April 13, 2014

97 Ain’t Exactly Heaven

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — geoff @ 9:05 am

Good morning and greetings, NBA western conference playoff fans. It’s been a big month for birthdays in the Gilbert family, as last Monday, both my son and brother celebrated with cake, candles and ice cream, along with pony rides and a little pin the tail on the MRI.

So to update my brother Brad’s knee reconstruction, his surgery was postponed until this week so they could do some more tests. But my youngest brother has maintained a positive attitude, unlike his oldest brother, who would be bemoaning his fate to anyone within the continental U.S or Hawaiian Islands.

He’s heard from many people concerning their thoughts on his current predicament. The consensus is that he’s lucky to be alive. My wife says he now has to figure out why he is alive after falling 800 feet down an Alaskan glacier.

I haven’t shared my opinion, as advice after injury is like medicine after death. Luckily, both Abe Lincoln and I agree that “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

By all accounts, his future is still ahead of him, as this catastrophic knee injury won’t keep him down for long. Or as Kobe Bryant once said, “I’ve played with IVs before, during and after games. I’ve played with a broken hand, a sprained ankle, a torn shoulder, a severed lip and a knee the size of a softball. I don’t miss 15 games because of a toe injury that everybody knows wasn’t that serious in the first place.”

Kobe was referring to an injury to Shaquille O’Neal, who refused to comment on this story. He was too busy promoting his AriZona Beverage “Soda Shaq” line of cream sodas, which according to Charles Barkley, is “Spreading diabetes all across the world, as we speak. Got like 50 grams of sugar in one can of that cream soda.”

As it turns out, the Round Mound of Rebound was a bit off. A BevReview.com rundown of Soda Shaq noted that each 23.5-ounce can actually has 70.5 grams of sugar. Hey, who doesn’t love a drink boasting all-natural ingredients while containing just 1% juice? A big can for a big scam.

Or as the Center for Science in the Public Interest executive director Michale F. Jacobson put it, “Clearly, Shaq knows better. He has said he avoids soda himself, and worries about obesity and diabetes. But he’s now using his name, face, and reputation to make those health problems even bigger. It’s shameful hypocrisy, presumably motivated by money.”

It just goes to show when it comes to the Big Aristotle, it’s tough to separate a fool and his money.

Getting back to the birthday theme, Saturday was my father’s 97th birthday. That’s right. 97. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s nine decades plus seven years. Or to put it in simpler terms, that’s 5,244 weeks or approximately 35,405 days on the planet. Simply mindblowing.

My father is suffering from dementia, so his short term memory isn’t what it used to be. When I asked him a few months ago how old he was, he replied, “70.” He couldn’t even begin to fathom 97. When I asked him the same question on Friday, he couldn’t come up with an answer. Not even a guess.

America’s population of persons aged 90-and-older has almost tripled since 1980, reaching 1.9 million in 2010 and will continue to increase to more than 7.6 million over the next 40 years. People are living longer, but at what price?

There are a few advantages to being older. Basically, it’s that you can eat dinner at 4 pm. Someone once asked comedian George Burns what would he most appreciate getting for his 97th birthday. He replied, “A paternity suit.”

Birthdays are good for people, as statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest. But the golden years have not been good to my father. He has been robbed of most of the joy that made up his life, and the dementia has put an incredible amount of stress on my mother, who at 88 years young, is no spring chicken.

But each day, with a little help from the pharmaceutical world, she puts a smile on her face and loves him just the same, although their relationship has totally changed, as she’s now not a equal partner, but a caregiver. I would actually give her the title of a saint, because dealing with dementia is a 24 hour, seven day a week bitch.

But my father still has his one greatest joy, and that is my mother. She’s the gift that keeps on giving.

So for the woman who never breast fed me, in honor of my father’s 97th birthday, here’s a little joke for you. And thanks for never worrying.

A retirement village decided to hold a Singles Dance, at which this very sweet 90-year-old gentleman met a very sweet 90-year-old lady, and they danced and talked and laughed, and just hit it off great.

