Archive for January, 2012

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Contest Factory for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


Pimp My Cube Contest

So I was informed of a new contest, which is ending very soon by www.contestfactory.com/pimp called Pimp My Cube. They are looking for the worst, messiest cubicle or office that may have bad furniture, old technology or any other attributes which make it a bad space to work in . . .

What they want is for people to upload a video showing their cubicle or office while they explain the details about why it is horrible and why it is so important that Contest Factory come in and ‘Pimp’ their cube. Once you upload your video and it is entered, have your friends, family and coworkers visit the site and vote for your video.

You receive points in the sweepstakes for registering, voting, commenting and inviting others to register for the contest.

The grand prize value is up to $1200 to have your cubicle “pimped” with one of three prize packeages and will be selected by ContestFactory judges based on various criteria such as the most votes, best video and most compelling story.

The Prize packages are:

1.    A new high end computer system 

2.    A new Desk, Chair and Decorations 

3.    Or a new Entertainment Package (high end stereo, espresso machine etc).

Right now, no one has uploaded a video, so the chances of winning are very good and it is easy to upload your video to the site to enter. You can record a video from your phone or webcam and try to make your video fun and witty. Anything goes!! And the better the story, the funnier the video, the better chances you have of winning.

There will also be a second place prize awarded to the registered user chosen by random drawing at the end of the contest period. The prize is a $200 gift card.

The contest will run from 12/5/11 at 12:00PM to 1/31/12 at 12:00PM, so hurry and record your video and upload it to www.contestfactory.com/pimp.

I would definitely visit http://www.contestfactory.com/pimp website, register and upload videos to enter in the contest. Once your video is approved, encourage your friends and family vote on your video so you can “Pimp Your Cubicle”!

Good Luck and let me know how it goes so I can come by, check out your video and vote for you!

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This week’s prompts made me really think. I mean I have tons of Life Stories but when you have to actually sit down and put 10 of them on a list… it becomes a little daunting. But I did it. So here they are. In no particular order.

1. Denting a truck

This particular story sounds straight forward, but it isn’t. Nothing with me ever is, at least not the pre-30’s me. So here is what happened.

I had just learned how to ride a 2 wheeler bicycle. I had a bicycle but it was really cheap and from being embarrassed to ride a bike with training wheels at age 7 I didn’t use it and it did not work. Fortunately, some family friends had given a new bicycle to their kids so they gave us their old one. I remember it to this day. It was a Ross 3 speed bicycle. It was brown, VERY scratched and rusted, with a big banana albeit ripped seat and the shifter didn’t work. However, it worked and that’s all I cared about.

Well, it also had this fender on the front wheel and I was riding and watching the tire near the fender and then BAM!

I had run right into my neighbors 1976 Chevy Blazer! I bent the license plate and left a nice dent in the rear door. I cried but more out of being startled than being hurt.

Unfortunately my Dad had to pay to have the truck fixed!

2. Undenting our Aunt’s Car

One time we were at my best friend’s house having a BBQ. His daughter was little, maybe 2 or 3 and we were all messing around and teasing Mark’s little brother Scott. Well, Scott either pushed or punched (I cannot remember which) his brother, My friend, Mark and Mark jumped on him and they wrestled…

Right into Aunt Barb’s Lincoln town car.

At the time Scott was a bit hefty and when Mark pushed him we heard this DOINK and everything stopped. They slowly backed away from the car and there was this really big dent the size of Scott’s butt in the rear quarter panel of her car. We thought we were screwed because then Mom came walking over (it was Mark & Scott’s mom but I was family and I call her mom till this day). Mark leaned against the car covering the dent and she told us to mess around somewhere else because if anything happened to Aunt Barb’s car she would KILL us. We said ok and she walked away.

We have no idea if she knew there was a dent and wanted us to panic and then come clean or what.

Anyway, Mark ran into the house and told us to keep it covered. About 3 minutes later he came out with a bathroom plunger. We put it to the dent, pulled and DOINK the dent came right out PERFECTLY. There was not a single mark on the car.

If they knew about it, they never told us.

