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Showing posts from August, 2014

#100DaysOfHopper Day 96-97

Day 96: If most of you don't know by now, I'm soon to be giving up the title of resident of Westchester. That being said, I must at some point return home to pick up my stuff and probably attend to the legal ramifications of my leaving. That and apologize to my mailman, for having to (I assume) figure out where to put my mail.

I'm sure within that mail is another letter from my management company, who apparently has taken me to court for a third time, without warning, which under the laws in NY state, is illegal. Of course, they have a lawyer and I can not afford one, so that means they will be right and I will be wrong. I understand how the game works and money goes to money and money buys public opinion.

Before anyone blames me for letting this go on, understand that I contacted the court and they are slower than molasses and while eventually appear helpful, it took three calls to get one simply piece of information, which cost me three weeks, then to adhe…

Random Thoughts - August 2014 Edition

I'm learning over time, that my cooking is much like my life; it goes splendidly as long as there are no directions.

Social media is a big part of my social life. From Twitter I get laughs and connections to different views from shut ins to celebs and once in a while, I'm worthy of the latter's attention. From Instagram I am reminded of life's subtle beauty, both living and not. And then there is Facebook.

I have the weight of the world on my shoulders, but I have people who care about me and have surrounded me with love. Pretty damn good spotters. I just hope I have time to repay them.

The kindest thing anyone has said to me recently, was a complete stranger, who said "You don't think like other people. Makes ME think more about stuff."

The nicest thing anyone has done for me, was simply remembering something I told them weeks ago and taking a photograph because of it. Little things like that mean more than any tangible gift.

There is someone I used to t…

#100DaysOfHopper Day 95

Day 95: We've all been crushed under the tidal wave of the ice bucket challenge, treated like psychological chew toys by our furry friend loving champions and had our news feeds riddled with the quick spreading cancer plugs. Every single day, I can count on being hit up or "forced" to watch or read something about these funds. I read almost every one and I wonder.

I wonder why the biggest problem in our country isn't being faced. I wonder why when I have in the past asked people to donate, as little as whatever they would have spent at the deli on lunch, I get not even a single comment or like. I wonder why we donate to a disease we don't know anything about, because the challenge is fun. I wonder how and when a shelter dog became more important than a family living in a similar situation.

One in 11,000 Americans have ALS - there is no cure
One in 50 Americans have a cancer - the survival rate grows
One of every three shelter animals will be adopted

One in six A…

Facebook! It's Always F***ing Facebook!

How the hell does that website do it? How is it possible, that people I once thought had above average intelligence and common sense, are reduced to slobbering idiots?

Seriously folks, it's about time you think before you post. How the hell do you not know the one thing your home town is famous for? How do you not know that there is no pumpkin in a Starbucks pumpkin latte? How do you not know if you have your settings on public, that everyone on the planet can see you're an idiot?

How do you not realize that your shirt was see thru before you went out? How do you not know that your significant other is interested in the person whose page they comment on sixteen times a day? How do you not know you're a fucking idiot, when you complain about how hard life is, but three hours later you're sitting by a fucking pool, drink in hand and bragging about how you have nothing to do for a week? Do you realize most people who complain one tenth the amount of time you do, don't…

#100DaysOfHopper Day 94

Day 94: Rosacea (although I don't think that's what it is), torn rotator cuff, severe elbow tendinitis, carpal tunnel and arthritis due to breaking each finger at least twice, some as many as four or five times, a degenerative hip, a weak back caused by hip and knee problems (and the weight gained from them), torn anterior cruciate ligaments in both knees, severe cartilage tears in both knees, almost no mobility in one and occasional goat flare ups, gall stones, diverticulitis (once) and chronic insomnia.

Above are just the physical things I deal with on a day-to-day basis. So sorry, if I don't like or comment my sympathies for each time you have to wait in line at the DMV or someone cut the line at Starbucks. Sorry, if your flight was delayed or the person at the gym smells funny. Sorry if your kid had a sniffle and you can't "afford" to get sick, because you have a dinner party this weekend.

I'm also sorry that you didn't have time, l…

#100DaysOfHopper Day 92-93

Day 92: Gifts, money, cars, houses, tons of friends. Nope. Not for me. People love to say they appreciate life, but frankly, they are full of it. Anyone ever says, all they need is for you to care about them, try it. See how long they stay around. I know it sounds cynical, but I've been pretty much alone to my thoughts a lot lately and in the last two weeks, one e-mail, one message and one person who has continuously made me laugh, has gotten me through a mental rough patch.

