Tuesday, May 30, 2006

"Be in that diaper, freshly remembered. This story should the good man teach his son....."

You know what your job is when you’re a grandpa.

You observe, you’re an observer.

Kind of like a conscientious objector without a helmet.

You also make a lot of fast food runs.

My new grandson had to spend a week in the Neo Natal ICU, tanning.

Well it looked like tanning to me. He was under these blue lights for a week.

His riboflavin’s or Billy Thornton’s or something were too high because they used a Hoover on him trying to get him out before they did the c-section.

So he ends up with a Hemotoma, which is Latin for “big bump” and ends up in ICU looking like a K-Mart blue light special.

We were there every day and night sitting with my son and daughter-in-law. I spent the time bugging the nurses about his condition.

The nurses weren’t supposed to tell me anything because I wasn’t the “father” but you’d be surprised what eight loaves of homemade bread and twenty bucks will do.

I was always taught to tip big. Hospital staff, hotel staff, they pretty much do the same thing so… I tip them.

I remember a movie with Steve Martin called My Blue Heaven, where he tipped everyone, I always wondered if he learned that from my father.

Anyway, you can find out a lot by “tipping.”

So after a week my son got to bring his wife and son home.

But they don’t let you leave with the baby until you can show the “working” car seat. It took three of us almost five hours to put the car seat in the car.

“Dad why is the base jiggling?”

“I think it’s supposed to jiggle. It’s like a shock absorber.”

“I don’t think that’s right.”

“Do you have any duct tape?”

“Is that legal?”

“Only if it’s family.”

The first feeling you have as a grandpa is a feeling of accomplishment. You got your offspring through life alive and they got to reproduce. So you feel pretty much... well... done.

That’s when the post natal depression for grandparent’s starts.

You feel a little useless… briefly.

Then all you have to do is listen to your son.

“Can you believe these idiots on the freeway? I’ve got a baby in my car and these idiots are zooming by me.”

“No one touches the baby until you wash your hands.”

“He’s peeing everywhere!!!! Help!!! It’s shooting all over.”

“Whoa… We should call this “The Curse of the Black Poo.”

“How do I tell him to just say no to drugs?”

“Dad, you know if you and mom want to just, you know, hang out, it’s okay. You guys can stay as long as you want. Because, well, you know, we’re a little, you know, terrified.”

I’m still needed.


“Yes son.”

“Do me a favor.”

“Whatever you need son.”

“You’re not going to tell him those same stories you tell Alex are you?”

“No, of course not.”

“Thanks dad.”

“I’m going to make up new ones.”

“Great dad….”

“Don’t worry son I’ll only make up stories about stuff I saw the Discovery Channel. Did you know that Stonehenge may have been built by Egyptian pygmies with club feet?”

“Come on dad, do you have any idea how many fights I got into when I was a kid because of your stories? I was constantly defending stuff that was made up.”

“I was preparing you for a career in politics.”

“Kim’s going to blame me.”

“There’s an old Chinese saying son, “What doesn’t kill me, ends up divorcing me.” “Wait… You’re mother may have said that.”


“Son, most of the world is ignorant. If they can’t “Google” it, it doesn’t exist. Kids today know about iPod’s and X-Boxes but nothing about using their minds. You can’t download imagination. An X-Box costs $400, imagination is free.”

“You can’t download imagination… Imagination is free… I like that dad.”

“Son, I firmly believe that a group of five year olds with squirt guns and Play Dough could solve the problems of the world.”

“But they can’t change this diaper.”

“Wow… How could that little guy be full of so much…..”

“Dad… He’s a Calabrese.”

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Miracle of Birth

Birth is....



John Anthony Calabrese entered the world at 10:30 pm May 23rd 2006.

Seven pounds, fourteen ounces, 19 1/2 inches long.

And I'd just like to say the kid has huge huevos.

OH GOD!!!! I feel like I'm writing a mommy blog......

I'm so excited, one more mind for me to shape.

To my son Anthony and my daughter-in-law Kim I just want you to know that I fully intend to spoil him rotten. That's my job, ask Alex.

It's almost 2:00am.

I'll be funny when I wake up and then I'll have at least two more hours of new material.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Between now and Tuesday my next grandson will finally be born. It’s my oldest son’s first child and he is a complete basket case.