3. Run in with the “Hey, Knock it off” guy

One time we were out riding bikes. We were about 13 maybe, and we were just sitting around by the 3rd street hills chatting. I was messing with this really big rock, Pat found this axe handle he was batting pebbles with, Danny had a really big beer bottle. It was a colt 45 bottle but we had never seen a beer bottle that HUGE before so we thought it was cool. And Mark had a wise ass mouth! LOL. Funny how mark is in most of these stories… but then again we have been friends for over 35 years.

Well we got up and left and we all took our found treasures with us. To this day I have no idea why I took a huge 10+ pound rock but kids do weird things.

We rode down the dead end street because we could ride through and I threw my rock at a stop sign and it made a HUGE BONG! After I did that Danny threw the bottle at the sign and missed and it broke on the curb and Pat swung the axe handle at the sign and it made an even bigger BONG.

We rode through the street and this guy yells “HEY, Knock it off!” And, Mark not being armed with a wise mouth mocked him in a very funny voice and we rode to the creek hills.

Now the creek hills were a few small hills with a creek running through but it was an undeveloped area and it opened up to 5 or 6 different streets. We used it many times to get away from kids who were chasing us during our bike chases (but that is a story for another Blog). We stopped on a hill and Mark wanted to keep going but I had my new Puma sneakers on and say “No way, not with my new Pumas!”

So we were laughing about it and how the guy yelled at us and Marked Mocked him again. Just as he did it this big car screeched to a stop about 15 feet or so from us and it was the Hey Knock it off guy. This time he yelled, quite angrily I may add “Hey you kids, get over here!”

So we did what any group of kids does… we took off through the creek and down the path.

We stopped a little down the path because I had a feeling the guy was waiting for us to pop out on one of the streets. Sure enough, he passed by our location and yelled at us again so we took off in the opposite direction.

We did this for about 10-15 minutes with the guy going from one street access to another and we rode to a different one. After 15 minutes he disappeared for a while so we were about to leave and a car drove past one of the entrances but it was a different car. We didn’t leave right away but I knew we needed to because there was something in the trunk. Apparently the Hey Knock it off Guy had gotten his wife’s bicycle, complete with while plastic woven basket with flowers on the front, and asked his friend to bring him to the far entrance and he was going to chase us. Luckily we realized what was happening and took off, but he nearly caught Danny and we took off this time.

Luckily we were all VERY fast on our bikes and he could not catch us. He chased us all the way to the Junior High school which was about 6 or 7 long blocks away and so we did our normal routine.

We cut through Jr. High and jumped the rear steps and waited on the dirt road to see what was going on. This area was always safe because we had about 50-100 feet in every direction to see someone coming at us and a car would have to jump the steps. Once we saw the car with the basket bicycle pull up, we waited for the car to unload the bike and we yelled “Hey Knock it off” in our nasally mocking voice and did the last thing we always did. Beat it to my house, went into the back yard, turned one of the bicycles upside down and popped the chain so it looked like we were working on it and watched through my back yard hedges to see if he passed by. With the hedges we could see people but they had difficulty seeing us.

He rode past and we never heard from him again. But to this day we do the nasally mock voice for him and back then, we didn’t go anywhere near that road for 2 weeks… just in case.

4. Homemade convertible

This one time we were going out east to go 4-wheeling with our trucks. Danny didn’t have a truck so he usually just came with us because 4-wheeling is TONS of fun.

Well, danny decided to buy a cheap wrecker of a car and we decided it would be cool to see if we could make it into a convertible. So we used Mark’s blow torch and cut the roof off and it was cool. The problem was the car.

It was a $100 wreck. It leaked oil like CRAZY! We had to put oil into it every 50 miles or so. And the hood didn’t latch so it was held down with a chain.

Anyway, after the roof was off and we were heading out east, Danny and Don were in the car and stopped to gas up and put oil in the car. So they did but tweedle dumb aand tweedle dumber forgot to attach the chain.

They were driving down the road with us behind them and wind caught the hood and it opened. Now that alone would be funny enough except they were moving at about 50 mph so the hood lifted up, bent back, hit the windshield top where we cut the roof off. The hood creased right along the edge and the hood wacked both of them right on top of their noggins.

