Fancy Me, Not The Real Me

For Mother’s Day yesterday, the kid’s and I donned our nicest outfits, did our hair up nice, and took Jac to a fancy restaurant on Mount Washington overlooking Pittsburgh.

They made me proud by putting so much into making the day special for their Mom. They made special cards, picked up petit fours for her, helped her garden, and even behaved well in a fancy restaurant (which is tough for all of us!).

Winston wore a button down shirt, but underneath he was wearing a Pokemon shirt. He started to unbutton his shirt at the tail end of the meal and I told him to stop until we are outside the restaurant and across the street, then he can take off his fancy shirt. Winston replied, “Dad, the fancy me, is not the real me.” I am pretty sure that statement will always remain true for Winston, his appearance has never been much of a priority, he seems quite content in leisure wear. 97% of the time, Winston orders mac & cheese, chicken fingers, or pizza…fortunately, the fancy restaurant offered mac & cheese.

Dalia, on the other hand, wore a lovely dress and put her hair up nice and even applied her own makeup. I think she enjoys a little fancy now and then. Dalia is also much more adventurous from a culinary standpoint, over the weekend, I witnessed her try a free sushi sample at the grocery store, she tried some of Jaclyn’s Striped Bass at the fancy restaurant, and she ordered a frappuccino at Starbucks.

Jaclyn’s birthday is on Tuesday, if the weather cooperates, we will enjoy food from the grill on our back porch.



I know you are tired of hearing it, but work has been busy lately. So when an opportunity came along to go to an offsite meeting in Pittsburgh, I enthusiastically volunteered to get some time out of the office. Unfortunately, my scheme backfired and I ended up being there from 8AM to 9PM. After a long day in a hotel ballroom, I got in my car and headed home. I tuned my radio to the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game and the game was very one-sided by the time I turned it on.

It is hard to explain, but I love listening to baseball broadcasters in games that are out of hand. You hear their attention drifting over to the clumsy mascot spilling popcorn into an unsuspecting fan, the prank involving a blown up bubble gum bubble being placed onto a fellow ball player’ s hat in the dugout, one of the most glorious events is when the losing team has used up all of their pitchers and has to rely on a non-pitcher to finish the game. Jose Canseco famously injured himself as a late inning blowout relief pitcher.

The game I was listening to featured a pitcher coming into the game in the seventh inning and his team was down by 8 runs. You could tell that there were very few fans left in the stadium as you could hear only like 4 or 5 people talking in the stands versus the normal chatter of thousands of spectators. The pitcher retired the first couple of batters, but then proceeded to throw 8 or 9 consecutive balls. Many of the pitches were so far off the plate the catcher couldn’t even catch it and the ball rolled all the way to the backstop. When the pitcher finally threw a strike, the 4 or 5 fans went berserk and obnoxiously celebrated the simple feat.

I am sure millions of people would switch places with that major league pitcher, but I am sure he wouldn’t have minded being someone else that night.

On a separate note, I said to Winston: great news, it is May! You know that April showers bring May flowers, it will be great to see those flowers!

Winston said: sure dad, but what do May flowers bring?

me: Dunno?!

Winston: pilgrims.



IMG_0878Savannah was a charming city, but didn’t see, taste, or hear anything that required for me to go back. Maybe I missed something. The sign below was from a restaurant in Savannah that I did not go inside, but I love this big neon signs.  IMG_0881

We saw Dan TDM with Winston and Dalia over Easter weekend. It wasn’t my cup of tea, but I loved hearing how excited the kids were, the audience of kids between 5-12 were absolutely insane for this show.

IMG_0893I recently had my 1 year check up at the University of Penn (post kidney donation). I got a hotel the night before so I did not need to drive into Philly and fight traffic right before my appointment. The room had a giant bathtub, I took this photo from the bathtub. The appointment went very well, all is good in the hood.IMG_0899

The day after my kidney appointment was record store day. I found a store in Philadelphia and waited in line for the store to open. I got Thelonious Monk, Bruce Springsteen, and Luna. IMG_0913

My man cave is shaping up nicely. I have been hanging on to all my hotel key cards since 2009 and have put them over an old table and applied varnish over it. A lot of good memories when I look at those cards. Try to find Yoda in the picture below.


Winston asked if I wanted a brownie, this is what he gave me when I said “yes”. IMG_0918

My parents gave me an awesome growler that looks like a miniature keg. I got it filled with Jailbreak from Spoonwood Brewing Company. It is an Irish dark beer that was very smooth.IMG_0919

The Hot 8 Brass Band, my recording. Saw these guys in Philly on the same day as my kidney appointment.

Here is a much more polished video, what a group and what a concert, everybody was sweaty by the end!