July 16, 2009

101 Words of Wisdom (21-40)

    21. Thank your teachers. They laid the foundation to your future success.
    22. Learn to play a musical instrument. Everyone wishes they knew how to play the piano or the guitar.
    23. Maintain your car. Change the oil, rotate the tires, get scheduled tune-ups. Your car will last much longer.
    24. Don’t let fear stand in the way of your dreams. Fear is a wasted emotion.
    25. Learn to say “I’m sorry.” Apologizing helps make it better.
    26. Find a mentor. If someone is where you want to be, seek that person out and learn.
    27. Learn CPR and First Aid. You never know when you could need it.
    28. Surround yourself with people smarter than you. Be confident in that others brilliance shines brightly on you.
    29. There is no such thing as “get rich quick.” Success comes from talent and hard work. Period.
    30. Become an organ donor. Your last gift will save others.
    31. Always make sure you take time for yourself. You can’t give to others when your tank is on empty.
    32. At work, dress for the next position you want. If you look like you belong, superiors will take notice.
    33. Stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Correct injustices when you encounter them.
    34. Don’t take yourself too seriously. You can count on the fact that 10 years from now you will laugh at your current hairstyle and clothes.
    35. Love with abandon. Holding back when in love doesn’t honor how rare love can be.
    36. Give blood regularly. Every blood donation can help three others.
    37. If someone offers you a breath mint, take it. There might be a reason it’s being offered.
    38. Be humble. Nobody falls harder than the one who thinks he can’t fall.
    39. Admit when you’re wrong. It certainly won’t be the last time so get used to it.
    40. Don’t assume. It only makes an ass out of you and… well, just you.

July 11, 2009

101 Words of Wisdom (1-20)

In a week and a half I’ll be 38 years old. I like this age. I’m old enough to have gained some experience but not too old so that I can’t benefit from that experience. And, as I think of all I’ve learned, I realize that I want to pass some of this wisdom down to my children. So over the next few weeks I plan on completing 101 Words of Wisdom for my children.

  1. Say “Please” and “Thank you.” Being grateful for what comes your way will keep you grounded.
  2. Honor your elders. They paved the way for all that you have today.
  3. Always include time for exercise in your life. In the end, your health is all you have.
  4. Don’t waste time worrying about what others think. A very wise Doctor once said, “Those who mind, don’t matter. And those that matter, don’t mind.” (Dr. Seuss)
  5. Eat sweets in moderation. Short-term pleasure doesn’t out weigh long-term consequences.
  6. Be generous with compliments. They are the real currency of life.
  7. Don’t worry about money. Never spend what you don’t have and you’ll be fine.
  8. Plan for the future. Learn to balance short-term and long-term goals.
  9. Laugh often. Nothing is more therapeutic than laughing out loud.
  10. When meeting someone for the first time, always stand and shake their hand. First impressions count.
  11. Never let anything come between you and your sibling. Family bonds will see you through the toughest of times.
  12. Give to charity. Devoting Time, Treasure or Talent in helping others less fortunate is a great reward.
  13. Never stop learning. When you think you know it all, you don’t.
  14. Take time to play with kids. They keep you young.
  15. Learn to write well. The power of the written word can topple regimes and warm hearts.
  16. Always use your turn signal. It’s like saying “excuse me” when stepping in front of someone.
  17. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Your integrity is one of your most important assets.
  18. Eat a piece of fresh fruit once a day. If you’re living in California, you have no excuse.
  19. Call your mother. She worries about you.
  20. Call your father. He misses you when you’re not around

May 16, 2009

Riddle me this…

Lately, this parenting thing has raised more questions than answers. So many questions come up every day that I thought I’d throw up a few to see if any of you might enlighten me. Or, perhaps, you have some questions of your own. Either way, leave a comment and we’ll get through this parenting thing together.

How is it that 5 minute naps in the car means your child will not fall asleep again until Letterman signs off?

Is there a limit to how many times a kid can poop in one day?

Why does your child wait until the guy with the mohawk and the tattoo of a swatsika on his forehead is standing right next to you to ask, “Daddy, why does that man look like that?!”

Why does your child’s extreme need to tell you something always coincide with your need to use the bathroom?

How can the hour before bed time seem like a year and the year between birthdays seem like an hour?

Why do the words, “Daddy, come see what I did!” send chills down my spine?

How can a child who can’t count past 13 know when she’s been short-changed in the snack department?

Why does the three-year-old get to control the remote?

Why do tantrums always seem to occur when you’re running late?

Why can’t both kids get sick at the same time?

When do kids learn to wipe their own butt?

Why don’t marker sets come with extra pink and extra blue pens?

Can ketchup be considered a vegetable?

Why don’t more foods come in the shape of a nugget?

Why don’t upscale restaurants have a Drive-Thru?

Why do the words “Be gentle with the cat” sink in just fine but the words “Don’t hit your brother,” don’t?

Why did the Thomas The Train people name a train Percy? Don’t they know how that sounds from a little boy who has trouble pronouncing his “R’s”?

When will Kelly and Handy Manny finally get it on in the back of the hardware store?

