Friday, March 13, 2020

Can You Spare a Square?


via GIPHY

Things are rapidly changing hour by hour it seems. One minute, I'm all CoronaThis and now we're at no toilet paper to be found and not being able to spare a square. Today I'm all CoronaWhatTheFuck.

I get it. It's a big deal. I get that no one wants to hear that it will only affect those who are already in vulnerable health because most people are probably close to someone or many people who are already in vulnerable health. Hearing that doesn't lessen any panic because even if means YOU personally won't die, it still means that a loved one can. Awesome.

I admit, I wasn't freaking out prior. I wasn't freaking out about catching it. I wasn't freaking out about giving it. I'm still not. B, E, and me- none of us have any reason to think we've been exposed. *knock on wood* We live and work in a small town. We don't go to any house of worship. E goes to a small elementary school with only around fifty kids in his grade. Let's say there's maybe 250-275 kids in his whole school. Now school is closed indefinitely. He's barely been at swim, it's been over a week now, and there he's been immersed in chlorine. His other extracurricular activities are singular like guitar and piano lessons. I hadn't even been at work myself because I had a sinus infection which has come and gone. So I wasn't even really in contact with the general public much.

However, as the idea of school closures started being discussed, and more breaking news was coming in....I started feeling more and more of a tightness in my chest. I'd be fine. Then I'd go on Facebook and scroll through my feed to people's fears. I'd see questions asking what to do about attending this gathering or that one. I'd hop on one of my message boards to see questions about what if this, what if that. I started feeling like a rubber band stretched and stretched. I'd get off the internet, breathe, and try to do, think about other things...

I got on the treadmill yesterday morning around nine-fifteen. I turned on the TV, as I normally do, and it was the perfect storm. I turned it onto Kelly & Ryan or something and immediately there was a Breaking News alert. Then I picked up my phone and saw a friend's post with a photo from the local supermarket. I couldn't tell what I was looking at. I wasn't sure if it was a joke, or serious. Then I realized it was line like it was a Depression Era bread line. I started hyperventilating. I then somehow ended up in the live stream our school HSA (like the PTA) meeting. I don't know what happened, I could barely hear what they were saying because the treadmill was loud, but I caught something about how "the spring social is our big fundraiser and fingers crossed...." and I just lost it. I was hysterically crying and hyperventilating and I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown.

It was a Seinfeld moment for me. "What is this salty discharge??" I'm not a crier! Unless it's for the American Idol kids or homeless people or stories like that. But I'm not typically a worrier. I'm not a depressive person. I usually try to see the positive and I'm a hustler. I always had to kind of fly by the seat of my pants. My life has never really been "comfortable" or "easy" so I've always sort of felt like I've had to be "on my toes". Scrappy. So to just crumble like a cheap suit was humbling and surprising to say the least. I just couldn't stop sobbing. I guess it just needed to come out.

I wasn't sobbing out of fear of getting sick. I was sobbing for the uncertainty. The fear of the unknown. Of society shutting down. Of the lack of leadership in this country. I posted on Facebook recently- "WHERE ARE THE PARENTS??" Meaning, it feels like when you're a kid and you think your parents know everything, only to get to that point where you realize your parents are just people who know the same nothing you know. I knew our current leader in the White House is a clown, but it's like- shit just got real. Fast. Not only did it get real where people are dying of this whole weird virus, but what are we going to do about money? How long is this going to last? Is this the apocalypse?

I was sobbing because we own a small business and that's how we live. That's how we pay our bills. What if people can't shop or the domino effect of their lay-off causes them not to want to spend money? Unknown. It's not like we can get unemployment. Just like anyone with a small business. Then they keep interviewing small business owners in quarantined areas saying how awful this is for them. They need people to be able to come in.

Someone I know was like- "well, you're supposed to have savings" when asking what to do about a tenant asking to be late on rental they have. Even if people have savings, no one knows when this is supposed to end. How long are you supposed to be able to sustain yourselves? Unknown. Too much up in the air. I don't know anyone prepared for "Pandemic Savings".

I was sobbing for the unfairness of it all for our kids. The goals they've worked so hard for that had to be cancelled like bar/bat mitzvah readings and celebrations. E is the lead in his school play of Aladdin and we have no idea what the fate of the play is going to be. All the dance, gymnastics, and cheer recitals and competitions that are cancelled or just up in the air. The sports seasons cut short or on hold that could determine futures in college or careers. We push our kids to work so hard so they can get to their goals. We drive them to their practices, run lines, go to meets, expend time/money/gas/energy and now their goals are just cut for now. It's HARD. Sure, are these first world problems compared to death? Yeah. But they're still hardcore huge disappointments we're allowed to grieve and our feelings of sadness are valid.

I was sobbing because I have some kind of OCD or whatever where routines keep me sane. My routines don't bother anyone, or impede my life. Well, maybe they bother my friends Alex and Mike because it causes them to eat dinner at AARP time on Saturday evenings, but they're used to it by now. But the thought of all my routines being messed up just threw me into a tailspin of panic that I couldn't deal with it in that moment.

I'd stopped into an unfamiliar grocery store the night before because I just happened to pass by. I didn't know the layout and I had to leave because I couldn't find anything. It stressed me out more than not having the items, so I just left with a few things. In my crazed mental state yesterday morning, I just knew I HAD to get to MY Shop Rite. RIGHT THEN. So I hopped off the treadmill and called B, who was insisting on coming home. I guess he could tell by the insanity in my voice that was not the way this was going down, when I said, "DO NOT COME HOME". I jumped in my car and drove to Shop Rite in Paramus, where I know the layout like the back of my hand.

I got all my staples. I did not get toilet paper. As an aside, besides the toilet paper craze being ridiculous, I do not need toilet paper. We get the cheap kind of Scott toilet paper on Amazon Subscribe & Save because that's what he likes. He says it never stuffs a bowl. I'm not arguing over TP. We got like thirty-two rolls then. B starts using it and tells me it's defective. That it's only one ply and it shouldn't be. That it feels too thin and you can't wipe your butt properly with that.

Well. I don't investigate One-ply TP-gate. Anyone that knows me, knows, you wind me up, doesn't take much, I call Amazon and just start yelling. I have Diamond in me. That's just what we do. Ask E about my road rage. I'm screaming, asking the customer service guy if he's ever wiped his ass with one ply of TP. Yadda yadda, another thirty two rolls show up. We were in the middle of our basement renovation after our flood. Where was I supposed to put all this TP?? I started shoving it in the built-ins down there, behind the bar, wherever. Then, of course, I promptly forgot about it. Until a few weeks ago when I opened the built-ins to try to put something else in there. So I can spare a few squares. 

