Monday, June 30, 2014

There's Nothing Gay About Marriage

I have long supported marriage equality. I firmly believe that any two consenting adults should be allowed to marry regardless of gender, race, religious beliefs, or anything. I will support this forever.

While the people who believe otherwise, you know, the ones who are wrong, may choose to call it "Gay Marriage" - I believe those who support it and the media need to stop referring to it as gay marriage and simply refer to it as marriage.

I for one am perplexed that there is any debate at all. I'm more baffled by the amount of time and money that has gone into the debate, and worse, the opposition.

I believe denying anyone the right to marry based on gender, race, or religious beliefs, us unconstitutional.

If we dig deep, there are numerous things we can find in our culture that merit debate, I don't believe marriage is one of them. As far as I can see, there is nothing to debate, if two consenting adults wish to marry that is their constitution AND God given right.

Ice Cream Social

Traditionally, the last day of the fiscal year (today), there is an ice cream social at work. I was pleased that a concerted effort was made to accommodate low/no sugar diets, but Ben & Jerry's cam up empty. There was a lactose free option, so that was nice.

I did participate in a word search raffle. You had to find at least 12 departments at the college. It was not all that easy since there was no search list to work from but I got through it. Hopefully, I'll win one of the 4 gift cards they are giving away.

What, if any, fun things does your place of work do during the year? Any cool traditions?

Early Morning Banana Talk

I got right to work, about to pull in to the parking lot, when I realized I had no bananas. It being early, I proceeded to the grocery store, not only with the mission of getting bananas for the week, but hoping I could find at least one that was ripe enough to eat this morning.

I went through every bunch and grabbed the five yellowest bananas I could find. "That'll be 87 cents!" For a second, it felt like it was a long time ago when you might walk out of a grocery store spending less than a buck on anything, but hey, the sandman was still in my eyes, so I was easy.

"Broke the bank on that sale, eh?" I muttered, trying to be cutesy and likely coming of dorky. I took my bag of bananas, and yes, for a second I fantasized about Gwen Stefani [how many of you will get that reference?]

Back at the office, I get my things in order, crank up the Keurig, grab a package of peanut butter crackers then pull the bunch of b-a-n-a-n-a-s out of the bag and carefully inspect each for the ripest. Turns out that while they are yellow, I deemed none of them ready for eating on this day, which made me the slightest bit sad but I knew I had to forge on. 

I had a brown paper grocery bag that I had used during another banana ripening event, so in the interest of ecological preservation, re-purposing and my penchant for a good ripe banana with my peanut butter crackers in the morning, I sacked the bananas and tucked them away hoping tomorrow, I will have one ripe enough to enjoy.

On to the work thing...

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Once Again, It Pays to Fight (and other Stuff)

Back on Friday the 13th, I received a ridiculous parking ticket near Boston University that really pissed me off. I have a firm rule that I never pay a ticket without appealing it - NEVER!

The good news is, I received a response from my appeal for the ticket I received on the 13th and it was dismissed.
Visited the Farmer's Market this afternoon, went back to the new vendor called "The Carve". Instead of reinventing the wheel (or in this case, rewriting my review), here's what I posted to their FB page earlier today: "Folks, last week I ate the breakfast sandwich - it was absolutely delightful! Just pure breakfast joy. Today I went with the mission of trying lunch and I had the steak sandwich - all I can say is WOW! The steak was cooked perfectly, tender and moist and the sandwich just bursts with flavor on a perfectly crunchy warm bread. the slaw on he side is also delicious - though part of me would really have loved a handful of those home made potato chips on the side as well."

This is a description of their "Artisan Breakfast Sandwich":
100% All natural bacon, cage free egg, cheddar cheese topped with baby spinach and our signature carve sauce all between warm rosemary ciabatta.

Here's how they describe their "Grilled Bistro Steak Filet Sandwich":
Grilled bistro steak filet with caramelized onions, mushrooms sautéed in thyme, cheddar cheese, house made Carve chipotle sauce & garlic spread all between our rosemary ciabatta bread accompanied with our house made slaw.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Retention, Distribution, Stats Nerd

My Summer section I class ended today. The best statistic is the one for retention, 80% of those who started the class, finished and received a grade.

