Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baseball

"Did they have backsies back then?"

This was one of Robby's many questions while we're watching the long lost broadcast of the 1960 World Series Game 7.

Some of our conversation:

Robby: So that's Roberto Clemente? (I always call Robby "Roberto.")

Me: Yep.

Robby: Wow. (we watch for a few minutes) Dad - I asked Santa for a Clemente Jersey for Christmas. I really hope he brings me one.

Me: I'm sure he will. (getting online now to order)

He wouldn't stop with the questions. Everything from backsies to, "Is this game in New York or Pittsburgh?" to "Who are the Phillies four great pitchers now, Dad?" "Are they better than the Pirates from back then?" It is one of those slivers in time where you feel like you are above the room, just looking down at the conversation, and say to yourself, "Don't ever forget this."

Robby: Is Roberto still alive?

Me: No, buddy. He's not.

Robby: How did he die?

Me: Well... he was delivering food and clothing to poor people in Puerto Rico, where he grew up, and his plane crashed. He died while he was still playing baseball and it was really sad. He had exactly 3000 hits, which is kind of a big deal."

Robby: Oh... did the poor people get their food?

Me: I'm not sure, kiddo. I don't know if he was flying there or flying back but I'm sure that someone made sure that they got some food.

Robby: Well that's good. Making sure they got their food is a big deal, too, right?
At around this time Sammy came down from upstairs (Sammy who has just been to the Baseball Hall of Fame and is becoming a pretty big baseball fan) and Robby immediately says:

Robby: Sam - do you know how Roberto Clemente died?

Sammy: No.

Robby: He died in a plane crash giving food to the poor.

Sammy: (Not really caring) Really.

Robby: No - you don't understand Sam - it was reeeeally sad!
It was about this time that Sammy realized what was on TV. I need to disclose that - despite my best efforts - Sammy is a bigger Yankee fan than Pirates fan. I can't really blame him. The Pirates have sucked since I was slightly older than he is now (MOMENT OF REALIZATION...) Holy shit. I'm old. Holy shit. The Pirates have been horrible forever. Anyway - my only saving grace is that Sammy is a fan of the OLD Yankees - not the current Yankees. He could care less about A-Rod or Jeter - his heroes are Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle.

Bob Prince: Next up to the plate Roger Maris

Sammy: ROGER MARIS!?

Me: Yup - he was on the Yankees during this game. What's so special about Roger Maris, Sam?

Sammy: Ummm... he broke Babe Ruth's record, Dad. C'mon!

Bob Prince: (A few minutes later) Coming to the plate... Yogi Berra.

Sammy: This is AWESOME!
I'm a total dork, but Sammy is right - this is awesome!

It seems that baseball does get passed along from father to son and on and on down the line. Just before this broadcast I called my dad and asked him a few questions about the 1960 Buccos.

Spring training is only 2 1/2 months away.

"Hollywood" by Anna Morris

video

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Music-o-rama

Some of you may be aware that I kinda like listening to, and discovering, new musicians and their stuff. I used to do a podcast, but have fallen off of the wagon with that endeavor.

I'm going to link some pretty awesome sites below that you should check out if you are interested/bored/care.

1. The Sixty One - This is probably my favorite music site. I listen to this at work. There are quests and you can earn hearts and reputation points by completing the various quests (listening to specific types of music, etc.) You are then able to spend those hearts and points on artists you enjoy and make them more popular. It's quite a fun experiment. Check it out!

2. 8 Tracks - I have not created any play lists on this site, but I have found a bunch of great ones. I'm listening to this one right now called, "Stop Thinking." "Turn off your brain and let these ten tracks remove you from the real world for a little bit. You could use the break from life anyway." Surf around - find something you love!

3. Pandora - This is an old favorite that I just had to include. If you don't know about Pandora yet, you either live in a cave - or... well... you live in a cave.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Snowflakes" By Ella Morris

video

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dancing School... it's Enough to Bring you to Drinkin'


Ok - the girl's have dancing school every Saturday morning at 11:15am sharp. The dancing school is part of a shopping center that has, among other things, a Grocery Store, a CVS, and a Beer Distributor. Every week the parking lot is jammed full, I'm navigating a 12 passenger van, and I succumb to parking in the easiest spot - which is about 3 and 1/2 miles from the actual school. We've never been hit by a car while playing frogger to get to class - but it's been darn close.

