Friday, March 27, 2009


MARCH 26, 2009

So after 2 years, zillions of stresses, aggravations, wins, losses, dollars and more stresses (mostly for Dawn!), the bar mitzvah of Brett Adam Kornfeld is nearly upon us. And in the "miracles never cease" department all seem to be healthy for the first time in what seems like 2 years (really the last 6 days). Dawn is in last minute organizational mode, the weather is nice, Brett is relaxed and hungry already! We are hoping for great sunshine so cocktail hour can be outside too!

Dawn has in tribute done a herculean job here. Amazing doesn't begin to capture it. I have contributed in major spots and opined where necessary. But this was clearly her and Brett's show. And she has been great in every way. Even this week with viruses and madness and chaos and hundreds of calls, emails, vendors, changes and the usual planning issues she has maintained her sanity which if I am being honest is no small feat in planning an affair of this diverse magnitude especially since calm and Dawn are not always one in the same in the mos endearing of ways!

So props to my beloved. Miracles truly never cease.


Brought my shoes in Wednesday. The nice craftsman says "I'm working on it today come back in a few hours. So I do. And he says "sorry I didn't get to it. "Come back tomorrow morning. So I do. And when I arrive he says, "come back in an hour. I am working on them now. " So I come back today. Finally he delivers them to me. Hence, the third time is a charm.

What makes this story funny is that of course he took "cash in full in advance." I didn't mind. I like the shoe guy. He is in the tiniest corner of the strip mall in a storefront if that's what one would call it, the size, pardon the pun of a shoe box. He is an old school craftsman. Talent and pride in his craft. I like it.


Ok, I confess. I am a "crackberry" addict. I am super responsive. I live on the thing. I don't expect warp speed responses. (I got addicted working for a newspaper client who would email me at odd hours because he was up getting the paper out the door and he liked that I would be so responsive at that hour!). I really do not. I am tolerant by nature. But I hate when I know people have opened and read my eamil and consciously choose to say nothing! If I called and you pciked up you wouldn't just say nothing (and by the way I usually have called!). Today's pet peeve.

Irony of this -- this hasn't happened today. It just popped into my head. Hence the mini rant.


It is sacreligious to say out loud. I love Coach K. And I am a Duke guy so much more than a Carolina guy. Any kid would be better off having played for Coach K. But it is clear to me after watching Duke this season, that Duke is simply not getting the same level of student athlete for men's college hoops anymore. Coach K gets the most out of his kids, and the fact that they only last half a dozen games all season, including the two to NC was nothing short of incredible. Watching them get blown out last night confirmed what I said to a friend at ESPN a few weeks ago after they lost the ACC crown to NC on last day pre-ACC tounrament (I watched the second half of this game in sports bar Archie Moores -- incredible bar food -- with Dawn and the kids and had much fun -- random detour to my point) -- kids just aren't loving coming to Duke anymore for hoops to play for Coach K. And he looks tired. I mean really tired. It used to be his coaching and the mental touhness of his kids would combine with a few of the athletes and they would find ways to win and go deeper in the tournament. Coach K himself would be worth a win or two in the Big Dance. Not any more. The coaches and the players have not just caught up with Duke, but passed them by. While he is Duke basketball, and I truly love him, I think it may be time for him to pass the baton. Do not misread me -- Duke should not make this change. I think Coach K has nothing left to prove and should make this his last season. For his own sake. I just do not think they will ever get back to the mountain. Pains me to say.


Since I usually point out the bad servers, props to the gas station man. Irving's gas (yes, that is the name). The onwer himself, Irving, pumps the gas, checks your tires, is friednly and attentive. Personal, old school service. Well done.


How working outside makes work much nicer for those of us usually chained to a desk?

Whether his wife will be crushed now that shirtless, ab wrestler John 12 Round Cena is marrying his high school sweetehart?

If Bill Raftery should trademark the phrase "Onions" with some sort of logo (his signature line when a kid steps up and hits a clutch shot)?

If Isaiah Thomas really could get the Clipper job and take a franchise that truly can't be ruined and ruin it worse? If I could care any less about Madonna-Arod?

If Nancy Grace can make millions forever off "Tot Mom" or "Where is Caylee?" (the awful story of the poor little girl who was allegedly killed by her hard-partying, non-responsible mother)?

If Howard K. Stern would survive prison if convicted of contributing to Anna Nicole's death?

If OJ is losing his mind?

If the grass is really greener or is that just a dumb expression?

If Ryan should make Paula and Simon sit apart the way they separate kids who cause mischief in elementary or middle school?

Whether Taylor Hicks should just go away?

