Archive for Family Life


The Luck of The Stupid.

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The story I’m about to share with you is ABSOLUTELY true, I’m not even changing the names to protect the innocent, while totally unbelievable I swear it is true.

First let me say this is a story of complete luck, it’s almost like a lottery story only I was 15 and couldn’t play the lottery. I would gladly trade this bit of dumb luck for the lottery today but I fear this used up my “PLEASE GOD” moment-total waste in hindsight but in the moment I think you’ll understand.

If you’ve read my blog you know all about the summer between 9th and 10th grade…if you haven’t, well you’ll  have to go back and read now won’t you?

I had recently got contact lenses. Back in the 80s contacts were not cheap and they were not disposable. They were expensive and I had been warned countless times to “BE CAREFUL” and I had “BETTER NOT LOSE THEM”. Had I lost my contacts I would have faced the wrath of my father, something that no one in their right mind would ever want to do. My Dad tended to over react sometimes, ok all the time, (ask me sometime about the Moped incident) but truly, lose my contacts I was a dead man.  

So it’s summer and I’m hanging with my girlfriend and some other people. We all decide it is hot enough to go to the park and go swimming. ME being the diligent, smart kid I was, get my contact lens case because when I get to the park and the stream I’m going to take my lenses out because back in the 80s according to the doctors if you swam with your contact lenses in you’d die instantly.

We arrive, I remove my contact lenses and swim with no issues…weeeeeee !!!! Oh boy we are having some fun. What? Time to go? Oh Ok, let me pop my contact lenses back in so I can see. Right lense pops in NO PROBLEM….just as I’m lifting the left lens to my eye…POOF a little tiny gust of wind, mind you the ONLY gust of wind on a completely hot sunny humid day in July. The F-You wind comes by and blows the contact lens off my finger into oblivion-or so I thought.

“Gosh Golly”! I yell, ok I made that up, I yelled some pretty foul things. My lens blew off my finger and straight into the stream. Yes the stream that is MOVING at a pretty good clip into the Metedaconk River which I’m sure in turn leads directly to the Atlantic Ocean.  Panic strikes me, I bolt off the bridge I am standing on and RUN down stream and enter the waist deep water. I made every deal with God I could think off, which is why I am convinced I will never win the lottery. I used up all my “Please God” moments with this one. I know, you’re saying “NO WAY”, I’m saying “YES”-I started to scoop up bubbles as they passed me, what else was I going to do. I scooped up countless bubbles, when I was just about to give up, when I scooped up one last set of bubbles and there LOW AND BEHOLD was my contact lens, right there in my hand. The lens landed upright and appeared like a bubble on the water-what are the odds of that?

I NEVER told my father that story, even into my 40s before he passed away I never shared that story with him, I was afraid he’d still kick my ass LOL…silly what we think of over a cold Sam Adams. I raise my glass to stupid luck and the fact that I know I will never ever win the lottery.

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I’m Bored?

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NO I’m not actually bored but this is something I constantly see my kids typing in their Facebook status line…OMG I am going to sound like my parents here…BORED? In my day we had basic cable and no Internet, THE HORROR! Even we were spoiled then at least we had HBO.

Conversation I recently had with my 12 Year Old Daughter…

Her (lying on couch flipping through on demand movies) Of course she didn’t say anything because God forbid she initiate a conversation with me.

Me: Hey what’s up?

Her: (Grunt)

Me: HELLO-what’s up?

Her: I’m bored! There is nothing on TV.

Me: WHAT? We have every pay channel known to man, we have at LEAST 500 channels (including HD) and you can’t find ANYTHING to watch?

Her: NO TV stinks.

Me: Go clean your room.

Seriously, now I know what my Dad meant when he said all those things that I thought were so stupid back in the day, because I must have sounded as pathetic. Although let’s be honest with each other, while we did have “basic” cable, I don’t remember spending too much time in front of the TV-I remember being outside actually interacting with the real world. Not growing a farm on Farmville and decking out my pad in Yoville.

I furnished my room with plastic milk crates…I know…I know… but some how a 14 year old kid in 1978 thought having a desk and shelves built out of milk crates was cool…but at least I was doing it in real life.

My oldest son spends a lot of time playing Call of Duty…killing imaginary friends online. I guess it’s the same thing we were doing back in the day. Using sticks to play war, if you were shot you had to count to 10 before you could get back up. But we were OUTSIDE my Sniper rifle was the long straight stick I found in the woods, not some weapon I found lying next to the dead avatar of some kid in the Baltics, who I’m sure in his language has told his parents an equal amount of time of how bored he is.

