2011 – Time to make the resolutions…..

Originally I posted this as a note on my Facebook page but I gotta start this blog somewhere, so here we go:

I’m hoping for some changes this year. I need to improve my health and think about the future. In the past, I’ve set up unrealistic goals for myself and restrict myself to unliveable ideals. This in turn sabotages my best intentions, rendering the concept of a resolution to a temporary condition at best. I find myself discouraged and falling into old patterns before the year is even 2 months old. So this year, I’m going easy on myself in a way. Going to concentrate on things that are good for my physical and mental health and work on baby steps and only give myself a couple huge goals. And even those are pretty tame. This is not to say I’m not going to challenge myself. But I think I need to do this in small steps to achieve any kind of success. Otherwise, I’m doomed to failure again and again. So here goes:

1. Eat healthier – Yeah, I know, an old stand by…but I think I can do this. I know how to cook and I know how to make yummy meals that are lo-cal and quite tasty. That said, I will not deny myself entriely. Denial leads to failure, failure leads to bingeing, bingeing leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to… oh wait, thats something else.

2. Do not ignore temptation – You heard me. I will not ignore some deliciousness that someone has made for me. In the past, when I have denied myself something, it always backfires and I end up on a binge.

3. I will bring food from home ever day to work – Not only will this save me money, but it will eliminate some of the temptations I run into at work (boss buys chinese/pizza/subs, burritos from Loco Coco’s Tacos).

4. I will not beat myself up if I forget to bring some lunch and I do go out and buy a buritto.

 

5. I will go to the gym 4-5 times a week – This one is admittedly hard but I have some compromises that will make this easy. The gym is not always Planet Fitness, it’s wherever I can find time and get some sort of work out. Whether it be a hike, a walk on the beach (or a run, more on that later) everything where my heart rate gets elevated will work towards this goal.

6. A suit – This is one of my big goals for the year. By late spring, I want to buy a suit, something I’ve always rented but never owned. I think by then, I could rock a little tailored menswear.

7. Warrior Dash – Ok this craziness was introduced to me by my good friend Pam Shepherd. It’s not a marathon or triathlon but it is just as insane. Check it out http://www.facebook.com/WarriorDash copy and past the link if it doesn’t work. This is some crazy silliness that sounds challenging and a lot of fun. I’m hoping to be in shape for this for one of their fall events. Or something similar.

8. Running – I hate running. It hurts, I always fall because I’m a little clumsy, but dammit, I’m going to incorporate this into my workout even if it kills me. Ok, maybe not, but I need to get myself up and outdoors more often and this is a perfect way to do it.

9. Pedometer – Keeping a pedometer on me will keep me honest with my day to day fitness.

10. Rely on my friends – Listen to them more often, especially when their opinions differ from mine. I could have saved myself a boatload of heart ache this past year…

11. Never quit – I need to reach these goals, and I think all of these steps are attainable, but I have to remind myself: Never Quit, never give in to my self doubt and have faith in myself and the love in my life from friends and family to get me through this and achieve these goals.

12. Be a little more sociable – Yeah, I know some people have been pestering me to go out more and my problem has been my bed is just way too comfortable on most nights. I am going to change that. You will see me more, but at the same time, hopefully less of me too. 🙂

13. Travel – Going to plan a few trips this year. Need to get ot beyond New England for a bit. Thinking California or Washington DC or maybe visit family in Indiana or Montana. Course, I could always get my passport and travel to Toronto to visit some friends there. So many choices.

14. Writing – Going to try to spend more time writing. I know it’s been a while and this is a hard routine to work into again, but writing a little something every day is a workable goal.

15. Painting – Yes, I’m going to do it. Going to actually start painting again. I’m all set up, new paints are ready.

So thats it. Those are my goals and resolutions. What do you think? Attainable?

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Ah 2009, you will be missed….

Why hello! Fancy meeting you here. I know it’s been awhile. I have no excuses. I wasn’t sick, there were no major catastrophes either meteorological, financial, familial or sociological. Let’s just call it what it is: I’m a lazy ass.

Since June, I have been writing and keeping notes on life, but to be honest, I really haven’t sat down in front of the computer to bring those thoughts to a public forum because, well….I’m lazy. And even with some gentle prodding from other bloggers (Cas, Allison, Romi, Pam and Natalie, to name a few) I just couldn’t find the motivation. The computer screen had become another blank canvas for me.

