Monday, October 23, 2017

Why There's a Next Year

Like many life-long Yankees fans, I was hoping for a different outcome from the weekend in Houston, Texas but as someone from Great Britain once opined you can't always get what you want. 

Considering the team wasn't picked to even make it to the playoffs, losing in seven games to the Astros in the American League Championship Series is not the worst that could happen. 

The worst that could happen is that February 22, 2018, never gets here, not only because we could not celebrate the birthday of the Father of Our Country but because there would be no chance for the great wheel to turn once again as we welcome Spring Training.

It's one hundred and twenty-two days until the dawn's early light of Thursday, 22 February. We can wait together.
-bill kenny  

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Giving the Words a Rest

We had lovely weather here on Saturday, just wonderful. I hope yours was as lovely.

At Yantic Cemetary, Norwich (Connecticut)

My brother, Adam, runs the Marine Corps Marathon today. I thought of him when I took this.

-bill kenny

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Forty Years Is the Blink of Eye

Twenty-six minutes after ten in the morning on Friday, October 21, 1977, at the Offenbacher Rathaus in West Germany. Chris and Evelyn were the witnesses and you and I were the main event. I'm pretty sure it's too late to rethink it now.

I'm a Jersey Guy, wherever I roam so of course, I defer to The Jersey Guy for the words required when suffering from inarticulate speech of the heart. I love you, and always will.  

Friday, October 20, 2017

Is This What Ian Meant?

This photo has NOTHING to do with the words below. I just like it.
Somedays, this stuff writes itself (I know you’re hoping this is one of them). You’re in luck!  
-bill kenny 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Can't Hardly Wait

My wife, Sigrid, has her wedding anniversary this Saturday. Technically, it's mine as well though I usually defer for a couple of days to allow the marching bands, the balloons, and the floats to clear out from in front of the house (so the prize patrol van has enough room to park because this is my year to win).  

I'm kidding, of course. I celebrate our wedding anniversary whenever she tells me I can. You're not married as long as she and I are and not have a few rules to live by. In our next lives, I'm hoping it's my turn to have a few as well.  

It's our fortieth anniversary which makes me smile even as I type that because I find the length and strength of our relationship, when I look at those I've known and at those around me, be it at work or home, to be pretty amazing. 

Sigrid is admittedly a bit more tempered in her enthusiasm, observing that it feels like a lot longer than forty years. I'm pretty sure she says that because the Germans use the metric system though I'm not sure just how many hectares are in a German year. I was just told it's square hectares. Okay.

Of course, I want to do something special. I am, after all, the eldest son of a man who once bought his wife (my mother) a vacuum cleaner for her birthday, and not just any plain old vacuum cleaner but the roll-around pull-it-behind-you with the hose type. Yep. The apple certainly doesn't fall far from the tree. 

I've been racking my brain to find the perfect present that says, of-all-the-people-in-the-world-you-love-me-and-if-could-choose-anyone-to-marry-I'd-choose-you-all-over-again. When I opened our local paper Wednesday morning, it jumped right out at me. 

Stunning, innit? Just sort of screams "I LOVE YOU!"  What? Oh, it's a butter cutter. I know, now you wish you'd thought of it, right? And since we're on the East Coast I can skip that whole ordering the multi-size butter cutter stuff, as we don't have the dairy diversity that I guess the folks on The Other Coast have.

Second time in my life I've known the meaning of love at first sight (don't tell Sigrid, okay?). And what clinched it for me was this dynamic short video, very nearly professionally produced. When Mr. Announcing Guy shared "It can be used with one hand or two, depending on your strength and the hardness of the butter," my heart was like a brick of Kerrygold and melted into a little puddle just above my belt. (Did you notice the variety of colors? So many choices!)

I can't wait to see Sigrid's reaction. I've already made up the pull-out sofa we keep in the garage for managing marital misunderstandings but I think I may still need to fill out a change of address form. Certainly hope it's a bright, sunny day; it'll help me explain the dark glasses
-bill kenny

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

If You Have Abibliophobia

I love events that become traditions even if they didn't start out that way. And this Friday marks the kick-off of the fall edition of one of my favorites, the biannual Friends of Otis Library book sale. 

