Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Call it Rebirth

After several months of transition, I've found myself in a brand new position in life. Again. Not only am I in a new city, I find myself single again. Unattached. Solo.

So, here's to new growth and new possibilities. A Rebirth.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Six Months

IS a very long time to not write for one's blog and still not consider it a 'dead blog'. It is very much alive. Much like a tulip bulb, which only shows a short time above ground, the life that continually flows underneath the surface.

Much is happening and has happened since I left off with a misleading post about blog resurrection. The consideration I had wanted to give this blog was halted by the actions of another. Legal actions. It is for that reason that I cannot and will not air any clear picture of what is happening otherwise in my life. Only after some resolution to that matter do I dare give glimpse into my world.

There's not much more I can say, except that I'm doing very well, I miss my children dreadfully, and have learned that lies spoken to intend harm to one often hurt many more.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Time for Blog Resurrection

Change has happened, and it has been a wonderful experience so far. Due to reasons concerning my current employment at the time, I did not fully disclose all the information pertaining to the new journey upon which I was about to embark. What transpired after the interview I mentioned in the previous post was like a dream coming true.

Fast forward to now... I've been in Cleveland a full week! Considering the amount of fuss involved in a transition of this sort, I haven't had the will nor the time to keep bloggers posted. My obvious lack of blog-time did not go unnoticed, as pointed-out a couple of weeks ago by blogger-pal and Facebook friend, William.

And so it begins again. Now, more than ever, I will be utilizing Blogger to keep family, friends and onlookers up to date on my whereabouts and activities. Below are videos I took during my interview visit, and soon to follow are photos from my weekend activities last weekend. As I complete this post, I will be out the door with the Canon, and off to explore NE Ohio, Lake Erie and beyond...

Cheers!



Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Change




I've been waiting for change. Today, change came and there is plenty more on the way. Not only did I visit with a legal professional about personal matters, but also the job interview that has been in question for over a week is now going to be a reality. I leave next Tuesday afternoon for a two-day working interview in Cleveland. Thursday I return home with hopes of having a job offer!

Cleveland? Yes, Cleveland.

Friday, July 03, 2009

My favorite ending to any television series has to be for Six Feet Under. That show cut through new emotional grounds for many, including me. Life... it is inexplicably challenging. How we live it is more often by choice and less by circumstance. One moment we will all face, no matter how underachieved nor accomplished our lives, is death. Embrace that fact first, and only then will you begin to live.






As I've been living this life of mine, I know that I have been guilty of living it according to the will and hopes of others more than what made sense for my own sake. Having grown in many ways these recent years has enabled me to more finely hewn my own self-perspectives. My need for approval is more centered within now, and is much less an external force. It is rather handy a trait to have now, as I will likely be making decisions as to the direction of my and Joe's life that will not garner a heap of support. There's been a job opportunity fall into my lap, and it would require a major relocation. There is always the chance that I will refuse the offer. Should it be the right thing for me, my only answer can be "yes". I know I will have full support of the most important person in my life, but to the rest of my family the result will be shortly lived in pandemonium. However long, I've no idea.

Then, there's the friends.... Some are supportive, some are indifferent, some fail to see the point completely. At this point in my life, I don't really give a flying flip about any of the negative responses. I've got too many other things to occupy my time.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

It's Hard to Believe

I haven't posted since April 27. I believe I have reached the age where time is beginning to get away from me. But, I should tell that life here at The 602 has been humming right along w/o stopping. I will go into the major points in another post, as it is now a dreadful 11:48 pm on a Wednesday evening, and I just haven't the energy nor the will.

Let's just say that some is good... some is not so good... and some is too boring to even consider posting.

Until then..... Shalom.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I Don't Know Why



I can't explain why I am so emotional lately. The smallest of things either get under my skin or they touch me so deeply I easily come to tears. I heard this OMD song on the radio just a while ago, and for one short moment, I was carried away. It had been ages since I've heard it, even still, the connection was instantaneous. Struck a chord with me, I guess you could say.

