Monthly Archives: April 2012

A Woman’s Desires…

When truly engaged with a woman, it is not merely enough to simply touch, or kiss, or be in such intimate quarters with her. Yes, those aspects are nice, and women do enjoy such intimacy, but it involves much more than that.

A woman certainly enjoys being touched, and to be kissed; but she also loves being caressed, truly touched; stroked, lovingly, with your fingers and mind and body wholly engaged in her being. Touched, admired, loved, kissed, caressed, lovingly and longingly, held close, enclosed within your arms and eyes, her body and soul entirely immersed in your being, your Love.

Touch her. Feel her. With passion. Trace her face, feel her bones, feel the warmth of her skin. Stroke her hair. Allow your hands to explore. Slowly, lovingly, and with much admiration.

Those are the things that women desire. They get tired quickly of the camaraderie of men, of their need for the ridiculous ‘man cave’, of their need for ‘buddy time’, to hash out their perceived angst about their respective ‘little woman’, or ‘the wife’, or ‘the ball and chain’.

Jesus, is that really how you think about your lovely bride, your girlfriend, your significant other?

Men are, basically clueless. And utter idiots. You may try to refute such claims but, ultimately, you will be proved wrong.

Truly, truly engage your being within her. That is what she wants. That is what she desires. That is what all women cherish.

You need to be there 100%. Not thinking about work, not thinking about the play-off game, not thinking about the hot little blonde that just joined the firm. And if that last comment resonates for you, there is something terribly wrong in your present relationship.

Are you not already with a beautiful woman, a girlfriend, someone you wanted to marry—forever—during times of duress and discomfort?

She is there. Always. By your side. She craves your undivided attention. Yes, know this now: you will never—ever—figure out women. So do not bother to cramp your Neanderthal mind.

Just know that a woman—your woman—wants you engaged, totally; undivided, unblemished, and under no pretense.

If you are not entirely ‘with’ your woman, your Beloved, she will know. You can either step aside or understand her various concerns. If you choose the former, then leave. If you choose the latter, then this message is not for you. You already know. It’s as simple as that.

Remember, she will always know. Always.

Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2012, All Rights Reserved.




Child’s Play

Drawing from the Imagination

Jace drawing at 10

Jace drawing at 10

An adult could never duplicate the drawings of children, no matter how hard they try. There’s something wholly unique to the scribbles and lines to a kid’s work of art that are impossible to replicate. Go ahead. Try it. You can’t.

Jace drawing at 8

Here are a few drawings my sons have done over the past few years. They never cease to amaze me with the level of intricacy and imaginative outpourings they put on the page. Very sophisticated, I must say.

Jace at 10

Along with my two boys, I love to look at the art work of children in the various schools where I substitute teach, especially at Roosevelt Elementary in Worcester. They have an excellent art curriculum, and the hallways on each of the four floors are always festooned with art from every grade.

When I sub, I am always impressed and in awe of what kids come up with when given an assignment. Kids drawings are very special and should be kept as mementos of their youth.

Cam drawing from 3rd grade

My 10 year old continues to churn out elaborate action scenes, as he is into Marvel Comics (weren’t we all, way back when?) With the ascendency of video games, though, his pages reflect this trend; monsters and aliens, super heroes and army men, all populating the pages.

Elaborate drawing, Jace at 10

I never tire of what he draws, and I can’t wait to go into his room after he takes the bus to school, to pick up some things off the floor and just simply gaze at the wonderful creations he painstakingly drew the night before. And his brother has done some wonderful work as well. Just look at that incredible drawing of an owl!

May their artistic Muses never stray too far.

Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Another amazing drawing, Jace at 10


Old People

You run into them everywhere. And yet you are not so far removed from them as well. I know, for I am 52 years old, and cannot possibly believe the simple fact that I am fast approaching that age. Of becoming ‘old’.

Couple in Love

Sure, sometimes, they can be a pain in the ass, getting in your way at the check out counter, or taking their time driving down a road at 25 miles an hour when you’re in a hurry, the crusty husband with mouth agape, hunched over the steering wheel. Sometimes, they just drive aimlessly around parking lots, awaiting the best parking spot, oblivious to everyone around them. They attempt to park, making their 8-point turn, and eventually their behemoth of a car, usually a Cadillac or a gigantic Ford or Lincoln, is successfully parked. Usually too close to your own vehicle.

But they are endearing.

Just the other day I was at America’s most beloved store, Wal-Mart, and this elderly couple were eyeing a seemingly impossible good deal; a 48-count K-cup box of coffee for, get this, $10!