The clueless stay clueless. The self centered stay centered. The fakes, stay false to nobody, but themselves. The new fad of the week crew is pushing their product. The woe is me crowd is woeful. The angry to be angry, as long as at least one comment of concern is made public; always public! The I'm better than you, because I have money crowd stays better than all of us Po' Folk. The Jesus loves us, even though our lives aren't any better since before we started posting those memes, k…

Eight Weeks

I have been away from "home" for eight weeks. If you noticed, I have the word home in parenthesis. Eastchester stopped feeling like home a long time ago. Somewhere around 1985, when I first moved there. I've never tried very hard to leave, because it's always been easier to stay. Easier, because I know what it's like to say goodbye and not realize it's for good. It's been easier to stay, because I had nowhere else to go. Every single chance I've had, I've taken to leave that place and every time I return, there is a little piece of me that is truly ripped from inside. It's an exhausting process.

Sure, I have people I consider good friends, but as I've found out, for the better part of a decade, they are a busy crew. I'm not one to beg someone for friendship, because to me, it's a two-way street that must be met 50/50. It is based on honesty, trust and the ability to always be open. Even with some of my closest friends, I've los…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Sleepers

OK, I don't play Fantasy Football anymore and this is exactly why I have become good at it. The last two years I posted my picks for sleepers, overachievers and underachievers and I've been approximately 90% on the money.

So I'll keep it simple this year. With my top choice (1 pick at each position), my solid pick (3-5 rounder), my sleeper (6+ who will be a stud) and my bust (anyone in top five who will have a bad year or get hurt).

Quarterback:
TC: Peyton Manning is definitely the top choice. There is no reason to think he will not be the best player in the game once again.
Solid: Andrew Luck could go top two if the league is pass friendly.
Sleeper: Tom Brady is not your regular sleeper, but with an average running game and a strong defense, the Pats should get a lot of short drives, which means increased touchdowns.
Bust: Tony Romo is a fantasy superstar and this year he has the OL Cowboys forget he had a few years ago. Won't matter, he's on the decline and with…

#100DaysOfHopper Day 91 - The Final Ten

Day 91: Yes Cooney, Yes Smyth, there are only ten more days (well maybe).

Do you know that Facebook, in many ways, is a time capsule? It is an ever present record of your thoughts, feelings and events that you have chosen to record and allow the world to see. Do you also realize that every racist or sexist comment, every misspelled or misused word and every time you couldn't handle the simplest of life's obstacles is here forever? Do you also know that whether you like it or not, whether it is warranted or not and whether or not it is fair, your kid are judged by your actions and what you've decided to post.

I've seen a lot of posts featuring memes about being the best mom, the best dad, the best person that someone can be, but I question it all. How can you not handle a day without coffee and curse people you love, but then claim to be the best person you can be. Think about all the pictures of you on the Internet. Would you want the same pictures of your child posted…

Free Writing - Take 51

A little different format attempt. I'm going to write five separate paragraphs. Each just one minute long. Based on the the most interesting word I find in the first tweet, when refreshing twitter.

HATE is a four letter word, but we all seem to embrace it so much more easily than we embrace love. We don't admit to others and many times to even ourselves, but one look at how we speak, who we speak of and the vitriol we spew makes it so evident this is true.

How often is it normal to think about one's CHILDHOOD? I think about it all the time. The playing in the street, the friends houses, the sleepovers, the first kisses, the silliness. The end of the day curling up next to mom or dad and falling asleep only to wake up the next morning in bed.

I don't really remember my first KISS, but I definitely remember the first kiss with passion. It took me by surprise as I was overwhelmed. I was 13, she was 16, maybe even 17 and she thought I was cute and innocent. She had no idea…

#100DaysOfHopper Day 89 (Part 2) - 90

Day 89 Part 2: No lie, every day I read Facebook and the treasure chest of complaints by people who have no realization of just how boring life can be. If you're "literally" offended, upset and almost killed by someone each and every day; If you actually spend five days in the hospital a month for emergencies, If you actually have so little money that you are completely stressed by your vacation only being ten weeks....newsflash. About 90% of us want your Expendables 3, Grey's Anatomy, Donald Trump life. I, for one, will trade with you tomorrow! #100DaysOFHopper

Day 90: We all have our friends, we have our causes and we have that which is truly important to us. Because of social media, we also feel the need, at times, to stress these views. The problem is that we don't control thoughts. Many of skip the comments or disregard them as we peruse, the often times, repetitive banter. I think that's a mistake.

