Thursday, October 30, 2008

Everyone Back In Place

We've finally found Web Keogh.

It seems that Mike and Jen may be bickering a bit on who actually found him, but I think it's fair to say that a lot of us can take some credit in the quest; many have been searching.

It also seems fitting that I mark the occasion with a personal note about how much this has all meant to me over the past couple of months that I've been on facebook.

Throughout grade school and high school I made some of the best friends that anyone could ask for. For about eight years, at various points, these people meant everything to me. We were part of eachother's lives on a daily basis and went through all the wonderful drama and melodrama that kids that age are supposed to go through.

As a parent of a son going in to middle school, I'm starting to re-live it some of that through his eyes, and I haven't been able to stress enough to him how he should savor every moment of the years to come. I want my children to have wonderful experiences, shared with friends they love, just as I did.

A few of those friends I stayed very close with these past twenty years; one of them I even married. John and Maria I've never stopped seeing on a regular basis. Others, like Mike and Steve Johnson, who've been separated by long distances, have drifted in and out through visits, lunches or emails over the years. What I always found notable was that no matter the time that had passed, within five minutes of getting together, it was clear the years really hadn't taken there toll at all.

But friends like Jayne and Andrea...the first friends I ever made at St. Philip's and through highschool may be the only people I never had so much as a disagreement with; Jen Gorman who I got very close to at Spirit and who along with Jenny Smith were the only people I knew who understood what a pain in the ass it could be to have your father teaching in the same school you attend. I regret how we let these friendships completely lapse to the point where we didn't even have a clue about eachother's lives. There's really not a rational reason that this would happen, it merely did.

I feel we've really been given a second chance now. Twenty years later, we have shaped what has become of our lives and now we have found our way on to facebook and we've seem to have fallen back into place with incredible is the ease of true friends who know how to be comfortable with one another. All of us seem to carry some of the same regrets and all of us want to see how we can move forward.

We're joined on facebook by a whole group of classmates; some of them were also friends, some were merely acquaintences and some we knew little about other than they were a familiar face in a class or a nearby locker. On facebook though, we're adding eachother as friends simply because we recognize the names and because after 20 years, lines around the eyes, a few extra pounds and some lost hairs, we find ourselves truly nostalgic. This is all good.

With few exceptions, at least for me, everyone is back in place. In additon to those I mentioned above, I'm now talking to: Mick, Tommy (who used to be just Tom),Scott, the Steves (Berenato and Monell), Karen, Julie, Michelle, Eric, Tom, Jen M, Brian, Tom, Stacy and Christina. Shit, I hope I didn't leave anyone out. I'm having a blast on a daily basis, re-living old memories and catching up on eachother's lives.

My little core group of close friends has been very lucky; though 20 years have passed, we're all still here and it appears healthy. We've all found eachother again before it was too late. Now it's time to move forward.....

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Last Night's Debate

There should be no doubt left in anyone's mind who needs to be the next President of the United States.

Obama was able to take McCain's supposed strength and turn it back on him. The laundry list of the many ways McCain was wrong on Iraq was a great moment. McCain fell back on the same tired soundbites and stories he's been using for over a year in every town hall meeting. I found myself speaking along with him Obama's "I've got a bracelet too" was a home run, as was using McCain's "Bomb Iran" song against him.

While always showing class, Obama came back at nearly every McCain argument. We can argue whether Obama came at him hard enough. Certainly there were a few missed opportunities; he probably should have nailed him on the GI Bill vote; should have come at him harder on the economy and in my opinion should have taken off McCain's head the tenth time he was told, "he doesn't shows naivety." McCain has no right to comment on anyone's grasp of the complex issues when he did pick Miss.Congeniality to be his running mate. Obama was too polite to point that out.

But let's get to the most important matter. Is John McCain the man we want to lead our diplomacy going in to the future? This man has such disdain for anyone that disagrees with him. He wouldn't even show a political opponent the courtesy of looking at him. You could see the clenching and tensing of his face while Obama was speaking. His hatred for Obama was written all over his face, as was his hatred for Romney in the primaries. The stories about McCain's demeanor and temper are well documented. He is not the person I want as my head statesman. If his hero was Ronald Reagan, then he's rejected one of Reagan's greatest attributes as a leader and diplomat, the ability to disagree and still maintain warmth and civility to your opponent.

Is this the man we're going to trust to try and avoid another war, when with two already, and an army stretched to the limit, there's only one way remaining to build up our troop strength?

Nico's Happy Birthday card from Uncle Sam is only six years away.

