No Cognitive Defect XV

No Cognitive Defect - Part XV

By James M. O'Meara, © 2010

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Dangerous times...

It was one those split-second calls folks make by the dozens every day. Blue shirt or red? Potatoes with dinner, or rice? Park in this spot, or that one? It is inevitable that sooner or later one of these choices is life-changing. It is the seeming innocuousness of these little decisions that belies their power.

In Wilson's case, as he left the coffee shop on his way to the office, the decision was which way to walk to work: to the left or to the right. To the right made more sense, as it was closer, but he didn't like walking into a breeze. He turned left. He would have to walk an extra block or so, but he could cut through a market and avoid the wind. Had he turned right, the rest of his life would have unfolded in a radically different fashion. True, he would not have found himself on the verge of freezing to death in a blizzard years later, but there also would have been no marriage, no Evan, no Anita to save. An entirely different existence; all because the wind was blowing from the west and he wanted it at his back.

To paint, or not to paint....

...this was the question yesterday.

I gave the shed its first coat and went inside to eat lunch before applying the second.

I checked in with the Penn State-Ohio State game. The Lions were up 14-3 at halftime. On the road.

The temptation to finish the shed on Sunday sank in immediately. After all since 1978, when the Lions beat OSU 19-0 on the road, my boys haven't scored more than 13 points in Columbus.

And here we were, 14 points already, and only halftime!

To paint, or not to paint.

And then, from on high, a booming voice: "I'm just screwing with you Jimbo. Get back to work."

The Lions lost 38-14.

The shed's done. You don't mess with the Almighty.

From the Sky - Part IX

From the Sky - Part IX

By James M. O'Meara, © 2010

Need to catch up on From the Sky? Visit the From The Sky page today...


The dinner...

We spent over an hour at the jewelry store that evening. Joe …my dear, dear, full-price Joe …fixed his eyes on a ring that cost nearly seven thousand dollars. The jeweler placed it on the counter before us. It was absolutely gorgeous and far too ostentatious. I know women who would kill for a fat, expensive ring. That's just not me. I'm unpretentious. I wear very little makeup. I like simple, plain clothing: jeans and an old blouse, or maybe a halter top on a hot day if I'm cutting grass. I do like nice, dressy clothes when the occasion calls for it but never, never anything garish. At heart, you see, I will always be that little girl who loved picking her way carefully up Uncle's honey locust tree. I could never wear Kilimanjaro on my ring finger.

"Well? What do you think?" Joe asked.

The jeweler was smiling a big, fat just-won-the-lottery kind of smile.

"I think it's not happening," I gently chided.

Air came out of the jeweler's smile. It was like watching a tire go flat.

"I have the money, Renata. I've saved every dime I ever got for my future. That's you. It's simple pie."

Call me, Jimbo...

Back on September 18, just as my campaign was starting to enter the home stretch, I attended my 35th year high school class reunion. If you believe Hollywood, class reunions are supposed to be torturous affairs no one wants to attend but does so out of a sense of duty. Or maybe just to see if others are aging better or worse than you are.

Not so with Wyoming Area's class of 1975. Our reunions are a blast. We have a great time. And I'm happy to report that we still have the hottest-looking women of any class that ever attended that district.

On that note, my story begins. When I pulled into the parking lot at the reunion, I was driving "campaign central" old red Buick with a magnetic campaign sign slapped on the door. This made me an easy target for a practical joke. When your name's on the door, everyone knows which car is yours.

The reunion was great, and it was well after dark when I headed home. The next morning I was about to drive to church when I found this under my windshield wiper:

Give me ring, Jimbo...

So which of those gorgeous ladies planted this on the car (instead of planting one on me)?

It's a mystery.

But it gets better. About a week after finding that card under my visor, I was driving my daughter up to Misericordia.

"Hey Dad?" she asked. "Why is there lipstick on your window?"

Sure enough, the window on the driver's side door had a big, fat lipstick-kiss planted on the glass.

I thought about getting DNA evidence. Maybe sending a scraping of the lipstick to the FBI crime lab.


The perfect birthday dinner...

Here's how I'd have written Forrest Gump:

Tell me about wings, Bubba.

Well, Forrest, there's deep-fried wings, broiled wings, bar-b-cue wings, breaded wings, beer-battered wings, hot wings, nuclear wings, mild wings, cajun wings, honey wings, boneless wings, garlic wings, garlic honey wings, dry-spiced wings, bleu cheese wings, tabasco wings, 5-spice wings, sweet and sour wings, hot-sauce-and-cola wings, plain, crispy wings...

