Thursday, December 30, 2004

Lorem Ipsum and the Midnight Cowboy

If this makes me a geek, then so be it...I find this interesting.

* * * * * * * * * *

And now, the top five movies I've seen in the year 2004 (thus far):
(1) Man of the Century
(2) Melvin Goes to Dinner
(3) Johnny English
(4) The Crucible (1996)
(5) Something's Gotta Give

* * * * * * * * * *

Confessions of a 40 year old man:
-I enjoy professional wrestling
-I watched "General Hospital" everyday for more than 20 years
-I own "The Ultimate Manilow"
-I've voted on American Idol
-I am somewhat acrophobic,severely emetophobic, and had no idea what cacophobia was until 2 minutes ago (fear of ugliness - is that hilarious or what?)

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tsunami

I hear the reports on the news. I see the images on my TV screen. I am an intelligent human being, but I simply can't fathom the depth of this disaster.

My illness of the past few weeks seems so small and meaningless these past few days.

Here are just a few ways you can help if you are so inclined:

Oxfam
800-77-OXFAM
Asian Earthquake Fund
26 West St., Boston, MA 02111

CARE
800-521-CARE

American Red Cross
800-HELP-NOW
International Response Fund, PO Box 37243
Washington, DC 20013

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

For more information on what Tsumani's are, click here.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

I've Got 8 Inches...

...of snow on the ground to contend with. Actually, had 8 inches of snow on the ground to contend with yesterday after a storm hit on Sunday evening. Fortunately, it was light and fluffy type snow which was easy to move. Have I mentioned how much I love my snow blower?

I'm off to the doctor today for a checkup. I've been feeling much better during the days when in an upright position. It seems the horizontal position is most disturbing to whatever the ailment ailing me is.

Got my grades all done for my class. Here's how they ended up:
A (1), A- (1), B+ (1), B (3), B- (1), C+ (1), C (1), C- (1), D (4), F (2), NC (2)

Okay then, off to see the Wizard...

Sunday, December 26, 2004

33 Questions about 2004

I first saw this on Jennifer's Blog, then on Michael's. I wanted to be cool too, so here's my responses:

1.What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?
Started my Blog.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I am pretty sure I didn’t make one, other than to not make one.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, my friend Marie gave birth to her 6th child.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My Uncle Joe DiBatista.

5. What countries did you visit?
None this year, but since I didn’t have the Blog last year to talk about, I was in Brazil for Christmas week at that time.

6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
Hardwood floors in my house.

7. What date from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
November 2nd – George Bush actually got RE-elected. Holy crap Batman!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I’ve wanted for a long time to write a poem where each verse is a haiku; I accomplished that.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not taking better care of myself (eat better, exercise, yadda-yadda).

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Unfortunately – on the night of my 40th Birthday. I also had arthroscopic knee surgery back in March to repair a torn meniscus in my left knee.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Wireless networking equipment; it’s proven to be quite convenient.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
The soldiers in the Middle East, who continued to fight a war (and risk their lives) that was poorly thought out by a group of complete psychos.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
George Bush, and the American people who voted for him.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
A gathering of friends that took place just before Thanksgiving. It was a great group, some of which I hadn’t seen in quite a few years, and we had an amazing time.

16. What song will always remind you of 2004?
Vertigo by U2.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier.
ii. thinner or fatter? .Fatter.
iii. richer or poorer? Richer (Not just financially).

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Community outreach, travel.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Complain.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I ended up spending it at my pal Linda’s house with the family.

21. How many one-night stands?
365-I stood up at least once each night (get that mind out of the gutter).

22. What was your favourite TV program?
Survivor, The Apprentice, Drawn Together, Crank Yankers, Rebel Billionaire.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Yes.

24. What was the best book you read?
Tough to pick just one though in a pinch I’d have to say “All I Really Need to Know I learned In Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum. Gotta give props to “Living History” by Hillary Rodham Clinton and also “Invitation to a Beheading” by Vladimir Nabokov.

25. What did you want and get?
A DVR (and I don’t know how I ever lived without one).

26. What was your favorite film of this year?
I haven’t been to the movies theatre all year. The best movie I saw was “Man of the Century” which was made in 1999.

27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 40. It was a fairly uneventful day which turned into a nightmare. Read blog for more details.

28. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not losing faith in more than 50% of the entire population of the country in which I live.

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?
I have absolutely no concept of fashion.

30. What kept you sane?
I’m not convinced I have my sanity.

31. What political issue stirred you the most?
The Presidential Election.

32. Who did you miss?
My parent’s, who after all these years I miss a lot and my cousin Annalisa in Arizona – who even though I talk to for a few hours a week, I miss seeing and hanging out with her.

33. Who was the best new person you met?
My wonderful friends of the Blogging community; in particular, Sprizee, Jammie, Michael, Jennifer, Daisy (who I miss like crazy), Kate and whoever else I missed so they won’t be nearly as pissed at me for not mentioning them by name.

That’s about the size of it.

And now for me (copping out a bit with a 2 year old photo, I really do not have a more recent one)…


August 2002-Disney World

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas from Me to You!


Merry Christmas from Me to You!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Grades and Holidays

So here we are on Christmas Eve and I am sitting here grading Final Exams. During my illness, I was able to get my class to agree to switch from a traditional classroom, to an online class. This gave them the advantage of taking a much easier final exam, and having an entire week to complete it on their own time (as opposed to a three hour in-class time limit).

I got another positive report from the doctors. My EEG results show no seizure activity. At this point it is undoubtedly an inner-ear problem. Not pleasant, but more than likely better than the "catastrophic" alternates.

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Frosty the Snowman



I admit that I am more of a grinch at Christmas time than I probably should be. I spent alot of my younger years in retail enviroments where Christmas runs from August through January - it just got so played out so fast.

However, every year I look forward to seeing Frosty the Snowman. That movie just makes me smile and laugh every time. When Frosy awakens with a big yell of "Happy Birthday!" I'm laughing just typing it! If you've never seent he movie, I strongly recommend it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

An Audio Message from Me

this is an audio post - click to play

NOTE: The host site for this audio post shut down without warning so I have no archive of the audio post presented on this day.

Monday, December 20, 2004

The Bitter Cold

Here in New England, more specifically, Massachusetts, we are experiencing the first of who knows how many storms featuring below freezing temperatures. It never ceases to amaze me how no matter how many of these winters we endure we never seem ready, especially for that first freeze.

Today, as I am still recovering from this mysterious and unsettling dizziness, vertigo, and generally feeling bad - I long for freezing my ass off in the bitter cold as I navigate my way through the parking lot of the grocery store or whatever other errand I must run. I have left my house four times in the last 16 days, once to the emergency room, once to the doctor, and twice for other medical tests.

I am now at the stage where it's easy to make the mistake of overdoing it out of boredom and restlessness, that scares me a bit.

I gander about my blog and hope that through the desperate pleas for prayer and good thoughts, that you dear reader still see that I am still here. I hope that my sense of humor and personality still shine through somewhere. I hope that you know that regardless of how I feel, your are all in my daily thoughts.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Got a Minute or Two to Laugh?

Another home run from the folks a jibjab. Click here.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

If

I'm sitting here watching "The Apprentice" and one of the contestants mentioned a poem by Rudyard Kipling called "If". Thanks to my portable computer and wireless network (boy am I spoiled), I looked it up, read it, loved it, and plan on sharing it here with you. Enjoy...

IF
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

--Rudyard Kipling

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Dizzy Boy and the Mexican Jumping Bean

Hey, that's a pretty cool title, maybe for a children's book. It really doesn't have much to do with this post, other than the dizzy boy - that's me.

Today is the 9th consecutive day of dizziness. When I spoke to the doctor's office the other day after having taken the medication to help with the dizziness, I actually said these words, "the dizziness hasn't completely gone away, but it is at a somewhat bearable level." Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have imagined a bearable level of dizziness, but once the medication begins to wear off, it makes more sense than long-johns in the wintertime.

NFADR Michael actually commented on my last post a reflection of my own thoughts, "...I'm glad you have a sinus infection." It's odd, but I am glad as well. Though they are doing all sorts of other tests on my liver and brain, this is the first diagnosis of anything. It is something more than nothing and as I described in the title of my last post, a glimmer of hope. Right now, my biggest hope is that the sinus infection will respond to the antibiotics, heal, and the dizziness and this entire nightmare will go away. However, until that happens, I must still hope. Now, onto the jumping beans...

From a website I found...

Observe also Metamorphosis (Egg-Caterpillar-PUPA-Butterfly) The seed of a Mexican shrub. (Spurge family-Euphorbiaceae-Sebastiana Pavoniana) is famous for its quick jumping movements.