“Okay, here’s the deal dad. I know babies eat, sleep and poop. That much I’ve got down. But what do you do with a baby when they’re not eating, sleeping or pooping?”

“Well, you could take him to Wal-Mart. A lot of people take babies to Wal-Mart.”

“I’m serious dad. What the hell do I do?”

“Well for the first six or seven years you give him fatherly advice that he doesn’t understand. For the next seven years you give him fatherly advice that he doesn’t listen to, and after that he’s pretty much telling “you” everything.”

“What if I’m not a good dad?”

“Trust me you’ll be a good dad. The most important thing is to not leave him anywhere when you’re supposed to be watching him and remember to let him play outside without a diaper. That way you can just hose him off before he comes into the house. Uh… you might not want your wife to see you if you do that.”

“You hosed us off?”

“Not right away. You we’re at least a year old. You loved it.”

“You can’t hose off my kid dad.”

“Have you ever changed a diaper in your life son?”

“Um… no….”

“Trust me you can hose a kid off. Just don’t use one of those jet spray attachments.”

“They want to strip Kim’s membranes.”

“What has that got to do with hosing off the kid?”

“Nothing, I just keep having these weird random thoughts pop in and out of my head. I think I’m having sympathetic symptoms.”

“Weird random thoughts popping in and out of your head? Yeah that pretty much seems like a pregnant woman to me.”

“What if I screw this up dad?”

“Son you are my first born, the fruit of my loins. You turned out okay and I pretty much winged it. You won’t screw this up and if you do you can always have another kid.”


“Relax Hondo I’m just playing with you.”

“I really nervous about this dad.”

“I know son. But one way or the other he’s coming out by Tuesday and then you just go with the flow son, go with the flow.”

“What if he grows up to be a jerk or an asshole?”

“Well assholes have to come from somewhere son. We’ve all worked for at least one asshole. Where do you think they came from? If he ends up being an asshole I’d be shocked, but if he does you encourage him to be the best asshole he can be.”

“I don’t know if I can handle breast feeding.”

“Uh... son... you don’t um... that’s Kim’s job.”

“I know that, it just freaks me out when women breast feed.”

“It freaks all men out son. It’s an age old conflict. Inside every man are two little voices. One little voice is saying, “WHOOHOO BOOBIES!!!” and the other voice is saying, “Move along, nothing to see here, just a breast feeding.” We can’t help it son. From the dawn of time every man has hoped to glimpse a little booby. Why else would we buy National Geographic?”

“Dad? Dad? Please tell me you’re not going to glimpse Kim’s boobs.”

“Son I can’t do that. But I can tell you that I will only think of her boobs in the breast feeding or National Geographic way.”

“The National Geographic way?”

“Yes son, I will only picture Kim as an African maiden jumping up and down topless with a spear.”

“DAD!!! People are going to be looking at my wife’s boobs.......”

“But look at the bright side. Most of them will be Portuguese or Filipino women so there will be someone around to change diapers, hose him off and possibly make lumpia.”

“What if he hates me?”

“Son, relax, he’s not going to hate you until he’s at least fourteen.”

“Dad I’m a horrible driver, who’s going to teach him how to drive?”

“Aren’t you getting a little ahead of yourself there son?”

“It’s just... I... there are so many questions... Kim has a million questions for me... I don’t have all the answers.”

“Son, just learn how to stall. Eventually the answers will come to you. That’s what I do with your mother.”


“Just ask her what she wants for dinner. You’ll get forty five minutes at least of, “I don’t know... What do you want for dinner? Well I don’t care... What do you want for dinner?” Trust me you just buy time until you change the subject or figure it out.”

“Dad I just wish he would get here.”

“I know son, we all do. Now let’s go sit in the living room and relax. I just got the new issue of National Geographic.”

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Birds of a Feather

I once believed in only two self evident truths to live a happy life.

1. Never get behind a minivan in a fast food drive thru.

2. It is impossible to open a CD or DVD case without a blow torch and a jack hammer.

I now know there is a third.

I believe it was Gandhi or possibly Poncho Villa that once said that, “Every time a condor on a high fiber diet poops on a newly detailed Cadillac an angel gets his wings.”


It looks like a flock of seagulls, no not the birds, THE BAND, pooped on my car, FIVE MINUTES AFTER I HAD IT DETAILED!!!!



This could not be a random pooping.

This was a planned fly by.

This was a pooping vendetta.

