Woman of the Year.

Welcome back readers!! Happy Wednesday, Happy 2019, and Happy Everything!! I’m proud to say the first draft of the “Who Stole My Cannoli” book is almost finished, which means I can devote more time to the blog! I’ve been away from this space for a while and I could share a sad story of how I’m making a New Year’s resolution to focus on this blog but I won’t. In fact, simply put, I’m getting off my fat ass to do what I love and see where it takes me. As many of you know, my life is filled with crazy stories that have shaped me into the food loving, pleasantly plump, family man I am today. So if you will, take a minute to dive back into the “Who Stole My Cannoli” blog and give yourself a break from the world you live in.

During a recent daydreaming session, I was reaching back in the folds of my brain and reflecting back to a time when my biggest worry was how much sweat I was producing in the Florida sun. You know, like every other kid. No? Just me? Anyway, the first thought that came into my head was of my Nana, who happens to be one of the most important people in my life, especially during my childhood. Below is a picture of her on her wedding day, which is one of my favorite photos of her. Here is a woman who was a pioneer of her time, demanding that she wasn’t someones property and would live her life and raise her children the way she wanted. Coming from, and marrying into, a traditional Italian home, her way of thinking caused some waves but to be honest… it was her thing.  And still is! Nonetheless, to better give you an idea of what a typical day with Nana was, we must start with a rotisserie chicken.

Why this story came to mind tends to be a little hazy, maybe it was the cream puff I had just ate or the soft ticking of time that made me wonder back in the past. Honestly, whatever the reason, my brain was racing to get this down and share this gem of a story. 

Food is at the epicenter of our family and what would any day be without it. However, true to form, my family takes it one step further. To set the stage, picture a slew of Italians in the local grocery store taking up the aisles, speaking in tongues, and practically hand-assaulting passerby’s as we talk to each other in the loudest voices possible. Scary huh? Well just wait, there’s more! My mom, Nana, and I end up by the deli where they had a giant rotisserie oven roasting about 14 chickens, which is very pertinent to the story, so remember that number. Nana’s turn at the deli counter comes up and she says to the clerk “I would like a pound of salami, a pound of provolone, and all of your rotisserie chickens.” “All of the chickens?” the deli clerk responds. Nana snaps back, “Yes, ALL of them.” At this point the clerks eyes were wider than the state of Texas as she claps back, “Well I’m sorry but you can’t have them all.” That’s when the hole to hell opened up and I made the sign of the cross because that woman’s soul was about to be in peril. Without hesitation Nana exclaimed, “Excuse me!? I will ask you again… I would like all of your chickens and I would like them now, please.” To my Nana “asking” was really more of a polite demand and I mean, she did say please. Then, as if out of thin air, we heard a beeping coming from behind us as if a small truck were backing up. As I spun around an elderly man, about 200 hundred years old, came slowly creeping in his scooter and stopped right next to my Nana. In between oxygen tank-laden gasps, and big sad eyes, he says, “Ma’am, do you think I could have a chicken to take home?” And as if time stood still for a second, we all held our breaths, while Nana looked down and sternly, but somehow politely, said, “I’m very sorry but you’ll have to get your own.” With that, my mom ran over and started scolding my Nana telling her that she didn’t need all that food and asking who she was planning to feed with all the chickens. Nana simply responded that she “Needed to have backup food in the freezer for when family or unexpected guests visit and if there’s an emergency.” A pile of rotisserie chickens are essential in a pinch. Sounds legit, right?  Eventually my mom convinced Nana to part with a chicken but to add insult to injury, as we walked away with 13 rotisserie chickens, Nana looks at the frail man and says, “You’re welcome sir!” Nothing more, nothing less. Sometimes when I see a rotisserie chicken, I can hear the soft sounds of pumping oxygen and the faint beeping of a grocery store scooter.

As it was in most of my childhood, the community may not have known my Nana but they sure never forgot her after the first encounter! So I say, who else better to be named Woman of the Year but the one who sacrificed a single rotisserie chicken to answer the plea of a scooter-bound gentleman. Don’t get me wrong, my Nana is one of the best souls on this earth and would move mountains for her loved ones. Although if you ever plan to dip into her food reserves, you might want to think that one through.

Stay tuned for another installment of “Who Stole My Cannoli?” and please follow and share this blog if you found it as amusing as I find my life!