The status of one of my children was recently changed to “sooooooooo bbbbbbbooooooorrrrrrreeeeeeeddddddd” this posting was exactly 10 minutes after he had posted “I’m bored” For craps sake, we have Playstation, Xbox and Wii in my house, computers, as mentioned before cable TV, countless board games (which they say are BORED games), every toy they’ve asked for a Christmas, iPods, Blu Ray, Netflix…my God it is a smorgasbord of entertainment in my house. I’m almost ashamed to admit I have all this stuff…Look I like the modern comforts to, but trust me I am NEVER bored in my house.

Bored and unable to talk is how these kids will remember their childhood? Why do I mention that? My daughter was sitting right next to her cousin and instead of talking to each other they texted each other, What? No one talks any more.

I try to be a cool Dad, but man oh man I have trouble getting this generation…forget hoping I die before I get old, I just want to figure out my kids before I go senile.

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New Voice Over Demo

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Just received my professional Voice Over Demo, this is what I’ll be using to market myself to whoever wants to hire me. Give it a listen and let me know what you think…CLICK HERE FOR VOICE SITE

Sorry haven’t been around in a bit, I’m back!

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Oh Well…

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Guess God was either busy, didn’t believe me, or is a Yankees fan. We’ll get ’em next year. Thanks Phillies for a GREAT season!

Thanks God for listening any way! I’ll still take peace on earth and feeding the hungry if you have time!

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A Phillies Prayer

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Phillies-LogoGod, it’s me Pottsie, I know you’re busy right now managing more important things in the world but if you could spare a couple of minutes for me I’d appreciate it.

I know I asked for this last year and I’m sure during that prayer I promised if you let the Phillies win I would never do something again, I don’t remember what it was but I’m sure I promised to not do something that I probably shouldn’t have been doing…I forget. But I promise, please let the Phillies win tonight, and I promise to never do whatever I promised not to do last year again. I know I’m being selfish so I’m also asking you to bring peace on earth and feed the hungry but if you could some how manage to have Pedro pitch the greatest game of his life tonight, and have Chase Utley hit 3 or 4 more homeruns and get Ryan Howard to stop swinging blindly at the outside breaking ball that EVERYONE knows is coming and allow the Phillies to stretch this out to game 7 I promise to call upon you again tomorrow to ask that they win game 7.

Thanks for listening God!

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It’s Halloween-What Scares Me?

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Scary_Stuff_Poster_Web2It’s Halloween and I figure this is the best time to list the things that have scared me most or still scare me. See how many of these you can relate to.

The Flu scares the crap out of me, I’me talking the real full blown FLU, not some knock off bug. I had it a couple of years ago and it was absolutely the worst thing I’ve gone through. I can see why people die from it.

Rap Music-

Miley Cirus

Pennywise from It-What a Creepy Character.

Gargoyles under my bed, anyone remember the made for TV movie The Gargoyles, when the gargoyle comes out from under the bed? EEEEKKKK!!! Hey it was scary when you were 8 years old.


The Jersey Devil…the real one not that CRAPPY Hockey team.

Spiders. They just creep me out.

The Rolling Stones (now) Hang It Up already!

SNUFFY!!!!! Snuffy was a Saint Bernard that lived in our neighborhood when I was younger. He was MEAN, and occasionally he got out. When he did some kid some where on the block would yell. “Snuffy got out!”. That was our warning to run and climb on top of the nearest car or up a tree.

My Dad, when he was mad you KNEW IT and you were SCARED!

Being left alone with my older sister and brother when I was little. They TERRORIZED ME. Scary noises, turning out the lights…it was a regular Hell House at times.

The Exorcist, there is nothing about that movie that still does not frighten me..scary-face
I’ve seen the movie a bunch of times, in fact I own it on DVD, but because it is a traumatic memory from my childhood it is one that still remains with me. I’ll watch it but it still frightens me

Flying. I’ll do it but I don’t like it.

My wife’s driving.

Ghosts. I believe in them. I’ve seen them and heard them. Trust me ghosts are real.

Squirrels. Read my earlier blog entry and you’ll see why.

Beef Tripe. OMG it is horrible.

Madonna, no longer the sex kitten from the Like A Virgin album, she now looks like Iggy Pop.

