Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

I posted on a MamaKats Writer’s Workshop about my best friend and about how his mother, in a way, saved my life. The way I meant it was that my life could have gone in a very different direction than it did and I could have been one of those kids who hung out at the handball courts after, and even during, school with crazy long hair and smoking medicinal cigarettes <wink>. Nowadays, it may not mean the same thing but back in my day, the kids on the handball courts were the burnouts and smoked both legal (age restrictions to purchase cigarettes did not exist when I was in High School) and illegal substances.

Mom Miller kept me in line from that. I honestly do not think that was her plan, but it worked anyway. I think her plan was that I was her son’s best friend and the only one of his friends she liked and never banned from going over there… ever.

Anyway, she treated me loosely like one of her own. If you have been reading my posts, you know that my mother passed away almost 8 years ago from cancer. It took me a while to deal with everything and blogging helped a lot with that. No one read those posts, except for my one close friend from downstate. My thought was that if I am going through something like this, someone else is probably going through the same and if I help even one person then I would be glad I helped.

Well, about a week and a half ago Mom Miller passed away from Cancer. Oh Cancer, how I hate thee! I received the text from Mark at 6:32am. I had no idea he was even going down to Florida to see her. If I had I think I would have done what I could to get down there. Not only to say goodbye, but to also be there for the best friend any guy could ever hope for.

I think I feel a little worse than normal because she was up in mid-May. I had pneumonia, but Mark put together a little BBQ for mother’s day, even though it wasn’t mothers day. When he told me I told Erica that I wanted us to go. We went but she was not feeling well enough to go. I wanted to go see her, but they said she was leaving on Thursday but she actually left on Wednesday morning… the day I was going to see her. So I didn’t see her.

Now she is gone. She was tough. She was VERY tough on Mark but I think it was because her and he was very similar and neither wanted to admit it. They had a funeral service in Florida but it sounds like they are having a service and burial service here in New York. She lived here in NY for most of her life. Her two sons and daughter-in-laws are here. Mark’s older brother is in FL, but her sisters and mainly the entire family is here on Long Island.

I feel bad I didn’t go more out of my way to see her when she was here over a month ago. I will definitely be there for the funeral showings and be there for Mark in any way I can. I called him but he didn’t know what was going on at the time and said he would call me later. That was a few days ago. It’s going to be a difficult for Mark and his family, but this process is difficult for anyone.

What did you do to help with loss of a close loved one?


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I have never really pretended to be someone else. I am happy with who I am and now I am absolutely fine with the way I was brought up but definitely will not make some of the mistakes my parents made.

With that out of the way, I did pretend to be someone else… once!

It was 2001 and I was living in downstate New York. I was meeting up with all my new friends for our “anniversary night”. The reason for this was that we had all met online through an online Yahoo! Group and we became good friends pretty quickly. We still are to this day even though I moved back to Long Island.

On the first year of the group we all decided to go out to dinner and then a club. It was all fine until this girl I was really interested in and had dated for around a month showed up… with her new boyfriend (now husband) who we all know to be a jerk. Even to this day he is a jerk.

Well, not sure why it bothered me so much as I had thought I had dealt with the situation and was ok with her and I only being friends. But that night it bothered me more. I think it had to do that I felt I was a good guy and this guy, who is a big loser in EVERY aspect of the word was the one she chose to be with over me.

Anyway, put me in an uncomfortable situation where I can’t excuse myself and leave, add alcohol and there is going to be stupid hijinx on my part. Yes I actually used the word hijinx.

Well, I drank WAY too much. I was not driving as my friends had rented a room out in the hotel nearby so I knew if I did have too much to drink I would just crash there. Well, that night the more I drank the more of an Irish brogue came out. Now this was funny to my friends because, although I am over 75% irish, I was born and raised on Long Island to a father who was born and raised in the Bronx and then later on Long Island and a mother who was born and raised in New Jersey.

Anyway, the more I talked the more my friends would ask me silly questions. At one point one of them asked me who I was and my answer was “Patty… Patty O’ Furniture”. I think I used that name from a comedy sketch with Robin Williams.

Basically I do not remember much of the evening, but I do remember 2 ladies walked in to the club we were at and I tried to pick one of them up. Somehow my aim missed and the one I was trying to pick up was not the one who I have to say I gave my number to as she called me the next day. I do not remember giving my number but it was what it was. I was 30 and single so no harm no foul.

