Just When You Think It’s Over…..

My friend Shweta over at Spazztastically Untitled challenged me with yet another interview and I was more than happy to oblige.

1. Which celeb would you be with under these conditions. You can choose from Salyma Hayek’s Balloon boobs popped down to a size double AA, or from Alyson Hannigan shaved all her beautiful red locks off.

19115239Without a doubt, I would choose Alyson Hannigan. From what I have seen of her in interviews and such, she just seems very genuine and sweet and the lack of hair would not diminish those attributes. Salma Hayek on the other hand, my general impression of her as someone who is very wrapped up in her own ego. She seems to have a decent sense of humor (hell, she was in a Kevin Smith movie) but I get the impression that’s a front for her image. She strikes me as someone who may be very cold and rather snobbish. Ms Hannigan just seems so charming, the kind of person who can walk into a room and win everyone over with her smile alone. Ok, that’s a bit sappy, but her smile wins me over every time…. alyson_hannigan-17

2. We have all experienced being hit on in a strange way, what’s the strangest way you’ve been hit on, or craziest thing you’ve done to get noticed by someone?

say-anything-003I’m not good at noticing when I’m actually being hit on. I’m kinda clueless when someone is giving me a hint that they like me. You basically have to either hit me over the head with something or hop in my lap half naked before it dawns on me “Hmmm, I think she likes me….”

The strangest thing I ever did to get someone to notice me? I can honestly say I’ve never done anything too strange. When I was in college, I would dedicate songs to someone on my show, hoping they were listening…but that was more embarrassing than strange. I’ll have to work on that and start plotting out strange and unusual ways to get someones attention. I’ll get back to you.

3. What were the cirucumstances surrounding the time you had a gun to your head?

gunHmmmm…not sure how to approach this. When I was just out of high school, I made a lot of decisions that involved people that, in retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have been involved with. Drug dealers, gang members, etc. People that I somehow became involved with and just as quickly as they entered my life and things in my life went a little crazy.

A ‘friend’ offered me some money and some free weed if I went and delivered something for him. Stupidly I accepted. I was met at the door by a pleasant gentleman, who invited me in. As I entered, I was knocked face first into the floor. Laying there, someone behind the door put his knee in my back and held a gun to the side of my face. The pleasant gentleman began to inspect the package I brought with me and instructed the man with the knee in my back to blow my nuts off if everything wasn’t there. I now had a gun stuck in my crotch. Everything seemed to be in order with the package, I was helped to my feet. Another bag was tossed to me and I was shoved out the door. Only when I was on the road again did I notice I had pissed my pants.

My ‘friend’ apologized to me, saying he didn’t know that was going to happen. I threw his ‘free weed’ in his face and left. That was the last time I saw any of those people. I went back to college and completely disassociated myself from that whole crowd. That whole year of my life was a big mistake and I hope nobody thinks less of me for it. I was young, extremely stupid and very naïve.

4. What’s a memory from your childhood that stands out?

disneyworld

After my father passed away, my mom took me and my sister Pam to Disney World. We drove down from NH and I remember the drive down rather vividly. And Disney world was such a blast! I remember every ride! Dumbo, The Haunted Mansion, TeacCups, all of it stands out in my memory. There is a great picture of me in a child stroller just completely and totally wiped out from day with my little mickey mouse hat on. I was exhausted and sore and it was the best day ever!

5. If you were stranded on an Island(I had to do an island question) with three supermodels…would you find a way to leave? If you had sufficient shelter/food/cable rigged to your island, of course, 😉

herbritts You know, I have said this before and I will say it again: Anyone can look good. Anyone can be physically attractive and sexy in their own right. But that only goes so far. Sooner or later, you have to talk to these people and if I have no interest in whats coming out of their mouths, than it doesn’t matter how beautiful they are. I have a feeling that most models are not members of mensa nor do they share most of my oddball interests in life, so I hate to say it but I think after a few days or weeks watching them lounge around the beaches in their skimpy bikinis, I honestly think I would reach a level of annoyance that I would have to get my ass out of their. And if one of those models was Tyra Banks, I would insist on some duct tape to tape that mouth of hers shut so I wouldn’t have to listen to her constantly talk about herself and turn every little conversation into some story about her struggles to overcome being a beautiful model and being gorgeous and blah blah blah blah!! Shut up already! Not everything is about you lady! I watch her highlights on The Soup on E and it would drive me insane to have to deal with someone on a daily basis who turns every conversation into being about them. Her ‘interviews’ are really just her talking about herself and using the interviewee as a springboard to start one of her seemingly endless stories….

