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Sorry I haven’t written in so long. And word to the wise – I probably won’t write much in the next week or so either.

See, we are heading up to Martha’s Vineyard. It’s the vacation place of my youth. I almost wrote “my family” vacation place, but it’s really not anymore.

That fact is readily obvious if you listen to my youngest. Her vacation place is her Pop Pop’s house in Florida; Disney, go-karts, Daytona, water parks.

But the Vineyard is a horse of a different color…and I’m not sure her rose colored glasses are on. She is seeing it as a total snore. It will be curious to see how this plays out…will she appreciate the beauty and the splendor of a New England Island or will she hate it because she has to *gasp!*

Unplug.

Yes – the house that my cousin is letting us stay in has no wifi. I actually don’t know if it has internet at all, but all my daughter had to hear is that she has no mine craft, Skype, or Five Nights of Freddie for 10 days.

Yes the world is coming to an end.

While I will miss my daily dose of Candy Crush (level 969, mind you) it will be good to unplug from Facebook for a week. I mean, I’ll post, and I’ll check statuses, when we are at a restaurant with wifi, but I won’t troll – there’s no time for that. I’ll be too busy walking the streets of Edgartown and Oak Bluffs – riding the Flying Horses…vying for the brass ring.

Unplugged. That could be pretty fucking cool for a week.

See you sometime after July 9th.

Old House

My daughter has a summer job that requires a lot of my time – she works with my husband at the outdoor event arena that he works at as well. Problem is their shifts don’t mesh, and I am stuck driving her home from most of the events she works. Like at 9:45 pm. I’m not a late night person…yes, 9:45 is late night for me.

Don’t judge – I get up at 5:00 am. Plus the venue is a 25-30 drive from my house. The other night between the travel and getting her food, it was a 90 minute excursion.

I had jobs as a kid – but I lived in a town where you could walk to everything. My first job was working as a cashier in our local supermarket. But the manager was a sour-pussed old man who glared at you from his little office perch and yelled at you each chance he got.

So I quit that job and began working as a cleaning gal in one of our town’s 200+ year old homes. One of the main reasons I took the job was for the pay…$5 an hour. Back in 1981 that was, to quote Jeff Spicoli, “righteous bucks.”

The couple who lived in the home were a nice elderly man and wife. However, they turned out to be a tad, well…eccentric. But I liked that, especially after supermarket sour puss. But it didn’t take long for me to realize these two were not your average couple.

My first day on the job they broke me in by having me clean the kitchen. This would usually mean doing some dishes, cleaning the counters, maybe sweeping the floor, right?

I walked in to see fish heads boiling on the stove. There was a thick, grey foam gathering around the sides of the pot as one fish eye stared at the beamed ceiling. They used the meat that fell off the heads to feed their cats. I really did not relish the idea of cleaning that pot.

But that was not the first of many odd jobs I would be given at that house. I would spend an entire Saturday morning oiling the old wood floors. Funny thing is, I used vegetable oil that came out of a big yellow jug – or maybe it was corn oil. I’d pour about a cup’s worth out, and spread it over the floor with a sponge mop. You know those floors would suck that stuff up almost instantaneously?

There was a small wing of the house that was the original 200 year old portion – a very small cottage that had been subsequently added on to. It was the most charming part of the home; you could imagine some little colonial family living there, and cooking over the fireplace. Yet his pleasant, historic little room was used by the cats as their litter box. It was my job twice a week to find and dispose of all their little turds. Whee!

Did I mention these two were a bit slovenly or are you starting to figure that out for yourself…

I remember one time I had to clean their bathroom & bedroom. The bath had a bidet – I remember thinking, “who the hell needs a bidet in New Jersey?” But the worst was what I found under their bed while picking up their dirty laundry. I found a stack of very old porn magazines. I’m not talking Hustler or Playboy. I’m talking about some shit from the 50s or 60s.

