Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My InternetS are Down :(

My InternetS at home are down – according to the Verizon techs, my router seems to have passed away (perhaps in sympathy to all of the recent celebrity deaths). They assure me that a new one will be waiting at my door when I get home and I should be back up and running soon after connecting it.

I have some stories to tell you about my weekend and have some great podcast material as I did a "man on the street" type segment at a Red Lobster in Wethersfield, Connecticut.

See you soon.

R.I.P. Billy Mays

Friday, June 26, 2009

Celebrity Deaths

The celebrity death pool has been rather active this past week. The shock and awe impact of Michael Jackson's death will likely overshadow the others and in fact, will likely be as great an impact as that of Elvis Presley's.

I want first to bring attention to the passing of Farrah Fawcett, who lost a long public battle with cancer. Farrah was without a doubt an icon of period in which she is most famous. Three decades after her role as Jill Munroe on Charlie's Angels, most probably would find it hard to believe she was a regular on that series for only its initial season. However, Farrah exploded in popularity as a "pin-up" girl and throughout the media (which was not nearly as easy to break through, or as fast as today's techno-based media outlets).

The death of Michael Jackson (MJ) has brought many thoughts to my head; the first of which is this: here you have a young man who has achieved all the success that anyone could ever wish for and has earned as more money than most could figure out how to spend – it seems to me that he has never been happy. Perhaps it's a lesson to be learned that fame and fortune does not necessarily resolve inner conflict, personal demons, depression, or whatever else may have been wrong with this talented, yet deeply troubled man.

Another famous death is that of Ed McMahon, who kissed Johnny Carson's ass was the announcer and sidekick on the Johnny Carson show for more than 30 years. McMahon hosted a talent competition back in the 1980's called Star Search which was hippish long before the current wave of realityish talent competitions that are so trendy in today's market place. McMahon also serves as a pitchman for a numner of products, most famously Alpo dog food and of course, the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. I find it interesting how McMahon, who while a seemingly nice enough guy, became wealth and famous without being know for any real particular skill or talent. He got his endorsement deals by virtue of his role on Carson's show and while I don't think he was a bad pitch man, her certainly wasn't extraordinary. Hollywood can be funny that way sometimes.

Lesser known celebrity, musician Kenny Rankin succumbed to lung cancer recently. Rankin was probably best known for penning the song "Peaceful" for Helen Reddy. Perhaps ironic, Rankin appeared on Johnny Carson's show about 25 times.

Well Hollywood, we mourn your losses with you, in our own way perhaps.

Monday, June 22, 2009

For the Sake of The Call

Has it ever happened to you? You are put in a position of response and while your initial reaction might be to look away, ignore, or judge, something comes over you and you respond in a way that you may not understand, at least not initially, but eventually it becomes clear that there was a reason you were put in that position and why you reacted the way you did (I really could have done a better job writing that).
After church service this past Sunday, I spent a few moments at coffee hour engaging in fellowship but soon retreated to the church office to do some work on the computers. I was pretty involved in my work when an extremely pregnant woman walked in and asked me if I was the priest.
I explained that I was not the priest but stood up to introduce myself as an officer of the church and asked her how I can help. She began to cry immediately and said, “I’m pregnant and my son just stole my wallet and I have no money and need to get gas for the car… (or something close to that).”
My usual initial reaction is to make a judgment call. I have trust issues in general and I can also tell you that there are many predators who come into churches on Sundays attempting to score some cash. Why my gut instinct is to question this woman, I was overcome with the feeling that I was put into this position for a reason and simply asked her with sincerity, “would five bucks help you (I only had nine bucks on me)?”
She looked at me, still with tears in her eyes and could only nod in the affirmative. I handed the the money, she thanked me and was on her way. I didn’t give it a further thought until I went to bed that night and reflected on that moment in prayer.
I’m going to leave the rest to you. I told this story for one reason only, to inspire you to reflect on a similar moment you may have found yourself in or how you might react in a similar situation.
I think that one of the most important pieces of a faith journey is to actually practice faith – believing in something that you can not prove. Taking action simply because you know in you hear it is the right thing to do in that moment regardless of any reservations you may have.
Peace be with you.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Meus Abbas , Meus Vir

