12-4-2004 Skylar Elizabeth

Warning: Parental Discretion Is Advised

I for one am amazed by Barry "Asterisk" Bonds' lame attempt at lying his ass off. He admitted that he used steroids, but...he didn't know they were steroids? Is anybody buying that? I'll have to remember good ole Barry (aka Superman) if I ever get DUIed by a cop.

Why yez, occifer. I may be dwunk as a skunk, but I didn't wealize that I was cunsuming alcacahol.

The older Barry gets, the stronger Barry gets. And quicker. And with improved hand/eye coordination. I hear he now has a 17 foot vertical leap. And good old Barry thought all of this was due to some spinach injections? Maybe the total lack of Krypton in the San Franfreako area turns everyone into the Son of the Son of Superman on the arrival of their 40th birthday, huh?

Some guys need steroids. Some guys needed a sensible diet, light workouts, a modest life and eight hours sleep. I'll continue to recognize Henry Aaron as the all-time home run champ, thank you very much.

Did anyone catch...this Brick-buy-Brick program launched by the Leadership Wilkes-Barre Class of 2005? It got a mention in the Voice on like page 909, and WILK was reporting it during it's hourly news updates yesterday.

I grabbed this from the Brick-Buy-Brick web site:

Join the Leadership Wilkes-Barre Class of 2005 in being part of the rejuvenation of Downtown Wilkes-Barre. The water fountain has been the focal point of Public Square since Wilkes-Barre was founded. Our class hopes to bring everyone in the community together to rebuild the walkway around this historic landmark. This project will not only bring safety and beauty back to public square but also restore a sense of community pride.

Donations will be recognized with engraved pavers. These pavers can bear your name or the name of a loved one. But most of all, these pavers will show that we care and that we are proud of our community. Our future and our children’s future relies on concerned individuals who want to make Wilkes-Barre a better place in which to live and work.

So here's the gig. For $35 you can purchase a 4 inch by eight inch brick and have your name engraved on it. It then will become a part of the new-and-improved walkway around our downtown fountain. Is that cool, or what? It's not quite getting a Hollywood star or anything, but why not immortalize yourself? Just imagine shoppers fifty years from now looking down at your name and letting loose with: "Billy T. Mountain? Who in the hell is that?"

I was thinking about having my name engraved on one of those pavers, but after I considered what would likely come about, I decided against using my moniker: Marky M. Mud. Consider how many of these taxpayer activist crazies, failed candidates for elected office, and fired city subcontractors would be fighting amongst themselves to piss on my name first. (You know who you are. Live with it.) I don't want to be responsible for turning the Square Park into an open-air urinal of sorts. I really don't.

Whatever, man. It's a big responsibily being me. Maybe I'll order a brick and use the name "I.P. Freely." Bart Simpson and I think alike in many, many ways, so why not go the juvenile route? Heyna?

And yes...I caught the Leader story titled Mayor predicts W-B canopy's end Let's address this, shall we? I've already gone on the record as having threatened Larry Newman's face with a rather weighty cream pie if, in fact, my canopy meets it's untimely end.

And since Mayor Leighton told the folks at the Times Leader that he sees the canopy coming down, to be completely fair about things, I would have to add his name to the list of people to get creamed when they least expect it. It'll be a shame if things have to come to that.

I'm no urban planner, and I'm certainly not electable by any stretch of any warped imagination, but I have always loved having that canopy in place. And I wished for the day when we could again bop from store to store to store with shopping bags in tow. And every single time I envisioned such a hustling and bustling downtown, the canopy was always there sheltering me from the ominous-looking skies.

But...apparently, my vision of the future is about as cloudy as the canopys plexiglass panels. No big thang. I'm not embarrassed in the least at the thought of carrying an umbrella in public. It doesn't mean I can't punch my way out of a Schiel's grocery bag, and it doesn't mean my ya-ya is microscopically small. I'm good with it.

