Sunday, September 30, 2012

Just Sunday

Not all that fancy a day, this post will be as boring as today was:
  1. Worked out at 6 am (Pilates today)
  2. Picked up my daughter & went to church
  3. Brunch with daughter (I had a dish called "Breakfast of Champions")
  4. Got daughter to start (and finish) her homework
  5. Football
  6. Annoyed at football, turned off game, began to grade assignments
  7. Annoyed at assignments, watched Dexter, season 4, episode 1
  8. Hung with Vickie
  9. After learning outcome of football games, rand the DVR to watch plays
  10. prepared dinner
  11. More grading
  12. More hanging with Vickie
  13. Watched Dexter, season 4, episode 2
  14. Synced iPod
  15. Here I am
Of course there was a fair amount of interstitial Facebooking and happy thoughts about special people.

As I read this the following morning, I feel I need to qualify the poor use of the word boring. The post is somewhat boring, it's just a list of stuff I did. However, I did not dislike my day, it was enjoyable in many ways, especially getting to hang out with my daughter.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Runner's High

I've been trying to get outside for my workouts on Saturday mornings, especially since the temperatures outside are good and there is only a short window of such opportunity. Today was a bit damp and a touch on the chilly side, though I like that.

Something really odd happened to me and I only call it odd because I don't recall it ever happening before, ever quite feeling that way during a workout (walk/jog in this case). Right around the three mile mark, I was overcome with this feeling of peaceful elation. I was very aware of where I was and why and for that moment, there were no other thoughts, worries, emotions - there was nothing at all except that felling of pure elation.

It was very strange and lasted for a few minutes and once I became aware of it, it began to fade and I was just back out there on my power walk and life went on.

Just Before Bed

I write this at 1:25 a.m. as I am winding down from a night of hanging out with my friends, the Road Dawgs.

The healing power of live music is not spoken of as often as it should.

There's one dude, whom I shall refer to as the "creepy cowboy" who has showed up at the last few Road Dawgs shows I've seen. He's a bit out there, brings two guitars, and iPad, a video camera, and also uses his cell for stills and video, tonight he had several manila folders, and of course, a very beat up cowboy hat.

Overall, a fun night, good to hang with the Dawgs and my bud Doug.

Gotta hit the sack!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Accident

I shot a quick message to a friend I hadn't heard from in a while. She's spent much of the last year+ dealing with her five year old niece battling leukemia. Her family has been through hell during this ordeal but they are a big and close family. Fortunately, her husband has been very supportive as have her kids. While little Scarlett has improved, she still has a way to go.

When I heard back, she mentioned that her parents had been in a motorcycles accident and both are very seriously injured. Her mother has not be conscious for almost two weeks. It's a very sad situation, I had the privilege of meeting these people at an open house - really good folks.

I hope the Mr. & Mrs. Medeiros can come back from this terrible tragedy - everyone will be praying for them...I hope you will too.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Observations in a Corridor

Working where I do, where there are as many different people around, there is often much that can be observed - some troubling, some fun, a lot of other possibilities. This is simply a description of something I observed today:

A woman taking very loudly on a cell phone. Amongst what she was saying, these words were uttered, "you have to give yourself time to get to school..."

Seems like nothing to report about but she was huffing an puffing as if her last breath was near and in between every word, she was licking a twinkie as if if were a lollipop and every now and again, she would take little love bites from it as if it were the solution to her breathing problems.

Finally, she hangs up the phone, takes another lick of her twinkies and speaks out loud to herself, "Shit, I am late for class!"

Monday, September 24, 2012

Meme: Curious as A Cat

1) Share what you enjoy most about today's technology.
I like the accessibility of information. I do have one dilemma with what should be a wonderful piece of technology, the cell phone. I wrote about this back in July, see post here.

2) Describe what you'd do with an extra four hours today.
If I must specifically address this particular day, I'd have taken 2 of those hours for sleep but with the other 2, I'd like to spend some time at Walden Pond and perhaps writing.

3) Bedspread or comforter?
Is there really a difference? Regardless, I like the work comforter better because it's, well, comforting - so my answer is bedspread. Just kidding, comforter.

4) What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one.

