Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hey Joan, Come on Back

My friend Joel "Sheckie" Brava wrote this earlier:
Just a need to share.. Other celebrities who we all feel " we know".... have come and gone, and it makes us feel sad. We don't really know them at all...but we are simply invested in them through their entertaining us through the years, and therefore, we relate to them, we value them. I don't know why, but with this terrible turn for Joan Rivers, I am so deeply saddened. Maybe it is the way it has happened and the fact that she was actually performing in NYC the night BEFORE...I'm not sure. Maybe it has simply brought home the fact of how fragile our own lives truly are. I just don't know...but I have had this 'pit' in my stomach since it happened. I continue to pray for her recovery and cannot help but think of her throughout my day.

I am with Sheckie on this one. My first recollections of Joan Rivers is from The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. I was allowed to stay up to watch the tonight show on holidays, Friday's and in the summer sometimes - oh, I guess from 6th or 7th grade on, I can't recall specifically.

A storied career, often controversial, often varied but at 81, up until the day before she fell ill, this woman never stopped working, and working hard. A regular, even in recent times, at small comedy clubs to write and hone material, Rivers has a work ethic that so many people, and not just in show business, but everyone, should look at and admire.

Like my friend Joel and many of her fans, both across show business and us lay folk, I am deeply saddened at this sudden turn. Despite being 81, Rivers had always appeared so vital and energetic and the thought of her laying there, reportedly on life support right now, it's sad.

I'd like to see a miracle, and have Joan Rivers pop back into this life to share a few more laughs, I would particularly love to hear her comedic take on this whole adventure. Oh yes, there is no doubt if she pulls though this, she'll be joking about it first chance she gets.

I'll be praying for the encore.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

86 On the Lobster Roll

I'd been primed for more than a week for today's "Lobster & Corn Fest" down at the farmer's market. Today, the big highlight was a $10 lobster roll from the amazing folks at "The Carve". I was looking forward for days, talking about it, promoting it...

My daughter and I arrive at 11:15, market is mobbed, line for lobster roll is huge! I have my daughter wait in line as I go up to say hi to the proprietors of "The Carve" and John tells me, "I don't think we're going to make it to where you are in the line, sorry man."

My heart sinks. Last week, I was chatting with John and Marie and they were wondering about whether or not they would sell 100 sandwiches. I assured them it was no issue at all though I didn't factor in that it was a holiday weekend, which could mean all in or all out.

They came with enough for about 140 servings. Get this, the guy directly in front of me in line got the last one! My daughter was a trooper. As sad as I was to not get one, I couldn't be anything but happy about John and Marie selling out - they are such nice people that have added so greatly to our town farmer's market.

My kid and I had a gyro from the vendor a few tables away, we ran into quite a few of my friends, it was a nice day.

Meme: All Night Long

Meme found on the blog of Samantha Winters.

If you need a reminder or just wish to was nostalgic, here's the song via the original video.

This music video was produced by Mike Nesmith of The Monkees. Can you name a Monkees song?
Yes, would you like for me to prove it?
Okay..."Daydream Believer. How about "Last Train to Clarksville". Are you convinced yet?
"I'm a Believer"...are you...I think I am done with this one; next!

The song includes the foreign sounding phrases, "Oh jambali Tom bo li d, say de moi ya," and "Oh, Jambo Jumbo!" Mr. Richie meant to include language indigenous to the Caribbean, but was writing the song under deadline and simply made those phrases up instead. Tell about the most recent time you cheated or "cut corners."
Sometimes I randomly decide to try out a recipe and don't have all of the ingredients, but I don't realize that until I am too deep into it and can't get to the store to get it - so I try to cleverly replace it with something else I do have.

I will often "improvise" when absolutely necessary, but never in a bad or negative way.