I find that reading the comments gives us insight a…

A To Z In 10 Words Or Less

I'm in the middle of doing something silly, but as I do it, I'm going to type things that come to mind in alphabetical order. Silly, yes, but it's more a writing exercise than anything else. For each item, I will type no more than ten words.

Arsenal - A team I'm learning not to give up on.
Badminton - I used to be unbelievable at this game.
Crab - I sadly, have never actually cracked crabs.
Dante - Sorry scholars, I thought the Inferno was boring.
Education - Something my friends who are teachers actually need.
French Fries - Haven't had good ones in so long.
Grandma - This place isn't the same without her.
Hummus - Love it all, but miss Sahadi's in Brooklyn.
Ithaca - The silence and solitude is infectious.
Jersey - Picture of other's vacations, make me not miss it.
Kisses - Too personal to share.
Laughing - I tend to produce it more than I partake.
Meet - I'd really like to meet five of my Internet friends.
Nachos - Internet sensation is my curren…

#100DaysOfHopper Day 88-89

Day 88: Being wrong is a natural thing. We all are swayed by our opinions, biases, core beliefs and for many, our prejudice. But, in the real world, when we pound our chest with complete conviction, we sometimes have to stare at the floor and admit our stance, our views, our arguments, etc were wrong.
Nobody likes being wrong. Being wrong makes us have to admit the one thing we hate most...someone knew more than us.

In school we are commended on being able to correctly answer 90% of the questions. We're never told that we only got 10% wrong, ever. But what happens to that 10%? Good students are the ones who go and learn that material after the test, not satisfied with their imperfect score. So why not in life?

Facebook gives us an alternative to living in reality. For some reason, some think the real world rules don't apply. Calling someone names, lying about them or "infriending" them has consequences, yet we rarely apologize on Facebook and even more …

#100DaysOfHopper Day 86-87

Day 86: How much does it hurt people to read, listen or watch things that don't want to hear? Honestly, I've been fixated on the news lately. Gaza, Ferguson, Ebola, Immigration, Rick Perry, James Foley, Pete Frates, etc. The thing is, even though at times it can be a little time consuming, I take the time to read as many angles of each story. Sure, I could do what 99% of the country does and tune into the pretty girl on Fox or the crazy gun hating people on MSNBC or the chronically inaccurate CNN or maybe even the better late than never local news, but the reality is, they are all skewed. So why not check sources who are on the ground? Sure they don't always have a $4000 suit on and gel in their hair, but they are a hell of a lot more accurate.

Let's take weather for instance. We all tune in to the big name, big teeth stars of the news and we watch and listen and even plan our days on men and women, getting paid millions, to be correct 40% of the time. M…

A Different Perspective On Mike Brown & Ferguson PD

I'm not going to talk about Mike Brown or Officer Wilson. I'm not going to talk about the media. I'm not going to specifically talk about the events or the protests. I'm going to discuss kids.

Imagine you are a young boy or girl enjoying the last days of summer and looking forward to school. Some sirens outside your door and the next thing you know, the quiet town you live in is the center of the universe. At first, this must seem like a cool thing. "Hey, maybe I'll get on TV," might be your thought. Then you go outside and you see people crying. People you know. Maybe even your parents. You see things you've only seen in movies and then it becomes dark.

The next morning you wake and all you hear is mom and dad talking about their fears. They are worried for your safety. They are worried that the world they are trying to protect you from, is right outside your door. You turn on the TV and there are no cartoons or silly game shows, but you're watch…

#100DaysOfHopper Day 84-85

Day 84: For most of July and August, I've been able to share meals with my father and on occasion, some others. This is a little bit of a treat for me these days, as I usually eat most meals alone. The difference in my attitude towards the meal is completely different when dining with someone than when I'm alone. When I'm alone, it's mostly thinking about sustenance and it's not really an enjoyable process. Knowing that I can share the meal with someone means so much.

This got me thinking to others, especially kids of working parents. We always hear arguments about kids having or not having an advantage in life based on where they go to school, how much money their parents make, if they are housed or fed, but we don't hear much about this, regardless of the socioeconomic background.