 
This picture reminds me of a similar scene in Central Park, in New York City. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York and spent some time in Central Park, especially during my undergraduate years. I went to College right across the street from Central Park.
 
One funny story about Central Park from that era was this Rastafarian dude that I used to occasionally buy pot from. One time I had a Marketing midterm at 8am, took the test, went to the park, smoked with the rasta man, then went back to school for the rest of my classes.
 
That was a long time ago.
 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Spaghetti Supper From the Spectator View

Of all the spaghetti suppers I've attended at church, tonight was the first that I didn't have to cook many pounds of spaghetti, create a sauce, serve, clean up, setup, nothing. Tonight, I was a guest and all I had to do was eat and be thankful.

Congratulations to Rob "Chef Roberto" for winning the golden apron this year; your sauce was delicious and faced very stiff competition against defending champ Sarah's (who stole the win last year because she got sympathy votes for being pregnant - LOL!) amazingly delicious organic mushroom whatever it is you called it sauce.

Thanks to Lori for having such a fun sense of humor and getting a pillow for Rob so he could be pregnant this year...so silly funny....it was a great sauce though.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

R.I.P. Mrs. Obarowski

Back in early August, I had the chance to meet up back in my hometown with a bunch of friends from the old neighborhood. We had a great day together but there were a number of people that were missing from the reunion.

One of our friends, Jo, had several weeks back informed us that her mom had taken ill. One of the memories I have of Jo's mom, the then Mrs. Obarowski, was that her basement was a ceramics studio. My sister and I had gone to a few of the "kid's" sessions - we pick out one of the items, we paint it then glaze it then come back to pick it up after it gets whatever it needed to get to be finished.

Jo had updated all of us on her mom's health along with the address of her rehab facility for those that might wish to write or send a card. I hadn't had contact with "Mrs. Obarowski" in decades but I thought it would be fun to send a card and a note. So I did.

I was sad that some time later, the card was returned to me stating there was no such person at the address. Confuse, I snapped a hpoto of the envelope and messaged Jo. Turns out, that Mrs. Obarowski had remarried (Mr. Obarowski had passed a while back) and had a different name. I made a new envelope and remailed the card.

Two days after mailing the card, probably the day, or within a day of when it should arrive, Jo posted news of her mom's passing.

"Mrs. Obarowski" - I was sad to hear of your illness and passing. I hope that as you no longer suffer the pains of your illness and are resting in peace, that Jo, Ed and all that knew you can find comfort in that.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Frizziday

An interesting challenge came upon me today. I was chatting with a group of students who were hanging out outside a school building (Keefe Tech for the locals) with some beats on a boom box and just freestyling. It was super-retro, I used to see guys doing this in NYC all the time in the 80's but I haven't seen this in a long time.

I decided to hang for a while and one of them challenged me to jump in - they said the only rule is "once you start, you keep going until you stop flowing...you dig?" I actually did dug, or dig....

I pulled out my phone to record so I could get the words later (I erased my ridiculous performance because the quality was super poor but I get the words), here's what I came up with:

Pounding the streets on a daily basis
Up at the crack of dawn, and off to the races
Trying to fill all these lonely spaces
While I'm waiting on you

Rhyming with timing, designing, looking for a silver lining
these walls I am climbing
While I'm waiting on you

It felt like forever but I never said never
now my world's so much better
like a living love letter
No more waiting for you
cause you here with me too
you made my dream come true
...
It was super fun but I must've looked super ridiculous in my shirt and tie and silly histrionics but they were pretty cool (at least to my face).

* * * * * * *
While grading student work this evening, I heard this song (which I love) and then I found his terrific live version of it to share with you:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fifteen Years

On this date 15 years ago, I packed up a 20 foot long U-Haul truck (along with help from my brother, my buddy Mike and my ex-brother-in-law Tim) and left my hometown of Brooklyn, New York to live in the suburbs of Massachusetts.

My brother drove the truck while I rode shotgun and Tim and Mike followed behind. The four hour drive went fairly quickly - I have no recollection for certain as to whether we stopped but I tend to think we didn't.

Unpacking was quicker than I expected and I had planned on ordering dinner for everyone and then putting them up for the night but they all decided to go back. And there I was, a resident of Massachusetts.

