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June 26, 2009

The Thriller Beats it for good

I had mixed emotions when I heard the news Michael Jackson died of an apparent heart attack. My initial response was "Good, it's about time that freak croaked". But then I thought back to high school and the great music he put out that revolutionized the pop culture. I challenge anyone who was really into MJ to deny that they at least tried to Moonwalk. I was actually pretty good at it.

Before a thoughtful piece from the FL Times, I leave you with this bit of gallows humor:
Michale Jackson is going to come back as a plastic grocery bag. That way he can still be white, made of plastic, and still be a threat to children.
Setting the freak show of the last 15 years aside, the Michael Jackson of the '80s is the Michael Jackson we love, the one we want to remember. The one who gave us Thriller, Beat It, Billie Jean. (And the Moonwalk — which I never learned to do.)

Not botched plastic surgeries, sex abuse allegations, televised trials, unexplainable marriages, and baby-dangling.

What if the weirdness of the last 15 years or so didn't happen? What if the King of Pop made music instead of tabloid headlines around the world?

Just when we were about to find out — The Gloved One reportedly was preparing for an upcoming concert comeback tour — the American tragedy that had become Michael Jackson ended as just that: A tragedy.

June 22, 2009

Goldy R.I.P.

I didn't expect to start off Father's Day with a funeral but with 4 kids in this house you never know what each new day will have in store.

My youngest son won 2 goldfish at the fair yesterday- that in itself was an accomplishment as he thew a ping pong ball on his second shot into a small glass bowl- and this morning he came into our room asking us to "come look at this". That was 7 a.m. and after I explained to him that it takes Mommy and Daddy a little longer to wake up in the morning he told us that Goldy was lying on the bottom of the bowl. My wife jumped up with that "oh shit" face and took my son and my 3 year old daughter into the kitchen. A very short time later, before I could even roll over and try to catch a cat nap, I heard my son crying.

It was a tough site to see him with his face buried in his mother's chest and crying over a fish he won 15 hours ago. It was confirmed; Goldy had passed on to the great fishbowl in the sky. He (she?) lay there starboard side up, eye wide opened, and not the good kind. My son kept remarking that we probably should have fed them more last night.

Fighting off my first impulse to scoop the deceased fish out of the plastic container with my hand and offering it as a sacrifice to the Kohler toilet bowl demi-god, I ran some lukewarm water for the survivor, Blacky. Blacky is a black goldfish for those of you reading this who have also only been out of bed for 10 minutes. My wife placed Goldy in a temporary container for a viewing as I went outside to find the trowel.

Everyone made it outside and I suggested that we bury Goldy next to our orange tree since they were the same color. My son agreed. I swept the bark away and began digging, spearing an irrigation line with the tip of the trowel. I don't think I did any damage but I will now tonight when I turn it on. I was going to just dump the fish in the shallow hole but my son asked if he could have the honor. I covered the hole, replaced the bark and we all came inside.

A few minutes later, my daughter said she wanted to go back out and see Goldy. I told her that Goldy is gone and we need to leave the burial site alone. I was going to mention tales of haunted goldfish grave sites but I left that one for another time. This is when the events of our short morning caught up to our 3-year old and she broke down in tears. Yes, even though we only had him (her?) for a short time, Goldy touched all of us and taught some of us a valuable life's lesson- the Circle of Life is real and Elton John wasn't fucking around when he sang about it.

My son is now checking on Blacky every 5 minutes and giving us status updates on his whereabouts in the plastic container. I guess we will be making a trip to PetSmart after my Father's Day breakfast at Denny's. We will never be able to replace Goldy, but the new fish can serve as a tribute to a brave little fish whose 4 second attention span probably didn't really let him (her?) really get the full impact of moving from a 20 gallon Rubbermaid container underneath a carnival game to a loving home with a 6-year old who had his very first pet.

I think that it is time for me to offer something to the Kohler demi-god after all. I think the fair food is finally catching up with me.

17 hours later, Blacky joined Goldy. FYI: Do not bring fair goldfish home.