 So I got my basics. I didn't hoard. I didn't even buy any cleaning supplies. I wouldn't know what to do with them anyway. I got milk. Stuff to bake if I felt so inclined. Stuff to make like twenty-four peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And most important- Two packages, which is four loaves, of The Cheesecake Factory brown bread. Because, what else do you need? I felt like I could breathe after that. Not so much because of the items I'd bought, but because I also needed that time away from the TV and the internet. I realized that's what's giving me the anxiety. The overload of the media. The overload from my own well meaning friends.

I understand we need to take it serious. This entry is more a stream of consciousness than anything else. I have no words of wisdom to impart. Information comes in to us in bits and pieces, all day long. No one seems to know what to do. I don't.

Some are saying to stay home away from everyone. Some are saying just don't go into larger crowds. I just think we have to use our common sense and try not shut down society as best we can. I'm not a doctor or a health professional. All I can do is try to keep my little group of three clean and healthy, not infect anyone else, and watch our mental health. I'll keep telling people to stop hoarding toilet paper because we don't have a shortage. We aren't going to shit ourselves into oblivion. I'm trying to keep of some kind of balance of normal life and following whatever it is we're told to do by whomever seems like the best authority. While still trying to keep a sense of humor. No one thinks this is funny. This is all some scary unprecedented shit with no leadership to keep us calm. So don't fault those of us who use humor to deflect from fear as foolish or uncaring. We're just trying to cope the best we can.

Hopefully E will be able to use this time to really become a rockstar. He'll have more than enough time to practice.


Monday, March 9, 2020

CoronaTHIS



You know what the Coronavirus is for? People with time on their hands. You know who it's not for? People who are f'ing busy. That's really the long and short of it.

You know what else I realized? I realized that if you watch TV or hang in online groups, everything seems much more dire than if you're just out living life. I watch a LOT of TV and hang in A LOT of online groups. I feel like I am seeing A LOT of hysteria right now. But only there. And on the airwaves in general.

Most people know I'm a HUGE Stern fan. Like, obsessively listen, even listening to the same episodes over, just having it on, even if I've heard it already, because their voices are comforting to me. Howard has been talking about the virus non-stop. He can't help himself. I can't imagine being that paranoid. I hear it on there, then I go about my business and forget about it.

Yesterday, Sunday, I was ALL OVER THE PLACE. I was in Rockland County, NY first. I went to Caked Up Cafe, to get myself my weekly cupcakes. If a measles outbreak wasn't going to keep me away, neither is a little Covid-19. For those who don't know, Rockland was the scene of a huge measles outbreak like a year or so ago. I think even specifically the town, New City, that Caked Up is in, was one of the outbreak towns. No matter. I'm getting my cake.

Then I went from Rockland to Waldwick NJ, where I went to Rite Aid, then Giant Farmer's Market. Nothing seemed amiss in either of those places. Bustling, as usual, for a Saturday. From Waldwick to Shop Rite in Wyckoff, which was a typical shitshow for a weekend supermarket run. Back to Glen Rock to the gas station, a bagel store, and CVS. All busy, busy, as usual, all while people were out and about, doing their thing.

Not to mention that Friday, morning, at like nine-thirty, on my way to a doctor's appointment, NOT for Coronavirus, I stopped at Michael's, the big box craft store, for a gift card. It's on the way to my doctor's office, on the same side of nightmare of a highway. I didn't want to have to turn around, then turn around again like Big Ben, Parliament (National Lampoon's European Vacation) and I thought I'd be in and out. NOPE.

People were there in droves, all jaunty, not trying to hoard hand sanitizer. They were loading up on faux bunnies, topiaries, wreathes, and whatever hideous spring and Easter decor they could get their hands on. There was no Corona-mania in site. I can't even say they were trying to amass crafts, for stuff to do, in case of quarantine. In front of me, I had a lady with a cart full of faux wreaths, bunnies, and topiaries. The next lady had some cork boards. And another one had some plain t-shirts with her faux flowers. Why do I know so much about what was in their carts? BECAUSE I WAS BEHIND THEM ALL AND I HAD TO GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE! No one had any sense of urgency. They were all just moseying around, without a Corona-care in the world.

That's why I'm totally convinced that without the TV and internet, people don't give a flying fig what is going on. We'd probably all be better off if we didn't hear or read anything and just washed our damned hands.

Every time I open Facebook and scroll, in every group I'm in, We Live In Bergen County, Bergen County Moms, etc etc etc, there's a new post about what is being hoarded, people asking what they should hoard, price gouging, how many cases, where the cases are, and so on. All that does is add fuel to the fire.

It's gorgeous out today in NJ. And I suspect in NYC as well. E has a meeting in NYC this afternoon. What I'm hoping, is that all this Corona is going to lighten the traffic load for me today. That will be my bonus today. We've been skipping the dirty water dog and/or the cart pretzel for awhile now and opting for baked goods instead. We'll take in the sunshine, breathe in some air, hoping for some that's more fresh than Covid-19 filled and take our chances. And wash our hands when we get home.

No one is saying to lick the subway pole. Or make out with sick people. Just use common sense. I know that is in REALLY short supply these days, and is asking a lot, but please. PLEASE. For the good of the world at large...try. 

Enjoy the day people, enjoy the day.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

What are YOU doing?



*Forgive any spelling errors. I don't know what happened but they seemed to have removed spellcheck or something*

I have The Talk on in the background at work. They're talking about the Quaden Bayles, little boy from Australia with Dwarfism who had been being bullied. His mom videotaped him saying he wanted to die. The video had gone viral recently. Marie Osmond mentioned a friend who lost her child to suicide recently, who found all these notes stuffed under her kid's bed that had words like- "kill yourself", "die loser", etc.

Then they talked about bullying and how it needs to stop.

All these news outlets have talked about this one bullied kid that went viral and how celebrities have come out in support of him and people donated all this money to him. That's great. But that's ONE kid. Do you know how many more kids are being bullied on a daily basis? I'm happy this kid is now has hundreds of thousands of dollars to go to Disney in a GoFundMe account but what is being taught in every household in America to stop this kind of behavior??

A lot of the bullying happens online. Okay- how do we remedy that one? Well, at least in elementary to or through middle school, we don't NEED TO GIVE KIDS SMARTPHONES. There are so many other options to be able to get in touch with or GPS your kids if need be.

