I thought I’d get Harry Smotter when I read the books, but I’m just as Dumbledore as before…

harry books


My sons have been devouring the Harry Potter books at record pace and although I tried to fight it, they’ve cast a spell on me too. I know, I’m twenty years late to the party, but punctuality was never my strong suit. I’ve seen the movies since I see everything nominated for the Oscars and they finally won their lucky 13th try with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. There was never a reason I hadn’t read the books before now and I gotta tell you – I had some unresolved issues…




As we tore through page by page, chapter by chapter, and then finished each and every book, I kept assuming they’d finally address the elephant in the room – the most important overlooked part of the whole saga – but, much to my dismay, they never did. One day when J.K. Rowling and I are sharing tea and crumpets, I’ll her how amazing and creative her books are and then work up the nerve to ask her: we’re talking about the greatest sorcerer’s the world has ever known. One’s even so powerful that we literally can’t even mention his name without people trembling in fear, but no one knows a spell for Lasik? It’s bad enough that this kid has a lightning bolt scar on his head forcing him to grow out that bowl haircut to try and hide it, but then you go and give him those glasses too? I mean come on, there’s no Lenscrafters at Hogwarts? If not Lasik, how about we get this kid some contacts? I don’t know – that just doesn’t sit right with me.

harry scar


Does anyone else confuse the Oscar wining star of Whiplash with this fantastic writer or is it just me? Apparently J.K. is the new trendy name like Mary or Joseph (not THE Mary and Joseph, just a lot of kids with those names). There’s J.K. Rowling, J.K. Simmons, J.K. Schaffer (former Cincinnati Bengals player), J.K. Dobbins (football Player for Ohio State Player), J.K. Scott (Green Bay Packers – another football player?). I mean come on – I just can’t keep em straight anymore – It’s only a matter of time before there’s a J.K. Kardashian or Cardi J.K.! I’m gonna change my name to J.K. Immodium Abuser as it’s obviously key to the success that’s eluded me so far!



Speaking of confusion – the Rita Skeeter character is obviously based on Skeeter from The Muppets and I approve! Skeeter was so underappreciated and Scooter always got all the attention…Twins my ass, they forgot about Dre, she always got the shaft so I’m glad that J.K. found a way to honor Skeeter here!




I won’t go through every book and storyline, but I do wanna give a shout out to one part of the saga that really touched me deep – it’s very rare that I find an author who can speak right to my soul and I gotta give props when it happens! I read that page and it’s so eerie – it’s like she was speaking directly to me and only me! It’s in The Half Blood Prince, Chapter 11 which for some odd reason is called Hermione’s Helping Hand, which sounds very dirty to write in a kid’s book and could actually be the next Stormy Daniel’s film if we don’t stop publishing her exploits in the tabloids. Either way – here’s a screen shot of the page and J.K. was not Just Kidding when she wrote this – it’s her message to the Immodium Abusers out there to let us know that she sees us and hears us and for god’s sake, she describes the harsh reality of my life when she talks about U-No-Poo!




I mean it’s obvious that they’d have Imodium at Hogwarts! He who shall not be named is literally scaring the shit out of half the students and you don’t think everyone’s doubling up on U-No-Poo? Ron is a nervous kid normally, so he’s definitely taking as much if not more than me with those scary adventures! For the love of God – someone better tell Harry Potter he should take some too! Kid, they’re not gonna call time out during the match when you Quidditch your pants up on that broom!



U-No-Poo! Apparently, it’s not just the muggles who get the gastric struggles! She writes about being purple in the face and straining and it’s just like “Stop it J.K., you had me at Hello!” Full disclosure, I’m not normally in the common room or at mealtime when I’m straining like that because I won’t be able to Hagrid-and-bear-it. Also, I’ll need a new set of robes and they’ll change the name of the class to Defense Against the Dark Sharts if I’m not careful in there.




So since my kids now have the costumes, wands, movies, and Legos, our house is becoming as crazy as Bellatrix’s hair. It’s hard to surprise them anymore, but I’ve found the perfect thing for them: Hogwarts bedding! They’re gonna be kicking the sheets out of those Death Eaters and they’ll be Slytherin under the covers this winter warm as can be now that I have these! Super Dad to the Rescue!


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Follow here to get Harry Potter set or many other kids – check it out:  https://www.latestdeals.co.uk/tags/duvet



If you’re looking for your own set, click the link to follow and get your own. Since they’re Harry Potter themed – you should get them from the UK to be official, but even if you’re not into Harry Potter, they have other sets too. You can always go with Soccer themed, Holiday themed or Teletubbies – which randomly is my wife’s pet name for me. I’m all for fun shit in the bedroom to help have fun dreams so my wife and I actually have the Teletubbies set on our bed! Just kidding – she’d never let me try to get frisky on top of her Tinky-Winky – so we went with a normal set! Make the bedrooms in your house relaxing and fun and you’ll sleep like a baby…or you’ll get frisky and make a baby! Just don’t name it J.K. because there are just too damn many of them to keep track of!




This is where the Magic happens…


CelebriTuesdays: I met the meowsician Cat Stevens and he was Purrfect!

Cat 2


I can hit you with all my cheesy puns just to make this a cat-astrophic post, but that would be paw-sitively awful and nobody’d want to read it. Also, it’s not like I wasn’t feline OK, after I met him I was feeling pawsome. At least I didn’t have to try and purr-suade him to take a picture with me because he didn’t give me any cat-itude. OK, Now that it’s out of my system, we can continue on with the post.




How crazy: As I was listening to it – there he was!



I was at work and I’d gotten some upsetting news so I went for a walk to clear my head and I was just kind of asking the universe for some clarity and a sign. Even though Annie told us that the sun will come out tomorrow, sometimes you just need a reminder that it will. Ask and you shall receive, because the universe heard me calling and sent me Cat Stevens!



