Monday, June 24, 2013

Interesting Week...

It's been an interesting week.  This happened....

I used to wonder how older men could go out of the house dress like this.  Really?!? Socks with Sandals!  But I get it now.  This is what happens when we finally give up.  I'm done attracting anything female into my tractor beam.  From this point on, clothing, both in and out of the house will be for utility purposes.  And long white tube socks keep baby hands from pulling out daddy leg hair.

This happened too...

Nicole gave birth to a 5 year old wearing tap shoes?  No.  We attended a dance recital where we knew absolutely nobody.  No doubt many of you assume Nicole dragged me to this to show me how cute little girls can be.  However, this was actually my doing.  While looking for space to teach improv in San Diego, I was introduced to this dance company and they are actually really really good.  We only stayed for the first half because my lovely and wonderful children reminded me why I don't want to raise any more lovely and wonderful children.

But let's not forget about this...

This is officially how I want to die if I get a choice in the matter.  Death by Bacon, and Chocolate, and Beer...all mixed together.  The San Diego County Fair is a fantastic place to laugh at the part of your brain that signals a full belly.  This was almost a week ago, and my sweat is still a little thicker than normal.

This happened at the fair as well...

The next time you find yourself chest strapped to a 10 month old in a baby bjorn at a fair that doesn't have rides for 10 month old babies, simply park yourself in front of the house of glass and mirrors and wait.  Within moments you will be gleefully entertained that the massive number of mindless children who smash their little faces into the walls of this gem...repeatedly.  You would think that they would learn, but most collied so hard on the first impact, it must damage the area of the brain responsible for sort term memory.

And Finally...This!

I don't know what else needs to be said.  My life just feels a little more complete.  Thank you Wild Ophelia!  

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

5 Years Ago...

Cop:    Where are you coming from tonight?
Me:      A show at The Cherry Lane Theater.
Cop:    What show?
Me:      FUCT
Cop:    Alright son, license and registration…

In June of 2008, I agreed to not perform in a FUCT run because Nicole’s due date was imminent and we didn’t want it to interfere with the birth of our first son. 

Thursday, the 12th was the first night of the performance.  George Wendt was in the audience.  I got to serve him his first beer at his first FUCT show.  A very pregnant Nicole was even in the audience with me.  FUCT was great.  I was about to have a baby.  Norm was drinking a beer in my audience.  Everything was awesome. 

The following night was Friday, and the second night of the show.  I attended this performance without Nicole, and afterwards, I went to Barrow’s Pub for our usual post-show party.  Around 2:30am, it was time to call it a night.  My brother, Michael was with me and as we took off, southbound traffic on 7th Avenue was moving surprisingly slow.  Before too long, it was obvious that the lanes were narrowing, and the side streets were closed.  Of course…a DWI stop.

I was drinking that night; a few beers at the show, and at least one or two at the bar.  I also smoked some pot, and while I don’t specifically remember smoking, I don’t specifically remember a time when I didn’t smoke pot after a FUCT show.   Thankfully, when I left the bar I did NOT take the final shot of Jack Daniels that was being toasted.  The BAC limits in New York are extremely low, so even though I wasn’t “drunk,” I don’t know if I could have passed a breathalyzer test.

My attempt to answer the officer’s questions without breathing in his face was even more difficult since he positioned his head through my car window and directly in line with my nose and mouth.

Cop:    Where are you coming from tonight?

(Great, I know the answer to this one…)

Me:      A show at The Cherry Lane Theater.

Cop:    What show?

(OMG…do I lie?  Do I say “FUCT,” and shock his nervous system with a name that sounds like one of the most vulgar curses in the English language.  If I lie, what if he asks a follow up question?  I’ll go with the truth and just explain that it is not really a curse because it is spelled with a “T”…)

Me:      FUCT

(I did it.  The truth will make you free…or…)

Cop:  Alright son, license and registration…

(Noooooooooooooo…The officer was leaning through the window and head is practically on my lap.  There was no way that he couldn’t smell the booze on my breath or the “bat and dugout” that I so carefully tossed between the car seats.  I’ve been figured out.)

