Thursday, April 17, 2008

#100!! The dark side of the street

Welcome to my hundredth blog entry.  That number should be a lot higher but you just can't fight laziness, you know?

According to some actor friends of mine, a true rite of passage is appearing in an episode of "Law & Order".  It's actually not that hard to do.  The franchise has been on the air since 1990 and they all shoot in New York, so appearing in some form or another on one of these shows is just something everyone around here gets to do.  And, much like the excitement a Jersey resident got when he'd see a familiar location on "The Sopranos", it's kind of fun seeing someone you know eating a slice of pizza in the background on L&O.

What was disturbing was seeing familiar faces from my childhood.  After the familiar DUM DUM sound effect, a man and his son are seen walking through the woods in Central Park.  The son is giving his dad a hard time as the father picks up trash and comes upon a dead body.  But the dad is none other than Roscoe Orman—Gordon on Sesame Street.  He's been Gordon since 1973.  Now he's picking up trash and getting sh*t from his son on L&O?  Are things that bad on the Street?

There was another episode where a young boy was accused of murder.  They found him living 
with his grandfather, played by Emilio Delgado!  Luis has been working in the Fix It Shop since 1971!  Now he's harboring murderers?  My childhood memories are crumbling.  All I need now is to see Bob holding hostages on an episode of "Dexter".

Gina the vet (Alison Bartlett) has been on as well but she's after my time.  And I think she played a judge.  Not the same thing.  

Monday, April 07, 2008

Where have you been all my life?

I have found traveling nirvana and it's located in Newburgh. No more will I deal with the chaos of LaGuardia, the parking expense of Newark or the Third-World experience of Kennedy. Back in the day, I flew in and out of Islip. Small, manageable, close to home. I even made an ass out of myself in front of a woman who I thought was deaf but wasn't. But the last 20 years or so have been filled with one bad experience after another at a major metropolitan airport. Until this time.

The parking wasn't perfect but it was fine nevertheless. It will cost $40 for the week, as opposed to $30 a day at Newark. It took less than an hour to get there. The people were both friendly and helpful, almost to the point of being too helpful. There were no loud annoucements. No crowds of harried flyers banging into each other. No rude car service drivers hogging up all the luggage carts.

The airline staff (go AirTran!!!!) was also friendly. They didn't look at the passengers like we were in their way. It was affordable. We got XM radio. And we didn't feel like we were "getting what we paid for". This is definitely an experience I'll try to repeat.

Of course, I haven't flown back yet. I probably jinxed myself. Stay tuned.

Friday, April 04, 2008

I gotta pay attention

Know what look alike?  A bottle of Shout Advanced Action gel and a bottle of Pledge Multi Surface Clean & Dust.  I was treating a mystery stain on my kid's white shirt and noticed a bottle of the aforementioned Shout in the closet behind me.  So I located the stain, then turned around to reach for the bottle and sprayed away.  It was pretty liquidy and I was expecting something thicker.  Well, I at least know that the shirt will be streak-free.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The times, they are a changin'

I had  Pop•Tarts® this morning.  It's been years since I had one.  You'd think having kids would force to to fill my cupboards with boxes of the flaky pastries but no.  My son is a cereal and frozen pancake freak.  My daughter likes that as well, but she eats her cereal without milk.  Odd.

Anyway, I went shopping the other day and I had a coupon so I figured I'd get some.  Now when I was a kid, the flavor choices were limited.  Strawberry.  Brown sugar & cinnamon (those two are always linked, aren't they?).  Oh, and there was probably a Dutch Apple.  And you could get any of these in frosted or unfrosted.  The strawberry variety had frosting with little colored sugar sprinkles.  And that was my favorite.  The unfrosted ones were just too dry and I wasn't going near the other flavors.  And it had to be toasted.

Many years have passed and I find that the Pop Tarts family has expanded.  My beloved strawberry is still there and it's now available in Multi Grain to make the whiny parents coalitions happy.  I bought that for myself.  The frosting was reduced to some white swirls, ostensibly to cut back on the calorie content, but they were still good.  So what would my kids want?  I see they've added chocolate to the menu.  But they've also added Pop Tarts Splitz (anyone working in kid marketing for as long as I did knows that changing the "s" to a "z" gives you instant street cred).  These are toaster treats with two flavors side by side.  I got the chocolate/strawberry and the chocolate/vanilla (they were 3 for $5).

So what's my point with all this?  I wonder what was going on in the 70s when I was roaming the cereal aisles of Long Island.  Allow me to lapse into my grumpy old man voice: we didn't have Splitz when I was a boy.  We had one flavor!  And sometimes we toasted them and you'd bite into it and the filling would burn your lips and you'd cry "boo hoo, the delicious strawberry filling is burning my lips" but we liked it that way!

Two flavors in one Pop Tart?   I guess what I'm trying to determine is whether or not we were stupid in the 70s.  Clothing and music notwithstanding, no one ever thought to combine the flavors.  It's not a particularly genius idea.  Was the technology not available back then?  Or were we, as human beings, not evolved to the point of this discovery?  Perhaps our minds weren't capable of conceiving things of this magnitude.  I mean after all,  no one in my generation ever had any drink that was blue and look at the shelves now!

The future looks bright.  Or at least tasty.


For parents with small children, here's a helpful hint: if you're wearing your sunglasses with one of the arms tucked inside your collar, don't let your kid climb up the front of your body.  Her foot WILL hit the glasses.  And it WILL hurt.  And you won't be able to yell out because you'll be dropping off your kid at preschool.  At least I will...