Why do kids always miss the toy the day after you throw it out?

Do kids lack the ability to recognize they’ve seen the same damn episode of [insert any children's television show here] three times in the past five days?

When will I finally get this parenting thing figured out?

April 11, 2008

100 Things Worth Remembering, Part IV

The final installment of my list. You can see 1-25 here; 26-50 here; and 51-75 here.

76. My daughter staggering down the hall in her jammies, kitty tucked under her arm and hair all wild, to say good morning to mommy
77. Playing chess with my brother in Mexico
78. The waxy texture of a red Now & Later wrapper as I eat the candy on the bus ride home from school
79. Meeting Nutmeg the cat at the humane society for the first time – she greeted me with a nose touch.
80. The cornucopia of goodness that was the candy aisle at the 7-Eleven on the way home from school.
81. The dramatic flourish that was the follow-through of Will Clark’s swing
82. Being on the field before Super Bowl XIX watching Reggie Roby punt
83. The George Washington Bridge lit up at night.
84. Early morning sprint workouts on the indoor oval with college teammates
85. Hot dog wrappers swirling in the outfield by arctic winds on a summer day at Candlestick Park.
86. My wife’s smile
87. Michael Johnson’s 19.32 200 meters in 1996.
88. Putting on my cap and gown in May of 1993.
89. Cherry Blossoms on College Walk
90. Putting my arm around my wife for the very first time on the Ferris Wheel.
91. Finally being big enough to ride the Big Dipper.
92. Carrying my babies down the stairs, one in each arm, every morning.
93. My son sleeping on my stomach
94. The giggle of my daughter
95. A bagel with a block of cream cheese and coffee in the blue cup on the way to work in Manhattan
96. Cruising with my friend Brent in his souped-up, custom, VW bug, circa 1987.
97. My mother telling me that she loved me “more than there are stars in the sky” as a child.
98. Telling my children the same thing.
99. Watching batting practice, eating a polish, with my brother at PacBell Park
100. Me, with a full head of hair.

March 24, 2008

100 Things Worth Remembering, Part III

These are #’s 51-75 of the memories I hope pop up as my life flashes before my eyes.

51. Dancing with my daughter while she stands on my feet.
52. The look on my son’s face as he says “UH OH, PISGHETTIO”
53. The first warm spring day in college.
54. The red and black grip tape on my first skateboard
55. Watching the sun rise over the Finger Lakes in upstate NY by myself
56. Playing “Pirate Ship” atop the retaining wall at my childhood home
57. The lightning bolt earring I wore on race day
58. The warm laughter of my high school friends
59. Standing in line to see Star Wars for the first time
60. Giving my little brother “noogies”
61. Wearing my green & yellow Little League jacket to school on game day
62. My custom purple, pink and lime green Vans
63. Doing cannon balls into my aunt’s pool on the 4th of July
64. Playing volleyball on the beach during the summers of my youth
65. Watching my brother say “I do”
66. Buying candy cigarettes at the corner store
67. Climbing on the tractors at my grandpa’s house
68. Diving to my right to stop a penalty kick
69. Holding my acceptance letter to college
70. Asking my honey to marry me
71. My first “all by myself” apartment
72. The baseball pennants adorning the walls of my childhood bedroom
73. My first yellow Tonka dump truck
74. Waking up to find a photo of me running on the front page of the sports section
75. Catching a foul ball with my bare hands

March 19, 2008

100 Things Worth Remembering, Part II

These are #’s 26-50 of the memories I hope pop up as my life flashes before my eyes.

26. My newborn babies being cleaned off by the nurses
27. Train ride through the Canadian Rockies
28. Joe Morgan’s game winning home run to knock the Dodgers out of the playoffs
29. Watching my first snowfall on a Thanksgiving Eve in New York City
30. Snuggling with the babies after early morning feedings
31. Running along the ocean cliffs of my home town
32. The smile of my first crush
33. Wearing my letterman’s jacket for the first time
34. Seeing my wife for the first time
35. Watching baseball at Shea Stadium on my birthday
36. The Catch
37. Clowns on my eighth birthday
38. Rubbing my wife’s very pregnant belly
39. Barreling down the steepest hill in my neighborhood on my skateboard
40. Doing a drum solo with a broken wrist
41. Purchasing my wife’s engagement ring
42. My first car
43. My daughter’s laugh
44. My son’s eyebrows going up and down
45. Going to the high school state championship track meet
46. Racing in Madison Square Garden
47. The red and yellow bike I got for Christmas
48. Playing whiffle ball with my brother in the driveway
49. Eating refried beans and rice at my grandmother’s restaurant
50. The look on my wife’s face when she told me we were having twins

March 18, 2008

100 Things Worth Remembering

Stolen from my cousin Maggie (It’s okay, we’re family):

Scenes I hope pop up as my life flashes before my eyes. Numbers 1-25:

