Sunday, December 15, 2013

Another false start.

Po Boy Views


Phil LaMancusa

March On


Spring Ahead

            A diagnosis of early onset of Alzheimer’s is no laughing matter; it’s a death sentence. Alzheimer’s has no cure mainly because no causes can be found and pinpointed. And because there is no cause or cure there is no way to prevent it. You come down with it and the picture and soundtrack of your  life fades into sepia and then all of the life that you’ve led turns into someone else’s memories. Bummer, huh, Dude?

How do you know that you are in that number? Usually you don’t until it’s too late; it’s a Catch 22: if you think you have it, you probably don’t. Is this a good column to write in an entertainment monthly? Probably not so I’ll write about something else.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Valentine's 2014 to be published

Po Boy Views


Phil LaMancusa

Lesser Gods


Little Candy Hearts

February holidays come in all shapes and sizes. Groundhog Day, Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day and of course we’ll be swinging to carnival time 2014. Punxsutawney Phil and those fine young warriors in tight suits and protective gear will dominate the first part of the month. There will be at least forty parades between the fifteenth and the end of the month. That being said, this discourse will hit upon that remaining holiday that is always memorable for me.

Valentine’s has got to be my favorite holiday becaaaauuuuussse……. I’m a fool for love. Period. And over the course of my years I’ve come to regard Valentine’s Day as a reaffirmation of faith for my fellow human beings; the fact that this day exists-- something we single out of the other three hundred and sixty four-- shows me for good and all that the human race is basically a bunch of optimistic romantic saps; I love that.

How we celebrate Valentine’s Day, as you know, is purely subjective. As a kid in grammar school, I brought cards for everyone in class and passed them out, what fun! We had little candy hearts with cute sayings on them, we were shy and had cookies and milk; so you see, I was celebrating the holiday way back when I was a wee shave tail. I think that what made it so special was that there was not the angst that went along with other celebrations, all you did was cut hearts out of red construction paper and write in your scrawny penmanship “I LOVE YOU!” and there you go…instagrams!

Of course as I got older the trappings became more intricate: a mushy card for the girl that I met over summer vacation, flowers for a crush on an older woman left on her doorstep and more little candy hearts snuck into unsuspecting pockets and book bags.

Then I got even older and more world wise and it became roses (Valentine’s  must make millionaires out of rose farmers), chocolates, more elaborate cards and then….drinks, dinners and a dates! Do you remember giving (or getting) a gift of one rose and how cool you thought that was? I do and it makes me smile for that feeling. And then I learned how to cook and boy, the real fun began! In fact, falling in love was just about its own reward when Valentine’s came around and I got to strut my stuff.

My Valentine’s have run the gamut; certainly over the last dozen or so February issues I’ve written about it enough to paper my dining room walls, so I deserve some cred on the subject as a mentor and a fool  all thing regarding  heart songs. So, let me tell you the perfect way to celebrate this special day and auspicious occasion (as I see it).

First and foremost is the person that you’re going to share the occasion with-- choose wisely—this holiday is a once a year thing. Next, clean your house because sooner or later you’ll end up there at the end of the day and nothing is worse after a romantic escapade than coming home (alone or with someone) to a messy abode. Then, decide whether you’re going with dinner out or in; I prefer in, and if you do as well, this is the time to plan on what food you’re going to eat.

Okay, realize this: there’s date food and non date food. Little candy hearts with cute sayings on them is date food, but not really a healthy dinner. Food that is bite size and able to be talked around, not stuff that you have to wait to swallow before picking up the thread of conversation and sly innuendos that come with a romantic meal is best. Food that you can take a little forkful (or bite) at a time: caviar, smoked salmon, farfalle pasta (bow ties), bisque, gumbo, etouffee and yes, those little candy hearts with the cute romantic sayings work as ‘date food’. Spaghetti, barbecue, roast beef po boys, cream puffs… not ‘date food’. Crème Brulee… yes beignets… no, get the picture?

Choosing the right wine is important; yes wine… not beer or whiskey. Choose something light and white, something innocuous that won’t screw up the taste of your Moon Wok /Verde Mart grub or whatever you’re serving up (yes, to pull this off you will need to plan or it’s gonna be take out or delivery!).  And remember, pretty much with wine you get what you pay for; ask your local merchant for some recommendations in the low twenty dollar range.

No romantic evening is complete without music; no, this is not a night to watch Family Guy, MSNBC or M*A*S*H* reruns. In the old days we would know to play soft sweet slow and low volume material, you know background and mood stuff; heck, I knew a guy that could stack a half dozen pieces in order from ‘get comfortable’ to ‘let’s take some clothes off’. Think about it.

Now the perfect scenario would be a bearskin by a fireplace, some brandy, candlelight,  Gymnopedie on the box and bellies that are not overstuffed. A quiet hum exists between two supine bodies, utterly passive and inactive; a real Hallmark moment. Their lips come close, their eyes lock, the heat rises… oh, my foolish heart! 

