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Showing posts from August, 2010

Do Over: Birth Story

On this anniversary of the tragedy of Katrina ... I thought I'd reprint one of my first blog entries about New Orleans:

published 8/10/09

I mentioned in my first post that I was born in New Orleans at the Hotel Dieu. Yes, it was a hospital ... at least that what I was told. It was a Catholic hospital and for a little Jewish baby it was a slight disadvantage.

Interesting fact one:

The doctor who delivered me was actually a famous jazz musician named Dr. Edmund Souchan.

Interesting fact two:

I was born on Mardi Gras Day ... March 1st.

Interesting fact three:

Dr. Souchan's daughter was Queen of Rex (the Krewe which parades on Mardi Gras day and to be chosen Queen is one of the highest honors in New Orleans) that morning.

Interesting fact four:

He missed the parade because I was being delivered.

Painful fact one (and this is why I was disadvantaged):

The nuns at the hospital (and the doctor) failed to "tag" me as a Jewish baby who would be circumsized on the seventh day. Who…

August 29, 2005

New Orleans will forever exist as two cities: The one that existed before that date, and the one after.

Two books worth a read on the subject:

"A.D.: New Orleans After The Deluge"... One of the most unique - and compelling - books written in response to Katrina is Josh Neufeld's non-fiction graphic novel  - a New York Times bestseller - which is just out in paperback. Buy it .... you'll love it.

Zeitoun ... From Bookmarks MagazineToday, a personal story of a national tragedy. Five years ago, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian-born New Orleans building contractor, stayed in the city while his wife and children left to Baton Rouge. He paddled the flooded streets in his canoe and helped rescue many of his stranded neighbors. Days later, armed police and National Guardsmen arrested him and accused him of being a terrorist. He was held for nearly a month, most of which he was not…

In Memory of Dr. Pete E. Atric

I miss Dr. Pete.

Okay ... when I put on the "outfit" I look more like a homeless man/rodeo clown/Jerry Garcia clone. My wig never fit right and one side was always bigger than the other. The moustache got so gummed up with adhesive that my lips stuck together and the accent that I used to speak was a mixture of Yiddish and English and Puerto Rican at times. But ... still ... Dr. Pete E. Atric, the character I created at All Children's Hospital many moons ago, is still in my blood.

Originally, he was meant to introduce the music that Mike Sexton and I produced ( Dr. Pete was the face of the program (God help us!). He was the kindly old doctor that was part mad scientist and part family doctor ... introducing kids to the world of medicine and health care.

The cartoon version of  Dr. Pete is much cuter of course and doesn't scare the kids half as much as that Momberg guy. 

For many years, you would see Dr. Pete's face (the cute one) thr…

This Little Piggie

I'll admit it.

I'm a sucker for games and electronics. I did the iphone ... the ipad ... Madden ... you name it. I've left a long trail of tooexpensivehotofftheshelf goodforamonthofenjoyment video games in my wake. The latest is an ipad/iphone app: ANGRY BIRDS.

My son ... that stinker ... got me hooked. He KNEW it would drive me crazy and have me staying up all night trying to fling birds across the screen hitting pigs and making screeching noises.

If you think this sounds stupid, immature and a worthless waste of time ... you're absolutely right. And you know what? I do to ... but it never stops me from getting hooked. This game is literally flinging birds in a slingshot across the screen, through wooden, glass and concrete structures at little pigs, big pigs and (I kid you not) pigs with helmets. The fewer birds you need to kill the piggies, the higher the score. There are ... what seems like ... endless levels of difficulty.

It doesn't matter that I don't …

Your Eyes Are Getting Heavy ...

Had an interesting conversation with my daughter Nikki the other day.

Funny ... I still think of her as the little girl who dressed up as a doctor and now she's a real doctor in Savannah and is in her first year of residency.

Conversation went kinda like this:

Me ... "Hi honey, how are things."

Nik ..."Busy ... really busy. I'm so tired. Do you know that I worked 128 hours this week?"

Me ... "Wow. That's incredible."

Nik ..."Yeah ... and 97 hours before that ...."

Me ..."Honey, do you like the TV that we bought you?"

Nik ..."Yeah .. thanks. Man I am sooooo tired. Did I tell you I worked 128 hours?"

Me... "Yes you did. Have you talked to your brother and sister?"

Nik ..."Um ... yeah. You know 128 hours is just craaaazy... huh? Can you believe..."

Me ... "No I can't. Did I tell you that your family was eaten by cannibals?"

Nik ... "Really? Man I am just beat ... dog tired ...…

Do Over: Kindergarten Is Not For Sissies

Sunday is the day for "Do Overs" because I'm too lazy to think of anything new ... and today I thought I'd reprint one that is as appropriate today as when I wrote it months ago.
first pulished 3/24/10
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. Last week, 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…

There's a New Sheriff in Town

Last night we went to Chilis and then to a movie with Josh and his girlfriend Theresa. We saw the new Will Ferrell movie, the Other Guys ... classic Ferrell ... funny as hell and totally disjointed.

At dinner, we reminisced (well ... I did. Josh just groaned).  I brought up a few more embarrassing times in his life (my job as his dad) to which Josh said, "Just don't put that in your stupid blog."

So ... here it is:

When Josh was about 12, he was thoroughly entrenched in club soccer.

On one particular afternoon, as I sat down in the bleachers during a game, Tom ... one of the other soccer dads ... pointed to Josh as he checked a player and said, "The sheriff's in town!"

I looked out at Josh and smiled.

"The sheriff, huh? That's an interesting name for him."

"That's what we all call him now," Tom said.


"Yeah .. you know ... after what he did yesterday."

"Oh". I pretended to know what he was tal…

Road Rage

Because I commute to work each day, an average of about 45 minutes to an hour each way, I have lots of time to think and observe. Road rage is also an easy skill to develop ... especially with the Interstate "parking lot" of stationary vehicles.

I've noticed there are certain drivers who have similar styles ...

One of my favorites is The Old Man Gipping the Steering Wheel. It's also one that might cause you to shudder ... especially if he was behind you. Sam had this same vacant look in his eyes when he drove ... even when he was 20.

The Young Rock Star is always a treat to see .... from a safe distance (preferably in another city). The stereo can usually be heard within 50 car lengths and there are usually 15 other teenage passengers in the car hanging out the windows.

The Distracted Driver always seems to be in the passing lane.  These are very talented individuals who can talk on the phone, eat a hamburger and apply makeup while driving a car. They can also manage t…

School Plays

If you have kids ... you certainly remember school plays. Maybe you're still experiencing them or maybe that time has passed for you. In my case, the time has unfortunately passed. I have hours of videos that I still drag out from time to time and laugh all the nose pickers, seat adjusters and line forgetters performing on stage.

My daughters and my son all went to the same school and all performed in the same plays in every grade, so I got to know them VERY well by the time Josh, my third kid got there.

One play that I will never forget was the First Grade production where all the boys were Roman soldiers. The moms were instructed in costume design and told how to make the armor, swords and helmets.

Helmet design was fairly simple: take a gallon bleach jug, cut out an area for the face and shape it to the contour of the head ... then spray paint it silver ... when it's done it should look like something like this:

This was NOT how Josh looked ... and unfortunately I don't…