Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Thursday, March 29, 2007


Well tonight they introduced the bottom three:

Going home this evening:

Had him in the bottom 2…

6-6 On Bottom Selections
1-2 On Going Home

Not picking the train wreck to go home anymore.. America is totally wacked…


Our good friend Bud from WTIT Tape Radio - The Blog tagged us for the Thinker Blog mem going around. We truly appreciate the nomination, but we have declined.

Our friend Travis has skillfully made the points we feel about this, so we will not go into detail here, but - in short - we just feel the person who began this meme did it with ulterior motives and the original post on the meme was condescending to what we feel is the true reason for blogging. That is to do it for yourself.

Again Bud, the thought is greatly appreciated, but with no offense to those who have accepted and perpetuated this meme, we respectfully decline. We hope you understand.


We began writing this part of today's post and had the first paragraph crafted when we took a break and visited our friend Anndi's site. To our surprise, her WORDLESS WEDNESDAY had a very similar theme.
Go check it out at Anndi's Luggage


Life can be a dark and scary ride sometimes. You move along and the twists and turns come out of no where and then you must make decisions.

Decisions that will affect you for the rest of you life and you never know if the road taken was correct or not until the next curve…the next fork.


When in college, studying printing management we had a great love for radio and spent much of our freshman year at the college station and also at the local station in Rochester, doing 4 shows a week. Our grades suffered. Mom and dad asked if we wanted to transfer to a school where we could pursue a career in radio.

We spent a week considering it… but because we had two friends who were in the business who were struggling and we realized it was a tough road, we declined.

We did continue working in radio in various capacities as a hobby for years and spent even more time as a DJ entertainer for weddings - but if you sit here often, you know all that.

We love our career and have been fairly successful, but what could have been. Could we have been a big market DJ? What would have happened then? Would we be doing commercials and maybe branched into Television?

It’s all possibilities and decisions – what you do and what you don’t do… the fork in the road…


Many years ago, we had a job offer with a large company. We negotiated over many days. We ended up being a few thousand dollars apart. They finally agreed to pay me my salary requirement, but stated that there would be no raise for a year.

After a few days of consideration, we decided to turn the offer down. That company became a GIANT pharmaceutical firm.

So, the two paths… the path we took allowed me to meet a woman who became my fiancé. Now, we never married, but that relationship put me into a place that led me to meet the woman who we did marry. Because of that, we have a tremendous son, Matt who we would have ever met if we had taken the other path…

That path, could have led to a position with this company, stock options, and possibly by now retirement.

It’s all possibilities and decisions – what you do and what you don’t do… the fork in the road…


Ten years ago we were in Boston working for a great company – loved my job. They only had one office in Boston, and the management always preached they would never expand. My family hated it in Massachusetts. An offer came back in the NY/NJ market. It meant running a group that had been having great difficulties, but also having the opportunity to turn it around.

We took the offer and moved. We got a place 10 minutes from work. We had always had at least an hour commute. Things were great…the company had made promises and were keeping every one.

Then the company I had been with in Boston opened a NY office. They came to me offering the job. An increase in salary, all my old benefits and seniority would be in place and we would have been part of the management team charged with building the business.

We took time considering it and said no. The quality of life, being able to go to Matt’s Little League games, the lack of a commute. All factors that won us over to not moving.

Soon afterward things changed at our current company. The person who had been in my position was close to the owner and his wife and she had been moved to another area (which she screwed up causing a huge fine over illegal software – I had warned them, but they did not listen). Well she maneuvered behind my back and after we had settled lawsuits against the company at about $0.05 on the dollar, found income producing procedures, redesigned the entire workflow area, fired and hired a better staff, they came to me and told me “my services were no longer needed.”

What if we had taken the other offer? We would have not been able to see Matt’s games, we would have traveled longer commuting hours, but we would probably still be with that company. With 15 years of stock options (they went public soon after we turned them down), and a great salary. But our great times with Little League and coaching Matt's All-Star teams would have been impossible and those are incredibly important times in our life together.

It’s all possibilities and decisions – what you do and what you don’t do… the fork in the road…


After that we had two options, one with another agency and one with Juno Online, the internet service provider. We took the Juno position. Soon afterward, they were bought by NetZero and my position became obsolete.

The other opportunity at the agency, which we declined? The person we would have been number two for was let go a short time later due to “unethical conduct.” Her number two became number one. Who knows how that position would have worked out?

It’s all possibilities and decisions – what you do and what you don’t do… the fork in the road…


A little more then a year ago, while sitting in an office with little to do, we went online to a website for a TV program. Something we had never done before. We went into the chat boards and began defending a gray-haired singer we had seen audition the night before.

“No, he does not have Tourettes" we would say. "No he does not have cerebral palsy he just feels the music" we would explain. A woman sent me a message telling me that there was a group forming who would appreciate my sense of this gentleman.