Thank goodness no one was really hurt but it took Dan and Don about 25 minutes to calm down from their headaches and almost the same amount of time for Mark and I to stop laughing.

5. How we learned to ski

Some of our friends skied and were very good. Mark and I had never gone, didn’t won skis but figured it would be fun. Plus we were 19 and ski bunnies are HOT! So we went.

Now normal friends would take it easy and bring you up to a beginner or intermediate hill first. Not our friends. They thought it would be funny to bring us up to a double diamond. They also figured Mark and I were smart enough to look down the steepness of a double diamond on Windham mountain and get right back on the lift and go down. Well, little did they know we were NOT that bright… wait… that came out wrong.

Anyway, Mark and I said “Ok what do we do Now?” So our friends gave us a 3 minute lesson on how to ski and told us to go down on the lift to an easier mountain.

Mark and I said “OK” and went right down the double diamond.

Unfortunately our friends did not teach us how to stop. They kept telling me to sit down and I will wipe out stop but when I sat down, I sat right on my skis and went faster.

I had to put my gloved hand down into the snow and use my hand as a sort of emergency break. It worked but it also ripped my glove apart but both of us went down the mountain all the way with our friends and did not wipe out at all.

So, like the brain surgeons we were. We got on the lift again and did the same double diamond again.

After the second run, we stayed on the blue trails for the rest of the trip… until the end. Mark did the double diamond one last time and made it the entire way without trying to stop and did fine.

Oh yeah. We also had no idea what was needed for the trip so we actually skied the entire day… in our jeans! but we were smart enough to bring dry ones for the ride home! LOL

6. Our run in with Drug dealers

One night we were hanging out at “The water tower” not too far from us with some girls we were hanging out with. The area was isolated and we would do burn outs with our car on the road and then go over to the water tower and do the normal things 20 year olds do when in the woods with girls. 😉

Well, we were leaving and Me, Mark and Linda were in Mark’s car and Guy, Terry and Kim were in Guy’s car and this car drove up to us and asked if we wanted to buy Cocaine. We said no and they did the same to Guy. We left and they drove up next to Guy as he was going down the hill and ran him off the road. So we backed around and chased the drug dealers and got in front of them. We drove about 5 miles an hour and our 2 cars blocked the entire road so they couldn’t pass us. We even slammed the brakes a few times and they crashed into our car and their front grill was all messed up. We did this for about 5 minutes until Guy said it looks like one of them was reaching under the seat. We thought gun so we took off.

They tried to catch up but its hard to catch a 69 AMC javelin with a 343 and a 74 AMC javelin with a 360. We were loooong gone by the time they hit the gas!

7. Our teenage weekends

When we were teenagers and had our licenses we would do the typical drive all the common drag strips and meet new people.

Well, one Friday night we were bored!!! So I asked if Mark or his girlfriend, now wife, were working that weekend. None of us were so I said, “let’s go visit grandma and grandpa upstate!”

Mark and Tina both laughed and said no way.

Then about 15 minutes later we were driving upstate and sometime around 1 or so we pulled into their driveway. We had never done anything like this before and it felt AWESOME. We had the best weekend because Marks grandparents owned a mountain and his cousins house was directly across the street! So we were 4 wheeling and shooting bows and arrows all weekend as well as snowboarding off the back of the mountain.

I did get a little yelled at the next day, but my dad backed me up. When I went home to pack my mother was asleep and my dad was watching TV so I told him our plan and he said “ok, have fun” I think he even gave me $20.

8. Why my best friends wife hates me

My best friend Mark and his wife have been dating since high school. The problem was that they were THAT couple. You know. The couple that breaks up every other day and then gets back together the next day.

Now the reason she didn’t like me was because she expected Mark to mope around the house and then go back to her and apologize for whatever it was he did. And he did a lot of things back then. But she never factored me into the equation and I would never let him mope at home.

I remember one time, I went out with a female friend of mine that I worked with after work. When I met up with her, she had a friend with her, so my first call was to mark.

“Dude, what are you doing?”

“Watching TV.”

“Are you and Tina together or did you break up again?”

“Crazy chick! She just left here and we broke up… again!”

