Category Archives: Kaiser’s Korner

my favorite music essay

Here’s the scene: It’s April and the Rosado family is deciding on summer plans.

“How about the Caribbean? We could visit family and save some money.”

A trip like that always sounds great during the planning stage but in practice, things invariably end in tears. Next…

“DISNEY WORLD! DISNEY WORLD! DISNEY WORLD!”

Hot as Hades in the summer, insanely expensive and infested with terrifying mute effigies of cartoon characters that lumber around the parks like zombies barely able to hold up their giant heads.

It’s the eyes that haunt you. Dead and soulless, like sharks. I’ll pass…

“Let’s go camping!”

If you’ve stumbled across this blog thinking it’s a lad-site, looking for a bit of bawdiness, you’re probably unfamiliar with El Kaiser (that’s me) and his kin. We are urbanites, tried and true. The suburbs are unsettling and “the great outdoors” are no different to us than an alien planet.

I’m a city boy. My wife is a city girl, born and raised. My children are infinitely more comfortable navigating around cracks in the asphalt than they are scampering over rocks and tree roots.

The last place you’d expect to find us is spending any of our precious vacation time jammed into a nylon wigwam like some sort of snack-pack for bears.

Of course, that’s exactly what we decide to do.

The plan is to rendezvous with friends who are more experienced in such things. They live in Brooklyn, which for this Bronx boy and my Manhattanite wife gives them instant camping cred.

Brooklyn has always been the boonies as far as we’re concerned.

A date is agreed upon in early July and we excitedly trek over to one of those outdoorsy chain stores that sell impossibly macho gear I could never hope to master.

Mrs. Pink and I are promptly taken for the noobs we are and upsold on all manner of geegaws and doodads that the salespeople assure us are critical for braving the terrors that await us in the Catskill mountain region of New York State.

The pièce de résistance of our spree is a tent suitable for six adults that features a garage and a sitting area.

This may sound like a total exaggeration for comic effect — but you’d be wrong. The thing is yuuuuge. It could easily rent for $3K per month in NYC.

Right about now a tale like this would usually start detailing a litany of the mishaps and humiliations we suffered. There would be some humorous and occasionally painfully recognizable aspects for the reader about how badly Mother Nature bested us city slickers.

But guess what? Despite half the crap we brought along being completely unnecessary and our fear of bear attacks and bug-borne diseases unnecessary, the truth of it is we did pretty damn well out there!

About the worse thing that happened was learning that retro low-top suede basketball sneakers are not appropriate footwear for a nature hike and my young son announcing, at full volume and unprompted, that I liked to look at “naked women in bathtubs filled with dirty water.”

The awkward silence that descended around the toasty campfire after that one felt like it lasted an eternity.

Now before you go calling the authorities on me, this is the photo in question.

It was part of a spread featuring the ageless and beautiful actress Helen Mirren that appeared in a New York magazine issue I happened to be flipping through one night.

Apparently young Master Pink snuck a peek over my shoulder:

Hey would you look at that lad-site seekers, you get a little skin after all!

Inspired by our successful Independence Week adventure, later this summer me and the fam are hitting the road again to visit multiple campsites as we make our way to South Carolina.

Swapping the tent garage and sneakers for a tarp, a hatchet and a pair of size 12 hiking boots is first on the list before we head out.

City slickers, my ass…

Related:

Belching and Wet Spots: The Boys Scouts This Ain’t

Camping in the Catskills: A Trip to Remember

Beer and Rain Make for a Memorable Camping Trip

Adam West Saved My Life

That headline is not just clickbait my fine-feathered friends. Actor and professional handsome guy, Adam West, really did save this humble podcaster’s life.

As all of you reading this undoubtedly know, Mr. West played the title character in the superhero TV classic Batman which was first broadcast in the U.S. on the ABC television network in 1966.

The show was campy, ridiculous and a riot of primary colors (a fact I only realized much later in life since my family only had a black and white set) but as a kid, it was a half-hour escape from the realities of growing up in the South Bronx of the 1970s.

Now don’t go feeling bad for me, life was tough but there was hope. My family did their best to shield me from danger but I had to find my own way of dealing with those “mean streets”.

Imagination, fueled by Mr. West’s bat-shit crazy interpretation of the world’s greatest detective, became my weapon of choice.