Richie was a frat boy at college. Kappa Kappa Psi, to be exact. Were you a member of a fraternity or sorority?
I went to a commuter college for undergraduate school, so we didn't have any of that - and I am glad. Conceptually, I don't have a big problem with fraternities or sororities but I would actually outlaw them considering the incredibly poor behavior attributed to them - I have seen no evidence of them being anything but a detriment to one's education. That said, I wouldn't find it hard to believe that there may actually be some fraternities and/or sororities out there that aren't all about hazing, partying and blowing a significant chunk of expensive education time into oblivion.

When this song topped the charts (September 1983), Vanessa Williams became the first African American to be crowned as Miss America. Do you watch beauty pageants?

I don't watch them, though I can't say that I never have.

Since it's Labor Day weekend, that holiday established to celebrate the American worker, let's talk about the workplace. Tellers work in a bank, actors work on a stage or a set, auto workers work on an assembly line. How would you describe your workplace?
My workplace is a community college. I work in the honorable field of public education.

An estimated 40% of us have dated a coworker. Have you ever had an office romance?
Many times, some might say way too many.

Labor Day is a big weekend for travel. How did you book your last vacation? (Online, through a travel agent, over the phone ...)
Online. What is this travel agent you speak of? LOL! Just kidding, I remember them, they kind of still exist but barely, and I doubt for long.

Mother Winters won't wear white again now until next Memorial Day. Sam thinks that's just crazy. Where do you fall in this heated mother/daughter debate?
There are very few people who can effectively pull off wearing white, I admire those people and encourage all who can wear it well to wear it whenever they wish and not let trends, seasons, or anything else stop them.

When you look at back on Summer 2014, what will you remember?
Nothing so memorable happened that it will register on the things I hope never to forget list, at least as far as I can recall. Part of me is sad about that, but only a tiny bit.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday 5

These are 5 questions I am going to answer for you.

What’s the last thing you experienced that could be called a reunion?
Back in February, a group of us that once worked together had a reunion. It was supposed to be as many as 8-10 of us but in the end, only 4 of us showed; we still enjoyed ourselves!

When you spend time out with friends, how does your group handle the bill?
I always that part! I really wish we would all get separate checks. There are some times when someone will just say, "wanna just split it?" I so often get screwed here because I rarely order drinks and almost never desserts so I end up tossing in like $40 for a $13 entree.

What are you picky about when you order something in a restaurant?
Almost everything at this point. It's gotten so over the top expensive to eat out in the first place, so my tolerance has gotten much lower - I expect and demand near perfection and when I don't get it, I often make it know. I am not a grouch about it, nor am I disrespectful, but I will not stand for anything less than what I pay for.

When did you last spill a drink on yourself?
I think it was a few weeks or so ago I took a pretty large goblet of water on my jeans. Weeks before that it was a bit uglier when I took out a giant frozen strawberry concoction on some poor unsuspecting lady.

When dining out, what’s your approach to dessert?
Always want it, never order it. I am always too full.

Got Milk?

I saw this on a "Friday Question" Blog.

What kind of milk did you drink, growing up? And now? 

I never drank milk growing up...except of course, at my Aunt Minnie's house (I'll get into that in a minute).

I know, what kind of horrible household did I grow up in right? Well, It was more of a pseudo-American household (at best). My father was an immigrant from Italy and while my mother was born and raised here in the U.S., it was during the great depression, she was from a poor uneducated family, and the whole milk thing just didn't exist for her.

I saw all of my friends drinking milk, sometimes right out of the carton. They all thought I was crazy for not liking milk. I wanted to like drinking milk just to fit in, I tried, but I just couldn't do it.

My aunt Minnie, who was actually my dad's aunt, was one of those relatives who pretty much struck the fear of god into me. I'd be at the table, and with no words spoken, she would put cookies in front of me, then a big glass of ice cold milk. There was an understanding, cemented by what most would see as a loving aunt smiling at her great nephew but what I saw was a look that read, "if you think there is any chance you can eat cookies in my house without drinking milk, really bad things can happen to you" (I know, that was a bit over dramatic but I think you catch the real drift).

