Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pot Luck Coming

We have a pot-luck luncheon this coming Monday at work. I've decided to make an old favorite, my gourmet Rice Krispie Treats. I've made dozens of varieties in the past all to a fabulous reception but it's been a number of years since I made them.

I've got an idea for one, that I don' even know if I can pull off. However, if I do, it will be legendary! Sunday will be busy experimenting - my daughter will reap the benefits. I'll let you know how I make out.

I've done some fun pot luck things.

One fun one was when I brought in a homemade chocolate cake, good vanilla ice cream (store bought), and I made a cinnamon whipping cream at my serving station (a fun thing I did was create a serving station). I then served a square of the cake split into the top and bottom half, placed a scoop of ice cream on the bottom half, angled the top half on to it then a dollop of the cream, a sprinkle of powdered sugar and a few mint leaves for garnish...wowed 'em with something so simple.

I did a cake for one of my ex-wife's pot lucks at her job (while we were married of course) - it's a 3 layer chocolate cake with a Bailey's Butter creme frosting/filling; I decorate it all fancy with chocolate curls and grated chocolate - very cool. This cake went over so well that long after my ex-wife stopped working their and in fact, once, after the divorce, I would get requests from people there to make that cake for them (to which I declined every time - though I did offer to do it for $100 once for someone; they passed).

The beer braised ribs were a big hit. Oh, a crazy one that went over because it was good comfort food on a cold winter day was a tater tot casserole.

I feel like I just spent this whole post bragging about how great my food is - I hope it didn't come off that way. I've eaten a few good things too.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Better Day

This is going to be short - I write that because I currently equipped to make that true but it may trigger something to make it false and either would be good.

Facebook added a cool new feature to their iOS app - the ability to send a voice message.

Work today was way better than yesterday...very busy, and not without a few WTF moments, but productive.

My cousin in AZ are being extremely juvenile via chat right now and I ma laughing so hard I can hardly breathe!

I got nothin'..later.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Making Noise

Today was a long one, work especially - not good. I made it through. Today was the first Monday of the spring semester, which made it a bit more hectic-I neglected to have my morning snack And I forgot just how important that is Until it was lunchtime and I really needed to leave because I was starving but there were three students preventing me from doing so.

I don't want to get into it again; I'll Abbreviate by saying they were really awful to me and I ended up being unprofessional to them by simply walking out on them. It was very unprofessional, regardless of how they treated me and the guilt ate at me for quite some time today but It's in the past, and that is where I intend to leave it.

They were good moments today also,I'll just keep those. Good night for now!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Ultimate Desert Island Disc

I've failed in the past at getting the level of participation I was hoping for but I am not one to give up. Of all of my podcasts, my music ones are the most fun to work on and I have this idea called, "The Ultimate Desert Island Disc".

I want you to participate (either here via comments or FB via direct message) by giving me your choice of 5 songs if all you had were 5 songs you could bring with you on a desert island and they would be the only 5 songs you can listen to for the rest of your life. Along with the list, if you might offer a brief rationale as to why - that would be useful.

Also, if you are interested in participating in the actual podcast as a guest, let me know and we can arrange to do a brief live or phone interview that would be included in one of the broadcasts.

I guessing to end up with between 15 and 20 songs that would be covered over a 3 episode arc.

Let's see what you got!

What Do Al Roker and I Have in Common?

Last night I went to see a local band who are friends of mine, The Road Dawgs (please, click the link and "like" their page on Facebook). They played at a small pub called "Victory Lane" which is kind of a dive but a local crowd of blue collar, lottery playing folks just out letting off steam - seemingly harmless and upbeat and responsive to the music. There was one table of, and believe me, I don't just throw this word out as loose judgement, but I will refer to them as assholes.

At random points, as the band would end a song, this AssTable would shout, "take a break", about half a dozen jerks that seemed to be having some meeting. I say, if you wanted to have a meeting in a quiet place, why would you gather in a bar that has a rock band playing? In my eyes, this is a special kind of assholing and as much as I tried to find some glimmer of a reason that would justify these people to be here, considering the venue they chose and everyone else's positive reaction to the music, I could find none.

