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Morning-Shower Phobia

Arachnophobia, claustrophobia, xenophobia. There are phobias for just about everything. I, thankfully, suffer from none of them. Well I’m not big on heights and you don’t want to see me around ketchup and iced tea. But other than that, I am just short of normal.

I took a self-imposed break from blogging though I continued commenting on other people’s blogs. Anyway, the break from blogging coincided with my break at school. Movies, Chuck E. Cheese, a visit to mom, editing of my novella, a staycation with my wife only, and sleeping in till 8:00 (yes, that is a big thing in my house) were just some of the highlights from my break. Of course, I found some time for self-loathing and questioning of my direction. However, the best part was not setting the alarm and moving at a different pace.
On Tuesday night, I had my clothes out, lunch made, lesson plans prepared, etc. I had psyched myself up and was ready to return to work. Then, I made a terrible mistake. I checked weather.com. The site said it would feel like 9 degrees at 6 a.m. That is the time at which I am standing on a street corner praying for the bus to come. My heart sank as my resolve froze. Uggh. I added a pair of long johns to my pile of clothes.
Wednesday morning came, and I got out of bed and headed to the bathroom for my shower. You see, there are two types of people in this world: “shower-before-bed” people and “shower-in-the-morning” people. I happen to be the latter. Thus my shower serves a dual purpose: a clean start and a wake-up call.
I looked at the shower and had reservations. Let me tell you about our shower, and you will understand. It takes a couple of minutes for the water to warm up. Once it does warm up, it can be scalding. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, why don’t you just balance the hot and cold knobs so the water will come out at a temperature you are happy with. Sounds logical. However, my shower is not logical. The knobs are inconsistent, so I never know where to turn them to in order to get a comfortable temperature.
As I have mentioned many times, I often lack patience. So, sometimes in my rush to warm up the water, I turn the hot up too far. It will be a comfortable temperature when I get in and suddenly the water will be scalding. Then, I will turn the hot water down and pump up the cold water and a minute later, the water is freezing.

I have little tolerance for extreme temperatures. So, I spend half the shower jumping away from the water. I jump so often in the shower that it could be a new kind of exercise. You have zumba, pilates, and shower dance (sounds like it should be way more erotic than it actually is). This drastic change in temperature makes washing my private parts an act of faith. So, one minute, I’m burnt like a beach bum and the next minute, I’m frozen ala Walt Disney.

Then, you have water pressure. Well, you may have water pressure, but my shower sure doesn’t. Give my two cups of water and an hour, and I can generate more pressure than my shower.

So now, I have made a change. I am no longer a daytime shower person. It is too scary in that shower on cold winter mornings. In fact, you could say that I have a fear or phobia of my shower. There’s got to be a name for morning-shower phobia.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Political Junk

The presidential race is finally nearing the finish line. Really, it is. I am not running for office or involved in the least (well, I did make contributions to some candidates I support, but that’s different), and yet, I am exhausted. This political junkie is ready for the election and a break. I can’t imagine how the presidential candidates feel, particularly the incumbent, who has to balance a somewhat stressful day job – leader of the free world – while he strives to secure a second term. He probably has the time management thing down. Either way, it’s hard to always look good.

Mitt Romney declared his candidacy for presidency way back in June of 2011 while other Republican contenders declared up to two months prior.  So, even if you discount the fact that many speculated he would run for president  the day after he suspended his campaign in 2008, he will be officially running for president for nearly a year and a half upon election day in early November. That is a great deal of time to be in the glare of the media.

In fact, it is so much time that things have gotten a bit silly. Yes, silly I say. With this excessive amount of time, 24/7 news cycle, and billions of dollars spent (I can’t believe that there are not better ways to spend the money), the information being disseminated is overkill. This political junkie believes that the election is critically important. The electorate should strive to be knowledgeable about each candidate’s positions and make an educated decision.

Every Saturday evening as we enjoy the final meal of the Sabbath, my friends and I debate over which candidate deserves to be elected. This week someone noted that a story about dresses worn by Michelle Obama and Ann Romney was placed prominently in the newspaper. Are you kidding me? Exactly how is that relevant? Now, if that was featured on “Kelly and Mike,” I could understand.  Unfortunately, this is not the first ‘story’ I have heard which is being passed off as hard news but is actually utterly unimportant.