I was horrified. You have to remember, I was only 16 or 17 at the time, and these folks were old enough to be my grandparents. Finding this porn bummed me out – it was like walking in on your parents havng sex…I had a hard time looking either of them in the face for at least a month.

I remember another instance where I was sitting with the wife at her dining room table. I was telling her how a girlfriend of mine at school had died of Hodgkin’s Disease, and how upsetting it was to me. It was at this point that she opened her mouth and let out a very loud, very wet burp. She didn’t cover her mouth, she didn’t embarrassedly pardon herself afterwards, she just kept looking at me and listening.

It was so odd.

All these things aside, they were still a cool old couple. They helped sponsor me when I was in the New Jersey Miss National Teen Age Pageant (now there’s a blog post), and the wife actually helped me write my essay on who I admire the most. She suggested I choose Alan Alda, who I did not admire in the least, but he was from our home town and was big on feminist issues…it was a good hook.

And it was a good job – the work could be hard sometimes – washing the multitude of 12 paned windows with 100+ year old glass in them was no picnic, but you could daydream while you did it. I worked there until I graduated high school and had earned quite a tidy little sum of cash.

I think back on that job, and that kooky little couple from time to time…especially when I see a bidet, boiling fish….

or vintage porn.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Eat, Drink, and Be Merry….”

for tomorrow we die. The world is ending tomorrow! Tell us about your last dinner — the food, your dining companions, the setting, the conversation.

THE FOOD

If I can only have one food for my last dinner it would be White Castles. If I can have two foods, I’d set my table with White Castles and Hot Dog’s from Hiram’s. If I can have three foods, I’d add an extra large cheese pizza from Villa Nova.

So why all the junk food?

Simply because these are foods that never let me down. They are good no matter when I get them – each and every time. Have you ever gone to a restaurant, ordered and paid good money for your favorite dish, only to have it just be so-so? This is my last meal! I can’t risk it!

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White Castles: I was weaned on these puppies. Back when I was a wee lass, murder burgers were like 15¢ each – my dad could feed the whole family for a few bucks. Eating these things is primal – almost instictive for me. It’s a part of my DNA.

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Hiram’s Hot Dogs: Another favorite spot from my childhood – dogs that are deep fried – so they rip a little. The only way to eat them for me is with mustard and maybe a little kraut. Add an order of fries and a cold Schlitz on tap. God damn this post is making me hungry.

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Villa Nova Pizza: About 5 or so years ago, a New York Style Pizza joint opened up in a small strip mall near our house. My husband and I, both from northern Jersey, had quite a few times fallen victim to the Virginia version of New York Style Pizza…slightly better than Domino’s but not even close to anything we got up in the Tri-State area.

Then we tried Villa Nova and thought it as good as our old pizza place back in Jersey, Donna’s Pizza. That is saying a lot. Last year we went back up to Jersey and had a slice of Donna’s pizza. You know what?

Villa Nova’s is better. The pizza is super thin, and when you take a bite, the cheese, sauce and spices comingle in my mouth and make a spot in the back of my throat almost tingle.

Yeah, it’s that good.

THE FOLKS

Duh, I’d eat with my family. If it was the last day on earth and teleportation was magically possible, I’d have my WHOLE family there…..brother, sisters, neices and nephews, and Pop and Gabi.

Although if Gabi is there I guess I’d have to add her pork and dumplings to the dinner table.

THE CHATTER

My family? We’d reminisce until the end came. We all grew up in the same hometown – husbands and wives alike, so we all share most of the same memories and experiences. It’s really a great thing.

And my brother and sisters and I would have to sing “The Last Long Mile” on more time with Pop.

THE SETTING

Hands down, we’d have to be at my dad’s house in Florida. Of course we can’t get any of the aforementioned foods in Florida, but if we can all teleport, then I’m sure someone could grab the food.

We’d play volleyball in the pool, look at old slides and then watch one final sunset at Flagler Beach.

Yeah, it would be an okay way to go.