I decided to get to the palce early because I wanted to have dinner there. I had planned my workout and all other earlier eating around eating here and I only knew that I wanted to try something other than what I had the last time (Cheeseburger Club - so good). I ended up having the Pulled Pork Cheddar Melt (fries on the side - I know, indulgent). the food was tasty but somewhere later in the night, my belly was feeling "odd"; doing backflips and I began to worry if I might need to leave and drive at speeds both illegal and dangerous to make it home before spontaneously combusting.

I just sat back and watched the band, breathing rhythmically and hoping to settle down. It got less uncomfortable for a while. I even made it until the end of the last set but I said my goodbyes to the band relatively quickly and once leaving the place, jogged to my car in the frigid darkness beginning to get that "explosive" feeling again.

I was able to drive at a safe speed and did lots of controlled breathing, in between yelps of pain. I got home with the intent of slugging down a shot of Pepto Bismol and perhaps...well, you know. Things got ugly, it was a bad hour or so before I was able to get myself together and make it to bed. The stomach was a bit queasy this morning but settled into the day.

I won't be ordering the pulled pork again.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Run For Your Life

When weather permits, I like to take my Saturday workout out of doors to incorporate moving scenery, fresh air and sunshine. Hee in New England, this time of year isn't overly cooperative on the weather permitting part so I knew today, I was relegated to the dungeon.

I had watched this past Thursday's JImmy Kimmel show to the first break and thought to watch the remaining 40 or so minutes while on the treadmill; so down I went with a bottle of water in hand and a dream in my heart. Before getting onto the treadmill, something inside me decided to grab The Beatles, Rubber Soul CD of the rack and bring it with me to the treadmill.

By the time Kimmel had ended, I was close to 35 minutes in and thought, time to cool down and get this thing over with. I turned off the TV, set the treadmill to a lower speed, and popped rubber soul into the CD player atop the treadmill console.

From the early notes of Drive My Car, I already felt awkward going at this slower pace, so without even thinking about it, I upped the speed and even grabbed the three pond dumbbells from their resting spot on the hand rails and all of a sudden, I was in the middle of a workout - again.

As "The Word" was about to wrap up, leading into the softer paced "Michelle", I took the pace down a bit and raised the incline. I went the incline route through "Girl" before increasing the pace and dropping the incline for "I'm Looking Through You" and kept it up until I began an extended cool down at the start of "If I Needed Someone".
 
I found it somewhat symbolic that as the album wraps up with "Run For Your Life", a song whose tempo would normally command a far greater speed than the 2.5 then halfway through 2.0 mph speed my now sweaty and fatigued body had been walking but the title of the song struck me in that that is what I was doing on the treadmill in the first place.
 
When all was said and done, I had gone 75 minutes, 4+ miles, 700+ calories and a feeling of accomplishment even though I the scenery was static and I was standing right where I started. Good times!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Blanked

I had at least two different topics I wanted to write about earlier at work. failure to jot them down has them out of my head - hopefully temporarily.

In the meantime, I cleaned my bedroom today and finally hung a picture that I shot in 2001. No time like the present!

I decided I want to try to make checkerboard cookies. These:
Perplexing, right? I saw a video of Martha Stewart making them; it was like a revelation because I would never have guessed. I'll keep you abreast of when I attempt them and of course, the results.

I'm also going to review my "Pay it Forward" commitments and get cracking on those (even though I technically have all of 2013 to fulfill the five of them).

Until next time!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lip Syncing

Of all the things to make the news, whether or not Beyonce lip-synced at the inauguration. Really? Who the fuck cares?

However, I do have an opinion on lip syncing in general. For example, Britney Spears does not sing live but rather lip syncs; as does Madonna. I personally believe that if you are not talented enough or confident enough to perform the song live at whatever venue then you should refrain from doing so. I think lip syncing should be banned permanently.

At the very least, at every performance where lip syncing will happen, it should be required to publicly announce  that in advance so that when someone spends their hard earned money to watch a performer sing a song then has to be cheated of that, they at least know in advance what they are paying for instead of being the victim of a fraud.

If you can't sing live, then don't perform live. If I wanted to hear a recorded version, I could listen to the CD - if I am watching you perform live, I expect a live performance. If you are not capable of providing a live performance, tell me in advance and we'll be fine.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dear Mr. Timberlake

I dug your last CD, thought there were some cool grooves on it and in fact, I still listen to "What Goes Around, Comes Around" in reasonably heavy rotation considering how long ago it came out. You're a talented dude, you have good acting chops and I can see you as a regular on SNL - you kill on that show.