Batman was both an escape and a coping mechanism for dealing with the devastation in the Bronx brought on by fires, drugs, and crime – the effects of which were clearly visible to even very young kids like myself.

I spent hours plotting elaborate scenarios where Adam West in his spandex, cape and cowl swooped in to defeat the gangs that frequently settled their beefs with guns and knives outside our first floor windows.

I was tired of having to hide behind furniture in hopes of avoiding a stray bullet listening to my mother and grandmother plead with my granddad not go outside. The man was huge and an ex-boxer who could beat the snot out of the gang-bangers with his fists, but he couldn’t stop a bullet or a knife.

But Batman could!

In my imagination, Batman would say to my abuelo in perfect Spanish, “Thank you citizen of Gotham for your bravery and courage but Robin and I will deal with the Savage Skulls and the Black Spades today!”

The Dynamic duo would then crash through the windows of our apartment, stopping to assure us that they would pay for the damage, and proceed to beat down both gangs. The music would swell and the fight graphics would fly, many with tildes and upside down exclamation points.

After vanquishing the street thugs, Mr. West as Bruce Wayne (wearing an ascot of course) would cut the ceremonial ribbon at the opening of a new playground or building built with his millions in the rubble-strewn lots that were dotting my neighborhood with increasing frequency.

Bruce and Dick Grayson (Burt Ward, natch) would then join the dads in a game of stickball and pound back a few Rheingold’s and cuchifritos.  The moms giggled about the handsome Mr. Wayne and made excuses to saunter by the men in their kitten heels, swinging their hips with just a little more enthusiasm than usual.

These fantasies helped ignite my love of comic books, which then fostered my love of books and of storytelling in general. New worlds opened up at school for me, keeping me off the streets. Watching reruns of Batman, reading or creating elaborate flights of fancy with my toys at home kept me safe.

And alive.

I always meant to thank him in person, at a comic book convention or in an interview for one of my shows, but kept putting it off. Sadly, I’ll never get that chance. The best I can do now is to thank him here and hope he gets the vibe wherever his soul may be residing.

My eternal gratitude to you for saving my life, Adam West. You were there for me as Batman when I needed you most and helped show me a different path. This is the first time in my life I’ve quoted Bob Dylan but it fits perfectly:

“I’ll remember you. When I’ve forgotten all the rest. You to me were true. “

Locked and Loaded

I busted Father John’s chops for not wanting to join the rest of us at the shooting range. He took it in stride — as he always has — and just casually lit up his cigarette with the air of a man who’s heard it all before. You see, John dislikes guns and he wasn’t going to fire one. I had never fired a weapon until that day and the experience left me shaken. Halfway through, I wanted to just get the hell out of there. It was clear that our moral compass had the right idea.

On this episode, Chris and I talk guns and how our perspective on them changed one rainy afternoon in rural Pennsylvania.

No More Excuses, It’s Time to Get Healthy

Longtime listeners of the podcast know that getting the entire AMR Posse to reach a consensus on anything is quite the achievement so this episode may come as a shock.

Father John, Coach Silvio, SuperDad, Mele Mel along with yours truly, El Kaiser, have unanimously agreed that getting healthy should be our top priority for the rest of the year.

The ravages of middle-age and busy lives have taken their toll but to paraphrase the manliest-man of all, our lord and savior Popeye:

We can’t stands no more!

The challenge to get into shape by 2017 has officially been thrown down and we will document our progress—or lack thereof—with regular posts on the blog at aboutmenradio.com.

Take a listen to what is motivating us and please send us your tips on how best to reach our goals or, better yet, join us in our quest for health.

It won’t be easy but you know the journey will be snarky good fun.

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Some Marriages Age Like Fine Wine, Others Turn to Vinegar

Don’t be fooled by the seemingly negative title of this week’s episode. We are celebrating the bonds of wedlock, not tearing them down.

All of the posse members have jumped the broom, with varying degrees of success, and during our recent summit at the AMR Central Florida Command Center, we had a frank and probing discussion about what made our marriages work.

And what didn’t.

Of course we endlessly busted each other’s stones (because that is what guys do when they deal with anything even remotely emotional) and managed to have a little fun, despite the seriousness of the topic.

Sit back and listen to how a couple of Bronx boys deal with the vagaries of marriage.

