Saturday, April 27, 2013

Gourmet Kitchen

We found a great new family dinner spot.  The Gourmet Kitchen in Hingham.  It is Asian cuisines with a twist.  They promote good health and good eating.  This goes beyond just eliminating MSG.  They use local organic foods.  The have a healthy rice, Akai, that is low sugar and high dietary fiber.  They have gluten free options.  They really do a nice job.
     The decor is nice.  It is not fancy but a bit more than family casual.  The boys were good and wore collared shirts.  It was fairly quiet, so having family conversation was not a challenge.  The service was friendly.
     We ordered the perfect amount of food.  The fried calamari appetizer was OK, not great  But the Korean pork dumplings were very good.  The house fried rice was a hit.  Demi and I tried the Akai rice and thought it was a good option.  The boys were less enamoured with it.  The orange flavored beef was excellent, as was the pad Thai noodles and sweet & sour chicken.  Demi was really pleasantly surprised with the S&S chicken.  We were really full after that.  But we did not say no when the complimentary dessert came out - ice cream coated with corn flakes, whipped cream, and chocolate drizzle.  We will definitely be back.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Circle of Life - Teenage Edition

So Caz had one of your typical adolecent relationships.  Demi thought it a bit odd.  But a one week boyfriend/girlfriend stint is pretty common.  Or at least that is how I recall it, while growing up in Duxbury.  Coco was good, he didn't make a single comment about it.  Caz didn't seem fazed.  He just kind of shrugged.  I tried to console Caz a bit.  I told him when I was in 8th grade, I had a girlfriend for a weekend.  There was a dance on Friday night.  We agreed to "go out".  On Monday, the girl changed her mind.  I don't think I batted an eye.  And thus the wheel keeps on turning.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Coverage

 The TV coverage of the manhunt was unbelievable today.  I haven't watched this much TV in years.  The closest thing I can think of is watching the coverage of the first Iraq war, while I was in college.
     Actually, my participation started with the radio.   That is where I first got a sense of the chaos going on, and had been going on while I had been sleeping.  I still had to work but the TV was going.  I was not going to miss a thing.
     We had my brother's family over for dinner.  I shut off the TV figuring my niece was too young.  My sister in-law actually asked me to turn the TV on.  My niece was in the other end of the house.  The draw of the news coverage was just too much.
     After the family had gone home, I wondered how much the boys should see.  But they were really interested in what was going on.  It was a good time to talk and explain what was happening and what to expect.  Neither one of the boys looked concerned or bothered.  They were really interested, so we let the TV fly.  It's going to end up one of those moments where you will always remember where you were.  And for this, the boys were with their family.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I love all the mottoes that are going around right now.  Boston Strong.  United (NY/Boston).  What I like the best though, is a phrase that existed before the bombings.  Believe in Boston.  Actually, I like the more simplistic - Believe! - the best.
     I was recently asked by my son to write an essay for his school project about something I believe in.  At the time the bombings hadn't happened yet, so I had chosen something else to write about.
     But I believe in Boston.  I believe that Boston will rise stronger than ever.  I believe the country, the rest of the world is with us.  I believe that the perpetrators will be found.  I believe that justice will be served.  More importantly -  I believe we have the capacity to make this world a better place.
     I have seen the good that comes out of these events.  I see people helping other people.  I see people wanting the world to change for the better.  I believe that in order to do so, that we need to act and feel this way, in times that tragic events are not happening. It should not take such a horrific event to induce people to act the way they should.  I believe that can happen.  I believe it will happen.
     I believe that believing is the first step in making something happen.  First, you have to believe.  Then, you do.  When we get enough people believing, then we will see marked improvement.  Believe!  Believe it is possible.  Then make it possible.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Strong

Today is another one of those days that must be talked about but is hard to talk about.  Where do I even begin?  There are no sufficient words to describe the tragedy of the day.  I can't believe that yet again, I find myself in the office during such a chaotic scene.  This time I was in charge of the office.  I feel like I made the right calls today.  I kept the staff informed and made decisions based on the best information at hand.  I sought out information and advice.  Not to toot my own horn, but I did not see that anywhere else on the floor.  I saw managers leave without saying a word to their staff.  How does that happen?  Overall, the firm failed again.  I can take solace in knowing I did what what in my power to do and felt confident in the decisions I made.
     Of course, I did second guess myself.  As I passed the JFK/UMASS stop on the MBTA Red line home, my brother texted me that there was a report of an explosion at the JFK Library.  I really thought I had made   the wrong call getting on the train and going home.  But I was all right in the end.
     I got home before Linda did.  The boys had been home all day, on school vacation.  I felt them out to see what they knew.  The admitted to knowing that bombs had gone off.  I quickly told them that it was OK that they knew.  But I cautioned them that news was still coming in fast and furious.  It would be hard to say what the legitimate facts were at this point.  I asked them to please not take their friends information at face value.  I cautioned them to let the situation settle and the facts come in.  We talked as a family at dinner too.  Demi and I gave them a chance to ask question.  We answered what we could at that point.  The fact was, we just didn't know enough at that time.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Happy 14th, Caz!