But whomever is eventually deemed to be responsible for the removal of the canopy will get a bit of banana cream pie embedded deep within their nostrils. What are they gonna do? Have me freakin' arrested? Sh*t! I'll start a hunger strike, piss myself every half hour or so and chant Frank Zappa lyrics until my jailers take my bed sheets away from me and make their own escape, ala Hugo "Spider Man" Selenski. They'll be sorry they ever put the cuffs on me.

Evelyn, a modified dog. Viewed the quivering fringe of a special doily draped across the piano with some surprise. In the darkened room, where the chairs dismayed, and the horrible curtains muffled the rain; she could hardly believe her eyes. A curious breeze. A garlic breathe, which sounded like a snore. Somewhere near the Steinway, or even from within, had caused the doliy fringe to waft and tremble in the gloom. Evelyn, a dog, having undergone further modification pondered the significance of short person behavior in pedal-depressed panchromatic resonance, and other highly ambient domain. Arf! She said.

No cop could take that for hours on end. I'll be the next Mandela, man.

Well then. Did anybody glance at the Voice today? Did anybody happen upon the Tax proceeds expected to help hire more cops in W-B story? Hmmm?

Where's the great Walter today? Off at some super hero conference deep with the Earth's belly? How did he put it? "If," iffin' the mayor hires more police officers? If? Seems like we got a whole lotta of "iffin'" going on here. And most of it's comin' from the "effin'" folks that don't have an effing clue as to what they're babbling on and on about. Heh, Walt?

From that very same Voice story:

Leighton said his focus will be on police, stating, "It's going to provide backup, more manpower, and most importantly, it's going to provide more police visibility in the neighborhoods with a high crime factor."

Here's another tasty blurb:

A majority, if not all, the people I've met with this year since becoming mayor, who are interested in coming into the city, their first issues are crime, safety, cleanliness," Leighton said.

So help me, I admit that I've been punched in the head one too many times. Yes, indeedy. My brain has been rocked against my thick skull quite a few too many times. And I know it's affected my judgement, evidenced by the fact that I think Mary Stuart Masterson is extremely sexy. Scary, heyna? Do neurologists do pro bono work?

Anyway, there may be folks that were trapped under the ice for damn near close to an hour capable of more rational thought than I, but doesn't it sound as if the mayor is going to hire more cops when that right-to-toil tax increase kicks in? Call me crazy, (many have) but that's the way I'm reading it.

Walter? Care to 'splain your utter brilliance to the rest of us mere mortals?

Effin' iffin'?

Fuqez-vous, non?

To be brutally honest about it, more often than not, when I read the "Book of Dreams" stories the Leader publishes every year during the run-up to Christmas, I shake my head in disgust afterwards.

I'm not a heartless prick, but I rarely feel compelled to get all philanthropic and such after reading about some guy who quit high school, had a busload of kids, drank himself near insane and beat the hell out of his old lady until she went and ran off with her first cousin. Even with that, I know I'm wrong to turn away in disgust. Even if the guy is a walking talking argument for abortion, his kids are stuck with him and probably totally deserving of a break.

Never one to Bah, humbug! anyone, I'm not exactly proud of how I feel. But it is what it is.

In past years, I've pretty much limited myself to sending some smallish stipends to the Citizen's Voice' "Santa's Helper" program, and hitting the Marines' "Toys for Tots" bins when I remember to. Sorry, but it's a very busy season for me, too. Sometimes I forget.

Although, there was that one year when one of our employees lost her entire Christmas fund at the last second when her future ex-hubby spend the entire wad on drugs. We rallied around her lickety split and her kids had a decent Christmas. And, no, I didn't buy her little kids rock CDs, although, I probably should have. Ya gotta raise 'em right, guys. If it's too loud, you're too old. But, I digress. I bought an AFX racing track for her son. See? I'm not totally nuts. Well, close anyways.

