Bill's Blither

Location: Cheshire, Connecticut, United States

devilishly handsome, screamingly funny, overly modest

Monday, January 30, 2006


Saturday night my wife and I traveled to Old Saybrook to join another couple (the Ryans) for dinner. They live in Rhode Island, so we consult Connecticut Magazine to find places sort of half-way between us for interesting places to dine. Hugh is one of my oldest friends and very intelligent (even though you'll find his picture listed in Wikipedia under Right Wing). Judy, his wife, a school principal, is also extremely bright. It certainly doesn't hurt my evening's enjoyment that even at our less-than-youthful stage of life she can easily measure up to the term "eye-candy".

We decided to try Vinnie's, the majorly-upgraded successor to the old Saybrook Fish House. Vin Baker, the 7 foot ex-NBA center, had purchased the place and poured a lot of money into it. The results are surprisingly effective, a nice ambience lending a warm comfort, and the nice touch of a 500 gallon tropical fish tank emphasizing the nautical flavor. The food was excellent. Pricier than the preceding establishment, but well worth it. I had a tasty choppino, and the others had a Thai seafood stew. Well-presented and delicious.

Hugh and I then got down to the important part of the evening, solving the world's major problems from completely opposing viewpoints. Without these solutions it is doubtful the world can survive, so we take these discussions very seriously. We are very mature about our disagreements, never resorting to violence and keeping the decibles of our voices under the sonic boom level (barely). "Yer mama" is seldom heard. Our wives gave all this the attention they thought it deserved, ignoring us completely and burying their heads in an album of baby pictures which Judy had brought along. Sometimes I get a really Rodney Dangerfield feeling around these women.

The discussion centered around the definition of "marriage", which Hugh felt required a monogamous heterosexual couple. You can imagine my reaction. Hugh cited dictionary definitions, I countered with a more realistic (my word) practical view. When Hugh said that he had no objections to "civil unions" with full civil rights as long as they needn't be sanctioned by the Church (please note carefully the capitalization), I felt no further need to argue logically. Logic and the Church have never been bedfellows.

By this time 3 hours had gone by and the manager pointedly cleared off our glasses to hustle us out before the next seating. I tried a light remark but he had NO sense of humor.

One last thing, I looked into the kitchen and to my surprise saw Vin Baker, in gym shorts, supervising the chefs. It was a funny scene, he towered over the staff by more than a foot. 7 feet is VERY tall when your not looking at a basketball court.

Eat well, drink well, and be hearty, tomorrow may never come.


Sunday, January 29, 2006

Shouldn't I Be More Depressed?

I just watched Nancy Giles (what a stone FOX) on CBS Sunday Morning doing an article which reported that a scientist, supported by a recent survey, found that Jan. 23 was the most depressing day of the year. She then went on to pooh-pooh all surveys and that one in particular. It made me think, though, that there's a lot to be depressed about out there.

Politcally, the current administration seems to have no handle on anything except that on which they have the WRONG handle. They invented a phony excuse to fight a war (nuclear weapons) which they blamed on bad intelligence (more like no intelligence). Now they (notice I don't say "we", our country supports none of this horse-patootie) insist on getting a bunch of people killed fighting a non-war, manipulating rather than mediating an impossible conflict. I try to avoid thinking about it , hoping maybe it'll go away, but it doesn't.

When I was drafted into military service years ago, I decided to be a patriot and suppress my outspoken anti-war feelings and be, as they say, "the best I could be " in the military. I worked hard, became an officer (OCS), and actually shot and killed the "enemy" while being shot at myself. All this was significantly opposed to my beliefs, but curiouslyI was somewhat proud of my Army record until recently. It has become conspicuously clear that our military has evolved into a totally corrupt, amoral mechanism. Torture was something the bad guys did, and unlike the romanticized actions of Jack on "24", it's really ,really wrong, people. Torture hurts everyone,even the torturers.

The crushing blow for me was the recent discovery that Arab women were being imprisoned to coerce their husbands to surrender. I can't imagine a more heinous "military" program. No wonder the opposition is kidnapping newswomen to force us to release these female prisoners (they can do this, they're the bad guys). And where is the Commander -in-Chief in all this? Probably off gathering "bad intelligence". Does the buck ever stop at the Teflon W?

