Sunday, July 14, 2019

A Love Letter to Tom


Today, we said goodbye to Tom.

This is a hard line to write. I keep rereading it as I write this post about a guy who has touched so many lives and has had such an incredible impact on how we live ours. Ironically, Tom was such a humble guy and would probably hate all this focus on him. He also hated too much sentimentality and embraced irreverence. He would never forgive me if I didn't say something about farting at this point.

Tom Masterson was my brother in law, married to Debbie's twin sister Dennie, and the closest thing to a blood brother I had since my own brother passed away 20 years ago. He and Dennie have three great kids who married three great kids and who now have a total of eight great kids of their own. We have a big family ... very big family ... a real blessing when you're fighting a horrible disease like pancreatic cancer.

Tom was a medical malpractice attorney. No, he was not the billboard grinning, shiny suit ambulance chaser. Tom was an ethical, professional, compassionate attorney who stood heads above the rest. He was given just about every award of excellence that the Bar Association awards every year.

He was loved by everyone. That's not an exaggeration. He really was. And as I said earlier ... he was irreverent with friends and family, telling jokes and playing jokes on just about all of them. And I really think that we all loved him for it because we knew that he truly loved everyone he joked with and about. Tom was an encyclopedia of jokes. He remembered every one he'd ever heard. I was so jealous of that because I forgot every joke as soon as I told one.

Did I mention farting?

Tom was an athlete all his life. His real love was judo. He competed on the big stage, trained athletes and went to the olympics as a coach. They all remained very close over the years. Apparently, that was where Tom got his finely tuned sense of irreverence. Spending an evening with the judo buddies is not for the faint of heart. I had that pleasure often and marvelled at the stories ... the brutal punishments they dished out on the mats ... and in the locker rooms (even I can't tell you some of those stories).

Tom died of complications from pancreatic cancer. He fought against the odds for three years and finally lost one of the few matches in which he'd ever competed. He never complained. You would have never even known he was feeling any pain or discomfort. He travelled with the family, went swimming with the grandkids and had regular lunches with the guys until the very end.

He was my hero, He was a real man ... in yiddish we call that a "mensch".

So I would like to ask you to do me a favor after you read this. In Tom's memory I'd like you to muster up all your strength and let out one last beautiful FART.

I know he's smiling.    

Saturday, July 13, 2019

I Used To Draw Good

Once upon a time, when I was a young college student (231 years ago), I dreamed of being a famous illustrator/cartoonist. My college years were in the heyday of Doonesbury and Peanuts. I majored in Graphic Design and set up my drawing board, cleaned off my rapidiograph pens and went to work. These were the days before computer animation and design so everything was done by hand. 

NOTE: Please bear with me as I dig up these obscure past documents that I have come across because I'm getting a little bored with sitting around talking to my hip.

Okay where was I? 


Oh Yeah ... so I start working at All Children's Hospital in the 80s and become the Marketing/Communications Director and find a dearth of great material from the docs and the nurses and volunteers and the kids. I didn't remember half of these until I recently looked through my stuff.

Some of them don't even suck. I thought I'd share them with you in case you need more material at bedtime to put you to sleep. Remember, there is a reason I moved into Development work.

The radiologist at All Children's was a great model. These were pretty accurate. He had his kindergarten diploma framed and prominently displayed in his office. \

Okay ... one more and I promise I'll leave you alone.


Until next time when I uncover some other useless gem!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Hip Ways to Sleep

Three weeks out and my hip is finally acting like it’s a real part of my body. Although, there are still days that I have apparently made my new hip very unhappy. Those are the days that I need a little help to calm him down.

Tramadol is the answer.

I take it before bed to help with pain and to help me sleep. It works. Actually, it works so well that sometimes I fall asleep before my head hits the pillow. Sometimes I can’t tell the difference between sleeping, dreaming and having a long conversation.

Deb told me the other night I had a whole conversation with myself, laughed a lot and then had a whole conversation with her. Deb doesn’t know whether to answer, wake me up or just listen. She's heard all the old wives tales about waking up a sleepwalker so she figured that applied sleep talkers too. So ... she usually just listens.

Last night I asked a Debbie what she meant about breaking her spine and wanted to know how she flew around like that. This time I was awake when I asked her but asleep during the first part of the conversations. I swore that the conversation actually happened ... then I went back to sleep.

Tramadol is not for the faint of heart or faint of stomach. That's right ... stomach. Use it long enough and you experience some pretty unpleasant symptoms. I'll leave it there.

Fortunately, I don't need it as much these days. Feeling much better! The doctor took out the sutures yesterday and said I'm making progress. Hope to see you soon.

Right after I get out of the bathroom.



Monday, July 1, 2019

Cocktail Napkins are Just Plain Useless

Cocktail napkins are truly one of the most useless creations of out time.

I held one the other day and wondered who ever thought that this was a good idea? I guess napkin manufacturers saw a market for them or at least a pretty good profit margin.  They cost almost as much as full sized napkins and are less than half the size.

So here’s what they are used for.

1. Protecting the bar top from your cocktail glass dreaded rings.

Let’s look at that for a second. Have you ever put your drink on a cocktail napkin for more than a minute? What happens? It falls apart, shreds, and creates more liquid on the bar than your original glass. What’s wrong with coasters? And have you checked out bar tops lately? They really need protection?

2. To hold at a cocktail party when apps are passed around.

How does that work for you? It is the companion to a small paper plate that holds one egg roll which you eat in one bite and search for somewhere to throw your cocktail napkin away.

3. If you feel a sneeze coming on it might be a handy thing to keep in your pocket.

Oh yeah. That works well. One of my sneezes is enough to create a mud slide. Obviously the cocktail napkin wouldn’t come close to containing my sneezes. It doesn’t even contain my nose.

Who would sit around and worry about these kind of things? Me. I’ll put it aside for now. There are more important things to worry about. Like ... what do you do with the toothpick that was in the watermelon squares. 

A Love Letter to Tom

Today, we said goodbye to Tom. This is a hard line to write. I keep rereading it as I write this post about a guy who has touche...