I had planned to take a few months before looking for a job just to get the lay of the land and learn my new environment. I wasn't totally unfamiliar because I had moved in with my then girlfriend whom I had dated long distance for two and a half years and came up to these parts once or twice a month. I didn't even have my own car yet, I had given my old Nissan Maxima to my sister and had planned on buying a new car. In the meantime, I had driven my girlfriend to work and then just drove around, often (in the beginning) getting lost on occasion, and just learning the roads, shortcuts, backgrounds, and where the good food is.

I bought a car about 4-6 weeks in, a 1998 Jeep Cherokee that I owned until 2009. I lived in that first apartment for 3 years, 1 1/2 with Cindy then we split and the last 1 1/2 myself. I then moved to a smaller, less expensive place in the same town where I lived for 2 years or so before buying the house where I live now.

It's been an interesting 15 years.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mom (and Perhaps a Touch of Dad)

Today marks the 16th anniversary of the day my mother died; it being just three days after my dad's birthday make this a difficult few days. While my parents run through my thoughts often, there are a few days a year where they are quite amplified - the anniversary of their passing and their birthday's and their anniversary).

I posted this on Facebook this morning:
I remember being startled awake by the sound of the phone ringing in the middle of the night, what seemed louder than usual as if the call on the other end warranted it (it did). Through heavy tears on the other end, "Christopher, your mother, she passed away tonight..." I expected to hear that even before I answered, not sure how I was so certain, but I was. Every day since then, my heart has bee...
n a little heavier and the world has been a little darker but I know that she's no longer suffering - something she endured way to much of in her 71 years. I miss you MOM, I hate that you never had the chance to spoil my daughter but am happy to believe that you are at rest and with dad. Carmela "Millie" Daniele, 2/18/1925 - 9/19/1996
 
I don't recall if I told this story about my mom on the blog but it's so funny, even if I did, it's worth telling again:
 
We were I think late teens or early 20's and a bunch of us were hanging out in the kitchen. Those I recall were my cousin Carol, friend (and next door neighbor) Mike, and I think my friend Richie. I think we were playing cards and joking around when my Mom came into the kitchen. Mom was not wearing her teeth, I know, it's okay to laugh!
My cousin Carol was smoking a cigarette and my somehow the topic of smoking came up and my mom was asked if she ever smoked a cigarette, which led to my cousin handing her an unlit cigarette and asking my mother to show us how she would smoke it. My mother then put the cigarette in her lips and in "taking a drag" with her lack of teeth sucked the entire cigarette in to the point where it had all but disappeared. We all began to laugh so hard that it was painful and could hardly breath and we didn't stop laughing about that for an hour. Every time we recall that story we still laugh very hard.
 
********************
I moved to Massachusetts one year and one day after my mom dies. Tomorrow will be my 15th anniversary as a resident of MA. Moving day was a trip, my brother drove the U-Haul while I was riding shotgun and behind us, my then brother-in-law Tim and my friend Mike followed. We had some fun!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Triple-Chocolate Cookies - Part 2: The Recipe

Recipe from America's Test Kitchen

The key to the fudgy texture of these cookies is letting them cool directly on the baking sheets. Avoid using bittersweet bar chocolate--the cookies will be too rich and won't hold their shape. Makes 26 cookies

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate,chopped
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
7 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into pieces
2 teaspoons instant coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs , at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Melt unsweetened chocolate, bittersweet chips, and butter in heatproof bowl set over saucepan of simmering water, stirring frequently, until completely smooth and glossy.

Remove bowl from pan and set aside to cool slightly.

Stir coffee powder and vanilla extract together in small bowl until dissolved.

Beat eggs and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer at medium-high speed until very thick and pale, about 4 minutes.

Add vanilla-coffee mixture and beat until incorporated, 20 seconds.

Reduce speed to low, add chocolate mixture, and mix until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl.

Using large rubber spatula, fold flour mixture and semisweet chips into batter.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes until batter firms up (it will more closely resemble thick brownie batter than cookie dough).

Meanwhile, adjust two oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees.

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using 1 heaping tablespoon batter per cookie, place cookies 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.

Bake until cookies are shiny and cracked on top, 11 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking time.

