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Bergen County Blogs

IN THE NAME OF LOVE

I was inspired to write this piece by a friend whom is having a singles mixer. I think she is doing a great thing. However, I would call it HOOK UP FOR THE HOLIDAYS! 
There are so many wonderful people out there looking for the Love of their life. Looking for people sans baggage! Look at this stage of the game you should just be happy if they have a messenger bag and not a trunk..

But I am a believer in believing! I believe that your Love is out there if you just have the patience and the faith to believe!!!! So here it goes…



Oh my God! I am so happy! I can’t believe it. I never thought I could feel this way. I am so much in love ~ ~ ~ ~ AGAIN?

How does this happen? I mean at times I suppose that people can misrepresent them selves. But at some point we have to take responsibility for being married to the fantasy. And stop loving the fiction but rather realizing the facts.

You find yourself going from one disaster relationship to another. And you even fool yourself into believing that you learned from the last one. So you create this façade of wisdom attached to your decision, just so your friends will support your madness.
Friends are great like that. Even if they think you are out of your mind they will say. O M G – I am soooo happy for you. Then they will call all your mutual friends and say – OK – are ya ready? She’s in love again!!
Yup and he has all the same qualities that all the rest did…

Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not wrong to want to be loved and share your dreams and passions and have a partner that you can build a life with.
But it can’t be with everyone you meet. And it can’t be with people that need fixing and it can’t be with dysfunctional addictive personalities.

As Sonny from a Bronx Tale said” You have three great one’s in your life”! Your first love, just so you have an expectation of things to come. Your second, because now you really know how to make love and have an understand of the meaning of dysfunction.
And you’re third, because you have the wisdom from your past to know that this one will count!
Actually, I paraphrased! Sonny said something like that.


And how many people take the time to really get to know someone anymore? I believe it’s a lost art! And yet how many times do you hear, it was fine when we first met. But after a while I started seeing all these things?. Even when we see a red flag we can turn it into mauve.
Perhaps if you took the time to really get to know someone you would not always wind up in a place where you are hurt or disappointed or worse -devastated.
We just jump right in and like 6 weeks later while you are having coffee with Mr. Goodbar- you look and say ~ ~ what the hell am I doin with this mess??? O M G …….

Is your motive a lust driven proposition? Which by the way is fine if that’s what you want.
Or is it that you just want that Magic & Passion so badly that you make everyone you meet be THE ONE~

Let me correct one thing, it’s very difficult to be devastated. A person that is not a whole entity cannot devastate you. We’d have the option to say, “no thanks”! But we let the externals or the physical manipulate the internals and then create our own non- reality.

And why would we do that! Well, perhaps we feel that we do not deserve to be happy! Nah, that’s not it. Or perhaps we feel that we can always fix them and make it better? Ahhhhhhhhh….

Look - It’s like shopping at a designer outlet and going to the rack that has slight imperfections. You think, Hummmm – If I did this or accessorize with that, this could work…..
You’ll miss the bigger picture. When someone shows you their true colors the first time, believe them.
Slight imperfections are exactly that! At some point someone will say, “OH-you have a tear in your sweater!”
And you always say, “Really? Gosh – how’d that happen?” 

I understand that Tommy and his shine box might be HOT! But do you want to be married to Da Mob?
I understand that the Holidays ,any Holiday also can make you have bad judgment as well ~ ya know - The Tree, the lights, the tinsel, the BALLS - Yikes…. Before ya know it your bringing home the guy that sold ya the tree. Um – Ma, this is – what’s your name?

Is this just a GURL thang?

Or do Guys go threw this? Hummm – I wonder?
I can hear it now..

Yo Tony – I am so confused, this chick is makin me nutz, I feel so exposed and I am not sure if she really is committed to me? Why am I so vulnerable?
Yo Bobby – look this all goes back to when you was a kid!
Memba your Ma used to take the Cannoli away from you before you could finish it? She played all dese mind games wit chew and now you don’t trust any woman. Minga. I really think she loves ya!


Maybe is it just the Women! Maybe we’ve been disillusioned; maybe we have been fed a host of propaganda. Maybe we bought into the commercialism of love.

We are the ones who believe in all those love stories. “Splendor in the Grass”, “An Affair to Remember”, “The Way We Were”…And for the longest time I am sure some of us believed Lesley Ann Warren really was Cinderella….

