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New Year's Resolutions- Final Blog Of 2011

With the end of 2011 only hours away, I've decided to come up with some resolutions.  These aren't things I want to try and accomplish, these are things I need to accomplish.  All of these resolutions will be achieved. Period.

In the past year and a half, I'd lost about 55 lbs. I've probably gained about 10 of it back since October.  My goal is to get down to the weight I was when I first hurt my knee by the end of the year.  That's roughly another 20 lbs. 

I will become a little more active in finding a job (career) that suits me. I have been a little lax as of late and I need to find something soon.

I will address my sleeping problems and try and curtail my late night activities that add to the problems.

I will be a better listener.  I'm a great talker, but recently, I haven't always been the best listener.

I will treat myself, at least once a month to something I enjoy, such as a fine meal or something I might want.

I will try my hardest to see the good …

Best Songs Of 2011 - Bring The Abuse

Everyone knows my knack of getting up to the jukebox and playing Spice Girls and Hanson, but these are not those songs.  Are they better?  You be the judge.  Here are my top 21 songs of 2011.  I may have missed a few or maybe i just think your taste in music sucks.  Well here they are.   Some songs may be from 2010, but were released during this year.

21. Raise Your Glass - Pink
20. Good Man - Raphael Saadiq
19. Give Me Everything - Pitbull w/ Ne-Yo, Afroman and Nayer
18. Honey Bee - Blake Shelton
17. Price Tag - Jessie J f/ B.o.B
16. Stereo Hearts - Gym Class Heroes w/Adam Levine
15. Yonkers - Tyler, The Creator
14. Save The World - Swedish House Mafia
13. Sick Of You - Cake
12. A Thousand Years - Cristina Perri
11. Mean - Taylor Swift
10. Firework - Katie Perry
9. Stone Rollin - Raphael Saadiq
8. Lonely Boy - The Black Keys
7. Edge Of Glory - Lady Gaga
6. Knock Knock - Mac Miller
5. Video Games - Lana Del Rey
4. Rolling In The Deep - Adele
3. Nasty - Nas
2. Jar Of Hearts - Cristina …

2011: My Year In Review

2011, as have the last three years, has been a tumultuous ride, that for the most part has not been very enjoyable.  The parallels to 2009, arguably my worst year since my mother died, have been uncanny.  I have tried to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it, as it always is, happens to be a train.  For the coming year, I go into it with a bright outlook, but I also know how these things lay out.  Just because the Calendar on the wall changes, doesn't mean the wall changes.  It's just a shinier, newer version of the same old shit.  What I need is to paint that wall.  To make it at least appear different.  We'll see.  You never know, maybe this is my year.

January came in with some harsh weather and caused my car to die. Not bad, for a $1000 investment, in which I put exactly $400 into it in two years.  $700 a year for a solid, reliable car?  Not bad.  January was going on like all others.  Playoff football combined with drunken debauchery and an awful New York Jet…

Another Week In Ithaca

Last Friday I mentioned on Facebook how little I enjoyed the bus ride up here. I left 50 degree weather to enter into a 26 degree night. The cold doesn't bother me, it's the frigid dankness.  The air always has that feel to it. The surrounding lakes give that vibe that it's always two seconds away from rain or snow.  The air at times feels even heavy.  That being said, this place is usually a time for me to relax and recharge the batteries. This time around, it was not to be.

My stay was affected by a serious lack of sleep.  Between night time sleep and naps, I was able to muster about 20 hours while her, plus whatever I get tonight.  I have my alarm set for 5 hours from now, but I'm not even tired.  It's taken it's toll and I do feel a little run down.

Thanfully, I was able to recharge my good eating battery.  The trip started out with a thid, as my father had leftovers of the pot roast he made. Not that he made it poorly, but pot roast is one of my least favo…

Ten Things I'm Thinking About Right Now: Holiday Version

I am already going to hell. 

1. I haven't heard one Kwanzaa song yet.

2.  Hanging out with a 98-year-old telling past Christmas stories must be like hanging out with me on a Saturday night. You're guaranteed to hear the same story multiple times and with different outcomes.  Plus, I like to doze off mid thought.

3.  Can you imagine any Jewish person during the high holy days going into a store and saying "How much does the CHALLAH COST?"  I apologize to my mother for that one.

4.  How did Jesus become Santa, his disciples become Reindeer and Pontius Pilate become the Grinch?

5.  I have never seen a menorah tied to the roof of a car.

6.  Whenever I see girls dressed really slutty right after Christmas, it always makes me think what their father's were thinking while they were opening presents.