Americans and the media will argue who won this debate on points. Bottom line is though Obama cleared every hurdle presented to him. He knows the issues, and he can present his answers in a thoughtful manner (a refreshing change.) He should have proved to all last night that he will be strong enough to lead through a crisis and he will not hesitate to use military might when absolutely necessary. He achieved what Kennedy achieved in the 1960 debate, and what Reagan achieved in the 1980 debate.....He was Presidential

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Cape Cod- Day One

Day One of our spur of the moment trip to Cape Cod has been quite the success, it seems. Well not for my parents who are STILL driving through Rhode Island trying to get here.

It's just after 9pm on Sunday and everyone feels that they've been up for two days already. Not me of course; sleep is for the weak minded. The four am wake-up call from the tv alarm brought me the start of Saturday's Nascar Nationwide race on its third replay on ESPN. What else do rednecks have to do at 4 in the morning, just before they feed the dogs living under their porches?

We got a great start, on the Parkway by 5am and we made it to the Cape by 10:53. The kids were excellent in the car, thank Christ. They slept, watched a couple episodes of Star Trek Voyager (GEEKS) and we only made two pit stops, plus a pee break on the side of the road for Alex. (He wanted to use the empty chinese soup container we brought for such an emergency, but I advised against it. NO PISSING IN VLAD THE IMPALA!

So after arriving in Falmouth and checking in to the Red Horse Inn (hotel 1) we went to a place called "The Flying Bridge" for lunch. We ended up spending way too much for lunch, thanks to three orders of Fish and Chips. Lunch was nearly $90 and now I'm going to eat Ritz crackers the rest of the week.

After lunch we drove to Hyannis and took an hour long scenic cruise around Hyannis Harbor and Nantucket Sound. Got a fairly good look at the Kennedy compound from the harbor and also Senator Ted Kennedy's sailboat anchored along with a bunch of others. The houses on the harbor were just gorgeous. What the fuck do these people do for a living? I bet $90 fish and chips wouldn't stress them out. I got some good pictures, which I'll post when I get back home. After the boat we hit a pizza place for dinner (where I ordered only a side salad to repent for my earlier culinary sins).

Tomorrow we're whaling.....I mean whale watching!!

Monday, May 5, 2008


Alex made his First Holy Communion yesterday; he finally gets to take the "chip" with the rest of us every Sunday...or however frequently we get to church. Funny thing about me and religion or spirituality or whatever you want to call it; I go through phases where I want to be very religious and then others where I don't think about it much at all. I guess it has been directly linked to key moments in life, surrounding births and deaths.

I love all the history and ceremony and beauty of the rituals (why I could never be anything other than Catholic), yet I just don't do well with blind faith. Faith leads to an awful lot of questions that I just don't get answers to....only more instruction to keep having faith. I think I'm growing weary of faith and now I'd like some actual proof. Why can't the Blessed Mother appear to me in the woods outside my office window? How about the Stigmata? I'll take that as proof! Wait, that would probably hurt like hell, never mind that.

How about just a ghost!!! If I saw a real ghost, then I'd have the proof I need that humans do indeed have an eternal spirit. If we have a spirit, then there's a good chance there is something more after we die. That would go a long way toward answering some questions. At least I'd be more certain that it wasn't just "lights out" when the heart stops.

But if it is "lights out", I guess it won't mean much to me now, will it?

Well anyway, Alex's Communion was a lovely little service and the boy looked great in his suit. Definitely the best looking boy out of the bunch.

The party after was great after, spending time with family and friends. The biggest highlight of the whole day was the surprise turnout from Rocky, Lisa and the kids...all the way from California. It's a sad thing that brought them back home, the illness of his dad, but I hope the few hours they spent with us brought a bit of cheer to their week. Love and miss you guys so much.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Love and Rockets

Some good music news for me this month. One of my favorite bands, Love and Rockets have reformed for the Coachella Festival. This is a band my friend John turned me on to about 12 years ago and I instantly fell in love with. Only saw them live once, but hoping that can change now. This is also the first band that my son, Nico went crazy over. At two years old he had his "little tikes" drum out, pounding his heart out to this song.

Welcome back, Kevin, David and Daniel.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Please wipe your feet...

Having spent so much time online reading other people's thoughts and thinking, I wish I'd said that, I've decided to start my own little soapbox here and speak my mind about whatever is on my mind. I'll likely come to find that there's not much on it at all. In a few week's time if I come back here and find no new posts, it'll be as Bowie once wrote, "for all my years of reading conversation, I stand without a word to say."

But for now, I'm being optimistic. Thoughts By Lamplight is a place to share. Named so because I imagine many of my words might come late at night. I like the image of a single lit room in an old brownstone on a rain-soaked city street....preferably London, England. Unfortunately, reality isn't so interesting. It's a modern house on a southern New Jersey street where damn near NOBODY speaks English. At least the single lit room is still in the scenario.

Now we'll see if anything comes to mind...