2010 in the Rearview


It's been a while since I've posted anything at all on this blog. I blame Facebook; too easy to snap a photo with my phone and upload it, too easy to link to funny or interesting things on the interwebs via FB or Twitter. But something has been lost in the process. And so begins the list of resolutions: I will try to migrate back to this blog for my vocal and visual outlet, my complaint outpost, my therapy. 2010 was a mixed bag, but I suppose that's the way it is for anyone alive. So, here in 2011, being alive, I suppose I'm up on points -- as are all of you. Specifically: In January 2010, my dear sweet…

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Six Years Gone, and Good Riddance


Six years ago this past week, my dad died. I think I'm finally coming to terms with it all, coming to terms with the fact that he was no father to me, that he literally left my sister & me to fend for ourselves almost twenty years prior to his death, when my sister & I were merely teenagers. Ahh, but that was just the legal part (if it's even true, but who cares, because to delve deeper would involve characters in my life that I hate and care not to associate with ever again). In retrospect, "dad" left me and my sister behind, many years before that. Recent revelations make a lot of shit make sense and at the…

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Art & Copy


So, I finally saw this movie I've been meaning to see for a while, "Art & Copy". It's a sad, disgusting (read: excellent) documentary about the collection of whores and egomaniacs working in the advertising business, and, by extension, about everything that is wrong with our society. "By the way, if anyone here is in marketing or advertising...kill yourselves..." --Bill Hicks It was difficult to watch - painful, even; for a variety of reasons. Because my father's best friend (Jim Durfee) is in the film; because my father, my mother-in-law, and college friend all work(ed) in that horrible business. Because I knew from an early age that my father's profession had absolutely no nobility -- getting paid large…

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Three Years


Three years today; three years since my dad died. And at this point, I've got mixed emotions. Today was also the final day of the Giro d'Italia and the penultimate episode of "The Sopranos". Interesting. You know what, dad kinda sucked as a father. I mean, he was a good guy, sorta, but looking back he was genuinely lousy at the whole dad thing. I have no doubt he loved my sister and I, but that doesn't quite ink the deal. I could go on and on and on, but that's really not going to change anything or bring him back for another try. He didn't know how to do it, and I'm fairly certain I don't either. But then…

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One Year Gone


Anniversary; time to remember. The thing is, I never forgot. Hell, I kept the voice mail on my cell phone, the one from my half-sister that said "Dad's taken a turn" for weeks. I listened to it a few times before finally deleting it. I guess I wanted to relive those moments because, while they were filled with tension, they also ticked by while Dad was still alive. Now he isn't, and in a handful of hours it will be exactly 365 days since we started keeping time this way. It was really hard at first. It got easier. Then it got hard again. It's not fun right now, but it's not bad. I don't know what else to say…

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The Last of the Firsts


For the last eleven months, I've waddled through Life Without Dad, hitting one "first" after another. The first Father's Day Without Dad, the first Christmas Eve Without Dad, etc, have all come and gone, including the First Birthday Without--both his and mine. I thought I was all done. But as April melted into May, I realized that I am not out of the woods yet. May 1 brought the first anniversary of my Sister and my Brother-in-law's wedding--the last day I ever saw my Dad wearing formal clothes. This past weekend Brenda & I celebrated our own fifth anniversary, and this year we didn't modify it to go visit my father before he went into the hospital for what turned…

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Ex-Birthday


March 25 was my Dad's birthday for as long as I can remember, and long before that. I guess it still is, in the sense that he was born on this day. But he also died on another day -- June 3rd -- which adds a whole new wrinkle to the whole "birthday" thing. And since this is the first arrival of Dad's birthday since his passing, I've been thinking about the significance of the day. We celebrate birthdays because they mark the passing of a year in a life. But what about a year in a death? Should June 3rd hold a new significance? Do we stop celebrating the birthday and start marking time since the second biggest event…

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The Kid - new content


I'm pleased to announce that the website containing my father's writing has some new additions. A co-worker of his contacted me recently and informed me that she had copies of his stories, including some that I did not have in my collection here. She sent them to me last week and they arrived this weekend. I was delighted, because I just knew of at least one story that I didn't have. Well, that one, along with a couple others I'd never seen, were included in the envelope. I read them all over a bowl of soup (and a couple of beers) this Saturday. It was easier than the first batch of stories. I know that's progress, but it's also not…

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The Short Sweet Dream of Eduardo Gutieirrez