Ya gotta believe that your GREAT ONE is out there. But I mean really believe it. 

Now look if Jimmy” 2 times” does show up at your door with some wine and cannoli’s don’t close the door in his face.
I mean ya don’t have to marry him – just leave the gun and take the CANNOLI!
But don’t make a habit out if it!!!
Or maybe it’s premature imagination !!!

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

I had been talking to some friends that seemed to have many of the same issues in common.
The infamous – why is it so hard to meet someone who is? Here is the list:
•REAL
•NO BAGGAGE
•NOT A BULL SHITTER
•WHO CAN COMMIT
•And last: WHO LOOKS LIKE THEIR PHOTO

This was the litany of questions that were posed to me at dinner the other evening with my peeps.
When we walked into the restaurant (sans reservations) the Maitre’D for some reason decided to give us this private room. Hummmmm, did he sense something I was unaware of?
The food was ordered and the drinks arrived. The discussion got heated. 
I felt bad for the poor waiter because when he came in with the second round – he heard in a loud bellow: ALL MEN SUCK!
I looked up and said to him, sorry it’s GURLS night out no offence this has nothing to do with you. Then I realized he was Gay so I felt better.. Or perhaps he was thinking the same thing! ☺
The food & drink was abundant as was the frustration I was hearing.
Not that I am a Guru on relationships nor that mine is perfecto. But for some reason they thought I had some profound verbiage of the mystery of it all.
After listening to all the complaints and saga’s they then leaned to me and stopped talking!
Now I felt the pressure……………….. 
Hummmmmm, think of something Mare? Say something profound!

Out it flew like the pledge of allegiance. As if painted from memory!
I think this is a shared issue, a 50-50 split of responsibility.
WHAT?
OK, not saying your points are not valid but maybe you need to adjust your criteria of what you are looking for. It seems like they are all the same types? If you are gona go after that gym rat type you have to know that he loves himself more than he can you! His protein shakes have more meaning to him than your phone call.
Also when you are 40 how can you expect people not to have baggage?
However, it’s what they do with that baggage, no? Have they gone to counseling to try to understand their issues and patterns and have any of you done that as well?
I think if you are looking for a guy that is 40 years old and has not been married & divorced and has no children, well????
First check your own selfish meter!
Everyone has a past and if the guy is taking care of his kids that shows that he has character and is responsible! Not a bad quality!

Now the food & drinks are in full swing. I was getting so nervous with all the mayhem, I was eatin like Trailer Park Barbie at a Vegas buffet.

Now back to the waiter – I could see that he would try to judge the lull of the conversation prior to comin in!!!

I did feel bad for one of the gurls as she just got engaged. So she was adamantly saying, look I have been thought my frogs and the cheaters and the drama but I am soooo happy now. It took a long time to find what I have.
Brava gurl – stand up for the good of love & romance.

And the War story’s continued.

So I said look, I once had a date with a midget!
WHAT ?????
YUP!
WHY? ARE YOU INTO THAT?
WHAT? NO !!!!!

I was online and saw this photo – WOWOWOOWOWOW.. Now you all know I am a tad dyslexic so I thought it said 5’4 but it was 4’5. Even though 5’4 was short I thought I could wear flats… ☺
Now I didn’t even know this until I set the meeting up. I was at a bar in Long Beach and I told him that a friend of mine just had a break up so I would not be able to really hang, just say a quick hello.. I just love my instincts….
I was at the jukebox and was pickin some tunes when all of a sudden I hear this high-pitched HI?
The first thing I thought was, Man I must have shitty speakers I never heard that in this song before?
Then I heard it again!
I turned to the left and looked down and there was da munchkin. OMG !
I shook his little hand and saw my friend at the bar laughing uncontrollably.
I then said look, my friend is crying again. Give me a call, gotta go.

Or what about the guy that had 2 cell phones, one for his primary gurl and the other for his Gumada’s.

Or the one’s that are really good at fallin in love for like 2 months!!!

Or the ones that are bi-polar and manic! At least you feel like you are dating several people at one time! Ahhhhh, the male version of Cybil. 
It has its pluses, you can say Louie I don’t want to talk to you bring back the nice one….

