Beer and Bakery DNA

Nothing sparked my dad’s interest more than a drinking handicap. If you told him you don’t – or couldn’t – drink alcohol, he’d render that a challenge. It would become his mission to transform every Shirley Temple sipping virgin into an emblazoned dipsomaniac with the perfect elixir. Well, everyone excluding the Muslim busboy who came to propose to my sister wielding a 6 pack of Budweiser like it was a bomb.

The busboy, whose name might’ve been Mohamed but we’ll call him Barry, staged his proposal thusly: he took the day off of work because he never had a day off (never), came over to our house when he knew my dad would be home, then he pulled the six pack of beer out of the brown paper bag he had clutched in his hand and threatened, “If you don’t let me marry your daughter, I will drink this!”

My dad looked a little stung. He coolly asked,”By yourself?”

I stared at my sister for being such a loser magnet. Who the fuck uses a six pack as a dowry and threatens not to share? I hardly knew Mohamed-Barry but all I could think was how sorry I felt for the little bugger. He was either clueless to the point of absolution or just another idiot stuck on my sister, but he was not going to leave a happy man, that was for sure.

My dad assessed the situation and spoke to me and my sister through pursed lips in Japanese, “He’ll condemn himself to Hell if he drinks that beer, right?”

“Yeah, or he might just puke,” I said.

I was going to suggest that if Mohamed-Barry was willing to go to Hell for drinking a Budweiser, he might as well have a bacon-cheese-hamburger to go with it and make it Armageddon. But of course, we had no hamburger meat. Or bacon. Plus, my sister seemed to be enjoying the sacrifices this boob was willing to lay out for her and I didn’t want to be an accomplice to Satan. Or France, or whatever the Muslim adversary is.

Just when I was wondering whether my dad’s intention was to get Mohamed-Barry to leave my sister alone or to get him to leave the beer and get out, the busboy broke down in tears. My dad put up a hand of solace and said, “Okay – let’s talk about the beer.”

After a brief lecture, my dad said something along the lines of love and an ice cold beer having this in common: it’s enjoyable when you earn it. Then he shoved him out the door with the same three words he always gave me: do more research.

My dad was a hero for a day. He spared the beer from consumption by an amateur and my sister was free of another fanatic. She eventually married a moron anyway, but one who could drink without condemning us all to Hell.

My dad’s Happy Hours came to an end after he suffered a stroke. It was sad seeing him sit in front of the TV with a banana instead of his edamame and beer. When reality set in, he took to sweets to take the edge off. According to him, cake and booze DNA were one and the same – if you could eat an eclair, you could down a White Russian. That sounds good to me, especially now that I have to be dry.

Currently, my happy hour consists of a cinnamon roll from Nita’s European Bakery. I have to say, it’s the shit, yo! They usually sell out by 8:30 am, so if I manage to get one, I will literally rip the hands off the person who tries to infringe upon it. Sometimes, very rarely, I’ll share it with my boys, and unlike Mohamed-Barry, they do not have to enslave themselves to me for some. Well, technically they’re already enslaved to me, so I just make them promise not to fart at the table during the sacred cinnamon roll break. Otherwise, it’s a regular toot-and-chew.

With chemo, there are very few things that remain palatable – everything tastes like you’re sucking on a metal spoon. Yet, the cinnamon roll stays true – that’s love right there. I start singing Neil Young’s Cinnamon Girl and replace girl with roll, “I wanna live with the cinnamon roll…” If I were in middle school, the kids would tease me with, “if you love it so much, why don’t you marry it?” – which I would seriously consider, but then what would my husband do?

He’d probably search for beer-bomb-wielding-Mohamed-Barry.

Share

A Serene Place to Scarf Christmas Cookies

The new Path train terminal at the World Trade Center has yet to have its own Antennae Man, but really, who cares? It’s trains to New Jersey. Still, I was curious to see if it had the same serenity as Grand Central.

It’s 2017 and this is what I discovered: that my sons have a Nerf gun arsenal that makes Sarah Connor look like Hillary Clinton.

By the way, I’m convinced that Hillary Clinton is a robot. She’s gone rogue with a lust for power, but she lost the election – so the victory fireworks that would have inevitably melted her face, a la Raiders of the Lost Arc style has yet to happen. But it will. Just think about it. I’m not far off here.

But enough about Westworld meets politics. It gives me great pleasure to announce that the theme for 2017 is – space. Not Star Trek space but Place Space. As in, “this is my happy place, get the fuck out.”

