Friday, June 19, 2009

Pre Fathers Day Post


Check out the new design! Propos to my wife for creating. In the spirit of my World Series of Poker debut on July 6 at 12 noon Las vegas time!! T-minus 17 days! I am getting ood feedback and advice from all corners. Keep them coming.

It has been awhile so let me get to it.


So I take my oldest to the local community theatre in Fairfield. Its 4 bucks. For years the talk is it will go out of business. So far, hanging in there five years later for us. Anyway, its like one of the theatres I used to go to when I was a kid. Like the Utopia on the Q44 line not too far from Cunningham Park where I used to spend spring weekend playing Little League. Small, dual theatre with candy that seems ancient. Its quaint and cheap. With old piping in bathroom. We went to see The Soloist which was disappointing despite strong efforts from Downy and Foxx.

In any event, not surprisingly its packed. No previews at the community so its like broadway. Be on time. People wait for good movies to make their way there and save the extra 6 bucks (the fancy theatres are 10 bucks a movie sometimes). Plus the seniors. Anyway, a couple in front of choose to sit right in front of Brett despite seats that would not block his view. Annoying. Bad etiquette. People speaking through the movie. Bad etiquette. People showing up nearly an hor into the movie. bad etiquette. All noticeable transgressions. Brett is all over this.

The next day I take both boys t othe fancy theatre. For The taking of Pelham. Its the first offering of the day. Dawn still battling illness. It costs me 21 bucks. Normally the food and snacks cost more tha nthe movie. But today alas we got there about 8 minutes before the movie and of course the theatre has one poor 17 year old working concessions and the line is massive. No snacks. But 6 previews and ten commericals. Ok. Now the REALLY bad etiquette. We sit in a row where to my right about 6 seats down towards the right aisle is a couple. Woman is literally screaming out loud about some parental problem she is having as if in her kitchen. It is as if she wanted everyone to know her business like the people who share intimate stories on the street on their cells. Anyway, she speaks loudly throughout the previews and it is irritating. Combine that with projector trouble that cut the images in half with a black line during the previews and we are not getting good value here. Now of course despite tons of seats available, a three-person contingent moves right up next to Brett. Now of course people can sit where they want. But people -- all people -- don't like to feel crowded or surrounded unnecessarily. People avoid the middle seat on airplanes if an empty aisle or window is available unimpeded. Same on the metro North or subway. But weirdly at movies sit down next to you for no reason when other seats available. Bad etiquette. My dad once was in a matinee for an action flick like Die Hard or something in a theatre of 6 patrons 2 sat down next to him. Seriously, What could possibly be the logic of that maneuver? Anyway, etiquette aside Pelham was great.


For years I could not get worked up on this issue in baseball or otherwise. I don't know why. I have now read all the major baseball "bios" that touch the subject. Juiced. Vindicated. Both by Canseco who comes across as too many things to recount -- desperate, sad, disingenuous, smug, childish, lost, directionless, pompous, self-involved, narcissitic, and manufactured. The Bonds book. Conte's book. The two Clemens book, the atter American Icon which is an excellent piece of investigative and newspaper style writing, a la Game of Shadows. The Arod book. The football book by Romomanski. Here is my take -- the only word that best captures it -- sordid. The whole thing is sordid. Needles, injections, pills, secret codes, lies, sneakiness, characters, fake trainers, winks and nods, all of it, BALCO, the Phil Astins of the world, the pharmacy bust in Albany. Just flat-out sordid. There is nothing to rationalize here. Athletes were surrounding themsevles with bad apples, were doing something knew was "wrong" to try and gain an edge. To make themselves richer. To make more money. That was their primary purpose (although it seems most accountsd would say that Petite did it to try and fix himself, stupid that it is; but lied and covered and was ashamed etc). At bottom, athletes are praised for tkaing pills or needles or tretaments to heal injuries, play hurt and get o nthe field. Like you and I taking Tylenol to get past bad headache to perservere through a day and do our jobs. But cycling, and stacking and ingesting pills, and self-medicating and sticking needles and abcesses, and butt shots and suggesting vitamin intake, for more muscle and strength and energy and confidence is not the same thing and the line wasnt that blurry. Prohibited technically or not they all knew it wasnt right. Sordid. I could go on for years here. I dont hate these people. I just think people should own up. I think Clemens should go away. And I ithink people who lie to Congress should go to jail because it is a solemn thing and needs to be enforceable for Congree to ever be effective. Sosa. Bonds. Clemens. McGwire. Awful. Of all the books, the Arod book seems the most biased in the tone and the "cheap shotness" of it all.


Have written a lot on this. But it brought back fond memories. And is a wondefrul institution of which I am proud to have been a part.


I can;t get excited about hi mwinning. Propos to Phil Jackson on 10 titles. Yes he had talent. But so did Red. Red's achievement greater because of the consecutive nature of it but Phil winning in short order on his second go round here, impressive. I like how Lamar Odom seems to have changed his life around and is vastly talented, so good for him and missing link Gasol. Sorry Ewing didn't get his ring.


8 days to go! Kids pumped. We have survived the bar mitzvah madness, mass health madness with flus viruses, dental emergencies. And now the good stuff! The batteries recharge.


Vick 21 months in prison, loses his livelihood, his everything, for vicious and unspeakable cruelty to dogs in a dark subculture of dog fighting. Stallworth gets drunk and kills another human being and gets 30 days in jail. I am not minimizing that the victims' family signed off on it, or that 8 years of probabtion is actually chilling as is the alchol and drug rehab and the 1000 hours of community service. But at bootm rich athlete can pay victims off, and serve 3 weeks in jail for killing another. I am quite sure the guy with the alcohol problem and no money would no be so lucky. Plus when compared with Vick it seems out of whack. Lacking perspective. Outrageous. Ryan Leaf who seemingly has problems of his own and will now continue to be known as bigghest "bust" in football history will do more time. He killed no one. Of course Stallworth didnt mean it, has shown remorse, manned up and took responsibility. It doesn't matter. The average person who has problem does far more time here even if they are wracked with forever guilt. The Judge should have rejected this plea.

Mel Hall former Yankee badboy gets 45 years for sex offense too hideous to detail. Seems spot on to me. Awful. If jury convicted him in 90 minutes have to wonder why they took it to trial and didnt plead out.

The Sports Rap Sheet makes me wonder if athletes are different as a whole then rest of society. In terms of legal brushes. I have always wanted to do a book on this general area. Compare it to the recent spate of white collar crimes last 10 plus years. These educated, intelligent people did not set out to become criminals and the "they are just greedy" explanation is way too simplistic. Good people who did bad things. Or couldn't extricate themselves from bad situations. I was thinking. of a working title. "There are no Shortcuts" or "Wrong Turn" " I Never Turned Back" Anyway it is a working idea. To chronicle falls from grace for so many athlets and compare it against other professions, exectuvies, lawyers, doctors, accountants, etc.


If Secretary of State Clinton should pitch for the mets after she rehabs her broken elbow?

If North Korea gives a hoot about sanctions?

If President Obama needs to shorten his to do list to get things done -- seems streched on major issues?

If the left and the Internet on liners who raised the war chest for him are still loving him, especially on certain itemized social issues?

If Arod on the Yankees is the curse in reverse?

If Billy Joel should avoid the institution of marriage?

If I will ever stay true to exercise diet regimn? Have lost weight on Weight Watchers Nutri System, self discipline, Atkins etc. I always put it on the same way.

If the Hangover will have a sequel?

If the value of a piece of art goes up if a flaw is revealed in the piece, i.e. artist error?

If I win any money in Las vegas if I will resist buying art from Goddard, my favorite artist (Oh My Goddard).

If I will spend a boatload on gambling stuff at the Poker Expo?

If I can get through the summer without someone in my family having a denatal or orthadontic emergency?

If football season can start already?

Happy Father's Day all.

Please comment add thoughts criticize per usal!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

What a Rush!!!

June 7, 2009

To the loyal Korny blog follwers -- it has been far too long between blogs!! In no particular order, here is your lengthy welcome back to Korny-land!!


Tiger. Greatest indivudal athlete currently playing in the world. Period. Kobe. An assasin. Is in the Jordan zone. I wish LeBron would have been here. Federer. Awesome. But for the psycho who attacked him. I missed much of tv this weekend.


As I have posted, my mom is a genuinely good person. Decent. Honest. Sincere. Selfless. Humble. Simple. So having 60 people from California, Florida, NJ, Pennsylvania, and all of her family, grandkids, friends there was just awesome. She had a tumultuous year, a bout with cancer (so far remission for almost a year ans she is well), and is the most deserving person of something like this in the world. She is tough to surprise, my father is a lunatic when it comes to planning, and was calling me and Dawn and my assistant Lillian 3x a day easy for 3 months! Anyway, the day goes off without a hitch, mom is surrounded by love, great toasts and speeches all around, great, voluminous food and for 4 hours, she was the center of the unvierse. As it should be far more often. Good vibes, good karma, good emotion. Lot of love.


Vegas, here I come!! All know of this development. I was fortunate enough to win a private winner-take-all tourney and represent that group of players at the Main Event. Dawn took a picture of the Registration form and my certified check which was mailed to the Rio Firday before my Vassar reunion. Dawn is scrapping the whole thing for me!! I am pumped.