In Defense of Cosmo

I confess.

Seeing the new issue of The New Yorker, crumpled up and stuffed into my mailbox each week, never fails to give me a legitimate thrill. I look forward to shutting out the cacophony of my New York City commute by diving into the venerable magazine’s essays, fiction, satire, and cartoons.

I grew up loving magazines. Like many, comic books were the gateway and I moved on to Mad, National Lampoon, Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek, Playboy and many others. Including an occasional perusal of Cosmopolitan.

Yes. Cosmo. 

I’d wager most men reading this have flipped through a copy at least once in their lives. Nowadays it seems as ubiquitous as Reader’s Digest once was. It’s unavoidable in most waiting rooms and bathroom reading racks.

The magazine’s cover regularly features heavily airbrushed female celebrities awkwardly posing in stylish outfits, displaying copious amounts of cleavage, with overwrought headlines enticing readers to check out the articles about “Orgasm Virgins” or how to “Look Leaner Naked: The 14-day Workout”.

Last year several large U.S. retailers began selling the magazine behind U-shaped blinders specifically designed to cover the headlines on the cover. The décolletage is fine. The tips on how to have better sex? Not so much.

On this episode of the show, Christopher and I dig into the hypocrisy of censoring magazines like Cosmopolitan, and its many look-a-likes, while magazines aimed at men, like Maxim and Men’s Health get a pass at the very same retailers using blinders.

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Let’s Talk About Sex

The start of the mega-hit Let’s Talk About Sex begins with at least one of the band members expressing concern about the controversial topic of their song. Keep in mind, this was way back in 1991 and mentioning bumping uglies in a pop song was still very much frowned upon.

Their concern was not surprising and probably part of a conversation that actually took place. They decided to throw caution to the wind and did indeed talk about it for the next 4 minutes and 34 seconds.

Taking our cue from the ladies of the pioneering female rap act Salt-N-Pepa, Mele and El Kaiser decided it was time for us to stop dancing around it and get on with the discussion of bacon making.

We each share the touching stories of how our dads explained the birds and bees to us and Chris relates the heartwarming tale of how he approached ” the Talk” with his boys. It’s a tale worthy of the Lifetime network and I’m so inspired, I just can’t wait to talk to my own kids about the joys of dancing the horizontal tango.

[Editors Note: Practically everything in the previous paragraph is false. Take a listen to the show to hear what really happens.]

Whether you’re sealing the deal, rocking the Casbah, or buttering the biscuits, it’s a normal and healthy part of life. We here at About Men Radio approach the subject of boinking  the same way we tackle all other topics: with maturity and taste.

[Editors Note: Um, yeah. Read previous note.]

Let’s talk about slammin’ ham, baby! Yee haw!!!!!!!

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Unbreak my Heart, J.J. Abrams

They aren’t just movies.

As Chris and I discuss on this episode of About Men Radio, the original Star Wars trilogy continues to be an important part of our lives and a cultural touchstone for the entire AMR posse.

While Chris has gone “all in” and is already set to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens multiple times over its opening weekend, my plan is to tread cautiously. 

The crushing disappointment of the prequels forced me to reconsider how much I would continue to emotionally invest in the Star Wars universe now that it appeared George Lucas was no longer in tune with his creation. Georgie-boy broke my heart.

J.J. Abrams did an amazing job with the Star Trek reboot so I hope he can make lightning strike twice. I miss Luke Skywalker. I miss Leia, Han and Chewie. I especially miss the Millennium Falcon.

I want nothing more than to be that 13-year-old kid watching Star Wars (minus the “New Hope”) for the first time, totally swept away by the epic adventure.

Please, J.J. Help me fall in love again.

It’s my Fault the New York Mets Lost the 2015 World Series

Most fans are blaming Terry Collins, Daniel Murphy, Fallout Boy, or some combination of the three, for the Mets crushing World Series failure. The sad truth is that I am solely responsible for the Kansas City Royals being this year’s MLB World Series champions.

You see I’ve been blessed with very powerful baseball mojo. I didn’t seek out this power, it was thrust upon me. Who am I to refuse a gift from the baseball gods?

It’s been both a blessing and a curse and, while a tremendous responsibility, I’ve always been able to carry out my duties without fail…until now.

