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Showing posts from July, 2010

School Daze

Earlier this week, I ran into someone who had kids at Shorecrest Preparatory School, the same school my kids went to ... a thousand years ago. It brought back so many memories and funny stories.

One was about my son, Josh, when he was in middle school.

I was asked by the administration to sit in on a meeting with middle school moms who had concerns about the spring dance held in the auditorium. I was on the Board of the school, a parent of a current middle schooler and a veteran of numerous middle school dances that my daughters attended years before.

The Director of the School started the conversation after introductions. "I understand that some of you have questions about our school dance. Is that correct?"

The ladies looked at each other. Finally, one of the group spoke up. "Well ... I have a question. This is the first dance for the kids. Most of us have daughters and I wonder ... what do you do to assure safety?"

"That's a great question. Well we have…

Do Over: NOLA Lie Detector Test ... So Did You LIVE There or Are You FROM There?

first published 9/9/09
These are my top 20 vocabulary test questions. If you are FROM New Orleans ... these should be easy (Disclaimer: A score of 3 might mean you grew up there but claim LSD flashback status) :

1. Y'at  ..... This is short for "Where y'at?".... the preferred greeting between friends.
2. NOLA ...... Initials for New Orleans Louisiana and a famous restaurant owned by Emril Lagasse

3. Glaudi ....... Last name of the most famous sportscaster in New Orleans history. First name was Hap and he appeared for years on WWL Channel 4.
4. King Cake ......... This should have been one of the easy ones. The cake that is shaped in a circle covered with colored sugar and served at kids' Mardi Gras (or birthday) parties. Inside is a little plastic baby that ... if you are lucky enough to bite down and break your teeth on it or accidentally swallow it ... you have to hold the next party as soon as you are discharged from the hospital.
5. Mc Kenzie's ......... T…

We're Going To Disney World

Just our luck.

We couldn't get on a flight to DC because of that space available / non-rev / former employee thing I told you about ... So we had to make a quick decision. Deb got on the computer and found a flight from Jacksonville that we might be able to make ... So we jumped in our car and drove from Charleston.

"OH ... S##t!!! (translated .. Ooops)" said Debbie. Not a good sign when I hear that. "Jacksonville has about 39 paid stand-by passengers. Not gonna work. Let's try Orlando."

"Orlando is 7 hours away." I said calmly.

Debbie spouted out 15 more remote cities and I had enough.

At this point we pulled into a gas station. I shared the bathroom with a guy who clearly had Tourettes or was extremely pissed off about something. I joined him in the choruses.

We were now 3 hours into the drive when Alissa, who we were going to visit, called and asked where we were. I told her that we might be able to drive to South Dakota and get to DC sometim…

Charleston On $5 a Day

We found a very reasonably priced room in Charleston.

It's a good thing, because we spent all our money on Kiawah Island. This hotel needed a little paint but we were told it had historic significance.

Built in the 1800s, it looks pretty much the same as it did back then. I had some reservations (not the kind that hold the room for us) about staying there ...

... but because it was next door to a church, Debbie said let's do it.

We both had to get work for a few days to pay for food and to get to DC to see Alissa, middle daughter. Debbie decided to make baskets at the local market.

I got a job feeding the fish at the South Carolina Aquarium.

Despite the lack of funding ... we still seemed to gain weight on this trip. I donned my favotite shirt to remind me not to get to the chubby porker stage again ... we are definitely dieting when we get home.

Found this for my dad. He will certainly be jealous that his namesake in this town has a whole store for a closet. When Mom was ali…


I'm sitting on a beach chair by the pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on Kiawah Island outside of Charleston, South Carolina. This place is heaven. Today ... I don't have a care in the world.

I even forgot I had a cell phone.

Debbie's on her second or third mango colada and I just downed a root beer float. We walked for about 59 feet on the beach (That's what Debbie's pedometer reading was) ... broken or improperly used, it's same difference to Deb ... We actually walked for a couple of miles. The beach is so different from our Florida beaches. There are no shells, the sand is smooth and the beach is wider. The water has that green ocean tint.

And there's no oil.

We're staying at a five star resort ... Okay ... i admit that we splurged ... But who cares when you find paradise? I think people put way too much emphasis on price ... Sometimes you have to invest in quality ... It usually pays off in the end.

For example, lets take this bill that I just…

Do Over: Here's To You, Mrs. Robinson

first published 10/01/09 Do you remember where you were when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon?

I do. I was floating in a pool at a beautiful home in Beverly Hills watching on a television set mounted by the barbeque pit. Maybe that's no big deal today with TVs in every room of the house ... but in 1969 it was sheer decadence.

No ... I didn't sneak in. I was invited. I'll start from the beginning.

In the summer of 1969, a couple of friends and I headed out west after finals. We drove across the country (spending about 5 days driving through Texas ... what a boring state). We ended up in LA without money and without any real plan.

Fortunately, one of the guys actually knew someone who gave him a job ... assembling screen doors. It wasn't glamorous but he made enough to get an apartment in the Valley and we were selfish enough to sleep on his floor and take advantage of his new found wealth.

That lasted about a week.

We hit the street in search of employment. I was the …


Chutzpah is a Yiddish word meaning gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, sheer guts plus arrogance; it's Yiddish and, as Leo Rosten writes, "no other word and no other language" can do it justice.

The example below is better than 1,000 words.

The Essence of Chutzpah

A little old lady sold pretzels on a street corner for 25 cents each. Every day
a young man would leave his office building at lunch time, and as he passed the
pretzel stand, he would leave her a quarter, but never take a pretzel.

This went on for more than 3 years.

The two of them never spoke. One day, as the young man passed the old lady's stand and left his quarter as usual, the pretzel lady spoke to him.

Without blinking an eye, she said: "They're 35 cents now."