Today was different. Today - I didn't feel like walking those 3 1/2 miles. Today - I also didn't feel like surfing around the lot until I found someone who was leaving. Today - I decided to take advantage of a small loophole that I've noticed every week but have failed to capitalize on... until now. (This was all being done for the children's safety I must add.) You see - the dancing school's neighbor is the beer distributor. The beer guys have, wisely, put a huge sign out in front of their establishment that says, "BEER PARKING ONLY!" Me, also being a wise individual, decided that I should take advantage of this loophole by parking in the spot, purchasing a case of the finest Belgian Christmas Ale (Rude Elves Reserve), and then walking the kids into the school. Sheer genius!

Mind you, this has increased the cost of the girl's dance tuition by approximately $40 per week, which is a bit of a problem financially, but it's important for the children's safety and continued enjoyment of the performing arts. A small price to pay.

I'm actively taking suggestions for next week's parking case.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Saturday Morning Donut Draft




The kids woke up this morning, fully prepared. They learned their draft position last night. They stayed up all night playing out all of the possible scenarios in their 6 and 8 year old brains. Anna and Ella even went to CVS and got a draft guide. Months of preparation came down to five lightning quick minutes and a two round snake draft at 8:30 am. This is not a keeper league.

The first pick was daddy's and I selected the illusive Boston Creme. Apparently - this was a bad pick and the ridicule from the kids, I expect, will last all season. (I do have to say the I got the French Krueller with the final pick of the draft and still think that my squad is the best in the league).

The next two donuts to go were the two "Red Icing with Green Spinkles Holiday Specials" (leave it to Ella and Anna to go with this season's trendy picks... so predictable.)

The glazed donut lasted way longer than it should have. James took it at the of top of the second round but the run on white sprinkles happened just where I expected.

All said a fun time was had by all and the rest of the morning was spent trash talking (with our mouths stuffed full, of course) and staring at the draft board, everyone thinking they have the best squad. The draft went as follows:

Round 1:
Daddy: Boston Creme
Ella: Holiday special
Anna: Holiday Special
Sammy: Chocolate frosted with white stripes
Robby: Boston Creme
James: Pink sprinkles

Round 2:
James: Glazed
Robby: White sprinkles
Sammy: White Sprinkles
Anna: Chocolate Glazed
Ella: Pink Sprinkles
Daddy: French Krueller

*The lack of jelly donuts in this year's draft was deliberate and also unfortunate.





- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Derwyn Rd,Drexel Hill,United States

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Worst E-mail A Parent Can Get


So I got that e-mail that all parents dread, today. That e-mail that you hope against hope that you never receive about YOUR son. It's the e-mail that you wish you could do something about but you just can't. Your hands are tied. The next 4 months of your life are ruined - at least the weekends. I got this e-mail (the names have been changed to protect the innocent):

Good evening,

My name is Steve, and I will be your son’s baseball coach in The Farm B Division. We are the Yankees. Our first practice will be Sunday afternoon at 1pm, at The Local Elementary School on Main Street. My home phone number is ***-***-****. You can also contact me via email: icantbelievemysonisontheyankees@bullshit.com. I have 4 small children, so please call before 8pm. You can email any time.

I look forward to working with your sons and meeting you. Have a great end of the week, and please let me know if you have any questions.

Best,

Steve

THE YANKEES?!?!?!?! REALLY? Ugh.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Front Window


It's official. I'm old.

You see - growing up, I used to love sitting at my grandparents kitchen table. The thing was smack up against a big bay window and you could just sit and stare outside all day long. We'd listen to Pirate games at that table, we'd sit there while Gram cooked us some lunch or loaded the dishwasher. The pitchers of beer kept being replenished by us kids and the adults would just sit at the table and shoot the shit while life happened outside. As an adult I recently sat there with Pap and smoked a cigar and listened to some jazz on the radio. (Even as a grown man, I still was the one who made the trip to the basement to fill up the pitcher. Some things never get old!)