I first noticed the baseball mojo as a youngster. My wearing of a plastic team-branded batting helmet while swinging a Roy White engraved bat during Yankees at bats single-handedly powered them to consecutive championships in 1977 and 1978.

It was after that second Yankees championship that I realized I must use this awesome ability for good and help the sad sack National League team in Queens.

From 1979 to 1983, I used all the weapons in my arsenal: rally underpants (rally caps are a just a lame variation which I DO NOT get credit for inspiring), not washing team t-shirts during winning streaks (my mom was purple with rage about this at first but mine was a baseball-loving family and she eventually understood), eating the same meal on game days (just the smell of Chef Boyardee ravioli will bring on horrific flashbacks these days).

I pulled out all the stops.

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It was slow going, but by 1984 the Mets were finally coming around. My mojo was getting results.

Bill Buckner’s error gets the lion’s share of the credit for the 1986 Mets winning it all but folks forget that his blown play occurred in game 6. It was my deep hatred of the Boston Red Sox, a steady stream of “Boston Sucks” chants and a complete banishment of anything that could remotely be confused for the color red from my home that sealed the deal for the boys in Flushing.

1987 and 1988 were tough. Like a late inning relief specialist, I had thrown too many pitches and had nothing left in the tank. I stepped away from the game I loved.

By 1995 it felt as if my mojo was stronger than ever and since I’d neglected the Yankees in the 80s, my new goal was to bring World Series glory back to the Bronx!

I helped rebuild the Yankees championship dynasty in the late 90’s with a deft mash-up of the classic batting helmet / Roy White bat combo and a series of vulgar opposing team chants.

In 2000 I set my sights on doing what was heretofore considered impossible: a subway series between the Mets and the Yankees.

Much like Icarus, I flew too close to the sun.

I’d stretched myself too thin after that series and, except for a fluke in 2009 where I wore a Yankees spring training cap for the whole season, my baseball mojo laid dormant until this season.

This year I wanted back in the game. As a crafty veteran, I would rely on guile instead of power. My mojo would get the Mets back on top using a radical approach: I would ignore them for the entire season.

It worked — although I read a box score in July and that sent their bats into a nasty funk for a long while.

But then it happened, the awful occurrence that has me telling this tale.

I was working at home with the television on in the background. The sound was down on the set and as I took a quick break from my editing, I stared at the screen for about 10 seconds. It was game one and Lucas Duda was at bat. When I realized what was happening, I scrambled for the remote to shut it off. I was in a panic.

To make matters worse, the next night I walked in on my wife watching game 2 and witnessed an unidentified Met pop out.

We instituted a total media blackout at home for game 3 and that helped a bit but the damage was done. You all know the rest.

I let the Metskis down just when they needed me most. For that I humbly beg you all for forgiveness.

Oh well, there’s always next year!

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AMR 29: Happy Halloween Edition

No doubt you’ve all read Chris’s tale about how, despite his general distaste for Halloween haunted houses, he girded his loins and joined posse members Rich and Father John at  the Haunted Scarehouse in Wharton, N.J.

Whaddaya mean you haven’t read it?!?!?! Stop wasting time and check it out here. I’ll wait.

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As luck would have it, our intrepid lead blogger had an audio recorder with him during his jaunt through the fright house.

Listening to Mad Mister Mele’s girlish screams and incredibly foul language had me wishing I was there.

Sadly, I, um, had to wash my hair that night. And I felt a tickle in my throat and couldn’t risk exacerbating it. Plus, I hadn’t dusted off my CD’s in awhile and was concerned about allergens…..

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It’s Never About the Destination, It’s About the Journey

This is how these things usually breakdown: Chris gets a crazy idea. I say “sure, what the fuck, I’ve lived too long anyway” then Rich, John and Silvio decide if they want in too.

It’s been our M.O. for 40 years and, as evidenced in this latest episode of our fine podcast, things won’t be changing any time soon.

We all firmly believe that if it ain’t broke, why fix it? You see, for us the destination or the activity is always secondary to the fun we have getting there.

In true AMR fashion, Chris suggested we check out Rail Explorers which lets you pedal through the beautiful Adirondacks on old train tracks. I immediately agreed to go along and Rich and Father John joined us there.

We roasted each other mercilessly and had a great time doing it. If we had missed the rail bike appointment, so what. More fodder for stone-busting.