Let me explain: In the spare room in my house, there sits a canvas. About one year ago, I set it up on the easle, broke out some paints, poured myself a huge cup of coffee, set up some music and I went in with every intention to start….something. Unfortunately, when I sat down in front of the canvas, I realized I had no idea where to begin. All I saw was white. No direction, no thought, no emotion. Just a blank field of white. I remember sitting there for several hours, listening to the music, sipping my coffee. Nothing changed. I got up, shut off the music, put away my paints, shut off the light and left. Every few days, I would wander in, stare at the canvas again. I don’t know if I was looking for divine inspiration but the motivation was eluding me. I couldn’t even get started. The canvas sat on the easle for 6 months before I finally gave up and put it away. And I think I did the same thing here.  I gave up.

This past year has been a wild roller coaster ride of emotions. I worked 2 jobs for awhile which nearly drove me insane. I travelled to Texas, fell in love and had my heart broken more than once. (That story is still on going and I definitely plan to write about that at another time…there may be a happy ending to that tale). 

2009 was a year of being caught in an emotional holding pattern. Afraid to move forward, refusing to go back and no chance for finding some firm ground to hold on to. I felt like my life was circling the airport, waiting for the word to land and finally find some peace.

I saw my best friends lose their jobs and I realized I was more worried for them than they are. They are happy and content with their lot in life. Found myself wondering: why wasn’t I? Could I be so centered and happy if life threw me a curveball like that? I can’t even be happy with my life as it is.

My mother’s health improved as mine kinda deteriorated a little. Nothing to worry about, but certain things in my life that I put on the back burner were becoming more and more of a problem. Stress from the two jobs, lack of sleep and a chaotic life had sent my blood pressure through the roof, resulting in some weight gain, lack of motivation, etc. Since losing the second job, my health and outlook has improved. I’m on a more positive path to wellness and health. By the way, I have stories to tell about that second job…..

It wasn’t a year of all doom and gloom, however. Amazing friends, loving family always make everything easier. I recconnected with scores of old friends from high school through Facebook. This strange phenomenom seems to be the norm for almost everyone. People reaching out across the internet to find each other once again. I love it. I love seeing what other people have done with their lives since the hellish days of Winnacunnet High School.

Music once again dominated my life with shows all over New England. Some I worked for the band, others I was there just to support the music. I fell in love with Pandora and LastFM, both introducing new music into my life while reminding me the of the joys of my musical past.

There was amazing food and food that should never be mentioned again! I’m looking at you, chicken fried bacon! The Texas State Fair may classify you as food and you may be delicious, but you are sooooooo wrong! Wrong on every level that is wrongness.

So many more things I could mention here, but I feel I have prattled on long enough. So without further ado, here is my official list of New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Find a healthy weight. (you’ll notice I carefully avoided the cliche of  “lose weight”)

2. Let my heart heal. Allow myself to finally just get over the hurt and find the happy again. Love has entered my life, crashing in, demanding and I want to explore this without the regrets and hurt of the past.

3. Yard sale!!!! Yes, I’m finally going to have a yard sale. I’m working on minimizing in my life (read: cutting out the unneccessary crap) and the first major hurdle will be to have an epic win of a yard sale. Need some books? Come talk to me, I’ll hook you up….

4. Take a real vacation. Ya know, one that involves real rest and peace…maybe camping on a lake someplace….

5. Spend more times with the crazy people I call friends and less time with the computer.

6. Paint. I bought a new set of watercolors, some good quality paper and a few new brushes. Now, just need to get my ass out there and do some real work. Watercolors are not my normal medium, but I figure trying something outside my comfort zone may motivate me more.

7. Finally commit to blog all the stories I have rolling around in my head and incomplete here in my drafts.

8. Finally read the manual for my new camera and figure out what it can really do rather than just winging it all the time… 🙂

9. Appreciate my mom more and remember to tell her I love her every day. It’s tough taking care of mom, this is not how I pictured my life to be, but she is my mom and my responsibility. Sometimes I feel burdened and sometimes I wish my life were different, but she needs me and this is what I have to do.

10. Find some peace and contentment, the kind we all dream about….

So Happy New Year everyone! Kiss 2009 goodbye and bring on 2010! I can’t wait…..

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.

Women of Inspiration or Woohoo! My List of “Hotties”!

