Tuesday, April 29, 2008

you can't always get what you want

apple's mac book air sucks because it lacks disk space, ram, dvd drive, removable battery, and ethernet.

lenovo's thinkpad x300 has all that, but it sucks because it runs windows.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

shop til you drop

all kinds of cool things happen to little humans as they navigate the world around them. cultural influences, parenting, friends and family, genetics and the environment all play a part in different stages of physical, emotional, and social development.

today's kids have another major influence on there little lives: TARGET.

and if you're a little one with parents that love TARGET as much as they love their kids, you get to go shopping early in life, and often.

as exhilarating as a trip to the big red circle can be, it's also exhausting, as evidenced in the images below.

and check out the violight toothbrush sanitizer on the shelf next to my little girl. that's end-cap placement in the main aisle. not too shabby for the hottest item in the newest category in oral care.

the end. (or: csi miami comes to the atlantic cloisters)

mom and uncle michael will eventually get down to grampa's apartment to do what they gotta do with the car, his clothes, and all that stuff, but earlier this week i was the advance-team...like the marines, only solo.

i went into his condo to retrieve some important papers, cash, jewelry, his wallet, clean out the perishables in the fridge, listen to the answering machine, forward the phone, and sit for a while with everything sammy, except sammy.

when you get up one day, go about your business, and then just sit down and finish living, everything stays exactly how you left it, frozen in time.

i found his cup of coffee from that morning, unfinished...the rest of the small pot he made for himself was burnt down to the bottom of the carafe, still hot since it was never turned off.

his bed was neat, except for the triangle-fold in the blanket he made when he moved the covers to get up that morning.

his water-shoes were in the living room, probably removed by e.m.s., because the police told us he was still wearing them when they found him in his ez-chair.

on his desk was a sealed, addressed, stamped card to uncle jerry, ready to go in the mail for jerry's april 21st birthday. grampa was always on-time with birthday cards, in the tradition of grandma audrey, so i am sure he was planning on mailing it at just the right time.

the fridge was easy to clean out; nothing too spoiled to freak me out (i have a big, irrational fear of spoiled dairy products. somehow, these days, milk seems to last forever. especially that "skim plus" brand that has a shelf life like uranium. (how do they do that?)).

here's the csi part: i had several david caruso moments. you know...snooping around in a miami condo where someone just died. trying not to move anything too out-of-place except the things the family needed for his estate and final affairs. ok, so it wasn't a crime scene, and it didn't matter if i moved stuff around and got fingerprints everywhere, and it was my grampa, but there was a dead guy in there just a few days before. and i was in florida. so let me have my fantasy.

some of my detective work:
  1. sammy recently filled up his stock of oreo cookies. the tupperware in the fridge was filled to the top. i ate a few. ok, david caruso would never eat the oreos.
  2. he had his usual cereal breakfast that morning and cleaned the bowl and spoon like he always does (aren't i a genius?)
  3. possible cause of death: nothin' left to do. check out the image below. excuse the pun, but it could be a "dead giveaway" -- grampa would make lists of the important things he needed to do every day. i think he did this partially for the sake of making lists and keeping busy, and partly because when you're 91 you probably forget stuff...anyway, look closely at the list and look at friday. it's empty. he died thursday. so: maybe he sat down, looked at the list, saw that he didn't have anything left to do, and decided that this was a good as time as any to close his eyes for the last time. i can just see caruso hunching over, head low, peering at that milfy-blonde sidekick over the top of those cheap sunglasses, and murmuring some shitty dialog about the empty list.

the list

Saturday, April 19, 2008

50 laughs

nerve.com and i.f.c. put together a list of the 50 greatest comedy sketches of all time. i don't agree with a lot of them. most of them are indeed the best ever. here's a preview of their pick for the bottom of the list, which i think deserves better.

More Cowbell - video powered by Metacafe

click here to see all of them.

Friday, April 18, 2008

spoiled rotten

a long time ago, somebody decided to take off and land their airplane on a runway they built in a clearing of trees in westchester county. that undertaking evolved into an airport, probably first for small aircraft, then for private jets, and eventually commercial flights. maybe at some point there was even some military activity. maybe all of my assumptions are incorrect, and i could be more informative if i visit the airport's website.

anyway, whatever happened, happened. then jetBlue decided to start flying in and out of the airport last year, and my life changed forever. before this, the trip to the airport (jfk, newark, or laguardia) was quite a chore, and took a ton of time. traffic, parking or navigating the airport, hiring a car service, leaving early enough, spending an extra hour or more in the car before even starting the crowd-hustle, or after finally landing and waiting for luggage.

now, check this:
check in time: about 11 am
leave the house: about 10:45 am
that's it. no traffic, no waiting, no lines, no nothing.