Or the Facebook stalker who follows your recent activity like a friggin GPS, then after a week calls you on it. !!

Or the we broke up again and went back last week! AGAIN.

STOP THE INSANITY!!! OK OK !!!!!!!!!!

So your not happy in the land of single mingles! You bought the ticket to the Emotional Roller Coaster of Love, but now you are not even sure if you’re tall enough to be on the ride!
It’s Saturday night, date night USA and you don’t want your friends to think u don’t have a date so Mista Loser calls and you say, YES!!

Or the worse, I went back with my EX – UGHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Look when someone shows you their true colors the first time, believe them!! Because it is what it is!!!

Please let go of the, “I KNOW I CAN CHANGE THEM – BECUASE YOU CANT!”.

There are some really wonderful people out there that you will never give a chance to because they DON’T FIT YOUR PRECONCEIVED NOTION OF WHAT YOU HAVE IMAGANED YOU NEED!

To prove my point, I went into a deli today to order a sandwich. The counter gurl took my order and proceeded to continue her conversation with the counter boy. She said, why are all these loser guys attracted to me? I mean I attract them like a magnet, why?

OMG! It’s everywhere I go.
Look, the law of attraction! YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!
You are attracting them!!! Hello …….
I am not telling you to go out with someone that is unattractive to you. However, there are so many really nice dudes out their that are just not Gangsta’s so why not take a chance. What are you afraid of? Maybe you will actually fall in love wit someone that adores you rather than you always being in this state of Drama.

I think it’s time we –STOP NOW , WHATS THAT SOUND EVERYBODY LOOK WHAT GOING ROUND!

CHANGE YOU – NOT THEM !!! I have always said if you find yourself doing the same things everyday looking for different results, SLAP YOURSELF NOW !!!

All this is easier said then done. It’s all so simple on paper. The rules of engagement are much more challenging.
Don’t settle for Mista wrong or Mista in the meantime. The same goes for you Guy’s as well.

As for Me, I’m Jiminy Cricket, always looking for the silver lining…


The one thing I am certain of is it that the term,
”FOOD FOR THOUGHT!” MUST HAVE BEEN CREATED BY AN ITALIAN !!!!
Who else would use the word FOOD and THOUHGT in the same sentence..!!





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RE-BIRTH OF A JOY-ZEE GIRL

 

(Continued)  August 18th, 1980: “I can’t wait to be gone. Gone from this place; gone from this town where everyone knows everything about everyone. In this place nothing ever changes; people only die.”

I read the words of that teenage girl now from the distance of many years, and I can’t help but shudder. How could I have so thoughtlessly wished my life, and all that would ever hold any real meaning in it, away like that?

Teenagers are a funny species; they crave change while hating change. At the time I wrote those words change was happening to everyone but me. Old friendships were abandoned for new ones; friends moved away because their parents sold their houses to cash in on the real estate boom; being offered $150,000 for a triple lot seemed a once in a lifetime opportunity.  As ties began to unbind, I was beginning to feel lost at home. Finally, I was the only one still here. Leaving is always easy when you’re the last one to go.  

Eventually, I took a job in Manhattan and lost myself to the gritty intensity of midtown in the days before Mickey Mouse evicted O. Henry from Times Square. The city streets were filled with unfamiliar faces and people who knew nothing about me. Everyone came from somewhere else. And for awhile, that was intoxicating.

Then something remarkable happened. I realized that in my quest to flee everything familiar, I had surrendered all that was really meaningful. Suddenly I began to look upon my past with increasing fondness. The memories I had of growing up in that little part of town creviced themselves into a signifi­cant place in my history and became the stories I would tell.  It seems so important now—all the people and places that populated my small world back then. Sixth Street Park; Jim’s; Stanley’s candy in the back of the laundromat; Monsignor Reilly; Holy Trinity; the Palisades…all of it wished away by a young girl whose firm opinion of time was that it moved too slow.

Had I known in the summer of 1980 that my father would die in six years, I would have never left his side. Had I known that so many of the friends with whom I spent every waking moment with in the summer of 1980 would lose their lives to drugs, car accidents, cancer, murder…I would have never let the distance of time and place consign our friendships to the yearly distribution of Christmas greeting cards.   

