Skip to main content

My Cool Uncle

"Matt, you sure have gotten fat."
The aforementioned words were said to me by my uncle Joe, during one of the many pre-Christmas dinners that used to be an annual occurrence at uncle Paul and aunt Vilda's house. I remember sitting at the long dining table, surrounded by family, many of whom I only saw at these gatherings. The door opened and in walked Joe, moving fast as he always did, and that's when he stopped, stared, and said those words to me.

Now, I'm not saying that I wasn't slightly wounded by his remark. Weight's been a struggle for me since the middle school years and, yes, I'd put on a few pounds since the last time he'd seen me. But it was hard to be mad at Joe. He had a way about him. Almost always a twinkle in his eyes. It's true that I have different opinions of my dad's several brothers, but it can be said that Joe was the only one who I thought of as cool. He just was.

Joe's been gone for twenty-two years, although he still lives on, vibrantly, in memory. I remember him regularly coming over to the small house on Draper St. that mom, dad and I shared, how nice he always seemed, and can still remember the image of him sitting at our kitchen table, talking with my dad, like a snapshot of the mind. Mom still tells me stories of when her and my dad, along with Joe and his wife, Dee, used to take trips together, and how fast Joe would drive.

You may be thinking, 'Cute memories, Matt, but why are you writing about your uncle Joe now?' The reason is I dreamt about him last night. In fact, Joe enters my dreams at least once or twice a year, always in the same scenario: I'm out at a restaurant somewhere, and see some of my (living) uncles, and there Joe is, chatting away with them. Typically, I'll smile and/or wave at my other uncles, but never to Joe, who often has his back to me. Truthfully, I'm always surprised to see him there.

Last night was different. I got up, walked over to my uncles, and said hello, specifically, to Joe. "Hi, Matt! How you doing?" said Joe cheerfully, his hand outstretched for me to shake, which I did. We made small talk, and he still had that twinkle in his eyes. In an odd creation of my mind, Joe said he was about to purchase a GMC Denali (a vehicle not even around when he was alive). I told him I hoped the purchase went well.

Later, as the dream was coming to an end, I looked out the restaurant window and saw a white GMC Denali driving away. "Bye, uncle Joe," I said quietly.


Popular posts from this blog


Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....

1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night

It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

Walk and Chew Gum

Yesterday marked a touchstone moment in the U.S., as students across the country participated in "walkouts." This was an occasion for students to express an array of thoughts and emotions, ranging from a desire for stricter gun control, to simply sorrow over the loss of so many of their peers to school shootings. They were peaceful protests, but protests nonetheless. Where you're at on the spectrum of agreeing or disagreeing with what they did may vary, though not wanting to get shot in your school seems pretty reasonable to me.
Some folks have taken to sharing a meme on social media platforms this week -- in direct anticipation and response to the walkouts -- that encourages students to "walk up, not out." Following are suggestions provided for the walk ups:

Walk UP to the kid who sits ALONE and ask him to join your groupWalk UP to the kid who never has a voluntary partner and offer to be hersWalk UP to your teachers and thank them!Walk UP to someone and JUST …

The Best Superhero Movies of All-Time, Revisited

We are just a few days away from the North American release of Avengers:Infinity War. While I am dutifully going to see it opening night, it's not a film I'm looking forward to. It is (spoiler) part one of two, which means we can expect plenty of plot threads left dangling when the credits roll. In other words, part two will probably be better, and provide some actual resolution. Also, Thanos looks like a CGI yawn-fest. Hopefully, I'll be proved wrong.
Nevertheless, this is a good opportunity to rank (again) the major superhero movies (Marvel and otherwise) that we've had so far. As you know, I love making a list, and this one is going to be a definitive one! If you don't see a film on here, it's because I haven't seen it (the first two Thors, Iron Man 2, some of the X-Men features, etc.).   Alright, here we go.