Happy Mardi Gras is more like it.  This year, we are spending Caz's birthday on Long Island.  Demi's nephew is expecting a baby boy.  In celebration, they are having a family shower with a Mardi Gras theme. Caz (with only a little persuasion/guilt trip) decided it was OK to spend his birthday at that event, rather than staying home.  He ended up having a great time with his New York friends.  So it was a win for us all.
     I can't believe my little boy is 14.  His Aunts, Uncles and Cousins can't believe how tall he is.  He is taller than a lot of them now.  Where did all the time go?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Setting the Example

This is shaping up to be one of my harder posts to draft.  A simple family trip to the movies, turned ugly.  Another's thoughtless act determine the course of the rest of the day.
     I had originally planned to take the boys to see Jurassic Park in 3D and in the new RPX theater.  That went by the wayside when Coco mentioned that he didn't like the movie.  So.....GI:Retaliation it was.  I had Coco text our plans to Demi on the way up and she was able to meet us.  The movie was great.  The effects were cool.  It was the perfect popcorn munching, action packed entertainment to take us away from life for a  few hours.  It was really great, right up until the credits.  We had stayed to see some of the outtakes that were part of the credits.  That is when some moron, rows behind us decided he was going to launch his coffee and popcorn.
     It landed right on Coco.  I was shocked.  I stood up quickly, in disbelief, looking for who had done it.  4 adults, not kids, not adolescents, walked down the stairs.  3 men and a woman.  None would look our way. Demi shouted something but I was so mad, I couldn't tell you what it was.  I shouted something to the effect of "What the heck is wrong with you?"  Then I looked around the theater.  I saw other families, some with younger kids.  I found myself wondering if I had dropped an F bomb.  Then I had a choice.  What was I going to do next?
     As much as I wanted to launch myself at those folks, I did not.  I did not want to upset the younger kids and their parents.  And I did not want my kids to think that was the way to handle things.  It didn't really occur to me that they might be carrying weapons.  You just never know these days.  So I turned to Coco, to make sure he was ok.  I grabbed some napkins to clean him up.  Demi followed them out.  Once I knew Coco was fine, I told Caz to stay with him, while I went to see where Demi was.
     When I found her, I found myself still wanting to follow them into the parking lot.  Even getting into my car, I wanted to follow the set in the red pick up truck. But I had Caz and didn't want to jeopardize him, or see his old man overreact.  I had to set the example.  I think I chose correctly.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Child Whisperer

Child Whisperer is the term that several adult friends gave my kids today.  The family attended a birthday party for twins turning 3.  Caz really put in a yeoman's effort.  The moment he stepped in the house, he was chasing, hiding, and playing with the twins.  Coco had a flag football game, so he came hours later.  But he too was excellent with the twins.  Actually, both boys were great with all the kids.  They are the oldest by far with this group of friends and family.  Those young kids adore my sons.  The twins' Mom commented that the twins' birthday would have been a disappointment, if my boys were not able to come.  I mean what 14 year old would choose to spend time with toddlers.  Yes, one of those toddlers was their cousin.  But still.....
     All the adults commented on how good the boys were with the young kids.  I am sure that most of the parents were happy that their kids were happy, behaved, and entertained.  The adults got to socialize some, uninterrupted.  The experience set the groundwork for some babysitting gigs later on.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Paying Dividends

20 years later and Colby is still teaching me.  I know that my Colby experience helped shape who I am today.  I mentioned that to the boys frequently.  But one of my old Professors provided an educational experience to me, just the other day.  I talk about one of my favorite classes at Colby, The American Presidency, all the time.  Well that professor wrote an article about his time in the Vietnam War and his recent return to the country as a guest professor.  It was really an amazing article.  And I found myself amazed that my professor was still teaching me, 20 years after I graduated.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Too Late for April Fools?

Did I get my dates wrong?  Is it really April Fools today?  I hope the kids are just joking with me.  Because they are really pushing my buttons today.  My nerves are not raw either.  I did not come home amped up.
     I felt that I was very even keeled coming home.  I help Demi make dinner.  Coco was playing XBOX and seemed in good spirits.  Caz was taking a break from homework and from Demi's account, having a good afternoon.  Then, from asking Caz to set the table for dinner and asking Coco to bring up toilet paper from the basement (where he was located while playing XBOX - It's not like he had to make a special trip), it all went down hill.  Even when I insisted they look me in the eye while I was speaking and repeat instructions back, they would forget the task or just not make an attempt at completing the task.  Caz tried to think before he spoke, but his attempt at giving constructive criticism about dinner was a fiasco.  Coco got down right surly and miserable.
     I gave Coco my lunch meat, so that he could make a turkey sandwich for school tomorrow and I still got attitude.  They b*tched over cleaning up the counter they both used, arguing over which crumbs belonged to whom.  Caz won't take any suggestions on how to study his poem,with which he is clearly struggling.  I don't know about them, but I am ready to call it a night.