Brothers, The Odd Couple


Some years ago, I trudged through “The Shack.” The writing was…”meh,” and the whole time, I pictured the main character – a father who lost his little daughter to a serial killer – as “Larry The Cable Guy” simply because his name was “Mack.” So that made it hard to take the book seriously. Still, I came away with something: that parents can’t have favorites – not even God.

Neither of my boys have had the slyness to ask me which of them is my favorite. I find that amazing because I remember constantly asking my mother whether I was her favorite and she would just ignore the question altogether, which is an answer on its own. The boys have, however, each accused me of loving the other more when I served what seemed like an uneven portion of ice cream or uncharacteristically paid a compliment to one for not screwing something up.

Truth is, if they were similar, I probably would compare them. How could you not? Fuji apples taste better than Gala apples but they don’t compare to Texas watermelon because it’s a known fact that apples go better with wine while watermelon is strictly for vodka. And I’m Sorry, oranges just don’t do it for me – even in Screwdrivers.

So after Samu and Zuki’s “Open House,” where parents get to meet the teacher and see the classroom, listen to the curriculum and look into their desk – this is what I discovered: I gave birth to the Odd Couple.

Felix Unger

Neat, huh? Almost, O.C.D-ish. Definitely not something I’d expect from a First Grader or either of my sons for that matter. But it is Samu’s desk. And just to make sure it was him and not the teacher, I checked out his classmates desks. They were slightly worse – than Zuki’s, which looked like this:

Oscar Madison

Can these two knuckleheads grow up together, without driving each other crazy?

Education Pays


New York spends over $17,000 a year for a child to attend public school. Seventeen. Thousand. For one child.

On one hand, I look at Zuki and think, $68,000 dollars – for him to look at the clock and say,”It’s fifteen thirty.” Or “I runned in the cafeteria and falled down, so I didn’t ate anything.”

Which proves all the money in the world isn’t going to make somebody make sense.

And then there’s the other guy. Samu, who’s been working on his penmanship all summer long. Now that school has inspired him to achieve his goals, he’s putting his education to good use. “I need to make my Christmas list.”

Reserving the Vampyre Kastle

Armed with the Lego catalog he’s been studying every morning after breakfast, he wrote his list – neatly. Not only that, he estimated how much all the items would cost.

“Does Santa Claus have a lot of money?” He asked.

Well, nobody’s ever demanded that he show his tax returns, so I guess we’ll never know. Samu didn’t like that answer. He also didn’t buy that Santa runs a shop with elves making the toys because then it wouldn’t be “real Lego’s” but a generic copy. According to Samu, Santa collects money and orders everything. That’s why his list needed to get to there early. But just in case, Samu added a Metrocard to the list – should he have to pick it up himself.

Now that’s $17,000 worth of learning.



Welcome to the first post of “Namzola Goodness.” Trust me, I know what I think I’m doing.

This is my third blog spot and I’m truly excited that you’re visiting because I have nothing to give away – except phobias. For New Yorkers, each phobia is a merit badge of a traumatic experience that was narrowly escaped. Personally, my phobias are New Jersey, cops and Catholic school students. For this post, I’m giving away three general phobias: the exhibitionist homeless person with violent tendencies; Central Park squirrels and Hot Pretzels from hot dog stands.

All you need to do is climb a high mountain top and scream “Maaaaaize!” Just make sure someone takes footage of it. And don’t die in the process – either of you. The first person to YouTube this buffoonery will receive all three phobias…somehow. And I’ll replace the poor footage of this jingle that started it all, with yours – as long as you include the jingle.

Credit goes to Swan, whose band Almighty Love Noise, dubbed me as “Namzola, corn goodness” during my tenure as rhythm guitarist. Other than pushing me to my musical limits, recruiting my most prized guitar and oh yeah, introducing me to my husband, all I came away with was another nickname that stuck.

Hopefully, you like corn.