Gee, Bubba that's a lot of wings. Any wings with shrimp in them?

This ain't no box of chocolates, Forrest. It's all about wings.

The Election is over...

...and Dynamo will be returning soon. But tonight, it's all about propping up my aching feet, putting a pillow under my wobbly right knee, laying a big plate o'chicken wings on my smaller belly, and DOIN' NUTTIN.

...well, doin' nuttin For about two hours. That's about as long as I can sit still....


Personal Memories from 9/11 ...

The day started out all wrong.

My PC was on the fritz. By the time I fixed it I was running late for work.

Driving to the office, my car radio stopped working. My old Ford had a loose radio wire, and I often had to jiggle it into just the right spot to make the radio work. About every third pothole, it would come loose, and I would have to fidget with it to find the "sweet spot." This particular morning, I couldn't find that sweet spot for the life of me, so I had no radio. I realized suddenly I also had no money for lunch.

I stopped at a mini-mart ATM machine. The ATM was broken. My mood, already foul, was growing worse by the second as I walked back to my car. These silly things really seemed like big deals to me at the time. Back in my car, I took a few seconds to fiddle with the radio and finally got it working just in time to hear a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.

I looked at the sky…the Wyoming Valley is only about 130 miles from Manhattan. The day was gorgeous, the sky clear. I remember thinking, "…how on earth could this happen on such a perfect day?"

As I pulled into the parking lot at work, the news broke that the second tower had just been hit. When I walked into the office, my boss exclaimed, "Did you hear what happened? A plane hit one of the World Trade Center towers!"

"Another plane just hit the other one," I replied. I remember the shock on his face, likely mirroring my own.

"How is an accident like that possible?" he asked.

"It can't be an accident. It means we're at war." I answered.

"With who?" he asked.

"It doesn't really matter," I sighed. What an odd answer I gave to such a straightforward question! I've never forgotten what I said.

* * *

Not Dead...

I'm knee-deep in campaigning. It's an amazing experience, and it has top priority right now. Just letting you all know I still have a pulse...


From The Sky - Part VIII

From the Sky - Part VIII

By James M. O'Meara, © 2010

Need to catch up on From the Sky? Visit the From The Sky page today...

Un Hamburger

The Fabulous Bonzo Burger....

I wonder at times why my aunts are so averse to the institution of marriage. What do they know of it, really? They have, perhaps, the memories of their own parent's marriage, but from all accounts that was a very happy union. They were two people very much in love, so say my aunts. Rae, whose memories are the least hazy, says Grandfather Ernesto was quite the romantic. He would cut Grandmother fresh flowers each day and place them in a delicate crystal vase on the kitchen table. He would bring little gifts to his wife for no reason. He would sing to her and dance her around the kitchen while she tried to cook. Each night, after supper, Grandmother would make him a cup of tea. She would bring the steaming cup and a few anise biscotti on a small china plate, setting it all down on the end table next to his chair. She would kiss his forehead and put her lips near his ear. She would whisper, and he would smile, and sometimes his cheeks would redden, and then he would pull her closer to steal a kiss.

They call him... ROBO-COACH!

Say it ain't so, Robo-Joe...

JoePa's had eye surgery.

Apparently, reading was getting a wee bit difficult. His eyes were out of whack. So the 83 year-old coach made a trek to the Scheie Eye Institute in Philadelphia for some surgery. The procedure was a success, so much so that he can pace the sidelines without his trademark coke-bottle glasses.

You gotta love JoePa's moxie over the past few years.

Busted up hip? He sets his jaw, limps around all season, then pops in a new one.

Trouble reading the fine print in the NCAA rulebook? He gets his eyes done.

No wonder some folks in Nittany Land call him "Robo-coach."

But Joe, don't dump the glasses! Don't pace that sideline with a naked nose! Would Bear Bryant have worn a beret on the 'Bama sidelines? For that matter, would you coach a game without your pants rolled up?

It'd be like me giving up wings for tofu and bean sprouts.

Without those thick glasses, the most recognizable mug in sports is transformed into the mortal and ordinary. He looks like the guy next to me in that black Lincoln the other day, drumming his fingers on the steering wheel and waiting for the light to change. He's a ringer for that gentleman I saw on Main Street in Pittston last week with his pants hitched half-way up his chest. Without the specs, he's not JoePa anymore. He's anybody.

No coke-bottle glasses? Say it ain't so, Robo-Joe!

Just plain wrong...
Some things are just plain WRONG!

* * *

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