Take a listen to our Adirondack adventure and be sure to read Chris’s post about the trip. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry.

(That last part is a lie. You’ll probably just roll your eyes.)

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The Musical Edition of About Men Radio: “That’s Amore!”

Welcome to the musical interlude at About Men Radio.

C’mon! Sing along! You know the words!

“In Napoli where love is king
When boy meets girl here’s what they say…”

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“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie
That’s amore!”

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“When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine
That’s amore…”

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“Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you’ll sing “Vita bella…”

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“Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
Like a gay tarantella…”

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“When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fazool
That’s amore!”

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Are Daughters Harder To Raise Than Sons? My Search for Answers

My kids are young but as we all know, time stops for no one.

My darling little princess is quickly growing into a lovely young lady and as she blossoms, it has become very clear to me that I’m ill equipped to deal with the emotional roller-coaster that is her pre-pubescent mind.

I desperately needed help so on this episode of the podcast, I did what I’ve been doing for close to 40 years now: I rounded up the About Men Radio Posse!

Chris had to excuse himself from the conversation since he has two strapping young lads for offspring. John has no kids (that we know of) so it fell to Silvio and Rich to provide wise counsel. They are both the proud fathers of some impressive young women and I would be a fool not to tap that rich vein of paternal wisdom.

Maybe they could finally explain to me how it is I can simultaneously be the world to my little girl AND a loathsome ogre that will never understand what she’s going through.

They came through for me, just like they always do. Take a listen!

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© Prudkov | Dreamstime.comLegs And Sneakers Of Teenage Boys And Girls Photo

Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatchoo Gonna Do?

So what is it about the bad boys you ladies like so much? Is it the thrill of dating the boy you know your family will hate? Is it the wild sex? Or is it the challenge of trying to tame the apparently untameable; of changing the bad boys into nice guys?

Please don’t let it be the last option because that would really tick me off. Why not just start off with the nice guy and save yourself the hassle?!?!

I realized very early on in life that I was forever destined to be Richie Cunningham and never The Fonz. Other guys could get away with the leather jacket cool, I had to survive on boyish charm and perseverance.

Most girls in their high school years when presented with the choice between an earnest young lad who skewed dangerously close towards the nerd spectrum or a handsome, emotionally distant rebel will go with the “bad boy” every single time.

Years later they may realize their “Rebel Without a Clue” will most likely remain clueless while Erkel is pulling down high six figures and living the dream.

I was once Erkel and have left some women regretting their life choices but when exactly does that high six-figure money start rolling in? It’s gotta be soon, right?

Anyhoo…

On this episode of the podcast Chris and I discuss the bad boy mystique. We both fell squarely into the nice guy demographic back in the day and are happy to report that the the old axiom is wrong.

Nice guys do NOT finish last, bad boys just can’t hold the lead.

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I am an Older Dad and That’s Okay

What follows is the tale of my inspiring, gripping, and emotional journey from fretful Older Dad to just plain old Dad. The subtitle should read “How I stopped Worrying and Started Being There for my Kids”

Okay, the story isn’t really all that gripping, and it isn’t very emotional either, but I do indulge in way more “prosaic introspection” than the author of this Wall Street Journal article—despite what the reader comments claim.

That being said, I believe my adventures in middle-age parenting might just lean towards the inspiring side.

I fall squarely into the “Older Dad” category having waited until the chronological age of 42 to make my wife large with child. I was, again chronologically, 46 years old when my spouse informed me I should start getting those diaper changing muscles loosened up again.

By the way, I stress “chronological” because if you ask any of my ex-wives or former girlfriends, they’ll argue that emotionally and intellectually I’ve yet to make it past my awkward teen years.

But never mind all that, let’s get back to the inspirational.

My guess is that there’s at least a full 15-year age difference between me and most of the other dads at the neighborhood playground. It doesn’t bother me much anymore but it was a constant concern when my daughter was a toddler.

There was more than a little self-consciousness about being a graybeard among all the young bucks and I was convinced all eyes were on the old geezer as he watched after his rambunctious daughter.

Maybe all those youthful poppas with their youth and their youthfulness secretly hoped I wouldn’t fall down and break a hip. I imagined they fervently wished to be spared the awkwardness of having to explain to their little ones why that old man was being carted away by the FDNY.