There is a tremendous power in the past; meaning that we can only discov­er about ourselves through the passage of time and the loss of those we love, or once loved, most. It’s only when so much has been taken away that we realize how much we really had to begin with.

          I’ve returned to roam the streets I knew so well in an attempt to stir the trace remains of memory; not for the big events, but for those small subtle moments that now seem anything but ordinary. What I find instead are monstrous duplexes on tree-less streets where small shingled houses once stood; stillness where children once ran boisterously through fenceless backyards every hot summer evening while the music of ice cubes mingling in our parents gin and tonics chimed in the background; office buildings where hand-made forts and tree houses were once built.

Look­ing back to those days, those sacred days, as I so often do now, I confess that I carry within me home­sick­ness for those days, that place, all those people, and I remember events that may not, in fact, have happened as elo­quently as I now remember them. I realize with great regret that I spent the first half of my life counting down the days until I could shed my little corner of the earth from my skin only to spend the rest of my life trying to find my way back home again.

I'd like to think that some­where in the dis­tance between memory and truth those days were really as spe­cial as I remem­ber. That in the midst of memory all those people who came of age in that place called Coytesville, are still living and breathing some­where in time. 

 

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BIRTH OF A JOY-ZEE GIRL

I grew up on the Lower East Side.

          Of the Coytesville section of Fort Lee. Coytesville was like the gum on the bottom of 

Englewood Cliff’s shoe; the Hooterville to their Petticoat Junction. In its heyday, 

Coytesville’s saloons were like Korean nail salons—one on almost every sidewalk-less street 

corner. In 1965, I was brought home from Holy Name Hospital to a small house on a street 

with no name, just a number--5th Street. To my right was Interstate Park; to my left was the 

road that led to Jim’s Candy Emporium where my life-long love affair with everything 

confectionary began.

My father was a union man, and in the ‘70’s union jobs were like Wonka’s golden ticket—

the decade before Reagen sounded their death knell; the decade before debt was handed out 

like lollipops at the bank. 

Everyone’s dad was a union man—police, fire, postal, teacher, iron 

worker, teamster, laborer; and everyone seemed to make ends meet. Like most moms, my 

mom stayed at home; like most families, we had two used American cars parked in our 

tarred driveway (yes, tarred; pavers were men who paved streets and not decorative 

driveway bricks); a house with no mortgage; and a week down the Jersey Shore every 

summer. All accomplished on one paycheck.

          The door­way to my world opened onto Sixth Street Park. If I close my eyes I can still 

see the sharp prism of sunlight reflecting off the jalousie glass windows of our aluminum 

porch door distorting the colors of the brightly painted merry-go-round into kaleidoscopic 

blobs of yel­lows, reds, blues and greens.

Within the perimeter of the playground sat the shallow hole of the blue-painted kiddie 

pool lifeguarded each summer of my childhood by Fritz, the ageless ancient German 

immigrant who lived next door to the playground. I’m not sure how to describe Fritz except 

to say that he always looked constipated. All summer long Fritz would bullet German-

infused commands at us kids from the perch of his sagging nylon-woven lawn chair atop the 

small grassy knoll above the pool. When he ejected you from the pool, you asked no 

questions—you goose-stepped to the bench and served out your sentence in silence.

Sitting faithfully beside Fritz was his brown and black German Shepherd who made Cujo 

look like Morris the Cat. The same commands Fritz shouted at his dog, he shouted at us. 

When he yelled, I never knew whether to sit, growl, or attack one of the Carney boys. I 

swear he had to have been a former Scoutmaster in the Hitler Youth. Somewhere there’s a 

book in me screaming to get out, “Fritz’s Guide to Childcare—Sitz! Platz! Halt die Klappe!” 

(Sit, Stay, Shut Your Mouth!)

When I was around five, the Kempf’s rented the old Sweeny house across the street. The 

Kempf’s were the Walton’s without a conscience; at least the boys were. They shaved cats 

with straight edged razor blades; hoisted them up trees in rusting crab nets; fed spoonfuls of 

dirt to unsuspecting neighborhood kids; even pushed a Volkswagon Bug down a ditch. My 

old man swore the Kempf’s were moved in as a way to force us to sell, but eventually they 

were the ones who left. Oddly, with them went the neighborhood.