Of those 16 students who received a grade:
31.25% (5/16) got a A, how great is that!
18.75% (3/16) got an F, not so great but careful analysis makes it very clear why and what habits they must break to succeed.

Additionally, there were 2 B+, 1 B-, 1 C+, 2 C, 1 D+ and 1 D.

Considering this was a 6 week, very intensive accelerated course, I think this is pretty good.

Two Years Ago/More Recenty

Two years ago I made my first visit to the city of Chicago. It was a great trip and Chicago had been on my cities I want to visit list for so long, but the primary focus of that trip was to meet up with a friend that I had made through blogging and over the years, had become very close to. Quite frankly, that meeting, that day, was easily one of the best days of my whole life.

If I could pick one day to relive over and over again, kind of like the movie Groundhog day, that day would be an instant front runner!
*****     *****     *****
More recently...
If you are a reader hear, you've heard about the many nightmares of my kitchen remodel, that had begun with planning over a year ago and commenced with the first swipe of the demolition hammer back in February. I am happy to report that this morning, with me watching over their every move, the contractors finished all items on the punch list and are out of my hair for good.

I was able to hold a decent balance on the job after the first major screw up, so now, they will wait until I am ready to pay them.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Happy Tenth Blog-iversay

I was so mixed up with things yesterday, that I neglected to post and acknowledge the ten year anniversary of this blog. 2,475 posts later (including this one), I am still here - almost nobody that I met over the years through this particular medium is still blogging (which makes me sad) but I am glad to say, I am still in touch with so many of those wonderful people.

The very first post was brief and talks mostly about where the name of the blog came from and the first comment, by a fellow called Michael, ended up finding it based on the name but in a very different way than it was actually named. Happy to say that I am still in touch with Michael - he's as interesting as ever (I just wish that fuck would write more, he's so darn talented).

Together, we've shared our most joyous times, our most difficult heartbreaks and everything in between. I am so honored that people visit this site and read my words.

Thanks to everyone who was part of the first decade of From a Whisper to a Scream.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

In My Ears 5

I had made a set of CD's for my friend Maria last year as part of my pay it forward thingie. I happen to dig the compilation a lot, had a jonesing to listen to it - so I did. Here are the selections:

I've also been dipping into some classics while listening to new stuff as well, here are the rest of the CD's that have crossed my eardrums since last I posted from In My Ears:

Talking Heads - Little Creatures
My favorite of their records, has a very nostalgic place from when I worked at Titus Oaks, this record was in heavy rotation for a while in the store.

Bob Dylan - Nashville Skyline
Sometimes known as the Bob Dylan record where you can understand all the words as he sings them, wonder if it had to do with the accident record. Amazing stuff!

Prince - Purple Rain
It was just time to re-listen to this incredible record.

Bad Company - Straight Shooter
With "Feel Like Makin' Love" and "Shooting Star" both on the same record, c'mon, the rest is pretty great too - always make time for the voice of Paul Rodgers.

ZZ Top - Tres Hombres
I had just listened to an interview with Billy Gibbons and it got me in the mood.

Graham Parker - Songs of Consequence
I stumbled onto this one that passed me by, streamed it online and loved it.

Ramones - Rocket to Russia
Every now and again, you need some Ramones to fill a crack in the soul.

Lydia Loveless - Indestructable Machine
One of my NPR finds - very cool stuff.

Aloe Black - Lift Your Spirit
The follow up to the first record, the one I wrote about in the last "In My Ears" post. Again, solid, modern R&B, no filler - I like this dude.

Kiss - Symphony: Alive IV
For some reason, this record, recorded live with the Melbourne Symphony. I've got to say, the idea of these songs done in this way may sound odd on paper but they pull it off nicely.

Tony Macalpine - Edge of Insanity
Tony Macalpine - Freedom to Fly
Tony Macalpine - Madness
Steve "Zeke" Schein first alerted me to this guy, whose first record, Edge of Insanity came out pretty close to the time when Yngwie Malmsteen was first gaining a foothold here in the USA and of course, there were comparison. Both are guitarists who take precision to a new level. Macalpine was able to get Billy Sheehan and Steve Smith to play in his 1986 debut, which added a level of credibility - it's a solid record, great guitar work, great musicianship, not so sure if there is a great deal of soul, but that said, I'm not sure it needed it considering the genre it was identified with and the nature of the record. Freedom to Fly and Madness were released in 1992 and 1993 respectively and adequately show an even more mature level of musicianship and showmanship.