I got super lucky that night, made some really good reads when I needed to and won most coin flip hands to prevail. This was one of my top "Bucket list" items so I intend to maximize it in all respects!! Cant wait! Under 30 days!! Will advise the FB world when I know when I am playing for sure.

All sounds-ins, advice, commentary, criticisms, superstitions wlecome. Amyone who wants to meet me ion Vegas to hang out let me know!!! Dawn is going to be away travelling so we will be in email/Ipod chatter!

More on this in future I promise!! I relish the idea of a Phil Hlemuth or Jesus Fegruson story! But regardless I intend to really soak in this possibly once in a lifetime Korny experience. All can come along for the ride.


So I drive up to Vassar for my 20th reunion. Yes its been 20 years. Yes I am this old. The time went into among other things: Brooklyn law school, engagement, Hawaii, law school graduation, St Marteen, judicial clerkship, marriage, Greece, Rogers & Wells, Forest Hills, spending money, Montreal, anniversaries, big birthdays, "The Master Plan," the change to "the Master Plan," trying for a baby, closing on a house, learning we were having Brett, having Brett, getting used to the CT commute, Valentines day second child conception success, having Dylan, switching to in-house, doulas, nannys, taking serious risk in the Internet world, misisng millions by 30 days, failing, being worse than broke, moving to fairfield, returning to private practice, two little boys, soccer, basketball, tae kwon doe, gymboree, little tikes gymnatstics, mucsic classes, play dates, 9-11, Ohio, Disney, travels, Paris, texas hold em, Vegas jaunts, super bowl parties, seeing friends succeed, Gore-Bush, Obama, Alaskan cruises, helicopter rides, dog sledding, surprise parties, ballooning weight, Weight Watchers, time shares, New Orleans, Carribean cruises, bar mitzvah planning and execution, travel sports, suburbia, increasing weight, making money, recession, tivo, the Internet, iphones, blackebrries, re-discovering old friends, Facebook, the Vassar Quarterly for the updates. And thousands of other things about which can be their own blog in days/weeks to come!

The world at large in a macro sense and the world in a self-centred Korny sense had undergone incredible things in 20 years.

The wave of emotions were simple for me though. I was psyched!! I had not been a participant in any prior reunion so I was really looking forward to it. Of course Friday its rainy.

Day starts off with a typical Korny moment which is in the lead-off position in the Vassar reunion piece of the blog:


The car wash man. I pull up at 8 o'clock thinking it might be nice to drive up to school in a spanking clean car. They are open. Nice guy says "I need 10 minutes." Even though the sign says "Open." Why exactly do people open their stores when they actually aren't ready to take money from customers? But put that rhetorcial question to the side. I am in good spirits no matter what so I say "sure" and Bruce pops on Satellite Radio E-Street Channel 10 belting out Jungleland. Another guy is there in full car wash attire with a baseball cap in a chair napping. I was wondering the message they are sending -- guy just got to work and he is already taking a nap break. But I digress. Anyway, the original guy, the crew leader, returns a few minutes later (less than the professed 10), I pull the car onto the tracks at his direction (badly -- I like whe nthey do it for you; if I wanted to be some sort of race car drvier . . . . ) and he greets me with a warm smile and inviting query: "What can I get for you today?" Having had nearly 10 minutes to ponder this, I actually was ready with my answer. I said" I would like the "Special Detail" you are advertising right when I pulled in on the big board." It was like 9 different things, wax, interior vacuum, special coatings, the works for 26 bucks. Seemed like great value. Not toady though. He replies "Sorry, we don't have that today." I said, "really, you are adertising it right there?" He says "yeah, but I am the only guy here, so we can't do that." I am perplexed by this statement because the guy with the cap and the nap is still there (so its two people there!). I say politely "what about that gentleman?" He says "he's not on yet?" I am thinking since when does the car wash have shifts and union dues. Did I miss a memo? Anyway, I say, "ok, what can I get?" The guy says now with a hint of attitude, "well I can wash the car." I immediately jump to sarcasm mode in my head thinking, well, yeah, this is a fg car wash, right? But I am my happy place, so I go charming Korny and gently say "will you do the interior too?" He says "No I can't do it all myself. And because of the possible rain in the forecast I don't know who is coming in to work today." I am literally listening to this thinking this could truly be the single dumbest customer service conversation in the history of recorded dialogue. I say defeatedly, and irritated, "ok, thanks. " And drive away. No car wash. Basically, I concluded the guy was annoyed I actually showed up to make him work, and pay them money. And thought his first question should not have been "what can I do for you today" but instead should have been "here's what I can't do for you today!" And I told my lovely wife Dawn who had directed me to this prize establishment that they are officially banned!

Anyway, after errands (dry cleaning, cleaning the crap out of the car myself, newspaper purchase, loading up the back, picking up my oldest who had gotten sick as I was about to leave for Vassar), I am on my way with mapquest directions and GPS wife-programmed. And I am pumped.


I get the best feeling as I apporach school. Warm memories. Places I have been to eat/drink. The Unos off 84, the Acropolis diner, Charlie Browns near the highway, Vassar Road, Mulligans the divest of Irish pubs about 4 miles from campus literally near nothing in middle of nowhere with the same sign from 1985. The ride is endless on Route 7 but smooth on 84. It is a torrential rain in spots and a light rain in others. But nothing is going to dampen the weekend due to having just won a seat at the World Series of Poker (CAUTONARTY NOTE -- all be forewarned -- every writing from now till I am eliminated will have shout ins about this monumental moment -- please deal and indulgence in advance much appreciated).

I come in the back side, to avoid the Main gate. And I pull up in to the circle. Now I plan to save lots of stuff for the Vassar Quarterly but a few tidbits will be blogged and some may make way into quarterly, thus for those who read both, apologies in advance. I am in great spirits. While Vassar did not satisfy the Div 1 sports bug I needed I loved school. I loved the campus, gorgeous, I loved the cliques of people, I loved the politics, the crazy radicals of all kinds, the openness of people's sexual preference, the smallness of it, the stories, the intellectuals, all of it. I made lifelong friends there, and knew many people from different walks of life. So pulling back on campus was a great feeling.


Ah, but some things never change. Parking -- limited is understatement but the nicely attired reunion helpers and security folk are all helpful I get to campus ahead of my designated partner-in-crime Ms Boyle, with whom I swapped half a dozen cell calls while in transit. She had some cell phone and other technical dramas and got behind schedule. I go to the Retreat, the campus eatery, and decide to get a sandwich.


Much to my chagrin, the "classic" the chicken on a bun, does not exist anymore. Only the healthy grilled kind. LET ME BE CLEAR -- I APPRECIATE THE HEALTHY PEOPLE AND THE NEED FOR HEALTHY OPTIONS . I GET IT. BUT LORD -- CANT THE GOOD SIMPLE THINGS IN LIFE BE LEFT ALONE? LIKE THE VASSAR CHICKEN ON A BUN? THE WENDY'S KIND, DEEP FRIED, WITH A SLAB OF CHEDDAR AND MAYBE SOME BACON? I MEAN, SERIOUSLY. (But do see the Kornfeld public pledge on future health -- so even if I wont be eating it for next 5 years I want a real Chicken on a bun for 25 th reunion).

I move on. I am hanging reading the papers taking it all in and call Dawn. I tell her at the Retreat and she says "what food places are in the retreat? " I said, not that is THE food place. She says "One food place?" I said "yes. honey small campus. Not Alabama." She laughs. As would I had I been her. I spared Dawn the nostalgia ofg the weekend as I think if I had to say to hundreds of people "this is my wife Dawn" she might have gotten bored. Plus, she had kid duty for Brett's hoops; I had similar duty last week when she was doing 5 days of scrap book camp in Nashville. Teamwork. Key to our marriage.

I am also reading the weekend program. Great job by the planning and reunion committee. And I am always thankful for the hard work and sweat equity of others. I laugh to myself thinking again that at Alabama reunion would involve kegs and slammers and sports and barbeques. But I think it very cool as there is something for everybody, including lots of lectures and just a whole lot of diverse, nice options available for everyone.

Noelle arrives and I am super psyched. My wing woman for the weekend.


We lived on Napolis pizza. Noelle and I had planned for 4 months to order some for lunch. But sadly, a father-son dispute kills the classic moment. Napolis is no more. Of course someone had posted on FB about this in recent months with the actual phone number and I missed it. But still, a sad moment. Hge bummer actually. It is sad when things that should live forver die.

Meanwhile, Brett is giving Dawn a hard time back in CT. Having been sick, he is now better and bored and desiring videos. Dawn insisting on more rest. I have been gone under 3 hours. But, Dawn prevails, Brett naps and all is well.

Noelle and I venture for a walk to CollegeView. Great pizza there. But HUGE HUGE SLICES. We split 4 when two would have done!! We top it off at Babycakes for desserts from heaven. All the while discussing my personal need to re-commit to healthy living, better choices, exercise, yoga (Noelle's passion) and possibly a detoxifying cleanse (which this body needs more than most on the planet!). Yes, this is ironic. Noelle has though definitely inspired me to re-evaluate my relationship with food. Starting Monday.

