On Wilmington, The Ice Capades, Oscar Mayer and El Boxo

Wilmington

Wilmington……. I’ve mentioned this before but I find it interesting so here it is again. Wilmington, Delaware, is the city where I was born and raised. I still live about 10 miles from the city. Wilmington, with a population of 150,000, is the most violent city of it’s size in the United States. It has the nickname of Murdertown, USA. There were a record breaking 28 homicides in Wilmington last year. The police solve about 30% of them. In 2015, there have already been 8 murders…7 in January. February has been as brutally cold as just about anyone can remember so there has only been 1 murder in the city in February. I think, as the weather warms up, people will go outside and the murders will pick up in frequency. Wilmington’s slogan used to be “A place to be somebody.” My friend Linda has suggested changing it to “Wilmington, a place to be a body.” I had the sweatshirt in the picture custom made. Some of my friends have told me they think I should copywrite it or patent it. I’m afraid if the good citizens of Wilmington found out that I was making money off of this, they might forget rule #1 which is always “Don’t kill me.” If you are interested, leave a comment with your e-mail address and I’ll tell you how to get a similiar sweatshirt or t-shirt.

The Ice Capades….. So last Sunday night, I had to take the trash can down to the curb. I have a steep driveway. I actually had to put the can in the street in order not to block my driveway in case the trash men don’t show up because of ice or whatever. Although my driveway was clear and dry, the street was icy. As I stepped away from the trash can, my feet slipped out from under me and I fell on the street. Because your brain works at the speed of light or electricity, It seemed to happened in slow motion and I knew there wasn’t a God-damned thing I could do about it. I landed on my left hip. If I was just a little older, I’m sure it would have broken. So I get up and hold onto the trash can….put my left foot into the snow so I can put my right foot onto my clean and clear driveway and get back into the house. I make it into the house, sit down, wait a second to make sure I’m not really hurt, hit “resume” on the golf that I’m watching and I realize it looks blurry. I then realize it’s because I don’t have my glasses on. They must have flown off of my face when I fell or they fell into the trash can. I had to grab a flashlight and go back onto the ice and I can’t find them. I’m thinking I may have to drag the trash can back up the driveway and empty it since I can’t find my glasses on the street. Wait ….there they are….about 8 feet from the trash can. So I’m walking very carefully on the ice and I have to bend down and get my glasses. I’m thinking, “If I fall down again, I’m going to die.” I got them, made it back to the snow and used the same technique to get back in the house. The next day, my trash can was empty and back in it’s usual spot. The trash men NEVER do this so I think maybe one of my neighbors saw me flopping around on the ice like a fish and took pity on the old man. Whoever did it, thank you !

Oscar Mayer…..I’m not really going to write about hot dogs or bacon. I’m going to write my thoughts on the Academy Awards, AKA ” The Oscars.” Although I love movies and I’m retired, I just don’t have enough time to get around to watching movies. My other hobbies, including watching great TV series, keeps me way busy. I record the Oscars show and I watch it after the fact. I can watch the whole 4-hour show in about an hour and fifteen minutes. I really don’t care about the songs or the best animated short story or best costume design, etc.etc. I watch the show more to find out what movies that I should see. Here are my thoughts on the Oscar broadcast:

  1. Neil Patrick Harris is the least entertaining host of the Oscar show that I can ever remember. I didn’t even get a chuckle out of anything he said.
  2. Jennifer Lopez is still beautiful and so is Jennifer Anniston.
  3. If I had known that Edward Norton and Michael Keaton were both in “Birdman”, I would have gone to a theater to see that film. I loved bothof those guys in previous films.
  4. Best supporting actor was won by a guy named J. K. Simmons. How rich must this guy be? He has had a recurring role in 3 versions of “Law and Order” for about 30 years.He’s always been great on TV and it’s nice that he won for his work in the film “Whiplash.”
  5. The films that were nominated for Best Picture grossed $600,000,000. “American Sniper” grossed half of that. It was directed by Clint Eastwood. I believe” American Sniper” won exactly 0 academy awards.
  6. John Legend is a name I used to hear once in awhile. He’s a singer and piano player. I now see him just about everywhere including winning an Oscar for “Best Song” or something. vWatch out for this guy….this is an official Superstar Alert.
  7. I was really rooting for Michael Keaton. After doing great things in movies like “Night Shift”, “Pacific Heights”, Clean and Sober”, “The Money Pit”, “Batman” and more, he seemed to fall off the face of the Earth. When “Birdman” was announced as Best Picture, about 40 people took the stage. Michael started to say something and then just said” Aw, Hell, man, I’m just happy to be here.” It was great to see him being successful again
  8. Gwyneth Paltrow is still gorgeous but looks a lot less like her mother, Blythe Danner, than she used to. Maybe Gwyneth has had some “work” done. I don’t care. I fell in love with Blythe Danner when I saw her on a 1970s MASH episode as a visiting nurse that “Hawkeye” had a crush on. I have secretly been in love with her ever since.
  9. Reese Witherspoon is still gorgeous. She was married for a few years to actor Ryan Phillipe. Ryan grew up in New Castle, Delaware, just a few miles from Wilmington. When Ryan was a teenager and doing work in soap operas on TV, he used to come to my house and my wife would prepare his income tax return. On one occasion, he was in the office in my house with the door closed. My daughter, who was in high school at the time, had about 5 of her friends over to “study” in the family room. I did not know who Ryan Phillipe was. I did not know that he was in the office. I did know that my daughter having her friends over to study happened about as often as you would see a unicorn. I happened to be passing by the family room as Ryan emerged from the office, chatted briefly with the girls, then rre-entered the office and closed the door. The girls reacted exactly as you’d expect a bunch of teenage girls to react. I found it quite amusing. My wife continued to prepare the income tax returns for Ryan;s parent for years….even after he became a star and moved to L. A. They were nice, down to Earth people as I recall..
  10. After watching the Acadmey Awards show, these are the movies I think I should see, in no real order:

Birdman

Boyhood

Gone Girl

Whiplash

The Judge

Still Alice

Imitation Game

Foxcatcher

Crises Hotline: Veterans Press 1

I’ll probably end up seeing about 3 of these. So much to do and see….so little time.

El Boxo….. In Spanish, a boxing show on TV is called “El Boxo” I’m a fan of professional boxing. I know it’s not politically correct but I can’t help it. I think it takes real “guts” to get in a ring knowing the other boxer wants to punch you as many times as possible. Many people simply write this off as barbaric. They are entitled to their opinion. Besides the excitement of knowing that any boxing match could end instantly, I admire the skill of the boxers thst can hit and then get out of the way to avoid retaliation. Boxing, after a lull of many years, seems to be gaining in popularity. ESPN usually has 2 hours of boxing on their “Friday Night Fights.” It’s on, obviously, Friday night usually around 9 or 9:30 on ESPN or ESPN2. They have excellent and knowledgeable announcers…usually Joe Tesatore and Teddy Atlas. HBO has “Boxing after Dark” occasionally on Saturday nights. These are usually larger purse fights with high quality boxers. HBO also has great announcers….Jim Lampley, Roy Jones and Max Kellerman. Now, I see that there will be prime time boxing on CBS coming this Saturday night, 3/7. The irony here is that the National Football League is changing their rules every season to make the sport less violent and avoid concussions while, in boxing, each boxer’s fondest hope is to hit his opponent in the head hard enough to knock him unconscious….the very definition of “concussion.” Go figure.

Thanks for reading this and enjoy your day !

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