I should also be depressed at the sky-rocketing price of oil. Surprise, surprise, we elect two oil men and the price goes up. The solution, apparently, is not to put on a rush program to find alternative power, or to build refineries which would process a wider variety of fossil fuels, but to dig up our natural parks ASAP. Surprise, surprise. Not so much if you ask the Holmsian question, "Qui bono?".

So should I be more depressed? Nah, I'm an optimistic kind of guy. I'm way past depressed. I"m pissed off.


Friday, January 27, 2006

New Semester, Same Old Thoughts

Thursday night, must be class time. Once again, I'm hanging and ogling at the Bistro and naturally Brett walks in for our weekly pulchritude peek. He thinks our class, "History of Sports in America", is somewhere it isn't, so I get his logistics straight. I do this a lot.

Brie walked in, looking gorgeous as ever, with a cute blonde in tow. Liz turned out to be a veteran hockey player who played forward for the Trinity Bantams. The women's game must be different from the hockey I know because she looked like she had all her teeth. (Have you ever seen a male hockey player smile? It's what started the expression "holey moley"). Liz's breezy blonde good looks were a fine complement to Brie's brunette magnetic charm. I looked around for a hot redhead(then we'd have Charley's Angels) but (alas) none appeared. So we went off to class.

Clearly Professor Goldstein's class is NOT the gut course I was hoping for. He chairs the History department at the U. of Hartford. A five page, prose written "lesson plan" is required, plus a twenty page term paper. Plus a lot of reading of academe-style books with tons of 4 syllable words. 7 members of my blogging class are here, and a number of others who obviously know how to write. I'm looking for heated discussions on a reasonably high plane, which I've never had when the subject is sports. Most of those ended with "yer mama", particularly if the other person was a Yankee fan.

Sidebar: when we all introduced ourselves, a tiny, kinda cute lady across from me announced that she was the School's assistant girl's hockey coach. Aside from the fact that she looked barely old enough to be an undergraduate, she had a very feminine, somewhat delicate appearance. After my barely controlled double-take, I concluded that if all female hockey players are as attractive as the two I've met, I've missed way too many hockey games. Note to self: correct that next year.

Off to read about sports. Homework, you know. Life is tough.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Upcoming Pain

Due to abusing my body most of my life (not that way you idiots, I'm talking about sports and stuff) I need to get my knees replaced. My doctor tells me that the new joint can bear my weight the day after surgery, and that my re-hab can take a relatively short time depending on how much effort I will exert and how much pain I can take. My intention is to set the world record for fastest re-hab by a not-to-be-ignored blogger.

I've had knee surgery twice before (they let me keep my old knees those times). My orthopedic guy at that time told me to use crutches for 2 weeks and re-hab for 2 to 4 more. I walked unaided into his office a week later, and after he tested me, was told that the rest of the re-hab was optional. I had a similar experience when a disc was removed from my back, one week and I was ready to rumble.

The reason for the quickness of these recoveries is my seeming lack of susceptibility to pain. My wife's explanation for this ("no sense, no feeling") appears to me to be a bit simplistic and certainly skewed, and how would she know anyway after only a few decades. My daughter points out that pain coming out of a trauma (re-hab) is much more tolerable than that going in. Maybe.

My point of view is that physical pain is ephemeral, while emotional pain seems to last forever. I can take a great deal of bodily pain while barely flinching because I know that at some point relatively soon it's going to stop. When my mother died when I was 32, when my daughter got leukemia at 2 years old, when my best friend committed suicide, when my brother-in-law dropped dead of a heart attack at age 36, these things HURT, and the pain will never completely be gone. On the other hand, physical pain, no matter how excruciating, can be handled by just waiting a few minutes, or some other definable time period. Piece of cake.

That's the reason Colleen's "Looseleafnotes" is so effective. It's been years since her brothers died, but she still feels the pain and makes us feel it. What's a few weeks of re-hab compared to that?