Our daughter and I go every fall and spring and I've been preparing for this by eating double portions of carrots at every meal and hitting the mirror at the gym to practice my eye rolls because I want to be ready to read when it's time to crack open a few books. 

I've offered the words which follow previously and don't mind repeating them because this event is important to the library and it should be to each of us. 

The book sale begins this Friday morning with a sneak preview from nine to ten which  attracts collectors from across the Northeast (check out the license plates on the cars parked in a two-block area around the library) who gladly pay $10 for the head start it allows them on all manner of goodies and great deals. 

There's no reason to fear that all the good stuff will be gone by the time we get there because the basement is always filled with treasures waiting to be discovered, purchased for pennies on the dollar and taken to a new home.

I have tsundoku and my doctors say there's really no cure. I don't  suffer from it so much as enjoy it and the Otis Book Sale is an opportunity to hang out with other bibliotaphs shuffling between the shelves, not sure exactly what we're looking for until we find it. And judging by the increases in attendance for every sale, I'd say more and more of us are finding what we're seeking. 

The book sale is open to everyone from ten until three on both Friday and Saturday and from noon until three on Sunday. It's a great way to refresh your home shelves (I probably need to buy some more) which is already a terrific reason but, in light of the current fiscal challenges libraries across the state are facing as a result of the Governor's Executive Order (because of the lack of a state budget), the money raised from the three-day sale helps keep the lights on the doors open at  Otis. 

Libraries, and I'm thinking the Otis in particular, are far so much more than the sum of the goods and services they offer to their communities which can make it difficult to put an accurate price tag on their value for all of us throughout the community who use them.

What is Otis worth to you or your family aside from a trip downtown to rummage through the shelves and bag yourself some bargains? Check out this item on I found on the American Library Association's website, the "Library Value Calculator," and be prepared for a surprise.

I've spoken before about the oft-mentioned 'problems with downtown parking' myth, and that's the word I use because it is a myth. I think what many people mean is they cannot take their car with them into the library. But cheer up, there's plenty of free municipal parking with hundreds of spaces no more than a four-minute walk. And we are wearing shoes....

Browsing for book bargains can cause you to get awfully hungry so I'd make the time before or after hitting the library to grab a bite at one of the restaurants along whatever path you choose to use to get to the library. There are tables for every taste and plates for every palette, all steps away from the library and one another at Franklin Square. And you'll have a chance to check out first-hand how much more alive downtown is since the last time you looked.

A cynic, I'm told knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. At the Friends of Otis Library Book Sale, show you know how valuable this regional resource is to you, and buy a bag of books. Borrow my glasses and buy two bags.
-bill kenny

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sometimes Silence Is Superior to Saying Sorry

I’m not sure I knew (or cared) who Harvey Weinstein is/was until late last week but I’m willing to concede I probably won’t forget if I live to be one hundred and five. 

As a son of a woman, a brother of women, a husband, and father of a daughter, the behavior outlined by people like Rose McGowan defies description in terms of my reaction and revulsion. That Weinstein is not alone isn't an earth-shaking realization. I am not the first person to be aware of this kind of behavior but I am still shamed by yet another reminder of how the world works for people other than myself. 

I read postings in my newsfeed from women who are Facebook friends over the weekend into the early morning hours of Monday about their own experiences as the objects of sexual harassment and sexual assault they had endured (neither of which are ever acceptable) and from others who offered a simple and simply eloquent "Me, too" on postings about the same subjects. 

For reasons that have to do, I hope, with how I was raised, I offered this with good intentions: 

That adage about better to say nothing and be thought a fool (or a patronizing or even worse clueless cad), rather than open your mouth and prove it. As a twitter poster reminded me, and countless other men, albeit too late at least in my circumstance:

As a well-meaning buckaroo, I was at a loss as to what I could say when silence in this matter and at this moment was the right response. This I knew before and have NO trouble saying: Wrong is wrong no matter who does it or to whom. 

You don’t ever have to say anything to anyone ever but I want you to know if you choose to, I will always listen and will always try to help. Hopefully better than I did this time around.
-bill kenny