I wasn't sure that you would make a return to music but it mattered not, I had lots of other things keeping my ears filled. Then, a couple of weeks ago I hear you have a new song dropping and a new album. I was driving with my kid the other day when I finally go the chance to hear "Suit & Tie".

From the first note, my kid and I were digging the groove - kinda retro, yet still current and fresh - really great. Then, out of nowhere, Jay Z comes in and destroys the song. To be clear, I use the word destroy in it's original form, that is, he totally ruins the song; it totally breaks up the groove and the feeling. I was a little pissed of at you, similar to how I am pissed at lots of today's music.

I have no beef with hip hop. I have no beef with mixing it up in a song. I do have a beef when an artist puts in an obligatory hip hop piece in an R&B/Pop/Mainstream song for reasons I assume to open it up to a wider buying audience. What I found particularly irking with your song is that it was so good, you would still appeal to a large audience without his piece. Why, Justin? Why?

I know this is just my opinion, and the numbers don't lie, your breaking airplay records as I write this. My intent isn't to slam or set an example out of you and I apologize if that's how it comes off, I am really trying to appeal to all musicians to just do their own thing. Maybe you did, maybe it's how you really conceived it and I am way off base. I know the minute I heard that transition, I didn't want to listen anymore and that's true of your song and so many of the songs I hear that do the same thing.

Alright, I'm done venting. If you got a version of suit & tie without the hip-hop piece, I'd love to hear it. If not, I may have to create my own version of it by chopping it out, the groove is too damn good to never listen to it.

Later.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Lunch

As I mentioned earlier, my daughter and I went to lunch for Japanese (daughter's favorite place). Here's some pictures:

We both started with a small bowl of miso soup. They have great miso there, not overly salty.

While waiting for our bento boxes, we shared a spicy white tuna roll (so delicious!):

This is my daughter's bento, the Tempura (chicken and veggies), rice, salad, pickled veggies, a noodle roll thingie with a blog of wasabi and some fruit (orange, a sliver of pineapple and a strawberry):

Have you seen a more interesting soy sauce decanter than this one? I really dig this one:

This was my bento which features sashimi (mackerel, salmon, tuna, yellowtail)

Of course, the best part of the whole meal was hanging with my kid, she's always been an interesting conversationalist once she gets going.

Any Given Sunday

During football season, I want the Patriots to be the team to win their game on Sunday. They are a pretty good team with solid players, coaching and of course, Tom Brady. But, the way it works is that no matter how good you are, how much you prepare, there are factors beyond your control and, everyone of the players is human and humans are callable. As such, on any given Sunday, the other team can win, as much as you don't want them to.

Yesterday, coming into the game, the Patriots had some pretty good momentum but I was cautiously optimistic. The Ravens are a tough, gritty team and it wasn't going to be an easy victory if it was to be a victory at all.

As things would happen, it wasn't in the cards for the Pats and they were bested. In fact, some superstar caliber players, most notably one of the best QB's to play the game, Tom Brady, looked as mortal as ever. It was sad to see the end of the season for "my team" but I have grown to the point where I realize, it really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things,

Today, I'm getting to go to lunch with my daughter at her favorite (right up there on my list as well) restaurants; that's better than any football game outcome could ever be.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

RIP Earl Weaver

There was a long period where there was always a special piece of excitement I could anticipate when the New York Yankees were taking on the Baltimore Orioles. Earl Weaver, the manager of the Orioles from 1968 through the early 1980's was always fun to watch - you just never knew how animated he would be.

Weaver was ejected more than 90 times in his career, a record that still stands and when he was booted, it wasn't like he would just cower and retreat to the locker room, it only animated him more.

Earl Weaver was more than just a baseball manager and a loyal team man, he was sheer entertainment for everyone who happened to watch a game that the Orioles were playing during those years.

Rest in peace!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Harder not Smarter

After typing the title of this post it occurred to be that it might be taken as a dirty title. You ever observe people doing a task and it seems from your perspective that there is a much easier way to do this and just want to go over and bud in. Seems senseless to watch someone work so much harder to accomplish a task that can be done easier and it seems wrong to not offer friendly advice to this person who seems to be overworking.