Ok, went off on a rant there about Tyra but you get my point…if you can’t carry a decent conversation and share and empathize on a human and interesting level, then I get bored real quick. If I want something to look at, I’ll take a picture, paint your portrait, etc. But I need more than an image…and in the end, physical beauty is transient, spiritual beauty lasts a lifetime.

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Casual Sex or Clean Up in the Shoe Department

casual-sex

If I saw you, I wouldn’t be able to look you in the eye today.

I had a sex dream about you last night. There’s no way to be coy about it. No way to make it seem like something else. This wasn’t a cute romantic dream about holding hands, cuddled on the couch, watching movies with the occasional kissing and snuggling.

Nope.

This wasn’t that at all.

The dream began innocently enough. We were walking through the mall, talking about some new job you had. Apparently, in my dream, you can’t hold down a job and this was your latest career. I don’t remember the details but I think it had something to do with quality control at a university someplace, which really doesn’t make any sense. I mean seriously, what does “Quality Control” at a university really mean? I think my dream version of you is just making shit up…

As often happens in a dream, the scenery changed abruptly. First we had been walking through the food court area of the mall. Emo kids where strewn about everywhere, wearing their latest pre-fab uniforms from Hot Topic. Is it really emo and punk to hang out at the mall? Really? And why do you all look the same? Maybe it’s a product of getting old and being an old punk rocker, but kids these days, the ones who pretend to be so punk, they all look the same. Same skinny jeans, same ill-fitting shirts, same “Hot Topic” tags. I seriously cannot understand the concept of that store. Punk, at it’s core was and has always been a DIY experience and yet, if you want your musical and political statements pre-printed for you, here’s a store with all the essentials. For Fifty bucks, you too can look like a punk rocker or an emo kid! Way to go kids! Way to dumb it down even further…

Yeah, I do rant like that in my dreams too… J

But I digress…we were walking through the food court and suddenly we were at the entrance of JC Penney. You took my hand and smiled at me. For the first time, I noticed you were wearing a tight fitting t shirt that accentuated your frame rather lovingly. You caught me looking and poked me in the stomach.

“Come on,” you said. “We have to hurry. I have church in the morning.”

I smiled at you, thoroughly confused by this statement.

You pulled my hand and lead me through JC Penney. I was completely puzzled…even in my dreams, I’m absolutely clueless. You lead me through to the mens shoe department. Did you know that JC Penney has a new feature in their shoe department? I guess this must be standard in all their new stores. Apparently, they all have a secret door in the back that opens up right into my bedroom. I wasn’t aware of this new feature until you opened the door and dragged me through.

Surprisingly, I had remembered to make my bed and tidy up my room before I left for the day. In the dream, I must have more free time.

You wrapped your arms around me and kissed me. For a moment, I was melting. The world froze and I could feel the heat of your body against mine, the taste of your lips, your tongue. You pulled back suddenly. A devilish grin came across your face.

“You are too gentle.”

With that, I felt your foot scoop around the back of my legs, taking my feet out from under me and I crashed backwards onto the bed.

That’s when you pounced.

What transpired from there, I humbly must leave to your imagination. I can say that there was a whirlwind of activity, involving positions of all imaginings and even a few that were against the laws of nature and a few that I’m sure were illegal in several states. In the end, the bed was broken, the tv had a bed post through it, all the paintings on the walls were askew, the mattress was on the floor and you and I…you and I were in a broken sweaty heap on the floor. I was gasping for breath and you were giggling at me, half covered in one of my old t shirts. How did you find my old Cure Tour t shirt? I thought that was lost 20 years ago? I snuggled in with you and for a moment, for one quiet moment, I felt content.

You poked me in the belly again, teasing me about my weight.

“I have to go” you said “and you have to wake up.”

Thats when I heard my alarm.

For a few brief moments, in those milliseconds between sleep and smashing my alarm button, I could still feel the smoothness of your skin, the brush of your hair across my face and neck, the taste of you on my lips. Then you were gone. The illusion was broken and I woke up alone in my room. I looked towards the door to my bedroom half expecting to see the hustle and bustle of a JC Penney shoe department but I was disapointed to just see the hallway, my cat wandering towards me, demanding some attention.

