Monday, December 30, 2013

Easy as Falling Off a Blog

How long has it been since my last blog post? So long, the Giants had yet to play  (and lose) their first game. So long, two full seasons have come and gone. So long, my stepdaughter graduated high school and finished her first semester at Seton Hall. And so long, I needed the site host to send me a password reminder to access my own blog!

But what’s 6 months in the grand scheme of things?  Women who conceived the last time I posted (not that there’s a connection) are still pregnant. The high-yield bank CD’s you purchased are still maturing.  And people are STILL listening to Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” – so really, what’s the big deal?  We can pick up right where we left off…

Which was with me crying like a little titty baby at Julianna’s awards ceremony. Since then, I have only cried once (at the end of Toy Story 3) and she has not won any other awards, unless you count Starbucks Rewards. As for the other kid, he graduated to a “big boy” bed and continued to make us laugh at his antics and wisdom, and still refused to try mashed potatoes.

Speaking of which, Thanksgiving was yummy. Halloween was fun. Christmas was wonderful. Our Labor Day picnic was a great success - in fact, only yesterday, I found a stray cooler in the yard with about a dozen beers frozen in the ice like little mastadons.   And Renee continued to strike, this time filling my yard with red Solo cup holiday sculptures.

Other than that, it’s been business as (un)usual.  I still enjoy my job, hate my cat, and love my wife. I rode lots of miles on my bike, and damaged many body parts in the process. I made the final payment on our ridiculously expensive couch, but then bought a ludicrously overpriced mattress set. I had to say goodbye to some really great people, but also got to meet some pretty good ones as well. Especially at the Mikula wedding in Aruba! But basically, life went on, whether I blogged about it or not.

Yes, I’m back. But I’m not making any promises. At least not about blogging.  Though I AM going to use this forum to declare my resolutions for 2014. Which are…drumroll please….

1.     Finish two books (whether that mean writing them or reading them, only time will tell!)
2.     See more live music! Prince was just in the area for three straight nights, and while we talked about seeing him, that was it. I’ve got friends, who as I type, are driving 1200 miles to see a mid-level jam band, yet I couldn’t even make the effort to head upstate to see a legend? Lame.
3.     Share more of my heart (and spleen!) with others
4.     Lose ten pounds by Spring (and if I don’t, I will PAY $10 to every person who comments below!)

So, there you have it. 6 months summed up in six paragraphs. I’m sure I missed a lot, but I'm pretty sure I enjoyed it all!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Past Presents

Last night was Shelton High’s Scholarship and Awards Ceremony, where my stepdaughter, Julianna, received a nice award from the teacher’s union.  I went, but as proud as I was of her, it wasn’t something I was looking forward to doing.  As I told my 4-year old son earlier in the day when he asked why he couldn’t go, there’s nothing fun about sitting still for two hours and clapping until you get calluses.  

But, as it turned out, it was sort of fun.  I enjoyed hearing the kids whooping and hollering for their friends and watching them playfully interact with their administrators.  I got a kick out of seeing kids I had last seen as members of Julianna’s Girl Scout troop or soccer team all grown up and ready to graduate.  And speaking of grown-ups, I appreciated the chance to catch up with now literally old friends who were there to support their children. Strange as it sounds, even though I know I’m getting older, the people I haven’t seen in the 20 years since graduating high school exist in a sort of time capsule in my mind, so when I see that they too have thinner hairlines and thicker waist lines, it always takes me by surprise.

Even more surprising was I how emotional I was. From the moment I sat down, there was a lump in my throat.  I went there expecting to be bored to tears, but by the time we got through the student-led versions of the Pledge of Allegiance and Star-Spangled Banner, my eyes were welling up for a different reason.  Of course, I couldn’t let anyone know I was apparently getting my period  - especially with my wife’s ex-husband sitting right next to me  - so I choked back the tears the best I could, while trying to figure out where the hell they were coming from! Not that I’m embarrassed by emotions, mind you. I have no problem crying in public when there’s a REASON for crying, like at a funeral. Or a Mets game. But this was not an emotional event. Maybe if I was projecting down the road to Julianna’s future, or regretting my own high school experience, that would explain it. But I wasn’t. I was just sitting there, listening to the speaker read the requirements for each award and then clapping as he named each recipient.  Not exactly the type of stuff that tugs at one’s heartstrings.