We went over and became one of the first dozen members of what was then being named “The Soul Patrol.” Through this group we met some incredible people, people we would never have met if we did not log on that one boring day.

It’s all possibilities and decisions – what you do and what you don’t do… the fork in the road…


Five months ago, out of work for 20-months, we had three positions we were looking at. We decided to move to Memphis, though it meant our family would not be moving.

The position is great. Our bosses are extremely happy with our work. Our client has told us they could not be happier we decided to join their team. We are part of their team even though we do not work for their company.

The other two positions, one was made obsolete, one we hear has already turned the position over again.

Today we calculated that we will be under budget for all our work by almost 15% this year, bringing higher profits to our client and to our employer.

It’s all possibilities and decisions – what you do and what you don’t do… the fork in the road…


Life can be a dark and scary ride sometimes.

Then again, sometimes it can be a bright, fun loving journey.

Through it all, you make the best decisions you can at the time, and allow fate to guide you to the next curve, the next twist, the next fork...

Through all the forks, when we look at the entire ride as a whole, we don’t think we would change one curve, one twist, or taken one different is what has made us who we are at 52+ years old and even though life isn’t perfect, it is still damn good.


The music accompanying this post is the song "DID YOU SEE HER EYES?" and comes from our time growing up on Long Island. The band is THE ILLUSION. They were huge during the late 60’s and early 70’s. Their shows were a sight to see. Even before we were legal (18 at that time), we would use fake ID to get into their shows.

The following is from a website dedicated to the band found HERE

The Illusion, one of long island's greatest bands that lasted from 1965-1972 which some say were the greatest years of rock & roll. The illusion will always be remembered for their incredible harmonies, insane light shows, raw energy, intense mind-expanding sound effects, & great musicianship. But what was going on before The Illusion?

John Vinci (lead vocals) was into doo wop during the early 60's. "During that time (early 60's) Johnny had that greaser look" says Lance Folger (illusion roadie). "We used to call Johnny the walking stick" says Chuck. "He was about 6 ft. & very thin." "Johnny was always very creative (says Lance) & had a lot of ideas that he would incorporate in to the show". This creativity would make The Illusion different from all the other New York bands.

Mike Maniscalco (rhythm guitar/vocals) was the most versatile member of The Illusion. Mike always enjoyed music, "He could pick up anything & play it" says Lance.
(we'll soon have more on Mike)

Rich Cerniglia (lead guitar) started playing guitar when he was about 10. By the time he was 15 he was backing up the likes of the Shirelles, The Ronettes, Gladys Knight, The Temptations, & many others.

Chuck Alder (bass) was playing guitar by age 12, when he was about 15 he switched to bass. Some of the groups Chuck was in during the early 60's were: The Uncalled Four, The Arrivals, The Dell Sonics (where he met Mike Maniscalco), & The Creations (where he met Mike Ricciardella).

Mike Ricciardella was banging on drums since before he could remember, at about age 16 he competed in a New York State drum competition & won (he was officially the best drummer in New York). Mike would later meet Chuck Alder in "The Creations".

How did The Illusion get TOGETHER? After the Creations fell apart, Mike Ricciardella joined a band called "The 5 Illusions" they were very "56" sounding. "I remember the first night Mike went to play with them (the 5 Illusions)" says Lance. "It was at a club in West Hempstead in a little basement room, the place was like a little college mixer, they sounded pretty good, that
had to around 1965".

The original line-up was Johnny Vinci, Steve Burg, Howie Blume (Howie later became the bass player in Network under the name of Howard Davidson), Frank Carrillo, & Mike Ricciardella. After a while, Frank & Steve were leaving the band, & Howie joined the service, that's when
they brought in Mike Maniscalco, Chuck Alder, & Rich Cerniglia."

The name of the band went through a few changes, first... The 5 Illusions, then the 5 Illusion, then The Illusions, then The Illusion.

The Illusion’s first release was a single tittled: "My Party" which was backed with: "It's Groovey time". Both tracks were written & produced by Mitch Ryder, the single was unfortunately unsuccessful. Time would pass before the band would record their first album. In 1967 the band did their first national tour with Mitch Ryder, the tour started on March 5th, & ended some time in November. Later, The Illusion began recording their first album which was produced by Jeff Barry.

The album did very well, & the band had a hit with: "Did You See Her Eyes?" Which went to #1 in some areas of New York & #22 in the nation.

Although the album didn't make it to gold, it did so well that Paramount (instead of advertising the record) wanted another record from the band. The band's new album was rushed in three days however, it did not have the success of their first lp.

The Illusion always put on an incredible live show! They were ahead of their time in many ways. The band undoubtedly had fun in the studio recording their first album, but something was missing in the recordings. That HARD ROCK attitude that the band had on stage wasn't there.
- Dennis Folger


Composer: Jeff Barry

19 Of Your Sparks

  1. Travis Cody Says:
  2. We make the decisions in our lives without the benefit of hindsight. We do the best we can with the information in front of us. It's easy to become paralyzed by the varied choices.

