Sunday, January 04, 2015

Hit Man

I am an American hit man. Do you love baseball? Would you like to work for an underground group? Do you like killing morons in this country? 

I perform a comedy act on stage which centers around baseball. My growing popularity and the expansion of the Internet gives me carte blanche to remove certain undesirable elements in our country. Believe me, these mountebanks will not be missed.

Your role will be to get my act booked across America. For this, you need to love baseball, love America and have the desire to become part of being something bigger than yourself.

My baseball character goes back to 1888 and turns audiences into a miasma of laughter. I am a performer, but I need help extending my audience. If you see yourself in such a role, contact me directly. I hope to see you soon.

So, this was going to be the way it was. My life had changed. I had become part of a movement in America. To join the 1% I had to agree to sell my soul.

I thought for a moment.

What did I really have to lose?

Saturday, January 03, 2015

The Internet

When I came home, I was greeted by a new computer which now dominated my tiny living space.

I rented a room from a woman who owned a flood of flophouses. Since I had been retired from the age of 30, poverty was the norm. I had never cottoned to the computer age. When I was in B School, computers were mysterious and housed in large rooms which spit out cards and the whole deal was run with a technological language which escaped me. I speak English and all other languages are a  waster of my personal time. Know thyself.

I could have been a moron to operate this system. The machine ran itself. A message appeared.

Dear Steve:

Your mission is to eliminate the woman who is the hostess/owner of the Jewish Deli. Her name is Deborah. You need not bother yourself with the reasons. 

You will establish your alibi by performing at a Houston Astros fan rally in Irving, Texas.Whenever we have an update we will send it to you via this machine or your new phone which is under your pillow. You have now become a government operative. Any disclosure of this information will result in your untimely end.

What lengths had I gone to become a millionaire? Murder? It seemed like someone thought I was the perfect dupe to carry out these crimes while pretending to entertain others miles away. How was I expected to eliminate someone? Would further instructions be on the way? What f I didn't want to go to Texas? How was I expected to travel? Suddenly, my life had gone from simple to complicated. I waited for something to be added to the computer message. Instead, after a minute or so, it went blank..

Friday, January 02, 2015

The Jewish Deli

One million dollars richer--I go to celebrate by visiting the Jewish Deli I had once been a regular at.

The place is still crowded. I don't think I made it here once in the long, arduous year just ended.

This time last year I was on my way to a 2 month hospital stay which would bottom out with the removal of a kidney. Have you ever had a kidney removed. It's no picnic. They say that some lucky blokes in life have as many as nine lives. Maybe they are right. I am closer to nine than one. However, you get only two kidneys and you can visit all the psychics and their tacky palm reading rooms, but that fact never changes.

A fortune cookie was on my seat when I was directed to my table.

WE KNOW YOU ARE A JEW. THAT IS STRIKE ONE.

Strike one? I just told you that losing a kidney puts me at strike two. What do I give a fuck about strike one?

Had someone learned of my contract? Was this the way that they were communicating with me.

I ordered the #8 and the Nova Appetizer. It was the best dish I had since I owned two functioning kidneys.

The owner-hostess of the deli walked past my table. Had she delivered the cookie?

She hardly noticed me. There was a time when she would have fallen head over heels for me. Now, I was just a one kidney old man.

But still I had one million dollars.

That had to count for something.

I asked for my check.

A message with similar printing was included on the back of the bill.

INSTRUCTIONS ARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR YOUR FIRST ASSIGNMENT.

YOU HAVE 10 DAYS TO COMPLETE YOUR ASSIGNMENT.

WHEN YOUR ASSIGNMENT IS COMPLETED, FIVE MILLION DOLLARS WILL BE POSTED TO YOUR ACCOUNT.

This was getting interesting. I took one last bite from my Bialy as butter oozed down my chin.

I looked again at the hostess who once was mad about me. She never glanced my way. Somebody was in on this gig and was very close.

But who?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Contract

All bets are off.

Of course, I will continue to teach millions how to build their personal vocabulary. That is part of me.

However, in today's mail I received a contract for services rendered from 2015 (tomorrow) until 2039 or the year of my death.

I found that most curious since it would suppose that I will live to 90 and how can anyone predict that.

The sum of money was not clear and I was told that would be resolved soon. I was told a million dollars would be posted to my account, should I agree to terms by the time the ball dropped in NYC tonight.