I know that this will sound ridiculous and unbelievable, but I was walking down the street, listening to my Iphone songs on shuffle and randomly Father and Son came on. Always a favorite, I was listening to it when all of a sudden – I turned and saw Cat Stevens standing there. He appeared like a mirage right there while I was listening to his song! Thank God I also have cat-like reflexes similar to Mr. Stevens, because I stopped, dropped, and ran right into the building to see him. It was as if the universe tapped me on the shoulder and said “you wanted a sign…”


cat meme 4



His two security guards saw my special kind of crazy coming up and were like “Whoa, he’s gotta go” but by now I was right next to him rambling on incoherently as I tend to do. “I was just listening to you…just now…father and son…on my phone…just now…” and then held out my phone to him as if looking at a black Iphone was in some way offering him any clarity for my rambling…In hindsight, this is probably why famous people stop and take pictures with me – they think something is really wrong with me and they feel bad!


Lyrics 1



Cat Stevens smiled back with compassion, true grace, and a look of confusion almost as if he were watching a foreign film and waiting for the subtitles to scroll across the bottom of his screen. I just finally blurted out “Sir, can I please take a picture with you?” and he smiled and gracefully acquiesced. It was like it was happening in slow motion and I just couldn’t believe it. “Thank you, thank you…” was all I could muster as I was so excited and really couldn’t believe I was actually seeing him in person because I’m a huge fan. I was smiling and not saying a word so as not to ruin this picture with my messed up facial expressions, when he reached out, shook my hand and said I was welcome with a huge smile. I’m not saying that I made his day or anything, but I’m pretty sure I came close and he definitely made my week. I asked for a sign and the universe sent me Cat Stevens! If that’s not believing that all power can’t be seen, I don’t know what is. One look at this icon’s big smile and the happy sunflower on his shirt and I could hear him singing: Take your time, think a lot – think of everything you’ve got and it just made me smile.



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This is not Cat Stevens, but it is an actual NASA recruit.



I know this sounds weird, but as I was shaking his hand and staring incoherently at this legend’s hypnotic white Papa Smurf beard, only one thought was in my head: would he think it’s as ironic and funny as I do if I told him how my sister once shit on a cat? I’m sure he gets those cat jokes and stories all the time and yes, she really shit on a cat! (LINK HERE TO CAT SHIT STORY) Actually, thank God my sister wasn’t with me when I saw him – she’d have been just as excited as I was, but I wouldn’t have been able to help myself from saying “Carlotta, please don’t shit on this cat too! Be careful Mr. Stevens – she has a bad habit of shitting on cats!” I feel bad saying that out loud because he’s such a zen little peanut that I really like, but it’s all I could think of. OK, maybe there is something wrong with me after all. I share this story with you not to humble brag and say that I met Cat Stevens and you didn’t (although technically, I did and you didn’t!) it’s to serve as a cautionary tale for my sister because you really can’t just go around shitting on cats anymore. I mean she didn’t shit on Cat Stevens; she shit on an actual, meow meow kitty cat – and ironically enough, the cat was named Pretty. My sister is going to read this and say “come on – it only happened one time” as if that makes it OK, but I just want the record to show that I warned him. He did sing “Oh Baby, It’s a wild world” but I don’t think that’s exactly what he meant…


Lyrics 2


Newsflash: I still hate birds!!!

Bird 5

This is when that nasty bird was starting to whisper sweet nothings in my ear. Notice how calm and polite my brother’s bird is…He’s like Doctor Doolittle over there!

In case you didn’t know, I really freaking hate birds. If you’re a disciple of my Imodium Abusing cult, this isn’t news to you. If it is new, take a look at these examples of how the bird world has been systematically banding together in a worldwide avian conspiracy to torment me. This might sound paranoid if only one or two birds had come after me and tormented me, but it’s gotten to the point where I’m not even safe leaving the house.


bird attack


We go to Ocean City every Summer and while we were riding a surrey on the boardwalk, lo and behold – I’m under siege! I apparently can’t go a day without a filthy seagull dive bombing to try to make out with me or grab my pretzel; either way, no means no! Fast forward to my brother walking by what he thought were pretty birds and guess who wants to take a picture with them?




Bird 2

Notice how supportive my brother is…

He thought it would make a great keepsake to have a photo with these allegedly “nice” birds as opposed to a surfboard key chain or hermit crab like all the other tourists were getting. I was against it for obvious reasons, but was forced to relent to peer pressure from my kids. I didn’t want them to realize just how ridiculous I really am yet, and I tried to be a big sport figuring it would be over fast. I stepped up with caution and wished I could fast forward through it, but of course, I got the twenty-two year old cranky bird while my brother (AKA Doctor Doolittle) got the two-year old friendly bird.


Bird 1

From behind, it looks like Bernie Sanders found a new hobby taking photos with real birds instead of dealing with the crazy birds in DC!

The wrangler placed that gigantic bird on my arm and it proceeded to wrap his sharp talons around my wrist like a handcuff and then moved his head and beak so he could look me right in the eye; showing me who was boss. I was like “No fucking way Dude, get him off me” and almost threw that heavy bastard, so the wrangler thought it a better idea to mount him on my shoulder for everyone’s comfort. That would have been fine had the bird not immediately tried to bite off the tip of my tasty little ear like Mike Tyson. He was fresh and the wrangler was actually flicking his beak to get him to behave as if that wouldn’t piss him off more. He was like Chatty Cathy talking to the bird to get him to cooperate and I was like “Let’s take the God Damn picture and get it off me Dude.”


no birds


Of course my brother had the perfect bird that was like a statue – the guy should have just zoomed in and snapped it of them. This is the final shot – the only “good one” he could salvage out of all the shots he took. He actually got a kick out of my torment while my brother laughed hysterical and had my wife show him the pictures she took to laugh at.


photo final

This is the final version the wrangler took – A) Look at that bird’s grip on my shoulder – he’s not messing around! Those are clenched claws! I also was clenching in this photo, just not my claws…B) Look at my bug-eyes. I look like Joe Gatto from Impractical Jokers C) Why is his bird so calm and mine’s a lunatic?