It was a shock to her the next day when I answered the phone like my normal American dialect. I do think she wasn’t too surprised mainly because I was VERY surprised to find out that she didn’t even speak English. Apparently she was from Peru and only spoke Spanish. I do not speak Spanish so I have no idea how we conversed but I did figure if she was courageous enough to call me to go out I could at least take her out and ensure a dinner with a woman, whom I did not remember her name nor what she looked like, who also only spoke a few words of English.

It wasn’t as bad as I expected but beer goggles is a real phenomenon because when we met up, I was not attracted to her in any way. After the date she called me 10 or more times a day until I finally told her it was not going to work out. Not sure if she understood but I also never heard from her again.

After that night, although my friends ask me about “Patty O’Furniture” I have also never pretended to be someone I wasn’t. I also have never drank as much as I did that night so I think there is a direct relationship between amount of alcohol consumed and my bad mood because ex dropped me for a loser, dead beat dad and my level of stupidity.

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It’s been a couple of weeks, but I finally found time to blog. Well, only for the next few minutes since already had her 2 hour nap… lying on top of me. I am sure everyone has gone through that. You want them to sleep so you stay still, but you have things you need to get done and you calculate the probability of getting up and baby doesn’t wake up. The odds were not in my favor so for two hours I lay watching TV with my 18 pound bundle of snoring stayed on my chest sleeping and for most of that time I was thankful that I didn’t have to go to the bathroom – until I HAD to.

Anyway, for this weeks’ Writer’s Workshop I chose to write about what I like the most about my baby’s room.

Now I love just about everything about my daughter’s room. If you ask my wife she is going to say she loves the wall decorations best!

I agree that they came out amazing, but I am a guy and we like different things. I like the changing table and crib the best.

OK, I MAINLY like these the best because I put them together myself and I think they are really good looking as well as the fact that I picked out the crib! We were at BuyBuyBaby I think and we were looking at all the cribs. We were astonished at how expensive these things were and we didn’t even like them that much. The one crib we did like we did not purchase.

The crib was nice and well-made but now, 9 months later, I am glad we didn’t buy it because it would not have worked for us. It was a crib with an attached changing table next to it. I thought it was great and it was less expensive than the other ones we were looking at which we didn’t even like that much. Now that it’s 9 months later, I know that it would have been WAY too small and we would have needed to buy a changing table anyway. But while walking through the store we happened across their clearance section. They had TONS of things and they were so much less expensive than the other ones we didn’t even like. We couldn’t even find any real problems with any of the pieces.

We found 2 cribs we really liked and they were both the same price, which was over $150 less than anything we had seen. My wife liked one and I liked this one better. After talking to the sales person, we found that the one Erica wanted was discontinued so finding parts for it, such as the side rails to make it a full bed, or the side to make it a toddler bed, would not be easy to find.

The one I liked was current, so buying the parts would not be a problem at all when the time came.

After we talked about it for a while, she ultimately agreed with me and this is the crib we picked and it’s been AWESOME.

It’s made by a company called Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, which is a furniture company based in Canada. When we bought the crib, it did not have a box or instructions on how to assemble it after they disassembled it and gave it to us. I put together 80% of it, but then I was a little stuck for the rest so I emailed the company. To my surprise they called me back a few hours later and even emailed me a copy of the instructions in .pdf form.

This crib has been with our little MJ since she was 3 months old and now she is getting so big so fast that we had to lower the mattress level.

I think it’s my favorite piece because it looks amazing but also because it was the first thing I essentially built for my little girl.

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This week I decided to write about a time I was tricked.

At first I thought, “This is going to be difficult!” but then, after only a few minutes I had my post in my head and just needed to put it on wordpress! I think it’s pretty bad that it only took me a few minutes for this to pop into my head. Apparently I was a very gullible kid… but it always backfires in the end!

It was a LOOOONG time ago… in a town not so far away.

I think I was about 11 or 12. I used to love to ride my bicycle EVERYWHERE! I rode distances at 12 years old that some people can’t even do in the 20’s or 30’s! But Long Island was different back then.

Anyway, I had just arrived home from a very long ride. My Aunt Cathy was over and her and my mom was in the kitchen having coffee or whatever relatives do. I walked in, said hello and then went directly upstairs to take a nap. My annoying brother was in the living room watching TV.

I remember lying down and hearing my mother and Aunt talking and then my mother called in to the living room for my brother…


Mother: I need you to go to the store for me.

IDIOT BROTHER: I just got back from going to the store for you!

Mom: Yeah, but I forgot some things. Can’t you go for me please?

IDIOT BROTHER: No. You should not have forgotten anything. It’s faster if you drive anyway.

Mom: You’re an idiot. At least your brother is nice and I can count on him to go for me. Jim!

Me: What?

