A family trip to Boston’s Aquarium on less than $50 (including pizzas) #middleclass

November 24, 2014 Leave a comment

I – unbeknownst to me – planned the perfect trip to the the New England Aquarium. Being a single dad, I usually travel with two OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAgirls – my niece and my daughter. I invite my new love interest and her son.

We’ve had a bunch of one-on-one dates, and now want to try out our relationship with the kids. HOLY FUCK!

No, it’s really not that bad. I enjoy parenting, I’m just trying not to overstep my bounds. Just ask my girls and when I use the word “brat.” It’s usually when the other kid agrees, “you’re being a brat”

The new word for Kit-Kat is Kitty-Kat, my niece likes that name, as she processed it on the subway. MBTA. (I do my best to make her a leader, not self-conscience)

My subway story..

I know the Boston Subway better than the back of my hand. I have a membership to the New England Aquarium, it’s a 25-minute drive to the Quincy Adams parking lot, one of the first stops on the red-line (we all have seats to choose from). I have everything planned, red-line to the orange-line, one stop up, blue-line, one stop up, follow the New England Aquarium signs.

I get flustered from time to time, (you’ll end up near Faneuil Hall Market Place.)images (22)

I paid attention this time. My niece forget her jacket and it’s a little cold, no time for meandering!

It’s the first interaction with all the kids and us (the dating single parents) – your god/your universe smiles down right here.

The reason I got flustered was because there was an hour detour for the MTBA redline, my date’s first experience with her son on the red-line, it was awful. It’s usually a quit (quick, she didn’t quit) quick trip: step on, step off, step on, quick step off, quick step on, step off and then we are there!

This didn’t happen this visit, I even thought about why I bad-mouthed Uber. Sitting on this stupid bus as it drove the streets of Boston. (yes we got the back seat for all 5-of us, thank you) [universe speak]

We haven’t even got to the New England Aquarium, and I’m thinking, this is going horribly wrong. I can’t even create small talk with my date. It’s all she can to do control her son’s excitement, I’m just making sure my girls are safe. (think secret service duty)

We finally make it to the New England Aquarium, a short walk from the MBTA blue line. (from south station: one stop up to the downtown crossing, then one stop up to aquarium)

I’m a member, I get one of those, “we do it for everybody, are you doing just because it’s me moments,”  long story short it’s free for all of us, even the extra child. (no, it’s not my skin color, I’m a familiar face)

Ugh the return home. As the girl’s eat chip’s, the boy is staring at the building and the crane, let’s not forget his lollipop… As we sit in this NEAQ cafeteria the girls decide to head back home.

We head home. Walk down to the subway (MBTA) one on, one off, one on, one off, then the red line….the bus trip.

Let me remind you it’s not just the familiar faces of me, my daughter, and my niece, but I brought along a date with her son.

images (23)A Boston Cop hails down the bus for us…all 5-of-us, my niece without a jacket. (she usually doesn’t need it, that’s the first thing he notices, not to mention the college kids who always grab a bite to eat at Subway before they catch the bus.)

Here’s the thing: I’m thinking how horrible wrong this day went. My date is amazed that her son is asleep so early in the day – EVENING – on this inconvenient bus ride.

He wakes ups – like a trooper – wanting to see the trains leave or arrive! As we wait at JFK-UMASS (with no minute marker), my date offers up her jacket to my niece. My niece is like me, but younger. I’m warm, but she’s cold. The JFK red-line finally arrives, we get to the car at Quincy Adams parking lot, my date and I secure the kids in the back seat and FINALLY! have time to talk.

We talk, discuss about dinner options, decide on a couple of pizza pies, she calls from my phone, we pick them up on the way home. Feed the kids, spent time talking, feed the kids some more, spent more time talking at the kitchen table..539w

Now it’s time to convince the kids it time for bed, time to go.

Wiped out they agree..

I spent $21 (MBTA train, (neaq membership already paid for , free pass for a small child, a couple bags of chips, a gummy worm lollipop), then $7 in parking. She was so impressed that she paid for the(1)cheese and (1) buffalo pie. ($25)

I lost my train of thought…

Oh yeah $46, I’m middle class and I know my way around Boston. I don’t need a taxi or order a uber.

