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Showing posts from March, 2010

Tax Diversion

I'm sitting here doing the very last thing I want to do every year ... my taxes.

I'm on my 27th Worksheet and headed for my 38th IRS Form ... only to be more depressed to see what MORE taxes I owe when I finish. Is it any wonder that I put everything aside and start working on my new blog entry?

Time travel (how's that for a transition?)

That's what I'm thinking about ... time travel. From Back to the Future (parts 1-52) to the Time Traveller (and the Time Traveller's Wife ... and whole family), the whole concept of travelling back and forward in time has fascinated me. Can you imagine what it would be like to be able to visit yourself when you were a baby or when you are an old man (or get a visit from yourself at any stage in your life?)

Here's the great part ... the earlier time travel movies would not let the two worlds meet ... in other words, if by chance you would meet yourself in another time the universe would virtually implode. Now ... apparently …

Kindergarten Is Not For Sissies

I've decided that teaching school is the best training in life for any management job in the world ... especially teaching elementary school.

The more undisciplined the kids are ... the better the training.

I think back on my teaching days often, now that I manage adult children. Today, for example, I had to discipline one unruly "child", lectured another on appropriate behavior, reminded another how to play well with others ... and one was so bad that I was tempted to bring in her parents.

We never really grow up, do we? We act up ... we suck up ... we still throw up ...  but grow up? Naw. We'll never grow up ... you know ... Tinker Bell sure had LOTS of patience with Peter Pan.

What a day! I wanted to rush out to the bookstore to see if there were any copies of "All I really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten" ... the book by Robert Fulghum. It was brilliant ... and SO true.

Here are his guiding principles:

1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
3. Do…

POP Night

Last night was POP NIGHT.

Ever heard of it? If you know Colleen Wyse and Steve Klasko you have (or if you've ever gotten wasted in a variety of bars on certain Friday nights).

Pop night Klasko/Wyse style has a style all its own.

Let me back up and tell you that Steve is the Dean/CEO of USF Health ... has a ridiculous amount of energy ... and in fact probably should put A.D.D. after his M.D. He's also a frustrated musician (has a library of 30,000 songs I think) and actually worked for a while as a DJ. Colleen has been at the administrative and sales helm of major magazines like Glamour, Vogue and recently  ... Bon Appetit.

They are truly a dynamic duo.

Not surprisingly, Colleen with her sales/fundraising background and Steve with his love for music, came up with an idea to get people together and share music, food, lots of alcohol and also stuff they would NEVER ordinarily tell ... and have fun with it.

So ... last night, five couples enjoyed an INCREDIBLE meal served by o…

I'm A Doctor!

Yesterday was THE day for medical school seniors across the country.

"Match Day" is the day the graduates find out where they will be doing their residencies. They spend months interviewing at different universities and hospitals around the country ... vying for coveted residency positions within their specialty areas. They then rank these in order of preference ... the schools they interviewed with do the same. The results come in and each "resident" is notified of the results at MATCH DAY in front of friends and family. Sometimes they get their first choice, sometimes their second and sometimes it's a fourth or fifth ... sometimes they don't get a match. 

For my daughter Nicole, her USF Match Day was held at Skipper's Smokehouse (a funky bar/restaurant/music venue that is frequented by the student population. It's a relaxed atmosphere for "already stressed out" group.

So ... yesterday ... 120 of Nicole's classmates gathered as each o…

Oldies But Goodies

Sometimes I'll find great pictures and create news stories around them. These were all senior citizens with lots of chutzpah (Keli ... that's a lot of NERVE). Who knows .... might be true???


When Shirley Spivak was just three years old she told her mother that she wanted to join the circus. Shirley's mother naturally wanted to know where she got such an interesting idea. No one in the family had ever been in that business.

"I want to make people happy," said Shirley
"Very admirable," answered Mrs. Spivak, "now would you pass me one of your cigarettes?"
"Certainly, mom."

Shirley celebrated 100 years as Barnum and Bailey's oldest living belly dancer.


Blanche and Harold Outatouch were found Saturday morning wandering the pier in Santa Monica after being reported missing by their children, Betsy and Harold, Jr. Blanche and Harold were …

Say da Secret Woid ...

There was a time that I had hair and functional knees, could see my feet without sitting down, peed only once before I went to bed and had zits instead of precancerous skin lesions.  It was a time that I baked all day at the beach, I threw my kids in the air (sometimes I'd catch them) and had a groucho moustache and big ugly glasses.
There was a time ...

I was just looking at these old pictures tonight  ... and wondered: "Who the hell's that goofy looking guy holding my children?"

Keli Hatched a Good One Tonight

Here's a quick Sunday night sis-in-law Keli UPDATE:

Keli was driving her two daughters home after a visit to the school's science lab. Her younger daughter showed her the "lion bunny" who just gave birth to 8 new little lion bunnies.

Here is the conversation that  followed in the car:

Keli ... "Eight Bunnies, huh? Did you see the eggs?"
Daughter #1 ... "Eggs? What are you talking about?"
Keli ... "Eggs ... you know the things that the bunnies came out of?"
Daughter #2 ... "Mom, there weren't any eggs."
Keli ... "Oh yeah? Well, then ... how were the bunnies born?"
Daughter #1 ... "Seriously mom? They have babies like you do."
Keli ... "Well ... um ... I knew that ... I was just testing you ..."
Daughter #1 ... "No you weren't ... you thought they came from eggs."
Later ...
Keli ... "You know when I asked you about the eggs ... here's the thing. Easter baskets hav…

Get UP

For maybe the second or third time in my life ... I walked out of a movie yesterday. Alice in Wonderland 3D was so boring, so dark (the picture ... even more than the plot), and those stupid 3D glasses gave me a headache and made me want to throw up.