Mom: I know you will go to the store for me unlike your brother!

Me: OK. What do you need?

I still remember the smirk on my Aunts face as I had not yet realized I had been duped into going to the store for my mother. I didn’t realize it until I was halfway there that she was just buttering me up so I would go for her.

When I got to the store, I remember what she wanted was on sale so I used the extra money to play Pac-Man for over an hour. When I arrived home my mom was upset that it took me so long.

My answer? “You asked me to go but you never said you needed me to come back right away!”

Ha ha. Sometimes the things we remember without thinking about it.

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There are certain things about having a child that we know, as parents, we will have to endure and deal with. We will do our best when that happens but we still have to endure it. Things like our kid falling off a swing or their bicycle. Bringing them to the hospital and help them through the experience, sometimes somewhat traumatic, of having to become the receiver of shots, stitches or even a cast.

But how do we get past when our babies don’t even have the opportunity to be born? It’s hard on every level.

If you are a good parent, you want the best for your child so you stop doing things once you learn you are pregnant. You stop eating cold cuts, certain cheeses, coffee (and for most people no coffee is a sacrilege!) We did it all perfectly correct… or I should say my amazing wife did. She stopped drinking coffee, she hasn’t had anything from her favorite place Quiznos since we found out, and she took prenatal vitamins immediately. Everything was being done as they say it should be done.

I didn’t go to the first sonogram of our 2nd child because I had to work and we didn’t expect any complications. Neither did our doctor. Our daughter was conceived and born without incident. There weren’t any issues which came about in all of the testing.

This time, there was a problem. When I found out I felt I had failed as a husband to my wife because, well, I wasn’t there with her when she found out.

I should have been, regardless of having a perfect happy and healthy baby girl the first time, who currently only has 2 lower teeth and blows raspberries everywhere until EVERYTHING is covered in her spittle. I can assure you, that won’t happen again.

She was 8 weeks along at the time and the doctor was concerned about a finding that we may be looking at a child with Down’s syndrome. There isn’t a history of it on either side of our family, so it came as a shock. We went in for consultation with our doctor and we decided on an amniocentesis. It was less dangerous to possible issues that the alternative. At this point we were around 11 weeks or so along.

The earliest they told us it could be done is 15 weeks and so we scheduled it for February 20th, president’s day. That made us around 15 ½ weeks along and they were hoping it could be done. If not, we would just reschedule.

We went in and our hearts just broke.

During the initial sonogram to set things up and see what was going on we received the horrible news. I will never forget those 2 horrible words or how they were said.

No. heartbeat.

It was said matter of factly. Sort of like, sorry but we are out of that kind of bread. It was worse each time she said it and she must have said it like 7 or 8 times. Being a nursing student, I was looking at the sonogram and looking for the nachal transparency and nose bones, which are both initial signs of possible Downs’. I wasn’t looking for the heart.

I knew my wife would be upset and very distraught about it, as any parent would be. But out of the 2 of us I knew it would affect her more. She has more public composure than I do, but it did affect her harder.

Obviously we didn’t have to do the amnio which we went in for. I thought I was nervous about doing this and then having to wait for the results to see if we were going to have a child with special needs, this news hit me like a punch to the gut.

Our doctor was empathetic and told us to call with any questions after he explained everything. I was still very concerned about my wife

You see, she is AMAZING! She does everything for others first. When it was thought there was a possibility of our baby having downs’, she thought it was her fault because we were having 2 children less than 1 ½ years apart. No matter how much I and the doctor told her it would not have any bearing on it. She said she understood but I know her and I know she still felt it was her fault because we had 2 children very close together.

With this news, she thought it was her fault because we just recently moved and she felt she did too much. She didn’t do too much. The heaviest thing she lifted was maybe 4 lbs which was a toaster oven. I did all the heavy lifting. And, even though the doctor and I did everything to convince her that it would not affect this, I am sure she still thinks that’s why… but it isn’t.

I explained to her that sometimes, when there are too many issues or an issue that is just too severe that nature just takes over and does what it thinks is appropriate. Some people think its god, but since we are not religious and – since my mother’s death – I am MUCH more atheist then some others, I go with nature.

We left and she totally broke down in the car. I consoled her but it is impossible, under these circumstances, to console her completely. I did my best as her husband and hope I did enough for that moment for her. To let her know I understood as best I could and that I was there with her and for her and that we would deal with this together.

I immediately went to work and told them I wouldn’t be working that day as I needed to be there for her. I work across the street for our doctor’s office so it was within 10 minutes of finding out. The reaction the director had when I told her was absolutely disgusting as both a nurse and even more so as a human being. She just flipped over to her schedule, marked me off, acted like I was causing her a major inconvenience and then said “I guess you are going to do what you have to.” With a sigh.

