Posted in Wednesday Warriors

Robbie Hart

No matter how many times I watch The Wedding Singer, the character Robbie Hart always does something in the film that makes me think hard about true love. This time around, since I saw it a few weeks ago, it was all about the little things. Today, I’d like to talk about Robbie Hart and about what makes him so unique that I would include him in my Wednesday Warriors series.

Adam Sandler as Robbie Hart in The Wedding Singer
Adam Sandler as Robbie Hart in The Wedding Singer

You know you’re in trouble when you look through your movie collection and all you can find is an Adam Sandler movie. In truth, that’s a good thing, since trouble means laughing through it even after multiple viewings haven’t diminished the impact of the content. The film The Wedding Singer is like that. Filled with inside jokes and funny transitions, the flick comes with two admirable stars whose chemistry flows from the screen.

Robbie Hart (Adam Sandler) is a wedding singer who loses his fiancée at the altar. The no-show devastates him enough to cause him to have a meltdown of sorts. During this time, Julia Sullivan (Drew Barrymore), the new employee at the wedding hall he plays at, and his future romantic interest, promises to hire Hart’s band as the band who should play for her own wedding. As the story progresses, the two discover that their friendship is more than what they expect and confront their feelings for each other in one of the most sentimental and funniest movie endings.

What makes Robbie a unique character to admire is the way he handles life. Other than his fiancée dumping him, he doesn’t allow life to dictate the way he lives. He’s a wedding singer—how cool is that? Every weekend is party time. Additionally, given he lives in a small town where he grew up, he has decided to live his life where his kids can grow up safe and secure away from the big city madness that grips all twentysomethings like him.

Drew Barrymore as Julia
Drew Barrymore as Julia

He doesn’t make a lot of money. So what? He may not have the best of opportunities to move forward with his life. So what? He’s happy. That’s what counts. He realizes that, and anyone around him knows he’s the relaxed type who enjoys his time with friends and family. That counts for something, doesn’t it?

Regarding his relaxed attitude—nothing really bothers Robbie. One of his older students could pour two meatballs with sauce in his hands, but rather than get annoyed, he runs with it and is grateful for the thought. His best friend Julia has that same relaxed attitude. She doesn’t have a problem with Robbie’s wedding singer status, his small-town dreams and his penchant for laughing at the weirdest of things. She loves him just the same.

Which brings me to Robbie’s best character attribute. With him, it’s the little things:

I wanna make you smile whenever you’re sad
Carry you around when your arthritis is bad
All I wanna do is grow old with you.
I’ll get your medicine when your tummy aches
Build you a fire if the furnace breaks
Oh, it could be so nice, growin’ old with you.
I’ll miss you, kiss you, give you my coat when you are cold.
Need you, feed you, I’ll even let you hold the remote control.
So let me do the dishes in the kitchen sink
Put you to bed when you’ve had too much to drink.
Oh, I could be the man to grow old with you.
I wanna grow old with you.

If anything, Robbie Hart has heart. And in a world where things sometimes move too fast, Robbie is a welcome relief to de-stress and look at life through a different pair of eyes.


What do you think of Robbie Hart. Have you seen The Wedding Singer?

Posted in Freedom Friday

The Day After the Night Before

Is it over? I don’t know how long I can survive. The gifts, food, family, fun, arrangements, hugs, kisses, handshakes, decorations, lights, marshmallows, hot chocolate, snacks, parties, TV, movies, music, and in some cases, dancing. It’s not over yet. The day after is PJ day in our home and there’s still New Year’s Day to look forward to.

Not our family.
Not our family.

Freedom Friday is the day I talk about anything that pops into my head. Today let’s talk about the day after the night before.

This is no joke. It’s PJ day here at Casa Flacco, and like past years, the day will go something like this: We’ll wake up at an ungodly hour, have a late breakfast filled with sugary treats for the kids and carbs for the rest of us. Around mid-afternoon we’ll probably start lunch—still in our PJs, then move on to laze about around the fire reading, playing games and reminisce about the night before where we spent the holidays with my parents.

Family time for our family is a big deal. During this time of year, we spend an inordinate amount of hours together with the added benefit of not getting on each other’s nerves. I slipped in that last part because getting along is something we do well. Actually, let me correct that. A fight is a fight, but the next day is a new day and we typically forgive and forget quickly. So, yeah, I’d say getting along is one of our strengths.

