Friday, February 29, 2008

Feblopomo (Leaplopomo Edition)

Here we are 6o days into 2008 and amazingly, 60 posts here at FAWTAS.  January it was about the experience, I didn't plan on carrying it into February but then, as the month moved along, I felt like making a conscious effort to recall stories and also to keep up with my podcasting; next think you know...here we are.
I've read six books thus far and watched ten movies. I've become a member of the vestry at church, eaten way too much, exercised way too little, moved too much snow, not gotten enough rest, and procrastinated over things that just need not be procrastinated about.
The year is no longer young but it isn't old yet either. It's time to get serious about getting things done but knowing me, I'll be able to say that again.
Shout outs to Sicilian Mama, not just returning to the blogging world but with baby on board. Essentially Me, for a new way of blogging - her way. And, of course to all the rest of you who inspire me daily,

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fantasy Baseball

As spring training is about to begin, I'd like to very briefly share my vision of what Major League Baseball would look like if I had my say.
First, every existing contract would become null an void. Each player would then get a base salary, an equal base salary. Then, there would be a complete series of performance incentives that would determine the earnings of the player.
Performance incentives would require some serious thought in terms of milestones and the sort but ultimately, instead of the current systems that offers randomly insane market based dollar amounts primarily based on past performance, pay would be based on "what can you do for me now" and the reward for a good season,in addition to performance based salary incentives would be contract guarantees for the future . I know it's all loose right now but the basic concept revolves around players not getting insane amounts of money for nothing and rather motivating the player to be there best always.
Just the beginning of a thought that would need serious development. But I think a good one. I know it's but a dream, the almighty dollar has already done far too much damage to the sport and the business end at this point reigns supreme and I suspect always will. I can dream though.
Update:
I suspect desipte the lack of literacy used in the writing of this post the idea is reasonably clear. I should resist the urge to express myself in the written word in the state I was in when I wrote this (keep your head out of the sewer).

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Podcast: Icicles and Indians at Sears

Hear about:
Falling icicles in Russia
A BIG FUCK YOU to the Mashantucket Pequot Indians
The fading legend of Sears Roebuck & Co.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: This podcast stirred up quite the controversy when it aired and I spent considerable time reading and studying the Native American story. Regardless, the incident described in this podcast really happened and I've never heard anything about how the situation was handled to change my mind that it was improper. I do however have a greater understanding about the plight of the Native American throughout history and while this podcast was recorded in anger of the specific incident described - I did make some statements that went too far -
LISTEN HERE
or, Listen here:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ratting Out on a Colleague

I sent the following note via email to the administrator in charge of campus police, and the full-time campus police officer on duty:

For two days last week, and today, Professor Highwater has parked his car illegally at the Framingham campus. I don’t know or care about his reasoning because he is blatantly disregarding everything as if it is his right to park there.

I mention this because once (and only once) I parked in the handicap spot for a grand total of 3 minutes and was ticketed and forced to pay without even being heard. I am asking that Highwater is at least warned and then ticketed for repeat violations. We all should be treated equally and my opinion of his behavior is that it is disrespectful to everyone.


Now I know it isn't eloquent, that's partially intentional. And, while some of you may be mortified at the potential asshole-iness of my ratting this fucker out but trust me, the decision to do so was not made lightly. I have held back about this fucker for a very long time. He thinks he is better than everyone simply because he's been around for like 30 years. He's an ass and has no respect for anyone so I have had enough and no I show him all the respect he deserves.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Cheating Story

When I was in 8th grade, my teacher, Miss Gannon used to make us take these reading tests out of a text. There was a short reading, probably a couple of paragraphs, then there were multiple choice questions to answer.

Once we competed a quiz, we would go up to the front of the class where there was an answer key and we were responsible for grading our own little quiz before moving on. The answer key however, had all of the answers to every quiz, most appealing, the next one.

Yes, it's true, I would peek ahead and remember as many of the answers to the next quiz as possible and record them. Make enough trips, record enough answers, and you get a very well graded illiterate (LOL).

