Whirlwind nearly over, part 3

Back Massage

Last time, I wrote about springing the surprise of my move on a dear friend and his wife. Though the move is officially over and I am living in my new home for a couple of weeks, it’s not really over. There are too many boxes left to be unpacked, window treatment to hang, furniture to deal with, and a plethora of other things to do. Most of my friends, (that being my books and artwork), are still packed away. Very little is hanging on the walls and there is still much to do.

The worst part?

I can’t find a damn thing. Well, that’s not completely true but it feels that way. Take for example, my favorite keyboard for this computer I’m writing on. I CAN’T F’ing FIND IT! So, I’m using a spare which I don’t like but I normally have attached to another computer I keep hooked up in the basement that handles my backups. Which BTW, that computer is not hooked up either. Other than lights and one utility outlet next to the circuit breaker box, there are no outlets to give it life. I need to get an electrician in to wire up the place.

But I can’t do that either right now! I don’t know how I want to utilize the space. There are still boxes galore to sort, organize and empty. It’s a problem for sure but a good problem. I foresee me being happy in this new home for many years to come.

There was one bit of good news which happened yesterday. My hot tub is now hooked up, filled with water, and today I’m going hot tubing. My body feels ravaged from this whirlwind of a move. Every bone and muscle in my body feels like I’ve been working out at the gym for hour after hour all day, everyday for over a month. My back is sore, my shoulders ache and even my ass hurts. Not from sitting mind you. Sitting doesn’t help that either. Rather, it’s aches and pain that radiate out from my ass down the back of my legs. My hamstrings and calves feel the brunt of the aches but every now and then, a shooting pain jumps from my ass and shoots right down the back of my left leg. Yeow!

Be Relaxed, Be Renewed, Be RestoredTo help restore my body, I went to my favorite masseuse and got a full body, deep tissue massage. Relaxing MassageI knew I screwed my body up something fierce during the heyday of the move. Was I ever right. Tammy, my masseuse whom I highly recommend, runs her own business BeMassageAndWellness.com. She found damage that I didn’t even know about. She found a problem in my right shoulder that was so bad, she worked on it for much of the session. She found the same issue on my left shoulder as well, only not as bad. When she was working on my left hamstring, it felt like she was digging a hole deep into the earth, even though she was barely pressing with her magic fingers.

I routinely see her but I must admit, I skipped a couple of months due to the move. I guess I should have listened to her. What I like best about her, is that she follows up the following day, asking me, how do I feel. Such service is rare and extremely appreciated. So, if I may. If you are in need of a talented, caring, and professional masseuse, you can’t go wrong with booking a session with Tammy. She’s a hero in my book.

Till next time when I expect to wrap up this little experience, I hope you have a great day and a better tomorrow.

Happy Birthday Lou

Who's On First-Abbot and Costello

Yesterday, March 6, was the anniversary of the birth of Louis Francis Cristillo. If you don’t know who Mr. Cristillo is you will probably know him by his stage name, Lou Costello.

Lou CostelloLou Costello has always been a favorite actor of mine since I was a small boy. For my entire life, I’ve admired him, been entertained by him and his partner, Bud Abbott, in movies, television shows, and radio dramas. Throughout my childhood, I laughed at his antics, cringed when he seemed to be in danger, and rooted for him to get past his latest challenge. Growing up, I knew nothing about his background other than he was born in Paterson NJ, a town I’ve been to. As an adult, I discovered he was also an Italian American and veteran of vaudeville and burlesque. Who knew?

Realizing that his birthday was yesterday, I looked up his biography.
This is what I found on IMDB.COM.

“Lou Costello was born Louis Francis Cristillo in Paterson, New Jersey, to Helen (Rege) and Sebastiano Cristillo. His father was from Calabria, Italy, and his mother was an American of Italian, French, and Irish ancestry. Raised in Paterson, Costello dropped out of high school and headed west to break into the movies. He got a job as a carpenter at MGM and Warners. He went from there to stuntman and then to vaudeville as a comic. In 1931, while working in Brooklyn, his straight man became ill and the theater cashier, Bud Abbott, filled in for him. The two formed their famous comedy team and, through the 1930s, they worked burlesque, minstrel shows, vaudeville and movie houses. In 1938, they got national exposure through the Kate Smith Hour radio show and signed with Universal Pictures the next year. They debuted in One Night in the Tropics (1940). Their scene-stealing performances in that film landed them their own picture the next year, Buck Privates (1941), with The Andrews Sisters. It was a runaway hit, grossing what was then a company record $10 million on a $180,000 budget. In 1942, they topped a poll of Hollywood stars. They had their own radio show (ABC, 1941-46, NBC, 1946-49) and TV show (The Abbott and Costello Show (1952)). After the war, their movies shifted formula to one in which they met various monsters or found themselves in exotic locations. The team split up in 1957, with both winding up completely out of money after troubles with the Internal Revenue Service. After that Lou appeared in a few television shows and the movie The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock (1959), released a few months after he died.”

