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SAVING FACE

Friday, September 16, 2011

 

 

That nut-job Ahmadinejad may give an early release,

To the two American hikers, for half a million bucks apiece.

It might be reasonable to ask as a condition of their bail,

That next time they confine themselves to the Appalachian Trail.

Seems plastic surgery clinics are the fastest growing biz,

To take care of those who don’t appreciate their face “as is”.

However, some performing the surgeries are not really qualified,

Leaving the patients feeling – and looking – very petrified.

This weekend is the anticipated Mayweather-Ortiz fight,

It promises to be a smash-up, with insults thrown all night.

Mayweather thinks that Ortiz is a punk and rather new,

And that HBO should honor him and call it “May-per-view”.

Sunday night the Emmy’s will reward the year’s best shows,

Some will be deserving, and some just really blow.

We can only hope the reality craze is deemed a passing fad,

Or we’ll have to brace ourselves for more seasons of “Bachelor Pad”.

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EVERYONE’S ATWITTER

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bob Turner has won Wiener’s New York congressional seat,

Republicans hope that means Obama will go down in defeat.

We don’t know if that is true, but we know how to win a race,

Don’t Twitter your private parts in an attempt to reach first base.

Many young Americans are now moving to the Far East,

That’s where they can find jobs and have their salaries increased.

While their parents will surely miss them, no matter what they may espouse,

They secretly are ecstatic to have them move out of the house.

Boise State football is now the next in line,

To have recruiting violations and receive a NCAA fine.

While we agree that no student should be paid to play defense,

Do they really need to punish a purchase of two dollars, thirty-four CENTS?

Demi Moore is in her 40’s and often in the public view,

One time even naked, covered completely with tattoos.

Now she’s posted on Twitter a nude picture of her back,

At what age will she begin to give us a little slack?

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The Good News

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

We went looking for some good news as the paper we perused,

Determined we could make a happy rhyme.

We looked in every section from the headlines to Op/Ed

And here’s the best of all that we could I find.

We found that household income reached its lowest point in years

We thought perhaps the figures were corrupt,

But after sifting through the numbers we determined with a smile

That the only place for us to go is up.

 The Cubs are twenty games behind, their losing streak’s intact,

But they keep on filling Wrigley Field with cheer.

One hundred three years pass, without a Series win,

But they keep saying, “Wait until next year.”

Debates and White House speeches fill TV’s prime time slots;

They help us choose who we should be approving.

Sometimes they’re fast and loose with facts, but the good thing we found out

Is they tell the truth . . . unless their lips are moving.

What’s a ‘wall flower’?  Find out at our website at:

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State of the States

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

As we shuffle through the news in USA Today,

We find things are disturbing on this bright September day.

 –

Texas is a state where things are looking dire;

They’re dealing with an awful drought and devastating fire.

 –

California, in its bankrupt state, wants to pass this new addition,

Of giving forty million to illegals for their tuition.

 –

And down in Charlotte, BofA, still fighting mortgage woes

Are letting 30,000 go, as down their stock price goes.

 –

In the Open in New York, Djokovic wins with class,

But Serena grabs the headlines, not with racket but with sass.

 –

And Jackie, from her grave, has quite a bit to say

As she disses MLK along with LBJ.

 –

It’s seems there’s lots of problems, but I think most would agree,

That there’s no other place on earth that we would rather be.

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Only 104 Shopping Days ’til Christmas

Thank you all for a record viewing weekend and your nice comments about our 911 tributes.  Now back to something lighter.

Monday, September 12, 2011

You know that Rick Perry was once a big Dem.?

Now as governor of Texas, he can hardly stand them.

He campaigned for Al Gore at their national convention

And prob’ly had a hand in his Internet invention.

A$ I wandered through Co$tco on a day in $eptember,

I $aw holiday trinket$, like it wa$ December.

We all know the rea$on for thi$ premature cheer;

 Gue$$ it’s good-bye to $ummer and Happy New Year!

The streets are again now free of some thugs.

While domestic abuse, the guns and the drugs

Are all in decline around this time of year;

The National Football League season is here.

Ashton Kutcher is now the new ‘Man’ on the scene;

He is taking the place of whacked-out Charlie Sheen.

On the set he is always seen laughing and grinning

And why shouldn’t he, he’s the one that is ‘WINNING!’