Whether Dawn and I can gear right back up for Dylan's bar mitzvah -- only 19-20 months away! 2010 here we come.

Will do the bar mitzvah play-by-play blog likely on Sunday. Enjoy the weekend one and all.


Thursday, March 26, 2009


MARCH 26, 2009

So two days before Brett's bar mitzvah, it is de ja vu all over again. Almost 30 years ago -- and two days before my bar mitzvah -- I was sick. I had a fever, flu like symptoms, stomach bug. Brett has a bad virus today. I mean what are the odds? Unlike me Brett does not have a nervous bone in his body and is totally non-chalant and cool about his very limited Torah reading. This is not nerves or a fear of public speaking which added to the excitement/chaos/controversy/memorableness (new word) of my big day. This is just simply bad luck.

Hopefully it will not be "de ja vu all over again" come Saturday since the ever-increasing "legend"of Brett's dad was that he and the Torah had a not-so pleasant experience that day in front of my parents, my friends, family (including my orthodox cantor rabbi grandfather) and the folks with whom my mother, the head of the PTA for the synagogue was friends, for an all-in total of about 300 people or so.

My arguably most embarassing moment ever also showed the true charatcer of my friends who were supportive and in the trenches with me, and who continue to rightfully make fun of and absue me about it all to this day -- a lesser man would never have recovered! So Brett will have my resolve to overcome:)

I am absolutely sure he will be fine but wouldn't it have been nice if we could have all been healthy without incident and drama, 200 family phone calls, six hundred emails, 17 bottles of lysol and soap, and frustration and screaming and aggravation and stress? I mean I love Dawn to death and more than words can express, but she has more stress than she needs when things are close to perfect! So I ask -- who exactly do you have to talk to around here to get some calm? And it certainly isn't god for those who were going to invoke the alleged almighty!

Anyway on to the "blog"


So still under the weather, but better than Brett and Dawn, I plow to the store to load up on chicken noodle soup, bread and liquids. I get home, and like those old tv commericals, all the soups drop right out from under the double plastic bags. Right on the driveway. I then, trying to get in the door, bang my left fist and knuckles into the doorway. For no particular reason. So on balance, so far so good today! Except for the fact that the house smells like a Lysol convention (assuming there would ever be such a thing as a Lyson product dmeonstration convention).


Really? The classic game 71 "who cares" game? Even Bill Simmons would have trouble caring about this one. All of a sudden the Knicks are beginning to resmble Isiaih's merry band of quitters and stiffs. Knicks might win 32-34 games this year and that will qualify as "progress." Insanity.


The boys and I cannot make it to Texas to see the Rattlesnake get inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame along with the Dragon Ricky Steamboat and a cast of others. But here are some predictions:

1. Cena wins the triple threat over the Big Show and Edge. Cena makes the 500 pounder tap out.

2. Orton beats The Game (HHH) in a classic. With outside help from Legacy.

3. Jeff Hardy over Matt Hardy in the Extreme rules brother versus brother grudge match.

4. Captain Charisma, Christian wins The Money in the Bank match.

5. Rey Mysterio defeats Wrestling God JBL to capture the Intercontinental match.

6. The Undertaker, the Phenom, the Man from the darkside defeats the showstopper Shawn Michaels to raise his undefeated streak at Wrestmemania to 17-0. He is my all-time favorite so I hope this one comes true.

7. Jehrico defeats legends Snuka, Piper, Stemaboat with Flair and Micky Rourke.

8. The Glamazon, Beth Phoenix wins the 25 woman DIVA Battle Royal and becomes Miss Wretlemania (although watch out for a swever involving 400 year old Mae Young).


Following up the prior top 10 non-cable shows list, here is the Korny top 10 cable shows (seires) of all time:

The Sopranos (even with the hideous ending), The Shield (off the charts psychotic and Vic Mackey one of the greatest characters ever written), Weeds (brilliant), Rescue Me (Dennis Leary while a tad edgy is incredible in thyis show -- he also stars in one of my favroite sleeper movies -- The Ref, starring him and Kevin Spacey), Oz (I only saw parts but was always blown away), Curb Your Enthusiasm (its a love-hate show -- people either love or hate him; I find it awesome because he makes everyone naturally uncomfortable if that makes any sense), The L Word (worse ending than the Sopranos), Six Feet Under (the best ending of a show ever) and Nip/Tuck (no way to describe it -- just have to watch it).