Buddy Holly - Rave On
Been a while since I listened to a Buddy Holly compilation and I just felt like hearing those classic songs that so prove the less is more concept.

Dierks Bentley - Rise
Dierks Bentley sound and writing has evolved into something less pop-country and more roots-country, but it is still very accessible;  I happen to dig it!

Joe Henry - Tiny Voices
I only learned of Henry a year or two ago and am still trying to figure out how I missed this very unique artist.

Ray LaMontagne - Trouble
I wanted to hear the rest of the record, and it's all just as good as the title cut.

Colin Raye - Still on the Line...The Songs of Glen Campbell
Colin Raye has some country his in the early 1990's but faded from the foreground. His voice is still strong and wonderful and his interpretations of these classic songs made famous by Glen Campbell (many written by Jimmy Webb) is quite nice.

Meat Loaf - Bat Out of Hell
All these years after it's release, every second of this record still stands up. This album is truly one of the greatest rock albums ever made. the musicians are a who's who, Todd Rundgren produced the record and of course, the insane Jim Steinman, with his best collection of lyrics ever,

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Quote of Mine

"Music for me is as essential as air and water. I suspect careful analysis of my soul would reveal the echoes of the music of my life. I am convinced that the beat of the music has often substituted when my heart was broken. I'm forever grateful to all of the artists who have filled my ears, my heart and my soul." -C. Daniele (6/22/2014)

I found the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions from this year, 2014, on demand and decided to watch the whole thing. Leaving aside any of the controversy surrounding he hall or any opinions about it at all, watching some of the musicians that created the sounds that changed my life and seeing them in this capacity was quite profound. At some point during a performance, I blurted out the above quote and immediately posted it to Facebook.

I'll leave it at that for now.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Book Review: Fearless Fourteen

I grabbed this for some light reading after a few heavier things. In previous reviews of the book or two before this in the long running Stephanie Plum series of books by Janet Evanovich, I talked about how they are somewhat boilerplate and may have reached their full potential already. If "Fearless Fourteen" is any indication of what may follow (as of this writing, there are 7 more already published), then I am happy to admit being wrong.

This book was great! Why? It did everything I want a book to do, kept me interested in something from page 1 to the last page. I laughed out loud reading this book, I mean guttural belly laughs. Aside from some of the regulars, a few new characters appear here that are sheer entertainment.

If you've been reading the heavy stuff lately, you know, the Walter Isaacson, David McCullough, Stephen King, or other deep into it big story or biography and just need a little break with something that will make you laugh and still manage to have a story, and a mystery - go ahead and grab this book - there's no prerequisite for ever having read any of the 13 books int he series that came before.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Persistence Pays Off

For the second year in a row, I knew getting funded to go to the Blackboard World conference would be tough. In fact, once the cat was out of the bag on how touch the financial situation was at work, there was no doubt I wasn't getting funded.

Instead of getting discouraged, I got persistent and just started making waves with vendors, Blackboard, and anyone who would listen. Last year, I got Blackboard to cover half of the expenses as part of a program they had, my job was to actively tweet  from the event - of course, I took it very seriously and did as asked.

This year, I was lucky enough to participate in a vendor event, which had a drawing and I won my passage - air, hotel, conference registration...NICE!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Every Donation Means Something

Last month, in honor of the birthday of a couple of great kids, I made a donation to a food bank. Today I got a call from the President of that food bank thanking me - which I thought was very, very nice and greatly appreciated. It reinforces two things: 1, no donation is too small 2. every donation makes a difference. Special thanks to C & N for being so cool and inspiring it.

 Something people don't do all to often is vet the charity. I know it seems silly, but there are many charities that are corrupt and many who have very high overhead and expenses such that only a fraction of each dollar you send actually gets used for the charitable cause - the rest go to inflated salaries and other unwarranted expenses.