7.  You ever notice how much joy drunk adults get by tackling a snowman?  Kinda fucked up being they know kids made it.

8.  I think the most epic moment of anyone's lif…

Things I Miss

I've had a serious problem sleeping this holiday season. Normally when I come to my father's house I sleep much better than at home. Not this trip. I've been here since 8pm Friday.  At the moment, I've been here for 81 hours.  I've slept for a total of nine hours.  I am feeling the stress of no sleep and I'm not happy. It's affecting my mood.  My mood has affected others.  Some of have turned that mood around at times, some haven't been there for me. It's the holidays, they might have been busy. 

Coming up Ithaca it made me think of little things I miss dearly.  Some of the things, I miss because I'm not here, some I miss because I am and some, well, I've been missing for some time now.  Living along has it's perks, but the number one thing I miss is having breakfast with someone.  More than anything, I miss waking up earlier than whoever I'm with and making them breakfast in bed.  What can be better, than waking up, putting on a pot…

My Top Ten Meals Of 2011

Anyone that knows me, knows I love to eat and I am very critical of most places.  I grew up eating things like moussaka or paella every couple of weeks.  It was more likely we'd have lamb burgers with tzastiki sauce than a regular hamburger.  I can count the times a year we had pizza for dinner on one hand.  Chinese every other Friday, maybe.  Sushi once a week.  When I was younger, I had escargot at least once a week. Then we moved to Westchester and the level of food dropped significantly when dining out, but it only enhanced dining in.  My mother would make things like duck, rabbit or squab.  Sure we had boring things like breaded cutlets, spaghetti and roasts, but those seemed like oddities.  We always ate well and it changed me. 

One thing that has always been instilled in me, regardless if I'm dining in a top notch restaurant or grabbing pub grub.  The care it's made with an the company you dine with makes all the difference.  I've eaten a perfectly cooked porter…

Christmas Morning

Once again, my good friend Insomnia has grabbed hold.  I was texting a friend and I explained my intentions of going to sleep.  I wished her a Merry Christmas and tried to sleep.  After about twenty minutes, I dozed off, only to wake up two hours later. I am now wide awake, a second night of less than three hours of sleep.  I started thinking about my childhood and the anticipation of Christmas morning. 

I was never one of those kids who couldn't sleep or went right to bed, fearing Santa wouldn't stop by.  Usually the presents were under the tree before hand and my curious self would run over a light inventory of the packages marked for me.  Of course, Mom and Dad would inevitably have hidden on or two of the better items.  I remember as a young boy always spotting the Nerf football that was a Christmas staple.  This gift was usually one needed out of necessity, as the previous years looked like a pit bulls chew toy.  The funny thing is I can't remember any gifts I've …

Can't Sleep - A Christmas Carol

14 hours ago I got on a bus to come see my father and grandmother. The trip was long and tedious.  I dozed very briefly, but for the most part I entertained myself by texting and looking over the seat in front of me as a guy watched Mad Men on his laptop.  I've never seen Mad Men before but from what I gather, the entire show is about smoking, drinking and extramarital affairs.  Definitely not for me.

I finally arrived at my father's and settled in with some dinner.   Ironically, my father had made pot roast.  I know I am the only American alive that feels this way, but I can't stand pot roast.  Never have and never will.  Cooking a shitty piece of meat for a long time does make it tender, but it still makes it shitty.  Sorry Dad.  Looking forward to some seafood tonight and duck for Christmas dinner.

I'm a little stressed, because Christmas just isn't what it used to be.  We don't even exchange gifts anymore.  I thought, or should I say I had hoped to share so…

Christmas Vacation To-Do List

I was going to write a blog about the best movies made in the past two years, but being that I only watch movies on DVD (hate going to the theater), my list is too short.  I do have four movies at home which I was told are good, but haven't had the patience to watch them.'  That coupled with the fact that I only rated four movies with five stars in the past year, makes it more difficult.  Hands down the best movie I've seen made in the last two years was Winter's Bone.  We'll see if it holds up when I get around to this. 

So instead, I am going to write a to-do list for the next 14 days.  Many of the things are simple and some are almost guaranteed without me trying, but after a discussion with someone a week ago, I think a list is an important thing to make.  So here it goes, in no particular order.