I spent today wondering if I should tell you. How much is too much sharing when it comes to friends?. I know I’m only a friend. But part of me wants something more and I’m not sure how to reconcile that.

The dream was intense, playful and extremely x rated. There were things you did that I would never have expected from you. If I told you, would you have a good laugh with me about? Would we kid each other about positions we should have tried in the dream then just carry on as we always have? Would you recoil in horror or would you jokingly admit to having something of a similar dream? Would you be able to forgive my imaginations lack of discretion? Do you feel the same way? Or am I alone in this, deluded by my own overactive and undersexed libido? I’m happy being your friend, but is that all there is? I know it was only a dream and I know where my boundaries are, but part of me can’t wait to go to bed tonite and go shoe shopping again….

Another Interview, Another Challenge

Trisha asked and I answered the call! And I really have to thank her because I needed something to write about and I am in a rut….

1. You’ve been chosen as a contestant on Survivor Devil Island. What skills would you bring to the island to help your team and then ultimately yourself?
scan0022 As you can see by this example, I’m more than adept at building houses out of available materials…
Ok, actually, this a “Fairy House” I came across on my first trip to Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine. And it’s made from twigs, bark and moss and not mighty branches and logs from the massive trees in the woods…and yeah, did I mention I didn’t actually build it? Yeah, so I really have nothing to offer when it come to survival in the wilderness.  Besides watching “SurvivorMan” or “Man VS Wild”, I have no experience with surviving in the wilderness without basic camping gear. Give me a tent, some cooking gear and maybe a gun, and I might make it 24 hours….So I think the first camp council on my season of Survivor would involve the rest of my tribe voting off my sunburnt (yeah, the native american genes did not involve my pigmentation at all!) and crying ass.
2. You’ve just won $28,000,000. in Powerball! What will you do with all that money?
66-5So after everyone in my family has been taken care of…and after I’ve quit my job…and after I’ve moved in to my new seaside villa…and after I’ve whipped myself into shape with my 24 hour on call personal trainer…and after I’ve taken care of my good friends needs…and after I’ve bought my friends bands new gear and funded their next album…and after I’ve set up a scholarship foundation for underprivileged art majors…after ALL of that, I would load up the car and fullfill a lifelong dream. I would drive out to Chicago and find Old Route 66 and drive cross country. I have a fascination with all the old kitschy stuff that cropped up along this once major highway that runs from Chicago all the way to Santa Monica. One of the purest joys in my life has always been just hopping my car and just driving and seeing all the old Americana, being able to experince a truly “American” experience (the fabled love affair with the automobile and all the road side attractions that helped build) and maybe writing a book about my experience or at the very least, do some photography and painting along the way. One thing I would have to add to this experience would be stopping along the way and visiting with the many amazing people I’ve met online over the years. 🙂
Then after all that, I would open up the restaurant I mentioned in my last post and hopefully somewhere in my travels, I would have met the woman of my dreams. But thats a post for another time…
3. Giada DeLaurentis asks you to audition for her show. What dish would you prepare for her and give us the recipe , please!
giadaI have to admit, the idea of being featured on a cooking show would definitely intrigue me. Whenever I cook for my friends, I have this tendency to talk out loud about what I’m doing and how I’m doing it, how long something takes to cook and how to properly dice something. Aparently, this is an unconscious habit that I do even when I’m alone. Ok, I know that sounds like I’m a little nutty, talking to myself while I cook, but you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t enjoy some of my eccentricities. 🙂
I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that Giada would ask me to audition for anything, but lets say she wanted me on to feature a recipe from my restaurant (you know, the one I would open after I win Powerball…) so I’m thinking I would have to make something slightly italian so I would probably make a cold cut and italian sausage omellette.
4 eggs beaten
1/4 cup whole milk
tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsely
a sampling of italian deli meats chopped roughly equalling about 1/2 lb : prosciutto, mortadella, capicola are some good examples.
1/4 lb diced pancetta, pan seared
2 italian spicy sausages, grilled and chopped
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/2 green pepper, finely diced
2 roma tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped roughly
roasted red pepper, chopped
one cup mozzarella
1/4 fresh parmesan, roughly grated
salt
pepper
basil
oregano
juice of one lemon
In a large bowl, combine the eggs with the milk and whisk to combine. Add oregano, basil, salt and pepper to taste. In a large non stick pan, grill the onions till they start to carmelize and combine with the green and red peppers, garlic, pancetta and sausage.
On a large flat skillet that has been either buttered or at least had some non stick spray applied to it, pour on the egg mixture. Make sure the skillet is piping hot before tossing the egg on there. From here, this all comes together rather quickly. I’m a big fan of the tri-fold method of omellette making so the egg spreads out thin across the skillet, giving you a rather large middle area to combine your ingrediants. As the egg starts to firm up, put down a handfull of mozzarella and then layer on the deli meat followed by the pancetta/sausage/veggie mixture. Squeeze on top a little juice from a lemon, add another handfull of cheese and fold together the omellette. Remove the pan from the heat, layer the sliced tomatos across the top of the omellette, then smother with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Then take entire pan and set in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes to further melt the cheese and fuse the flavors. After the cheese has melted and appears golden brown, remove from oven, garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve with your favorite hash or a mixed green salad.
4. If you could make a home for yourself anywhere on the planet where would you live permanently? Can you describe your home in detail? Money is, of course, no object.
scan0007scan0047scan0012Monhegan Island would be somewhere near the top of my list. I loved this place from the first moment I set foot on the island.  I wrote about my first experience there here, here, here and here. That one experince made me a fan. Sadly, I’ve only been back there twice since and only on the same kind of day trips. Eventually, when I get the free time, I plan on spending alot more time there. It has long been a refuge for artists, the Wyeth family had a home there, Hopper painted here and countless other artists have immortalized this tiny little slice of heaven.  Isolated as it is in the Gulf of Maine, it would take alot of committment to want to live there year round. A healthy love of all things seafood and a stronger set of sea legs would be a start. But the idea of living and breathing art for the rest of my life? Yeah, thats pretty tempting….And if I had a house on the island, I would want an ocean view (not hard to do on an island) with a large studio space custom built with huge bay windows facing the ocean. All the rest would be details, but a massive kitchen to cook and entertain in and of course my own mini  movie theater. 🙂
5. You’re dissatisfied with the work you do. If you could do only one thing for the rest of your life what would you do?
sirsy7joey-sarah-and-lourdsI think I would be the happiest man in the world if I could help my friends in Sirsy and Lourds. I would love nothing better than doing photography and and promotional work for them and helping in some small way. And I would definitely do this on breaks from living on Monhegan Island. 🙂
So heres the rules again in case you forgot already:

