Tag Archives: America

“The Greatest Of All Time…”

“In 2004, while living in NYC, my friend Gerald Bunsen called me up one weekend and asked if I was available to work security for a photoshoot (I had moved to NYC to pursue acting, but because of my size and character I often found secondary work as a bouncer and private guard). He wasn’t available to make it and needed someone he could depend on to replace him. ‘Of course,’ I said, ‘for who?’…’Muhammad Ali‘, he replied.”
“The photoshoot was for an adidas ad campaign. The team I was on had one job: to escort Mr. Ali from his hotel room down to the street where he would shoot in a car with a few children, then back up to his hotel room. During a meeting that was held before all of this happened, we were given details on how things would progress. Mr. Ali never spoke aloud to us, there was a gentleman with him (whose name I didn’t catch) who spoke with him directly, listened to his replies as they were whispered to him and then relayed the information to us. The photographer asked how long he’d have to shoot, Mr. Right-Hand-Man told him he’d probably have 5 minutes at the MOST to squeeze off a few shots. The photographer wanted more, Mr. Right-Hand-Man said that’d be impossible. When we walked outside I immediately saw why.”
“The second (and I mean literally the SECOND) we opened the front door and set foot on the sidewalk, Mr. Ali was recognized and surrounded. People smiled, laughed, cried, reached out to him, touched him, chanted his name, held out things to be autographed, held their children out to him to be kissed. The security team and I spent the next few minutes (Mr. Right-Hand-Man was right, we had less than 5) holding people back, keeping people calm and witnessing the madness. Although I had met a lot of celebrities while living in NYC, I had never met one as traffic-stopping as him. His presence alone captured the awe and attention of those around him. His smile was addicting…his silence was deafening.”
120327040752-mohamad-ali-famous-hoodie-horizontal-large-gallery

(photographer: Unknown)

“When we arrived back at the hotel room, everyone shook hands and began their goodbye’s. Mr. Ali was seated at a giant desk, signing autographs and photos for some of the assistants, staff and security team. As I was still a fairly timid newcomer to the whole ‘NYC scene’ and my job was done, I thought it best to simply leave. As I made for the door, my eyes caught Mr. Right-Hand-Man’s eyes. ‘Would you like an autograph before you go?’, he asked. I was never one to ask for autographs, I always felt that having someone’s name on a piece of paper or memorabilia could never fully describe the experience of meeting that person. And although I had a cell phone on me, technology had not yet caught up to where we are today, with our selfie skills and multi-megapixel phone cameras…so taking a photo would’ve required entirely too much time to set up. I couldn’t just let this moment slip by however, it was Muhammad Ali. ‘No thank you,’ I answered, ‘but is it possible for me to just meet him?'”
“Thirty seconds later I was sitting in a chair next to the Greatest Of All Time, introducing myself, shaking his hand and smiling like a 10 yr old. I never once heard his voice, I didn’t need to. Sometimes you don’t need to hear someone tell you about the years they’ve lived, the accomplishments they’ve achieved, the struggles they’ve overcome and the world they’ve changed…sometimes you can just tell.”
“Rest in peace Mr. Ali.”
– F
PS. This is a photo from that weekend…I found it online after some pretty heavy Google searching.

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Filed under A-List / B-List / No-List, New York City

“Americans Need Help Too…”

Everyday on the news we hear about millions of people who are homeless and starving in cities and countries other than our own. We hear about places we can drop off used clothing items, addresses we can mail money orders and websites we can donate to. We hear about hungry children, broken homes and abandoned family members.

(photo: Fidel Amos)

(photo: Fidel Amos)

But how can we help any of those people in any of those cities in any of those countries…when we can’t even help ourselves?

– F

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Filed under Blog Quickies, Hear Me Roar, Really America?

“No 9/11 Mosque? Tough Crowd…”

I love NY, and I love the fact that it made me the New Yorker I am today.
I also love my fellow New Yorkers, and not just because they all happen to live in New York, arguably the most well known, talked about, and sought after city in the world. New Yorkers are so much more than that. They’re all from other places, which makes them the closest thing to being European/American. This, as you guys know, is exactly what I am…so I hold a personal, biased love for them.
Um, I mean us.
Us New Yorkers also have the ability to be able to tell you exactly what we’re thinking, any time of day, all day, every day, twice, in very few words…which usually start with the letter “F”. It is this brass, forward, confident, self-empowering style that caused me to immediately fall for this big, bad, Apple.
* Note: I’d like to express a personal apology to all my friends in Kansas, but just because I went to college there doesn’t mean I’ll ever claim being a Kansan. I love you guys, and it was a nice place to live during some of my formative years, but I’m only Italian, or New Yorker…no Kansan. I’ve got a NY license and everything now, get off my back!! *
…but I digress.
It is perhaps due to the intimate relationship I have with the City (NY gets the big “C”) that never sleeps that I’m exactly torn down the middle of this “mosque being built near the 9/11 site” issue. Well, that and the fact that I’m half American, and probably bleed red, white, and blue…Italian white though.

