Good morning and greetings, December fans. We’re fortunate here on the central coast, as while much of the country is blanketed under snow and ice, we’re quietly relaxing in our flannel shorts. Personally, I would prefer a tropical lifestyle because if I never put on a jacket again that would be too soon.
For those of you keeping weather maps at home, it recently snowed 95 straight hours in Syracuse, New York. The snow then stopped briefly before starting again. Oh, how I long for those early college days in the snowfall capital of the U.S.. The only blizzard I want these days can be found on the menu at the Dairy Queen.
So let’s cut right to the chase. Yesterday was my 58th birthday. Holy almost six decades, Batman. Of course, that number, like my dreams of not being prepared for tests, falls somewhere between disconcerting and terrifying, but I’m so glad it’s not yet 60, because that just semi-freaks me out. And yet, I sense that 870 days from now that gift will too arrive on my doorstep.
So what have I accomplished in my first five decades plus eight years on earth? Well, I have known my wife for 31 years and we’ve been married for 22. Yes, I may have been a tad impulsive rushing into marriage after nine years, but like John McCain, that’s just the maverick in me.
When I first met Allison she was 19 and I used to make her go sit in her teenage corner. Now she makes sure I don’t leave the house without my AARP card. It’s the whole ying and yankee thing. In three decades we have never argued, disagreed. raised our voices, or even had a fight. Well, maybe there was that one spat from from 1980 thru 1992, but that was nothing a federal mediator couldn’t have solved with a little arbitration.
I think the secret has been our interests. She has always been a sports nut, while for me, if a game is on I’ll watch it, but it’s not like I’m going to spend every week and weekend of every year for the past thirty watching some form of sports. I mean, what kind of life would that be?
So in the words of the Captain and Toni Tennille, love has kept us together, but to quote Ringo Starr, you know “it don’t come easy.” Our marriage is still a work in progress, and it’s a pleasure going to office every day.
As far as I know, our union has produced two children. Jason is taller, smarter, more sensitive, a better shooter, driver, leaper, jump server, spiker, no-look passer than his father, although I may have had a slight edge in defensive intensity on the basketball court back before there was history. He has been like a son to me and his future is so bright, his AP biology teacher has to wear sunglasses.
Aimee is my youngest and my blondest. Although she is a lefty, I see so much of her in me, from her love of lotions, sense of humor and most importantly, sense of fashion. She has the bluest eyes since Sinatra, and has the gift of evoking laughter.
I always knew that one day she would be a woman. What I didn’t realize was that she would be a teenager before that. But I am slowly adjusting to the fact that she is now a young woman and that I can unload the shotgun in my trunk. She is quite the character and is going to grow into someone really special.
These two are my greatest accomplishments. I regret that I never finished law or medical school, but that was because I never applied. When I think about what I’m proudest of, it’s all my children. They are both unique individuals, not two peas in a pod like me and Allison, and to watch them grow and discover what this world is all about, for the most part, is a fascinating thing to see. And I’ve got a front row seat.
Now I could go on and on for at least two or three more sentences listing my accomplishments, but this is a blog, not a book, so enough’s enough. Let’s move on to the photography front, as I have saved these particular images for the celebration of the day I left the warmth of the amniotic fluid, exited the birth canal, came into this world in a breached fashion and declared, “okay, let’s see what this breast feeding deal is all about.” But just my luck, access denied.
Two weeks ago, we were treated to back-to-back days of phenomenal sunrises and sunsets. The first two images are from the color explosion from the last morning of November. It was a great way to close out the month, as orange was served for breakfast.
For the rest of the day, the clouds went wild in the sky. Even without consulting my psychic, I knew that evening’s sunset would be off the charts. But at the same time, I was aware that Jason had his first basketball game that night, and with an early tipoff, something had to give. But that’s okay, because sports trump nature and only God can make a three.
So as the sun started its journey towards the horizon an amazing thing happened. No, the game wasn’t delayed an hour. Before the sun actually set, the clouds starting changing color. This was something I cannot recall ever seeing, as they were so full of aerial pigmentation that they needed to get a headstart on their twilight performance. At this point, I had to enter the gym, but my friend Dan sent me some shots from Seacliff Beach of the root beer-colored ocean followed by a brilliant crimson red sky that was just outstanding.
The first dawn of December brought us the next two images. Nothing really needs to be said besides, “wow”. It was just a spectacular morning. And we wind up the photo finish with the sunset from that evening, which in retrospect, was not the worst way to begin or end the day. I guess you could even call it liveable. I love those daily doubles in the sky, because unlike George Costanza from “Seinfeld”, we’re allowed to double dip.
Now here’s some late nite fun. “Willie Nelson was arrested for possession of marijuana. Nothing yet on bin Laden, but we got Willie Nelson.” –David Letterman “Because of a printing error, a billion new $100 bills have to be destroyed. They’re going to burn $100 billion dollars — just like they did with the last stimulus program.” –Jay Leno “Iran began holding talks with the six world powers. Participants were the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France, and Oprah.” –Conan O’Brien
“‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ was just on. According to a recent poll, most Americans think Charlie Brown is a Muslim.” –David Letterman “Part-time Governor Sarah Palin shot and killed a reindeer on last week’s TV show. And that was her Christmas special. Took her three shots. Well, she’s rusty. Last thing she brought down was John McCain.” –David Letterman “It looks like the Bush-era tax cuts for the rich will continue, due to a strong Republican leader, Barack Obama. Today Obama changed his slogan from ‘Yes we can’ to ‘Yes, we caved.’ It’s so bad for him, now Democrats want to see his birth certificate.” –Jay Leno
So that’s our first blast for December. Birthday wishes go out yesterday to my former radio partner and wing man Jerry Hoffman, who’s celebrating up in Whistler, British Columbia and probably flying down the slopes on a toboggan as we speak. And today’s it’s my old westside friend Carol Conta, who when she used to roller skate by my house on West Cliff was always awarded a ’10′ by the Russian judges. And on Wednesday it’s my basketball buddy Jim Berry, who few people know actually taught Kareem the sky hook and was recently named the nicest guy living in the south county.
So we may blast out one more blog next week or just shut it down for the year and return on January 4. Shot a another beautiful sunset last week that we may have to close out the year on. Either way, enjoy the sports week and we’ll catch you in the left flat. Aloha, mahalo and later, Amar’e Stoudemire fans.