Layover Brooklyn

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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

 

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…

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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.

 

Black And White Is Not Just A Cookie

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Apparently, we can’t get rid of our cable because there’s nothing good on Netflix Instant Play. Everything we want to see is still on an archaic DVD, which we reduced to four per month plan because my thumb-head husband tends to leave the movie sitting around for two weeks before watching it.

He must think it’s wine. But no matter how long it sits, a crappy movie is still going to be a waste of time.

Since we’ve gone through every episode of “Family Guy” and “Bob’s Burgers” I suggested watching “The Twilight Zone” – it turned out to be the original series – in black and white.

After the opening scene, Zuki asked, “When is he going to open the door and go into color?”

“This is not the Wizard of Oz, buddy. It stays black and white.”

He crossed his arms over his chest and sunk back into his chair. “This sucks.”

By the third episode, both boys “appreciated” the show and it’s integrity. It was about the story, not the actors or the set or the special effects.

I never realized how much the actors sweat on the show. Good old fashioned sweat – not spray on.

Alas, the intelligence of the show was too much for them. When they couldn’t figure out what Rod Sterling had to do with the show – or what he was saying for that matter – they asked if they could watch something else.

And turned on “Family Guy”.

They will probably never go near a black and white movie or TV show again. If they do, their brain will automatically go into zombie mode because everything they watch on the screen now is over-stimulated. In high definition. With scenes and action for people with a three minute attention span.

The only thing they’ll ever desire in black and white – is a cookie.

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Need Some Help Here

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I was searching for inspirational dinner music when my 10 year old requested Eminem.

Eminem?

Where did we go wrong?

It’s my husband’s fault.

He’s too forgiving when it comes to policing the quality of ethnically fused products that we don’t know much about like Rap music, Chi-Mex food, Keanu Reeves and Jello shots made by an adult-baby on Halloween.

Not only will he take Jello shots, he’ll insist – insist – that I do one or five of them, too.

Clearly, I should judge his parental judgements. After all, we had a 10 year old Wolverine and an eight year old Deadpool to bring home.

Ergo, I need some help here.

When the same 10 year old who requested Eminem dinner music, asked that I define the word “ergo,” my reply was that it was the same as therefore.

My example went, “The idiot wouldn’t stop his daredevil stunts, ergo, he wound up in the emergency room.”

Then he asked, “Does that mean he’s dead?”

“What? No – it means,”therefore, he’s in the emergency room!”

“Yeah, but is Ergo dead?”

Literally, my jaw dropped. As in, my mouth fell open – not as in, “Literally, I don’t know how to use the word literally.”

It occurred to me that one day – one of these days – I will take this boy of mine to Glasgow, Scotland. I’ll bet you, my bottom dollar, that he – full blooded Glaswegians – and my husband – will be in full fledged conversation.

They’ll completely understand each other.

Drink each other under the table, too.

And my head will (not) literally be spinning because I’m not Linda Blair, feeling I’ve spent the night with AWADDs (Aliens With A.D.D.) talking Scotch bubbles.

Ergo, this girl is still working on her career.

For the record, I did concede and told my 10 year old that Ergo was, indeed, dead.

His answer was, “Good. He sounds a lot like Samu.”

Need Some Help

Post Mother’s Day

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Before you become a mother, the only mother you really had to care about for Mother’s Day was – your own mother. After you join the team, however, you have to wish every mother and their mother’s mother a happy Mother’s Day.

How many times could I use the word mother in a paragraph? Eight, apparently.

So what do mothers do on their “special” day?

After taking an unofficial consensus, most moms cleaned the house with one hand. The other hand was either holding a beverage or a barbecued drumstick.

But seriously, cleaning was top on the list. What mom has time to battle other moms for brunch and have to pay for it to boot? And breakfast in bed? Not after seeing my boys attempt to make pancakes! Just add water, my ass.

As for gifts, my ADD son gave me his card a week early – lest he forget. Sure enough, on the actual day – he forgot.

My third grader showed me the progress of his card starting Friday and finally attached it with a Dove chocolate bar before handing it to me on Sunday morning.

Every 20 minutes or so, he’d check on the status of the chocolate bar.

“Did you open it yet?”

“No.”

“Well – when are you going to eat it?”

“I don’t know – when I crave chocolate, probably.”

His leg started shaking the nervous twitch he does when he’s excited and his voice quivered as he asked me, “Is it going to be today?”

Alas, I told him I’d share the chocolate bar with him when we were alone, just the two of us. God forbid I should give a piece to his big brother, after all it was bought with his own allowance.