I would take small sips. One day, mys cousin was there and I noticed, mostly by the goofiest grin of joy ever, how much joy the idea of dunking his cookies in the milk brought him. Once I tried that for myself, I was sold. I quickly learned how much fun it was to see how much milk a cookie could absorb before losing it's ability to stay together. I would try to determine the number of seconds for each different type of cookie offered.

It was the fear that I felt from Aunt Minnie putting that glass of milk in front of me that led me to my discovery of the joy of cookie dunking and while I don't really do that anymore, it was, at that time (I was pretty young), life changing.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

How to Wear a Ball Cap

The ball cap is made up of two components:

Part A - the cap (sometimes referred to as the lid or the beanie). The primary role of the cap is to cover the head.

Part B - The visor (sometimes referred to as the rim, or the brim). The primary role of the visor is to protect the eyes (and face) from foreign matter and offer protection from the sun.

The figure to the right also illustrates the proper way to wear a ball cap. In fact, it's the only proper way to wear a ball cap.

Somewhere along the way, someone decided to wear the ball cap with the visor at the back of the head. I don't know why, the expression "eyes on the back of your head" is merely a figure of speech and does not imply that there are actual eyes there that need the level of protection offered by the visor of a ball cap. In fact, wearing the visor at the back of the head also leaves your actual eyes and the rest of your face vulnerable to the elements one might wear a ball cap to protect them from. Also, wearing a ball cap with the visor at the back of your head does not look good, it makes you look less smart, less intellectual and far less fashionable that you may actually be.

Please, wear your ball cap properly or don't wear it at all. This has been a public service announcement.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Get the Hell Out of Your Car

There are few things I find more repulsive than people who are so lazy that they can't get out of their car for their donut, burger or coffee.

I'm willing to make a few concessions: handicapped people, a parent with several kids in the car - okay, I know how hard it it to make that all happen to go in an out and the window means one significant less worry.

However, if you just don't feel like getting out of your car, or it's just too hot outside for you, or it's just so convenient are among your excuses - for shame!

Were it my decision, I'd ban drive-thru windows, they not only encourage laziness but they so often screw up traffic and out road infrastructure everywhere in this country is already poor.


Sometimes people forget where they came from and how they got to where they are. Young Ariana Grande seems to be among them as she has something to learn about humility, maintaining a fan base, staying humble, and general human decency.

the link below will take you to my friend Dan's blog. Dan writes about his two daughter's unfortunate incident with Ariana Grande. I hope that this story goes viral so perhaps she can see the error of her ways and change while she is still young and has a fan base...or it's going to get ugly when she end up in the eventual and inevitable abyss of has-been-dom.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

10 Books

My friend (and incredible author) Erin Dionne inspired me to post this. For me, these are the first 10 books I could think of that were game changers...books that were so much more than a story or words on paper, these all had some tremendous impact on me.

Invitation to a Beheading - Vladimir Nabokov
A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
Mortal Fear - Greg Isles
Misery - Stephen King
Travels With Charley - John Steinbeck
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
Tuesday's With Morrie - Mitch Albom
A Pilgrim's Way - Walter C. Righter
Intensity - Dean Koontz
Don't Know Much About History - Kenneth C. Davis

I'm not going to go into detail in this post, for at least some of them, I have made mention of them in this space somewhere along the road. Take the time to at least look them up. Oh, and share your list.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Parenting and Other Daily Bits

Today has been all about passing large blocks of time between having to pick up my kid and drive her somewhere.

I just killed a rather large spider then called my cat over to enjoy a little protein snack.

A week and a few days before the official start of the Fall semester, I opened up my online course site to those ambitious students who wish to get an early preview.

There was a real weird thing today, which I shouldn't even mention here because I can't write about it!

The world and national news is so fucking depressing, I just need to tune out as much as I can afford to.

Fair amount of local drama as well, in particular with a local supermarket chain.

The video I posted yesterday, the promotional piece on the local farmer's market, was very well received.

Thanks to those who've reached out and asked about how Oliver is doing. A little over a week on the meds and he's pretty close to himself again. It was hard seeing him wheeze for air like that!