The movements of a jumping bean are actually caused by a caterpillar that lives inside the seed. Butterflies of the species laspey resia saltitans deposit their eggs in the shrub's flower.

After the eggs hatch, the caterpillars burrow into the young seeds of the shrub. The caterpillar eats away the inside of the seed, but it leaves the seed wall undamaged. The caterpillar then builds a web along the inner wall.

Apparently, the seed jumps when the caterpillar grasps the web and jerks its body vigorously. This helps scare away birds and other animals that might try to eat the seeds.

Warmth - increase the caterpillar activity and jumping. Jumping beans remain active for several months. The caterpillar makes a circular lid by cutting through the seed wall.

The caterpillar later forms a cocoon and begins to change into a butterfly. When the change is completed, the adult butterfly pushes through the lid and leaves the seed.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Something to Grab On To

Though the dizziness persists, I am sensing that its effects are lessening (or I have overdosed on the medication to help it to subside). Sunday morning, I had an MRI done of my head; an experience not designed for the claustrophobic. The results did not show any "unusual or foreign masses" (that's growths or tumors to us lay folk) but did show evidence of a rather nasty sinus infection that "could be the cause of the dizziness, either way, we'll need to treat it." The quotes of course are the doctor, or rather the nurse speaking on behalf of the doctor, who prescribed an antibiotic for the infection.

So, today I remain dizzy (I'm setting myself up with a line like that) but hopeful. Hopeful to the point where I think some of the anxiety has gone away and that helps. I have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of love from the people around me and I am also certain that the prayers and well wishes are helping. I will continue to keep you all posted on this and hopefully can find something more creative to post about. Until next time...

Saturday, December 11, 2004

A Milestone and an Update

First, the update. The medication is helping somewhat with the dizziness and the MRI is scheduled for tomorrow (Sunday) morning at 8:30. Currently, I am coping as best I could - there's not alot I could do, so mostly I sleep or lay down.

Now, the milestone...[Drum Roll] this is my 100th post. If From a Whisper to a Scream were a sitcom, I'd be in my 5th successful season at a cast party with a big cake and pondering syndication deals that would make me wealthy. However, since this is just me here in bloggerville, I'll leave you all good wishes and thanks for all of your support during this odd thing going on with my body, for reading and responding to my blog, and for sharing thoughts, observations, and experiences from your own live's.

I'm off to rest for a bit.

Friday, December 10, 2004

How to Scare the Crap out of a Grown Man

It is insane that I am posting right now but I need to. I am typing with one hand as I am using the other to support myself as I seem to have lost my sense of balance. Since my ER visit, and subsequent Doctor visit, I've managed to progressively feel worse. Today, unless I am fairly motionless, everything around me begins to spin and lose focus.

I just spoke with the doctor's office for advice on what to do next. He is getting a prescription to me for the dizziness and scheduling and MRI for my head. I think mostly I'm posting this to address my fear; especially the fear of the unknown. It just occurred to me that once I put this out there, people I care about, and those that care about me, are going to read this - effectively bringing you all on this ride with me.

Partly confused, a by product of fear, I am certain of one thing. I know that when there are people out there thinking positive thoughts, whether it be through well wishes, prayers, or what have you - it has a positive effect on me. I guess that's really what this is all about.

Yesterday, I received a birthday gift from my brother and his wonderful girlfriend (tehnically fiancee, but I've always hated that word) - it is a rather impressive wine bottle opener and a wine cooling device. Here's to cracking open the next bottle of wine celebrating a full recovery and any future dizziness to be the result only of too much of that wine.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

What is Your Shakespearian Tragic Flaw?

I saw this on Unutterable Bruiser's blog and decided, clearly against my better judgement, to give it a try.

Titus Andronicus
Remind me to stay on your good side.


What is Your Shakespearian Tragic Flaw?
brought to you by Quizilla

E.R.

I had a nasty scare on Monday night, the evening of my 40th birthday and wish there was a simple answer like too much partying. I was upstairs in my house walking out of a room and then it happened. I wish I knew specifically what it was, and thinking about it, I suspect it looked alot like someone (me in this case) being struck my lightning. There was no pain, and no real noise other that the sound of my body collapsing to the ground and in some odd defensive maneuver controlled by the subconscious mind, my hands slapping across the doorframe to somehow deflect the fall.

I am fairly certain that I never lost consciousness but wasn't aware of what happened until it happened and had to catch my breath to assess the event. I know that I was scared and my first thought was "am I having a heart attack or a stroke?" After catching my breath and realizing I was conscious and breathing, I attempted to get up but everything was spinning - so that wasn't happening. I then crawled into my bedroom (where a phone was nearby), leaned onto the bed and closed my eyes hoping that the spins would stop and prayed for some kind of answers (what's happening?, why?, what should I do?).

Over the course of the next hour I had felt a little better, my nerves were a bit more controlled, and I was able to go to sleep. It wasn't a restful sleep as I awoke a number of times either feeling very cold or very warm - I decided to simply remain put as the room wasn't spinning nor was my heart racing, and that to me was a sign of things being better than before.

Tuesday morning I awoke feeling very "tentative". Not quite sure how I felt though certain I was not at my best, I arose from my lying position to have a somewhat dizzy sensation come over me only to subside almost immediately after I was sitting in an upright position. Then I attempted to walk about the room and I just wasn't feeling right. After all, I had to attempt to do something I do very regularly without having to think about it - that to me is a sign of something being wrong.

I made the decision to go to the emergency room and try to get some answers. There, I spent seven hours waiting, checking in, waiting, being interrogated, waiting, being touched, probed, pricked, checked, monitored, waiting, waiting, and then the doctor gave me his report. "Here in the emergency room, we aren't always able to come up with definite answers, but what we do first is rule out specific 'catastrophic events' such as heart attack and stroke." Fortunately for me, testing on that day showed no signs that I suffered either of those catastrophes; which to me is good news, but also somewhat frustrating because there at this time is no firm explanation for what happened. "It could be a virus or an infection..." they say, but you should get plenty of rest and fluids and follow-up with your physician tomorrow. I write this about an hour and a half before I see my physician in hopes of finding some more answers and/or ruling out other potential catastrophes. I am a bit scared but am trying hard to keep things in the perspective of all that I believe in. Of course nothing is easy when it hurts, is bad, and is happening to you. SO, as I confront what may be nothing, or could be something, I ask you my reader for your good wishes and perhaps your hand to hold.

Monday, December 06, 2004

The Big Four-Oh

Here's how nutty I can be. Today, is my fortieth birthday, and the first thing I do is go to my own blog, look at my profile, and verify that my age changed (yes, it did).

One of the things I have learned as each new year comes and goes is that it is all to easy to look at both sides of the coin and choose to either be depressed or happy. I tend to be indifferent, but if my only choices were depressed or happy, I've got to go with happy.

One of the things that always sucked about being born in December, as many of you may know or have figured out, is getting screwed with a "combination" birthday and Christmas gifts. To all of you who have ever tortured this boy with a "combination" gift, FUCK YOU!!! If you're going to get me a combination gift, the rule(s) is/are that it should be twice as nice and twice as expensive. I'll even let go of twice the "thought" as long as the first two rules are applied rigidly.

In other news and notes, I have been enjoying the new animated reality show "Drawn Together" airing on Comedy Central at 10:30 on Wednesday evenings (here in the USA). It's nice to see someone pushing the envelope and doing it for the same of comedy, not just for the sake of it. I am outta here for now.

Friday, December 03, 2004

From the "You Can't Make this Stuff Up" files...


The photo of the public safety log at the right is copied from the school (that I work for's) newspaper. This is the first time they have published a "Public Safety Log" and the only thing I can assume is that it is a "ripoff" of the Police Blotter commonly found in the local newspapers.

Having read the school newspaper for the nearly seven years I've been here, I can say that beyond the shadow of a doubt, this was the single most entertaining thing I've ever read in this publication. Unfortunately for them, I don't think that was the intent, but c'est la vie.