The mound of dirt in the basement of my Aunt’s house in Virginia. They told us it was a body. We believed them.

My Uncle Kenny when he took his teeth out and chased us around the house with them.

My Uncle Kenny when he wrapped himself up from head to toe in tin foil and ran out of the woods on a family camping trip. It took them hours to locate all the kids that ran off in every direction. Uncle Kenny was a good guy, he just liked scaring us.

Morgues. After getting out of the Army and before becoming a Police Officer I worked in a hospital, one of my jobs was to take deceased bodies from ICU to the Morgue. ICU was third floor, the hospital was not a big hospital and part of the third floor was empty, the part where the elevator to the morgue was. Enough said.

Japanese Anime-I just don’t get it.

And finally the thing that scares me most…Cleaning Out My Garage!

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Come Sail Away

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comesailawayWhile I was at the gym this morning (I threw that in there because I want you all to know I go to the gym) I was on the Treadmill listening to my handy dandy iPod and “Come Sail Away” by Styx popped up, I certainly enjoy the song and I let it play even though the beginning is a tad too slow for treadmill work. Memory bubbles (or I had an aneurysm) started bursting in my head as I thought back to this song and the music I was listening to in High School.

One album I enjoyed immensely when I was young was an album that was ruined for me with two simple sentences. I had borrowed Pink Floyd’s The Wall album from a friend of mine and since I had just borrowed it I was listening to it over and over since I knew I’d have to return it shortly (I didn’t yet have a tape recorder, remember those?). As I was listening I walked out into the kitchen where my Dad was in his familiar seat at the head of the kitchen table surrounded by books. My father read more books than anyone I know, he read so fast that he often finished 3 or 4 books in a day, no kidding! I walked into the kitchen and my father asked, “Who is that?” meaning the music I was listening to. I replied it was Pink Floyd and My Father replied “I like HIM.” HIM! I explained Pink Floyd was a group not a him, and he said “well I like the music.” I immediately went into my room removed The Wall from the turntable and didn’t listen again for a few years. Silly? Absolutely. But it is nothing that I don’t see my own children doing today. I love The Killers, so really none of my kids will listen to them because it is “un-cool” because Dad likes the same music. So let me apologize to you Dad for depriving you of Pink Floyd and The Wall based solely on the fact that you liked the same music I did, but back then somehow someone who liked and listened to Mitch Miller liking the same music as me, well it didn’t cut it. But I understand now.

This brings me back to the song that originally got me thinking about this. “Come Sail Away.” this song was in the running to be our Prom Song in 1982. I mean seriously in the running. It came down to “Come Sail Away” and “We’ve Got Tonight” by Bob Seger. For awhile there it seemed as if “Come Sail Away” was going to win the prize, I lobbied against it for obvious reasons. The song is about ALIENS! Why do I want to celebrate my prom to a song about Aliens?

I thought that they were angels, but to my surprise
They climbed aboard their starship and headed for the skies
Singing come sail away, come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away, come sail away
Come sail away with me.

Nice quaint little song there Dennis DeYoung, a song that had prom goers in the 70s and early 80s celebrating their graduation from High School dancing to a song about Aliens, reminds me of Heaven‘s Gate. Sneaky Dennis Sneaky!

“We’ve Got Tonight” won, thank goodness, and we all slow danced and coped a feel to the smooth sounds of Bob Seger begging a girl to stay with him for the night. Seems desperate, but weren’t we all back then?

I think tomorrow at the gym, I’ll listen to that guy Pink Floyd and his record album The Wall.

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Phillies-Logo‘Nuff Said!!!!

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French Kissing In The USA!

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French Kissing

French Kissing

The summer between 8th and 9th grade was the summer of Penny. I used to ride my bike to her house, we’d have a glass of something, soda, iced tea, or lemonade, and then ride our bikes to the playground at the elementary school by her house. There we explored Kissing (ok giggles are allowed). When I tell you I had NO CLUE I mean I had NO CLUE. I didn’t know the first thing about French Kissing, but I know it felt kind of awkward just pressing lips together for along time, but she didn’t know much either because that’s all we did…DAMN IT I was Naive!