Some time ago, there was a student who was working on a Microsoft Word document and needed help with something and as I was observing them do something, I realized they were really taking the long way around. As someone who teaches Word, I always encourage my students that there really isn't a wrong way to accomplish a task as long as you get the job done. However, I always teach several ways to accomplish the task so they have something to choose from and considering what I was observing with this student, it just didn't seem that they knew of all the options.

I said, "I know this isn't what you called me over to help you with but I was wondering if you knew there was an easier way to do that (me pointing to the screen)?" The student almost went into slow motion and their facial expression looked as if they were having a stroke. "You know...Oh, well, thanks, I'd love to see another method if it's easier, anything to make things easier.

I demonstrated the alternate method and as he observed he replied, "Oh yeah! I've seen that, in fact, I've tried that but I have dexterity problems, mostly from arthiritis and I just can't make it happen that way."

I could go on with what happened next but I'd rather leave it here - it's a far more contemplative moment than you might first think.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I (Co) Write the Songs - Part 2 of 2

Loving the whole writing exercise in a group, I participated for a third time and contributed to Barry On the Spot during the session that yielded the song "Melancholy Daydream". If you want to see the lyrics and/or hear/buy the song, click this image:


Months had passed due to scheduling conflicts and I was sad to not be able to participate. last night, I made my return and jumped right into a very different, kinds silly, but fun session to write a song called "Redneck Resolutions" - here's the fruit of the session:

It was so fun t be a part of it again and I hope I can join in again soon. Thanks Barry!

I (Co) Write the Songs - Part 1 of 2

A while back, my friend Jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaane (actually Jane, but I always extend it), introduced me to this musician whose name is Barry Mangione. Him and I became FB friends. Early in 2012, he started this web based show called "Barry On the Spot" which is an innovative, interactive sessions where all who participate contribute to a song which will be written within the 30 minute time frame of the show; after, Barry hists the studio and releases a recording.

Early February was the first time I contributed to a song, if you wish to hear it (stream for free) and see the lyrics, click the picture:

I loved the experience so much, I knew I would participate again, apparently in the next week to contribute to this song (same deal with the click). I had no recollection of this one until I went back to the site today to scan the songs:

I'll post later the other two songs, including last night's.

Monday, January 14, 2013

POTENTIALLY strange Siri post

This post will be composed entirely by me speaking through the Siri microphone into the blogger app on an iPad. It could turn out strange, it could turn out perfectly normal. Who knows, Siri might try to turn the table on me after all the trouble I've given her and throw off some of my words to make me look silly. Regardless, an experiment is an experiment and IM in the mood to experiment with this.

To spice up this experiment I shall now read some of hamlets soliloquy. I show read until I feel I've read enough and or I get bored, which should not take too long since I am not a big fan of Shakespeare.

To be, or not to be – that is the question:
Whether twos nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Where to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep –
No more – and buy a sleep to say we end

Okay I'm about to put myself to sleep everything that crap I think the experiment turned out relatively okay.... Of course I say that before reading the final output. Keep in mind that with any metro voice interpreter, There is always going to be some margin of error.

Thanks for playing along. Good night!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Jenn, Steve and My Daughter

While doing some house cleaning yesterday, I came across this fabulous picture featuring my two very dear friends, Jenn and Steve and my daughter.

Jenn and Steve used to play the Boston circuit before moving to L.A. and this was a gig at a family friendly establishment on the Boston Harbor. Somewhere during the set, my then 6 year old grabbed a pair of drumsticks and sat in with Jenn and Steve on (random) percussion for the remainder of the set (and beyond).

I LOVE THIS PICTURE!

I did have to laugh at one of Jenn's reactions to seeing the pic on FB (I posted it there yesterday). "That was like 20 pounds ago." My daughter's reaction to the picture, "I don't think I could get away with those kind of bangs now." My only reaction was that I couldn't believe I found this, what a great picture, three awesome people and a reminder of how much fun we had that night.

