Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Holding out for a home life

THIS is what it's all about. It's about rolling in the grass and getting licked in the face by your favorite dog. It's about playing pirate ship and figuring out where to hang the flag. It's about making her laugh while she eats her noodles, following him to play in his room and getting pulled in two directions by children who want you to spend time only with them. It's about having chocolate milk spilt on you and painting a picture together, readings stories at night and helping them take baths. It's about driving long distance in your car with all the windows down, hair blowing with the wind and blaring the music as loud as it can go... singing along and not caring that other people are watching. It's about receiving a hug that is the comfort and answer to everything wrong in life.

No matter how bad it seems, how hard it gets, how many pillars are down and how hope threatens to disappear... home is what makes it better and it is good to be here. It's good to feel the love from these kids and enjoy driving again. it's good to have the type of warm weather that only South Florida can have (not so much the humidity though... that doesn't make for good hair days). It's just good... and enjoying this trip will be pretty easy.

Cherish your home life kids... that's my lesson of the day. Hug, love, and laugh often!

Class dismissed.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's Tini Time!

*ring ring--ring ring* goes my cell phone at 8:30 at night. It's my brother... and at this time of night it can only mean one thing.

"hello?" I say.

"Hi Tini!" says the little voice on the other end of the line... filled with enthusiasm and radiating with the type of love that only a child can emanate.

"Hey baby!!! How are you?" I say, doing my best to match his level of excitement.

"Good. I'm gonna pick you up from the airport" which is really pronounced aiwpowt because with this particular child pronouncing R's always comes out as W's... and it just adds to the level of cuteness that he exudes.

"Really, Frankie. Are you gonna drive?"


"Well whose gonna drive the car then?"

"Daddy is!"... he says this to me as if I should've already known. Kind of like saying 'Duh, Tini'.

He continues... "So are you on the airplane?".

I'm laughing as I say "No, baby... Tini will be there Monday so that's 4 days from now"

"4 days?" he questions. Silence briefly consumes the conversation and I can tell he's mulling this over. Then with as much conviction as a 4 year old could possibly muster up he says "No! 2 days".

Laughter. "I'm sorry baby but it's definitely 4 days... but I promise we'll have so much fun when I get there"

More silence ensues which obviously means that Frankie is thinking very hard about what he can say next. Then with even more conviction (and cuteness) he responds "3 days!" ... hoping that we can make a compromise. This runs in the family. One of my brothers would always start off asking mom for more then 1 cookie... I believe the magic number was 5 but I may stand corrected on this. He'd work his way down to one, mom would give him the cookie and he'd spend the entire day walking around with it in his hand until the dog who had been following him all day finally (and most likely out of frustration of having to watch the cookie like a hawk all day) snatched it away from him. After fits of tears the process of cookie compromising would inevitably start once again. So it comes as no surprise to me that this little man spends time trying to get me to come home sooner than my trip is actually booked for.

The fact that he's so excited to see me completely melts my heart and fills every inch of me with utter happiness. It's amazing what the love of a child can bring into your life...

As this conversation goes on I can't help but think about how much I've really missed this little guy... and all my little guys back home (of course including our little princess). I'm so excited to see them it's sick. One might say, I'm too excited to sleep. Hence taking the time to write this out after midnight. So as of Monday I'll be homebound and happy as can be about it!

Hey Frankie... 3 days!!! :-)


Monday, September 6, 2010


And here's why...

So as most of you know my summer job has consisted of working in a restaurant/bar that's actually pretty upscale. Not crazy upscale like $100 per person but you can definitely spend a lot of money if you eat a full course meal plus drinks. (the views are also amazing). Anyway, I'm not going to sit here and act as if I'm the most amazing server in the business... I'm definitely not. BUT... I'm not bad at it... I'd venture to say that I'm pretty good. People have a good time with me... I make them laugh and help them feel welcomed and do my best not to desert them even if every one of my tables is full.

Now here's what gets me. When I do have full tables and I'm running around like a chicken that's head is lost because the bar tenders are behind in making my drinks or the kitchen is taking FOREVER to get the food out... it doesn't mean I've forgotten you... it means I'm doing everything in my power to get you whatever it is you ordered as fast as possible. So stop giving me stink eye!

The real reason I wanted to write this though is not because of the amount of stink eye I get from rich, spoiled wives of financial center men who have no control over their kids and make my job a living hell. No... that's not it at all. It's because of the lack of tipping that mostly comes from my friendly international visitors. I understand how horribly cliche and known this already is. "Internationals don't know how to tip" isn't exactly the newest idea of the century. However, given my circumstances in my summer position where I'm depending solely on the income of this job to pay my rent... it sheds a new light to how frustrated I get when I'm encountered with International people who give me a 5 dollar tip on a 95 dollar check, a 2 dollar tip on a 79 dollar check or a 6 dollar tip on a 60 dollar check (obviously that was the best one). For each of these tables the service was absolutely 20% tip worthy.

For those of you who didn't know... the word TIPS stands for To Insure Prompt Service of which you will always get at my restaurant. So foreigners... try and remember that TIPS in America means 15-20%... if you don't comply with these rules I can guarantee you you'll receive what I have newly dubbed SHITSS: Sneaky Hot-headed Italians Taking/Stealing your Shit.

Class dismissed. Bastardos.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Some things are just worth re-posting

Read this article in the Onion and had to laugh out loud! Enjoy!!! :-)


8.4 Million New Yorkers Suddenly Realize New York City A Horrible Place To Live
'We're Getting The Hell Out Of This Sewer,' Entire Populace Reports
SEPTEMBER 2, 2010 | ISSUE 46•35

NEW YORK—At 4:32 p.m. Tuesday, every single resident of New York City decided to evacuate the famed metropolis, having realizing it was nothing more than a massive, trash-ridden hellhole that slowly sucks the life out of every one of its inhabitants.