More and more, I found myself parking my butt on a bench and shooing my little girl away, insisting that she play with her new toddler friends.

It killed me every time my shmoopee hid her obvious disappointment and shuffled off to find a new playmate. My beautiful little daughter didn’t see a middle-aged man struggling with his insecurities, all she wanted to do was hang out with her poppa.

The transformation into a hesitant putz that worried about what others would think was complete. Where was the confident and ballsy Bronx kid who insisted on playing by his own rules?

Thankfully, that kid showed up again just when I needed him most.

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It was a huge disservice to me and to my daughter. By creating imaginary slights and not experiencing the total joy of daddyhood with my baby girl while she still thought her grumpy old dad was the coolest guy in the world, I was losing out on a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

I got my ass off that park bench and started playing with my sweet little Miss. I wore the pink boas and the princess crowns. I attended the pretend tea parties and unfailingly extended my pinky. I ran after her and paid little attention to how foolish or how silly I may have looked. I was a goofy dad and it was a blast.

Turns out those young fathers I was so concerned about could not have cared less.

The decision to wait until I was mature enough to raise a family was the right one. Oats were sown and challenges were undertaken and ya-ya’s were gotten out. That could not, and would not, have happened if there were mouths to feed at home in my younger days.

That’s not to say I don’t suffer the occasional flash of panic when the realization sets in that I’ll be close to 70 years old when my kids are in college. I’m keeping myself healthy and fiscally responsible for their future so there’s no use wasting time on worrying about things I can’t control.

What I can control is how much quality time I spend with them. I listen to their stories, tell them a few of my own, and act the fool.

When it’s my turn to kick it, I’ll kick it hard and with full-confidence knowing that I did all I could for my family.

Well, this was my inspirational story. The story of a family man with two young kids who is past the half-century mark, has no regrets, and will never suffer from the “what ifs”. He just took awhile to get there.

As the old neighborhood saying goes: I ain’t even sorry about it.

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New Year’s Adventures at my Midtown Penthouse

You read that right. I once shared a “deeeluxe apartment in the sky” with my brother.

So what if it was technically a poorly constructed addition built across the roof of two tiny brick buildings with absolutely no heat in the winter and hallways so narrow we could never get adult-sized furniture up the stairs?

The mailbox read “PH.” It was a penthouse.

The flat was located exactly two blocks away from Times Square, Crossroads of the World, in a neighborhood dubbed Hell’s Kitchen.

Clinton — the area’s less colorful designation — was once a notorious Irish and Puerto Rican slum that slowly gentrified over the decades. The transformation dramatically picked up steam when Times Square shifted from a sleaze pit into a family-friendly tourist trap…um, attraction…in the 1990s.

The only thing “hellish” about the area these days is the traffic heading into New Jersey and the heart-stopping rents.

Of course back when I lived there, it was still a bit rough and tumble (just the way I like it) and never more so than on New Year’s Eve.

If you weren’t blessed with the opportunity to grow up in New York City I’ll let you in on a little secret: Most dyed-in-the-wool “New Yawkers” wouldn’t be caught dead in Times Square on a New Year’s Eve.

What you have in the area every 12/31 are tourists and the bridge-and-tunnel crowd freezing their asses off, acting like fools and getting blind-stinking drunk.

Not necessarily in that order.

My first New Year’s Eve at the penthouse was relatively uneventful— once we cleaned up the debris from the eight-foot copper pipe some drunken jackholes smashed through our skylight.

The next year my brother and a few of his more burly friends acted as sentries by the roof door while I toiled away at work. As I battled my way home through the revelers, I caught site of a guy in the small entranceway of our building.

I could only make out his top half since the door was one of those half-glass, half-metal jobs popular in the “iffier” areas of the Big Apple at the time.

He was bracing himself with his hands against the inner and outer doors in a half crouch, alternately looking down at the floor and staring at the ceiling. I made a quick dash toward the door thinking, “This putz is NOT gonna take a dump in my doorway.”

As I made my approach, ready to drag this slob into the gutter, an older woman, of shall we say “questionable morals” who plied her trade in the area, suddenly popped up from down below and gave me a wave and a wink through the glass.

She very casually walked out leaving mystery-man fumbling with his pants.