“Back to Fat: Tales of the Fat Voice Inside Me. Vol 1” 

So here I am again, back to a time where I can accept the reality around me. As I stare into the mirror, it’s reflection mocking every slice of pizza I have consumed, I’ve realized it wasn’t the washing machine shrinking my clothes. Nor are tiny leprachauns sewing my pants smaller as a I sleep, dreaming of italian sausage and pepper subs. No I have entered a wonderland, the dark abyss of “fat land”, where the voice of my inner chubster reminds me that my man-boobs ( or moobs as I just learned) are still my closest enemies. A pile of adipose tissue makes up a high precentage of my molecular body mass, basically rendering me a package of bacon. Which is, coincidentally, a versatile ingredient that compliments many dishes in all sorts of cusine. So I guess I’m a large slice of bacon, with moobs, that just so happens to love food so much it consumes every ounce of my being.  What am I to do? This is when the battle in my head begins… 

“Maybe I’ll just try a diet cleanse and exercise until I drop dead from exhaustion and lack of calories. No, you’ve tried that and you just end up falling hard off the wagon and landing into a pile of donuts! Ok, how about low carb and allowing myself a cheat meal? Nope, wrong again! Last time cheat day turned into cheat week and you found yourself depressed and eating an entire chocolate bunt cake while watching Golden Girl reruns! I give up! Just give me a burger please and I can start my diet tomorrow!”

It’s a vicious cycle but this is what goes on in my head each time I notice my stomach covers the view of my toes. However, I’m at the crossroads and on each path is the defeat I´ve suffered from the “War on Food” I’ve waged.  The choice is, which one am I willing to travel back to and will it lead to failure? Well I’ve closed my eyes, finshed my chocolade glazed eclair, and let my food spirit guide me. Actually, more like guide me to the Asian buffet a mile down the road which, might I add, is a great deal during lunch hour. But I digress. Within the last few minutes I’ve already taken a food trip around the world so I’m sure you can see the problem. There is always some distraction or catastrophic event that sucker punches me right in the stomach and derails my journey. For example a few weeks back our basement flooded, AGAIN, for the third time! We had a huge storm role through and there was so much water our sump pumps couldn’t keep up so the basement became our new indoor pool. At one point I had went down stairs to check the outside drain and everything looked fine. After about 25 minutes I noticed our cat, the household detective, going up and down the basement stairs. Mind you, the last time water came into the basmenet he was the one who discovered it. So I firgured I would investigate his behavior. Low and behold, I stepped into inches of water and just froze. I started running around splashing the water between steps, trying to figure out how to stop the water from coming in. With each step the floors moved in a wave like motion and I could hear the “squish” sound each time my foot hit the ground.  Everywehere I turned water was rushing in through the seam between the floors and wall surrounding the basement. I don’t know why, but I kept running around the basement screaming for my wife and breathing heavily like a piece of cake was dangling in front of me. All we could do was wait for the rain to stop and by that time boxes from the storage closet were floating past as we stood wadding water. We eventually called the insurance company and they scheduled a clean up crew for the next day. After the nights festivities settled, I looked my wife in the eye and asked, “What should we eat for dinner?”.  Needless to say, my inner fat voice won and I ate my sorrows away… it was wonderful. 

This “War on Food” is really just a mind game that we engage with oursleves but somewhere along the lines we lose. If I can just trick my mind into the idea that eating healthier will benefit me in the long run, I would be golden. Unfortunately, my brain battles with what is best for me at that time and all self control goes out the window. On trips to the grocery store I will sit waiting in line and stare at the king sized reese cup and argue with myself why I should or shouldn’t have it. Then I usually buy it and try to devise a plan on how to hide it from my wife. In a recent similar episode, I stashed a king sized reese’s cup in my work bag and hung it on our dinning room chair, that we never use. I knew she wouldn’t see it becasue my bag is full of work stuff and why would she need to look in the bag. This is when the food gods didn’t smile in my favor, infact they basically left me to die. Out of all the days my wife just happened to walk by my work bag, it was this day. She caught a glimpse of the bright oragnge wrapper shinning bright from the bottom of the bag and looked at me as if I had just cheated on her. True I did cheat, just not on her, but on my diet. Now if you’re thinking of how horrible I am, then let me just tell you this… I enjoyed putting that king sized beauty in my cart and I don’t feel guilty hidding my secret chocolate escapades. I would do it again but maybe try it with not only one king sized reese but with two! 

