25 Things

Okay…this little gem has been circulating like wildfire on Facebook and I’ve been tagged at least 3 or 4 times.  So, since I’m at home due to the snow and ice and we’re hosting storm refugees in our electrified and heated abode, I thought I’d take a minute or two to hammer this out.

Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

So, sit back, enjoy and laugh when you have to:

  1. I started running 4 years ago to keep my blood pressure down.  I’ve finished 3 half marathons, multiple other races, and my goal is to complete a full marathon by the time I’m 40.
  2. I believe that I would qualify as an expert witness in the categories of baseball and Star Wars.  Everything else I would just make up.
  3. I’ve been to twelve of the 30 major league ballparks, having either toured or watched a game at each.
  4. I chew my fingernails constantly, even when I’m on vacation.
  5. I have sent text messages and surfed the web on my phone during boring parts of church.
  6. I will eat anything, but the following items have made the list of things I don’t like at all: liver, pickled beets, lima beans, ketchup, and quail eggs.
  7. I’m a Wii Pro in bowling, tennis, and golf.
  8. I love crossword puzzles and my wife and I can spend an evening doing the NYTimes crossword over dinner.
  9. Only once have I ever had a Scrabble bingo.  The word was cowpies.
  10. I can remember all of the words that have ever knocked me out of a spelling bee…but there are times when I can’t remember a friend’s phone number.
  11. I will choose a rocking chair over any other type of chair.
  12. I would love to visit all seven continents.  Currently, I have three (NA, EUR, AFR) under my belt.
  13. John Steinbeck is my favorite writer and I would take his books to my desert island to the exclusion of all other books.
  14. I absolutely cannot stand cold, but I love the heat.  The hotter, the better.
  15. My wife and I are completely compatible and I can’t imagine being without her.  She is positively the most wonderful woman in the world.
  16. I’ve shaken hands with Citizen Cope, Rufus Wainwright, and Keb’ Mo’ and I once shared an elevator with Nellie McKay.
  17. I think that a t-shirt and jeans should be standard dress for pretty much every occupation, but every once in a while I think we should bring back boaters and spats.
  18. My first kiss was in front of cabin 5 at summer camp…later that night, all the guys in my cabin got loaded on Jolt and pizza.
  19. I know how to keep official score at a baseball game, but I still don’t quite understand earned run average.
  20. I can sing very well, and, much like Ferris Bueller, I’ve never had a lesson.
  21. I grew up Catholic, switched to United Church of Christ in the 9th grade, and I’m now Episcopalian.
  22. If I won the lottery, I’d give most of it away.
  23. We have three cats: Oliver, Red, and Peach.
  24. I can be heard as part of the background chorus on William Shatner’s Common People, but my name is not listed in the liner notes because I didn’t feel like going out to the lobby to sign my name.
  25. I’ve only worked for two companies my entire working career and I’ve owned my own home for the last 10 years.

This is a lot more difficult than it looks…and some of these are downright boring.  As well, based on my stats, it seems as though I get more views when I don’t write.  I suppose that my blog is a bit like homemade chili…always better on the second or third day after the flavors have had a chance to mingle.

See you in the funny papers!

Open letter to critics of the new administration

Dear people,

Far be it from me to engender any more unnecessary and comical delusions that the Obama administration will bring about the fall of the United States.  Certainly you’ve held a loose rein on that particular strain of vitriol in recent days.  It has become such an imbecilic pose that we’ve already stopped listening to you.  If you have valuable insight into why we, as citizens of this country, should cower in fear of an administration that has been on the job less than one week, please feel free to share.  However, if you’re going to continue to trot out implacable positions that denigrate and instill doubt, please keep them to yourselves.  The continued double standard which is so blatantly obvious in your tone, posture, and desires for your own ego will no longer be tolerated by me or anyone else with half an ounce of sense.  We’re tired of the same old claptrap and we will no longer be subjected to it, via the media or via our own friends.  You’ve had your chance over the last eight years and not only did you start wars that can never possibly have a winner, you’ve destroyed a robust economy, made enemies of our allies, and have crafted policies that obliterate the fabric of our rights as human beings.  

Basically what I’m saying is this…give it four years.  Hell, give it more than a week and see if it’s not a better world to live in; a better world for your children and grandchildren.  If it’s not, I’ll be the first to offer help packing up and moving out of the White House.  But, if there is an inkling of hope…and I believe there is…then please, let it blossom into a fire of change for good on this little marble we call home.


The Conspiracy of Happiness.


Here’s what I know:

  • President Obama (doesn’t it feel good to say that) has every right to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.  It is basically a government-sponsored torture center in a country where we don’t even recognize their government.  The rest of the world views Guantanamo as an offense against human rights and the America that I live in should know better.
  • Natalie Dylan,” or whatever her real name is, has every right to auction off her virginity.  I don’t think it’s a proper thing to do, and I would imagine that she might regret it later…but everyone gets 15 minutes, right?  And if you can get in excess of $3.8 million for your 15 minutes, then who’s to say you shouldn’t.  
  • It is time that the Red Sox sign Jason Varitek.  He’s not the catcher of the future, but he is the catcher for now.  He needs to be at Spring Training in 3 weeks and the Sox need to figure out a way to get him there.  
  • If I were employed in Timothy Geithner’s position, I think I would’ve certainly known when and how to pay my taxes.  I’d love to go years without paying them and then when somebody found out about it, just apologize and say “Hey, look, I didn’t understand, things happen.”  I’m kind of tired of people being able to edge around the law when it suits their purpose, especially if they feel they’ve reached some sort of higher plateau than the rest of us.  This includes celebrities.
  • Of all the nominations for various Academy Awards, I have seen a total of 2 of the films on the list: WALL-E and The Dark Knight.  I think this is a byproduct of a couple of things…first of all, the economy (and my wallet) is such that seeing movies at the theatre is a little too rich for my blood.  Secondly, Netflix delivers thousands of movies to my home and I never have to leave the comfort of my chair Aside:mmm, my chair, it’s such a good chair. So, I couldn’t tell you who should win, because I don’t even know the players.
  • Finally, last night, my daughter kicked me.  She kicked me right in the palm of my hand.  This, naturally, sent me into a fit of laughter because it was the strangest, most surreal event.  Just a little poke right across the crease in my hand…and the whole world seemed different.  I’m going to try to keep most baby stuff off this blog, because that’s not why you’re here, but occasionally I’ll have a daddy story and you’ll just have to suffer through.