Friends, Family, Food, Football...Sounds LIke Thanksgiving

Linda and Bill have a very small television. They like the New England Patriots. That was the seed... They came over today, and my goodness, brought lobster. Lobster alone was a nice surprise but also, a tray of eggplant parm and some other items. I made deviled eggs (I had promised them to my daughter some time ago), a delightful pizza/focaccia hybrid and some lemon bars.

The food was yummy, we chatted, we laughed. then, it was time for the game: The New England Patriots versus the Houston Texans - the game was good, though the Pats endured a few tough injuries. I suspect Danny Woodhead will be fine for next week but I don't think we'll have Gronk for whatever is left of the season.

Here's a picture of the deviled eggs:

I've posted the recipe here in the past. If you are interested, see this post.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Early to Bed, Early to Rise....Then Rise Again

last night a combination of boredom, laziness and mostly, just being tired led me to bed at the very early time of 9:30 pm. During a normal work week, I usually slide into bed between 11 and 12 and get up at 5 so going to bed at 9:30 totally fucks with my system and there's no reason for me to go into it not expecting to get up early as well. I made sure there were no alarms set and went to bed.

The first time I awoke was not because my body said hey, time to get up but rather from a bad dream where much of my dental work had decided to fail causing me to rise in a panic-y, cursey-ish state. It only took a few seconds for me to realize I had been dreaming, though I still took a little feel inside my mouth for assurance. I fluffed the pillow and laid back down. I had no idea what time it was but I didn't care.

I woke up again, this time I believe it was my body saying that I had been horizontal for long enough, time to vertical up. I took a peek at the time and it was 4:30 am. While my body knows best, I succumbed to the vertical position but only long enough to go to the bathroom. I returned for another pillow fluff and tucked myself beneath the covers once more.

one more signal from within to get the ass, and the rest of me out of bed. I peered over to the windows and saw a crack of light coming through then saw the time, 8:12 (ish) and decided to get out of bed and begin to begin my day.

A brief aside: A few weeks ago, I had some Schweppes Ginger Ale in the house because I was in the mood for ginger ale; I enjoyed it. Last week (or so), Canada Dry ginger ale was on sale so I bought some; they do something that Schweppes does not. They write on the can, "Made from Real Ginger". Turns out, you can taste the difference! Canada Dry is way more ginger-y than Schweppes.

I had lounged a bit in the morning, had a cup of Quaker oatmeal squares while watching some news then went to the DVR for an episode of Jimmy Kimmel. I then went downstairs for a workout and that was the kick start. After my protein shake and a shower I started planning my day. I knew it was going to mostly revolve around house cleaning and food shopping. Linda and Bill are coming over for the Pats game tomorrow afternoon so I want to plan some food options as well. I dug through a few recipes, made a shopping list and off I went.

Thus far, the only cleaning I've accomplished is almost finishing a bathroom. I suck at cleaning efficiently - I wish I could afford to have someone come in clean my house for me - I know that may be selfish, indulgent, whatever, I just really hate it and don't keep up with it as much as I should, which makes it suck even more when I do it.

All right, enough with the soap box - I shall get back to work now! I'll catch up with you later.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Under the Influence

There was a period today where several of us decided to reminisce about bizarre stories we've lived through while under the influence of either alcohol, drugs, or both. I don't know if I ever told this story here but it's hard to keep track as I creep toward my 2000th post. So, if I've told it before, sorry - here it is as I recalled it today:

Time frame: It was sometime in the later part of the 1980's, I was in my early 20's and there was a girl named Joy that worked at FotoVideo on Avenue U and East 29th Street who I really wanted to date. I don't recall mustering up the courage to ask her out but I do know that somehow, we were going out one night, to a club in the city (New York City, Manhattan). I don't recall for certain our mode of transport into the city but I believe it was the subway. The getting there part isn't all that relevant.

I don't recall a lot, certainly nothing that even may have been pleasurable or fun about being at this club with this girl I wanted to be with because at some point, she excused herself. I assumed she was going to the rest room but she was gone for quite a while. I decided to walk around a bit and eventually found her with her tongue down the throat of some other dude.

I went back to the bar and proceeded to drink 4 Long Island Iced Teas. If you are not familiar with this libation, click the link, but take it from me, it's potent. One Long Island Iced Tea is enough to knock most out of their misery but somehow I consumed 4 of these puppies. It's pretty much the last thing I recalled from that night until I heard the phone ring, mind you, this was the phone in my apartment - we didn't have portable cell phones back then.