The good news is, that I am now after spending the weekend with old classmates, and some of the most beautiful people one could imagine, reaffirming publicly my committment to return to college weight. This public declaration should be held up by everyone anytime they see me straying from the righteous path. I am serious! I plan to be in real shape for 25th reunion!! I need the Korny universe of friends, family, FBers etc to help! Operation healthy lifestyle begins without exception tomorrow. All goals will be met within a year and maintained for the next 5 years so when I come to 25 I will be a beacon of good health! Make book. And thank you in advance to all those who have inspired this return to sanity and discipline!! The Dick Coes, Noelle Boyles, Claduia Sickingers, Jordan Turners, Heather Fowlers, Scott Buckinghmans, Jeff Poppers, Leslie Bishop Francos and so many more of the Vassar 20th reunion world! I am motivated.


Wouldn't be me if we didn't srop a boatload of acash in the Vassar store. Hoodies for me, Dawn and the boys, Sweats. A blanket. A baseball hat. T shirt. And thinkig they might not provide me a towel for the weekend a towel it turns out I did not need. All good.


Stayed in my old dorm. Cushing. Exactly the same. I mean the good of it, the bad of it, the ugly of it. Rooms are too small for one human let alone two. Pool room scary. I missed Kenny Hutman my quiet roomate from MCClean VA and awesome human. He was the topic of inquiry and remains something of a covert operative. I will get the skinny and report what is permissible! The Cushing lobby the site of many an ugly story (me killing the Hutman-Kornfeld goldfish) inadvertently (too much food) after freshman wine tasting, screaming fights with exes in the hallway in front of suite mates and their parents, to name but a few. Good to be college home. (As an aside there will eventually be Billy Weinberg update; thanks for reminding me Becky).

Walked by the same couch I sat on when the Challenger tragedy/explosion happened and when a man named Dan said watching a raw unknown kid say that MIke Tyson would be the heavyweight chap in less than two years (it took him one). The things one remembers.


The parade of classes awesome. People from the class of 1934. Best was the guy from the first ever gradutaing class which included males, legenday class of 1974 with his "Let's Hustle" t-shirt.

Awesome to see and catch up with so many. Too many to name in the blog. There is something about seeing familiar faces, old classmates, that is just cool. Best word for it. So many successful people, great family stories. Really nice.

The Vassar Devil. Appropriately named. For the non-Vassar readers, chocolate cake, thik, chewy, with Marshmallow, hot fudge sauces drowned on top with whip cream and side of ice cream.

Gorgeous Saturday, memorials to departed classmates, Sunset Hill, the THs, the new fields, the new sports pavillions, seeing intramural Roman, the Mug, sleeping in Cushing, seeing Steve the security guy. The little things.

Acropolis for breakfast. The best. Massive portions. 7 bucks.

80'S MUSIC. Enough said.

Idealistic Vassar kids (the ones who drove people around) talking about protesting budget cuts, asking the President to take a pay cut instead of firing other staff, protesting same-sex marriage opponents. Same old Vassar.

All of us "old" Alumni whining that the kids who came after us had it sooooooo much better! Kind of like the alumni before us said before us. But in our case, it was true!

Drinking beers in the dorm, woo-hoos (thanks James) and seeing/observing the social break-down among groups. People naturally gravitate to the clques from years past. Excellent sociology.

In short, since Wed, settled a case for a nice client, won a seat at the WSOP (did I mention that yet -- and I dont care if it gets annoying!), went back to Vassar, rec-committed to healthy living and celebrated my mons 70th in style (shout out to my beloved who is AWESOME -- helped make my moms party special -- did the flower arrangement, the table settings, the centerpieces, trhe cake decorations, the gorgeous sign in photo book, among so many other things). Life is AWESOME!!


Thinks it cool Anglea Landsbury won a Tony at 183?

Thinks Tiger is actually Michael Jordan with a club?

Roots aginst Kobe just because?

Hopes Papi Ortiz is not done even though it is sacreligious as a Yankee fan to say such things?

Thinks that losing weight at 41 is harder than gaining weight at 31?

Thinks teen sons look good in golf shirts?

Thinks that every cocktail hour at a party should include scallops wrapped in well done bacon?

Thinks that it was funny that his reunion name tag had the name "Korny" on it?

Thinks that it is ok to be excited that their kids are off to sleepaway camp in 20 days?

That's it for now. Again shout outs to all the Vasarites who made this a supremely special weekend for me.

Welcome comments gang.

Love -- Korny

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Blog -- restaurant, bathroom, movie review, a Daly tribute, a way to diet and save money, a Star-Trek rev iew and more!

MAY 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day all. Today's blog will be brief as we have a 3 pm "championship" basketball game for Brett, leaving at 2 or so.


Mother's Day excitement in Kornfeld land: And a 5-star bathroom!

Normally we have brunch with my mom, my sister-in-law Nancy out in LI. But Brett's AAU basketball season shows no mercy in scheduling as there are tournaments Mother's Day weekend, Memorial Day Weekend, Father's Day weekend. Chaos to be sure. Thus, we adapt on the fly.

Per usual, I shop late for Dawn, which usually inures to her benefit on the day in question.

A world record 8 cards are delivered between me and the boys. Pretty impressive showing by the Kornfeld men. I have learned not to try and have flowers delivered anymore and there is a nice florist who is opno n Mother's Day two minutes from house. I go for broad array with lots of colrs. The trip is marred by me stepping on a tack which goes through the bottom of my torn to shred have had forever sneakers. Unknown to me, the tack is literally in my foot until I take the sneaker home. Ouch! I survived and the sneakers hit the trash.

In addition to a nicely organized bouquet with lots of colrs and flower types, Dawn scores breakfast in bed of egg, spinach and mushroom on a bagel, half an everything bagel, a chai tea latte, a mothers day chorus of bad singing by the men, a chocolate chip coffee cake mini ciclualr muffin thing from Einsteins, she gets a ton of knick-knacky necklaces and bracelets and earrings from the boys who shppped for her during the cruise, a gift certificate for cosmetics to Sephora, a nice pink coat, hair scrunchies, earings from me and a water proff watch, simple lunch on the water (no brunch). Nice, quaint place in Norwalk. Of course in 5 years living in Norwalk never once did we go there! Anyway, caesra salad, stuffed shrimp and flourless cake does the trick for the guest of honor.

I get to take Brett and his buddy to their championship game today. Brett's team got clobbered by this same team yesterday so it is merciful of me to let Dawn off the hook. Dyland she are off see 17 Again, which Brett and I have seen.

The funniest part of the day today? Brett comes back from the men's room in the restaurant, and in true Kornfeld man fashion gives a men's room critique. "I have to give that bathroom my 5 star rating mom!" "Why?" Great jazz music, clean, big sink, strong water pressure, and smelled really nice. I couldn't make this up if I tried. Dawn and I start cracking up.

Food was good. Cold bread and hard butter is not the Kornfeld style but fresh. We prefer warm bread and soft butter. Having to ask for bread when the virgin olive oil is out and enticing from the get-go is a bit of a bummer. But they save the day as of course I forget to take back my credit card. The guy chases us down in parking lot (than Dawn for stopping to take water view pictures) and says, "he didn't have time to shop today." Funny.

But for the thumb tack in my foot and splling all the water from the vase and the kids leaving crums all over our bed, an excellent mothers day so far!


I hate sci-fi. I have said this. It is too much work for my pea of a brain. So you know Star-Trek must have been really good since I did not hate it. Don;t get me wrong, I didn't love it but I liked it enough and didnt fall asleep. It took Dawn to explain some stuff to me after the fact, and it gets a little hokey and jump-the-sharky for me, but its visually impressive, the way they do the characters as the prequel is excellent, there is some devlish irony, some random stuff which is funny, and it is super loud. For those who like The Enterprise, the tv show, the characters, the jounrey through space, the federation, the rom peopel, the vulcans, and great special effects, there is something for everybody. I mean it is still too complicated for people like me, and has too many I thin kthat was dumb moments but it is bold and goes where you would expect it to, so its a recommended go see from the non sci-fi guy.


Was saddened by the death of the Hall of Famer. Seemed like a regular guy. And anyone who could transform what amounted to essentially a bunch of punks into a cohesive tough championship squad deserves all props. Rodman, Isaaih, Lambieer Mahorn etc. Plus, being the coach of the Dream Team originals is pretty cool. RIP C Daly.


I could blog this for about a hundred years. Blame Boras, the league, the doctor, the team doctors, the fans, whoever. But Manny taking hormones and steroids and not knowing they might violate league rules, and costs himself 8m and the Dodgers 50 games is almost too comical to write about. He is as one paper put it "A Big Dope."

Palmiero, McGwire, Giambi at first, Boone at second, Tejada at short, Arod/Caminitii (rest in peace) at third, Sheff, Bonds, Sosa and now Manny in the outfield with plus Clemens. What a list.


Whether Sylar from Heroes and Spock from the new Star-Trek should play the romantic lead in a comedy with Meg Ryan to mix it up a little?

Whether Izzie is better off dying this week on Grey's rather than being married to Alex next season?

Whether Wrestling will have its own VKMTV channel soon (Vincent Kennedy McMahon) as the WWE now has 4 nights of programming on 4 separate channels (USA, MY 9, Sci-Fi and WGH Superstation). I have said for a long time that he could develop his own network with the shows he has, produces, a la the YESNetwrok. I say by 2011, this and the WWE Hall of Fame!

Whether when they schedule AAU tournaments the people in charge should make sure the teams are more competitive in terms of size and age?