I suppose one reason I've been so touchy is because I'm about to turn 40. But, it's not really that simple... but rather everything that comes along with changing that first number...

Am I where I should be in life at this point?

Am I really doing what I want to do with my life?

Am I ever going to get that surprise Corvette for my birthday?

I just told Joe the other day that my life is as good as it has ever been, and it's true. I've lived through some awful messes and would rather stick pencils in my eyes than to have to relive them... but for some reason, right now, nothing seems good enough.

Is this normal? Is it okay to feel this way?

Friday, March 06, 2009

Just Keep Swimming....

It’s a motto I have taken to heart. Yes, a silly line from a movie many of us have grown to love, but it has become so much more to me. Dory, the forgetfull one, knew that no matter what you are up against, you just have to keep on swimming….

Lately, I’ve felt a bit like Dory, i.e., lacking real direction in my fitness goals and plans for the future. As you can see from my previous posts, I whole-heartedly dove into working P90X as a way to whip myself back into shape. Unfortunately, I over-exherted myself and was in no way prepared to tackle such a large goal. I became sick from not having sufficient fitness that is necessary to perform those exercises, and ultimately, lost my will to complete the program.

Through some deep inner desire, I have once again begun the process of reaching for my fitness goals. However, this time I am being more realistic in what I can achieve. Once I am able to afford the effort involved, I will take P90X on again, but not until then. When will that be able to take place? I have no idea… and therein lies the wisdom I have gained: Only take upon yourself, that which you can sufficiently perform. Neglecting this simple principle will leave you sick, injured, and even worse, lost of your fitness inspirations.

What I am doing is quite simple, and I am going to continue keeping it simple b/c I wish for it to become a habit I keep for life. One hour each day, I only walk. The other 23 hours of my day are spent watching what I eat and getting the rest my body needs. Doing this simple regiment will enable me to take on more activity as my body slims and tones. Several years of inactivity cannot be reversed in 90 days. It is unrealistic.

When I have lost the weight I deem necessary, I will see where I stand physically then make the necessary steps to increase my activity level. One day, I will own a P90X body. It is a promise I have made to myself, and I will not stop my progress towards that.

A Lazy Friday

I'm at work alone today. My only co-worker is off, and I am here by my lonesome. It's quiet, 'cept for the XM radio in the back room. I have case-work to do for a dentist in Arkadelphia, but I have no will to get 'on it' today.

I've become slower to blog lately, too. I guess I should just give a few updates about what is going on in my life and around The 602:

*Charles moved in with us a couple of months ago... a result of his breakup with his bi-polar girlfriend. He ended up having to bring along his 500 year old beagle... "Betty".

*Betty smells like a beagle.

*Betty bit my foot yesterday.

*The 602 now has 6 residents: 3 men, 2 Scotties, and 1 Betty.

*I've been walking diligently since giving up on P90X... I will start that program again, but only after I've lost more weight. All the jumping around killed my knees, hips and ankles. Lately, I've been walking The Promenade behind Bathhouse Row every day after work, making the mile-long circle 3 times.

*One of my Great-Aunts keeled over last night. She's one of the last I still have. I bet my Mom and all her sisters will go to her funeral. She lived in Palm Springs.

*I would love to go to Palm Springs... but I don't want it to be for a funeral.

*Joe is looking for another job, while I have decided to keep the one I've got.

*Joe and I have finally worked out a financial plan for the next few years, which puts my mind more at ease than it has been in a very, very long time. (We are working to be totally debt-free in the next couple of years!)

*My convertible Cadillac Eldorado, Esmerelda, will soon be getting a complete makeover and rebuild. ...look out, streets of Hot Springs!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Another Friday Flashback



Peter Schilling's Major Tom

Friday, February 13, 2009

Flashback Friday

A Flock of Hairdoos... I mean, Seagulls.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Job Hunting Season is Now Open





















The dental field has lost it's magic with me. I'm sick of self-centered dentists and their selfish, backstabbing staff members. There is only one solution:

Look for another job.

Yes, that time has come. After being involved in this field for a number of years (I was first introduced into it in 1990), I am ready to move on... do something different.

