Random Things :

 

Michel A. Di Iorio, aka:

– Chooch (from my football days, because I’d plow through the line like a train on steroids)…,

– Big Mike

– Mike Di Iorio

– Nick (in L.A.)

– Daddy (by my daughter)

– Pappy (by my granddaughters)

– Maître (by loyal readers/clients/fans)

– Bébé, Babe, Minou, Di  (by my « main squeeze »…)

 

1. I was a big Teddy Bear (I still am, say most). I had a comfortable shoulder upon which to lay one’s head, and a heart bigger than Texas. Words were my friends, so I spread them liberally to comfort friends who needed them, to stave off my foes when I had some, and then I’d use them to help friends seduce their lovers (a modern day Cyrano de Bergerac, one might say)… as luck would have it, I was a great friend to the girls who bothered to look twice, but alas, I was ‘boyfriend material’ to few… at least, while I was a teenager!

 

2. I was a pudgy child and a fatter, ‘acneically’ (coined word) challenged adolescent who lost the weight at about 17 years of age, gained some back every time my heart was dragged through the gutter, but lost it again when my instinct for self-preservation kicked in. Now, in the double nickel of my prime, I’ve sollicited and found my slimmer version to prepare for the final countdown (or more precisely, to stave it off as long as I can).

 

3. I’ve achieved almost every important goal that I’ve set for myself. On the flip side, I’ve experienced the effects/consequences of every major fear I’ve ever had the misfortune of having – both professionally and personally, which accounts for the yo-yo effect (success/failure).

 

4. I treasure a good cognac – though I don’t, as a rule, drink to excess; preferring to enjoy the taste I relish. Like most boomers, I’ve tried a few things here and there; adopted some… but my long term addictions have been limited to women, coffee and tobacco… and no-one will ever keep me from a cup of steaming java – though I’ve kicked the tobacco habit since 1995.

 

5. I’ve spent most of my existence focused on a few basic themes: ie: re-creating a ‘family’ that eluded my childhood and continued to elude me during my adult years. The second was helping out/contributing where I could; as a friend, mate, father, poet/writer, musician, paramedic, communication specialist and consigliere (advisor) to those who’ve sought my counsel. I am also a devoted grandfather.

 

6. My early professional career was centered on my son (a heart transplant recipient). I devoted an important portion of my time and studies to becoming the very best paramedic I could be. Unfortunately, it didn’t prevent my son from succumbing to complications arising from the eventual rejection of his transplanted organ. The hardest thing I’ve had to face and overcome was the tragic loss of my son in 2000 – he was just 20 years old.

 

7. I’ve never lived for very long in any one location (average time in any location varied from 2 to 5 years). Though born in Montreal, an important part of my childhood was spent in California. I returned to the Island of Montreal after several self-imposed exiles to the burbs, the country and the Magdalen Islands. Every time I needed solace from life’s ups and downs, I’d move to a remote location until called upon to repossess the life I’d left behind.

 

8. School – now here’s a hot topic. I was asked to vacate my seat on two separate occasions in high school – one for refusing to remove a leather jacket, and the second for wrestling a teacher to the ground in defence of a friend. I returned to school a few years later, and continued on to college and university, where I eventually put my talents to use and specialized in communication. Added to this endeavour were a host of inter-connected professional training courses and programs. Some might surmise that I polished a seat with my ass, though I studied while holding down up to three jobs at a time, depending on constraints imposed by the training I received at any given time. Simple fact was that I truly enjoyed learning.

 

9. Professionally, I’ve known and/or served several politicians and leaders of renown, including a couple of premiers, a prime minister, a provincial deputy and a few noteworthy others on the flip side of the legal fence. I’ve often served in the shadows (professionally), having occasionally been seen/photographed in the presence of my employers. I was charged with the orchestration of their respective public personas.

 

10. A recurring nightmare involves walking over the Queen Victoria Bridge in Montreal. This bridge has a steel framework grating under foot and wheel, so one can see the water by simply looking down at one’s toes. My paternal grandfather took me by the hand when I was but a youngster, and walked me over the bridge in an attempt to help me to overcome my fear of water and heights. Though my professional career has caused me to intervene in traffic accidents and the like on high bridges and rooftops, the dream of falling through one of the holes has always weighed on me – though I never hit the water. Just as I was about to splash, I found myself pulled back onto the bridge by the gentle and conforting squeeze of my grandfather’s hand. As a footnote, I love the water, and though I don’t have sea legs, my home office is decorated with marine memorabilia, posters, model ships and charts.