While we were in a gift shop the next day, my kids saw some bird stuffed animals and said look – this looks like the one that tried to bite your face off and laughed hysterically as if it wasn’t a traumatic experience for me. hen they put the bird on their shoulder to do a play-by-play and reenact the whole thing and then made me do it. If my brother ever gets any more bird-brained ideas like this, I’m just gonna walk away next time before the kids can sway me. Never again folks, never again.



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My kids made me relive my trauma – anything for the kids!

If you haven’t read about the bird attacks I’ve been lucky enough to make my way out of, it’s worth the read. Out of the posts I’ve put up here, the bird attacks rank pretty high in terms of searches. Random right? People search for bird attacks and find me as much as they search for mywifesmom.com, watching dirty movies with my wifes mom and rugby bulges. These crazy people are for the birds, but you gotta start somewhere…



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I met my Guardian Angel in Penn Station!!!

me and curtis one


Contrary to popular belief, I’m not a Spiritual Guru like Shri Shri Ravi Shankar or anything. I’m not looking to start an Imodium movement, but I just really believe that if you listen closely the universe will send you a message every now and then to make a dream come true. You just have to be open to it. I’m short, balding, and have been fat for most of my life so I’m not exactly what you’d immediately picture when you say someone is lucky but the universe sent me a sign and that kinda makes me pretty lucky indeed.


sri sri




I’m not quite sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but my sister is really crazy. There’s no sugar-coating it –crazy is crazy and she’s crazy! In the past, I‘ve shared some examples of her vigilante antics and differing mindset than pretty much all of the normal, functioning world. For instance, when she sees a drug deal going down, she instinctively hits the gas and grabs her bat! When I see something like that, I dive over the passenger seat into the back and hit the floor screaming like Shirley Maclaine in that hospital scene from Terms of Endearment! People are just different I guess.



For as long as I can remember, we’ve made fun of my sister because her actions made it seem like she was trying to start her own chapter of the Guardian Angels. She rocked that bat more than Negan on The Walking Dead, yet she was a good sport when we teased. Partly because she has a good sense of humor, partly because she seriously thought that her vigilante behavior was the appropriate response to the situations, and partly because, as I’ve said before but it bears repeating – she’s crazy!




Right before her birthday in December, I actually found a hat store in San Francisco that sells the exact red beret Curtis Sliwa – THE GUARDIAN ANGEL HIMSELF – wears! As you can imagine I got express shipping and it was the absolute best birthday gift she’s ever received! Flash forward a month down the line and I’m randomly walking in Penn Station when it was all of a sudden like slow motion in a movie: clear as day through the massive crowd of people, I looked over and saw CURTIS SLIWA walking right past me. CURTIS!!! CURTIS!!! I started screaming and ran over to catch up.


guardian angels


He stopped and looked at me like I was a lunatic and this is a man used to dealing with lunatics. I screamed “OH MY GOD – I love you! You’re not going to believe it but my sister is a vigilante too!” Cue his look of utter confusion, bewilderment, and I’m sure mild annoyance. Cue my incessant rambling on. (If only the Imodium AD could help with the verbal Diarrhea too!) I’m not sure if he actually thought that I was making fun of him or was just really crazy with the way I was carrying on, but the words were just pouring out of me like chili through a baby! “No joke, my sister really is – she’s crazy – LOOK! This is the picture of her daughter that she literally just sent me yesterday!!!” With that I showed him a picture of my niece that she had texted me the day before WEARING THE EXACT SAME RED BERET HE HAD ON HIS HEAD!!! He smiled and then his face had a hint of confusion and he looked like he thought at first I was making fun of him or about to present him with a long lost love child, but then I could see the exact moment of clarity when it all gelled for him – he knew at that exact moment that I was full-on crazy. I’m sure a lot of lunatics come up to him on the street and talk, but how many stop to show of pictures of their two year old niece on patrol rocking the exact same red beret as him?

avery beret


“Curtis, my sister is really crazy and helps people getting jumped and tried to stop drug deals with the bat in her trunk – she doesn’t go anywhere without that bat!” It wasn’t clear and concise, but I felt like if I had a chance to explain he’d really get a kick out of it, but I couldn’t build a coherent sentence to save my life. “She’s really your biggest fan and I got her that beret for her birthday!!!” I wouldn’t say he was flattered with the intel I was delivering and it might have been my over excitement or the fact that I was unfolding my crazy family legacy to a stranger in Penn Station as if this was at all normal. Then it hit me so I had to ask: “Will you FaceTime with my sister? I can call her right now. She’ll die!” “No” he replied and I can’t say that I blame him although he could have taken a second to think it over. Can you imagine if she answered the face time wearing that beret? He would have plotzed! “Curtis, please take a picture with me – I’m serious, she’s going to freak out when she hears that I met you and when she sees this picture – she’s gonna die!” Cue the selfie and just like that he went on his way back to patrol and make us all just a little safer. I stood there smiling ear to ear, mumbling to myself like a mental patient about how awesome that just was.


girl with bat


Of course, not two seconds after he was out of sight, I call my sister screaming! I wanted to text her the picture but waited so that I could hear her reaction live – which was awesome! She was hysterical and couldn’t believe it – although she did say she would have killed me if he actually FaceTimed with her. When I told my wife, her response was surprisingly less subdued: “Get back to work before you get fired! What the hell are you doing in Penn Station?” “Honey, I’m making dreams come true is what I’m doing…” There I was, literally having an out of body experience and all she could ask is why I’m bothering strangers. That and she was curious as to how I even recognized him on the street, as if he’s just an average Joe. I was like “Honey, let’s break it down: even if you live a very sheltered life and happen to not know what he looks like – he literally wears a red beret and jacket that says Guardian Angels – Helen Keller could identify him in a lineup!” She wasn’t as excited for me as I felt a supportive spouse should be and she didn’t want to encourage any more of my nonsense so I did the only appropriate thing you can do in a situation like that: I called my sister back. Even though she’s a lunatic, she could at least appreciate the significance of the moment!


me and curtis two


When I tell people these things about my sister, there are usually two reactions to it: A) people think there’s really something wrong with her and then feel bad for laughing. She’s crazy, but it’s not like a diagnosed on the meds kind of crazy so it’s OK to laugh at her. The other reaction is that they think I’m exaggerating…UNTIL THEY MEET HER. Don’t make me go hidden camera on her or Facebook Live with her so you can see the cray cray at a safe distance. I’d like to say that she has calmed down and that through the wisdom of age, my sister has settled into a sense of normalcy, but that would be ignoring the aforementioned bat that we moved out of the way to load her groceries into the trunk last weekend! Just like the big wheels that keep on turnin’ – Proud Marlene keeps on burnin!



