Monthly Archives: August 2010

Best Bathroom Sign Ever

This was taken in the bathroom at The Nitty Gritty in Madison, WI. A great place for burgers, this is also apparently someplace that takes hand washing very seriously. I love how they are anything but serious about the way in which they encourage the practice.

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Time to Cry Tuesday – Going, Going, Gone

“Mom, when are we going to go and get my stuff?”

That was the question in the last dream I had before I woke up. And there I was lying in bed thinking of what a busy day I had today and how guilty I felt that I did not have time to go with him to ‘get his stuff’.

Until I realized that there was no stuff to get (we had surely ‘gotten’ more ‘stuff’ over the past 4 days than humanly possibly). AND there was no Danny.

Yes, kiddies, after a year of ‘lasts’ and goodbyes ad nauseum as each of his friends left for college, my boy finally left too. Taking pride in being a family that is not prone to drama we were about on our last nerve until the moving day finally came. It feels like he has been going for so long I wonder why I felt so shocked this morning that he was actually gone.

So here is the thing; it comes in waves. When you think you have totally got your shit together and you know your kid is ready – and frankly so are you(ish) –  it grabs you around the chest and chokes you so can barely breathe. You know it is time for him to move on to start his LIFE (note the caps) and time for you to discover the next phase of yours. Of course you know all this!

And then there is that moment. Like the one in the Starbucks on State Street while I was ordering Shaken Iced Tea Lemonades and they had the nerve to play Cat Stevens Father and Son:

It’s not time to make a change,

Just relax, take it easy.

You’re still young, that’s your fault,

There’s so much you have to go through…

And there was my boy, sitting in the dim light at the back of the Starbucks with the sunlight streaming in through the window shining an eery glow around his silhouette. There he was with his scruffy beard and his Allman Bros. t-shirt and I realized that I had no choice but to let him go… for real.

And yes, I did start to cry right then and there in the Starbucks on State Street in Madison, Wisconsin. And no he was not all that happy with me but he did get it. Because he knew that by the end of the weekend when we left him and his sister, we would be leaving half our family halfway across the country. And there is simply nothing easy about that.

… Now there’s a way and I know that I have to go away.

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Filed under advice to my son, college, danny, family, Jana, parenting, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Business bad? Buy a plane ticket.

There is a strange phenomenon that surrounds my business. I get insanely busy right before I am flying somewhere. This week was no different. It seems anyone who has ever even considered giving me work decided to call this week. And of course they were all rush jobs. Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled to be busy. In fact, when things get slow I have thought about buying a plane ticket and consider it just the cost of doing business.

It always starts like this, “I have something I need. It’s easy.” Right off the bat, you should be scared when you hear that line. Let me translate, that means, ” It is really rush and I know you never say no and you will save my butt on this one and you know I really appreciate it.” Sometimes it also is a set-up for the, “I don’t have much of a budget” line. This week I got away without that one.

What I always say around midnight the day before I am flying out of here, ‘One woman’s time off is another woman’s hell.’ So a big thank you to Ivy for being the woman in hell this time. I hope today left you in decent shape. And if not, you know I am hopeless wired.

Off to move the boy into the dorms. If you hear about some insane NY mother in a Wisconsin Bed, Bath & Beyond being taken off in a straight jacket from big box store overload, muttering something about floor lamps or not taking shoe organizers seriously… that would be me.

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Filed under college, humor, travel, work, work habits

Time to Cry Tuesday – The Last Play at Shea

(For those of you expecting a Time to Cry about sending my boy off to college this week… no can do. He is still here and the mantra is ‘hold it together’, so wait till next week for that one.)

Saturday night made me remember all the reasons why I love to be a New Yorker. This is a town like no other, and this particular night proved why being born and raised here is still something to be proud of.

Citi Field, a perfect summer evening and a unique sort of show that could only be dreamed up in the city that never sleeps. We went thinking this would be a fun sort of evening, a little barbeque tailgating with great friends and $10 tickets to see a movie about the Billy Joel concert that closed Shea. What could be bad about that? Little did we know what a gem of a film we were about to see.

I will not claim to be either an avid Mets or Billy Joel fan but I will tell you that this film made me realize what a huge part they both played in my coming of age.