We spent the rest of the day sorting through old clothes – putting away the winter gear and filling the donation bag with the items that were too small for the baby of the family. It occurred to me that I was pulling out shorts sized 8 for “the baby.” For my big boy, we’re putting away his father’s hand-me-downs.

Where is the time going?

Before I know it, I’ll be that mom who gets treated to brunch on Mother’s Day – by her own children. For now, I’ll just savor every bite of my special chocolate bar.

Chocolate small

The One Track Mind

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Our school just finished its third Read-a-Thon. What’s a Read-a-Thon? Well, it’s a fundraiser like a Walkathon only the sponsors pay money for reading rather than reenacting the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Over the past three years, we had on average a rather low number of participants. Of eleven-hundred students, barely one hundred turn in their collections. I’d give you the percentage but thanks to Common Core, I’m not sure standard math makes sense anymore.

After much deliberation, we decided that the prizes needed improvement. My allergic-to-reading son came up with a sellable top prize.

“I’d read for a Harry Potter wand!” He said.

So it was said. So it was done. That’s the beauty of serving on the panel. You kind of expect Yoda to show up and say, “Your ass it doesn’t seem you always think out of.”

Not only did we secure a Harry Potter Wand, it f*cking lights up. Even better than a vibrating broomstick!

End result? Out of 97 participants, 54 of them were boys.

Yep. Even without common core, I know that means more than half – were boys.

If you have one, you know the beauty of that – boys don’t like to read. A boy who does, couldn’t be bothered logging it. And if logging isn’t an issue, then I assume he’s only doing it because he’s smart enough to bribe you into being “paid” for it.

Boys have a one track mind. They’ll do what it takes to get what they want and guess what? They’re happy when they get it!

My son hasn’t brought home a reading log since the second grade – let alone made a ritual of logging reading sessions as well as he does his poop volume. For the Harry Potter wand, however, he logged every – single – minute.

When he finally got it, what did he do?

For starters, he tried to change a stack of looseleaf papers into a million dollars. Then he tried to change his brother into a bug.

After epic failure, his brother took the wand and tried to magically grow a beard.

Finally, their dad asked for the wand and demanded to turn the lights off. He shoved the wand up his nose and lit it up.

With a flashing blue nostril he turned to me and said, “Quick. Take a picture!”

Intelligence at its best.

Harry Potter Wand

7 Costume Ideas for the Apathetic Halloweenster

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My kids don’t get it – I hate Halloween. The memories I have of it are mostly…terrifying. Like that terrifyingly boring movie “Purge,” Halloween, in my time, meant dressing up in a costume enough to qualify for free candy – without being a clear target. The thugs, of course, wore their usual attire, to take off with your loot after they drenched you in raw eggs and Nair.

Like bachelor parties in Miami, bad things happen when you go all out on Halloween. Either you wake up with vague memories of doing jello shots with some serial killer or you realize the hard way that booze and prosthetic glue do not mix well.

That’s why simple is best – but not boring. This is New York, after all. Cat ears and a tail? A witch hat? Puh-leeze. People wear weirder stuff than that on any given day. Don’t look like a city mom wannabe!

Halloween is the one time, I wish I were a guy. If I were a middle-age rotund guy, I’d dress up like a woman every year. Contour my Moobs into a push up bra, flare skirt with boxer shorts showing off my hairy legs. Pumps. Red lipstick – and a tramp stamp.

I’d make my wife walk with me – no, have lunch with me – at the Thai restaurant on the corner of Queens Boulevard. Window seat.

But I’m not a guy – so it’s back to the drawing board.

Before kids, I could fit into outfits. Comic book characters. Bad ass women with guns, sneers and a belly button that wasn’t stretched into a smiley face. Now? Every accessory only emphasizes how tired I look.

Wigs give my eyes tremendous bags. Make up makes me resemble my dad and any outfit that’s not black, makes me seem like an emergency room escapee.

I stick with natural hair, dressed in black – no masks or black lipstick. Think, beer interference.

Oh yeah, and no boobs either. Wish I had those, too. If I had huge hooters, I’d tape a line of cotton across it, like one of those cocaine movies I can’t remember because I’ve never done coke. And I was probably hammered when I watched it – who makes movies about coke heads, anyway? You can’t understand them. Heroine addicts are way more fun to watch.

But back to the apathetic Halloweenster – my fifth grader is slowly becoming one. Compared to my half-assed costume ideas, his takes the slacker costume of the year. For the Halloween party, he was supposed to be Nick Fury of the Avengers. Since he rubbed off his goatee, he was to respond, “What’s in your wallet,” to the question, “Who are you supposed to be?”

