Green Beer & A Second Year Party...

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Monday, March 17, 2008


Build your vocabulary, feed the hungry...
22,741,713,950 grains donated at this point!

We have much to do...It is funny how three occasions all just collided in the universe two years ago.

Yesterday, March 16th, we celebrated Mom Joan & Dad Vince reaching 56 years of wedded bliss...

Again...congrats Mom and Dad...Love you so!

Today, March 17th, we celebrate the "Wearin' O The Green" with all of our truly Irish and wanna-bee for the day Irish friends...

Today, we also celebrate the 2nd Anniversary of The Big Leather Couch here on Blogger...

Not sure we ever thought about the fact that our first ever post was also on the 54th Anniversary of Mom and Dad's Wedding.

This post just kinda of grew as we began working on it, so we will leave it up for two days...that way you can take your time and enjoy all we have gathered...

The Party Is About To Begin...

The bar is open...we have a special guest back there, pouring your favorite libations...
Funny guy, he dyed his robes, beard and face green for the day...and we will be serving some traditional Irish fare for this part of the journey...Looks good for a guy who is 1623 and died 1547 years...Guinness will preserve ya ---

"When Irish Eyes Are Smiling"
Bing Crosby

We wanted to share with you some party facts about St. Patrick's Day around the world...

The St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin, Ireland is part of a five-day festival; over 500,000 people attended the 2006 parade.

The biggest celebrations on the island of Ireland outside Dublin are in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, where Saint Patrick was buried following his death on March 17, 461

In Argentina, and specially in Buenos Aires, all-night long parties are celebrated in designated streets, since the weather is comfortably warm in March. People dance and drink only beer throughout the night, until seven or eight in the morning

The longest-running Saint Patrick's Day parade in Canada occurs each year in Montreal, Qu├ębec. The parades have been held in continuity since 1824; however, St. Patrick's Day itself has been celebrated in Montreal as far back as 1759 by Irish soldiers in the Montreal Garrison following the British conquest of New France

In Canada, Saint Patrick's Day is an official holiday only in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Manchester, England hosts a two week Irish festival in the weeks prior to St Patrick's Day, the city claims the largest Irish population in Great Britain outside of London.

is the only German city that holds a St. Patrick's Day parade due to the considerably large Irish community. The parade is organized by the German-Irish Society of Bavaria and has been held every year since 1996.

The tiny island of Montserrat, known as "Emerald Island of the Caribbean" due to its foundation by Irish refugees from Saint Kitts and Nevis, is the only place in the world apart from the Republic of Ireland and the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador in which St Patrick's Day is a public holiday.

The first civic and public celebration of Saint Patrick's Day in the 13 colonies took place in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737

The New York parade has become the largest Saint Patrick's Day parade in the world.

In 2006 more than 150,000 marchers participated in it, including bands, firefighters, military and police groups, county associations, emigrant societies, and social and cultural clubs, and it was watched by close to 2 million spectators lining the streets.

The Chicago River is dyed green each year in celebration of St. Patrick's Day.

So, be safe, have fun...enjoy your friends and family...this one is for our good bud Matt-Man...just feel like this is one of those songs he and the brothers all sing at the end of a long St. Patrick's Day celebration...

We're as stubborn as mules

With our blood on fire
When we ain't at Sunday mass
We'll look any man straight in his eyes and say
Kiss my Irish ass!
You better kiss my Irish ass!

Now...on to our next celebration...On March 16th, 2006 we began a new adventure in our life. Bond's Big Leather Couch was born on that day. Prior to that day, we had maintained a blog to doing reviews of American Idol - Season 5 over on their website.

After some 'situations' occurred - we had to find a new home and we came across

Our intent was to post the reviews and recaps of AI, but also, we found there was a need to put words to paper. We truly did not know what to expect when we began this adventure.

Sure, we had a faded pencil outline on a soiled cocktail napkin in our mind - but how it would develop, or if it would even continue more than the length of that season's shows...we stepped out off the cliff of silence into the air of words...

We thought about this post and have already warned you once it is going to be long.

If you take the next two days to read, that is wonderful...if you get to the wonderful video you are about to see and decide to close the window and wait for Wednesday's post, then that is fine also - who would know anyway???

This video began as an idea we had for a song and we asked our friend Matt-Man to sing and film it for us...Well, that became a situation - and Matt-Man felt he could not do what we were looking for justice - so he told us to "Just relax and let me take care of it".

Of course this conjured up images of ritualistic torture and animal abuse and a totally meatless vision from a man who needs meat to survive...BUT we did...and this is the result...

Matt-Man...Sir you are a special person and we thank you so very much...if you were here right now, we would give you a man-hug and even a kiss on your cheek (very manly of course)...