On March 10 I become the bionic man. Hmmm, I wonder what other parts they can replace with steel? Nah, not enough steel around.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Lucky Pierre

This is a variation on the on the age-old joke that goes like this, sorta:
Lucky Pierre says to his friend, "I write beautiful anti-war blogs. Do they call me Pierre the peace blogger? Non. I write great serio-comic anecdote blogs. Do they call me Pierre the diary writer? Non. But I write ONE TIME about sex......". Call me Lucky.

I seem to have a penchant for saying things in conversation that cause my listeners to do double and triple takes. This is usually not a ploy, I just say what's on the top of my mind and people look at me strangely. I guess the same thing happens when I write a blog. My problem is figuring out whether strange is , in Martha-speak, a good thing.

For instance, in college I developed what I called the "theory of beneficience". In this concept I expounded on my conviction that any woman with whom I had sex significantly benefitted from the experience. My roommates, after having that triple-take reaction aforementioned, pointed cynically to the series of relationship disasters I had left in my wake. I replied that disasters are in the eye of the beholder, and proceded blithely on to my next shipwreck, clinging somewhat stubbornly to my Theory. To this day I insist that the basic conclusions of this hypothesis are correct, although I still seem to get those strange looks whenever I defend it.

The reaction to my last blog where I innocently declared that sexual freedom is a good thing is me getting in trouble again for no good reason. Blue girl had to defend herself from nasty misinterpretation (I promise I touched nothing but my keypad, although I LOVE mesh stockings). Nile was "taken aback" by my conversational wanderings, but that's OK, I have a pretty broad back. Two anonymous posts implied (stated, actually) that I was a nothing but a (gasp) philanderer. (But, Grandma, wasn't I the best philanderer I know how to be?).

I keep asking myself, "Doesn't anybody have fun anymore?". Maybe I should stop having some fun myself, it seems to be upsetting people, and I have to care about that or I'll never be allowed to vote Republican.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Fidelity, The Chief Cause of Divorce

Last night at the Tap, four of us got into a discussion about sex (how surprising). This conversation started as a comment on the ease with which I had gotten onto the topic with two girls at the bar earlier in a failed attempt to fix my friend Brett up for a one-nighter. Either girl, I think, would have entertained the idea, but Brett got side-tracked wandering off on some Puritanical rant which sunk the boat before it left the harbor. ( Nobody there cared if he respected himself in the morning). Even he admits he talks too much on occasion, and this was definitely one of those occasions.

By the way, Elin, who joined us later, offered the opinion that strange women are willing to engage in remarkably intimate and revelatory conversations with me because I'm non-threatening as a potential sexual target. If so, I'm willing to wear that brand of sheep's clothing as long as it keeps working.

Meanwhile, back to our sex discussion, which somehow turned to the subject of sexual fidelity, in or out of marriage. I pointed out that countless surveys show that between 75% and 85% of men, and 65% to 75% of women, haved engaged in sexual activity outside of their marriage, which many claim has led to ridiclously high current divorce rate.

It is my contention that infidelity doesn't cause divorce, but rather the unreasonable expectation of a monogamous ideal in a species which has clearly demonstrated no ability to live up to it. Robert Heinlein wrote some great sci-fi depicting utopian societies without the marital stresses that the monogamous ideal imposes. The expectation of fidelity leads to jealousy, possessiveness, suspicion and eventually betrayal. As an accepted practice, infidelity would lose a lot of it's forbidden allure. It's similar to legalizing marijuana, taking away the illicit nature of the transaction makes it easier on all concerned, and might even lessen the occurance by making it not so daringly attractive.

Before you accuse me of being a self-serving lecher, let me simply confess to it. I admired Clinton's creative response to his accusers that BJs don't count as sex, ergo he wasn't unfaithful. He was a great president in my opinion, but unfortunately even he couldn't sell that one. Just think of the wonderful sense of freedom we'd have if NOTHING sexual counted. Then we'd have to feel guilt about more important things, like not treating our spouses and partners with the kindness and consideration they deserve. Watch what would happen to the divorce rate in THAT kind of society.

It might also lighten the stranglehold organized religion (which uses control of sexual instincts as a rigid keystone) holds on our lives, and we could stop killing people in it's name. Make love, and lots of it, not war. Gee, that sounds familiar.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

What's Really Bothering Me....