To make matters worse, he lost his patch and because he was wearing an Iron Maiden t-shirt, people asked if he was supposed to be the singer from Journey.

Yeah, I don’t get that either.

On Halloween, the school paraded around the neighborhood in full Halloween spirit – and he was just too cool for it. While it’s okay to wear a Captain America helmet playing the drums, he couldn’t understand that it means nothing on it’s own. And no, a blue striped polo shirt nowhere near resembles the Captain’s uniform. “So I’ll go as nothing!” He said.

“I got it,” said Daddy, “how about wear the school uniform and go as a student.”

Eventually, we got him to dress as street clothes Rocky Balboa: fedora, gold chain, leather jacket and the piece de resistance: a blue punchball.

“If anybody asks who you are,” I coached him, “just say, Yo! Adrian!

He contemplated practicing his line but the slacker in him chose this excuse: “I can’t do an Italian accent, mom – I’ll sound Japanese.”

To him that made sense. Like Iron Maiden Steve Perry.

My advice, get yourself a long black coat – one that flares like a cape. Dress in black. After that, it’s just a matter of accessories. Of course, you’ll be a villain but who wants to be a good guy – they all wear tights.

  1. Heart shaped eye patch & sword: Stayne (Alice in Wonderland)
  2.  Sunglasses and boots: Matrix
  3. Horns and British accent: Loki
  4. Short white wig and black nail polish: Roy Batty (Blade Runner)
  5. Vampire teeth and padded butt cheeks: Underworld
  6. Clown make up and a stuffed crow: Eric Draven
  7. Split ends and a glowing ball: Balthazar (Sorcerer’s Apprentice)

The Five Rings Of Battling Homework Battles

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There’s a new resistance party. It’s called Opposition Homework. The party members are not like anyone you’ve ever known, they’re uber defiant, unbelievably stoic and under five feet tall. You wonder how such little people go without snacks or water and produce enough tears and snot to require a change of clothes – all because it was time for homework. I’d rather deal with my period than deal with my kid doing math at home.

Before I came to terms that I wasn’t the only parent with a homework defiant kid, I tried everything. Kumon, using a metronome or classical music, Yoga – still, all those sessions ended with me as the FINISH-YOUR-HOMEWORK banshee.

Now with a fifth grader (who hasn’t brought home a reading log since second grade) I admit, I’m still losing the homework battle. I have made two important discoveries through the interim: one, teachers don’t consistently check the content. So the homework – while done – is also crappy. And the second revelation is, it’s not the homework that needs to be addressed – it’s the work ethic.

The poor attitude towards homework is baffling because as a kid, I did my homework – no questions asked. If I “forgot” to do it – I was shitting bricks the next day – frantically cramming it in before the morning bell. But my guy? He once walked the whole five blocks to school before he realized he forgot his backpack and then had his dad “text” me to bring it.

Seeing that he can’t hide under the excuse of being a child anymore, I did some homework of my own. Using the elemental structure from the “Book Of Five Rings,” this new “way of the warrior,” is in the works to construct the ultimate, Homework Jedi.

Ring 1 Strategy: There are planners – and there are strategists. One does weddings, the latter does revolutions. A plan’s factor is usually time, whereas strategy is anticipating the reactions of the other side. Believe me, getting homework done – without stress – requires strategy. Therefore, when your kid starts flailing on the floor, wailing like the fat lady in a Puccini opera, just start doing his homework for him. At first, he’ll think you’re the stooge, until he realizes that for his name, you wrote “Meat Head” and at the end of every page, “I secretly love Selena Gomez.” He’ll never trust a ghost writer to do his homework again.

Ring 2 Spirit: To have the right spirit, you need the right stance. It might be old school, but I make my boys sit up straight with both feet on the floor (or a step stool for Merry Legs) and make them hold the pencil properly. You’d be surprised how many kids, especially in the upper grades, think it’s cool to hold a pencil like a neanderthal. They write like they took dictation from one, too. I advised them that it’s not real “essay like” to write “Ha! Ha!” as a conclusion and they seriously asked me if I speak English. Spirit is normalcy and fluidity – it’s the element of water. So when their spirit of homework is down, challenge them to the ice bucket – but please – don’t post it on Facebook. I don’t really give a damn who freezes their nipples.