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It’s been long day, I don’t feel like being “the man”

November 21, 2014 Leave a comment

It’s been a long week, I worked six-days last week, my daughter was kicking me in the back all night, I drop her off at her bus stop – the village takes the hand-off – then I show up76445384_cb43adf4cf bright-eyed and busy-tailed for work, complete the rest of my day, finally making it to our mandatory branch meeting. The topic is about stolen vehicles: Me and a millennial joke about why the thief didn’t take the mobi out, then LOL about the fact that no one at “that branch” thought to check the mobi tracking device (it wasn’t our branch, so who cares)

We. Require. Common. Sense. Here.

That connection is fun. That’s why we mandatory office meetings have office meeting. (Except one, even after the recession, the wife doesn’t work, he’s still out on the road sir.)

As we explain our logic, laughing off what is happening at another branch, that has no relevance to this branch. (I parked next to a highlander, ever move a bmw out of the way?)

We. Require. Common. Sense. Here. Then teach how to be thick skin, how to laugh shit off, Do You?

Make no mistake, I cry, but I am an oak. You don’t know me…

You didn’t help me as I laid my mother to rest…

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Learned behavior and #DomesticViolence (keep him in jail) @nfl

November 18, 2014 Leave a comment

I’m going to start this blog with full disclosure, I’m met the Chi-Town Bears’ McCaskey’s. If you don’t wake them too early or disturb Nancy as she’s making dinner, she usually starts around 4:30pm, You’re usually in the good. I made the mistake of showing up around 4pm as a “filler client”, I left with a good vegetable dip recipe and returned around 11am as she explained to the contractor that she is getting 3-estimates! I check the basement, the house, then sample and memorize a good Ruben recipe. I would always say no, eat, and then listen on how to make the ruben. Start with the sauerkraut.. download (12)

In my past blog post, I’ve mention how my brother is in jail because of his drug-use and how he would do anything and everything to just to get another hit, that includes screwing me over, selling whatever tools I invested in him trying to keep him gainfully employed. None of that got him in jail. It’s just a write off for me.

I allowed his girlfriend with his child to rent from me. He rented the 3rd bedroom for free as long as he did yard work. He got back into drugs, threaten to beat her if she didn’t give him, her part of the rent money, just so he could get another hit!

My brother’s a drug addict, I’ve dealt with this since I was 9-years old. He needs to stay in jail and sober up, and then sober up some more…Sure he can be the greatest guy, but drugs are his master, he will lie, beat, and steal from anyone, including his family, just to score a hit. He’s dead to me. I repeat, he’s dead to me. (he doesn’t listen anymore, and my quick right hand is getting old)

So he’s dead to me.

I’m still stuck with his family, his baby momma, his daughter, the 3-fucking pit-bulls, the turtles, the half-ass fence in yard, and a home with shit-ass real-estate comps. (it’s not worth investing in this duplex until I want to sell, the comps fucking suck)

The baby mama is actually doing a good job on paying the rent, since my brother(the drug addict is in jail), she actually hasdownload (13) enough money to buy my niece a cell-phone for her birthday, She has enough initiative with her friend to try and bleed the oil-line (after watching a YouTube video on the laptop [i give away free Wi-Fi. but charge for the land-line.) She/They got the furnace running, but doesn’t know what to do with the oil in the pan. I laugh.

As I interact with this #domesticviolence victim, who was brought up in this culture, I laugh as she wonder which fire alarm is making the dogs bark, and kindly replace the battery (this one), setting up a time to enter her private home and grab the oil pan, explaining that she can just pick up the pan and leave it her at her door for me to put it back into the oil tank with a filtered funnel.

Her learned behavior was to accept Domestic Violence, that she couldn’t do anything on her own, we changed that.

How many of these Domestic violence activist actually do this? Without crying me, me, me… Look at me.

Fuck them. We did some good today. Seriously, your not willing to take classes on how to parent?! Unknowingly, I think Gronk said it the best, “I’m throwing you out of the club”

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The @twitter introvert myth: We write under 140, but can’t talk incessantly #IRL.

November 15, 2014 Leave a comment

A number of years ago, just as Twitter was becoming a blip on the map and my Facebook friends – my sales professional blackberryFacebook friend – complained that they are too long-winded for Twitter. They proclaimed, “I’m an extrovert, not introvert!”

