Monday, November 23, 2009

Friday Night Adventure

Our nanny's mother died a week ago so she was out all week. It was a very tiring week. Between work and shuttling the kids around, I rang up insane mileage around the city and the baby sitter costs were insane. My wife was in week two of the new gig so she wasn't going to start bolting to lend a hand. In the few instances where I had kids in two places at the the same time, I called in reinforcements. My mother was, surprisingly, a big help and I outsourced a few sitters whenever necessary. The nights were no less tiring. We had plans almost every night last week and this week is shaping up to be just as busy with a screening of the new Clooney movie tonight and cigar event with the boys tomorrow before watching the parade balloons get inflated Wednesday night and the big turkey day Thursday night.

So, what does any of this have to do with my Friday night adventure? Nothing. It's early and I'm tired and I rambled a bit so fuck off.

Friday night, my wife and I went the wake. Now, as a jew, church visits have been, for the most part, as a tourist in some old european city. I've been to one church wedding and one church funeral where the priest railed on for a solid 15 minutes about how jesus was crucified by the jews. This was years ago but, somewhere, Mel Gibson was smiling.

To get to the church, we had to hop on a subway and ride it to the bitter end. To Crown Heights. For those of you not from here, Crown Heights was the scene of a rather famous riot as a result of a young boy, named Gavin Cato, being killed by some orthodox jew motorcade. The ensuing riots culminated in the murder of an orthodox jew named Yankel Rosenbaum. There was a lot more to it, including some rather hateful remarks by Al Sharpton. Information can be found here:


Anyway, we hopped on the subway and, at the end of the line, hopped off. It was a strange scene for us. Couple of white jews, the only ones on the train, or the platform. Lots of eyes on us. We exited the station and found the church right on the corner. As we walked up the steps, our nanny was standing out front, apparently, looking for us. I guess she was worried we'd get lost, or, perhaps, worse.

The church was gorgeous inside. It was like we'd walked into the local church in some italian village. People were staring at us. We were the only white people in the church. 100 or so mourners and we stood out. The mourners kept looking back at us and the woman directly in front of us was shooting daggers at us, like we had no business being in the church.

Many of the women were dressed for a formal party with short skirts, low cut tops and lots of bling.

If that wasn't odd enough, there was one woman walking around the front video taping the service. She kept moving over to the corpse, as if she was hoping to capture the dead woman's reaction. It was pretty fucking strange.

Several woman spoke. A few of the deceased's daughters and granddaughters sang. It was very sad, very touching. Our nanny tried to speak and broke down at the end. She recovered towards the end of the service and, when they announced that there would be a final viewing, we hopped up on the line of mourners, so we could express our sympathies to the nanny and her family.

As the line slowly moved towards the casket I pointed out the giant baptism tub to my wife. It was like a hot tub in the middle of the church. Then, as we got closer to the casket, we saw something that made the rest of the evening's oddities seem almost normal.

They were taking pictures around the casket. Posing over the dead body. It was as if they all came to see a celebrity. Folks were holding up cell phones to snap their pictures, others had brought their digital cameras. The closer we got, the more we heard things like "move in closer so I can see you with Teddy (the deceased)."

Who the fuck takes pictures with a dead person? Are you framing those pictures and hanging them up somewhere? In the middle of a dinner party do you offer up the chance to watch the wake video and view the photo album? I understand all cultures are different but, seriously, posing with a dead woman in a casket? Sick if you ask me.

It was getting late when we finally left the church and as we walked to the subway entrance, we noticed it was a somewhat less friendly crowd than when we first arrived. We also noticed the 8 cops hanging around the upper level of the station. We also noticed when, as we walked past them, one of them pointed to us and two of the cops started following us. They tailed us down to the platform and watched the car until it left the station.

I guess they, like the nanny, wanted to make sure we didn't get lost.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Miley Cyrus, Disney Star or Trailer Trash?