I've already begun a few online job applications, in hopes of catching a real sweet new job. I realize, too, that times are tough out there for many, so competition may be stiff. Regardless, all I can do is put my best face on and show it to as many potential employers as I can. Surely, something will come along....

Friday, January 23, 2009

Describes Me in Many Ways

I have good days. I have bad days. I can't let it stop me.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Goodnight, Mr. Rourke







I have spent the last hour, or so, sitting in front of the tube, watching a biography on Ricardo Montalban. (I'm at home, sick....) And at the close of that episode, the image of him appears and soon to follow are the years of birth... and death! I didn't know, but he died Jan. 16, 2009 at the age of 88.





I LOVED Ricardo. Even as a child, I thought he was one of the most distinguished actors of our time. With that dark hair, sometimes even combed into a wave-do, which was popular for men in the 1960's and before, that rich voice of his (the accent... eh, not so much), and that body he kept toned all throughout his adult life, I thought he was ultra-male. Especially taking into consideration how handsome the guy was up into his sixties in his Fantasy Island days.


I remember a movie in particular, of which the name escapes me - thank you, Robitussin, that shows a dame in Ricardo's arms, and the frame is filled with him and the back of the lady's head. Before he locks his lips on her, the observers can't help but notice the man had a chest-full of hair, as it brimmed out and over his shirt. His arms were just as... if not more hairy. I tried to look for (steal) a representative photo on the net, but all I've been able to find are shots of him in full-sleeves..... or SHAVED!!! I suppose some of those Hollywood big-shots said, "Ricky... keep that beastly hair under control". (They were obviously straight, as most of the gay producers would've included such in as many shots as possible.)

Here's another great shot of Ricardo (shaven, mind you):














So today, my heart is kind of heavy. One of the very men that helped me to shape my formative concepts of manhood is gone. And I'm sure he's left a huge empty spot in the hearts of many others.

Good Night, Mr. Rourke. I hope you are resting easily now.

I almost forgot... I wanted to leave a link to a great website. Brian'sDrive-InTheatre is a treat for any movie buff. I've parroused the site for a few years, and thought I'd share it for anyone who's never been there before. There's loads of info on actors and actresses that many of us have long forgotten. Take a look!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Where Can I Find?


Yes, I know it's an English staple, but I'd love to know if anyone knows where I could find HP. It's very similar to A1, but with a tarter bite, and not as thick. It's wonderful on eggs, and with getting ready for my new fitness minded lifestyle, I will be eating plenty of egg-white omlettes. Please give a shout-out if you know!

I've Made a New Committment

Ever heard of P90X? It's a series of fitness dvd's sold on late night informercial-vision. A new friend and I are going to be whipping ourselves into shape each day at my new gym, 3rdDegreeFitness. It claims to be able to transform your body in 90 days... although I think I may need to do it twice... I've never been so out of shape in my life, and I am ready for the changes to come!!!!

My new workout buddy is a trainer at this gym, and I have been following his fitness and weight loss battles on youtube for some time. At first, I didn't realize that he lived in Hot Springs, but it is such a small world sometimes, isn't it?? Anyhow, I've been doing my own battle with the bulge, as many of you who know me already know. My biggest mistake this year though, was taking on too many other obligations, and the gym somehow slid into bottom priority. By slacking off my gym time, I was able to re-gain nearly 20 lbs. that I had lost... and I did it in only the length of 16 weeks, or i.e., one Fall Semester. I'm not dissapointed, I just now realize that the committment I make to fitness and overall health must be a daily consideration, just like eating or sleeping, or I will die a very premature death. I don't want to die young. I refuse.

Luck would have it that my new friend and I would finally meet face to face yesterday, and upon discovering that we're to turn 40 years old within a month of each other, we have made a pact to celebrate our 40th Birthdays in the best shape of our lives. I am so, so, SO very excited about this! You know how when something is so exciting to you that you cannot sleep? THAT is how excited I was about this. (Which today, makes Alan a sloppy, dragging, tired fool.)