Here is the text EXACTLY as it appears:

Sept 16, 2004

0935-W-Jette: Called by dispatcher to come to the Public Safety Office - unruly student smoking in front of the building - matter taken care of at this lime.
Sept 17, 2004

0730-W-Jette: informed by Irvine that there was property damage to the loading dock area at the Framingham campus. See report 04-79
0955-W-.Jette: Dispatched to a medical emergency, room 409 Carey bldg. See report #04-80
1235-W-Jette: Approached by faculty member asking if I could turn the television down - large group of students reacting loudly to football plays.
Sept 20, 2004

0720-W-Jette: Met with two students concerned about the parking in the meadow parking lot - students are blocking the roadway- entering/exiting the wrong way.
Sept 21, 2004

1655- W-Fuller Mother awaiting pickup of daughter in lot reports waiting for an hour with no show. Fuller located daughter who reports she does not speak with her mother and was not expecting her. Mother already left. Daughter not concerned.
Sept 22, 2004

1251-W-Jette: Responded to false 911 call with the Wellesley police, fire, and EMS made from tech tower elevator
Sept 23, 2004

0850-W-Jette: Student reported a vehicle smoking in the lower lot - water hose on vehicle busted.
Sept 28, 2004

1030-W-Jette: Received two (2) emergency calls from two (2) female arguing over parking spot - one student fearful of exiting her vehicle - other student blocking her and opened the
fearful student’s car door threatening her.- Jette and Irvine respond, nothing further
1340-W-Jette: on patrol of the Café - smoking area keeping the smokers away from the bldg. so that they do not set off the smoke detectors at the entrances to the bldg.
Sept 29, 2004

1053-W-Jette: Responds to the Café because due to a group of students using loud, vulgar language. Informed them that it is not acceptable, nothing further.
Oct 1, 2004

1830-W-FuIler: Alarm company reports Wellness Center alarm going off. Inspection of area shows all in order. Party looking for basketball tournament 5 mins prior may have set it off by trying door. Provide access to area for cleaner.
Oct 5, 2004

1235-W-Jette: Patrolled the front of the main bldg. keeping smokers away from the front of the bldg. - watching out for motorist trying to park around the rotary or in the fire lane. Contacted by Laurie Taylor stating a student was sick and vomiting in café - Venice and Jette responded student OK - food got caught in his throat - a constant situation with entire family.
Oct 7, 2004

1215-W-Jette: Met with faculty member who left I-Pod type music recorder in her classroom - Campus police was left a note stating that someone had indeed found a music recorder and left his/her e-mail address, information provided to instructor.
1500-F- Johnson: Advised by members of Fuller School of witness hit and run, investigated, found to be outside of primary jurisdiction, FPD notified.
Oct 12, 2004

1550-W-Fuller Odor of marijuana detected in area of cafeteria/elevator/side door. Checked men’s room, elevator, facilities doorway, exterior and cafe. Unable to determine source. No one in immediate area.
{If you've made it this far, I might remind you that this is a college, an institution of Higher Education...Oh boy!}

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The Little Devil


I'm a Baaaaad Boy!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Happy Birthday Jenn!



Seeing this picture again reminds me that I really should bring my digital camera to your next gig and have more recent photos.

May your birthday and every day be sweet and filled with hope and all the happiness and success you wish for.

My dear readers, you will soon be able to purchase the debut solo CD of this incredibly talented musician, writer, person, and friend. Details will be posted here.
Have a great birthday!

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

3000 Miles of Sweetness


Sprizee Candy
This bag of candy traveled 3000 miles courtesy of the wonderful Sprizee. Thanks...you're too cool!

Sunday, November 28, 2004

After the Tryptophan

So here we are a few days after the Turkey and it seems many (including myself) have taken a short break from life (though I have spent two days removing leaves from my property using muscles that only get used to remove leaves and/or snow).

My family spent Thanksgiving over at the Jeffrey household. Amongst the company were two fellow bloggers, Jeffrey offspring and Rambler of a Literary Mind - Jill and Bryan of BMOConline fame. Dinner was awesome, dessert a delight, the company wonderful, and the games - lots of fun (who knew besides Jill that a dictionary could be fun?).

Though the "holiday" season has begun, I must confess that I hate Christmas. I spent a lot of my earlier years working in retail environments and it is just too difficult looking forward to this holiday of indulgence and materialism. However, today's sermon at church was very helpful in showing the separation between the commercial aspects of the season, and the spiritual one. Thank you to Rebecca for giving me some perspective that just may get me through this season.

I saw Scary Movie 3 last night and found myself laughing an awful lot, but the movie really isn't much of a movie as much as it is a collection of jokes and sight gags.

Perhaps I can encourage all of you as we come out of Thanksgiving and into this holiday season to think about those less fortunate than yourself and what you may be able to do to bring even a moment of happiness to someone you may not even know. It's a challenge that was brought forth to me and one I accept with hope that I can break free from the annual bout of depression I go through during this season.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it can really be shared by just about everyone, and I really like to take a breather from life and stop to think of all I really do have to be thankful for.

Amongst the many things I am thankful for, this year I am especially thankful to the people I've met in the blogging community.

Jill, you first, though we didn't meet through this blogging community, it was you who introduced me to blogging and without your influence, I may not have had the opportunity to know all these wonderful people. Thank You!

Jennifer, I love the blend of politics, music, and you that you share with us. You are so uniquely you and your blog has a very distinct personality and look that make it a really friendly place to visit.

Michael, You are a genius and a brilliant writer - truly among the best I've ever read. To see that big smile on your face in the photo with Jennifer was the one piece of the puzzle that was missing. I hope that the happiness and success you deserve find their way to you with constancy. Thank you for challenging my imagination and my mind.

Sprizee, you are simply deightful. You and your blog bring me constant joy. You're funny, witty, intelligent, charming, and just sarcastic enough to be a superhero in my book. Thank you for your blog, reading my blog, and the candy (though I haven't received it yet, I know I'll enjoy it).

Kate, it was great to get to meet you on Halloween. I can't thank you enough for defending my position and opinions. You are very funny and are one of the few people I've ever met who can walk around with broccoli, bread, and other food items attached to you (folks, she's not weird, she was a lint brush for Halloween and us drunken fools were attaching food to her costume unbeknownst to poor Kate)and not look completely ridiculous. You my friend, are good people.

Melika, you are one of a kind. A free spirit who is simply not afraid to be yourself and express who you are. Thanks for sharing yourself with the blogging world.

Jessica, if I was as smart as you are at your age, I'd be a genius today. You are funny, smart, and talented. Thanks for sharing your wonderful stories.

Joy, you share with all of us the wisdom gained from a lifetime of work, family, love, and your candid posts on cancer provide lessons and insight for all. Your courage and openness are an example as is your work as a teacher.

Everyone else who has read or responded to my blog, to those of my friends mentioned above, and the entire blogging community...may you all know how thankful I am for your presence in my life.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

To stir up the inner workings of your mind...

You awake to discover that in 48 hours, the world will end. You are given the opportunity to do anything you wish in real time and there are no limitations regarding money. What would you do?

Monday, November 22, 2004

The Greatest Rock & Roll Band...

I really shouldn't start this post as my work day is about to begin and there is no way I can finish it right now. However, not one to shy away from controversial statements or voicing opinions - I'll get you all good and primed by making the statement and having you wait for the elaborate explanation...

"U2 is the greatest, and most important, Rock & Roll band of the last quarter century."

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Sunday Shorts

1. I began a 4 week workshop at church today. It is my first time leading a workshop and it was an interesting challenge that appeared to be well received.

2. I got lazy at dinnertime and ordered a Pizza (with Pepperoni, from Papa Gino's).

4. Noting happened to 3. if you've been paying attention, there hasn't been a 3 for some time now.

5. I have plenty of paperwork along with papers to grade and have no desire to do either.

6. I've spent alot of time thinking about how Michael and Jennifer are getting along out there in California.

7. There's a delightful photo of Sprizee here.

8. My brain really hurts right now, so I am going to cut this short.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

A Day at the Park

It was the middle to late 1980's an I was attending college at the New York Institute of Technology, Manhattan Campus - which is located across the street from the (in)famous Central Park.

At that particular time, there had been something of a crime spree and as I was standing outside the school building during a break from classes, I peered across into the park and thought about the local headlines and how such a beautiful park could be so tainted.

For some bizarre reason, I also thought about how interesting it might be to write a poem using each letter of the alphabet in sequence and ending up with a 26 word poem. Might next immediate thought was, "what the heck word can I use that starts with the letter X(I'm not so sure "heck" was the word I used in that thought at the time)?" Fortunately, just behind me was an all-purpose pharmacy, soda-fountain, dry goods store. I entered the store and purchased a memo pad, a pen, and a pocket dictionary. I returned to my spot overlooking the park and feverishly flipped through to the X words and found the perfect word for the sentiments that were crossing my mind. "X-ing: (v) to wipe out...."

Having my x-word, I opened the pad, uncapped the pen, peered once more at the park and visualized the headlines of the day. Within 30 seconds, the following poem was written:


A Day at the Park

Aching
Beggars
Caught
Dealing
Eventually
Falling
Grossly
Hateful
Ignorant
Johns
Killing
Ladies
Narcotics
Oppression
Progression
Quitting
Regression
Stupidity
Tiptoeing
Under
Vagrants
Weeding
X-ing
Yesterday's
Zoo

Monday, November 15, 2004

Off the Top of My Head

The alphabet has been on my mind again. Years ago back in college I wrote a poem called "A Day at the Park" in which the entire poem was 26 words using each letter of the (American english) alphabet in order. Perhaps I shall share that poem with you one day in the future. However...