Half of me is proud of the fact that Mayor Bloomberg and “the gang” want the mosque to go up based simply on the fact that we’re America (hell yeah), and anyone can be American (except illegal aliens, terrorists, and a few select folks in Arizona), and everyone has the right to worship who they want to worship (unless the person you want to worship is David Koresh) here in America.
We’re fair, that’s our story, and we’re sticking to it. We have to be stand by what we said, and we have to lead by example, and be right…even when that means doing something that may seem wrong. That’s the way that we, as Americans, are going to do things around here because we have rules…AMERICAN rules, and those will never die. Born in the U.S.A. Talk to me Goose. Some folks were made to wave the flag, ooooh, that red white and blue.
The flip-side of that coin however, is me thinking “You wanna build a mosque WHERE..?” Not because the people building it are Muslim, or Arab, or believe in a different God than I do…or whatever else it is everyone who’s against them is complaining about. I just think it’s a little sketchy because it was folks from that way of life (allegedly), representing that nation (supposedly), and claiming to be followers of that religion (probably) that most of us here in America don’t follow.

Call me crazy, but folks who have all that in common with the terrorists that caused one of the most tragically memorable moments in America’s history would have to have some major balls to just want to build their place of praise…well…right there. Wasn’t there some other block in this gigantic City that they could’ve chosen..?? That’s kind of like the relatives of the person who killed your kids asking you and your spouse if they can move in across the hall from you.
This is officially the first time I’ve ever ended one of my blog entries with a question, but as I have no official position (because I’m having trouble choosing one), and I really don’t know what else to say, it seems like just this once, it may be the correct thing to do.
…what do you think?
-F

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Filed under Controversy...Ya Gotta Love It, New York City, Religion

“It May Be A S.M.A.R.T. Car, But It Doesn’t LOOK Like One!”

“As most of you know, the US has recently been invaded by a teeny, tiny, non-gas guzzling car called the SMART.
(aka: Swatch Mercedes Art)”

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m Earth-Conscious and all, but this thing’s dispicably tiny, can barely reach 70 mph, and would probably explode into a million pieces if hit by anything else…I was totally against the silly little thing…”

“…and then my mother sent me THESE pictures in an email!”

The Smerrari

The Smaudi A3, AWD
The Smorsche
The Smorvette
“Now that my eyes have been opened to it’s vast array of cosmetically enhanced appearances, I definitely want one!”
“Perhaps a Smamborghini…!!!!!!!!!!”
– F

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Filed under Blog Quickies, Mom & Dad...Gotta Love 'Em

“Why Americans STILL Don’t Watch Soccer…Even Though They SHOULD.”

* NOTE * –> “My father is American and my mother is Italian, so I spent most of my life in Europe before moving here to NY in 2002. Having an Amerian/Italian point of view qualifies me to say what I’m about to say…however harsh it may sound. Just remember, it’s MY point of view…it doesn’t have to be yours.”

____________________________________________________

“Soccer is the greatest sport in the world.”

“It’s been played for hundreds (and arguably thousands) of years by millions of people in thousands of countries. Every four years the World Cup is watched by billions (yes, BILLIONS) of people. To compare it to any American sport (especially friggin baseball) simply does NOT do it justice…so I won’t even try.”

“I will, however, put in my two cents on why I believe it’s less popular and less watched here in America than everywhere else in the world. As I mentioned before, having lived in multiple countries throughout my life has really opened up my eyes to the cultural differences BETWEEN those countries…socially as well as recreationally. With all that said…here are my theories on the matter.”

“THEORY #1: America is one of the youngest countries in the world…only about 300 years old to be exact. Most of the other countries in the world are 10 times that old…at LEAST. Those older countries are the ones that have been living, learning, and fighting over which cultures, practices and social activities will live and die on this planet…and most of those decisions were made while America was still in the womb, in a manner of speaking. So, since the rest of the world has been learning how to play soccer before the US, it’s only natural that the US is worse at the game than other countries. The problem is America loves winners. They love dominating, scoring, and defeating the competition. They don’t like losing. They don’t like following teams that lose. And they don’t like playing sports that they lose at. And since they can’t play soccer as well as the rest of the world (because they learned it 100’s of years after everyone else), they would rather just not follow the sport as much.”

“THEORY #2: Americans have no patience…at all. They want it all, they want it how they want it, and they want it now. Since soccer is a game of fewer goals, fewer points, and fewer scoring opportunities than most other sports in the world, Americans begin to develop international A.D.D., and simply choose to stop watching.”

“THEORY #3: America’s world of sports is run more by money and corporations rather than actual fan-base, honor, and love of the game. Ads create money. Endorsements create money. And it’s because of this that during the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, NHL Finals, and the World Series, hundreds of TV time-outs, ad time-outs, and commercial endorsement time-outs are plastered in and around the game. Stopping the game, pausing the game, reviewing the game, rewinding the game, and re-playing highlights from the game is how America likes to watch its sports. Americans simply can’t comprehend playing a game for 45 minutes without commercial interruption, having a small halftime, and then playing 45 more minutes of un-interrupted 2nd half.”

