Must Watch - "When I Walk"

Take a break from binge watching Breaking Bad over this holiday weekend and watch something real! You have to watch this powerful documentary by Jason Silva called "When I Walk."  Jason is a filmmaker who was diagnosed with Primary Progressive MS when he was 25 years old. Lucky for us, he decided to turn the camera on himself to capture the doubt, fear and hopelessness that he experiences after the diagnosis, the fast and unpredictable progression of the disease, the varying reactions he receives from his support system, and the everyday hurdles, big and small, that he and so many others face everyday of their lives.

It's a story of love, loyalty, courage and hope. But also it is scary!  I cannot imagine many things scarier than knowing you are slowly losing function of your body and realizing there is nothing you can do to stop it.  MS is a terrible disease. Alessandro went from walking with a walker to not being able to stand on his own and being confined to a scooter in less than a year. The transition has been a rough one, but he is a champion and I could not be more proud of him.  Is he kicking this diseases ass?  Hell no.  He is terrified of this disease and it is kicking his.  But, he's still in the ring and willing to go more rounds.  That's what makes him a champion in my book. Many of our loved ones have told us that from their perspective, we are handling all of this so well.  While we may not always feel that way, we are handling it as only we know how.

Everyone reacts differently to the hand they are dealt, and Jason's reaction is admirable to watch on screen and Alessandro's in person.  This documentary mirrors our lives in so many ways and is Must See TV for anyone who knows someone who has MS.

It is available online via PBS until September 5th, and can be purchased here. Let me know what you think.


Family Fun in the D: Mt. Elliott (Splash) Park!

We found ourselves at Detroit's newest family attraction, Mt. Elliott Park, the other day when Alessandro's family came to hang out.  It was great fun for the little ones!  There could have been more amenities for the adults, such as coffee, booze, or snacks that were not animal crackers, but here's to hoping that will come in the future.  The park has only been open about a month or two and I can already see it is a great edition to our fine City.  

Don't believe me?  Enzo will prove it. 

It was a sort of impromptu trip, so none of the kids had any swim-wear, hence Enzo's impressively droopy diaper.  

The other kids had a blast too.  Here's Victoria going all-in.

Francesca managed to stay dry the entire time. 

The girls made friends with this little girl in the bathing suit.  When I was showing them these pictures this weekend, Victoria very excitedly said, "Hey!  There's my fwend!"  So cute.  And as a side note, they look good as a family of seven!  Hint, hint.

Enzo and Frank are best friends!

And check out these good looking boys. 

Saverio loves him some Uncle Alessandro, so he tried to hide on his scooter so that he could go home with us. 

We had a good time at the splash park and I would recommend it.  Don't forget to take a towel!  We were a bit ill prepared, but it still worked out and we had fun with each other. 



Alessandro and I have been busy trying to get around to watch all of the kids in their Spring/Summer sport activities.  We've made our rounds, so here's to memorializing.  

Ava played soccer earlier this Summer.  Her team was undefeated until they lost in the final tournament. Please note her cut-off jean shorts and colorful shin guards.  

CJ is playing coach-pitch baseball. He would have rather been skateboarding though, hence the lip.

 Victoria and Saverio are playing t-ball and coach pitch and get to play on the same team.  How cute they are in their baggy uniforms!

I have been busy playing sand volleyball with Team Blasty Blast and kickball, of all things, with Team Ball Kickers.  

Yay for sports!

That's it.


Shout Out to My Boo

I just wanted to give a quick shout-out here to Alessandro.  Today he successfully* completed a 5 day course of steroids.  As you all know, this is not our first time on the steroid train, but it was the first time he's had steroids while being scooter-bound, so it was a very different experience.

We celebrated tonight with cake.  

And I would like to take this opportunity to remind you all how handsome my husband is in case you forgot. These photos are from last Summer, but better late than never.  Al looks the same except his hair is shorter right now, which reminds me that holding off on a haircut might not be the worse thing in the world.   

Alessandro, you go boy!

*Successfully = the I.V. lock did not dislodge and no infections at the site.  Booyah.  