Took my daughter to see Miley Cyrus last night. The show was vastly different from the show we saw two years ago. For starters, gone is the wig, the innocent Hannah Montana persona and the kid friendly stage show. We were sitting along the path from the backstage area to the stage so we saw Miley come out with dancers in barely there clothes before the arena did. We saw someone, her boyfriend according to my niece, grab her ass as she ran past, and we saw that she barely flinched as he practically double knuckled her sphincter. The dancers took the stage first, in seductive poses and then the music started.

The music is harder, more edgy and the lyrics are no longer about bubble gum and jeans.

She struts around the stage in shorts so short that she spent an inordinate amount of time pulling the flimsy material down to cover her partially exposed ass.

At one point, she's wearing a see thru shirt and my daughter pointed out the bling dangling from her belly button. She's 16 and sporting stripper wear and stripper accessories. The only thing missing were the clear heels but I'm guessing they'll pop up in the next year or two.

I understand her desire to prove herself as a talent beyond the world of Disney but, to do that, she needs to ditch the show. Sure it's a cash cow and it has established her as a super star but the audience was, for the most part, ten and under girls and watching their idol gyrate and dance in a frighteningly seductive manner cannot be good for them. She bends over and wiggles her ass, slapping it playfully, she slides her hand slowly along her chest, downward. She strips without removing what little clothing she's actually wearing. As a father, it's frightening. As a man, it felt creepy watching her on stage.

She's clearly still a kid. She was reading her lyrics from several teleprompters on the stage (hidden to most but visible to those of us close to the stage) and she had to stifle laughter a couple of times as a result of pranks she and her dancers and band mates were playing on each other. At one point, mid song, she started gesturing to various kids in the audience, interacting with her fans, until she, kidding around, suggested, via a funny face and an elbow, that one kid knock another in the ribs. She then had a look of horror on her face when she realized that her "suggestion" was being acted out. She giggled and mumbled "no, don't do that" mid song. It was the closest she came to being the kid she really is.

My daughter was a bit freaked by some of the theatrics. She loved watching Miley float over the crowd in a wedding dress and when she sang "I Love Rock and Roll" whilst riding a flying motorcycle, my daughter seemed entranced.

During some of the more risque dance numbers, my daughter had a more perplexed look on her face. Gone were the stripper poles that had made the news, replaced by hanging ropes, but the image was that of a group of slutty, stripper wanna be's, singing and dancing around ropes instead of poles.

Disney has been known to dump their stars when they do things that go against the wholesome image their stars are supposed to promote. Miley is such a big star that, I guess, she is given a bit more leeway. The truth is, this girl has a few years left where she can toe this line between teen star and adult star and, at the rate she's going, she's going to chase her young fans away, the older audience won't be interested in yet another trashy girl from the trailer park and she will, likely, wind up as yet another example of how the parents of child stars are so busy raking in money that they forget how fucked up their kids will be as a result of their being thrust into adulthood before they sprout their first pube.

I'm guessing Miley will continue on her path to Dana Plato-dom. She has already sent out pictures of herself doing things most parents would kill their kids for. She will escalate that behavior and, by 18, we'll have seen a nipple or an ass. By 21, if she's not pregnant with her second kid, she will probably be hooked on all kinds of drugs and by 25 she'll doing porn. It's inevitable.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Floogin McNoogin, Fashion Faux Pas.

This morning, like most mornings, my daughter threw a fit getting dressed.

Things always start out normal. She wakes up in a great mood, all happy and excited for the new day. She gets dressed and things go haywire. This is always a result of her outfit. She will only wear leggings. No jeans. No skirts or dresses. Leggings and nothing else. To make matters worse, the leggings all stop just below the knee and she doesn't like to wear boots so, now that it's cold, a fight ensues.

She's yelling at my wife, my wife is screaming back and I step in and try and diffuse the situation to no avail.