Transfer baking sheets to racks and cool cookies completely, on baking sheets, before serving.

Triple-Chocolate Cookies - Part 1: The Process in Photos

Start with good ingredient, and of course, the right ones (I'll be doubling the recipe sheet, which will appear in the next post):
 
I like to measure everything out and organize it (though here the only organization is to fit them all in the photo, I moved them into a logical organization after):

 
A little mixin' (love my Kitchen Aid): 
Chocolate, more chocolate, butter and some heat and ooh, la, la

After adding that chocolate mixture to the mixture in the mixer and mixing them up, then folding in some flour and of course, even more chocolate - we let it sit covered to set before scooping it out onto cookie sheets (or 1.2 sheet pans with silpats in my case):

 
After some oven lovin', and a switch and rotate, the first batch in ready for coolin':


A Verse

Sitting at my desk contemplating a bunch of work stuff when a delightful distraction of nice thoughts flew by and I was inspired to sing along to the words that came to me:

I was sitting here at work
when thoughts of you crossed my mind
It made me smile
all the while
'Cause before I'd been flyin' blind

Not sure where it will go, but it made me happy, so I am sharing.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad

On this day in 1926, my dad, Giusseppe Daniele was born in Mola Di Bari, Italy. My dad led a pretty full and interesting life in Italy playing pro soccer, working as a commercial fisherman and serving as a captain in the Italian Navy during World War II.

In 1955, my dad fled to the U.S. in search of freedom, and the American Dream. that year he met my mom and in December they married. that's the ultra-short version but while he was very successful in his home country, the language barrier left him behind here in the U.S.A.

Dad was a proud man, but was willing to do whatever it took so he simply placed himself down at the bottom and started from scratch. Sweeping floors while taking English lessons at Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn marked the beginning of what would be in essence, a second life filled with success.

What always amazed me about dad was there seemed to be nothing he couldn't do. He could build things, fix things, cook, paint...

I miss my dad every day.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Moments

I love honeycrisp apples, I wish they weren't so seasonal but I guess it's a lesson in enjoying the moments you have and in the value of holding on to hope.

I love taking fall hikes around Walden Pond. A slight chill in the air, leaves crunching under foot, spectacular colors surrounding the pond and the calm serenity of a beautiful piece of nature.

I love the smell of wood burning in the winter time.

I love sitting by an open fire in the out of doors.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Eleven Something O'Clock Post

from the song,  "Storybook Love" by Willy Deville (from The Princess Bride)

And he said:
"Don't you know i love you oh, so much,
and lay my heart at the foot of your dress."
And she said:
"Don't you know that storybook loves,
Always have a happy ending."


Then he swooped her up just like in the books
And on his stalion the rode away.

My love is like a storybook story,
But its as real as the feelings I feel.
My love is like a storybook story,
But its as real as the feelings I feel.
*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
I feel a certain peacefulness, a serenity that I can take into my dreams and perhaps sleep without anxiety (and through the enitire night - or all 5+ hours left before the alarm).

Randoms:
  1. I wish that Tom Cotter won AGT. If you like comedy, to laugh, and see that Tom Cotter is playing anywhere near you, go see him.
  2. Sad to see another good colleague go, rock on with whatever you do DJ.
  3. Sprizee mentioned seeing a bumber sticker that said, "WTFWJD?" Now that's good stuff!
  4. Mi casa:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Que Pasa Cristobal

After a number of recommendations over the years since the series debuted, I have recently begun watching Dexter, starting with season 1 and have gotten hooked big time. Presently, I have viewed the first 2 season and am floored with how good this show is.

My friend Dan and several others from where I grew up are good friends with the guy, Romeo Tirone, who serves as the director of photography for the series and occasionally directs episodes. Recently, Dan and his family were in L.A. visiting Romeo and after a tour of the set, they were invited by Romeo, who was directing an episode for the upcoming 7th season, the actually appear in a scene that episode - I can't wait to see it.

Work has been very busy of late and the two courses I am teaching online have begun. In fact, just before writing this post I finished grading all of the initial assignments.

I've been a bit stalled in my creative writing process, a bit of block but I am optimistic - it too shall pass.