For some reason, that concept was in my head and the following mess simply blurted from my mind. Here what came from my twisted brain unedited for your _____________ (feel free to fill in the blank with whatever you feel appropriate).


Abject behavior curiously degenerates everything finally great hatred industrial junk knowledge loses miracles never obscure petty quiet radicals silently testify under vigilance waning x-radiation yellow zones

Sunday, November 14, 2004

It's Chinese for Dinner

So it's been a few days and I've missed you all but life gets in the way sometimes and comes off like one ginat run-on sentence in the middle of these Internets we call home here in Bloggerville.

I am experienced significant back pain today and will be going to the doctor tomorrow to investigate (it probably was a mistake to move a Piano at church today).

This isn't the third sentence because as I learned from Sprizee, there is no third anything - ever.

I recently purchased the following items:
-Spongebob Squarepants Cheez-Its (please, no comment)
-Licourice Altoids (This is not a misprint, in a lovely Blackish Tim)
-Smart Water (I had to check it out...turns out it really is smart, smarter than I in that it got me to pay money for it).

I recently switched Satellite TV providers from DirecTV to DISH Network and am happier (especially since I went for the DVR option which has changed my life).

I clip coupons, and sometimes rememeber to use them.

I'm heading out for Chinese, it's dinner in these parts.

Until next time...Who loves ya baby?

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Booklist 2004 - Part 7

As it has been a while since the last installment, I will steal yet another terrific idea from Michael and include links to each of the first six installments.

Booklist 2004 Part 1
Booklist 2004 Part 2
Booklist 2004 Part 3
Booklist 2004 Part 4
Booklist 2004 Part 5
Booklist 2004 Part 6

Before getting into the six new reviews, I'd briefly like to mention how absolutely difficult I find this task to be. Of course, it was my idea so all I can do is blame myself. If perhaps I brave the concept next year, I need to discipline myself to write the reviews fresh after reading the book, one at a time instead of cramming as I do now (old habits are hard to break). Of course, to compensate for my own difficulties, in more cases I have chosen to quote others whose sentiments are similar to mine. To my surprise, I have received some nice feedback on these reviews and as such hope those who find something positive about them continue to do so.

43. Darkness Visible - A Memoir of Madness
by William Styron

Perhaps the most recognizable work by William Styron is Sophie's Choice, for which he wrote the book, and the screenplay for the 1982 hit movie. In this short, but intense book, Styron discusses his battle with clinical depression in an open and honest accounting from spanning the discovery of his illness through his recovery.

"In this short work (actually a long essay), the well-known author William Styron chronicles his descent into depression, his increasing suicidal fantasies, his eventual hospitalization, and his eventual recovery. Where many books on depression fall into the "self-help" genre, Styron's remains truly a memoir, with a very 'writerly' tone that sets it apart from more clinical books on depression." (L. Rephann, Brooklyn, New York)

44. Living History
by Hillary Rodham Clinton

This is a marvelous book about an amazing woman who pulls no punches. Hillary Rodham Clinton is who she is by her own design. The story told is one of a woman who is constantly rediscovering herself and redefining the concept of a progressive woman.

The book is exhaustive in taking the reader through her upbringing, young life as the daughter of a staunch republican, and herself a republican until her Wellesley college days where she switched parties, her time as a lawyer, a political activist (when she met Bill), into and through her marriage to Bill and her perspective of his political career, and of course, her years in the White House.

I left the book enamored with Hillary Rodham Clinton and in awe of her intelligence, her integrity, and her attitude. From where I write this, the 2004 presidential election is history and right at this time, I can see no better suited individual to become the president of the United States in 2008 than the author and subject of this wonderful memoir.


45. The Jericho Commandment (aka See How they Run)
by James Patterson

For some reason I don't recall much about this book and went to several websites to be reminded of the story.

Click here to read the commentary on Barnes & Noble's website.

Click here to read the commentary on Amazon.com.

Click here to read an excerpt from the book.

After reading the excerpt, the reviews, and commentary, I was only briefly reminded of the story and the characters. I do remember finishing the book somewhat unfulfilled. I do recall there being some vivid imagery but the characters fell short for me and overall, the book was a disappointment considering my fondness for Patterson’s work.

46. The Funny Thing is...
by Ellen DeGeneres

This is a collection of "comic essays" that are similar to the unique style of material DeGeneres delivers in her stand-up comedy act. I enjoyed this for a number of reasons: I am a fan of her comedy, I was in need of some laughter the day I read the book (who am I kidding, I am always in need of some laughter), and this type of reading helps to break the barriers between fiction and non-fiction and after reading as many books as I have this year, this kind of breakup was helpful.

To reiterate, if you are not a fan of the comedy material of Ellen DeGeneres, you may wish to stay away. If you've never heard her act, I recommend seeing her perform before reading this book.


47. All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
by Robert Fulghum

Along with The Prophet and The Alchemist ,this ranks as one of my favorite books of all time. I remember when the book was first released and always saying that I wanted to read it. Well, fifteen years later, I finally did and am glad to have done so.

Fulghum (pronounced Ful-jum, not Ful-gum) tells stories that capture the essential elements of life by reducing each situation to its most basic fundamentals. Having worked as a cowboy, a folksinger, an IBM salesman, a professional artist, a parish minister, a bartender, a teacher of drawing and painting, combined with his role as a husband, father, and grandfather, Fulghum exhibits his collective knowledge with wisdom filled essays that touch the very soul of existence.

I came across a terrific review on Amazon that I'd life to share with you here: "Robert Fulghum has written a book of philosophy disguised as a book of anecdotes. Each lasts a couple of pages or so and is just enough to convey some important principle. They range from the trite to the inspirational, the mundane to the spiritual. Along the way he gives us his thoughts on grandfathers, God, children, giraffes, and just about everything you need to know. Some of his stories are about the man next door, others about famous people. Some are real, others made up, but they all convey universal truths. When you read this book you will probably think 'Hey I knew that already!' But all the same it's heart warming to have someone tell you in such a homely, friendly style. By the end of the book I felt I knew Robert Fulghum and would be happy to invite him to tea with me any time he happened to be passing." (Dave Farmbrough, London, Middlesex. United Kingdom)

If you haven't read this book, you really should do so immediately. Go to the library or the bookstore and pick it up (for a real treat, get the unabridged audio version and hear the stories and commentary by the author - it's quite extraordinary).


48. Live from New York
by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller

I have been a fan of the show Saturday Night Live for most of its existence. This book is a unique and exhaustive history of the show as told by those closest to the show itself.

Imagine if you can every performer associated with the show including the guest hosts all crowded into a cozy room sitting around a fireplace in big comfortable chairs and talking about the show in chronological order. Someone speaks, another responds, and so forth. To me, that is how this book reads, like I am sitting in on the most amazing reminiscence among those who made the history I am reading. What an unusual, yet refreshing approach to captivating 30 years or one of the most important television shows in history.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Hee Dee Dee!

Go ahead, say it again. When you first read it, in your head you probably said it so that you were speaking phonetically (Hee [slight pause] Dee [another slight pause] Dee [odd look comprised of either contorting your lips and forehead, making the famous dog head tilt often following a loud noise or some combination]). When you do say it again, let it flow from one sound to the next, Hee Dee Dee – that’s it!

Now, you may ask (while someone other than you is researching ways to have me committed to a loony bin), what the #$@* is Hee Dee Dee! Funny, you should ask because I was just about to tell you. However, be forewarned, this is stupid silly and bordering on silly stupid. So, if you’re not into that kind of gibberish, you may wish to leave this post now.

It was a regular day down at the computer shop. As regular as a day can be that is in a predominantly Russian neighborhood not quite in the bowels, but perhaps the lower intestines of my hometown of Brooklyn, New York. It was the good old days of 486 computers at the high end running DOS 5.0 and Windows 3.1. A lot of those older machines had separate controller cards that were used to connect the hard drives to the computer system. Stunningly, they were referred to as hard drive controller cards (just brilliant). Well, every so often, these hard drive controller cards or HDD Controller cards (as they were referred to by the inner workings of the computer), would occasionally go bad or fail. In another brilliant technological innovation, the error message that would appear on the computer screen when the HDD controller failed would read, “HDD controller failure”.

On this one, regular day, a young Russian fellow came running into the store in search of the service desk nearly knocking over several insignificant merchandise displays with his computer in his arms. Upon arrival at the service desk, greeted by myself, my friend Rob (to whom this post is dedicated), and Glen (the store veteran at the time), in all his disheveled awkward demeanor stuttered in his thick (I’m talking new bottle of Ketchup thick, and not the squeeze bottle) Russian accent “my computer has not work…it’s a Hee Dee Dee!!!”