The Time of Their LivesMy all time favorite movie, across all genres and the decades is one of his, “The Time of Their Lives“. Admittedly, it is not one of the more famous of his movies but to me, it’s priceless. He plays his usual comedic character set during the American Revolution. He played a poor tinker who, along with Melody Allen, was shot, killed, and erroneously branded as traitors. Each of them wakes up as ghosts, eternally bound to the estate they died on. Centuries later, they are freed from their torment and move on to their next lives. In between, though, is a story full of antics, comedic relief, and dual love affairs reunited. I absolutely love this movie and watch it frequently.

Lou Costello introduced me to the likes of the Andrew Sisters and other ‘A’ listers in the music and acting fields. His classic ‘Who’s On First‘ comedy routine he does with Bud Abbott is the absolute best. I have it on my regular playlist in my music player. I smile every time I hear it and if I’m having a bad day, it is my go to audio track to make me feel a better.

My only regret regarding Lou Costello is that he died long before I discovered and recognized his talent. In fact, I was still wearing diapers and my world revolved around my mother and father. My regret is offset by knowing that Lou’s middle name is the same as mine. Hey Mom and Dad, am I named after him?

If you know and appreciate Lou Costello the way I do, then I urge you to remember him with a nod of your head while recalling you favorite memory. If you don’t know who he is, please look him up. Though best known for his antics with his partner, Bud Abbott, he was a versatile actor, comedian, stuntman, athlete, and family man. There is much to this man than I can write here. Please, just take a moment and look him up.

Our Real Heros

The Road Less Traveled

Here in the U.S., we’re big on our sports and this time of year, it’s football. Next week, it all cumulates with the final contest of the year, ‘The Superbowl’. Throughout the season, teams have been fighting for the right to play in it. Last week, the final two contenders earned their bid to play in it. One will come out on top.

This week, however, is a lull between the playoff games ending last week to the final game next week. So, to fill the slot, the NFL schedules a no nothing game. An exhibition game that to them has one purpose. To make money for the league.

To the fans, though, it is a final opportunity to watch their heroes play one more time before the season ends. One more time? There’s still a game next week. The best of the best will be playing in it. Yes, that is true but this game, called ‘The ProBowl’, is a last chance for the fans to watch their heroes who play on teams who were not good enough to advance to the championship game. They all lost. One way or another, they all failed. None-the-less, these players are heroes to their fans.

Super HeroPeople all around the world have their heroes, be it those who play in various sports leagues, tournaments or what have you. There are the superheroes such as Superman, Batman or Spiderman. They are fictional of course but fans around the world tend to ignore that fact.

Bigger heroes to me are those who, regardless of what country you live in, defend us from aggressors wishing to impose their ideals upon another or take from us what is rightfully ours. Bigger heroes are those that would stand in front to protect their loved ones and ‘take the bullet’ for them. You don’t have to be an officer of the law, you just have to be who you are.

But do you know who the biggest hero to me is?

Single MotherIt’s the single mother who cares for her children alone but without complaint. It the head of household who works two or three jobs to makes ends meet for the benefit of his or her’s family. It’s the child who will offer their ice cream to another child who has none. It’s the everyday guy who trudges through life, scratching out a meal when he can, determined to never give up, never to surrender. It’s the grandparent, aunt or uncle, the cousin who gives you the day off and babysits your children so that you can rest. It’s the person who makes you happy.

To me, these are the real heroes in our lives. It’s the everyday person you walk by every day, not knowing the gifts they have freely given, without need or want of compensation. They are the unsung heroes of our culture. I think these are the heroes we need to celebrate, to cheer for and praise across social media, the airwaves, or to the friendly neighborhood storekeeper.

BulletI have many of those kinds of heroes in my life. Fortunately, none of them have had to stand in front of me to take a bullet. I would hope that should the day ever come to pass, I would be the one to stand in front of them. I would be devastated if one of my heroes took the bullet for me.

This is my opinion of course. What’s yours? Do you share my thinking or do you think otherwise. I’d like to know. Write me and share your thoughts. I’d love to read them.

This is Richard Verry, reporting to you live from Rochester, NY.

p.s. Is winter going to be over soon? Pennsatawky Phil, what do you say?