Ring 3 Environment: Examine the environment. I know a mom who sends her son to his room to do his homework. She comes back an hour later to discover he’s been tooling around for the past hour. Despite his distraction-free, ergonomic, Ikea p.o.s. study desk – he exercises his free will to – get out of his friggin’ chair. We do our work at the kitchen table. When I’m preparing dinner, which is during the blue moon, I find holding the chopping knife adds just the right punctuation mark to “finish your math NOW.” For my boys, the kitchen table has become their “station” in which my husband and I can no longer occupy – we take our dinner standing by the island, like outcasts. When I clean their “station” I find scrap notes tucked away that says, “mommy needs a nap”.

Ring 4 Speed: “The quicker it’s done, the more you’ll have fun,” said – no woman ever. Unless she’s the lunch lady. She says it all the time. Speed is superior. Speed and accuracy – that’s Jet Li. To get to “Jet Li” status takes practice. In this world of rebooting at every major obstacle, however, what kid has the mentality to practice? They don’t. As my mom says, “It’s not in their genes.” Did you know that there’s an actual DNA to practice and the current generation completely lacks it? Either you’re born with the knack to play golf, swim, build a spaceship – or not. The arts as we know it, is dead. Photoshop, Pro Tools and death have made mediocre talent sellable, while real talent have to whore themselves off to a mouse named Mickey. But the good news is – YOU have the “practice gene.” Even if your kids can’t, you know how to keep at it. Monotony does rub off – take U2’s new album for example. Don’t misunderstand speed as being fast. When it happens without you knowing when it happened – that’s speed. And that’s what he said.

Ring 5 Void: “…void does not imply something lacking, but rather the elimination of what is superfluous.” Of course, what’s “superfluous” is a matter of opinion. I think fifteen thousand Lego pieces that wind up all over the basement floor is superfluous. My kids think toilet paper is superfluous. That’s what underpants are for. In the case of homework, it’s the actual homework that’s superfluous. If void is virtue, then quality and attitude are the void. To obtain that, you really just have to know – when to call it quits. Focus on the things that will matter in their future: doing the work. Thoroughly, righteously – proudly. Like the brown stains on their organic, cotton underwear.

“Never stray from the way”

17 Signs That You’re Crazy

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Seriously, people – I could use the money. It’s not that we’re starving, but my boys – they think money grows on trees. Literally. They no longer believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny – but don’t be messin’ with their Money Tree. It’s out there somewhere – like my camera charger.

Thus, this post at content blogging because Legos are not free and neither are tap shoes. Or cheese for that matter.

17 signs that you’re crazy:

1) You eat when you’re bored: Technically, you should be doing laundry. Everybody has dirty laundry. Loads of it. But nobody likes to do it. So you avoid doing it by eating cheese and crackers. You sort your food but not whites and colors…and there it is. Laundry is racist. You’re crazy.

2) You forget your keys: In the car, in the house, in the office – doesn’t matter. Why’d you do that? Because you’re crazy.

3) You stubbed your pinky toe on an exercise dumbbell: That’s your body’s way of reminding you that you should be doing something with them. For the life of you, you can’t remember. Here’s a hint: put down that box of Ding Dongs and move that dumbbell out of the way, you crazy ass.

4) You called your mother for advice: Everybody knows that at your age, your mom is the only person in the world who will tell you the brutal truth. At any age, really – moms never sugar coat anything. They hate sugar. Well, the moms I know, anyway. Not that they won’t eat it themselves but they love depriving their kids of it. So yes, if mom got you depressed for giving you the cold hard facts about your character, just tell yourself it’s not true, you’re just crazy.

5) You bake and suck at it but still try to make cookies: The good news is, persistence is a good character trait. The bad news is, you’re wasting food – not to mention gas and electricity making inedible pieces of shit. I have two words: baking soda. Even though the recipe only calls for a tablespoon or four, doesn’t mean it’s optional. If you have friends who are really good at baking, then pilfer their stash. Everyone knows crazy people can’t bake.

6) You apologize to inanimate objects: Walls, trees, lamp posts and parking meters – it’s really their fault for existing. Stop apologizing, it’s just craziness.

7) You talk back to the news: Then again, you apologize to inanimate objects so, this is a given. It’s when the screen starts talking back that you – mi-i-i-i-i-ght wanna check yourself in.

8) You don’t understand bubble tea: And why should you? Imagine – a crazy person drinking bubbles. In tea, much less. If there’s gotta be bubbles in a drink, it should be grass flavored. Crazy people just do drugs. Right…crazy person?

9) You cry watching commercials: ASPCA, starving kids in Canada – Gatorade. Why you’re crying, nobody knows. You’re crazy.