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

A Teeni Interview

Teeni asked. I answered.

1.  Why did you cry on September 5?

broken_heart-1823

Several years ago, on September 5th, I had a bad day. That was the day I had to admit defeat, wave a little white flag and end a 3 year relationship. I had never broken up with someone before. Usually, I’m the one being kicked to the curb, the one left with unreturned phone calls, empty dinner tables… But, for the first time, I was the one saying “We need to talk…”

I couldn’t stop crying afterwards. Felt like my heart had been ripped out, I couldn’t catch my breath and I had a ringing pounding headache for days afterward. I know I did the right thing (the situation had reached a stalemate/standstill that was never going to be resolved and I wasn’t willing to just blindly ignore all the problems and pretend to be happy) but that was the most difficult decision I have ever had to make. It broke my heart.

2.  If you could open your own restaurant, what type of food would you serve and what type of clientele would you like to see enjoying your food there?

challahfrenchtoast

Oh what a great question! Anyone who reads my blog, knows I love to cook. I ran restaurants for years and the idea of opening my own place is a dream I would love to realize. I do alot of cooking for my friends and according to them, I should open up a restaurant of comfort foods, specializing in breakfast foods and diner staples. My friends are what you may call “stoners” and, even though they know I don’t smoke and I rarely drink, according to them, I’m a stoner at heart because of my cooking skills and the “strange” recipes I make up on the spot. Aparently, my cooking imagination has a stoner spirit.

A simple example:  I made chocolate sundaes for everyone one night…I took  some chocolate fudge bread from When Pigs Fly bakery (thick chocolate flavored bread with chunks of chocolate spread throughout) chopped into large chunks and toasted it all in the oven. The toasted chunks were tossed into a bowl, topped with ice cream, fruit, sauce and whipped cream. I would love to feature this recipe on a menu….and what would be the name of  my “stoner” diner?