Whether people at my 20 year reunion will recognize me now that I have gained a zillion pounds?

Why my business credit card people let my card expire without sending me a new one? What are they trying to say?

Why it took so long for the defense guy who ran the fly by in NY to resign?

Why the banks need more money but arent loaning any?

Whether I could lose 50 pounds if I had 3 months to focus on just that?

Whether I could do what my wife does all day, every day?

Whether other people countdown to sleepaway camp along with us?


Sunday, May 3, 2009

"You Can't be Serious"

MAY 3, 2009

So, did you have a weekend where you were really pumped would start, that ended up being insane in a no fg way, you cannot be serious (quote to Johnny Mac) kind of way? Well that was this weekend. It was to be fun and action packed -- Basketball AAU game Friday night for Brett, Hoops Saturday, parental visit, lunch, West Side story, more hoops, first game for me at new Yankee Stadium. But nothing ever comes easy. Call it Advertures in Kornfeld Land. Call it are you fg kidding me? Call it a day in the life/weekend.


So on Saturday Dawn and I get date night. West Side story on Broadway. Cool you say? Me too. Or so I thought.

We drive into the city. Brett has a 520 game in Bridgeport at the U of B Rec center. Game 2 of the weekend tournament. Brett's team blew out its Game 1 opponent Friday night. Brett's team is deep, athletic, committed defensively and on the glass. And Brett is the smallest kid on the sqaud. By a lot. Anyway, my parents are up to visit and watch him play. We grab a big lunch at Southport brewing where the food was solid and excellent service so the day seems so far so good. I had sncuk in my tivo of Rescue Me, am riveted by how cousin Jimmy really died (now that he shows up in video after Tower One falls and the psychic says he wants Tommy, DEnnis Leary to know how he died).

Of course the plan is for my dad to follow me in his car to U of B, we drop the kids off and then head to the city so he can then bring my youngest Dylan home after the first game. Brett had a late game but we do not want my dad, the single worst driver in the world when it comes to sense of direction (yes he passed it down to me) to have to drive in the dark.

My dad is also the single worst drivollwer (new word alert -- driving follower) in the world. He cannot keep up, is always 1000 yards behind. And I am doing under the speed limit. The subtle beginning of the aggravation!! I am cursing him out i nthe car every time I have to pull over to make sure he has re-located us!

Next up, Brett's game is delayed. The 15 year old women's game is long. Tons of whistles. And incredible. I have no rooting interest in either team but this one young woman keeps draining threes like she is JJ Reddick and so I start rooting for them. They are behind whole game and finally after some missed foul shots, her team actually ties the score at the buzzer on a controversial shot. It looked untimely but the refs counted the basket. So, in the meantime my impatient parents, sitting in uncomfortable seats are getting irritated. So too Dawn. As if it is a grand conspiracy of sorts! As a result Dawn and I do not get to see even a second of Brett's game.

But I digress. Dawn and I drive to the city. We find parking around 645. Small garage on 47th, which is fortuitous because the theatre is right near there. Or so we think. Plus we have a compact car and that's all they want so in theory no SUVs or biggies to worry about later. The cost is hit or miss but we are in good spirits.

The show starts at 8. We go to get the tickets. Aggravation Number 2. We go inside to "will call" to get the reserved seats but some obnoxious power tripping dude re-routes us, saying "the line to pick up tickets starts here." Of course what makes this great is that WE WERE ALREADY AT THE FG WINDOW AND THERE WAS NO ONE ELSE WAITING!!!!! I kid you not -- and this leads me to a recent rant -- "the power crazy." People who know you are waiting to get into an event but who keep the doors closed an extra few seconds or minutes to make you wait. Happened recently at our visit to WWE event. Show started at 81`5 but people want to get food, sounvenirs, situated and they say doors open at 715. But of course they didn't. They opened at 7:23. But I digress again.

So now we have our tickets and we do the NYC thing. As an aside there really is nothing like NYC. Last week on way to lunch about 3000 people were protesting budget cuts on 3rd Avenue. Broadway has a buzz around it like no other place. So we walk around a little, get the Big NYC Pretzel (we buy it thinking it is healthy, in actuality 660 calories). We kill time till 730. Now line is massive.

Aggravation Number 3 -- the Palace Theatre must be 150 years old. It is ancient. Cramped. The bar with snacks on the right, the hawking of stuff on the left. Patrons come down the middle. The theatre is 200 degrees. We grab a water for the show. And when we get to the front in typical Kornfeld fashion, the people in front of cause the ticket scanning maching to stop working, delaying our line. 2 other lines move fine.

Dawn is annoyed we are center but Row Y. Last row downstairs. She proceeds to lose her water. She is battling some sort of asthmatic brinchitis which she valiantly battles only to cough during the pauses where people are applauding. She is on inhaler thing 6 weeks after first going to doctors to find out what the h was wrong. This continues to bother me. Its no ones fault but she is suffering and it is painful and lousy.

We get in theatre. Poor couple on the aisle is married 60 years plus. Dawn is like my mom now and makes friends with strangers, seat nieghbors, food neighbors on the cruise etc.!! Sweet couple but the lady cannot move well due to a leg injury. Sweet as can be. But people could not move in and out.

Aggravation 4 -- THE SEATS!! Ok, the tie-in to obnesity is here. These seats were narrow. I mean crazy narrow. I mean like think of the worst seat on a dollar aiorplane and then multiple it by like a million. So getting in and out is nuts. I am overweight. But I have been fatter. And these seats were about as tight and uncomfrotable as it gets. The nice German couple next to me, of course bought 4 seats thinking they were all togehter. Seats 108-111. But of course they are not., In our section, odd numbers. To the right, even. Thus their kids sit on other side. Normally Dawn and I would have swapped to be good folk but by time these folks arrived and I understood what was happening show was about to start, I did not want to make the 60 years married couple move, and plus, the people i nfront of us were small so no obstructed views, whereas the kid seats across the way -- tall people!!

So, we have tight tight tight seats, very warm theatre, Dawn cough, unhappy neighbors to my left, chatty neighbors to Dawn's right. The show starts 4 minutes late. Why???

Aggravation 5 -- the Show. One of the greatest movies/shows ever, it simply doesn;t work in this day and age. Modern efforts to upgrade it, to put own unique spin, creation on it, lots of extra singning and dialogue in Spanish, people singing songs they didn;t sing, songs coming out of order, a song that has to be in English being solely in Spanish, and by and large a weak male cast, left me feeling that it was sweet, good, but ultimately unsatisying. I mean I dont want to spilt it for others but there are too many changes and at times it seemd like a college production. The woman who plays Anita is great, and Maria is talented too. But I found it choppy, haphazard and ultimately with the theatre sucking, the heat, etc, not great. Now of course this may also have been because I was preoccupied because while Bretts team won in front of my parents he only played 2 minutes. A disappointment for him and them, but part of Team and experience.

Aggravation 6 -- The parking garage. People i nfront of us cannot get service. No one speaks English and something that takes 3 minutes in theory takes 20 or so -- we cannot get someone to process our ticket.

Aggravation 7 -- So we are on west side, and we decide to connect to 95. I knew I should stay on Henry Hudson where there is nice scenery smooth ride. Instead, listening to my idiot GPS I connct to 95 which is insane traffic even at 11 pm. In meantime, I hear Brett got good minutes and his team won the third game of tournament.

Brett is now officially a man -- my dad, who used to wait for me in his robe or pajamas (usually downstairs in front of building till I had a chat with him, then on couch) to make sure I arrived home, did the same thing for Brett (coach had taken him out to celebrate with his son, one of Brett's buddies). Brett's team in the tournament finals Sunday.

The trip home takes an hour and 40 minutes, I am crabby and cranky and Dawn and I fight as I am an idiot for not trusting myself but instead listening to the annoying little voicebox from GPS which I want to strangle. We fight about height, doctors. her asthma, the traffic, high school basketball, shutting off the map on the car, shutting off the GPS, and pretty much everything else!!! I am insufferable due to traffic.

"Prepare to turn left." This is at 48th street when she wants me to turn left at 57th stret. Prepare to turn left 9 blocks early?? Huh?

All in all, the West Side Story date night was less than stellar. And what Dawn and I were wondering was how people go see this show i nwinter? Where to put your coats exactly in the Palace? I mean in the 16th centure when this theatre was built it must have been comfy because people way 125 pounds soaking wet. Now in our obesity-riddled nation, that theatre needs a renovation!!

Aggravation 8 -- I forgot to mention -- I turn on Celts-Bulls Game 7, which I miss, along with the Derby and the Paquio fight, in time to hear Stephon Marbury, a/k/a Starbury ice the game with two free throws. Proving there is no god in Kornfled-land.


So Friday was the vile scallops, being green, barely making Brett's game. Saturday was bad travel, traffic, overrated show, and everything else.

Today Brett is in the tournament finals. There is a noonish game. Dylan and I have Yankee tickets. Cap day. My first trip to the new Stadium. We decide to dial car it in. As we approach the highway Dylan remembers he has forgotten his camera. We decide to go without it. Its rainy, drizzly,. I am listening o weather and sports hoping for update. None. Dylan in his Johhny Damon jersey me in my Cooperstown legends Mantle one. Its cap day. We are pumped. Soon to change.