With audible murmurs of "This is no way to live," "What the hell am I doing here—I hate it here," and "Fuck this place. Fuck this horrible place," all 8.4 million citizens in each of the five boroughs packed up their belongings and told reporters they would rather blow their brains out with a shotgun than spend another waking moment in this festering cesspool of filth and scum and sadness.

By 5:15 p.m. there was gridlock traffic on the outbound sides of the Holland and Lincoln tunnels, and the area's three major airports were flooded with New Yorkers, all of whom said they wanted to go anyplace where the pressure of 20 million tons of concrete wasn't constantly suffocating them.

"I always had this perverted sense of pride because I was managing to scrape by here," said Brooklyn resident Andrew McQuade, who, after watching two subway rats gnawing on a third bloody rat carcass, finally determined that New York City was a giant sprawling cancer. "Well, fuck that. I don't need to pay $2,000 a month to share a doghouse-sized apartment with some random Craigslist dipshit to prove my worth. I want to live like a goddamn human being."

"You see this?" added McQuade, pointing at a real estate listing for a duplex in Hagerstown, MD. "Two bedrooms, two baths, a den—a fucking den—and a patio. Twelve hundred a month. That's total, not per person."

According to residents, the mass exodus was triggered by a number of normal, everyday New York City events. For Erin Caldwell of Manhattan, an endlessly honking car horn sent her over the edge, causing her to go into a blind rage and scream "shut up!" at the vehicle as loud as she could until her voice went hoarse; for Danny Tremba of Queens it was being cursed at for walking too slow; and for Paul Ogden, also of Queens, it was his overreaction to somebody walking too slow.

Other incidents that prompted citizens to pick up and leave included the sight of garbage bags stacked 5 feet high on the sidewalk; the realization that being alone among millions of anonymous people is actually quite horrifying; a blaring siren that droned on and fucking on; muddy, refuse-filled puddles that have inexplicably not dried in three years; the thought of growing into a person whose meanness and cynicism is cloaked in a kind of holier-than-thou brand of sarcasm that the rest of the world finds nauseating; and all the goddamn people.

In addition, 3 million New Yorkers reportedly left the city because they realized the phrase "Only in New York" is actually just a defense mechanism used to convince themselves that seeing a naked man take a shit on a park bench is somehow endearing, or part of some shared cultural experience.

"I was sitting on my stoop, drinking coffee, and out of nowhere this crazy-looking woman just starts screaming, 'I am inside all of you,' over and over," Bronx resident Sarah Perez, 37, said. "Then, we both had this moment where we looked at each other and realized, okay, we have to get out of here."

"This place sucks," Manhattan resident Woody Allen, 74, told reporters. "It just fucking sucks."

When fleeing New Yorkers were asked if they would miss the city's iconic landmarks, most responded that Central Park is just a pathetic excuse for experiencing actual nature, that the Brooklyn Bridge is great but it's just a fucking bridge, that nobody goes to the Met anyway, and that living in a dingy, grime-caked apartment while exhaust fumes from an idling truck seep through your bedroom window isn't worth slightly bigger bagels.

"This is no place to raise a kid, that's for sure," said 32-year-old Brandon Rushing, a lifelong New Yorker. "I grew up here and I turned into a giant asshole. Why would I want that for my son?"

"Plus, we're the place most likely to get nuked by a dirty bomb in a terrorist attack," he added. "So that's great. Also, it smells like shit here, and I'm not exaggerating. You'll just be walking around and it starts smelling like human shit, and it just fills your nostrils and you breathe in shit for like 20 seconds."

Before departing by private helicopter, Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke with members of the media to address the situation.

"You know what the greatest city in the world is?" Bloomberg asked reporters. "Scottsdale, Arizona. It's clean, it's not too big, it's got a couple streets with shops and restaurants, and the people there aren't fucking insane. This place is fucking insane. And by the way, that's not a reason to like it. Anyone who says that is a delusional dirtbag."

By Tuesday night, New York was completely abandoned. At press time, however, some 10 million Los Angeles–area residents, tired of their self-centered, laid-back culture and lack of four distinct seasons, and yearning for the hustle and bustle of East Coast life, had already begun repopulating the city.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Take Picture?

Alright. So... tonight after my work out I took my usual walk out to the peer to watch the water and contemplate life. As I'm starring at the water thinking of what was, what is, and what can be I was rudely interrupted by a couple clearly from a different country and a camera. "Take picture?".... "Yea" I say... when I'm really thinking "well now that you've shoved your camera in my hand do I really have an effing choice?"

Now here's the thing. When I see someone with headphones on and looking... thoughtful... that to me is code to leave them alone. And please please don't mistake me. I'm not complaining in the least about taking pictures for people. I actually volunteer to do it all the time and it's given me some memorable moments in the city. But this was on my terms. So to reiterate... I'm not complaining...I'm just... stating how I feel in a snarky way. :-)

Tourist... take a note. When you see people with headphones on, don't bother them. When you see people looking out at the water lost in their own world... leave them alone. If they want to take your picture... they'll offer. It's that simple. Also, when you choose to not take my advice and selfishly interrupt these individuals anyway ... the very least you could do is say please and thank you rather than shoving your camera into their hands and after the picture is taken grab it right back and walk away exchanging no niceties. Having to do something you don't want to do is bad enough... it's that much worse when rudeness is involved. Honestly, courtesy is everything... and not being nice about it kind of goes above and beyond the interruption. Appreciation is everything... regardless of whether or not I wanted to help you out. So next time, be aware, be nice and say thanks. All just suggestions... but good ones none the less.

Class dismissed.