In reality it’s: it’s either too warm or too cold, the dog’s baying from the other room,  a car passes blasting rap music, a siren goes by, the smell of your neighbor smoking pot is driving you up a wall and your cd player is skipping.

So you opt for a stroll, hold hands, eat those little candy hearts and just enjoy eachother’s company. All’s right with the world. Happy Valentine’s.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Another Valentine not published

Po Boy Views


Phil LaMancusa

Black Coffee


Blue Valentine

February holidays come in all shapes and sizes. Groundhog Day, Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day and of course we’ll be swinging into carnival time 2014. Punxsutawney Phil and those fine young warriors in tight suits and protective gear will dominate the first part of the month. There will be at least forty parades between the fifteenth and the end of the month. That being said, this discourse will hit upon that remaining holiday that is always memorable for me; one way or another.  

Valentine’s hits on the ides of February and herewith I’ll set down my versions and visions of love for your contemplation, edification and consideration. Who am I to set down this info? Me. The guy that’s loved not always wisely or well and compounded his experiences with twenty-twenty hindsight and an incredible sense of love’s illusions that he recalls. One might say… from both sides.

Here’s the way I view love these days: you’re hungry and you’re broke; do you look for a job or do you go begging for food? Think about it. Or… you have a croissant and seven pats of butter; do you only use the amount of butter that it takes to cover the finite area or do you slather that stuff on hoping to get equal parts, by weight, of the buttery baked subliminary and that golden grease? Do you push yourself away from the Thanksgiving table or do you loosen your belt and tuck in for seconds and (hopefully) thirds? Do you like your whiskey straight, your cigarettes unfiltered, your coffee fully caffeinated and your chewing gum with sugar? Do you shy away from diet sodas? I do and always have and that’s the way love has come into my life; solid hit passionate or bloody and bruised, drive it like you stole it or spend time in the doghouse because you f**ked up again. And, I’ll tell you, living that way is nothing to be proud of or one I’d recommend; it’s a cat on a hot tin stovetop; it’s a runaway train called Desire; it’s a boy with a loaded gun.

When I was younger, I used to think that it was in my blood; as I got older I suspected that it was all in my pants. Now I don’t think at all and that’s because it’s all out of my capability of perception. Am I the kind of man that wants to fall in love? No. Am I the kind of man that can’t keep from being in love? Yes and eventually to the detriment of myself and others.

I’ll tell you firstoff, I am a man that loves women; always have. I love their softness, their roundness, their complete uniqueness, their complete power package. I feel that it was a wise god(dess)  that made all women different from one another. Has this gotten me in trouble? Have I been made to pay dearly for this flaw in my makeup?  Is there something psychologically wrong with me? Yes, yes and probably so.

And, and here’s the big AND, it comes at a cost. The simple fact is that by loving more than one woman at a time—and I have been guilty of that-- and in my experience-- a man will eventually lose all but one and he’ll be lucky if there is one left. Women are different, they are embrace loyalty, they’re set in their ways, they make up their own rules, their made of tougher clay and when they’re crossed… they turn … really mean. They never forget a conversation or anything that you’ve said/done and never hold back from regurgitating verbatim with red rimmed eyes that reflect revenge and with raindrops falling from their eyes as they rage inside; a man that crosses a woman literally has hell to pay.  The person that talks about the equality of the sexes has it completely wrong: women are far superior; of course it takes some time before a female realizes it but once they do, the guy who pulls shyte on a gal will find himself being fed ground glass, being woken from a sound sleep to be screamed or cried at and find himself standing out in the rain and cold Bogarting those cigarettes that he professed to have quit years ago. In short, when you’re wrong with a woman, you’re wrong with the world. Cold blue steel and sweet fire.

Would I have it any other way? Does that keep me on the straight and narrow? Did that deter me from finding another good woman when I already had one waiting at home? Am I a jerk, fool, bastard, liar, cheat, fraud, cad and ass? Maybe, no, no and yes.

And then comes Valentine’s Day. The day that us men usually try to spoil them women; as a man, if you forget Valentine’s Day you are literally dead meat. It’s also right after Valentine’s that women will start shopping for another man, but that’s a different story for a different time. Dinner, flowers, jewelry, proposals, candy, cards, chocolates and, a man had better go the whole nine yards if he wants to get special attention from his beloved. What do women give men for Valentine’s? Special attention. It’s pretty much up to the man to make the fuss; it’s a holiday for the women. Go on; correct me if I’m wrong; I dare you.

            Why? Because I believe men instinctually subconsciously believe that they’re not deserving of love and are probably guilty of something. Is that cold? Did I just make all that up? Is any of that true? Yesnomaybe so. If anything this Valentine’s Day, I’d like you to pay attention and evaluate the entire enchilada. Good luck.