Before You Go

Dear Kevin,

When you were little you didn’t like when we over explained things to you. You were an extremely curious kid. (You still are.) Like a detective you’d ask a lot of questions to get at the truth, or at least your understanding of it. But once your curiosity had been satisfied, you wanted us to stop talking. You had no patience for anything that sounded preachy. When you sensed a lecture or sermon coming on, you’d interrupt and say, “I don’t want to know. And I don’t want you to tell me.” So please forgive us for writing this letter of unsolicited advice.

What follows are things we have come to believe and value about life and the human experience. Much of it we learned from you, by being your dads. All of the sentiments expressed below have been said or written by others, and with more eloquence than us. And our thoughts are repetitive, disjointed, and scattered. One passage may contradict another—sometimes in the same sentence—but that’s life: a complicated, repetitive, disjointed, random, beautiful mess. The route is seldom a direct express.

The tone below veers into commencement speech territory, including generalizations and nauseating clichés commonly heard at graduations. But since neither of us are likely to ever deliver a graduation commencement speech, this is our attempt at passing on what we’d like to believe is wisdom, all of which you are free to ignore. (Skip past the dotted lines if “you don’t want us to tell you.”)

So from us to you, in no particular order, here goes.

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Brandi Carlile: Hold Out Your Hand

It’s rare for every song on any given album to be a hit. There is often a miss or clunker among the bunch. Not so with Brandi Carlile’s “By The Way, I Forgive You.” I have been listening to this album over and over since its release. To say that I just can’t get enough would be an understatement. And it has caused me to revisit her entire discography with greater enthusiasm and appreciation. For the past couple of months, it’s been all Brandi Carlile in my ears. So when I saw the video for Hold Out Your Hand, I knew I had to share it, especially because of her support for the March For Our Lives cause and movement.

Here’s the video, and a couple of photos of Danny and me at the NYC March (below).

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Freedom and Fake News

Anyone who knows me or reads this blog knows I’m not a big fan of the television news media. And by news, I mean legit news organizations, not the sly-as-a-fox-make-shit-up-to-brainwash-our-viewers-in-order-to-serve-our-oligarchic-agenda “news.”

CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, BBC, etc., are all legit news. I may not like the way they present the news, um, I mean BREAK the news, since it’s always BREAKING NEWS with fancy graphics, ominous scoring, and dramatic language—for Pete’s sake, I’m watching the news, not a James Cameron movie—but they are legitimate.

I wish they’d stop trying to entertain me and just give me the facts.

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Blow Out the Candles

Before the phone rings and my parents cackle-sing “Happy Birthday” into my ear then ask me what kind of cake or pastry I want for my birthday dessert, I wish to address our dear leader and make some birthday wishes of my own.

Dear leader,

It is an honor and privilege to turn another year older under your noble reign. May you transfer so much wealth from the poor to the rich that Putin needs to build more Russian banks to hold all the money. May the sick without healthcare not die on the sidewalks in front of your towers. May Mar-a-Lago always rise above sea level. May you detain and deport many Mexican rapists. May facts remain as elusive as your tax returns. May you find the 3 million people who voted illegally. May your faithful followers, especially the Sean Calamity Shamity asslickers, forever defend your cons, lies, vulgarity, indecency, bullying, and cruelty while whining about how victimized they are by liberals. May they always believe fake news and never wake up to the truth. May your every tee shot be a hole-in-one.

And most of all, when your time comes, may God show you more mercy and grace than you did for his children.

The phone’s ringing.

So, dear leader, as you blow out the candles on the planet, let us eat cannoli cake.

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Tone Deaf

Guns suck. People suck worse.

There something mentally unstable with people who worship guns. But okay, I suppose everyone’s got a fetish. If guns are your thing, have it at. But don’t act surprised when someone uses your fetish to murder innocent people.

To be clear: the madman who took aim at Republicans on a baseball field was pure evil. Plain and simple. And if he hadn’t been killed, he deserved to die. (I’m not a knee-jerk bleeding heart against the death penalty. That said, any potential death penalty case should be clear cut with irrefutable, iron-clad evidence, such as with this madman in Alexandria. Innocent people have been put to death. See, contrary to radical right-wing popular belief, liberals are not monolithic. Link provided so you can look it up.)

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