Friday, January 25, 2008

American Gladiators

Well here's something I've recently discovered about my wife. She's a huge fan of American Gladiators; both the new and old version of the show. It has moved to the top of her TV watching list, at least until "Battlestar Galactica" returns.

She was so happy when she found classic "AG" on ESPN Classic (The Ocho). The contestants had big hair and the gladiators had more superhero looking costumes than the new version. Mike Adamley and Larry Czonka, the hosts, wore tuxedoes and some of the games were a little lame; like the bungee jump where you have to collect different colored balloons or balls.

Nancy's favorite of the new gladiators is "Wolf", who's real name is probably like Irving Schmendrick or something like that. Every time he's on, he says something like, "Your going to be dripping from my fangs!" and howls like, well, a wolf. Immediately Nancy says, "Oh that Wolf! He's so crazy!"

I told her she reminds me of my grandmother at these times. When I was a kid, my Baba (Ukrainian for "grandmother") used to watch "Studio Wrestling" the pre-cursor to and the superior entertainment to the WWE. It was hosted by "Chilly" Bill Cardille and was on every Saturday. Her favorite was Bruno Sanmartino, or as she called him, "Brummo". My sick, elderly Baba would sit in front of the TV screaming obscenities at anyone who dared challenge "Brummo" in two languages. Her cheers for "Brummo" would consist of "Bayh, bayh... dae moh!", which roughly translated is "Hit him, hit him... give it to him!" When someone got the better of Mr. Sanmartino, she would yell, "Aaaah, you son-of-a-bitch!" No need for translation there.

Baba passed away years before "AG", but I thin k she and Nancy would have liked watching it together; 'cause, you know; that Wolf, he's so crazy!


It's been two weeks since the furniture arrived; we've had ice, snow, a funeral, a lost wedding ring (found after 4 days), and the worlds largest supply of unpacked cardboard boxes and used packing material. We have ice and water in the fridge, FiOS on the TV and internet, calcium deposits in the pipes and squeaky floors in the kids' bedrooms.

We still have more boxes than I care to count to unpack, especially in the garage. Our two car garage has been a one car garage for the past two weeks and that really sucks when the temps are in the single digits it's snowed every other day. I've become reacquainted with my friends the ice scraper and a can of windshield de-icer. And God bless the man who came up with "Driveway Heat" from Prestone (Mr. Prestone?).

There's lots more to do, but all-in-all, it's starting to feel like home.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Welcome Home

Here we are on the eve of the big move into our new home. There were times I thought we'd never sell the house in Fairfax; that we'd never find "the" house in Pittsburgh; that we'd never get on with our lives.

For the past three months we've more than imposed on my parents and turned their quiet home into the Toddler Dream House and Scream-a-torium. I've been back in the room I spent my teenaged years in. The Who and Led Zeppelin posters are gone, the computer is an iMac instead of an Atari 800, the stereo has been replaced by Sirius Satellite Radio. It's been crowded and noisy and sometimes chaotic, yet it has also felt comfortable these past 3 months. You can still hear the sounds of pipe rolling off the mills in the middle of the night, the train's horn as it echos down the valley, and the slow rumble of trucks on Duss Avenue.

We start our next chapter tomorrow as we move into our new home, and I'm excited. But I know I've already been home for a few months and it makes me happy.