The game of Risk
The game of Risk

Previous years, we played games as the evening wore on. The whole event consists of a board game, bowls of snacks and tons of drinks to keep us occupied round after round of competitive play. Before the kids came along, my wife and I used to do the same thing only with another couple. We’d play Risk until the wee hours of the night stuffing our faces with food while orchestrating a virtual takeover of The Americas. Those were the days. What am I saying? These are the days.

The other good thing about this day has to be the sleep. I’d mentioned how we all wake up late into the morning. That’s not fiction. You see, one of the things we do the night before is wear the new PJs we purchased for this occasion. We do this every year. We get new PJs for all of us, and we then have a reason to sleep in. I don’t know what it is, but new PJs is like a sedative on the body. So comfortable. So relaxing. It’s too bad it only happens once a year. I could sure do this more often. Then again, how many times do we have the opportunity to do that? Okay, I’ll stop self-analyzing.

Now you know a bit more about my family. In some respect, we’re weird—but not as weird as any other family steeped in tradition. We’re just regular folk.

I hope you also have fun today.


How are your holidays so far? Do you do anything special during this time of year? Movies anyone?

Posted in Freedom Friday

Holiday Decorations

Nutcrackers fill our house. I don’t know where this deep fascination with these inanimate objects came from, but all I know is that they’re everywhere. Nutcrackers guard our fireplace mantles, they stand at attention at the entrance of our doorways, and they even keep watch over the landing of our stairs to the second floor. They’re everywhere, I tell you.

Holiday Decorations
Holiday Decorations

Stuffed snowmen fill our house, too. They hang on our home’s front door in the form of a wreath. They sit as decoration on the landing into our basement. They even grace our little winter town display on the bay window. They’re everywhere, I tell you.

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about for this Freedom Friday article, wonder no more. It’s all about this season’s decorations.

Tinsel is a big feature in our home this winter. I don’t think anyone is safe going anywhere without encountering the red, silver and gold decoration. It travels along the railings of the staircases. It covers our furniture. And it’s in places I didn’t even think it would appear. But that’s another story.

More Holiday Decorations
More Holiday Decorations

And the lights? The seemingly endless strands of lights? There’s no end to them. I’m sure you’re going to ask where they lie. But I’m afraid to say. I’m afraid. Are you ready? They run along the staircase, they cover the fireplace mantles, and they rest on a small table in the foyer to light the way for us when we come back from visiting friends in the late evening hours. They cover the bay window, providing color to a cold winter night. They’re in the form of trinkets spread through the house, and they’re always ready to amuse after our evening meal when all we want to do is lie on the couch and relax. I’m sure they’re in other places. I just don’t know where. After the holidays, it’s like an Easter egg hunt. We wonder where we put them all only to find them in July wedged in a corner somewhere before a visit to the park or after a family BBQ.

But you know what? I like this time of year. Not so much for all the decorations, although they make the winter months seem warmer, but for the feeling I get when sitting by the fireplace with a hot drink in my hand. It’s calming. Relaxing. Soothing. Especially with the wind howling outside, the temperatures dropping to sub-zero, and snow filling our driveway. I don’t know, it’s just—just perfect. If only the feeling would last all year round.

Wouldn’t that be something?


Do you decorate for the season? What do you do to make the year end special?

Posted in Food Favorites, Freedom Friday

Food Tips

I enjoy food as much as the next guy. In fact, I would venture to say, I eat for the shear pleasure. I never used to be this way. Most of my meals years ago had trouble staying in my mouth more than a few seconds before they hit the bottom of my stomach. I ate fast. I played hard. And lived for no tomorrow. Of course, I don’t do that anymore, and I’m happier and healthier for it.

A full pantry (Photo Credit:
A full pantry (Photo Credit:

I thought for Freedom Friday you’d appreciate a few tricks I have up my sleeve whenever I’m in the kitchen cooking a meal. I’ve always wanted to write these tips in a notebook, but how can that happen if I’m either in the kitchen cooking for the family or at my laptop writing other stuff? And don’t worry, although I write about zombies it doesn’t mean I am one. I’ll leave the undead to worry about eating brains.

Let me start by saying every kitchen needs a few basic ingredients. Salt, pepper, and olive oil make it almost into every meal. That’s why our family buys those ingredients in bulk. If you have a cold room or pantry, you can store the basics in there for a long time before you need to stock the shelves again. I suppose you can do the same thing with toilet paper, but I’d recommend not eating toilet paper.