Curiously, one of the terms was that I complete cataract surgery within the next year. I had made an appointment for next Monday, January 5 with an ophthalmologist. I had decided to write about it when Lindsey and I had a conversation on my birthday about the difference between an eye examiner and a specialist in diseases of the eyes.

I referred the to those who have no knowledge of doctor specialties and I called them morons. Are you a moron?

If you are, we might meet in 2015. At least this seems to be the point of this unique contract.

I can't get into all of the conditions of this agreement. It is too inclusive. However, I can see it will demand my full writing attention and I am not sure I can live with that. However, I can live with a million dollars in my account. What freedom that would give me after many years of poverty pursuing show business stardom.

I would give in to writing demands if the powers to be would provide such a sum.

I didn't need the remaining hours until Times Square exploded on the TV screen to agree to be part of this contract, which was referred to as Beanball. I signed it and sent it off.

Welcome to 2015.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Vocabulary Memoir Part One

So sue me. This was to debut on January 1, but I decided to write one day after my birthday.

Perhaps my birthday triggered this writing stream because it was spent with the baby Lindsey and she is my vocabulary partners as well as best buddy--not to mention my daughter.

I said not to mention it.

So until I get bored I am going to write vocabulary memoir for the next several sessions, until I don't want to write about it any more.

You say you have never heard of vocabulary memoir? That is because I created it. I have created many things you have never heard of. Most are not available in stores.

How is your vocabulary? Mine is off the charts and I don't happen to have the charts with me to refer to at this time.

Take a word like circumnavigate. Lindsey will ask me if I know the meaning and of course, she expects that i do. Lindsey has a great vocabulary as well. After all, she is my daughter.

Circumnavigate is a power word. What is a power word you ask? Well, even if you don't ask, I am going to tell you anyway. A power word is a word that should be included in your vocabulary. It's like one of the words you need to know to make you smart. In fact, I picked up this little book on my birthday, 100 Words To Make You Smart. Of course, I know all the words in this book. So I guess I must be real smart. But I could have told you that.

I will refer to the words on that list and most should be power words.

What is a non power word.

An example would be epistemology. It might be important to someone, but I just turned 65 and I haven't seen a use for it yet.

Lindsey asked me if her optometrist went to medical school. I told her no.

Optometrists aren't medical doctors. They don't deal with diseases of the eyes. They deal with glasses and contact lenses.

If you deal with diseases of the eye, you are an eye doctor. D you know that the word is? Maybe I will tell you next time. Maybe I won't. I can be mercurial like that. Mercurial is an example of another power vocabulary word.

My point is that there are words you need to know and words that are better left to dictionaries because taht is where they are meant to remain untouched.

Most people wouldn't know a medical doctor from a chiropractor. They have never bothered to learn doctor specialties. They wouldn't know a neurosurgeon from an endocrinologist and they could care less. That is because most people are morons. If you don't believe this, you are a moron yourself. But you knew that already.

Once, 30 years ago, a doctor told me I had months to live because of something horrible he saw in my eye. Perhaps he saw an early cataract? Of course, he wasn't a doctor. A real doctor. He was an optometrist. 30 years later, I am scheduling cataract surgery. Thanks for the warning, doc.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Vocabulary 2015

The new online course which I roll out once a year premieres on January 1, 2015.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Dear Jacci:

Thanksgiving is always a reflective time for me and I think about the last 10 years where I spent so much time building the Hall of Fame idea at the best of schools we know.

Your effort is well noted and you should know you have my loyal thanks.

From time to time, I would suggest you take a glimpse at our Facebook page Walt Whitman High School Hall of Fame.

As of this writing, we have attracted near 1,700 former Wildcats and the activity on our page from day to day is greater than any Whitman site on social media.

In the past week, we asked a question WHO WAS YOUR FAVORITE TEACHER?

Over 100 responded and if you scroll back to that thread, you will read about some love affairs with South Huntington teachers which have impacted the rest of their lives.

Isn't that our goal as educators? And what better way to realize that all of your work has been rewarded than reading what graduates say about their education, 20-50 years after they left campus.

One suggestion.

Consider a separate wing for our Hall of Fame which would honor the teachers which have made South Huntington schools exemplary.

It will only add to the richness and luster of a developing legend.

May you and your family have the very best Thanksgiving,

Steve