    My stepdad says that when he gets to the end, he can live with the mistakes he's made from doing something...errrors of comission.

    But the choice not made, the step not taken, the ommission of action...he wants nothing to do with that kind of regret.

    The choices we make create the people we become. I'm glad you were bored that day. I'm glad you chose to defend that gray haired singer.

  3. Twyla Says:
  4. "You never know if the road taken was correct or not until the next curve..."
    So true. I also believe that everything happens for a reason, and it all becomes clear in the end. At the time though, it's hard to understand.

  5. Mags Says:
  6. Oh, how I know these words are true! I find comfort in your recalling the choices you've made and the fact that you wouldn't change them...

    And, if I can ask a personal question-are you still married? I can't seem to tell.

  7. Schmoop Says:
  8. Wow...That's quite a few Italians for one band!! Cheers!!

  9. TRAVIS: Step-dad is very astute. Totally agree with your last statement..and though i have many faults, I still like, very much, the person I have become.

    TWYLA: It can be very hard to understand at the time...but all we can do is take the step...

    MAGS: If you sit and regret every decision you made that caused you to run into a blockade, you would be paralyzed with fear and never make another decision in your life. I am still legally married, yes.

    MATT: Long Island ---60's dude...all the families from Brooklyn and The Bronx moved out to have a "better life"... that meant Italians, Jews and some Irish... that was about it....What a great place to grow u in many ways.

  10. Barb Says:
  11. I wouldn't change one single thing that happened in my life, or decision I've made because it all made me who I am today. Whatever that means! :)

    UGH.. why is Sanjaya STILL there???

  12. I wouldn't change my choices, either, I don't think. I've learned waaaaay too much from them.

    And.... I didn't have Chris going home, either.

  13. Sparky Duck Says:
  14. what a great post, espcecially since i have felt like I have been on a LA highway lately, missing all the exits.

    and I cant fathom what has happened to AI

  15. Maryfly Says:
  16. great post hon, thank goodness you took the AI path! I'm soooo glad your in my life, hugs!

  17. hi bond! choices. yes, very good post.

    hey? you know you live in a red state, right? ha ha ha ha ha....

    smiles, bee

  18. Unknown Says:
  19. My granny used to say: "Hindsight is always 20/20..."

    ... Great post, Vinny!

    "We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run over." (Aneurin Bevan)

  20. Meribah Says:
  21. Yes, everything happens for a reason, even if we don't understand it at the time. I'm so glad you joined the Soul Patrol. You add spice to our lives that's for sure! LOL

  22. Anndi Says:
  23. TUNAGE!!!!

    Great minds think alike dear...

    Our past make us who we are...

    “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
    - Richard Bach


  24. Excellent post. I was always worried about my first husband dying in Viet Nam. He died less than a half mile from our house. There are no guarantees in this life.

  25. SKITTLES: Better to accept then regret, though we regret Sanjaya...

    108: Get in the happy for what we are line...

    SPARKY: Wait, damn I missed that exit answering you... oops there goes another...

    MARY: I am happy to be in yours also...

    BEE: Ummm.. gee with all the pollen, it is awful green here right now! LOL

    SANNI: Bright woman... TY my friend...

    MERI: ty so much for the wonderful words.. and meeting you has been fabulous

    ANNDI: The tunes be back...Yes great minds do darling....Excellent quote my friend


  26. Mimi Lenox Says:
  27. Ahh....choices. One minute you're stuck in the mud and not sure what to do. The next, something wonderful and magical can happen in a split second when you least expect it.

    The trick is to be ready to accept the magic and move out of the mud.

  28. TopChamp Says:
  29. Seems you've done ok! Wise words from your friends too.

    I wanted to thank you for your genius... gonna put your name to the others today but LOVE IT! (so have already used it on invoice) Will do you a big link-up thanks when I get in later... quite a lot later.

  30. Peg Says:
  31. totally sidestepped the are you married question, with the "Yes, legally" reply! ;) Just needling you!

    This post is great, because it's such a good reminder that while we may sometimes lament decisions that we've made in the past, to do so will detract from the good things that resulted from those decisions. I have a drawer FULL of forks, but I tend not to pull them out frequently to review others have said, it's what makes me, ME.

    BTW, I never knew you'd lived in MA. Given that you said you worked in Boston, I'm assuming you lived in one of the areas outside Boston (No. Shore, So. Shore, Metrowest...) There are things that I hated SO much about MA--and found moving just 75 miles outside of Boston cured a lot of the issues I had with the Greater Boston area.

    Anyhoo, I've rambled enough--great post-as always! Have a great weekend...

  32. Gail Says:
  33. Bond -

    I hope I type this right...tears are in my eyes. You touched my heart with your "fork in the road" said it all so eloquently.
    And as I am standing before that fork in the road, I will remember what you went through and know that the one I let get away will be the one to give me a gift.

    I am blessed to know you.


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