Off to sleep.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ashland Farmer's Market

I've been an avid supporter of our local farmer's market and decided to make a promotional video for them.

Friday, August 22, 2014


Search committee work is not easy.

I am serving on the search committee at work for the "End User Services Specialist" position. Going through resumes and cover letters and making decisions that affect the workplace and the applicants is a serious responsibility.

This position is set up pretty tough, it was previously a help desk coordinator position, but my boss want this new employee to also manage the 4 techs. finding someone with both the technical skills and the management skills will be a great challenge. On top of that, in most cases, this person will make less money than the people they manage - that's not easy for most people.

Fight the good fight I guess.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Don't Know Much About...

I know there is a news story involving cops and Ferguson. That's it. Yes, I've managed to not pay attention to this story, partly by intent.

What I have seen is a lot of hash slinging.

I can make some generalizations by what I've read.

I do have respect in general for cops, that is, real cops. What is a real cop? To me, someone who willingly takes on the job fully understanding what it means and despite the potential dangers, is willing to take those risks to uphold the laws of our land, the safety of our citizens and respect the badge.

I have no business speaking about what it must feel like to be a cop, especially on the other side of something gone bad and when weapons and guns are involved.

I would thin that unless the danger perceived leaves no other choice, the decision to pull a trigger for a cop is one of the things that is hardest, takes the most training and despite years of experience and/or training, is still a decision so complex that most humans couldn't even begin to understand or unravel what it means. Yet, that decision has to be made in the blink of an eye.

Is there such a thing as a bad copy? Of course, every good copy would admit to that, I think.
Is it possible that the decision to shoot, and where to shoot has been made incorrectly on purpose? I hate to think so, but if there are bad cops, then I would say it has had to have happened.

That said, I know nothing of this case. I would like to believe that the decisions were made were done so in the honor and respect that a good, honest cop would make that decision.

What I would really like to happen is for all the trash talk to stop, especially by people who weren't there, even all the cops that are commenting - if you were not there, you don't know and your input (that is everyone's input) only makes the matter uglier.

In the end, there's a dead kid; that is sad even if it was warranted that he ended up dead. In the end, we can't save that life but it doesn't have to have been lost for nothing. I hope that when the dust settles, if all the idiots and the press will let it settle, that we can find out what really happened and learn something from it. If not, then society has failed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Some days, it's way harder than others to count the blessings. I suppose that should be reason enough to force oneself to actually take the time to count them.

There has been an unusual imbalance of bad news the last few weeks. Just today, I learned of an old friend, someone that grew up on my block - last Monday, she went blind in her right eye. She's being treated at one of the best places on the planet, it seems that it is the result of a tumor. Crazy!

I sometimes wish the mysteries we are constantly confronted with in this short existence on earth weren't so hard to conquer.

On a bright and lovely note, my kid has been volunteering this week at a camp type thing. Pretty magical to watch her and to hear her reflect on the days when she was a little kid at camp.

For everyone out there going through a rough time, I am sending my thoughts and prayers out to you. Here's to finding peace and some sense of understanding. Here's to the good times, the laughter and happy moments to carry us all through.

Monday, August 18, 2014

It's Late - ish

Happy Birthday Cuzzup!!!

Apparently, there is lots of commotion going with cops and what have you. I have absolutely no clue as to what it all is and why it is happening. I sort of dropped out of all of it and I just don't want to have to care about it even at the risk of being labeled as irresponsible.

"Emotional Paralysis" - did I just coin that phrase? I hope so.

Things at work are a bit sad. It's hard to deal with because those of us who had been around for a long time have gone through so much turmoil and survived. he current president is someone I truly believe in but we seem to be in a hole that was dug by the previous one (or two) and could take some time to get out of. I am hopeful for a positive outcome and still very grateful that I have a job to go to every day.


Anyone like me wondering just where the hell the last few months went?

Take care! Special thoughts going out to Elizabeth Vargas and Josh Gracin. I wish you both well, fight the good fight and be healthy!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Tea Time

Oliver seems to be responding positively to his medication, thank God!