Here are the headlines:

OBAMA PICKED HIS NOSE – In first grade, the man who would become president pulled out a bugger.  This disgusting act of poor hygiene proves he is incapable of running a clean campaign.

ROMNEY CHANGED LANES WITHOUT SIGNALING – While heading to work, Mr. Romney recklessly maneuvered his luxury car in front of a Hyundai. He must not care about the little guy.

OBAMA HICCUPED DURING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM – While attending his high school football team’s homecoming game during his senior year, the president hiccupped noticeably. He clearly had no pride in the anthem and is not a believer in American Exceptionalism.

ROMNEY DIDN’T LAUGH AT A JOKE – Doesn’t everybody think that comedians are hilarious? Well, Mitt Romney only smiled and didn’t laugh. He clearly is a stiff.

Am I joking? I think so. Just Google them and confirm…

Let’s get a grip everybody. Study the issues, the candidates’ positions, and vote for who you think will best serve our country. That’s what this political junkie is more than ready to do.

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Top 40 Kids

A good education, nice friends, and a healthy diet…

The answer is: “What do parents want for their children?”

Sure, education and all that other stuff is important. I suppose. But, there is something else I want for my children. I’ve tried to guide, model, encourage, and reward. What is this thing I am referring to, you may wonder? Well, I’m talking wise musical choices.

I’ve had this on my mind since BR was born, 8 years ago. I wanted to inculcate him into the finer things in life. For my wife and I, that means the music of Bruce Springsteen and the East Street Band. Those of you who read this blog know how I feel Bruce and the band (only one more month till the concert). Anyway, don’t we all want to expose our children to the things we enjoy and hope that they will share this enjoyment? I know it’s not just me. My blogger friend over at Life Takes Over (lifetakesover.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/take-this-town-the-album) literally had her children on her lap as she was listening to a favorite album. Who needs bedtime?

While I appreciate Life Takes Over’s direct approach, I’ve tried to be more subtle. And I was having success. BR really started getting into music when he was about 5. He would request that I turn on the radio in the car. As I flipped through the stations, I’d ask him;

“You like this song?”

“Do you like it, Daddy?”

“Ehh. Not one of my favorites.”

“Yeah. It’s just okay.”

This process would repeat itself till we found a song I liked. BR would announce afterwards that he liked the song as well. So obedient then – sigh.

During those “Glory Days” (Springsteen song title – subtle, right?), BR, SJ, (my 5.5 year-old) and I would have dance parties while listening to Springsteen’s greatest hits album. Those of you who know me well can pick yourselves off the floor – yes, I danced. BR memorized the first stanza of “Thunder Road” – my favorite Springsteen song. He wanted to learn the words – I was just there to facilitate. The musical indoctrination was going very well.

Times have changed.

I’m not sure when it happened or why. BR tolerated Springsteen, but he wanted something else. He turned into a – drum roll please – a top 40 kid. When I flipped through the dials and asked what he liked, he had a strong opinion, and my opinion no longer mattered. He wanted dance music, pop music, etc. Katy Perry seemed to be a particular favorite of his and the song “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz made his blood pressure rise.

My obedient boy was no longer. And he took his little brother SJ with him. I’m losing them. Now when we are in the car, the first thing BR asks is for Mom’s “music player” so he can plug in and tune us out. I am quite certain he is not listening to Bruce Springsteen.

Shall I adjust?

This summer the boys are hooked on “Call it Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen and “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction. I’ve heard the songs more than enough times. Both songs are catchy and singable. I’ll give them that. Razza frazza. My musical tastes might even be getting more diverse as their tastes grow.

I just hope my children leave a little room for Bruce as well. After all, I am trying to raise them the right way.

 

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Appropriate for Children

The news is bombarding us, the public, from every angle in the aftermath of the tragic and heinous Colorado shooting. There is discussion of many topics: what made this man go on a rampage, gun control, how people and neighbors need to be aware of the unstable signs of those around them, what security measures can be taken to ensure this does not happen again in the future, etc. However, while I have paid attention to the news regarding the topic, one angle that has particularly caught my attention is how to talk to your children about a tragedy. This aroused my interest because I have no intention of talking to my children about this tragedy.

Children are born innocent – a blank slate if you will. As parents, we have many jobs including deciding what to expose our children to – whether it be movies or tragedies and everything in between. Of course, each child is different and maturity does not occur in some predetermined linear fashion. What about parents? What role do we parents play in our children’s maturation process? I have not done nor is this the place for a formal researched paper. However, I am quite certain parents and environment play at least some role in the development of a child’s maturity.