I was too busy as a business professional to argue with them. What I wasn’t too busy for was meeting these interesting people I keep following on Twitter. It all started with a couple of girls who work at the Colonial Inn and Shops (should I use the word ladies?),  then foursquare, so everyone who was on island would know where I am for the day, along with my schedule for the week: Edgartown, OB, VH, Headed out to the Wasque.

It was like they could read my mind for the open slots in my day, or when I didn’t have an open slot in my day. (It wasn’t so much I was an introvert as I didn’t have the time to explain why I didn’t have the time.) I have to pick up my daughter on Wednesdays from daycare, I gotta catch the boat! [under 140].

As I started to meet these “twitter introverts” It’s commonplace for these In-Real-Life meetings to last longer than 140-seconds. It kind of makes sense, you’re probably following each other because you find each other interesting.

work-from-homeWe leave the IRL-meeting and check each-others less than 140-characters and links during our busy day.

I think I may have had some of these #IRL friends chime in on a twitter chat about introverts. Phew, talk about an adamant bunch of folks, mockingly keeping it under 140.  It’s been a while since I meet a virtual friend in real life, I can honestly say, even with all my nervousness, the conversations seem to flowingly move pass the 140-minute mark, unless your full of coffee or haven’t eaten. Then it’s around 120, a card, and an honest friendship.

I’ve actually have a lot of close friends that I met on twitter, who now when we meet, I wonder how am I going to keep this meeting under 60-minutes, instead of how am I going to talk for 140-seconds.

I was reminded of this today at the Waltham Embassy Suites which is very asimilar to the Cambridge Hyatt, so I’m told.

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A manager, a plumber, an alarm guy, a verizon tech, the nanny, and me. #netneutrality

November 12, 2014 Leave a comment

All this talk about Net Neutrality reminded me of one of my best friends that I’ve met in this world, He was a project images (20)manager for “The Man”. This “man” already made his money in the “white man’s world”. We – mark, tina, and me – got the shit job of answering his kid’s stupid questions. We actually found these shit jobs fun and exciting. I’m guessing he did too with the detailed follow-up questions.

One of these projects this property manager had to complete was installing an alarm system. I want to say it was $14K, but $40K seems more realistic.

After a few years, a trust and friendship was created, sometimes I got paid top-dollar just to walk-a-round. During one of theses walk-a-rounds, I notice that he’s made a special trip. He vents about this alarm contract that he’s been working on for the past 3-weeks. The owner of this small company, shows up, surveys the property, does his due diligence on what type alarm system the owner wants. HE wants to be able to check his phone and see real-time video from the cameras on his property. After few weeks, the small business owner shows up with his crew, ready to rock-and-roll.

images (17)This property manager, makes a special trip – instead of just having me survey the work site to see if anyone is there – to test the “video upload feed” There’s a delay….a big delay. This alarm company never tested or mentioned the requirements. It was step-1 of the entire project. The Verizon DSL wasn’t even close to being fast enough for this new alarm system.

This property manager would have had to sue this alarm company, putting them out of business because they didn’t first check the download/upload speeds and focused on the 40K price tag.

It’s a middle of no-where piece of property, where this man goes to escape, where I go to escape, where Mark goes to escape. It’s off the beaten path, where we ignore the spot that you can actually get cell-phone service. Unless your images (16)standing in that exact spot, your cell phone doesn’t ring.

It’s a $100-200k to get Verizon to upgrade those lines to FiOS lines, that’s at Verizon’s Cost!  A real world example with be cable service to Chappaquiddick(blasphemy), not to mention the future upgrades for those cable or FiOs lines, the upkeep, the maintenance…

nstar_fire_pole_meserve I forget mention my wife’s cousin, the plumber. He always complains about needing work, he has his own company, but never shows up.

My aunt’s husband works for Comcast, has a bad shoulder, but always shows up during a power-outage. (with his bucket truck and health insurance) There’s better things than working in the middle of a storm, but at the end of the day: it’s healthcare, a job, and it pays for his son’s rehab.

Net Neutrality is a space that needs some government regulation to protect the little guy. A start-up with $1 Billion dollars in funding isn’t the little guy. Pay the Piper. Period!

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The belly.