In the end, I'm fighting with my wife, my daughter is in tears, my wife is pissed at me and my son is pissed off for being woken up so early.

A hell of a way to start the day.

So, after listening to my wife and daughter scream at each other, I snapped. We were now going to be late for school and that is a bad thing. My daughter is in a special program and, as I've mentioned in prior postings, if she is late or absent more than a handful of times, she can be tossed from the program.

So I snapped.

I'm screaming at my wife to just let her wear whatever the hell she wants.

I'm screaming at my daughter to stop being such a fucking diva and get dressed.

I'm trying to talk to my son, to convince him we're not all insane.

My daughter shouts "I want to go to therapy after school because you guys are making me crazy."

I tell her she can go to therapy 7 days a week at the home for difficult girls.

She cries some more.

Finally, she puts on jeans, tears are streaming down her face. She's upset beyond belief.

We leave the apartment at 8:30. School starts in 15 minutes and we have a 15 minute drive in traffic free, 3 am roads. Unfortunately, it's rush hour so we won't make it to the school in less than 30 minutes and I'm furious.

We're in the hallway, waiting on the elevator and I'm trying to talk to my daughter about the morning insanity and I tell her that I'm sorry for yelling but I don't understand these things. I explain that women are different from me. I tell her that women go berserk over their clothes. Their underwear needs to match the rubber band in their hair and this makes no sense to me. I tell her that men get dressed and women have this inane ritual of trying shit on, alternating shoes that result in a shirt change and that her mother is guilty of this and it is creating a monster in my little angel.

My daughter says "so, men don't care about their clothes?"

We step on the elevator.

I tell her that we care but we don't need to spend hours trying on a hundred different combinations of pants and shirts and then, after settling on the shirt and pants, spend another hour trying shoes. We just don't do that. We have pants and shirts, they either match or they don't and we have shoes, brown or black, and they go with the pants or they don't.

I tell her "look at me. Do I look like some kind of billboard fashion model? No. I'm wearing a white shirt, brown pants and brown shoes. There's really..."

That's when I saw it.

I was wearing two different shoes.

The elevator stops, I grab my daughter's hand and tell her we need to go back up, I can't go to work in two different shoes.

My daughter looks at me and I swear I heard her thinking "putz"

As we pulled up to the school, I told her she'd have to run into the building while I paid for the cab.

She told me that, when they asked why she was late, she was going to tell them the truth, that daddy wasn't happy with his outfit and had to go back and change.

The six year old wins, again.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Try To Keep Up

HN1 vaccine issues at home. Do we, or don't we? Tis the question at hand. Seems everyone with half a brain is wrestling with this question these days. I've spoken to enough doctors that getting it makes perfect sense but, then I read the news and peruse and I think, perhaps, I'd be better off dangling my kid from a balcony and seeing what transpires.

As is usually the case after October 15th, I was all set to go fishing with my dad. Cabo was the destination. I was sifting thru the dates, trying to figure out what works best for both of us when he told me he can't go. Always something.

The hunt for a new home continues. Found a great apartment on Friday. Was all set to take the next step, make an offer and get building financials when I found out that the apartment is off the market.

Same as the house we were supposed to look at over the weekend.

Speaking of the weekend. I firmly believe that my sister is the dumbest person on the planet. She throws a birthday party for her daughter on the Sunday after Halloween. No biggie, right? Wrong. She decided that 10:30 am was a good time and she decided to have the party close to her apartment, which is on the most eastern street in NYC (aside from the FDR). Did she forget about the marathon? Probably didn't even know. So we packed up our shit, worked our way uptown to the 80's where she lives, headed east and ran into a wall of runners and cheering spectators. Where can we cross? 57th. Where do I live? 57th.

Back down we went. Back home. Fuck that. I'm not schlepping all the way back up there to the one street east of the marathon so that I can be stuck walking home with my kids.