Relying on an online English to Latin translator, the title hopefully means, “My Father, My Hero”.
I don’t recall how much I’ve written about my dad here but if I repeat myself, it’s because he’s worth hearing about again. Giuseppe Daniele (I have no clue if he had a middle name) was born in Mola di Bari, Italy on September 16th, 1926; he passed away on March 30th, 1993 – way too soon and totally unexpectedly (at least by those of us who knew and loved him).
Dad grew up in Italy and served in the Italian Navy during World War II. After having had to serve his country under Mussolini’s influence and fascism, his political differences (and other factors) had him longing for a change, which eventually led him to the United States in 1955.
I know that when he first came to the U.S., he “jumped ship” (came here illegaly). I don’t know the particulars of how he met my mom but I do know that his uncle (Antonio Daniele) was living here and married to my mother’s older sister (Catherine DeBella). My parent’s were married on December 10th, 1955 and I know that my dad was sent back to Italy and then allowed to return. Unfortunately, I don’t know all the interested stuff that comes int he middle of all of that.
While achieving great success as a commercial fisherman and in local politics in his home town, dad had to start from scratch in the U.S. first having to overcome a language barrier. I know that he took a job sweeping floors for a while and put himself through English classes at Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn. I remember as a kid seeing the texts that he used – i wish I still had them.
Eventually, my dad climbed the ladder of success and in short time, became co-owner of a contract packaging outfit after working in the industry for a few years. Dad went on to startup two additional businesses before retiring in 1990 or 1991.
I always remember that my dad worked really hard to give us all a good home, stressed the importance of a good education and provided for one, and had the worst luck with cars getting stolen. dad was not one to fuck with however and was a physical disciplinarian. It seemed he knew how to do everything and anything – it was rare we ever had workmen come to the house, dad seemed to know how to fix it, patch it, build it, whatever. Somehow my older brother picked up on that and I – well I am good at calling people who know how to do stuff.
Anyway, I could go on for a long time – especially about going to buy fish end especially then for Christmas Eve. It was rare we went to a fish market but rather right to the docks purchasing freshly caught fish right from the men who caught it. I won’t go on though – I need to spend some time reflecting on my dad – by myself. I am glad I got to share a bit of him with all of you.
Rest in Piece Daddy!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Making History at Dairy Queen

dq3 I am proud to say that history was made at DQ today and it was me that made that history. I have been trying for a couple of years to get one of the kids there to do a double dip of my cone, first into the cherry, then into the chocolate. I’ve dreamt of the magical deliciousness of my double dip but alas, no one would do the double dip.
Today, I once again attempted to get one of the employees to make history with me and was informed by the young lady tending to me that “we can’t double dip because the first dip would melt into the second dip.” Evidently, the dips are kept at a heated temperature and it just wouldn’t work. So, I needed to turn on the charms, I was determined this time to have a historical moment at the DQ.
I said the the young lady, “I was hoping to make history here and thought you could be a part of it all!” She responded with a rather excellent idea - “How about I put a little of the other dip into a cup and you can pour it over your cone?” So she cam back with my dipped cone and a cup of the other dip liquid which I then poured gingerly over the dipped cone. Onlookers were mystified and amazed, some at the marvel of what was happening and some at the intricate patterns the dripping left on the pavement below.
When the pour was complete, I showed off my creation to the DQ employee who finally cooperated in making my dream happen and to all who were nearby. One older lady questioned, “What is that!” I was holding the first ever double dipped cone in history and all that was left was to eat it. Eat it I did and it was delicious. In hindsight, I really should have documented the moment on film as I actually had a camera with me but I was so caught up in the moment, I didn’t. Either way, it finally happened and I can truly say that for that moment, the world was indeed a better place to be than the moment before.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Podcast: Something Crazy Happened to Me On Facebook

Something crazy happened to me today while on Facebook. I wanted to write a blog post but got too lazy to type the whole story. So, I called Cuzzup to tell the story to her and recorded the conversation for all of you to hear.
or, listen right here:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A “Funny” Thing Happened on the Way to My Insulation Blow Job

In advance of my vinyl siding installation, I am having some Owens Corning “pink” blown into my wall cavities. It’s a pretty neat process all done from outside of the house.
They pull off one of the clapboards, drill a hole, then stick a tube in there and blow the insulation into the wall cavity until filled. It’s good deal too, I get a 75% rebate (up to 2k) from the electric company and then I can get a 30% rebate (up to $1500) on my taxes – so when all is said and done, my net cost for the job will be a little over $400 and I end up with a nice R13 (as I recall) insulation value.
So here’s the “funny” thing that happened…I go into on of the upstairs rooms and there’s pink insulation all over the fucking place. A few years ago, a plumber had to cut out a chunk of a wall in the closet in there to get at a pipe. The piece of wall went back in kind of makeshift and today, I realized just how makeshift when the insulation blew right through that chunk of wall.
What a mess!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Recycling Recycling