I am making certain preparations for the journey today, even though I feel like crap-o-la. I am getting the kitchen and pantry ready for a make-over as well. I know I will need to free up space in the pantry and fridge and freezer, for the new bounty of healthy foods I will now be keeping on hand. I am also rearranging the cupboards as best I can, and any other way possible to help me help myself in the kitchen.

And as tired as I still am from a severe deprivation of sleep.... I am still SO very excited. Tomorrow will be the day it begins.

Number 3



John Costelloe, also known as Johnny Cakes... the closeted gay love interest of Vito on The Soprano's, also has died.

Actually, Christmas Day brought us three deaths with one big wham. Besides Costelloe and Eartha Kitt, Nobel-winning and otherwise famous playwright Harold Pinter, all died on the same day.

In threes, ya know.....



Johnny Cakes and Vito share
a special moment.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Classic Eartha



You can even hear a Cat Purrrrrr!

RIP, Eartha Kitt





















Eartha_Kitt, made famous for her role as Catwoman on the 1960's television series, Batman, as well as for her vixen-voiced rendition of "Santa_Baby", has died. Ms. Kitt comes in as my #2, in reference to my earlier post this month, "It_Happens_In_Threes,_You_Know...?

Isn't this ironic? Santa Baby is one of my favorite Christmas songs, and today, December 25th, was THE DAY Ms. Kitt would take her last breath. She recorded the song in 1953.

Coming a long way from her South Carolina roots - the daughter of a poor cotton farming family, her father was white - she proclaimed herself as a sex-kitten, Orson Wells called her "the most exciting woman in the world", and through her 6 decade career, earned herself three Emmy nominations... two of which she won, and also numerous Grammy and Tony nominations. Stage and screen icons like Eartha are a disappearing type of hybrid performer. Even entering her 80's, she had a large fan base that was less than half her age. I happen to be one of them! As of the past few years, Eartha had taken part in several children's animated series, doing voice characterizations. I will follow this post with a video or two (hopefully there's a clip on youtube).

Good Night, sweet and sexy Eartha. You were loved by many.

Donate

My friends at Wikipedia are a fascinating bunch. I just took the time to make a donation to show my appreciation for their hard work.

Where else in the world wide web can one search for information without the pesky ads and pop-ups? I can spend hours (and have) looking at anything and/or nothing specific, just to expand my knowledge. Of course, I was one child that read the dictionary and encyclopedia... for fun. Does that label me as a nerd?

Here's a link to donate. Do it!!!


Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Monday, December 15, 2008

Open House Photos

Christmas Open House

I was able to take photos at the very beginning and at the very end. Sorry for the gap, but we had such a good time, that toting a camera was not on my mind. The photos in the kitchen were at the end of the evening, and things were getting messy:) My friend Sharon is actually wearing a shirt of mine, b/c she was 'burning up' in her Christmas sweater.

All be told, I think we had around 50 people show up.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Sprint through Christmas

Joe and I both took today off from work to prepare for our Christmas festivities. For those of you who have been in our home, you well know the amount of 'stuff', and the difficulties the 'stuff' have presented in allowing for a living flow throughout the house. Should any of you be able to visit within the next few weeks, you will notice the drastic changes we have made!

  • The front parlor has been totally cleaned, including each and every individual piece of antiquity, and the black baby grand has been tuned.
  • The library has been cleared and rearranged... and cleaned.
  • The dining room has been cleared of all the Brown_County_Art, cleaned, and selectively had its antiquities rearranged.
  • The back parlor has had all of its bookcases cleared of chachkies and replaced with, well... books... and cleaned.
  • The kitchen... cleared and cleaned.
  • The laundry room/powder room has had a nice treatment of Kenneth_Reeve hanging art added to its walls... and cleaned.

And I hope that if you are not able to drop-in on The 602 this Christmas season, that all of the work that has gone into it recently will remain as is. (I can only hope.)