There is a pretty good web site called Charity Navigator that rates many of the charities out there, at the very least, use that before sending your cash.

Fire Drill is to Funeral as....

You know how sometimes, you go to a funeral, and you see people that haven't seen since the last funeral? In fact, you then realize there is a core group of people you only see at funerals (and weddings too perhaps)?

Today, we had a fire drill and I noticed a few folks whom I hadn't noticed since the last fire drill. In fact, I hadn't even thought of them until I saw them, then thought, "hey, I don't believe I've seen you since the last fire drill." Then, the thought goes away, for the most part....I kept it alive only so that I could write this, I suspect it will be gone soon after I hit the publish button on this post.

BTW, you can always tell the students who paid their own tuition versus those who are on some kind of free ride from the parents or something. The self-pay folks are like, come on, I got studying to do. The free-ride folks are like, thank God, that was boring.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Stuff (Yes, another "Stuff" post)

The book I reviewed yesterday, Black Moon...I mentioned at the end of the review that the guy works close to where I do. I looked him up and sent an email, he was quite appreciative.

Turned on my A/C for the first time yesterday evening. About a half hour or so later, I walk into the dining room and discover a puddle on the floor, look up and see my ceiling peeing. WTF! After an initial panic period, I discovered it was a crack in the condensation pipe up in the attic. The good news, it's a fairly easy repair - bad news, no A/C until I can get someone over to fix it (yes, hottest two days of the year).

Nice to see Amazon throw in on the cell phone thing - disappointed that it's exclusive to AT&T. I don't get the whole exclusivity thing with cell phones.

Damn, can't keep my eyes open.
Good night!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Book Review: Black Moon

This book came to me in one of my favorite ways, it just stared me down on the new release shelf at the library. I kept looking, then walking away. Finally, I picked it up and read the inside sleeve:

"Insomnia has claimed everyone Biggs know. Even his beloved wife, Carolyn, has succumbed..." What the heck is going on here? I internally bellowed, then moved to another area of the library, further in the back.

I grabbed a bit of light reading off the shelf, knowing it had come time to read something light to balance some of the other stuff I've read recently. As I got back to the front of the library, it stared me down again, again I opened the flap and read further:
"He ventures into a world ransacked by mass confusion and desperation, where he meets others struggling against the tide of sleeplessness..." I continued to read, placed the book back on the shelf, took two steps toward the circulation desk and then went back and grabbed it. I don't know if it was the eye on the cover, the unique concept I saw on the inside cover or some mysterious aura - regardless, I felt compelled to give this book a go.

What I loved most about this book is that it does not suffer from what so much of what has flooded the book and especially the film world in the last few years - an amazing lack of originality. The originality concept alone grabbed my attention and even held if for the most part. I made a point of not reading any other reviews of this book until I finished it and I am glad that I did so.

I agree with some of what's been said, it's not perfect - but really, who the heck am I to make such a claim? In the end, there was never a time I didn't want to see this story to it's end and while I wish I were somewhat more fulfilled at the end, I still feel like the originality was enough to keep me interested throughout.

There came a point where I started to see this book as an alternate take on the all to common, especially in the current mainstream, zombie story and it turns out, others saw this as well. For me, zombies are so over done, I have zero interest in anything to do with them but this book really is much more than any of that. One of the key elements that makes this story interesting is that as far out as the underlying concept of insomnia as an epidemic may be, as it is depicted in Black Moon, it feels to me like something that could really happen and that, adds just the right amount of terrifying to the already interesting.

The back flab bio of the author, Kenneth Calhoun, indicates he is from my neck of the woods and teaches as a college just a hop, skip and a jump from where I work. A fine first novel worthy of a read in my all too humble opinion.

Monday, June 16, 2014

R.I.P. Tony Gwynn

The sport of baseball, or what once was a sport, lost a legend today. Tony Gwynn, one of the true great, dead at the young age of 54.

I've been vocal about how I've lost my love for what was once so important to me. Baseball was though, at least for me, something special and Tony Gwynn was one of those players, on and off the field - right up until today, that was just an honorable guy and exemplified sportsmanship.