The wrecking ball knew no rest back then. Turn-of-the-century houses were replaced 

by quadrangular brick McMansions; familiar names moved out; new architecture and 

cultures moved in. By the end of the decade the old neighborhood was well on its way to 

becoming unrecognizable, and so was I.

Everything changed the summer I turned 15. I bore within me a restlessness that I 

never felt before, and would never feel again in quite the same urgent way. All that mattered 

were my friends; being confined at home for any significant amount of time gave me a 

mental rash. When I wasn’t working, I was sitting on the cliffs of the Palisades imagining the 

life I would someday live on the sky-lined side of the Hudson.

On August 18th, 1980, I wrote: “I can’t wait to be gone. Gone from this place; gone from 

this town where everyone knows everything about everyone. In this place nothing ever 

changes; people only die.”

To Be Continued…

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NEWS, MAN



NEWS, MAN

By Ann Piccirillo

 

          It’s been a really long time since I watched the news on T.V. which is really sad, because growing up the evening news was a staple in my house. The other night before dinner I turned on Channel 7. Then switched to Channel 2; then to Channel 4. I felt like my T.V. was stuck on the “Entertainment Tonight” channel because nothing but beautiful people spoke to me from behind the scratched screen of my old “fat” screen T.V.

          I can’t help it; I grew up being fed news by men who more resembled my cranky uncles who drank too much the night before than Robert Redford at Sundance. I mean, who better to deliver bad news to the tri-state area in the 70’s than a man with the last name “Grimsby?” And is any newscaster named Roger anymore? Are Rogers banned from network news? (I also loved Roger’s co-anchor, Bill Beutel; he and Roger Grimsby were, to me, the Felix and Oscar of network news.)

Not to be too critical, but one channel had a newscaster whose name was completely unpronounceable. I had an urge to shout at the T.V. “Pat, I’d like to buy a vowel please.”  I promise I’m not being prejudicial; it’s just that if you grew up in Jersey then you have the curse of the “Jersey Tongue”—we have a hard enough time pronouncing words balanced by an equal amount of vowels and consonants; take away the vowels and our tongues become literally screwed.

          Whereas I celebrated the grimness of Grimsby, my father knelt at the altar of Cronkite. Personally, I found his eyebrows a little too unruly for me; Roger seemingly employed a little bit of manscaping; albeit he’d manly deny it. Anyway, on my very first business trip to Philadelphia in 1987 the hotel erred in my reservation and graciously upgraded me to a suite that was adjacent to Walter Cronkite’s. He was there to cover the 200th anniversary of the Constitution, and I was attending a conference called “Managing Lawyers,” an oxymoron if there ever was one. Anyway, when I heard our suites were mates, I became obsessed with meeting him. How could I not? I lingered, I dawdled, I aimlessly walked the hall—all to no avail. However, late at night, I could hear him shuffling around his room.  

One morning while on my way to the conference, I noticed on the floor outside the door to Walter’s room was a Room Service tray littered with the remnants of his breakfast. Of course I had to stoop to see what the great Zeus of news fed himself. The marmaladed remains of whole wheat toast crusts; a bloated English Breakfast teabag drooling and dribbling all over the crumpled white linen napkin; a glass filmed with the pulp strings of freshly squeezed orange juice. As I knelt burrowing through his breakfast pile like a dog digging a bone, the door to his room opened without warning. There, before my downcast eyes stood his mighty vein-webbed feet shoved inside meticulous brown leather slippers. Slowly, I turned my gaze upwards greeting the military creases of his powder blue flannel pajama pants that were peeking from beneath the hem of a richly textured velour navy blue robe. Finally, my eyes reached the summit of the great man’s face.

He smiled; at least I think he smiled, it could have been a sequestered belch. Then his great hand, the hand that had removed the black-framed glasses from his eyes prior to announcing the death of President Kennedy; the hand that had held the papers containing the number of dead soldiers that he read to us each night during the Vietnam War; the hand that shook the hands of Presidents, Kings, and world leaders; that famous large and looming hand now reached out to me…with a plate of half-eaten scrambled eggs and a grapefruit carcass.

“Here, take this,” he ordered. “Oh, and get rid of that tray.”

Then the door closed upon the great man, and I did what any 22-year-old caught going through an icon’s breakfast tray would do. I took the tray to the hotel kitchen wondering if Roger Grimsby liked his juice with pulp, and pocketed the two dollar tip Walter left on the tray.