This is the first post we ever did...short and to the point:

March 16, 2006

Well... welcome to the BIG LEATHER COUCH... this will be my place to open the top of my head and let all that information up there spill out.

It will take the form of stream of conscienceness and rants and raves...but it will also be well thought out and concise (yeah like I ever do anything concise!)

I am hoping you will bookmark me and come and visit.

The plan is to post daily, but that might not always be patient...

Like what you see? Want to help contribute to my piggy bank? We will be looking for advertising along the way and hope you join the COUCH in that way also...

Like we said - short and to the point...

Yes, that is me and my alter-ego...The life-sized stand-up was given to us when we left our job in Boston, MA back in 1997. Our face was pasted over the face that was on the actual piece.

Sometime back in the late '90's a lawsuit was brought against Hooters, as the did not hire male wait-staff...This life-size piece was created as a joke, with the hairy guy, given breasts...

My friends got a picture of me and had it laminated on the head...still have this...if you ever come to Casa Marini-Memphis, you can check it out for yourself...

Of course it is the season of the politicos, and whenever they hear of a party...a gathering of more than 10 folks - they come out in droves to 'pump up the votes'.

Please endure - as they have offered to cover the costs of some of the libations...

We found it funny reading our 100th post...blogger problems - have we ever truly lost them? Do not get us wrong...there are other sites to host - or you can host your own domain - but for overall ease...blogger does rule...

We had not begun to add music to The Couch at this point...but we did discuss this Tuneage near the end of the we added it here.

"While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
Sting & Jeff Beck

100th Post
August 16th, 2006
"Blogger, Apologies, Blogs & Music"

Welcome To THE COUCH...Sit on Down and Get Comfy...

I am getting frustrated by blogger. As of last week, all of a sudden, I need to do a verification before I can post my blog.

I received the following message:
Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog. (What's a spam blog?) Since you're an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not a spam blog. Automated spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and we sincerely apologize for this false positive. Before we can turn off mandatory word verification on your posts we'll need to have a human review your blog and verify that it is not a spam blog. Please fill out the form below to get a review.Well, so far, I have filled out the form every day (7 times) and still, no word from the "powers that be".Do I look like Spam? Gosh, I have never even eaten Spam.

Well at least these incredible words of wisdom get posted, but what a PITA!

I send a slight apology for yesterday's posting. Not for all of it, but for the ramblings about credit cards and the like. My situation is such small potatoes compared to what some of my friends are going through. Diana's father (Diana's Journal - linked on the front page), and her daily struggle to care for him is so much more important and critical...

My friend Donna, who lives here is going through treatment for breast cancer...

My niece Candice and her ordeal...Another friend who is going through problems at home with an abusive spouse...(this one makes my blood boil, but she has become strong and he currently resides behind bars as he should)...The soldiers who are overseas fighting an unwinnable war and losing their lives over it...

My friend who is dealing with health issues with BOTH her mom and dad and needs to care for them as much as possible...And my wife's struggle with her chronic pain and now a benign tumor on her spine...

There is also good news out there...Gary's recovery from his scare with cancer...It appears he is on the road to recovery...Another friend who just completed her treatment for a rare form of cancer on her breast...And she is recovering nicely...Fred, just celebrating his 20th with the Missus...Matt is healthy...Mom is still in total recovery from her cancer of three years ago...

So, I need to focus on the positives more then the negatives in my life. I am the type that has always put my issues aside to focus on my friend's situations, and it bothers me that I have let my minor problems become the focus here once again.

That will stop my friends.. It is all good....

OK...Also linked on this site is the blog my brother Richard writes for the San Antonio Express-News website called FAVORITE OFFICE TIME WASTERS. I have mentioned this many times before and will continue to do so, because - if you have not been there- you are missing out.

You MUST check out his link called "BUT DOES DIRK KNOW" on the site right now. Personally, I am upset it did not come with a warning label like they use on CD's and TV programs, that your eyes may spontaneously combust when looking at the site it links to.

I am also very very curious how many of my readers will get the context of the title "But Does Dirk Know" and ask you to tell me in the comments section if you did or did not get it.

I have to admit, it took me a few seconds, once I had seen the site, to get the connection, but when I did.. I laughed so hard a tear came to my eye.

Rich...Your sense of humor has always had a certain warp to it that I love!

If you go over to Fred's World, you will see his latest post about his 20th Anniversary and some nice shots from the wedding...Oh..Rich is the guy just to the right of the Missus in the group shot (your right not theirs)...His legs are no where near as nice as mine though!

Another site that, I think, I had previously recommended is the OCEANGRAM.COM site where you can write a message, put it into a bottle and hoist it into the virtual ocean. Then you can wait for messages to come back to you (YES, I got this one from Rich's FOTW site also...)