Joy had called, with "concern". I was not in a good way, I had no idea how I made it home. Fortunately, in those days, The subway was my main form of transport so navigating my way is second nature and while I would never have believed it was possible to get home from where I was, a train ride still left me about 24 blocks from my apartment which I somehow got to. The next morning was rough but Joy was nothing more than someone who worked at the video store from that point on.

This is one of those stories I often look back on during the "how the hell did we get through some of the crap we did" conversations. I haven't partaken in such behavior in many years and I can't even comprehend it anymore. I am baffled to this day though how I made it home, intact.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Podcast: Resoluting and Sorts

First new podcast of 2013, brief talk of last fourth of July, new years resolutions, feeling helpless and a kick ass guitar solo remixed by me.

You can get to the podcast website using the link on the right or by clicking here. My podcast can be found on iTunes as well (I still think that's cool). Or, you can listen right here:

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

"I Shave Everyday!"

The title of this post is a quote by the late Bill Pastore, second husband to my late mother's best friend, the late Lily (I don't know maiden name), formerly Rubino, Pastore. Bill was a character, I recall him saying he was a metallurgist but pronounced it, "metlurgist". He was very animated and turned every conversation into some kind of overly heated exaggeration - he would use the expression, "I shave everyday" to imply he's old enough to do so, seen his share and his view is right because it's one of experience.

This post really has nothing to do with that other than I to am old enough, and I only refer to this as an expression of chronological age, to shave every day and do on most of them; especially if I am going to work and dressing in a shirt and tie.

Last night was a really bad night. I had all sorts of issues staying asleep and was up every hour or so. I woke up very tired and very cranky. I somehow made my way to my basement for a workout and happily, the endorphins (presumably) did take care of the crankiness and I felt less tired from the lack of sleep but ready for a damn protein shake and hopeful that I'd make it through my day.

I lingered a bit and left the house later than usual, something I can do on morning that my daughter is not with me since I don't have to get her to school before I get me to work, and arrive at work around 7:40 feeling okay. I get to email, knock out a few things then grab my morning coffee and the day is on. Then, around 9:30 or so, I am sitting at my desk and all of a sudden, my eyelids seem to gain a metric ton and I wish I were near a bed and pillow (technically, I was just down the hall from the nursing lab which has beds and pillows but those are for dummies - literally).

I got up from my desk and took a stroll through the hallways, stepped outside for a bit of cooler air and that seemed to do the trick. With no napping, I am still going strong as I type this at 9:00 pm.

Looking back on this post, it never ceases to amaze me how many words I can use to ultimately really say nothing - I hope I've entertained you some.

WAIT! I forgot the inspiration for using the post title! As I was feeling sleepy at my desk, I did that move where the elbows go on the desk and held up my head with my hands. It was then I realized that I had actually forgotten to shave! I admit, I panicked a bit, seems like something pretty impossible to forget. Many times Ihave opted not to shave but not if I am in shirt and tie all gussied up. Freaked me out a bit. Okay, done. Bye!

Monday, January 07, 2013

Back to Work/In the News

Today was my first day at work in 2013. I worked half a day on New Year's Eve and had been out since taking some of my vacation time.

On the 2nd, I drove to "the North End" in Boston to visit a restaurant supply house that was featured on a local news magazine show. I picked up a few kitchen items and browsed in awe at crazy items like a mixer that was as tall as I am (6'). Also, my daughter got home from Brazil, where she spent the holiday's with her Mom so we got to have our Christmas that afternoon.

I did a few other little things over the time off but nothing really super special. I failed to get any real house cleaning done but after church Yesterday, while my daughter was making me proud as she was off in Boston feeding the homeless, I cleared away the Christmas decorations and brought the tree to the curb for pickup.

