Two things at the top of the "Life List" these days.
1. Fish my way into this contest. [I'll be unplugging the toaster for a couple of days, starting Wednesday. I'm off on the annual fishing oddysey.]
2. Wryte my way into this contest. [The closest I've come is when they picked what I wrote, but someone else did, too... and got all the glory.]
But I'll have to write later. There's FISH to be caught!
Since I had marathon conference calls today, I slapped this together for my two or so loyal readers... and others who got here by taking the wrong turn at Albequerque...
100. I'm a Gemini and so am I.
98. JIF over Skippy.
97. Sunny side up over scrambled.
96. Soft boiled even better. (Just like my Grams used to make.)
95. Jack Daniel's over Jim Beam.
94. Red Breast over Jameson's over Bushmills.
93. I used to drink coffee with cream and sugar, now I take it black.
92. I make a KILLER Caesar salad with enough garlic that you wear it for at least a day.
91. I like World War II movies, especially "In Harm's Way."
90. The right tie or the right pair of boxers can turn grey skies to blue!
89. So can the right song.
88. Tony Soprano lived after the screen went black.
87. When I was young, I never needed anyone. An making love was just for fun.
86. Those days are gone.
84. I litsen to it for the music, too.
83. Was the year I graduated from High School.
82. I showed this blog to my wife for the first time a year or so ago.
81. According to my Traffic Log, she stopped reading a couple of months later.
80. I had my first root canal at 40. It wasn't all that bad.
79. I have flat feet.
78. Letterman over Leno.
77. I used to swim on my (coed) high school team. Wasn't that great at it because I kept having to think about baseball every time the girls swam backstroke.
76. I suck at golf.
75. Favorite color: Green.
73. Ancestrally speaking, I am 3/4 Irish, 1/4 Armenian.
72. I don't think "ancestrally" is a word.
71. I have just re-attained Aadvantage GOLD status on American Airlines for the third year in a row. Back off, bithces!
70. I am a Kentucky Colonel.
68. I'm a keen observer of people's behavior, and can pretty much do an impression of anyone. But I'm often reluctant to do it, because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.
67. "You dirty rat! You killed my brother!" [See what I mean?? Uncanny, huh??]
66. I saw The Cars in concert once in high school, and the only thing that moved on stage was Ric Ocasek's leg, to the rythym of each song. It was like the Hall of Presidents at Disney World.
65. I once tried to start a wave at a Barry Manilow concert I went to in high school with a girl I was dating then. Didn't work. Neither did the relationship.
64. I had to stay home sick on both my 2nd and 3rd grade field trips to the Bronx Zoo.
63. Best Bond Theme: "We have all the time in the world," by Louis Armstrong. It was later redone by Fun Lovin' Criminals, and they did a good job. Second place: "You only live twice" by Nancy Sinatra.
62. "Waiting for Guffman" is better than "Best in Show."
61. I laugh more at George Costanza in reruns than I did the first time around.
60. Abraham Lincoln is the first guy I want to go see in heaven. Always has been. Funny thing is, I have no idea what to say to him beyond, "Nice hat."
59. Life is linear, not cyclical. Nothing repeats. Ever. Nor should it.
58. That being said, if I could, I'd go back to being 10 for just one day.
57. Dwight K. Shrute is a genius!
56. Bugs Bunny and Foghorn Leghorn could kick Timmy Turner and Sponge Bob's ASSES any day.
55.- 50. [RESERVED FOR FUTURE USE.]
49. Once, just once, I'd like to have "Hail to the Chief" played when I enter a room... instead of my having to hum it.
48. Beatles first, then Stones, Who's next.
47. Leezer's list is way better than mine.
46. George was the best songwriter, John was strongest, but I like Paul best. (Not Pete Best.)
45. I daydream like Walter Mitty.
44. I once met Ally Sheedy in Boston, by accidentally trapping her pure in a revolving door. (So when, hopefully at an old, old age, she dies and her life flashes before her eyes, I'll be in it!!!)
42. If I could, I'd equip my car with a device to shoot cigarette butts back at cars that throw them out the window on the highway.
41. My family is rather strange, and this apple didn't fall far from the tree.
40. I cry at the end of "Mr. Roberts," and "The Last Hurrah", and at some of the gut-punching Budweiser commercials with the clydesdales.
39. I lost two friends at the World Trade Center on September 11th, and was morosely engrossed in it for nearly a year.
38. I am a Roman Catholic, and I believe what I was taught... I'm also totally counting on the redemption/forgiveness thing.
37. I believe in ghosts, and that my house is visited from time to time by the very benevolent presence of the man who owned the house for a good 30 years or so before we moved in. [We bought it from his widow.] He goes on rounds every so often, usually after I make a change (paint a room, install a new light). So far, he hasn't objected to anything.