10) You sing along to supermarket muzak: It must’ve been love, ’cause it’s over now. Only crazy people double shopping for chicken liver and kale chips with Karaoke.

11) You distrust anyone who wants to be your friend: After all, it takes one to know one – so chances are they’re crazier than you. The sane people are the ones who are always excusing themselves from you. They’ll say, “Oh, hey – good to see you. Gosh! I gotta run, my anus is calling me.”

12) You hear the phone ringing when it’s not: Okay, this could be resolved if you’d just change your ringer. If only there were a ring tone that shouted, “I’ll clean up for you!” or “Have a bag of money!” You’d never miss a call – or answer the phone when it wasn’t ringing and have people stare at you on the bus like – well, you’re crazy.

13) You think you’re lucky sometimes: There is no such thing as luck. Life is based on endowment. Tall, male, white-ish, with hair and a set of teeth that shows impeccable dental hygiene practice – they get first dibs. When you go all the way down the list, you’ll find your break. If you find yourself feeling lucky, look around for the other shoe before it lands on your crazy brain.

14) You stick with tradition: Did it ever occur to you that your great-great grandmother was bonkers? In her time, she didn’t have all the amenities society has now – for example: information. There is a difference between routine and tradition. Tradition is something that’s followed without knowing why – and that’s just plain crazy.

15) You don’t see life as a musical: But it is. The only reason we don’t break into song and dance numbers at the office is because of Local 802. There’s also the lack of really big fans to blow your hair back but as long as you have your tap shoes on, a musical number could break any moment. If you don’t see it, you must be crazy.

16) You have faith in sunscreen: It may keep you from smoldering but it does not work for vampires. Might do your craziness some good to get fried.

17) You find happiness in accidents: Because you may be crazy, but that’s why you’re happy. Have you ever met a happy control freak? Sometimes it’s better to be crazy than be the boss. If you are the boss and you’re crazy, think about the poor souls who work for you. They must be maniacs.

If you agree with any five of these signs, then indeed you are crazy. What you need to do now is see a bartender and ask for something special. Bring money with you but under no circumstances, should you offer the bartender sunscreen.

 

The Boys of Summer

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The air conditioner in our bedroom is a noisy piece of crap. Every time it kicked on, it woke me up. So, counting on a mild August night, I turned it off and hoped the fan setting was enough. In five minutes, the room was boiling. A far cry from the luxurious accommodation of our weekend in Philly. As I labored for sleep, I remembered walking past a woman on her cell phone saying, “Well, sure but it’s hot as fuck out here!”

The bed started to feel like a fresh pizza. Finally, my feet hit a cool spot that just might remain cool enough to drift back to sleep when the door creaked open.

“Mama?” Said a little voice.

“Go back to bed.” I said.

“My head hurts.”

“That’s ’cause you should be asleep.” I said, and groaned because the cool spot was now – hot.

“And I’m thirsty,” continued the little pecker-head, as he proceeded to climb into my bed.

My limbs were groggy as I ushered him out to the bathroom and when I turned on the light, I was astonished.

Samu must’ve grown three inches in his sleep!

Suddenly, I’m overcome by a wave of melancholia. Or terror. Either they’re growing overnight or it’s an invasion of the body snatchers. But I realize it’s really him and not an alien who busted out of an eggplant when he filled his cup with water – dumped it – filled it again – dumped it again – filled it again and took just two tiny sips.

“I don’t want summer vacation to be over,” he whimpered.

It hit me, too. “Yeah, we had a lot of fun this summer – didn’t we?”

My mind took a brief inventory: Track & Field, Golf, Baseball sleepover and let’s not forget sunburn. Nothing like walking the streets of Philly with Daddy looking like a leper.

Samu and I shuffled our way back to his bed. My steps just as heavy and sad as his. Our fun in the sun – was done.

For me, it was more than that. This summer just might be the last when my boys are “boys”. Next year, Zuki will likely be the same height as me. And Samu – should at least have a butt that’ll hold a pair of swim trunks bigger than 3T.

In the dark, I could hear his tears hit the pillow. I could tell he wanted to sing the theme song he created combining the “Titanic” and “Lord of the Rings”. He’d been humming it all summer when he was sad – when he lost an eyeball for his Mixel, when the frog at the beach got plucked by a seagull.

But his big brother was snoring away. And, that kind of ruined it.

“How’s your head?” I asked as he held my hand.

He sighed deeply and answered, “I want to go back to the hotel in Philadelphia.”

I did, too. The air conditioner was quiet.

Boys of Summer