Earlier tonight I posted a comment on Colleen's blog concerning the inevitability of righteous protest becoming violent when arrogantly ignored. It all seems so familiar, the parallel between Viet Nam and Iraq. A good ole boy Texas president (Bush or Johnson, the political affiliation is unimportant except to politicians) inventing excuses to escalate a long-standing religious dispute in which we have no stake into a full-blown war. The creating of a boogieman for the American public to hate (Saddam Hussein or Ho Chi Minh). The false raising of a spectre supposedly threatening national security (invisible nuclear weapons now, Russian and Chinese hegemony then). Claiming unwon victories as American men keep dying. Staying on too long trying to achieve victory in an unwinnable bloody ethnic battle that's been raging for hundreds of years and will probably continue for hundreds more. Ignoring the growing public protest, insisting on a "win with honor". Haven't we been here before? Can't we learn from our history, or, as the famous quote goes, are we doomed to repeat it?

Having lived through it then, I think that it's inevitable that there will be another Kent State. People like a younger me will get their heads bashed in at a riot gone out of control like Berkeley or maybe Watts. Underground movements like SDS will start because in an almost incomprehensible display of arrogance the voice of a growing majority of the populance is being ignored by those in power. Check the airwaves for "unpatriotic", possibly illegal, broadcasts- that's where it will begin.

Can this be avoided? Maybe , if the government is more responsive. This is obviously impossible with the current administration, and if we vote in another Nixon-type in '08 the parallel will be complete. How can we be so stupid as to keep putting these clowns in office? Don't we ever learn?

So that's what's troubling me ,cousin. I think the public is fed up with this war and they're not gonna take it much longer. Just remember to hunker down when it hits the fan.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Self-Confidence, Guilt, and the Lack of Same

I am continually shocked when intelligent , attractive, talented , and insightful people have a lesser opinion of themselves than my view of them. Not only do they demonstrate a completely unwarranted lack of self-confidence, they then feel guilty for not living up to the abilities they claim they don't have. I, on the other hand, choose to feel unwarranted brazen over-confidence because (1) it makes me act more proactively and (2) I only feel guilty for the things I've done, rather than those I haven't. Don't worry, this still leaves me with plenty of guilt. My feeling is that you should swing at the ball as hard as you can, just in case you actually hit it.

My thoughts have drifted (there's always a good deal of drift in my thinking) in this direction today becuase of a post I've just read on Nileblog . I happen to be acquainted with the author, who describes herself as "average". This woman is about as "average" as Catherine Deneuve (assuming Catherine to be as smart as her character portrayals). Her creative ability and her insight are clearly demonstrated on her blog. You can trust my judgment as a master ogler that she aced Attractiveness 101. She also has a quality in her personality that makes her instantly likable.From where, ones wonders, comes insecurity in such a gifted individual?

Also, GUILT. Whoever heard of Swedish guilt? Have you ever read about a guilty Viking? Did the Valkyries feel guilty as they cold-bloodedly snatched up dead battlefield heroes onto their shields? If for no other reason than ethnic tradition, Nile, and all other Norsepersons, should immediately abandon all their feelings of guilt.There, see how much better you feel?

Another very bright, beautiful, and talented person who somehow excels in guilt and self-depreciation is my wife. For all of her life, people have praised her beauty and intelligence. First, her father, then her friends (of both genders), and for 38 years I have done so. At her job (which she loves), she shows a combination of persistance and innovation which has led to continual success giving rise to grateful kudos from her co-workers and her boss. Despite this, she downgrades her sparkling record and pooh-poohs her obvious talents, you would think that she was (excuse the expletive) "average". Unthinkable.

And GUILT. In her mind , my wife is responsible for the ruination of (1) our children, (2) her work projects, (3) me. The fact that our children feel happy and loved, that she is praised and promoted at work, and that we have a long and successful marriage(that even I have been unable to screw up) doen't seem to alleviate her guilt. One saving grace, she IS Jewish, and therefore possibly to be forgiven

One last bad example for my blog is Brett. He sort of fits because he is certainly bright and good-looking and if you read the linked blog you'll find plenty of self-deprecation and guilt. This is fun to read but I feel that a certain ironic literary license is being taken. He gets too much positive feedback from women to feel as terrible about himself as he occasionally professes. Guilt? Well, maybe that could be justified.