This past weekend, I set up our dining room table to be up against our big front window. (I'm not sure that Geana is sold on the idea, but she's given me the leeway to try it.) I've spent hours here since then, just putzing around on line and staring out to the world. I find it really calming and enjoyable. Life seems to slow down as you hear the whir of the cars pass by and the occasional ambulance going to or from the hospital around the corner.

You may think that the picture above was staged, but it was not. This is how the kids left their toy outside and what I've gotten to look at all day. :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Vroooooom.


So we got a new car. We weren't prepared but we did it anyway. Kinda like when we had the quads - anyway...

We kept the van and traded in the Morris Taurus for a Honda Pilot. This vehicle does so much stuff that I think that it can probably tudor our kids. It's ridiculous.

More later this weekend about Sammy's show!

Monday, March 01, 2010

A Day in the Life - Videocast

Last weekend I took the opportunity to videotape our Saturday escapades... this is what we came up with! Enjoy... (you may have to be patient and watch a brief ad before our video starts).


Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Fun Lunch

Picture this... its a rainy day, it's cold outside, it's mid-January, and we've been cooped up in this freakin' house since November. To make matters worse, the Steelers didn't make the post season so watching the NFL Playoffs is depressing, too. The answer... Creative Activities!

Needless to say - the kids are starting to get stir crazy so, being on a cooking kick recently, I tried to find something fun that we could all make for lunch... together. This is what I came up with: Turkey and Ham sandwich wraps! Woo hoo!

This lunch was a total family effort. Step one is to put out all of the crap. We used some baby spinach, sliced turkey, sliced ham, flour tortillas, nickels (not pictured) and a cheese spread that was made with a 6.5 oz container of Alouette Light Garlic & Herb Cheese Spread and 1/2 cup of roasted red peppers - all chopped up - and then mixed together with the spread.


I gave each kid a little container of the cheese spread so that they could smear it on themselves. (Sammy used mayo because his sense of adventure isn't quite as profound as his brothers' and sisters'.) Here is Ella smearing away...

The first thing we did after smearing was to place a slice of ham on the tortilla. Robby took this part VERY seriously:

Next is the spinach... which is a tricky thing. It's only tricky because it's spinach... and, well, 5 & 7 year old kids tend to think they don't like spinach. My trick was bribery, but your choice of manipulation may be slightly different. I leave that to all of you, should you attempt this at home. A nickel was given out for each leaf that was placed on the sandwich. After placing the leaves, James took a quick break from cooking to calculate his earnings.
Next step is to put a slice of turkey on this badboy:

Then James asks the question, "Dad - can we put more spinach on?" My response - OF COURSE! So we put more spinach on there after the turkey (and now I'm broke).
We repeat the meat, spinach process until we have a nice sized stack - then it was time to wrap the whole thing up. I had to do this for each of the kiddos because it was kinda messy and they all were concerned with losing pieces of the wrap. I walked around the room, wrapped everyone's up, and then it was time to chow down!

Geana is out to lunch with one of her friends, so now we watch football all afternoon and take naps.

Yum

So I've decided to start cooking. To put this in perspective - I've never cooked a day in my life (with the exception of Kraft Mac & Cheese and the occasional ramen noodles and the like...) Anyway - some recent events have inspired me to start trying my hand at cooking and I'm having a blast doing it (it's only been one day, but still.) I'm not naive, It may last - but it probably won't. I'm sure that I'll get sick of it in a week because that's what I do - but dude... yesterday we had some INCREDIBLE food.

We started the day by heading to the Italian Market to get some produce and to get a piece for the food processor that has been missing since the fire. The kids thought that the dead fish laying on ice were the best part. I, however, preferred all of the fresh produce (and continue to enjoy the fresh produce). It was a mild day for mid-January so we got to walk up and down 9th Street, taking our time, and buying too much food.

