Tag Archive: history

If you are an Achilliad frequent-flyer, you know I was an English/Communications (double) Major at the university and that I review or report on books I read, from time-to-time. Its much more pleasurable to read for fun and information than for a grade, by the way! So this season, I have a new reason to try a different angle: letting you VIPs see what is on my bedside bookshelf reading list this summer!

I don’t promise to review or report on all of these, but in any event, they caught my eyes at the library long enough to bring home for a closer look!

Of particular note is “A Boob’s Life”, by Leslie Lehr, which hooked me – maybe because I’m a “breast man” – long enough to tap into my curiosity about how women really feel (no pun intended) about their titties. I am into it already and the author seems kind of angry with historic purpose.

The other hottie at my bedside is Daniel James Brown’s “Facing The Mountain”, which is about the mistreatment of Japanese Americans in the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack on us during World War II. Fascinatingly relevant on so many levels to our American circumstances even here in the summer of 2021.

“Little Fires Everywhere”, by Celeste Ng, is a novel that just cannot seem to snag my attention long enough to finish – it drags a bit, despite excellent reviews when it came out. I want to see it through, but may have to purchase it if I run out of library renews.

On the historical tip is Ronald C. White’s “Lincoln In Private”, which are the written etchings of the man who many hold up as our greatest American President, Abraham Lincoln. It is a kind of “behind-the-scenes” look at the notes he wrote in-between crafting and delivering his lectures and speeches about the issues during his times; some of it resonates to our collective current calamities.

So that’s IT! As the public service announcement used to say, “Reading Is FUNdamental!”Have a good reading summer, wherever your travels take you, and maybe we can compare notes and opinions in the Autumn.

I have been through the financial “mill” at the time of this post, having to make sure that my retro move at the age of sixty [60] is truly temporary and be able to repay the lady I want to marry for her help in 2010, while a fifteen-year younger, sick-in-the-head sibling seems hell-bent upon having me be stuck there, ensuring the failure of the remnants of our “family” while I try to help my octogenarian Mum, my fiancee` overseas and her elderly Mum! OMG! Heaven help me now, or end this madness!

I always push to leave every situation that I encounter better than when I found it. it is my “motto”.
Therefore, I now offer for better or worse, the lessons that I have learned via sixty years on this rock, with the prayer that, if nothing else, they will entertain you to maintain your cool – which in these days and times without my soul-mate in the same postal code , is so very hard to do.

1. Patience is a virtue because it is so difficult to consistently sustain. However, the payoff is worth it because most often, when we get what we are waiting for, it comes like a torrential rain following a drought.
2. There comes a point when I have to push the envelope to get the results I need.
3. I never liked banks and adulthood validates this thus far; they are greedy and try to get something for nothing every chance they get.
4. Driver’s licenses are much too easy to obtain (skill wise and especially with all of the distractions in the cockpit installed by automakers these days)
5. When given the chance these days, most people will cheat the laws or be lazy.
6. When It rains, most lose the ability to drive their vehicles safely.
7. To take my time; allow enough time so I do not have to rush to work or an appointment – or for love to happen.
8. Watching TV is a waste of time
9. Not to watch the “news” so as not to have high blood pressure regarding the drama of the world that I cannot control.
10. Not to watch this era’s rich millionaire athletes in shorts run up and down basketball courts while I am struggling to make ends meet! (none of them would lend me a helping hand, anyway) I do not “identify” with their values (or lack thereof).
11. To be concerned, but not to worry.
12. That there are some people that I will never reach – even those technically “related” to me – never, just move on, because “family” will disappoint more than any stranger because I have (false) high expectations thinking that they “know” me…
13. Man is his own worst enemy (our brain).
14. Technology ended common sense (the sixth one)
15. To listen to the hopeful, quieter voice in my head more than the louder, frustrated voice on the other shoulder.
16. To take my time, do not always be in a rush because you will usually get there at the same time anyway
17. The degree that I value more than my high school or college diploma is the one I earned at the “Cool School” whose classes were held on the mean streets of New York City, circa 1960 – 1989.
18. “Don’t believe the HYPE!” (an old lyric that still applies, y’all)

19. No matter when I want something, if I just put things in-place to happen, they will evolve to fruition when they are supposed to…unless my traitorous, fifteen-year younger lesbo sibling gets wind of it, to block it, for some unbeknownst reason, that it will never reveal (demonic spirit we surmise…).

20. To embrace the positives that people bestow upon me and try to earn money with them for Inna and me! cafe 2013

20-A. That being back in New York City briefly, has reinforced that it is not the “great” city that it was prior to “9/11’ but now an Orwellian police state, still running scared and recently managed by a Nanny Mayor who greedily over-regulated the adults who inhabit it.
21. I really believe “everything in its own time” is true.
22. That life is like cycling the hills of Nashville: we work hard, pumping-up the steep hills in order to enjoy the pay-off which is the coast down super-fast on the other side of it.
23. It is true that many dogs resemble their owners!
24. To pick my “spots” in life like a basketball player (I once was pretty good at it); there are times to be aggressive; times to give the “head-fake”; times to show patience…
25. That there are more idiots and morons in the world than ever in our past “Ossie & Harriot” youthful days! Not that I am perfect, mind you, but come ON guys, enough dumbing-down of America (and stop letting every other country’s criminals come over here just because you want more people to pay taxes!)

