Hey all! Since Den just had his third book published, he got an author Facebook page! So head over and like him here so you can keep up to date on what’s going on with him.
He misses you all (and posting here) thoroughly. But he IS feeling quite optimistic still, and things are quite well for him. He got married, went to London on honeymoon, and in general is quite happy.
Here’s a description of his new book:
On the day author Dennis Finocchiaro sat and started interviewing his grandfather for a graduate school project, he never knew how far into the past he would travel or the range of emotions he would feel. This is the story of Rosario “Charlie” Finocchiaro through the eyes of his grandson Dennis, throughout his childhood in 1920s Philadelphia to war in Italy all the way up to his retirement in Havertown; Inheritance introduces the reader to the life of an everyday man, a soldier, contractor and patriarch. Experience childhood in 1920s Philly, wartime Italy during World War II, the Jersey Shore throughout many decades, and contemporary suburban Philadelphia in a memoir that jumps through the last one hundred years and introduces the journey of a grandson getting to know his grandfather thanks to an assignment. Humor, romance and even a few bootleggers make this nonfiction account of one man’s life both heartwarming and informative. Travel through time with a grandson as he learns his family’s history, heritage, and ultimately, his greatest inheritance.
A story about our encounter with a father and son bonding over my favorite thing in the world: Legos.
If you read this blog at all, you already know I have a bit of an affinity – oh heck let’s call it what it is – an obsession with Legos. Well, this past weekend I had a $20 gift card to Toys-R-Us and wanted the cool Creator Log Cabin and was in the aisle looking for it when I saw a father/son by the little bagged figures. Do you know them? They’re in a bag and you have no idea which one you get. It’s fun and I definitely buy them when I see them on sale.
So I walk into the aisle and this father and his son have about twenty of the bags laid out on a shelf. I quickly figure out they’re going for the Feel the bag and guess which one is in it theory (which seldom works…I was trying to get the monkey trainer for the longest time but apparently the girl-hair part feels like a monkey), so Elle and I joined them. I wanted her to see the new series (she pretends to care because she loves me).
I said to Elle, “I really want the robot.” The little kid, who had thick glasses, looked up. The dad laughed. “That’s the one we’re trying to get!” “I can understand that…it’s the best one.” “We also want the leprechaun” the kid said to me. We had a little talk with them and I admitted it took luck to get the monkey trainer (yes, I did finally get it) and we had a nice talk with the kid and his dad. It really warms my heart, seeing a moment like this. The dad and son, working together and chasing down these toys, it’s one of those memories the kid will have forever. I hope to be that dad someday.
They ended up in line behind us as I was buying the log cabin (yup! got it!) and as we walked to our car I heard a voice say “Excuse me!” from the van next to our car. I look over and it’s the kid in the back seat.
“We got the robot!” he yelled. His dad and I both laughed, and I said “That’s awesome. I’m jealous now!”
What a trip to the toy store, huh?
Last week the gal and I were driving to a friend’s house for a little get together and the sun was setting, creating this really cool shadow of us in front of the car. I had to point it out to her.
“Look at how cool our shadow looks!”
As she looked I decided to wave. She giggled.
It’s the little things.
Today’s illustrations are by Mette. Check out her blog!
Busy busy busy. Sometimes we find ourselves so busy that we don’t get the chance to sit down and enjoy the simple things. And that is ME right now. Over the next two weeks, I will teach twenty-four college classes, work at six hockey games, write at least nine blog posts and still attempt to find time to write. Plus about five appointments that surround planning our wedding.
When will I find time to relax, enjoy my house, have some quality time with the fiancee?
Trust me, I will. I’m like that.
The other day I wrote a short story based on true events that I wanted to share with you. I was on the train on the way to work when I noticed that in the seat in front of me, a girl in a fluffy white hat had her head on the guy’s shoulder. I wondered if they knew each other or if this was one of those awkward times someone fell asleep on a stranger.
When the speakers crackled the Suburban stop, he nudged her lovingly, her head lifted, she rubbed her eyes and stood. Before she walked away, she leaned over, kissed him and said “I love you.”
There was something so cute about the moment I wanted to share. How many couples get to commute to work and yet still totally love it? Adorable.