About two months ago, my wife and I were scheduling our kids after school activities and every time she suggested something that might result in the kids needing to be in two different places at the same time, I brought up the concept of her, possibly, not being available, due to work. She shrugged it off. Then, the sitter asked if she could take Wednesday's off as she's been so tired lately. She must be anemic because my kids are in school all day so she can't be too overworked.

Well, she was offered a part time gig yesterday, with a start date this Monday. She'll be working for 3 months, covering for a woman on maternity leave. The agency she'll be working at is considered to be one of the best to work for. Polar opposite of what she's used to. No crazy hours, no insane pressure. But she will not be around on Wednesdays so the sitter needs to come back.

And what of all those overlapping schedules?

Looks like I'll be filling in as my schedule is far more flexible. I don't care. Anything that results in my wife working, not spending, sounds fucking great.

So, last night, we're discussing the job and she says it's not freelance, she'll be on payroll so there's no need to worry about keeping track of her income and expenses. She then tells me she wants to withhold as little as possible. Great, I tell her. Set the withholding for single, 0, I tell her. She says that sounds like she'll be taking out more, not less.

She will. I explain to her that she is responsible for her taxes. I explain to her that she needs to make up for the 10 months of unemployment with no withholding. She looks like she's going to cry. I explain to her that, while I don't expect her to use that money for the birthday party she planned on throwing me but never did, nor do I expect her to go buy me birthday presents for my long gone 40th, that she claims never happened because she was low on cash. Hell, I tell her, I don't even expect her to use the money to start paying for her own cabs but, I do, most definitely, expect her to pay her own fucking taxes and, if not, she can file a separate return and handle the taxes all by her lonesome. She agreed to withhold the maximum.

My son started getting boners last week. Believe it, or not, this was actually a topic of worry last week. Almost as worrisome as the swine vaccine. The sitter mentioned that all of the other boys she's had under her care, sported wood with some frequency and little McNoogin did not and she was concerned. Then, lo and behold, little man wakes up with morning wood. My wife was dressing him and she was pulling up his jeans and he said "mom, my wiener feels weird."

So, when I brought it up that night, I figured, I'd explain the boner as best I could and my wife shushed me. She's of the belief that we should not talk about his pecker, lest we create some kind of monster.

And on the topic of morning wood......what the fuck is that all about? Seriously. I can understand waking up with a diamond cutter when you've got a half naked woman lying next to you, or not. I can understand a young, pubescent man's need to unload the build-up but, at 40? Seriously? All morning wood does for a man my age is remind me how old I am.

I wake up with a tree trunk and I roll over, realize there's no chance of getting rid of it the natural way, so I shift and roll around trying to will it away. After realizing that I'm stuck with the thing, I hit the bathroom. No, not to rub one out. To pee. It's what 40 year olds do. With a bit more frequency than 30 year olds.

A normal penis points downward when you pee.

Morning wood is like a good drink. Tall and strong and straight up.

You look down and your boner is staring back at you. Pee now and you'll give yourself a golden shower.

So you bend. You spread your legs. You flex.

You contort. You twist. You grab things for support and you try and aim that thing towards the bowl.

Pee hardons are the reason men became gymnasts.

Pee hardons tell a 40 year old man that he's getting old. He can't bend and twist and throw a leg on the sink while touching his forehead on the tank behind the bowl. It's not possible.

If it was someone else's bathroom, maybe, you'd try and work the long, arching pee stream into the bowl by starting out in one spot and shuffling forward as the boner subsided but your own shitter? Not a chance. Nothing worse than pulling a muscle trying to pee and then being forced to mop up the rim shots.

Someone sent me a funny email about the chinese animals and the correlation to diseases, swine/pig, mad cow/ox(cow) and there was reference to the year of the cock. It was funny but the years are wrong so I'm not posting it.

Fucking emails with lame jokes that I need to research before repeating.

I need a hobby.

I promise to come back if y'all promise to actually read this thing.