Rest in peace.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Congraduations I Say

Not a misspelling, I think I've even mentioned the word here - I coined it (hopefully uniquely) some years ago. I attended a graduation party for my friend's daughter today, and quite frankly, any jut about all of my hassles from Friday disappeared -

Aside from hanging out with some friends, a few of which I just haven't seen all that much of lately, my decision to go over to BU and get a sweatshirt as a gift for the soon to be BU student turned out to be a masterful gift decision. Seeing the joy on that kid's face just made it all worth while.

Friday was Ugly

It started out as on okay day, but one thing led to another, and then, some assfuck meter bitch gave me a parking ticket that I really believed was cruel; ruined my entire day and evening.

Amazon added streaming music to their Prime memberships this week so I ended up listening to a few classic albums while working on the computer doing teacher things...they'll be on the next "In My Ears" post.

Just about half way through a fairly new book I saw at the library the other day, "Black Moon" by Kenneth Calhoun. I've intentionally kept away from reviews, just reading based on the interesting concept I read on the inside flap - more detail when I finish it.

I still haven't watched a baseball game - I think it's over for me a Baseball...who knows. Still got football :)

I have this CD that "helps" you fall asleep, every time I use it though, I have odd dreams - bizarre! I guess I will toss it.

Stopped by the farmer's market. this was opening weekend. A great band called "Railroad House Band" played - it's the only venue I've ver seen them so far, they are so good - bluegrass.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Book Review: Paul Stanley- Face the Music:A Life Exposed

Earlier this year I read both Ace Frehley's and Peter Criss' autobiographies. I've been a Kiss fan for almost the entire 40 years they've existed - so I remember a bit of how I felt when they went through so many of the changes and I recall the hype, the press, so much of it.

What I recall of course, is my perspective. What reading these three books gave me, was their perspective. I have to admit, there was a part of me after reading Ace and Peter's books and the whole Rock and Roll hall of fame drama unfolding at the same time, I was prepared to think that maybe Paul Stanley, someone I've always admired, was kind of a dick.

A few weeks ago, I was at dinner with a friends and among the crowd was a musician that worked with Paul Stanley and he had only wonderful things to say about Stanley and his character. then, I read this book and it gave me a sense that maybe Ace and Peter are asshats. Don't get me wrong, I'm still their fan, but their words along with Paul's version kind of make it pretty clear to me that they are pretty jerky and make it hard for me to feel bad about them in any way.

Of course, I have to take this book with a bit of a grain of salt as well, but in general, I found myself believing what I read and gaining a new respect for Stanley completely outside of the scope of his being the guy in Kiss I've know for the past four decades.

I think this is a good read, while there are some things about it that are appealing beyond his fan base, getting to them will require the dedication to read all 450 some pages. For me, it was a no-brainer, I enjoyed it all.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Fed Up! Damn Kitchen!

I really thought it was all over, that I was coming home today and it would be all done. The electrician was by Monday and did most if his stuff, I came home and was concerned as the contractor kept insisting there needed to be an outlet installed at the far end of the peninsula to conform to code. When I came home Monday, all of the other electrical work was done, except this outlet, there was no sign of it and no note. I assumed he would be back and since I knew the contractor would be back to wrap up the carpentry and install the one reordered cabinet and make final adjustments and bang out the punch list - I just assumed it would all be done. I was wrong.

I am hoping they are coming back tomorrow, I simply had no energy to deal with them and by the time I got home, they would likely have been unreachable and email would have only been angry...I will see what tomorrow brings before hauling out the big guns - I still have several thousand dollars that they won't see a penny of until I say they are done.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Coffee Slinger’s – Be More Careful

We place a certain level of trust in the people we ask to pour our coffee – perhaps more trust than many of the people who pour coffee for a living are capable of handling.

I drink decaf most of the time, almost all of the time. I have a sensitivity to caffeine that can trigger medical problems. I know when and how much caffeine my body can tolerate, and consume it intentionally only when I am almost positive it will be fine. When I ask for a decaf, it’s not to be special, prissy, uptight, or a pain in the ass, it’s because I enjoy coffee and want to be able to still drink it without concerning myself what sip will send me to the hospital. And for anyone who has the attitude “what’s the point of decaf, you can’t make that statement and have any understanding whatsoever about coffee other than it happens to have the drug caffeine and perhaps it is your preferred vehicle to consume that drug.