“Excuse me?” uttered Glen, the lead man as Rob and I look on bewildered. Again, Gorby in an even thicker Russian accent repeated himself only this time, with a slight intonation of anger and frustration, “my computer has not work…it’s a Hee Dee Dee!!!” Glen requested that Lenin take a chill pill by telling him to “calm down, let me plug it in and take a look.” Mr. Kremlin began to flail about in what appeared to be an attempt at finding a comfort zone (or perhaps a short battle with an epileptic condition) and began to take shorter breaths (which was good because I may not yet have mention the halitosis problem that our fine Russian customer was sporting) as Glen, Rob, and I huddled around the booting computer in hope for a quick diagnosis.

After a few whirring sounds, a series of beeps were emitted and the following message appeared, “HDD controller failure.” Utilizing his apparent bionic ears, Stalin lept into a new frenzy and with the heaviest of accents began yelping “it’s a Hee Dee Dee!!! it’s a Hee Dee Dee!!! it’s a Hee Dee Dee!!!” all while pointing accusingly at the computer screen. Without the least bit of professionalism, Rob, Glen, and I just began to laugh as if we had just witnessed the funniest moment in the history of funny moments. It was as if time stood still as we laughed about until we were gasping for breath, our faces red, and liquid substances were oozing from an assortment of cranial cavities. Then, as we all began to compose ourselves as we noticed Ike (the boss) looking on in anger. Oh, it’s not what you’re thinking; he wasn’t upset at the utterly poor treatment of a customer and lack of professionalism. No, he was pissed off because he wasn’t in on the laughter with us; that is until we described the situation to him which got us all guffawing to the point of breathlessness once more.

Ivan the great would have no more of our shenanigans. In a fit of anger, our customer slammed his hand on the service desk demanding an explanation (he may as well have been requesting a fresh bowl of Borscht; we had no clue what he was saying half the time anyway). Glen managed to compose himself first (as Rob and I continued to be idiots) and explained to Mr. Trotsky that his hard drive controller had failed and we could probably replace it and get his computer working again in a short time. “How much cost?” replied Boris to which Glen gave an amount (the actual amount is insignificant to the story as you’ll see shortly, I can tell you it was a fair and competitive price). At this time, Leonid’s bushy eyebrows rose in an unusual manner and began to move in sync with his lips as he spoke, “No, no, no, I mean how much cost for me?” “Excuse me…” uttered Glen not in disbelief any longer, but almost in an obligatory fashion. Sergei repeated himself with increasing volume, “How much it cost just for me, you know, my price?” You see folks, this was typical of our Russian clientele, they felt that we owed them a special price simply because they (what follows is bitterness, not prejudice) deserved it because they could come to our country and figure out how to get food stamps to pay for their groceries as they stand in line at the grocery store in $5,000 mink coats when back in Russia they had to wipe their asses with their hands because they couldn’t afford toilet paper and yet still can’t be truly grateful for their good fortunes in this great and generous, and far too tolerant country of ours (and here ends the political diatribe portion of this post).

Fyodor eventually anted up the fee and left with his computer but we at Computer Software Plus, more specifically Rob and I, were left with so much more. A new, meaningless yet whimsical catch phrase with no meaning at all (I know I’m being redundant but it’s important to understand how meaningless the phrase Hee Dee Dee is, that’s what makes this so funny [to me, and I suspect Rob] and ridiculous at the same time to most of the rest of the planet) that instantly sparks laughter (to Rob and me) and confusion (to those who are victims of its utterance). Occasionally, we’ve been known to voice the words Hee Dee Dee repeatedly as if we were compelled to do so by some bizarre obsessive compulsive disorder for no apparent reason other than our own amusement. I’ve often responded to questions that either have no answer, whose answer I do not know, or especially to those I wish not to answer with “Hee Dee Dee!” I know, it’s stupid, but that does not stop me from saying it, repeating it, or finding it funny. In fact, all these years later, when Rob and I chat live or via instant messenger, every single time without fail it begins with a line that includes a "Hee Dee Dee."

One of my insane hobbies is to get people to say Hee Dee Dee. I’ve succeeded in a handful of states and in two other countries (Canada and Brazil). Rob’s wife Diane refused to say it before they were married but was so ecstatic at their wedding, that she actually shouted Hee Dee Dee proudly to her new husband and his slightly retarded friend me. I’ve had all of my nephews and nieces, and as many other young children who don’t know better to speak the words Hee Dee Dee. The kids seem to really love the “silly” phrase and will often go on chanting it for hours after their first introduction.

And now my dear reader, you have a closer look and the insanity of my world, I’ve scratched out nearly 1400 words on a topic that has absolutely no meaning and a barely funny (at best) story that after more than 10 years still makes me laugh so hard that I could sometimes need to remember how to breath. Sometimes it’s fun to be this stupid.

Monday, November 08, 2004

For the Sake of Blogging

Among other busy-ness, the interior of my house is being painted this week and everything is everywhere. YUCK!!!

Ultimately, it will look good but there's so much to do and so much going on and I really having nothing brilliant, funny, intelligent, or else to say. I'll catch up with ya soon.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Redemption

"Mile upon mile, got no direction.
We're all playin' the same game.
We're all lookin' for redemption.
Just to pray, to say the name."


Needless to say it's been a gripping 48 hours and the results of the election had left me deep in the Scream section of From a Whisper to a Scream. It's time to find level ground and start fresh.

Over the last few days on this blog and through comments on others I have expressed my rage and anger and used hurtful and horrible words. I have said things that quite frankly put me in a difficult position to defend myself or intelligently express my opinions about the current political state.

Today is Thursday, November 4th, 2004 and the president of our country today, and through 2008 is going to be George W. Bush. He was elected fairly by the people of this country and though I clearly disagree with an awful lot of the people in this country about the choice of GWB, ultimately, it is nothing more than a disagreement. There are certainly many of us who supported the Democratic ticket who know, are related to, and even love people who voted for George Bush. In 2008, GWB will leave office with no further opportunity to hold it again, but the people in our lives with whom we disagree will still be there. Is it rational to cast off relationships under these pretenses?

Today I sit here saddened at the political state of our nation, but have come to terms with that which I can not change and accept the fact that one of the things that makes living in America great is that each of us is free to make choices independently.

I am so grateful to my fellow bloggers and those who read and comment on blogs for supporting such an open forum. I am grateful for the wonderful friends I have who so passionately share ideas and creativity. I am extremely grateful to you, reader, for lending an ear to my voice and letting me know that you heard me; and for letting me know when you agree or disagree with what I say.

My greatest hope today is that we can find reason to look forward to tomorrow. Until then...

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

What Sprizee Said (My election 2 cents)

I've spent much of today being angry, sad, and depressed and saying a lot of really hurtful and bad things about the idiots (some 52% of voters) who voted for Bush. I am not sorry for any of what I said and in a way hope that these voters learn the hard way of their error and stupidity but more so, not at the cost of the sane 48% of us who could properly impregnate a chad, color in a circle, connect the dot, or whatever nonsensical, non-standard method of voting we endured to select our John Kerry.

Considering my feeling of rage haven't subsided much, I'll leave you with a link to the beautiful and intelligent Sprizee's thoughts which are almost a mirror image of the few moments of calm, intelligence that came from my lips today.

http://sprizee.blogspot.com/2004/11/mandate-except-not.html

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Johnny Damon Superstar

I just finished watching tape of Johnny Damon on the David Letterman show. Damon is one of my favorite ballplayers but after seeing this interview, I have so much more respect for this man. Damon was humble and respectful and simply oozed professional while still maintaining the personality we sports fans have come to know.

Good Example vs. Bad Example

OK folks, when my arch nemesis the Red Sox won the championship, did I cower, make excuses, or sob? NO! I called my favorite red sox fan and congratulated the team and the fans on a victory well deserved, well earned, and hard fought. I applauded the first sign of sportsmanship and true team spirit in years. I still applaud the team and the fans, however, I must request that someone beat the living crap out of Kevin Millar so as to maybe knock a little sense into the idiot.

Here a quote from Millar the Moron, "Before starting Game 6 (of the ALCS). It was about 35 degrees out there at Yankee Stadium, I went around and got a thing of Jack Daniels and we all did shots of Jack Daniels about 10 minutes before the game. And we won Game 6. So Game 7 of course, we had to do shots of Jack Daniels. And we won Game 7, so guess what? I'm glad we won in Game 4 (in the World Series) because these Crown Royal shots and Jack Daniels shots started to kill me. And that's how the Sox did it. Can you imagine (manager) Terry Francona taking a shot of Crown Royal before Game 4 of the World Series? It's out there now, baby - we were drunk."