As a side note to this, I can understand what you’re thinking after hearing about this: why is she keeping the bat all the way back in the trunk? In a street fight, who has time to pop the trunk, run to the back of the car, and then retrieve the bat? Rookie mistake if you ask Curtis. Just for practical purposes, she should keep it in the back seat or have my niece hold it in her car seat on the off chance there’s a drive by and she needs to jump in.



Most people don’t realize this, but my sister was Lemonadin’ way before Bae!



So what is the lesson we learn here folks? Obviously, never get in the car with my sister unless you’re wearing Kevlar, but also – take your Imodium every day and Dream Big! This wasn’t me winning the Powerball Jackpot or my hair growing back kind of dream – but it was still pretty damn awesome!

Think you have bad luck? My brother got ran over TWICE by the same car!



unlucky meme

With St. Patrick’s Day last week, I was thinking about sharing some stories about my lucky shamrocks, but as I was writing, I couldn’t help but think of my brother. Forget about Luck of the Irish, if it weren’t for bad luck, my brother Joey wouldn’t have any at all. Here’s a perfect example to illustrate just how unlucky he is – picture it: Merit Gas Station: Long Island: September 2000.

die peacefully

My brother pulled into the gas station one man and left in tattered pieces. Nowadays, you can pay at the pump, but for anyone of the young’uns that might be reading this – back in 2000 it was down-right prehistoric: you won’t believe it, but we had to actually walk from your car to the attendant’s booth, prepay for your gas and then walk all the way back to your car to fill it up. Simple enough for most people, but not for my brother, not that day. Joey put the pump in the gas tank, headed over to prepay, paid for his gas, and headed back over to pump it. All normal and the same thing he had done hundreds and hundreds of times when – BOOM he’s suddenly a hood ornament!


hit with car


Out of nowhere, an old man rammed into Joey, knocking him to the ground, and proceeded to drive over him like he was gas station roadkill. Seriously, he was a Merritt Muskrat flattened like a pancake! Picture a possum on I95 wriggling under the front tires trying to break free before he’s crushed to bits – that was my brother there on the pavement. As he was screaming in agony and trying to figure out what the hell was going on, the old man realized that he hit something, stopped the car, and threw it in reverse. HE THREW THE EFFING CAR IN REVERSE AND THEN PROCEEDED TO HIT HIM AGAIN!  HE RAN HIM OVER TWICE! JOEY GOT HIT BY THE SAME CAR TWICE!!!


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My brother was in pain the first go around, but the shock of the car re-running him over set him over the edge. Screaming for help, the other customers could only watch in horror until that pimped out old Caddy finally came to a resting halt. One would think that people watching this unfold or the Police on the scene might rush over to my brother to assist and try and see if this real life crash test dummy was still alive, but they instead ran to the old man, who was clutching his chest. At this point he was outside the car on the ground next to Joey because after stopping the car, he got out, took one look at my brother, turned white as a ghost, shrugged his shoulders as if to say “Shit happens” and then his feet came out from underneath him and he hit the pavement.

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As the police and emergency personnel were tending to the old man, my brother was screaming “What the fuck? He ran me over twice and you’re helping him? Someone pump my gas or get my fucking money back from that attendant!” It fell on deaf ears though, as the police were trying to get the old man’s information. He directed them to his dashboard – he had flash cards with his name, address, and directions back to his house. Apparently, he had suffered a stroke almost four months to the day of the accident and wasn’t supposed to be driving. Of course, they felt the old man was in critical condition and immediately got him out of there in an ambulance and then asked my brother if he wanted an ambulance as well. Who stops to ask the person that got ran over twice if they’d like an ambulance? If ever there was a clear cut need for an ambulance, I’m pretty sure that was it.  


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It’s like every time he gets gas, that Elvis song “Steamroller Blues” plays in the background like his very own theme song: “I’m a steamroller baby, I’m ‘bout to roll all over you…” I’d like to say that my brother is now safely crossing on the green and not in between, but when we recently followed him to my sister’s house, he pulled over to get out and switch drivers right on the highway and his wife said “Why in the world would he get out of the car on a highway instead of pulling into a parking lot? Wasn’t getting run over twice enough?” Apparently, you can take the boy out of the gas station, but you can’t take the gas station out of the boy!

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This has nothing to do with my brother or him getting hit by the car TWICE, but there’s always room for Jimmy McMillan!


Apparently, the first sense you lose once you get struck by a car is your sense of humor – and it’s still on the fritz because almost 17 years later, he still doesn’t think it’s funny. In hindsight, he really did get seriously hurt: he had his shoulder operated on, broke two toes and messed up his knee pretty bad. I only make light of this happening because it didn’t happen to me and it’s been years since it happened so it’s OK to laugh about it now. Granted we laughed back then too, but that’s not the point. We live and we learn and since then he looks both ways twice before crossing just in case…





This is something very different for me: I’m actually going to share some real feelings. No hidden subtext or punch lines and sarcastic innuendos, just some feelings. I never share anything personal and I have lived most of my life running away from and not allowing myself to feel when it gets overwhelming. I’ve hidden my way through so much loss – sometimes with alcohol, sometimes with drugs, sometimes by hiding out in a casino or a movie theatre – but today I feel like I don’t have anywhere to hide. My dear friend MariaElaina died two days ago and I just can’t process it.



