Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Silver Phoenix Book Signing in NYC

This past Saturday I attended the book signing for Cindy Pon's debut novel, Silver Phoenix. Up until then Cindy and I had been virtual friends from Absolute Write. The signing was held in fellow Absolute Write friend Wendy Cebula's fantastic apartment.

Wendy was a great hostess and she blogged all about the event, including pictures! Here it is.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Letting Go

Today was my son Alex’s first day in Pre-K. He starts full time on Monday, but today was orientation. My wife and I stood in his classroom while our son went to another classroom with his new classmates for a couple of hours. He’s in Catholic School so he was decked out in his uniform. The school scheduling is interesting. His class is coed, but on his first day the boys only had to show up. The girls have their orientation tomorrow and the boys are off with Friday being their first day all together.

It’s hard to believe that he’s already four and starting school. Selfishly, I want to keep him at a certain age, a certain time and place, but of course I can’t. But you know what? I don’t even know what that “perfect” age or time would be. Maybe it would be this summer when he became interested in watching sports on TV with me. We share a lot of moments together. But now he knows words like “kill” and “die” when he plays, so a touch of innocence is lost. Or perhaps it was last summer when he was 3 and we went to Sesame Place for the first time. We saw Elmo Show Live and he got all excited when Elmo appeared. Alex screamed, “Elmo! Elmo! Over here!” He was disappointed when Elmo didn’t come over and I still get teary eyed thinking about it. Was that the first time he learned about disappointment?

At least he was excited about school. He woke up this morning and yelled, “We’re going to school today!” I was like him at that age, wanting to start school as well. I don’t know his reasons, but mine were because I had a brother and sister who were 9 and 10 years older than me and I had gotten tired of them leaving me behind when they went to school. I was desperate to grow up, even at an early age, and I missed some of the enjoyment of youth because of it.

My son is growing up fast. I can only hope he doesn’t make the same mistake I did in disregarding the journey for the sake of reaching the destination.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Congratulations Rex & Mark!

Congratulations to New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan and starting quarterback Mark Sanchez on their first victory in the NFL. It was an impressive performance as the Jets throttled the high powered Houston Texans in Houston to the score of 24-7. This will be the first of many and as a long-time fan (long suffering?) I couldn’t be happier or more excited about the future.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Excitement & Reflection

September 10, 2009. I have mixed emotions today. As a Yankee fan I’m ecstatic about Derek Jeter tying the great Lou Gehrig’s team hit record last night at 2,721. Tonight is the start of the NFL season with a matchup between the defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the team that had the best record last year, the Tennessee Titans. My Jets play this Sunday against the Houston Texans, which marks the first start for Mark Sanchez. If there was ever an heir to Jeter’s New York City sports’ throne it would be Sanchez. I can only hope Sanchez is as successful on the football field as Jeter was and still is on the baseball diamond.

Today is also the eve of the eight anniversary of 9/11. That day is still vivid in my mind. What I have a hard time remembering was September 10, 2001. I remember going down to court the week before. The courthouse was not far from the World Trade Center. Coming out of the subway the towers were to my left in the distance, dominating the skyline. I go to that same subway station and I have a hard time remembering how the towers looked from that view. It puzzles me. Pre-9/11 seems like a dream. It’s been eight years and much as changed, but also much hasn’t.

Derek Jeter still plays for the Yanks, and I remember the aftermath of 9/11 and how Jeter tried to distract us a bit with a magical ride to the World Series. Jeter became known as Mr. November for his heroics. The season had been extended because baseball had shut down for a week following the attacks. The Yanks lost the World Series in gut wrenching fashion in the 7th and deciding game. That was the last best chance the Yanks had to win it all—until this year. Jeter is much older now, as we all are, and is the city since 9/11. It’s a time of reflection, and excitement as to what the future will bring.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Thanks, M’lisa!

Yesterday was my 4-year old son’s last day at daycare. Alex starts Pre-K after Labor Day. Ms. Lisa has taken care of him since he was 4 months old. Essentially, she has been a significant part of his entire life. Alex says her name so fast that it sounds like ‘M’lisa.’ Or, as my mother-in-law asked when she heard him say it, “¿QuiĆ©n es Melissa?”

Ms. Lisa did a wonderful job taking care of Alex. He loved going there every weekday and he loves her. I know she feels the same way and the last day was quite emotional for her. I don’t think Alex fully appreciates that it was his last day there. He will in time and I can’t help but feel sorry for him. Ms. Lisa is everything he has ever known. I hope he remembers her. Next week or so he’ll likely ask, “Are we going to Ms. Lisa’s house today?” and I’ll have to say, “No, you’re going to school instead.” How long will it take for that to sink in and for him to fully understand it is anyone’s guess. But I’m sure there will be some tears involved, mine included.

My wife and I owe a sincere debt of gratitude to Ms. Lisa. But that surely can’t be enough. How can you adequately thank someone who has taken care of the most precious person in your life? I don’t know. In any event, we can just say, “Thanks, M’lisa, we love you.”