I read someone elses blog about ‘hotties’ and it got me thinking: what AM I looking for? What qualities do I look for? On a visual level? Emotional? Intellectual? ANd no matter how much I thought about it, no matter how much I tried to pinpoint one type or look, I could not find it. I seem to be all over the map with my tastes and my preferences. The only way I could think to define and illustrate this was to make up catagories and find someone that really defined that category in my mind.

NOTE: This little blog may seem biased towards musicians so tried to pepper it up with some choices outside of the world of music.

LITERARY CRUSH (NPR EDITION)

Sarah Vowell is one of my favorite authors. I have read every one of her books, I immediately turn up the radio when she comes on NPR and have seen her do readings in Boston. I even loved hearing her voice in The Incredibles (she voiced Violet, the daughter with invisibility powers).  In her writing, you can feel her passion for history and her details of family interactions are so true to life. She loves my favorite band (They Might Be Giants) and is a self confessed geek. Despite playing this for humorous effect, her writing hits me deeply and I always feel like I’ve learned something after reading one of her stories. And she is so cute!! Her pictures do her no justice whatsoever. I’m not sure what happens with the camera, but she looks so different in person. *sighs*

COMEDIC CRUSH

Madeline Kahn. I grew up watching her in the comedies of Mel Brooks and every time, she plays the over the top scenery chewing, comedic center of attention and I love every minute of it. Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles and even Clue, she shines in an ensemble cast where a lesser actress could easily fall into the background. One of her famous quotes: “There are no small parts, only small actors”. She was so right.

DRAMATIC CRUSHES

Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek….do I even have to explain? Didn’t think so…let’s move on.

POP STAR CRUSH

Lady Kier from Deee-Lite. I have never owned very many so-called ‘dance’ albums, but their first album was incredible and you cannot tell me that your ass doesn’t start moving when “Groove is in the heart” comes pumping out the speakers! The video for that song was incredible and damn this woman can dance. We were at the Hard Rock Cafe in Boston and this video started playing in the restaurant. For a few minutes I was lost in that technicolor goodness….

ROCK CRUSH (WITH A SCOTTISH ACCENT)

Shirley Manson from Garbage. Working in radio had it’s perks and one of them was having the opportunity to meet musicians. When their first album was released, I weaseled my way to one of their shows and got a chance to interview Miss Manson. I was reduced to a giggly little fanboy in about 30 seconds. The eyes, the voice, the attitude, this woman has a way of cutting right through the pop/rock posturing and creating amazing pieces of writing and music. She challenges you with her lyrics while making your ass move with the beat….

ROCK CRUSH (ICELANDIC EDITION)

Bjork, strange, quirky, silly, shows up to awards shows dressed as a swan, throws a mean right hook if a papparazzi takes too many pics of her kids. Loved her unique voice when she was in the Sugarcabes but she really came into her own when she struck out as a solo artist.

ROCK STAR (COLLEGE RADIO EDITION)

Tanya Donnelly, formerly of Throwing Muses and Belly. Yeah, our little world of college radio in the 80’s and early 90’s didn’t have alot of women as headlining artists. There were a few who were more than inspiring (Kate Bush, Kim Gordon, Juliana Hatfield, PJ Harvey and of course, Tori Amos, more on her later) but Tanya Donnelly was just downright sexxy. Last year, she and Kristin Hersh, the other half of Throwing Muses got together for a show at the Brattle Theater that I heard about, but ultimately missed due to the suck that is my job…missed an opportunity to relive a little piece of my youth.

ROCK STAR CRUSH (COLLEGE RADIO EDITION, PART DEUX)

Natalie Merchant. I was re-reading this and I totally forgot to mention the amazing Miss Merchant. Formerly of 10000 Maniacs, she has since broken out on her own and produced some of the most soulfull music of the last decade or so. But when she was with the Maniacs, she stole my heart, spinning and singing on stage, her voice soaring above the music. “These Are Days” is one of those songs that will always be with me and will always make me smile and my heart to swoon a little.

ROCK CRUSH (TATTOOED GOODNESS)

Jennifer Arroyo from Kittie and Suicide City. I can’t say enough nice things about this woman. Met her through my friends in other bands and she is a total rockstar: super sweet, always so positive, tosses her bass around like a baton, amazing stage presence and covered in some really sick ink.

