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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ok, Duh!

Memorial Day weekend 2012. I've learned not to ask people how it was for them because so far, everybody's answer was the same.

"I was sick."

Yeah, us, too. Well, the germ bags anyway (that'll be my boys).

One comes home with Strep throat and before you know it, he gives it to the other one. It's about the only thing they'll share nicely: diseases.

The one thing I hate about antibiotics is the side effects. It's usually a bad case of "the squirts" but I've once developed mold - MOLD - on the back of my tongue. It was gross. It was fuzzy. Like sporting a mustache on the inside of my mouth.

Anyway, if there's one thing my boys can't handle, it's pain. And I couldn't possibly use the same reasoning my mom used to say to me.

She'd say, "You think that's painful? Wait 'till you get your period!"

Granted, I was only eight but to her credit - she was right.

The last thing I needed was to continue this infected weekend with sitting by the side of the toilet, holding the hand of one of my boys cramped with the runs. Since learning that the best way to stave off the evils of antibiotics is to eat yogurt, I've been giving the boys yogurt-by-the-gallon.

But the idiot that I am, I'd been serving the yogurt before the medication and cancelled out ten dollars worth of Activia.


That's like putting a rubber pair of gloves on after you wash the dishes (get dirty, you pervs). Fortunately, I wised up. It took me a while but I figured it out - after all, it's not a printer.

Go ahead, use my dumb ass experience as a lesson: yogurt comes after taking the antibiotic. Two hours if you must know. And bananas, green leafy prebiotic food are recommended to be consumed throughout.

As for lamb? Here's the score:

Red Solo cup, you make everything perfect

Zuki's official barbecue shirt

The Infected One

Chef Zuki and his sous chefs

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Remembering With Charred Meat

Happy Memorial Day!

Hope the weather is faring better around you to throw some meat on the grill. Why we honor our fallen soldiers with a weekend dedicated to barbecue is beyond me, but if we must, we'll go all the way.

We're gonna grill LAMB, baby!

Well, that's the plan when it stops raining, anyway.

We're taking instructions from this guy:

That's chef Fabio Viviani. Don't knock it - Zuki loves his cooking. Enough to the point the kid wants to go to culinary school. "My son, the chef." I could live with that. He's no engineer that's for sure. This is his idea of a "thinking cap."

Butt Head (that's underpants he's wearing)

Not to worry - the pants are clean. But in this picture, he is going commando. Apparently, he changed into his pants before putting on the underpants, so naturally, it had to go on his head. Perfect logic to be a chef, don't you think?

As far as raising logical kids goes, I'm batting oh-for-two, because Samu's fashion statement is "accessorize with Angry Bird band aids". Any boo-boo will do. Like a split lip?

I'm not expecting much, after all, Zuki asked me the other day what kind of name is ATM?


"Yes, in the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy calls that old woman, ATM!"


Chef material, I tell you.
And what do you know, it looks like the sun is making an appearance after all. Time to fire up the grill. And marinade the cook.

Enjoy your holiday and remember those who made it possible.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hard Copy, The Musical

If printers were like people, then I wouldn't mind if my old HP Laserjet 4050 were Michael Douglas or Billy Joel or any other cradle robber for that matter. Sadly, in the world of technology, old stuff only goes with other old stuff. New equipment wants nothing to do with knobby knees-heart attack prone-Viagra popping old timers, like Catherine Zeta-Jones is willing to put up with. New gadgets don't learn old systems so don't get too sentimental with that hoo-ha.

It would've drove my dad crazy. He couldn't replace anything unless it was worn down to nubs with electric tape holding it together. My dad learned how to type - slowly - on an electric typewriter. That's as technologically advanced as he got.

Me? I'm not that gadget-happy either, but that's because we're broke. When the old laptop that ran the old printer died around the same time Zuki completely tore the soles off his sneakers, well - I broke down and used our limited funds to get the kid new footwear. I could've gone to my favorite shop for shoes - the 99 cent store. Actually, I did and they only had Crocs knock-offs. THREE dollars - that's ridiculous.