I’ve ranted here and several occasions regarding my feelings about recycling; I hate it. Yes, I hate recycling, it’s a total pain in the ass! However, I recognize the importance and need to recycle and therefore, I do it.
That being said, I really hate when people who don’t know a fucking thing about me choose to comment publicly about my “irresponsibility” because they happened to see me throw a plastic water bottle into a regular trash barrel and not a recycling bin on one single occasion.
So shit for breath, perhaps you should direct your stupidity and remarking to The Home Depot as it was them who chose to only have a single trash receptacle at their entrance. What am I to do, hold the fucking bottle in my hand and walk around with it until such time I can find a recycle bin? Are you out of your fucking mind?
Listen, go fuck yourself with a plastic bottle for all I care! You don’t know me. You have no idea that I do recycle at home. Fuck you Fuck you Fuck you Fuck you Fuck you Fuck you Fuck you Fuck you Fuck you Fuck you Fuck you Fuck you !
I feel much better!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I Think Jack Black is Overrated Perhaps

I won’t say that he sucks nor will I say I’ve not been entertained by him, because I have. I tend to think he’s something of a one-trick pony – a one dimensional actor with little to no range beyond “Jack Black”.
I watched a movie called “Appaloosa” yesterday and I didn’t like it. The thing is, I am not so sure it was as bad as I thought it was and I think that I just may not like westerns; I haven’t seen one I’ve liked in a very long time.
Jeff Garlan and Chelsea Handler are the two worst Password players I've ever seen in my life.
Cuzzup! Sorry I didn't call on Saturday.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The End of Twilight

I finished Breaking Dawn, the fourth and final (hopefully) book in “The Twilight Saga” by Stephenie Meyer. I am glad it’s over because quite frankly, it’s been somewhat torturous.
After reading the first book, “Twilight”, I thought there was some promise. I was intrigued by the characters and the concept. I needed to take into consideration that the book was marketed to the young adult market – at least through the first book, it only mattered a little.
As I got into the second book, I became suspicious that Meyer targeted the young adult market for either lack of confidence or ability to reach the adult population – especially with a series of novels about vampires. Quite frankly, “New Moon” was pretty close to awful (and even painful at times).
“Eclipse”, the third book in the series was a major improvement from New Moon but even more evident as to Meyer’s lack of ability to hold a storyline together as it drifted off unnecessarily into boring an amateurish avenues that had be beginning to regret ever starting the series. While I have always accepted, even embraced that fiction is a stretch of reality, when anything is stretched to far, it breaks and this story broke, for me, in book three (actually in book two if I really think about it) into an irreparable mess.
"Breaking Dawn” became a necessity as a result of my inability to let go of a story, regardless of how awful. I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt from the start but the truth is it was painful from page 1 to page 750 something – the end.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Spaghetti Supper

The vestry at church decided to host a spaghetti supper for the parish. We wanted to throw an event that had no ulterior motives other than fellowship.
I was tasked with cooking the pasta and when all was said and done, I cooked twelve pounds of spaghetti – quite interesting logistically.
Overall, the night was a success. Everyone had good things to say and we as a vestry really enjoyed cooking and serving the parish. I'm getting all scatttery here…
We all created our own aprons. There were three sauces competing against each other.
Clearly, I drank too much and can’t be coherent – so I will stop – I feel overjoyed and very blessed – and a little buzzed.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

What a Difference…

…a door makes. Brand new patio door installed today. Despite the fact that the patio (deck) was recently removed and the first step out of the new door is a bit of a doozy, the new door is absolutely beautiful (which thrills me to ne end because it was silly expensive).
…a high pollen count makes to one’s comfort level should that one be sensitive to such pollen.
…a year makes. I was blogging my face off last year, the words just flowed. I still feel like I have as much to say but can’t seem to find the words.
In other news, Spencer Pratt is an ass, a complete talentless waste of human life – why is the public so interested in him?
I just began (today), Breaking Dawn and I can’t wait to finish it. Ultimately, thus far I have found the Twilight series a waste of my time but thanks to OCD, I feel the need to finish the series. Perhaps I’ll comment in greater detail when I am through.
Cuzzup!!! Miss ya.