1. My father playing on the floor with me and my brother
2. Tetherball on the playground
3. Playing a crisp rhythm on a snare drum
4. Putting on new, Pink and Yellow, Nike Zoom spikes
5. My brother’s laugh
6. A Hawaiian sunrise
7. Holding hands with my wife for the first time
8. Throwing a guy out at first base from center field
9. The moment I pull away from the field on a winning 4×400 anchor leg
10. Learning that we actually got the house
11. Babies first steps
12. Seeing my bride for the first time
13. My mother and I dancing in the living room
14. Legging out a triple
15. Getting on the plane for freshman year of college all by myself
16. Fourth of July sparkler fun with family
17. Driving out of town by myself for the first time
18. Kindergarten on the stage of my elementary school
19. Climbing to the highest point of the tree
20. Riding a bike through Central Park in the Fall
21. Resting my head on the belly of my childhood dog
22. My first job interview where I really wanted the job
23. Being greeted at the door by toddlers at the end of the day
24. Beating my best friend Brent in basketball (because it didn’t happen often)
25. The feeling of High School Graduation

June 22, 2007

Diaper Wipes, The New Duct Tape

This past father’s day, I had the honor of collaborating with my fellow blogfathers about what the meaning of fatherhood is to me. In my little section, I opined that “diaper wipes are the single most utilitarian tool outside of duct tape.” That got me thinking, what are the many uses of diaper wipes? So, while sitting here in front of my new Flat Screen HDTV (Thanks Honey!), I’m gonna list as many as I can think of. Here we go.

Diaper wipes are good for…

  • Wiping Butts (duh)
  • Wiping Noses
  • Wiping Faces
  • Wiping Bodies when baths aren’t possible (lavender scented work best)
  • Getting Dust Bunnies
  • Cleaning the bannister
  • Removing crayon from the coffee table
  • Polishing your shoes
  • Wiping snot off your computer screen
  • Cleaning grout on kitchen tile
  • Wiping dried oatmeal from the floor
  • Cleaning high chair trays
  • Cleaning the blades on your windshield wipers
  • Wiping little handprints off doors
  • Cleaning outer ears
  • Wiping handprints off your brand new 37″ Flat Screen HDTV
  • Making Dads look sensitive when passengers have to move diaper wipes package from floor board of car
  • Slicking hair back of your kid when a comb can’t be found
  • Wiping dirt from the top of a soda can
  • Doing a quick wipe down of the toilet rim before visitors arrive
  • Helping remove hot lightbulbs from lamps
  • Okay, that’s a good list. What else can you think of?

    January 26, 2007

    Please don’t let me forget…

    -Soft, chubby cheeks.

    -The lavender smell of freshly cleaned babies.

    -Putting on socks and shoes.


    -Crawling, feet-first, down stairs.

    -Food in tiny little pieces.

    -Sippy cups.

    -Sign Language.

    -”What sound does an elephant make?” “Pffft.”

    -”What sound does a bird make?” “Pbbbbbt.”

    -Bedtime lullabies.

    -”Hi-ya” and “Buh-Bye”

    -Tossing babies into the air.

    -Little hands holding my finger.

    -Crawling into my lap.

    -Standing up in cribs to welcome me in the morning.

    -2-hour naps.

    -First words.

    -First steps.


    -Gobbling toes.

    -Raspberries on bellies.

    -”Sssshhh!” (As TheMonk stalks kitty)

    -Two beautiful babies.

    November 28, 2006

    Things I’ve learned

    Sometimes, when I’m out in my day to day life I inadvertently stumble upon little nuggets of wisdom that will be useful to pass along to my children. Often times, I forget what that little nugget was by the time I get back home to document it. This time, however, not only have I made the effort, I have succeeded. Here are some of the things I have noticed recently that TheMonk and Swee’Pea will need to know…

    - Always, always, always do the right thing. Even if it kills you inside to admit you were wrong or not doing what is right will help you in the short run, it will certainly haunt you in the long run. I only wish I learned this earlier. It would have saved me a lot of grief.

    - Never pass gas in an empty elevator. You never know who will get in right as you get off. (Passing gas in a full elevator is perfectly okay, however, as long as you start looking at the person next to you like he did it.)

    - Don’t worry about what other people think. Only concentrate on doing what is right. Too many people spend too much wasted time worrying about what others think. Trust me, 10 years from now, no one will remember that you walked around all day with your fly unzipped but they’ll remember if you were unkind.

    - Don’t drink milk that’s more than six or seven days past it’s due date. Trust me on this.

    - Always be kind to the receptionist. They are the gate keeper to many business opportunities.

    - Never wear plaid with stripes. In fact, unless you’re a scottish terrier, never wear plaid.

    - Never stop exercising. Once you stop, it’s so much harder to start again.

    - Never pet your cat after eating buttered popcorn. Neither you, nor the cat, will be particularly happy.

    - Change the oil in your car regularly.

    - Love with all of your heart! Not just a little bit! Don’t save it for later! Give it all you’ve got now! Yes, you might get hurt but, oh what a fantastic feeling it is to love with abandon.

    - Take risks. Not “run with scissors” risks but rather the kind that if you just stretch beyond your comfort zone, you’ll acheive great things. Taking risks is necessary. And don’t worry, your Daddy will be here to catch you if you fall.

    Oh, and always call your mother.

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