Yes, I have a problem and I like to consider myself a work in progress when it comes to my chronic food obsession. I don’t think you’ll see me on the cover of “Men’s Fitness” or in a cover shoot for “GQ” but I do look pretty good in an apron, flexing my plump physique, while handeling a batch of pasta dough. This may not appeal to everyone but I wasn’ put on this earth to be the next David Beckham. I’m here to bring you stories of my life in hopes you might get a good laugh, at my expense. With that, I’ll see you next time I hear the fat voice inside me call.   

The Plight of the Flight 

IMG_1197

Welcome back fellow readers! It’s great to be back posting after a brief sabbatical, where I spent some time working on the “Who Stole My Cannoli?” book! It’s a labor of love that I can’t wait to share but has definitely taken up my free time! However my blog needs some attention as well, so here I am again picking you up for a ride on the crazy train that is my life! On a recent vacation, I found myself thinking about all my travels and wanted to share with you my outlook on the stigma that clouds (pun intended) the dreaded act of jet setting.

As I sat with my wife, enjoying the last few hours of vacation, I couldn’t seem to ignore this pit in my stomach. Yes, I know this feeling all too well and it rears its ugly head every time we get close to flying. When I was a kid we never flew, my parents always thought it cheaper to pack us in the family car and drive to our destination. Picture a mix of the Griswold’s and the Corleone’s driving cross country. One minute we are singing the disco hit “Ring My Bell” and the next, some pitiful soul cuts my dad off and half the Italian mob is involved in a car chase. But I digress. Flying was unfamiliar to me and it wasn’t until I was twenty four that I boarded my first flight. This is when I discovered where hell truly lied.

There’s always been a multitude of stereotypes when it comes to flying and unfortunately most are true. Take the arm rest thief for example. You know, the one who snatches prime “arm rest” real estate the minute you move. Or how about the person that insists on taking off their shoes, no matter the flight duration, and you have to endure periods of foot odor. Do they not smell themselves? Even better and what I like to call, the “attack of the sleeper!”, is my favorite.  This criminal robs you of your personal space by taking a power nap and using your shoulder as their pillow. Before you know it you’ve got a view of their mouth and the sweet sounds of heavy breathing in your ear. I think that’s when I would contemplate opening the emergency exit door and taking my chances. Needless to say, these travel offenders come with the territory but they are the least of my problems. In the time it takes for me to grab my suitcase to pack, my anxiety levels have sky rocketed through the roof! The idea that I’m putting my life into another persons hands is not comforting. In fact, for lack of a better word, it scares the crap out of me! However, I like to think I’ve come a long way since my first experience of taking to the skies. Rewind back to March 2009. I was prepping for my first trip abroad to Italy with my wife and I was nervous about boarding my first plane. I wasn’t fully prepared for what was to come but I had faced other obstacles in the past. What could be so different this time?

All I could feel was beads of sweat rolling down my back and the breezeway to board the plane felt more like a ten mile tunnel to my death. I was so dizzy and I couldn’t really figure out if this was reality or a dream. You know that feeling you get when you ‘ve had too many cocktails and everyone around you looks like a circus character? Yea, that just about pin points my state of sanity except I didn’t benefit from the buzz. As I got close to the airplane door I took a deep breath and walked through. My eyes suddenly bugged out like one of those cartoon animals and I stood frozen. This wasn’t an airplane, it was a freaking pod from the starship enterprise! All at once, flashbacks of airplanes from movies I had seen as a kid hit me and I felt deceived. I was expecting millions of rows of seats, friendly stewardesses handing out champagne, and comfy pillows. When I booked, the damn website said “Friendly Skies” and portrayed a oversized seat complete with a pillow! All I got was a rude stewardess who resembled rumpelstiltskin and yelled at me to keep it moving. To make matters worse, my seat belt needed to be “extended” to fit and still… no pillow! I was going into shock and needed some cake or a pie stat! That’s when I felt a hand on my shoulder and heard the calm voice of my wife telling me to relax. I closed my eyes and ignored everything around me. As I started to feel a wave of calmness my wife asked if I was stable enough to put our carry-on, which was stuck in my unwavering grip, into the overhead compartment. Feeling brave, I stood up and proceeded to complete her request but struggled at first to get the bag to fit. I was twisting and turning the bag in all directions so the compartment door would shut, all the while muttering curse words in-between disapproving grunts.  After what seemed like forever, I started to sweat and I could feel passengers staring at me. That’s when I looked over and saw rumpelstiltskin coming towards me with ample speed. Without hesitation I quickly grabbed my carry-on, threw it under my wife’s feet, and slammed my body back into my seat! Screw cake and pie, I wanted off this plane! I eventually tired myself out and dozed off to dreamland. About an hour later I was startled out of my Xanax induced sleep by an unfamiliar feeling, to which my wife described was turbulence. I immediately began thinking of our survival plan and realized if we were going to nose dive into the Atlantic we might survive since we were seated so far back. That’s when my wife, ever so eloquently, reminded me the gas tanks were probably beneath us and we would blow up first. My face went pale and with white knuckles I gripped the seat, said some Hail Marys, and asked the lord to forgive all those times I stole slices of pumpkin cheesecake from the refrigerator at work. It’s funny, I don’t remember much after that and perhaps thats for the best. As expected we made it to our destination safely, including my carry-on, and it was then I realized the extent of my overreaction.

