Thursday, March 29, 2007


Every time I look at the picture above makes me grin like crazy...

I sent this to the Tribune and hoped that they would publish it in the Passages section they have every Sunday. Tisha had it printed on a mouse pad and gave it to me as one of her Christmas gift. I am not going to use it as a is classic!

Today, I was able to finish the big painting I am doing on commission. All I have to do is put the hanging wire, my signature and it can be delivered Saturday.

I have my day cut out for tomorrow. I will be working in the yard and plant some tomatoes...I still have to fertilize the flowering plants in the front yard. The weather seems to be erratic at times but it is not getting any colder at night than last month. I am glad that the snails did not come out from hibernation in force like last year. Kai had his share of snail hunting last year.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I have to start all over again...! Earlier, I completed my blog for the evening, but my fingers must had punched something and the blog was gone...! I tried to recover it but to no avail they were gone somewhere in the nook and crannies of the computer. BUMMER! I am just learning how to post pictures. I think this was the cause. I have a lot of pictures to post on the earlier entries that I think will be interesting to the family circle. They are old pictures of the Morales and the Ramos.

Okay here we go again...Wednesday, and this is the day Kai comes to the house. I decided that we are going to have another "private" lunch party complete with a birthday cake and candles. I think this will be fun for Kai. Since Mike had a short day at work he was able to come and join us.

My day started with having breakfast with Kai. We had some Panetone (Italian sweet Bread) and grapes. I had my morning coffee and he had his chocolate milk. We didn't do much today. For the first time we watched Tom and Jerry this early and we found out that they have new series. Played LUXOR, computer games and just hung around till time for me to prepare the lasagna.

Mike and Tisha came before 12 and the lasagna is not ready yet...just about but not that ready ready. I cut it into individual portions and microwaved it for a minute and presto! we started our lunch. Kai had his shrimps and turkey breast. I had some French fried onions with the green beans and he ate some of them. He said he made a wish before blowing his candles. I commented that the cake is part Jewish because the candles are Chanakah candles that Umma gets from the grocery store free. Well, it serves the purpose...

The "treasure" for today was magnetic construction kit. Mike said that the chemistry students used them for their projects. They consisted of several plastic slender tubes with small magnets embedded on both ends and can be connected with a small metal balls. If you are creative, you can create structures of all shapes.

Earlier, Tisha told Umma that she is having discomfort in her ears. Umma told her that she will irrigate it after lunch and while doing this, Kai commented that " Umma is a doctor." I guessed he deduced that only doctors uses syringes and since Umma is using one, she must be a doctor. When asked if he wants his ears done..."Oh no, I have no ear wax...they are clean."

I think he felt that his stay today with Umpha and Umma was too short. He usually stays past three o'clock, but they are going home by one-thirty. "I want to stay"....! He was very reluctant to move his"tushie." Reluctant but resigned, he even gave Umma a hug and kiss twice. He came to me and indicated that he want to be carried to the car. He is getting heavy! That's another day with Kai!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007



Last Sunday we had an early birthday party at the park for Kai-Kai. I can't believe that he is four years old now. The weather was nice and it seems that everybody enjoyed the gathering. We had an extra guest other than the family. Joyce and Stewart, our neighbor and the "other grandpa and grandma" adopted by Kai.
I made him the traditional pancit (for long life), but this time I used Vietnamese rice noodles with all the trimmings. Umma bought a turkey...defrosted it and carved the meat. The breast part was used as kabob with spicy tandoori and peanut sauce. Tisha set-up the table with "Bob the Builder" theme. Very creative! The plastic hard hats were used as containers for finger foods, the utensils were in the miniature galvanized pails. She had her tier-cup cakes with Kai's initials with tiny whirrlers... some ice cream too. As party favors, chocolate Kisses, mini Reeses and a picture of Kai with a thank you note for attending his birthday party.

The best part was the "treasures" opening. He got a scooter and a helmet to go with it. The other grandpa and grandma gave him a Casio piano player. There was oodles of "treasures" for him to open with his dad...I can't just remember all of them. Umma gave him a collections of Disney books with backpack...He is really into books. Sometime last month, I told Tisha that I am going to buy him a bedroom set. She already had something in mind as to what to get him...from the Internet. Umma decided that she will get the mattress. I guess, soon he will be sleeping on a regular bed.

One day, he told his Umma, "I don't wet my bed anymore" "I close my birdie."

The worst part of the party was when we started to dismantle the tents and securing the leftover food, Kai went "ballistic." "I want the party back!" He was really crying...he just wouldn't buy any explanation. I think he enjoyed the company of his cousins Eric and Lauren very much. They had been playing with him all the time, playing catch did some of the rest of the family.

Tomorrow, his day to be with us, we are going to have another lunch party! It will be just Mike, Tisha and Kai-Kai. There is another "treasure" that Umma have for him. This time we are going to have a regular cake. I am serving lasagna and will BBQ some shrimps for him. We will see how it will turn out.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


My birthday actually started with the reception at St. Mark Art Festival...The painting I entered won "first place." Entering just one and being accepted and winning a (big money) prize, I had my fifteen minutes of fame again. Winning was just a part of being "high" but, being with Kai in the same show was the whipped cream on top. Once in Virginia, I was in a show with Rodin when he was four and a half years old. He got the "best in show" and "first prize" the same evening. I did not win anything but got in the show.