MariaElaina and I at the Prom (we’re the couple that’s at least foot shorter than everyone else)



To call her a friend doesn’t seem like enough. I’ve known her my whole life and we’ve been through everything in the past thirty years. We’ve had so many amazing times and laughed our asses off during so many great days as much as we’ve fought and been down crying through so many bad ones. She cried with me when my mother died and I held her when her little sister Laura died. I felt like my mother died all over again when her mother died and she was there for me when my grandmother died. I was there when she lost both of her grandparents and I was standing next to her when she got married. She was with me when I sideswiped two cars with my father’s car when we were trying to “borrow” alcohol from her sister Annie. I was there for sauce every Sunday with her family where we all watched as her father stood watch like a sniper pretending to shoot their neighbor’s dog that never stopped barking. She was my partner in crime through so many adventures and so much of our lives have been intertwined that it’s just not enough to say she was just a friend…



We didn’t see each other all the time as life and miles have gotten in the way, but we were always like a movie on pause and the feelings have never gone away. Whenever we’re together, it’s like a moment hasn’t passed and we never miss a beat. I’ve been drowning in memories since I heard and thought the best way to honor her might be to share her with you.


In my life, I’ve heard a lot of people laugh, but no one laughs like MariaElaina. That’s what I’m thinking of now and what I’ll always remember – her hysterical, contagious, gut-busting laughter. Everyone will remember her in different ways, but for me – it’s her laugh. We were attached like two dim bulbs in a lamp and we’d go everywhere together. We used to skip school, grab a box of Entemann’s cookies, and sit on the curb in a random parking lot for hours just talking and laughing about nonsense. What wonderful nonsense it was though – it really is true that you never know during any given moment what will become a memory someday. We would make up stupid songs, shoot silly videos in her kitchen, and tease her younger sister Laura whenever a celebrity died. In my life up to and including today, I have never seen someone cry as hard as Laura did when Lillian Gish died in 1993. When John Candy died, I could understand when she threw the phone down bursting into tears, but Lillian Gish was 99 and Laura didn’t even know who she was.



Random images keep flooding back – when it was a rain storm and MariaElaina and her mom dressed me head to toe in garbage bags so that I could still ride my bike home. Who could have known that the loose bags hanging down would get caught in the bike’s chain and throw me from the bike two blocks away? When we were playing Indiana Jones on her father’s flimsy home-made car lift in the backyard that collapsed almost on top of us the second we tried to rappel down the rope. The two of us getting yelled at on the overnight bus to Atlantic City by all the people sitting around us because we were laughing and fooling around and everyone around us just wanted to sleep. When we got yelled at in the movie theatre seeing Dumb and Dumber because we couldn’t stop laughing…When we went to a sleazy bar in a ghetto neighborhood that had about four patrons in it and the whole front was boarded up with wood. We had no idea that there was a drive-by shooting just a few hours before; of course no one would hang out there – it was practically still a crime scene! Common sense was never our strong suit. When her Grandfather used to steal things from the senior center and hide them under his cowboy hat or under his shirt.



We used to go and visit with an old lady named Mary and play cards. Old Lady Mary wasn’t your typical sweet grandmother type – she was crazy, used to feed us expired food and she used to cheat then steal Maria’s change when we played cards. Maria used to sneak and turn on her Air Conditioning because her house was always hot like an oven and I used to dance around in Mary’s ratty old underwear that being a child of the Depression, she saved and dusted with when they could no longer be worn. We were always doing crazy things to make each other laugh and Old Lady Mary was always a willing participant.



The way MariaElaina used to food shop was ridiculous. She would write a list and then she had to go in order item by item as listed and put things in the wagon one at a time checking them off as she went. I’m OCD and no one to throw stones, but she would walk past things three or four times until she got to it on the list. One time in Shop Rite I tried to put a can of Maxwell House coffee in the wagon and she freaked out and ran away because it was down about five spots on the list from where she was. She literally grabbed the wagon and ran away from me so I did what any sane person would do in that situation: I threw the Maxwell House coffee can like I was the Eli Manning but missed her shopping cart by a mile and took out about thirty glass jelly jars covering her and the wagon. We both laughed like idiots forever after that one…You couldn’t take us anywhere.



Here’s something I wrote about the two of us that was typical of the shenanigans we used to get into.


Air Raid Post!!!


I just reread it and it’s like I can see it all over and can see the two of us laughing our asses off…We were like Dumb and Dumber except Maria had the higher Aquanet hair! It’s not the best thing written, but it has a comment that she wrote when I posted it which I’d forgotten about until today. It caught me off guard and made me smile because it was like I could hear her voice again…


Here comes the part where I ask you for your help. MariaElaina didn’t have life insurance and her sister Annie is an amazing single mother having a really hard time financially. She’s going through so much right now and they just lost their father a couple of months ago. There’s a Go Fund Me page set up https://www.gofundme.com/sah39q44 to cover her funeral expenses and anything you can contribute would help her family immensely. People always wants to help make a difference to someone’s life and here’s a way to really make a difference to someone so desperately in need. The cost of your latte could do so much – please consider helping them out; any amount is significant.


Go Fund Me for MariaElaina


MariaElaina is a one of a kind woman and has been a pillar in my life. She’s had sickness, pain, and rivers of tears, but what she’s had more than anything throughout her life is laughter and love. She never gave up fighting and was always finding the humor and the laughter through it all. She lived for her family and friends and brought so much love and happiness to so many people. Bitterness never took over even though she was in and out of the hospital constantly and although MariaElaina isn’t leaving behind a legacy of riches and fame – she’s leaving a legacy of love and laughter – so much laughter!


I am lucky to have so many wonderful memories of her and until I see you again my friend…

Sister, please tell me about the Baby Jesus…

Pretty the Kitty sends her holiday wishes to everyone!

Pretty the Kitty sends her holiday wishes to everyone!


For the past week, I’ve been talking about my sister and it feels just a little bit wrong in a way. Not wrong because I wrote nutty things about a crazy person, but wrong because I held back and like Vanessa Williams: Went and saved the best for last. When talking about my itty-bitty, cray-cray sister and celebrating her Birthday Week, there is no more accurate portrayal of her in anything I’ve ever written than the famous Baby Jesus post! It would almost be irresponsible and selfish of me not to share it with you!


