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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Blues BBQ Buffoonery

When you take little carnivores to a Blues and BBQ festival, you better be prepared with a change of clothes, an 84 count of wet wipes and PMS mints.

He won't sit on the grass, but he will eat a rib like a popsicle
Unfortunately, I only remembered the PMS mints. I forgot the change of clothes, despite the fact that I was traveling with a "PiSSsss" happy monkey-boy. I made him swear that he'd tell me when he had to do number one - I didn't take into account that ribs and corn give him the urge to punch out number two uncontrollably.

Oh well. Lesson learned. Should've foreseen the messy event when he told me he was wearing Zuki's new underpants because I still haven't caught up with our post-vacation laundry.

Joining some dear friends at an outing to the Blues and BBQ festival at Pier 84, we bothered enough people to claim the day as a success. We parents noshed, drank and yelled at our group of kids to stop doing things like this:

Demonstrating the Grandma Grip
And found that all the while I labelled my boys with buffoonery, I discovered that it is indeed - contagious.

With top notch blues bands playing in the background, my expectation for the kids was a mini-Woodstock...dancing barefoot in grass taped off with yellow "Caution" tape. Instead, their highlight was seeing our vacation cruise ship from last week, sailing down the Hudson River.

The Carnival Glory escaping without us
Envy makes you yell strange things.

While Samu screamed, "Wait for me!" I yelled, "Hope you hit a Goldberg!"

What? This is New York, not Iceland.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Good Of Subway (Not The Sandwich)

In my day, the subways were filthy, unreliable, dangerous and loud. The brakes SCREEEEEECHed while sparks lit up the deathly electrical awesomeness of the third rail. When the trains screamed from station to station like a Banshee, you could barely hear yourself think - much less have a conversation. If anybody talked to you, it was to take your money.

These days, subway rides are quieter. Unless you have a Mariache trio, Jack Johnson wannabes, bad Hip Hop and the classic Preacher in your car.

Today, on our way to Zuki's class in Union Square - we had the "enlightened" Jesus preacher. A young woman who felt it was her calling to invade your peaceful ride with some nonsense of having the right "relationship" with Jesus.

"Enlightenment is not obtained." She said. "Enlightenment cannot be taught. Enlightenment can only come by having a relationship with Jesus."

As I listened, I realized her statement was basically saying that you needed Jesus as your pimp to enlightenment.


Oh, close your jaw. Surely, someone else has used the word "pimp" and Jesus in the same sentence before I did.

Not surprisingly, a woman standing next to us got fed up and told the Jesus-is-your-pimp preaching woman to "shut up."

An argument ensued and Zuki was enthralled with the action. When we reached our stop, I practically had to yank him off to leave.

"What was that about?" He asked me.

"It was about people telling people what to do - sometimes, they don't want to hear it," was my reply.

"Oh, like when you tell me to do my homework?"

Ouch. I just love riding the subway. And since I am now "enlightened" with a dose of my own medicine, I shall share an oldie but goodie to end this on a lighter note. My favorite YouTube video: "Jesus - The Musical." If you don't laugh, you'll be plagued with wine turning into water.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Blame Canada

Well, we're back from our cruise and it was a blast-blur. Seriously, I don't remember going to bed the whole trip - it was that much fun. I feel like I'm going to go into post-vacation depression or something.

Since the cruise promised their on board connection was crappy, I opted not to sign up for it and didn't touch my iPad until we got to land. I felt so loved to find 287 new messages in my Inbox when we reached Saint John's Ale House, our first "pub" stop in Canada.

I planned to catch up on my blog business there...honestly, I did. How was I to know Canada's standard serving glass was 20 ounces? After four pubs do you think any of my comments would've made sense?


Here are some highlights of the buffoonery we took on our journey to the Great White North.

Looking for sharks...yeah.
Our fabulous window. If you could've been on the other side of it, you would have seen one of us dance naked in front of it at one point. Including me.

Who's gonna see you - a dolphin?