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I’m a total sucker for a good disaster movie, mainly because I had the privilege to see the movies that gave birth to this film genre. So it was a “no duh” that when we saw the trailer for “San Andreas,” my daughter and I looked at each other and said, “We are SO there.”

As we were walking into the theater I told my daughter that my only hope for this movie is that they don’t inundate us with highly implausible situations that the heroes manage to escape (virtually unscathed mind you) against all probable odds.

Sigh. Once again Hollywood proves to be a huge disappointment.

“San Andreas” was filled with so many hard to believe action/rescue/survival scenes that midway through the movie just made me laugh out loud (much to my 13 year old’s total mortification). I mean, rescue copters couldn’t save one single person from the twin towers on 911 – but the Rock? He pulled his wife off the top of a building, just as it crumbled to a heap of rubble, and then managed to fly under a building, as it was falling to the ground, and get them to safety.

Yeah, safety for about 12 minutes, when it was then time for our stars to be thrust into yet another un-survivable situation where they of course manage to survive…still relatively unscathed. It sucked because that’s what Hollywood thinks we need to be on the edge of our seat.

Well, Hollywood needs to have a movie night. They need to sit in one of those plush, fancy screening rooms and watch the following classics to learn what a good disaster movie is all about. poseidon-adventure 1. The Poseidon Adventure (1972) A luxury liner is hit by an earthquake induced tidal wave and capsizes on New Year’s Day. A solid premise and an all star cast.

I saw this movie with my Mom and sisters at Radio City Music Hall during Christmas break. There are plenty of back stories to introduce us to the characters, but once that boat overturns, you are in for a pound as you watch the 10 main players try to see the morning after (some slight humor that will be lost if you’ve never seen the movie).

The scene where the boat gets hit, while riveting in the 70s, is quite laughable now. This was prior to the days where Hollywood had a rolling room – like when Lionel Ritchie was dancing on the ceiling. So, you can see people sliding to their deaths as the boat is turning upside down, but dishes remain on the tables, and chairs are not sliding right along with them.

That being said, the rest of the movie was believable. The survivors had to scale a large metal Christmas tree, climb through pipes, and up ladders. They had to walk through a hot kitchen with a few small fires, and swim under water for 40 feet or so. And some of the stars died along the way just doing this sort of average shit.

The Rock? He managed to drive his speed boat UP a tsunami wave, while avoiding a cargo ship that is about to crash on top of him. Too bad he wasn’t at the helm of the SS Poseidon. There never would have been a movie – he would have been able to maneuver the boat over the wave, saving EVERYONE on board.

The biggest “come on” moment for me in Poseidon Adventure is at the end where Gene Hackman jumps onto the steam valve wheel to stop the flow of hot steam that, to quote Robin, “is blocking our escape.” And it’s not that this action is implausible, it’s just that Hollywood fucked it up. It doesn’t look like he’s really hanging there and turning the wheel. It looks like he’s standing on a box out of frame trying to look like he’s hanging and turning the wheel. But even that is better than anything that came out of San Andreas. Plus the speech he gives while hanging and turning the wheel is pure gold. Earthquake-Theatrical-Poster-Courtesy-of 2. Earthquake (1974) Pretty much the same premise as San Andreas – an earthquake of unimaginable magnitude hits California.

That, my friends, is where the similarities end.

Because the real star of this 1974 movie, which introduced us to Sensurround, was the earthquake itself. Well, Charlton Heston & George Kennedy helped too. My point is the movie didn’t need to filled with harrowing rescue scenes or heroes surviving in impossible situations.

I think the biggest “rescue” scenes were having to help a mom and her little son out of a drainage culvert, and when they had to lower some survivors from an office chair tied to a firehose down a few stories. Oh, and the guy drinking a beer and eating a chicken leg who fell from his deck and subsequently tumbled past Genevieve Bujold during the quake?

That was both exciting and hysterical. I mean life is fragile…one minute you’re eating some cold chicken and enjoying the view, and the next?

