Three amigos

“Tous pour un, un pour tous (All for one, one for all).” –motto of The Three Musketeers

Today is my Mom’s birthday. Other than taking her to dinner at her favorite restaurant or getting her birthday cake from her favorite bakery, I know exactly what will light-up her beautiful green eyes: a trip to the casino. Yep, we’re a gambling trio. My mom likes the action at the slots. She goes from one one-armed-bandit to the next looking for that one big JACKPOT. I remember when she won several hundred dollars at the Sands in AC once. She came over to my brother and I, gleefully telling us she’d won. My brother and I hardly believed her.

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On blogging

“What would Albert Einstein say about Social Media?  Maybe, ‘Eureka! Eureka!‘ ” — Louis Pagan

I remember when blogs first started sweeping the internet. They were everywhere. Blogs popped up on every possible subject and continue to do so today (this blog is a case in point :)), remaining a great medium to quickly disperse ideas via the internet. All that’s needed is a laptop (or smartphone) and you’re live! It has become a reflection of a newer type of journalism – an appropriate innovation of the web for the 21st century – and it’s given a voice to the common man. Think about that for a second: Up until then, “all the news that’s fit to print” was dispersed by Media moguls who controlled the way information was disseminated (print, television, radio, etc.). Think of all the ‘news’ that is shoved down our throats daily. It’s all bad news mostly. I can’t watch a single news program without coming away depressed, angry, and/or annoyed. Who’s to tell me (and you) what news is anyway, and why is it controlled by conglomerates? With the web and, more importantly, with blogging, anyone can voice their ideas (obviously, companies have realized this too and have been trying to cash in.). If you don’t like certain blogs then just don’t read them (the way I haven’t watched a news program, at least regularly, in years). Maybe even more importantly, blogs can become a springboard for even more ideas and movements. Very powerful; very democratic. Knowing Louis, I’m sure this aspect of social media appealed to him greatly; I’m sure sharing the mechanics of doing this appealed to him as well. It’s no wonder he was so well respected among his peers

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“I will be turning of age soon. In about two weeks (and two days to be exact), I will turn forty. It’s funny how we assign it intervals, benchmarking our lives… one, ten (two digits), thirteen, eighteen, twenty-one, thirty, forty… as the years tack on we are supposedly in a progressively worse state. We don’t go along easily with this madness, nor do we attempt to fix it in a sane manner, but add even more insanity to this debacle by making thirty the new twenty and recently Jay-Z made forty the new thirty. All our lives we are wishing that we are older, then suddenly that we are younger. Ludicrous.

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Float like a butterfly…

“…sting like a bee.”

–Muhamad Ali

A lot of times when we were bored or something, we’d box or slap-box. We’d put on the gloves and fight a few rounds in the house. Not that I wanted to fight my brother, but only because he thought it’d be fun. (He knew he was gonna kick my a** and I knew he was gonna kick my a**, so other than getting an a**-kicking I never really saw the point.)

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Man overboard

“… it hits you like a thousand knives stabbing you all over your body. You can’t breathe. You can’t think. At least, not about anything but the pain. Which is why I’m not looking forward to jumping in there after you.” — Jack to Rose, in Titanic

I remember we were in the back at the river. If you know anything about it in the back of Section 5 in Co-op City, besides the fact that the water is filthy, there are a couple of pillars on either side of the bridge. We often fished and/or swam from one of them. This particular time it was high tide and our friends were jumping in the water. I watched, while my brother was just casting his rod and reeling it in. It was a good time. Next thing I knew, I was in the water. Those who know me now know that I love the water – I’m a fish. I’m the first one in and the last one out; I’m the one that suggests a swim out to ‘the deep part’. I could stay in the water all day and not get bored. It wasn’t always so. So normally I wouldn’t care too much about having been pushed-in in 10-ft water given my feeling toward it now, but back then I couldn’t swim.

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Midnight Movie Madness

“It is obvious that this contest cannot be decided by our knowledge of the Force… but by our skills with a lightsaber.” –Count Dooku to Master Yoda, in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

All the fuss about the new Star Trek movie and the next Star Wars film reminds me of when Episode I came out back in 1999. My brother and I were super duper excited. Prior to that, the only Star Wars flick I had seen in the theaters was Episode VI, with my family, when I was about 7 years old. 20 years later, my brother and I were amped to see the prequels. We weren’t big movie-heads, but when it came to Star Wars and the like we were sure to go watch it on the big screen, together. I’ll always remember going to those midnight showings with my brother. Even if the movies weren’t great, the experience of seeing them with him was.

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Only in my dreams

“Have you ever had a dream that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?”

–Morpheus to Neo, in The Matrix

We were at Fordham Rd., waiting for the bus. It was dark out, early in the morning, but it was crowded – a lot of people were about. I’m not sure where it was coming from, but there was music in the air and we were ‘dancing’ to it – if that’s what you want to call it. We were really just goofing-off, jumping up and down and waving our arms in and near the street like a couple of clowns. People were giving us funny looks; my wife was embarrassed and wished we’d stop.

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Hair today, gone tomorrow

“I did it my way.”
–My Way, song by Frank Sinatra

Back in the late eighties, long hair was somewhat in style among men. I knew this, of course, because my brother had let his hair grow long. All of his friends did. “The longness,” they called it. Well, you guessed it, us little guys grew ours too. So from about the 7th to the 8th grade, I had long hair (think mullet – very eighties). My hair always curled up and I could never get it past my neck (I blame the barber.). But my bro had long straight hair. I wished I had hair like his. A few years later, we both cut it off. And a few years later after that he starting balding: a receding hairline. “Crap,” I thought, “he wore glasses, and then I had to wear glasses. He’s going bald, so I probably will too.” I never asked him about it, but it must’ve been difficult for him. At least that’s what I thought by empathizing and putting myself in his shoes.

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