 —

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“Is Stephanie Alright?” – A 9/11 Experience

Sunday, September 11, 2011                                                                        By Bob Sparrow

     I was awakened by a phone call at around 6:20 a.m. on September 11, 2001.  It was my mother-in-law from Minnesota; she asked, “Is Stephanie alright?”  I said something like, “I guess so, why?”  She said, “Turn on the TV, there’s been a bombing in New York.”  My heart sank.  My daughter, Stephanie was living in New York for the past several years; she had recently graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and was pursuing a Broadway career.

     After turning on the TV and trying to comprehend what was happening, I immediately tried to call Stephanie on her cell phone.  Of course, there was no cell phone service available in New York at that time.  I called her apartment several times and finally got through and was able to talk with her roommate.  She told me that Stephanie had gone into Manhattan that morning for an acting class, but assured me not to worry, that the class was in ‘mid-town’, not ‘down town’ where the bombing had taken place.  I wasn’t assured.  All kinds of scenarios raced through my head placing Stephanie ‘down town’.  As it turned out, she was indeed on a subway to her class in Greenwich Village, which is ‘down town’!

    I continued to call Stephanie’s cell phone even though I realized there was little to no hope of getting through – I just had to do something!  I called her roommate about every 20-30 minutes to ask if she’d heard from her.  She had not.  I was experiencing this American tragedy in a very personal way.  While I was shocked at what I was hearing and watching on television, my overriding concerns were not about who did this to us and why, but rather where is my daughter and is she alright?

     Five agonizingly long hours pass; at 11:30 our phone finally rings.  At that time we didn’t have ‘Caller ID’, so we didn’t know if it was Stephanie or someone calling us to tell us some news we didn’t want to hear.  When that familiar, though audibly shaken, voice came on the phone and said, “Hi Dad, I’m OK”, I cried and found something to be happy about on that tragic day.  She later related her experience to me.  She was on a subway heading to Greenwich Village that morning, but the subway stopped prior to getting there and she was stuck underground for about a half an hour before it came to a station and she got out.  She came up from the subway and saw people standing in the middle of the street staring at the towers of the World Trade Center which were engulfed in smoke.  Soon after she joined them she saw the first (north) tower collapse.  She hurried over to where her acting class was meeting and ended up sitting with the class for several hours, listening to the news and trying to figure out what was going on.  She then decided to try to get home.  She was fortunate enough to find a cab that would take her only as far as mid-town, where she got out and went to Houston’s, the restaurant where she worked, looking for a familiar face, but found that it was closed.  An eerie feeling pervaded mid-town, but it had not turned to panic.  She was determined to get back to her apartment in Queens, but with no public transportation operating, she joined the throngs of people walking out of Manhattan across the Queensboro Bridge.  On her way home she saw thousands of people already queuing up to give blood.

     She was understandably shaken by her proximity to this horrific event, and when she came home to California for Christmas three months later, she decided to stay.  She has returned to New York several times over the last ten years and enjoys all that the ‘Big Apple’ has to offer, but will never forget that day ten years ago when she witnessed history.

SMALL MOMENTS – A 9/11 TRIBUTE

Saturday, September 10, 2011

by Suzanne Watson

Her message was my wake-up call.  She inspired me and changed my life forever.  And I never met her.

Melissa Harrington Hughes died at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.  She didn’t work there; she was on a business trip for her San Francisco-based technology firm. She was an extremely accomplished 31 year old, who had traveled the world and had recently married her sweetheart, Sean Hughes.

Many people remember her, and him, for the harrowing telephone message that she left him minutes after the building was struck by the plane.  In that message, she said, “Sean, it’s me. I just wanted to let you know I love you and I am stuck in this building in New York. A plane hit or a bomb went off – we don’t know, but there’s a lot of smoke and I just wanted you to know I loved you.”

The first time I heard Melissa’s voicemail, Sean was being interviewed by Chris Jansing on MSNBC.  Ms. Jansing completely broke down upon hearing it.  Clearly, Melissa’s final words resonated with a lot of people.  The internet site dedicated to Melissa filled with posts from people who were touched by her story.  I was among them. Somehow, with all of the tragedy of that day, her story stuck with me above all of the others.  But why?

Partly, I think in some ways I could relate to her.  I was working for a large financial institution at the time and had spent all of my life, and most of my career, working in San Francisco.  One of my positions required that I visit our businesses in New York in the Trade Center, so I had also taken business trips to the towers.

When the buildings collapsed I thought about all of the people that worked for my company.  We lost three employees that day, but I didn’t know any of them.  She was the one that stood out for me.  Her beautiful wedding picture taken up in Napa, close to where I grew up, became seared in my brain as it was shown repeatedly over the next several days.  But it was more than the pictures; it was her message.