Okay, so the earthquake scenes in this 1974 movie were laughable compared to what we saw in San Andreas, but that sort of proves my point. They didn’t need the Rock to save the world…just show us the earthquake with realistic, gut churning reality, and show people trying to survive the aftermath.

Case in point – Victoria Principal’s character in the 74 movie – she survives the earthquake only to face attempted rape by her creepy neighbor. That’s more realistic than the Rock having to crash land a helicopter in a shopping mall. That’s REAL. The Rock? He bitch slapped some dude stealing TVs and stole his truck.towering_inferno_ver3_xlg 3. The Towering Inferno (1974)

A shoddily built luxury high rise catches fire while the star-studded cast is in trapped at party on the top floor. I LOVE this movie – good guys, bad guys, assholes, heroes – it’s got it all! And the kicker? OJ is one of the good guys! Who’d-a-thunk?

There are quite a few edge-of-your-seat moments in this film, but they don’t revolve around one character (gee, like the Rock!). Each star has his or her own harrowing moment. There’s one scene where Paul Newman has to help a woman and two children (one of which is Bobby Brady) shimmy down a broken stairwell via a twisted bannister over a sheer drop to certain death. Note that they did not have to tandem parachute…like the Rock.

The Towering Inferno Director: John Guillermin US Premiere: 10 December 1974 Copyright 1974 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Warner Bros. Inc.

Another great scene is when the outside elevator breaks and has to be manually lowered to the ground – with a less than satisfactory result. The last ditch effort to get stranded guests out of the building is to rig a breeches buoy from the burning building to one across the street. Screaming guests are tied into this contraption and pulleyed across death defying heights to the neighboring building.

That works until greedy, impatient men decide to overload the device…well, you’ll just have to watch the movie.

Should I bring up “Airport?”

Nah, this is getting too long. But it’s another great example of how they did disaster better back in the 70s.

My point – These movies relied on a star-studded cast, each with their own story to tell. So the action never got stuck with one person. In “San Andreas” it’s all the Rock. The Rock’s wife, the Rock’s daughter, the kids who befriend the Rock’s daughter.

And Paul Giamatti – whose role was way more riveting than the Rock’s.

You may read this and say, “Those movies suck!” Yes, they have shitty effects. Yes, some of the acting is campy. Yes, they relied on gimmicks like Sensurround.

But in all honesty? They are still way better than “San Andreas.”

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The other day my husband began singing a tune…I’d heard it before, and asked him “I know that song…wait, what song is that?” He answered, “You and Me, by Alice Cooper.” Holy cow. I must have heard that song hundreds of times, yet I had totally forgotten that it even exsisted.

So I YouTubed it, and listened. I was immediately transported back to 1977.

I could imagine sitting in my mom’s mint green Pontiac Catalina, tuned into WNBC and WABC – both on the AM dial; which was all we had in our cars back in those days. When my dad bought a car, he didn’t upgrade anything – you got what the car came with, which usually meant only AM.

When you had to listen to AM, you heard the same top 40 songs over and over again…kind of like half the shitty FM stations that are around now-a-days that play Maroon 5 and Wiz Khalifa every 15 minutes, and Taylor Swift every 10.

But hearing this song again? I could picture days at the pool, hearing the tinny quality of someone’s transistor radio playing this old Alice Cooper song – and possibly the crackle from some far away lightning strike. I love that crackle.

I could imagine myself in the backseat of my dad’s station wagon, driving over the Triboro bridge on the way to one of our Friday night excursions, watching all the twinkling city lights, window down, breathing in the distinctive smell of New York City.

Or a warm night on Martha’s Vineyard, eating a soft serve cone from the Quarterdeck, and keeping my eyes peeled for a glimpse of my summer crush.

How could I have totally forgotten this song? While I didn’t love it or anything when it came out, I had heard it over and over again driving around with my mom, or listening to the radio while I cleaned my room. Or maybe while I did homework.

Listening to it again was almost like opening up a time capsule. Something that was buried in me decades ago was suddenly unearthed by my husband absent-mindedly humming a tune. I know I’m not describing this right, but when I played that song again on YouTube it was like 2015 just melted away.

