May 11th, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor
My mother is 85 years old. She drives her own car, does her own shopping, gardens, knits, feeds the birds, tends to the chickens (upstate), cooks and cleans, bakes like nobody’s business, and a multitude of other things too numerous to mention that would put most people half her age to shame. She not only does all these things, but she does them all well. She’s an expert in her craft. She is selfless.
Recently, I was at a low point in my life. I’m still struggling but recovering and know that when I emerge from my gray state, I will never be what I once was. I will be changed. A different type of butterfly, muted in color, but I will still carry my damaged wings with certainty and an element of grace. Wish me luck on my journey from here to there, for indeed, I will be on the move if not in the physical sense, most decidely in the spiritual.
My mother, sensing my profound loss, drove herself the 40 minutes to my house armed with her ammunition of flowering plants to detonate in my then empty garden. I helped of course, half heartedly, but before too long I was actually smiling and feeling better. Nothing like a mother’s love to set things to right. Nature possesses a balm that brings us back to ourselves. She knows this.
When we had finished, we sat in the middle of our private sanctuary enjoying the afternoon sun. She looked down at her wrinkled hands, splotched with age and remarked on their ugliness. I was taken aback and said nothing. I thought about it after she’d gone home. Hers are the hands that had just performed a miracle. Not merely in the finesse she had just distributed throughout my garden, but in her selfless act to replant the something missing in my heart.
Hers are the hands that are never without expression. She can make something out of nothing. She will take something that you gave her and give it back to you a year later ten times more beautiful. When she arrives, her hands are never empty bringing armloads of groceries you didn’t know you needed. Hers are the hands that lay folded in her lap listening to your every word. The hands that pray when you need it most.
Sometimes, after she’s left, I find a folded bill her hands tucked somewhere where I could find it. I smile and shake my head. She’s something else.
There are hands that are smooth, young, and unblemished by life’s troubles but none are more beautiful than my mother’s hands. She wears the ring of angels. Her touch is golden.
May 11th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
The Cleveland Indians have won 9 out of their last 10 games, they have an incredibly talented, exciting (I’m speaking in terms of relativity, for nothing visually is exciting about baseball; mentally – yes, but that’s not what we’re talking about here) and yet they can’t draw a crowd. Why? Why NOT ?
Let me begin by saying that I love[d] baseball and I still maintain that there is nothing better than seeing a child field his first ground ball, catch that seemingly scary skyscraper – high fly ball, and ultimately put wood into fair play; Little League Baseball is ideal for kids. But, let’s face it, baseball for adults on a professional level is DEAD !! The last time I went to a major league baseball game I had to drown myself in beer (when I drank – lol) just to get through the tedious spitting and ball (testicle) – scratching 9 innings.
Baseball was never an action – packed sport, in fact I think it’s only 20% of the time that the players are actually playing the sport, the remaining time like I said is spent scratching and spitting. A decade ago I would have been appalled at such commentary and probably would have said something akin to “You don’t understand the chess match !!!” The problem is, I’m not going to drive to a ballpark, pay exorbitant parking fees, and even with free tickets (yes the Cleveland Indians are doling out free tickets) watch over – paid, spoiled athletes play a game that no longer means anything anymore. Baseball used to be all about tradition and records (the steroid generation sadly ruined it for us baseball geeks) and we wouldn’t mind waiting for the hitter taking his time to step into the batter’s box, after all we were trying to figure out what Mickey Rivers’ batting average would be if he sliced a single into left field.
Baseball is a boring sport and not unlike golf, I’d rather watch it on TV; but if the stadiums need to be filled in order for the sport to survive, then screw it, let the sport die. The days of Howard Cosell and Monday Night Baseball, baseball cards, never – to – be broken records are over.
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? I think the three hot sports today are Football, College basketball, and finally the greatest sport of all – MMA – Mixed Martial Arts.
May 8th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
The hoopla about Ms. Flynn’s latest novel (not even deemed popular fiction but rather “literature” by some super – heavyweight reputable sources such as the New Yorker ) prompted me to finally get around to reading it. It started out slow, not very interesting, even ponderous and I thought – wow, what an over – rated piece of rubbish but once the real Amy (female protagonist) came out, the novel took off, and it was impossible to put down; I polished off the 419 pages in two days.
There are no spoilers here, so it’s safe to read this, but do read the book, it’s a lot of fun and saying that there are prodigiously clever moments in ‘Gone Girl’ is an understatement. What I merely want to point out in this blog is some of the problems I had with the work– namely that I don’t think Gillian Flynn has a real understanding of who men are and what their interests are; granted Nick, the male protagonist was intended to epitomize the worst of the worst in the male species and the lowest common denominator but having said that, a writer wants the reader to empathize and sympathize with even the most despicable man at some level at some point in the novel but that didn’t work for me. So it isn’t perfect but it’s close. A couple of notes:
How can I be delicate about this ? Okay, non vaginal intercourse. I find the act to be vile, nauseating, and revolting and I know I’m not alone here. All of my friends, acquaintances, and males I know in general concur. Mike Tyson on the Howard Stern show said that anal sex was utterly disgusting – yes Mike Tyson & Howard Stern. Yes, Nick is a twisted slime ball but Amy is Satan – incarnate and one would think that you would want to kinda of root for Nick a little bit but how can you ? Sure, I think the lesson is that they’re both trash and they deserve each other but….