But tug it did. It wasn’t until about midway through the ceremony that I figured out what it was pulling from me.

Each award had a sponsor, such as the Drama Club, P.T.A., and The Historical Society. There were some from local businesses and dignitaries, former teachers and administrators, and veteran’s groups and senior centers. And then there were those from individuals, mostly in honor of people who had passed away. Many of whom I had known.

I won’t go into them all, but there was the Joseph D’Agostino Jr. Memorial Award, given in honor of a former classmate who had died in a terrible car accident when he was only 23. There was the Mary Ellen Hames Dellacato Memorial Scholarship Award, given in memory of a girl who died much too young from Lupus. And there were two Neil Craig Heilweil Memorial Awards that honored a friend of mine who died just weeks before graduation from some crazy form of meningitis.

These three people represented the broad spectrum of high school life. Joe was the tough guy/cool kid, Mary Ellen the pretty and popular cheerleader, and Neil was…well, Neil was Neil! He occupied a clique all of his own, but people gravitated toward him. The illegal scavenger hunt he organized is the stuff of legend and is still talked about over 20 years later. And thanks to these awards and scholarships, strangers are now talking about them and benefitting from their all too short lives.

So I guess while my brain was busy paying attention to the “action” on stage, my heart was quietly aching back to the past. The sight of all those bright and beautiful young people smiling in the shadows of those who came (and left) before them was blurring my vision with tears. The thought that Joe and Neil have been dead longer than they were alive was putting that lump in my throat. But the hope and excitement and friendship and zest for life exhibited by all the teens in the room balanced it all out – but made it even harder to see and swallow.

 As the kids were exiting the auditorium, I made a point to track down the young man who won one of the Neil Heilweil awards. I grasped his shoulder and managed say, “Congratulations. I went to this school with Neil. He was a great guy…” before I got choked up. He thanked me, said a few polite words, and then rejoined his friends. But had I been able to keep it together, I would have commended him for his very Neil-like move on stage. You see, for the first 30 or so awards that were handed out, the recipients accepted their envelopes and shook the hand of the Dean of Students and then strode right past the half-dozen dignitaries sitting on stage. But when this young man went up to get his Neil Heilweil award, he took the time to shake EVERY hand on stage. And the BEAUTIFUL part of it was, for the rest of the night, all the other winners followed suit and did the same thing. 

Without even trying, this young man found the perfect way to honor the memory of another young man he had never met.  Other than organizing that infamous scavenger hunt, Neil was not someone I would consider a Leader, but he had many followers and admirers. And still does to this day.

So even though I entered that auditorium prepared to be bored, and spent most of the evening battling my emotions, I managed to leave feeling good, as I could tell that this group of kids had a LOT in common with the namesakes of their awards. 

Life is short, but life goes on….

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Deflowered BEFORE the Prom

The following is a true story. But to protect the identities of the not-so innocent (and to reflect the late 80’s setting) I’m telling it Bon Jovi style, meaning: “It’s all the same. Only the names have changed…”

It was the night of the Senior Prom, and my friend, Ro…err, I mean Ralph, and his girlfriend, umm, Muffy, and myself were on our way to pick up my date, uh, Julia Roberts. It was around 5:30 in the afternoon, and apparently posing for pictures at parents’ houses and renting limos were not yet part of the scene – or maybe they just weren’t part of our scene – because our pre-Prom preparations involved stashing a cooler in the back of my Chevette and smoking a joint on the way to my girlfriend’s house.

“Save some for Julia,” Muffy warned, as I was about to take my third hit. “Unless Brad comes through for us, that’s all we’ve got left.”

“Really?” I coughed, tamping out the joint, before tucking it into an empty Tic Tac container that I stashed in my tuxedo’s inside pocket. “How much did you tell him?”