So I spent the better part of the month of July kissing Penny and then I was sent to Texas-My Mom decided I should go visit my sister who was currently stationed in Texas with her husband who was in the Army. Talking about slamming the brakes!!! Any chance I had to finally figure out French kissing or even French Canadian Kissing (not sure what that is but I bet it involves a moose head.) came to a screeching halt! While Texas was nice it was FREAKING HOT in August MOM! Thanks a lot! So this is where apparently I grew, something in the water in Texas because I got tall and walked into 9th grade taller but Penniless. Yeah I don’t know what happened between Penny and I, I got a few letters from her when I was in Texas, but she must have found some guy that knew how to French kiss and off she went.

High School…GULP! 9th grade was sort of terrifying…I was really awkward not having yet mastered walking in the huge feet I acquired over the summer, in fact, I distinctly recall falling FLAT on my face as I got off the bus at school the very first day…uggghhh.

Now I would describe myself as neutral, I wasn’t a “Burnout” (the kids that smoked and dressed in ACDC and Led Zeppelin shirts with a flannel shirt over it) and I wasn’t a “Preppy” (No Izod shirts for me). I was a blue jean wearing button down shirt kind of guy. I had friends on both sides of the fence. But I wasn’t partaking in the burnout lifestyle, yet I seemed to attract a Burnout girl. In particular Ann Marie..she was in one of my classes, I think it was Social Studies.

You know how that whole thing works, “Hey man, Ann Marie likes you she thinks you’re cute.” “She does?” “Yeah, do you like her?” “Well, what did she say exactly?” “Dude, she said she likes you!” “Really? Well Yeah I guess I like her.” Let me be honest here, I didn’t really care that much for Ann Marie (Ann if you’re reading this SORRY) but I’m 15 years old-HORMONES-they are screaming at me to get some female companionship YESTERDAY.

I had no clue what I was getting into and neither did poor old Ann Marie. Remember the extent of my experience in girls was kissing Penny at the playground, French Kissing hadn’t yet entered my vocabulary, or if it had I had no clue how to or when to…Damn! There is way too much confusion in this growing up stuff.

I asked Ann Marie on a date.

So our first date was at the Roller Skating Rink, where I was establishing myself as Pottsie’s brother-allow me to elaborate-My Brother Jimmie was two years ahead of me and was Mr. Popular and had a lot of girls digging his scene if you know what I mean. So I had some residual success because of my brother, who happened to work at the skating rink as a floor guard. Thanks Jimmie! I remember showing up at the skating rink with Ann Marie (who I forgot to mention had failed the 9th grade the year before so she was older than me-that’s right an older woman!) My brother questioned my choice of girls-now Ann Marie wasn’t ugly she just wasn’t overly attractive, she was tall and razor thin, long brown hair, too much make-up, black ACDC T-shirt and a snaggle tooth-Like a Jewel snaggle tooth, not a wicked witch of the West snaggle tooth.

So we skated, held hands, had a snack, drank some soda, skated some more blah blah blah…Suddenly I’m on the far side of the skating rink, Ann Marie is no where to be found and the lights dim, “Ladies Choice”-I think Gino Vanelli was playing (Holy Crap the memory I have). Suddenly from behind I’m pulled towards the benches in the darkest corner of the skating rink, amongst the discarded coats and jackets that were all over the place, I fall back on the bench, my back bangs hard against the wall. Holy Crap I’m getting mugged, I only have $5.00, please don’t hit me in the face…MOMMY I’m too young to die…HELP HELP HELP!!!! OH-Ann Marie, hey what’s up? I knew it was her the whole time! Suddenly Ann Marie is sitting on my lap…. Now I’m looking into her eyes, briefly and I flash back to Penny on the Monkey Bars. Oh Hey, I’m supposed to kiss her here, my eyes close as I move in. Lips puckered for one of my famous lip lock kisses, what the..??? Is that her tongue? Is she pushing it against my lips? What the hell is she doing-Damn her tongue is strong, some how it is forcing my lips apart, the next thing I know tongues are darting all over the place. Suddenly my tongue had a mind of its own I explored that snaggle tooth.

This lasted for about a month-noooo not the kiss Ann Marie and I, I think it was mutual, I wasn’t experienced enough for her. Ann Marie liked fast cars and faster men (or something like that) and I wasn’t into the whole cigarette smoking burnout lifestyle. My children weren’t gonna have a burnout for a mom. (Unless we consider Cheri a Burnout?) So it ended awkwardly- we didn’t talk, and Ann Marie slowly faded away-like Penny POOOF she was gone. In fact I don’t remember seeing Ann Marie after the 9th grade, for all I know she failed again and is still in 9th grade.