You think I'm Crazy...


Once again, she was causing bedlam in the bathroom and although this was one of the few times that no cats or walls were shit on, it also outlines her stint as a local vigilante worthy of the Master himself: Guardian Angel Curtis Sliwa! That’s not even to mention the time we were driving in the back of a parking lot one night and came upon a drug deal and she started holding the horn down, flashing her brights, and shouting out the window! I did what any real man does in that situation – I dove into the back seat and ducked for cover on the floor screaming like a little girl. Curtis, put her on patrol man, she’ll clean up the streets in no time.




I was in Home Depot last week and saw a nativity set that I almost bought to revisit Kim for a reenactment, but didn’t because my sister is pretty sure she’d press charges this time. Either way click here for  The Famous Baby Jesus Story and hear a most amazing tale about me, my sister, and the absolute true meaning of Christmas!


The Famous Baby Jesus Story







Continuing with my December kickoff tribute to my sister’s Birthday, I wanted to wish her a year ahead full of many wishes coming true including never again evacuating her bowels on a cat! Yes, Happy Birthday Carlotta, my sister is the one that shit on a cat! Read the original The pretty kitty got all shitty before you go any further:


The Pretty Kitty Got All Shitty


I originally wrote this post about my sister shitting on a cat and thought it was really funny but I showed no regard for a certain special someone’s feelings and for that, I was wrong. I want to go back now and give her a chance to clear the air, so to speak, and after all this time to finally be able to tell her side of the story. This is a first for me, but without any edits or interference at all – I present you with a very special guest post written by none other than Pretty the Kitty. I try never to get into any he said/she said battles and I’m not taking sides, but a feline with a grudge after she was covered in sludge should not be ignored.


(I transcribed the following as Pretty dictated to me. Come on, she’s a cat – did you really think she could type?)


It was a regular day and I was just chillaxing by my litter box when I heard a huge commotion in the next room. I had no idea why there was screaming and banging, but I jumped onto the toilet to have a better look when all of a sudden, I was abruptly thrown off my seat. Who does that? I jumped right back up determined to stand my ground when this crazy girl just started screaming and then shot off like a firework display worthy of July Fourth.




It was as if a confetti cannon went off in the room – all of a sudden she was like the Black Eyed Peas with that BOOM! BOOM! POW!  I was just so terrified for my life with the sheer amount of explosions going on in there and the liquid shrapnel pelting every part of my body. It was relentless like Hurricane Katrina when the levees broke; it just wouldn’t stop. All I kept thinking was, “Why doesn’t she have to use the litter box too? That doesn’t seem very fair, now does it?” I’ll have you know that I’m a Vietnam “PET“eran but even I I haven’t seen incoming like that since the Viet Cong unloaded during the TET Offensive!


One minute I was just minding my business like I always do and in the next, I get screamed at, physically assaulted, and dumped on by a literal dump truck! And then she yelled “PRETTY NOOOOO” as if I were doing something wrong. Hey Girlie – you did me dirty – not the other way around! Whoa Nelly did she pound me though! 



In all fairness, she did offer to clean me, but how could a shower make up for a chocolate prom scene reenactment from the movie Carrie? You think a cat like me wakes up and looks this fluffy and inviting by accident? I’ve been licking this left paw all afternoon to get that gentle curl you see here. And you know what else Bitch? How about a hot iron and some straight pins – You ever see a pussy look this good just using just a comb? I don’t think so!




So there you have it folks, two different sides and two different versions, but one thing we can all agree on: That’s a cat that won’t get shit faced and just let it go! Also, I don’t see her wishing my sister a Happy Birthday anytime soon either, but here’s another one from me: Happy Birthday Cray Cray!!!”




I'll take it medium-rare!

Just released: The newest George Foreman Grill!


I know this is going to sound crazy, but what’s the deal with guys and their barbecues? I get it that it’s summer and people like to eat off the grill but come on…I’m all for food on the grill once in a while, but some people think summer means grilling every single day. Good lord people – moderation. I hate the summer heat as it is so the absolute last thing I wanna do when I’m that hot is to be near an open flame. Hello – that makes no sense at all.





I’d like to pause and set the record straight here before we go any further: I don’t have unnatural fears and phobias that are made up. These things come from something that has happened to you; PTSD if you will for OCD peeps like me. For example, I check the oven to make sure it’s been turned off multiple times during the day. I don’t do this because I’m crazy and irrational, I do this because my wife has left the oven on so many times and I don’t want the house to explode. When I see her mom leave the burner on the stovetop turned on after she uses it – that confirms that good looks aren’t the only thing that run in that family…Another example, I don’t eat outside or with my hands because I’m not a squirrel…Practical reasons people, such as why I won’t get close to the barbecue anymore. This is the reason I won’t barbecue anymore.



bbq gun



It was a few weeks after my oldest son was born and my wife was holding him while I went onto the deck to throw some burgers on the grill. I turned on the propane and pressed the ignition switch but nothing happened. I could smell the gas so I knew that the propane tank was open, but there was no flame in the barbecue. I looked at her with a mixed expression of half annoyance and half just-plain-dumb as to what to do. She told me to light a match and the ignition would catch. My spidey senses should have been tingling at this point, but the new-baby euphoria/tiredness had me all out of whack. I went in to the kitchen to find the matches and light this mother up cause we were hungry.






Neither one of us smokes, so we never have matches. It took me about five minutes to find some matches that we had been given as a favor from a wedding and I finally went back out to get this party started.



Is this a barbecue or a foosball table?

Is this a barbecue or a foosball table?