Anyway, a couple of days back I was reading the latest installment of Book of Dreams and I encountered a condition, or a disease that I had never ever heard of before: Spinal Muscular Atrophy. In the Leader story, a Wilkes-Barre mom describes her four year-old girl, Skylar, as being "intellectually intact, a little girl inside a broken body." A little girl who was given eight months to live when she was originally diagnosed as having SMA. I was as much horrified as I was intrigued. And since a web link was provided for me to follow, you already know that I had to follow it. That's what I do, right? I'll check out any web site once, so long as it doesn't involve boys dropping the soap in the shower on purpose.

So I followed the link to Skylar's site and read away. I scrolled down and read Skylar's Mom's latest journal entry:


Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving!!
This is Skylars 5th holiday season with us, and I couldn't be happier. She is such an amazing little girl.
There are so many things to be thankful for but most of all I am so thankful for Sky. She is my little hero.
To my extended SMA family and my family at H&H.. thank you for all you have done for me. You are a terrific group of people.
To my mom, you are my guide. You have taught me right from wrong. Your heart breaks when mine breaks, you cry when I cry, you hurt when I hurt. You picked me up when I was down and made me realize that I need to go on. That I had Skylar and couldn't let me weakness get the best of me. Not only were you there for me when we learned of Skys diagnosis but you were there for me when my heart was broken the most and again, you picked me up and moved the mountain and made me realize that the sun will shine again. It did thanks to you. I love you mom.
So many people will be shocked that I am writing this but... Dave, thank you so much for giving me such a beautiful little girl. I don't know what I would do without her. It is because of you that I do. I don't think anyone will understand the love we have for each other. As much as we have been at each others throats, hating and loving each other, I will forever be thankful to you. I will always love you. I pray God keeps everyone safe and heal the hearts that mourn from the loss of loved ones. I pray our troops will be home soon. I am thankful Shawns life was spared.
Herb, thank you also, for loving me and loving and excepting Skylar as she is. Love you..you are great!
So off my novel.. everyone be safe and eat lots of turkey!!
Be sure to let us know you stopped by.

And then I followed the link to mom's journal history. If you think your particular malfunction is tough to deal with, try reading just a bit of what awaits you on that journal page.

I've been forced to deal with all sorts of medical and rehabilitation nonsense during the past two and a half months. And I'm still not liking it all very much. But after reading what dealing with Spinal Muscular Atrophy is all about, I'd feel kinda small and really stupid bitching about busted ribs and such anymore. If cracked ribs is the worst hand that life can deal to me, I'll take it.

I know firsthand how generous some of you folks living and working in Wilkes-Barre can be. All I did was mention Operation Give, and the lot of you forced Larry and I to truck a vanload of toys and clothes all the way to Baltimore. By the way, I saw a video from Iraq the other day and some Iraqi kids were tossing a Nerf football around. I couldn't help but to wonder if it was one of ours.

Anywho, I'm not trying to tell anyone what they should do with their money. What I am telling you is what I intend to do with some of mine after that lady from Nationwide Insurance comes a calling and talking about settling things short of litigation.

Here's Skylar's wish list from the Leader article:

Dream List
Floor sitter - $440.95
Color wheel and spotlight - $49.95
Replacement bulb - $9.75
Portable mirror ball - $289.50
Spiral mobile - $10.95
Magnetic massage mat - $110.00

Dream Total - $911.10

If interested, you can use the contribution form printed in the Leader, or you can send a stipend along to the following address:

Skylar Saranchuk Fund
Citizens Bank
West Market Street
Wilkes Barre Pa 18701

The way I see it, if we were so quick to help a bunch of kids a half a world away, the least we could do is to help one of our own kids right down on the next block a ways.

Skylar's Website


Despite all that I've been through, I'm nearing 100%. And tonight is Saturday night. I have a date with a hot pair of headphones and a slew of narly loud CDs. Oh, yeah, and some icey cold trendy agricultural amusement aides. Lots of them.

Tracy, please keep your chin up. And take solace in the fact that you are truly a good mom. A rarer and rarer commodity these days. And as my trusty sidekick, Private Sector Dude, always says...keep the faith.

Private Sector Dude? It's a long crazy story.