The reasons for all the 'to-do' are two fold... On Saturday, we will be having our first ever Open House. It is for our friends and neighbors, Ron and Leigh Linton, who will be having a jewelry show. They are fine artisans in precious metals and stones, and we have thought of hosting a show for them for quite some time. It is also a way for us to be motivated to get our house 'guest-ready'.

Then on the following weekend, my family will be gathering here to celebrate our Christmas. It will be the first time I have hosted my family Christmas in several years. The last time, Rachel and I were still married, and Luke had just been born less than a month prior. Needless to say, my circumstances have changed drastically since then, and I am very excited to be able to welcome my own flesh and blood into a home full of warmth and love.

I've got a lot more to do, so I'd better get crackin'!!!! I'll post pictures as I can.

Finished

By taking the Comprehensive Final in Accounting last evening, I am done with school for one whole month. I am proud of myself enough to post my grade chart! I hope it's large enough to see... The Green columns are my grades, the Blue represent the class average.


Click to embiggen:











Prior to my exam, I did the necessary calculations to know how well I would need to perform in order to maintain my A grade, and it turned out that by working so hard throughout the semester, I needed only make a 63% on my final. Had I totally bombed or skipped-out, my class grade would have suffered a drop to an 85%... or mid-B. So, I was in no way stressed about my test performance. After handing in my exam last night, my instructor graciously graded it, and I discovered I exceeded my expectations. 98%! When I arrived at home, I called my parents to congratulate them, in that their son is - for the first time ever - a straight A college student.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Goodness!

I had not realized it has been over one month since my last post. Blame it on schoolwork. My last final will be Thursday (tomorrow). And after doing the necessary calculations with my grade, I've established that if I totally bomb that comprehensive final, I will still squeak-by with a strong "B"...! That was very comforting to discover, I might add. And in order to maintain my "A" average in Accounting, I need only score a 63%.

I have completed all my course work for Business Law this week, too. Our instructor, who just happens to be one of our esteemed Circuit_Judges, dismissed us after Monday evening's session, and not without letting us peek at our course grade. When he began class that evening, he immediately scaled-out the entire body of scores in bell curve fasion on the blackboard, from highest to lowest, and then drew dividing lines, so as to separate the scores into groups. Of course, this was to show the different grading divisions. Five students recieved A's, around 12 B's, then fewer C's, etc... I knew that I did not have the highest score in the class. I was really just hoping for the #4 or #5 spot! But to my surprise, I clearly saw that I was #3!!!!

Thanks Judge!

It Happens In Threes, You Know...?



Everyone knows the face. Having appeared in around 40 films, 200 plays and many television shows, Robert Prosky had a face you would not easily forget. Knowing and remembering his name was not so easy.












His son, Stephen Prosky, was quoted in today's Associated Press, "Everybody knows him as a fairly famous actor. My brothers and I know him as a marvelous father."


It always seems that it is at this time of year that deaths of famous persons somehow are quick to gel in our memories. Here it is, just two weeks from Christmas, and we have our first for 2008. Who might we mourn next? It never seems predictable, but I am sure to count on at least two more noteworthy deaths before the stroke of Midnight, 12/31/2008. Any predictions out there?

And a good-night to you Mr. Prosky. You now join an ever growing list of those who have become immortal by means of cellulose. Now, whenever I watch Mrs. Doubtfire, or reruns of Hill Street Blues... I will know your name.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Green Tomato Pickles