Honorable mentions -- in a bit of surprise Arliss (I think he is hilarious and though Sandra Oh was awesome even before her Grey's Anatomy days); Damages (plots are too convoulted but its a guilt pleasure and Glen Close is pretty much awesome in everything). First and 10 is off the list due to OJ. I was not a fan of The Wire which people loved, nor any of the "period piece" shows (Deadwood, e.g.). United States of Tara and Diary of a Call Girl are growing on me but not enough of a track record to qualify. I have in full disclosure not invested in Mad Men or Breaking Bad, two shows alleged to be better than some on my list.Lisa Kurdwo's short-lived cable show The Comeback never took hold. But her Friends compadre Courtney Cox would make my top 13 for the guilty pleasure "Dirt" because of the madness in which she played the role of Lucy and the schizophrenic character was one of the most interesting characters ever written.

Tell me yours.


Why I truly hate sneezing? The loss of control and the intensity in which I sneeze scares me. I hate it. Especially while driving.

Whether there is a really effective nose hair trimmer? I think they are all the same and don't work particularly well!

If they could survive today without high definition, the micro wave, the Internet, the remote control, cable, computers, laser printers, high-speed, navigational systems in cars (GPS), tivo, direct tv's football package, dvds, car dvds, caller id, cable televison channels. pay-per-view, espn, hybrids, iphones, cell phones and most of the technological pop culture advances/inventions of this century and the 1980s-90s? Many of us grew up without such things. My point I suppose is how quick the world changes, and how quickly we take it all for granted.

What would the world be like without the space program? I understand the employment point and the discovery concept but I do often wonder if we on earth would have been better served without such investments the last 30 years, and whether someone could explain to the regular guy how space exploration has in fact helped them, the last 25 years.

And finally, how is it possible that the obnxious, cute little teen age girl little girl from My Father, The Hero is now dying of a brian tumor as Izzy on Grey's Anatomy?

P.S. It is a terrible movie, stupid, overly sappy, strained, and asenine. Yet this week while sick I must have watched The Holiday with Queen Latifah and LL Cool J like 4 times on TBS (the one where she is misdiagnosed with some fictitious brai ndisease, given 3 weeks to leave and flies to Prague to blow her moeny and go base jump diving with an ultra-competitive and horribly miscast Timothy Hutton). I just thought people would want to know this.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


MARCH 25, 2009:

So I have been under the weather the last three days or so. With who knows what. Virus, infection, combination of ailments, bacterial thing. All I know is it sucks to be sick and I need to vent!

Between anti-bacterial soap, lysol, bad tv, lack of good movies, a dull in the NCAA tourney, I feel like a prisoner of sorts! Hence, I emerge from my cell with some random observations:


Beginning to rank with Starbucks on the "all-irritation store's" list. Does not matter when I go in there, or which store I visit, they are always understaffed by a factor of 2. The line for people to but toiletries, a paper, or small items, takes FOREVER. It is part of their charm I suppose. There could be 2 people on line, and only one person working register and it takes 15 minutes. The worst part is there are 3 other people in the store jabbering, hanging by the photo area which seemingly never has a customer. It has gotten so bad I try to pay for my non medicinal items back by the pharmacy. The problem with that is not that they aren't nice, they are; it's that they don't know what anything costs so they do the "need a price on toothpaste, boxers and cologne -- and Jimmy please hurry this guy obviously has a big night planned!"

Adding to my newfound focus on this oddity is that sometimes I go there to pick up diet soda. Like a 12-pack of diet A&W or caffeine free sodas like coke or sprite. Cool idea because unlike the CT supermarkets, they usally have the soda in CVS. The problem? Whichever soda I pick, in whichever store, the first box, is always torn like a rabid dog had just been let loose. So I am wondering can I buy a 12 pack of soda that looks like it has been in a junkyard dog streetfight? I mean even if the box is tampered with, its not like the evildoer actually poisoned my soda right? Right?

In short, CVS is the newest member of "AIS (my new acronym for "All Irritation Store".


So I decide enough is enough. I need fresh air. Its beautiful out, I have been cooped up for a few days. And I have some things I need to do, even if I have some yet-to-be-defined ailment whch requires fluids, rests and 200 family phone calls asking me how I am feeling and am I taking care of myself because you know its "brett's bar mitzvah Saturday." Yes, I didn;t know that, thanks for reminding me. Definitely would have missed that one but for everyone's calls.

Anyway, I go out to get a haircut. The place is 2 minutes from my house, opens at 10. And has a big inviting sign in the window that says "Walk-ins Welcome." I suppose "welcome" means different things to different people. I get there at 1010 am. The palce has just opened and the nice woman who has done my hair a few times, says somewhat annoyed -- "I am really busy today. Give me your cell and I will call you and you can come over." Presumptuous that (i) I have all day to wait for a haircut; (ii) I apparently don't have a job to her (she doesn't know I am off from work) and (iii) the sign is a lie. I say nicvely -- how about I pick a time this afternoon. She say's 3 o'clock. Now mind you, while we are having this conversation there is literally NO ONE else i nthe store and she likely could have been halfway done by the time we stopped chatting, she entered my new appoinemnt, etc. The old walk-ins bait and switch we will now call this.