So that’s my experience on French Kissing-Everyone has their first and that was mine-is French Kissing over rated? My tongue doesn’t think so. Now you see that little ‘Comment” link down below??? Share your First Kiss memories RIGHT THERE for all the world to see…wishful thinking I know but I like to pretend the whole world reads my blog.

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The Mouse?

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Yes that is a question mark right up there in the title, why would I be asking you you might be asking me? Well to tell you the truth I’m not really “asking” you about a mouse, I’m questioning the whole “mouse” idea as it relates to this story. Which centers around my wife, our pool, and well…read on and you’ll understand the question mark.

I have an in ground pool, no big deal lots of people have them, many will lie and tell you that they are a great joy to have. I on the other hand will not lie to you and will tell you the only people really getting any joy from our pool are my kids. The pool for me is work, vacuuming, skimming, cleaning the filter, scooping out bugs, balancing the chemicals, opening and closing it every year and watching the faces of any kids that visit for the pee face. Yeah you know the pee face, as soon as I see it whoa whoa whoa…take it inside pal, uh uh no peeing in this pool. That’s right, everybody outta the pool! Occasionally I’ll miss the pee face but I’ll know when someone has done the deed when someone comments “WOW, it’s really warm in this spot.” As the kid who was previously in the spot swims frantically away. I just tell them “pee” and they all scramble out of the pool like Brodie yelling shark in Jaws. That’s Jaws 1 not any of the stupid revenge sequels and definitely NOT Jaws 3-D.

After a long day of work during a hot summer day there is nothing I’d like more than to come home and enjoy my pool, a nice cool dip, it is refreshing. The last thing I want to do is deal with a pool problem after working a 12 hour day. Now, those of you that are close friends and have hung around our pool with me have heard this story several times, and it still manages to get everyone laughing every time I tell it…so you guys don’t spoil it for the rest who are just hearing this story for the first time.

I come home from work one evening after a very long hot day, as I walk in the door my wife says to me “There’s a mouse in the pool.” I of course ask ‘What’s it doing?” Thinking perhaps the mouse has also worked a 12 hour shift on this hot summer day and is floating around on a little lounge with a drink in it’s hand. She bums me out by telling me it’s dead. “You didn’t scoop it out?” I ask. “Eww, I’m not going near that thing.” she replies. WTF-not going near it? Didn’t you go near it enough to see that there is a mouse in the pool-just scoop it out and toss it in the woods. Some cat or evil squirrel or something will be happy you did. No, she isn’t going near it.

Occasionally some poor animal will wander too close to the pool edge, fall in, swim it’s little heart out but not having evolved it’s brain enough to figure out that the steps lead out and to safety, they will you know…DROWN.

Of course everyone is huddled in the corner of the house deathly afraid to go any where near the pool because there is a “mouse” in the pool, and not a Stuart Little Mouse…a dead mouse. Come on! It’s a mouse!! So I let out a sigh and head towards the pool to scoop the “mouse” out and toss it in the woods. I’ll be the hero, everyone can go back in the pool and enjoy themselves, VOILA! As I’m heading out the door I turn to see my entire family wide eyed in TERROR with their hands covering their gaping mouths. “Huh” I think to myself.

I grab the scooping net as I walk towards the pool, I hear whimpering coming from inside the house, I’m scanning the surface of the pool as I walk towards it looking for a “mouse” body floating on the top. Closer…closer…shrieks from inside the house, I don’t see the mouse floating, at that moment I’m close enough to the edge of the pool that I can see the floor at the steps, and lying there on the bottom of the pool, on it’s back, teeth exposed in its last defying act towards humanity, that is to scare the bejesus out of me, is an possum or opossum for you aficionados. “Holy crap!” I yell (I didn’t say crap) as I clutch my chest from the fright. A mouse? Now you get the question mark. A M-O-U-S-E mouse? Are you kidding me.

I scoop the thing out of the pool, it’s gotta be two feet from head to tail and weigh near 8 pounds, especially water logged. I take it down to the creek and toss it in there, sort of like the Mafia it scared me so Sleep with the fishes Possum (opossum).

I walk back inside my house and I am a HERO I conquered the MOUSE in the pool. I turn to my wife and say “That wasn’t a mouse ya know, it was a possum” and she says to me in all seriousness “I didn’t know, I thought it swelled up from being in the water too long.”

Apparently, in my wife’s world, mice are like sponges.

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