E doesn't have any smartphone, which I've discussed in Facebook groups and message boards ad nauseum, because I don't think kids- tweens, teens, etc need smart phones. My personal feeling. Nothing good is coming of it, because parents are just handing them over like loaded guns, with no supervision. They're just letting them have social media accounts before they know how to handle them. We just gave E an iPod Touch so he can use Garage Band. That thing is locked down to where he could barely look up Sesame Street and the whole thing shuts down after an hour. At first, the security was so strong, I locked myself out of it.

B and I have a music Instagram account for E, for professional purposes. He only sees it if we show it to him or ask him to write something for it that WE post. He never even looks at it unless there's a comment we choose to show him. B listened to all these podcasts that said if E is going to try out for shows like America's Got Talent (which he did), they say he needs to have all these social media accounts in place first. But that doesn't mean we have to let him on them! He doesn't rule us- we rule him! That's the beauty of parenting! WE rule!

Parents aren't checking. They're not. Unless you know you're going to be checking, just don't go there. You know how many parents I know who told me when they were giving their kid a smartphone that they were TOTALLY GOING TO BE CHECKING, putting parental controls on, blah blah blah....yet, when it came time, did a WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING? Yep. Most of 'em. Because you get complacent. They're like, eh, my kid isn't really going to do anything. UNTIL THEY DO.

So, okay, *I* don't believe they NEED it but you do and you're the parent. Fine. If you're going to insist they need it you just want to give them a smart phone, make sure you're reading all their texts, looking at all their stuff. No, they don't get privacy. There is no such thing. It's YOURS. You pay for it, it's YOURS. Say it with me.... It's YOUR responsibility to be checking. It's up to you to have the conversations. Check in once a day, once a week, once a month- whatever it is- and talk about their behavior online. I guarantee if you're REALLY checking, you may not see things that are shocking or awful from/by your own kid, but bet your behind you see it from or by one of their friends!

A lot of the time, these are the same people who just handed their kid a smartphone with no restrictions are the ones who have side eyed me for years for letting/making E watch the news and know what's going in the world. Or let him listen to Howard Stern. Or hear me say a curse word. Or think it's weird and hysterical that he and I watch General Hospital. Well, guess what? General Hospital over the years has been the springboard to some awesomely deep conversation. Especially in terms of how to treat people.

With or without General Hospital though, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT HOW TO TREAT PEOPLE. I don't know what in the actual hell is being talked about in a lot of homes, but I really don't think common courtesy is a typical topic. I've seen the stuff adults I grew up with have written, publicly, on social media, like using old school homophobic slurs, not even used to describe an actual homosexual person, or act, but using it the way one would've used it in the 80's - just as a derogatory term. As in- "X, that f'ing ******". So if people my age are still throwing out that terminology as a "nasty insult" to someone, I can only imagine that they're not stopping to have conversations with their kids about how to treat their peers with kindness and respect. I could be wrong I guess, but I feel like that assumption is correct. By the way, my heart almost stopped when I saw that the other day. THE OTHER DAY. WHO USES THAT F WORD TO DESCRIBE SOMEONE IN 2020?!

Plus, I see it with kids in general. Just incidents of kids not being good friends. One telling another they're not going to be invited to their birthday party- when they're old enough to know that's a hurtful thing to say. Or leaving a friend somewhere to see if there's someone "better" to play with. Even early boy/girl drama of finding out a friend likes a boy and trying to be that boy's girlfriend on purpose. No, of course you can't control who likes whom, and all this is just a right of passage, but JEEZ LOUISE, is anyone's mom talking to their girl about being a girl's girl?? Even Rita talked to me about that stuff. Or told me stories where I inferred who was the a-hole in the situations she told me about. It's never too early to talk about that! Even E learned about that on on GH between with the Lulu/Dante/Brook Lyn triangle.

Are parents claiming they're too busy to have these conversations? Do they think their kids are too young to talk about what it means to be a good person? A good friend? It ISN'T true that all we need to know we learned in Kindergarten. Because now, in Kindergarten, they're too busy being stuffed with academics. So we have to do our JOBS as PARENTS and teach our OWN children how to act like human beings and treat people nicely.

I'm not just talking the talk either. I'm not saying I'm the most awesome parent in all of the land, better than anyone else. I'm not going to give you a list of all my F-ups. I mean, I'm a Leo, so of course, I don't really believe I F up all that often. But seriously, it's not a competition. I'm not saying I should get the big piece of chicken. What I can totally say is that I *am* having these conversations. I think many people are forgetting to have these conversations. Or they're focusing on other priorities- academics, sports, classes, activities. They're "too busy".

When E leaves the house, we used to say, "Yelp Reviews". What that means is that every time he leaves he's representing our family and we want good reviews coming back to us. Behave. Be kind. Be helpful. Be respectful. Be NICE. Not difficult concepts. And we get those reviews. Moms that I don't know, finding me on Facebook, to tell me E played with their preschooler or Kindergarten kid on the playground, making their day. We tell him every time so he knows he's doing the right thing and that behavior is positively reinforced. So nature or nurture, he's a NICE person. 

E's not perfect. Obviously no one is perfect. No kid is perfect. But, I know for a fact that he's a nice person. We've talked about what it means to be a nice person. How to show sympathy and how to have empathy. How to look for kids who might be sad or lonely. To notice if someone might not have anyone to sit with or play with. To take the initiative to introduce himself to people who are new or shy.

And if we got a report, or more than one, that he was a dick, he'd be in major trouble. I wouldn't be saying- "Not my kid!" He's been told that too. He's also been told that while we always want him to do well in school, be a reader, get good grades, I'll always care more that I find out or hear that teachers, parents, and peers think he's a good person. I told him this yesterday on the way to swim practice.

None of this is brain surgery. I'm watching Dr. Phil right now. This episode is about a fourteen year old who bullies his parents - physically, verbally, and mentally because he's addicted to video games. He's decided to stop showering and going to school because he's on the couch all day on screens. He's fourteen. How did he get to that point? Well, clearly, no one was having any conversations on how to act prior to this intervention. Clearly, they have other things going on as well. Dad calls mom a fat bitch sometimes when he's angry. This is an extreme case or it wouldn't be on TV. But the simple fact is that there probably weren't a lot of conversations going on with this kid about the appropriate way to speak to anyone prior to ending up on Dr. Phil.

By the way, E loves some Dr Phil. Another way to springboard some great conversations. He was watching the above mentioned episode with me.