“I have a PLENTY of other theories on soccer, but they don’t relate to the topic in the title of this blog, so I’ll spare you all any of my personal thoughts on the matter. My love for the game of soccer supersedes that of all other sports. The Italian gene that controls what sporting event I will and will not watch has definitely overpowered the American one in my body.”

“I don’t mind football (college of course, the NFL’s has ceased to amaze me since I followed the 49’ers in the early ’90’s). Baseball’s fun to play but absolute torture to watch most of the time…even Americans admit to this. Tennis is ok live…something about the 1-on-1 of it all. Boxing I won’t even get INTO to…let’s just say I’m not a fan. And I’ve never actually SEEN a hockey game, tennis round, polo match or rugby game played in their entirety.”


“Soccer will forever remain the beautiful game. It doesn’t matter if it’s a UEFA match on XBox, a Serie A match on TV, a pick-up game outside my apartment, or the World Cup in person…I’m there, and I’m LOVING IT.”

– F

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Filed under Really America?, Soccer

“Hell Hath No Fury Like A Naval Wife Scorned.”

The United States Navy announced yesterday that after years of maintaining tradition, they’re finally deciding to remove one of the last military-related sex barriers, by allowing women to serve on submarines.

This is the first time that women will be stationed on submarines since 1994, the year the Navy began allowing them to serve on all surface ships.

The only people to protest this change..?

The wives of the sailors.

The surprising part, however, is that their primary concern wasn’t their husbands cheating on them, but that unqualified female sailors might potentially take jobs from their husbands.

REALLY..??

Come on now…THAT’S the reason you’re worried..?

– F

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Filed under Blog Quickies, Love Life, Really America?, This...I Just Don't Get

“We Need To Try Harder America…”

We used to be the best.

By “we” I mean “us” and by “us” I mean “U.S.”

When I was younger (not younger partying myself stupid in college, younger as in I still carried lunch in a lunch box) I was moved a lot, as my father and mother were in the military and the military has its ways of sending you wherever the military needs you. Some would consider this a curse, us Army brats just considered this standard operating procedure. Before I was ten years old I had lived in South Korea, the U.S.A., Germany and Italy, and had visited at least a dozen cities in three of those countries.

Most of the memories I have of that part of my life are here and there, topsy turvy, spare the moment type flashbacks. ONE constant I DO remember however, no matter which country I was in or what city I was passing through, was the fact that America was #1.

When I was a kid the U.S. had the best music, the newest television shows, the hippest clothes, the biggest budget movies, and the baddest-a** military. America had Michael Jackson, Luke Skywalker, Tron, The Police, the A-Team, Knight Rider, Madonna, and MTV. I saw this first hand growing up in countries OTHER than the U.S. They were wearing our styles, singing our lyrics, and calling us on the phone when their countries were going to war with someone and they thought they’d need backup.

If you were from here, you were American.

And if you were American you were GOLDEN.

Somewhere along the way all of that changed. Somehow we became less cool, less dependable, less original…less trust-worthy. The rest of the world began to move ahead of us, one by one, staring at us with that “get outta the way” look as their country passed ours on the global highway.

They began to advance technologically. They started making bigger blockbusters with smaller budgets. They began buying all the oil and all the gold and all the land. Their leaders started making OUR leaders look incompetent, when merely ONE World War ago they were asking “how high?” whenever our Commander in Chief said “jump”.

My concern lies not with the fact that the rest of the world keeps trying to surpass us. We’re the Big Dog…and all puppies want to be like the Big Dog.

The real problem begins when even WE know we’re slacking, but still don’t seem to care enough to change.

How can we once again be the forerunners? What do we have to do to change our current “U…S…A” chant back to the ever-popular, vanity-based “We’re number ONE…we’re number ONE”..?

Maybe we could stop the greedy overtakings of our smaller companies by the corrupt, cynical practices of our larger corporations. Maybe we could provide jobs instead of firing them, laying them off and outsourcing them to Lord KNOWS where simply because it saves half a buck. Maybe we could come up with original screenplays and original movies, instead of RE-MAKING everything because it worked the first time…or 2 times…or 3 times. Maybe we could go out and LIVE reality instead of watching it on television every day, and perhaps change our wardrobes, slang, and hairstyles into something other than the “vintage” ones we were using 30 years ago. Maybe we could prevent the California fires, Oklahoma City bombings, Katrina hurricanes, Michael Jackson overdoses, and 9/11’s here in our own front yard instead of going over to help our neighbors with theirs first because, ya know, they EXPECT us to.

And IF NOTHING ELSE…maybe we could rank higher than EIGHTEENTH in Education among the World’s top thirty six industrial nations.

Whatever it is America…it needs to stop NOW.

We need to put our foot on the gas pedal and pull back in front. We need to help “us”, help “U.S.”

We need to give the rest of the world some competition again for crying out loud.

We need to try harder…

– F

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Filed under Hear Me Roar, Really America?