Went to the Deluxe Station Diner in Newon Center for brunch with Vickie today. Cool place, good food, a bit pricey. I especially wanted to check it out because they are working on opening a location in Framingham, much closer to where I live. I wonder if they can sustain business long term on downtown Framingham, a different socioeconomic stratosphere than Newton Cebter...that is, if they plan to have the same pricing in Framingham than in Newton. Vickie and I did enjoy the place, just felt $30 for what we ate was about 15%-20% too high considering comparisons to other places we eat.

There is such a thing as a "bacon wallet".

Excited that my daughter has a community service project this week that will get her up at the crack of dawn. She's been seriously sleeping in all summer and school starts the week after next, so this is a good primer to get her back into the proper sleep rhythm.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Oliver is Sick

Oliver, my cat, on at least a few occasions in the last few days, has seemed to be choking on something and retching - as if trying to puke but unable to do so. These episodes are short, and he seems fine after, but are unusual and troubling.

This morning, Oliver seemed a bit lethargic and his breathing seemed a bit labored. Also, he spit out his treat; I knew something was odd. I decided I was going to take him to the vet, just to see if there was anything to be concerned with.

After a long wait, the doctor examined Oliver and took some x-rays to ensure there wasn't a blockage. Turns out he has inflammation in his lungs, which as she said, indicates either pneumonia or asthma. Since there were no other symptoms that are common to the pneumonia diagnosis, it is highly likely that it is asthma. I had to get prescriptions, pills for my cat, that made me sad.

It is not fun administering pills to my little guy but we seem to have a rhythm so far. Treats before and after and all seems okay...first day of meds are in the bank. Hopefully he is going to be ok.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

And He Posted on this Thursday

Comments like this make all the hard parts of teaching worth it, "Thanks for a fair, thought provoking class. You made us work for the grade and that's what we're paying for. While going through it I may have rolled my eyes, huffed and puffed and stressed about meeting the time lines... But in truth it was worth it. Enjoy the rest of your Summer!"

Been an Android user in all my Smartphone days, had an iPhone from work (a real piece of crap comparatively) just ordered a used Windows Phone - gotta check it out.

Even though I did my whole pay-it-forward thing last year, I love the idea of it so much that I wanted to do more of it this year. Today I saw a perfect opportunity and jumped on it. A package will be delivered on Saturday to an unsuspecting person.

Thanks again to all who contributed to my friend Barry's Kickstarter; the project was funded!!!

Take care.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I've Been Through the Dessert...

...on a Post with No Name.

You ever have that point early in the day where your mind is running on overdrive and you've got a bunch of ideas for things and by the time you get home form work or to any place where you finally have a little time to jot down your ideas, they all seem to have disappeared?

It seems I've raised many eyebrows over many topics the last few days but all I do is speak my mind. I am sometimes controversial but I try to be respectful and tasteful, sometimes it's harder than others.

Here's a great statement that My friend Barry posted to his FB page: "I want to address the fact that some people look at suicide as a cowardly and selfish act. Would you label someone who's dying from organ cancer a selfish coward? Of course not. If you can understand that, then think of depression as cancer of the mind (not the brain - the MIND). Imagine it as a type of cancer that spreads not through your cells, but through your thoughts and your emotions. If it's treated, it can be cured, maybe even healed. If allowed to spread, that cancer can take over your mind and your thoughts. Think of the deterioration that happens to cells from cancer. Think of the physical disability that come from cell destruction. Then think of your thoughts and feelings deteriorating and losing function in the same way. What would your thoughts be like? They might be twisted into thinking that killing yourself is a heroic act, that you'll be doing your friends and family a favor by removing yourself from their lives. As upside-down as it may seem, that's the reality of the depressed, suicidal mind. Just like a cancer-riddled body doesn't function in a healthy way, the depressed, suicidal mind doesn't think healthy thoughts. If more people understood this, perhaps the stigma and societal shame of mental illness wouldn't keep people from seeking the help they need."