So it was Thanksgiving part two, my girlfriend and I were at the shore for Thanksgiving dinner with my family, and everything was going well. We had a great time, my whole immediate family came, and my uncle showed up out of the blue and ate with us. Good times.
My girlfriend asked if, after dinner, we could do a walk on the beach. It was about 66 degrees (19 C) that evening, which is oddly warm for this time of year. We brought her iPad so we could stargaze and actually know the constellations we were looking at. We even saw Jupiter! It was beautiful.
So then we started with a walk and chatted, the sound of the ocean soundtracking our evening.
I started. “What a perfect weekend, huh? We got to have Thanksgiving dinner with both of our families, plus got to have two turkey dinners!”
“It couldn’t have been more perfect,” she said.
I stopped walked. “Actually, I think there is one way it could be more perfect…” and I pulled out the ring. Her eyes widened and she started shaking her head.
“Bastard!” she said to me with a huge smile. “Seriously?”
“Will you marry me?”
And we kissed.
Then we walked to the boardwalk and I slipped the ring on her finger. She’s a bit clumsy and I was afraid to put it on where it could fall into the oblivion of sand. And no, I did not get down on one knee, pretty much for the same reason; I was afraid I would fumble and drop the ring.
So now I’m engaged.
I sometimes think a great date consists of sitting around playing video games. My personal favorite to play with the girlfriend are the Lego games, especially Lego Harry Potter.
Last weekend at a yard sale I got us Mario Kart and a Nerf shooting game – both of which we played this weekend. I warned the girl that I STINK at Mario Kart (no clue why…I just do. I could probably play for days on end in a sad attempt to get better and still suck). I also warned her I usually start yelling at the game in frustration.
It took me about five minutes of playing to start yelling. She found it hilarious. But at least I didn’t throw the controller…I guess I’m growing up.
If you’re at all like me, you’ve been wanting an iPhone for a while now. Well guess what…I got mine last weekend! Huzzah! I’m a big Apple fan and always have been. I’ve never actually owned a PC, even going back to childhood.
So I picked up my new phone and was SO EXCITED. I got in the car and wanted to call my girlfriend to tell her I got it. So I search contacts, find her, and…can’t figure out what to do to actually CALL her. I was lost! Sure, it was my first touchscreen phone, but I didn’t imagine it would be difficult. So I sat there staring until suddenly, without warning…the phone talked to me.
Siri: Looks like you’re having trouble. Need help?
Me: Uh…yes. I want to call my girlfriend.
Siri: Do you want to call her at work or on her mobile?
I was shocked…seriously?
Me: Mobile, please.
Voice: Hello? (IT WAS MY GIRLFRIEND!)
Siriously…(pun intended) it was that easy. Siri is the coolest thing ever. My new goal is to figure out a way to make her curse.
And yes, I eventually figured out how to make calls.
As you may know Den is a writer, and a damn good one too. When he’s not writing optimistic stories from his everyday life here, he writes short stories known as flash fiction.
The other day he posted a new story to his blog. It was one of those stories that you just have to read. Which is why I stole it for you guys to read:
“But…” she looked at him, confused.
“I said space alien.”
“Okay…so you think the shooting stars are UFOs?”
“Yup!” he said with a triumphant smile.
“But the place is called Shooting Star Beach.”
He nodded. “Look, there goes another one!”
“So let me get this straight. You think the lights that look like shooting stars are – “
“Spaceships flying. Isn’t it obvious?”
“It’s not obvious. It’s dubious at best.”
He slouched a little as her mother walked up.
“He’s only eight,” she whispered into her daughter’s ear.
I wish you a wonderful weekend and hope that you’ll take your loved ones by the hand and go look for spaceships.
Nadia (& Den)
There are some things in life that are too cool for words.
I just got back from a trip to Outer Banks, North Carolina, where I saw my sister get married (a beautiful event in itself), my first wild horses, and my first real, full, rainbow. And I don’t mean a rainbow going from one cloud to the ground. I mean the whole darn thing from horizon to horizon. And not just one, but two, one right above the other.
The world is such a beautiful place.
P.S. More on the wild horses later in the week 🙂