Monday, June 11, 2007

My Isle of Dreams

I was unable to finagle a trip to the beach this weekend. My usual sources did not come through and, without transport of my own, I was stuck on Manhattan.

Then! I realized! Manhattan! It's an island! And near the ocean! Surely there must be beaches around here, somewhere.

Yeah. Geography. Not so much my strong suit.


Tempting as it was to go to Coney and eat baloney on a roll, we took the A train and went to
Rockaway Beach. An NYC public beach in Queens. It was, an experience. Actually, better than it could have been. Think a slightly more down-market Wildwood. Still, for $4 round trip, you can't beat it.

After the beach we popped into a local saloon to watch the pony's run at Belmont. Then we got back on the A train and went to Howard Beach, another stop in Queens where the tracks split and one can go either back into Manhattan or out to JFK. Johnny's "special little friend" in Los Angeles is making a guest appearance in New York this week and he had to pick up Fam-a-lam-a-ding-dong up at baggage claim around 10. Rather than cool his heels alone at the airport we popped into another local saloon.

5 beers and 1 shot of whiskey for $20 even. Plus tip. Talk about culture shock.

It's nice to leave the city from time to time and realize that there are other places out there. It's hard to write about because I can't seem to structure a sentence that doesn't make me sound like an effete ass. Blah blah blah single minded urban professional blah blah blah life in the provinces so refreshing blah blah blah. Like I said, no way to express it without coming off like an ass.

But still, refreshing none the less.

Simple Minds, Simple Pleasure

For Ashley, wherever I may find her...

So, my grandmother. Elle est tres malade. Oui. Elle est presque mort. Je suis tres desolee. Yes, you see, my grandmother-- very sick and very near death.

Last night I went through my voicemails in a fit trying to find one last voice mail from her. Please GOD! I am so lazy. I rarely check and often delete my voicemails without listening to them. I'm good like that. I was terribly concerned that I had unknowingly deleted all messages from her. That's just the kind of thing I'd do. Delete the message I want to keep but hold on to every single message from my doctor's office confirming my appointment on Feb 22, 2005. But, I digress.

I had 45 messages sitting on that thing. I listened to every single one. I found my grandmother-- one from last summer inviting me to dinner. Her old voice, deep and throaty. Upper Montclair's very own Lauren Bacall. Sigh of relief. And tears, of course. For, although I have made my peace with this whole, you know circle of life type thing, it still sucks.

I stopped crying and listened to the rest of the messages. And there, amongst 27 messages from my mother, several from Phil, one from my dad, and, like, 14 from Harry, there was yours.

And the opening,
"Ryan, my love, where have you been all my life?!"

Well, I felt loved. I must say. I must say.
So, Smashley, where have I been all your life? Apparently I've been sitting on my bed surrounded by the Sunday Times going through old voicemails to hear my grandmother's voice. Which sounds just as depressing as it was. Until I found yours.

Love you, too.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

for loyalty love and for soothe

“Not to compare your grandmother to my car...”

But, my dear, that is the most apt comparison.

Heavens to Murgatroid, it’s helpful to have a bosom buddy.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


For ESL, KDC, and Emma Jean Booshay...

I play it cool
And dig all jive
That's the reason
I stay alive

My motto
As I live and learn
Dig and Be Dug
In Return
--Langston Hughes


I wanted to find some deep, profound thought, some amazing truth to send you on your way as you graduate. Sadly, I have some hideous cold and it's all I an do to remember to breathe. No profundities from me today.

That said, Langston Hughes has been kicking around my head for the past while and I thought it was as good as anything. You know, what's simple is true, Occam's Razor and all that.
Still, did and be dug, words to live by, no?

So, congratulations to you on your graduation! I am so proud of you and your accomplishments. I'm so excited to see what you'll do next. I have no doubt that it will be amazing.

Such a smart, kind, good natured and good looking kid-- how could you be anything but a success?