4:20“, of course! For those not familiar with stoner culture, ask a stoner sometime what 420 means… Course the ultimate irony of this restaurant would be that a guy who doesn’t smoke pot at all was running it.

And I think a name like “4:20” would be vague enough so as not to alienate any other potential clientele. And I would specialize in big food, huge portions and outrageous recipes. Most of my menu would be high impact on the calories (no such thing as light french toast, you know) so I would need to bring in a partner to work on the lighter side….any takers??

3.  Tell us a little bit about your pet cat.

black-cat

Thomas is a great cat.

The cat I had before him was a refugee from an abused home. His name was Ebony and he loved the outdoors, only coming inside when it was raining or too cold, but even then, he made at least one daily jaunt outside. In his old home, he had obviously been abused. The first few months I had him, he refused to come near me. He would come in the house and sit in a corner meowing to himself. He was so skittish and seemed so upset all the time, didn’t know what to do. Finally, I spent a day with him and he came to me and jumped in my lap. After that, he was the perfect cat. He let me pick him up and he would curl up like a little baby in my arms. If I was working on the computer, he would jump up in the chair, climb to the top and warp himself around my neck and sleep with his head on my shoulder. I would wake up with him curled up on the pillow next to me. The ex used to hate that!

Poor Ebony. He loved the outdoors too much. He disapeared one night. I found signs of a struggle behind the house. Ebony’s black fur mixed with orange, red and white fur, tell tale signs of a fox. I was heartbroken.

For a year, I vowed I was done with pets. Then, I suddenly found myself wandering through the animal shelter. I don’t know what brought me there. I told the people working there that I was only looking. I walked into the cat room. There were 20 cats in there, all of varying colors and ages. I noticed a black short hair cat standing on a runner (carpeted ledge that ran the length of the wall). I smiled because he looked just like Ebony. The cat must have known I was looking at him because he came running towards me. The runner was right at head level for me. I was now face to face with this black cat. He was purring loudly. I reached out to pet him and he headbutted me right on the forehead. I laughed. I hadn’t picked out a cat, the cat had picked me.

I found out his name was Thomas, adopted him right then and took him home the next night. Thomas is not as overtly affectionate as Ebony was, but he is friendly with everyone and especially seems to adore me since I wake up almost every morning with him next to me or at the foot of my bed, waiting for me to click on the tv. He seems to be a big fan of the flickering images on the screen.

4.  I peeked into your blog a bit and want to know under what circumstances were you kicked by a horse?  There has to be a story here.  😉

horse

A friend of mine in high school had a barn we used to party in. The farm was fairly isolated and we would have bonfires outside and such and party rather loudly in the barn til the wee hours of the morning. On one such night, my friend G and I decided to taunt the horse that was stabled in the barn.

We were just being loud and obnoxious and being rather obliterated at the time, we were not thinking about the consequences of pissing off a large animal. The horse, after about an hour of us taunting and teasing it, decided he had enough of our foolishness. The horse turned around in it’s stall. We were leaning on the gate that had the horse locked in and I remember thinking that the horse was going to pee on us or something, so I started to step back when the horse suddenly kicked. The gate, as it turned out, had a rather flimsy lock on it. The lock broke and the door rocketed open with enough force to send us both flying across the barn. I had been moving away from the door but my friend G was hit full force by the door. He ended up with bruised ribs and a concussion. I smacked my head on a post a good 10 feet away and ended up with a huge knot on my head and some bruises all over. We were lucky that door was in the way of that kick….

5.  Just what is it about redheads?  Do ALL redheads, even the bottled ones, have the same appeal?

redhead

I really think my fascination with redheads started when I was a little kid. My first kiss in kindergarten was with a redhead. Ok, strawberry blonde, but still….

Bottled or natural,  red hair has always caught my attention. I can spot a redhead at 100 yards. And yes, I have actually stepped onto the wrong train in Boston when I was distracted by someone with red hair. Not to mention the times I’ve almost crashed my car due to redhead distractions.