Summer in the D - Bucket List Style

I have an anxious feeling that this Summer is going to pass me by this year, even though it really has only just begun.  There is so much I want to do and I don't know if there's enough time.  So instead of going outside and experiencing this warm Summer evening, I thought I'd stew about it here in front of my computer screen. Yeah, good plan. 

Here's what I need to experience this Summer, organized for my convenience: 

  • Walk through Eastern Market for sushi or pizza and dessert (I have been talking about doing this for the longest time.  Al just smiles and nods).
  • Go for walks or go swimming after dinner 
  • Movie Night in the Park on the Detroit Riverfront (Tue July 8 or Thu August 21)
  • Wednesday Night at the Movies at New Center Park - Casablanca (June 18), Jurassic Park (June 25), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (July 30), The Breakfast Club (August 20), 2001:  A Space Odyssey (August 27).
  • Kayaking on the Detroit River courtesy of Detroit River Sports (Sundays)
  • Ride the Cut with CJ
  • Go swimming with the nieces and nephews
  • Boys Night Sleepover with Saverio and CJ 
  • Girls Night Sleepover with Ava, Maya, Victoria and Francesca 
  • Jazz Fest (August 29 - September 1)
  • Bike rides, bike rides, bike rides
  • Walk the Isle with my Auntie

Sounds like an excellent Summer to me. 

And here are other bucket lists of the past.


Alessandro's Dad

Alessandro's Dad is one of my favorite people in the world.  I've never met anyone like him.  I can't really do his personality justice, but here are 20 things I think you should know about Victor on his 65th Birthday: 
  1. He calls Alessandro almost every morning to talk about the Tigers, the news, or politics. 
  2. He stops by to hang out with Al anytime he can when he's downtown for court, or even when he's not, and Alessandro feels the love. 
  3. He is extremely opinionated and often thinks he knows everything, and honestly most of the time he does...except for when it comes to Marco Scutaro.  
  4. He also thinks he can do anything, such as easily ride his bike 50 miles even though he hasn't ridden a bike in 30 years, and play the saxophone even though he never has before (but he did play the clarinet in high school so that should count for something).
  5. He likes snowmen, but he loves soup.
  6. He is obsessed with mermaids, aliens and crime shows. 
  7. He makes it his mission in life to make sure you have a drink if you are ever a guest in his house. (Even when you may not want one, but those are small details). 
  8. I can tell he's a father of girls.  For a man who is most often in a world of his own, he is surprisingly aware of new dresses or new hairstyles and compliments me if I am ever notably pulled together in any way.
  9. He's a really good singer (and his kids and wife will hate me for saying so). 
  10. He hates driving Ford Explorers because "They have no visibility." 
  11. He is very caring and loves his family more than anything in the world.  (See #2 above).  
  12. His grand kids love him and his "Slowly I turned" skit. 
  13. He and Al's mom have been married for nearly 37 years!  They work together everyday and manage to still love each other : ) 
  14. He hates the words "closure" and "pro-active" and dislikes the current-day usage of the term "icon." 
  15. It's never boring watching a Tiger game with him.  First, he declares that, "The game is over," and walks out of the room if the Tigers fall behind in the first inning (or at any other point throughout the game).  Second, he changes his favorite Tiger player weekly, depending on who's doing well, and pretends that his previous pick never existed.  Third, he takes personal offense when Italian ball players don't pronounce their own names properly (ex:  Porcello = Por-chello, not Por-cell-o).  (See # 3 above). 
  16. He cannot cook anything...except for peanut butter sandwiches, which he LOVES and could eat everyday.  
  17. He thinks he's younger than he is, which is a good thing...except when it leads to bad things such as causing him to challenge his 20-something-year-old daughter-in-law to a foot race that ends in someone falling (twice).  
  18. He doesn't believe middle-aged men and older should wear tennis shoes under any circumstances. Loafers are appropriate in almost all circumstances, including when gardening and during foot races (see #17 above). As are corduroys. 
  19. All of our friends really enjoy talking to him and always comment about how nice he is.
  20. Some people do not like him though (see #3 above).  But most do. 
I feel very lucky to know him and to have him as my father-in-law.  Happy 65th Vic!