Sunday, June 30, 2013

Rainy Weekend at the "Movies"

I love rainy weekends ... especially rainy weekends with nothing to do.

I can hole up in my man cave and watch TV, play 300 games of Words With Friends, not bathe, compose some bad tunes on the piano, eat peanut butter ... you know ... mindless stuff that I don't get to do the rest of the week. Well ... except those nights I do the same thing from 3 - 4 in the morning when I can't sleep.

On days like today ... Apple TV has been the greatest invention in recent history. When there is not a Rays game on, I look for movies. I find the stuff that no one else wants to see ... even Debbie.

Yesterday I watched Stoker, the story about "demented Uncle Charlie who comes to live with the emotionally unstable mother of of a friendless girl who just lost her father in a car accident". She becomes infatuated with him, he tries to kill everybody, there is no real ending.

Okay ... it's time to watch a comedy.

I flip on Bert and Arnie's Guide to Friendship. It follows the "romantic misadventures of Arnie Hubert, an executive and unabashed ladies man and Bert Sheering, a sophisticated yet sexually repressed author. When Bert discovers that Arnie is sleeping with his wife ...". Oh well, you get the picture. Then they fall for the same girl ...  Arnie becomes repressed and Bert becomes the ladies man.

I didn't make it to the ending.

Forget it ... let's try a sci-fi ... Antiviral. "Syd March is an employee at a clinic that sells injections of viruses harvested from sick celebrities to obsessed fans. Biological communion for a price. He also sells illegal samples of these viruses to piracy groups, smuggling them from the clinic in his own body. When he becomes infected with the disease that killed a superstar ... he himself becomes a target for collectors". Strange, sick and will make you question every blood test you take.

Did I say Apple TV was the greatest invention in recent history?


Oh well, it's one o'clock. I think the Rays are playing.(thank God).       

Monday, June 17, 2013

As Weddings Go ... This one Rocked

Saturday was the K and K wedding.

And it was a beautiful wedding ... yeah I know that everybody says that about weddings ... but this one truly was. First of all, Kate and Kyle's friends look like they are right out of central casting in Hollywood, the place for the reception was "a decked out barn" nestled in the mountains and they had a kick ass band. 


The grandkids were decked out in cool threads.

Here's Wes with his Uncle Mark showing off his new bebop cap and suspenders. Wes is really an old man in a little boy's body. Right after this I think he put $100 down on the number 3 horse to win.
Here are sister Eve and brother Nolan getting ready for the big day. Eve had her kick starts on and Nolan had his Converse allstars.

Nolan must have a paper route after the wedding and Eve is getting ready to record her next country album.(hopefully not with her Aunt Keli who belts out "Alcohol" in the key of fractured C)
The grandparents of the groom, Larry and Joanne stand by Monsignor Devine just after the ceremony.

Father Devine is a very cool priest ... 81 years old and knew the Gallaghers for over 40 years when he arrived in St. Pete from Ireland. He told me that after the wedding he was leaving for South Africa  to referee an NCAA wrestling match. (He just came back from the Arctic Circle).

This is Lee ... Debbie's sister and real estate partner. She usually takes embarrassing pictures of me.

Oh well .... paybacks are hell.

 Here's brother Tom ... father of the groom giving a very uplifting speech about marriage. I think he actually said MAWWWAAAGE.

Just kidding, it was very good ... but not as good as his other son Colby who actually brought everyone to tears. (especially his wife Andrea who told him to cut it short).


There we are with the bride and groom.

(nothing relevant to say here ... just wanted to get our pictures in).

 
We all gave a sendoff to the bride and groom with an array of sparklers. This was supposed to be them coming down the line ... but Richard Mastry stepped in the way.



This is a great picture of mom, Dennie, dancing with her little boy. You can see the cast of thousands (friends who helped out) in the background. Some are also members of the God Squad ... they and Dennie and Debbie have a "direct line" on Monday nights.

 
Love this picture.

Debbie was overcome during the mother/son dance (or was it when I accidentally spilled wine on her dress?)

 
Seriously, Kyle and Kate ... you throw a helluva wedding. All the best. We love ya.
 