“Just a dime,” Ralph said. “And you’re gonna have to cover it. I spent the last of my money on the beer. That hotel really wiped me out. I told you we should have just booked the Milford Motor Lodge.”

“It’s the Prom,” Muffy cooed. “We can’t go to no Roach Motel! Besides, their “doubles” are just two beds in a single room…”

She trailed off the let Ralph consider the implication of that. The brief image I got of it was enough to make me glad that the four of us, along with another other couple, had all pitched in and rented an expensive family suite at the Residence Inn, typically a long-term stay establishment that catered to business people who wanted to feel at home while on the road. Ralph and I had already stopped by earlier in the day to get the key and load up the fridge with booze and beer. The plan was to show up at the prom, eat our meals, pose for some pictures, and then leave to party at the hotel.

And party a little before, too, of course!

As I pulled into Julia’s driveway, I felt grateful that Muffy didn’t let me take that third hit, as I was already feeling pretty stoned.

“If Brad’s stuff is anything like this,” I said, patting my pocket, “we won’t need more than a dime. This is some powerful weed!”

 I got out of the car and opened the rear hatch to get the corsage I had thoughtfully put in the cooler earlier that afternoon to keep it from wilting.  Only to find that Ralph had been equally thoughtful when he loaded the cooler, as it was facing the other way (for easy access from inside the car.)

“Hey, Muffy,” I said. “Can you reach into the cooler and get me that corsage?”

“We’re not coming in?” she asked, handing me the box from the florist.

“Oh, yeah. I guess you should. I mean that would be weird if you didn’t, right?”

Turns out it was even weirder that they did…

On the way in, I noticed an old azalea bloom blowing around in the driveway and thought it would be funny to swap it with the corsage. I handed the fresh flower over to Ralph for safekeeping and stuffed the dead one in the box. Muffy was already giggling at the plan.

“Oh my god! You are too funny!” she said. “Julia’s going to flip out!”

I rang the doorbell and we were immediately greeted by Julia’s step-dad, Howard.

“Hey guys, come on in,” he said, holding the door open. “She’s still getting ready. Her mother’s in with her now. I think they’re on their fourth can of hair spray! My, don’t you all look nice…”

I introduced Ralph and Muffy and we all sat stiffly and silently on the couch, while Howard took the chair directly across from us.

“So,” he said, leaning forward until our knees were almost touching, “what are your plans for the evening?”

“Oh, you know,” I muttered. “Prom stuff.”

“Actually, I wouldn’t know,” he said. “You see, I missed my prom, having dropped out of high school to go fight in Nam…”

Okay, he didn’t really say that – but he said enough to make his point that he didn’t want his little girl doing anything “bad” and that he was trusting me with his most precious treasure, and so on. I did more dancing in that 10-minute conversation than I did the rest of the night as I tried to stick to our cover plan without revealing our real plan.

And to make it worse, throughout the entire interrogation, Muffy kept nudging me with her elbow, like we were pulling one over on him. Subtle, she was not. I did my best to ignore her, but unlike the b in that word, she did not remain silent.

The second Howard stopped grilling me, she leaned in and whispered, “Where’d you put the weed?”

Now, a whisper in a crowded room is one thing. But when one whispers the word weed in a silent living room, with a suspicious parent sitting three feet away, it’s quite another.

My forehead instantly broke out in sweat, as my hand automatically reached for the Tic Tac container. What the hell was the matter with her? Talking about pot right in front of my girlfriend’s step-dad? Was she trying to get me killed?

I looked over at Howard, who thankfully had turned his attention to the TV, and appeared not to have heard.

Relieved, I shot Muffy the dirtiest look I could muster, while silently praying for Julia to hurry the hell up.

“There’s my girl,” Howard said, a few moments later. I looked up, expecting to see Julia, but he was just talking at the television, where horses were being lined up at a starting gate. “I think Sunday Silence has a real shot at the Triple Crown. How about you guys? Anyone have a Derby favorite?”