Case in point:

Gollum in Room 126

While babysitting our baby cousin, you can imagine the strange looks we got when my husband pushed the stroller. Two bi-racial kids, one blond-haired, blue-eyed baby? I could see the confusion in the stranger's eyes.

Asian woman adopting white baby? Or Daddy has super white genes?

I told my husband to just say the baby's from another mother and let them out figure the rest.

"Baby from another mother"

And here's Samu on three days of endless buffet food featuring all-you-can-eat hot dogs, fries, pizza, ice cream and cookies.

I'm down (lost at the arcade games)

I'm up (gimme another SODA)

And in between: time to dance naked in front of the window now?

Finally, we just told him to shut up.

"I can't shut up," he said, "I'm a non-shutter-upper!"

No kidding.

He's got a retort for everything. Then again, so does my husband whose idea of a sunset picture with his son should look like this:

Boogers by sunset
 Facebook photo album for those who dare. Thanks to everyone for sticking around while I was away getting Canadian roasted. I promise to be blog stalking as soon as my land legs come back.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Real Boys Eat Blue Cheese

This post is going to be short and sweet. We're off on a weekend cruise to New Brunswick, Canada for the weekend - hopefully, our Captain is not a boat-abandoning Italian playboy.

Yes. I said it.

We made the most of the last two "Samu-less" days. Zuki and his best friend from school enjoyed "Free" bowling at Bowlmor, followed by burgers at "5 Napkins" in Hell's Kitchen.

I've learned the way to a boys heart is through meat, fried potatoes cheese dressing. That's what they're dipping their fries in. They're under 10 years old, folks. What's my food bill going to look like five years from now? I shudder at the thought.

Yesterday, I took Zuki to the Metropolitan Museum. Going with kids is great because they have no interest in art, which I know nothing about. Of course, all he was interested in were the Knights in armour, the swords and guns, musical instruments - and penises on statues.

If only I had a bubble thought....

Checking "thing" out
Okay, St. John's - fire up the ice cubes....we're coming!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Let's Do Lunch

This boy can eat.

This tastes better than it looks, really.
Currently, his favorites are Shepherd's Pie and Fish 'n Chips. I'd like to say it's a cultural influence derived from watching the Olympics lately but the truth is - it's pub food.

Pubs are Sunnyside's version of a family restaurant. Sorry but, Denny's is not food.

Anyway, our first "Samu-less" day, I decided to first take Zuki to a comic bookstore in Midtown, appropriately named Midtown Comics. Since he loves X Men, Avengers and Batman - he should want to read them in their original creative form, right?

Not exactly. That's what actors and movies are for. Who wants to read a storyboard when one could simply watch it? And were it not for Iron Man, who else would've had the strength to revive Robert Downey Jr.'s career - Sherlock Holmes?

So the comic bookstore as a boost for reading interest - was a Fail. More importantly, the kid was hungry.

Since Midtown Manhattan's lunch fare consists of pre-made crappy sushi, overstuffed sandwiches on soggy bread or chopped leaves with grass labeled as salad for about ten bucks per person, we headed back to our own neighborhood where lunch

Mangal Turkish restaurant makes killer falafels for $4.50. I LOVE falafels. Apparently, so does my lunch date.

Housing a falafel sandwich

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Only Temporarily Only

Today Grammy came to whisk Samu away for a couple of days leaving Zuki in the coveted "Only Child" position.

In about 14 hours, I suspect they'll both miss each other terribly. As for me, I'm so tired of their constant bickering, poking, prodding, teasing, name-calling, punching and eventual brawling that might rival anything on the security cameras of the cafeteria in Riker's Island - that I'm considering drawing up adoption papers for Grammy to sign tomorrow.

But then again, who will entertain us?

With fashionable poses like this:

Where's yo dollah bills?

When I fold our laundry, who will know what to do with my bra instead of be baffled by it?

Let me keep these on until I grow boobies!