I will leave it there for tonight.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Reflection on Robin

Obviously, there was a lot of Robin Williams talk today. So many different types of conversations, lots of emotion.

Yesterday evening, I wrote this, "Considering how much I've been entertained by him, the loss alone is very sad. The complete lack of understanding of how his demons got the better of him leaves me shocked. I feel like the only right thing to do, is as his wife asked in her statement, to remember the good, but human curiosity and confusion just has me wondering why and having so many questions." I suspect many of you can relate.

There are so many lessons we can, and really need to learn from all of this - so Robin Williams death was not in vain, despite how sad it was.

This one touched me quite a bit:

Life will go on for the rest of us.

Rest in peace Robin.

Monday, August 11, 2014

I Stand Corrected

Yesterday, I challenged that the ice bucket challenge was not being taken seriously and I questioned how much awareness was being raised. I stand behind the fact that I've seen at least 100 of these videos and only until today, when a friend of mine read my post and agreed before making her video, brilliantly, that there was too little effort in using the forum to actually promote the cause as opposed to the novelty.

While I firmly stand behind that, the numbers, which I just saw reported direct from the source, indicate that indeed, there is awareness and there is a positive effect.

From a report on WCVB and verified by me via email with the ALSA, "has raised $1.35 million nationally from July 20 to Aug. 11. During the same period in 2013, just more than $22,000 was raised. In Massachusetts, $201,563 was raised this year, compared to $20,977 last year."

Those numbers are very real. I am still not going to pour a bucket of ice water over my head, but as I've said earlier today in a FB thread on this topic, I can admit when I am wrong and this is something I am happy to be wrong about, apparently there is an effect on awareness and fundraising despite the lack of information in the videos.

I guess the whole viral thing can be used for good.

I should also credit my friend Jane, who pointed out an article from the Boston Herald that implied I might be wrong on the awareness/fundraising thing. I spent more time responding to that by defending my more specific issue of there not being any real publicity in these videos but had Jane not brought this up and questioned me on it, i wouldn't have gotten the call that got me to watch thew news story tonight and follow up on it.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

No Thanks on the Bucket of Ice Water

GO HERE...then come back. There, I just did more for ALS awareness than every one of those videos combined.

Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed watching them. I am glad no one had nominated me because I will neither accept the challenge nor donate $100...that, to me, is all fun and games, but not an effective way to raise awareness or money.

At this point, it's become nothing more than a novelty, who is going to do it next and how funny will it be. I don't know that I've seen any one of them where anyone mentions what ALS is, where to find information about it or done anything to raise any awareness.

I don't mean to spoil the party, and I do believe everyone is going in with good intentions. Perhaps that has to be enough.

Here Are Some Things:

Remember my friend Barry's Kickstarter project I posted last week? Well, it got funded! I am so happy for him and so grateful to all who may have participated in any way from my end. If you wanted to participate, there are still a few days, there is no such thing as too much funding and remember, you'll get an instant return on the investment.

I had a great day today with my kid. We opted to skip church and go to the Museum of Science. Aside from the exhibits, we also saw an IMAX documentary about Pandas. After all of that, we had a late lunch/early dinner in Porter Square.

I guess I am going to stop there.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Leftovers from Chinatown

The sign on this building, as it is likely intended, grabs mine and my daughter's attention every time.

This just makes me smile because I love Lady Gaga, who I doubt knows this even exists.

Where Have I Gone?

Remember those posts about how many days in a row I've exercised? I stopped that streak at 1250, for good reasons, I thought. I had begun to focus so much on the streak that the health benefits of exercise were overlooked and I began to accumulate a number of injuries from carelessness.

That said, since that time, I have not been a good boy. Exercise has been scarce and my eating has been worse. Yes, I had my kitchen remodeled, and it turned into a 4+ month nightmare and there are some valid reasons why things would have been difficult, but I allowed myself to get into a funk that I am really hoping I can get out of.

I know it's all in my own hands, my own will, and I know I can do this - I have before and I will again. I needed to put it in writing so I can hold myself accountable.

