout New England. When the Big East was formed everything changed. I remember in 1999 I took a two hour lunch because UConn was in the Elite Eight and if they won they’d be in the Final Four. When they won I found myself crying. I was so happy that dad was still around to see it happen. Of course I had no idea that he’d ultimately see four national championships.
He was all about family. A couple of weeks ago when I went to visit him I was supposed to go with Diane. Diane had sprained her ankle badly and didn’t come. He asked me why Diane didn’t come and I explained it. He said, “Will you tell Diane something?” Of course I agreed. He went on “Tell her not to worry about me. I’m fine. Tell her to just get better and that I love her.” He told my sister Amy that he was so happy that his kids all loved each other. He had never had that so he wanted it for is kids. Trust me that there are times when we do not like each other and get into an argument. But, it never goes on long. We usually call the one not in the argument and everything works out. We do love each other. It was because Dad taught us that family was everything.
My dad was an atheist. Me, I was raised Catholic but since I was about 14 I’m just an agnostic. One night before going to Apricot’s where he was going to sing he said that we were both atheists. I reminded him I was not. He laughed and said, “An agnostic is an atheist who just won’t commit.” I replied, “Atheists are like Catholics. You both think you have all the answers.” He roared. He said, “That’s a good one”. Today as I stand here I must admit that I hope we both were wrong. I hope I go to heaven and find dad at the piano bar.
My Dad was the best man that I have ever known. I know that I’m going to miss him everyday for the rest of my life. Rest in peace, Dad. Save me a stool at the piano.
Thanks for joining us today. We’ll return. Same time. Same blog.