So, I tried to get my new laptop to run the ancient printer. It took And I got nothing. It won't even see it - like No way - talk to the hand!

I have to thank "Geek Girl," Cheryl for her advice (and check out her blog, by the way). In the end, I managed to get our printer going by hooking it up to the Mac computer we purchased the year Zuki was born. In other words, it's a dinosaur. A functional dinosaur. Like Mick Jagger.

This footage shows all the old equipment we got rid of over the years. It's a musical. Samu's rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle" - it has a violent ending.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Someone Left My Cake Out In The Rain

Sure, sure, Whitney Houston was a very talented singer - but she had nothing on Donna Summer. Donna Summer was legend. And now that icon is gone. If you haven't heard the news, Donna Summer is dead. The Queen of Disco.

Before discovering Rock n' Roll, long hair and sneering, my sister and I caught the fever. Disco Fever. There were kiddie discotheques popping up all over our neighborhood. To give you an idea, there was one McDonald's - four Disco dance halls. They had matinees for stupid kids like me.

None of the girls had boyfriends - so, none of the girls had a dance partner. We danced with each other like lesbians. My sister and I practiced all summer at sleep away camp and I nearly twirled her into the camp fire once. But at the discotheque, there were always a few Hispanic boys that got their pick of girls with "feathered" back hair a la Farrah Fawcett. Those boys were hustlers and yes, they did dress like John Travolta.

Ironically, I've never seen Saturday Night Fever. It was rated R. Besides, I wasn't big on the Bee Gees. They looked like hairy gorillas but sang like fairies - it was creepy.

In all honesty, it was my sister who was the big Donna Summer fan. If memory serves me right, I believe her favorite song was "Heaven Knows." That too, is ironic since she passed away over thirteen years ago. Heaven knows what she's doing up there now. Probably asking Donna Summer for an autograph.

So move the coffee table and the sofa to the side, break out the strobe light, keep the wine flowing and shake that booty in honor of the Queen.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Problem Line

Yesterday, I served black bean and corn salad (it was fiberlicious by the way). I also served Jury Duty. Not as much fiber but plenty of material.

In sue-happy New York City, can you imagine how many civil trials are pending? You guessed it.

A shit load.

From experience, I know that most civil cases have a minimum wait period of about three years for a court date. Even getting in the building took forever - like twenty-nine minutes because they only had one security scanner open. And I thought the airport was bad.

Anyway, the whole jury serving thing...yeah, I was excused.

Apparently, if you take care of kids - or someone as old as Moses - you can go. But not so fast. Once again, I had to wait in what they call a "Problem Line."

The problem with the problem line is, a lot of people get on it with only a problem for serving.

"Oh, I'll come up with something," this dude behind me said.

It's bad enough he's trying to get out of serving his civic duty when he's perfectly capable, but then he started interviewing the other people in line to give him some ideas.

"What's your excuse," he asked a woman.

"I have a three month old baby." She said.

"Alright, then I'm gonna say I have ten kids."

Now, I saw this guy and he looked to be about twenty. When the advice giving woman told him he would have to present the kid's birth certificate, he realized the excuse wasn't going to work.

I wanted to give him a suggestion. How about too stupid?

Moving on, he asked another man in front of him what his excuse was and the man said, "No speak Ingles."

Then he laughed. They both laughed and the man added (in English), "Hey, it's worth a shot, you know?"

First of all (dumb-ass), they told us clearly, if you're not a citizen - you can't serve. But if he is a citizen, then he needs to speak English. Even if he were a Naturalized Citizen, he's required to speak English just to pass the test.

So personally - I have a problem with that.

I really wanted to stick around and see these bozos get their Juror ID card handed back to them and told to sit down for jury selection. I really wanted to - but the auditors told me to go and it seemed pressing to get out of the building before they changed their mind. Deep down, I wanted them to get on their knees and beg me to stay but who am I kidding - my husband doesn't even do that.