No group of birds could nail a car like that out in the open, in broad daylight, five minutes after it’s been detailed.

Someone planned this.

“What the hell is wrong with you?”

“I’ve been attacked.”


“I’ve been strafed.”

“You’ve been strafed?”

“Yes they attacked my car. If I had been there I could have been hit.”

“What are you talking about?”

“They pooped on my car.”


“It’s not funny.”

“Oh trust me its funny.”

“What if a condor pooped on your car? You wouldn’t be able to even find that little sports car of yours.”

“A condor pooped on your car?”

“Several condors, right after I had it detailed. The zoo probably did it. They probably released some condors into wild today and those birds had been holding it in waiting to poop on a Cadillac. It’s the emblem.”

“Just get the car rewashed.”

“Not washed, detailed, and I have to wait until tomorrow. Meanwhile I have to drive around with a car that’s been violated. You cannot be cool driving around in a pooped on Cadillac.”

“You’re a forty eight year old married grandpa. You’re not supposed to be cool.”

“I could be cool. I could. If my car wasn’t pooped on I could be cool.”

“You have a blog. You’re a closet nerd. Nerds drive around with pooped on cars all of the time.”


“Then hose off the poop.”

“Hose off the poop? HOSE OFF THE POOP??? You don’t just hose the poop off a Cadillac.”

“Then leave the poop on you car.”

“I’ll bet you had something to do with this. You probably put some weird Portuguese curse on my car, the curse of the pooping condors.”

“You don’t want to go to the grocery store do you?”

“Uh... Well..”

“That’s what this is all about isn’t it?”

“Can’t I just go tomorrow?”

“Fine, now where are you going?’

“To hose the poop off of my car.”

One more photo

Provolone Bank's ATM - ATsa Momma.

Monday, May 15, 2006

A few photos from the video.

Boy Scout Troop Leader
"Okay boys repeat after me. On my honor, on my mothers eyes, I swear to god I didn't see nothing."

Da Pope
" Some times when I travel people don't recognize me. That's why I carry the Italian Express Card. Italian Express... Don't leave Rome without it."

TV Reporter Candy Credit
"You can tell a lot about a community by checking out the local art work."
Don Provolone, President, Provolone Community Bank
"Give him a rate he can't refuse."

The Yankee's are Leaving!!! The Yankees are Leaving!!!

I don’t know if you’ve ever had the opportunity to fly out of Charleston’s airport but I swear you’d think you were flying out of Petticoat Junction.

My wife and I had “confirmed” seats on United Express to Chicago. There was one skycap outside for all the airlines in this area. He checked our bags through TSA to Chicago but said he couldn’t print our boarding pass and that we had to get it inside at the counter.

If you’re facing the United Express counter you’ll see the Continental Airlines counter to the left and the Northwestern Airlines counter to the right. There was no one working at either of those counters.

A young baby faced rotund man named “Judson” was working the United Express counter by himself.

“How y’all doin today? You flying outta Charleston?”

“Yes.” (No, I come here to be strip searched by Homeland Security. I’m 48 years old it’s the only action I get that doesn’t cost me anything. Putz)

“Well we seem to have a problem with your “confirmed” seats.”

“What do you mean you have a problem?”

“Well ah see your "confirmed" seats but the computer says they’re “unconfirmed.”


“Well suh you have unconfirmed confirmed seats.”

“Uh huh… and how can my confirmed seats be unconfirmed?”

“Beats the heck outta me suh, (well someone should)
ah‘ve never seen anything like this.”

“Well then just sell me two confirmed seats and we’ll be fine.”

“Ah can’t do that suh, this flights overbooked.”

“Really? Well you’re sending my luggage to Chicago maybe I could hitch a ride with my luggage!!!”

“Now suh, theirs no need to be angry. Ah can get your luggage back.”

“I don’t want my luggage back I want my confirmed seats to Chicago!”

“Your unconfirmed, confirmed seats, suh.”

“This is nuts. Do you not see the stupidity here? How can I have unconfirmed seats if the seats are confirmed?”

“That’s a good question suh. It isn’t us suh, but ah see you didn’t purchase the tickets from United directly maybe you should contact Expedia?”

“I’m not contacting Expedia. I need a flight out of Charleston now, today. I have a grandson about to be born and I need to get out of here and back to San Diego.”

(My wife was remarkably quite while I proceeded to have a melt down with “Judson.”)