In my sister’s eulogizing speech for my father, she talked about how she would miss sharing her latest literary discoveries with him. This weekend, I understand what she was talking about. I forget exactly what item it was that I was perusing at Amazon.com, when I first discovered this book’s existence… Probably back a few months ago in my Mike Royko phase, when I was trying to read everything he wrote. In fact, as I write this, I am now sure of it; I was looking to buy Royko’s “Boss”, his swift, cutting, and dead-on account of the foibles of the late Mayor Daley of Chicago. While looking at the…

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Confession


Two days ago, I killed my father. I looked into his eyes, and watched him fade; there was nothing I could do. But really, I was just an accomplice. The real asshole is this other guy you should know about, his name is metastatic nonresectable liver cancer, and that’s who you want to be taking a real look at. You might also want to run a background check on a duodenal adenocarcinoma that was removed from my father about three years ago, because that jerk is at the root of all of this. My weapon was a number: two. Two, as in two months. Time remaining. Elapsed time, sixty-one years. Neither span is a long time, taken in…

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Oh, shut up


Happy Father’s Day, yeah yeah. The whole way up to my Aunt’s place, and the whole way back, the radio voices boasted of great deals and specials and gift ideas for dad. I thought to myself: just shut up already. They say the first everything without the people you love is hard. But to hit the first Father’s Day a mere two weeks after becoming fatherless? Come on, they don’t even do that in Hollywood. This is payback for the year I never gave him a card, present or even a phone call. We spent the day at my Aunt’s house, surrounded by everyone else affected by recent events. Laughed…

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Thanks


Thank you to all, who have sent me so many kind thoughts and offers. You’ve all helped, in your own ways. I get a special kick when someone I’ve never even met face-to-face sends me some touching note—via email—because I know dad hated email. I kept trying to tell him it’s a viable means of communication, but dad was a traditionalist. Oh, well. I am especially touched by one note I received from an old family friend, both for her words, which I will keep to myself, and for some words of John Updike, which she included in her note and are so fitting for my father that I feel…

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Thoughts


You know what happens? You lose them. You lose the people you love. It happens. Sometimes they get run over by a car, as happened to my friend Rich. Sometimes they catch a bad break and a fatal disease decides to pay a visit and fucking kill them, as happened to my dad. Been through it a couple times now, and I can tell you this, it sucks. And you never make the best of it, but I know I will continue to be an idiot, and so will everyone else. Hmm. Maybe I’d better explain that. I loved my father for as long as I can remember, and in the last few days a lot of memories…

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Obit


Guglielmetti Philip John, 61, of Randolph, passed peacefully in his home on June 3, 2004. He is survived by his wife Serina; daughter Christina, son Robert; daughter Andrea, his mother, Lena, and his sisters, Emilie Morse and Maria Giombarresse. Born in New York City, a graduate of Fordham Prep High School, Philip made a home in Randolph for 21 years with his wife Serina and his daughter Andrea, who cared for him to his final day, indeed, his final moments. Mr. Guglielmetti was an advertising executive at MVBMS, an advertising firm in New York City, where he handled the Volvo account. Philip also enjoyed many years as co-founding partner in Fountainhead Communications, in Morristown. Prior to that he spent many…

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Bye, Dad


He lit the cigarette with the automatic reflex he’d developed over the years, so I didn’t even notice it. I saw the sweep of his hand on the cigarette pack; but the extraction of the butt, the lighting of the stick, this was something I had seen thousands of times before, so I paid it no mind. Easter, 2001. Then, a snap and a thud, and everything changed. The lighter snapped shut, the cigarette pack plopped on the coffee table, and he goes, in response to no particular conversation: “so, here’s the deal, I have a tumor, and it’s malignant, and they’re gonna operate next week to remove it.…

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Subject Line


With my father in poor health and Father’s Day fast approaching, I guess I should have expected some irony. The first bit of that arrived in my inbox this morning; the latest email newsletter from Duluth Trading Company (sort of a J. Peterman catalog for tool freaks) sported the following subject line: “Simple Cures for Dad’s Biggest Problems” This is funny, because Duluth Trading Company sells tool bags, not livers. Gotta laugh about it, folks. It’s the only way.…

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Phone Call


“Hello? Hi, this is Rob, Phil’s son. Yeah, he got home today and he wanted to talk to you, hang on.” (hands phone over) “Hey pal … well, not too good … nope. No, definitely not … Yeah, they couldn’t do the thing. Yeah, I really didn’t think we’d be where we are already, but look, it is what it is. OK, thanks… yeah, no I’m sure. Yep, yep (laughs). OK, listen, I’ll talk to ya tomorrow … alright, thanks … yeah, look I’ll talk to ya tomorrow. OK … take care.” Click.…

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Sick


Dad’s sick; he has been for a while. He’s very sick now. That’s all you get to know for now. Actually, that’s all any of us gets to know for now. Talk to ya later.…

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