“AWESOME! I just met two girls and you will DEFINITELY like them!”

“Nah, I’m just going to stay in.”

“Duuuude!!! You’re killing me! Trust me, you will not be disappointed!”


And then a few hours later Tina would call Mark’s house and Mark’s brother Scott, the kid without a filter would say to her. “Yeah. Mark was here and looked pretty bummed, but then Jimmy called and he had met two girls and since you guys are broken up he would out with Jimmy!”

I still cannot figure out why she hates me!

9. Thanks Giving

Most people think of family and dinner every Thanksgiving. Not so for myself and Mark.

Our best Thanksgiving was when we were about 19 years old. We had found these trails a few weeks before and we also found a secret way to get our cars onto them.

The thanksgiving of 1989 or 1990 we took Mark’s Duster and drove all over the trails. We were driving on them and racing through puddles like we were the Dukes of hazzrd all day. That was until the Park Police started chasing us. Then we were chased by the Park police for about an hour until we felt we had a big enough lead on them to get to the secret entrance and get through without them finding it… so we could us it again later!

Every Thanksgiving we remember that day and blasting The Ramones.

10. Teaching my sister how to take aspirin

This one is a short one.

My sister was sick and she was at the evil girl stage. You know, that ages between 13 and 17 when you cannot ask a single thing without being given a rude, sarcastic remark! Anyway, she was taking a couple of aspirin and I told her the right way to take them was to chew them. She swallowed the first one whole and I told her it was wrong and to chew it.

She did and the look on her face made it all worth it since she was the evil teen sister from hell!!

Now she is the best sister any brother could ever ask for!

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When I moved into my first place I thought… FINALLY! It took long enough! As with everything there is a story behind that story.

I remember my first apartment very vivdly. It was a HUGE turning point in my life.

I grew up on Long Island and ever since I was old enough to drive, maybe even before then, I wanted to get off “the island.” On Long Island, kids usually stay at home until they are older than most of the rest of the nation, unless you have a REALLY bad relationship with your parents. I did not.

At 22 my best friend and I decided we were going to find an apartment for ourselves, however fate intervened and he decided to marry his girlfriend instead. I mean how selfish is that, to get married and mess up my… I mean our plans of growing up and finding our first place?

Anyway, at 29 I was working at a company in Manhattan. My job was in IT and the offices were located directly across the street from Grand Central Station. Living on Long Island, I had to take the morning train into Penn Station and then walk 16 blocks to work or I could take 2 subways and then walk a few blocks. I usually opted to walk 16.

For lunch one day I went out to get something to eat, but it was cold so I went into Grand Central to check it out. The station is absolutely gorgeous with its marble floors and ginormous cielings and murals, sky ceiling and grand staircases and, of course, the trademark Grand Central clock in the middle of the eNORMOUS main concourse.

When I returned from work I had some time so I looked up the train line and found that I could move off Long Island and commute less time, save money on train fare and walk across the street to work.

That weekend I took a drive upstate to check out some apartment complexes I found online which were not so far from the train terminal.

That week I called up and rented an apartment to move in 2 months time… sight unseen, except for the pictures provided on the website.

I set everything up, rented the uhaul, recruited my cousin to help and moved upstate. Unfortunately things do not work out as easily as that.

When I arrived they said they had “too many people moving in that day” and that my apartment was not ready. Then they tried to convince me that I was supposed to move in the following weekend and when they were looking at the paperwork and I showed where, in their handwriting, it clearly had the date of move in and it was that day.

Now it caught me as odd that they said they had too many people moving in. Its not like they were going to help me move my things in. As a stall tactic they said they would show me my apartment.

I was curious to see my new place and my cousin said he thought the place was going to be a dump. When we walked inside we were both amazed at how big and nice the place was. It was HUGE with a big walk-in closet as well as two large closets in the bedroom and an actual formal dining area!

They told me they would rush and finish up an apartment and I could move in on Sunday. I agree and also set up that they give me a week free rent AND they pay for the storage unit I now had to get to store my things which were overfilling my truck as well as my cousins car.

