Posts Tagged ‘Familia’



October 29, 2011

An actual conversation that I’m having with my actual family via texting right now:

What you need to know is that my mom and brother are flying up to visit me in New York today (for essentially their first trip to the city, although Mom was here overnight once before), but my dad wasn’t able to get away from work.

Mom: On 85 :)

(Texting Mom at significant points is a tradition for us that dates back to me being SUPER excited about going. . . well, kind of about going pretty much anywhere.  “On 85!”  “Just hit the Florida state line! Ow.”  “Found the ocean!”)


Mom: Checked in!

Me: Yay!!! Call me from the gate!
Mom: Ok, sitting with dad for a few minutes.
Me: Hi dad!!!

(In my mind’s eye, Dad–who has never been to NY and always wanted to go–is now arm-wrestling Mom for control of the handset.)

Dad:  Hey there.  Have a good time for me.
Me:  Nope.  I've got YOUR first trip up here already planned.  So I'm saving your good time til then.
Me:  It's called the 'ZOMG! My Dad Would LOVE That' trip, and it already has eleventy-six stops on it.

Dad:  Remember who you're talking to.  I don't have a clue what you just said.

Me:  Eleventy-six is like twenty-six or thirty-six, but better.

Me:  And possibly on performance-enhancing drugs.




Chekov’s Gun. . .

October 1, 2009

Anton Chekhov famously instructed writers, “If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.”

Yes, that sounds familiar.


Musings Whilst Attending a Pot of Couscous

August 4, 2009

A few quick thoughts that demand public iteration, admittedly of moderate worth and less coherence


By The Numbers

June 21, 2009

I was home for 48 hours.  A quick by-the-numbers breakdown:

10 hours of sleep.

9 cousins and significant others in  attendance (we were missing Jeff and his wife, but the rest of us were there.)

8 am wake up calls both days.   (Both times by Brother J coming in and asking incomprehensible questions while I was asleep.)

7 minutes of ice time over two periods that I got to watch Brother J skate.  Forty-five minutes of “me” time driving to the rink?  Priceless.

6 different ingredients in the recipe that  Brother M decided he  wanted to try while we were in the grocery  store.  (Zucchini  and whole-wheat pasta in a garlic-lemon  sauce.  I was impressed.)

5 different ways my uncle found to go down the water slide–all at top volume.

4 of us in the pontoon boat, tooling around the lake and hanging out.  I love my boys!

3 trips to grocery store, as the menu evolved for Saturday.  One was at about midnight, after the game.  There is something magical about hitting Kroger in the wee hours, buying six  cases of soda, and NOT having to worry about carrying them home.

2nd degree burns (or it feels like it, anyway) over every exposed area of my body.  The lake was perfect, about 96 degrees, and the wind was up so it didn’t feel too hot.   We boated, we rode the jet ski, we swam, we stormed the beaches of a deserted island, we used my black shirt as our own personal jolly roger, and while others may be able to do this in only 45 sunblock, I, alas, should have been in 70.  Or, a burqa.

1 houseboat, 1 pontoon boat, 1 family and a 70th birthday party.

Happy Birthday, Gram!  Hope you had as much fun  as we did!


Monday Math 101

April 13, 2009

The sacred byword of my childhood was, “practicality.”

It didn’t matter how amazing or inspired the idea, if it failed the common sense test, it would not be endorsed or followed through on. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to appreciate the attitude–I am not, by nature, a practical soul, so having a low tolerance for impractical ideas gives me an ingrained brake on my more whimsical tendencies.

It does, however, lead to an activity we shall call “Practical Math.”

Case in point:

I don’t feel like doing kickboxing tonight. I want to take a yoga class that I’ve been looking at for a while, and there’s an 8pm class at the 83rd St gym, or at the Park Slope gym.

I work in Soho, and live in Brooklyn. 83rd Street is towards the top of Central Park. In New York distances–Outer Mongolia. HOWEVER–I can grab a train a block away from work, drop off a block away from the gym, and then grab another train a couple blocks east that will take me relatively close to home.