As we approach Exit 2 on the Deegen, early at 1030 (IM envisioning a sit down lunch at Hard Rock Cafe right there, cathing some infield, some batting practice and walking the new stadium) two cars have a spill or skirkimsh and our guy apparently couldn't stop and plows the car in front of him. Loud crash. Seatbelts around so no one gets hurt. But it is a "crunch" of sorts. The two woen jump out of car not mad at our guy but the other car who caused the first accident, Anyway, out guy's front is totalled. Literally. Hood destroyed.

Now what? Hang out for new car? Our guy gets his car to the right, no shoulder, and Dylan and I safely get out and get off the ramp/exit to 138th and Willis. And yes, then journey on foot to the new Stadium. 23 plus blocks and long long long streets to Grand Concourse. Dylan a warrior, My back/knee sore. And its raining. Nothing like a good car accident and a 2 and a ahlf mile walk to get you ready for a game!

And the Yankees string you along waiting to call the game. While at Stadium, Johnny Rockets, Borhter Jimmy's BBQ, hush puppies, brisket, waters, soads, CLub store for jeter jersey for Brett, burnett for dylan, a dimaggio legend for dawn and a hooded swetshirt for me. Plus of course the Garlic Fry spot. At 2 pm, the Yanks rai nthe game out. So yes, we drove from CT, got into a car accident, walked 2 plus miles to the Stadium, spent a zillion dollars, stuffed our faces. And didn;t get to see baseball. Oh, but for effect DYlan made me sit in our seats in the puring rain figuring maybe if we sat there the rain would stop!

In the meantime, Brett's team has won game 4 and I have been getting text update. He got major contribution minutes in this game and helped his team come from down 8 to up 6 in first half. They in a tight game by 6 and are i nthe championship game.

Dylan my warrior and overall great kid. Keeps optimism, says let;s rush home to Brett's game.

So we call for a car. Not the same service. Takes 35 minutes to get one (they said 15). BUT we dont get into any accident, the guy navigates the traffic, takes the sprain to 287 to 95 and its smooth nap inducing ride. We get to Brett's game in time for tip-off. And they WIN THE TITLE. His team is awesome. They run the table and go 5-0 in three days and we celebrate at Unos. I am fat and full and exhausted. (Brett of course per custom woke me this am an hour early for no reason b/c he was wired)

Traffic, a car acccident, excessive eating and spending, adventures, highs and lows, parental challenges (supporting brett and his team knowing he wishes he was playing more), Yankess, basketball, parents, and all that makes our lives, well us.

We are all ok. Crazy weekend. They give you caloric intake on food at Stadium which random public service annoncement.

More later! ("Am I the Only One . . . -- tomorrow)


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Grab Bag, NBA Musings, recent sports deaths, boxing, ice cream. Politics, and more

April 29, 2009

Today's "kenrel's" are old school rant in no particular order:

KERNEL 1 -- Game 4 -- Chicago-Boston. Both coaches try to lose the game. Doc succeeds. Celts down 3, Bulls allow Ray Allen arguably the best 3 point long range shooter the NBA has ever seen, and eventual Hall of Famer to get a wide open look to tie the game. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE EXACTLY??????? Double team him and then FOUL THE GUY WHO CATCHES THE IN-BOUNDS PASS!! Not to be out-done, in ot, Celts now up 3, commit worse sin. 9 seconds to go. The ball comes in to Salmons -- back to the basket -- the Celts wait for two picks to be set at the circle, Gordon goes deep, and then the hottest shooter in the league right now, Ben Gordon, our CT favorite son, gets a clean look at a 3 with Pierce flailing late at him. Here is an idea -- FOUL THE GUY WHO CATCHES THE BALL BEFORE HE CAN PASS IT. DO NOT ALLOW GORDON, WHO IS LIKE VINNIE FG MICROWAVE JOHNSON FROM THE BAD BOYS DAYS spot up for a game tieing and almost series altering 3! My lord -- how many times will I repeat this -- do not let a guy tie the game with a 3. Period. Cost Celts game 4, like it cost Calipari and Memphis national title. Has to be a way to track this -- how many times a team up 3 lost a game for not fouling versus how many times they lost it by fouling and weird stuff happening! This thing bugs me to no end -- and will now go in my coaches losing games rants.


In what is as The Sports Guy predicted a trtuly great perhaps legendary first round series, this one was incredible. The Celts had been badly outplayed. Doc could not find a working combination. The Celts down 11 in the 4th looked old and in disarray. Yet they grinded and clawed and fought and dug deep, way deep, and then deeper into the championship reserve tank. never underestimate the heart of a champion. Yes the Bulls are young and immature and that contributed but that was an old school defensive dig deep 4th quarter that allows them to likely now move on where I believe we will see the Big Ticket, KG, make his Willis Reed like heroic return to take on Superman and the Howard and Van Gundy led Magic.


I said last night in a sports bar, and poker, do we not think that the Hornets should think about firing Byron Scott immediately? Like today before Game 5? Full disclosure -- I love Byron. Huge fan. Had "onions" as Raftery says; was willing and able to take a big shot. The Lakers version with better skills than the Bulls Paxson, or the Celtics Ainge back in the day. Byron was a tough player. He took a lot of crap from the Lakers and Magic and Kareen who hazed him when he first joined them as he was replacing Debbie Allen's (of Fame lore and Felicia Rashad od Cosby lore's real-life sister) husband, the beloved Norm Nixon. B was fierce. He also led the Nets, yes, the Nets to two trips to the Finals and they have not been close since (yes Kidd helped but when you give coach criticism for the downfall should get some praise for the success). And he also let the Hornets to more than respectability with CP after all that the city of New Orleans endured. He has been Coach of the Year. he didn;t forget basketball overnight.

And with that said -- team is home to trying to even a series. They on paper have at least as much if not better talent than the opponent. George Karl while a coach I also like because he is tough, speaks his mind, and he was really tender in the Real Sports documentary featuring his son Koby who beat cancer (as did Karl himself twice), is not the greatest motivator historically, and Carmelo has not yet proven to be anything close to the leader like Kobe LeBron, a Duncan (get back to that in a moment), Jordan, Magic, KG, Bird, etc etc. and so with all that said how in the fg world did the Hornets lose by nearly 60 points?? That team has underachieved all season. But for one game, season on line arguably, this is how you lose? Its not like basbeall where sometimes the pitcher just doesnt have it and it all gets away. Or the other pitcher is just so good that try as you might you cant hit him. Basketball effort matters. Defense. Rebounding. Positioning. Heart. it actually takes a concerted effort to lose by this many points. Did the players actually quit? I mean what does quitting look like if not what happened the other night? Down 30 at the half, not even a token run? You cant fire all the players which is unfortunate, but on Scott's watch this happened. When they are eliminated I expect the owner to blow it all up. I mean that was beyond pitiful and that has to start and stop with the coach. It is one thing to lose, or get blown out but not to summon up an ounce of pride at home is inexcusable. They were humiliated. I mean anyone can be off, miss shots, but the lack of professionalism and committment is atrocious. I mean in recent days the Cowboys losing to division rivals, my beloved E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES by 6 touchdowns is a similar laydown, but sometimes in football that happens when its all or nothing; teams press, force stuff, nothing clicks and it steamrools. Often see it in Super Bowl. And the Boys were on the road. I mean bottom line, I dont want to blame Byron but he wont survive this.

On a lesser scale the once proud Pistons looked like they had little collective heart. Yet Michael Curry survived as does Lawrence Frank who is a seemingly smart hoops mind whose time also seemingly is up in NJ.


Wow. they looked old last night. And now Cuban looks like a mini-genius for replacing Avery with Carlisle. Mavs, who have far less taltent than teams that went to Finals or barely missed them in the 80s and then under Cuban outplayed, outcoached Pops. Spurs looked lost without Manu, and there was no combination that worked. All those role players that fit so beautifully during season looked like deers in the lights. Every time the Spurs looked like they had it in them to make an Alamo last stand and survie at home, the Mavs stepped on their necks. Say what you will but the often criticized Eric Dampier's public comments seemed to light a fire under the Mavs and he rose to the occasion. Tony Parker is off the charts but he missed a real wingman.


In addition, to the untimely passing of Marvin the Eraser Webster, another symbol of Knick futility, a hustle player, the fans embraced for his effort but not talent was Glen Gonderizick who died at 53 after a heart transplant. Gondo was fun to watch without any meaningful NBA talent. I remember wathcing hi mthinking here is an inpsiorational story of a guy who achieves because he works as hard as he can. In a woefully underreported story, former heavyweight champion Greg Page died at age 50 after 8 plus years with hideous medical problems too numerous and sad to recount. Real Sports did a great special on him ahwile back. Why this story didn't get more national sports coverage play is a disgrace. Page was severely brain damaged in a fight he had after his 40th birthday because he needed the money. It was insane then and now that he was licensed and is why regulation in boxing needs to be so dramatically re-done. A completely avoidable tragedy. Senator McCain's interest in this issue should rise again. This was a sad ending to a disgraceful chapeter in boxing and it a tragic reminder of what corruption in sports can result in within the underbelly of the sport. Like the NFL players fight for better retirment and wages, the same protections for boxers needs to be examined.