My cousin Julian's wife was diagnoses with cancer of the colon and hey are worried it may have spread into her liver. She's going in for surgery soon and could use your good thoughts and/or prayers. Julian is understandably shaken and worried abut his wife and four kids. Hang in there Jules and Emma and kids.

Now, I wait.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lightning Bolt

Like most people I spent a lot of today reflecting on the meaning of what today is, what happened, how it affected me personally and people that I know, and of course our country and the entire world.

There was one thing I read today that had nothing to do with 9/11 but after reading it I felt as if I'd been hit by a lightning bolt.

It really is about working toward the good, working for what you believe in, and leaving those obstacles in the dust.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Fruit of My Fruit

The last time I went apple picking a few years ago, I wondered if I was crazy. It was fun hanging at the orchard and with my daughter, but there were so many apples and not enough time to eat them before they rotted. So, I went ahead and baked three pies and that was the end of any concern for apples spoiling.

Fast forward to yesterday - as you recall from yesterday's post, my daughter and I hit the orchard again and brought back a peck of apples. This time, I still wondered if I was crazy but I knew there'd be pie involved and pie just makes the world a little better.

The pie you see at the top right is pie #1 from the bounty, tonight's project. This is the result of me following a recipe I found for a highly rated no-sugar added apple pie.

  • 6 cups tart apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1 (12 ounce) can unsweetened apple juice, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 tablespoon nutmeg
  • pastry for double-crust pie

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350'F.
  2. In a small mixing bowl combine cornstarch,1/3 of a cup of apple juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. Place apples and remaining apple juice in a large saucepan and simmer until apples are tender Then add the cornstarch mixture stir until slightly thickened.
  4. Place into pie shell cover with crust flute edges and vent.
  5. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes or until crust is a golden brown.

    NOTE (9/14/2011)
    After making, and eating much of this pie, though delicious, I have made an important hypothesis. Typically, apple pies uses tart apples and the tartness is balanced by the sweetness of the sugar you would normally add.
    In the case of this pie, where this is no added sugar, I will try next time to use a variety of apples that range from tart to sweeter varieties, I think this will produce a more balanced flavor profile. This pie was good, but was more tart than a typical apple pie.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers...

...and my daughter and I picked a peck of apples; because that's one of the things you do when you go apple picking.

Here's my kid getting a good chuckle over her first ever Honeycrisp apple. I wish I had taken a picture of the expression she made when she took her first taste of what is my favorite apple variety. We laughed so much!


Here is me demonstrating my lift and twist technique.

This was funny too because as you enter the orchard there is a giant sign with rules and "How to Pick Apples" as if it was some major undertaking. Here is me with the fruit of my labor (literally). Again, laughter because we were poking fun at the rules and how to signs (this farm is a bit stuck up with their rules).

The silliness continued as we both decided to pose for this silly picture - which took several tries because we kept dropping the apples from our mouths because we were laughing so hard.

Finally, my child actually requested this shot:
There she is with our peck of apples comprised of Honeycrisp, Gingergold, and Cortland apples.

Of course tomorrow I will need to pick up a few things to make apple pies. A fun time!

Friday, September 07, 2012

Meme: This One is Interesting

1. If you could interview anyone on your blog (alive or dead) who would you chose and why?
Bruce Springsteen. The man is the greatest live performer I have ever seen and one of the most prolific songwriters of the last 40 years. I've spent an enormous amount of time in my life listening to his music and watching him performs, I want to learn more about who he is, what drives him and his process.

2. What do you feel is your strength as a blogger?
Right now it might be that I still do it consistently. I think the thing that I find alluring about blogging, simply having an outlet to express myself, whatever that may be at the time I blog leads to posts that represent real expressions of the human experience. I find such expressions interesting to read and I hope that those that read mine feel the same way.

3. Can you share a little bit about yourself that you have not already mentioned on your blog?
More than 8 years in and over 1800 posts, I've put so much out there. Really hard to think of something I haven't shared. Have I mentioned that I had to take my road test three times before I got my driver's license? Yep, I failed on two occasions (or is it three - lost track). One of those times, I am convinced I failed because I kept referring to the instructor as "Sir" and later discovered that it was in fact a woman.

