Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Firsts, Seconds, Lasts...

Today my little meatball turned seven.

2555 sunrises.

2555 morning stretches.

2555 goodnight kisses.

2555 days traveling a dirt road off the beaten path. 

A path on which, this year, we saw the greatest puppy ever known, chocolate chip pancakes and lazy Sundays anchored by nothing but bacon and feety pajamas. 

It seems as if every year is just another year closer to further away... from me.

She walks.

She talks.

She loves.

She hurts.

She contributes.

The meatball is my youngest daughter.

A lot of firsts for her were seconds for me.

I take less pictures. I shoot less video. I spend less time worrying about things I can't control.

Now I understand that these firsts that are seconds, are lasts.

I remember longing for the day that she would wipe her own ass. Why are her arms so short? It seemed like such a burden. 

Now I understand that these are burdens that only the most blessed of people carry.

I wanted to be done with turning on the TV at 6am.

Let me sleep.

Now I wish she'd wake me up. 

Like Sam Elliot said so eloquently in Roadhouse, "I'll get all the sleep I need when I'm dead".

A truth that resonates like only a truth can.

2555 days of growth for her and for me.

2555 days in the rear view mirror.

She's taught me that love is unique.

There really are no seconds.

For me, that's a first.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Alleged Handjobs and The Musings of a Racquetball King...

I was 12 when I had what was maybe the greatest 3 1/2 weeks of my life.

That summer I attended sports camp at the Y. 

Not the YMCA that inspired the Village People but the Jewish Y that inspired my Nana. 

A.K.A. the "cheap camp".

Man, that camp was a total shit hole but it was perfect.

That first part of the summer I beat the snot out of a kid named Shep in a racquetball tournament.

Shep sounds like a pussy name and racquetball sounds like a pussy sport but I swear to God it was a big fucking deal at the Y.

Being 12 was simple but it was awkward.

I distinctly remember that in the 80's the girls and the boys dressed exactly the same.

We all wore these basketball shorts that were so tight, they choked the last breath from our private parts.

Oh and the tube socks with the color stripes at the top.

It was like a symbol of great stature.

Pull them up to the calf and you were less than. Pull them up just beyond the knee cap and you were a God.

My mother used to buy them by the dozen. Each pack stuffed, a cornucopia of rainbows crafted with the lowest of thread counts.

There was also the half shirt. Cottony mesh, available both with sleeves and without. The perfect foil to the shorts.

Every day I'd struggle to pull my tube socks up as high as the elastic could bear, all the while pulling down on my half shirt to cover my pasty white, freckled belly.

An impossible struggle for simpatico.

Life was simple then.

Sports.

Then everything changed.

Girls.

I saw and touched boobs for the first time that summer.

Real boobs. None of this, grazing a boob with your elbow during a tetherball game crap. We're talking legit second base here.

I'm also 99% positive I got my first handjob that summer and 1% sure it was a dream.

Maybe it had something to do with me being the racquetball* King.

There's something mystical about racquetball sweat.

It must be scientific. Some kind of potent aphrodisiac. 

These memories are glorious and huge and earth shattering to me.

Collectively, these experiences bulldozed a path for me into adolescence. A path so wide the entire cast of Honey Boo Boo could have skipped through it with arms locked.

But they are also terrifying...

Because deep in the dark recesses of the belly of the proverbial beast lies both good and bad news.

The good news is that the sport of racquetball has since faded into obscurity.

The bad news?

My daughter is almost 12.


*Racquetball was pretty huge back in the 80's. Kind of like how women's beach volleyball was en vogue two Olympics ago. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Plumb.

We neutered our dog Cody on Monday and I'm distraught.

I really didn't think it was necessary.

He doesn't exhibit any aggressive behaviour.

He doesn't mark his territory in the house.

I have yet to see him defile a human leg.

I've seen him attempt to mount both male and female canines alike. He seems to have been born a free spirit.

