Giant Salad Bowls and Big Swarthy Men

Valentine Brkich October 23, 2015

As I drove in darkness towards the city, I made a promise to myself: Just try to be positive and have a good attitude. In other words, be the exact opposite of my normal self. I was on my way to the all-day The Authors’ Zone Writers Conference in Pittsburgh. When I’d originally registered for the event, I…

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The Sound of Silence

Valentine Brkich August 25, 2015

I’d been dreaming about it for years. The day when both our kids would head off to school and leave me with six and a half glorious, peaceful, kid-free hours to do as I pleased (i.e., work, nap, read, nap again, repeat.). For stay-at-home parents like my wife and me, the first day of school…

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Another Lovely Dinner

Valentine Brkich August 4, 2015

I knew there was going to be trouble right from the start. “Is this fish or chicken?” asked The Animal, as my wife placed the blue Pyrex on the table.  Uh-oh. “It’s chicken,” replied my wife. “It doesn’t look like chicken,” Boogieface chimed in. The chicken had paprika on it—a foreign substance to my children. The…

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On a Steel Horse I Ride

Valentine Brkich July 29, 2015

It all started with my good friend Hugh, who’s been riding motorcycles for years. “You need to get a bike,” he said. Over and over again. Countless hours watching “American Pickers” and seeing Mike and Frank drool over rusty old Chiefs and Knuckleheads only further piqued my interest. Then, one night whilst imbibing a few beers with my cousin…

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Cutting the Cable

Valentine Brkich July 15, 2015

When we first decided to cancel our cable subscription, reactions varied. But most were that of shock. “You did what?!” exclaimed my dad, staring at me as if I’d just told him I’d gotten a bikini wax.  My mom was just plain disturbed. “I don’t understand,” she said, dumbfounded. “Why? Why would you do that?” Honestly, at…

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Attack of the Phantom Bat

Valentine Brkich July 7, 2015

It was the middle of the night when my wife’s screams roused me from a Cabernet-induced slumber. “It’s attacking me! It’s attacking me!” We were sharing a sectional couch at her cousin’s house in Boston during a short break in our two-week, whirlwind tour of New England. At first I thought I’d accidentally…

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Our Epic New England Roadtrip Adventure

Valentine Brkich July 1, 2015

Thirteen days. Nine states. Two kids. One car.  From June 7 to June 20, my wife and I, along with our two children, embarked on a Griswold-ian adventure as we toured in the not-so-cozy confines of my Hyundai Sonata. Considering we’ve never spent more than a couple hours in the car together, this was either going…

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Attack of the Man-Eating Massage Chair

Valentine Brkich June 3, 2015

My back and neck had been killing me again, so I decided to visit the chiropractor just down the street to see if he could release some of the tension. After a quick adjustment, they ushered me into another room to have me sit in their massage chair for a while. Of course, I had been on a massage chair…

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Father-and-Son Time

Valentine Brkich May 20, 2015

One of the benefits of working for yourself is that on certain days you can choose not to work, which is what I did last Friday. It’s not that I didn’t need to work; it’s just that my wife was sick and The Animal had been driving both of us crazy. So I figured the best thing…

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Father Goose Fail

Valentine Brkich May 6, 2015

I thought about recounting in detail everything that’s happened over the past six days, when my sister, brother-in-law, and their four young daughters came in from out of town and stayed with us. But honestly, it was pretty much all one big, chaotic blur. And, besides, I’m just too tired. Instead I’ll share with you…

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