4. If you were forced to change the name of your blog, what would you change it to? Why?
"Bits of Me" would be a possible title. As for why, it's a play on words that reflect both what the blog would represent and a reference to computer geekishness.

5. What do you think is the most fulfilling part of being a blogger?
For me, two things: 1. Having my own outlet to be creative or express myself however I choose and not be edited by anyone. 2. I've met some cool people through blogging.

6. What would you do with your last day if you found you had only one more day to live?
If right now I learned I had 24 hours left to live, I'd get my daughter, fly to Chicago, drive north a bit, meet up with someone that means a great deal to me, make sure she knew how special she is and hopefully get to spend a little quality time with 6 of coolest folks on the planet. I'd probably also have to fit in at least one more podcast to say goodbye to everyone.

7. You’ve been doing medical research for decades and have finally found a cure. What was it that you found a cure for and why did you choose this particular ailment?
When I first read this meme, I thought this would be an easy question. The obvious choice seemed to be cancer but after more thought, it seems there isn't likely a singular cure for this disease as it comes in so many forms. Do all cancer cells look the same regardless of the type of cancer? Can finding a way to "kill" a cancer cell work for every type of cancer regardless of where the cells are?I feel like no is the answer and that may be why there is no single cure for cancer and that certain types of cancer are more treatable than others. Given that thought process, I'd choose diabetes. Though even here, there are two types that are quite different. In once case, the body does not produce insulin (type 1) and the type where the body does produce insulin but it is resistant to it (type 2). The disease took my mother's life and is trying to take mine (though I am fighting with everything I have). Very tough question.

8. What is your most guilty pleasure?
These days, a little food item called "Breakfast Pizza". My daughter and I, most Sundays after church, go for brunch at a little shop in Sherborn, MA that makes a breakfast pizza. Pizza crust with eggs, cheese, and a variety of breakfast meets. YUM!

9. Answer only one. What is your favorite book, movie or TV show?
Referring to it as my favorite book implies an absolute that I can't commit to but I can say one of my favorite reads and a book that had real impact was "Johnny Got His Gun" by Dalton Trumbo.

10. What do you think is the very best smell in the world? The one smell that can take you back to a time and place of a very vivid memory in your past?
There's a smell I get sometimes in restaurants (particularly Italian) and rarely in specialty food shops that remind me of Sunday growing up. Back at home in those days, Sundays were as unpredictably wonderful as anything. In addition to the smells of the food, especially the simmering tomato sauce for hours on end, the day itself was about family, the immediate one and those who would drift in and out such as relatives and friends.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Community College Adventure Du Jour

Of the many odd things that happen over the course of a day, the first week of the semester always has some "special" things that make you go WTF moments; here are three from today:

(1)
I'll start with the first one that comes to mind and one that maybe, just maybe on some level I can overlook - but probably won't only because it was one of many and not an isolated occurrence that (there is a slim chance) I might let go.

The setting - in the computer lab/library, dozens of people hanging out studying, working, what have you. There are tables and chairs, more loungey type seating and computer workstations - a place very obviously designed for people to be. Some dud comes up to me an my colleague and asks in the most serious voice (and an equally serious expression on his face), "can I stay here?" I almost didn't know how to respond - I sucked it up and just said, "of course, enjoy yourself."

(2)
A woman standing in the library asks my colleague, "Where is the library?" She's facing rows of book stacks, and while one of my FB friends implied that there may sadly be a generational issue where one has done all research online and never been in a library my retort is that if you are asking where the library is, you must have some idea what one is and there can't be any way you could be standing smack dab in the middle of one and not know, certainly not one such as this which looks just like a library. I am just glad that I was seated at the time of this transaction.

(3)
This was a two-fer from the same student. Fist, she comes over to me and says that she cant print her document. I asked her a few questions leading me to recognize that she is working in Microsoft Word and I told her how to get the document to print from there. Two minutes or so later, she returns and says it is still "not working" so I went over to her computer to realize she had the document in print preview and failed to actually click the giant PRINT button (the same one I mentioned a few minutes earlier that she needed to click).