1. Enjoy my holiday without the stress that has been bothering me.  I hope not, but this may be my grandmother's last Christmas.  At 98, you have to "start&q…

The Best Days of 2011

Let me start off by saying that the last two, maybe three years have not been my finest.  I've had some good times and I've had some bad, but for the most part my life has been in disarray.  I've made mistakes and I've made some good choices.  I've been hurt and I've hurt others.  I have trusted those I shouldn't have and forgot about some I should have paid more attention to.  I've lost people and have friends who have lost loved ones.  I've been angry and I've been thrilled.  I've run the gamut of emotions almost on a daily basis and most of you have read all about it.  I have been an open book since "finding" Facebook and part of my thinks that must change.  There are some who love being a topic or a mention in my blog, but there are others who wish to remain anonymous.  I really need to find an outlet for a lot of my frustration and boredom.  I also need to find a source for more happiness.  All that being said, I've had so…

A Thought About Hannukah

Since my mom passed away, I haven't really celebrated Hannukah.  When she was alive, we lit the menorah, spun the dreidel and we definitely had latkes with our meal.  Hannukah isn't known for it's meals, but my mother would always make a brisket at some point.  We always had matzo in the house, but then again, we did most of the year.  When I was little I would receive presents every night, but as I got older, I'd usually just get one big present.  I must say, getting little presents eight nights in a row was pretty awesome as a kid.  While I've never been religious, I do miss the festival of lights. 

One thing dawned on me recently while discussing the holiday time of year.  All the years I was alive, Christmas trees and wreaths adorned many homes and businesses, but menorah's and dreidels were few and far between.  Do you know what?  Nobody commented.  There wasn't a bunch of people protesting or complaining about their absence.  I don't know if it…

Quickie Blog: Why I Do It

Last Friday I was giving two kids tennis lessons.  It was about halfway through the class and the little girl in the class was acting up.  She was being silly and wasn't paying attention and I was getting a little frustrated.  She's an adorable little girl, but she loves to act out.  At one point we were picking up tennis balls and she walked over to me and asked me if I had seen her dog tags.  I said, I saw them around her neck, but didn't know what they said.  They explained that she has diabetes, what kind of diabetes she has and lists her parents phone numbers.  She read all the information with such pride.  The class was coming to an end and I wished her happy holidays and she wished me back.  I told her I'd see her in three weeks and all of the sudden she got this sad look on her face.  She asked me why three weeks and I explained that there is no school for the next two Fridays and that we wouldn't meet again until January 6, 2012.  She said that made her sa…

The Five Greatest Christmas Songs

Christmas songs are generally awful.  They are filled with Hallmark sentiment and are as sincere as me telling you God Bless.  Aside from a small few, they are generally geared towards the pagan aspects of Christmas and not the religious.  Every year a new cover of an old classic comes out and everyone hoots and hollers about it and within a few years it disappears from our memories.  Normally I'd have a top ten list, but I'm hard pressed to think of ten songs off the top of my head where one or two wont nauseate me.  So here it goes. 

5. Christmas in Hollis - Run DMC - When this came out during the opening scenes in Die Hard, everyone went nuts.  It wasn't the first Christmas rap, but it was and still is the best.  It's funny and hits on all the traditional aspects of Christmas in a completely new way. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR07r0ZMFb8&ob=av3e

4. Wizards in Winter - Trans Siberian Orchestra - Technically not a song, because their are no vocals.  It may no…

Christopher Hitchens on God

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nIRJVmZ4K8&feature=related

I know people have more important things in their life than to listen to me rant and rave about religion, because I have my feelings and you have yours.  I would do nothing ever to criticize anyone's beliefs unless they tried to push those beliefs on to me.  I've had it done and crushed people's attempts.  Not with contempt and nastiness, but with intelligence and common sense. The link I attached above is the genius Christopher Hitchens questioning the existence of a higher power.  It is one of the many videos in which he does so and with an eloquence that is unmatched.

During this time of year, we get a lot of religious arguments.  Christ in Christmas has already been attacked in this blog, so I'll desist.  I was raised to question everything.  In doing so, it's become evident that in my world, there is no God.  I stated on Facebook this afternoon, that I always doubted God, but after reading the Bibl…

11 Rules of Life - Bill Gates?

I read this on Facebook this morning.  A friend had posted it and said that every child should have to receive this. I of course read it and started to think.  I immediately wondered who really wrote this, as I rarely see things like this attributed to the proper person.  I immediately found it was written by Conservative Charles J. Sykes when he wrote a book about how America is dumbing down our youth.  I read it twice and started to wonder how true it was.  Below is a link to the actual picture I saw.





So let's look at each of the rules and analyze them.