On New Year’s day, I took the boys to the new World Trade Center to visit The Oculus. Among the many reasons I could’ve come up with for going on this adventure, the main reason was we needed to get out of the house. The subways were running uncharacteristically on schedule and that was a good sign as any. Plus, we had to work off the three tins of Christmas cookies we ate over the holidays.

In a nutshell, I had discovered long ago that Grand Central Terminal was my Happy Place. It’s where you would find me if I needed to think and recharge – like after my quarterly getting-fired from the family business, or a dateless Friday night, or trying to remember where I left the keys to my apartment – you would find me there, people watching.

All those people arriving from somewhere, going somewhere, meeting other people they haven’t seen in months – it’s a buzz that can be best described as serenity.

Plus, there’s Antennae Man. He’s this old black dude, dressed in 80’s punk rock black leather with a Kilt and a tin foil hat shaped like an….antennae. He’s awesome.

The new Path train terminal at the World Trade Center has yet to have its own Antennae Man, but really, who cares? It’s trains to New Jersey. Still, I was curious to see if it had the same serenity as Grand Central.

It didn’t.

To be honest, it’s just a huge mall. Inside a whale carcass. About the only interesting feature is the “Eataly” food market on the top floor. Food so insanely good looking and just as insanely priced, it’s pure toture walking the boys through it on an empty stomach (for the record, boys are like dogs – they’re perpetually hungry).

There’s also no place to sit except for the window sills by H&M. That’s where we parked our butts and scarfed down the Christmas cookies I brought from home because I’m low-budget like that. We watched a new mom and dad fussing with an extremely fat baby who was having a fit being Baby-Bjorned to his mother. She was probably about 90 lbs and the baby was at least 15 lbs with an additional three pounds of clothing and from the looks of it, they should’ve just stuck his fat ass into the all-terrain stroller they blocked the aisle with. But no, the $1,200 stroller was for the mountains of shopping bags – and mommy would carry Baby Anvil home and break her back.

So the moral of the story is, serenity is lost because people are clueless.

 

Share

Mummy on the N Train

She was probably around 65 years old but she could’ve been a reanimated mummy. Skin so wrinkled and hardened, her face was like a walnut tucked into a shawl, albeit a colorful shawl, because nothing else would flatter the single tooth in her head more.

On an Astoria-bound N train at 10:35 am on a Monday morning:

She was probably around 65 years old but she could’ve been a reanimated mummy. Skin so wrinkled and hardened, her face was like a walnut tucked into a shawl, albeit a colorful shawl, because nothing else would flatter the single tooth in her head more. Her happiness was obvious – untouchable, even. Who knows if it had something to do with her demeanor or perhaps she was just happy being with her unemployed-looking son. I assume he was unemployed because he was wearing a hoodie with cannabis leaves stamped all over it and he was doting on his toddler with the expertise of a nanny, especially when he snapped an elastic headband on the child’s head.

Because they appeared Indian, I was tempted to ask him if he knew the botanical significance the hoodie was promoting but then decided not to, because Hell, that could be the reason his mother looked so full of bliss. After all, weed isn’t restricted to those dressed in reggae regalia. If Harold and Kumar could show that Asians make hip and geeky potheads, why not mummy granny?

So, she may have been high, but she sat with an expression that was more than stoned – it was beyond cheerful, beyond peace. As if she knew all there is to know about everything and didn’t give two chickpeas whether it was true or not. She could care less that her son dressed like an Indian Joey Buttafuoco, that her grandchild looked like a boy with a blue-flowered headband. Even the single decaying tooth in her head was ready to fall out any day – so what? Pudding. The only other person who may or may not be high and this happy is Gary Busey (I’m gonna have to put that werewolf movie he was in on our Netflix queue – I think it was called Silver Bullet? Or had something to do with a silver bullet – or I may be having a Gary Busey moment here…).

The point is, never in my life, had I ever looked upon such a weathered and ancient soul and saw it as a goal. I sincerely thought – could I have that? Could I grow that old and aesthetically-not-giving-a-shit and obtain that shell of immunity? Of course, I might stick with lotion because I really hate being itchy, but all the other solvents – would be thrown out the window. Forget deodorant and shampoo – fuck Fluoride and teeth whiteners. What kind of person meets a friend for lunch and compares her teeth to the whiteness of a napkin because her “friend” told her to? The same kind of dumbass who asks if her teeth are white enough!