Seriously, I did cheat but I am literate so I guess in the long run I eventually learned a lesson. I never got caught though.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

TP on the Ceiling

When I was in elementary school, I remember walking to school and having to be careful to avoid dinosaur turds along the way so that I wouldn't soil my shoes. Okay, I am just being goofy, it's Sunday night and I am just delirious from this far too busy weekend where rest just wasn't on the list of options. I do really have a story about TP on the ceiling.

Back in elementary school, I remember the bathroom ceiling were really high. Granted, I was shorter then so even normal ceiling would more than likely have seemed higher but I am certain there were higher than normal.

I recall seeing white blotches up on the ceiling but had no clue what they were until someone told me they were toilet paper. I asked how they got up there and then stood there and recall being both shocked and excited that they were simply balls of TP that were wet and then thrown up to the ceiling. Skeptical even then however, I had to try for myself and you simply can't imagine the sheer joy of it all when the moistened globule of TP I tossed up actually stuck to the ceiling.

Not one to get enough in those days, I did this repeatedly and even thought, this would be fun at home too. Not one of my better ideas. I vividly recall the delight I took in tossing up onto the much lower ceiling of my home bathroom the wet TP and was so thrilled that it actually stuck! I was pretty proud of my efforts, but later that day, my father has different ideas for how the bathroom ceiling should appear and he made sure to let me know his feelings.

Needless to say that after I was forced to discuss why I did this and where I learned this new art form, I was punished well enough such that I never did it again.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Peanut Butter Pie

It's been a while since I posted a recipe here and I came across one that I haven't made in a while but I can assure you is quite delicious.
Ingredients:
4 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 cup Milk
8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed
Pie Crust

  • Mix Cream Cheese, Peanut Butter, Powdered Sugar, and Milk until smooth.
  • Fold in Cool Whip.
  • Pour into Pie Crust.
  • Freeze (minimum of) 4-6 hours.
  • Thaw 15-20 mins. before serving.
Now, just as you see it here, it is quite delicious. However, a little creativity and you can really kick this up so have fun with it.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Snowy Friday

The Governor of our state made the call at about 11:22am. "...state employees should be sent home as soon as possible to get home safely." I admire this level of concern because of the severity of driving in the weather conditions that we were contending with. I was however pissed off when the people who make the decision to close our school not only again didn't make the decision in a timely manner, but it seemed as if they were unaware of the Governor's decision until it was brought to their attention and then, the call to officially close wasn't made until 2pm; once again putting our staff and students in potential danger. I hope they come up with a more efficient system sooner rather than later - before someone gets killed.

********************
It was difficult to try and predict what was the best time to go and move the snow from the driveway as it was falling quite rapidly and was expected to continue into the night. SO, I went out about 5ish so that I would at least have the benefit of light. Unfortunately, I suspect another pass through will be necessary in the morning.

********************
Are you familiar with YouTube sensation Brandon Hardesty? Jimmy Kimmel has had him on for the last few days. This 20 year old re-enacts scenes from movies and shoots and acts, playing all characters, in them. Very funny stuff...here's one of his performances, enjoy:


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Meyer Briggs Mania

There's been quite a bit of Meyer Briggs talk on the circuit so curiosity got the best of me and I took a Meyer Briggs-ish test as recommended and here's how it all turned out for me:

E=10 Extraversion
I=1 Introversion
S=9 Sensing
N=11 iNtuition
T=4 Thinking
F=15 Feeling
J=14 Judging
P=5 Perceiving

You are an ENFJ

The following list is made up of recommended careers which a certain type seems to be predominant (I am only going to include my type, not the entire list). This list is not a list of the "only jobs that you can do", but a guide to which career utilizes the natural talents of each type.

ENFJ - Teachers, consultants, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, clergy, sales representative, human resources, managers, events coordinators, politicians, diplomats, writers, actors, designers, homemakers, musicians, religious workers, writers. They have a gift of encouraging others actualize themselves, and provide excellent leadership.

If you want the long of it on ENFJ, click here.