Meals with and as a family are essential to the maturation process of youngsters. Think about it. We're born needing to be fed. We then graduate to a high chair, then to a boos…

August and Everything After

No, not the Counting Crows album from years ago. A look into the future, based on the past, it makes me wonder. At least once in the last five Augusts I've endured some sort of turmoil revolving friends, lovers or just acquaintances. Obviously, this is just a coincidence. This is a happy time, why would anyone want to argue? I think the problem with August is that some see summer's finish line and they feel an urgency to make up for lost time. Lazy days spent sitting in an air conditioned house, neglecting the daily grind. Then there are those who count the days until school starts, either as a student or a teacher, this is an angry time. Not surprising, many of my woes have dealt with teachers over this time. That might just be because of the incredible percentage of my friends who  are in the field, but who knows?

September always seems to bring a little closure and by October, the thoughts of August, while still there, don't seem to really affect me the same way. The he…

Free Writing - Take 50

Wrote a long e-mail to an old friend today. Time goes by, but nothing changes between us. We've both had more ups and downs than we care to mention, but we've always been there silently for each other. You know, the kind of friend that no matter how far you drift apart, you come back to the same spot, pick up where you left off and that is it. No talk or apologies for the time in between. I have three friends like that. Only four friends like and they all have similar things in common. They are bright, they are viewed as "unsuccessful" but society's standard and all have achieved things none of my other friends have achieved. Peace within themselves and the acceptance that huge errors in their life path has not made them lost, but has led them to different worlds that they might have missed out on. They also have something I find important. They don't value things, but they put people they care for in a special place. They don't just have friends, but the…

#100DaysOfHopper Day 80-83

Day 80: I think I need a break from this angry world. All this death, violence, hatred, sickness and overall disinterest in our world has really gotten me down.
The Little League World Series starts today. Brings back some really fond memories of when I was younger and a couple of the people I still see on Facebook and around town. To think that way back when, this was one of the highlights of their lives. To win a big game or to hit a home run and now I'm liking pictures of their weddings and the birth of their children. It's amazing.
Today, is an anniversary of sorts. Six years ago, sitting in the same room I'm sitting in right now, I joined Facebook. I immediately connected with an old "lost" friend. Since then, I've seen my friend's ups and downs and been able to share some of their highs, even if silently from a far. I remember having vinegar on my chips (fries) for the first time in Sunnyside queens and now I'm reading his hilario…

Weekends

How sad is it that I haven't cared about a weekend in years. I can't truly remember the last time I got excited for a weekend that didn't involve my one weekend a year going away for two days. That's my big vacation. Even the few times I did go on vacation, I despised the actual weekend, because it was all the travel aspect of the vacation.

Seriously, I'm not 21 anymore, so after work drinks on a Tuesday are exactly the same as they are on a Friday. Oh, but you get to sleep late, they say. I don't sleep late anyways. Sunday football? Nobody my age even goes out anymore and if they do, they watch one game and go home.  I've danced more on Monday or Thursday nights than I have on Friday and Saturday nights.

I'm really trying to think back to the last time I looked forward to a weekend. I don't mean one night, because yeah, of course I've had some fun individual nights planned, but not an entire weekend. I don't mean this to sound horrible, bec…

Quick Commentary On Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Message Boards, Comment Threads, etc etc.

There are so many ways to have group discussions these days that don't actually need any people to be present in the same room. The Internet has become a debate forum, a recipe swap, a book club, a movie critic haven, food experts and a host of other topics. With things like Google available, people can access information on absolutely anything and find some pretty sound information if they are diligent. Therein lies the problem. What we have is a bunch of people who all have the same access to the same information, so we have a bunch of experts a variety of things and sometimes the source of the information becomes a bigger problem than the original debate topic. Oddly enough, this isn't even the biggest issue.