Fortunately, I made it through my first flight and along the way discovered that not all aircrafts are pods from Star Trek and not all stewardesses are creepy fairytale characters. However, before each flight I make sure to have our evacuation plan in place and I refuse to ever take a carry-on bag that won’t fit under my seat. I will never subject myself to the madness of overhead compartments again. I still have my moments where fits of anxiety will arise but I’ve come to relish in the happiness travel has afforded me. Oh, and yes, I still will indulge in the occasional pumpkin cheesecake. What!? I’m not dead, yet.

Home Sweet Home… MCCH Gala 2015.

At different stages in our life we have many goals and dreams we desperately hope to make a reality. For many, there comes a time when the idea of living in our “dream home” takes a forefront. Wishes of a house with lots of rooms, a big backyard, a safe neighborhood, and maybe even a pool cloud our every thought. For those fortunate enough to have a home, there is this sense of belonging and accomplishment. Unfortunately, there is a multitude of homeless citizens in many parts of our nation that are longing for a place to call home. We need to ask ourselves… How can we help reduce the amount of homeless individuals on our streets?

For starters, here in Bethesda Maryland, the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless is taking a stand and aiding in providing housing to those living on the streets. Their mission:

“Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless (MCCH) provides solutions to end homelessness in Montgomery County. Our vision is to build a community where everyone has a safe, stable, and affordable place to call home.”

By offering temporary shelter, support for “stable housing”, and working to create more affordable homes, the MCCH hopes to eventually eradicate homelessness in the area. Furthermore, they help find housing for veterans who have served but return home and find they don’t have anywhere to live. I had the privilege, first hand, to see what a great organization this is, when I attended the MCCH “Home Is Where The Heart Is: 25th Anniversary Gala.” It was a successful night that created awareness for the homeless and honored members of the organization. Congressman John Delaney received the Distinguished Service Award, Samaritans4Homless received the Distinguished Partner Award, and Laura Cecala was given the Distinguished Volunteer Award. These and many other individuals make up a determined team that is fighting for the homeless in our community. Yvette Johnson, another important figure, is one of the volunteers who received an award for her efforts in compiling donations for the silent auction. We met when she visited my store, The Art of Shaving, and discussed what we could offer for the auction. I was instantly blown away by her dedication and what MCCH does for the community. In her own words, I remember her stating, “I volunteer because I believe in the cause and I feel so strongly about the good we can do together.”  Something that resonated and inspired me to support this organization.

Another great event coming up for MCCH is the “KaBoom! Playground Build” on Wednesday May 20, 2015! Volunteers can sign up to build a playground for the children in the community of the Seneca Heights housing program. This is a great way to give back and really get a front row view of the good MCCH does! For more details check out: http://www.mcch.net/events/kaboomplayground.html.

MCCH Gala 2015

MCCH Gala

Now, whether your a member of Montgomery County or your miles away, this is an issue that blankets many parts of our world. My challenge to you readers… if your in the Bethesda or D.C. area take a minute and learn more about MCCH at http://www.mcch.net. For my readers in other states, hop on your computer and search for organizations like this in your area and see what volunteer options are offered. There are so many events that you can volunteer to be a part of and it doesn’t take much. We can only encourage change one person at a time and if we come together for a common goal, there is no stopping what we can accomplish.