When I got back to the grill, my wife was talking to me through the screen while holding our son and I lit the match to start the barbecue. As the match ignited, all of a sudden a huge fireball erupted and flew from the match, across the barbecue, up my crotch, up my shirt and then up the hedges and up the side of the house. Once I heard the WHOOSH of the fireball, I did what every brave, manly-man does and proceeded to scream like a little girl with a lost puppy and turned to my wife for assistance of any kind and what did she do? She slammed the sliding glass doors leading into the house. At this point I was facing the glass of the sliders shouting every curseword I know when I happened to hear the laughing crowd of people behind me. All of the people outside on their decks were hysterical at how I was screaming and carrying on over the fireball. Not one of them asked if I was OK, but in case they were wondering some leg hair got singed, my eyebrows got an unexpected trim, my nose hair was all but gone and my Imodium was certainly put to the test, but no serious burns. Unless you count the humiliating pain from their laughter as I tried to turn the propane off.


bbq fireball 2


When my wife finally unlocked the sliders, I went inside to get a beer, change my underwear, and to ask why she’d close the door when I was almost shish-kabobbed on the deck. I was one second away from throwing myself over the railing and into the hedges to stop, drop, and roll before she finally let me in. Full disclosure, my only experience in this area is what I’ve learned watching Chicago Fire, but normally people offer assistance in some form of another or they call 911; they usually don’t lock the burn victim outside. Her thinking was to protect the baby, but my thinking was that once the door was shut the locking part doesn’t offer any additional protection to the person not getting hit with a fireball…



chicago fire



To be continued next time as this has just reminded me of another fire-safety themed episode/cautionary tale of two different occasions when I slept through a fire! Actually, maybe it should be an investigation of my wife because who’s around this many fires when I’m ALWAYS inside directly in harm’s way while she’s awake and safely in the street waiting for the authorities? No one would blame her but she’s either very lucky, got a severe firemen fetish, or is actually an arsonist…hmmmm…



bbq fireball

Talk about a crappy party!

 happy birthday

I know it might sound mean to say that my niece’s first birthday party was shitty – but please understand that I’m being literal here, not figurative! I love that little tiny pickle for all she’s worth, but mark my words here – her first birthday celebration will cause the creation of at least a couple Immodiumabuser-like blogs in the years to come. The incidents that transpired last weekend will be recounted on multiple therapy couches for decades to come.


The on-and-off rain should have been a foreboding warning of things to come at the party, but who knew the worst part of the day wouldn’t be the shutting down of the jumping castle? Who could have guessed that my wife entering the jumping castle and then proceeding to slip and fall wouldn’t be the highlight of this post? Certainly not me or those four kids she wiped out as she flew back down the ladder and wiped them out like a tsunami through a small village. Granted the castle was slippery from the rain, but it sure as hell was funny to see her take those kids out and I don’t mean to the ball game. Don’t worry, the kids were ok – save for some slight bruising…

shart week

As a general rule, infants and really young kids can’t help their digestive system and aren’t yet in control of their bowels, so they’re exempt from judgment.  Sure they stink and no one wants to be around them, but even I don’t hold it against them. On the other hand, older kids who are like seven or eight should be able to recognize that all-too-familiar gurgle in the pit of your stomach that tells you not to make any sudden movements. One faulty sneeze can mean the difference between new shorts and new friends…


I don’t know many things for certain, but one thing I know for sure when I see it is a crop duster. One young party lass has been taught the art form very early, but she hasn’t quite mastered the stealth part of it yet…It started innocently enough with a little circling in the den but that game turned dangerous very quickly…Without giving a blow by blow, she couldn’t hold in her excitement for the party any longer and turned the powder room into a literal shit storm.

 flight attendant

Everyone knows that I’m an Imodium vending machine always willing to share my stash with anyone in need. Imodium is the great equalizer and I am always stocked to the brim. After the events of this past weekend, I am starting to realize that I need to make an announcement whenever I enter a party, sort of like a flight attendant, advising the correct course of action for anyone in gastric distress. I actually think a better solution for the future generations is to add this site and it’s teachings to grade school curriculums nationwide so that our children know what to do in an emergency. Forget Stop, Drop and Roll! Knowing when to say when you need Imodium is way more essential than the fire drill line up routine and three times as likely to be necessary than any fire drill they’ll ever go through.

 hand towels

You think your disgusted hearing about this, imagine how her mother felt – she had to clean up that kid, clean up that bathroom and then do the walk of shame out the front door with the clothing and bathroom contents in a hazmat bag. And the girl that exploded was like seven or eight years old – that’s some adult sized shit right there. That is not a toddler quick swipe and your done – that’s a huge mess on aisle two that might need reinforcements and a bottle of Lysol. Who says “I’ll wash the hand towels and bathmat and return them?” about the bathroom linens their child just destroyed? It was nice to offer, but if ever there was a clear sign that you need a new bathroom floor mat – that was it! And really, how much could hand towels cost? For all that is holy, throw them out and get new ones! There is not enough Tide in the store to wash that out…And do you think I’m ever going to use the linens in that house again? How will I know if these are the tainted ones? You can tell me that you washed them ten or twenty times, but come on. No way Jose!     

no way jose

Forget the birthday girl; the only real winner in this weekend’s lottery was the plumbing in the walls by dodging that bullet! Roto Rooter would have definitely been paying a visit to their house if that malotav cocktail made its way through those pipes and not splashed across the floor and the walls!

martha stewart

I’m wondering what Martha Stewart would advise you to write on the thank you card for the family that brought a child that exploded in your bathroom? Do you even still send a thank you note? I mean, no one is glad that little bitch showed up and does it matter what gift she gave? There is no gift that you can open that would make up for the “special” memories that little girl created at the party.

The Help is making me yelp: I’m a hurtin’ cause she cut my curtain and now the water is squirtin!

thehelp change poster

I’m sure you can relate when I say that it’s hard to get good help these days. I know that might sound a little bit pretentious, but I’m having some issues with my housekeeper. I’m not to the manor born and living la vida loca all up in here, but we make sacrifices so that we can have the important things in life…If times get tough and we need to cut back – we won’t get the kids diapers or I won’t let my pregnant wife eat expensive organic food or any of those other wasteful splurges – I’ll make her get cheap store brand hot dogs or chips and soda so that we can direct our resources where it’s important – to the housekeeper. Just kidding guys, she doesn’t drink soda.