I’d see her work the corner of 43rd Street and Eighth Avenue most nights on my way home from work and she greeted me with her usual line.

“Honey, you are so cute, I’d do you for free.”

To which I gave my standard reply: “Coco, my heart couldn’t take it. You are too much woman for me.”


 

The Times Square revitalization continued unabated and as a result, the drunken year-end slobs became noticeably less shabby.

As I headed home from another late holiday shift, I was ready to party like it was 1999 (it was) and I was hoping the party my brother was hosting was still in full swing at 3 a.m. (It most DEFINITELY was.)

While the last stragglers stumbled home from the bacchanal, my brother and I made a quick garbage run to the basement where we found a guy passed out between two of the filthier pails down there.

This dude was not your run-of-the-mill wasted schmo.

He was wearing what appeared to be a $5,000 tuxedo, plus a real Rolex and gold and diamond cufflinks that probably equaled the Rosado brothers’ combined yearly salaries.

I’m proud to say we resisted the urge to roll him and, like the good Bronx boys we were, proceeded to poke him with a broom handle and yell obscenities until he woke from his slumber.

Richie Rich gave us a slight bow from the waist and stumbled out of the building. He never uttered a word.

Class and good breeding always shows.

The most memorable New Year’s Eve at the penthouse was actually the last one I spent there. The specter of massive Y2K computer meltdowns had most Americans fearing a global collapse of both the banking system and the electrical grids.

With true New York moxie,  my brother and I had a “Y2Chaos” celebration on the roof of our fabulous penthouse. The lights stayed on and our money didn’t go poof but the spectacular view of the fireworks going off directly over our heads is a memory I will carry with me forever. A real New York City moment.

I really do miss that place.  Hmmm…I wonder if I’m still cute enough to qualify for the Coco discount?

About Friends: Checking One Off The Old Bucket List

Most of the AMR crew reached the half-century mark this year and Chris, the baby of the group, wanted to welcome his 50th year on this bright, blue marble in spectacular fashion. His pitch? Let’s ride a tank!

Well, El Kaiser abides… and so does Father John.

This video gives you a small taste of the fun we had playing tank commander in the wilds of Kasota, Minnesota. No one was hurt and despite the obstructed view you can plainly see the happiness on Chris’s face making him appear decades younger.

Turns out he was also piloting a time machine.

Go! Go! GOAL!

I am facing a real dilemma. A quandary! Maybe even a predicament…

Okay, I might be overstating things a bit, it’s not like I’m losing sleep or anything like that but I can see this becoming a real problem.

I haven’t decided on what country to root for in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Don’t you dare roll your eyes at me! Not a day goes by that I don’t get asked, “Yo, Kaiser! Who you backing in the Cup?” or “Hey, Kaiser, you got your [insert country name here] jersey ready to go?” It’s becoming a real nuisance.

I know people from pretty much all over the planet and I’d hate to disappoint any of them by not backing their country. Heck, just today I received this note from a colleague:

You should always be for Brazil and Portugal unless they play each other. When Brazil plays Portugal you should be for Portugal. If Portugal loses at least it was to Brazil so you cry a bit but then always go celebrate Brazil’s victory anyway.

This is obviously serious business.

Any wannabe Captain Americas out there who, after reading this, want to get all up in my grill for not automatically supporting the U.S. of A. should just slow their roll. Have you seen the other countries in their grouping?!?!

Of course this whole bit of business would be a moot point if Puerto Rico ever qualified for the tournament. Don’t laugh, it could happen sooner than you think! Those in the know are beginning to recognize Puerto Rico’s soccer potential. The national team has made great strides over the past decade and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they made a serious run for a tournament bid in 2022.

Okay, maybe by 2026.

Getting back to my current plight I considered choosing a team by their jerseys but none of them wowed me. I thought I’d pick a team by whichever player had the best nickname but I was underwhelmed by most—although “Chicharito” almost sealed the deal for Mexico.

What I settled on was to just go down the list of groupings and eliminate any team that had even the remotest connection to anyone I knew. That left only one obvious choice for El Kaiser to root for.

Go get ’em, CÔTE D’IVOIRE!

I look terrible in orange but at least I won’t get any hard stares from friends or family.

And now for your listening pleasure, the best World Cup anthem EVER recorded!