Enough said. I'm still as perplexed about this as when I started. Why does nobody seem surprised?


Thursday, January 12, 2006


What I Don't Know, and Can It Hurt Me

A friend of mine posted on her blog a Polish poem which contained this thought: ( Life is the only way ) to keep on not knowing something important. I have devoted a considerable portion of my life to ignorance of many vital things, but not knowing about a subject has never kept me from talking about it, so here goes.

The first topic I will tackle is God. Clearly nobody knows anything about Him (or Her, or It, depending on your perpective). Despite this, many people claim that books were written (or inspired, or dictated) by Him., that they actually have seen Him, and that He visited Earth, possibly in human form. Hundreds of millions of people have died because of relatively small differences of opinion about His nature, His appearance, or even His existence. There are skirmishes all over the world because one group objects to the thoughts and beliefs of another, when really they are only arguing about different means of approach to the same end. I will now end all this conflict with 6 words: DON'T PANIC, LEAVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE.

It should be enough (dayenu) to simply look around and enjoy what we've been given. You can't see the wind except by watching the branches move, and so you can see (and maybe know) God by observing, learning about, and above all REVELING IN the universe into which we fit so well. Why should it matter if other people don't agree with your observations. Think about my 6 words (DP,LWEA) and all will be well. See, it's sometimes a lot better for you NOT to know about something. By the way, I'm NOT a religious nut , just someone thoroughly convinced of his own ignorance.

Now that I've solved that tiny problem, I'll move on to another easy issue: abortion. I think the issue is simple, when does a potential human morph from a female body part to a baby person. Some people think that this phenemenon starts when the sperm meets the egg. My problem with this reasoning is that then why not take it one step further to the sexual thought prior to conception, which would make me the greatest destroyer of human life since Ghenghis Kahn. My own feeling is that when the baby can survive without the mother, it's a human being . Until then, it's a part of the mother's body, and it's her right to make any decisions concerning it. Certainly no one with a Y chromosome should have any say in the matter, which includes me. (and is the opinion, apparently, of about 75% of the world's women).Remember my motto, guys, DP,LWEA.

See how easy. Next topic: Love. I used to think that there was some limit to the love I would find in my life, but as I grow older I realize that this is an area of infinite expansion.Is there just one true love for your life. Maybe, if you're really unlucky. Me, I've got a wife , 3 kids , and 5 grandkids just for starters. Every time I think I feel as much as I can for a loved one , something tremendously happy or tragic occurs and the limits increase exponentially.My family, even my friends, demonstrate this to me axiomatically every day. The greatest gift I've received in my life is the inability to reach, or even conceive of, this limit. It allows me to relax into the DP part of my mantra.

Ignorance has been, as you can see, the guiding light of my life, and continues to serve me in good stead, just ask anybody.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Art of Ogling

Many years ago, in a society far, far away from the present, the 4 Lads (or maybe the 4 Aces}made a record (remember those) titled "Standing on the Corner". This musical manifesto extolled the pure, unadulterated joy that men get from the simple observation of females passing through their range of vision. If done properly , this notice will put a spring in the step of said females, or at least evoke a secretive smile. If done incorrectly, this act (sometimes called "ogling") may have unfortunate results, such as a nasty remark, a sneer, or (worst case) a physical reaction such as (gasp) a slap.

Thus ogling may be elevated to an art form under proper circumstances. This takes many years of diligent practice and attention, which yours truly has gladly endured in order to share these artistic principles with you here.

You must remember at all times that there is a very subtle difference between an interested complimentary glance and an obnoxious stare. You can accomplish the former by keeping your mind-set in affectionate and pleasant mode, not set in prurient thought (plenty of time for that later, in your fond memories). Also, and this is the most difficult thing for the neophyte ogler, you must NEVER mentally undress a lady when ogling her. Control is nearly impossible when you do this, and hardly ever goes unnoticed by the oglee., then the afore-mentioned slap is an inevitability.