I am heading off for a brief morning visit at the farmer's market then going to a book release party - my friend Erin is celebrating the release of her 5th book, then a visit to Costco - since I will be nearby.

Catch ya all later.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Letting Go

My daughter has had a pretty lazy summer. On the days she is with me, I'll pick her up after work, about 4pm, and she's still in her pajamas. Today was no different, pj's, t-shirt, flip-flops....we get to the house and she's on that computer in a heartbeat.

We are sitting on the couch, just hanging out, cracking jokes, chatting and doing our own thing too. All of a sudden, her BFF texts me on my phone asking if I could have my daughter touch base. She said she's been trying her cell all say to no one I am messenger dad.

Within minutes, my daughter asks of she can go to the movies...of course I said yes, but again, it was hard to let her go because I wanted her to be with me, and hang out.

It's something I know I have to get used to, it's only going to happen more, I know that. How the heck did she be 16 so quickly?

In an unrelated thing, this is a piece do art I did recently:

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Chinese Food

When I picked up my daughter yesterday, she asked if we could have Chinese food for dinner. "Of course" I said, then began to panic as there are no really great take-out places left in my close vicinity (2-3 mile radius).

After dilly-dallying for a few hours back home, we both began to get hungry, so I started thinking about where to get the food and there are only two places in close vicinity, so we had to chose between meh and meh...we went with meh.

Funny thing, I had no menu, which is a stupid reason for not calling in an order, as if I haven't order enough Chinese takeout in my life to not know what was available. However, I went with that and decided that me and my kid would drive over, I'd run in and grab a menu - she didn't want to leave the car because she was wearing sweat pants (teenager, enough said). We both look at the menu as if we were reading "A Confederacy of Dunces" for the first time (I know, that was a random plug for a cool book).

Once we decided, I though, no need to leave the car again, then again when the food is ready - so from in the parking lot, about eleven feet from the door, I called in the order. After the guy sad it would be about fifteen minutes or so, I closed the conversation with, "no problem, I'm not far." We laughed.

It only hit me as I was about to go in to get the food that it as funny(ish) as it was to place the order form the parking lot, it would have been way funnier to have it delivered. When the guy would ask for the address, I would give him the address of the restaurant. I wonder if he would have charged the $2 delivery fee?

Monday, August 04, 2014

Yet Another Conversation I Started on Tipping

Just saw an article called "worst Celebrity Tipper" - I am taking their side, it's bullshit that they should be expected to tip any more than anyone else. 

Sean , Paul and Ameesh like this.