We NEED to be having conversations with our kids. Not JUST about grades. Not JUST about sports. Not JUST about sex. Not JUST about drugs. But JUST about being nice, good, kind people. How to check to see if a friend seems sad. Not to be a social climber- meaning, not to ditch one friend for someone who seems cooler. Not to leave your friend somewhere- a party, a sports event, a dance, etc to meet up with other people or because they want to stay and you don't. That they need to work it out together, and one of them is going to be annoyed, but they don't leave each other. You come together, you leave together. Pay attention when your friend talks. Look each other in the eye. Don't let anyone talk crap about your friends to you. Stand up for people who seem to need it- who can't stand up for themselves. If you hear someone being a dick, say something. So on and so forth.

THEY DON'T JUST KNOW THIS STUFF WITHOUT BEING TAUGHT OR TOLD.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Unknowing who you know

I used to want to know everyone. Ever since I was a kid, I felt like I was meant for more than small town living, only knowing the people in my immediate surroundings. Don't get me wrong, I never wanted to move to the big city, fifteen miles away, that was close enough. It wasn't specifically about suburban surroundings that made me yearn for more, I just think I always inherently KNEW that life is about who you know. 

Maybe because I wasn't a scholar and I didn't really know while I was growing up what I wanted to do as a career. I was never that kid on a specific track toward any one profession. I always worked though, as a teen, always outside of my town. Why? To meet people. My friends and I already hung out in the mall a few towns away all the time, so why not monetize that? I worked in the mall. Probably, if I have to be honest, to meet boys, not just any old people. Whoever I was trying to know then, I think I just knew, even subconsciously, that the more people you meet, the more chance you have for something good or exciting to happen.

I was told I had to go to college, which was fine, because I didn't even really know what that meant, aside from what I'd seen in movies. I was happy to be going though, realizing I'd just meet more people.

I just liked meeting people. There's an unknown when you strike up a conversation in a store, on the beach, on line at the bank. I met some guy today at Starbucks. I have a whole foam/no foam issue, which deserves it's own entry, but while I was dealing with that, a guy struck up a conversation. I probably seem approachable because I'm approached more often then not. Now that I'm 45, with grays on dry shampooed hair, an endless supply of bootcut leggings and no make-up on, I don't think it's my supermodel looks. I just seem amenable to chatting. And I AM. Effortlessly.

When I found social media- Friendster, MySpace, to Facebook, it was like a goldmine of people. I could go back down memory lane, I could friend the people I met on line at the bank, and I could realize I do like people I didn't think I liked. Well, some of them. Then there's the other end of the spectrum. People I had been so happy to reconnect with, that I have awesome memories with as a child, that have so disappointed me with who they turned out to be as adults. 

I'm pretty sure I'm ready to unknow a lot of the people I already know.

I don't think I'd ever be able to go as far as to say that I'm closed like a border wall and not wanting to know new people. That's just not who I am. But I definitely have to be more careful as to who I associate with.

Does that sound dramatic? I don't think so. I'm basing this thought process on being a parent. My kid just turned eleven. He's an old eleven in the way that he's very socially aware and conscious. Whether by nature or nurture, he's a very kind, compassionate, deep person with a strong sense of how people should be treated. He knows the value and definition of being a good friend and tries his hardest to be a person that people want in their lives.

Because being a good person, a friend to all, and an understand soul is so important to us, I can't give people passes who spread ignorance and hate. I can't make excuses for people because of a shared personal history. On old memories. Really, hindsight is 20/20 and when I think back, I can remember certain events that were foreshadowing to these currently held beliefs, I just didn't know it at the time.

It's not about thinking "differently". I have close friends that think somewhat differently on different topics. It's about venom and vitriol. Taking that difference in thinking and actively working against groups of people that deserve peace and love like anyone else. It's when thinking differently turns into trying to pass laws that hurt other people. It's when thinking differently means refusal to any proper research from any credible sources and just regurgitating what's been put out there by other ignorant people.

Yes, in theory, you should be able to have discussions and thoughtful debate with those with differing opinions. There are just some topics I don't feel I would feel like a hypocrite giving people a pass for behavior that is the opposite of what I teach my son is loving, accepting and on the right side of history.
 




Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Who You Are

This is a blatant ask of you kind readers. So if you don't want to be asked, please look away. I'm not asking for money or anything like that.

But let me tell you- it's HARD....

To get Instagram followers! For E. I want them to be authentic- I mean, we could pay for followers. But we don't want to do that. And I'm old and don't even know how one goes about doing that. I want people who really want to hear/see/ what E is doing with his music. Or, you just want to do me a favor, which is authentic too.

Below is his recent performance of a new song, "Who You Are".

He needs followers on Instagram so if you could help him out, we'd appreciate it!
https://www.instagram.com/ethankulemusic/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ethankulemusic/

This is his YouTube channel that you can also subscribe to:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn1gA88oAFD3la974eWYspQ


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Satisfaction

I was going to call this entry- "You can't always get what you want..." then I thought, You CAN always get what you want..." I ended up going with "Satisfaction" because that's REALLY what it's about.

I'm writing this going into what's pretty much the last shopping week before the holidays. Both Christmas and Hanukkah are coinciding this year, with Hanukkah coming in first at December 22. You're running around, buying gifts, or clicking a button, buying gifts.

But are you LISTENING? Are you getting those you're buying gifts for what they want or what they asked for?

I'm in a bunch of Facebook groups and on message boards and I see this as a common complaint. They can't seem to get what they want from certain people in their lives OR they're the one insisting on getting something for a loved one that person doesn't particularly want. The BUYER just wants to see the person open it. I keep seeing "No gift cards. They HAVE to have something to open, I need to see them open something". I also see receivers complaining their mother, their mother-in-law, their great uncle, refuse to get them gift cards or give money to whatever practical item they need because THEY NEED TO SEE SOMETHING OPENED. 

I sort of get it with a kid. Don't get me started on the gluttony of the season vs the reason for the season because I don't subscribe to or participate in any of this tomfoolery. E figured out before last Christmas that Santa wasn't real so that was that. It's over. The jig is up. He'll get a few things for Hanukkah but we don't do this whole excessive gifting for any holiday. We buy things as we want to throughout the year and I don't need to see anything opened on a particular day. But most people don't do things this way and it's fine. This isn't an entry about how you should work your holidays or how gifting shouldn't be the reason for the season and all that.