I admit it. I am at the age of 42, an ice cream snob. Growing up, there was Carvel on Union Turnpike in Queens, Baskin Robbins on the Boulevard, Mister Softee who would come up 84th drive, ring the bell and we would run downstairs, and the Good Humor Man at the Park in Briarwood. For each of their respective purposes, they would do. Mister Softee was my favorite because it had that funky thing it could do wit hthe chocolate dip on a cone. Carvel would do on the way home from Little League. Good humor at the Big Park would have some creative options which was ok. Mister Softee was the best for Root Beer floats, and Baskin Robbins would be the family ice cream. Pints to take home. Chocoloate chip. Rocky Road before my death nuts allergy.

So we go into Carvel the other day. Nicest day of the year so far. First, a la a trip to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, service, was dare I say a tad slow? A trianee with no supervision takes a shot at the biggest crowd of the season. I have the root beer float. Terrible. Cant actually describe it. Had no float taste. Was like combining two ingredients and not getting the blended taste. Kids had ice cream. Brett says no sprinkles and the thing is loaded not with the cute thin sprinkles but Carvel's fat wide sci fi type sprinkles. Dawn's peanut butter concoction was a weird composition. On balance a disappointment. Whats worse is the day before Brett ordered the "All Lovin, No Oven" Love it from Cold Stone, with a mix of Reeces Peanut Butter Cup and it is off the charts good, plus the guy does tricks in making it like the Hibachi guy at a good Japanese Hibachi spot. So Carvel really missed the boat for me the next day.

While the Ice Cream Cake Whale thingy for Fathers Day probably would still work, I think the only ice cream from my past that makes the grade still on the rare occasion is the Mister Softee truck. Otherwise, like Starbucks (I mean I could just order a regular cup of coffee as opposed to a fat, thin, foam, no foam, splenda, mocha, decaf soy iced, creation, right?) I sday spend the extra few bucks on the better ice cream. Or to quote Rob Lowe, a/k/a Sam Seaborn, "here's my idea, instead of buying these ships, don;t buy these ships, buty better ships. Spend the extra $11million dollars". In ice cream parlance, buy ther better ice cream -- not the old sachool, once was good enough ice cream. It is a treat after all. Find savings elsewhere -- go to the matinee, turn the lights off more, don;t run the air a few nights a week in favor of just opening the windows. But dont skimp on the ioce cream!


Ok, President Obama does a great job being accountable, and standing up and saying we made mistakes. Won't happen again. Go him. And President Bush before him would not likely have been so contrite. All a given. Here is my problem -- hypothetically, had this happened on his wacth, the media outcry would have been unrelenting, cries of profound insensitivity to NYC, victims of 9-11, the whole onslaught of criticsm. President Obama had a very limited cycle here and got the equivalent of a media pass. I think its fine that this story didnt take on a life of its own to the degree others would but anyone who doesnt thin kthere is a massive double standard here isn't watching. Personally, I have zero interest in "gotcha" President Obama. I do think it a a little scary that this was DOD. People want to be safe and secure in the knowledge that these folks won't make these mistakes.

And speaking of politics, the world will not end of course because a politician changed his spots. Specter's attempt to passd this off as he had reached the end of his rope with his party is comical. He thinks this gives him a better chance at survival politically. I always thought him an interesting political creature, with his expedient moderate positioning. But now, by being the impetus for the filibuster proof Democratic party he may get lots of support and financial backing from the White House and the Party. There was no epiphpany here. He did something politicians do. There was no honor in it. There was nothing philosophical about it as his own comments in recent months make clear. Anyway, his choice, but go easy on the nobility, please.


Who wonders how their kids can accumulate 3 weeks of laundry and nort be a little bother4ed when it is stacked 5 feet high?

Who thinks that Joe Girardi has a little too much Bobby Valentine in him without as much gravitas? He chose Ransom over Berroa at third. Ransom can't hit a lick. He chose Nady over Swisher to play everyday. Swisher has been arguably Yanks best hitter. He chose not to go with a long man and they needed one as they do every April. He chose Gardner over Melky and Gardner can't hit very well. It's the I always know more than conventional wisdom or average fan syndrome. Always have to tweak things to look smarter. He chose Jaba to start and Hughes to go to minors when by all accounts a healthy Hughes was always the better prized prospect and Jaba would be much better serving the team in the pen where he can let loose and blow guys away and shorten the game like he did two years ago. Plus, Ynaks have trouble stopping bleeding under Girardi. Torre's Yanks had lots of bad losses but rarely did they carry or linger or domino into a "thing." Girardi's Yankees do not show that resilliance as easily.

Who thinks the Mets are not really any better playing for manuel than they were playing for one of my boyhood heroes, Wille Randolph?

Who thinks it cool that Fox is showing Lie to Me and Idol over President Obama's third press conference the last few weeks?

Who wonders whether he would lose all of his dress socks if there were 4 washer dryers in the house?

Who likes to look at new house listings when the weather warms up?

Who thinks a 60-day detox program with no work in Canyon Ranch might do the trick for the never ending quest for better health and weight loss?

Who wonders why dental insurance doesn;t cover something like teeth pulls in advance of braces? I mean should insurance really be about the cleanings?

Who thinks it would be cool if someone could invent a way to rewind a song on the car radio upon you turning to it mid-song? The other day Sir-Mix-a-Lot was on 90s on 9 but we only cauth the last 1/4 of it and i was thinking if I had a magic button I could simply rewind it right there and hear it. A la a tivo like thing for the radio. These things pop in from time to time, please indulge me.

Who thinks the Eagles drafting another smallish receiver is not the answer? I trust Eagles judgment on personnel but if I see Edwards or Bouldin or Ocho Cinco traded to a team for lower value I will become annoyed.

Who wonders why Harrison Ford was cast in the Sabrina re-make? Kinnear was great as was Ford's mother (played by the wonderful actress who played Tony Soprano's mom) but Ford is sooo stiff in that movie. Ruined the chemistry.

And this leads me to an abbreviated list of people badly miscast from my work-in-progress Interactive Movie Madness book which I might finish one day in retiement. A top 5 teaser if you will:

Meg Ryan in the movie where she plays an alocholic married to Andy Garcia. When a Man Loves a Woman. I mean seriously who thought this was a good idea. I understand actors and actrsses desire to not be typecast but America's sweetehart (When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, Youv'e Got Mail, Innerspace, Joe Versus the Volcano . . . .) playing this reckless, insane, depressed, miserable drunk. Courtney Love (a la her role in the Larry Flint sotry with Woody Harreolson) perhaps, Anglina, Halle Berre a la her role with Billy Bob in her Oscar turn. Not Meg. This was well before her awful effort to be "dark" in the movie In the Cut.

Michael J Fox as the coked out guy who reads the NY Post in Bright Lights Big City (in addition to the crazy baby story, that movie gets all types of love because his sister in the movie is hard rocking Kornfeld loving JJ -- the legendary, I hate Myself for Loving You, one and only Joan Jett!). This is Alex Keaton everyone. The kid from the fun loving Back to the Future trilogy with Wacky Christopher Lloys. Teen Wolf. Teen Wolf on Coke? Really?

Michael J Fox as the soulful soldier who sticks up against the ruthless pillaging and raping platoonmate Sean Penn in Casualties of War. I can't fully describe in words how bad this casting was. because it is a war movie I am giving Fox two spots here. And the worst par tis I love him as an actor and person. But even the best are in the worng place.

And in the spirit of Michael J Fox, miscasting often occurs when someone thinks it a good idea to take really funny, legendary funny people and put them in a war movie. Not a sarcastic or ironic role. But a true solider or war movie. So making the teaser list -- Bill Murray in the Razor's Edge. I mean there were people who thought he desrerved critical acclaim for this movie. Not me. This is Stripes, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters legend. He simply cannot pull off this serious depressing role.

Obviously Kenau being cast in anything beyond the sophomoric comedies of Bill and Tedd or the sci fi stuff where his acting makes the movie campy, would qualify as miscast. And a random thought -- I am going to name the "Belushi" award in this category for those who actually overcome being so badly miscast.

Belushi was Animal House. There really is nothing else beyond that and SNL of course. he was funny and gross and beyond talented. And he was also in a movie called Continental Divide, which showed how talented he actually was. A loner who finds romance and love and plays it totally straight. There must have been a hubndred actors who would have been more logical and on paper he seems worse than Harrison Ford in Sabrina remake. But Belushi actually gives a charming wonderful performance. hence the Kornfeld-inspired "Belushi."

I have hundreds of these. Give me yours!

Who wonders whether weight wacthers should change the last name to weight trackers? Watchers has a stalker quality to it, no?

Who wonders why their son can't enjoy the movie unless he orders the hideous buttery worst thing in the world for you popcorn?

Who wonders why there is traffic in NYC at 1230 am leaving the city?

Who wonders if the diversity and cross section of the population that attends a live WWE event is unique in the world of sorts/entertainment?

Who wonders if loving thy neighbor might conflict with other commandments?

Who wonders if Robert Downey is the best actor of my generation?

Who wonders if his fantasy team has the stuff to go the distance?

Who wonders is his kids could survive the way he did growing up if it all got taken away?

Who thinks E-360 is really well done?

Who thinks someone should figure out to invent longer than 24 hours in a day in the life, more than 365 days in a year and how we can all live longer and healthier all the time? I would do the patent and IP work for that one pro bono although I susepct the inventor could afford the fees.