Old Rockers Never Die

Last night we went to a great concert ... Ringo Starr and the All Starr Band.

Ringo's toured over the last ten years with performers from different groups (in the past ... Peter Frampton, Sheila E., etc.) to sold out audiences around the country.

This year's song line up included:

It Don't Come Easy / Honey Don't / Choose Love / Hang On Sloopy (Rick Derringer) / Free Ride (Edgar Winter) / Talking In Your Sleep (Wally Palmar) / I Wanna Be Your Man / Dream Weaver (Gary Wright) / Kyrie (Richard Page) / Other Side of Liverpool / Yellow Submarine / Frankenstein (Edgar Winter) / Peace Dream / Back Off Boogaloo / What I Like About You (Wally Palmar) / Rock N Roll Hoochie Koo (Rick Derringer) / Boys / Love Is Alive (Gary Wright) / Broken Wings (Richard Page) / Photograph / Act Naturally / With A Little Help From My Friends into Give Peace a Chance.

Great music and great to hear a bunch of old guys hit the high notes ... hey ... Ringo is 70 this week.

After the concert I ran…

What's a Nice Jewish Girl Like You ... ?

A Jewish woman says to her mother, "I'm divorcing Jeff ! All he wants is sex, and my vagina is now the size of a 50 cent piece when it used to be about the size of a nickel."
Her mother says, "You're married to a multi-millionaire businessman, you live in an 8 bedroom mansion, you drive a Ferrari, you get $2,000 a week allowance, you take 6 vacations a year and you want to throw all that away over 45 cents?"
From my friend Marsha (love this)

Do Over: Yo!

first published 2/13/10
Last night we played a home version of the Newlywed Game.

Bruce N. (or as he's called in Jersey: "Da Naz") and his wife Maria invited three couples to their condo for lasagna and gaming: Debbie and I ... my brother- in- law Tom "the Joker" and Debbie's twin Dennie ... and Aldo and Cecelia. It's really impossible to give Aldo a nickname ... he defies description in less than 150 words.

The first round of questions were for the guys ... so the girls headed to the bedroom. Bruce passed out our personalized official paper plates and pens. He read 4 questions which were supposed to be answered "quietly" ... a word that is not in Aldo's vocabulary.

1. What is the thing that you do that annoys your wife the most?
(Aldo: "Oh man I got this f-ing answer. There is no f-ing way we won't win this game.")

2. What is the thing your wife does right before she goes to sleep?
(Aldo: "Hey! There's another easy …

Conversations With Sammy

Yogi Berra has nothin' on Sam.

Today, Debbie and I went to Menorah Manor for his birthday celebration. When we arrived ... all the birthday celebrants were gathered around the decorated tables ready to sing happy birthday and partake of the huge birthday cake centerpiece.

All were there ... except for Sam.

We went upstairs to his room and found him asleep wearing one shirt backward over his other shirt ... snoring happily.

"Hey Dad ..."

"Huh?" He looks at us for a minute.  "Oh ... what are you doing here?"

"We came to celebrate your birthday. Why aren't you downstairs?"



"Aww ... I don't like hanging around all those old people."

"They have cake and ice cream."

"What did you say?"


"I don't need one ... I hear fine ... besides, they just cleaned out all the wax in my ears and …


We fly Standby.

Remember Standby? It was popular during the layaway - eight track - mimeograph era. Yep .... we fly standby today ... side by side with the poor college students, airline employees and homeless people. We're in the airline employee (retired) line. We're called the "non-revs". That basically means we are freeloaders who hang out at airports looking for hand outs.

Here's how it works:

Step 1: The non-rev checks the computer for possible "space available" flights. This may take up to four hours (if you are my wife). The first challenge is actually getting on the Delta website. I think the ticket agents must have the same challenge based on the lines at the airport and the amount of time it takes them just to type information.

Step 2: Once the information is found, the data is translated into English for the spouse's benefit. For example 101(179) means that 101 seats out of a total of 179 have been booked ... so there is space available…

Vegas: Fashion Capital of the US

I'll be the first to admit it. I am not a fashion plate.

Yeah, yeah ... big surprise to those who know me. I don't know a Jimmy Choo from a tobacco chew. But I DO know this: Jimmy Choo can really make CFMs for women. For those unfamiliar with CFMs ... Ask around. Or ... Come to Vegas. Every young girl (and old girl for that matter) has on shoes that look like the ones on the left. The shoes ... of course ... are just part of the total wardrobe.

But let's start at the beginning ...

When you check in at any of the ten thousand hotels in Vegas ... the women in line look like this.

Somehow ... at night ... either an entirely new group of women have checked in, or, the same women who were in the lobby in the afternoon have gone to see their surgeons and their fashion coordinators for EXTREME makeovers.

Wait a minute ... I think I did see these two in line at registration!

Sometimes ... fashion is dictated by alcohol consumption.

Thank heaven that What Happens in Vegas STAYS in…

Where in the World are We?

"Let's look for flights ..."

I said this to my wife yesterday. Being the great planners that we both are ... we were talking about going away for July 4th weekend. It was only a day away ... plenty of time.

"Where should we go?" She asked.

"Well ... we could go visit the kids."

"Nikki is working all weekend at the hospital and Alissa has plans for the fourth."

"Okay ... then we'll go somewhere else."


"I don't know where do you want to go?"

"Um ... wherever you want to go."

"Maybe somewhere we haven't been."

"Any ideas?"

"Ummmmmm ...."

No ... I won't bore you with the rest of our 2 hour dialogue of "I dunno". We went back and forth ... looked up everything we could think of on the computer ... even looked at a map and just pointed to general areas in the US. Crazy stuff ... Debbie retired from Delta Airlines about 5 years ago ... so we ca…