36. As kids, after hearing about how the BVM (Blessed Virgin Mary) appeared to children at Lourdes, my sister and I prayed that she'd come to our house. Then 20 minutes later, we were scared sh*tless, told our parents what we' done [as if we'd just broken a window]. "I don't think she would scare two young children," Mom said. "It's okay. You can go back to sleep." Whew!
35. I was not afraid to die until I became a Dad.
34. I'd like to think that I'd give my life for a stranger, but given number 35, I wonder if being around for my children would make me hesitate.
33. I have met three U.S. Presidents.
32. I was in two plays in high school and want to audition for the repertory theatre in my town someday. [I was Edward Angkatell in "The Hollow" and Harry Dodge in the non-musical version of "Meet Me in St. Louis."
31. The Hollow featured an on-state kiss with a gal who stole my heart. On the show's last night, neither of us were acting.
30. When I was a kid, my Dad called me "Charlie Brown." I think it was because I was a blockhead.
29. When I was in junior high, he called me BJ. That didn't help.
28. One of my Great-grandmothers was a mail order bride; and one Great-great grandmother came to America as a 50-year old widow with 12 of her surviving children.
27. You're not being cynical if you smile when you say something; you're being ironic!
26. I am two degrees from Kevin Bacon.
25. All roads lead to Mark Twain.
24. Burt Bacharach is the best composer of our time.
22. Alan Arkin is underrated.
21. So is Gene Hackman.
20. [The Comedian] Bob Marley slays me.
19. The secret to making crispy bacon is baking it in an oven at 400 degrees. (See #11.)
18. I don't think I'm into laser eye surgery, but a buddy of mine just had a laser vasectomy. Kind of a "Lady or the Eye chart" decision, if you ask me.
17. This is actually the last one I'm filling in. I started this list at the top (100), then the bottom (1), and then filled in the middle.
16. I have lucid dreams on a fairly regular basis. I can also fly in them and breathe under water.
15. Yes, I've tried it, and I inhaled, but I was already drunk.
14. I want to learn to play the piano and sky dive... but not on the same day.
13. I'm writing this list during a conference call at work, and just faked my way through answering a question.
12. Sam Adams and Guinness. Enough said.
11. I am the Czar of Breakfast. Specialty: Nutmeg cinnamon French toast.
10. Dark chocolate over milk.
9. Ocean over lake.
8. Surfcasting over boat, but I want to learn how to fly fish.
7. Stormy weather (heavy rains or snow and lots of wind) stirs my soul.
6. Two who would have me at hello: Deborah Kerr (in the Affair to Remember era) and Lauren Bacall (from Key Largo era).
5. One more who could: Amy Sedaris.
3. Randy Newman.
2. Peer pressure doesn't get to me.
1. I made this list because I saw other people doing it.
"Today is the anniversary of the day that tore across our history and our hearts. We come again as New Yorkers and as Americans to share a loss that can't be measured and to remember the names of those who can't be replaced.
"This year, we have asked those who responded to the tragedy to help us lead the ceremonies, both the men and women in official uniform and the volunteers who said, 'Those are my neighbors. Let me help.'
"On that day, we felt isolated, but not for long, and not from each other. New Yorkers rushed to the site, not knowing which place was safe or if there was more danger ahead. They weren't sure of anytyhing except that they had to be here.
"Six years have passed, and our place is still by your side. As the poet William Blake wrote centuries ago, 'Can I see another's woe, and not be in sorrow too?'"
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, September 11, 2007
And so, Wolf, Larry, Brian, Katie, Charlie... Please. Don't tell us what it means. Don't. Even. Try.
"... we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground."
Neither can your grinding dirges or all the grainy slow-motion you can throw into your CBSNBCABCMSNBCCNNFOX "McEpic" Special Reports.
Don't tell us what it means.
"... the brave men*, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract." [*and women]
Joe's kids already said it all at his funeral, in the crayon drawing of their Dad playing golf in heaven.
"... it is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced."
Mike's Dad still says it between the lines of the emails he sends now and again, and it's been in Mike's son's eyes in the last five Christmas cards. It's also been etched on Lauren's Mom's face ever since her daughter became a young widow.
"... it is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us."
Just let us grieve, find our own meaning, hold on as tightly as we can... and move ahead together.
"... that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain."
In reverent and loving memory.
May God hold you and your families in the palm of his hand.
[The searing image at the top of this entry was taken September 11, 2006 at Ground Zero by New York Daily News photoghapher David Handschuh, who covered that awful day and was badly injured after the South Tower collapsed.]