Anytime I am out from work for more than a day or two, there is always an impressive mass of email/voice mail to sort through as well as catching up on things. Fortunately, it's not super busy time at the college as we are still in semester break so while busy, it wasn't all that hectic today.
*********************************
In the news:
  • Looks like the NHL is ready to come back. I don't care though, I gave up on hockey completely years ago during the last strike and never looked back. I was now, as I was then, hoping for the league to fold and go away for good.
  • After watching that Skins-Seahawks game, two thoughts:
    1. Not sure if I should applaud RGIII's toughness and heart or scold him for risking next season and maybe even his career.
    2. I don't like the Seahawks - they play dirty.
  • I've not yet felt any desire to watch "Downton Abbey" and I find the pronunciation of "Downton" pretentious (which may be what they are going for).
  • A recent study indicates that being on beta blockers for controlling blood pressure may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. Since I take beta blockers for my blood pressure, I am taking this as a victory.
  • Al Roker admitted to pooping his pants at the White House shortly after his gastric bypass surgery a few years back. I LOVE this story!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Crazy Napper

I was very proud of my daughter for going with the youth group to Boston to feed the homeless today. She as pretty wiped out when I picked her up at church. she was dozey on the drive home, which is only about 15 minutes or so and soon after getting home, she plopped out on the couch and fell asleep for a few hours.

While I knew she had some homework to do, it was early enough that I cold let her get a good nap in but after a few hours had lapsed and were were getting into get homework done AND be able to sleep through the night for school in the morning, I decided, time for her to be woken up.

I gently tapped her on the shoulder and said, "Vickie, time to get up and start on your homework..." Nothing. Again, "you had a good long nap honey, you need to get up now..." A shrug. "Come one Victoria, you really need to wake up and get started on your homework." She replied rather loudly without opening her eyes, just rolling her head, "I KNOW!". However, nothing.

I let about 15 minutes go and went through the motions again, virtually identical outcome and again, I let some time pass and start again. At one point, she turned around and smiled saying, "that was cute with the towel." then rolled over on her side tucking her head under the blanket. had I been drinking, I'd have done a spit take - I laughed so hard, but she remained asleep. I had no idea where the towel nonsense came from - what the heck could she have been dreaming?

I turned on the stereo and blasted the football game really loud - nothing. I went to the app store and did a search called "loud whistle" and then played all of the loud, piercing sounds only managing to annoy me and watch her amazingly not budge.

I stopped for a few more minutes because I was kind of getting pissed and there was no reason to be so I just let her be for a short while more, took a breather myself and then approached her again, a gentle tap and I said, "listen, Victoria, it's getting late and you have homework to do - it would be a really good idea to get up, I know you are tired from your day but fight your way through the homework then if you wish, you can go to bed.

Finally, she woke up and asked for some food before homework, so I got on that. I told her that I'd been trying to wake her for an hour and fifteen minutes and she said, "sorry, I have no recollection - I must've been deep." I chuckled and that was the end of that.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

The Whole Pay it Forward Thing

I logged into Facebook the other day and one of my friends from my old neighborhood while growing up had the following as her status update:

"2013 Creative Pay-It-Forward: The first five people to comment on this status will receive from me, sometime in the next calendar year, a gift - perhaps a book, a gift card, a candle, music, homemade something- a surprise! There will likely be no warning and it will happen whenever the mood strikes me. The catch? Those five people must make the same offer in their FB status, then inbox me their address."

I immediate commented, "I love this, I'm in!" I then posted to my status and just watch it begin to spread. In fact, it served as sort of a springboard - My friend Erin, her husband, and both kids have been under the weather through the holiday/New Year season and it's been a rough first week of the year for them. I was planning to cook for a pot luck and it struck me that I could just cook some more of what I was already cooking and put together dinner for them and at least take that of their hands; and so it was done.

It really does feel good to do this kind of thing and one of the things I rediscover every time I do something nice for someone is that it really does change the way you feel; more than just makes you feel good, there's another level that I don't know that I can describe but I know it's there.

The movie "Pay it Forward" came out in, as hard as it is for me to believe, 2000 (jeez, more than 12 years ago). I recall seeing at and immediately being moved at the concept. --- LOST MY TRAIN OF THOUGHT ---

I guess I should go now....I guess what I am trying to say is that I really am making a conscious effort to grow and be a better me and try to put more good out there than I receive, it just seems like a really good idea.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Parenthood

Yesterday, I was reminded of the vulnerability we are subject to as parents. Something as simple as sending your kid to camp or school requires you to surrender your child to a series of what essentially are complete strangers.

