Archive for March, 2011

Only Our Emma

Upon arriving home from a quick errand to the local video library to return a few movies with Da Bug, Fehmeen made this shocking announcement to all of us present in the house at the time:  “Attention everyone, Emma just informed me that she doesn’t like ice cream any more!”

If it wasn’t already true, I’d be speechless upon hearing that headline.

Sensing that the room was hers for the taking, Fehmeen took her time and spared no detail.

Apparently, after Little Miss slid all five of the dvds through the Blockbuster mail slot one by one, Fehmeen decided to take our good little girl over to Johnny Rockets for an early evening treat of a hot fudge sundae.

Once the single scooped confection arrived at their table, Emma demonstrated by example how much she is equal parts Mommy and Daddy.  She was so distracted by the ice cream dripping out of the silver metal chalice that she felt compelled to clean it up as it slowly oozed onto the plate beneath.  This is a trait she inherited from Fehmeen.  However, Emma couldn’t handle clean up duty very long because her fingers were getting way too sticky for her to reasonably tolerate.  That one, dear readers, is courtesy of me.

Partly because of that aforementioned situation, Emma only ended up eating about four spoonfuls of her sundae, two of which were exclusively of the whipped cream variety.  As she put down her spoon following that final bite, the (almost) three year old turned towards Fehmeen and said, “Momma, I don’t like ice cream.  It has too much shuga.  I prefer frozen yogurt because it has less shuga.”

Like I said in the title, only our Emma could say something like that.  But if I had to guess, I’m pretty sure she picked up that phrase, at least the shuga part, from her beloved Nani.

As for whether or not she sticks to her guns and spurns the frozen dairy product for the (relatively) healthier alternative, only time will tell.  Especially this birthday weekend.


Read Full Post »

Can you believe that baseball season begins tomorrow?  It only seems like yesterday that we were watching the Giants win their first World Series Championship in San Francisco history.  Wow, talk about a fast five months.

Before we get to the prognostication part of the post, I would like to share with you some baseball inspired photos from my personal collection.

A swing only a mother could love.

From the season our team won the Midget League Championship. (San Bruno didn't sweat being politically incorrect during the eighties).

And I still bite my lower lip from time to time when I'm really concentrating on something.

We won it all with the Carpets International Eagles in my thirteen year old season of the Teener League.

Back in 1998, this radio station had a contest where they invited listeners to write in 25 words or less why they deserved to play catch with their dads on the field before a Giants game at Candlestick Park. My dad and I were one of 98 couples that won.

The Picetti Boys take a break from the action to turn and face the camera. My dad is in the middle closest to the infield standing next to the cooler and I'm in the outfield with my head under the G on the GAP sign on the wall.

Mugging for the mamarazzi in the backyard in sunny San Bruno proudly showing off our souvenir balls.

Now we turn our attention to this season.  I think it would be fun to predict how many wins your favorite team will get this year as well as how many wins that Barry Zito is going to end up with.  I also invite you to prognosticate who will be the last team standing in late October as World Series champions.

Since it’s my blog, I’ll go first:

  • The Giants will win 92 games and finish first in the NL West
  • Zeets will earn 13 W’s this season (I’ve always been a half full kind of guy)
  • As for the World Series champs, even though it is difficult to repeat, I have to say the Gigantes are going to do it again

I open the floor to you, fellow fans of our National Pastime, to make your voices heard on those three topics.

I leave you with one final picture that will no doubt make my friend Beusch throw up in his mouth a little because of the jacket I’m wearing.  Sorry, dude, at least it wasn’t the Dodgers.

Amidst the throes of my short-lived New York Yankees frontrunner phase of the late seventies.

Read Full Post »

Must-Saw TV Thursday

I realize that this post is a couple days late in terms of being considered “water cooler” material but since this cold I’ve been trying to shake all week decided to hit me hardest from about Wednesday morning on through the weekend, I’m going to put it up today anyway with hopes that you all have decent enough memories to recall some of the broader details about what I watched on Thursday evening.

Wow, congratulations to me for that 74-word opening sentence.  Fehmeen will be so proud … as she edits it down to the twenty-five or so words normal people would take to convey the exact same thought.