Here’s something I’ve learned when I went on a one-year viewing binge of Food Network Canada. Chances are I picked up a thing or two here and there as I watched, however, one of the coolest tips I got from them has to do with knowing when the oil in the pan is hot enough for frying. All you do is wet your finger with water and allow a drop to fall to the pan. If the water snaps in the pan, then you know it’s perfect for frying.

Which reminds me, if you’re going to try this trick, make sure you stand well back from the pan. You don’t want to make your meal to-go, as in going to the hospital ‘cause your eye was an inch away from the pan.

How to hold a chef's knife (Photo Credit:
How to hold a chef’s knife (Photo Credit:

You’d think holding a knife is easy. Not at Casa Flacco. When I’m cutting vegetables, I grasp the knife by the handle, curling my index finger to the side of the blade while my thumb leans on the other side, half on the blade and half of the handle. Not only is it safe, but you have better control of the cutting. With the other hand, I curl my fingers so as my fingernails fall at a ninety-degree angle on the vegetable. Then, I cut with a rhythm, rocking the knife on its tip as I bring the blade down on the vegetable. I learned this technique from one of these fancy-shmancy chefs in order to prevent a premature amputation of a digit.

The proper cut (Photo Credit:
The proper cut (Photo Credit:

Not so much a tip as it is a recommendation, but enjoying your food ranks up there with turning off the stove when you’re done with it. It involves not rushing through your meal so you can spend countless of senseless hours in front of a screen. I’ve done it many times and it doesn’t do justice to the digestive tract. Eating your food at a leisurely pace invokes a relaxed atmosphere conducive to pleasure. The food settles better, too. I know, it’s hard to do in this day and age where we’re rushing everywhere. But it beats ravaging a side of steer and washing it down with a gallon of gin.


Do you have any food tips you’d like to share? Are you a fast eater?

Posted in Freedom Friday


I have a ritual I perform every weekend during this time of year. I’m not sure if anyone else does the same thing, but it satisfies my hunger for something different. What do I do? Early in the morning on a Saturday or Sunday, I’m talking 7:00am, or late in the evening, 11:00pm, I hop into my car and head to Wal-Mart.

Paying for a good find
Paying for a good find (Photo Credit: Unknown)

Then, I stroll.

Yup. I amble through the aisles with one intention—to study the shelves. Why? I ask a lot of questions, don’t I? Well, how else would you enjoy Freedom Friday without my questions?

Getting back to my story, as I wander adjacent the neatly stacked shelves of the all-you-can-eat consumer buffet, I take note of the prices of items, how many sit on the shelves and the need of such items for our family. Things like picture frames seem always to make an appearance in my journeys since I’m rarely without my camera taking a shot of something interesting out in the wild. So when a nice picture frame comes on the market, I take notice of its quality and price.

Another item I look at is the TVs, then notice how my antiquated Sony Wega 32-inch CRT is so 1999. Every time I head to the electronics section, I lose myself perusing the digital displays hanging along the wall. Oh, to have one of those 80-inch TVs invade our home. But then I’d wonder where would we put it? There’s the whole problem of getting it into the house. Okay, that wouldn’t present too much of a problem since we have a double-door entryway, but where would we hang the thing? Seriously? We’re talking about finding a wall or an area filled with—virtually nothing. Hard to do in our house, considering we have stuff hanging everywhere.

Fancy big screen TV
Fancy big screen TV

Nice to dream.

Next stop, the book section. I love looking through the new releases, the older picks and the discounted items. I love the smell of the paper when I flip the pages, the look of the lettering when glancing at the covers, and the feel of the whole package in my hand. I get a high off of the gloss or matte finish the publishers use.

I need to buy more books.

Then I come upon the music section. Oh, how music inspires me. There isn’t a moment I don’t have the headphones on with some music playing in the background as I perform my daily routine. In this instance, I browse their CDs to check out the newest artists, albums, songs, and maybe even listen to a few samples.

Is there a point to this post? I suppose there is.

Every now and again, I enjoy browsing simply for the sake of browsing to see what stores have available. I also find it relaxing since I do not feel the pressure to buy anything. When I do come across an item that I deem as a good deal, I snap it up without a second thought.

I think browsing is a lost art form that presents unlimited possibilities on the budget.

And who knows, maybe one day I might just replace that old Sony Wega 32-inch CRT with one of those fancy widescreen monsters everyone raves about. It would certainly make for a wonderful surprise for the folks at home.


Do you browse the store shelves? Have you found any treasures in your travels?