POLITICAL CRUSH (LEFT WING PUNDITRY)

Janeane Garofalo, I first saw her do stand up comedy on the very short lived Dennis Miller talk show and had a little crush on her ever since. The punk attitude, the glasses (not pictured) she epitomizes what I would chase after in the 90’s: frumpy post punk nerdy girl goodness! 🙂 Lately, she has been the voice of the ‘radical left’, which, truly is a bunch of bullshit. You want radical left wing looniness? Go talk to Jello Biafra sometime and get back to me how ‘lefty looney’ you think Janeane is then. I heard she is returning to acting this coming season on 24! I’m so excited!

TELEVISION CRUSH (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER EDITION)

Allyson Hannigan…and pretty much every woman on that show! I think this show was the ultimate nerdy culture wet dream! A group of amazing and dead sexxy woman fighting the supernatural evils of the world…with a couple guys thrown in there too… But Allyson Hannigan truly won my heart with her shy portrayal of the computer nerd who slowly but surely finds herself and her confidence as the show went along…

TELEVISION CRUSH (FOOD NETWORK SPECIAL)

Giada and Rachael Ray….there is a reason why males 18-45 are watching their shows! Giada is truly a wonderful chef and she is great at showing technique and truly creating some amazing recipes. She is a traditionalist, formerly trained and experienced with cooking and creating restaurant ready recipes for the home. Rachael Ray is not. She is perky and happy and way way overexposed but her appeal is simple: she is the everyperson who can create a great dish in the kitchen that may not be ‘formerly’ or ‘technically’ correct, but still great food. She is more accessible than Giada, perhaps. But both are damn cute, but Giada wins, hands down in just sheer luminescance. She absolutely glows when she is talking about something she is truly passionate about. Rachael giggles, which is cute…but no Giada… 🙂

TELEVISION CRUSH (NEWS NETWORK ALERT)

Robin Meade, the only reason I watch Headline News on CNN. I know nothing about her other than the camera loves her and she can read the news….

ROCK CRUSH (LOCAL GAL MAKES IT BIG EDITION)

Amanda Palmer from the Dresden Dolls. She just rocks my little world. Been to about 12 shows for the Dresden Dolls over the years and have been truly amazed at how far they have come, how the punk cabaret scene has grown and grown and Miss Palmer just matures more and more as artist. My friend M said it best: she just seems like this force of nature and I can’t help but be drawn in by her words and her voice.

OVERALL TOTAL AMAZING GODDESS

 

Tori Amos is just incredible. An amazing talent, incredible writer and performer and capable of reducing me to a blubbering puddle of goo. Her words inspire me, her voice sends chills down my spine and seeing her perform, well, definitely one of the best shows I have ever been to. When I was living in England, I had the opportunity to meet her and I completely froze up. I had bullshitted my way backstage with the “I work for an American Radio Station” which worked more often than not for some reason. I met the guitarist and we were chatting when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned and there was Tori Amos. I completely froze. The world went into slow motion as I introduced myself and tried to talk. I don’t remember what we talked about, but at the end, she said “enjoy the show” and leaned in and gave me a little hug. I watched her walk away and the guitarist got my attention again. He was laughing. And I was beet beet red….. He looked at me and said: “DOn’t worry, shes used to that…” One of my favorite lyrics: “Just because you can make me cum, doesn’t make you Jesus Christ”. Love her…

 

Dorkiness or Why the hospital staff knows me so well….

I feel the peer pressure. ‘Everybody’s doing it man! Come on!” But I have to ask a simple question here: Why oh Why is dorkiness equated  with self inflicted injury? Everyone has these lists about dorkiness and all have involved some horrific stories of near maiming and death due to silliness. So rather than mask this as just a list of dorkiness, I’m stating upfront: I’m surprised I’m alive sometimes when I think of the crap I’ve done to myself. This is a list of maiming and mutilation. Yea of weak stomachs, turn away now.