I do admit to catching him engaged in promiscuity with his pillow now and again but I went through the same phase in High School.

With all that being said, we didn't opt to go with the full castration option but rather a fairly new, non surgical, non invasive procedure called Zinc Neutering.

Basically, the procedure involves an injection into each testicle.

With a needle.

In each testicle.

Gulp.

This is Cody after the procedure later that day.




















My six year old said, "Dad, Cody's balls look like a plumb."

Yes they do.

Supposedly this is normal but that doesn't make it any easier for me him.

Cody has been sedated for a couple of days now but I suppose when he comes around he might want to have a short conversation with me.

I anticipate it going like this...

Cody: Hey pop?

Me: Hey buddy.

Cody: Do you have something you want to tell me?

Me: Not really, no.

Cody: Really? Nothing?

Me: Not that I know of.

Cody: Nothing to do with my balls?

Me: How so?

Cody: Have you seen my balls recently?

Me: I don't remember really.

Cody: Why aren't you looking at me?

Me: I'm sorry. I was distracted.

Cody: By my balls?

Me: No, I thought I heard something.

Cody: COME ON!!!

Me: WHAT?

Cody: DON'T FUCKING CONDESCEND ME MUTHERFUCKER!

Me: Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. Slow down.

Cody: Slow the fuck down yourself a-hole. You call yourself a father?

Me: I know you're upset but...

Cody: UPSET? UPSET? Upset is when you run out of cheese.

Me: When have I ever run out of cheese?

Cody: DUDE! MY BALLS ARE FUCKING PURPLE!!!

Me: It's temporary.

Cody: TEMPORARY?  I TEMPORARILY SAT ON MY BALLS TWELVE TIMES TODAY!

Me: I've done that.

Cody: Shut up.

Me: It could be worse.

Cody: Oh really? How?

Me: I could run out of cheese.

Cody: You ran out of cheese?

Me: I'm totally messing with you.

Cody: Dick.

Me: Sorry buddy.

Cody: Whatever.

Me: Want some cheese?

Cody: YES! I love cheese!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

God Save The Children...

A couple of months ago I was asked to deliver a commencement speech at an Elementary School here in NY.

My first reaction was, "Why the F*!K would you willingly ask me to deliver a commencement speech to a bunch of innocent children?"

Then fear set in.

Kids are smart.

They are perceptive.

They are unknowingly judgmental.

Kids are like sharks looking for prey. They have the innate ability to smell blood.

They will intuitively know that I am a phony bologna.

So of course I said YES!

I sucked in Elementary School.

I had shitty hair, I wore my older cousin's sweaters, I had front teeth like a jackass and I was a jackass.

This was an opportunity for closure. A complete 180!

FUCK YOU LONG DIVISION AND THE PROTRACTOR* YOU RODE IN ON!

Any way, today was the day I commenced commencing the commencement speech. You can listen to it below if you please.

The kids were awesome. The teachers were awesome and the parents were awesome.

Totally made my day.

I also realized that maybe I'm not such a phony bologna after all.

At least that's what the sharks told me.





* A protractor is a square, circular or semicircular tool, typically made of transparent plastic or glass, for measuring angles. It's useless unless you're a mathematician.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Green Acres Is The Place To Be...

Here I sit on the LIRR, knees pressed against the back of the seat in front of me. Usually women sit like this or teenage girls. Business men sit upright, drinking beer and reading the Wall Street Journal. 

Doesn't anybody know that the news is forever a day late and a dollar short? 

Kids press their noses against the mucky windows and prop their gum laden sneakers on the faux leather. 

Some commuters sleep.

I don't know why but I've never been able to sleep on the train.

Sitting with my knees up is comfortable but only for a few minutes at a time. 

I have old knees. Old like Brian Dennehy old, not like George Burns old. So, I shift back and forth, up and down and an inch here and there. Seems like a lot of work but it's a hard habit to break.

