Monday, February 21, 2011

The Asscent

We got more snow today and the kids wanted to head to the local middle school to go sledding. So we did...or at least we tried. It may have been one of the shortest sledding excursions of all time.

A little climatic background. If you're not aware, we here in New England have received our fair share of snow this year. Over the past few weeks we've had some melting and re-freezing happen turning many sidewalks and driveways into skating rinks. I failed to take this into account when I set out to reach the summit.

As I led my family like a Sherpa upwards things began to go wrong quickly. I realized that under the 3 inches of powdery snow that had just fallen there lay a sheet of solid ice. This observation was all processed as I was falling on my middle aged ass. As I slid down the hill back toward my family I realized that Everest had nothing to fear.

Blood was shed on the mountain today. My pinkie suffered several lacerations and my ego was bruised. Very manly injuries for sure. My family laughed at me of course but I don't blame them. I deserved it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In the Presence of a Master

I had the good fortune of seeing a great benefit concert last night. It featured Morris Pleasure - an accomplished bass and keyboard player who grew up in my little town and went onto fame (and presumably some fortune) playing with acts like Ray Charles, Earth, Wind and Fire and Michael Jackson. It was for a great cause which made it really great to be a part of - and what made it even better was that I got to see Omar Hakim. If the name doesn't ring a bell suffice it to say that he's one of the best rock/jazz drummers of the past 40 years. The last time I saw him I was in Madison Square Garden and it was 1987. He was anchoring Sting's band and I was blown away.

Last night was no different. His musicianship was unbelievable again but what struck me was the sheer joy he exuded on stage. He probably had the same joy in 1987 but it was hard to see from several hundred rows away! I found his performance really inspiring. It's incredible to watch someone who has so completely mastered something. I'm thinking of Michael Jordan driving the lane or Pavarotti embracing a Puccini aria. It's fun to be in the presence of greatness.You rock Omar!

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Thank You Note to My Mother-in-Law

It's not fashionable for men to admit but I love my mother-in-law. In many ways she has impacted my life more than almost anyone. I love her because she gave birth to my wife. I wish I could love her for other reasons but I will never get to know her personally. She passed away 15 years ago today - before my wife and I ever met. All I'll ever know about her is from what others tell me and I'm sorry for that.

From their stories I know that she was very successful. I know that she played the piano. I know that she was very short and liked to scream during her son's football games. I know that she always wore pearls. Most importantly I know that she gave birth to three great kids (my wife, her older brother and eldest sister) and instilled in all of them a hunger for knowledge and a drive to succeed. They are her legacy, as well as her grandchildren who will also see the pictures and hear the stories. I think they'll have a much better understanding than I do since they have some of Joan in all of them.