  • When I was 6, I watched an episode of the old Superman tv show (in re runs for the smart asses who come up with any age jokes). Immediately inspired by the daring-do of our hero Superman, I immediately went outside, climbed on top of the picnic table. Now would be a good time to point out that the picnic table was situated over a cement patio. I looked in through the kitchen window at my mom and with arms outstretched I yelled “Look MOM!!! I’m SUPERMAN!!!” And with that, I took a flying leap. Gravity is a cruel mistress and one I hadn’t been properly introduced to until that day. I landed face first onto the concrete slab. All of my baby teeth broke in half and literally blew out of my face through a lovely gash in my cheek. I was unconscious of course, and don’t remember anything of that day or the rest of that month. I suffered a severe concussion and I think the count was 60 stitches to repair my face. The only thing I have to remind me of that old scar is a tiny portion of it on my upper cheek.
  • When I was 7, I decided it would be a fabulous idea to ride my bike barefoot. Ah, the joy of feeling the cool breeze between your toes as you cruise around the neighborhoood. I really do reccomend it, but be carefull. Don’t go popping wheelies like I did. I popped a wheelie in my friend Justin’s yard. He had been daring me and daring me all night, so finally, I pulled an epic wheelie, going fully vertical with the bike. Unfortunately, the bike didn’t want to stay upright and own I crashed. As I was heading to the earth, my bare foot caught the spokes of the front wheel which were still spinning away. I felt a slight tug and I looked down in time to see the ball and heel of my right foot get sliced off. They spent 2 hours scraping rocks and fressh cut grass from the wound. Maybe it wasn’t two hours, but certainly seemed that way.
  • Also when I was 7, I started experimanting with cooking. I would help my mom prep veggies, roast chickens, boil pasta. I was a fast learner but the one thing I didn’t learn right away was technique and proper equipment for the job at hand. So one night, I’m skinning carrots with a paring knife. I was holding the carrots out in front of me and slicing away with the knife. Suddenly, the knife mistook my left forefinger for the carrot, a common mistake, I’m sure. The blade easily sliced through the finger and into the knuckle, breaking the bone and severing the nerve endings. I remember the pain was so excrucutiating that I ran around the house uncontrollably, shaking my hand to and fro hoping the pain would go away but all that did was redecorate portions of the house with a splat of color here and there. They re-attached my finger and it still works, but I have no feeling in it. This one finger has been the source of the most hospital visits since that day. It has been broken 4 times, sliced or cut so deeply as to require stitches at least 7 times and dislocated 10 times.
  • When you are a kid, your best friends can come from some of your worst experiences. My best friend in elementery school was Jerry. But he wasn’t always my best friend, in fact, the way he introduced himself to me, well, you would think we were enemies. On a dare, someone asked him to load his lunchbox with rocks and hit someone with it. So he went out into the shoolyard, found the biggest rocks he could find and jammed them into his Battle Star Galactica Lunchbox, the one with the Cylons on the front and when you opened it up, the inside had, written in red, “Intruder Alert!” and “By Your Command!”. As we were being let out for the day, he spied me in the hall in front of him. Without a second thought, he hauled back and then smashed the back of my head with the loaded lunchbox. Severe concussion later, we were best of friends.
  • On a hot summer day when I was just going into 4th grade, I decided to make stovetop stuffing for myself, an easy meal to make and I was pretty confident in my cooking abilities at that point. The problem is, nobody had every explained heat stroke. With no A/C and a temperature of 90+ degrees, I started boiling the water for my stuffing. One of the symptoms of heat stroke is disorientation and loss of consciousness. Standing in front of the stove, with the boiling water in front of me and the heat of the day all around me, I got a bit woozy. I remember not being able to stop myself as I fell forward. I reached out for the first thing I saw, which was the boiling pan of water. The pan flipped over spilling its contents of boiling water, butter, bread crumbs and seasonings (mmm, can almost smell it just thinking about it) onto my right foot. Skin does a funny thing when its boiled and I don’t reccomend anyone trying this trick to find out how funny. Second and third degree burns later, I was still hungry.
  • I’m skipping lots of other dorky injuries here and going straight to high school. My freshman year, I used to play with knives. Now, don’t panic, I’m not a weirdo. And for those with a wee bit of a fetish, no, I’m not into ‘knife play’. Someone had given me a butterfly knife and I became obsessed with being able to open and the close thing with lightning speed. I didn’t feel like a bad ass, I wasn’t being macho. I have OCD and when someone showed me how to use that knife and the steps involved in opening and closing it, well, I just had to learn that for myself and it became a repetitive habit. Opening and closing, flicking it around my hand, tossing it half opened from one hand to another. I like to say I was quite good. Then one day, I slipped. The phone rang while I was juggling this thing around and I got up to answer it. Funny thing about coffee tables, they are never in the way unless you have something breakable, hot or dangerous in your hands. I tripped and fell face first, strecthing out my hands to stop myself, I forgot the blade was in my right hand. I didn’t notice until I got up that my arm was all wet and my hand felt strange. I looked at the back of my hand and there was a large bump sticking up and to the outside part of my hand, slowly turning purple. I turned my hand over, it felt heavier somehow and thats when I saw the hilt of the blade sticking out of my had, the blade itself buried in my palm. I laughed, I couldn’t feel a thing. I wrapped my hand in a towel and called my mom at work to let her now I was going to the hospital. The pulled the blade out and 12 stitches later, my hand was good as new, just a patch of scar tissue in the base of my palm to remind me and to remind all you kids out there: Never Play With Knives!!!!