 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

NC Bound

Friday morning I boarded Delta Flight 969 to Atlanta which connected to Delta Flight 3844 to Asheville. Why am I giving you my flight itinerary, you might ask? Well ... I just thought you should know this in case someone might come up to you and ask ... "Say ... do you know how Joel traveled to Asheville this past weekend?"

But I digress (or regress).

I should have opened this posting with the reason for my journey. My nephew Kyle and his fiancĂ© are getting married in Cashiers (pronounced cashurs for the non Carolina bunch.) It's the latest in our string of destination weddings that are designed for a few close family and friends (usually under 50) but in my family that means 200.


After a smooth Atlanta flight, I boarded the shuttle flight to Asheville and to my surprise I had a broken video monitor and I was seated next to a small fellow of 400 pounds. He sat in his seat and half of mine. Fortunately it was a 45 minute flight and my right butt cheek woke right up a few hours later.

My brother-in-law Mark picked me up at the Ashville airport. He and I were the last to arrive on Friday as we both worked earlier this week and we missed the pre-wedding madness that consumed our wives. It's about an hour drive to Cashiers but we found out that by adding just one more short hour ... we could detour to Cherokee. Guess what? There's a casino there. Figuring no one would miss us for a while, we spent time at Harrah's.

You know ... there's limited phone service up here. We tried to call our wives but could not get a signal. There was a rehearsal dinner that night and we sped down the highway happily counting our winnings and glancing at all the gun shops, barbeque restaurants and Dairy Queens lined up along the highway. We made great time, found our rental units, were greeted happily by our wives and kids (eventually) and were off o the rehearsal dinner for a big plate of ... you guessed it ... barbeque.

Keli was there telling stories of seeing rows of Christmas trees on a mountain (wondering if they would be lit up one night and why some were so tiny). She was amazed to know that people actually grew these for sale. (I think she must have thought that they were hatched from reindeer). There were many more comments that I can't write here. But needless to say there was a lot of beer and a lot of wine.

As we were leaving I heard someone say. "Party at Momberg's place." Really? Really. Beer Pong was talked about right before I closed my bedroom door and went to sleep.

Wedding tomorrow.     

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Congrats Doctor Nikki!

Just got back from a couple of days in Savannah.

This was a special occasion.  Daughter Nikki is officially a doctor. Actually ... she was a doctor before this but her patients kept asking when the real doctor was coming.

Now she has proof.

Her graduation from the Residency Program at Memorial Hospital was last night. It was a very nice event. Speeches from the attending docs that supervised her progress, awards for special achievements and a few good natured jokes ... well, I guess you could call them jokes. Because the doctors told them, you weren't sure where to laugh or what to laugh at ... so we took a cue from the audience.

Nikki was presented with a stuffed bunny.

During her years at Memorial, she met Steven Cohen, married him a few months ago and then got pregnant right away. Her peers were impressed. They really thought Nikki would try a few times and fail ... wrong.

She is full throttle ... whether it's school, work or apparently birthing babies.

Speaking of full throttle ... take a look at my grandson at about 4 and a half months gestation. There's a little arrow pointing to what appears to be his MANHOOD. 

That deserves an award.



Monday, June 3, 2013

A Run Through Memory Lane

This was a reflective weekend for me.

I guess it was the invitation to appear on the 30th anniversary of the All Children's Telethon that started me on a journey through boxes of old pictures ... like this charming one of me dressed as Dr. Pete E. Atric on the telethon about 10 years ago.

My alter ego at the hospital was complete with a bad German accent that could only last for a few minutes before it sounded like a combination Yiddish and Cuban with a touch of Chinese. Needless to say ... when they asked me to cohost a segment they had to use subtitles.

Ahhh ... This was from the Baseball for Kids weekend held with the Major League Alumni Association. Every year, baseball legends and celebrity wannabe baseball legends came in for the big game. I'm here with John Lovitz. Remember him? He was on SNL for years and was also the nasty agent in League of their Own.