As an aside, we just resurrected our little hoarder's "rocky rocky chair" - a Dutailier glider we had in his room from when he was born until a couple of years ago. We unveiled it to him, in it's new home in the  newly renovated basement recently, and he got fully "mountain of gifts" verklempt over it. Merry Christmakkuh! 

Back to regular people's holidays where a resurrected rocking chair isn't going to do it, my unsolicited holiday advice- GIVE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT. I've said before that I grew up celebrating Christmas because my parents wanted to celebrate it. When Rita was alive, she still gave me a Christmas gift as an adult, and it was my favorite gift ever. She would hand me a bag with a mess of gift cards in it. AND I WAS THRILLED. I LOVE to shop. If I'd gotten cash, I'd feel like I had to spend it practically- on bills. With gift cards, it would be like having money I could spend on me, for frivolous wants any time I felt like it. It was just as exciting to her to see my "open" my bag of gift cards as it would be to see me open and have to pretend to like some ugly gold leaf earrings my almost-mother in-law once bought me. Along with some Freesia bath beads.

No one knows how to shop for me better than ME. And my mom knew and respected that. Besides, with her wearing an acid washed denim fanny pack and my old Wigwams, we definitely had different aesthetic taste.

Of course people don't always tell you what they want. Also, I'm sure it does take the fun out of it when someone just tells you one thing they want. Then you're stuck with that one thing and there's absolutely no surprise there. Or you're spouses and you do gifts by list, just getting everything on a list. They probably should've just bought the stuff themselves. However, if someone just wants gift cards, stop trying to make Fetch happen and get them the gift cards. It may not be the worlds most exciting thing to see someone open gift cards, but they'll SO appreciate the gift. Isn't that what you want? The whole point of giving someone a gift is that they'll ENJOY it.

If your grown child is saving for a dishwasher, it may not be fun, but they'll be so appreciative that they can just get their damn dishwasher. It's not a gift to give them something they then have to do extra to enjoy- like giving brand new parents tickets to a show they don't particularly want to see, on a night they really don't have time for and have to get a sitter. So unless you're also arranging for them to having the time off from work and you're babysitting, just give them the cash they want! Or give them the babysitting and a gift card to the movies to go on their time schedule.

Someone who loves and gets me buys me a gift certificate to the nail salon I like for every gifting holiday. And I LOVE IT. Because I always need to get my nails done. It costs $50 every time and I don't always have an extra $50 for something frivolous like that. I LOVE having the gift certificate knowing that if I just want to get my nails done, I don't have to rationalize paying for that to myself. Or, if I want to get a super luxurious pedicure that I'd never pay for myself, I CAN. My face is just as happy opening that as I would be opening an actual tangible THING.

Your loved ones just want to know you put thought in and buying them what they want vs what you want to give them or what you want to see opened, IS putting the thought in. Even if what you're buying seems boring or stupid. The same way that you think a mound of stuff is going to light up their world, because YOU want to see the excitement you think that pile will bring. Meanwhile, there will most likely be one or two things they LOVE and the rest will just be overwhelming.

Merry Everything and Happy shopping!


Thursday, December 12, 2019

Year End Update

I think this has been the slowest writing year yet since I started this blog. It's not even for all the reasons I've stated before, but I'll tell ya, it's old age. Not old-old, but I swear, when I'm in the shower, I think of things I want to write about when I get to work. Then I get to work and totally forget what I wanted to write. So, you missed some really good thoughts, but they just flew right out of my head.

Today I decided to write because I've had a doozy of a past few months, I've gotten some new gadgets, we've had some life experiences, and I'm sure some people also think that I've been a little missing in action.

School started in September and it's been a whirlwind. I feel like it just started and we're closing in on winter vacation. Or Staycation as we like to call  it. Yesterday I was at work and a client asked if something could be ready for Christmas. B said probably not because that's only like two weeks away. TWO WEEKS?? I don't really care because holidays aren't stressful or any more action packed than any other time for us, but I just wasn't thinking, "two weeks". We never even decorated our house with any holiday cheer, which we usually do. Glad E didn't notice because it's less for B to do- the putting up and taking down of it all. Maybe it also feels faster because Thanksgiving was late this year, thus giving us less time for the whole Christmas-frenzy.

I don't know if I wrote about it but in June, our water heater broke and left us with inches of water in the basement. We had full carpet down there. It took forever for the insurance to go through because right after that happened to us, there was a hurricane or some other extreme weather down the shore and the insurance company was swamped. Sometime around the end of September, the insurance went through and we were able to have work on the basement started. The guy doing the work is amazing at his job, but he's one guy. Also, it's not like I had somewhere to put stuff, so he had to work around it, putting down a floor. One guy having to move all that stuff around adds time. You also don't realize how much stuff you had or have until you have a floor and/or have to clear out a whole room. It became the dumping ground for all E's toys, games, game pieces, BALLS, more balls, Lincoln Logs, you name it.

So it's December, and I can say the main part of the basement, where people would hang out, is now fully usable and almost finished. It's just bits of decor that need to be completed. The bathroom down there has a new tile floor, which is SPECTACULAR, and now he's working on the actual scene of the crime- the laundry room.

Speaking of the bathroom floor, I finally got to do me. When we moved in, we didn't do anything except add our own furniture and art. It was already almost newly painted. It was NOT my style at all. It was fine. Just not my kind of colors. We weren't painting over new paint, so I learned just to decorate around it and make it work. Starting from scratch in the basement though, I got to do it the way *I* wanted to do it. And I like iridescent.

If you want tile, there are a million tile places to choose from. If you want something out of the ordinary, non-neutral, FUN, and kind of funky, it's A LOT harder to find what you're looking for. Luckily this is a small bathroom and after much Googling, I found MY tile. I found Mosaic Tile Supplies somehow and of course the first one I wanted, there wasn't enough tile. It would be a whole thing where they could make something similar but not quite. I have never purchased tile before and hadn't seen this in person. I was wary of having something custom done when I'd never seen it. I chose Broadway Blue instead. Even the names of the tile were right up my alley. Below is before and after.


We decided to do a backsplash in our kitchen too because we don't have one. It's a very small area so the one I originally wanted for the bathroom floor is going to be the backsplash because they had just enough sheets of tile for that. But that's a project for down the road. I have the tile because I ordered it together, but let's just get the basement done.

So we've had to move stuff out, change what we had, fix this and that, etc. I've been pretty much consumed with this whole thing because now that it's getting done my way, I've had a lot of decisions to make. Both B and I are quick decision makers, but it's the research of finding what I want that's been the challenge. It's always a needle in a haystack kind of thing, especially when you have a tight budget!