Zuki - I promised you a couple of days to pretend you're an only child. You won't have to share, be patient or tolerate any irritable brother syndrome.

Because when these Samu-free days are over - this is what you have to face in the morning.

Dreaming of chicken tenders

Samu who?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Vacuum Meets the "Walking Carpet"

It never fails.

I'm vacuuming, moving furniture (because my husband is not Mr. Incredible) and I spot this.

I'm thinking, "what is that - a dried up piece of poop?" Because in my house - that could totally be the case.

I summon up the courage to get closer. I'm sniffing the area at the safest possible distance, my reluctant fingers stretched towards it, until finally - touchdown. I wipe my brow (with the other hand) because the piece of questionable brown is just a piece...of plastic.

In fact, this is it:

We have to stop running into each other like this. What are you - stalking me?

And every time, I pick up this little guy, I wind up singing the "Chewbacca" song by Supernova.

Say what?! You're not sure you know it? Well, here's a reference from "Clerks" and I dare you to tell me  you don't sing it all day long after hearing it.

What a Wookie!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Under The Bridge

Did you know that this year (2012), January, April, July, September, October and December have five Mondays? I don't know how Bob Geldoff is going to handle it. But I had an idea - make our annual cross with friends over the Brooklyn Bridge.

This trip, we planned to follow it with a couple of rides on Jane's Carousel in DUMBO.

Not only is it FUN but we get to annoy the kid-hating Rat Racers along the way. If they hated Mondays before, they were going to really hate it now. Hey, anything to help out misery.

If you've ever crossed the Brooklyn Bridge on foot, you know it's a beautiful walk but the narrow walkway that's shared by the pedestrians and bike riders can be very harrowing, especially with kids.

Sure enough, there was one angry biker who had to shout "Get the f*ck outta the bike lane," as he passed.  It's always pleasant to find people who are more pissed off than my husband - kinda puts my life in perspective.

Anyway, the carousel was magnificent, probably the most beautiful I've ever seen. It's encased in glass so carousel riders could enjoy the view of the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges as well as delight in the breeze of the East River. Even carousel watching was relaxing in this setting despite the insane clown music played on the old style music box.

Kids idea of a group shot

Guess a tree really does grow in Brooklyn

And they're off!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Unusual Sunday School

Samu likes to mindlessly sing a line from a song all - day - long. Whether it's from a movie, a Super Mario game or an insipid pop tune the camp counselors were playing on the bus ride, he'll sing it like a broken record....yeah, remember those?

The past week, Samu was singing something about "starships" and how they were "meant to fly." It's only when Zuki joined in with his out-of-tune monotone droning, that I realized this must've been a tune Samu picked up from camp.

I had to Google it because I know shit about pop music. If you're savvy, then you already know that the tune he was grinding our nerves with is "Starships" by Nicki Minaj. Actually, I like Samu's version better.

It's his little boy voice. I told him he should join a choir and showed him a YouTube video of the Belfast Boys' Choir. He didn't care much for the singing but he was highly interested in the close up of the Communion rites.

"Why are they eating - are they hungry?" then, "How come only old people get to eat?" and finally, "What are those - crackers?"

 So I explained, "That's supposed to symbolize bread, the Body of Christ" and expected him to be thoroughly confused but he just laughed like he got it.

"Oh so, Jesus is made out of bread!"

Well, if he were made of chocolate - like Santa and the Easter Bunny - then I bet we'd have a lot more Catholics in the world.

And now, the moment you've been waiting for...Samu sings "Starships" with a dance number by Zuki.

Friday, August 3, 2012

My Own Closing Ceremony

Well, it looks like my two weeks kid-free staycation is drawing to an end. Although, I'm not a Run Streak Freak like Kim, I did manage to run-hobble every single morning. Those old Tai-chi folks at the track are going to miss me running circles around them come Monday.

I can hear them already, "Limping monkey-lady not here today?"

"No. Maybe she get foot caught in mouth for good - Bwa-Ha-Ha-Ha!"