Volunteer Honoree Yvette Johnson and myself.

Volunteer Honoree Yvette Johnson and myself.

The Traveling Cannoli.

What makes us dreamers? Is it the fact that we, for a split second, can do or be something out of the norm? For me, I think it’s something that is ingrained in our DNA and it drives us to make that leap of faith. A thirst we hope to quench but fear gets in the way. For years I always had a dream of working in entertainment. Whether it be writing, acting or hosting I wanted to do something where I could use my talents to reach people. Unfortunately, the fear of rejection and failure held me back. However, that all changed when I came across a contest searching for the next Travel Channel Star. I decided to make that leap, submit an audition video, and put myself out there with no reservations. Was it worth it? You tell me.

*(15 finalists will be announced on TravelChannel.com on May 11)*

It took me a whole week to decide where I was going to shoot my audition video. I was trying so hard to figure out what would appeal to my audience and the judges. Even worse, I was fixated on what I was going to wear. Did I look to plain? Would this shirt speak traveler? My god… is that my stomach?!? I look nine months pregnant! Well, maybe I went a little overboard. That’s when I heard the voice of reason, backed with a little tough love. My extremely patient wife advised me to be myself because it didn’t matter what I wore or where we filmed. The important thing was to make sure my personality and passion came through. Once I relaxed, I narrowed it down to Fells Point, Baltimore and the National Mall in Washington D.C.  I decided to let the camera do the work of capturing the type of travel host I could be.

Recording my first video in Fells Point went well but not without a few bumps. After about eight or nine takes my wife, aka camera man 1, said she needed an alcoholic break. We found a great restaurant, Barcocina, (which is featured in the video) and took advantage of their bottomless special. Now with a little bit of liquid courage we filmed straight through, called it a wrap, and went back for round 2 of drinks. Unfortunately our D.C. trip didn’t go as planned, due to the fact we drove for over an hour trying to find parking. It was days after the cherry blossom festival and city workers clogged up roads and caused backed-up traffic. Drivers were honking and yelling at one another, it was hot, and we hadn’t eaten all morning. Not a very good combo. At one point we thought we found a spot to parallel park but a “kind soul” screamed out the window, “You guys can’t park there! Geez!” Yea, that definitely put the nail in the coffin. Within seconds we turned to our phones and told Siri to get us the hell out of D.C. On our drive home we made the pack to always take the metro into the city and that eating a balanced meal before any excursion is important.

Needless to say, I submitted my initial video of Fells Point and I’m leaving my fate to the universe or powers that be. No matter the outcome, this has definitely sparked new ideas for Who Stole My Cannoli. Who knows, The Traveling Cannoli just might show up in your neighborhood.

Journey to the Center of Fat.

First things first! Let me start by stating my sincerest of apologies for my absence for the month of February. We had an eventful month that took much of my free time. Just picture me running (okay walking fast) down my street barefoot, with fat jiggling, yelling for help and breathing like a potbelly pig. As this was going on, my basement was flooding by the gallons and my love for winter slowly dissipated. Unfortunately, this story will have to wait till next week but now you know the main reason for my lack of posts. For now, let’s talk about fat. Well actually, let’s talk about the fact that one day the button from my pants might pop and knock an innocent bystander unconscious. I can just imagine myself taking a gigantic bite of baked ziti and just as I start to chew, a huge “pop” sends my button into mid air rotating furiously and taking out its target. Sadly, I don’t even think that would get me to put down the fork and head to the nearest gym. I don’t know if its my intense love for food that makes me eat like a famished hyena or the fact that I grew up in a home where every single event centered around eating. If you were sad, eat! If you were happy, eat! If someone died, eat! That was the mantra my family lived by and if you were a guest, you left gaining at least half your body weight in food. In all honesty, I think it’s our culture that plays such a big part in how we live our lives. I don’t mean to suggest that the growth of my “man-boobs” were caused by my “culture” making me eat those many, many pounds of pasta but the way I ate was a way of life and it took a while to notice the effects. So, in an effort to stop my ravenous ways I decided to loose weight in hopes of never having to purchase a man-bra, or as Kramer would say, a “Bro”.

