Tuesday, December 18, 2012

You can't go home again

Last week, we moved--as in, physical labor move with boxes and movers and the once again realization that there are few things on the planet less fun than taking your belongings out of one home and putting them in another.

This was our eighth move but only our fourth involving moving out of a home we owned.  I remember now why moving has not been a frequent occurrence in our family.

If moving is a pain then owning a home is like a constant headache.  But, it's also a symbol of one's family dynamic.  That's why it stung me last week when I stood in an empty house and looked into the dining room--the scene of so many family meals, holiday gatherings, and get-togethers with friends.  I realized that it was this house that I had most identified with; it was this house where so many major family moments had occurred, thus stirring so many special memories.

We're now in a new place--shiny and fixed up, ready for new organization and prepared for new memories.  As we drove by the old house on Saturday, though, I saw people moving into "our house"--no, not the new one but the one just vacated.  You see, it's still "our house" to me and it was foreign watching new people, with smiling faces, taking their belongings into a house with my memories.

For me, in this case, you can't go home again.  Thomas Wolfe had it right.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wrapping up a week in Gotham

Greetings, peeps, from 30K feet utilizing the GoGo WiFi in a Delta flight from LGA to MCI.  It's been a productive week in Manhattan so let's kick it around before we close out this work week, shall we?

- New York City, on a good day, requires a certain sense of resolve that one will share space with far too many other individuals.  But, during the holiday season, the hip checks and flying elbows are out in force as it's clearly every man/woman for himself/herself on the sidewalks of Manhattan.

- The Rolling Stones are playing the Prudential Center in Newark, a pay-per-view event you can catch for $39.95.  The cool new wrinkle, though, is the band's use of mobile technology as the concert will be streamed live, for the same price, on PC's, tablets, and smartphones.  The Stones have always been a trend setter in the world of live music, having been the first to sign a tour sponsor, and now are broadcasting a mobile concert experience.  It's a far cry from Keith Richards' statement, in 1997, about cell phones being akin to "sticking your head in a microwave."

- There are only two episodes left of this season of Homeland (Showtime.)  Crap...

- Speaking of New York, Monday, November 26, was the first time police officials can recall recording no shootings, stabbings or murders over a 24-hour period.  Perhaps the holiday cheer has indeed affected Gotham-ites!

- A teacher in Kentucky obviously is still bitter about the election as she recently wrote on her blackboard, in psychology class, that "you can't be a Democrat and go to heaven."  School officials have apologized for the incident.

- It's now a fact--this year will go down as the warmest on record for the states of Kansas and Missouri.

- In the "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" category, a woman in Germany tried to suffocate her boyfriend with her 38DD breasts.  Franziska Hansen, 33, was supposedly upset that her boyfriend was planning to leave her.  The alleged victim, Tim Schmidt, claims that while he slept, Hansen grabbed his head and pushed it between her breasts.  "I couldn't breath anymore," Schmidt claimed.

- Back to the Rolling Stones--the rockers now have an average that is older than the members of the U.S. Supreme Court.  The Stones average almost 69 while the justices' average nearly 67.  I'm not sure if that's a weird commentary on the best rock-and-roll band in history, or the state of the justice system in the U.S.

- American men are tipping the scales at an average weight of 196--16 pounds heavier than 1990.  The average weight of women has risen by 14 pounds over the same period.  (Source:  Gallup)

- Celebration Day, the new Led Zeppelin reunion DVD and CD, is well worth the download.  The live recording is from the group's 2007 concert at O2 in London, played as a tribute to record-label founder Ahmet Ertegun.  Robert Plant's well-worn voice was in better-than-expected form and Jimmy Page killed it, as usual.  Highlights of the set include "Kashmir" and "Black Dog," as well as "Ramble On."

- And, finally, given that I'm sitting on an airplane, major airlines have cut the number of U.S. domestic flights by 14 percent, since 2007, in an attempt to maintain high capacity and thus higher returns on their investments.  St. Louis, Cleveland, Memphis, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh have been hardest hit, losing 40 percent of their scheduled flights.