This will be a big start for Kai's resume'. I don't want to look ahead for his future in arts, like I said before, "I don't consider it as a talent yet" but the juror did not agree with me. She accepted Kai's painting not knowing that he is just almost four years old. "Oh my God, Oh my God!' was her comment. Kai's painting was hung among the well seasoned painters in the community...and this makes me very proud of my protege'.

We had dinner at the VIP all you can eat restaurant...They were waiting for us and Kai handed me a card with "Happy Birthady Umpha." When we were entering, he noticed a cute little girl. We had our food and while eating, he kept looking where the girl was seated and finally blurted out that, "I like that girl," I'll marry her!" This make everybody laugh and Mike almost fell down from his chair. All the time while we were there, he kept looking at the girl and when the family passed by from the ice cream dispenser, he really turned his head to follow the girl with his eyes...I have no idea where he get the notion of getting married. I did not teach him that! It was a very nice and very amussing evening. We all laughed from Kai's antics.

So before we left, I brought him to the table of the girls' family, I told the parents that my grandson is in love with their daughter and would like to marry her. The little girl was not too shy, her name is Diana. Kai told them his name and how old he is. He said goodbye and the little girl sort of waved her hand too. I bet the parents were amused.

Tisha called as soon as they were at home. Kai wanted to go back to the restaurant because he was still hungry. He ate a lot, but the purpose of going back to the place was because the little girl was still there. He is starting very early...! I told Tisha that his behavior did not come from me but probably came from his great grandpa who was always a ladies man all his life. I am sure that he will be a very good looking guy when he grows up and I am sure that he will be a ladies man of his own...even the mother of the little girl commented that he is a good looking boy. I don't think he will have any trouble with the mothers in the future.


When I was a little kid, adults used to bore me with their tedious diatribes about how hard things when they were growing up: what with walking miles to go to school; every morning...both ways...yadda. yadda. yadda.

I remember promising myself that when I grow up there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they got it. I don't think I am guilty about it.

But now that...

I am over the ripe age of seniority, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. They got it so easy! I mean compared to my childhood, they live in a damn Utopia! And I hate to say it but the kids today don't know how good they've got it.

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!

There was no email!! We actually had to write somebody a letter...with a pen! And then we had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!

There were no MP3's or Napster! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it!! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ'd usually talk over the beginning and @#%! it all up!

And talk about hardship? you coldn't just download porn! You had to steal it from your brother or bribe some homeless dude to but a copy of "Nudist" magazine at the liquor store. Those were the options!

We didn't have craps like Call Waitng! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it!

We din't have fancy Caller ID Boxes either! When the phone rang, you didn't have any idea who it was! It could be your mom, the school, your bookie, a collection agent, you just had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! My time, we didn't even have the Atari 2600! With games like "Space Invaders" and asteroids and the graphics were really outrageous!

At the movie theater there was no such thing as stadium seating. All the seats were the same height! If a tall guy or some old broad with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn't see, you were just screwed!!

There was no cable television, as a matter of fact television came to me in the late fifties. So, and white on a small screen, no channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change channel and there was no Cartoon Network either You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Imagine no "Tom and Jerry" every day!

And we didn't have Microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove or go build a fire...imagine that! If we wanted popcorn, we had to use that stupid Jiffy Pop thing and shake it over the stove like an idiot.

That's exactly I am talking about! By the time you read this there will be more innovations that will make your life easier. So don't complain...when you read this , you will realize that you got it too easy. Don't get spoiled.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Kai's at the stage where he wants to be useful! I was peeling a cucumber for lunch, he watched me doing it and then blurted out; "let me cook it for you" "let me help." I had to explain to him that the cucumber does not need cooking.
Every time they come back from the park...he asks his Umma for the key to the door. He would like to put the key in the keyhole and he would like to open the door by himself. I do hope that he will be doing that when he is old enough to do things by himself. He is very keen of cooking...will he be cooking like Umpha too?
The rain that visited us the last few days made the ground to welcome all kinds of bugs and worms. When they came back from the park, he was excited to show me that he caught three rolly-pollies. They were placed in a small plastic sauce container. At one time he spilled them and was having a hard time trying to find them. He came to me and asked for a flashlight. When I asked him why he needed a flashlight..."I have to find my rolly-polly." He found two of them and was not happy about it. To appease him, I went outside, upturned the flower pots to look for some bugs, I did not find any rolly-polly, instead three black bugs and three worms. This made him happy and he quit complaining that he lost his previous finds. I used to be squimish picking up bugs and worms. Now, I am doing it because of Kai.
The computer was on the blink for one day and I asked Tisha to see what is wrong. She spent most of the morning trying to restore my Internet connection. She found out that I might had clicked on "do not allow" which affected the Internet function and it was "blocked."During this time Kai was in the bedroom with Umma watching "Little Einsteins." When he saw his Mommie, "you come back!" He thought his mother was gone and came back and it was time for him to go home. He was almost ready to gather his cars, but was told that it was not time yet. Mommie will go shopping first. He was happy that he was not going home yet. So, we had our routine. We just play around, laid down to watch "Tom and Jerry," ate some Oreo...we had different Oreo. It came in small packages with two compartments. One for the cookies, which are "sticks" and the other compartment is for the cream. You have to dip the cookie stick in the cream before eating them. He likes that. He finished two packages by the time Tisha came back from shopping and it was time to go problem!