Tuesday, March 27, 2012

$10 Text Tuesdays - Send a Sawbuck, Save a Life...and get a t-shirt

In the time it takes you to send a text, you can save a life and get a t-shirt custom designed by my brilliant cousin...although you've got to stick with it to get the shirt.

This year, I'm giving custom designed t-shirts to everyone who donates over $125 to my PMC ride. But I know that not everyone can drop $125 at once, so I'm going to make it easier for you:

Pledge to send me $10 every Tuesday for 12 weeks and you get the t-shirt. This is a new offer to donors this year, since not everyone wants to wrap themselves in spandex, which brings us to my ultimate offer... 
Pledge to send me $10 every Tuesday for 25 weeks and you get the t-shirt and a jersey of your own. These high quality cycling jerseys are also custom designed by my cousin. If you're not a cyclist, get one for a friend who is.
To take advantage of this offer, text
PMC FB0028
to 20222, to donate $10 to my ride, then let me know via email, Facebook, text, twitter or singing telegram that you've pledged to give every week and for how many weeks you'll be giving.

Can we beat cancer for just $10? Yes, we can. And, if you pledge to do this every Tuesday--you could save a life like that of six-year-old Mrs. Justin Bieber, Avalanna Routh.

Of course, if you want to give $100, $125 or $250 all at once, you can donate today.





Papa Bradstein will ride 200 miles across Massachusetts in two days to help fight cancer. Please support his ride.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Beauty in all its forms

Tonight, after I reminded him that his cousin Luna would be gone tomorrow when he woke up, 3B said, "When you said that, it made my throat hurt." he reached up to feel for the lump in his throat as his eyes filled with tears.

Later he told her that the lump in his throat was "thiiiis big...no--it's as big as this pillow."

I'm filled with gratitude that he loves his cousin so much, and that she could spend this week with us, and for all that I've learned from her and the kids.

It's good to love, but sometimes it hurts.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hopped up on goofballs and armed

A few days ago, I told you half of the story of my evening with Jewel. The other half came when Mama and 3B returned from the doctor's office, hopped up on goofballs and armed.


As you may recall, I took Jewel from "Take that avocado off my plate!" to stuffing it in her face and asking for more. Not that it was a proud moment in my parenting career or anything, but I did post a video of it.

As I said, Mama and 3B were at the doctor's office getting his bug bites checked out. On the way home they had to stop at CVS to get some cortisone cream and replenish our Neosporin supply to avoid 3B developing MRSA. Of course, to those under the age of 6, CVS stands for "candy variety store," which means that to those of us accompanying those under the age of 6, CVS stands for "conflict very soon."

Before they even entered the store, 3B was pestering Mama for a treat. Since he had been good at the doctor, it was late and what the hell, Mama said sure, he could have a treat. 3B, of course, doubled down. "And I want a toy."

Mama drew the line there. "Either a treat or a toy. Not both."

Then 3B produced his trump card. "You owe me $8."

Kid's not even in first grade yet, and we owe him money. And he knows it. And he's using it against us. Where did we go wrong? So, so wrong?

Mama knows when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em and when it's time get the hell out of CVS before she ends up with the entire toy and candy aisle in her basket, so she said, "OK, pick out a toy that's less than $8."

This explains why, when they arrived, Mama was carrying an already opened bag of donuts and 3B was carrying a ninja weapons kit complete with nunchaku. After stuffing one more donut through his sugar-encircled lips, 3B busts out the kit and, of course, skips right past the fake throwing knife and shuriken and begins whipping the nunchaku around his head like a helicopter.

A helicopter flying a dangerous height. In our living room. Piloted by a boy who's over-tired and jacked up on sugar.

What could possibly go wrong?

I looked straight at Mama and asked, "What were you thinking?"

She looked straight back at me and said, "I didn't even hesitate."

Ah, life with a black belt.

So then 3B asks, "Mama, how do you use these?" To which Mama responds with a nunchaku demonstration in our living room, which was the only safe thing that has happened with them to date. Her demonstration involved lots of whipping those sticks around her head, across her shoulders and through her crotch.

Can you guess what 3B did next?

It will be amazing if anyone in this house can have children after 3B is done with those nunchaku. And look, it cost thousands of dollars to go get one of those things--there's no need to be knocking it into the next county with some seven-dollar sliced-up broomsticks.

Quickly realizing the error of his ways in copying his mother's moves, 3B returned to his helicopter rotor and airplane propeller moves--again, at a height that is dangerous to those parts of my body that allow me to eat, breathe and walk. But, you know, other than that, totally safe.

The only thing that would make the nunchaku safer is if 3B's sister found out about them. I mean, what could go wrong with a contrary two-year-old prone to tantrums, a deadly weapon and a sometimes jealous older brother?

I'm going to spend the next week in our room, behind a locked door, eating my way through that bag of donuts.



To save himself from the armed insurrection, Papa Bradstein will ride 200 miles across Massachusetts in two days to help fight cancer. Please support his ride.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

I put my neck on the line, you get a t-shirt

Bradsteins at Papa's office.
Update: Deadline extended to May 21. See below for details.


3B's had a rough go these last few weeks, with one virus after another laying him out with a fever, cough and congestion. Jewel hasn't escaped the season unscathed either, going through strep throat and other rounds of sniffles. It's to be expected with kids, but what I didn't expect was how they would respond to each other.

At two and five years old, they have showed tremendous compassion to each other. What stands out in my mind now are the moments when Jewel has brought 3B his lovie to comfort him when he's been laid out in his bed, sweating, in the grips of a raging fever, unable to summon the energy to even lift his head. However, 3B has been no less caring of his sister--yes, sometimes it's in his own fierce way, but that fiery bloom springs from the same root.