Ah, but let's not pick solely on the haircut establishment. I go to the tiny little "shoe shine and shoe repair" store. It is located in a tiny little box in a corner of a strip mall next to our overproced supermarket not stop-n-shop, shaws (to its credit, it is a lovely well-organized store with excellent healthy food and easy to locate stuff). I go to walk in and the door is locked (kind of like the way a jewelry store with expensive stuff is -- you know they are in there but you need the special code and approvals to actually go in and look at stuff). I find it odd. Lights are on but literally no one in there. Sign says open. I check the hours. 930-5. Its 10:15 so I am in the wondow of opportunity. But underneath the "Open" shoe in the window (seriously) there is a scribbled note -- "be back in fifteen minutes." The guy has been open for under an hour and he is already making a Dunkin Donuts run? I am beginning to wonder if Dawn spraying me with Lysol and the anti-bacterial soap is the way to go.

But I press on -- to the Lab. Yes, the place where they draw your blood. The doctor yesterday who tested me for strep says if you don;t feel 100% in the morning to be safe go have blood drawn. He says "no harm in checking it all out." Says him! Anyway, since I havent felt 100% since I played high school basketball 25 years ago, I decided with a cruise coming up in April might as well confirm what I don't have! So since the haircut is now in the pm, I am not hungry and the shoe man is who know's where I will go. I get there and go to the window. A nice lady on some sort of mini scooter is at the window trying to fiure out the mistake they made with her blood. Very re-assuring. Anyway, of course only one person working the window, and this little exchange takes about 12-15 minutes. The woman could not be nicer even though the guy working is not much help. Anyway, I get to the window with my sheet from yesterday's doctor and he says -- "do you have an appointment?" I say, the DR yesterday said I should come in today. He says "ok, grab a number" and we will call you. There are about a dozen people in the wiating room. I am number 42. They are at 36. Ok. Passing the time I notice that the blood lab is a veritable melting pot of humanity -- 6 women, 6 men, 2 kids, 1 boy, 1 girl boty young. 2 elderly folks with a crutch of some sort, women with gray hair, colored hair. An asian man, a woman who says to someone else she and her daughter are from puerto rico, an african american. My mind taking note of nonsense while passing the time on my crackberry and reading the NY Times someone was kind enough to leave on a chair.

The minutes drip along like a faulty faucet. Finally, Number 42. Ah, but a false alarm. He wants my info, but then he will call my name. Close but yet so far. I kind you not, it takes them an hour to draw my blood. No real explanantion for the delay other than like CVS, only one person seems to be doing all the work. Walk-ins not really welcome here even though they say it too.

So despite going out at 10 am little accomplished in 2 hours. Now back tothe shoe man. He is quick and to the point. And of course, like most of the vendors with whom I have been dealing lately wants to be paid in cash -- up front. Wow, if lawyers could get paid like that . . . . Yes the man who is putting on a new heel and new sole with a shine needs to be paid in cash in advance.

Cash is definitely making a comeback. The Cow Deli -- cash only. The shoe man. The bar mitzvah vendors (s0me). The recent Italian restaurant we went to in the city (that was worth it though!).

The hihglight of the morning -- drive-through McDonalds for two plain grilled chicken sandwiches. Took under 3 minutes and was piping hot, and under 10 bucks.


So I get in car the other day with Dawn. On the floor in the passenger seat, are Dawn's knee pads. I go to put them in the back seat so I don't step on them. I say these do not really belong here (jokingly). Dawn without missingt a beat says something to the effect of -- "they belong there more than you do hon!" Truly a "you had to be there" moment. I will look for one of these a week.


I realize President Obama inherited hellish situation caused by the prior adminsitration and the Democratic Congress the last two years who did nothing but let things run amok (yes, it was not all President Bush's fault, and this Congress was not only asleep at the switch but aided and abetted this circumstance in too many ways to blog). I think he is well intentioned, principled, energized and smart. But isn't it time the media stopped asking him softballs and pressed for real answers? The President did not have his best night last night, and in fact has been a little off his game in recent appearances on Leno, 60 Minutes and during the questions and answers last night. Yet very few real questions were asked. The current budget he proposed does NOT reduce the deficit for generations to come. It explodes it further. It passes on trillions and trillions more in debt. And no real questions about how that gets reconciled. No follow up to the President's tap-dancing about how he now will not force a middle class tax cut or cap and trade. Huge campaign promises he made. Not one question asked last night (i.e. he didn't call on) any financial organizations (like Wall Street Jounral or NY Times even). Explain where all the money is coming from to pay for these programs with all the money committed to bail outs. What specifically is being "cut" from the line-by-line review of the $2t in "waste" etc. The President is doing his best. The media -- not even close. The love affair should be over now. Do your jobs.