I love the 5:40 train. Especially during the spring time. 

For the most part, the sun is at our back. Sometimes it peers through the windows from the South West, a subtle reminder that the day's not over until the sun calls it.

The train gives me time alone to review my day. 

Was I fair? Was I kind? Was I selfish? Did I lose my temper? Did I listen? Did I judge? Did I hold the door for someone? 

How can I be better? Tomorrow I will have the opportunity to make adjustments. I can always make adjustments.

The train passes things on the way to anywhere. Trains are forever passing things.

That's what trains do. 

We pass Green Acres Mall and I think of my grandma and grandpa. They used to take me there when I was a kid.

My grandpa isn't around anymore but it's easy to conjure up his image. 

I see an overly generic mesh baseball cap bought at the 5 & 10. I reminisce with the dancing mouse he'd make from a table napkin. I can taste the salt on the cashews and walnuts that sat in the marble dish. I hear the fizz of seltzer, freshly dispensed from an old fashioned blue glass bottle, fully equipped with trigger. I smell his Brut by FabergĂ© and I manage a half smile. 

Small gifts, courtesy of the 5:40.

Perhaps this is why I don't sleep on the train. 

In order to receive the gifts, you need to keep your eyes open.

Always remember to keep your eyes open.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Flying Shit Can...

If I really had any nuts at all, if I really wanted to be profound, I would have just hit the publish button right after I typed the title, "The Flying Shit Can..."

But I can't contain myself.

I am flying in a 130,000 lb shit can.

American Airlines, you can suck a bag of dicks sour pickles.

Why?

Because this plane sucks.

It sucks in so many ways that it's hard to narrow it down. But let me give it a shot.

1. The interior of the plane smells like a foot. It smells like a foot that stepped in shit. It smells like a foot that stepped in shit, then stepped in roasted vegetables and then stepped in shit again.

2. The plane is so crowded that I'm sitting with my jacket on my lap. This wouldn't be so bad if I didn't already have my bag on my lap. Which wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have my laptop on my bag on my jacket on my lap. 

3. The television monitors hanging from the ceiling are square. There are 7 of them. Every last one of them is in the shape of a God damn square. Nobody makes fucking square televisions anymore. This means your televisions are old. Really old. Older than both of my daughters put together.Which means your plane is old. If I had to guess, and by guess I mean I've already googled it, I'd say the plane is about 15 years old. This scares the piss out of me. If you don't care enough to replace your old, square televisions with new, rectangular televisions then what does the inside of the plane look like? And by "inside" I mean the important shit, like propellers or ball bearings or what ever the fucking technical plane terms are. At least humor us and get the rectangular televisions and lie about the other stuff. Jesus.

4. The fat, native American lady laying on me is snoring and drooling on me. I think she might be dead. This is not your fault but it's driving me insane. Maybe she's the one that smells like a foot that stepped in shit that stepped in roasted vegetables and stepped in shit again. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt but if she doesn't step off, I'm gonna knee her in the uterus.

Warning: Only Jews need read #5 or non-Jews that speak or understand Jewy things. 

5. My tray is broken and my seat doesn't recline. That in all other nights some eat sitting and others reclining. On this night we are all reclining? I guess not.  Ma Nishtana Muthafucka!

It also bothered me that your safety video warned me to NEVER inflate my life vest while on the plane. When the fuck am I supposed to inflate it? Do I blow into the little red tube when I'm flying through the sky, strapped to my seat with my ass on fire? Or shall I inflate it while submerged in the freezing cold ocean with poop in my pants and a fucking hammerhead shark gnawing on my kidney? Get back to me as soon as possible.

I have broken all of the cosmic laws of Karma by writing this post. It would be ironic and yet fitting if I were to publish this to the web and then minutes later come crashing down in this flying shit can in a fiery blaze.

At this point I don't give a crap. Either way I'm taking the native American woman with me.

Look for us on the morning news. 

American Airlines Flight 336.