Actually, I could be that dumbass but I’m lucky that my friends don’t offer Rachel Ray solutions at the tip of their fingers. If I said aloud, “My eczema is flaring up,” Rachel Ray disciples would suggest a homemade remedy along the lines of olive oil and squirrel feces, but ask any one of my best friends and they’d suggest I try weed in any obtainable form, because obviously, my problem is that I’ve stopped drinking beer – another side effect of chemo, apparently.

My husband has even offered to make me Funny Brownies, but considering how much the boys love brownies, it seems like a dysfunctional-family-sitcom-episode waiting to happen. On the other hand, it could be an experience of a lifetime. Something I could look back on in another twenty-years. And I’d smile through every thirsty pore in my aging face, riding on a Queens bound N train with my fully grown weirdos.

gary-busey
…and what does this even mean?

 

Share

Letting The Days Go By

I suppose I should take the strong-woman stance and say something like, when I beat this cancer, I’m gonna finish a triathlon, slay a dragon and give free counseling to puppet addicts…but I’m not that great of a bullshitter.

No one wakes up in the morning and says, today – I’m gonna get cancer. But in a way, that’s how you find out.

When it happens to someone you love, you become the warrior – walking for miles wearing pink ribbons to show your support and camaraderie. You’re hyped like an inner-city-girls-basketball-coach getting all up in the Grim Reaper’s face, waving splayed fingers saying, “yo, cancer – we kicked your butt!”

But when it’s your own body, you’re like the sissy that just discovered a roach on your shoulder screaming, “Get it off me! Get it off me!”

Like many people, I spent a good portion tailoring my lifestyle to what I thought would thwart becoming a cancer victim: a healthy-ish diet, exercising somewhat regularly, and steering clear of those people who can be best described as albatross. But life in a city of 10-minute lunch breaks, subways devoid of elevators and a ratio of five assholes per square foot, you can’t get far enough from the stress that makes you one of those things: a fluke candidate.

Or is there such a thing?

The day the pain started, I knew something was wrong but instead of seeing a doctor, I took to posting encouragement quotes on Pinterest. Denying was equivalent to running – but we all know how that ends. Whether it’s Jury Duty, the I.R.S. or the P.T.A. – inevitably you’ll wind up tied to a chair. Or, in my case, lying helplessly on a stretcher, in a freezing cold room, with a camera up my butt.

For three weeks prior to the camera up my butt, I juggled a slew of self-concluded prognoses: lack of sleep, too much cheese, a garden hose kink in my intestine. Ideas so outrageous that the somber truth was almost simpler to solve.

The doctor said, “It’s cancer,” and that was that. Luckily, there was no pseudo-Italian outburst by my drama-prone husband. There were no tears or sighs or even a hint of resignation because my doctor was good like that. Straight away, he gave us a plan – he gave us….homework.

Have a plan, put priorities in order and most importantly, dream big. That’s what they don’t tell you about cancer. If anything good came out of this so far, it’s clarification. Nothing like excruciating pain and the prospect of death to put life, love and lyrics into perspective.

The life part was easy: all those infinite To-Do lists, shopping lists, agendas, texts, and emails that were tended to so attentively, suddenly had the urgency of any statement by Kanye West. My friends agreed,”Take care of yourself,” they all said, “shit’s never gonna change.”

And with that peace of mind, the day by day process of restructuring life began.

First, my goal was to be home for my son’s 12th birthday. And when that was reached, all the previous “priorities” like money, housekeeping and the cat, became ghosts to my new goal of seeing his 16th birthday – and so on, and so on – until he mentioned that he couldn’t fathom paying taxes or rent and asked if I’d be okay with him living in our basement for his adult years.

I pictured Will Ferrell in Wedding Crashers demanding meatloaf. Mainly because it was one of the many inane movies I watched during my hospital stay. I suppose if there were better movies to watch I might not have been motivated to get the hell out. It was the looming prospect of a Rush Hour movie marathon over the weekend that was incentive enough to get well enough for discharge. The doctor was astounded by my recovery and the RN said, “Wow, you’re like Wonder Woman,” but really, there’s only so much Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan I can take. If I needed to be entertained by two guys wrecking furniture and spewing smart ass remarks, I can go home to an interactive theater in my living room known as “Nerf War Zone.”