I could not believe the price, and mentioned it to them.

“Can’t be true!”, I exclaimed, giving my best Mum impersonation of utter disbelief.

“It’s true!” said the gentleman. “We got the coupon in the mail.”

Upon closer inspection, I realized why it was such an amazing deal. The box contained only three flavors: gingerbread, spice, and Buddha knows what other festive delight.

I said, “Yeah, it is a good deal, if you like these flavors.” They assured me that they did, and proceeded to place two boxes into their cart.

Another time I was at a Big Y, and this elderly couple were gazing at the case of fish in the seafood section. Here, on Tuesdays, they run a special; Tilapia at $2.99 a pound. When I placed my order, the husband asked me how I prepared such a dish. I explained, and then he told me how they usually ordered ‘Swai’, a fish I never heard of.

“Oh yeah, it’s really good! Nice and light”, he said. ” Just put it in a pan, sprinkle on some butter and parmesan, and bake!” I then told him how I cooked my tilapia, and bid them a good afternoon.

Just these happenstance meetings with ‘old people’ gives you a glimpse of how you will be in a few years. Or decades.

I can personally attest to the multitude of ‘these people’ who live among us, as my Dad was one of them. And it just happened to be at a Wal-Mart where I saw him one time.

Julie and I were shopping, and suddenly I saw ‘Pops’ rounding an aisle. He did not see us, and we just watched and marveled at his hunched demeanor, his eyes fixed on a certain product amongst the shelves. Finally we approached him, surprising him with our presence.

“Hey, Pops! How’s it goin’?”

“What do you care?” his usual response to my concern for his well-being.

Even caught off guard and displaying his usual faux gruff exterior, it was great to see him. He died not too long after that chance encounter.

Since his death, Mum has been amazingly resilient. She is fast approaching 73 (or is ti 74?) and yet soon she will be off to England next month, traveling solo, to St. Ives and visiting her sister and her hubby.

Which reminds me of my former land-lady in Brookline. Now there’s a character! She’s now 82, but still gets around on her own, wintering in Costa Rica, and tending to various rentals here and there.

Yeah, old people can be a pain in the arse. But then, so can young’uns. Like you and me.

Thank the world for the abundance of such young-challenged folk. They are, indeed, a welcome presence upon this spinnin’ blue orb.

Make the time to appreciate their presence and worth.

Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Logs and Hogs…

This is simply an addendum to my previous two posts, about our bike rides in different environs. It doesn’t matter where we went really, as it proved to be the same in both locations. I should clarify that we rode on ‘bicycles’.

It is amazing how frequently one comes upon a pod (for lack of a better word) of bikers, all riding their Harleys, stopped here and there, admiring their respective bikes, seemingly just standing around, jawin’ and lookin’. For the most part they all look the same.

Am I wrong in this observation?

It’s usually mid-life guys, with the requisite leather vests, bandanas, soiled jeans, and the over-sized wallet with chain attached to a belt loop. And there are the requisite biker chicks, all donned in like apparel, all milling about and smoking Marlboros. It must be a requirement that you have to smoke and most likely, drink hard liquor. A few shots of Jagermeister chased with a Bud. And then another cigarette for good measure.

On our last journey to Northhampton, along the byways, we saw quite a few of these ‘enthusiasts’, and wondered what they did when a sudden rainstorm fell. We see them clustered outside of coffee shops, their respective bikes all lined up and gleaming, while a cloud of smoke encircles them.

On these back roads, another familiar sight are the slow-moving trucks weighted down with logs or firewood, remnants of past storms. They lumber along, and one is forced to travel at a sluggish pace, hoping that soon you’ll see their blinker on, to turn off onto some dusty side road.

The same sites greeted us on our venture to Bristol, RI. We saw the bikers as they sat idling and revving their hogs, and waited for them to roar down the quiet streets. They didn’t get too far. A truck loaded with trees was in front of them.

Bikers are certainly a different breed of humanity, and with the recent fine weather, they were out in droves. Mind you, I have nothing against motorcycles, except for the noise. I am merely making an observation. But give me a quiet trail any time, some place where I can ride my bicycle in peace and relative solitude.

Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2012, All Rights Reserved.*

*except the two photos.

Belchertown Bike Trail…

Navigating the Norwottuck to Northampton

If one accesses sundry reviews of this particular bike path, one would leave wondering whether to bother or not, given the dire warnings of deep declivities and rampant roots, not to mention horrific frost heaves that threaten both life and limb.

But that is not the case at all. No such fate will greet you.