The idiot went around and got a "thing of Jack Daniels" not a bottle, a thing. You know, I am an adult, and I really don't have a huge problem with a group of adults making bad decisions as long as they aren't hurting others. I am so disappointed in that one of the beautiful things to come from this world series are the wonderful lessons of hard work, teamwork, and sportsmanship. These are lessons the many kids watching the games could take with them into their own lives as they grow into adolescents and adults. Now, thanks to that schmuck Kevin Millar, they can also take the idea that getting drunk before the big game is how you can win ball games. Good job retard!

Election Day - 7:53 am

I am sitting on my sofa in my comfy green sweats, bed head, and unshaven. Today I feel the weight of the world as I sit terrified awaiting the final tallies and discovering who will be the president of our country from January 20th, 2005 and on through the next four years.

Once I submit this post, I will go up and make myself somewhat more presentable to the outside world and head off to vote for John Kerry. I pray that enough people will vote the same way so that we do not have to endure another term with that loser W. And yes, I am perfectly aware that we have no way to know how things will be with Kerry, what I am aware of though is what four more years of Bush will bring and I can't stomach that thought at this time.

So folks, let's get out and do the right thing today. Let's all take a leap of faith together and make John Kerry the next president of our country (and let's not forget that as a bonus, John Edwards would then be our Vice President).

I'll check back with you all later.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

The Halloween Party

Last night I attended a Halloween party and for the first time in 15 years or so, even wore a costume, albeit a cheesy store bought last minute costume, but a costume by definition nonetheless. This is the obligatory sentence where I mention my cute 6 year old who is scared of her own shadow, and even more scared of a bleeding skull head fountain just off the entranceway. Fortunately, the little one went to sleep quickly enough to allow dad some party time.

Among the usual pleasantries that a good party offers, this one offered the entertainment value of many clever costumes. Of particular note in the costume area, the winners of the costume contest, the "Wizard of Oz" featuring Dorothy, the Scarecrow (whose smile could light up a room), the Cowardly Lion (whose hair look like that of a chick I dated in the eighties), and the Tin Man (who in my opinion had the best costume). Other terrific costumes included a hauntingly accurate portrayal of our retarded president, one night stand (our lovely host Jill), Mr. & Mrs. Devil (Mr. Devil mentioned that his wife actually took a class in makeup for this-they were quite extraordinary, and red), Guns & Roses (a clever parody featuring Linda & Rich), a Geisha (Jill's Grandma), a lint roller (the delightful Kate), and amongst many others, the Marlboro Girl (a "smoking hot" portrayal by Melisa).

It was especially nice to put faces to names and blogs. Kate, Melisa, and Bryan are all people whose blogs I've read but never met (until of course, last night). Thank you Jill for the invite and to all the Jeffrey's who made the party happen. Thanks for the haunted house idea and the tour of your new digs, and for the realization of my age (it was the first time I ever saw an ice luge).

The party rocked! Happy Halloween to all!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Boston Red Sox - World Champions

Today, I bow to the enemy. I am a lifelong NY Yankees (or as my friend Jill would call them, the NY Satans) fan and like most Yankee fans, were extremely disappointed with the end result. However, as an honest and die hard baseball fan, I look at these World Champion Red Sox and see what a what a real championship team looks like. This year, and not even for the whole year, it happened down the stretch or sometime just before, they had the one thing that they've been missing for so long, true team spirit.

Today, I look at guys like Johnny Damon (truly one of my favorite ball players), Jason Varitek, Trot Nixon, Derek Lowe (the Sox best Post Season Pitcher who was cast off by his own team and only got a chance in a desperate moment), Curt Schilling (the best thing to happen to the Sox, maybe ever), Orlando Cabrera, and others who saw a childhood dream come to fruition. I'm sure any of these guys would say that just getting to the big leagues was the realization of that dream but they've shown those of us who've watched this game that they have a certain spark, an aura, something that makes them just a little more special than the average player. These men deserve this moment because they earned it.

For the lifelong fans of this team, not the morons who wear the Yankees suck shirts or the Jeter swallow shirts, but for the baseball fans who come to cheer for their hometown team, for better or worse, hoping that maybe, just maybe they can get it together and take home the big prize. Every ball club goes through cycles of rebuilding but over the last 86 years, the Sox have had a number of terrific teams. In my lifetime, the teams of the mid to late 1970's had some of the best talent the game has ever known. Clearly, the team of the last two seasons were a force to be reckoned with and in my opinion, the one of the best, and most dangerous offensive forces in the game. Like I said earlier, this year they found the missing link - teamwork.

Today, I must admit to being proud of this team and happy for them and their fans. I applaud the World Champion Boston Red Sox and all of their dedicated fans. May you all enjoy this victory and be safe.

Until next time, May God Bless You All!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Busenhalter

Several friends, colleagues, and former colleagues have gotten together and assembled an online magazine that I strongly recommend to all.

I won't bother to describe or explain what Busenhalter is because they have done so at their site so eloquently. I can tell you that the first issue is brilliant and it not only deserves your time and attention, I am certain that some of you will become regular readers (Hint: Joy). Without further ado, I invite you to click on the logo below and be transported to this wonderful venture.


Monday, October 25, 2004

Biker Baby!

This is Goth Baby's twin brother "Biker Baby" courtesy of too much free time and my minimal, but dangerous PhotoShop skills.


Hey Baby, wanna go for a formula?

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Where am I ?

Since last I posted I have come down with s nasty cold that I am still suffering from. Oh how I need lozenges.

Also, my brother came up from NYC. He is starting a new business and I built 3 new computers for him and set up a network. IT was fun cause we got to hang out for a few days and stay up late like a couple of computer geeks.

Saturday night was a great time at the Fall Festival at church. It was a stray from the usual Christmas Fair and it turned out to be a great night with good food, good libations, good music, and good people.

I'm really worn out from three straight very late nights (into early mornings) getting these computers going. Hopefully, over the next few days I'll get back in the swing of things; I have much to post about.

Until then...have fun and eat your veggies.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Consumed

I have been completely consumed with baseball to the point where I am now feeling sick. I'm either experiencing unexplainable allergy symptoms or the beginning of a cold or something. I'll hopefully be back soon with observations on baseball, politics, music, and string cheese.

Monday, October 18, 2004

"Who's on First?" (With a twist)

One of my colleagues emailed this to me with a "thought you'd appreciate this." I took that as an "I had no Idea what this means, but since you're the computer geek, you may be able to find the humor in this senseless logic." Well, she was right, I think it's very funny and felt compelled to share it with you all.

Had Bud Abbott and Lou Costello lived in the computer era, "Who's on First?" might have taken another approach:
"I RECOMMEND AN OFFICE WITH WINDOWS!"

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.
ABBOTT: Mac?
COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.
ABBOTT: Your computer?
COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one
ABBOTT: Mac?
COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.
ABBOTT: What about Windows?
COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?
ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?
COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look in the windows?
ABBOTT: Wallpaper.
COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.
ABBOTT: Software for Windows?
COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What have you got?
ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?
ABBOTT: I just did.
COSTELLO: You just did what?
ABBOTT: Recommend something.
COSTELLO: You recommended something?
ABBOTT: Yes.
COSTELLO: For my office?
ABBOTT: Yes..
COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?
ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!
ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.
COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, lets just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?
ABBOTT: Word.
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: Word in Office.
COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?
ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue "W".
COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue "w" if you don't start with some straight answers. OK, forget that. Can I watch movies on the Internet?
ABBOTT: Yes, you want Real One.
COSTELLO: Maybe a real one, maybe a cartoon. What I watch is none of your business. Just tell me what I need!
ABBOTT: Real One.
COSTELLO: If it's a long movie I also want to see reel 2, 3 & 4. Can I watch them?
ABBOTT: Of course.
COSTELLO: Great! With what?
ABBOTT: Real One.
COSTELLO: OK, I'm at my computer and I want to watch a movie. What do I do?
ABBOTT: You click the blue "1".
COSTELLO: I click the blue one what?
ABBOTT: The blue "1".
COSTELLO: Is that different from the blue w?
ABBOTT: The blue "1" is Real One and the blue "W" is Word.
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: But there's three words in "office for windows"!
ABBOTT: No, just one. But it's the most popular Word in the world.
COSTELLO: It is?
ABBOTT: Yes, but to be fair, there aren't many other Words left. It pretty much wiped out all the other Words out there.
COSTELLO: And that word is real one?
ABBOTT: Real One has nothing to do with Word. Real One isn't even part of Office.
COSTELLO: STOP! Don't start that again. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?
ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer
COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?
ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.
COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?
ABBOTT: One copy.
COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?
ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy money.
COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?
ABBOTT: Why not? THEY OWN IT!