I happen to enjoy a cup of coffee, the flavor, the aroma, the ritual of it; caffeine does not lend itself to any of those things. I no longer patronize Starbucks because they decided that it is not cost effective to brew decaf for their customers. They are no longer willing to dedicate nine square inches of counter space for an air pot of decaf that turns a profit after a single pour – they can go fuck themselves!

Here’s another problem though, you go into a coffee shop, or a diner, or wherever to have your coffee and especially when it very busy, the employee’s seem to work on autopilot. You ask for decaf, all they hear is coffee – instinct takes over and they grab the regular pot, pour, and walk away - there is a game of potential Russian roulette. I have developed a habit now that after I get my coffee, I ask the server, “this is decaf, right?” I bet you would be surprised what percentage of time the response is –“Oh, sorry…” or some variation of an inexcusable fuck up. I assure you, it’s way more than half the time.

Should it be so difficult to get a cup of decaf coffee? I think not. 

Monday, June 09, 2014

Number Two

Funny how I discovered that I am not alone in vastly preferring home turf when the need to clear things out arises.

I've met people who can poop anywhere at any time, part of me envies them! Me, I need to be at home on my own throne.

I guess I thought I could go somewhere with this - but I think I am done. However, a part of me just wants to find songs with relevant words in the title and make parodies. Coming to mind off the top of my head:

Little Deuce Coupe

Nope, that's all!

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Sunday Meme

I saw this and figured what the heck....

1. What was the highlight of your week?
Accepting a "Course of Distinction" award for my online class.

2. Whose car were you in last?

3. When is the next time you will kiss someone?
Not sure, the person I want to kiss more than any other person in the world lives 1,000 miles away and I am not so sure she wants to kiss me.

4. What color shirt are you wearing?

5. How long is your hair?
Above the neck/not very

6. Are you good looking?
Is this a psychology test/ I don't think I am hideous.

7. Last movie you watched?
Hangover Part III

8. Who were you with?
My cat

9. Last thing you ate?
A Banana

10. Last thing you drank?
Polar Seltzer - Orange Vanilla flavor

11. When was the last time you had your heart broken?
See #3?

12. Who came over last?
The painter

13. Are you happy right now?

14. What did you say last?
"Time to go to bed." (to my daughter - who btw, is still not asleep)

15. Where is your phone?
In front of me, on the desk.

16. What color are your eyes?

17. Are you left-handed?

18. Spell your name without vowels:

19. Do you have any pets?
See #8

20. Favorite Vacation?
Hawaii was pretty great

21. What do you dislike currently?
Budget issues at work making working conditions not fun

22. What are you listening to?
Mark Maron interviewing Rebecca Corry (WTF episode #503)

23. If you could have one thing right now what would it be?
Ice Cream (sugar free/no sugar added)

24. What is your favorite scent?
The lincoln

25. Who makes you happiest?
My daughter

26. What were you doing at midnight last night?

27. When is your birthday?

28. Who has the same phone as you?
How should I know?

29. Last time you went swimming in a pool?
Very long ago

Hangover III - Don't Waste Your Time

This movie is as good an example of just how minimal the level of creativity in Hollywood is and/or the sad state of the entertainment consumer who continues to patronize sequels.

Yes, there were some laughs to be had but the everything in general about this film was a complete waste of everything used to make it.

Everyone in this movie that I normally like lost a little bit of respect from me - including Zack Galifinakis.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

It Pays to State Your Case

Remember this upsetting post? The one about getting a parking ticket in Boston a few weeks ago? Well, I appealed it, as you should always do with parking tickets. Here's the reply I received today (click on the image to read it):
I find it interesting that they felt the need to defend themselves, claiming they believe it was validly issued, but I was very respectful in my appeal, included documentation, especially a photo taken with my phone, and left myself at their mercy. Yes, it was tough to be civil because as you all know, I was pissed, but anger never serves well in an appeal situation.

Glad it worked out.

Friday, June 06, 2014

WTF is Up with that Mug?