My heart started racing as I felt the adrenal glands crank into over-drive.  My legs began to involuntarily shake and the sweat from my brow was at the critical point of beading and running down my cheek.  I turned towards my right pocket, take out my wallet, and open it.  I pinch my NYS driver’s license by the corner, and that’s when it happens…

Just as I’m sliding my driver’s license out of the wallet flap, I hear:

Cop: “OK, son, move along.”

Me: “Thank you Officer”

It was just after 3am on Friday night, and I narrowly escaped spending the weekend in jail.  When I arrived home, I rolled into bed around 4am.   I was wiped out.  The mix of alcohol, THC and adrenaline was still pumping through me, and before long, I passed out hard. 

7am - Nicole woke me up…her water broke. (Two weeks early).  “Are you sure you didn’t just pee the bed?” I asked.  Thinking back over certain times of my life, this is one of the moments that make me wonder why she hasn’t left me (yet).

Noon – Jackson was born.

If I was arrested the night before, Nicole would have dealt with labor without me.  I would have missed my first son’s birth.  Only on the third day of his life would Jackson and I meet as he was brought home from the hospital and me from lockup. 

I continued to drink during 2008, but stopped cold turkey on New Years, 2009.  For 14 months, I remained booze free.  In May 2008, I started again in the Dominican Republic while on vacation with Nicole and Jackson.  For over a year everything was fine, but I decided again in 2011 to call it quits.  After comparing my life, back-to-back with sobriety and with drunkenness, I realized that my family and I are happier and healthier when alcohol isn’t part of the equation. 

Tomorrow is Jackson’s 5th birthday and it’s been a fantastic and rewarding 5-year run.  That terrible birth-eve is also 5 years old. To this day, I don’t know why the cop let me go.  Maybe he was just testing me to see if I would fumble for my ID.  Maybe he was new and had self-doubt.  Maybe, he had no sense of smell from a childhood trauma.  Nevertheless, I was blessed/lucky to avoid the consequences of my stupidity.  There were a few more “wake-up calls,” but eventually, I woke up and called it quits.  In a month, on July 8, 2013, I will celebrate the 2-year mark, alcohol free, and drunk only on fatherhood.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Improv is Family

On Friday, I was invited to the lease signing party for San Diego’s Finest City Improv.  At the end of August they will launch a new era of long-form improv in San Diego, and I’m thrilled to collaborate and partner with this fantastic group of artists.  At the beginning of the party, I knew only about 2 or 3 guests, but at the end I met everyone and the connection was immediate. They opened up to me as though we were long distance relatives who just hadn’t yet met.  A family, with the last name “improv.”  Very excited that my adventure has crossed paths with FCI’s path, and I’m looking forward to the next chapter…

(For my performer/improviser/comedian friends: You will have a home and a stage here with warm, welcoming, and talented players.  Follow on Facebook, make sure to venture a bit further south when you visit the west coast, and let’s play and make San Diego laugh!  Love and miss you all!!!) 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Over my life, I’ve enjoyed a canvas that is my face and head. In August 2012, I started growing a beard to carve into a 2012 Movember “stache.” Movember, for those who don’t know, is an annual event where men grow mustaches to raise awareness of men’s heath issues. This year was a bit different. I started two months early in clear violation of the rules, and then in November, I didn’t shave the beard or carve out the mustache. Instead, it just kept growing. By April there was a nest on my face, and I loved it. I might have been the only one.

When we decided to move to San Diego, I felt that it was time for another symbolic change. I shaved off the beard and remembered how little my chin and neck appear without an avalanche of hair pouring off my cheeks. It was nice to have a clean-shaven face. I could leave New York the same way that I entered, clean-shaven (not through my mother’s vagina). And then, the week of April 11th, my friends and family said “goodbye” to the face they met many years ago.