It all began some time before my wedding. I had become determined to loose weight so I wasn’t mistaken for a beached whale in our wedding photos. Things started out good, I was following a low-carb regimen but eventually the little fat devil on my shoulder tried to sway me. I remember one evening, while grocery shopping, I passed a box of Ho Ho’s and immediately stopped. I think I sat there longing for the taste of moist chocolate cake filled with the sweet icing of the gods. The fat kid in me won and I dropped that box of goodness into my cart. However, my devious actions didn’t stop there. When I arrived home I quickly ran in the house and hid my special box of treats. I took a sigh of relief and relished in the fact that no one was going to find out my dirty, but delicious, secret. For days I would find myself hiding in rooms or waiting till my wife was at work to blissfully unwrap my reward! The task of successfully opening the pesky, noisy, wrapper became a sort of game. If it were an Olympic sport I would have been a gold metal recipient. But was it a reward? I hadn’t exercised or lost weight, so why did I feel the need to give myself a treat. I quickly made those blasphemous thoughts disappear with a nice glass of cold milk and another Ho Ho. As time went on I started hiding bigger meals. Big Mac’s, Chinese take-out, Philly-steak subs, and pounds of pasta. I was on a roll and truthfully started looking like one. I would tell my wife I was eating healthy salads for lunch but really I was engulfing a large soda, fries, and at worst 3 double cheeseburgers. I was a runaway meatball! You know, the kind that falls off your plate and it keeps rolling, damaging everything in its path with sauce. Food was my “precious” and pity any man, woman, or hobbit that tried to stop me. Some nights I would even lay awake dreaming of what my next meal was going to be but with so many options how could I choose! Was there enough time for me to eat it all?? Yea, that was me and it only took a moment of splitting my pants to realize it was time to silence my inner fatty. In an instant I watched my stomach grow to house an eighty pound food baby. It was then I realized it wasn’t about treating myself but the idea that I should because I could. Although it tasted good during the process, I was only hurting myself and it was time for a change.

I’m now on this journey to the center of healthy but it doesn’t come without its share of bumps, in the form of cheeseburgers, and ever so often I can hear my inner fatty chanting those dark words, “Ho, Ho’s.”

Waiting in the Outfield…

 

T-Ball

It was that time of the year again. A time where people united for one night to dress up in team spirit, eat greasy american fare, wear over sized jerseys, and turn into neanderthals. All of this in the name of one special day, “Superbowl Sunday!” For me, I look forward to the excuse of eating till my gut explodes and laughing at commercials in my candy bar decorated sweat pants. Now you’re probably wondering why I have a picture related to baseball while talking about football. Well each year when Superbowl rolls around I have a flashback to a time where I myself tried joining the ranks of other athletic friends of mine. As a kid I grew up around the beach and loved being in the water, so around six years old I joined Swim Florida. It was something I really enjoyed especially since I hated the heat and by playing a sport that involved water, I never had to worry about sweating or heat strokes.However, when swim season was out my parents decided it would be a good idea for me to try T-ball. I wasn’t sure about it but I figured I would give it a try. I mean it was just a bunch of kids playing a “pee wee” version of baseball. Right? Wrong.

There I was, sitting in the blistering sun, in the outfield, with a large catchers mitt on my hand and sweat dripping down my back and into my underwear. Yea, not a pretty picture is it? In my head I kept thinking, what it would feel like to be eating a big bowl of pasta, in an air conditioned room, instead of out here waiting for some ball to drop from the sky. At one point I was even playing with my shirt and rolling it up to my chin, exposing my gut, as a means to cool down. Again, not the star athlete my parents would have pictured. However, I didn’t want to be the kid who quit so I tried to stick it out. Then without warning, while playing with my shirt, I heard screaming coming from the bleachers and looked up. I had no clue what was going on until I heard a loud thump and noticed a ball land a few feet from me. I “jogged” over to it, obviously in no hurry, and threw it somewhere close to where most of the players were. At this point I knew this would be my last day of T-ball but not without me embarrassing myself one more time. The game seemed so long and once again I was stuck in the outfield and boy was I hungry. My mind kept thinking of ways to get out of the game and somewhere with food. It was at this moment that I looked to the bleachers and yelled, “Mom! Dad! Can I go now and get something to eat!” Yes, you read that right, I screamed across a field during a game asking about food. The whole field went quiet and my parents had to do the walk of shame and claim the chubby outfielder. Needless to say, this was the last time my parents signed me up for anything. Although, there was an important lesson to be learned, never stand between a kid and his love of food!