Happy Hump Day one and all.


Friday, April 24, 2009


April 24, 2009


So, the first week back from our cruise comes to an end. I did well in breaking the way too much to eat habits. I only ate 5 times a day instead of 10! Kidding. A little. Having gained 9 pounds since Brett's bar mitzvah, I lost 4 back this week just by eating normally. But have beeen unable to get to bed early. Next week, its back to disciplined sleep habits or bust! No more late night tivo, blogging, scrabbling, facebooking, chatting etc. Need more sleep to be sure!

Now, where was I in crusieland? More highlights, review style:


We played bingo one game. It was a B&O column game. We bought 18 cards for $55 (as opposed to 6 cards for $45 -- see, a "bargain"!). What made the experience truly interesting was that we didn't get actual cards. We got a handheld "bingo machine." Looked like some sort of ATM machine for your hand and it electronically tracked and gave you stats. A first. I kind of like finding the numbers myself and circling them. This is like auto-scoring in the bowling alley. Takes some getting used to for sure!

I have played bingo periodically over the last 35 years on random getaways. The Catskills. The corny place with the heart shaped beds Dawn and I like when the kids were in camp in Pennsylvain. Have never won. I mean literally ever. I am left wondering what I could have done with the bingo losses, the losing lottery tickets had I never played. College tuition? A nrew car? A trip around the world? Probably not. Presumably i would have lost that money in blackjack, poker etc! Anyway, Dawn I kid you not hits the first 7 "calls" and we immediately need only 3 for the Carribean cruise for 2 giveaway. But alas the Kornfeld kiss of death at bingo gene kicks right in o ntime. We go cold on the next 3 calls and on the 11th call some sheepish, 14- year old kid gets up one away, is roundly booed and on the 12th number hits the bingo! And is roundly booed then politely applauded by the 250 plus losers who apparently I poisoned with the dreaded bingo curse! They had bingo on the cruise at various times but we only played once. For the big enchalanda. That's like, we only play the lotto or megamillions when it is 150m or more, since at 100m it isnt worth our time! Speaking of which the funny little megamillionsman was on last night, over 150m, I will get our tickets later . . .


We walked through it a lot. It was pretty. Was only a tad smoky so not awful. It was the quickest way to the photos. Coincidence? I think not says the paranoid conspiracy theorist! Anyway, I played 100 bucks worth of blackjack, played two shoes and walked away with exactly 100 dollars. Pretty impressive! Interestingly, whereas in most casions there is always craps noise and action, onthe ship no one, literally, no one played craps. Blackjack and roulette. I also did not play the two texas hold em tounraments. They take up too much time theoretically but next cruise, I am playing.


3 comedians. One, Bobby Collins from NYC was hilarious. Another was being inadvertently hecklrd by a loud 2 year old girl who scream-laughed at every sentence the guy spoke. He couldn't even set up the joke without here from the balcony scream-laughing (new word alert -- scraughing). At first it was funny but after the third time people were literally glaring at the parents who brought their 2 year old to the 9 pm comedy show, and who would not stop talking so loud throughout it was actually distracting.

One production show ("Marquee") -- good not great (Broadway tribute). The funniest night -- Love and Marriage -- take off on the Newlywed Game. They chose a newlywed couple, whose combined age happened to be almost 180! The older man of course unbeknownst to the audience who selected them to participate could barely hear which inadvertently made the whole thing funny for the audience and nearly impossible for the cruise director. As an aside the cruise director was hilarious and energetic and distinctive in his own right that he actually made the shows fun on his own. Anyway, back to Love and Marriage -- they picked a couple from NC married 15 years (they were very funny and reminded you of one of the couple that would actually be on that game show! laughing, arguing, ribbing, etc.) and finally a couple married 50 years. That couple looked incredible! Tanned, rested, impeccably dressed. The man in this couple on stage looked like Hesch, the counsel/bookie for Tony Sporano (i.e. the actor now playing the chief on Rescue Me, or for a movie reference, the gentleman who courts Shirley McClain at the retirement home in the "classic" movie "In Her Shoes, which stars among others the legendary Cameron Diaz, the woman who is the lead on United States of Tara (and played Alice's obsession, Dana, the professional tennis player who dies a shocking and quick death during the L Word), and whose husband in In Her Shoes was played by the "good" Republican on Ways and Means during the Season 2 hearings into Bartlett's failure to disclose his MS, who helps Leo avoid having to publicly testify to his pre-election relapse in the hotel room while trying to raise last-minute money for Bartlett in flashback scenes . . . -- [This my friends is a true stream of cosnciousness entertainement filled references diversion from the original story!] The wife (back to the Love and Marriage thing) was polished. And they as a couple were adoreable. Questions about bra sizes, first dates, the first thing the man touches in the morning besides the alarm clock, movie that best describes their love life etc etc. Room was packed and it was howlingly funny! The poor Cruise Director couldnt help but laugh when the newlywed man, who was a ham, could barely hear a thing.

Throw in the human contortionist acrobat couple, more comedians, some magic (wea kfor me), and the evening entertainment was quite enjoyable. The Crusie director doing his Evolution of Dance imitation/rendtion was priceless. And should have made YouTube.

And of course, despite asking them every night the kids opted out of being with their folks after dinner. Every single night. They went to the Living Room, the Sports Court, did pajamas movie night, capture the flag, night clubbing, and other teen activities at Pharoh's Palace and The Crypt (adult club). Dawn and I had drinks all over the ship, outside the pub (who had a great bar singer who got audience participation in drinking songs), in the jazz club, etc. Live music all over the ship is a huge bonus. Creates a buzz. Fun. We didn't participate in the all ship parades, 70s night, etc. Not our thing even though it looked funny. We did go dancing one night ourselves briefly which was also a lot of fun.

We did Sports Trvia one night in advance of the show. Team Zen. We finished respectably. One funny note -- before the contest, the kids were "prepping" and they asked me the name of the 4 nba teams whose last name does not end in S. And wouldn't you know that the bonus trivia question was that exact one. Pretty incredible. P.S. For those curious -- Jazz, Heat, Thunder, Magic.

RCTV -- Royal Carribean TV -- hilarious. Got Foxnews, a CBS mixer channel, and 4 movies that played over 8 channels in 5 different languages (Iron Man in Portugues, French, Spanish for example), plus the cruise ship channels where you could watch the shows, the promenade entertainement, people walking by etc. Brett took a liking to Sean Hannity, which scared Dawn!


We had the Main Seating for Dinner at 6 pm, our waiter of course loved the boys and was exceptionally attentive, the bread and drink man (the kids did all you can drink soda package) performed little magic tricks, Dawn bought the chef's cookbook which the waiter had the executive chef, himself and the assistant waiters sign, etc. The food vascillated between ok, good, great and exceptional.

My pet peeve -- not enough sweet, chocolatey desserts that were NUT-FREE!!! I am hell bent on opening some sort of eatery which does not have nuts. Of any kind!! I only had dessert in the dining room once because the only non nut thing was usually cheesecake! I thought the lobster/shrimp night was outstanding. The bread was great as were the salads. Appetizers were usally very good. I thought the steaks/lamb were good not great. When I went a little off center the food was just ok. On balance very good. Over 6 meals exactly what you would expect. We had one nice dinner at the steak house on board Chops. Kids loved it. As did I. Nice presentation, service etc. of course, if memory serves, no dessert for me! Not that I need it.

Breakfasts -- we did dining room twice where we met other folk, we did buffet twice, did room service once. We also did the buffet lunch the first day on the ship. We also tried all the other goodies. Seemingly every snack in the coffee shop, burgers onion rings and shakes at johnny rockets, ben and jerrys, fresh feta and good pizza at sorrentos, daquiries, and fun drinks by the pools and so on and so forth.

All in a foodfest as expected.


Off the ship, to repeat hated Labadee (waste of money), barely anything really in Jamaica, modest shopping in Caymans, and awesome shopping in Cozamel. Kids bought tshirts, doodads, knick knacks, chatckes, or what Dawn and I used to affectionately refer to as completley useless objects. Moraccas, flute with name carved in it, stupid/funny t-shirts, hats, I bought a 3 Amigos sombrero (see the pisctures posted on facebook), we bought every hustler's picture request pretty much (these are super fun), baseball caps, Dawn bought great jewelry, sterling silver, etc. Whereas dawn and the kids like "negotiating" I find it tiring. Dawn does well in these barters. A master at work.

On the ship, we got a great necklace as a rememberance, some funks liquor chocolates, and many, many, many, many photos!


Ok, this is where we go nuts. Free champagne, raffles, plus looking at art. We have gone to two auctions and we love looking at galleries. I know nothing of art the way people who study do. I just like it. Anyway, we take leave of our senses here, but did buy two really beautiful pieces. We showed rerstraint not buying an original we loved, or the memerobilia art signatures of Ali and Frazier, in favor or true art. It was a lot of fun ans the lovely couple from Park West did a nice job. Of course then they call, slip stuff under the door every day. Once they hook you it is all over! We will need to make room in our ever shrinking house space.


Mentioned them in last blog. But to repeat, the whole snorkeling thing scared me. Made me literally sick. I simply couldnt get past it, started having all types of morbid thoughts and flashes. So staying on boat, lying in sun made more sense. I got wicked red the first day, played it safe on other days, laid out most of last day, came home with uneven burn/tan which faded nicely in time for this weekend's 80s plus! Kids look great. Plus the whole Flor Rider experience captured on video. Good stuff (even the falls, flops and head bops).