When John came in to bat, he was on his 13th strike when he pointed to right field ... just like Babe Ruth. Unfortunately, he hit it straight up in the air (about ten feet) and was thrown out. He calmly looked at the crowd and said, "So ... you thought I was gonna hit a home run or something? I was just pointing to the spot I would hit it."

Speaking of the Baseball weekend, Mark Harmon used to play once in a while. Debbie, who was my girlfriend then, felt sorry for him because his wife didn't come ... so she filled in.

Fortunately, it was only for pictures.

I remember that she disappeared for a few days after this picture but I saw her on Monday and she swore to me they were just friends.

Ha Ha ... just kidding. I saw her on Sunday.

That same night (while Debbie kept Mark busy) I took Jonathan Silverman (Weekend at Bernie's) to a Bat Mitzvah Party in the next room at the TradeWinds.

True story.

The Trade Winds bumped a Bat Mitzvah party to a smaller venue that night so we could have our Baseball for Kids party. They were so good to us and the parents were so understanding that I asked Jonathan if he would come with me to surprise the Bat Mitzvah girl (By the way for my sister, Keli, that's the female version of a Bar Mitzvah) and give her a present.

Well, it worked out great. The kids swooned over Silverman. All of them knew who he was and he was a big hit.

Also turned out that his dad was a rabbi so he had lots of stories.

Love this picture.

Taken right before a segment of the telethon, it's Gail Sierens, me and Randy "Macho Man" Savage. Randy passed away a few years back. Love this guy. He was a wrestler with a very distinct gravelly voice and a heart of gold for the kids.

Gail was comparing notes after she had vocal chord surgery and sounded alot like Macho Man. Between the two of them, I could only figure out one or two words that year.


Okay ... enough about my walk down memory lane. I mean really ... How many moustache pictures can I expect you to handle? 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Apparently, Beggars CAN be Choosers


From my brother-in-law Tom:

Two beggars are sitting side by side on a street in Rome. One is holding a cross, the other one is holding the Star of David. Many people go by, look at both beggars but only put money into the hat of the beggar holding the cross.

Eventually the Pope comes by. He stops to watch the throngs of people giving money to the beggar who holds the cross while none give to the beggar holding the Star of David.

Finally, the Pope approaches the beggar with the Star of David and says,
"My poor fellow, don't you understand? This is a Catholic country and this city is the seat of Catholicism. People aren't going to give you money if you sit there holding the Star of David, especially when you're sitting beside a beggar who is holding a cross. In fact, they would probably give more money to him just out of spite".

The beggar with the Star of David listens politely to the Pope, smiles, then turns to the beggar with the cross and says, "Moishe, look who's trying to teach the Goldstein brothers about marketing!"

Saturday, June 1, 2013

All Children's Hospital Telethon ... 30 Years Young

Thirty years ago, the Children Miracle Network and the All Children's Hospital Telethon were born. I helped deliver those "children". And now I feel like a proud papa watching his children mature.

Tomorrow is the 30th birthday on Channel 8.

I'll be there (at the generous invitation of the telethon staff) rocking babies in the neonatal unit with former CEO Dennis Sexton and former sports director Dick Crippen. Dennis was my first boss and Crip was one of the original anchors of the telethon.

CMN was the brainchild of Joe Lake and Mick Shannon with the Osmond Foundation. I was one of a handful of children's hospital development directors who met in Chicago to form what was to become the original core of The Children's Miracle Network Telethon. The basic premise of the telethon was a national show produced by the Osmonds that promoted children's hospitals around the country sharing time with a local production complete with phone banks for community donations to the local hospital.

Channel 8 has been our partner since day one. Gayle Sierens, Bob Hite, the late Bill Ratliff and Dick Crippen broadcast stories of courage, highlighting young patients at ACH. In the early days, we were on the air for 22 hours straight, broacasting the local segments from the Festhaus at Busch Gardens and live from the hospital itself.

There were so many great stories over the last 30 years. I can't wait to reunite with the staff and see some of the kids from the past that are now young adults.

It's truly a special place with special people ... Spend time with us tomorrow and spend a little cash while you're at it. Keep it alive for another 30 years ... it's worth it.