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Archive for the ‘Friends’ 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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This week on Mama Kats Writer’s Workshop we were to take one of the stories from last weeks’ Life stories post and go into detail. Since I went into detail on most of them and this story is the one we still refer to when we are together I thought I would repost this.

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. To this day we do the nasally, mock voice for him saying “Hey, Knock it off!”, back then – we didn’t go anywhere near that road for 2 weeks… just in case.

 

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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!”

“OK”

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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I LOVE road trips. I am pro-road trip. Even though gas is $4 a gallon, I still want to go on a road trip!

When it comes to road trips, the most memorable ones are always with my best friend Mark. I know I talked about him in one of my previous posts, but we were inseparable for many years. I could tell about many road trips, but I think our first one is probably the most memorable. Actually, I have no idea if it was our first road trip as we had so many, but it’s one of the first ones I can recall.

We were 18 or 19 and had just obtained our licenses, licensees, license? Ah however it should be termed. Anyway, I had just bought a new-ish car. A 1983 thunderbird. It was silver and so many extras, it even talked. If the door was open and the car was on, it would say “The Door Is Ajar” and all my wise-ass friends would joke about it and say “No it’s not a jar it’s a door!” Well, it was funny at the time… and the first 10 times I heard it, after that it was annoying.

Anyway, we were driving around Long Island, bored out of our minds. There was nothing to do and it was Myself, Mark & Mark’s girlfriend Tina (who is now Mark’s wife) and we drove to Deer Park Avenue (DPA) and it was boring. DPA was where everyone went to hang out, or race, or meet girls/guys. Well, it was boring and so we decided to check out Hempstead Turnpike. At the time it was used for the same thing.

Anyway, just as we were about to go from Rt. 109 to Hempstead turnpike, I said “Why don’t we head upstate?” Everyone was like yeah right. But I was serious. I said that I didn’t have to work that weekend. Mark didn’t have to work; Tina I think wasn’t working and had just returned from school in NC for the Christmas break. I think it took everyone about 5 minutes to realize “Why not?”

So we went home, packed a bag real quick and then 15 minutes later we were heading upstate. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous as I did not have much experience at the time on interstates… or driving at night. My mother was not home when I was packing, but I told my Dad and he told me to have fun. Needless to say my mother was not very pleased, but it was too late. By the time I talked to her we were already upstate at Marks grandparents’ house.

His grandparents owned a mountain and we went snowboarding most of the day and helped his uncle with things around the house.

We went out driving at night and this rabbit ran straight down the middle of the road and into my car making a thud on the floorboard. Unfortunately the rabbit was VERY injured and could not use its back legs anymore so we had to put it out of its misery. That was not a good part of the trip, but it is what happened. We have absolutely no idea why the rabbit ran at the car instead of away from it as they usually do.

I ever remember there was a song we heard that we thought was a parody song by a local radio station upstate. The song went “Oh Baby You… You got what I need…. But you say he’s just a friend, you say he’s just a friend”. We joked about it all the way back home that Sunday and then we started hearing the song a few weeks later at the radio stations of Long Island and NYC. It was a song by Biz Markie and became pretty popular around our school.

Every time we hear that song, it reminds us of our first solo road trip upstate and snowboarding on Grandpa M’s mountain. It also reminds me of the HUGE argument with my Mom when I arrived home. Her argument was that I needed more experience of driving on interstates and bridges before I do that again and my Dad standing up for me and telling my mother that I need to drive ON the interstate’s and bridges in order to gain this experience.

We did these kinds of road trips many times over the years when we were bored. Its things like this that makes me miss being young and silly.

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So, this week on the writer’s workshop I chose to write about being 18 and graduated High School, well, for me I was 17, but same difference!

Lately I have been thinking a little bit about that time and what I would do over, but this post is about what my dreams were when I was 18. At 18 I was a simpleton. What I wanted was nothing extravagant.

I remember that day still. I remember how nervous I was in my cap and gown and sitting with my friends. There were about 8 of us who were supposed to graduate back in 1988. My best friend was a year behind us but wanted to finish with us so he doubled up classes and graduated in 1988 instead of 1989. Unfortunately, out of the 8 of us only 3 of us graduated.

I remember how excited and proud my mother was of me, finishing High School. I never thought I would get there. I remember wanted to do something epic and we could not think of a single thing to do. All the parties were starting at night. We decorated my dad’s car and drove around hanging with our friends at the Wellwood docks and going to Jones Beach.

After all the hoopla, which was not that much hoopla, I had NO idea what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to take a year off from school, so I did. I was always a workaholic and worked CRAZY hours as a manager of a company called Computer Care doing the computer work. That was my first computer job. It was ok, but eventually I left it and did normal teenager jobs.

I only took the year off and went to college, slowly and at night. I actually did pretty well seeing as my HS career was a joke. I was going for Computer Information and hanging out with my friends a LOT. I was only going part time and then went full time. I made TONS of friends at college and that destroyed my 3.5 GPA because I was too focused on friends and not on school.