I am a protector. As such, I do not want my children (5 & 8 year-old boys)  watching the news, for the most part. My children are exposed to all forms of media; the internet, radio, and television. They read, hear, and see things that I think children their age should not. While I try to monitor what they read, listen to and watch, I can’t protect them from everything nor do I even want too. They will see both the good and the bad in the world – it is inevitable and necessary to be a functioning, thoughtful, and sensitive adult. I do want them to grow up and be mature. However, their development should come in time and naturally with the guidance of my wife and I and not be based on the news cycle.

The Colorado massacre is a terribly sad and horrific event. I grieve for those who lost family members and friends. I am concerned what this means for public safety. I wonder what, if anything, can be done to help ensure such a tragedy never occurs again. However for my children, let them watch Nickelodeon — even Nick Jr. — as long as they can.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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It’s Funny – Right?

The other day someone told me they had a cancer scare. And I laughed. Wait, wait, wait. Before you judge me, I am not some insensitive beast. Really, I’m not. The woman was reading a piece she had written. She found a lump and was freaked out. The story focused primarily on the anxiety she faced while uncertain if it was malignant, and how the doctors completely lacked any bedside manner. Then, there was the medical staff who instructed her that she would have to wait weeks before even seeing the doctor. Maybe, you had to be there. I don’t know. But it was funny stuff – trust me. Hey, don’t judge. I’m not the only one who thinks anxiety is funny. Heck, Woody Allen has made a career out of this sort of thing!

I love the Three Stooges. I used to wake up early Sunday mornings to watch the fools. Well, early by teenage standards. I’d grab some breakfast, plop myself in front of the television, and turn to channel 29 at 10:00. Smacking faces, pulling hair, hitting heads together – more, more, more. Loved it! My father would come down the stairs, watch for a moment and then look at me. He’d turn up his face and ask, “What are you laughing at? What’s so funny?”

I did not appreciate his interruption. “Huh. I don’t know. It’s just funny.”

He’d turn to watch for another moment, imitate my cackling (that’ what he always called it), and mutter, “Why is it funny to see people hit each other?”

Why not? Many people loved the Stooges who, like Mr. Allen, had a long, successful, and lucrative career. It’s called slapstick. And I loved it. You liked it too, right? You got up early on Sunday mornings or flipped on the television as soon as you got home from school to watch the Stooges and laughed your ass off as they smacked each other around. Right?

“It’s not nice to laugh, Daddy,” SY reprimanded me. He had tripped, his arms went flailing and he said, “Oomph.” He was fine. Okay, he had a couple of little marks on his body but nothing earth shattering. There wasn’t even any blood. So, I laughed. You would have laughed too if you had seen it. Hilarious.

Look, I said in the “About” section that I laugh at weird times. I am not a masochist. I feel empathy. I wait until I see the person is fine…then, I laugh. Not weird, nothing wrong with that. This does not hearken back to some deep-seated issues. I’m fine. Really.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Calling Susan Lucci

Last night was an amazing night. Dashing in a tux with alongside my wife in her striking auburn Donna Karan gown, we walked the red carpet. Lightbulbs flashed, interviewers were everywhere, and the fans were delirious.  And the after parties, well I don’t kiss and tell. Suffice to say, the tabloids will be buzzing this week. Glorious, it was just a glorious night.  Now, I had my speeches prepared.  Humble, humorous, hip, I had it all going on.  What, pray tell, you may be thinking was going on? Well, I had been nominated for two more blogger awards – the Sunshine Award and The One Lovely Blog Award and last night was the Blogger Awards. As noted above, the award ceremony was posh. You didn’t hear about it? That wasn’t a dream was it?

Let me first answer some questions associated with the awards.  Here goes:

Favorite Number: 7. Not so original. Truthfully, it doesn’t mean all that much to me.

Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink: Yoohoo. Chocolate milk – yum, yum.

Facebook or Twitter: Facebook. I am not so into it but have never even been on Twitter.

My Passion: Sports.  I am currently sports depressed. Darn Philadelphia teams.

Favorite Pattern: The patterns of nature. Patterns in the sky, on leaves and the bark on trees, for example.

Favorite Day of the Week: The Sabbath. I enjoy the serenity.