As fascinated as I have been by redheads, I have only ever dated the bottled variety. The natural redheads have always eluded me. Sadly every redhead relationship has ended in disaster. Usually I’m being dumped and discarded by the redheads in my life. And recently, I have even been used and abused by redheads. Despite all this, I still find myself looking, still find myself drooling a little. I still can’t tell you why… Maybe I have a masochistic relationship with the idea of redheads: no matter how badly I’m treated, I keep going back for more…

Hmm…wonder if theres a blond or brunette out there to distract me from the redheads….heehee. Actually, I can think of at least one…but thats a blog for another another time….. 🙂

So, do you want to be interviewed? Here are the rules:

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Edited to Add: I was lazy and found all these pics on Photobucket. To my shame, I realized I don’t have any pictures of my cat, so instead of finding him when I wrote this and taking his picture and uploading it, I blatantly stole some pics from Photobucket instead…sorry, should have added this note to begin with. I take no credit for any of these pictures….I love that horse pic though! 🙂

Moments of Joy and Other Sublime Silliness

adult-disguise

I have been feeling way too adult lately.

Deadlines. Meetings. Quotas. Bills. Taxes. Registration of my new car. Spring cleaning looming on the horizon.

It’s all been adding up to a whole heck of a lot of stress thats been bearing down on me for the last two weeks. I need a reason to be happy.  Surfing the blogs the other day, I came across the beautiful Miss Shepherds entry and felt a little inspiration. My mind started it’s own list of natural highs and moments that bring me joy.

1. Walking along the beach on a warm night, my toes sinking into the wet sand, the waves around my ankles.

2. Lying on the sand on a summer night, listening to the beat of the waves.

3. Making an elaborate meal for my friends when they are down.

4. Planning and cooking a huge meal for an event (Thanksgiving) and having it all come together perfectly.

5. Sinking into the couch on a cold day, wrapped in a warm blanket with a huge mug of coffee and a stack of dvd’s.

6.  Stealing a few minutes on my break to drive down to the beach and watch the waves for awhile and let my mind decompress a little from the stresses of the day.

7. Planning a road trip with my fellow ‘road warriors’ to see the bands we love.

8. Having a total geek moment and walk into a comic books store and talking all things X Men and Dark Knight and all things in between with fellow recovering geeky nerds like myself. Once in awhile, the nerd has to be let out!

9. Walking through the toy section at Walmart and seeing all the neat and highly detailed toys, secretly wishing I was a little kid again….

10. Picking up a book I haven’t read in a long time and falling into it’s pages like putting on an old sweater: comfy and warm.

11. Losing 8 hours of my life wrapped up in a video game. I realize some would see this as a waste, but sometimes getting lost in a little fantasy land is what my brain needs. And before you say “Go read a book”, I do read darnit and nothing compares to seeing your character run through that fantasyland and directing the action yourself. Don’t hate. 🙂

12. Having some song from the 80’s pop on the radio that I haven’t heard in a long time causing me to dance joyously. Melt With You and Rock Lobster are two songs that always make me giddy.

13. Having the lead singer dedicate her next song to me. I always get a little weak in the knees when that happens.

14. Being a dj and playing the music I love and actually having listeners. I truly miss this. When I was a dj at Keene State, I loved knowing people were listening.

15. Music Geek moment: going into a record store and ending up in a conversation with a total stranger about whether Trent Reznor sold out, or if the latest Ani Difranco album rocked or sucked or who was on tour and what shows we have been to, etc, etc, ad infinitum.

16. The smell of fresh brewed coffee.

17. The smell of my kitchen when I have been cooking up a storm.

18. The smile of a stranger who caught me glancing their way.

19. Playing with my camera and photographing the little things in my life.

20. Giving and recieving a hug when I least expect but when it was most needed.

21. When my rockstar friend tells me I’m one of her favorite photographers. I’m humbled that anyone would consider me a ‘photographer’, but for that to come from my friend who has been through professional photshoots for magazines and her own promotional work, I think I must have blushed three shades of red. Makes me want to take photography a little more seriously….

22. A moment of silence with friends. Not an uncomfrotable silence, but a sort of silent soldarity where there is nothing to say and we are content and comfortable with each others company and don’t have to fill each moment with talk.

23. Seeing a band for the first time, the thrill of hearing new music and a new voice.

24. The smell of laundry fresh from the dryer.

25. A clean house.

26. Getting in my car, loading up on music or books on cd, hot cup of coffee in hand, picking a direction and just going. No destination, no cares, no worries. Just me and the car driving as far away as possible.