They said they would call me back in two years and I made them promise. With luck, they'll select me as a juror for Criminal Court and then I can write a John Grisham type post instead of subjecting you to watch this clip from the Grinch that captures the spirit of Jury Duty so well.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monkey Business

If anyone needs evidence on the theory of evolution, they can use my boys as reference. Seriously, they are monkeys. Baboons, actually. You could put them in a coffin and they'd still find a way to do something stupid. On the plus side, they hardly ever claim to be bored. On the down side, perhaps they'll never become mature enough to join the rest of society.

Case in point, this is what they do on a 10 minute subway ride.

It's their reflection in the window. Judging by their facial expression, you'd think it was either the first time they'd seen it or they think that's Harpo Marx on the other side. Most people read or listen to their i-Tunes but my guys put on a show with their buffoonery. Next time, I should walk around the car with a collection cup. They're cuter than the Mariachi trio anyway.

We visited Grammy for Mother's Day weekend and presented her with a framed picture of Samu's Kindergarten graduation pictures. The school took them back in March and I was happy that Samu didn't look retarded. Of course, when Zuki saw them, he said, "Is Samu a chef now?"

"No - he's getting married." 

Anyhow, the point is he smiled nicely for the camera and refrained from eating spaghetti for lunch.

That's why we didn't order pictures for Zuki this year. Because he's missing a lot of teeth. And because he has a tendency to pose like this:
Toothless Thor with a CBGB's t-shirt

Saturday, May 12, 2012

It's Fer Me Ma

"Never look for the truth in your mother's eyes" - Porcupine Tree

What a fantastic line. Wish I wrote it but I didn't - it's from a song. And in response to it, I'd like to say, your mother's only told you like, a thousand times! What do you need to look in her eyes for?


Since my mother's still around to tell me everything I'm doing wrong (and I thank her each time she does), I'd like to dedicate this post to the mothers who have left us.

Your love will never be forgotten - even though you're not there to kiss away the tears or yell, "Get it TOGETHER, will ya," your voice and your touch is forever etched in our memory.

You have taught us the meaning of sacrifice - and you taught it the hard way because life is not easy but you know it's harder if we don't appreciate the strife.

You molded a heck of a miracle - that you nurtured and protected and found the courage to set free.

You will be missed - whether you departed in your time or much too soon.

Happy Mother's Day - up there.

L-R: Sono, Grandmother Koimai, some lady I don't know
For my Aunt Yukiko and Mrs. Sperry - rest in peace.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Used Uterus Day

Seven years - that's how long I've been a mother. To me, it feels as if I've been one all my life. There was a time before it - and then there's now. That's it.

To tell you honestly, life is simpler. But that's what happens when you have a clear purpose for living and that is, doing everything to ensure little people don't die. My still-single girlfriends use me as a reminder not to go the raise-a-family route. You can't blame them - I mean, just look at me. My hair needs mowing, my Franken-jeans are appalling and my eyebrows are bushier than Donald Trump's!

But it's these moments that make me swell with joy (and beer might also have something to do with it):

The Communal Bone. We don't have dogs, so we let the boys clean their teeth with it. They've been working on it since Sunday night. In their defense, it was a fantastic rib eye steak.

Then there's the Fortune Cookie that came with Monday night's Chinese dumplings. Samu cracked it open and said, "Oh, yay! Coupons!"

My fortune says I should learn to read!
Should you be working on Mother's Day cards with the help of your mother? Well, who else knows how to spell "appreciate" - Daddy?
Mistaking a greeting for an essay
So the count down to Mother's day begins, because no one is exempt. We may not all be mothers but we certainly came from one. Besides, not matter how nice she is, she'll never, ever, ever let us forget that we occupied her uterus once...and left mess.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Allergic To Mondays

Some kids are ready for coffee.