I could probably write an awful lot of gibberish and perhaps even an intellectual thought or two on the topic and end result. I suspect with any such assessment one can find argument, both positive and negative. I think all of it is pretty interesting. I didn't do enough reading to find the answer to the questions I have. Does the test account for misinterpreting a question by the testee? My guess is yes based on the repetitive nature of the line of questioning. Also, is the answer supposed to be one of deep reflection or immediate gut reaction?

Anyway, this is me, for now. Thanks E-Fo and Essentially Me for peeking my interest.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Podcast: How I Met Carol

Have you done your taxes yet?
How I Met Carol DeCoursey
The Music of My Years 1997-1999
LISTEN HERE
or, listen here:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I Haven't Been to Work SInce Last Thursday

It's back to work tomorrow after an extended President's day weekend. My main goal was to get some rest and try to beat the exhaustion and fringe of illness. I didn't rest nearly as much as I could have or would have liked to but I did get some rest and didn't do an awful lot of things, so, while not 100%, I'm not 60% either.

If I wasn't so lazy, I'd erase that last paragraph and write it in English.

Here's a great idea I had that I will likely never go through with because it requires a level of motivation I'm sure I couldn't muster up if I even tried. "From a Whisper to a Scream - The TV Show". Initially, my thought was local cable access but then I quickly realized that my target audience wouldn't see it that way (though I could YouTube it from that point I guess). I then thought of pre-taping and then purchasing time in the wee hours on cable TV (competing with the infomercials). These time slots are usually "affordable" and I would try to get a sponsor for the show to handle production costs and TV time. I know it isn't an impossibility but like I said, I am way too lazy.

The fucking spell checker on blogger went to shit a while back, what's up with that? I knwo what you're thinking, some of you at least, "Chris, why are you composing in blogger and not in Word or something?" Answer, Make one up that fits.

Until next time.

Monday, February 18, 2008

February 18th, 1925

Today marks the 83rd anniversary of the birth of my mother, who passed away about 11 1/2 years ago. Here's a post I wrote about her back in Spetember of 2004.

Here's a post that I know Airam would get a kick out of. The post is from September of 2005 so if you are new to this blog since them or you don't remember "40 Things in the Life of an Italian Child", here's your chance to read it or re-read it.

Here's how I did on the "How Evil Are You?" test"


How evil are you?


The greatest sentence in blogging in 2008 thus far, "You haven't really had hum bow until you've had Pike Place Mee Sum." (Sprizee)

Mom, I miss you every day.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday, back Then

The wrangling and of pots and pans early in the morning was always the first sounds of a Sunday. I’d always force myself to stay in bed a while longer because it really was way too early, even for a kid and besides, I knew the next of my senses to be attacked.

I’m not sure how much longer after hearing the pots and pans it was, but my sense of smell was the next to force me to a wakened state and while it would be normal for the stomach to be aching for standard breakfast fare, the nose and the stomach seemed to work in concert craving a taste of Mom’s homemade tomato sauce simmering on the stove; even in its early stages.

Before breakfast was served, it wasn’t too hard to convince Mom for a taste of the sauce so a spoon was dipped into the pot and I had my fill while the eggs were frying, the bagels toasting, and the family was gathering at our unusual keyhole shaped kitchen table to fill our bellies just enough to hold us over until our late afternoon “Sunday meal”.

I put “Sunday meal” in quotes to emphasize how different it was from that of any other day and how traditional it was each and every Sunday. A typical Sunday started with breakfast. We passed over lunch in favor of a snack, which for me was almost always a piece of bread with a slice of cheese on top then another spoonful of the simmering sauce in the next stage of its deliciousness.

Dinner was usually around 3 or 4pm instead of the usual weekday 6pm meal time. And, Sundays always brought visitors to share the Sunday feast with us. In fact, there was a period of years where my “Uncle” Joe (not really a relative, but a term of respect for an elder who was related to a relative) would come over every Sunday in the late morning and spend the day with us. My parents would spend a part of their Saturday at a slaughterhouse and purchase large quantities of un-butchered meats. My “Uncle” Joe, a butcher by trade, would spend several hours on Sunday butchering the large slabs of meats into human sized portions and was handsomely rewarded with Mom’s traditional Sunday feast (and a ride home later in the evening).