“Derby sucks,” Muffy stated proudly, ever the cheerleader (Derby being our town’s hated football rival.)

“He means the Kentucky Derby,” Ralph clarified, pointing to the TV. “They’re about to race.”

“Oh,” Muffy said. “Is this the one where they chase after the rabbit?”

We all ignored her and went back to staring at the TV. But two minutes later, she’s bugging me about the weed again.

“What did you do with the weed?” she whispered.

“Shut UP!” I muttered out the side of my mouth. Seriously, what was wrong with this girl?

“What’s that?” Howard asked.

“Uh, nothing,” I said, glaring at Muffy with open hostility.  “I was just saying hurry up…”

Five LONG minutes later, Julia finally appeared, looking lovely and almost worth the wait.

“Ready?” I asked, jumping off the couch. “Let’s go!”

“Not so fast,” her mom said. “We need pictures. Howard, get the camera. We’ll take them in front of the garden.”

Howard pointed to the TV, where the race was just about to start.  “This will be over in two minutes…”

“Daddy, we’re going to be late,” Julia pleaded, as if she had nothing to do with our lateness.

“Fine,” he said, stomping off to fetch the camera as Julia’s mom made some final adjustments to her hair.

“Give her the weed! Give her the weed!” Muffy chanted in my ear

“STOP!” I snapped. “What the hell is wrong with you? Are you demented?” 

For a moment, Muffy looked like she was about to cry, but ever the cheerleader, quickly snapped out of it and told Julia how pretty she looked.

Moments later, we were finally outside, smiling for the camera.

“Okay, first the four of them,” Julia’s mom directed. “Then a few with Michael and Julia. And then maybe a couple of just Julia…”

“Mom!” Julia complained. “We’re gonna be late! Just take the picture.”

“Alright everyone, look over here,” Howard called, aiming the camera.

“Wait!” Julia’s mom shouted. “Where’s her corsage?”

Shit! I had forgotten all about the corsage.

“Oops. I left it on the table,” I said, running back into the house to retrieve it. “Don’t move…”

It wasn’t until I was back outside that I realized what Muffy had been whispering about.  The camera flashed as I ceremoniously opened the box, revealing the “weed” she had been clamoring for.

It was just the dead azalea.

I'm not sure if I learned anything from this experience, but I sure as shit remember it! So to any prom goers out there, have fun, be safe, and smile for the camera. Enjoy each and every moment, because as Old Man Jovi says, "Everyday, it seems we're wasting away..."

Monday, April 15, 2013

Bailing on a Friend

I don’t normally take requests for blog posts, because, well, frankly no one has ever asked me to! But a good friend recently asked for a recounting of the time another good friend got arrested at a concert, and while I don’t think she meant for me to do so in this forum, I figured, what the hell? The main character (and boy was he a character!) is no longer with us, and the statute of limitations has long since expired, so what’s the harm in sharing a funny story with the world?

The specific details are cloudy for a variety of valid reasons, but I’m pretty sure the show we went to see that night at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, New York, was New Potato Caboose, a Grateful Dead inspired jam band.  But it could have been Blues Traveler. Or Max Creek. Or any number of hippie bands. Point is, we were there to have a good time.

And we started having that good time right away, courtesy of some substances that shall remain nameless. And colorless. And odorless…

But before that kicked in, we set out looking for some beer. Oh, and by we, there were five of us; all who shall remain equally nameless. Well, except for Kevin, since he’s now dead. And me, since, well, my picture is sort of up there in the top right corner.

We wandered the mostly Spanish-speaking town of Port Chester looking for someone to sell us beer. I can’t remember if we were underage, underfunded, or just under the influence, but for some reason, the task proved to be difficult.

At one point, we circled back toward the theater, hoping to score a ticket for Kevin’s cousin. But the show was sold out, and no one was scalping, so we began plotting Plan B. Not that there was that much to plot, as Plan B was ALWAYS simply identifying which exit door one of us would kick open from inside to let the ticketless masses in once the show started.