 

11. As a child, I was constantly surrounded by an arsenal of technologically advanced, as well as traditional weaponry (toys, of course), and my favourite games involved plastic soldiers and a spritzer bottle. I often acted out the drama of being shot and wounded to draw sympathy and admiration from mesmerized female onlookers (I was always acting out some dramatic role for the girls – it made them laugh and me, some new friends).

 

12. I became a rock singer in a first band at age 14, though my favourite music genre was folk rock and ballads (Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, Donovan, Lightfoot, Cohen, and others). I paired up with a couple of buddies and formed a folk ensemble known as ‘Vanishing Field’, performing in local coffee houses and variety shows in and around the Montreal area. I later soloed, but my other career interests curtailed my musical ambitions, though I did continue to write.

 

13. I am a product of Italo-Irish/English ancestry; born in Montreal to a family where French, English and Italian were the daily fare. My paternal grandfather (who spoke to me exclusively in Italian) made the best pepper steak in town, the mere odour of which would cause me to curtail whatever activities I was pursuing in exchange for a delicious meal. Though I’ve since lost most of my Italian heritage, I am fluent in both French and English, to and from which I exercise my chosen profession (I am a copywriter/translator/editor and webmaster).

 

14. Though an artist by nature, I have nonetheless worn an assortment of uniforms associated with my childhood subscriptions/loyalties, and professional pursuits, including:

• school uniform,

• cub scout,

• boy scout,

• baseball player,

• football player,

• army cadet (Royal Canadian Hussars),

• during the interim between adolescence and adulthood, I was a male model

• security guard/officer

• constable

• various company uniforms

• medical assistant/driver

• ambulance technician/paramedic

• rescue squad

• business suit, etc.

 

My artistic side constantly sought emancipation, leading me to break free from traditional/uniform dress codes to play on the lighter side in blue jeans and a tee.

 

15. Though raised as an only child, I have siblings through the complexities of mosaic relationships.

 

16. At this point in my life, I am relatively happy, pursuing personal and business interests/objectives while enjoying life’s little pleasures. I’ve been up and down the ladder of success on several occasions. As stated by David’s best friend in Vanilla Sky, « I’ve known both the sour and the sweet, so I can better appreciate the sweet. »

 

17. Being somewhat of a loner since my son’s demise, I have but few real friends (alive), though the ones I possess have weathered the test of time, the trials of the sour and the joys of the sweet. I have a great relationship with my daughter and my granddaughters, whom I consider to be life’s way to place a smile on my face, and a song in my heart. I’ve also been blessed with a long-standing friendship that has, over time, blossomed into something deeper and more meaningful – her name is Monique.

 

18. I could live on pizza, stale donuts and cold coffee… most of which my doctor forbids me to indulge in on any kind of a regular basis anymore. My present diet is a reasonably healthier compromise between the excitement of boredom and the exhilaration of a maxed-out trio at any of a number of fast-food joints that I no-longer frequent. I guess I’ve been domesticated, so hail Caesar… and kindly ask him to toss the salad, please?

 

19. I hate talking on the phone. I believe that a phone is but a tool (my tool), and its proper place is in the freezer – somewhere between the ice cubes and yesterday’s left-overs. It should serve me; not those selling a fridge I don’t need, or donuts I can’t have. Friendship is better served over a cup of coffee or a shot of brandy. I hate being disturbed during a creative moment – though I thoroughly enjoy good company.

 

20. My very first job was as a dishwasher in a Greek restaurant. At the time, I earned fifty cents an hour and worked seventy hours for that thirty-five dollars… (after a while, they kicked in the pizza and stale donuts as a bonus).

 

21. I’m afraid of flying… though I’ve been on dozens of helicopter, plane and jet flights to satisfy the requirements of a busy career, as well as the needs of private travel, I still prefer to walk barefoot along a sandy beach… though I readily admit the impracticality of the latter. « If God intended us to to fly, he’d have given us wings…», (Creed of the non-believer).

 

22. I appreciate authentic people, and have no time or patience for « appearances ». With me, what you see is what you get… life is too short to be wasted on worrying about what the other guy’s going to think! Life has been a merciless teacher to me, and I’ve learned her lessons well.

 

23. I’ve always subscribed to the old adage that one should render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar (WARNING! THE SALAD IS MINE!). Though an adamant defender of my own point of view, I readily rescind when confronted with credible evidence to the contrary.

 

24. Enjoy it while it lasts, ‘cause nothing lasts forever. Never miss an opportunity to tell those you care about that you do, or to show them how much!

 

25. I am deeply appreciative when in the presence of honest, heartfelt concern – a rare commodity in these troubled times. On the flip side, I abhor hypocrisy, and those who profess it!

 

Amen!

 

m7

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