So I moved in on Sunday. Let me tell you, moving an overstuffed couch and loveseat in by yourself is NOT easy, but luckily the apartment was on the first floor so no stairs to climb.

I moved in on Sunday and was completely unpacked, pictures up new furniture bought and assembled by Thursday night.

I thought it was great! Until that weekend that is. I did what I wanted, but the downside was that my entire family and all my friends were back on Long Island. I was alone and didn’t know a single soul.

I went out and explored my new surroundings but still didn’t have any friends. There was on girl I became friends with prior to my move, but she was a lawyer and worked long hours so we only hung out once. We would email and IM chat a lot during working hours but that was it.

For the first 3 months I would call my family on long island and my cousin in PA every weekend. I can’t even count how many conversations my cousin and I had about feeling like moving like that was a big mistake because he had done the same things a few years ago to PA. He said it took him over 6 months to meet people and make friends.

I decided to sign up activity groups in the area to meet people and it worked. I met my amazing friends whom I still talk to and see, when time allows.

At one point my mother told me that she is glad I am happy up there but she was not so happy because she could never get me on the phone since I was always out with my friends and never available, so from that point forward she called me at work.

Moving away helped me is SOO many ways. It helped me grow up as a man and it even helped me become MUCH closer with my family, even my idiot older brother.

Did moving into your first place help you have a better relationship with your family members?

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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


Working in the medical field in an ER I find a lot of patients who come in are elderly. Most are in their 70’s and 80’s. What happens a lot of the time is these patients are coming in with Blood Pressure (BP) readings through the roof! This is dangerous in many ways and when asked about medications and if they are taking anything for this issue, as well as many other issues such as diabetes or pain management, many of them say the same thing. Their prescription ran out and they could not afford to refill.

Walgreens and Express Scripts

This bothers me because there are plans out there which can help; one such plan is called the EXPRESS SCRIPTS. This is a benefit plan which patients can use to fill their prescriptions at Walgreens at discounted prices.

The problem with this plan is that negotiations for a new contract between Express Scripts and Walgreens have not come through and as of January 1st, 2012, the Express Scripts benefits plan is no longer available to Walgreens customers.

This issue affects all Walgreen customers who are members of the Express Scripts plan. If your benefits plan states “Express Scripts” then you are affected. One of the biggest members of the plan is Tricare, which is the health and prescription drug program for America’s military service men and women.

What is happening to these customers is that, after years of being on a plan at their neighborhood Walgreens, they are being forced to change pharmacies. I cannot speak for others, but I know if I was forced to change pharmacies I would feel a little put off. However, our nation’s elderly are not big fans of change. Also, they have usually been members for some years and have pharmacists which they have grown to trust. If this move benefited the patients in some way, I am sure they would adapt to this inconvenient change more readily, however it does not. In fact, it may even cost these patients more money in the long run!

Walgreens is doing everything they can to help with the transition. They are also offering patients to join their own Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens. Under this plan, patients will receive discounts on over 8,000 brand name prescriptions and all generic prescription drugs. During this special January promotion, patients can join the individual plan for $5 or the family plan for $10. (The regular price for the plan is $20 for the individual plan and $35 for the family). More than 400 generics are available with a three-month supply for less than $1 a week as well as discounts on Flu shots, Nebulizers and Diabetic supplies. This plan also offers bonuses when you purchase Walgreens brand products and photo finishing services.

You can support Walgreens on Facebook as well as Twitter (Walgreens on Twitter) to keep you up to date on happenings and specials.

I do hope this situation is rectified for the sake of the patients, because after all is said and done. It is the patient’s well-being that matters as well as keeps Express Scripts in business.

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I found this on a friends Facebook status and liked it so much that I decided to use it as a post. I have no idea how many times it has been posted and I know it has been on many other Blogs as posts, but I find it to be true and in some cases I remember these things! Enjoy!


Checking out at the supermarket recently, the young cashier suggested I should bring my own bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. I apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days“.

The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations“.

She was right about one thing–our generation didn’t have the green thing in “Our” day. So what did we have back then? After some reflection and soul-searching on “Our” day, here’s what I remembered we did have….