I remember wanted to backpack across Europe, but that never happened.

I know I wanted, and expected, to meet the woman of my dreams and maybe be married by 25… that also didn’t happen until 15 years later.

I expected to have a decent career in the computer industry which did happen until I realized I wanted to be in the healthcare field and started working towards that.

I know I wanted to move out of New York, which almost happened. I did move off Long Island up to downstate New York. It was my dry run to see if I could move to a new area by myself and make a life for myself. It worked but before I could get into stage 2 and move out of New York, Mom died and I was needed at home for my dad.

I remember wanting to be rich and famous and that never happened, thank god. I don’t think I could handle fame plus I would have become a different person and I sort of like the person I am today.

The things I wanted at 18 were good for the time, and I didn’t accomplish most of what I wanted. But now my dreams are different. My dreams all have my wife in them and, in about 6 weeks or so, our baby boy or girl.

The great things about dreams are that they continue to evolve. Sometimes we accomplish them and sometimes they just become a little different. Maybe I will never be able to backpack across Europe, but maybe my children will. I know I will move out of New York and I know I will accomplish my dream because my desire for it is so strong.

Here’s to hoping you accomplish all your dreams!

 

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High School. The final frontier… until college.

I have actually thought about this topic a lot. There is SOOO much I would do over if I could. I think we all think about this from time to time. High school was usually one of two possible times in your life. 1) the WORST time of your life or 2) The best time of your life. For me it was the former.

When you are a tween/teenager everything seems like the worst thing or the best thing. Basically, we are all dorky bipolar idiots! When something bad happens you said “I’,m never going to get over this EVER!!!” and when something good happens it was “The best day ever!!!”

In high school I was…

-Quiet (at least until the last half of my senior year)

– A lazy under-achiever (that is I passed my classes but never opened a book so I would receive B’s and C’s)

– Well-known but not popular (mainly because I didn’t go out of my way for anything but was always willing to help people.)

– Never participated in anything (I did not go to a single school dance, function or prom)

– Very insecure about myself and my body (I had some acne but nothing TOO crazy and never considered myself “in shape” but apparently I was according to my HS friends on facebook!)

– I was the quiet, nerdy, smart guy who underachieved and became more of a jock in senior year when I joined track and cross country.

These are all things I would do over. I was never bullied in the sense of having to be afraid this kid or that kid was going to beat me up, but I was a MAJOR pacifist and always walked away instead of standing up for myself. I only had one actual fight in high school and that was while I was a freshmen and the guy was a senior. I was sort of short then, about 5’4ish and he was the same height. He hit me in the face with an umbrella and I called him a jerk and that was enough that he was going to “beat me up after class”.

I was slightly nervous but nothing like I expected and then at the end of class he got right in my face and told me to get away from him. I kept walking and told him to move. He didn’t and then punched me square in the face. I blinked and looked at him and said “if that is the hardest you can hit you are in a LOT of trouble!” He walked away and I walked away and that was that.

The best thing about that is about 5 or 6 years later I was met up with some friends to play roller hockey and he was there. He saw me and skated right up to me. I had yet to put on my skates so he was about 4 or 5 inches taller than his normal height, but, well, I guess he stopped growing by senior year and I he had to look up to me without my blades on. He had this cocky attitude until I stood up and towered over him and then his attitude changed. I guess he figured he would get me on the court so as we were playing he came FLYING up to me to check me. Now, I started playing roller hockey AFTER I was already good at ice hockey so I just steadied myself and he flew off his blades and landed square on his shoulders and helmet and knocked the wind out of himself. I helped him up and asked him if he was ok and from that moment forward he would go out of his way to act like my best friend when he saw me. It was definitely a sweet victory… albeit years later but better later than never.

When it came to school I was super lazy and if I could do it all over again I would apply myself a lot more. I do believe that by creating your study habits in elementary and high school helps you with everything in life. It took me a while to actually learn how to study when I went back to school. Now I am much better at it but I think I would have gone through Nursing school faster and better if I didn’t have to learn how to study since I never did it in high school.

I had a small, close-knit group of friends throughout high school and I thought that was enough. It was and I have many great memories of them. I even blogged about one of them who is still my best friend till this day. But when I went to college for computers I did not study because I was active in SOO many things. I was on the Campus Activity Board, the radio station, the newspaper, student government and I ran track and cross country. So, needless to say I did not do well, but I had a great social life. That happened because I was more outgoing the last half of senior year HS and when I started college I decided to do everything different and be who I wished I was in HS. So in college I had a very large group of friends and we hung out and talked ALL the time.

Thinking back now, it was not the worst time of my life, but it definitely could have been better. Lately, I really wish I had applied myself more to classes but even if I did, I wouldn’t have known what I wanted to be when I grew up. That question I could not really answer until I was almost 38 years old!

What were YOU like in high school? I was the quiet, shy guy that everyone was friendly with but not necessarily friends with outside of school.

 

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