They continued to see each other for a while and enjoyed each other so much, and danced so well together, etc., that they decided to get married. On their wedding night, they went to bed and he reached over and took her hand and squeezed it, and she squeezed his hand back, and they went to sleep.

On the second night, when they went to bed, he reached over and squeezed her hand, and she squeezed his hand back, and they went to sleep. On the third night, he reached over and took her hand, and she said, “Not tonight, honey, I have a headache.”

So for today’s photo funhouse, we are leaving behind the glorious sunrises and sunsets of 2103 and turning the page to embrace the new year.

We are starting off with the sunrise from January 3, shot at the usual locations along West Cliff Drive, Lighthouse Point and Steamers Lane. It was a classic way to start off the 2014 festivities, as later in the day a gorgeous sunset stopped by to chat, which I will showcase next week.

Anytime I can capture a beautiful winter sunrise and sunset on the same day, I’m left with a feeling of fulfillment. At least until the next morning. So stay tuned.

On to some late night humor. “At the NCAA men’s basketball championship, President Clinton sat with President George W. Bush. In the second half, Bush tried to catch a foul ball.” –David Letterman “George W. Bush and Bill Clinton sat next to each other at the big game. Clinton congratulated UConn on its big win, while Bush gave Kentucky a ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner.” –Jimmy Fallon

“A man got a tattoo saying that Kentucky won the NCAA tournament this year even though they lost. The tattoo is right above his tattoo congratulating President Mitt Romney.” –Conan O’Brien “President Obama invited the U.S. Olympic team to the White House yesterday to congratulate them on their performance in Sochi. Of course it got awkward when Biden told the biathletes, ‘I won’t rest until all you guys can get married.’” –Jimmy Fallon

“McDonald’s announced that it has closed its three restaurants in Crimea because of the tension in the region. Then Putin said, ‘Is good to hear. Even I don’t have weapon as destructive as McRib.’” –Jimmy Fallon “The North Korean dictator is in the news again. He was re-elected with 100 percent of the vote. He said, “I haven’t been this happy since I scored 700,000 on the SAT exam.” – Conan O’Brien

“Happy Birthday to Hugh Hefner. He turned 88 years old today. His friends threw him a big party. They had a naked woman jump out of a giant bran muffin.” – Jimmy Fallon “A couple in Michigan is being sued for $2 million after they burned down their apartment complex while trying to cook a squirrel with a blowtorch. I’m not an accountant, but it SOUNDS like they might not have $2 million.” – Seth Meyers

“America’s biggest employer is Walmart, where the average wage is $8 dollars an hour. Meanwhile, Walmart’s owners are so absurdly rich that one of them, Alice Walton, spent over a billion dollars building an art museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. And she said about it, ‘For years I’ve been thinking about what we can do as a family that can really make a difference.’ How about giving your employees a raise, you deluded nitwit?” –Bill Maher

So that’s a wrap. We’ll catch you being the best shooter in the NBA by hitting mind-blowing threes at crunch time. Aloha, mahalo and later, Stephen Curry fans.


  1. Happy Birthday wishes to all your family!

    Comment by Babs — April 14, 2014 @ 7:16 am

  2. Perfect day for Brad’s surgery – a day with the energy of freedom.

    No advice from me! I had my own brush with death and it took me years of wishing I hadn’t been chosen for this path, misery over my fate, self-recrimination, etc. The question of why I was still alive came to me late and is still trying to be answered over 5 years later!

    Comment by Allison — April 15, 2014 @ 10:09 am

  3. As Brad’s attending physician in the recovery room, I haven’t seen him that whacked out since those Dead shows in the Seventies. Yes, our mother is a saint and you get a few kudos, too, for going above and beyond the call of duty. Couple of nice pix there, I hope that’s what Brad is dreaming about tonight.

    Comment by Dr. Gilbert — April 15, 2014 @ 10:15 pm

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