I was somewhere else for a very short while. It was pretty cool.

Lonely Boy

When Andrew Gold’s “Lonely Boy” came out in 1976, I dug it. The tune is catchy, and it tells a story – a genre that was popular back in the 70s. Story songs ran rampant on AM radio back then – “Wildfire,” “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl),” “Billy Don’t Be a Hero” – hell, I could go on.

My husband likes this song a lot, so it gets played on a somewhat frequent basis. But I began to realize a few months ago that the song “Lonely Boy” makes no sense whatsoever. The story it tells? It’s weak.

Let me show you what I mean.

The song starts out with:

He was born on a summer day, 1951
And with the slap of a hand
He had landed as an only son

Ok fine. Welcome to the world Lonely Boy. All’s well and good, until, in verse two:

In the summer of ’53 his mother brought him a sister
And she told him we must attend to her needs
She’s so much younger than you
Well he ran down the hall and he cried
Oh how could his parents have lied
When they said he was an only son
He thought he was the only one

Okay, so in the summer of ’53 our little boy would only be two years old. I could see him being petulant at first – having been pushed aside for his new baby sister. But come on, do you really think a two year old boy would be capable of such deep, inner thoughts?

Wasn’t he pretty much still crapping in his Pampers at that point? I doubt a child with just enough teeth to gnaw on a Zweiback would have the mental capacity to realize that his life was now cosmically altered – that now he was not an only child. Don’t you think that after seeing his newborn sister he might have just toddled off and played with his Tonka truck?

But wait, it gets worse…

He left home on a winter day 1969
And he hoped to find all the love
He had lost in that earlier time

So he leaves home at 18 all pissed off and bitter. Am I supposed to believe that since the age of two this kid has harbored a long standing grudge just because his parents had the audacity to have a second child? That’s just ridiculous! It’s doubtful that as a adult he would even remember the birth of his younger sister, let alone recall it as the time his life changed for evermore.

And with that last line –  “all the love he had lost in that earlier time…” Are we to further believe that his parents totally blew him off once his precious sister came into the act? Did they show him no love whatsoever afterwards? Did they never speak to him? Was he locked in his room and ignored?

It’s so freaking stupid! If the sister had come along when he was 9 or 10 I might be able to buy this story. I could see him being perturbed at not being the golden child anymore and having to share mommy & daddy’s affection (If he were a narcissistic psychopath, anyway.)

But at two? No way.

Listen for yourself, and tell me what you think. Unless it’s to tell me that you don’t give a crap and that I should find better blog topics. That you can keep to yourself.

LOWES BLOWS

In the past few years we have bought the following items at Lowes:

  • A Washing Machine
  • Carpeting
  • A Dishwasher
  • A Storm Door

And every single installation had a problem. Every single one. And believe me it’s not us…we’re not those type of people who are high maintenance or hard to please. At least I’m not.

It started with the storm door. I take the day off of work, the dude shows up to install the door, and realizes he doesn’t have the door on the truck. And guess what? There’s no time to go back to Lowe’s and get the door because that would make him late for every other installation he’s got…you know, those lucky folks whose doors are on the truck?

Next it was the carpeting. We shell out what for us is serious coin for new carpeting for 85% of our ground floor. After moving ALL the furniture out, the dudes show up to install it, take out our old carpet and begin rolling out the new. The head installer starts scratching his head and calls Lowes. Seems they cut the carpet wrong. I don’t understand all there is to know about carpeting, but Lowes messed up our measurements somehow. They were able to install it, but there are areas where I can see the cut lines…they don’t join seemlessly…something about the nap due to the cutting error.

We called, complained, and got $300 off our bill. Oh, and that carpet? After only a few years it’s buckling. Our carpet looks like a tidal wave right in front of our wall unit. We called to ask if this was normal after just a few years and got some song and dance from the manager. Thanks, fella.