With a cool snap in our air, tis likely that any tomatos still on the vine will not fully ripen this year. About a month ago, I decided to pickle a few, and today I tasted the results of my experiment.
The result? FAAAAbulous!
In a Summer edition of Martha Stewart Living magazine, a mo' simpler version of this techinque was revealed. I took the same advise, but embellished and the results are quite delicious. Joe and I are big pickle fans, so I simply saved the leftover jars (w/ the brine). Once I had gathered, washed and cut the tomatoes, I removed the empty jars from the fridge, and rather than the simple technique that Martha suggested (simply add the tomatoes to the brine and put back in the fridge), made the pickling a bit more permanent....
The pickle brine was poured into a small sauce pan and was gently heated to a simmer. While the brine heated, I removed the jar labeling and diligently washed them in very hot water. The lids were placed in another saucepan of water and brought to a simmer, as well. Before packing the tomatoes into the jars, I added a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic. Once the tomatoes were packed into place, the simmering brine was poured back into the packed jars of tomatoes, and the lids removed from the simmering water with a pair of tongs, and tightened into place. Within seconds, the lids had sealed, forming a vacuum and thereby preserving the green tomatoes indefinitely.
One month has passed since this experiment, allowing the flavors to infuse, and the results are quite amazing. Very crunchy... not in the least bitter, either. I even added a few tomatoes that were a bit pink, for color, and though they are indeed softer than their green siblings, they are by no means mushy, as I had feared. Now my plan will be to gather ALL of the green tomatoes still left on the vine, and concoct as close a version to Claussen pickle brine as I can. I'll also need a few more jars, lids and rings. And with a little luck, I'll be known the world over for my green tomato pickles......

Saturday, November 01, 2008

the other blog

I wanted to give notice of another blog I started. No prose, just pictures of art. We've been in the process of cataloging much of the art that we eventually plan to sell. (Originally, we had hoped to have sold it before the downturn in the market.)

All of the pieces are from the Brown County Art Colony, Brown County, Indiana. Most pieces are also from the earlier years of the colony, from the 1910's to the middle twentieth century. Joe and Kris were avid collectors, and we would have better use of the capital it could possibly generate than to have it all gracing our walls.

Click on my Blogger profile, and you will see it listed as another blog I own. Enjoy! (and if you are interested in any of the pieces, use my gmail address and let me know.

To make viewing even easier, here's the link: http://browncountyartcolony.blogspot.com/

Halloween was a Hoot, now back to bidness...

To have the priveledge of living in a house like The 602, I am more than happy to embellish the facade for Halloween. I spent a good three hours decorating the front porch and yard on Friday afternoon, and the crowd never seemed to cease. Probably around 300 children graced our front steps, and the nearly $90 worth of candy I purchased was whittled down to just a few handfuls that are now tempting me each time I walk past the bowl. We had Bethanie and Charles help us hand out treats (and douse the children with the hidden fog machine at the top of the steps), and then later on, Steve and Lynne brought their kids, their kids' friends, and one of the kids' friend's Mother... at about the time we wrapped up our treating. One thing about it being on a Friday night this year, I was uncharacteristically partaking of the spirits. I paid for it this morning, too. I'm a lightweight, so when one considers the two beers (actually, Irish Red ale), and the entire bottle of vino that I consumed, I was toast by the end of the eve.

Today, I have spent the majority of the day in the attic. Not your typical attic, I should add. The 602 boasts an attic the size of the average American home. Some 2000 square feet, with ceilings that reach around 14 feet (give or take), at it's highest point. My plan is to have the attic become a landing spot for much of the boxed goods that are scattered about the house. Some things will land there permanently, such as luggage and wrapping paper, and empty boxes, and Holiday themed stuff... but some things just need to have a place to land for a little while.

Since we repainted all of the upstairs last summer, things have never gotten to a state of normalcy, simply because of the sheer volume of 'stuff'. If I can get most everything up there that is now in our way, I plan to have the main house completely staged for normal living by Christmas*. Perhaps my library will not be painted by then, but to have The 602 livable in each room will do my psyche a heaping bit of good.

Last week was mid-term grade reports, and I am very pleased to say that in Accounting, I have a very solid "A", and in Business Law, I have a "B". Since getting back into the swing of school while working full time, I cannot imagine the folks who take a full load and still work. I realize that my two classes may be more time consuming than they are difficult, but these 6 credit hours are whipping my be-hind! Of course, my job is somewhat demanding of my time too... so I suppose it's a combination of both that are doing their number on me.

I guess that's it..... Check out the picture of the chandelier I installed in the front hall last weekend! Very blingy.























I installed a dimmer switch on it just before trick or treaters arrived last night, so that made the mood of The 602 even more dark and mysterious!!!