 

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POWER OUT(R)AGE

Power Out(r)age blog by Ann Piccirillo12:30 a.m. March 15th. Phone rings. I answer.
"This is a recorded message from PSE&G. Due to the recent storm there are power outages in your area. Power will be restored by Thursday. If you have an emergency, call 9-1-1."

"Hmmm," I thought. "That's funny; if my power was out I wouldn't have gotten that message. Thank God the storm is over!" Then, as if on cue, my power went out.

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Time Out: Coaching Kids

There is no such thing as a mediocre coach. There are great coaches and there are horrible coaches. A woman recently told me that her nine-year old son's coach quit the team mid-practice by storming off the court while hurling horrible insults at them, and screaming that they were essentially a worthless group of misfits not worth his time. THEY'RE NINE-YEAR OLDS!!!???!!!

My seven-year old son plays basketball for St. John's in Leonia. His team is led by Coach Tom Muir. Coach Muir's mission is to teach these first and second grade boys the sport of basketball. It's also his mission to develop these young boys, many of whom have the talents and reputations of older brothers to contend with, into a solid unbreakable team, allowing no individual ego to control the ball or the game.

Supported by the coaches of opposing teams, and referees, Coach Muir has organized games where the refs will interrupt the game to explain where players should be positioned, why a move was called a foul, what it means to play defense, and what it means to play offense. I wish I could have captured the faces of these boys who were soaking up the information of learning how to play the game. It's one thing to shoot baskets with your child; it's an entirely other thing to actually teach them the sport while playing the game.

Then there was last Saturday, the final game of the season. In a nondescript school gym in River Edge, I saw the best basketball game of my life. Coach Muir wanted every boy on his team to score at least one basket during the season, and all of them had, except for Nicky, one of the youngest players. During the last seconds of the game Coach Muir instructed his team to pass the ball to Nicky, and then kept calling to Nicky to shoot. Coach Muir halted the game to tell the ref that he wanted Nicky to at least have the opportunity to shoot.

Suddenly, every member of both teams, along with their parents, understood what was going on, and everyone started cheering "Shoot, Nicky, Shoot!" every time the ball landed in his hands. However, Nicky kept passing it off to one of his older teammates like he was playing a game of hot potato. Finally, the ref called a foul. With less than 10 seconds left Nicky went to the line for two shots.

Everyone held their breath. Silence fell upon the court. With the widest smile on his face, he took his first shot. The ball landed perfectly in the basket. The crowd went absolutely wild. His teammates went crazy. Nicky soaked in the moment and the sound of people cheering his name. Silence again fell as the ref handed the ball back to Nicky. Coach Muir knelt on the sidelines smiling, his eyes never once moving from Nicky. Nicky bounced the ball once, lined up his shot, and tossed the ball. The only sound in the gym was this, "Swish." It went in.

I will never, ever, in my life forget the look on Nicky's father's face. It was, simply put, priceless. Needless to say, among mothers and fathers from both teams, there wasn't a dry eye in the gym. We understood the weight of meaning contained in this moment. Nicky's teammates ran out to him, surrounded him, high-fived him to death. When Nicky's older brother (and teammate) ran up to him and hugged him, I thought I'd drop a lung from crying. But when Coach Muir went up to him, the look of pride on this little boy's face said what I will never be able to put into words.

That was a moment. A moment that little boy will take with him for the rest of his life; a moment that a father will always cherish. And all because of one coach. All because one coach never wavered in his conviction that every member of his team is a vital member. To Coach Tom Muir, and to all the Coach Muirs out there, who selflessly give their time and their talent to our children; who know instinctively that within each child lives a nail-biting two-point moment like the one Nicky had -- I salute you.

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"Bergen County Mom to Mom" Calendar of Events 3/20-3/21

 

 

Looking for something to do this weekend? There's a lot going on--craft fairs, antique fairs, flea markets, family campfire, nature hikes, an indoor farmer's market, free Shakespeare in the city, museum events for kids, classic movies and so much more! For a complete listing, check out the calendar of events on Facebook-- just look for "Bergen County Mom to Mom." 

 


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March 13 - Gravy War At Chef Central!

Mark your calendars...