But that’s neither here nor there.

Back to Thursday night television.

It all started around eight o’clock.  We were actually tuned in to American Idol on Fox at the time when my dad, The Italian Man Servant, yelled to us from the family room that we needed to turn it to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Fuse.  When we did, we were able to catch Tom Waits giving his acceptance speech as one of this year’s new inductees.  While he performed on stage, Fehmeen told Emma that he is Daddy’s favorite singer in the world.  Emma responded by grooving a little to “Rain Dogs” — the song he was playing — and then she told Fehmeen that Tom Waits really needs to cough and clear his throat.

Do I really need to say at this point that my wife’s smile got a little bit bigger with that comment!?!

Well, I do and it did.

Moving right along now.

Once the coronation of King Tom was over, we flipped it back to Idol.  In previous seasons, A.I. results shows are serious snore-fests with little to no shock and surprise embedded between the opening credits and the final montage of that week’s losing contestant with the now-seriously bruised ego and crushed self-confidence.

But this week was different.

Replacing the typical over-hyped, flash in the pan, appealing only to teenaged youths with at least three hundred Facebook friends and the latest smartphone, the producers actually booked a band with some serious live vocal chops:  Sugarland.  With the exception of the singer’s absolutely hideous outfit, the group hit all the right notes.  And nobody was more pleased with their performance than Fehmeen:  Sugarland is a current favorite.

And when you throw in Stevie Wonder playing piano during the opening number which was topped by the surprise appearance by Hulk Hogan, who not only ripped his shirt but then punched Ryan Seacrest, and you have a show worth watching until the end.

And what an ending!  I did not see Casey receiving the fewest votes.  He is one of the most talented ones up there.  The judges had to save him.  It also was pure genius to stop him from finishing his song.  If I was able to talk, that whole final scene would have rendered me speechless.  It goes without saying that I cannot wait for this week’s episode.

Which brings us to The Office.  This show is still on our DVR-record list but I feel like I’m watching the show out of obligation as opposed to watching it expecting to be dazzled week after week.  It just doesn’t have the same energy that it used to have.  I think I continue to follow it for fear I might miss something spectacular if I bailed on it.

Which brings us to this week’s show where Michael proposed to Holly.  The setup couldn’t have been any more sweet and romantic as the happy couple strolled around the building reminiscing their relationship highlights.  When they opened the door to reveal everyone holding candles as Holly ran the gauntlet of proposals until Michael actually got on his knee in her own extremely candle-lit office, I was transported back in time when the show blew me away.  And then the overhead sprinklers went off during his actual will-you-marry-me’s, it was as if they made great just that much greater.

At that point I was more than content to just go gentle in that goodnight when Michael being Michael killed the good mood by blurting out that they were moving away from Scranton, PA.

That was when I knew that perfect just got perfecter.

Read Full Post »

Hey there, ladies and gents, and welcome back to another crazy caption contest.  As per ushe, we were inundated with a ton of quality entries and the competition for the winning caption was hard fought and wildly debated amongst our esteemed panel of judges — which actually included The Italian Man Servant himself.

When the smoke cleared and the dust settled, one caption emerged victorious.

During fits of rage, young Charlie Sheen would give himself tittie twisters to the point where he would pass out from exhaustion. - Matt

Cheers to Matt for his winning entry.  Along with your title of King Caption for the week, you have earned the following fabulous and fantastic first-place prize:  An all-you-can-eat endless buffet coupon for Tres Amigos in San Mateo (valid Wednesday evenings only from 11:30 pm until closing) as well as a never-pay-cover-charge pass for the newly refurbished and reconstructed Club Ante.  Props on the sweet swag and the impressive win, Matt.

These three captions comprise our runner-ups for the week.  Congratulations to you folks as well.  In no particular order they are:

◊  Fortunately, she has an app for that! – Trish

◊  “Don’t make me angry, mommy – you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry… ” – Ross

◊  Where’s my Happy Meal, bitch?! -Sean B.

Thank you, each and every one of you, for participating in our little contest.  Please join us again by placing your entries in the comment section below this week’s picture.  Good luck and please make sure to practice safe caption.  Cya!!