With two strikes against them, we next purchased a washing machine from Lowes. When the dudes installed it, they busted our turn on valve. They claimed it was old and rusty, and we needed to call a plumber to get it fixed before he could install the washer.

I went ballistic.

I said something to the effect of you are the professional and should’ve realized before you forced it that the valve had the potential to break. I got on the phone with the store manager and insisted that THEY pay for the plumber to come and fix the valve that his installer broke. They did.

And we got a gift card for this being the third time we’d had problems.

When our dishwasher broke just a few weeks ago, I pleaded with hubby that we go anywhere else to buy it. Problem is, the Lowes by us is the only game in town. All the other joints that sell appliances were either too expensive or too far away for reasonable deliver. So we were back at Lowes with high hopes and crossed fingers.

After all, they couldn’t possibly fuck up a 4th time, right?

Installation of the new d-wash was successful! I’d run it a few times, was pleased with how quiet it was, and doubly pleased that the utensil basket did NOT go on the door. I hated that about our old washer – all sorts of crap would get stuck behind it on the door, and it was gross.

So I go to do dishes this past Saturday, open the d-wash door and see that 1/3 of the seal gasket had totally become detached…it was just hanging there like a black snake. After two weeks.

LowesBlows strikes again.

Hubby gets on the blower and ruins some poor appliances manager’s Saturday evening. We were promised Monday delivery of an upgraded dishwasher at no extra cost. Monday comes and hubby calls the installer to find out when he’s showing up.

Good thing he did.

The installer says, “The washing machine is there already right?”

Hubby says, “no, it’s at Lowes.”

Installer says, “Lowes told me it was at your house already.”

WTF…..can you imagine if my husband didn’t call the installer? He would have showed up and it would’ve been the storm door all over again…”gee willikers sir, it’s not on my truck!”

Hubby calls Lowes again. I am now the proud owner of an upgraded Whirlpool dishwasher and a $100 Lowes gift card. But you know what blows as much as Lowes?

The utensil basket is on the door. Typical.

POSTSCRIPT:
We spent our $100 gift card on a new grill. We get it home, and over the Memorial Day weekend, buy a ton of meat, and go to start that bad boy up.

Nothing. We managed to get the pre-built grill with a busted starter. After a phone call to the store manager, we got a new one delivered ON Memorial Day. But not the same grill. Oh no. This sucker has 4 gas jets and a side burner. I’ll be grilling and chilling all summer long.

RAdio

This morning when I was out walking, Todd Rundgren’s “I Saw The Light” came on my iPod. This song has a very special meaning to me – you see, it was the very first song that my first-born daughter ever heard.

It was August of 1995, and we were in the car driving her home from the hospital. “I Saw The Light” came on the radio. I have always liked that song, so I stopped my husband from changing the channel, and sang along. When it was over, I turned to him and said, “That was Sam’s first song. That’s her song.”

Now before I go on with this story, you need a little bit of background information. My husband is a musicaholic – it’s his passion. His true love. Have you ever asked the question of whether you would rather be blind or deaf? I always sided with deafness, because I would need to see my girls grow up..to see them graduate, walk down the aisle, have kids of their own.

Hubby? He would opt for blindness because he couldn’t imagine not being able to listen to music. I mean I love Springsteeen, but I’d rather be able to see than hear Rosalita.

But music goes a lot deeper with my husband, because it’s been a part of his life for so long. When he was young, he decided to get into radio. He went to a broadcasting school in New York City, and got a job working for WNEW, who had both AM and FM stations. While the AM station was news, sports and tunes from the 30’s & 40’s, the FM station was all rock. Classic rock – and a big wheel in the New York radio market.

He wasn’t on the air, because he said his tape that he made at broadcasting school sucked. But he worked with a popular DJ as an intern, then in the newsroom, and then a remote producer. However that didn’t mean he was tied to a dark studio. There were concerts and lots of them. And when you worked at the top rock radio station in a town like New York? You get to see EVERYONE.