“Well suh why don’t you check with Continental Airlines right next door and see if they have any available flights while ah have a skycap retrieve your luggage.”

(I now have become that problem airline traveler that everyone in line behind hates. I could feel their eyes stabbing me in the back. Finally my wife says something.”

“Honey just relax, I’ll go check with Delta and you check with Continental to see if there are any flights available.”

What happened next is almost impossible to believe or describe. I leave the United Express counter and walk “three feet” over to the Continental counter while I wait for my luggage. After fifteen minutes of waiting guess who comes over to help me.

You got it.

“How y’all doin today? You flying outta Charleston?”

“YOUR @%#&%*G KIDDING ME RIGHT???!!!!!!

(I now have the attention of every TSA official in the airport. Of course there were only two of them; I think they shared one brain.”

“Look I apologize for losing my temper but I need to get back to San Diego.”

“Ah’m sorry sir we don’t have any flights out of Charleston today.”


“Have you tried Northwestern suh?”


“Ah’ll just go over to the Northwestern counter for you suh.”

(He walks six feet away and fiddles with the computer for five minutes.”

“Yes sir we do have a flight via Houston that will get you into San Diego at 10:30pm tonight.”

“Thank god. I need to get my wife, don’t go anywhere.”

“Uh… Suh… Ah only have one seat available.”

“One seat? One seat? ONE SEAT????”

“Uh suh? You have a vein poppin outta your head.”

“ONE SEAT!!!!”

I then see my wife running towards me from the Delta counter at the end of the terminal building.

“Delta’s got us taken care of. Since we flew here on Delta they needed to release our seats on United Express in order to confirm our confirmed seats.”

“You realize you’re staring to sound like Judson now.”

“Just check in at United Express again and we’ll be fine.”

I walked three feet to my right so Judson could check us in at United Express… Just as our luggage was being returned to us…

“Here ya’ll are two confirmed seats on flight 6788 to Chicago. But… um… ya’ll need to check your luggage through TSA again.”

“I need a mint julep.”

“Ya’ll come back now ya’hear.”

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Yankees are Shopping!!! The Yankees are Shopping!!!

In Charleston they don’t talk about the Civil War.

They refer to a skirmish they call “The war of Northern Aggression.”

We went on the Fort Sumter tour.

At first I thought the ferry ride over was full of actual Civil War veterans. Then I realized that these were just people that couldn’t afford a Florida cruise.

“Hey Murray can you believe the price of a hot dog on this ferry?”

“It’s two o’clock.”

“I said can you believe the price of a hot dog on this ferry?”

“Who’s a fairy?”

“Murray!!! Turn your hearing aid on!!!”

“Well you don’t have to shout! Did we eat?”

I discovered something in Charleston.

Every meal is called supper. Breakfast, lunch, dinner it doesn’t matter, it’s supper.

And at every meal they serve something called sweet tea.

Sweet tea is... well... It’s… uh… sweet.

We ate at one place where you get “peach infused” tea and a little tiny carafe of “sugar water” to make your tea sweeter.

Um… They serve carafes of sugar water.

I will repeat that.

They serve carafes of sugar water.

I’m pretty sure I can cure diabetes in Charleston.

I think if I ever move to South Carolina I’m starting a dental practice.

One evening they served us something called a “Mint Julep.”

I realized after I tasted the first one why tattoo parlors were outlawed in Charleston. Because there is no doubt in my mind that if I drank anymore of these I was going to end up in the driveway of a plantation passed out wearing nothing but one sock with a confederate flag tattooed on my ass.

2 cups bourbon, 2 cups sugar, 2 cups water, crushed ice, mint and a paramedic. That’s the recipe for a “Mint Julep.”

Uh… I think I know why they lost the war.

They have a Starbucks in Charleston. The main difference between a Starbucks in Charleston and a Starbucks in San Diego is that the tattooed, pierced, freak behind the counter in Charleston isn’t as rude.

“Ya’all’d” like that latte in a Venti?”

My wife spent her days either in the spa or shopping. Shopping is an old southern tradition. At least that’s what she told me.

The stores there are the same stores in California which confused me. Why did my wife need to go into the Cache, or bebe or the Victoria’s Secret Store in Charleston when we have the exact same stores in San Diego?

“Because…. the clothes aren’t the same.”

“Oh… well duh… I should have known.”