Other than that it was just fine.

However ... there is a movie that I think deserves to be mentioned again and again as the best picture of the year ... Up. It's not the same kind of movie as Precious or Hurt Locker ... it's better. Okay, maybe I'm not the sophisticated movie critic that some proport to be (or not to be ... that is the question). But this is truly one of the best movies I have ever seen. It will make you feel great.

There ... I've said it ... Don't ask ALICE .... Get UP.

What a night!

Debbie and I got to the dinner a little late but there was a beautiful table ready for us. The place was filled with men in tuxedos and women in long dresses dining in elegance ... even the servers were dressed to the nines and everybody addressed us by name. The food was spectacular and plentiful. We ate enough lobster and steak to feed an army.

At the end of dinner, the emcee asked us to come up on stage. He introduced us to the crowd and everyone stood and applauded wildly. We looked at each other ... embarrassed with the outpouring. I spoke to the crowd ... and every word I said was met with more applause. It was as if I could do no wrong.

There was a beautiful Steinway grand piano sitting to our right (once owned by Elton John ... how I knew this is anyone's guess). Our emcee invited me to play.  At first, I politely declined ... but the crowd would not hear of it. So I reluctantly sat behind the keys and played "As Time Goes By". It was a fairly simple version but a…

Thanks Friend!

Just back from New York and to my surprise and delight ... I got another friend's award ... this time it was from Annika who has a wonderfully written blog: .

Be sure to visit her regularly.

Thanks Annika!

I Love New York

Yes I do ... I love New York ... I especially love listening to the locals.

Even the guys with the handmade signs for those Comedy shows on Times Square crack me up (I'm an easy audience). One guy has a sign that reads "I'm Holding a Sign" while another whispers in your ear "Hey .... wanna see a marginally funny comedy show?"

Last night night we were waiting for a table at Bobby Van's (great steakhouse, btw) and at the bar were four guys who were having a "mine's bigger than yours" night. They were feeling no pain ...

#1 ... "Hey man ... that's bulls*t. There's no f*in' way that would happen."
#2 ... "You don't know s*t ..."
#3 ... "YOU don't know s*t ..."
#2 ... "Who the f*k was talkin to you? I was f*in talking to him ... "
#3 ... "Well I was f*in' talkin' to you ... What do you f*in' think about that?"
#4 ... "None of you know what the f*k you're …

THE Big Apple

Headed to New York today to catch the Big East Tournament. Our own USF Bulls have a shot ... Dominique Jones (leading scorer in the Big East and one of our own just got named to the All Big East First Team).

Deb and I will catch some plays (and I'll catch some zzzzzzz's ... something about a dark theater just makes me sleepy).

Wish us luck and watch on ESPN tomorrow (and hopefully the rest of the week!)

Go Bulls.

Yittan ... anyone?

Have I told you about my sister-in-law Keli or Kelli or Kelly or Kelley? She sometimes has trouble with words so I gave her a few choices if she decides to change the spelling of her name to comment. She's a regular reader of my blog so she will undoubtedly defend herself in print.

Keli (I picked the one no one else would because that's what Keli would pick) is a trip. I love her dearly. A self described "blonde" ... she speaks before any rational thought enters her brain. Questions about Judaism for example (Note: Keli that refers to "Jews") have often been directed my way. I am undoubtedly the only Jew that Keli knows ... so I'm happy to answer.

The conversation usually begins like this ...

K ...   "Joel .. you know the language that you people use in Israel?"
Me ... " I assume by 'my people' you mean ... the Jews?"
K ...   "Yeah ... you know the Yittans ... how is it that they ..."
Me ... "Wait .. Keli ... t…

Two Wild and Crazy Guys

Last night, my buddy Joe Sambito was in town.

We've been friends for 20 years. Our daughters played sports together, we went through divorces together, we hung out like Steve Martin and Dan Ackroyd together and last night we were two old farts talking about old fart things together.

Joe was a former major league baseball picher with the Astros, Mets and Red Sox during the 70s and 80s. He was as famous for his left arm as he was for his hair.

Sports Illustrated once wrote about Joe ...  "His secrets of success include not one, but two major league fastballs, a nasty slider and not one, but two or three hair dryers. He holds one fastball so that the ball sails in on righthanded hitters. The other fastball sinks. He employs a conventional grip on both the slider and the hair blower."
Joe was always the guy that women went crazy over. During our "wild and crazy" post divorce single days, Joe and I would hang out at a beach bar called the Hurricaine. On a typical nig…

I'm Officially a Blogger

I won!

That's right ... I won an award (left) and my new blog buddy Chrissy gave it to me. Two things I am now very proud of ... winning an award and having a blog buddy (I can't believe these comments came from my slow typing single digits). For those of you who have never ventured into this world of blogging, I know this sounds queer to say but ... it's pretty cool.

I'm not sure I can follow all the rules that go along with winning this award, but I'm gonna try. The Sweet Friends Award has the following guidelines:

1. Paste this to the blog (did it)
2. List 10 things that make you happy, do one of them today.(below)
3. Select 10 bloggers who brighten your day.(I only really know Chrissy ... and her blog cracks me up ... be sure to visit her :

Here's a list of things that make me happy ... in no particular order:

1. Drinking
2. Eating
3. Gambling
4. Sleeping
5. TV
6. Sex
7. Stopping at 6 instead of having to strain to thi…