Let’s not omit the other perk to being home: elevating one’s blood pressure without a doting nurse to monitor your vital signs. Although my boys do ask me how I’m doing on a regular basis, their reaction is the same whether I say I’m feeling fine or feeling like dried mummy shit. It’s just one of those things you find out about the process – ultimately, you’re on your own. Like finding yourself on a smelly lifeboat with expired bottles of stale water and astronaut ice cream while everybody waves to you from the giant cruise ship you’ve separated from. Well, in my demographics, it’s more like the Staten Island Ferry, which only has life vests – much like the Titanic.

I suppose I should take the strong-woman stance and say something like, when I beat this cancer, I’m gonna finish a triathlon, slay a dragon and give free counseling to puppet addicts…but I’m not that great of a bullshitter. It wouldn’t be long before somebody discovered that I was supplementing my fresh pressed carrot juice with cheese danishes saying, we’re all gonna die anyway.

But that’s the crossroad you reach when life gives you a pink slip. It’s either happiness or time. When the things that make you happy start killing you then you simply give them up. But not everything. Sometimes, it’s okay to savor the little joys, even if they are just a nail in the coffin because each irritating moment amounts to who you struggle to be: a person at peace in letting the days go by.

candles

Share

Mr. Spock and Dance Belts

While he fathomed that Mr. Spock would enlighten him on lasers and teleportation, I moved on to pondering what the wages were for the Enterprise crew.

Trying to define the difference between smart and intelligent with my boys is like much like discussing the difference between jiggle and bounce. For the latter, I actually had a conversation with my ballet studying son, that he had to wear a dance belt to keep his balls from bouncing around. For those who don’t know what a dance belt is, it’s basically a jock-strap, a thong, a Brazilian bikini bottom but – for dancers. Boy dancers.

With tears in his eyes, he pleaded – no, screamed as loud as he could, “It goes up my butt – I HATE it. You don’t understand!”

I wish I could’ve told him that, of course, I understand. Because, no woman, especially at my age,  ever escaped some kind of moment where an uncomfortable thing went up her butt. But…that would be opening up a ten gallon tin of worms with that boy. Instead, I tried to explain how women have to wear (or should wear) sports bras to keep their boobs from bouncing – but he just couldn’t see how watermelons compared to eggs, so I finally told him: if he didn’t wear a dance belt, he’d forever have a tiny penis.

And that was the end of that.

By the way, boys will drop any argument when you talk facts about penises (I did Google the plural for penis and was sad to discover that it wasn’t penii).

Also, since I ordered his dance belt online, I get hit with dance belt ads, basically pictures of men’s crotches whenever I Google or go on Facebook. I don’t know about you, but I have to look over my shoulder when I’m simultaneously reading posts on family vacations next to a picture of balls stuffed in a canvas cup.

But let’s get back to failing miserably at conversing with my boys.

After they figured out that balls bounce and fat bellies jiggle, we moved on to the difference between smart and intelligent.To the boys’ unsophisticated mind, smart and intelligent is the same thing and so, I put it to them like this: an intelligent person is someone who could have a conversation with Mr. Spock.

I have no idea how they got it because they’ve never watched Star Trek, and by that I mean cheesy Star Trek – the only true Star Trek because everything after that is just – Mudd. Besides, the boys are Star Wars fans and I, for one, think the Trekkies and (whatever Star Wars fanatics are called) should not mix.

If I may add, Star Wars is smart, Star Trek – is intelligent.

After my comment, my Libra-boy asked me right away if Mr. Spock would find him intelligent and I said, “meh.”

Still, he continued to daydream of how that conversation would go. While he fathomed that Mr. Spock would enlighten him on lasers and teleportation, I moved on to pondering what the wages were for the Enterprise crew. Eventually, it lead me to conclude that intelligent people never get…paid.

Think about it – you were never lead to believe that anyone – anyone – on the U.S.S. Enterprise got a paycheck. No one ever talked about craving pancakes or…going home. They were always in space or on some fucked up planet, which coincidentally, always had oxygen, otherwise, worker’s comp – sheesh!

If they did get paid, then definitely, Bones made the most money. I’m sure Jim was broke after paying all his alien child support. As for Spock, I’m sorry, it’s just wrong to pay a Vulcan – they seem opposed to cash, don’t you think? Could you picture Mr. Spock at Best Buy or shopping for ear muffs? It’s just wrong.

By the end of Libra-boy’s pretend conversation with Mr. Spock, I gauged his IQ somewhere around sausage. It’s okay. With the way things are today, intelligence is a curse.