As an aside - we got the kids some chop-sticks and thought about stopping in Chinatown on our way home. Realizing that we were going nuts and being overly ambitious - we opted instead to go to a Chinese restaurant near our house because the parking was just too freakin' impossible with our van in town. Here is a shot of Anna using her new sticks.


We came home and I made some Blackened Talapia, Garlic Brussel Sprouts, and the aforementioned Mac & Cheese - or as I have now decided to call it - Dibrunaroni and Cheese. (Named for DiBruno Brothers where I bought the cheese which is, hands down, the greatest store on earth.)

Tonight's menu... left overs.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Surely Our Kids Will Have Nicer Teeth

Looks like we did something before anyone in the history of Great Britain!

Congrats to the Kelly Family!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Recipe For Disaster

We took the kids out to the Old Country Buffet last night... because, if nothing else, our family has class.

Seriously - I'm shocked that there are not knock down drag out fights at OCB on a daily basis. The place is a festering melting pot that breeds anger, frustration, chaos, and injury. Let's examine...

Generally, the clientele at OCB is kinda trashy. I don't want to judge EVERYONE who goes to OCB as being trashy, but it's a general observation of mine. I mean - hey - I go to OCB and I don't consider myself trashy (although others may beg to differ). Further, I have several non-trashy friends who occasionally frequent the establishment. It's cheap, kids love it, and there are unlimited amounts of ice cream so I can totally see why people would take their kids there. All I'm saying is that, in general, the crowd isn't the same as you'd find at... say... Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.

Okay - so you take a bunch of trashy people who are starving and you put them in a room with crazy amounts of food. Obstacle #1 is that, although there are obscene amounts of food, it always seems that the good food is empty. Everyone is perpetually waiting for the employees to refill the courses that they desire. This happens EVERY TIME we go to OCB without fail. Mac & Cheese - never there. Waldorf Salad - always full. This may have the result of, I don't know, pissing some people off...

Obstacle #2 - OCB is uber-kid friendly. Listen - that's the reason that we go to the place to begin with. The problem is that you have a bunch of hungry, trashy people with lots of food in front of them - that could disappear at any minute. Now you throw kids into the mix. People generally have little patience with their children, so imagine everybody in the restaurant stressing at the fact that they have to get the kids food (that may disappear) as well as their own food. Kids create several other issues with the potential of pissing people off, too. Like - last night there was this unattended kid who kept scooping and scooping and scooping the Mac & Cheese onto his plate. He weighed all of 40 pounds (and I could have thrown him across the buffet but that's not why I mention his weight.) It was clear that he wasn't going to eat all that he was shoveling, but he was in front of me and my 5 kids so we just had to wait. Then, of course, there isn't enough Mac & Cheese for us - so we have to wait until its refilled. A few minutes later, as I'm leading my brood back to the table with plates that are piled full of Mac & Cheese, there is a 3 year old - also unattended - who darts out from under a table next to us and almost makes me spill my meatloaf and potatoes all over the restaurant floor. Luckily I'm known for my grace and coordination so I deftly avoid his attempt at a chop block.

This brings us to obstacle #3 - Old People (look in the background of the picture above). We've successfully piled our plates full of super healthy food and the kids have sat down at the table and have started to eat. Now I have to head up to the drink station to get all of our drinks. I end up in line behind an old couple who can't figure out how to work the intricacies of the fountain soda machine.

Old Man: How do I get ice?
Old Lady: You push the button.
Old Man: Whaaa?
Old Lady: PUSH. THE. BUTTON.
Old Man: Oh... ok. Here?
(slowly reaching for the ice button)
Robby: Want me to do it?
Me: Shhh.
Old Man: You can do it for me if you want.
Robby: Ok.
Me: No - that's ok, sir. We will wait. Robby go back to your seat, please.
Robby: Ok. I want all of the drinks mixed together.
Me: You'll be lucky if you get ice. Now SIT.
You'll be happy to know that we finally got our drinks and sat down to eat dinner. After dinner we ate our ice cream and left the restaurant without incident. Here is a picture of Anna eating her chocolate cake and ice cream. Mmmmm....