Read Full Post »

I have never been particularly comfortable with the concept of heights.  Take the picture to the left as an example.  While it may appear that my friend Traci and I are taking five on a bench after a busy morning of NYC sightseeing back in 1996, we are actually kinda sorta both freaking out from being so high off the ground on the observation deck of the World Trade Center.

Several years later — February 2007 to be exact — on a family trip back to New York, my dad got this shot of a pigeon just casually sitting atop the Empire State Building.  Do you think that bird commutes to his spot each day from the ground or does he have a nest up there somewhere?  I just flew up here from the ground and are my wings tired!

And then there was that time in Cancún when we left the all-inclusive nest of Club Med for a day trip to Chichén Itzá and this was as close to climbing the pyramid as it got for me in 2003.  I don’t think that the Mayans were necessarily concerned about making their steps not so steep and imposing looking.

Now that I am more or less grounded these days, I thought my time with being frightened of heights were over until I found this picture.

Read Full Post »

Miss Picheddar Gone Viral

Here is a video where Emma gives writing lessons to Daddy.  She also shows off her penmanship and mathematical skills.  And what home movie would be complete without Daddy getting caught on camera checking out Mommy.

Enjoy the show.

Read Full Post »

Hello and welcome back to the greatest caption contest on this or any other blog out there on Al Gore’s internet.  Thank you to everyone who took the plunge and submitted an entry.  It’s a shame that there could only be one winner.  I appreciate your efforts and look forward to seeing what you come up with this week.

"No Child Left Behind" George W Bush

Major props to Marty for her hilarious and topical (teacher related) entry.  Congratulations on being the Top of the Heap this week.  Enjoy a free download on me of The Bay Area Band Live at the Nativity Carnival available exclusively on iToons as your prize.  It sounds so good it’s almost as if you were there.  🙂

Fist bumps go out to these runner-ups:

  • You could have knocked me over when I heard Grandpa was a “swinger.” – Kevin Connell
  • It was a perfect storm:  Old Milwaukee, Grandma’s potato salad, and a southwest gust at 15mph.  Poor Jimmie didn’t stand a chance. – Matt
  • Higher! – Kim M

Also, thank you to Ameena and Monika for returning to their middle school roots to weigh in as judges.  I appreciate your taking time out of your busy lives to help me with this very important job, just like in the old days.  🙂

Now, without further delay, I present to you this week’s picture:

Enter as often as you wish by typing your caption into the comments section below.  Remember to get them in by Friday so we can do all of this again.  Good luck and happy captioneering!

Read Full Post »

Gettin’ Paper

Back in August of last year, I was contacted by an editor from a prominent magazine who was inquiring about whether or not I had any interest in publishing my Adventures of ALS Boy blog on their website.  I immediately responded with a “Hell Yeah” as professionally as possible given the level of my excitement.

I was asked to write a pair of bios for the site — the first could only be one sentence long, the other was up to me — and together with a newly taken headshot, I sent them off to New York and waited for things to get set up.

Less than a week later I received an e-mail saying I was good to go.  It was very exciting.  Here was an opportunity to get more people to be exposed to the world according to yours truly and I dove right into it.

My plan was to post what I was posting on this blog over there, as well as some of my more entertaining and amusing entries from the old archives.  There was a slight learning curve with their interface, particularly when it comes to posting pictures.  (I still have a rough time doing more than one photo.  Go figure!).

All in all, it has been a very rewarding experience being a part of the Psychology Today family of bloggers.  Especially when I received my first check!

Wait!  Did he just say that he gets paid to blog?  I think he did.  (Pause to reread).  Yep, that’s what he said.

Now, before you start to write me a note asking for a low interest loan from your good buddy and pal Jason Picetti-rhymes-with-spaghetti, let me break down how it works.  After all the sheckles from the advertising revenue on the site’s pages get counted and divvied up, bloggers earn about five dollars per thousand page views.

It’s not exactly a fortune but I’ll definitely take it.  In fact, I feel the same way about writing as I did about playing music:  It always amazed me at the end of a four hour gig to get handed a check for something I would have done for free.