Shea Stadium was that big ugly building that let me know we were almost home after a long road trip as a child. A place where my parents took us to see our first baseball game. Billy Joel’s music played as the backdrop to my adolescence. All the milestones of growing up were marked by the history that this film so elegantly illustrated. Sports, music, joys and sorrows that New Yorkers have endured through the 40+ year history of a man’s career and the stories of a Stadium and a team.

1965. The Beatles played Shea. I was 6. Do I actually remember it on TV in my house or is that memory of the retelling? Hard to say.

1969. All I could think of was kids listening to that game on transistor radios walking home from school with friends.

1986. Game 6, we were painting my friends kitchen in her new house and screaming at the game.

2001. September 21st. I still get chills at the thought of a New York still numb in a post-9/11 stupor; grieving as one family at the horror we had witnessed, as Piazza hit that 2-run homer that felt like hope. Maybe there was a chance we could think of living again.

And woven in between the stories of Billy Joel’s career were stories of the lives of Shea like Pete Flynn, the groundskeeper who not only drove The Beatles to the stage in a Cadillac in 1965, but then drove Paul McCartney to the stage again to close the Billy Joel concert that last night. And of course Billy, who stood humbled on the stage, in awe of being chosen to close that icon of a stadium that he too had grown up with. As he said, ‘Hey, I haven’t put out a new body of music in almost 15 years and this place is filled tonight. Thank you all.”

What a night. The world’s biggest drive in filled with the world’s greatest fans. And they cheered, and teared up. And breathed a collective sigh of appreciation at the end for a beautiful night out in NY. Nothing fancy. Nothing expensive. Just deliciously nostalgic and inspiring in its spirit of hopefulness.

As Paul McCartney ended the show with Let it Be, it was hard to think of anything else more to say.

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Filed under music, New York, New York City, places of interest, sports, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Citi Field, some messed up tickets and the Odd Couple

Stay tuned for the full post on the most amazing Saturday night. We saw The Last Play at Shea, a must see film simultaneously chronicling the history of Shea Stadium, the Mets and Billy Joel‘s career. More about this on Tuesday.

Tonight’s post is about a moment. One that took place right in the middle of an annoying sequence of events that led us to the ticket office at Citi Field due to bad computer print-outs. We were waiting patiently for the sweet, but very slow moving woman behind the counter to give us new, scan-able tickets when another guy in front of us went into a scene that was too good to be true. It made me realize at that moment, THIS was the reason that our tickets were screwed up (not a printer in urgent need of print head cleaning).

He said to the girl behind the counter that was certainly too young to know what the hell he was talking about, “You’ll remember my name, right? It’s Jeff Unger. You know, like Felix Unger, only I am truthfully a lot more like Oscar Madison.”

That was all I had to hear. Gary and I are HUGE Odd Couple fans. When I turned to look at him he gave me that exaggerated Ohhhhhhhh sort of face like the Little Rascals and then promptly broke into  the following song from the Odd Couple. (one of our favorites). Sometimes you are simply in the right place at the right time.

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Filed under humor, movies, music, New York City, sports

MyKnobs.com

Sometimes I cannot believe my good fortune. When I saw this sign coming off the parkway was one such time. Funny, but I get off at this exit all the time and never processed this. Perhaps it was the red Ferrari front and center that made me focus.

If I did not have a camera I would have had to go back. Nothing worse than a missed opportunity. Like the other day when there was a guy on a motorcycle making a turn off the main road I was on…

wearing a viking helmut. I am still mad I did not make the turn and follow him. What a picture that would have been!

Nope can’t make this stuff up.

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Filed under absurdities, humor, signage

Love it or Get the Hell Out?

Talk about overzealous patriotism. I am not sure what would possess someone to paint this on the back of their truck. Do we really need more hostility on the road? Do we need to shove the U. S. of A. down the throats of  immigrants, visitors or citizens for that matter?

Is is not enough to simply ‘like’ this country. In this era of facebook the word ‘like’ has a pretty positive connotation. It crosses the board of things we love, like, just simply think we are aligned with…

I felt compelled to wait to see who got into this truck. But then I was a little afraid that if I did not love the shirt he was wearing he would have told me to get the hell out of the parking lot.

Yeesh!

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Filed under absurdities, carry a camera, road signs