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 2.43.26 PM

 

Share

World On A Ledge

President Carol would probably kill and burn all the complainers after she becomes president. That’s the difference between her and you-know-who.

Priorities change. We used to know that death was inevitable, we feared it, honored it – death was respected. Now we treat it like a homeless subway rider. We mumble about the inconvenience they’re causing instead of facing it head on. No more guts and glory – just subway slashers, obese children and grown men with hair buns. Seriously, what’s up with that?

Forget the zombie apocalypse, we need Planet of the Apes.

Or a really, really, really good movie that can’t be summed up in a preview.

Or a kick-ass guitar riff that makes you call out, “SHOTS FOR EVERYONE,” even at work.

When did we become so…lame?

Even the presidential candidates are as appealing as ice cold lime flavored Budweisers (who in their right mind would drink that shit?). My guess is that the same Americans who’d purchase and consume lime flavored piss water would also find anything favorable in what appears to be, the last two people on Earth who have the money to run for president. Plus, it probably goes great with their cat tranquilizer.

What’s more bothersome is the reaction and the rallies. These endless rallies with crowds of people who should be at work. I don’t want either of these lizards running our country either but do I have time to wave a poorly written poster about my feelings all day? No. The boneheads will figure it out when I vote for Pedro. Well, maybe not Pedro, but definitely Carol in The Walking Dead.

I love Carol. She’s so bad ass, I don’t even know her last name. Who cares, we’d just call her President Carol.

President Carol would probably kill and burn all the complainers after she becomes president. That’s the difference between her and you-know-who.

It’s as if we’ve plateaued. Sure a majority of us still don’t have quality health insurance, and an even larger number of us are unemployed and generally poor – but what’s the big deal? Government doesn’t help regular people and they’re certainly not going to start now.

For example, it’s been five months and I’m still waiting on our State refund. What’s up with that Missssster Cuomo? Ain’t got my money cuz you spent it on weed?

We must be the only country in the world with people who are simultaneously poverty stricken and getting fatter. I blame stupid.

Education is free, yet a majority of people are still confused on the use of apostrophes – so they just drop the s. Instead of saying, “Those are Oscar’s balls,” they’ll say, “Those are Oscar balls.” Yet, they add the s to mine: the drugs ain’t mines.

Oscar is my cat, by the way. We recently adopted him because he killed his previous owner. Of course, he tried to make it seem like an accident, but I know he has a secret plot to take over the world, one household at a time. Let’s just hope he doesn’t find his way to the White House.

Share

To The Pandemic Volunteer

Yes, I just compared volunteer work to slavery. If you think about it, there’s only one difference – gratification. No reasonable person would volunteer unless they enjoyed the work.

A friend showed me a pen she received as a gift – it said, “Stop me before I volunteer again.”

“It’s a reminder,” she explained but its ineffectiveness was obvious as we realized, this was the second parent association we’re on together as volunteers.

As I handed back the pen, I sighed and already it sounded like a threat of resignation. But really, who am I kidding? We’re volunteeraholics. She probably signed up with that damned pen.

Every pandemic volunteer knows what I’m talking about. We call ourselves suckers, targets, 3D losers and we compare our tasks like they’re death sentences.

After serving my time on one thing, I say it’ll be the last and even tell my husband that I’ll take his advice and stop signing up for shit. But the truth is, volunteer work never ends. If it does, it ends badly because slaves don’t get fired.

Yes, I just compared volunteer work to slavery. If you think about it, there’s only one difference – gratification. No reasonable person would volunteer unless they enjoyed the work. They sign up year after year because it’s gratifying and good for the soul. Those are the volunteer gigs where you’re surrounded by like-minded, hard-working, good-willed people and they really are a life experience. Every once in while though, you’ll come across a douchebag who is a slave master and that can fuck with your head.

If that happens, you have to tell yourself that the only jackass who should be tolerated is one that signs your paycheck. Otherwise, walk. You need the aggravation like you need hemorrhoids. I have a friend who sorely needs to take this advice – not the friend with the pen – someone else who stayed on even after everybody left.

Now she’ll have to learn the same lesson I learned the hard way – don’t fill a void. If an organization needs you to fill an important role, the last thing you should do is stick around to find out why because I can tell you why. That role is vacant because the last person was a mistreated mule that most likely died under a pile of bullshit.

