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Chasing The American Dream

October 01, 2008


Where have I been? What have I been up to?
Well, I moved. I visited Andy. I bought a lot of stuff. I had 'minor' surgery.
Will fill in the blanks once I can organize my thoughts in a normal fashion.

August 23, 2008


When I moved to Coconut Grove almost 3 years ago, the Grove was vibrant and happening. But for whatever reason, people and business are moving out. For lease and for rent signs are all over the place. It's time for me to leave as well. The straw that broke the camel's back was when Starbucks closed. Imagine that? I'll be moving to a hip village called Brickell. Pix and stories to come.


August 19, 2008


photo courtesy of NY Times

Man, that first week of the Olympics had all the riveting drama one could want in a TV program. Michael Phelps and the U.S. Swim Team were truly amazing. Plus, we got to watch the events live. But now that it’s all over, current programming seems like a huge letdown. Not only are we watching taped events from the prior day, but we’re also watching events like trampoline, table tennis, and women’s gymnastics in which the Americans outperform the Chinese yet get out judged. {Yawn} So is that it for Olympic drama? Come back, Michael.

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August 06, 2008


When I started this b-l-o-g almost four years ago, I had just learned the meaning of the word. I liked it. I liked doing something new and different, and when I told people, “I have a blog,” they looked at me sideways and usually uttered something to the effect of, “A what?” I like being ahead of the curve rather than being a bandwagon jumper. Blogging was new and evolving.

Well we all know by now that today’s a different story. Blogs are everywhere. Every category is covered. Every newsperson has one. A ton of celebrities probably do as well. I can’t seem to go a day without hearing the once unheard of word ‘blog.’ It feels different now. The concept is stale to me and old-hat. Blog. Everyone has a blog. Every website seemingly has one. I’m no longer ahead of the curve but part of the masses. And that’s disappointing.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still gonna write because I need to for my own self preservation and sanity. But to me, the concept and the word b-l-o-g are passé.


July 29, 2008


I had just finished running six miles having to outrun a thunderstorm. I still had to traverse a busy intersection and managed to weave my way across the street. I had one more street to cross before getting to mine and I wearily began to walk across. About half way, I heard the sound of a continuous car horn, and when I looked up and to me left, it was coming right at me. What immediately flashed through my mind was that the car was gonna hit me. An then almost immediately instincts took over.

Somehow, as if all in the same motion, I stopped dead in my tracks and jumped back. The car made no effort to slow down. As I looked up, I saw an old man with an angry face giving me the finger and telling me to, “Wake the fuck up, asshole.” I think he wanted to hit me. He missed me by less than an arms length. How do I know? He was so close, I slammed my fist on his trunk as he sped by. Granted, I was an idiot for not seeing him in the first place, but did I really deserve that treatment? People around here are surprisingly rude. Next time I hit the streets, I’ll be paying strict attention for sure.


July 12, 2008


This big guy is now 12, can you believe it?


June 23, 2008


photo courtesty of NY Times

I’ll admit. I had to look it up. When I googled George Carlin’s death, the word was practically in every headline. Irreverent. Definition? “Critical of what is generally accepted or respected; satirical.” And indeed, that’s what George Carlin was all about. I was probably 10 or so when I first heard the seven dirty words routine. And as every little kid can attest, curse words are funny. That was my intro to GC. As I got older, my perception of GC was an angry hippie, trendy, and a guy who got laughs from being dirty. I didn’t like him. But that all changed when I saw one of his 14 HBO comedy specials. I laughed hard that night. He was still dirty, but he was genuinely funny, observant, and intelligent. Whether he talked about politics, religion, football, baseball, or just plain stuff, his comedy was truly brilliant. I’m sure he’d always been, but I’d never given him a chance. From that day on, I was a big fan. Whether he had a comedy special or just an appearance on a talk show, I made it a point to watch him. He was one of the few who could really make me laugh. The world needs laughter, and it’s sad we just lost a big source of it. I think Robin Williams said it best, “I’m gonna miss that mother f***er.”


June 20, 2008


I wasn’t there to hear the news this time, but it doesn’t make it any easier to hear it. My mom has cancer. Breast cancer to be specific. She told me bluntly on Thursday. She’d known for two days and needed those days to compose herself. She’s typically emotional but you never would have guessed if you heard our phone call. She sounded remarkably composed and ready to fight. I’m proud of her for that. It’s news you never want to hear and news you’re never quite prepared for. I was with my dad when he got the news. Lung cancer. Six months to live. And indeed it was exactly six months. Those of you who still have both parents around, take note. You’re lucky. When they go, part of you goes with them. And your life will truly be forever different. I hope to have my mom around for many years to come. Her surgery is next week and we should have a better idea of her prognosis. We are all upbeat and positive. I’m glad she knows she has my support. We’ve had our differences, but we’re really close now. Man, that’s what it’s all about.