After the document prints, she returns. Shows me a calendar printout and says "why is it missing August"? I told her "it prints double-sided, it's on the other side" and she turned it over, made some odd facial expression and looked at me and said, "sorry, this is my first time." WHAT? The first time she ever saw a printed page? Yikes!

Am I overreacting here?

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Brain Farts

My brain is racing and I have so many tidbits going in and out, so many things I am feeling and I can't seem to wrangle them and be eloquent. I will however spit out a few things:
  • The Yankees are making me sick to my stomach.
  • I had a thorough eye exam today and there is no evidence there of any diabetes (or pre-diabetes) related or associated issues.
  • the Rolling Stones haven't had a hit record in decades and instead of a new record to celebrate 50 years, they are going with a greatest hits package and adding two new songs. COP OUT!!!
  • If I decide to self publish a Kindle book next year, something I have been contemplating, I've come up with a working title.
  • Remember the video I posted of the egg trick, the Asian woman using a water bottle to separate the yolk from an egg? I tried it today - IT WORKS!
  • The Breaking Bad cliffhanger was literally a "Holy Shit!" moment - awesome (but I hate I ahve to wait until next summer for the last 8 episodes).
  • I am a couple of episodes into season 2 of Dexter - so darn great so far.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Dump Stories

I was driving around this evening and began to laugh as I for some odd reason recalled a silly thing we used to do "back in the day". This was a long time ago, we were in out twenties and we'd be partying and then start telling dump stories. You know what I mean right? Dump, poop...

I know, some of you just cringed, maybe even out laid uttered, "gross!" But, each and every one of you have at least one good dump story in the can (pun intended). Fear not, I won't tell one here, though the stage has been set so I should, but I won't. However, if you're in the mood, feel free to leave one (pun intended again) in the comments.
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This is probably a good place to talk politics, right after dump talk, so I will - briefly. First, full disclosure, I am a registered democrat, socially, I'm quite far to the left, fiscally, a bit more moderate but still quite liberal in the spectrum. I voted for Barack Obama 4 years ago though through the primaries, I was a Hillary Clinton supporter. I don't regret voting for Obama and I feel he has done a reasonably good job considering what he inherited. Come November, I once again will vote for Barack Obama because I truly believe he is the best man for the job.

I have a serious problem with the Republican candidates and the party as a whole. The party, in my opinion, no longer really represents the political fundamentals that formed the party and are too closely aligned with radical groups and as such, the social policies supported by a large percentage of the party are in my opinion inhumane.

I know that there are people out there that do not think Obama is the right man for the job. Not my place to judge whether the reasons are right or wrong or even try to determine what the criteria for right and wrong is. However, I do take some issue with those that will place a vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket because either they simply don't wish to vote for Obama or they deem them as the lesser of two evils - I think this is an irresponsible way to exercise your right to vote.

If you want to send a message, you can choose to not vote for Obama by either:
  • not voting for a president. I know, this may seem wrong but the fact is, what better way to send the message that you don't believe any of the presidential candidates are the right person for the job?
  • Look at the other candidates. Yes, Obama and Romney are not the only people running for president - do your homework and learn about the race - who's running, what are their platforms and who do you think is best to do the job as you see it.
That's all I have to say for now. Feel free to comment, all I ask is that you be respectful.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

That's What She Said

I was going through some blogs I don't read all that often just seeing what's out there to read that might be interesting. I ran across a post written by a woman named Ginger. I have no idea who Ginger is or how I came across her blog but there was an extremely relevant post that stopped me in my tracks and made me really think. I will both link to it and copy it here just in case there is an issue with you getting to her blog because I think it's essential everybody read this:

First, her post:

Dear Friends, Family, Co-workers, and Anyone Else I Know;

As we all know, there is a rather major election happening this year. I know, no matter how loud or quiet you are, you probably (definitely) have opinions. You probably lean more toward one political party than the other, more toward one candidate than the other, more toward one side than the other, just as I do. You have strongly held beliefs about certain issues, just as I do. One of the great things about living in this country is our ability–and right–to hold and VOTE our political conscience, for the things and people we believe in.

That being said.

As the election gets nearer, and the tempers get shorter, and the mud gets fling-ier, I want you to remember some things, please:

When you post on Facebook that someone is “Too stupid to breathe…” if they vote for X candidate–you could be talking about me.