He would go to concerts to hand out promotional items to fans, and then help backstage with live interviews. Can you imagine that? BACKSTAGE at Madison Square Garden, Giant’s Stadium or the Brendan Byrne Arena (now the Izod Center) for every show imaginable. He has a collection of backstage passes that would blow your mind.

A very young Hubby, on the far left in the yellow tee – and yes, that’s Pete Townshend. Fun Fact – he still has that exact T-Shirt.

And he’s seen everyone. I can’t name them all, but if it’s an artist or band that had any musical cred in the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s – he’s seen them. He’s got a pretty massive collection of ticket stubs too. He always tells me if I wrote about his musical exploitations rather than ramble on about my goofy life, I’d have a million followers.

But even after his time at WNEW ended, he’s managed to stay involved in music. Right now he works at two entertainment venues where he still gets to be behind the scenes, although it’s on a much smaller scale. So far this year he’s worked the Snoop Dogg concert and helped Dwight Yoakam with his meet & greet. And let’s not forget, it was through this job that I got to meet Springsteen, where I got a kiss on the cheek from the Boss himself, followed by backstage passes to his concert that very same night.

It was one of the best nights of my life, and he did shit like that a few times a week.

He’s also managed to turn our youngest daughter onto all sorts of classic rock bands. She loves ELO, The Beatles and Chicago. When he does dishes or cleans the house, the iTunes goes on, and the songs blast out…everything from Supertramp to Sinatra, from Manilow to Manhattan Transfer – his tastes are beyond eclectic – they are scattered wider than the universe.

Yeah, it’s safe to say he lives music.

And sports – but that’s another blog post.

So when I turned to him in the summer of 1995 and said, “That was Sam’s first song. That’s her song” maybe now you can understand why he immediately began a frantic channel search to find a song he could embrace. Because his first daughter’s first song was way too important to him, and fate had chosen Todd Rundgren.

He claims it’s not her song even to this day, but it is.

And it’s fitting as well. With the exception of a few lines here and there, it really can be the story of a mom looking into her childs eyes for the first time. Take a listen and see what I mean. Listen to my daughter’s very first song.

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I first heard the term “Helicopter Parent” a few months back, I was like, what the hell is that?

So I looked it up. And found out it was pretty much me.

It was a sucky realization – I’m a term – like Tiger Mom or Cougar. Those little pop culture labels that we love to assign to groups of people. So I hover…there is little to nothing I can do about it. Cause once those little girls were plucked from my womb, the world became a much different place.

I was the youngest of four, so by the time I got to the age where I could start doing stuff on my own, I could leave the house and not return for hours. I think as long as my mom knew the general vicinity I was headed to, she was cool and with a wave of her hand and a “be home by 5″ I was out in the world on my own.

Lots of times I took my bike and rode miles and miles into neighboring towns, many times on very busy and dangerous roads. Other times I just went up town to the library, or the park, grabbing a slice or an order of fries for lunch.

But our free-rangeness went beyond what we did on our own. When we were out with my dad we would indulge in many activities that could lead to possible injury. Tree climing, walking along the Palisades cliffs, wandering through the streets of New York City on a Friday night, and swimming in an ocean that was way too rough for kids our age.

When we were on Martha’s Vineyard he used to let us ride in this big metal box that we kept on the top of car for the luggage. One bump on a dirt road and one or more of us could’ve popped right out of that thing. I also remember this red convertible we had – it’s a wonder none of us died with the stunt Dad used to let us pull in that thing.

whoops whoops

He’d let us ride sitting on the back hood with our feet on the back seat while we rode down what we called the “whoops whoops hill” – a long, steep hill that would drop down, and level off, and drop down, and level off. We’d wave our arms and scream, and Dad would be going pretty fast – sometimes you almost felt like you caught air.

And here I sit at 50 years old – I somehow managed to survive with no seat belts, no bike helmets, no antibacterial gel.

So why in the world am I such a nervous Nelly lunatic with my girls? Well, here’s a few reasons.

