What’s the best way to spend Casmir Pulaski Day? Why with Nick and Bruce Willis of course!


This has been such a long and sad week. My computer had a nasty virus and I haven’t been able to chat with you all week. Thankfully the smarties at Office Depot were able to straighten out the problem and I brought it home today! It’s probably just as well anyway because we have been to Milwaukee for a gymnastics meet and up to our eyeballs in hockey playoffs. Shoot, pass, kick some……. Well, you can imagine the rest.

Last Monday I enjoyed the best Casmir Pulaski Day ever…..I spent it with my son Nicholas. The Be All and End All Academy, where Nick is a junior is High School, had the day off of school in honor of Casmir Pulaski ( a cavalry officer born in Poland, celebrated for his contributions to the US military during the American Revolution…thanks Wikipedia!) Teenagers are very busy creatures and I welcome any opportunity to have extra time with my fella (other than the super fun hours I spend nagging him about; homework, putting away his laundry, the trail of discarded clothes and candy wrappers, the 13 separate glasses he uses each day for orange juice, his beverage of choice, and abandons wherever he happens to be at the moment, which are scattered about the house…you know, the usual). Nick is the best, and I’m not saying that just because I’m his mom. When he is not performing his obligatory duties as an irritating teenager, this kid is amazing. He is perfectly sweet, compassionate and charming, polite and respectful, hard working and dedicated, and not too bad on the eyes. He is one witty and funny son of a gun. He has a wicked sense of humor, occasionally out of line and inappropriate (though I have never been too terribly concerned because I believe it is easier to temper spirit than it is to inspire it), and anyway, that’s what letters of apology and flowers are for (teachers…… you know who you are. He has his own stationary and the phone number of a good florist). He has great delivery and impeccable timing, and if you can’t tell, I’m over the moon for him. One of the best things about Nick is that he is passionate (and perhaps a bit obsessive….you know the story….apple….tree) about everything he does. I suppose he is a More is More kind of young man……more hockey, more rollerblading and stick handling (hockey practice in my house), more working out, more golf, more chocolate, more smack downs with his sister, more noise, more chaos and more fun!

One of the other things I love about my Nick is that he is a total gamer. He is always up for doing things. When he was little he would wake up in the morning and ask, “What do I get to do today?” I love that! He views life experiences as opportunities. This past Thanksgiving he was up with me at 6:30 AM (on a day off of school) to accompany me and my girlfriends on a 5 mile Turkey Trot. Christmas morning he was happy to join me on our own Reindeer Run, and we welcomed in the New Year with a 5 mile run with our baby Wrigley. I consider myself fortunate to have a teenager that is such good company. I was just thrilled to have an unexpected afternoon with him. I know that’s totally sappy. I cry at commercials too. Boo hoo.

We decided to celebrate Casmir Pulaski Day by heading to……the movies! Going to the movies is one of our favorite family past times. William Powell (the old actor from the 30’s and 40’s) is our all time favorite actor, and our Nick is named for the character he plays in The Thin Man: Nick Charles. In fact, our very first apartment was in the South Loop, in a building that housed five movie theaters. It was awesome. Sometimes Chuck would stop in on his way home from work just to buy popcorn. We decided it was time to move when there was a gang shooting in front of our building while they were playing the movie Color’s with Sean Penn and Ice T. What can you do?

Anyway, Bruce Willis is by far the coolest dude in the movies. I have loved him since he was David Addison in Moonlighting (Do bears bare? Do bees be?), John Mc Clane in Die Hard (Yippee Ki-yay), and I even liked Hudson Hawk (You could be swinging on a star…). So when we saw that Cop Out was playing, there was no question that even though it looked terrible, we had to see it; besides Tracy Morgan is in it too, and we love him on 30 Rock. I have seen four movies at the theater this month (which is a miracle considering this is our busy season), and Cop Out was more entertaining (although completely inappropriate and just plain wrong in oh so many ways) than:

• Crazy Heart…..or, as it should have been called, Crazy Boring. Jeff Bridges turned in a stellar performance as always (hence the Oscar), but it was a dull country/western version of last year’s The Wrestler, with Mickey Rourke (who is crazy) which was actually amazing.

• Up in the Air…..precisely where they should have stayed, though Gorgeous George Clooney was engaging and entertaining, and I would have expected nothing less from him. The movie on the other hand…ho-hum

• Valentines Day…..how could it possibly have been any good with that many stars? Ashton Kutcher, cute as a button. Jennifer Garner, dimples for days. PG-13? I think not. On a precious day off of school, Amanda and I went to lunch and a show with a gaggle of mothers and daughters. The mothers were absolutely cringing as a teenage couple was planning the first time they were going to have s-e-x right in front of our daughters. Eeew! Where is a good Disney picture when you need it?

So by now Cop Out was looking pretty darn good. But do you know what the best part of Cop Out was (other than the totally cool Bruce Willis)? …. Getting to spend the day with my Nick. Thanks Casmir Pulaski!

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