I also wanted to show you the actual check but I seem to have lost the picture. It was for $172.93 or something close to that amount. You'll have to ask The Boss if you want to know the exact figure, I just work here.

Read Full Post »

Show Me The Money!

While the quote in the title of this post is certainly one of the more recognizable lines from Jerry Maguire, the one that stuck with me the most was about how the human head weighs eight pounds.

It cracked me up when I first heard actor Jonathan Lipnicki’s bespectacled character Ray tell them to Tom Cruise’s Jerry Maguire.  And I’m not talking about my thinking it was just sorta funny to the point that I could move on from it once the movie was over.  Oh no, I even went so far with my obsession of those six words that I actually lowered myself to the ground and placed my own melon on a scale in order to verify that the factoid was indeed correct.

I realize it may be difficult at this particular juncture but I ask that you please not judge me too harshly.  I was a different person back in 1996.  Confused.  Looking for direction.  And a life.  And a gir…


Little did I know that those words about the human head weighing eight pounds would remain with me in the forefront of my mind almost every day during these past few months of my ALS-affected life.  Here’s why:

For those of you who don’t see me on a regular basis, I have a very difficult time sitting upright in any other chair but a recliner.  The trunk muscles on my sides have weakened to the point where if my body doesn’t have something to lean against for support it will simply topple over.  To add injury to insult, the muscles on the left side of my neck can no longer bear the weight of my ginormous dome so much so that whenever my head is not resting against a cushion of some sorts, my left cheek is practically touching my left shoulder.

And believe you me when I tell you that it is not very comfortable.

But the real kicker is that every single time I find myself in this awkward and slightly painful position, I can feel the immortal words of that Lipnicki kid floating through the grey matter in my brain over and over again:  The human head weighs eight pounds.  The human head weighs eight pounds.  The human head weighs ei…

And then I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs that the little S.O.B. in the movie got it completely wrong because my head feels like it weighs at least eighty pounds.  Probably more.

Suddenly I remember that I cannot scream to point where it would provide me even an ounce of satisfaction so instead of obsessing on the obvious fact that Lipnicki was lying, I think about how awesome it’s going to be to get reacquainted with my recliner.

And when that magical reunion happens, I will be waiting for the back of my skull to make first contact with the front of the headrest.  In my mind, I will be saying to my home within my home that you had me at hello.

Read Full Post »

A Recommendation

My friend Matt Berry and I have a long history of shared movie experiences dating all the way back to our junior high school days in the early eighties.  One of our moms would drive us to the theater — either to Tanforan, Millbrae, or Serramonte — for a double feature and we would eat popcorn, drink sodas, and watch movies until they had to kick us out of the auditorium.  We took in such cinematic gems as Creepshow, Take This Job and Shove It, Saturday the 14th, Evilspeak, and Ghost Story to name but a few.

Over the years our tastes evolved to the point where Matt was suggesting I check out films like Once Were Warriors, Rabbit-Proof Fence, Big Fan, and Trainspotting to name another few.  It was during our most recent visit that he was raving about Let Me In. He spoke about it in such glowing terms, the first chance Fehmeen allowed me to do so, I ordered it on On Demand.

Let Me In tells the story of a bullied twelve-year-old Owen and his relationship with his new neighbor, a twelve-year-old vampire named Abby. I could tell you more but that is basically all that is necessary to know.  There is more than enough in that first sentence for you to connect at least a couple of dots.

For fans of the horror film genre, Let Me In is indubitably a must-see movie.  It is incredibly suspenseful and genuinely frightening at times.  It also carries an R-rating so the viewer gets his/her money’s worth in the spilled blood department.

Folks who enjoy high quality filmmaking will appreciate this movie as well.  There were at least a half-dozen camera shots that I had never seen before that were completely cool and surprising that their presence in the finished product only added to its overall wow factor.

Hands down, this is the best vampire movie ever made, imho.  And I’ve seen quite a few of them in my day.  Listen to me now just as I listened to my buddy (Hairy) Matt Berry when he told me to check out Let Me In. It’ll be the best $5.99 you’ll tack on your cable bill this month.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »