Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Note to Self: Find Better Post Ideas

3 clever quips

note-to-selfIn my younger days, I never needed to keep an appointment calendar because I had a sharp memory and no social life. Then my wife and I had children, followed by countless six packs of stress-relief to survive them.

These days I find myself constantly having to scribble little “note to self” reminders to remember things I should (and, more often, shouldn’t) do in the future. Here’s some of the collection that I have amassed over past few months on Post-It Notes, pet store receipts and my laptop.

Speaking of which — Note to self: Find your laptop cord before dog uses it as dental floss.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Dear PR/Marketing People Sending Me Pitches for Father’s Day, Etc.

2 clever quips

Let me help you. Please.

I had your job before, making cold calls and email pitches. It sucks. Allow me to make your life easier.

Unless you are offering to pay me a decent wage (see #SwifferDads campaign) to write about your product or brand, or you are offering to give me a pricey and/or sexy product (think Bluetooth headphones, flat-screen TVs, sports cars, lots and lots of tasty alcohol, etc.), just save yourself the time and effort.

I have no interest in running your high-res photos of celebrity dads giving their kids BPA-free high colonics.

mad-men-open-sequence

Monday, May 11, 2015

Rite of Spring – The Big Dance Recital

0 clever quips

dance-recital-2011-crop
Front and center in 2011

This past weekend was the Perfect Storm of Uncool events: my birthday (not one of note, though my increasingly creaky back says otherwise), Mother’s Day and Li’l Diva’s annual dance recital. I write about the latter in this piece, which first appeared a year ago in Stamford Magazine.

It’s the heart of spring, a special time with weather warming, flora blooming and vacations approaching that ignited me so as a child but as an adult reduces me to ash.

Field trips to Cove Island, to Dorothy Heroy Park and – gasp – to “The City.” School concerts. School plays. Daily rehearsals for said concerts and plays. Little League practices. Little League games. Going back to the Little League field to retrieve a jacket left in the dugout. Funny how perspective changes when you go from kid to your kids’ chauffeur.

Monday, April 27, 2015

#SwifferDad Cleans Up with Modern Fathers

1 clever quips
The following is sponsored by Swiffer, which provided the featured cleaning products as part of its #SwifferDad campaign.

When My Love and I first shacked up, we'd tried to spend every Saturday morning cleaning the condo. Vacuuming. Scrubbing. Disinfecting. That was just the corner of the closet where we tossed my used underwear.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Take Me Out to the … Tennis Courts?

5 clever quips

My daughter rarely cries.

A week ago, though, after I picked her up from high school tennis practice, she sat in the minivan and sobbed.

She had made the varsity tennis team, not just as a freshman but as a 15-year-old who really had only held a racket in earnest for about six months.

Li’l Diva’s coach just told her she needed to be in uniform and ready to play in the next day’s match. And in the one on Monday. This Monday. As is today.

tennis-uniformThe Li’l Diva in her orange and black best, ready to hit the courts.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

She Had “A Face Like a Prostitute”

0 clever quips

Now THAT’s a headline!

It’s in quotes but I didn’t say it. It was one of the “The Moms” from the WPIX Ch. 11 Morning News who I sat in with earlier this year on a segment about how old girls should be before they are allowed to wear makeup.

This is one of those rare “live” appearances by me in which:

1) There were no technical screw-ups. Although it was taped a week in advance, it was shot “live” in one take. I credit my three co-hosts who all know what they are doing. Note the sympathetic pat on the back one of them gives me.

2) I don’t seem totally panicked. I’m sure sitting in the green room for 40 minutes watching moronic dudes lose paternity tests on “Maury” made talking about Li’l Diva wearing eyeliner seem like a breeze.

Here it is:

What d’ya think? I have a face for radio and a voice for print, right?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Catch as a Catcher Can

7 clever quips

Spring training came early for my little baseball player.

By “early,” I mean a few days before Halloween when he started a two-month clinic at a local sports academy. Not sure what I mean by “little.” Excitable is nearly 5-foot-6 and has mistakenly played in my Size 11 cleats before.

He’s following my footsteps in another way. He’s going to be a Little League catcher.

boy baseball catcher's gear

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dads’ Advice to Their Sons

2 clever quips

buzzfeed logoI’m not a fan of Buzzfeed.

Not the “What kind of bellybutton lint are you?” quizzes that over populated my Facebook feed until I found a way to banish them.

Not the listicles loaded with animated GIFs ripped off from other people’s sites.

However, I’m not opposed to appearing on its pages because, damn, it’s hard to be an aging parent blogger, yo.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Dear Amazon: Parenting No Longer Just Moms’ Domain

0 clever quips

Moms and dads – we differ in so many ways, obvious anatomical naughty bits aside. Yet regardless of childrearing style, regardless of who wins the bread and who makes it into PB&Js, moms and dads are both parents and both caregivers.

That is the heart of the ongoing campaign for mega online-retailer Amazon to change the name of a discount program from "Amazon Mom" to "Amazon Family," the name it already uses in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and France.

