Important Things

As I promised earlier this week, I would be sharing some fun, some not-fun and some important things with you.

And then the week happened. And do you know what that means?

We had MORE fun, and not-fun, and important things.

So, I will tell you one of each.


Growing up, my family had a tradition: The QC. Every night at dinner my father, the Quiz Master, would engage us in a “Quiz Contest”, a trivia game that evolved into something rather intense and masterful. It was something that my dad did as a child with his own father and four sibings, and yet when he took ownership, he took it to a whole level.

A QC works like this:

My dad goes around and asks each of us trivia questions in several round, each round having a unique category. And he would tailor each of the questions to the “contestant” so, for instance, if we were in a “Sports” round, he might have asked my mom a harder question at 29 than he would have asked my three-year-old sister.

I mentioned that the game has evolved over the years and now, in its current state, we start with the trivia questions round, with categories like “Current Events”, “Geography”, “Broadway” and “Sex and the City”, again, all tailored to the person to whom he is asking. It’s truly remarkable.

Then, we have a “lightening round”. He asks a general question to the table, while we have our hands poised in fists. Whoever opens their hand first gets a chance to answer. If they are correct, they gain a point; wrong and they lose a point.

Then there is the final round which is like Final Jeopardy. You are given a category, make a wager based on your number of points and current standing (as well as your general confidence in the category) and the winner is determined after that.
My dad is pretty freakin’ amazing.

(Side Note: my husband is still bitter about a last minute loss, early in our relationship, when he was told that he pronounced “Ahmadinejad” incorrectly, and was therefore defeated).

QCs are the best.

And, on top of our trivia nights, we also have magical nights like this.

Last night in my own house we had a hybrid of those two thing: a spontaneous game of “Name That Tune”.

Music has always been so important to me, and I am thrilled that my children love it like I do.

During dinner, I had put on one of my favorite songs, “Bell Botton Blues”, and my son shouted out it’s name. I noted how long it took him to call out the song and saw that it was just 8 seconds, well before Eric Clapton had started to croon.

I was impressed.

And this started our game. We went around and I was the “Tunes Master” for my 3 family members, playing songs for each of them and timing how long it took for them to correctly name the song. For me, my husband was in charge. Often times someone would be able to name the band quickly but struggle with the song’s name. Twice we never got it at all. But my kids?

They slayed this.

At the end, I had written down all of the scores (meaning the number of seconds it took to name the song) and took the average.

The winner? My son, with an average of 4.5 seconds.

His list looked like this:

“Bell Bottom Blues”-Derek and the Dominos- 8 seconds

“Don’t Stop Me Now”-Queen- 8 seconds

“One Day More”-Les Miz- 3 seconds

“You’ll be Back”-Hamilton- 4 seconds

“Rehab”-Amy Winehouse- 2 seconds

“Single Ladies”-Beyonce- 2 seconds

“Sincerely, Me”- Dear Evan Hansen- 3 seconds

“Shake it Off”-Taylor Swift- 2 seconds

“Waving Through a Window”-Dear Evan Hansen- 6 seconds

“Let it Go”-Frozen- 6 seconds

“Caress Me Down”-Sublime – 6 seconds

Quite the mix. Especially for a 3.5 year old.

And the other rankings?

My daughter’s average was 7.5 seconds. She also had an eclectic mix of songs, including “Peace Train”, “Shiny Happy People” and “Whip and Nae Nae”.

My average was 9 seconds.

(It got skewed by the uncharacteristically long 19 seconds that it took for me to name “And Then He Kissed me” by The Crystals”)

Finally, there was my husband. 23 seconds. I won’t even go into it.

The most important thing was that this was such a fun, new family activity for us. But instead of being the kid, was the master. We listened and laughed over our plates of meatballs and pizza.

We lingered at the table. It was wonderful.


On Friday, at the bus stop. I saw a snake.

It was a huge snake and I think that it had come out after a big rainstorm. It was so big that it could have been a boa constrictor, but I do not know for sure.

I was standing on our rock and looked behind me to see a long, slithery body. It wasn’t moving, but that tail…omg.

Did I mention that I have a huge phobia of snakes?
I went weak in the knees, while carrying my giant son.

When I regained the ability to move, I ran over to the two moms who had (wisely) parked at the bus stop (whereas I had walked over, through puddles).

Both in minivans, both looking so safe and protected, I went to each of them and told them about the scaly intruder on our street. And, what ensued was the funniest, most ridiculous conversation, and what I refer to as my most “Real Housewives of the Main Line” moment ever.

“What do we do?”

“I don’t know! Is it alive?”

One of the mothers drove around to get a better look (from the safety of her minivan).

The other mom asked if we should call the police.

At first I laughed. “I don’t think we call the police about a snake!”

And then I thought about it and asked, “Wait, do we call the police about a snake?”

and I looked up the number for our Township’s Animal Warden and she left a message for Animal Control.

And this is the scariest part: When my husband got home 20 minutes later and went to check out the enormous reptile he saw a police car go by the danger-zone area

but. he. did. not. see. the. snake.

The. snake. was. gone.

I still do not know what happened to that cobra or rattlesnake but when my daughter threw an Amazon gift card to me later that evening I jumped and screamed.

I thought it was the snake.


This morning is Philadelphia’s big Broad Street Run.

And that means that it is the anniversary of a very, very scary day in our history.

A day when things could have gone very differently — in a way that is too painful to imagine.

It could have been a nightmare and thank goodness that I woke up.

Reminder: Make sure to buy, install and check your Carbon Monoxide Monitors. And if you need a refresher on our story,

here it is.


So, there you have it. Some fun, not-so-fun and important things.

I wish you a day of fantastic music,

a beautiful Broad Street Run

and if you see a Boa Constrictor, find a mom in a minivan. She’ll know what to do.

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