I recalled a particular time where my daughter wanted a strip of her hair dyed red. I was reminded of this particular event because the thing that got me thinking about all of this was someone talking about dying her daughter's hair and expressing her own feelings and concerns. I recall similar feelings and concerns, anxiety over whether or not it would turn out okay and what happens if it doesn't, for me, one of my concerns (which stems from both my having been bullied and my daughter having been bullied in the past) was how will my daughter feel if others react poorly to her new look.

When my daughter was small and I was a new, very scared and uncertain parent, was this deep fear of my daughter getting sick or in some situation at school and they were trying to reach me and for some reason, they couldn't. In those days, I would go through cell phone battery power very quickly because it seemed that every 6-12 seconds I was looking at my cell phone to see if her school or camp was trying to reach me, and, ironically, to see if I had battery power (and a signal) to be able to receive an emergency call.

Of course, now with my daughter being a teenager, at 14 and going through puberty, high school, and everything that goes along with that, I am doing my very best to keep it all together and trust that she's gong t0 be all right - but it's not without a nightly plea to God to protect her and help see her through this often confusing period in life safely.

Of all things, this thing that's most, I guess I'll use the word interesting here, is relating all of these moments and emotions to my own experiences at my daughters age and what my parents might have felt and how/why they did what they did.

UPDATE:

I forgot to mention, this morning, as my daughter came downstairs for breakfast she asked me with confidence if I would pick her up feminine products at the store - I believe that this is a sign of good parenting on my part.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Over the Rainbow

My friends, The Road Dawgs, played a gig at this social club in a town called Webster, MA. I wrote briefly about it here. At the very end of the show, guitarist John Paolilli broke into a rousing instrumental version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

I had recorded the show and was listening to this guitar work and got this idea to do a remix. I wanted to create an interesting sonic experience and also, enlarge the perception of the sound such that it had more of an arena quality instead of a social club party room.

The original recording was done with a simple Sony digital recorder that just sat on a table. The quality is decent enough but not like right from the board so doing a remix, is trickier. I ended up laying 26 copies of the performance, each on it's own track then start the manipulating. The remix was designed for headphones, so if you are interested in hearing it, put on a pair and then:
 

P.S. John Paolilli's reaction: "I LOVE IT!!!!!"

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Christmas Still

My daughter spent the holidays out of the country with her mom. Today, she returned home and her and I got to have our Christmas. The picture in this post is her modeling her new Jump from Paper" messenger bag; cool bag, eh? I had seen a colleague with one and I knew my daughter would love it and boy was I right!

In sad news, my Aunt Lena, who we always affectionately knew as "Aunt Babydoll" was diagnosed with acute leukemia. At 83, my Aunt Babydoll is the last surviving member of my Mom's immediate family.

I bought a chinois today...and another half sheet pan, two silpats and a partridge in a pear tree. Okay, you got me, I didn't really get the chinois. LOL! I did; you know which one I didn't get.

Bye for now.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Start Again

I had plans to go to a small get together for New Year's Eve. The "leader" of the band "The Road Dawgs", John, invited be to a small band gathering at his home studio. The plan was to just hang out, they would jam, we'd have a few drinks and some food.

On the way home from work, I had picked up a bottle of bubbly and a few things to bring (momma always said to never show up at someones house empty handed - I never do). I was just hanging at home, and got a message from John to call him.

I called and he said that half the band is sick and not coming and that he thought canceling the party was the best thing since it was meant to be a band party.

I ended up just staying home and at one point, while hungry, heated up a can of Chikarena soup. I like Chikarena soup, but I then started to read about everyone getting Chinese food and I really got this strong desire for Chinese food but I didn't want to eat more - this made me kind of upset.

I worked on a music project, then did a remix of a guitar instrumental performed by the guitarist from the Road Dawgs. I later got my Seacrest on with New Year's Rockin' Eve and cracked wise all over Facebook - I stayed up till past 1 because I wanted to wish someone special a Happy New Year that lives one time zone to the west.

Today, just another day - finished the remix, got in a good workout, did a little grocery shopping and even bought my daughter two more Christmas gifts - she returns from her trip tomorrow and we get to have our Christmas.

Happy New year everyone! I think that's the last time I need to say that - though the sentiment will remain.