Rule 1: Life is not fair — get used to it! - Life is not fair in that we are not all afforded the same opportunities based on race, creed, color, socio-economic background, but in general, those who are afforded the same opportunities to succeed are very often rewarded for their individual efforts.  Sure there may be underlying circumstances, but hard work is proven to pay more often than not and those who strive for success, migh…

Frontier(s)

Today I watched a movie recommended by a friend who knew that I liked (appreciated might be a better word) Martyrs.  Frontiers is a movie about a group of Paris thieves who try to escape to the suburbs and make the common movie mistake of stopping at a hostel.  Hostel was made first and there were some definite torture similarities, but where Hostel makes it a game, Frontiers features the family that kills together, stays together.  It has aspects of Hostel, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and many of the common films today featuring an almost identical plot.  Group of people go to the wrong place.  Girl is last to be hunted.  It's become all too familiar.

The difference with Frontiers is that the bad guys are inherently bad.  They aren't vacationers playing out a sick fantasy.  This, as we see, is their life.  The way people are tortured and killed is truly hard to watch.  Much harder than Hostel.  While the mental anguish isn't as obvious, it's the main character you need to…

2011 - Year of the Woman

I can't remember a year in my lifetime where women so commanded every facet of media than in 2011.  From music to movies, politics to news stories or just every day life.  Women stepped to the forefront in 2011 like never before.  Many men made news because they couldn't get out of their own ways, but women seemed very content in taking over this year. 

Nowhere was this more evident than in the music industry.  Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Rihanna continued to shine. We lost a wonderful talent in Amy Winehouse.  There is always Taylor Swift, but I'm going to remember this year for the newcomers.  Florence & the Machine and Katy Perry made a splash, but nobody commanded our attention like the incomparable Adele.  At 23 years old, her soulful and powerful voice drew us in.  While overplayed by now, Rolling in the Deep and Someone Like You are instant classics.  Let's just hope the pipes don't rust, because we'd all be losers if that should happen.

Nobody drew more …

Quickie Blog: Things That Are Becoming Obsessions

I actually do not like the word obsession, because it almost always takes on a negative connotation, but for this blog and for lack of a better word, I will leave it as is.  Here they are.

Words with Friends - between my phone and computer, I have about 45 games going right now.

Chinese Food - I have ordered Chinese food every week for at least the last two months.

Tim Tebow - yes, the mania has completely engulfed me.

New Girl - the best comedy on television in years.

Twitter - yes, I know, I'm on Facebook all the time, but I love twitter for the links to interesting stuff.

Tap Zoo - a silly game that takes up about twenty seconds to play, which I check incessantly.

It's a pretty sad list, when you look at it as a whole.  Nothing exciting like playing racquetball or skydiving.  Nothing exotic like collecting praying mantises or eating blow fish.  Nothing intellectual like reading Stephen Hawkins or watching BBC news.  It's just stuff that, for right now, brings a little …

Thinking

I don't think anyone spends as much time just thinking about stuff as I do.  At times, it's dwelling on something.  It could be seen as obsessing.  It's just something I've grown accustomed to doing.  In many instances there are negative effects due to this.  I think way too much about people I'm not with and wish I was.  Not always people I'm romantically involved with, but people I care about.  I think about the past and when times were better.  I think about my mother incessantly.  Not a day that goes by I don't miss her and wish I could speak to her.  Last night, I admitted to someone that a lot of my problems, such as insomnia, all started when she passed.  I used to be oblivious to stress and would let pretty much everything role off my back.  Now I can't stop thinking about things. 

My friend gave me a goal and told me to accomplish this within the next 38 days.  It's funny, because it's a small goal, but one with multiple benefits.  I…

At A Loss

I'm at a loss for words.  This, as you all know, is very rare for me.  I stayed home today and laid in bed watching football all day.  I have things bothering me that can be fixed and then some that can't.  I've been a little lax in working on those I can and spent way too much time on those I can't.  It's caused me a lot of stress recently and it's taking it's toll on me mentally. 

This week, I've had some good times and some bad.  I've laughed with people and yelled at others.  I've had some great conversations and some that weren't.  I've also spent a lot of time with people who have wanted me to be part of their holidays.  They have no idea how much that means to me.  I am torn, because it's the holidays and I feel like I should be with my family.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do.  I also want to spend part of the holiday with some people, who for various reasons, I can't.  This to has caused some unnecessary stress…

Keeping Christ In Christmas

For the last few years, just after Thanksgiving, the social networks and overheard conversations inevitably get to the topic of how Christmas has lost its religiousness.  People are up in arms with the notion that it's politically incorrect to say Merry Christmas to someone, because it might offend them.  Sadly, the only people that thing this are Christians.  I don't know one Jew, one Muslim or one Buddhist who has a problem with people saying Merry Christmas.  I actually know many people who are non-Christians who find it nice, because they feel like someone of a different faith is including them in their celebrations.