Because dinner was so early and lunch was pretty much skipped, there was an evening snack time that for some reason, at least in my memory, was always fun and varied. Sometimes it was just leftovers, sometimes it was a pizza pie (which was fun because we could choose from any of four or five local pizzeria’s that all were within a few block radius and would deliver). Whatever the food item was, there was often a dessert to follow which meant coffee for the adults (usually espresso), and more often than not, Italian pastries from Capri bakery on Avenue U. Sometimes in the summer, the ice cream man would chime his bells during this time and we’d all go running to the front street while asking for money so that we could each get a cold treat.

These were seemingly such simpler times. Everything feels so much more stressful and far less memorable now. I wonder if Mom and Dad have kept up this Sunday tradition in Heaven with all of our family members who’ve passed on. I know that just thinking about those days I can still relive the act of breaking off a piece of Italian bread and dipping it into the pot of sauce, sometimes without permission first, always worth the risk of disciplinary action.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Movie Saturday

I actually watched two movies today while trying to catch up on my relaxation and doing a poor job.

While a trusted friend offered a god review of Rocky Balboa, I didn't have high hopes at the thought of a Rocky Movie made by a 60-ish Stallone. I must confess however that the script was fairly well crafted and very well executed. The advantage of seeing the DVD edition is the insights that can be gained from the special features. In this package, there was a alternate ending where Rocky won the fight and while it was well written, it clearly lacked the impact of the final print where the fight went to the current champ "Mason 'The Line' Dixon".

I though there was some really neat camera work, the storytelling was not limited to the actors but the scenery, lighting, and locations all rounded out the story that began with the first Rocky film 30 years prior. What made this film special was the underlying message; it was moving without being cheesy and moral without being conservative.
Yet another sequel in a long chain of sequels, Bruce Willis reprises his role as Detective John McClain as the Die Hard franchise tackles the topic of cyber terrorism at the hands of a dsgruntled federal employee (not a postal worker in this particular case). The action was inense and again, despite his age, Bruce Willis pulled it off pretty well. I would have liked the movie better if the editing team could have trimmed it down as it clocks in at just a smidgen over the two hour mark and those who know me, know that I automatically mark nerly all movies that go over the 100 minute mark with a big strike. While the action remained strong for the duration, the story didn't warrant the ned for the extra time in this case.

Overall, I say it's worth the rental fee, which for me was zero since I got it from the library. It's a pretty good mindless shoot 'em up with some pretty intense action - I'll let the story take a back seat in this case.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Talk Dirty to Me

A few days ago when I posted the video for Bohemian Rhapsody, I believed I mentioned that there was a second such video made. The second video was done a year later and this one is the sog "Talk Dirty to Me" by Poison. While it equally shows off my incredible lack of lip synching (though the delay cause by the poor capture quality actually helps the cause), it does feature some really entertaining appearances by Sean that really make this one fun to watch. Enjoy and let the mocking begin...


Thursday, February 14, 2008

What Today Is

  • The 45th day of the year.
  • Another reason to hate Hallmark and all who commercially followed in their wake.
  • A good day to score some chocolate.
  • The day that Oregon became the 33rd state in the union in the year 1859.
  • The day that St. Valentine was beheaded (very romantic).
  • The day that Arizona joined the union in 1912.
  • The day the late Gregory Hines was born.
  • The day I remind you of my most recent podcast.
  • The day I remind you that I am participating in the Walk for Hunger.
  • My last day of work until Tuesday the 19th (though I am working until 9pm because the class I teach meets on Thursday evenings).
I am bummed out because I intended to see U23D locally over the next few days but it is now gone from the local theater.
That may or may not be it for today. Until then, later...
  • Jane Fonda said CUNT on national television. I just saw the clip on Perez Hilton. Funny stuff.
  • And here it is...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Project Runway Drama/Idol Top 24


Here's where things stand after the last challenge before Fashion Week time.