Ogling in crowded areas yields the best results (crowded with WOMEN, you idiot). I personally find that the more beatiful women I see in a day, the happier I am. I also find that the more I look, the more beautiful they appear. Obviously, the more women, the more ogling targets, and the better chance to perfect your technique I strongly recommend the following sequence: (1) gain eye contact, (2) smile (NOT with intent- amicably, but not quite innocently), (3) hold eye contact a brief, significant moment, (4) glance reluctantly away. This last is important, because to glance away too quickly could be construed as uncomplimentary by the oglee.

You can tell that your ogling is a success if the oglee has these reactions, (1)giggles, (2) a blatant stare back, (3)slipping you her phone number, (4) an "accidental" brush as she passes, (5)a pleased smile. If you receive any or all of these responses, contact me and I'll send you instructions explaining how to proceed to the next level.

You have sucessfully passed the reading portion of this lesson. Be very careful, however, in applying your new knowledge in practice. I, myself, as a tenth level ogler, usually wear an eye patch to cut my glance intensity in half. Otherwise, women have been known to start removing clothing at twenty-foot distances. For this reason' I've been banned from a half-dozen formerly reputable Hartford restaurants. Ogling is not a toy, and must be used carefully, and only by mature adults. This warning is mandated by the AOA. (the O is for Ogler's, dummy)

Thanks for wasting your evening here.


Sunday, January 08, 2006


The Water in Glastonbury

I am assuming, since you are reading my blog, that you are a person of taste and intelligence. I also assume that you take a sceptical view of social generalizations and myths, such as "urban legends". This story may alter that view.

The narrative begins as Dave the Conservative (DC from here on) and I decided on Friday to explore our new work environs in Glastonbury for a lunch spot. DC is a good reference for this narrative because as a conservative his approach to life is far more literal than mine (although not more literary). He is definitvely NOT a myth adherent. As an aside, I should add that I have a few good friends who are political conservatives. They are not intrinsically bad people, it's just that, like our President, they've been given faulty intelligence leading to erroneous conclusions.

Anyway, we were referred to Wang's, a Chinese restaurant whose good reputation proved to be well-deserved. In the parking lot afterward, however, a string of bizarre events began that shook my faith in rational existence.

I would like to restate here my previous admission that I can be a very aggressive driver. To clarify, I am an aggressive OFFENSIVE driver, but an observant and somewhat careful DEFENSIVE driver. This is important to the narrative, and to my current and future survival.

As I backed out of my parking space at the restaurant, I noticed a small white sports car pulling out of a lower lot heading toward me. He had plenty of room, but something made me hit my brake. Although he could clearly see me, instead of slowing to avoid me he accelerated, leaving rubber and missing me by inches.DC jerked around and said, "What the hell was that?". I shrugged.

Seconds later, leaving the lot, I stopped to take a left (north) on Main Street. A white van roared past me heading south. As I pulled out , the van banged a screeching Uey behind me. He raced past me on my right (there was only one lane) narrowly missing my rear fender as he passed. Onward and upward.

The traffic slowed to a crawl, and a turn lane opened up on my left. Suddenly a white Ford pick-up came shooting up that left lane, passed a bunch of cars, and instead of turning barreled straight through the light and cut back into my lane, risking life and limb to gain a few spaces in line. At that point, DC said to me, "It must be something in the water".

One last incident. As I approached the left turn light signal to enter our building complex, it was turning amber but there was plenty of time to make the turn. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw coming toward me a white sedan, going too fast to stop. I once again slammed on my brake, and inevitably he sped through the (red) light. Both DC and I would have had no chance in the ensuing crash.

Now, I am not a believer in driving myths. I scoff at people who say women can't drive. When I lived out West I never believed, as my friends insisted, that Asians were dangerous behind the wheel. I even think that, against all statistics, most teens drive safely. But I'll tell you this, people, BEWARE WHITE CARS IN GLASTONBURY. You may laugh, but remember, they ignored Cassandra, too.


Thursday, January 05, 2006


A Woman of Stature

Last night, while eating a little and talking a lot with Brett at Arch Street Tavern in another failed attempt to regather a few of our blogging classmates, governor Jody Rell walked in. She had a small entourage of women power brokers, including her (somewhat tarnished) Chief of Staff, sitting at the next table to ours. We could overhear some of the conversation, but tuned out to keep from a fatal attack of boredom. She's a nominally good polititian, but a very mediocre conversationalist. She is obviously not the titular woman of this blog.