I grew up in a relatively non-religious household, but we celebrated everything.  We did Hanukkah and Christmas.  Every year, we had a menorah and lit the candles.  Every year, we had a Christmas tree.  My mother would make a brisket for one night during Hanukkah and every year we'd have a huge Christmas dinner.  My parents would invite whoever didn't …

Random Thoughts at 3:15

I think every sports fan I know who is not a Jets fan can agree on one thing.  Jets fans are the most annoying and obnoxious sports fans. 

I hate Dunkin Donuts coffee and I don't necessarily love the taste of chocolate, but their mint hot chocolate is off the hook.

Words with Friends makes me forget I ever played Angry Birds.

I only have eight more hours of work for the rest of the year.  This is a good and bad thing.

I haven't been this excited about pro football in many years.   Tebow!

A friend of mine has twice been there for me after saying they couldn't be there for me.  Special!

I honestly don't think people who have it good know how good they have it.  I hear more complaints from people with it good than I do from people who have it bad.

I think New Girl is my favorite comedy on TV in many years.  I know Prime Suspect is my favorite show, but they already announced its cancellation.

I think this year I'm going to make out a thought out and practical resolut…

Quickie Blog: Jerk

Last night I was a jerk.  I said something to someone with the sole purpose of hurting them.  I did not mean it and to be quite frank, I don't remember saying it.  I was angry, frustrated and basically being an asshole.  The irony is that I've tried my hardest to make sure that my words are never misconstrued or taken out of context.   Last night I said some that I'm ashamed of.  I don't think this person is going to forgive me any time soon and to be honest, they shouldn't.  Hopefully I can learn from my mistake and one day they will forgive me.  I don't deserve it, but I can hope they can see past my anger and know that I do truly care.  It was a mistake, but a big one.

The Last Kiss

You ever think about how many times you've been with someone and you think it will last forever.  You never think that the kiss of the moment could be the last kiss.  It's not only the people you're intimate with.  I will never forget the last kiss my mother gave me or the last one I gave her, moments after she took her last breath.  That kiss will always be burned into my memory, because I knew that was the last time.  Some we can't know.  Some we're destined to remember and not always in a good way.

I remember a girl I had a crush on when I was younger.  I was in eighth grade and it was the last day of school.  I knew I wasn't going back to that school for high school and as I was saying my goodbyes, she leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.   I think I saw her once or twice after that, but I will never forget that one and only kiss. 

I remember I was dating a girl back when I was about nineteen.  She was younger and still in high school.  We were at her ho…

Another Wonderful Person Gone

This morning I awoke to a text message saying "Jody passed."  Jody was a friend I've known for over twenty years.  She was married to an old boss of mine and is the mother of two great kids.  For the years I worked for Jim, I always felt like part of the family.  Even later in life we could always pick up right where we left off if I ran into them. 

Over the summer I ran into her and she looked great.  She was always full of life and always sweet.  She said she was doing fine and she went on her way.  I will always remember that picture of her.  The loving mother, smiling and happy.  When I read the text this morning, I immediately put my head down and cried.  Here was a woman who didn't drink or smoke.  Someone who always took care of themselves and someone who looked healthy as can be.  Part of my emotion comes from the inevitable thoughts of my mother, but I started thinking about the family.  I started thinking about her husband and how many years ago when we tal…

My Christmas & Hannukah Wish List

What do you get the man who has nothing?  I am pretty simple. I don't need material items to make me happy, but there are some things I've been putting off getting, so if anyone feels so inclined, please see my list and feel free to indulge me.  I'll keep my list to the traditional list....ten items.

1.  Coffee Mugs - my last one has finally become so chipped it's dangerous to drink from.
2.  A cleaning service to clean my apartment (and not judge me).
3.  A gift card to East Bamboo.   I get takeout at least once a week.
4.  A gift card to Piper's Kilt - I don't need to explain this.
5.  Microsoft Office - I have a temp version, because my brother installed it and he maxed out uses.
6.  A pea coat - I bought one years ago and it was actually too big.  Never replaced.
7.  A trip to Boston or Key West.  A trip to my favorite city or my friend's restaurant and sun!
8.  Season 6 of Dexter.  I know it's not out yet, but keep it in mind if ya know someone.
9.…