Sweet Pea was outright eliminated while Christian and Jillian are firm to show their collections.

Chris and Rami will have to create their collections and duke it out at fashion week where only one of them will show.

*******
I am looking forward to the return of Top Chef in March.

The first episode of Survivor was disappointing - we'll see how things pan out this week.

Once again I must say, the show "The Moment of Truth" is insane -but I love every minute of it.
Finally, American Idol has selected the top 24 that will compete for viewer votes. Some controversial choices, some of which were clearly made to fulfill political correctness instead of quality of singing/performing in a singing/performing competition. I guess we'll have to see how it all pans out, Simon has been unusually tame this year...thus far.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Podcast: Would You Rather...

Bits and pieces of thinks all pulled together via software:
A series of "Would you Rather" questions
My very brief "interview" with fashion guru Michael Kors at the Grammy awards
Just a couple of songs from "The Music of My Years"
And a few other gems.
LISTEN HERE
or listen here:

Monday, February 11, 2008

Like Never Before - Part 1

A while back I promised that I would be posting something here that would be, well, I'm not sure what the best word would be but here are several that apply: unbelievable, funny, silly, goofy,(possibly) embarrassing, brave, entertaining (for sure).

Later this evening I will make that promise a reality right here in this post. before you see it though, be forewarned, its really odd but was a shitload of fun when we did it a few years back.

Until later.

Okay folks, the video will be up around 9:30-10:00 tonight. Here's what it is all about. A few years ago, student development hired one of these companies to come in and they set up a green screen, they have props and some el-cheapo costume crap, then they play a song that you lip-sync to and essentially make a music video. So, the first year they did it, I made a video for "Bohemian Rhapsody" along with my colleagues Michelle and Lisa. We had a blast, my whole attitude going into it was to play the role of an insane Freddy Mercury, just not as effeminate. I hope you enjoy it. Until later...

As promised, it's just before 10pm and I told you I'd have a video for you. I can't for the life of me actually believe I am making this public but here goes (the quality is a bit rough, a bit got lost in the translation from VHS with meager equipment. I know the screen is small but it really pixellates and becomes unwatchable any larger - you can go to YouTube and see for yourself if you must.) Let the mocking begin:

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Grammy Shit

So it's just about 11pm and I've been watching the Grammy and the show thus far really sucks. First off, that fucking crappy song Umbrella...that's not a song, it's annoying. Kanye West annoys me so much I actually thought about throwing a heavy object through my TV, then I realized that I paid a shitload of miney for that TV and he wasn't worth it. In fact, I know of only 3 moments thus far even worth mentioning:
1. The Foo Fighters performans with the orchestra - this was at least interesting but I prefer them all by themselves please.
2. Vince Gill's acceptance speech after receiving his award by Ringo Starr, "I just got an award handed to me by a Beatle, that happen to you yet Kanye?"
3. Amy Winehouse's performance - enchanting!
Everything else either sucked, was totally unoriginal and/or uninspired, and not worth the TV time.

Sorry I couldn't get to the podcast. Later.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Weekend Blurbery

Wanna see something funny? If so,click here.

Another Haiku?
Please, what do you think I am?
Mister Haiku Man?

I've somehow committed to a larger number of Girl Scout cookies that I should have. What will suck is that they'll all show up at the same time and I'll need to make an ATM run to pay for them.

Here's my current TV schedule (this is really pathetic):
Monday - Dance War:Bruno vs. Carrie Ann (I have no idea why, it's not all that good)
Tuesday - American Idol, Carpoolers
Wednesday - American Idol, The Moment of Truth, Project Runway
Thursday - Survivor, Celebrity Apprentice
Friday - 1 vs. 100
On top of these, I'm good for General Hospital daily, I also DVR Jimmy Kimmel and David Letterman daily (though I don't watch every minute of every episode).