But I must insist that, if your boss catches you on his site or on links you got from his site, that you don't blame him! LOL

I have also been spending some time going through my music collection...reaquainting myself with some of my all time favorite songs.

Still, to this day, Jackie Wilson's "Higher & Higher" makes me smile like a teenage boy in love for the first time.

Derek and the Dominos doing "Bell Bottom Blues" is another incredible song and another is Aretha Franklin doing "The Weight" (yes THE BAND song) with Duane Allman doing the slide guitar.

I also did some searching on Limewire the other night and found the most incredible live version of Sting with Jeff Beck doing the George Harrison song "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". Jeff Beck is one of the more unrated guitar players of our time, IMHO.

FYI ... My opinion is - if I have already purchased the song in analog (vinyl) I have no qualms about downloading a digital version, and any music that is live and not available on CD, well that is fair game also. I will not hurt an artist by downloading music I have not previously owned.

Just my opinion and I am sure there are those who will disagree...But please don't call the RIAA police on me...Rock on....

Thanks for sitting on THE COUCH, hope you enjoyed your stay.

Remember .. Nets For Malaria - - find the big SI's Nothing But Net logo ... Or call 202.887.9040. Every cent goes to buying nets to place over the beds of children in Africa to stomp out Malaria. PLEASE HELP.

Keep that spark of insanity kids...It helps keep you an individual.

Please welcome the Republican candidate for President, as he speaks about The Couch...

The other Democratic candidate takes time away from his busy schedule to speak to you...

Bored yet?

SO much has happened in our life since we began this two years ago. Back then, we were not really working....we were living in NJ...we had Matt with us all the time as he lived at home as he went to college. Money was real tight...our life did not have a lot of personal happiness.

The appearence of Taylor Hicks on AI had introduced us to some incredible people. Some we have even gotten the opportunity to meet - and some we still only know through the cyberwaves.

The Couch has been the one constant as we have a great live in Memphis...Matt is 900 miles away and is missed so...Money is still tight, but we are now finding personal happiness in our life.

We have met so many new friends because of The Couch...We get to live their (your) lives with you every day...and you get to live ours (gee....sorry, never thought of that...poor you!)

When we first began this, we thought of posting more "Landmark" posts here...We will spare you that looooooong read....

IF you are interested...
Post 300 is HERE - Wednesday, April 25, 2007. At least one of these ended up being a piece of fiction. The story is called "Dangerous Lines"

Post 400 is HERE - September 4, 2007 - it was titled "Tuesday Thoughts & Thanks" was a collection of bling given to us...a wish for Labor Day and a little party for #400.

When reviewing the posts done over the last two years, there are some we remember with fondness. They were fun to write. They made us giggle.

We have truly enjoyed sharing our fiction during MONDAY MATINEE...and also sharing musical knowledge with the TUNEAGE TUTELAGE...

But there are a couple of posts that have been labors of love. Those that live inside of us and are one of the reasons we did begin this adventure afterall.

We did a post for Matt on April 3, 2007 for his 20th birthday. You can find it HERE.

Way back on June 22, 2006, we did the post "The Rise & Fall Of FEMA" and their inability to coordinate a true response to Katrina and Rita - found HERE.

There was the post on October 19, 2007 about Jason Kendall Ray, the brave young man, whose selflessness helped save lives. The post was entitled "Do You Know?" and can be found HERE

The post that got more comments than any other was one entitled "Where Are We Going", published on August 30, 2007. It revolved around the state of our children and how parents are shielding them from the real word. It can be found HERE.

Now on some sites, this might have had 100's of comments....On our little home, it received 43...a HUGE number for us....and one more than this final post for you today...

One that, coincidentally had been posted the week prior, on August 17, 2007. It is a comedic post about a very stressful day...hope you enjoy it HERE

Thank you for allowing us to overload your senses today. We certainly hope to continue to spend time with all y'all here, five days a week for a long time to come...

Sure this was a pretentious post...but is that not the nature of our blogs? A place for we, as individuals, to be semi-dictorial and decide what will appear? Of course, if people stop coming to visit, then you might as well just fire up your word processing software and put your thoughts there where only you can read them.

Hope you had enough to eat and drink and enjoyed the desserts...

Be back on Wednesday to start our THIRD year with you all...and we will be introducing a new way to be a Couch-Sitter then...

Grab some Champagne as you leave...

We always sit through the credits of movies, since you never know what the Director might do...

24 Of Your Sparks

  1. TopChamp Says:
  2. happy anniversary Bond Mum & Dad!

    Happy Anniversary BOND! I remember your 100th post... and many others. I liked the video!

    p.s. I still think gravy's brown and made of meat juice with flour.