A FEW DAYS LATER . .

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?
ABBOTT: Click on "START"..........

Sunday, October 17, 2004

A Quote from Carville

"Back in 2000 a Republican friend warned me that if I voted for Al Gore and he won, the stock market would fall, we'd lose millions of jobs, and our military would be totally over- stretched. You know what? I did vote for Gore, he did win, and I'll be darned if all those things didn't come true!"- James Carville

Saturday, October 16, 2004

I'm a Honey Bear


Thanks to my latest obsession (which I thought I was over) but/and thanks to Joy, who had this on her blog - I took yet another personality type quiz. Here is my result:


Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

(Another) Personality Crisis

An apparent obsession with and awareness of personality tests led me to one called The Big Five, which "...measures what many psychologists consider to be the five fundamental dimensions of personality."

If you want to learn more about the use of the test itself, check this out: The Big 5 Personality Test

If you wish to take the same test I took, go here: Take the Big 5 Personality Test - Word Test

Finally, here are my results (along with some additional background on the test and my commentary):

The Big Five is currently the most accepted personality model in the scientific community. The Big Five emerged from the work of multiple independent scientists/researchers starting in the 1950s who using different techniques obtained similar results. Those results were that there are five distinct personality traits/dimensions. Here are your results on each dimension:

Extroversion results were high which suggests you are overly talkative, outgoing, sociable and interacting at the expense too often of developing your own individual interests and internally based identity. (I definitely have a tendency to talk too much. I don't agree that I'm so ridiculously extroverted that I compromise my individuality.)

Friendliness results were moderately low which suggests you are, at times, overly selfish, uncooperative, and difficult at the expense of the well being of others. (Not sure about who they're speaking of here. Sometimes I think I'm friendly to a fault, though I do tend to be suspicious of people and their intentions.)

Orderliness results were medium which suggests you are moderately organized, hard working, and reliable while still remaining flexible, efficient, and fun.

Emotional Stability results were moderately low which suggests you are worrying, insecure, emotional, and anxious. (I do panic often and suffer from anxiety disorder.)

Openmindedness results were moderately low which suggests you are, at times, overly practical, conservative, and conventional at the expense of curiosity, possibility, and progress. (I'm not so sure this is as accurate as it could be nor is it as inaccurate as I'd like it to be - I'll leave it at that.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Dullest Blog in the World

I'm not sure how I stumbled across this blog but I can tell you that I simply do not remember the last time I laughed as hard as I did when I read it - I've yet to hit the archives because I just bubble up with laughter just getting to the front page.

Check it out:

Monday, October 11, 2004

Three Things...

I saw this on Sister Sunshine’s Diary and blatantly stole it.

Name 3 things....

1....your ideal salad has on it.
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • One of the following cheeses: Gorgonzola, Feta, or Goat
2....you do religiously in the morning.
  • Pee
  • Damn the sun
  • Wish hateful shit on the alarm clock
3....you look forward to doing in your spare time.
  • Soaking up a good book
  • Avoiding anything needed to be done around the house
  • Blogging
4....you've never done before, but think you will at some point in your life.
  • Travel across the Atlantic
  • Write a book
  • Bungee Jump (not really sure if I ever will, but I think about it often - I've even written a poem on my perception of the experience)
5....you love to do while on vacation.
  • See things from the perspectives of a native (not a tour guide)
  • Learn about the history of where I am
  • Find time to do absolutely nothing but relax
6....you took pictures of in the last month.
  • Nothing, I left my digital camera at my friend's house in Brooklyn (200+ miles away) back in August.
7....you have to do before the end of the day.
  • Cook dinner for the family (I'll be attempting to buck this by offering to take the family to a restaurant)
  • Watch Fear Factor - it is Monday and I am addicted to The Reality Television
  • Go buy a new Iron (current one leaks) and ironing Board (current one looks like it could've had a V-8)
8....you like about your best friend.
  • Does not judge me for any reason, simply accepts me for who I am
  • Knows that fun is really a four letter word (B E E R)
  • Loves music as much as I do

Friday, October 08, 2004

The Color of My Personality

and you're a prima ballerina on a spring afternoon
change on into the wolfman howlin' at the moon
all about that personality crisis you got it while it was hot
but now frustration and heartache is what you got


Before I go any further, for this post I must acknowledge that I am stealing Michael's format by opening the post with a piece of a song. When I started the post, I couldn't get this song out of my head, so I felt compelled to start with the verse that's been ringing in my head for the last few hours (I love the NY DOLLS, and pretty much anything that David Johannsen does).

Color Quiz is a test where 8 boxes of different colors are displayed and you are asked to select them in the order in which they “make you feel best”. After the first round, there is a time delay, and then a second round of the same color selection process. At the end of both rounds, a report is generated telling you all about your personality. Hmmmm. What follows are the results from my test. I won't bother pointing out the accuracies nor the inaccuracies. I think it'll be more fun to hear back from those of you who know me, think you know me, and are getting to know me.

Here are the results:

Your Existing Situation
Sensuous. Inclined to luxuriate in things which give gratification to the senses, but rejects anything tasteless, vulgar, or coarse.

Your Stress Sources
Seeks independence and freedom from any restriction and therefore avoids obligations or anything which might prove hampering. He is being subjected to considerable pressure and wants to escape from it so that he can obtain what he needs, but tends to lack the necessary strength of purpose to succeed in this.

Your Restrained Characteristics
Willing to participate and to allow himself to become involved, but tries to fend off conflict and disturbance in order to reduce tension.
Emotionally inhibited. Feels forced to compromise, making it difficult for him to form a stable emotional attachment.

Your Desired Objective
Seeks success, stimulation, and a life full of experience. Wants to develop freely and to shake off the shackles of self-doubt, to win, and to live intensely. Likes contacts with others and is enthusiastic by nature. Receptive to anything new, modern, or intriguing; has many interests and wants to expand his fields of activity. Optimistic about the future.

Your Actual Problem
The tensions induced by trying to cope with conditions which are really beyond his capabilities, or his reserves of strength, have led to considerable anxiety and a sense of personal (but unadmitted) inadequacy. He attempts to remedy this by intense activity and by insistence on getting his own way. Faulty self-control can lead to ungovernable displays of anger.

Your Actual Problem #2
Fights against restriction or limitation, and insists on developing freely as a result of his own efforts.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Booklist 2004 - Part 6

It's been a while since the last book list post so for those of you who are newer to the blog or those of you who've ignored the previous lists and are suddenly curious... As of this writing, I have read 51 books this year and am in the midst of two right now. I set myself a goal to read more books this year after having read an average of 20 or so books in each of the last few years while watching hundreds of movies. I wanted 2004 to get more into the books and ease up a bit on the movies (I've seen 45 thus far). Anyway, back in July, I started these posts to provide you all with a list of the books I've been reading this year along with some commentary (and a neat little link to Amazon.com where you can read some more or purchase the book for yourself).

And now, the list continues:


34. Oh, The Things I Know! by Al Franken

I enjoyed this book as it is a quick read and a change of pace from the political writings that Franken is becoming better known for. Having successfully carved out a niche with his brilliant political wit (often exposing the conservative dingbats for the “idiots” they are), this book falls short of preconceptions. However, if you can put aside those preconceptions, and not expect Franken’s earlier Saturday Night Live persona Stuart Smalley, you may just get a laugh or two from this brief read.

35. Oxymoronica by Dr. Mardy Grothe

If you enjoy exploring language, in particular, the English language, you are going to enjoy this book. A straightforward look at the oxymoron as a tool, it’s use, particularly by people of historical interest or other fame, and the interesting twist Grothe adds with the idea of the term “oxymoronica - (OK-se-mor-ON-uh-ca) noun, plural: Any variety of tantalizing, self-contradictory statements or observations that on the surface appear false or illogical, but at a deeper level are true, often profoundly true. See also oxymoron, paradox.”

36. The Thomas Berryman Number by James Patterson

If you’ve read these book posts, you know how I feel about Patterson. I decided that I waned to go back into his catalog and read his entire body of work starting from, well, the beginning of course. In this, his first book, Patterson takes his lead character through an exhausting series of murder and intrigue. Throw in a love interest and you have all of the necessary elements tied neatly together with a fast paced storyline that clearly is just the beginning of Patterson developing the style that will eventually make the Alex Cross series so incredible.

37. The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw

I wrote an entire post about this book on July 1st. You can refer to the archives on the right to access it. In short, it was an amazing book.

38. Perfect I’m Not by David Wells

Most of what I would say about this book is expressed in the many commentaries you’ll find on Amazon.com. I am a fan of baseball and a fan of David Wells. Wells has intensity on the field that sometimes gives him the mystique of a heroic sports figure and sometimes that of a childish fool. Through all of it, Wells apologizes for nothing and remains true to himself. All in all, an interesting story about an interesting man but not without its flaws.