In her voice I could sense so many of her emotions: fear, panic, bewilderment.  But mostly, in her final minutes on earth, she wanted Sean to know that she loved him.  I thought about her, and all of the people that died that day, who went off to work as they normally did.  Kissing a spouse or child good-bye, grabbing a cup of coffee, making plans for the weekend.  And none of them came home.  Plans and hopes and dreams were gone in an instant.  Sean Hughes said that he and Melissa were excited about their future and talked about all the things that newlyweds do: moving to a new home, getting a dog, having children.

Her final words to Sean started me thinking about my own life.  My husband had taken early retirement in 1996.  He wanted to travel, spend time with our new grandson, and enjoy time with friends.  I had wanted to continue working.  But I kept thinking about Melissa’s message.  What if that had been me?  Is that how I would want my life to end, without ever having enjoyed what my husband and I had worked so hard to build?

The weeks following September 11 were frightening and incredibly busy for me.  My division of the company had locations throughout the United States and for weeks after the twin towers fell we received bomb threats in major cities. I had an office on the top floor of our Los Angeles headquarters and I jumped every time I  heard a plane or helicopter go by.  After a month or so, I began to feel like this would all pass and that life would get back to “normal”.   But then I thought about Melissa.  Life doesn’t get scripted.  Although the odds of me being killed in a terrorist attack might be low, there were still no guarantees that I could escape a car accident or a terminal illness.

So in the first week of November, when all of the initial frenzy had died down, I told my boss that I wanted to resign.  We negotiated that I would stay until March 1, which I did.  I have never regretted that decision and would not trade all of the memories and experiences I’ve had since then for any amount of compensation I gave up.

Judith Viorst once wrote that it is the small moments in life that make it rich.   Melissa made me realize that I needed to grab the small moments while I could; that sitting with my husband every morning, sipping coffee and watching the news, is a gift.

So to Melissa Harrington Hughes: thank you.  Someday I hope to get back to the new trade center memorial where I can touch the steel engraving of your name.  And in the hollows of those letters, we will finally be connected.

American Jobs Act 1 Scene 1

Friday, September 9, 2011

Our president spoke harshly to Congress last night;

Half applauded, while the other half groaned.

Obama’s determined to create and save jobs,

Top priority is saving his own.

It’s going the way of vinyl records and the vacuum tube,

It’s as out of date as a hula hoop and a Rubik’s cube

Its future is like that of the typewriter, or so the techies say;

Just when I learned to run the darn thing, the PC’s becoming passé.

Wives are being ignored , so girlfriends they’ll call;

Or perhaps they’ll spend a bit more time at the local mall.

They thought that they were married, but their husbands have departed;

They’ve crawled into their man caves, ‘cuz football season’s started.

If the economy’s getting you down

And by the market you’re getting drubbed;

You can escape to the 60s this TV season

On Pan Am­ to the Playboy Club

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

September 8, 2011

Restaurants are attempting to increase our weight some more,

They now want to take food stamps at all the fast food stores.

The national obesity experts say that’s not the way we should behave,

And say our taxes will now be used to pay from “burger to grave”.

Baby boomers are now considered to be the most stressed out,

Watching retirement fade as their stocks have taken a clout.

Experts are advising calm and “not to over-medicate”,

This – to a generation that doesn’t know how to be straight.

Maryland’s Terrapins have new football “uni’s”,

And the best thing being said is they look a little loony.

More embarrassing still, they have the same theme,

And look remarkably like the women’s roller derby team.

The Kennedy Center has revealed this year’s honorees,

It’s a very distinguished group that will be on their marquee.

With Ma and Diamond tributes no one will be bored,

But what accent will Streep use when she gets her award?

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Back to School . . . Congress!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Our congress can’t play well with others,

Or use their time wisely it seems;

They’re just coming in from their recess,

Firmly set in their partisan teams.

Off to school go our kids for the learning

Of lessons about right and wrong,

Maybe kids can help to teach congress

Some lessons in getting along.

Yahoo has put Carol Bartz in the gang

With the likes of Koogle and Semel and Yang

All past CEOs, who were given the shoo

Seems there’s not much to Yahoo about at Yahoo!

In New York, Open play for both gals and guys

Was halted because of the threatening skies.

With no roof on the courts, in the water came rushing;

What would you expect at the Meadows called Flushing?

Eddie Murphy’s been picked to host the next Oscar,

 An improvement’s a virtual lock;

For he follows James Franco whose face had the look

Of a man who’d been under a rock.

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