Favorite Flower: Marigolds. I don’t know many flowers but I bought these at the flower show on a 2nd grade trip for my mother. I was a good boy!

One of the awards instructed me to note: Seven Things You May Not Know About Me. So, here goes 7 more.

1. The first song I ever memorized all the words to is Meeting Across the River by Bruce Springsteen and the East Street Band.

2. Batman is my favorite superhero.

3. The first time I really thought I wanted to be a writer was after completing John Updike’s Rabbit series.

4. I love snow (even more so when I was younger).

5. I always wanted to be 6’2’’. I would have settled for 6’3’’ or 6’4’’. I’m 5’11. Oh well!

6. I don’t enjoy scary movies.

7. I am not good at learning languages.

Now let me tell you about My Nominees. I’m going to note 7 as it is my favorite number. The first two are the people who gave it to me. Thanks so much to both of you.

1. marymenkedick.wordpress.com

2. denobears.wordpress.com

3. parentingisfunny.wordpress.com

4. clotildajamcracker.wordpress.com

5. livenowandzen.com

6. slapppshotblog.com

7. fullofsmyles.com

I have now been nominated for 4 awards. I am 14 short of Susan Lucci who was nominated 18 times before she won. So, there is hope for me. I’ll see you at the awards show next year.  Get your formal wear ready.

 
13 Comments

Posted by on June 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Sometime Shy

When I was in college, I used to be one of the guys that hung around the keg. It wasn’t because I was some crazy beer guzzling get out of my way must have beer now kind of guy. No. While I enjoyed the beer, the bigger reason for my chosen location was my shyness and hanging by the keg allowed for easy conversation and generally happy people. I have always considered myself shy and still do to this day. It’s not one of my traits I am particularly proud of and it’s not easily changed. So, when people used to give advice, “Just go say hi to her,” it was not so simple.

I believe in irony. I think G-d has a devilish sense of humor (ironic – huh). The irony is that as a blogger I put personal information, thoughts, feelings etc. out in the blogosphere that anyone can see. In fact, the more people that see it, the happier I am (you have my full permission to forward this to someone else or to reblog it. Really, it’s fine. Go ahead.). I can’t tell you how many times I wrote something and my wife will say to me, “Are you sure you want to say that?” or a friend will say afterwards, “I don’t know if I would have shared that.” I just kind of smile and say, “Why not?” It’s not so personal. Yet, on the flip side there are plenty of people who I see whom I would never even have thought to have shared the information. It’s as if I have a different personality on line as compared to my ‘real life.’ I think this is true of many people – hiding in the virtual world.

All of this is a roundabout way of saying I was nominated for an award. I’d like to thank the academy. Actually, it’s not that award but instead is the Versatile Blogger award. I wonder about these awards. I keep seeing people get nominated but don’t know who is actually winning them and what that means. It seems more like a way for us bloggers to tell each other that we enjoy their blogs. I’m cool with that. Though again, I feel a little shy about being nominated. The rules include saying 7 things about myself — which I do with every entry — yet to say it here feels awkward. Man, I got issues. Anyway here goes:

1. I think peanut butter should be a separate food group.

2. I am a big Springsteen fan.

3. My favorite season is fall.

4. I can’t draw.

5. I wish I had a full head of hair.

6. I think the last episode of Seinfeld is underrated.

7. I take pride in my role as a father.

I hope you said the list quickly. Shy thing, you know. Anyway, it feels odd to try and find 7 things that somehow convey who I am. Alright, enough of this. Now, I would like to nominate 15 bloggers for the award – each of whom I enjoy reading. The first two are the bloggers who nominated me. Thanks Patricia and Raani.

1. patgarciabookreviews.wordpress.com

2. raaniyork.wordpress.com

3. robertjhorton.wordpress.com

4. allthingsboys.wordpress.com

5. linneann.wordpress.com

6. lostandforgotten.wordpress.com

7. emeraldpie.wordpress.com

8. perfectlyimperfectmomma.com

9. elskenewman.wordpress.com

10. dearoptimists.com

11. blog.shoesonthewrongfeet.com

12. momopause.wordpress.com

13. jessieclemence.com

14. somethinglikeaduck.wordpress.com

15. insanityofmotherhood.com

I hope to get much more practice getting nominated and receiving awards. I will have to come up with some catchy stories and be more magnaminous. Any tips anyone? I’m getting too old to stand by the keg.

 

 
21 Comments

Posted by on June 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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