We found the door, and Kevin pressed his hear up against it to hear the opening band – I think it was the Spin Doctors (who would soon become the biggest band in the world…for about a week. But we had no interest in seeing them.) Just as Kevin was stepping away from the door, it flew open and sent him sprawling to the sidewalk. I saw his cousin eye the door for a moment, clearly thinking, this is my chance. But he chose to help Kevin up instead. Plus, we still had that beer to find.

"That was NOT a good sign," someone said, as we continued down the sidewalk, Kevin slightly more dazed and confused than the rest of us.

"No, but that is," Kevin said, pointing to Bud sign in the window of a bodega that soon sold us a six-pack of Busch Light for $10.  We popped our cans and toasted our success on the sidewalk, just as a police car was driving by.

The cops got out and hassled us a bit about drinking in public, but they seemed willing to let us go, so long as Kevin, since he admitted to buying the beer, could show proof of age. We watched as Kevin confidently pulled out his wallet and handed it to the cop. The cop eyed the license, but his eyes got even wider at something else. He motioned to his partner and they stepped over to the car. After a brief conference, and some radio communication, they came back and said, “I’m sorry son, but you’re going to have to come with us.”

Next thing we know, Kevin is handcuffed and stuffed in the backseat.

“We were just drinking a beer,” one of us called out. “Can’t you just give him a ticket? Or a fine?”

“This goes beyond beer,” the cop said, through the open window. “And speaking of which, you better dump the rest of that out before you DO get a ticket.”

We watched as they drove off, stunned into silence by the sudden turn in events.

“Now what?” one of us asked. “What do you think they found?”

“I have no idea,” Kevin’s cousin said. “I was just thinking maybe there was a warrant for his arrest of something, but they got all suspicious before they called anything in…”

“I guess we should go to the police station and see what’s up,” I suggested.

“Okay,” someone said, “But I can’t drive. This shit is starting to kick in…”

“You had one beer,” I started to say. Then I remembered. “Holy shit, I almost forgot about that! Now that you mention it, my stomach is starting to feel a little tingly.”

“I’ll drive,” Kevin’s cousin offered. He had driven down by himself in his pickup truck. “We can all squeeze.”

And squeeze we did. I couldn’t help but stare at the strange way that dude drove. He leaned way over the wheel, his nose almost touching the windshield, as his body bobbed and weaved into every turn like some sort of crazed Jack-in-the-Box. By the time we found the police station, I couldn’t tell if I was tripping or just plain dizzy.

Apparently I was tripping, as the police station scene was surreal. We found ourselves in this tiny room with a single sliding-glass window.  A dispatcher could clearly be seen talking on the phone, and gave us the “one minute” finger, but Kevin’s cousin knocked on the window anyway. Loudly.

I panicked and turned to leave, but couldn’t find the door. There were all these “WANTED” posters and “55 Saves Lives” signs on the wall, but I could not find the door.

“Who designed this place, Willy Wonka?” I asked out loud, as I ran my hands along the walls.

“Dude! Chill!” someone commanded. “You’re going to get us all busted.”

The cousin knocked again, this time getting the attention of a cop.

“Can I help you?” he asked, through the still closed window. A speaker amplified his voice to Wizard of Oz like levels.

“Uh, yeah,” Kevin’s cousin said, leaning into the speaker. “We’re here about my cousin? He was just arrested? We wanted to know if there’s anything we can do, to like, help him out?”

“What’s his name?” the cop asked. We told him and he said he’d be right back.

Fifteen long minutes later, he was.

“Okay, so listen,” his voice boomed through the speaker. “Your friend…he’s, uh, gonna be here awhile…”

“For drinking a beer?” someone said. “That’s ridiculous!”

“I’m not at liberty to go into detail,” the cop said, seeming to ignore the outburst, “but your friend was found in possession of some stolen property. It’s pretty serious stuff. There’s nothing you can do to help him tonight, so you might as well head on home.  And from the looks of your friend over there…” (I’m pretty sure he meant me!) “I should probably come out there and search all of ya’s. I’m sure I’d find something interesting…”

“Hang on,” Kevin’s cousin pressed. “You’re sure there’s no way he’s getting out tonight?”