So I guess I had a funfilled childhood and I didn’t even mention the life threatening asthma, the fights, the bullying, being kicked by horse, almost drowning, electrocuting myself by peeing on an electric fence….ah, good times.

100 Things Challenge from 2006

My friend H made one of these so I figured I would give it a shot and see if I could get to 100. This will be a totally random list of facts about me, so be prepared to be bored out of your mind. These are all true statements, some are very random, others have a theme.

1. I like to photograph the little things. When I go someplace, I think it is more exciting to photograph a bottle sitting on a windowsill than the beautiful view through the window.

2. I’m an excellent cook.

3. I’m not an excellent cook of desserts.

4. I eat way too much meat.

5. I miss the idea of my father.

6. I have a tendency to expect the best from everyone, even when they have proven that they are not capable of that standard.

7. Sometimes, I really want to kill some of my co-workers.

8. I’m a snob…I don’t mean to be a snob, but when I meet people who are less educated than myself, I act differently.

9. I have a childish crush. Or is it lust?

10. I love red hair. Not sure where this came from in my life. Some time, long ago, I had a crush on a red haired woman and the color stuck. Strangely, I’ve never dated a natural redhead.

11. I prefer dark hair to blondes.

12. I spend way too much time online.

13. World of Warcraft is sucking the life out of me. Why am I obsessed with levelling up an imaginary character?

14. I miss the idea of high school. I didn’t have a normal high school experience and I envy people who talk about the good times they had growing up.

15. I had a gun held to my head once for a mistake I never made again.

16. I kinda like some chick flicks.

17. Driving for hours makes me happy.

18. I’m a history junkie. If I could, I would stop at every history marker on the side of the road.

19. I’m convinced my cat tries to talk to me.

20. I lost my virginity at a church camp.

21. I used to be a leader of a church youth group.

22. I have dyed my hair almost every color of the rainbow.

23. I had a mohawk for ages.

24. My right nipple was once pierced, then got infected and blew up to the size of a baseball.

25. I fall in love easily.

26. I fall in lust even easier.

27. My heart has been broken more times than I can remember, each time vowing that will be the last….

28. I speak enough french to bullshit my way through a conversation.

29. There is someone I really care about and worry about.

30. Dark colored eyes hypnotize me.

31. I have a tendency to have a slight case of road rage when I’m behind a slow poke in the passing lane.

32. I’m addicted to music.

33. I can’t get out of Bullmoose Music or Newbury Comics without buying something.

34. Part of me still thinks I’m in high school.Part of me is still that insecure little kid…

35. I know I’m an adult.

36. I definitely do not feel like an adult.

37. I bought two tickets to see the dropkick murphy’s knowing I had nobody to come with me.

38. When I was young, I thought Horton Center was the most peaceful place on earth.

39. Last year, a good friend showed me a new place of peace and serenity: Monhegan Island.

40. I haven’t sat down in front of a canvas in months.

41. I eat sometimes when I’m depressed. Then I punish myself for it by going to the gym for hours.

42. The stupidest things can remind me of bad times in my life.

43. A smile can make my day.

44. I consider eye contact a sign of intelligence. If someone won’t look me in the eye, I immediately judge them.

45. A hug can make up for almost anything.

46. I cried last september. I cried alot.

47. I love sitting in the window of a coffee shop, drawing the people around me and catching snippets of their conversation.

