Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What to Expect When You’re Expecting to Attend BlogHer ‘12 in New York

21 clever quips

ssli_7739_scraped_blogher-12-new-york-city- For those heading to the annual BlogHer conference in New York City next week, I’ve compiled a guide to set your expectations. This is based on my experience as an occasional visitor to The Big Apple (I live in Connecticut, the neighboring state trying laughably to steal its neighbor’s tourism business), my being a ‘BlogHer in NYC’ veteran, and a half-dozen gin and tonics:

The smell

The first time I drove through Nebraska during the summer, my olfactory center suddenly seized up like a Boy Scout official stumbling into a Gay Pride Parade. Turns out we had just passed a pig farm/slaughterhouse.

After I mentally retched, My Love told me what her Cornhusker grandfather would say when one of his brood whined about this particular odor: “Smells like money.”

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Son, The ‘Play Boy’

22 clever quips

I’m sending the sheared crusts of Excitable’s peanut-butter-on-sourdough sandwich swirling down the disposal when the boy himself bounds into the kitchen. He speaks with an uncharacteristic early-morning verve as I tie the handles of the plastic bag bearing his name, underlined and in bold black letters.

bikini model playing cards“At camp yesterday, we were playing card games and a boy named RJ brought out a deck from Canada,” he says, “and on each one …”

“Is the word, ‘Eh?’”

“No!” his enthusiasm undampened by my interruption. “On each card was a bikini model!”

“Oh.”

“Yeah! But then the counselor took them away. After that, the game just wasn’t the same.”

Oy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Giving Drivers A New Finger

19 clever quips

I recently spent the better part of a week driving around Nebraska and, boy, is my finger tired.

one finger wave We visit my wife's family and friends every year or so out there in that area of the country they also call the "Heartland of America." Whoever "they" is, they have a great sense of irony. Whenever I'm there, I clog my arteries on three square meals of red meat, buttered sweet corn and marshmallow Jell-O platters. (To be fair, the Jell-O usually features fruit. Canned in heavy syrup fruit. Prevents scurvy just the same as the fresh stuff, Dr. Oz.) I indulge in these Cornhusker staples/delicacies because they taste good and a stuffed mouth prevents me from showing the natives just how ignorant I am about the ever-present topic of college football.

Between meals, we always seem to be driving. Unlike our New England ancestors who knew "good fences make good neighbors," the settlers of Nebraska knew better --30 miles of cropland between signs of human life makes it pretty hard to tick off anyone. But that was before cars and commuting.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Thrilling Ride into Summer

15 clever quips

dragon coaster Summer's arrival in our house has nothing to do with calendars, temperatures or fireworks. It starts with a steady ascent of anticipation, teases us with a quick dip then throws us a curve before plunging us into the thick of it with a rattling headlong rush.

Summer comes on the Dragon Coaster.

Unlike many who grew up a short trip from this 83-year-old wood-beamed marvel, I have almost no childhood memories of the rollercoaster or the Playland amusement park that surrounds it in Rye, N.Y. That's what makes our annual trip there as special to me as to my two children.

This ritual started a few years ago the way the best things tend to, not out of the need for nostalgia's comfort or the desire to begin a grand tradition, but through the lowered expectations that come with not having to pay an admission fee. The local Make-a-Wish folks had given us a handful of free passes owing to Li’l Diva’s juvenile myositis so I figured, at worst, using them would give us a few hours away from our one true summer ritual at that time: the two kids bickering over who got to choose which Disney Channel rerun to watch for the 47th time.

My Uncool Past

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