“That’s right,” the cop said. “He’s got to be processed, transported, arraigned…”

“And there’s nothing we can do for him?”

The cop shook his head. “Not unless you’re going to bail him out in the morning.”

“Then I have just one last thing,” Kevin’s cousin asked. “Is there anyway you can go back there and get me his ticket? The show’s sold out and I…”

“Get the hell out of here,” the cop bellowed.

We didn’t wait to be asked twice.

Back at the theater, we immediately began to take up a collection from the hippies hanging outside during the break. I found a large popcorn tub and wrote, “Kevin’s Bail $$$” on the side and passed it around the crowd while his cousin slinked and snuck his way inside.

After collecting about twenty bucks, word came back that the band was about to take the stage. We handed over our ticket and went in to find our seats.

The audience was already restless from an apparently long delay, and booed as the stage manager came on for apparently the third time that night.

“Okay, okay, okay!” he said. “We got all the technical issues worked out, and we can finally start the show. But before I bring out the band, I need Mike Wood to go to the concession stand. You have a phone call.”

“Did you hear that?” I said to my friend. “It sounded like he said I had a phone call…”

“That IS what he said,” my friend said. “But it can’t be you. Who would be calling you here?”

“Beats me. I didn’t even know I was going to be here until a couple of hours ago!”

Our other friend came down the aisle, balancing three overflowing cups of beer.

“Dude, did they just say you had a phone call?” he asked.

“I think so,” I answered. “Should I go check?”

Apparently the people around us misunderstood the announcement, and thought the band was not coming out UNTIL I took my phone call, and they all began chanting, “Answer the fucking phone! Answer the fucking phone! Answer the fucking phone!”

So I answered the fucking phone. And it was Kevin! He used his one phone call to call me at the theater. He said they caught him with stolen credit cards and bail was set for $10,000.

“$10,000?” I repeated, thinking of the $17.50 we had managed to collect. “That's pretty harsh. But I’ll see what we can do.”

“You don’t need all of it, “Kevin said. “A cop gave me some numbers for bondsman, and it sounds like we just have to come up with 10% of it.”

“Oh. So like a hundred bucks? That’s no big deal…”

“Try $1000.”


A loud cheer from the crowd let me know the band was finally coming on.

“Okay, well, hang tight,” I said. “There’s a lot of people here and we already started up a collection. All we need is for everyone to give us a dollar and we’ll be good. Don’t worry.”

But Kevin had good reason to worry. After I hung up the phone, I got sort of got caught up in all the music and moving and grooving, and what little money we did manage to collect went to buy more beer. And McDonald’s on the way home.  Needless to say, Kevin wound up spending the night in jail, and wasn't released until his dad drove down and bailed him out the next day. 

But in my heart, I know Kevin would do the same thing for me!

Kevin Dalton
Oct. 4, 1972 - April 16, 2006 
"You didn't just live in the moment, you created it."

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Trash Talk

As I sit here, sipping my second cup of tea (brewed from the same tea bag as the first) and eating toast off of a “plate” that is really just a Bed, Bath, & Beyond 20% Off coupon, I realize what a great recycler I am. Even the steak knife that I buttered my toast with was one I used to cut Eli’s strawberries earlier (which I’m pretty sure is also the same one I used the night before to open a package.) And just because those strawberry tops and eventually thrice used tea bags do not go into the compost pile (since we don’t have one. Icky!) I still think I’m doing my part to help the environment.

Turns out, you don’t have to be a crusading tree hugger to help the planet; you just have to be lazy and a little disgusting. Or, in other words, the typical American male! Seriously guys, we should ALL be Recycling Kings (Note to self: set up meeting with History Channel to pitch new show, Recy-Kings).  Basically we were born to reduce, reuse, and recycle. So what’s holding us back?   One word: Women!