Back then, we returned milk bottles, pop bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles repeatedly. So they really were recycled. But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s nappies because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 240 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right. We didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of Wales. In the kitchen, we blended & stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right. We didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a water fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mums into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Please post this on your Facebook profile so another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smarty-pants young person can add to this

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I have friends who became parents at a young age as well as friends who are older than I am and still do not have kids. You can see the difference between the two… but only if you are a parent. If you are not a parent, you probably won’t see it.

My wife and I married when I was 1 day into being 39 years old. For me I felt I was older to get married as my best friend was 22 when he was married. I moved off Long Island when I was 29 and the people I dated were usually close to my age. I stayed off Long Island until I was 35 and the last 2 years, from 33-35, the women I dated usually had kids. I thought because I was dating someone who had kids and I was around them 2 maybe 3 times a week, that I could consider myself a father-type figure and I knew a few things about kids and being a “parent”

I was SOOO wrong!

I had no idea what I was doing and looking back now, I know I was just a kid myself in the parenting aspect.

I always felt to truly be a parent you really needed to start from their birth and go through ALL of it. This is not always true… but it was true for me.

Quite a bit has changed for me since we had out little boopah. It’s these changes which make me feel like a parent as before, I didn’t feel like one. I felt that I was in a relationship where I was expected to be a “father” figure but without any of the real responsibilities. It was more reading when the single mother I was dating wanted me to be a father figure and all other times I needed to keep quiet.

There are a few ways that are different:

As a non-parent, the kid(s) referred to me by my name which made the distinction very well known.

As a parent, I refer to myself as Dad or Daddy, since she is not old enough to talk yet. I always thought it was weird how people men would refer to themselves that way when talking to their kids. But once you become a parent… you get it. (I sometimes even refer to myself as daddy even when I am not around my daughter and then correct myself.)

As a non-parent, if I was having an off day I could very easily go home and not deal with the girlfriend and her son/daughter.

As a parent, there aren’t any days off. You are there 24/7. If you are off from work one weekend and decide to sleep in? Great! As long as “sleep in” means 6am because that’s when boopah wakes up and decides she wants you to come play. Or if your wife feeds the baby in bed, usually around 5-6ish, and the baby decides she wants to see what happens if she squishes a sleeping Daddy’s nose. Usually you wake up and GREAT, she has someone to play with because that’s when you are tagged in so she can sleep. And you want to be annoyed but babies are built in with their own trouble radar, so the second you start becoming upset… they smile that awesome, toothless smile and you just… melt!

As a non-parent, there are things you think you will do differently when you have kids. This is usually not what is going to happen.

As a parent, you learn to savor in the small victories. For me, being able to use the bathroom at my pace is a HUGE victory as boopah usually decides that when I need to use the bathroom is not convenient for her. Or that she needs to finish the rest of her bottle RIGHT NOW! Being able to take a shower and not leave the door open and one ear listening for my baby is a HUGE luxury to us!


There are so many ways being a parent differs from being in a father-type role. I was thinking about this lately because Erica and I were discussing things we would and would not do regarding our boopah as she grew up which we had to from our parents. This made me think of some of the things I said or did when I was dating people with kids and I wish I had done things better. There were things I know I definitely handled perfectly with the right amount of discipline as well as not overdoing the lecture or what not. But then there were things that should not have bothered me, but did and I wish I handled it better.

In all this, however, it made me the person I am today and I think I did ok. I think I am an ok father and husband and that I accept that I am learning this all as we go. But having the best wife and mother for our baby makes it so much easier for both of us… as long as she LETS me help.

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I chose this prompt this week for MamaKats writing workshop because, well, I’m a guy. I fart and take credit for it (actually it just makes my daughter laugh but she laughs at all weird noises), I burp loudly, I play video games, I am a guy which is a translation from Cherokee which means “Big Child” (actually it isn’t from Cherokee but I am sure it means Big child in some language). In fact, I think I am the only guy who participates in this workshop but it’s a great workshop and I can give you at least ONE guy’s perspective on things.

Believe it or not, I am a pacifist. I do not believe in violence or physical altercations, however, I am a big advocate of peace but I am not naïve. I do believe in knowing how to protect yourself and your family so I do hold a belt in Aikido, albeit a small belt but it’s a belt nonetheless.