Another reason I grew the beard back in New York was because of the winter. It was cold. This particular year, I was working on roofing jobs to make ends meet, and as the autumn and winter slipped in, the beard served a purpose. However, in my new climate of San Diego, there is little need for a mountain man beard. We don’t get snow. The coldest winter temps in the dead of night are only in the 40—50 degree range. Aside from pretending that I’m a youthful trendy hipster, the beard serves no purpose other than my own amusement and to scare children (which by the way is a totally valid reason and chances are the #1 reason if I ever grow it back).

While the San Diego mercury doesn’t plummet like the northeast, we do have abundant, Vitamin D producing, good time inspiring, trade in your boots for sandals sunshine. And with sunshine comes sunburn, and lots of it. With a baldhead that is almost exclusively pointed towards the heavens, I’m now considering letting my hair grow back in to save the thin skin on my noggin. It will be thinning. It will be grey. It will be glorious. Maybe I’ll grow the beard back too. I wonder what I will look like then…hmmmm

Thursday, June 6, 2013


I need your advice…
This Child Will Not Swim Again w/o Your Help

I’m a pacifist.  There is a classic beach story about my brother and me.  I was playing with my toys and an older boy came over to play.  He quickly took my toys as his own and left.  While I tried to negotiate a fair “let’s play together” deal, my younger, 3-year-old brother, Joey confronted the bully, punched him in the gut, and took back the booty.

This afternoon, I received an email for the property manager of my condo.  The sum and substance was “go fuck yourself.”  It all starts with Trulia.  In February, we started looking for places to live and Nicole stumbled across our apartment in Rancho Bernardo.  Right price, right schools, right size, price, pool, tennis courts, golf course view, and safe and clean. 

When we arrived, we dealt with a laundry list of headaches (Vaginaplasty and Frozen Yogurt).  Part of the headaches was a failure to provide the passes to the pool and tennis courts.  Finally, after 3 weeks, we got out passes.  Earlier this week, while entering the pool, we were informed by a club employee that our membership was only unlimited for the first 3 month, and that moving forward we only have 6-pool passes, or we have to pay an additional $130 for the year.  The landlord decided to not pay the pool bill in full, which gives up only basic access, which is -passes per year.  I know that $130 isn’t that much for a year, but the principle of renting an apartment with a “pool” to just find out later that it is “3-months of pool and 6-pool passes for the next 9 months” seemed a bit deceptive.

So, I got in touch with the property manager, and he got in touch with the owner, and the owner gave the property manager a message, and the message was passed to me…”go fuck yourself”

Like that day on the beach, I need your pseudo little brother assistance.  Please let me know how you would handle this…small claims? Suck it up? Complain about every little detail in the apartment?  Cry?  Please let me know, because while I’ve sent some strongly worded emails, I’m not set on the next move.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Visitor Log and Forecast – June 1, 2013

When we first told our family that we were moving to San Diego they were happy until they realized we were serious…then came the grieving process including the “bargaining” stage.  This is when family and friends explained that they would not visit, and therefore we should not move.  Well, the visitor bubble has been breached and they are starting to flow.  

The following is a list of the planned trips over the next few months.  Who wouldn’t want to visit beautiful San Diego, again and again and again and …?

My parents and my sister left this morning from a 1-week visit to our new home in San Diego.  My mom will be back for her next visit in exactly 6-weeks.  However, in 11 days my mom’s sister, my aunt (better known as “Auntie”) will be here for her week visit from the 12th to the 19th of June.  Three weeks after Auntie leaves is when Mom comes back.  

When mom is done with her second visit in July, we will have a whole week off before my mother-in-law and sister-in-law join us from August 1st to August 6th.  Less than 24 hours after they take off, my father lands.  He will stay with us for 2 weeks.  And then, it’s over…but only for 6 weeks when mom returns with her mother, Aggie (my grandmother and my kids’ “Nana”). 

In our first 6 months, we have visitors here for 2 months, or 1/3 of the time that we are here.  It’s as if we are keeping the vacation warm as people come back and forth.  We didn’t move…we bought a bed and breakfast (and we love it…the more family, the better).