The Power Of My Mom’s Capes


Well, it has been a busy week. The cat has allergies, I had stuff to get done at home, my son is graduating from college and Mother’s Day is Sunday.

I’m re-posting this piece from four years ago in honor of my Mom and my son, two of my favorite people and because I like it. Got a problem with that? Well maybe I’ll just bring my cat over and let him sneeze on you.

Originally posted on Blurt:

I went into my son’s room the other day. It is kind of quiet in there, what with the away at school thing we have going on. I just like going in there.  Hooked on the back of the door are three little kid sized capes.

My Mom’s Capes

Superman (comic book) Image via Wikipedia

My mother can make anything. She has always been that sort, always will be. If you give her two things, she will make a third whose function is barely related to the original. Her creative ability is unrivaled. This ability was a real help when I was very young.

My parents and I lived in a tenement apartment, two floors above my grandparents, in Hoboken, NJ. My folks were young and struggling to get their feet under them; there wasn’t a lot of money coming in. Options for getting me outside were pretty limited. It was a tough…

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Your One Direction Questions Answered


Once, the world was predictable and safe. But now we know that one of the members of the band One Direction has left the group.

Now, questions abound. How will we go forward from here? Why did this happen?

Join me at Long Awkward Pause as I answer all your questions about a group I know nothing about and a future I no longer understand.

Originally posted on Long Awkward Pause:

The world was knocked a little off its axis this week by the news that Zayn Malik has left the British boy band, One Direction.

(public domain)

I’m sure we all know where we were and what we said when we heard the news. I remember it like it was yesterday, which it was. I was on my couch, read about it on Google News and said “who?”

But anything involving One Direction affects everyone. Even someone like me, who didn’t know that Zayn was a name, knows that the world is not the same today as it was before he left the band. It is at times like these that the world needs answers.

I am here to give the world the One Direction answers it so desperately needs. For the next several days or weeks – for as long as it takes to get the planet through the…

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Three Years Later

This doesn’t mark three years ago that my friend died, the number is now four. I tried writing something new about him but the words didn’t come this year. Sometimes it goes like that. This is a reprint of last year’s piece on this date.

Humor returns to the blog tomorrow.

Today, as every day, I miss Fred.


Three years ago today was a Friday. I’d slipped out-of-town for an over-night visit with my son at college. By the time I arrived, Fred had passed away back home.

Despite a heroic effort to contact me, I didn’t know we’d lost him until I read the news the next morning. I remember staring a lot that day. There were other things, but mostly there was staring.

That Saturday night, back home, I was still staring. I published what I felt that night, and then went to work at 4:30 a.m. Sunday, on no sleep, for my first shift without him. I wasn’t the only one sleepless and staring.

The staring returned this morning. I’m angry about the accident that cost his life months before he was to retire. I’m hurt for his family as they move on without him. I’m disappointed that I can’t call him to laugh about some of the stories we lived through and compare notes on how much being retired from The Job doesn’t suck.

But I’m also happy to have had the privilege to enjoy time with Fred. That’s the direction I hope the staring takes me today.

Things are better than they were three years ago. A lot of water has gone under the bridge. I’m stronger, healthier and smarter. I’ve even learned lessons because Freddy had to leave; I’d rather have stayed ignorant of those.

It is quiet today. I’ll take time to think about the stuff we saw and did. And about pulling each others bacon out of the fire on several occasions. And finding each other on SWAT calls and saying “I’ll see you when this is over”.

Life goes on, brother. It is good.

I’ll see you when this is over, but it’s gonna be a while.

Fortes Fortuna Juvat.

You are not the boss of me.


OK, by now, you’ve noticed that I haven’t written new stuff for you this week. Unfortunately, we’ve had a death in the family and that’s taking up my time and energy.
I shall return very soon.
Today I’m pointing you back at something I wrote in 2010 about one of my favorite bands, NRBQ, and one of my least favorite people. I like it because I can read it and see where I’ve improved as a writer. I also like that I am just as ridiculously immature as the day I wrote it.

Originally posted on Blurt:

No way

Getting along with people is something I am good at. There are not many people who I write off as someone I can’t find any value in knowing. Still, those people exist, and my reaction to one of them has left me questioning my maturity level.

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The Italian Cruise Ship Disaster: The One Fact No One Else Is Giving You.


Today, cruise ship captain Francesco Schettino was sentenced to sixteen years in prison for his role in the Costa Concordia disaster.
Never one to miss a potential writing prompt, I dashed this off around the time of the ship’s sinking. Sort of sinking. More of a tipping over, really.

Originally posted on Blurt:

English: Costa Concordia Polski: Statek pasaże...

I am an inquisitive person. I see things. I think about them. I ask questions. Things like the Costa Concordia disaster in Italy raise questions in my mind, and I am certain they do in yours.

  • How does a modern ship like that get off course?
  • Why would you wait to tell the passengers things aren’t going well?
  • I always heard the captain goes down with his ship. Why was Captain Francesco Schettino on one of the first lifeboats?
  • Do the rocks the ship hit feel a little guilty, even though this wasn’t their fault?

There are any number of websites you can visit for answers to those and other questions. There are even transcripts of the radio conversation between Captain Schettino (safe in his lifeboat) and the Italian Coast Guard as the captain sailed away from his sinking ship and its frightened passengers.

But you don’t come here for…

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Post Your Brian Williams Misrememberances Here.


So, Brian Williams of NBC forgot to remember that he was never in a military helicopter in Iraq that was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. That poor man. There’s probably so many things that he mis-remembers.

I wrote a post at Long Awkward Pause where you and everyone can post encounters you think maybe you might mis-remember having with Brian Williams.

Isn’t he the guy that somehow messes up your sandwich at Subway even though you’re standing there watching him? Come on over and share the false truth about this pillar of journalistic integrity.

Originally posted on Long Awkward Pause:

Bert, lending Brian Williams some credibility. (image via

Anchorman. It’s a job title that implies a measure of stability and reliability.

It implies reliability, but in the game that now passes for broadcast journalism in the United States, we can no longer count on that being the case on any channel. Time after time, network after network, we find that the people who we count on to bring us truth are only loosely acquainted with it.

In the latest instance, NBC anchor Brian Williams has admitted that he “made a mistake” about the facts surrounding a helicopter ride he took with members of the US military. On more than one occasion since 2003, when the incident Williams has described didn’t occur, he has described how the helicopter he was in was hit by rocket-propelled grenades and forced down in the desert.

Not surprisingly, when you misremember enough on…

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Commemorating My Parents’ Anniversary

It has been a busy week around the Omawarisan home. We’ve been dealing with a hospitalized relative. That’s left us short on play time and me without much of a chance to write.

But it has also been an important week; my folks celebrated their fifty-fourth anniversary the other day. So, to let you know I’m still here and to celebrate my parents, I’m pointing you toward two pieces I wrote some time back.

My Mom Versus Reverend Moon tells the story of how the Moonies tried to recruit me into their cult during my freshman year at college. I’m still not certain that my mom was not involved in the Reverend’s demise.

You Don’t Become A Baseball Player By Putting On A Uniform relates some sage advice I got from my dad back when I played Little League Baseball. We both remember the story slightly differently. In the end, life validated his advice…as usual.

I’ll have fresh stuff written for next week.

Congrats Mom and Dad, and thank you!


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