This is one of the proudest moment of my professional life and from this picture, you might assume that just beyond the photographer was a baby falling from a balcony.
What the heck is with that expression on my face? Did I completely forget how to pose for a picture? Worse, did I ever know how?

Forever in the archives of MCO awards, this picture will be the one people see when they review award winners for 2014 - I am both mortified and filled with laughter.

Relapse into Nightmare

You may recall my post where the painter finished and I was glad to be rid of that amateur. Only a week later, the paint on the ceiling in the bathroom began to chip. FUCK!!!

What a nightmare.

He came yesterday, finally, to look at it and to "make it right" but he's already begun to fuck it up even more. While he, I think, is using the correct paint, he decided to put a new piece of sheet rock over the ceiling in the shower and he painted that. WHAT!!!

Now there is a 1/2" overhang beyond the tile molding...which of course will absorb moisture and begin the destruction of that piece of ceiling. Why he did not simply scrape and prep the previous ceiling (mind you it's stand up shower stall, not all that big) and prep, prime and paint accordingly?

I hope this doesn't have to get ugly but if it must, I will not hesitate to take legal action to get this job done right. I am so freaking pissed of.

He's now taken 8 days and needs to come back for at least a 9th and who knows how many more, for a job that no true pro would have taken more than 3 or 4 days.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Book Review: Shrinkage (Manhood, Marriage,and The Tumor that tried to Kill Me)

Earlier today, a friend of mine posted some political article. I told him I had no intention of reading that when I was totally immersed in a hysterical cancer memoir. I wasn't kidding.

Five years ago, "Bald" Bryan Bishop was told he had in inoperable brain tumor and given a scant 6 months to live. He had only recently proposed to Christie, the love of his life and they both thought they had their whole lives in front of them.

This book is not only a story of survival, beating the odds, staying positive, true partnership, and chock full of great "Tumor Tips" right from the chrome domed young man himself - it is also truly one of the greatest modern day love stories I've ever read.

I was amazed at just how much I laughed through this book, Bishop's wit and ability to add levity to such a serious story I think tells much about the man himself. Let's not forget Christie, his love, his partner, who remained not only by his side, but demonstrated a love, a true and deep love and devotion that you just don't witness as often as you should in this world.

Kudos to you Bald Bryan, what a wonderfully told story and what a great gift not only to your fans, but to everyone who reads this book.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Saturday was Cool!

 My buddy Steve is currently a guitarist for the very talented young winner of The Voice, season 3 - Cassadee Pope. Current tour took them to Gillette Stadium and he was very kind to invite me as a guest.

I was able to park in the VIP section, a major perk, especially at a football stadium! Steve met up with me, along with Jeff and Jes Perry (mutual friends) and once we got through the gate, we walked directly across the stadium and right up onto the stage.

This picture of me and Steve (I really look especially strange through the selfie-cam) was taken from stage right. It was super fun, I had to stand smack dab center stage and wave to the non-existent crowd as if they were my fans.

We then walked to the backstage area where we ran into Cassadee Pope herself, what a very sweet young lady - she was super busy doing press stuff so we only had a very short visit and exchanged pleasantries.

We then headed to the tour bus, this selfie (yes, that's me in front taking the shot looking like a freaking beaver). There was at least one very surreal moment, but in the interest of privacy - I will choose to omit the actual event.

The band was set to take stage at 6:00pm, just before, we went to our seats to watch the short, but very entertaining set. Soon after, Steve came out to meet up with us, we headed back to the bus for a while then we all went to dinner (the other guitarist and drummer joined us as well - guitar tech came later).

We ended the night back on the bus hanging out.

So fun to be behind the scenes but my two favorite things:
1. Just hanging with my friends.
2. Seing my pal play onstage at Gillette stadium (that choked me up a bit).

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Qz£di - OK

The title is silly, so is this post. I should talk about what a crazy cool day I had yesterday, but I am too tired right now.

I am currently reading a cancer memoir, that happens to be hysterical. I know, sounds insane, but I won't say more until I post the review here soon.

Had breakfast with my daughter today at one of our regular places, sad to say that the service really sucked and things have begun going down hill at that place. I actually did not leave a tip, felt it wasn't earned.

New Altoids, Arctic...sugar free, cool new tin...I likey.