Black, green, purple Friday, you can keep it…

I get the whole “I’m going to go shopping” on the busiest shopping day of the year. For some it’s a curiosity, for others it’s a people watching event, for women it’s primal. What I don’t get is the camping out on the sidewalk hoping to save __% on whatever. There is no “item” that could make me take my time, my comfort and my hygiene to sit in front of some retail store for any length of time. Someone said to me, “Even if your child had an extra special gift that they asked for and you could only get it that way?” Yes…even then. The first problem with that argument is that there is always that extra special something for kids and it is a moving target. Let’s pretend this special thing was, say a….brick. You would always be watching the brick wondering if they are using it. You would ask them about the brick and obsess that they properly understood the type of sacrifice it took to obtain the brick and then they would release the Brick V2 and you would be all sorts of mad. The second argument is that I don’t want to raise a child that thinks this is a good idea either. Next thing you know a grandkid comes along and now you have two generations of idiots in front of the Best Buy and the species takes another downturn. Keep your Friday, I’ll be out there on December 24th with my own set of problems.

Central Perk this is not….

Funny thing. The other day I received one of those “A family member from Nigeria has left you millions” e-mails. I chuckled to myself, deleted it and posted on Facebook how lucky I was that this family member remembered me and left me millions of dollars. This is the point where you know who your real friends are and how well they know you.

- My real friends started right in on how I should also send my social security number and that it sounds like such a great deal that they would like to get in on it also. These are the people who know that: a – I’m not that stupid. b – I enjoy a good laugh about these things.

- The second group of friends commented that they weren’t sure if I was kidding, but if I got some money they would like some too…but be careful.

- The last group of friends told me I should call the cops, DON’T DO IT – IT’S A SCAM!! I really need to be careful and that this type of stuff never works out.

I really should take anyone from that last group and just remove them from the friends list. They obviously don’t know enough about me to be my actual friend. I am touched that they cared enough to respond and warn me, but I’m also worried that they think of me as their dumb friend from Florida. I’ll probably keep them around because it’s very traumatic to get dropped as a friend on Facebook. I don’t want any of them crying to me and begging me to let them back in “the circle”. For my friends that read this blog…that was sarcasm.

Long days night

You’re gonna love this one, especially when you get to the picture..Don’t look!

Where to start? I’ll save you the run up to this deal, but a couple of days ago Sara attended a concert in downtown Tampa. This was not just a concert mind you. For all of you music people out there, picture your most prized music moment. The chance to go see that single most favorite artist, IN CONCERT! What comes to mind? Beatles? Rolling Stones? Clapton? Ratt? This was it. Sara’s chance to live the dream. She actually had tears in her eyes when she realized that she was going to go to this concert. Now…picture how the typical relationship is portrayed between the music that kids love and how their parents view that music. Got that pictured in your head? Amplify it by a factor of 100 and this is how it works out in our house. I couldn’t wait to hear from Jen how this concert went and if she avoided listening to any of the earthy warbles of this artist. In fact, here, take a listen.

Fate has a strange ability, especially in our house. Since I was the one who could not stand this music the most, fate determined that I was the one to take her to the concert. I’ll try to make a long story short. The harpist / composer shown above is apparently well renowned and has played Carnegie hall and the Sydney Opera house. I really can’t imagine how that happened, but oh well. Sara spent a few hours listening to her favorite artist in life, had her picture taken with her (OMG! OMG!) and carries around various items that this girl autographed for her. Sara has listed this night as one of the “greatest nights of my life”. I think fate was also trying to tell me something here also. I didn’t complain once that night about the music or the endless hours of standing (some of the time in the rain), waiting for the concert to be over. I figured it was a rare chance for her to experience something that she loved. I found myself smiling and enjoying her experience along side of her. I think I would listen to this crazy harp music every day if I got to see my Sara that happy all the time.

Here is the final “fate” moment. Something stepped in and erased any evidence of this concert from the marquee. The fat guy on the bench seems to notice something funny is going on also.


Oh…here’s the after concert, hang around the back of an old dilapidated building hoping to meet the great Jo New picture. 


A bird in the hand…

Today I had a pretty hilarious lunch. I took Sara to a new restaurant that has opened nearby, a chain restaurant called Red Robin (obligatory “Yummmmm”). Since they have only been open like 4 days the place is a disaster. Every Land O Laker and Wesleyan in the tri state are is pretending like they’ve never had a hamburger before and dropping by the Red Robin (Yummm). To top it off the management is trying to make a good impression and you basically get assigned a Red Robin gopher as you arrive. No sooner than my ass hit the seat I was brought up to speed on the “Tower of onion rings” appetizer, the Red Robin club, had my drink order taken and given the old “My name is Neville and I’ll be taking care of you today” From this point on it was a parade of “Is everything ok?” “Can I / we get you anything?” and “I’d like to welcome you to Red Robin, hope everything is good!” By the time the girl held the door open and gave me a “Come back soon” I was ready to burn the place down. It was probably the most un-relaxing lunch I have ever had. I didn’t even tell you that we sat between two bible salesmen and a couple who was likely on an inappropriate business date. At least this kept Sara busy. She’s a bit of a snoop.

I think they are going to think it was a bad idea to give me the “How did we do?” survey on the way out. Check back soon. I have a lot of other local eateries to review.



Rescue for the win!


Helmet, Schmelmet

The other day I mentioned the people who drive their kid to the bus stop. Today I will mention that I also drive my kid to the bus stop….on my bike. The problem is I have caught a bad case of the “Helmet shun”. I got caught up in a bad thought process while in Holland and people are giving me bad looks in the states. Essentially I hoist Sam onto the back of the bike and we ride up to the bus stop without wearing helmets. Two issues. 1. – I’m actually breaking the law, and 2. – I’m causing a traffic stir on the parking lot.

Here is a link to the Holland thought process I speak of: Nice helmet!

Here is a picture that basically shows how we get to the bus stop.


The #2 thing on my list drives me a bit nuts. There are rules to driving cars. When I’m on my bike I expect that people will follow the car driving rules and I will know exactly what to expect from them. Problem is that these people essentially suspend their knowledge of the driving rules when they encounter a person on a bike. They refuse to pass me, they drive really slow on my tail, the stop in places where I don’t expect them to stop, it’s a mess. People…please don’t treat a bike like it is a funeral or a parade of some sort. Drive like you normally would (Rhode Islanders – drive like others normally would) and then I won’t have to buy expensive helmets. 

Ok…still here.

Boy I haven’t typed anything in a while. Sorry. I really need to have a notebook around my neck or one of those voice recorders to take notes on my killer observations. I usually chuckle at something and think “That would be really funny to write about” and 10 minutes later it’s gone. I will either have to try a lot harder or give up.

I will share with you a Sam story. Sam is now in first grade. In first grade there is much academic pressure. Stay within the lines, form the letters correctly, Capitalization. Sam has decided that there is really no room for expanding on his work that much. He is pretty much a bare facts kind of guy. Here let me share with you some of his work.



Accurate. Simple. Sam.