She dragged me into Victoria’s Secret. I always feel like a pervert in there. A pervert that’s about to spend a ton of money.

Well if I’m going to stand around looking like an idiot then I’m taking advantage of the situation.

They had a sign on the wall that read, “THE WORLD”S MOST ADVANCED BRA.”

Um… it’s a bra.

How advanced does this need to be?

Who’s doing the research on this?

Is this some program at MIT they’re not telling anyone about?

“Excuse me.”


“Does that bra come with a built in camera phone and an MP3 player?”

“Excuse me suh?”

“That worlds most advanced bra right? It must have pretty snazzy features. Will it charge my ipod?”

“It’s a bra suh, it just holds breasts.” (I’m not making this up.)

“Well hell, I can do that. OUCH!!! Jesus honey let go of my ear.”

“Stop harassing this girl.”

“I was just asking a technical question about the “world’s most advance bra.”

“Don’t be an idiot. Go wait outside.”


(to be continued)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The flaming turban!!!

I don't know how to post video clips but here's a screenshot of my flaming turban.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Yankees are coming!!! The Yankees are coming!!!

I haven’t had much time to write lately I’ve…. Um….

Have ever had one of those months where…well… How can I put this?

Let’s say you’re at the grocery store and your kids are misbehaving, pulling food and things off the shelves, fighting, screaming, opening candy bars etc. Nothing is working to calm them down. You threaten to take the TV away, the computer, the X-Box, even the dreaded “timeout” but nothing is working. So finally out of desperation you spank em, you swat em on the rear end……

Then you realize that you didn’t bring you’re kids to the store with you that day and some woman is yelling for security.

That sums up the last month.

No I didn’t spank anyone…

I set myself on fire.

That’s right...

I set myself on fire.

Let me explain. I’ve been working on this video for a conference of bank presidents in Charleston, South Carolina. It’s a satire on banking. I play all the characters in the video. One character is a soothsayer that predicts interest rates. Imagine the old Carnac character from the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. One of the props is an altar to Alan Greenspan… with candles….lit candles…

You’re starting to get the picture…..

During the filming I knocked a phone off the hook that was placed on the floor next to me, I bent over to put it back on the hook and when I bent over the feathers on my turban went right into the lit candles.

I didn’t know it right away.

Not until the turban was on fire.

It only took about ten seconds.

Ten seconds is a very long time when your turban is on fire.

It’s very hard to look cool with a burning turban.

But being the consummate professional that I am I pulled the turban off of my head, blew and patted out the fire, and then put the burnt smoking turban back on my head and finished the scene as if nothing happened.

It’s all on tape.

The burning turban version is now the official version and is in the video that went with me to Charleston.

If I could figure out how to post the clip here I would.

How do you explain to your wife that you set yourself on fire?

“Honey I’m home! First of all I’m okay.”

“Christ what did you do now.”

“I… uh… set myself on fire.”

“You need a keeper.”

“I didn’t set myself on fire on purpose.”

“Oh that’s a plus.”

“It wasn’t my fault they should have used stunt fire.”

“Stunt fire?”

“Um….. I finished the scene.”


So I spent the last week in Charleston, South Carolina.

I booked my flight using Expedia.

Expedia is a Greek word that means, “How pissed off do you want your wife?”

I was in row 23.

My wife was in row 12.

It cost me another $560 dollars to get us to sit together.

I should have left her in row 12.

When we arrived in Charleston I couldn’t help but notice that Charleston is a lot like San Diego except their ocean is on the wrong side.

If I could some up Charleston in one sentence it would be...

“I see black people.”

It is a very odd thing, never having ventured in to the south, to be waited on and catered to by black people.

Everyone was so nice. It was, “Yes sir and no sir and what else may I get you sir?”

I have never felt so guilty and uncomfortable in my life.

I wanted to free them.

In San Diego there are so many different cultures and races mingled together that you just never think about race.

In San Diego you can go to a Mexican restaurant and have food cooked by a Korean chef, served by an Italian waitress and your table cleared by an Iraqi bus boy while you have a drink made by an albino lesbian Filipina bartender.

We stayed at the Charleston Place Hotel. It had a shopping mall built inside the hotel.

Who the hell builds a mall inside a hotel?

Communist bastards.

I felt my Visa card groan in agony as my wife disappeared in to the Charleston mist.... inside the hotel...

They had mist inside the hotel!!!!

(to be continued)