But for the rest, I toast my fellow volunteeraholics. You may not always be recognized or appreciated for that matter, but you’ve made a difference, a contribution that is far more valuable than money.

So – Thank You. Thank you, very much.

Share

A Parent’s Guide To Middle School

We need a new scapegoat. Our classic villains were once American Indians, then Nazi’s, the Russians, followed by Wall Street tycoons and finally, terrorists. But we can no longer target a particular race if we want to be politically correct. So I suggest we target politicians.

They’re the perfect villain. They lie, steal and generally ruin everything – even corruption.

Case in point – Middle School.

I knew the day would come when my child would be entering Middle School. I also knew, no matter what, there was going to be a tremendous suck factor.

The choices were, walk to our neighborhood middle school and hope to squeeze in with 2,000 other students in a building meant for half that – or go to school on the moon.

They must have a space shuttle that goes there, right?

Of course, I’m kidding – I know we euthanized all the astronauts. But I kid you not, my son’s commute to school is further than his father’s commute to work.

That’s the reality today – to get to sixth grade, kids will have to travel to Cuba because no one had the insight that Middle School would need a place to exist anywhere near their preceding school.

Did I mention they built a new elementary school smack in the middle of two other elementary schools and are in the process of building another elementary school nearby?

Let’s not even get into full day Pre-K. Like we need to send a four-year old to school all day only to offer him nothing when he passes the fifth grade.

Maybe because middle schoolers aren’t small and cute anymore, they’ve been banished to a place far, far away.

Out of sight, out of mind – and I get to take mine there.

We chose his Middle School because it’s a brand new building, the teachers are young and enthusiastic and so far he loves it. But every morning since he started, I’ve been religiously offering incense to our shrine. I figured if anybody’s going to look over my son, it’ll be my father’s spirit. My dad, the man who thought the best way to teach me how to swim was to strand me in the deep end of the beach.

I can imagine what he’d say about the situation, “Just let him go – if he gets lost, what’s the worst that could happen? He’ll crap his pants? Run into those topless women in Times Square? Better make sure he has some singles.”

And I want to just LET GO. But I know my son has a tendency to get “preoccupied.” It takes him ten minutes to put on a pair of socks, for crying out loud. He takes out a pair from the drawer and within a minute, he’ll forget where he left them. Then he’ll suddenly feel compelled to comment on baldness and completely forget to put on the other sock.

And I’m supposed to unleash this puppy on the subway?

So we’ll be giving him his own mobile phone to call us when there’s trouble. Some kids his age already had their own phone since fifth grade, but it wasn’t our intention to give him one until he grew underarm hair.

He’s got the odor – that’s close enough.

Maybe that was the plan all along – throw us to the wolves so we’d be forced to buy multiple phones and cars. Mind you, the cars we have already, have no place to park. The phones we’re trying to add are running out of available numbers – and we have five known area codes. By the time we figure it out, we’ll be buried in litter and dog poo and talking to the ghost of Christmas Future.

And I’ll bet he’s a politician.

 

 

Share

Layover Brooklyn

After obtaining her idNYC, my mom went on a sightseeing spree. She visted four boroughs in four days collecting her free memberships like an urban senior Zelda.

For a week she was texting me pictures of giraffes and sculptures and I had to figure out where she was. I think she got the idea from that Free Range Chicken in those Geico commercials.

Along the way, she devised a bright idea to take us on a journey of her favorites. Not one, not two – but three jewels of Brooklyn within the time frame of a layover. Crazy right?

First of all, Brooklyn is big and before you can even get to the edge of it, you have to go through most of Manhattan. That’s already too long of a subway ride. Then – there’s a million stops once you get into Brooklyn – it’s like a train in the Twilight Zone – it never gets to your station (cue cheesy music).

Still, we managed and began at the Brooklyn Museum, followed by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden with a grand finale of Coney Island.

With 15 minutes to kill before opening, we enjoyed eating onigiri (Japanese rice balls) while watching the water works at the Brooklyn Museum. It’s amazing the effect water has on people, especially kids who are insanely unfocused. It must be like watching synchronized spitting. It’s more interesting than Teen Titans – not as noisy either.

Inside, we had time enough to go through the “Rise of the Sneaker Culture” and got caught for an hour playing pinball, video games and foosball in theThe FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. Who knew? That was worth the suggested admission right there because my guys could easily blow $50 for half an hour of arcade mania.