Threesomes ??? No guy wants that – yes making love to a beautiful woman other than your wife, one @ a time is understandable for men who cheat on their wife but @ the same time – nonsense.
Well as you know, the novel is Triple XXX with a capital T. The author, Gillian Flynn is an intelligent, beautiful, educated woman (like Amy, the protagonist – lol) and I earnestly believe she lowered herself by using certain language and describing ad nauseam the aberrant sexual behavior of her protagonists. (What does her real – life husband say about this, not to mention Ms. Flynn’s toddler child who will obviously eventually read her book.
So Whadayathink ? What do you think ? Aside from too much pornography, the book is absolutely brilliant. Two of my favorite authors, John Updike and Paul Auster appealed to voyeuristic appetites of some of their fans without compromising the overall integrity of their masterpieces.
May 2nd, 2013 by Michael Tabor
To understand all is to forgive all. Do you believe in this? I think only an omniscient benevolent god-like entity can truly both completely understand and ultimately forgive absolutely everything for example – a child murderer. This is an adage I very often have trouble wrapping my mind around but it is something to which I must cling with all my heart in order to move on and carry on in the face of abject evil.
Everything happens for a reason is another optimistic way to think about the world in which we live. This is almost impossible to swallow when tragedy and unspeakable horror happens but I do absolutely believe in cause and effect even if we don’t understand it. In fact from a strictly speaking scientific perspective everything as an antecedent however as a side note what happened before the big bang???
All life is precious. Well I guess you would have to say – it depends. A pernicious carcinoma is alive albeit the fact that it will have viciously hijacked your DNA and continue to suck the life out of you until you die. Hence what we mean by “all life” we’re referring to humans, mammals, and some invertebrate.
So Whadayathink ? What do you think ? We all have our little terse sayings and general truths that we carry along with us throughout our lives. What are some of yours?
April 29th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
Can anyone think of a better way to exit this life than to have a great meal, lie down, go to sleep and pass away without pain or any sense of awareness? I have known the most wonderful, law – abiding human beings agonizingly suffer for years with cancer and yet knowing this our society or some people still find the putting to death of sociopathic murdering fiends to be inhumane. A disclaimer, let me be clear here, yes I am pro death penalty but we must be absolutely 100% certain that we have the right guy. If there is even a scintilla of doubt, we should commute the sentence until we know for sure.
Quite frankly, I think for a monster like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev , one of the the 2 Boston Marathon killers, lethal injection is not punishment enough. This sicko’s malicious and cowardly act killed 3 people and injured 264. I would not object at all if we meted out punishment that bordered on cruel and unusual i.e let him stew in an 8’ by 10’ or rather 6’ by 8’ cage and then electrocute him rather than the usual lethal injection because I think the former is painful & more befitting to the heinous crime he committed.
People know me as a liberal which I proudly acknowledge but my motto is that All Life is precious and each and every one of us is uniquely special, so if some twisted fiend elects to terminate a special, precious, and unique human being, then he, she or rather it must be put down !!!
So Whadayathink ? What do you think ? Some of my very good liberal friends disagree with me on this issue and are somewhat surprised that I hold this view but I am always pro – victim; you take a life then we as a society have a right to protect ourselves. Another objection I hear is that capital punishment is not a deterrent, which I concur, but these anti – death penalty folks are missing the point.
April 24th, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor
Growing up, and even through my twenties, I had a lot of friends. There were always three or four especially good ones I could confide in. But then life moves on and we develop closer bonds with our spouses, and if we have children the circle widens to include the parents of their friends and so on. Relatives, once the staple in the branching of the family nucleus, either move away or broaden their horizons much the way our former friends had. If, like me, you don’t have children, you might seek the companionship of the ever loyal canine, or in my case, have a predisposition to feline fancy. As a kid, I always loved them and still do, now more than ever.
What is it about cats that I admire more so than most people? For one thing, they’re adorably cute. How many adults can you say that about? They don’t tell you what to do and they do what they want. Wait. Let me rephrase that. They do tell you what to do and they do what they want but you don’t mind doing it (most of the time). They’re resourceful. If it’s raining out and you’re not home to let them in, they’ll wait it out under the awning or under a bush and never bellyache about it. They don’t whine the way people do and unlike people who are easily distracted or pretend to care, when you talk to your pets they actually listen. They may not know what you’re saying but a gentle rub against the knee does more to console than anything anyone can say. I could go on and on about the attributes of my sphinxlike friends. Why is it then, they’re so hated by some people?