Kindergarten Hangover
This is a typical weekday morning look for Samu. He's had his 10 hours of sleep, mind you - it's just his allergies. He's allergic to Monday. And Tuesday through Friday for that matter.

Because on Saturday and Sunday morning, when he could be sleeping in - he's up at 6:23 am. Typical kid idiosyncrasies, wouldn't you say? In my day, we woke up early to watch cartoons but that's because we couldn't record them - we had to watch them when they were aired.

But Samu's weekend rampage went like this: Sunday, he pounced on daddy in bed, and rolled around under our covers until it smelled of his piss-filled diaper. Saturday, he marched into my room with the DSi and shouted to me that I promised he could play with it when he woke up.

"Well, I'M WOKED UP!"

The only reason he doesn't sneak downstairs to watch television is because he doesn't know how to work the cable remote. Otherwise, I'm sure he'd turn on some Christian preaching show because he knows that would annoy the heck out of me.

Both boys had an eventful weekend: they saw "The Avengers," set up the patio furniture, had a ballet audition and went to a birthday party, to boot. In the fun factor, that would be equivalent to a weekend in Vegas for me. So, I wasn't surprised to be yelled at by the grumpy ol' troll for Monday morning.

Tomorrow, I'll greet him with this:


Friday, May 4, 2012

Go Fish!

I eat fish but I suck at cooking it. For starters, I have no idea how to buy fresh fish. It's kind of hard to  tell if it's good when it all smells so - fishy. My mother's great advice for purchasing fish was, "Look at it."

I said, "Yeah Ma, but how do you tell if its good?"

And her answer was, "If you can't tell by looking at it, you have no business buying it."

Instructive, don't ya think? Does wonders for my culinary confidence, too.

Maybe Samu can find out and write a "How To" book like the one he wrote on sand castles.

 "How To Make A Sand C - First get a bucket shells sand a shvel an water,"
I'm surprised he said bucket and not a plastic red cup, because mommy never forgets to pack those for the beach.

"Next fill up the bukcet with sand using the shovel then"

Notice how he made his book a "page turner" - isn't the suspense killing you?

So, about the fish, this article on "10 Best Family Restaurants" caught my eye, when it said about Red Lobster, "It inspires children to eat fish."

Red Lobster inspires children to eat fish, really? Starvation usually inspires my boys to eat anything. Even their own boogers, which they'll eat even when they're full.

You want your kid to eat fish? Go to Molly Bloom's and order their Fish and Chips. It may not be the healthiest way to eat fish but it's swanky! Besides, if you're the leftover garbage can, just be inspired that it'll go great with your beer.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

600 Pieces Of Connection

Any mom of boys will agree with this statement - Legos' drive me nuts.

When I was a kid, there wasn't much variety to them. They came in standard colors, two, four and six bricks - sometimes eight - and if you could build something other than a wall, then you got shipped off to MIT for testing.

Have you seen Legos' lately? No - you haven't because they're so-friggin-small! They're so small they're actually not a chocking hazard. A hemorrhoid hazard, maybe, but not choking. I've pulled out boogers bigger than some of these pieces. Whose hands are nimble enough to put these tiny pieces together - certainly not mine. They make me feel like I have arthritis. They make me feel like I'm having brain spasms.

Lego Serial Killer burial ground

Just to be clear - I wasn't playing with the boys' Lego. I had to sift through their Lego table to look for broken glass because our home brew exploded - again. No wonder beer gives you wicked gas.

You'd think we'd be discouraged but we're not. What else are we going to do with all those empties? For the record, the redemption machines don't accept micro brewery bottles. It's very annoying.

But we're optimistic. Or stubborn - which ever fits the phrase,"When the world gives you empties - make home brew."

And, "When your home brew explodes - make sure the Lego table bins are closed."

Otherwise, it's like finding a glass shard in a plastic stack.

600 pieces of connection