Sunday, July 15, 2012

First scene with Wily and Trim

Amanda got tired of the pile of magazines, papers, CDs, and whatnot on my desk so I got to sorting the various sundries.  Within I found the first thing I ever wrote for Wily and Trim, that night they appeared to me whole and entire.  


Sitting on adjacent headstones are WILY and TRIM.




I think I’m hearing Nature’s call.

Didn’t you hear me tell you to go before we started the stakeout?

I did!  The vending machine was out of Dew so I had some apple juice.  That stuff goes right through you.  It’s unnatural!

Great.  So the number one is sponsoring today’s episode?


Number one as in not number two?

Oh!  Sesame Street!  And it seems like yesterday when you were watching Teletubbies.  My, how you’ve grown!

Fine.  I was trying to figure how long you’d be gone, but no worries Mr. Potty Pants.  I’ll wait here.

Ah, no.  Need I remind you of the plot of every horror movie known to Man?  This would be the part when I say, “Be right back” only to have my eviscerated entrails fall upon another unsuspecting victim three scenes later.

Eww, did you have to bring up the entrails?

What?  That’s nothing compared to the guy with the pins in his face.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My birthplace turns blue for Obama

In the summer of 1959, Army corporal Frank Dellario took a train to his new posting at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina. As he walked outside Fayetteville's train station onto Hay Street, the main artery through town, a banner dominated his view. The sign, which ran across Hay Street's four lane width, read "Ni**ger, don't let the sun set on your ass or you won't see it rise in the morning."

Frank Dellario is my father and I was born in Fayetteville. We moved out of the South after my father retired from the miitary when I was five years old, but I still recall the racism that lingered there. In those early years I thought the N-word was not pejorative, that it was the only term for people of color. I thought this despite the fact that my two best friends, Donny and his sister Chenelle, were black. In fact, I didn't realize my mistake until in kindergarden I referred to a black classmate by that ugly word, and he told our teacher. Back then, North Carolina had corporal punishment in schools, and my white teacher took me out into the hallway and beat my bottom with a ping-pong paddle. From that incident I learned the importance of words.

In 2008 I heard that Barack Obama was campaigning hard in North Carolina. Could my home state, which had been solidly Republican for years change color? Could a military area like that surrounding Fort Bragg vote Democratic? Could it turn out enough whites who would vote for a black man?

I waited days after the general election to find out these answers, but when the final results were tallied North Carolina was blue, 49.7 vs 49.38, a difference of just over 14000 votes but nevertheless striking. In Fayeteville's Cumberland county it was 58.55 percent, with 74,693 people there voting for a black man to be president.

On January 20, I hope another bannerr stretched across Hay Street, one celebrating our nation's first African American President.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I battle now against impatience. As I have known throughout my career, the race is not won by the swift but by the steady, and while I would like to instantly have back all the chops that I displayed years ago in various areas, it's not realistic to expect that to happen overnight. Each day I shall do a little more, and I'll continue to do so even after I've beaten off the rust.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Old and New

Being unemployed still ranks for me as the worst non health related problem, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it was after Bowstreet. I was anxious but not panicked. As Amanda stepped up to working full-time (for which I'll be ever grateful) I get the kids where they needed to go, playdates and all, cleaned the house, washed and folded the laundry. Folding laundry was my favorite, actually, as I could catch up on some of those documentaries that TiVo had stored for months. Overall, it sucked, but could have been much worse. I refreshed some of the tech that I hadn't used in years, and organized for the PTA and Lego League.

I could do those things, but interestingly I found that I couldn't write. At all. Tech notes, sure, but real writing, even lowly blogging, negatory. I was stopped up inside, nothing moved, rush hour parking lot backed up for miles behind a multi-car pileup. I didn't feel the itch, the hunger to write. Ron speaks of his art as a polar bear who will either be fed or eat the feeder, and I felt like mine saw the situation and graciously decided to hibernate.

I had my first offer, which was total crap, after three weeks, and two weeks later had a slightly less crappy offer from the same group (more on them later), but after six weeks I had an offer from Liberty Mutual, where I start tomorrow. It's a Fortune 100 company, more stable than Gartner but sporting the same comfortable feel. Pay and benefits are good, and I've got friends from Bowstreet there, and speaking of Bowstreet it's in Portsmouth. It should be an old and new experience. I'm looking forward to it with relief and anticipation of a happier and more balanced life.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What If Not

My time there lasted 6.5 years, much longer then I ever anticipated, but today it came to an official end. I felt anxious this morning, having had another night of disturbing dreams, but after Amanda joined me on the food pantry run, Gabe's drop-off and placing PTA flyers at the school, I felt light-hearted. Liberated. I've enjoyed a clear joy that's continued through Hazel's first gymnastics class and taking her to karate to now. Amanda's noticed the change in me. "You used to be grumpy, all the time," she said. "You were in a fog."

Here's to an end to bad dreams and to waking up.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Reading, for all its engagememt of the imagination, is a passive activity and writing an active one, which I think is why I have trouble writing before bed. I've awoken early and an having trouble returning to sleep and that's why I'm writing this now. I had less than five hours but woke restless (such an odd term since it should mean without rest, as in fatigued yet we use it to mean unable to rest). I'd had a dream where Whatif was having an outing in a large park, woods and fields, yet had brought all of the next-gen consoles even though we had no place to plug them in. I was forced to use a cramped and dirty bathroom that ran out of paper. I'm remembering my airplane dream and wondering when I might have another.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Change is coming soon. Here's hoping it's for the best.