Saturday, September 22, 2007

Turn Around

This is a crying baby.

I offer this up because I wonder, sometimes, if this is as obvious to everyone out there as it is to me. A lot of people have kids so this should be a familiar image. So why must everyone turn around with that annoyed look whenever they come across one?

Take a look at the crying baby again. Got it? Good. Now commit it to memory and the next time you're in a synagogue or a church or an airplane or a restaurant or a movie theater (okay, forget the movie theater), you don't have to turn around and stare. Face forward and mind your own friggin' business, okay?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Things You Can't Do With A Pulled Pec

I pulled a muscle somewhere in the left side of my chest a couple of weeks ago. At the time, I remarked that you never know just how a muscle is used until it's injured. So here is a brief list of things that are hard or impossible to do with a pulled pectoralis major:

1) breathe deeply
2) run up stairs
3) reach
4) stand from a sitting position
5) lie on my stomach and watch TV while leaning on my elbows
6) lean on my elbows
7) cough
8) sneeze (I list this separately because it's a bazillion times more painful than coughing)

I'm sure you can thing of others. As much pain as I was in, it paled to my friend Andrea who, by coincidence, suffered a similar injury. But while mine occurred on a water slide, Andrea's occurred while doing a header on a mountain bike.

I'm such a wuss. These are not, nor have they ever been, my pecs.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Parking? No Parking.

I love motorcycles. Motorcycles are still cool. They don't really stand for the rebelliousness they used to, but they can still be used to stick it to the man once in awhile. In this case, I am the man.

Commuting is a fact for those of us in suburbia. My particular commute involves parking at a large Park-n-Ride and then hopping a bus. Finding a good spot at this lot has been getting more and more difficult and it's very easy to get excited over the unexpected good spot.

I got burned by a motorcycle. Twice.

This picture shows what I saw two mornings in a row. I pulled down a particular row and, believing I saw a spot between the blue car and the tan car, turned wide so I could pull in. I mean look at it! What would you do?

But here's what was really there. It was the same bike two days in a row. And I had to back up and find something else, all while pretending that I meant to do that.

I hate motorcycles.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Fun In The...Clouds (Day 5)

Four days of bright sun and heat come to a close in the traditional way for me: with a cool, cloudy day. The forecast was partly cloudy in the 80s. I'm not so sure it got out of the 70s. What a perfect day to head for something billed as "New York's #1 Family Water Park". That's quite a promise. New York is a pretty big state and according to, there are 14 water parks available to people visiting the Empire State. So the one we'll be visiting must be pretty sweet. Or the other 13 must totally suck.

Zoom Flume is in the Catskills. Imagine driving down a country lane in the middle of nowhere. You pass a couple of houses. Then there's a water park. Then some more houses. I pictured it as much bigger. But we came all this way and the kids were looking forward to it so we plunked down something around $80 and found some chairs.

The obesity epidemic was in full display, at least amongst the adults. There were some portly kids as well but overall, I felt better about my rapidly-expanding gut. The boy loved the slides. The girl was afraid of them, even when we took her on something called "Lazy River" which was basically just sitting in a tube and floating. Every few minutes, something that sounded like the voice of a subway conductor emanated from a plastic totem pole. The challenge was figuring out how to get our money's worth. After only a couple of hours, the boy was getting bored and his lips were blue and chattering. Maybe some lunch will recharge him.

It had been some time since the garbage had been attended to so now we had to find somewhere to sit that wasn't infested by bees. Fortunately, a couple of park employees tried swatting them with wet rags. So we found place where the bees weren't as angry and ate our overpriced water park food. After another couple of rides, the boy managed to stop his teeth from chattering long enough to tell us he wanted to leave.

The truly pathetic thing is that I actually pulled a muscle on one of these things. When I used to go to the gym, I discovered I had muscles in my chest. According to some research, they're called "pectorals". Anyway, while trying to keep from falling off of some overused gym mat, I pulled something. You never know how you use some of your muscles until you pull one of them. And a few days later, it hurts to take a deep breath, carry something heavy, lie on my back. I can still whine, though.

The minivan has been packed and we're heading south. I survived the vacation relatively unscathed. But in a strange way, I'm actually looking forward to mowing the lawn tomorrow morning.