Park Slope is one neighborhood over from me. In actual footprint–maybe 2-3 miles away, tops. Again, however–I’m about four blocks from a train that will actually get me there, and there’s nothing that could even pretend to be practical to get me home.

My travel time is probably about equal.

So, is it practical that I’m about to go work out at 83rd St? Yeah. Sure it is. Absolutely. No question.




The Pan-Continental Birthday Bash Expands!

January 6, 2009

Okay, I think I’m going to cry. . .

My best friend has a four-year-old who is without a doubt my *favorite* guy ever. I used to be able to spend a lot of time with him, but since I moved to NY–not so much. The other night, she was putting him to bed, and he said, with profound gravity. . .

“Mama, I’m going to marry you when I grow up.”

“Thank you, sweetheart,” Nic replied, a little taken aback, “but I’m already married to Daddy, and you can only be married to one person.”

Mikey drifted off to sleep, but apparently still had the subject on his mind, because the next morning he appeared for breakfast. . .

“Mama, I know that you’re married to Daddy.”

“That’s right.”

“So I decided that I’m going to marry ALI!”

Hey ya’ll. . . I’m betrothed!

Fast-forward to yesterday, when Mikey reminded Nic that he was still planning on marrying me. Nic mentioned that my birthday is on Friday, and Mikey immediately added my party to his busy calendar (isn’t he sweet??). Nic explained that I was in New York, and wasn’t having a birthday party, so. . .

So. . . (this seriously makes me tear up). . .

After much consideration (he was a little disturbed that I wouldn’t have a party), my best friend, my “bro”, and my favorite little boy are going to be making a Funfetti cake (my favorite!) and having a party for me this weekend, complete with a place set for me at the table!

Nic, Mike, and Mikey–I love you guys, and MISS YOU so much!


“C’mon Gate, Jump in the Car.”

May 5, 2005

My entire life, if anyone asked me what the worst thing I could imagine was, I would answer them without hesitation.

(No one ever asked, but I just wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have stock of answers to such questions, just in case.)

The thought that would make my stomach clench up against my spine, and make me cry just to think about, was the fact that one day my grandfather would die, and I lived in mortal terror of the day it must inevitably become reality.

My grandfather–“PaBuck”, from when I was too stubborn to say “Papa” and too little to manage “Grandpa Buck”–is, was, and shall always be the epitome of cool. Civil War buff, cooking connoisseur, mechanical genius, and the original Fonzie, there was absolutely nothing that PaBuck couldn’t fix. Skinned knees made him shake his head, and broken hearts made him give you a hug, and even the worst of teenage angst could be whisked away by the sound of a Harley rumbling into the garage with donuts in the saddlebags, and an almost certain invitation to come and spend the night with him and Grandma. And Mom was required to let me go.

Did I idolize him? Oh, yeah. I did. And even though I know his faults–and have more than once informed humanity at large that he is stubborn, and headstrong, and absolutely unrelenting–and he is!–it doesn’t matter. The simple truth of the matter is that there was nothing so horribly broken that he couldn’t fix it, no situation beyond his control, and no day that wasn’t an adventure when he came around.

The call came four years ago, and it was every bit the hell that I thought it would be. My strongest memory is of members of my family, just hugging and holding on to each other, because every single one of us was wondering how on earth life could ever be normal without him around.

Tonight, I was sitting on the couch, flipping channels and thinking it was about time for bed, and suddenly I remembered one holiday–Thanksgiving or Christmas, something cold–and how the room looked and the mental image of him sitting in the rocker, cheering the football game. And I miss him, and it’s making me cry, and I just wanted to sit down and close my eyes, and share him with everyone else, because there are not enough people in the world who got to know him (although he was friends with all of them–and every Waffle House waitress in a seventy-five mile radius). And even though I know that he knew–and knows–how much we loved him, and even though I know that he’s strong and healthy now, and still looking out for us–I just had to say, publicly and out loud, that I love him and miss him and it still hurts like hell, and for the record I think dying is a stupid, stupid idea.

I guess that’s about it.  G’night.