I am reading three books concurrently at the moment, one non-fiction, one James Patterson novel, and the first graphic novel I've ever read, a book that was referred by Mike over at NFADR.

Finally, I am shooting for a podcast tomorrow. Goodnight.

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Return of Haiku

It's been a while since I've messed around with Haiku so I allowed my mind to wander a bit and used my fingers for counting syllables and came up with these four:

A force of nature
Devastation left behind
How do we rebuild?
**********
Eight long years of hell
Who’ll lead us from this darkness?
An agent of change?
**********
Needing direction
Never have I been so lost
I can’t bear this pain
**********
Sensuality
Your warm breath caressing me
Come with me right now

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Springs and Things

First up, welcome back to Brookem who made her official return to Bloggerville after a hiatus. Brookem is an extraordinary blogger and an even better person. I for one am glad that she is back, check out her blog if you aren't familiar with it.

While it's only class 2 of the Spring semester, thus far this group is infinitely better that the group I had in the fall.

I wish I could get my act together and write a few of the essays I've had in mind for the longest time.

In the next few weeks, I am going to be digging up some good stuff including two music videos I shot a few years back. I didn't actually shoot them so much as I appeared in them , it was a student event at the college and we had fun.

Here's a bit of comic genius that my friend Melanie sent me the link to...you're gonna love this:

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Remember That You Are Dust...

...and to dust you shall return. The last couple of years I had to get up super early for 6:30am services but this year we had a noon service, so I was able to scoot out at lunch.


Some ash notes: I was rather impressed at the cross like look this ash application has, more often than not it looks like a big dot or smear. This particular ash,if looked at with enough imagination, kind of looks a bit like a fleur-de-lis.
I have nothing else to say at the moment, so I'll say goodnight.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

All By Myself

All by myself
Dont wanna live
All by myself anymore
Hard to be sure
Some times I feel so insecure...

It's very quiet here in Bloggerville. There are some people that have been away for a while and a few others that are just leaving for a bit. There are some who have been gone so long I begin to wonder if they'll ever return and several who've been gone so long that their presence is nothing but a memory.

This community has brought unexpected friendships that I cherish, an exchange of ideas that I value, and a place where I can be me and say whatever I wish - I am my only censor and I don't do censorship.

The landscape has changed since I started coming here and for certain it will continue to change as time moves forward. We all have different reasons for being here and we all get different things from coming. I for one need this place. It's a part of my sanity. You are all very special to me and I thank you so much for being a part of this experience.

Come back soon; all of you.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Speak Now...

Tomorrow is "Super Tuesday" in our country and if you live in any one of these 22 states: California, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Alaska, Minnesota, North Dakota, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, or Arkansas and are registered to vote, get your ass out there and vote.

If you are not registered to vote and ahould be, shame on you; get on top of that. if you are not willing to speak you voice then you can't complain about never being heard.

UPDATE: Super Tuesday, 2/5. I placed my vote at 7:10am....please remember to place yours.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Walk for Hunger 2008

Hard to believe, but it's time once again for me to raise awareness and ask for donations to one of my favorite charities, Project Bread.
On Sunday, May 4th, I will participate in the 20 mile Walk for Hunger for the 5th time, this is the organization's 40th anniversary of their annual event held in Boston each year. I hope that you can support my effort and also learn a little something about what I think is a very well run charitable organization.

You can click on the logo below, which will find it's way to my sidebar through showtime to learn more about the walk and donate on behalf of my efforts.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Jablopomo?

For the last two Novembers, bloggers that I know participated in a funkily named thing called Nablopomo where they commit to posting at least once each day in the month of November.

Not being one to conform to standards and/or not having thought about participating in such an event until it was too late to do so successfuly, I chose January 2008 to see what it would be like to commit to posting once per day for an entire month.

Well, I successfully posted every day in January and can say that it proved to be more challenging that I thought it would be. Oddly, looking back, not just on January but in general, I always feel like there's a story to be told. Somehow, when it's time to sit down and tell it, they don't always gel or seem to slip away.

Well, I am glad I tried it. Until next time...