We didn't change the sink vanity because it wasn't in the budget, but for eighty dollars, I was able to buy that Homecom space-saver cabinet tower and put it together myself. It only took like two hours and only one shelf is upside down!


During all this renovation, E was waiting to hear if he won the Westfield's Got Talent contest (he didn't), and gearing up to try out for America's Got Talent. Extra guitar and singing lessons, swim practice in a very inconvenient location with no one this swim season to carpool with, and acting classes in NYC with Actors Technique NY, he and I were both running around in complete chaos. Thanksgiving came, fulfilling our yearly dinner tradition of family friends in our town, with E coming down with pneumonia, then promptly giving it to me. Womp Womp.

I also want to give a heads up about some cool stuff we got for this renovation. We haven't done ANYTHING to our house, as far as decor, since we moved in fourteen years ago. It was funny, one of E's friends came over and was wowed by our new Alexa enabled voice controlled Smart TV. Yeah kid, when you still have tube TV sets and finally get a new one, it has all the bells and whistles for super cheap now. It's amazing how you can time warp from 2000 to 2019 in one Amazon click for under two hundred bucks.

We got an Insignia Fire TV or something. I have a Toshiba Fire TV I got on Prime Day for like ninety-nine dollars upstairs. I like them because who doesn't love a Smart TV? I had a Roku plug in thing for awhile on the TV in the basement, but it was a pain. It's just more convenient to have it IN the TV. However, I will tell you the one really annoying thing. The only thing, but it irks the living crap out of me. If B or E was watching something on Amazon or Netflix in the sun room, when I turn one of those Amazon Fire TVs on somewhere else, it doesn't go to live TV. It is on the Home screen ready to go back to watching something on Amazon Prime. I have to use the actual TV branded remote to switch back to HDMI 1. It just takes extra time when I would prefer the live TV just to turn on. There is no way to do that, at least not on the Toshiba. I haven't really investigated the Insignia, but it's probably the same deal.

I'll tell you this too- it's probably better to stick with the lower priced TVs versus springing for a certain "brand name" TV. We have a Samsung smart TV in the bedroom that is a few years old. I turned it on the other night and everything - people, inanimate objects, etc- were ALL OUTLINED IN GREEN. I don't know what happened, and it's fixed now, but I'm sure from the little sleuthing I did online, that means it's on it's way out. They don't make stuff like they used to! Evidenced by the still working ginormous HEAVY tube TV we just ditched.

We also made our thermostat Smart this past weekend. Well, WE didn't make it Smart. It came that way. I got an Ecobee4 Alexa enabled/controlled Smart thermostat with a separate sensor on Prime Day. It sat in a box since July, along with The Ring that isn't installed yet. B watched some YouTube videos and felt he could put it in himself. Until, of course, he was done installing and it didn't work. Then it became all about how I push him into doing things way above his ability. However, another of course, he managed to get it to work. It's super cool. If I want to have it play music in the dining room where it's on the wall, I can have guests serenaded through dinner. Because guests would be the only reason we'd be eating in the dining room. We don't really have guests, ever, but now that the basement will be completed AND you can be serenaded through a meal, maybe we will!

The best part of this thing is that when I'm having hot flashes and I've taken the AC down to like sixty-four degrees, and I've inevitably left the house without turning it back up, I can change the temp right from my phone. Awesome for forgetful people like me.



I also got a cool light that can play music through Bluetooth and and changes colors. Because I want to live my life in rainbow, even when I'm peeing. And you can find it HERE if you want one of your very own.

So, that's what's been going on, where I've been, what I've been doing, and obviously what I've been buying and putting together. E has had a decent amount of auditions, so in between having and spreading pneumonia, we've been on the go to this or that audition in NYC. He just had something yesterday, then on the way home I got an email that I had to record him before bed for something else. It's always something! We even managed to squeeze in going to a Camp Wekeela ice cream social/reunion.

Next entry or maybe one after, I'll show you the whole basement.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

I Want A Peloton

I've totally been coveting a Peloton. I don't even know if I'd like it but everyone I know who has one seems to love it. Howard Stern has one and his admittedly ginormous (body weight) male staff have them too. Stern was talking about Peloton almost daily for awhile, even having one set up in his hotel when he recently went to Los Angeles to promote his book, Howard Stern Comes Again.

I just saw all the controversy about the new Peloton holiday commercial today and I can't believe all the outrage and overreaction. The commercial shows a "rail thin woman" (as called by news outlets and haters on Twitter) receiving one for Christmas from her husband. People went bananas. They said the commercial is sexist. It's anti-woman. Women interviewed on the street said they wouldn't be happy if their husband bought them a piece of exercise equipment. I think I saw something about the commercial being bad for women's body image.

Commercial here:


THIS IS CRAZY. Nowhere in the ad did anyone say anything about losing weight. I know people who run or lift weights just because it's a stress release. My husband, B, just started exercising again after like ten years of not doing it, because he just turned fifty and wants to be HEALTHY. I don't think he even has any weight to lose. If he loses any pounds, that will be a byproduct, but he isn't working out for that purpose.

I'm not skinny. I'm curvy. I hate exercise. Yet, I hate walk/jog on my treadmill just about six to seven days a week for around sixty to ninety minutes every time. I literally hate every minute. I fantasize about some form of exercise that would "change me" as the girl in the commercial said the Peloton did. I WANT TO LIKE EXERCISE.

The only sexist thing about the commercial is that I have to assume that they had the man give it to the woman because it's expensive. And men tend to have different mirrors than women, as the late, great Richard Jeni once said. No matter what he really looks like, he tends to think he looks much BETTER, whereas women are much harder on themselves.

If a guy is getting his wife a Peloton, chances are she ASKED for it. Or showed her longing as they passed by it in the mall. Our big mall has a Peloton store. I've walked by and looked at it longingly. But the bike is around twenty-two hundred dollars! I know I can't afford it. So if someone were to purchase one for me- my husband, Santa, whomever, I'd gladly take it.

I think people need to REEL IT IN. This isn't any old exercise bike. This is a pretty big investment. It's not the kind of thing you put together and it ends up used to hang clothes on. You buy the bike but you're also buying like a gym membership. There's a monthly fee for the classes or whatever. Don't quote me, but I'm pretty sure, unless you purchase the bike secondhand, you have to buy the membership. So again, this isn't my mom's stationary bike that collected dust in our basement.