25A. I am not an “African-American”. I am a Black American (with a little native-American Cherokee mixed-in), the proud descendant of the slaves who were brought here from Afrika, against their will. I’ve never been to Africa, nor do I have the desire to go there (allergies), unless Nina can convince me it is a romantic trip to take, and even then we will have to meditate upon it, lol! “African Americans” are those imports since the 1980s who “look” like us, but who have much more disdain for the Brothas from the USA, and more money to spend with the traditional American establishment!
26. Things DO happen in “threes”. For-example, get one “cut” on your hand or other body part, two more are sure to follow very soon! Or, famous deaths – they always happen in “threes” (three in-a-row)!

I hope that you have comments on a similar vibe in your own cosmic existence which you can espouse here…

Well, I took summer off  from posting here, mostly because making, fund-raising and earning the almighty currency that is the lubrication fabric of  our society and vehicle of personal comfort became a priority, and this is little more than a “hobby”, albeit a happy one when I indulge and share my “diary” with your eyes and mind.  I am happy to see my blog is doing well and steadily accumulating “hits” far beyond my wildest dreams when I began this venting in November of 2009.   No excuses, at this stage of my life (late fifties) a man does what his ‘Boy Scout’ preparedness intuitions tell him to do.

As the media ramps-up the USA to again relive the horror of September 11, 2001, I will ignore the urgings to pull out the VHS I have of the horrific happenings of that day that changed the way this country treats its own citizens, much to our own detriment, and instead keep my “nose to the grindstone” to prevent myself from getting tossed from this house of my last ten years before I have a new place to settle, even-though the “handwriting is on the walls” of this place, and I am eager to settle with my soon-to-be-wife “Nina” someplace else.

Therefore, I want to muse here about Labor Day. We are already too prone to “HBP” without going back to nightmares voluntarily. The first thing about Labor Day, 2011 is that it has magnified how drastically the seasons shift nowadays as compared to when I was a boy in Brooklyn, New York.  After four consecutive days of one-hundred degree farenheit temperatures, the “remnants of tropical storm Lee” made landfall from the Gulf Of Mexico and ushered-in late November-like temperatures for the past four days!

While my electic bill is happily reduced, as I always like to stick-it to the power company monopoly, I do not appreciate ‘Mother Nature’ cheating me out of my September sunshine in-favor of the blanket!!

  One of the great things about communicating regularly with my international finacee`, is that she shines a spotlight on something I have noticed forever here, and that is: the constant way our media dredges-up unpleasantness from the past. It is one of the reasons racism based upon skin color is still an issue in the “good ole U.S.A.” – our media keeps reminding people of our differences, instead of letting them settle under the collective archeological dirt of the generations whose dust accumulate on-top of that sordid business.

I first realized the impact of organized “labor unions” when the United Federation Of Teachers in New York City took their union out on strike in October of 1968 under Albert Shanker. It was the best to us pupils because we had two weeks off in going into Halloween that year! LOL

Growing-up with two teachers in da house taught me the value of how Labor Unions represent the underpaid and overworked.  Labor unions conjures memories of the Teamsters and the unknown whereabouts of Jimmy Hoffa, their leader back in the day.

I joined AFTRA because I had to when I started working on WBLS FM in NYC back in 1984; they came looking for me via a letter which I still have! I was proud, even though the dues were and are exorbitant; I am glad, and think Labor Unions are under-appreciated these days.   The benefits outweigh the negatives; the camaraderie and strength-in-numbers is priceless against greedy “‘bosses” and  selfish, Scrooge-like employers. 

When I moved to my present southeastern location, I immediately felt the abrasive stiff-arm of the non-union mentality passed-down from generations since a divisive war that I won’t mention, lest I become part of the problem I seek to solve.  They probably liked it when Ronald Reagan broke the airline flight controllers’ union back in 1981, ushering-in the era of anti-union sentiment in the USA that most unfortunately, still carries-over here in 2011.  It was a very bad policy that affects the safety of the flying public to this very day, with “controllers” falling asleep at the “wheel”.   That attitude in this region hampered me when I was wrongfully terminated by an employer who brandished a deadly weapon – the local union “local” had no testicles to help me. [see my book, “He’s In A Meeting…” for more about it]

What are your family or work-related labor union experiences or memories? The floor is always open to your comments!

 I am back and hope to hit some posts out, back-to-back and belly-to-belly,  as my next post is already warming in the bullpen! What I also learned in the summer of 2011, is who is really in my inner circle, who will sweat, cry and toil with me to achieve a successful Labor of Love.

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