Simple Pleasures

February 21, 2015


More often the norm than the exception, their doors are closed now. (I can’t remember closing my door before the age of 13, so the younger one seems a bit ahead of himself.)

While their shift from we time to me time occasionally gets me down, nights gathered around the flat screen chuckling through a movie like Dumb and Dumber To serve to replenish some of that elusive togetherness.

Ironic. Staring at yet another screen. Disconnected. Yet connected through communal viewing experience.

Weekend movie nights demand so little effort. And returns on investment are tenfold. Seldom are words exchanged. Questions, at times, involving awkward or inappropriate subject matter, are answered, or postponed until they are old enough to know the answers. An unspoken bond forms in laughter and the place 120 fleeting minutes occupy in our collective memories.

An upside to their distraction and disengagement: pure, uninterrupted, weekend consumption of The New York Times… me time.

Trudging along the ice-encrusted blue stone to school this morning:

I: Feels like we’re walking in Antarctica.

E: If you don’t look up.

E: You know when you are walking home, and you see a piece of ice and it’s flat on the bottom and you start kicking it, and it breaks into smaller pieces? It makes a higher sound the smaller it gets.

I: Why do you think that is?

E: The sound waves don’t have as much surface area to hit, so the pitch gets higher as the ice gets smaller.

And, a BONUS Observed…

Not one, but TWO “lookbacks” and waves goodbye while crossing the street.

Up with walks!

Rush, Rush, Rush

February 9, 2015

Nothing beats shoveling down the turkey burgers in five to make it on time to piano lessons. But navigating slippery sidestreets with a half-defrosted windshield while contorting one’s body to peer through icy glass because there’s no time to scrape and arrive punctually is the epitome of responsible parenting. AND, activating the alarm works wonders for accelerating slow-moving, oblivious to schedules children.

Waking Up

February 7, 2015

Fighting a two-ton fatigue from interrupting a pleasant catch up with Morgan and her recent knee replacement surgery, the snow-colored hair accumulating in piles on my lap like the Titanic-sized bergs lining our streets and parking lots murdering any chance of finding a space to scoot from car to salon and avoid the frigid air that obliterates our little borough’s quaintness and replaces it with menacing tundra ever more demoralizing with each new snowfall and broken promise of sunlight, warmth, and an early spring–thanks for nothing Punxsutawney Phil–I glimpse a sliver of euphoria in the recesses of my borderline sleep/wakeful state.

Did the shedding of curls, sense of renewal, growth, the promise of new beginnings have something to do with it?

What about it being Friday and the kickoff of a restful…? Scratch that. Impossible. Staring down a four sport back-to-back weekend chocked full of shuttling to and fro, incessant reminders to bring water, gear, and not leave behind belongings.

Maybe the imminent return of my better half from a week long jaunt in search of Columbia’s, nay the world’s, NEXT GREAT ACTOR.

Or simply the pleasure of a colorful, jazz-infused workspace with the added bonus of having to sidestep a newly installed artist’s opening reception along the corridors whilst pawing at free and delightfully savory hors d’oeuvres.

Pondering all of this on the verge of a big sleep, I congratulated Morgan on her courageous comeback, having rejoined the ranks of the ambulatory. I complimented her meticulousness. Morgan the Meticulous, I ruminated. Or what about The Meticulous Morgan? I liked them both equally as much and the thought of her attentiveness, care, and dexterity with a pair of scissors…all of this reminded me of Houdini, superheroes, Birdman.

Amidst the gentle hum of clippers on the back of my neck coaxing me into a blissful twilight, a spiritual awakening.

As if emerging from an endless tunnel, a vicious circle, rinse and repeat.

Everything now electrified with excitement, possibility, passion.

Morgan: Do you feel lighter?

I: Yes. In fact, I do.

Fatherly Fatherliness

June 15, 2014

What better way to spend MY day than to breakfast on Raymond’s french toast (compliments of my lovely wife), strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, fresh brewed coffee, peruse the New York Times, and catch the first half of Ecuador vs. Switzerland in World Cup 2014 action? The only thing that could make it better: have west coast family share in the feast…to be continued in October!


1) Fast, fantastic, frustrating, fear-inducing.

2) Aweseome, agitating, aggravating.

3) Terrific, terrifying.

4) Heckuva ride.

5) Excellent, energizing, effortful.

6) Rarely dull.

7) Hey, take a look at 4.

8) OMG!

9) Ordinarily, I don’t use OMG, but on MY day I get a pass.

10) Damnit, it’s going by way too fast.

What more can I say? I love everything that has qualified this day to be MINE. There is nothing I would change…er, um, well…maybe a few more clothes folded sooner, rings of syrup wiped from counters without having to ask, fish tanks cleaned and fish fed rather than leaving them to die, empty toilet paper rolls replaced, crumbs of cereal/last swallows of milk/sole cookies consumed instead of left in boxes/containers/bags.

Other than that, pure, unadulterated, above averageness.

Father's Day 2014


April 21, 2014

My daughter recently slept over at her BFF’s house for a surprise birthday party. I hadn’t seen her for more than 24 hours. Upon her return, and after a rare, but thoroughly delicious unsolicited hug, I asked her, “In five words, sum up your night.”

Her response, “Good, good, good, good, good.”*

*In my never ending quest to elicit more than “good” in response to inquiries about my children’s events, I’ve recently made a concerted effort to throw them curveball questions.

Alas, they continue to outsmart me.

Animals hardly have wrinkles because they don’t smile.

I hope they invent an immortality pill while [mommy and daddy] are still alive.

Sometimes when I’m in the car I think about how the earth came into existence.

Dozed and Confused

February 18, 2014

I am convinced they are pumping metered doses of vapoized general anesthetics into the room air at the cognitive behavioral therapist’s office. What else could it be? I take my seat in the waiting room and within seconds I’m like a Serengeti rhino rendered motionless from the blowdart in my neck. Mouth agape, drool flowing copiously, I am the poster child for slovenly, old man sleeping on subway you hustle past to avoid my puffs of air, snorts, throat clearing each time my head bobs and I wake for a split second to feign I am really not sleeping, just resting my eyes. I am confident these are the moments of which my children are least proud. At least if I die tomorrow, I will take comfort knowing that I fulfilled my parental duty to embarrass them during their upbringing.


On second thought, maybe I’m just getting old. Damn it!


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