1. I have super shitty health insurance. Therefore, if something happens to my girls from a broken arm to a knocked out tooth I am screwed. So when my youngest asks if she can try riding daddy’s bike, I tell her she should just walk because she’s less likely to hurt herself.

2. I want to avoid the blame game. I would NEVER hear the end of it from hubby if anything happened to my girls because I let them do something that lead to them getting hurt.

3. There are monsters out there. Regardless of whether you believe that there are more pedophiles/murderers/psychopaths out there now, or if it just seems that way because the world is so über connected, the fact is, they are out there. When my youngest walks to the park with the next door neighbor or goes on a scooter ride, I WORRY ABOUT HER. A lot. I let her go, because I know I have to. And still, I worry.

Here’s the simple fact: I know if my girls are home with me, they are a lot less likely to be aducted, or lured away, or hit by a car, or bit by a snake, or beat up by roaming street thugs.

By the way, If I sound bad, you should see my husband. I’m Lenient Lucy compared to him.

So I don’t know how it happened…how I made that transition from a child who could ride her bike halfway across the state as long as I was home in time for dinner to the mom who makes her kids check in every hour. I guess the answer is, I’m just trying to keep my kids safe – Is that so wrong?

Hell, I only have a few more years of this anyway. With kids 19 & 13 how many more years of hovering to I have? But until then, I’ll just take my cue from Arnold….and get to the chopper.

100

Back in January I was fed up.

I had just turned 50. I was fat. I was tired. Nothing fit. Looking ahead to a summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, I realized with a clarifying certainty that I didn’t want to go there in my current condition. To review: fat, tired, and having nothing that fit.

So I logged back into MyFitnessPal.com and starting keeping track of what I ate. I set a calorie goal, and for the most part, stuck to it. Have I been perfect? Hell no. Sometimes finances (or lack thereof) forced me to eat more carbs than I would’ve liked during a week here and there. Other times I just said “fuck it” and had pizza with my family.

But I never backslid for more than a day. I always got right back on the wagon.

I also increased the amount of time I spent walking. I began setting mileage goals each month. I walked 56 miles in January, 72 in February, 89 in March, and tomorrow, after my morning walk, I will have walked 100 miles in April. I’ve walked 315 miles so far in 2015.

And I bragged back in December about having walked 400 miles in 2014. Pshaw – I’ll have that beat by mid-May.

The result?

I’m down over 35 pounds and I’m down 4 sizes. while 35 pounds is great, I have to admit it’s a little disappointing. I thought it would be a lot more by now. There’s room for improvement in my diet which I’m sure would help to shed more pounds – I know where and when I’m messing up, but for the most part, I’m pleased.

I’m seeing improvements in other ways besides the scale. I’ve lost over 5 inches on my hips, and 2 inches on my thighs – how could I not after 315 miles? I also feel much better. Things that used to tire me out, like the uphill walk from my parking lot to my office, don’t bother me anymore.

But the real motivators are mornings like I had today. When you slip on a pair of pants that haven’t fit you in years, and they both zip up and button. And not button where you look like 10 pounds of baloney in a 5 pound bag – I’m talking with relative ease. I was amazed, because I tried these very pants on in March and while my thighs could squeeze in, the button? No way, José.

Or when my girls and I went to opening day at King’s Dominion, and I fit in every roller coaster seat with ease. There was no trouble getting the lap bar to two clicks, and I never had to sit with one ass cheek in the air.

Those things motivate me more than any number that comes up on the scale because they’re the real measure of my success. I’ve eaten a lot less than usual today because my pants fit, and I feel good in them. I feel skinny. It’s a phenomenal feeling, and a great appetite supressant.

I still have a long way to go before vacation in July, and I am going to have to take a hard, honest look at my diet and make some adjustments. Otherwise I’ll be going to Martha’s Vineyard just like I am now, and while that wouldn’t be horrible, it’s not my goal.

I’m off to a great start. I just have to keep on keeping on. Wonder where the next 100 days will take me?

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