#amazonfamilyus amazon mom

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What to Expect from an Apple Electric Car

0 clever quips

The business and tech world has been tripping over itself in recent weeks over word that Apple -- makers of the iPhone, the iPad and iIndigestion – are working on an electric car. Based on the experiences I’ve had with the company’s iGadgets, I predict the following:

  • An Apple iCar will come with a sealed, non-replaceable battery. It will start acting erratically after about two years, requiring you to upgrade to the latest model.
  • Every time you start your Apple car, you will be alerted to upgrade the onboard computer’s software. When you finally do, the car will only travel at a blistering speed of 7.3 mph. Your genius dealer will tell you that you cannot revert to the old software, but he will gladly sell you a newer model of the car that handles the improved technology.
  • If the windshield cracks in your Apple car, the dealership will offer to replace it for a small fee. Your genius dealer will then change his mind once he looks under the hood and sees an internal indicator has been tripped that shows you violated the warranty by once allowing a non-authorized bottle of water to sweat profusely in a cup holder. Your Apple dealer, however, will happily offer to sell you an exact replica vehicle as a replacement. At full value.

apple-car

Thursday, March 5, 2015

This Winter Isn’t Even for the Birds

2 clever quips

buried-cardinal
Spotted this poor guy, buried beak first in a neighbor’s yard, on a walk about the ‘burb during a brief pause in the continuous barrage of cold and snow.

Quitter.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Winter of This Malcontent

4 clever quips

I’m feeling nostalgic these days. Nostalgic for global warming.

New England winters like San Diego springs. Oceans rising all around us. The landlocked unwittingly blessed with beachfront property. Sigh. Sure, the environmentalists screamed and moaned about losing the polar bear but, deep down, they went to bed salivating at the prospect of increased access to fresh fish tacos.

Now we have “climate change.” Idiotic name. “Change” implies a shift in the routine. Instead it’s day upon day of subfreezing temperatures and foot upon foot of snow. You know: winter-like weather in winter. I do appreciate the endless supply of cocktail ice and that merely cracking a window prevents it from ever diluting my happy hour, but enough is enough.

Where’s a nutty professor claiming our zealous burning of fossil fuel will permanently keep our home heating bills in check when you need one?

frozen twig and berries
Not my frozen twig and berries.
Photo: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Vaccines Can Save Kids Who Can’t Get Them

1 clever quips

measles vaccine hypodermic needle

My conversation with the school nurse at the start of every academic year ends with me say this: If anybody comes down with chickenpox, call me immediately -- it could save my daughter's life.

Chickenpox – deadly?

Most adults remember chickenpox as an irritating childhood rite of passage. No one ever died from excessive itching, right? I didn't, though I still bear a small, circular scar on my right cheek from my fingers getting the best of me during my bout. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, however, show that before development of a vaccine in the mid-1990s, chickenpox killed more than 100 children annually and hospitalized over 10,000 for complications, including pneumonia, meningitis and encephalitis. The more severe consequences tended to happen to those with underlying health issues, such as a comprised autoimmune system.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sledding – It’s Been Downhill All the Way

0 clever quips

sledding

When the frosty flakes start to stick, most children rush outside to build snowmen, toss snowballs or flap their arms and legs for snow angels. Mine grab a bowl and spoon to make a meal. Yo, kids—they are “frosty flakes” not “Frosted Flakes.” Once sufficiently stuffed (or intestinally hypothermic), my offspring then often head for the garage to dig out their sleds.

For me, growing up among the rocks and trees of North Stamford meant only being able to venture out to our pre-shoveled driveway or the backyard for a zip downhill on an ancient wooden Speedaway with half-rusted runners. However, one moonless January evening after dusk, I learned metal TV trays provided a superior riding speed and distance when I promptly rocketed up and over a wire fence and into our mucky backyard pond.

My children have more (and drier) options, provided they can stop our Labrador retriever from chewing on their foam Snow Boogie boards like they were Milk-Bone burritos. Within a short trudge of our home is the Sterling Farms Golf Course, which I understand from longtime residents in my neighborhood was an even shorter trudge way back in the day before use of wire-cutters was deemed poor civic etiquette. The most obvious choices here are the long, wide fast rides from the sixth green and the seventh tee box. However, we sometimes just avoided the crowds by staying on the short but steep side-to-side approach to the ninth green. Note I wrote “side-to-side.” Sledding lengthwise down the 350-yard ninth fairway is a breathtaking ride until you discover the neck-breaking cliff behind the tee box. Don’t ask how I know. When the need for speed wasn’t so great when my kids were young, we’d stay on the gentle slope of the eighteenth fairway. I wish my tee shots would adhere to such a smooth path.

One great sledding venue still unknown to my kids, but familiar to my wife and me is Cummings Park. When we were young, single and (don’t tell the priest who married us) living in sin in a downtown condo in the 1990s, we took more than a few trips down the 60-degree hill overlooking the playgrounds. Our rides—cheap plastic roll-up sheet-sleds purchased from the old Caldor store at Summer and Broad streets. Those offered good speed, lousy control, and worse cushioning for your, um, bottom line. Trust us.

NOTE: This article first appeared in Stamford Magazine.

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My Uncool Past