I thought it was just me overly sensitive in the moment… but my friend from work came with me to assist and said he wanted to punch her for that reaction and how can she show absolutely no empathy or sympathy and she supposed to be a nurse.

We went and picked up our daughter from the sitters. She started crying at a point, which she never does. I am sure she knew mom and dad were upset. Babies pick up on that kind of thing.

We went home and I consoled Erica each time she broke down.

I waited until she was asleep and I was alone and broke down hard. I mean I did break down a little at the doctor’s office and again at work when all my co workers were asking what was wrong, but it was small. I was upset and I let some tears flow but I didn’t break down until nearly midnight after everyone was asleep and I was in a different room. It felt horrible but also needed.

How do we move on from here? Like I stated earlier, we are not religious people, but if we are wrong and there is a heaven… are we going to meet our son or daughter as they would have been had they not died?

We feel guilty. We feel like we took this pregnancy for granted and didn’t really think too much about it until there were problems. I remember with MJ, when she was still cooking I used to put my hand on Erica’s belly all the time and talk to her and make jokes and stuff. I remember saying things like “Hurry up and cook already! We want to meet you!” I feel REALLY bad because this pregnancy I think I only did that once maybe twice.

All I really want to say is this:

Our little Baby, we never were able to meet you… but we really WERE looking forward to it. We were looking forward to being there and watching you grow and helping you in every way we could. Even had you been born with Downs’ we still want you to know, we would have loved you more and more every day. You still would have been our perfect second child. I am sorry I seemed so non-chalant about our pregnancy with you… but I was SO excited when Erica (your mom) told me you were coming! I wanted you to meet your sister and for all the outings and family gatherings you would have seen. You are going to be missed and we are sorry we didn’t seem to celebrate your coming as much as we should have… but all that was coming. We love you and we will miss you every day!

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This week I chose option 2 – when you couldn’t think things could go wrong… they did. The reason for this is because, well, I am pretty tired of hearing about Whitney Houston, I could only come up woth 1 thing that I NEVER want to do, and the last two I think I will save for posts for later this week… maybe.

Usually when I post, I use the first thing which jumps into my mind about the topic and the first thing that jumps into my mind was October 29th, 2004. I remember this day because its when EVERYTHING fell apart all at once, but lets start at the beginning of the day.

I started out the day as normal. I went to work, and just kept busy. At the time my mother was sick so I was immersing myself in work. I had talked to my boss earlier about taking some vacation time and he told me he just needed to check what was going on that week because he had this tendency of putting his vacation in like 8 months ahead of time. So around lunchtime he called me into his office and he and our other boss were there and apparently they were doing cutbacks and eliminated my position. So I was laid off. The good thing is they told me I didn’t have to work through the end of the day… oh whoopee! I had bills to pay!

So after being mopey and heading home, that is when I broke down. I was sort of having a mental break down because I was not unemployed, had a HUGE amount of debt to pay which I worried about how I was going to pay off every day and I felt guilty because my mother was going through chemo at home and I wasn’t there to help.

I remember pacing back and forth in my apartment and my phone rang. It was my sister. Now my sister and I have a great relationship and I started to tell her what was going on with me and then she broke down. Apparently my mother was in the hospital again and the nurses told her and my father to call me and get me down to Long Island. I remember hearing my sister break down and cry and through her tears all she could say is that she wanted her mother back. It broke my heart that I could not console my sister and I felt guilty for feeling sorry for myself after being laid off. So I told her I would be home in a couple of hours.

I immediately called my cousin whom I have been super close with since we were little and told him what happened. He was supposed to meet me on Long Island the next afternoon just as I had done when his father passed away and I was there for him. Well I arrived on Long Island a few hours later and went to the hospital the next day and for the rest of the week after that.

My cousin never showed until close to the last second and then he left the next morning. I have never heard from him since.

My mother died 5 days later.

It was definitely the most difficult time in my life but we all dealt with it and have been able to move on.

I helped my dad go through his grieving process and started on the path for me to do what I really want to do.

I met the love of my life, married her and have an awesome and gorgeous baby girl with a second baby on the way.

It took some time but I found the silver lining. My dad and I have a REALLY close relationship now. Before this I was good with him but not where I should be as a father/son relationship… but now we are. And losing my job helped me go back to school and start on the path to do a job I really want to do.

Just goes to show there is a lesson to be learned in everything and that everything happens for a reason… even if we do not see it at the time. Do you agree?

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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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