going to pick someone up at the airport? check this:
flight arrival time: 6 pm
leave the house for the airport: 6 pm
see, by the time you get there, they have taxied to the gate, got off the plane, got their luggage, and their out on the curb ready to go.

the drawbacks:
  1. no direct flights to tampa for my frequent tv appearances
  2. jetBlue flights fill up fast
  3. airtran is the other airline with the same destinations out of this airport, and that airline really, really, really pales in comparison. that's a polite comment.
all in all, there's nothing like flying when the airport is 12 minutes away.

nose, nose

today jaden found her nose. she touched it, poked it, picked it, and said "nose...nose...nose" all day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

sammy, mary, jono, and ken burns join forces to compress 91 years into 11 minutes

this is sammy's week. you can't over-blog about a topic like this one. thanks to everyone for the good wishes.

if you have about 11 minutes and you know any of the family,
this slide video will be fun to watch. it goes way back...

...brighton beach, merrick, mountain lakes, big hair, bar mitzvahs,
weddings, birthdays, and bunches of great memories.

michael and mary and jenny shared beautiful stories with us at sunday's funeral, and the greif house (the new one, not to be confused with the old greif-haus of shore drive) has been the site of a pleasantly chaotic shiva for the past 4 days.

props to chabad rabbi paul, a good friend of the family who mostly shows up when there's a milestone in the family. i really dig rabbi paul.

and, as sad as this all is, it's always great to see old friends and family.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

d-backs, another picture project, and farewell to a patriarch

jackson's first official 2008 little league game happens today. this year he's on the diamondbacks. from the first two practices I've attended, his team is really good; they should do very well.

then cathy and lindsay are off to a shoot a big wedding for the afternoon and evening, and jackson and jaden and cayo and i head out to long island to spend time with the family.

grandpa sammy

brian and the girls are on the way up from virginia. mom and vince and jason and beth and jordan are headed out there, too. i will be occupied with over 200 photos of grandpa sammy and the family, spanning the last 70 years, making prints and a slideshow so we can all reminisce. grandpa died at 91 -- there are 20+ years of great old photos from his childhood that we cannot scan easily. They are in a beautiful bound scrapbook mom put together for him a couple of years ago, which we will have on display for everyone to browse. One day we'll lay the whole thing down on a big ol' scanner and digitize everything...mementos, anecdotes, stories about him from friends and family. It's quite a beautiful book.

tomorrow he goes into the ground out at wellwood in long island, with the rest of the clan, and especially audrey, by his side.

death is one of those interesting phenomenon i don't always think about, but i do when somebody dies. i assume it's the same for most people, although i suppose some are obsessed with death all the for one reason or another. when i think of my own death and a traditional burial, i'm against it. it doen't make sense to me that we need to put used bodies into the ground & waste a bunch of space memorializing someone's memory, when there are tons of other ways to achieve the same thing. pass down stories, post some history on a blog, share photos and video, etc. I can understand burial from an ancient point of view, but i think technology can be much more efficient and honorable and far-reaching as a memorial, than a gravestone next to a landfill in suffolk county.

once i leave this body, burn it up. if you want to enjoy some of the energy that is jono, point your web browser (or whatever the coolest technology happens to be) at this blog, or close your eyes and bring me into your thoughts. it's easier than traffic on the long island expressway.

enough death...here's some sparkly life to look at:



Thursday, April 10, 2008

i love you, grandpa sammy

grandpa sam left us this morning.

he did his daily pool exercises, went into his condo, sat down in his favorite chair, and that was that.

we will miss you.

Monday, April 7, 2008

pure joy!

that's one happy kid. not sure if she was happy to see me, or her mommy, or just excited for the chinese food that was about to arrive for lunch.


it happened. not bad if i say so myself.

jono and the girlz (yeah, you might recognize them from your flat-screen tv's: allison mack and kristin kreuk from smallville, nicki clyne from battlestar galactica, and sarah edmonson, another great canadian as-seen-on-tv actor) pulled of a kickin' party saturday night that has left me extra happy to get into bed before 1 am tonight.

we learned a lot and we are ready for the next one some time soon. don't get too excited unless your enrolled at a university somewhere, 'cause you're not invited.

and we had a great cameo from american idol's blake lewis, who hung with the kids for a while.

what a way to feel old. 39 is a few miles away from 19, but i can still dance without getting a cramp.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


back to school

so i'm up in the capitol district for the big 10c bash...who woulda thought that at 39 yours truly would be throwing a big college par-tay with a manhattan dj, security, raw warehouse space, awkward social interactions, polaroid cameras, marshmallow fluff, and a couple o' mega sci-fi and cw tv celebrities, plus an american idol?

like the old days: 3:38 AM, still not asleep, got a whole crew ready for tomorrow night, & i'm sleeping in late so I'm not jonesing for my pillow at 2am sunday morning when the party is hummin.