Shut up, Pat-Morita-looking-dude.

I couldn't tell you if all the hobbling amounted to anything because I haven't weighed myself or dieted in conjunction. As a matter of fact, I may have actually gotten heavier - my body tends to do that when I exercise. That's why I stopped in the first place.

Drinking water makes you heavy - drinking alcohol makes you light - that's like - a no brainer. Have a beer, step on the scale; Look, I lost half a pound without doing anything!

Enough about working out and faux nutrition guides - I have torture plans in store for the boys next week. Hopefully, the weather will co-operate and more importantly, I'll remember to take pictures because buffoonery is best when captured in action.

Pictures like this one my husband took after he helped a very pregnant woman by carrying this huge box she was dragging to the corner where her husband was going to pick her up. I don't know which is harder to believe, that a husband would make his pregnant wife drag a heavy box a whole block or that my husband actually helped a stranger out.

I better get ready for rain.

Buffoonery in front of a tattoo shop

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Love Train

People watching is probably one major perk of living in this city. It happens to be one of my favorite past times. Honestly, I could sit anywhere for hours, okay 90 minutes - short attention span theater here - and just watch people fumble about their business. Of course, it's a lot more entertaining when there's a couple of pints involved - especially if it's the people I'm watching who was drinking them.

The best part about people watching is the potential writing "prompts" and I'd been missing it lately because it's hard to actually watch people when you have monkeys in tow. Having some solo adventures these past few days, I took the opportunity to watch situations unfold.

Maybe it was the calming endorphins after my morning hobble-run, but the scenes that I happened to be privy to were so gushingly romantic. Here are two.

"The Intimate Crash"
At the curb of Queens Boulevard and 46th street, I watched a young man preparing to sprint across the first opening of oncoming traffic. He was smart-looking in his super white button down and slacks, probably a weekend soccer player. He was absorbed in dodging traffic, bobbing back and forth on his toes when an opening appeared to cut across.

He dashed across the five lanes and jumped onto the sidewalk to bound up the stairs. At the same time, a woman about the same age as him was nonchalantly coming down. She had headphones on and was holding an iced coffee - he nearly crashed into her would've toppled her over, but his athletic dexterity stopped himself by grabbing hold of her hips.

Their faces were millimeters apart - if he were Owen Wilson and she were Rachel McAdams, they might've kissed.

He apologized like a mad man (hands still on her hips). She giggled and her nodding assured him she was okay, he raced up the stairs. She calmly waited for the light to change and all the while, she had a huge grin on her face which was was a shade brighter than crimson.

"Bare Shoulders"
The 7 train into Queens at four o'clock is already crowded. The passengers are mostly construction workers who probably get off at 3:30 and odd jobbers, like dancers. A beautiful African American woman squeezed in a seat next to a burly Hispanic construction worker. She pulled out her headphones and started an enclosed dancing moving only her bare shoulders and hips in her seat. It was amazing how she didn't touch or disturb the people next to her.

As the air conditioning kicked in during the long ride under the tunnel, she decided to put on her sweater. Deftly, she scooted herself to the edge of the seat - so not to elbow her fellow riders - and with her eyes fixed to the ceiling, she attempted to slip into her sweater. She didn't realize, the sleeve was twisted around the back.

Gently, burly construction guy tried to unravel the apparel - his meaty hands covered in dried white plaster - a stark contrast against the delicate black lace. It took her a few seconds before she noticed his courtesy and she stopped to notice him.

He gave her a warm smile. Then he straightened her sleeve as she slid her arm into it with the fluid flexibility of a contortionist. She scooted back into her seat and resumed her enclosed dance that was probably tickling him now.

Unfortunately, my stop was next. But I'd like to think that there is another "chance" meeting in their future because there was definitely some chemistry there and it's way more appealing than any episode of "The Bachelorette."

Call me a hopeless romantic - and I admit it's long as it's somebody else's heart.