The biggest problem with social media and search engines is that there are some people, generally adolescents and young adults who believe that this fingertip distance information makes up for the …

Free Writing - Take 49

Does anyone really want to live in a world where the two things that bring us together are the death of a man who made us smile and the attempt to help the helpless by pouring water on our heads. Remember when we were little and we thought getting older was when the real fun would start. We call that the age of innocence, but as kids play catch with bombs thrown from faraway lands, how can we keep supporting this fallacy?  The world is coming to an end they say. They might be right. You know the crazy, delusional nuts we see holding signs, wearing shirts and promising of the reckoning. We always laugh about this apocalypse or that, but are we not smack dab in the middle of one? This one is fighting with that one over color, religion, health rights, the heat of my fucking coffee dammit! Where has civility gone? Why can't we love anymore. This wife fucking her best friend's husband, while her husband, wines and dines his coworker. Meanwhile the kids see the painted veil and foll…

#100DaysOfHopper Day 78-79

Day 78: A few years ago, I joined Facebook and within two days I connected with a childhood friend, who I had not contacted in over 20 years. I asked him about his life, his family and his career. I then asked "How is that crazy brother of yours?" His brother was no longer with us. He like so many was a casualty of depression. Last year, another friend became a casualty. in between, this time, there were others.
We who are able to cope, do so with a variety of methods, but we also need to understand that the cloud of depression comes and goes. It's not caused by being stuck in traffic or not liking someone. It is so complex that people who study and diagnose it have absolutely not idea how to treat it. So what are we to do for those people? Sadly, being there isn't always enough.
One of the most important people in my life battled depression and bipolar disorder. He was a family friend who despite his troubles, brought my family and I years of enjoyme…

Robin Williams and Depression

Sure, the title screams "look at my blog, it's like click-bait porn." Robin Williams untimely death and the cause behind it will be in the news for days to come. Already on Facebook and Twitter, everyone who ever met the man is speaking of his messianic touch or way with people. Those who didn't have a perfect day are all now WebMD classifying themselves as clinically depressed. Facebook friends are telling of woes, through stories of missed planes, asshole coworkers and that boyfriend who never listens and somehow convincing themselves this is depression. We all know this is what dime store psychologists refer to as attention whoring.

I'm not here to bash Robin Williams. I once wrote a blog about his career and it was less than pretty. In fact, I called him the worst actor ever. I still stand by that. To mention it now seems cruel, but I want those who take the time to read this to understand just where I am coming from. I disliked him immensely as an actor and …

#100DaysOfHopper Day 76-77

Day 76: Wow, Facebook has gone completely batty. Friends with the "perfect" life are complaining because the Facebook community isn't their for them, guys with biceps the size of my little forearms are talking smack about working out, people for Israel getting their news from the IDF, those against not getting news at all.

People writing always & forever about gf/bf they met after Christmas. People complaining incessantly on here, then deleting it. People boasting about taking care of their kids...cue Chris Rock. People complaining about travel....leaving for vacation.

And then this morning I see some asshole posting a picture of his shlong with a message for the police. Hope this moron gets his. Impressive unit though, so he's got that going for him.

So why does anyone with an IQ over 140 (see what I did there) stay on this awful site? To see a friend I haven't seen in almost 20 years smile wider than I could ever imagine. To see truly beautif…

#100Days of Hopper Day 75 Part 2 - A Dicey Topic

Day 75 Part 2: Wow! Just read a post from an old friend about the Israel-Gaza situation (and no, I didn't "like" it) and how it is tearing friendships apart. It is heartbreaking to think about what is happening over there and how those, so far away, are affected by it. I have been almost silent on this topic, because my feelings are less than popular, but in this instance, I do value the feelings and emotions held my many of my friends.

What does bother me when reading many of the posts is this complete lack of knowledge of the situation and it's possible outcome. This will not end with any resolution. This particular battle might take a brief respite, but the reality is that this will not end until one side is completely demolished and the "collateral" damage promises to be immense. We Americans have only 9/11 to compare, but can you imagine, regardless of your chosen side or your political stance on anything, imagine dealing with 9/11 every single day for…

#100DaysOfHopper Day 74-75

Day 74: No griping today. I hope everyone enjoys their weekend and if possible, makes it better for someone who might need a little cheering up. Based on this week's Facebook posts, there are about 40-50 people who need to be talked off the bridge (I don't use that analogy lightly), so I hope they get the help or the night out they need. I have reached out to many of these people in the past and it's usually met with contempt or it's simply ignored, so I assume it's nothing more than a public scream for attention. That being said, some of you know these people well better than I do, so reach out if you have the chance.

I know some of you only really know me based on my posts and I hope you at least try to understand where I am coming from. While I'm happy for those who have found some inner peace and understanding of life, that isn't what life is about. It's about making it better for others. What is the reward in always feeling good abou…