We entered the Brooklyn Botanic Garden from the Eastern Parkway entrance and went directly to the Japanese Garden. It was serenity beyond measure. Well, visually. By the time we got there, an outdoor concert in the adjacent parking lot was booming very annoying music. Not appropriate music, but a monotone, rap-reggae-what-the-fuck-are-they-singin’-about music that even annoyed the Koi fish.

To keep our visit to two hours, we skipped the Lily Pool Terrace. Probably regretful, still we saw the Cherry Esplande, Rose Garden, Rock Garden, Herb Garden and though we wished we had more time, we made it through the Discovery Zone. When they begged to play the xylophone that magically can’t play a wrong note for yet another hour, we simply said, “Guess you don’t want Nathan’s hot dogs!”

They clutched their empty bellies like an alien was busting out and busted out the Flatbush avenue exit towards the Q train.

A half hour later, we beelined towards Nathan’s Famous on Surf Avenue. Who thought that six dogs, two fries, hot wings, three medium Root Beers and a large Coney Island Lager would cost only…sixty-two dollars!

Or that the boys would actually eat all of that (minus the lager, of course).

What amazed me the most was that the cashier knew to pour me a large beer. And that it was less than eight bucks.

It was the biggest bill for one item of the day.

A whole seven dollars and fifty cents. That was treated by my mom.

The senior citizen.

With an idNYC card.

And that’s Zoltar.

Zoltar

 

Share

We Be Silly In Philly

I don’t understand people who go on vacation without their kids either. First of all, I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to leave them home alone if they’re under 10 years of age…

Last week, my husband came home from the bodega pissed off more than usual.

He said, “Do you know what Mr. Singh asked me when I told him we were going on vacation for our anniversary – he said, what are you doing with the kids? Can you believe that?!”

As he’s huffing and fuming, he continues, “So you know what I told him? I said, they’re coming with us you asshole!”

I’m sure Mr. Singh didn’t mind being called an asshole. He’s a professional bodega man –  they can’t really be that sensitive when most of their customers top buying items are beer and Lotto tickets.

But I do understand my husband’s annoyance with the question.

I don’t understand people who go on vacation without their kids either. First of all, I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to leave them home alone if they’re under 10 years of age and even if we did tie them to the radiator like the manual says, I know my boys would still manage to flood the basement or kidnap a three-legged dog by the time we returned.

Besides, kids get priority seating and since we travel like runaways, we take the Chinatown bus.

It’s ten dollars one way from New York to Philadelphia. Considering a subway ride costs $2.75 for getting you as far as Queens to Coney Island sweltering in an underground arm pit without WiFi (or a schedule for that matter), it’s a bargain!

Once we get to Philly, there’s tons of things to do and lots of places to see, but on a Chinatown bus budget, we skip the high admission prices and walk around the city comparing Philly’s homeless to New York’s.

We agreed that the homeless in Philadelphia have better signs. They take their begging a little more seriously, too because they might be drinking a Starbucks but they’re not texting on their iPhone 6 like the homeless hipsters in New York City.

While I looked into the City Pass and the Adventure Aquarium’s after 3 pm special, we decided that for less than the total admission price at the Franklin Museum, we could be enjoying – pub fare!

With boys, given the choice between museums and meat – there’s really no contest.

I have to be thankful that neither of my boys ever had issues eating out. They don’t squirm around, demand only white food or need to have an iPad playing a movie during the meal. The problem isn’t finding something for them to eat, it’s having enough to fill them up without going broke.

In Philly, that’s not hard to do – the restaurant prices are way more broke-ass friendly. Although, we did make the mistake of ordering breakfast sandwiches at a small coffee shop thinking it would be deli prices and came to realize it was in the ground floor of the Omni Hotel.

Six bucks for a bacon, egg and cheese on a croissant. Samu took three bites and sucked out all the bacon, the little prick.

In all, the weekend was about $600, including the Chinatown bus, accommodation that was too classy for us, enough food to produce an inhuman turd by both boys, medicating beer for the parental units, swimming in an actual pool, limitless bed jumping and all the useless knick knacks the boys duped my husband into buying, including a John 5 soda.

This trip we made it to McGillan’s, Monk’s Cafe, Dinic’s, Sonny’s Famous Cheesesteaks, Franklin Square Carousel, Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and CandyBrave New World Comics and stayed at the Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District.

They. Never. Stop. Eating.
They. Never. Stop. Eating.

 

Share