This is a portion of my wife's supplyof cloth diapers for the kids and I'M THE HOARDER???

This is a portion of my wife’s supply of cloth diapers for the kids and I’M THE HOARDER???

Any guesses on what this picture below is? No? It’s the shower curtain from my bathroom which is randomly missing a huge clump! How in the world does this happen? I saw The Help and this wouldn’t have happened if Abelene was here. Minnie, maybe, but not Abelene! Now let me explain how I works in our house. There are three bathrooms and for everyone’s sanity and safety, I have my own, my wife and kids share one and everyone else uses the third one. Not a stray ass ever touches my toilet or enters my shower, so imagine my surprise when something is amiss there.

Shower Curtain 2

Of course, I was worked up and in a tizzy, but you wanna guess what my wife’s response to this was? “Are you sure it wasn’t like that? How do you really know she did it” as if I just didn’t happen to notice that I have been missing half of the god damn shower curtain! It’s not as if they sell shower curtains with a bite taken out of them in the store or I that have showered three times a day with this French door of shower curtain and never happened to notice the water gushing out onto the bathroom floor…Even without my contacts when I can’t see a thing, I’d still notice that.





I love our housekeeper to death. She is a cute little pickle, but sometimes even a cute little pickle tastes sour… One day she randomly told me that her son’s “pee pee was coming out black.” Take that in and remember who is writing this. A) how dos that come up in random conversation and b) I wouldn’t tell that to my sister, nonetheless the person paying me. I, of course, wasn’t mature enough to handle and told her to forget about cleaning the house and get that kid to a doctor right immediately. She said he was OK to wait til later on, but that’s not fair to that poor kid and that’s really not fair to my poor couch that he was sitting on either…Of course, when I told my wife, she asked if I was sure that’s what she meant as if there were some hidden subtext I might not have deciphered from the message. His pee pee was coming out black – pretty straight forward Honey! “Why would she tell you something so personal? I guess she feels comfortable with you…” She said that to me as if I asked the housekeeper to confide something like that in me (of all people); I never want anyone to feel that comfortable with me! It was similar to the time a guy at work that I don’t really know at all felt compelled to share a traumatic story of almost having his testicles ripped off his body in a random toilet seat accident. Apparently, he had to “use the facilities” in his hotel room and the toilet seat wasn’t attached so he slid right off the bowl and you can guess the rest of this story without me getting graphic or showing a visual aid…I never knew Holiday Inn’s could be that dangerous.

why the fuck

Exactly honey; It’s not personal, it’s disgusting and why would anyone tell me something like that? What could I have possibly done that would ever make someone feel that comfortable with me? Everything turned out OK with her son and my coworkers sack and I never mentioned it again to either of them for obvious reasons. I also never sat on that couch again for obvious reasons. It’s not that I didn’t bring it up again because I’m not a considerate person, but because I never want anyone to ever talk to me about something like that again!




I’m making out that she’s not a really nice person and that isn’t the case at all. She is such a sweet and wonderful woman and she’s been working with us for almost ten years. The unfortunate part of developing a nice relationship with her is the gifting aspect of it. We give her money for the holidays because we really like her and we want to take care of her. She unfortunately is the nicest person ever and likes to return the favor. Not with money or a free session, but with an actual, unwrap-what-I-bought present. One Christmas she gave us a brass napkin holder in the shape of a rooster. A rooster! You can’t even get brass like that anymore in most stores and something brass shaped like a rooster is even more rare. Forget holding the napkins – I wish I was carrying that thing when I got jumped by those three street thugs on Wellwood Avenue all those years ago and I wouldn’t have gotten such an ass-kicking. These types of weapons should be used by people walking alone in dark alleys because if you hit someone with it – there’s no way they’re only getting a little cock a doodle bruise if you know what I mean! There’s some serious damage to be done with it. My dislike for it isn’t because I hate birds, it’s because I hate ugly shit in my house…We had that stupid thing in the house for a long time before my wife finally let me throw it away because she was afraid of offending her. Don’t offend her, but let’s have our friends that come over think we’re crazy gypsies with that crazy thing. At least I always felt secure that if there was a break in I could grab that first as it would do more damage than a handgun could. Believe it or not, we finally got rid of that crazy thing and she got us another one for Christmas that year. Seriously, not a brass one, but a replacement rooster napkin holder! I’m bringing it to the next wedding we go to and am giving that as my present! There is no way she’s shopping at a store that has a third one…

This is the second napkin holder she got us...

This is the second napkin holder she got us…


So where does that leave me? Right, heading to the store for a new shower curtain and my wife not letting me ask her about it. There might be a logical reason for why you’d cut my shower curtain in half and not mention it, but for the life of me I can’t imagine what it is. And if anyone is looking for their very own brass rooster napkin holder I’m not allowed to ask where she got it, but, I did find a similar one listed on ebay so enjoy…

If you’re laughing at this, my wife probably isn’t – Part One

Reposting this tribute to the most amazing person I’ve ever known – my beautiful wife on her birthday. She’s crazysexycool like TLC and has great taste – I mean she chose me right? She’s the most supportive and considerate person I’ve ever met and she still rocks me like a hurricane all these years later! Happy Birthday Honey!


I know that it might seem hard to believe given some of the foolishness I have taken part in, but whenever I start to second-guess my mental stability I’m reminded of a very comforting thought: I may be off the wall, but my wife willingly chose this. Who’s really the nutty one, you might ask? She’s calm, cool, collected and most importantly, not crazy. While I’m way out there, she’s at the normal end of the spectrum and it gives us a nice balance.

My wife’s a High School Guidance Counselor and understands the inner workings of fragile minds – thus the attraction to me…At first thought, one would think that I was an independent study or possibly an internship for her Master’s Program. Hell, I’m so wacked out – she should have enough credits for her doctorate by now.

My OCD Rituals, superstitions, neurosis, positive energy crystal worshipping, endless…

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