Before you think I'm taking credit for these little lamas, I'll tell you that I know this is the result of their spending their days with Mama while I'm at work. They're my bodhisattvas, trying to teach me about compassion. Again. And again.

Fortunately, they're more patient than they appear. Or they're just as stubborn as I am.

And the hope they give me for the future is amplified by the hope I get from your generosity in supporting my ride to support cancer patients, their doctors and the researchers who are daily finding new treatments and even cures for cancers.

I know that, like Jewel and 3B, what moves you to help others is your own goodwill, but I want you to know that there are rewards other than that for you.

Time is running out on one of my most popular rewards while another is just beginning. If you give a total of (can be spread over multiple donations)
2011 jersey, click to enlarge
$100, you can put a face on the fight against cancer by placing a picture on my jersey. This is one of the most popular rewards, but time is running out. You need to donate and get me the picture before April 1 May 21 to ensure it makes it onto the jersey. Donate today.
$125, you can not only place a picture on my jersey (if you donate before April 1), but also get a t-shirt custom designed by my brilliant cousin, who also designs my jersey. This is a new reward this year, since not everyone wants to wrap themselves in spandex, which brings us to the penultimate reward... Donate today.
$250, you can place a picture on my jersey (if you donate before April 1), get a t-shirt and get a jersey of your own. To get a jersey of your own, your donation can arrive later than April 1 (final deadline not set yet), so you could donate $100 now to get a picture on the jersey, then the remaining $150 later to get the jersey. Donate today.

And then the big reward...if before June 1 this year I raise another
  • $2,000 - I will shave my beard.
  • $2,500 - I will shave my beard and head.
  • $3,000 - I will shave my beard, head and legs.
 Donate today.
And yes, I will again post a video of the shearing here for you to enjoy watch. Remember that you will be making my mom happy while you embarrass me. Also, I will keep shaving through the PMC in August, so here's your chance to make me suffer not just on the bike, but everywhere I go, for months.

To give you an idea of how it goes for me after I shave, when I walked into work the day after shaving last year, the first reaction I got was, "Did you lose a bet?" That was followed immediately by, "Were you at a frat party this weekend?"

Perhaps I need to bring 3B and Jewel to work to demonstrate compassion.



Papa Bradstein will ride 200 miles across Massachusetts in two days to help fight cancer. Please support his ride.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

On the edge of the abyss of No

Two nights ago, back when it was spring, before winter returned again, Mama and I took the kids out on the street to play with their new stomp rockets. Yes, we play on the street...look, what's the challenge of playing on a lawn?

But seriously, we play at the end of a cul-de-sac that backs up to our dead end street.

And we play on the street because apparently you should never get off the street unless you're going all the way. Kids get off the street. They quit the whole program...but then they get eaten by chiggers, just like 3B did.

That's why last night Mama took 3B to the doctor, just to ensure his horrible red welts weren't something worse than we thought they were, while I had dinner with Jewel. It was an interesting evening since Jewel was teetering on the edge of the abyss of No. After a brief breakdown when Mama and 3B left, which is to be understood--she loves them both with all her heart--she managed to avoid the abyss of No, and we had a pleasant night enjoying one of her favorite pastimes: talking.

When she's deep in the darkness of No, Jewel will be contrary to anything you state: Do you want a cookie? No! Are you upset? No! How about a donut? No!

Of course, I love to test her with questions like, Do you always say no? And, Do you like to say no? And, Do you answer all questions with "no"?

Yes, I understand that I will pay for these transgressions later in life, but for now, they're just so much fun. It's like hitting a tennis ball against a wall. Why do it? The wall doesn't move. Yes, but then you get to bounce the ball back against it. Again. And again. And again.

So, we had a perfectly pleasant conversation, which is to say that I enjoyed Jewel's soliloquy. I captured about half of our dinner dialogue here, for you to experience.

For what it's worth, between you and me, by the by and all of that, before I turned the camera on, Jewel had insisted not only that she didn't want avocado, but that I remove it from her plate, nay, from her sight.

Oh, and 3B's bites are fine. Nothing a little cortisone cream, neosporin and time won't mend.




Papa Bradstein will ride 200 miles across Massachusetts in two days to help fight cancer. Please support his ride.

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Monday, March 05, 2012

It's not you, it's me

No, I didn't want to be able to see other social media sites.


No, I didn't need more space.

I was sick. And tired. And then sick some more. And tired pretty much all the way through.

So that's where I've been. And where I still am, sort of. Although all I've got to show for all of that now is a nagging cough, I'm still tired, although I'm getting back on my bike today, which says something.

It probably says that I'm stupid and a little scared that I won't be in shape for my 200-mile ride in August. But I can probably nap on my bike, right?

Did I mention that I was tired?

3B seems to have gone down with me--although we barely avoided ear infections by getting him on antibiotics right away--but then bounced back faster. Of course. He is still, like 67 times younger than I am. Mama and Jewel have somehow stayed the hell away from whatever plague took down 3B and I. The women are smarter.

During this time, there has been a brilliant trip to a museum, a wonderful brunch with friends, more words out of Jewel's mouth than grains of sand on a beach...and that's just the parts I was awake for.

I'm sure that I'll be able to recall them and write about them...just give me a day or so here to wake up.

And maybe visit a few other social media sites.



Papa Bradstein will ride 200 miles across Massachusetts in two days to help fight cancer. Please support his ride.

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