Women REDUCE us to “disgusting” husbands and boyfriends just because we wear the same shirt three or four times before washing it. We’re not gross. We’re stewards of the environment.  We know that each load of laundry uses up to 40 gallons of precious water, requires 4.5 kWh’s of expensive energy, and releases lots of harmful chemicals into the ground.  So the next time you see, or smell, a guy in a dirty shirt, don’t judge him. Thank him.

And ladies, every time you complain about an unflushed toilet, what you’re really saying is, I hate the environment. Guys know that it takes an average of 2.5 gallons of water to flush, which is why we reserve them for “burying” dead fish and disposing used motor oil. So the next time your guy “forgets” to flush, or decides to pee outside, don’t berate him. Embrace him. Your children’s children will appreciate it.

Speaking of appreciation, guys also know that people appreciate the gift, not the bag, so let us reuse the giant “It’s a Boy!” gift bag to wrap Grandma’s anniversary gift. What else are you saving it for?  Same goes for actual gifts. Regifting unwanted items isn’t tacky. It’s recycling.  And it’s the right thing to do. Think of all the money, fuel, and pollution you girls could save by one less trip to the mall.  

Guys are great at combining trips to save energy. But instead of getting praised, we get grief. Sure, we could go to the store when you run out of tampons, then drive all the way home to drop them off, and then go back out to the bar. But that would be wasteful, which is why every trip out combines a stop at the bar or package store.  I’m sure you can wait until halftime for your feminine hygiene products (which are bad for the environment, by the way!) Plus, watching the game together saves energy. Twenty guys at 20 homes watching 20 TVs is just plain wasteful. 20 guys at one bar watching 20 TVs makes much more sense.

I supposed that’s enough gloating for now. Seems to me like you ladies have a lot of catching up to do.  

Saturday, February 2, 2013

'Snot My Problem

This month marks my fifth “Facebook Free in February” stunt, and so far, so good. While I have wanted to share with the world how much I like Jimmy Cliff’s new album, I’ve been able to content myself with simply playing it around others, which actually makes more sense. Problem is, most people are like, “Dude, it’s winter. What’s with the reggae?”
I’ve also been tempted to comment on the A-Rod/deer horn controversy, but instead have had to settle for listening to others do so on WFAN. And frankly, Ira from Staten Island is much more knowledgeable on the subject than I am.
The only real problem is birthdays. It’s just so much easier to post “Happy Birthday” on someone’s wall (after facebook reminds you, of course!)  rather than send an actual card or, god forbid, call them.  But I’ve made my list of worthy friends, and will make every effort to acknowledge their birthdays in some way. And if you didn’t make the list, or if I find myself busy that day, consider THIS my sincere “Happy Birthday!”

The one thing I really miss is the instant interaction. I can post a picture, pose a question, or make a statement, and get real-time feedback. And some of it is even helpful! For example, my wife and I have been struggling to teach our 3-year old son how to blow his nose, and we really could use some advice. He’s great at sniffing, but when it comes to blowing, he, well, blows!

He’s pretty good at sneezing, and wiping up the aftermath. And he’s a champ at coughing into his elbow. But he just can’t figure out how to use a tissue preventively. I’ll hold one over his face and tell him to pretend he’s blowing out birthday candles with his nose. He sniffs. I’ll gently pinch his nose with it and tell him to blow out. He sniffs. I stuff a sock in his mouth and tell him to breath out his nose, he sniffs. Then calls the police!
It’s crazy. The kid can figure out how to download games from the App Store, but he can’t blow his own nose.  And believe me, he’s had LOTS of opportunities. Being in daycare for the past three years, he’s had a perpetual runny nose. We’re talking a real Boogie Monster. He could single handedly (nosedly?) provide Nickelodeon with all the slime they need. His nose is snottier than a French waiter….

Okay, I’ll stop. I think you get the picture. So, my loyal 79 followers, will you provide the counsel I can no longer seek from my 379 “friends?” Do you have any suggestions for how one teaches a three year old to blow his nose? If so, please respond below (Get it?  Below? Blow? Ha, I kill me!) But DO please respond. I crave the interaction, and I really could use the advice. And I REALLY don’t want to turn to Pinterest!