Perhaps if one deigns to travel on such a path on a ‘road’ bike, well then, what do you expect? But if you are smart, you’ll be riding on a mountain bike or a hybrid, both most suitable for your journey.

My lovely bride, Julie, accompanied me on this pleasant excursion, and we found no faults whatsoever with this trail! Sure, there are a few frost heaves here and there, and a smattering of bumps from tree roots, but on the whole it was a thoroughly enjoyable 10 mile ride. The offending ‘bumps’ are clearly marked, outlined in bright yellow to help you escape an unexpected jolt or two. The trail is even ok for rollerblades.

Starting in Belchertown, we meandered towards Northampton, passing swamps and wetlands, fields and farms, and lovely woodlands. Mating frog calls and shrill birdsong were frequent auditory experiences, and our day was warm, with rampant ragged clouds casting patches of shadows along dormant meadows.

The path, for the most part, was flat, with only slight grades as you approach Amherst College. Towards the end of your journey, there are a few road crossings, but they prove to be quick, with nary a wait.

Upon reaching Northampton, it is best to cross the old trestle bridge, and pause briefly before making your return. Any further cycling will prove disappointing, as the path takes you through town, with bustling streets and a lack of scenery.

So all in all a most pleasing journey, and one that is easily navigable for all age groups. With spring and all its glory still in its budding stages, now in the coolness of an April or May day is the time to go. Beautiful vistas await your presence. Now what are you waiting for? Pack up your bike and go!

Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2012, All rights Reserved.

Exposed to the Elements…and then some.

Bike Ride to Bristol

Boardwalk through the Sanctuary

 The East Bay Bike Path in Rhode Island allows the two-wheeled traveler a chance to experience the beauty of this enchanted coastline and all 14 miles plus will not disappoint.

 Julie and I ventured there on Saturday, April 14, 2012, and it proved to be a wise choice. (I give total credit to my Beloved, as it is usually she who comes up with some wonderful weekend plans, treks far removed from the ‘fishbowl’ residence we presently reside in. More on that in a future blog.)

 So, on a rather uncommonly warm April morning, after packing sundry bags and comestibles, we set off to the smallest state in the nation. And who knew such countless treasures could be had within such littoral lands? Every time I go there I am amazed by the sheer beauty inherent in such a tiny commonwealth.

 We traveled south along 146 to 195 south, and from there we took Exit 4 toward Riverside. (Our first sojourn there last year we settled on India Point Park, but we certainly do not recommend that; the small park is pleasant enough, but to begin the bike path, one must risk life and limb on an extremely narrow path on a bridge over water. Should a fellow bicyclist come in the opposite direction, there are very few recesses where one can stop to allow them to pass. Instead, do the following.)

 Take Exit 4 and continue along Veterans Memorial Parkway. Bypass the first parking lot as they are currently renovating a swath of the trail, and this will eliminate biking along the busy road. Continue on the parkway until 103, or Pawtucket Avenue. Follow to Bullocks Point Avenue and park anywhere along the street. We parked near the Dairy Bee, and began our journey there.

Now that directions are out of the way, from this point you can travel the almost 10 miles to Independence Park in Bristol. Along this stretch some magnificent sites are to be witnessed. And some that are, well, not so entirely welcome.

As to the latter, within a mile into our journey we saw a woman walking in the opposite direction and, upon closer inspection, we realized that she had one voluminous boob exposed. It was entirely freed from her t-shirt! She appeared to be in her fifties, with lank, greasy hair and a shuffling gait. As we approached, we were thus horrified to witness an enormous breast visible for all to see. It wasn’t exactly a sight we wished to view on our trip. Her ‘appendage’ was the size of a dinner plate, and looked like the rheumy eye of a diseased octopus. But after that disturbing visual, we continued on without incident.

Further along, one comes to the Audubon Society of Rhode Island Environmental Education Center, located on the 28-acre McIntosh Wildlife Refuge. Here, you can park your bike and walk along a ¼ mile boardwalk that juts out into the saltwater marshes, a meandering path that allows you to immerse yourself in the wetlands, concluding with a magnificent sweeping view of Narragansett Bay. Quite ethereal, and a good way to regain your walking legs. We saw a few osprey nesting, guarding their nests, and we heard many wild birds that populate the swaying grasses that rustled in the gentle ocean breeze.

The bike path itself is easily navigable, with nary a hill to speak of, and is good for biking, walking, and running. There are a few parks along the trail that are good for picnicking, especially Colt State Park, where we ventured upon our return from Bristol.