Paul I concur
Ro Agreed
Ro Most people don't even deserve a tip these days. service typically sucks. If you are 1/2 making my coffee because sugar, creamers etc are on a different counter... Then seriously you DO NOT deserve a tip. Actually I believe I deserve a pay check from your establishment.
Me I never tip at places like coffee shops, take outs, hotels, etc. just at full service restaurants and even then, reluctantly. I've long believed the industry needs to change and pay fair wages to servers and remove the tipping element. I think a percentage based tip model makes no sense and is not fair to the consumer.
Dan If a server sucks I don't tip - and I tell the manager. If they are good, I tip generously - and also usually tell the manager.
Kelly Sometimes I can't afford to tip, and during those times I don't even go out! If a server is good, I believe tipping is necessary. They deserve recognition for standing out among lazy people who don't put effort into customer service. Just my opinion!
Kelly And speaking about celebrities tipping, Celine Dion once tipped a friend of mine $100 in the In-n-Out Burger drive thru! If I was wealthy, I would LOVE doing stuff like that!
Me I love that there is vibrant conversation about this - it's why I bring it up often. Kelly, on the Celine thing, I too would love to do stuff like that and it's great that Celine (and others I suspect) do those things - but it's an act of generosity, not a requirement.
Kelly I totally see what you're saying and I absolutely agree that tipping generously is not a requirement. I also agree with the fact that the whole tipping system is somewhat flawed, but in more upscale restaurants, you usually receive more heedful service than you would in a more casual setting- like a diner- where the servers have nine tables to serve at a fast pace. Also, servers in upscale restaurants are often expected to share their tips with many other people, ranging from the hosts to the busboys, the managers, and sometimes even the cooks. If they end up with seven or eight percent, they're fortunate.
Dan I would like to tip Chris for delivering a can of worms.
Me You are right Kelly, about the whole sharing thing - that goes way back to when I worked in a restaurant in the early 1980's. In most restaurants, especially the upscale ones, the markup is high enough to pay fair wages to all of the workers involved yet we the consumer are expected to pay premium prices for product, then on top of that, pay their staff salaries.
Me My pleasure Dan, this is something I bring up every now and again because I am passionate about it and if no discussion ever happens, there is no way any change can happen. It's possible I am just a dreamer and insane but this is how I feel and I can't help but share it since we have these forums to do so.
Kelly It's good to be passionate about something. Lack of passion is fatal. I can see that we have differing views on this subject so I'll just close the worm can. (I really hate idioms to begin with, even ask my dad) lmao.
Me Kelly, speaking of worm cans, I listened to Pat Benatar on spotify today because of you!
Kelly Hahaha. Just seeing mine and Pat's names in the same sentence is like the most awesome feeling ever.
Paul As someone who worked in the food and beverage service industry for over 25 years, I can attest that the people that tipped the best were those that also worked in that industry at one time or another. I also agree that one should always tell a manager that someone on their waitstaff deserves a pat on the back, or a refresher on how to deal with paying customers.
Me For my Brooklyn peeps that are in my age bracket, I worked at Beefsteak Charlies' in Sheepshead bay, where there are the absolute worst tippers in the world - so I do speak from experience, and mostly bad
Me Paul - that's a great statement and so true
Kelly OMG true story: I went to Beefsteak Charlies' in Manhattan one time with my parents when I was about nine and I spewed a sea of vomit throughout the entire restroom.
Kelly Think Linda Blair in "The Exorcist".
Me Kelly, was it the one near Madison Square Garden? I love how we have gone from tipping to projectile vomiting comparisons to a satan infused girl
Dan I think it was the MSG one, Chris. Kelly has an aversion to Beefsteak Charlie's and subway trains (sorry, Paul). Her minimal exposure to both as a youngster resulted in vomit
Paul mmmmm.....worm cans (sorry I fell behind on that one)
Ro Being on both sides of the spectrum. Wait staff would HATE not getting tips. In many places they make more (tax free) than most management. High end restaurants don'take a huge amount of $ on the food... It's all in the bar

Sunday, August 03, 2014

No Easy Answers

This post is all about my friend Barry Mangione. Please, take a couple of short minutes to watch the video. If you can, please consider supporting this project as I have; to do so, click the link below the video. If you can't afford a financial contribution, please take a moment to share this with your friends.

Thank you!

"Uncle Dani" is Gaga for "Gaga"

While comedic and entertaining, there is a far greater message in this short film, by the young but very talented and wise beyond her years writer/director, Jennifer O'Connor.

Enjoy, and share.

Friday, August 01, 2014


This is a stream of consciousness post. I came with no idea of a topic or anything specific to write about but I just decided to start typing and see what happens.

I went to see my friend Meghan perform with her new band tonight, they are called "Angels of Avalon" and are a Led Zeppelin cover band. I thought they were good, but the mix was way off making it a bit distracting at times, but in time, they have some good potential. I am happy for her because the last band she was in was not good, the guys were terribly untalented and were trying to act 20 years younger than they were, that never works.

Work is a bit weird these days, going through rough times at the college and it's going to take a long time to work through these problems. I hope it all works out okay though.

I feel like I need to plan a vacation soon.

I kind of need to get my shit back together - straighten out the house, get back into working out regularly and eating right. How does that song go, "You can fight, the pain from a broken heart..."

Planning to get the breakfast sandwich from "The Carve" at the Farmer's Market tomorrow. I hope it isn't a complete washout, the weather earlier indicated some rain.

Good tired!