Not to mention, SOME PEOPLE LIKE EXERCISE! Some of those people happen to be women, and some of them happen to be wives. People know if their husband is a dick, buying them a piece of exercise equipment to make some kind of dick statement on their weight. If B was somehow able to afford a Peloton, I would certainly not think he was being a dick.

People who are bothered are projecting their own issues on to this ad. Period. People just took it as the husband thinking his wife needs to lose weight. That wasn't even implied. It's not like she was fat when she started and by the years end it showed her as skinny from all her Peloton-ing. I saw a kid in that commercial. Maybe he thought she needed a stress release that wasn't "mommy wine culture". If it was a wine commercial and he'd bought her a case of wine, people would probably think that was funny.

We don't have to be offended by everything. Exercise isn't just about losing weight either. It's annoying that people immediately jumped to the notion that someone giving the gift of movement is doing so to send a message about weight. Exercise is also just about general health. Considering we have an obesity problem in this country, I don't think that giving a gift that someone will actually use to get healthier is automatically a bad thing.

This is a hate bandwagon. People seem to be easily brainwashed these days to jump on a hate train and be outraged about anything. It's like just wanting to fight for fight's sake. To have an issue just because. It's stupid. Personally, I'd rather see a wife get a Peloton in a commercial than a car. It's more realistic to me for someone to get a 3k Peloton versus a brand new Lexus. If you have a husband that gifting a Peloton from is a dick move, then just YOUR husband is a dick. Maybe you should kick him to the curb and keep the Peloton.


Monday, November 25, 2019

Just A Day


 Repeat this to yourself over and over for the next six weeks or so. Why? Because...holidays.

I've probably written something like this before. It's probably been a long time ago though because I barely write anymore. So, read this years version and apply it!

I don't begrudge anyone loving holidays. It's nice if you like them. It's nice if you don't have issues, complaints and grumbles surrounding the holidays. Most people can't say they don't have some kind of drama though. I'm in so many Facebook groups and message boards where people are spilling their holiday tea, I think we all need the reminder that it's JUST A DAY. Or just a couple of days.

My parents weren't much for holidays. We didn't have a big extended family we spent holidays with. I think we probably went to my grandparents nearby for Thanksgiving when I was kid. Funny enough, I don't even really remember. We weren't close to my grandparents, even with them living like fifteen minutes away. I only wanted to be going there if my cousin's were going to be there. Unfortunately, in that side of the family, there were always people not speaking, so the cousins I wanted to see weren't even there for a lot of years. Rita made a killer turkey though so that was something to be excited about.

Later, I guess when I was in college, Rita worked at the Super Video store, and she'd work on holidays for time and a half pay. So I don't think I had Thanksgiving with my mom most years. My boyfriend in college had large extended family and I remember spending most holidays with his family. I didn't come from the kind of house where there was any entertaining going on. So when someone else's family called dibs on a holiday dinner, that's where I went. Besides, I had the Jewish holidays and my boyfriends never did. I really enjoyed the Italian boys so they certainly weren't having Rosh Hashana. If we saw my family it was for Rosh Hashana in September or October and then it would be the guy's turn for Thansgiving and Christmas.

Holidays were just never really stressed as "important" to my family. It was fine when we had a dinner but it wasn't the biggest thing to miss either. I could see my mom any time, my cousins were most likely not going to be involved, and I didn't feel the need to see anyone else. I didn't feel like I was missing anything. I liked going to other people's homes and I didn't really think much about it. I was with my college boyfriend for almost six years and got used to going to his family. I felt like I was getting the "big family dinner" thing. But it was JUST A DAY.

B's mother would call Thanksgiving in June, Mother's Day in November, etc. My in-laws got every holiday and my mother couldn't care less. Not because she wasn't into seeing me/us, but just because it was A DAY.

Same with Christmas. My family is Jewish but always celebrated Christmas growing up. I don't know why. Rita liked Christmas lights and a tree. My parents weren't religious. We had a tree, we got presents, but that was the end of it. We didn't have family celebrating Christmas. Back then, in the 80s, everything was closed except the movies. We didn't go to the movies though either. I think, once I was a preteen, I'd go to my friends houses when they were done with whatever they were doing for the holiday. With my ex, I think we went to his mom's on Christmas Eve (because I remember that seven fishes thing). Then, maybe we went to his father's on Christmas Day, and because his dad lived by my parents, we probably stopped at my parents, or my mom's store. But it was JUST A DAY (or two).

Even New Years Eve was never a thing. My parents stayed home. Some years they had friends over, but eventually, the friends got divorced and all the kids grew up. I still am not a fan of New Years Eve. There's a lot of pressure there- like it's going to set the tone for the year. Which, I do not believe it does, by the way. In high school it was always about how we were going to party somehow. Like how were we going to get alcohol? Even though I didn't really drink. We didn't really have anywhere to go. Then in college, I can't even remember any NYE events. I remember the last one before my ex and I broke up. It wasn't great because there was the pressure of- Are we getting engaged or not after almost six years? Then when I was single and dating, it was all about- is this going to be the year I meet someone?

Then I met B, after being single for five years. Over the years we've had times of parties, times of staying home, times of friends, times of none. We had family, then we didn't. We always had each other though, then E. Whatever we do, we do, and we find a way to make it interesting, or relaxing, or exciting- whatever we want it to be. Our gang of three is the core and anything or anyone else is just a treat.

When you put so much pressure on A DAY, it really sucks the joy out of it. When you have a "tradition", when you have a "tradition with friends", it's great in the beginning, but people grow, change, move, grow apart, etc and then there's eventually a problem or some kind of drama. I LOVE where our life is now, the traditions we've made, and the friends we currently have. I just still think of holidays as JUST A DAY because that's how I keep perspective. If things have to change and evolve, I'm cool with that. A day on the calendar is not and should not the be-all best or worst of times.

I think the best way to look at the holidays is you're lucky if you get to spend some extra time with a person or a few people you really enjoy. Life is short. Be flexible but don't be a doormat. Don't let others dictate how you want to spend your time.

Of course, you and your spouse, if you have one, need to be on the same page, which is probably the hardest part about holidays. But it sucks if you're both so rigid that you spend most of your DAY traveling between both families. One might say it isn't fair to just see one, but it is. Ultimately, it's a DAY. Make another day to see the other family. Make the rule that if one family gets you on Thanksgiving, you have another Thanksgiving that Friday or Saturday after. Ask yourself, what is so important about the day on the calendar? The whole idea is just to get together with your loved ones. Talk about "reason for the season..."