    In the spirit of St Patrick's day - Cheers! Here's to many more years of the Couch.

  3. Schmoop Says:
  4. Well done and quite thorough!! Keep on Rockin' in the Free Blog World Vinny.

    Cheers to you, and your Big Leather Couch!!

  5. Travis Cody Says:
  6. The video was great! I had to stop there because I'm off to work.

    I'll check out the rest later.

    Happy Bloggiversary!

  7. Liz Hill Says:
  8. Even meatless the Matt-man RAWKS!!

    Happy 2nd Anniversary to you sugar


  9. OBLadyBug Says:
  10. Great video! Congratulations on your 2nd Anniversay of the Big Leather Couch my dear Vinny.

    Cheers! Here's to many more years of the couch.

  11. TOPCHAMP: Gravy is red and made from tomatoes! LOL

    TY my friend...

    MATT-MAN: Without your video, it would have been a lesser post..TY Sir

    TRAVIS: TY Sir..glad you enjoyed

    TURNBABY: Smooch...ty sugar

    NANCY: TY darlin'...Having you here makes it more special

  12. Wow, you certainly have a lot to celebrate - and what an incredible post!

    Well done - and Happy Anniversary for all.

  13. Anonymous Says:
  14. wow..if I were capable of shedding a tear, that video and post may have made me misty.

  15. Tug Says:
  16. wow.

    Happy Anni to your parents, and Happy Blog-anni to you!

  17. DrillerAA Says:
  18. Happy Anniversary to all.
    I guess I'm going to be here a while. The video is spectacular, the music in great and I haven't been able to read all of the post yet.
    I just found this blog a couple of months ago, but I has become one of my favorite stops along the blogosphere to where ever it is that I'm going.
    Have a great day.

  19. Anndi Says:
  20. We'll make you an honorary Irishman for today... You better be wearing green.

    You mean I'll still have to edit? (Hope you'll be kinder and not make all my assignments so darn long though...)

    Back to work I go.

  21. Wow. Happy 2nd, Vin - it's been a fun and interesting ride. So glad I stumbled up you; you invited me to sit on The Couch some time during year one, and it's been warm and hospitable ever since.

    Matty did a nice job on your anniversary video. Not bad for a drunken, meat-deprived maniac!

  22. happy anniversary bond! can i have some cake?

    smiles, bee

  23. Anonymous Says:
  24. YAY! Happy 2nd anniversary, Vinny!
    Thank you so much for celebrating with us... cake, virtual Champagne and so many great reads! thank you so so much - keep on rocking us!!!


  25. RWA: Thanks - glad to see you

    DOC: Here is a tissue, you must have allergies

    TUG: TY

    DRILLERAA: I am happy we found each other..I enjoy your posts a great deal.

    ANNDI: I was made a honorary Irishman many years ago dear...
    There are mistakes?

    SONGBIRD: Honestly, I remember the evening you found The Couch very well. Our comments and emails back and forth...Your seat here is is your ribbon

    BEE: More than enough cake...we may have over-bought

    SANNI: Thank you so much Sanni...

  26. Sparky Duck Says:
  27. Congrats to your folks, who cant believe that they have spawned a 2 year old blogger

  28. Meribah Says:
  29. Happy Anniversary to your Mom and Dad (what a cute couple!) and to your blog! Sure, this post was long, but the puppy enjoyed it just the same. May the luck of the Irish be with you today and always. Hugs. :)

  30. SPARKY: They thank

    MERI: They are kinda cute...Glad you enjoyed the post...long through it was...

  31. Anndi Says:
  32. But were you wearing green?

    Don't know, I actually had to work and the post was a bit long dear...

  33. Travis Cody Says:
  34. Wow. You did a great job with this.

    Here's to many more years of words and music!

  35. ANNDI: I had some green on...

    TRAVIS: I appreciate that my friend. I would like to think I can keep going...

  36. Julie Says:
  37. Okay.....I'm reading from newest to oldest in attempts to catch up.....I'm seeing some fun in this posting also in the post for today.

    Am I crazy?

  38. Jeff B Says:
  39. BRAVO!!!

    Glad to have been able to leave my own butt prints on you couch. You've got a great site going and some equally great people reading it.

    BTW Nice job Matt-Man on the video.

  40. Angell Says:
  41. WOW - two years? I remember planting my (ample) butt on the Couch for the first time in the SP Mansion (before Galford's experiments kept blowing it up).

    I haven't left since.

    There sure is a lot to celebrate my friend, and as long as you'll have me, my butt is yours (so to speak).


    Happy Anni to Mom & Dad - hope they know what a special boy they raised.


Music On The Couch