See you in the funny papers!

Oh Happy Day!

I cannot begin to express how happy I am today.  

This is, to me, a new day in American politics; a new beginning for our nation.  I truly believe that President Obama is the face of the future for a bright new world.  And, not just because he’s an energetic, charismatic leader, but because he has energized a new generation of Americans to be a part of the change this country desperately needs.  This is evidenced by the people who are currently swamping the transit and public spaces of Washington D.C. just for a chance to be a part of the atmosphere.

Certainly, there will be moments where he makes decisions that will not be popular with everyone, but they will almost assuredly be well-informed, evenly considered decisions that benefit the country as a whole.  We must be patient with our new leader and have faith and belief that he is making the best decisions for us, but we also need to be proactive in our diligence to make sure that we maintain our voice in the direction of the country.  

Be assured that this is a new day in America and I’m very sorry for you if you feel that this is not the right direction for our country.  The last 8 years have been unfortunate for our country and I think you’ll find that not only Americans but citizens around the world will be better off with this change in leadership.  Join with us and rejoice in this great event in our history.

See you in the funny papers!

Am I the Road Runner…or the Coyote?

To answer the question, I’m probably the Coyote…always hungry, much slower than the road runner, and always looking for the easy way out even if it’s more complicated.  But that’s not the point of this post.  All of this is simply to give you a running update…which I haven’t done since before Thanksgiving.  Ooops, sorry about that!  I can’t believe that it has been that long.


So, as you may be able to see from the picture Aside: and if you can’t, click on it to make it larger I’m mere miles from St. Louis.   Technically, I’m in Washington Park, Illinois which is a village in East St. Louis.  Wikipedia’s sole entry for it as a place was that it had a lot of strip clubs.  Wooo classy!  Anyway, at 257.5 miles, I’m almost halfway to my goal.  I think by the end of next week, if all goes well, I should be very close to halfway.  The new goal, if I haven’t mentioned it before, is to arrive on or around what would’ve been Melisa’s birthday, June 3.  

Also, I’m signed up for the Triple Crown of Running races in Louisville as well as the KDF mini-Marathon, so I should have no trouble getting mileage in…provided I don’t break something again.  But, the ankle feels good and the running program is actually ahead of schedule.  

Check out the movies and events page for updated works.

See you in the funny papers!


That’s the sound of an imploding ping-pong ball.  At least, that’s the sound I believe an imploding ping-pong ball makes.  I’m not even sure why I ever wondered that, but since at least the early 90s, that has been the sound.  Recently, we inherited a ping-pong table and that is what brought this to mind.

The ping-pong table resides in the basement with my record collection, and my second favorite chair, and my Star Wars collection.  Hmm…seems like a lot of my stuff has ended up in the basement.  Oh well, c’est la vie.  Truth is, I don’t really mind all that much.  C. doesn’t like to be in the basement, and while it’s not really what you might consider a “man-cave”, it is a nice place to go and get away from it all for awhile.  It even has a beer fridge.  

So, the other day I was down in the basement listening to records and playing some ping-pong.  I have it set up for one person to play at the moment because the epic ping-pong battle between the Neighbor and myself has not yet become a reality.  I put on Georges Bizet’s “Carmen”, a lovely little opera with quite a few hummable tunes and it was then that I remembered the connection between this particular opera, ping-pong, and the sound that an imploded ping-pong ball makes.

Back in the day, when I first started college, I used to hang out at the Interfaith Center with several good friends, not the least of whom were my best friend J. and the leader of my particular faith branch office, Bryan.   There used to be quite a few games of ping-pong played and, while I was decent, I was easily distracted.  J. used to distract me with the mere mention of Natasha’s sweater.  Natasha was a student from Russia who filled out a sweater like no other woman.  I’m not ordinarily a breast man, but (and please pardon the overt chauvinism) the term “sweater-puppies” was not the least bit uncalled for.  It didn’t hurt that she filled out the rest of her clothes either…but I digress.   Bryan used to distract me with Bizet’s “Carmen” which may seem a bit odd, but allow me to explain.  When we got into a rhythm, the bouncing of the ball sounded like the cello line of the aria “Habanera” and when Bryan pointed this out, I would be distracted listening for the rhythm, and I would inevitably lose.  Bryan and I were also the ones who came up with the sound of the imploding ping-pong ball in a completely unrelated event.

Back to the basement, I found that while listening to “Carmen”, I was still unable to concentrate during the “Habanera” and would consistently lose to the table and have to chase the ball around the basement.  Those were good times.  And to that end, I’ve found the following video which, while not having anything to do with ping-pong, will certainly be enjoyable to anyone who enjoys “Carmen.”  And, I suppose if you do play ping-pong, this particular video will make you unable to concentrate on that or anything else…enjoy!

See you in the funny papers!

A New Year

I was hoping to post something last night and I’d really hoped to put together something interesting for this first day of the new year.  Alas, neither plan really worked out for me, so…instead, you get this interesting video which I found today.

See you in the funny papers!