I’m getting ahead of myself, but this is a magnificent place to rest your soul, and to view the ‘sparklies’ that ride on every crest of wave. The park is huge! There are many places to park, spaces strewn about the immense grounds, and you can easily make a day of it. Just pull up a chair and enjoy the abundant scenery. What better way to partake in a summer day, replete with food, drink, and a good read.

Approaching Independence Park, Bristol

Getting back to the path, though, after Colt State Park you are near the destination of Independence Park in Bristol. You made it! Here, you can access a much needed bathroom break, and lunch along the water among the many benches that face the glistening bay. It is an absolutely perfect way to end your journey.

Did I say end?

Oh no, for now you must return to your destination, a mere 10.7 miles away. But wasn’t it easy? And worth it? C’mon, it wasn’t that bad, was it? Go ahead, swing a leg over your bike  and remember, you don’t have to pedal at breakneck speed. No, far better to take your time, and view the wonderful vistas to be had.

Perhaps like the rather obese man we saw, in a pair of shorts too tiny for his girth, someone who passed us and a pair of college girls. Unfortunately, given his tremendous weight, the crack of his ass was most visible. So much so that upon us passing the young ladies, I heard one of them utter, “That’s just gross!” And it was.

I must admit, there was a plethora of overweight folk along the trail, many pound-challenged people who need to lose a stone or two. Or three. But, I give them credit. They are out there. Strolling, or biking, or wheezing as they jog along the path. Kudos to them. Now if they can only resist the urge to purchase a package or two of Ring-Dings or Doritos upon their return.

Superb Ice Cream...and more!

You have now journeyed long on your return trip. You are almost there, to the beginning of your trip. But wait! Before you venture further, along the trail in Barrington, there is a most welcome shop that I urge you to stop by and partake in the delicacies within. It is called ‘The Daily Scoop’. Need I say more?

Once inside, peruse the ice cream offerings on the wall, and any flavor will do. They are that good and most welcome after a day of pedaling. Do try the chocolate coconut almond, much like a supreme Almond Joy bar but in dairy form.  (Mind you, those folk previously mentioned, those who consume Devil Dogs or bags of Smart Food, opt instead for the fat-free yogurt offerings. Your belly and stamina will certainly appreciate it.)

After dining on such an exquisite delight, you are close to the finish line. Hop on your bike, continue along at a leisurely pace, past the banks of budding foliage, and soon you are there.

Pack up your bikes and, with time and weather permitting, backtrack to Colt State Park for a late afternoon respite. But if time is of the essence, travel along the byways to wherever home may be.

Memories of such a splendid sojourn will most assuredly linger fondly for many years to come.

Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Mag the Nag…

Please? Just one more time?...

There’s our adorable 9 month old cat, Maggie, with mouse in tow.

She is the only cat that I have ever known that loves to play fetch. I’m not kidding.

In the morning, in the afternoon, or at night, she cannot get enough of us tossing a mouse across the room. She will then sprint to it, carry it back to us, and dutifully drop it at our feet. Over and over again. Hence the title of this blog.

If she is not constantly being attended to, she will let out this tiny plaintiff cry, wanting us to throw the mouse once more. It is rather amazing to see this, and the other two felines merely peer at this youngster, wondering what all the commotion is about.

Miles gets jealous at times, especially in the morning. BM (Before Maggie) he was the king, and every morning he would perform his usual ritual; hop from stool, to chair, to sofa, where I’d then proceed to sweep him into my lap.

But ever since Maggie’s arrival, she has taken center stage. You can just tell that Miles is quite perturbed by this interloper. Maggie has no qualms of coming right up to me, dropping the mouse at my feet, and sprawling before me, waiting for a scritch. Miles watches from afar, with a jealous twitch to his tail.

Our other cat, Boo, he of the gargantuan black presence, just looks on in a bewildered fashion, unable to comprehend just what this calico with the ‘tortitude’ is doing here as she prances about, getting all the attention. But they all seem to have settled into a mutual understanding, and presently there are no hisses or paws raised for attack. Except on the hapless toy mouse.

Yes, Maggie is indeed a love, and we thoroughly enjoy her never-ending antics. (I just got back from the store, after buying yet another three-pack of mice. I have no idea where the other six are. She must have one helluva hiding place.)

Och, there she goes again, waiting for me to throw the rodent one more time. Sigh!

Somehow, I don’t believe it will be the last, and my arm has steadily been going numb from tossing it countless times.

‘Now where did I put that tube of muscle rub?…’

Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2012, All Rights Reserved.