No one is happy, NO ONE, is happy spending the day in the car, feeling rushed, and filled with anxiety over splitting time. Then you're arguing over how much time, where, and it never feels even.

And for you that are parents of grown children, grandparents, and/or in-laws: Stop guilting your kids into splitting their time! You don't want them coming to you out of guilt and under duress! You want them coming because they want to see you. You also don't want to be the cause of inevitable domestic fighting about having to split their time. I'm sure your kid wants to come to you and their spouse wants to go to their family. They already have internal struggle without your added passive-aggressive comments and attitude!

Hey parents (grandparents)- if you can figure out a way to blend the whole damn thing, do that. If there are just too many extended family members to make that happen, then let them figure out how they can manage by still keeping the peace in their own home. I see endless blow-ups online about this and it sucks. All because the parents are giving grown kids guilt. IT'S JUST A DAY! Be the bigger people and concede the holiday for them! Tell them your Thanksgiving is going to be x date and to be ready with pumpkin pie or whatever on that day. They'll love you even more for not contributing to their holiday stress.

Say it with me: It's just a day...it's just a day...it's just a day....

Try to enjoy Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, and all the days in between with as minimal stress as possible. Spend the days with whom you look forward to seeing, don't talk politics or religion, and tell everyone you're not driving around for hours. You're planning on being in a food coma and enjoying yourselves. It's a novel idea but it CAN be done!

Give YOURSELVES the gift of a stress-free holiday season!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

America’s Got Talent E-style


E tried out for America’s Got Talent at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC on Saturday November 23rd. This is his dream- he’s been talking about it for two years now. He wanted to be on when Howard Stern was a judge - and it definitely would’ve been more convenient. However, he was not ready then but he was determined to audition for this season.

Frankly, B and I didn’t know what to expect. Obviously, there are thousands who try out and nothing comes of it. As a parent, you want to support your kids dreams but you don’t want to be delusional about their talent either. We think he’s talented but I’m sure every parent thinks their kid is talented. So we took this with a grain of salt and figured he has balls just to put himself out there. That, in itself is a talent. To also seem to have this unique ability, that he does, to not be hard on himself. He gets psyched up to do something - be it compete on his swim team, audition for tv and movies and THIS, but not get bummed out if it doesn’t pan out. He doesn’t see it as loss or rejection- he sees it as an opportunity and just plans to keep on going until he does eventually “win”.

Even if this time, it doesn’t pan out, we’re super proud of him for all his hard work and determination. His only concern at the moment is knowing he has to get on a plane to go to Hollywood. He’s wondering if he can take a train. 😄

The following is from his Facebook music page - which, if you haven’t “liked” it yet- Please do! Ethan Kule Music

And on Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/ethankulemusic/

From Ethan:
Update on my AGT audition:  I was called back to sing 2 more songs yesterday!

For anyone who wants to follow along with my journey, or anyone curious about one day auditioning yourself, here’s a summary of how it went.

I live in NJ, and depending on traffic, about 30-45 min away from the Jacob Javits Center in NYC where the auditions were held.  We arrived around 7:45 a.m. and I was done with the auditioning process I think around 10:30 a.m.  

The line to check in at that hour was not too bad. They had a lot of people doing the check-in. Then we went into/sat in the holding room.  The holding room looked exactly like it does on the TV show which was pretty cool.  We sat around following out a questionnaire until they called your group of numbers.  You were given a sticker with a number when we checked in.  Once they called your number, they split us into smaller groups of about 15 people in your category.  I was with all singers.  

If you were under the age of 18 you had to have only one parent or guardian with you so my mom went in with me.  There was one producer/judge sitting in the front of the room with a green x on the floor in the middle of the room. The X was for us to stand on when we performed.  My favorite color has always been green so I thought that was a good sign 😉. 

We all performed in front of each other and I was called first.  I was glad to be called first to get it over with, as I was just starting to feel a little nervous.  Up until that point I was not too nervous.  I felt pretty confident going in. I didn’t practice too much because I have already been performing the songs I planned to have ready for a few years already.  Some people we say with in holding had lost their voice from practicing too much. I know I’m only 10 but I have been singing live in front of people for quite a while now by busking in my hometown, at town fairs, farmers markets, and in organized settings through where I take music lessons.  

My dad looked up auditioning info a few days before and saw online that the auditions were only 90 seconds so we figured out what part of the song I would sing.  I was going to sing my original song “Lonely Boy”.  I also had prepared 90 seconds of three other songs just in case.  One was another original called “Used to Be” and then two covers, “Riptide” by Vance Joy and “ Spirits” by The Strumbellas.  

When we got into the room they told because so many people came to audition that we would only get 60 seconds to perform.  While waiting, one of the parents of another kid singer told my mom that they were from Virginia and that her daughter also tried out last year.  She said that the judge would sometimes call people back but nobody in her daughter’s group got called back the last year.  When the producer spoke to us she didn’t mention anything about callbacks so we didn’t know if that was true. Then, when everyone was finished, they said we are done but just wait outside the door until she comes back in case they need anything else. 

She came back out & called 2 numbers. One was me & the other was a teen girl. She said that we missed filling out something on our paperwork.  My mom was confused because she was pretty sure she did it all.  It was an awesome surprise to know that was their way of calling me back!  I thought it was really nice on how they did that, not to make anyone who was not called back to feel bad.  It takes a lot of courage to audition so why ruin anyone’s spirits right there on the spot.  

This time I was just in the room by myself with my mom and the judge.  She asked me questions about my song “Lonely Boy” and complimented me on it.  She asked if I had any other songs so I told her I would sing a cover, “Riptide”.  This time she let me sing longer than the 60 seconds.  When I was done she asked if I had any other originals.  I told her I had many and I was choosing, “Used to Be”.  I told the backstory of the “Used to Be” and again, I got to sing it for more than the 60 seconds.  She told me again that she liked my music and thanked us for coming in.  

I won’t find out until January or February if I get the next call back but so far it seemed pretty promising. Yesterday still doesn’t feel real, like a dream. That’s basically how I feel besides feeling pretty good too!  Thank you all for all the encouragement and good wishes online yesterday and thanks for taking this journey with me!! I hope it continues as my wish is to keep making music that keeps you company along your own journey though life.
-Ethan
Instagram: @ethankulemusic


#AGT #americasgottalent #nyc #auditions #liveauditions #kidmusician #kidsinger #holdingroom #calledback #originalsongs #coversongs #riptide #vancejoy #spirits #thestrumbellas #lonleyboy #usedtobe #singersongwriter #myshot