Is bad sense of direction genetic? Isn't all food comfort food? Whether pills you take for strep, allergies, stomach aches, meet in your intestines and get confused on which one is supposed to do what? If The Mentalist has already jumped the shark? If they can re-do 90210 and Melrose Place, why not West Wing and Seinfeld? Especially Seinfeld where they could come back wothout missing a beat since show was about nothing. If Vice President Joe Biden is actually in the United States? If the NCAA tournament should be expanded to include 256 teams? If the best is yet to come or already happened? If there is anyone with the conviction to say stop -- we can't have a copycat of worst ever reality show True Beauty (check out Pretty Wicked on Oxygen now -- steals the premise -- contestants being judged on their "inner beauty" without them knowing it!)?

More later.

And please so weigh on on your favorite tv shows, favorite characters and own "had to be there moments."

Monday, March 23, 2009


MARCH 23, 2009

So yesterday I was too sick to blog, sadly. Dawn, with a week to go until Brett's bar mitzvah put me on lock down. I spent all day in my bedroom. Sleep, college hoops, sleep, crackers, powerade, sleep, and then finally some grilled chicken! Never thought I would love a plan grilled chicken (no mayo) from McDonald's sooo much! Anyway, Saturday night was about the sickest I have felt in a pretty long time; combination of way too much food, bad Chinse food and some sort of viral bug conspired to take me down. As a result I was pretty useless yesterday.

Today, I am still under the weather (weak) but feeling 100% better, resting, etc. There is full scale defcon 4 alert for Bretts bar mitzvah (as in no one is allowed to be sick!). Of course when I did my bar mitzvah a few hundred years a go I was sick and it wasn;t pretty . . . !!!!

Anyway, a quick blog before I return to bed:


Forgot this one last week. I was in the gym. And weirdly a healthy food company of sorts was setting up to have hot plate tastings of food right there in the gym. Seemed nice enough. Except -- when I am about to leave the locker room and work out I see the guy with the tray for the hot plate that they warm coming out of the bathroom with the tray full of water. I kid you not, they were using the bathroom water from the locker room to assist in the preparation of the health food they wanted people to taste after working out. Like I said, you cannot make this stuff up.


The best part of being sick is having the chance to lay in bed and watch West Wing. Today's classic -- Let Bartlett be Bartlett. Leo has more good lines in an episode than most characters ever have before cancellation. "A man stands up". "I serve at the pleasure of the President." Our ground game isn't working so we are going to put the ball in the air." Democrat or Republican, this show was so smart, so cool so amazing I could watch it every day. Whereas for many years my all-time favorite tv show was Hill Street Blues (and may still be), with the passage of time, West Wing is rallying. Korny's all-time top 10 tv (non-cable) shows:

Hill Street, West Wing, NYPD Blue, Cheers, Soap (ahead of its time and cancelled way too soon), The Odd Couple, LA Law (although fading with the passage of time), Seinfeld, Night Court, and The Cosby Show. I was not a Lou Grant or Mary Tyler Moore fan but understand those who might go that way. Shows like ER, Grey'Anatomy fall outside.

Favorite tv characters of all time:

Leo (West Wing), Captain Furillo (aka Pizza Man, Hill Street), Belker (Hill Street), Sipowicz (NYPD Blue), Roz (LA Law), Charlie (West Wing), Oscar (Odd Couple), Elaine (Seinfeld), Costanza (Seinfeld), Bull (Night Court).

Cable shows tomorrow.


Am I the only one who wonders if we will survive the bar mitzvah? Am I the only one who wonders where all the change is? Am I the only one who hates being the feeble sick man? Am I the only one who thinks Lie to Me is a little too scary if true? Am I the only one who wonders if you can go blind reading FB now? Am I the only one who thinks suburban sports do not get the idea of sport? Am I the only one who thinks that the Sunday morning shows are not the same without Russert? Am I the only one who thinks it cool that Donovan McNabb sent my son an autogrpahed football card turning him down on his invite to the bar mitzvah?

More later -- if I am awake! All ciomments welcome! Starting next week, all types of lists will be generated for discourse. ENJOY!! -- KORNY