That woman arrived as a part of Brett's entourage. I knew her previously from two venues; (1) the night our class met at the Wooden Tap and, much more significantly, as (2) the infamous Librarian of Brett's blog
There were 4 reasonably intelligent and unreasonably voluble men at the table , but with little apparent effort she controlled the tenor of the evening. Brett is clearly (and justifiably) smitten with this lass, as it seems were we all within 15 minutes of her arrival.

A physical description is necessary to the narrative at this point. The Librarian is averagely tall, has autumnally red hair and Irish good looks, including that delightful creamy skin that women of Eire naturally possess.She would never, in the words of Irving Berlin, be snapped by photographers for the rotogravure, but exudes a subtle sexuality that draws you inextricably toward her. This attraction increases the longer you're in her presence, and because of the lack of blatant intention, it makes for comfort and humor rather than sexual tension. Jane Austen, not Henry Miller, and just as caustic.

The evening was replete with an overdose of ribaldry (I don't think I personally crossed the line more than 5 or 6 times, and always reined in by guess who?). Bad off-color jokes mixed with occasional bits of honest humor and even some personal revelation strung out the evening pleasantly. The Librarian flirted gently with the guy across from her (not R-Dogg but D from NB), but she kept a careful eye on our hero Brett, making sure he was included. Masterful subtlety, complete control of the environment. I can't think of a time I was more impressed by the use of feminine wiles. I tried to rattle her with a suggestive remark as we left, but she deftly parried with a well-delivered nose wrinkle. Unbeatable.

If I ever delude myself into thinking that women are not the far superior gender, I'll think back to last night and rapidly rethink. A more devastating display of the advantage a woman has when she uses her personality combined with pulchritude I have rarely witnessed, and I loved every bit of it.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year's, and how did I ever get here?

When I was younger, I never thought I'd reach my current life stage. I had several pretty good reasons to feel that way. First , I led, and still lead, a life-style in which I take a lot of physical and mental chances. I like driving a la Mario Andretti, walking alone at the edge of steep cliffs, and flirting with women who have 275 pound gorillas for boy friends. When I was in my 20s, I experimented with many hallucenagenic substances, joined a jump club, tried hang-gliding, and flirted with attached women ( I think their partners were smaller then, maybe 250). When drafted, I managed to get myself involved in covert action that nearly got me killed. Then I became a stock broker, and so now everybody wants me killed..

In addition to all this, both of my biological parents died in their early 50s of cancer and diabetes, respectively, so my genetic make-up was less than promising. I figured on a relatively short life span, so why not live it to the hilt? My wife , a somewhat cautious soul, observed in horror my shenanigans, particularly behind the wheel. ( in 1986, I drove my brand new Mercedes at over 180 mph at 10:00 pm down I-91, buried that speedometer, I did).

With the year 2000 as my previously considered maximum life expectancy, I find myself living on borrowed time (at least in my mind). As Groucho Marx once said, "I'm too old to die young". This being the case, why am I suddenly more cautious. My New Year's Eve is a good example. Instead of going down to Time's Square or getting roaring drunk at a party and stupidly driving home, my wife and I went to see "The Producers". We then came back and she cooked me a great cioppino (red, not white). The most exciting thing I did all night was have 3 MacAllan single malts (my limit is usually 2, I get soused much quicker than I used to). I'll leave out the part where I was on the phone for 2 hours acting in the role of psychologist , lawyer, cartographer, ( and, of course, father) to my kids. My wife fell asleep watching TV ( I guess I'm not the turn on I once was), and, though I woke her up for a midnight kiss, she didn't remember it this morning. Some idiot MC on Channel 4 and I welcomed in 2006 together.

It's not that I don't still take some chances. I still drive too fast, and I still flirt with inappropriate women (why do they all have such huge boyfriends?). I blog, and how dangerous is that? I'm now the oldest grad student (matriculated, no less) at Trinity College, which could definitely kill me. And I write, which I hope is lucky for you. But somehow the arrival of my 5th grandchild (over a year ago) seems to have slowed me down. I wonder why.