June 14, 2008


photo courtesy of Reuters

At the time of the 2000 presidential election, I was living in no man's land. Coudersport, Pennsylvania. Population, a robust 2650. I'm sure most of us remember that riveting election night where the results boilded down to my home state of Florida. Before the night began, Tim Russert called it. He told Tom Brokaw the focal point of the night would be Florida, Florida, Florida. He was right as he often was. His basic common-man explanation of the confusing election returns was captured on his low legendary white board. I'm glad I chose to watch NBC and Tim that night. Perhaps I was biased having lived in his hometown of Buffalo, NY for three years. But he broadcasted with no fluff, and told it like it was.

I've been a fan since and the news of his death left me shocked and saddened. I really looked forward to watching Tim during this year's highly anticipated presidential election. Like millions of other Americans, I will miss him.


June 10, 2008


In my previous post, a brave anonymous reader left the following comment, “You are a freak and a weirdo. Same story over and over. It may be time to accept the fact that its you and not them.”

So for this post, I’ll let you be the judge. Here’s the background. I went out of town to meet her for the first time. We seemed to hit it off. There was a definite physical connection and because of that, I can no longer say that the number of women I’ve been with I can name on one hand. Yet on my last night, she told me I wasn’t what she expected but that maybe I’d grow on her. Ugh. That was it for me. I didn’t want to have to grow on her or anyone. I was mentally done. Another case of ‘just friends.’

After she came back home to South Florida, we hung out quite a bit. Yet she ran extremely hot or extremely cold. She was hot when we were together but then felt guilty about being with me due to her religious beliefs and the fact that she was vegan and I wasn’t. She’d insult me one minute then love me the next. I tried to remain forgiving but eventually it was too much for me. I don't need negative people in my life. This was our final email conversation. So I pose the question to you all. Is it me or is it them?

FRIEND: todd, i am sorry to say this to you but you are one of the least intelligent man i have ever known. now you must face this every day and get yourself in emotional drama, for what? i am glad that i am over you, way over. i can't stand your emotional reason, no logic, no nothing and based only on your mind. When i go out with you, i often thought this guy who purchased tons of make up stuffs to send to someone who did not give him even a kiss, spent in ordinate amount of money for an air head just so that she could stay for a week, wined and dined someone so that at the end she married someone else, and here someone who loves him, made love to him and be there almost every step of the way, yet he could not spare 25 bucks to get her a ring. i can never forget that. no, not that i am poor or anything but that day marked something in me that i finally understand. and that is, men love to chase and often forgot the gold already in his possession. I don't care who you will meet, you never find a second person like myself, never in a million year. i am in love with charlie -- and i am saying this to help you open your eyes and see things clearly for a chance. we will never be back to where we were -- not that you care – thanks. God that now I also don't care.

ME: Who's fucked up? Me or the woman who loves me one minute and hates me the next? The one who asks me to the beach and kisses last week but tells me she loves someone else this next week. The one who is constantly on again off again? You have made it clear enough how little you respect me or like me or whatever. I get it now so please do not email me anymore. And one more thing. I TRIED to pay for your ring but they didn't take American Express. I've been called many things but never cheap. I would have paid for it if I could have.

FRIEND: Love comes very suddenly ... and I do love you as a friend. we will always love each other as friend and still have the 'hot' for each other I think. I did not know about the american express and I am sorry but that event made me felt like shit for a very long time. I am here as your friend and I won't go any where, sorry.

ME: You said, "we will always love each other as friend and still have the 'hot' for each other I think." How can you possibly think that after just telling me, "you are one of the least intelligent man i have ever known. i am glad that i am over you, way over. i can't stand your emotional reason, no logic, no nothing and based only on your mind." Not to mention all the crap you said about what I spent my money on. OK. I didn't buy you that ring. I already told you it was because they didn't take my credit card. So that pissed you off and you never told me about it. Think about this before I go away. Did you ever ask yourself did you ever pay a penny for anything while you were with me? I think I pretty much paid for everything. I can't love someone who continues to insult me and my intelligence or lack of intelligence as you believe. I mean it. Please do not write me again. Friendship is over.

FRIEND: we have been through alot and all friends quarrel. i often speak before i think and this is something i must work on but throwing a great friendship over words is silly. after all i stick by you regardless of whom you love or don't love. that should speak plenty what kind of friend i really am to you. any way, in my heart you are my friend regardless what you say that i am not.

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