With all that said, I cannot remember ever really punching anyone or really anything. I think I may have punched a tree once when I was frustrated… but it was a daunting Maple and it had it coming!

Instead, I am going to write about someone I would LIKE to punch and that is the boy monster downstairs. You see, we rent the upstairs of a shared, 2-family house. I have lived in many apartments in my life and have always had consideration for my neighbors around me. I keep things quiet as can be and try not to cause trouble. I have never had a neighbor issue before. My first apartment was in a complex and my next door neighbor liked to listen to his stereo loudly, but at exactly 10pm he turned it down or off. To me that is respecting your neighbors, to a degree.

Now we have lived in this house for 3 ¾ years. The first 3 years it was just me and my wife. 6 months ago we had our daughter and that’s when things that bothered us a little but not too much became just annoyingly rude and inconsiderate.

The boy downstairs is around 9-11 now. Apparently he does not know how to walk because he seems to jump, LOUDLY from room to room. It shakes the house and he does this at ALL HOURS OF THE DAY AND NIGHT. At night I wear headphones when I am watching movies or videos on my computer so as not to bother my wife as well as the neighbors. Now with the headphones on I cannot hear much. My wife has to yell to me if she is in the same room or tap my shoulder to gain my attention, however, I can hear and feel the vibrations from the boy downstairs slamming doors and jumping, sometimes until 1 in the morning.

Over the last 3 years we have been locked out about 10 times, when we only went out to throw out the garbage and we were right in front of the door! After the first 4 times I started ringing their doorbell to be let in as it was their son who locked me out and they act as if they have no idea WHO in their house would have done it. we have to bring our full set of keys just to throw out garbage or cans. Once the boy came out and couldn’t reach the recycle bin from the stoop so I took the bag and threw it out for him and was walking in right behind him… but he had locked me out. Once in the almost 4 years, I went down there when he was jumping and shaking the house for about 5-10 minutes straight at 11:45pm to ask them to stop and he acted like he had no idea what was happening. I had to tell him that someone in his house is jumping and I do not want the baby to wake up. If I can hear it upstairs I am sure they hear it in their house, but he acted like he had no idea what was going on.

It only became worse the next night.

The latest issue was Christmas Eve.

We thought it would be nice to drop off cookies and some other things as a nice gesture for Christmas. I knock on the door and no answer. Now I hear them in the kitchen and their door is no thicker than my own. I knock again and I hear them say “Someone is knocking on the door.” Then the boy opens the door about 4 inches and then slams it shut. The daughter, who is about 3 years older than he is, sort of stated his name and then he opened the door fast. I was holding my daughter because, well, she is cute and whenever they see us they always stop to say hi to her. Luckily I learned a long time ago to keep one foot in front of an outward opening door. If I hadn’t he would have probably hit my 6 month old with the door.

When the door opened the boy was there walking away and giving me a VERY mean look and the daughter came over and I gave her the gifts and said Merry Christmas, but at that moment I wanted to grab the little turd by the neck.

We are in awe of how rude they let this boy act. They never make him apologize. Once, when I rang their bell to be let in because he locked the screen door, he opened the door without looking at at the door and walked away as I am slamming on the door for him to unlock it. The mother was right there and unlocked it but didn’t say one word to him. Maybe I am old fashioned or brought up differently, but if that was my son I would have made him march out and apologize to them for locking them outside.

Even as I am writing this the jumping and door slamming is going on downstairs.

So this boy is definitely someone I would really like to punch and maybe knock some sense into. We have talked to the parents about the noise level in general (I didn’t want to point out the boy to avoid issues) and they say they will do what they can. Nothing happened. I talked to the landlord, who coincidentally is the father/grandfather to the parents and kids downstairs and he said the same thing. He will talk to them but nothing. So the only thing left for me to do is when they are loud is for me to jump on the floor and make noise back. I am hoping they will get the message but I doubt it.

So now we are on the quest for a new place to live until I finish school and we can move out of New York… but that was a different older post in itself.

Has anyone ever had to deal with loud, rude, inconsiderate neighbors?

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