November 10, 2014 Leave a comment

I finally introduced my niece and my daughter to my new girlfriend. After a few weeks, it might have been months, (we lose download (10)track of time when together.) I normally follow the six-month rule when introducing my daughter to a new girl friend. Maybe it has been six-months? Let’s say six-weeks with a stalker best friend.

I bring this girlfriend along to evaluate her with my niece and daughter during a session at Pump-N-Jump. As I grab water for the girls she interacts with them, they like her. Just. One. Water. Bottle. (It will last 2-hours)

family-pizza-nightMy daughter wants pizza, along with my niece, and my date says, “she suddenly has a craving for pizza.” Me, being old eagle eye, I see the Pump-n-Jump birthday party and the delivery guy with 3-pizzas.

Hey, OCD friend, Sarah, god bless you. There’s a Bertucci’s in this mall, which is similar to Patriot Places Tavolino’s, One of our top two options during our first date!

Talk about killing two birds with one stone. That’s really not important. Bertucci’s it is!

This is what’s important. Hey Ladies. My niece gravitates to my date (it’s been 6-weeks, maybe months, since we first met). We’re download (11)both late twenty something years old. My niece is starting to get a belly, which I caught a kid pointing it out to her. My girlfriend has “that baby belly”, it’s the last thing I notice about her. We talk and communicate a lot, we.. her belly is the last thing I notice about her.

All that is unimportant, right now, what’s important is…

Is that as my niece connected with new girlfriend and the fact girls have bellies. (confident women), Women who tell the waiter that the bread plates aren’t sufficient, bring dinner plates for pizza. OH by the waiter, communicated through my mouth.

It was actually a cheap family date, the bill was around $25 for two small pies and drinks.

My date leaves her last piece on the plate, my niece leaves her last piece on the plate. The waiter returns and asked, “if we want dessert?” Maddy and Donna just want DQ and a nap.

I give the waiter a crisp brand new $100 bill, he doesn’t know if he can, or how to cash it. That’s a lot of change to give back. 70-dollars and 4-ones. Maddy laughs like she’s Jewish and already knows.

I leave a 20-percent tip and we walk through the mall, grab ice cream, and head home.

(No Worries)

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After a night of voting: Something Good. #domesticviolence @Al_Anon

November 5, 2014 Leave a comment

A VP’s story, maybe even your VP:

It’s no big secret that I have clout, still my brother sits in jail. In the pass 5-years, I’ve probably supplied him and his familydownload (7) with $20,000, not to mention that I rent to his family at $6000 per year below market value. With him here, I was constantly researching landlord eviction notices. My lawyer preemptively hand delivering a letter-of-intent to evict them as tenant, emailing BHA the same letter.

download (8)BHA telling my tenant, he can kick you out. This single mother was behind on her rent because taking advantaged of a loophole, which ended up being a net loss.

Her meal ticket, her extra money, her baby’s daddy gets arrested and goes to jail.

That first month, the church steps in to help out with the rent. She figures things out.

After the first few months, she is always early with her rent check (1/3 of her income), it’s such a big change from her making excuses why she can’t pay the rent. Her meal ticket, her extra money was actually consuming more than he was contributing. He was the cause of the net-loss.

So here’s the something good:  She already paid the rent and this VP gets a call from this single mother’s daughter. She has a new cell Mom looking on as daughter uses cell phonephone – her first cell phone – and wants to know how to access google apps! She doing everything that the Walmart reps said. He ask her what phone she got, goes to Walmart and get the same phone. It’s asking for A Comcast Email and password for Wifi Access. He thinks for a second, login into his Xfinity Account, sets-up a secondary parent email account, then tell this child to enter in this username and password.

As he’s stop by to reset the furnace before the cold weather starts, he see the daughter skyping? Maybe, it was a Google Hangout with her best friend up the street. That’s Priceless.

This doesn’t happen without the “drug-addict, otherwise he WAS a good guy” wife-beating brother in jail, the BHA program, and Xfinity having Wifi hot-spots in their routers that supports his niece and her T-Mobile Android Phone with no Data plan.

This doesn’t happen without the Village, a Village. Feeling warm and fuzzy?

I could be refering to M Night Shyamalan. Either way, this is a small win for the Village.

What are you doing to help the village? Allowing your router to be a Wifi Comcast Hot-spot?

It could be saving a child’s life. Seriously.

Categories: Uncategorized
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