39. The Season of the Machete by James Patterson

Patterson’s second book and the first of the many I’ve read that I can honestly say I didn’t like. The story was scattered and the characters didn’t really gel. I felt zero attachment to anything that happens in this story.

40. The Giver by Lois Lowry

I discovered this book completely by accident which is what makes it all the more special to me. I was at an conference related to Academic Computing and in reviewing a college’s use of an Internet based system to present the “one book” learning concept – found this book.

Though written for the “young adult”, don’t prejudge this book by its intended audience. I’m sure you’ll agree that people of all ages can learn life lessons at any age. This is a powerful story with powerful characters that is sure to stimulate your mind and conceptions of a perfect world.

41. The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin

Ever wonder if your collective neuroses are preventing you from living the live you want to live and finding the love of your life? Meet Daniel Pecan Cambridge, he’s crazier than you, far deeper into his neuroses than you are into yours, and yet, somehow exists in his own world.

This story made me laugh but also made me think hard because we see the Cambridge character through his own eyes while often getting a glimpse of how he is perceived by the narrowed world that surrounds him.

42. Song of Susannah by Stephen King

The sixth book in the Dark Tower series chronicles Susannah Dean, “a crippled, black, schizophrenic, civil rights activist-turned-gunslinger whose body has been hijacked by a white, pregnant demon from a parallel world that keeps a seven-volume story bracingly strong as it veers toward its Armageddon-like conclusion.”

After the very long awaited fifth book, the incredible “Wolves of the Calla”, King slows the pace slightly as we await the conclusion in book seven. Since these book reviews are getting more and more difficult for me, I am going to refer you to a review on the Amazon.com link that mirrors my own opinions without me having to find my own words to express them (yes, it’s something of a copout but I am tired already):

Reviewer: A. Hart (MI)
I was never incredibly compelled by Susannah/Detta/Odetta in the previous books but this one changed my opinion of her. Susannah is incredibly strong, and her struggle with Mia is haunting. Mia is actually a very interesting character. I don't fear her, I don't really like her, but I pity her. However, I felt that the Mia's story and the truth of her "chap" was a bit contrived. Especially his name and his purpose (no spoilers here, but if you read it, you may roll your eyes like I did.)
I also love the pairing of Eddie and Roland. I think Eddie makes Roland feel as if he is still a part of his old ka-tet of long ago, and they bring out the strength in each other.
Jake, Callahan, and Oy's mini-tet was also interesting, and I wish there had been more of them in this novel, but I have a feeling they'll hold an incredibly important role in the next book. The change in Jake is fascinating. He knows his purpose now, and he is no longer a boy. He has been to war and seen death and he is hardened but not emotionless. Also, I am incredibly attached to Oy at this point. I think that King's inclusion of himself in this book was brilliant. I can't wait to see what role he'll play in the last novel.
I also enjoyed the poetry at the end of each chapter. Kind of summed things up.
Over all, this prelude to the final battle is full of suspense and intrigue. I found it haunting and intriguing. Bring on the final battle! I can hardly wait.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

BushPecker


To think people ripped on Clinton for his infidelities

Sprizee Presents...

Here are the long-awaited comical "Goth Baby" entries submitted by the lovely, talented, and entertaining Sprizee.


Thursday, September 30, 2004

Goth Baby Returns


So here's what 5 spare minutes that coincidentally came after reading that Sprizee, in her best angry mom impersonation, had her [hand on hips] indicating that she just couldn't wait any longer for me to have Goth Baby come out in full makeup.

Though this doesn't represent my best, I am no expert. Therefore, I once again ask for your contributions to the "Have fun with Goth Baby" contest and email entries to me at chrisdaniele@hotmail.com. All entries will be posted!

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Our Fearless Leader

This picture is a hoot. Unfortunately, it's an insult to Alfred E. Newman who even as a fictitous character is more intelligent than GWB.
SHORT TAKES:
I spent almost $800 bucks on a combination of routine maintenace and brakes. I really hate that!
I am enjoying The Apprentice and Survivor and looking forward to the finale of Last Comic Standing; though I'm thoroughly disappointed that Jay London, maybe the funniest comic in America, has been eliminated.
The pool is closed for the season.
I hate chipmunks.
Expect to see another recipe in the near future.
I haven't taken a clear breath through my nose in my entire adult life.
I miss Daisy.
Jams!!!! Where the hell have you been?
Dr. Watson? Are you reading this?
Peace to all...back soon.

Monday, September 27, 2004

SPAMTASTIC

I took a look in the "JUNK" folder of my Yahoo Mail account today only to find a slew of ads that were for either the worlds cheapest software, or penis enlargement. What's funny, is that the spammers use all types of tricks to code the subject line in hopes of bypassing the spam detection tools. I must commend Yahoo for catching these gems taht I share with you:

W:HATS:HEW:ANT ITISBlG:GE:RPE:Nl:S,,

INCREASE PENIIS AT 30% WITH 1st NATURAL MALE ENHANCEMENT

GlVE THE GREATEST GIFT

NEW NATURAL P1LL TO B1GGER YOUR PENIIS ye toward

LATEST PROVEN NATURAL P1LL TO B1GGER YOUR L1TTLE D1CK fell list restaurant

HO:WTO imPres:sHER

E:nl:ArG:eYo:uRD:iC:k

You just have to laugh at this.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Grilled Crow



You are not seeing an optical illusion or the work of fancy graphics software. No my friends, this is the real thing; a live crow lodged in the grill of a 1970's Lincoln Continental. It all started with my coworker Carolyn driving to work, making her usual run along Union Avenue when out of nowhere this Crow began to take flight. Colliding with the grill of the car, the impact caused the right wing of the crow to get jammed inside the grill. Without missing a beat, Carolyn paid no attention to the situation and proceeded to drive to work and ignore her new hood ornament.
I learned of the incident after I had already arrived at the college and another colleague came by with his digital camera showing me two photos; one of which adorns the top of this post. "Only Carolyn" was my first response followed quickly by, "I've gotta see this." Apparently the bird was still alive in the grill and Animal Rescue was summoned to make the rescue. As I made my way to the car to examine the bird and it's misfortunes, the expression on the Crow's face was clearly one of disgust and embarrassment. As if I expected the crow to be fluent in the English language, I looked at him and actually said out loud, "that's one fine mess you've gotten yourself into. Does it hurt?" As if the bird actually understood, though silent, it's expression appeared to be one of response; which I interpreted as "I know, I know, I really messed up this time. From here on out, I'm sticking to worms and bugs. No more road kill."
Having a total lack of animal skills and not much in the way of brains, I thought I should at least make an attempt to rescue this poor creature. It's quite amazing how much you can learn about crow's by simply getting close to them. Suffice it to say, at that moment there would be no rescue and I retreated to my desk and some anxiously awaiting students who couldn't log on to the computers.
About an hour or so had passed and the computer literacy rate had skyrocketed since my return. As things slowed down up in the lab, I thought I might go check on the crow whose gender I decided was male (all the signs were there) and whose name I chose as "Maury" (for no particular reason). Upon my arrival I saw that Maury had quite actively been trying to escape as I could only assume his deep embarrassment was finally overcome by some great amount of pain. With no sign at all of Animal Rescue and a team of EMT students assessing the situation (Carolyn is one of their mentors - God help them), I decided that this time, not only would I take matters into my own hands, but also that I would not fail in my quest to rescue Maury.
After reassessing the situation that the Crow had found himself in and discussing the possibilities with the crowd of students, I grabbed two good size branches using one to collapse the grill (we determined that the grill must have some give which caused the bird to get stuck in the first place) far enough and the other to carefully jimmy the bird loose. It worked! Maury was free but not without serious injuries. It was evident that his right wing had been severed and there appeared to be no chance for Maury to ever fly again. He bounced around grimacing in pain (okay, maybe here I am stretching it but not that far from the look and sounds of the moment) and wouldn't you know it, the moronic crow bounced himself right into the middle of the street. Luckily, traffic was nonexistent. I went to try to get him out of the street but he got all crow on me and started making biting motions with his beak. I then gently tapped him with the two branches which I still had possession of and finally directed him to a grassy area across the street on the grounds of another town school. From there, I returned to my workplace and offered the following statement by email to Carolyn:
"Since it was I that masterfully removed said bird, please write a checque for $129.95 to the National Audubon Society in honour of Maury, the formerly right-winged crow who learned his lesson the hard way.

Hmmm, I'm not a bettin' man, but I bet that's the first time someone ever served grilled crow while it was still alive!"
Leave it to me to make two bad jokes at the expense of a bird who more than likely wouldn't have much longer to live.