They don’t come when you call them? How would you like to come running every time someone goes, spss, spss, spss? They poop in your garden? Consider it free fertilizer and a lot less expensive than what you can purchase at The Home Depot, or be a man and dispose of it with your wife’s cute little garden gloves. You pick up dog poop, don’t you? It’s a lot less smellier. At least the stuff disintegrates, not like the junk people have no qualms about dumping everywhere they go: trash in parks, preserves and beaches, all manner of unwanted household furnishings thrown guiltlessly into rivers, oceans, and roadsides, cups and food wrappers from the local Wendy’s or Taco Bell stuffed into a neighbor’s hedge or simply tossed out the window of a passing car on a highway.
In recent days (turning into weeks now) three of my five outdoor cats went missing in less than a week’s time. They rarely leave the yard except for perhaps the occassional visit to your backyard. They didn’t go for a walk to never come back. Some heartless (I won’t even call neighbor) thing living in close proximity decided to take them for a walk, either in the literal or not so literal sense. I don’t know who you are but I want you to know that I despise you. You’re not fit to walk the earth and share breathing space with the rest of humanity, you evil, decrepit, soul-less entity. Now that I’ve purged myself somewhat from weeks of uncontrollable crying maybe, just maybe, I can move ahead with grace, one of the traits I’ve adopted from my furry children. We’re survivalists. What in hell are you?
April 18th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
Time Magazine is getting heat from some people who think they’ve gone too far by displaying a picture of a terrified 3 year old boy with dirt on his face and blood on his head that will be on the cover of a special edition of the Boston Marathon tragedy. The critics are saying: “This is what the terrorists want” or “this is blood money and exploitation.” Certainly there is some truth to these assertions and I acknowledge this, but I am for one all for showing what “really” happens in war, terror attacks, and some national tragedies “if” the publication is NOT exploitative (I guess this maybe at the crux of what’s going on at Time).
Portray reality – don’t overplay or underplay the savage brutality of terror and war. Yes, the adage ‘If it bleeds it leads’ is a fact and news publications are in the business of making money, but a free press is perhaps the most important staple of an open and transparent democracy. I actually don’t think we show enough of the unimaginable horrors of war – especially concerning those who survive but are maimed, crippled and damaged. Phil Donahue and Bill Moyers produced a feature documentary depicting the daily struggles of a young man who served his country and was sadly victim of an explosive in which shrapnel tore through his young body leaving him paralyzed and left to spend the rest of his life in a wheel chair. What is it like having to go to the bathroom in a colostomy bag? Or consider the ordeal of simply bathing when you can’t move and need others to help you do what every other healthy individual takes for granted. The mundane existence of what happens to damaged soldiers, physically and psychologically, is simply not shown ENOUGH ! Before we shuffle off our sons and daughters or before a young person decides to join the military on his or her own, they and we ought to know what they are getting themselves into. Not everyone makes it back in one piece and one has to think long and hard about whether or not you wish to sacrifice life and limb for this country.
I also think we have an obligation to show the public what happens when twisted – evil – monsters blow up innocent people; what is the point of sugar – coating an event when our country is attacked ? Now certainly exploitation and exhibiting carnage for the sake of bloodlust is another matter e.g. thankfully the media had the good sense not to show the bloodied bodies of the children at Newtown.
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Is the Time Magazine picture exploitation or not?
April 16th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
What an absolutely senseless tragedy this Boston Marathon bombing is – and such a bizarre target! How can we possibly protect ourselves from such evil acts? The sad truth is, we can’t. Israel has been living with this reality and now we have to carry on with the knowledge that there are people who are full of hate and want to harm innocent people; there is no place on the planet where one is absolutely 100% safe from terrorism.
This has been the first terrorist attack since 9/11 (again we still don’t know who did this and why) and though I’ve always contended that the W. Bush presidency was one of the worst administrations in history, it however gets an A+ in terms of protecting us against terrorism. Who knows how many potential terrorist attacks Homeland Security thwarted – just remarkable. However, the thought of attempting to protect the entire nation against some lunatic[s] machinations and a target happens to be the finish line at the Boston Marathon, it almost seems like an exercise in futility.
Magdalena and I attended a Bluegrass concert on Long Island on Sunday in which there were approximately 75 – 100 people present and the truth of the matter is if someone wanted to blow the place up, there would have been no way of stopping it. Some sort of explosion wasn’t on my mind and I’m assuming nobody was thinking about terror here. The only time I think about a possible attack is when I’m on the subway, railroad, perhaps driving over the George Washington Bridge, etc. If we worried about bombs when going to a picnic or a gathering or event of any sort, what kind of a life would one have?
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think? I also must applaud all the incredibly heroic folks who assisted the wounded by providing clothing for tourniquets, given blood and more. Some of these heroes were the runners themselves – can you imagine going out of his or her way to help other people after having run 26 miles. As always, when some national tragedy occurs we see the absolute worst and best in mankind. Prayers and thoughts for the deceased, wounded and their families.