27. The experience of a ‘destination’ restaurant. Picking a cuisine or restaurant from a review either online or on a Foodnetwork/Phantom Gourmet/Travel Channel reccomendation and going for their signature experience. I have a list a mile long of everything from greasy spoons to haute cuisine that I want to experience. Anyone up for a little road trip???

28. Sucking out a flush or a straight on the river and cleaning out my friends at the poker table when I was sure I had made a mistake by going all-in on Jack/Ace suited. Yup, I play way too much poker…..

29. Waking up to find my cat nuzzled into the crook of my arm.

30. Las Vegas! I loved that town when I visited in 1999 and been dying to go back ever since. I felt like a kid in a candystore there! A very adult candystore, but nonetheless….

31. Holding hands with someone for the first time, that fumbling of fingers and palms, finding how your hands fit together.

32. A first kiss, melting into each other for the first time.

33. The unspoken dialogue of eyes and movement, knowing someone so well that you know what they are thinking without ever speaking a word.

34. Hugs that linger and last too long, conveying more in that moment than words can capture.

35. WordPress Geek: Checking my stats and seeing what people are reading…I do this all the time. Makes me smile to see what people like.

36. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate.

37. Going to a wine tasting and being suprised by some obscure shiraz,  merlot or pinot noir that I had never heard of.

38. Catching up with an old friend and laughing about how much time has passed and how old we are getting.

39. Realizing how much your friends and family really care about you.

40. Successfully writing out 5 more moments of joy than Pam. (Couldn’t resist putting a little competitive spin on this)

The Only Thing I Read in the Local Paper (A Bit of a Rant)

The Portsmouth Herald is a friggin joke.

There, I said it and I’m not taking it back. Pardon me while I go on a rant here.

I don’t care how many ‘awards’ they win, their news coverage is atrocious. I like a good hard news lead in. Thats what captures my attention. A good solid headline to grab hold and make you want to buy it. I’m a big believer in the all but forgotten integrity of the printed word, the news reporters out there investigating real news, solid stories that grip your imagination and inform you not only on the big headline, but the minutiae of the story. I used to read the paper every day…but never the local paper.

The Portsmouth Herald has been a joke for years now. I can’t count how many times it has let me down. No lie and I’m definitely not making this up, their idea of news has verged on tabloid / Access Hollywood style. Lots of flash that quickly runs out of gas. Who cares if some consenting adults are having sex parties at their private residence? Did you really need to do an investigative report on them and name them on the cover of your newspaper? What kind of Puritan shaming was that? And on a day when we had major flooding in this state, your choice for a headline was a cat stuck in a tree?? Really? That was the hot button topic of the news room? And anytime anyone local does anything, you seem to think it’s front page news! On a day when the US reported the hugest job loss report in ages, your cover story was a human interest bio on a mentally challenged man who was finally getting his first job?

Sidenote: I have nothing against the mentally challenged individual, he’s actually a really great kid and everyone who lives here knows the guy, and yes, as a community, I’m sure we are all proud of his accomplishments. That aside, how is that a front page story when SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much more is going on in the world??? HOW???????

So on princicpal, I refuse to spend a dime on their paper. But what I will do is check out their web page. For such a total wreck of a newspaper, their website is quite well designed and thought out. The emphasis again is less on hard news and more on human interest, dining, local music, theater, arts and opinions and that I can handle because when I’m on the web, I can surf past the BS, find the stories and articles I want and not feel like I got ripped off for 75 cents.

One of my favorite articles caught my attention a few years ago and I have been a fan ever since. Single On The Seacoast is Heather Mackenzies view on the dating scene here in the lovely state of NH. Her opinions are witty and her attitude is quite jaded and thats probably why I love her writing. She always finds a way to sumarize everything thats wrong with dating, self image and attitudes and put a hopeful spin on it. I like that. Finding a small shimmering bit of hope at the bottom of the dating well. She gives me a little hope that maybe it’s not all as bad as I think. Maybe there is a way out of this dating hell I’ve been in for so long.

So despite all my protestations, despite my rant about the lack of “hard news” in the Portsmouth Herald and in spite of myself, I’m  going to a news website for the one thing I hate about the actual newspaper: FLUFF. Human interest, editorial, columnist FLUFF. And I love it. I go back each week for her latest article…..

Guess I’m getting soft in my old age…. 🙂

Here’s a link to her latest article:

http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20090129-ENTERTAIN-901290321