I am sure there is much much more I am forgetting. It was an action packed, fulsome, diverse trip. Exactly as it should have been. The kids loved it.

. . . . . .

But of course, it wouldnt be us if some sort of drama did not ensue. In addition to the random kid stuff, Brett being a witness to an assualt by an adult on the basketball court where he had to give a report (and track me down during love and marriage), Brett leaving us hilarious voicemail, sarcastically complaining one night that he couldnt reach us by phone or text (of course not our fault as at that time, no service), getting charged for a pay per view movie that never came on, getting charged an extra 40 bucks instead of discount price for the metabollism, stomach shrining detox treatment I did on last day (Dawn got roped in for all types of skin stuff for her relaxation stuff, whereas I smartly resisted spending 3 thousand dollars for a year-long algae detoxification program despite the excellent presentation by the nice therapist from South Africa), some other service issues, Dylan being overtired on occasion from too much action, not enough sleep, too much food, heat, long bus rides, me almost losing my wallet in the Dunns River Falls, Dawn getting wicked sun burn from her snorkeling/stingray experience, the kids getting a little too much in each others' faces in the room on occasion, brett hurting his finger playing air hockey (contact sport apparently) and sleeping away much of the last day from exhaustion, Dylan having trouble getting into the night club on last night, the downlight (new word alert) (as opposed to highlight) was the return trip. But not for the normal end of vacation, who wants to go home blues reasons one would expect.

No, no -- my son of course (he has my genes in there for some of the bad stuff) sadly, forgets, misplaces, loses his laptop either in Miami, on the plane, in LaGuardia at the pretzel place or the bathroom. He was rightly inconsoloable. Only realized it was missing at baggage claim. We spent an extra 90 minutes checking, rechecking the plane, our steps etc. As of today, no luck finidng. I wanted to be super mad, but since I can see that being me, and he was truly heartbroken, it served no purpose but to add flavor to the story of what it is like to be in our circle of drama!

A great trip, lousy return! In a nutshell. Future random tidbits as they come to me.


Who thinks there was a reason Detroit cut Sheffield? Put differently, he cant hit anymore and is huritng the Mest along wit hthe terrible rotation and alineup of nobodies. They will compete due to pen Santana and the 4 studs but note to Omar, this team is not built well enough to win yet.

Who thinks that the Susan Boyle story is the breath of fresh air desperately needed in a week of sick human tragedy?

Who thinks that Dunkin Donuts may be geeting (new word alert) Starbucked, in terms of food service? In other words, maybe they should just stick to donuts and coffee?

Who thinks the good weather may finally be here to stay?

Who is now a cruise travelling convert?

Happy weekend one and all!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


APRIL 21, 2009



Hey all. Needed a full day to recover before blogging our Carribean cruise. Off the charts good. I am suffering from Cruiselag. That is, the desire to eat 7 times a day, charge everything to a card, eat at midnight, shop relentlessly, lay in the sun, swim, not work. Jetlag without the exhaustion. Weening off life on a ship is no small feat! Trust me. The kids stomachs expanded and mine exponentially. Getting used to human portions, rain, commuting, being entertained, working etc is a whole decomprerssion experience for which someone should run a seminar!

The cruise was packed. The ship massive. Over 1400 kids alone. Our kids would have dinner with us and then would not be seen until close to the 1 am curfew. They too are suffering Cruiselag with the return to bedtimes more akin to that of a 13 and 11 year old.


I did not get seasick. And got progressively better as cruise went on. Last night at sea was rough. Biobands on wrist plus the patch. Kids were great as was Dawn.


5. The "Bread Man." At every dining room dinner, the bread man comes with rolls. Sour dough. Corn muffins. Rye. Banana. Poppy seeds (bite sized). Croissants. We had on average about 35 pieces of bread at every dinner! I was partial to the Wednesday banana bread -- the only night they had it. Poppy came in second. Negative? "The Bread Man" -- At every dining room dinner the nice assistant waiter would come by repeatedly with tons of rolls and we would happily oblige. This is not good for the waistline, the carb thing, etc etc.

4. Free Desserts. Every night without fail, after having stuffed our face with salad, bread, appetizers, entrees and the dessert of the night (as an aside cool dining room "stat" -- they served over 100,000 plated meals on the cruise to the more than 5000 people) we would be inspired to go to the coffee shop for a plate of additional treats. Lemon Poppee loaf, chocolate brownie, some chocolate thing I cant pronounce, etc. This was awesome. Negative? Every night after dinner we would after stuffing our face inevitably add a plate of desserts . . . . You get the picture.

3. Doubles -- two lobsters, two appetizers, two entress. The all you want mentality is cruising. Postive equals a negative!

2. Photomania -- Positive -- pictures by the multiple dozens. On the boat, off the boat, formal, casual, playful, with hats, in front of signs, with locals, without locals, in bars, in restaurants, in front of the ship, not in front of the ship. Mkaes incredible memories. The negative? Hundreds of photos, relentless, costs a zillion dollars, kids get whiney when forced to pose etc etc. This is far more of a positive than a negative when you choose the pcis each day to purchase for the scrapbook master of our domain, Dawn!!

1. Kids on their own -- Kids freedom meant adult time every night. Casino. Shows. Shopping. Walking. Art. Coffee. Etc. Negative? Really first time we "stayed up" waiting to see if our kids :made curfew" (1 am). Plus them being out later than us confirms the aging process. Positive equals a negative too!


Glcihes -- There were some gliches of course. For example, we set up a flo rider private lesson. The first day we tried, they said all booked. Next night we set it up for 745. Strategically planned. At 550 right befor eour dinner they cancel due to only the 2 boys. Being Father of the Year I agree to pay for 4 so the kids arent disappointed. Dylan was very sad when they cancelled. The ship handled that very poorly. They never said minimum of 4. And to do that but then say pay for 4 and we will do it, was poor client service. That said turned into huge positive. Kids had whole thing to themselves to boogy board and get surf lesson, and drew a massive crown opf onlookers who were supremely jealous. Plus the lesson giver was fun with them so it worked out well.

There was apparently an incident at the basketball court involving a rambunxious adult and some kids., Brett was a witness. The lack of ship personnel near the court at night was not great. Also, found it weird pool would be open 24 hours but never any staff there to supervise -- in essence, all at your own risk.

Labadee Haiti. Great beach but crazy crazy scorching hot. And the shopping was insane. The merchants who want to sell you boxes, masks, moraccas, engraved stuff, beads, whatever are not just relentless. It is charming to be huslted for about 2 minutes then it is just downright nuts. Artisans, flea market -- couldnt walk 5 steps without being attacked. After being mauled non-stop we surrendered. The best moment for me on this excursion? A one hour nap in the hammock on the beach after a cold beer. My personal least favorite stop. In fairness though the lunch and the show on the beach were fun. But the shopping ruined it for me.

Ocha Rios. This trip was jammed. Buses, tractors. Saw the Jamaican plantation, learned about sugar canes, pineapples, the histroy of Jamaica's independence, and the country's obsession with phrase "YeMon and "No Problem,." Lunch on that trip at a beautiful beach was also great, but the timing was compressed. The higjhlight was climbing the Dunns River Falls. Was actually scary. A little crazy. Got soaking wet. Almost lost my wallet (forgot to take it out of course). Took a near header at the end. Dawn hurt her Knee but we survied it. Was worth it. I was way out of comfort zone. Loved the plantation surprisingly and all in although very "busy" fun.

Caymans -- boat to middle of gorgeous water. Kids and Dawn snorkel and swim w stingrays in stingray city. I wimp out. Fear of the snorkel equipment, ear of drowning, pit in my stomach, not being comfortable breathing with the equipment, etc etc. I opt for the boat and some sun. Kids love it, we get in some good shopping after lunch at one of 10 greatest beaches.

Cozamel -- boat to ocean for 105 ft beneath the sea submarine dive. Very cool. Then drinking eating and funning in Cazamel. Great shopping. Three Amigos and Senor Frogs.

Amazing excursions.

Tomorrow -- bingo, art auction, sports court, sunburns, the pool, the Cruise Director, the shows, the ice cream, the food, the shopping, the room, the showers, the loss of the laptop, the itenerary daily, RCTV, Iron Man, Indian Jones, 21, different languages, our head waiter, service issues in and around us, the steak house, the illusoryness (new word) of the "seapass"


Wonders if he always has bad random luck (picking the wrong security line, picking the wrong lane at the toll, etc)?

Wonders if people who pay things with a card think they dont owe the money?

Wonders if the smell of Ben and Jerry's is the best smell in the world?

Wonders if he can ever have a piece of technology work at its most basic level

Wonders if Sean Hannity and Keith Olberman should get into the WWE in a Last Man Standing Steel Cage Match

Wonders if he should buy Senor Frogs and live on the beach?

Wonders if there is a recession based on the recent cruising experience and the fact that the Treasury hasnt spent all of the bail out money yet?

Wonders if the video was broken on that play in Yankee stadium?

Wonders how it is possible to lose only 3 pouns in 2 months working out eating healthy and getting sick but gaining 9 pounds in 14 days eating like the end was near?

More cruising musings tomorrow.