On Saturday, March 13, "Gravy Wars" author Lorraine Ranalli will travel north from Philadelphia to meet yours truly, in a huge gravy and meatball competition! In honor (or defiance) of this widely celebrated St. Patrick's Day Weekend, we'll face off not once but twice at Chef Central locations in Paramus (11:00 AM) and Hartsdale, New York (2:00 PM). Lorraine and I will be entertaining the crowd with tales of growing up Italian-American and demonstrating our meatball-making techniques, as the gracious Chef Central staff provides samples. You'll have an opportunity to cast your vote for the best recipe and participate in a Q and A session. So come on out, they'll be lots of laughs and meatballs flying!


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YOUR HOLY MOMMIENESS

 

I have this sweet little 86-year-old Mom, she is amazing! She is my biggest fan, has always been supportive of me and the one who knows how to dish guilt like it was a plate of manicotti.

My Mom is very religious ~ !  One of her dressers has like 14 statuses of Saints on it, with a small replica of the Pieta. Then one wall has this massive crucifix- hugeeeeeeeeeeee – and the other wall has these rosary beads that are just as big as the cross. Each bead is a big as a racquetball. I swear…

 

She lives in this High rise in Bergen County and my Brother live in the same building. Everyday she races in her wheel chair to the sliding doors by the terrace. She sits there and crochets, you name it as she looks out the window as complains about what all the people are doing.. She lives on a low floor so nothing passed her….She can tell you who went in and out of the deli and what she thought they bought…

 

So one day she decided that she wanted to rearrange the living room and so the procession began… Everyone was there moving this and that and my cute little Mom became the Wheel chair CEO… Minga~~

She just loved her new digs…. Then like a week later she gets a call from the lady that owns the deli.

Mary?

Yes..

This is Antoinette form the Deli.

Oh hiya.

Mary, we are looking at your Terrance doors and, well – um …

What what, my Mother shouts.

Well, we see the Blessed Mother in the window….

What, Mom yells… I’ll call ya back…

Then she calls my Brother and sisters, she saves me for last because I pretend I am not home.. hahahahahhahahaha

My Big Bro, the prodicial Italian male and the oldest goes downstairs and looks up.. My Mom and my sisters see him making the sign of the cross.. OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

Then one by one my sisters go look and there they are on the street making the sign of the cross.  Omgggggggggggggggg..

 

That night I call Mom as I always do.

She says, Babe…..

Yea Ma ,what?

She recounts the call (but leave out the part about the Blessed Mother), she recounts my brother and sisters and then she says.” What do you think is on Mommies window?”

I don’t know Ma, what.

The Blessed Mother!!!

WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT….

The battle of wits and why nots began.. She won and I gave up…

 

For the next week that’s all I heard about… The people at the deli were selling tickets for people to see the vision.

My Brother was upstairs trying to figure out how he could capitalize on this.

My sisters were in Awe and I, well I was at the shrink…

There was this pilgrimage on Bergen Blvd to see the vision…. People were asking if they could come in the apartment!

 

So finally I go to see this!

And ya now what????  I saw the same thing, this vision of the Blessed Mother!!!!!!! OMG!!!!! OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG.

I’m like, No , No, nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

You read about this shit in the Enquirer!  Man in coffee shop saw the Blessed Mother on a potato chip!!!! Not here. Not my Mom’s house!!!!!

 

So I go to look around, thinking something aint right~~~

When she rearranged the living room she also rearranged her knickknacks and other statuses. Then I saw it! She had a sun catcher with all these crystals hanging and behind that was a glass figurine of the Blessed Mother…

MINGA!!!!! As soon as I moved the figurine the only Mary that was left was my MOM……………..

 

She was sooooo disappointed!!!! So was my brother because apparently he called the press and was making a deal to get folks up there to rub the glass for $5.00….

 

As soon as the vision was gone all these pigeons appeared on her terrace the next day. She was so angry… Yellin at them, sushin and all. This saga went on for a week. The she called one night and said, “Babe, its Mommie” – yea Ma..

All the pidgins left!

Thank God, I replied.

She then says. All but one, he wont leave know matter what I do….I did this, I did that and he always comes back?

Really Ma?

Yea Babe, ya know what?

What Ma –

I think its Daddy… Hahahahahahah

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