When you write in your email that someone who votes for Y candidate is “UnAmerican”–you could be talking about me.

When you say that someone who believes that Z candidate has better policies should “be taken out back and shot”–you could be talking about me.

When you say that you hope everyone who votes for XYZ candidate “is rounded up” before the election–you could be talking about ME.

When you say/post/share ugly words, thoughts or pictures about people on the other side to support your political position–you could be talking about ME.

About ME, or someone like me that you know. Not just a random “them.” But someone you like, or love. Someone you may have known your whole life. Someone you may think is intelligent, articulate, well-spoken. Someone you may think is caring, kind, giving.

There is a PERSON behind the things you are saying. When you say that all liberals, or all conservatives…when you say that all Democrats or all Republicans…when you say that ALL of any group is/says/does/thinks/behaves/believes/hates/loves/etc., you are saying that about real people. Honest to goodness, flesh and blood people. Not just ideologies. Not just platforms. Not just issues. Not just politicians. Your friends. Your family. Your neighbors. Your coworkers.

Please, by all means, believe what you believe. Vote the way you want to vote. Engage in civil discussion about issues and platforms, if you want to. Advocate strongly for why you think what you think. Use reason to explain your position. These things? These make us better citizens, make us a better part of the political process. But when you start throwing those ugly words out, when you start sharing those ugly graphics, and those hateful quotes, and you point your finger at “THOSE PEOPLE” just remember…you could be talking about me. Someone you know. Someone you call friend, family, coworker.

And maybe that doesn’t matter to you. Maybe it doesn’t matter that you’re saying I’m stupid, unAmerican, deserve to be kicked out of the country, deserve to die, don’t have any compassion, don’t care about my fellow citizens, or am a moron. Maybe it doesn’t bother you because you believe SO strongly that ALL people who believe opposite of you are SO wrong that you’re willing to forget the people behind those beliefs, that they are more than just their political opinions, more than just where they fall on an issue or what candidate they want to vote for.

But to me it does. Because when this political season is over, and the races have been decided, the non-stop political nonsense will die back down to a low boil. But you and I? We’ll still know each other. And I’ll know what you really think…of me.

And how can that not change how I think of you?

To link to Ginger's post, CLICK HERE
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I wish I put as much thought into this topic, I am glad someone not only did, but was bold enough to put it out there.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Notes

  • Regarding the "88 Meme" from a few days ago - I've seen the other 66 questions finally and it kinda sucks, so I am not going to finish it.
  • If you are on Facebook, you've seen the problem, the answer is 7.
  • Firepit's are fun:
  • I was at the farmer's market today, picked up some tomatoes and arugula then had them for lunch, super yummy!
  • Kind of feeling the spirit of fall.
  • R.I.P. Hal David

Parental Awkwardity

I just recently got into the series Dexter and had watched the first 7 episodes of season 1 to this point. My daughter was with me reading a book on the couch and I thought, perhaps while she's into her book, I can check out episode 8. From what I recalled from the first 7 episodes, there was only one scene that I would not have wanted to see with my 14 year old daughter in the room so there's a good chance I can make it through episode 8....right?

WRONG!!!!!!

It wasn't to far in that a scene transitioned from your average Dexter scene to one where two characters were going at it quite loudly. While it wasn't overly graphic, the sounds made it very real and very embarrassing for this dad to be watching with previously mentioned 14 year old daughter; I felt my face turn red and almost immediately grabbed the remote to pause, take a deep breath and...

My daughter seems somewhat embarrassed as well, we both chuckled out of not knowing how else to react and she offered to leave the room so I can make it on to the next scene. She did, I did, and all was fine - but only for a little while when there was yet another sex scene - a paused immediately, we both laughed, nervously, then I said, I am just going to shut this thing off - I did.

We regained our composure and I decided that I would play it safe by watching a selection from my DVR, Top Chef Masters. Seconds into the show, they introduce the first challenge for the chefs by introducing a series of ingredients known to be aphrodisiacs that they must use to create an aphrodisiac dish which would be partly judged by famous burlesque star Dita Von Teese. I thought I was being punked! This was tame but after the Dexter thing, my kid an I just busted a gut.