48. I will do pretty much anything for chocolate.

49. I have an addiction to caffeine. If you cut me, I bleed espresso.

50. I get headaches alot lately. I’m a little worried about it.

51. I have a tendency to giggle uncontrollably at stupid crap.

52. One of my favorite movies of all time is Airplane…why? see above.

53. I started running and I feel better.

54. I started running and I have a feeling I’m turning into one of these people who needs to run.

55. I started running and I love the silence and just hearing my breath and my heart.

56. I try not to be a stereotypical male, but I find myself staring at breasts alot lately, staring like a thirsty guy who just crossed the desert would stare at a glass of water.

57. I can’t relate to anybody at my dealership. If I talk about art, they want to talk about sports. If I mention politics, they are not interested unless there are naked women involved.

58. I will do anything for my friends.

59. My heart is not in my job. I need to find a new place to be.

60. Part of me still holds onto that fantasy that I may win powerball, no matter how improbable, part of me still insists on dreaming that dream.

61. I think I was in shock when they tore my house down. The house I grew up in, never knew it would hurt so bad to see it torn down.

62. I loved living in England. I loved the history, the people, the culture…every aspect felt right and it broke my heart to leave.

63. I have a fetish for glasses. Next to red hair, glasses are a huge turn on.

64. I worry about the silliest crap. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night in a panic because I forgot to pay (name of random bill here).

65. My choice in music is influenced greatly by whether I can reach the cd as I’m heading to work.

66. I love beer, the more micro the brewery the better.

67. I have an impossibly high tolerance for alcohol. It really takes hard liquor to get me buzzed. Beer has little to no effect, even in mass quantities.

68. I’m inspired by the simplest of kindnesses from my friends.

69. I love my family and hold them more dear than anything else.

70. Part of my job is to pretend I like everybody who sits in front of me and it kills me everytime. I’m always worried someone will see through the smile and see the FUCK YOU behind it.

71. I have a tendency to shoot my mouth off about something that is on my mind, just to get it off my chest. Its nothing personal, but I feel better after I’ve said it rather than bottle it up.

72. Even though I’m not religious, I do consider myself spiritual. I believe it is possible to find a spiritual awakening without involving anyone’s god.

73. Part of me believes there is something after this life…

74. Part of me is terrified that this may be it…

75. I think I saw a UFO when I was 7. My mom and my neighbors swear by this too and it was the same nite of a ‘documented’ ufo sighting all along the seacoast of NH. My first thought in retrospect is: why would they visit NH?????

76. One of my guilty pleasures is watching the food network. I think I have a crush on Rachael Ray.

77. One of my dreams in life is to be a world remowned artist.

78. I’m one of the few men who WILL ask for directions when I’m lost.

79. I can’t follow a map to save my life but I usualy end up where I need to be.

80. I think the word supercalifragilisticexpealidocious should be used more in regular conversation.

81. I envy the surfer boys and girls on north beach. Surfing was the one thing I wish I had given more of a chance. I tried once…took a header into some rocks and that was the end of my surfing career.

82. I have a tendency to really get angry at parents who don’t know how to parent and expect the world to parent for them.

83. My political views are heavily slanted to the left, but I believe in a dialogue with the right. Polarization dos not a political discourse make.

84. I think I have done every drug I could get my hands on. Some of my college days were a blur, but now I have no wish to do any drugs at all. I won’t turn down a doobie being handed my way, but thats about it. I have no wish to try anything else ever again. I don’t regret what I tried in college, just never going to use them again.

85. That being said, acid was a hell of a lot of fun.

86. Last 2 years of high school, I was diagnosed as manic depressive and used that to exploit people. I’ve never forgiven myself for being weak and using people.

87. College allowed me to come out of my shell and become the person I am today.

88. I wish I was in college where my only worry was how we were going to Northampton or Boston for a show.

89. I trust people even when I know I shouldn’t.

90. Sometimes, I need to be completely alone. At these times, I completely close up and am incapable of talking to anyone.

91. I saw Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers throw up right in front of me and then start playing their 1st song. (UNH concert…who else remembers that???)

92. I played Double Dragon with Joey Ramone…I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

93. I miss being a dj. I really wish WUNH wasn’t so stuck up about who they ‘allow’ on the air.

94. I have been to a strip club 11 times in my life. I enjoyed the nudity, but didn’t enjoy myself. Felt like shopping at the mall when you have no money: nice to look, but after awhile, you get bored and its time to go home.

95. My opinions are strong and you cannot sway me.

96. My opinions can be swayed by pie. (read into that what you will).

97. I’m never the life of the party, but I usually know everyone by the end.

98. I go to concerts so I can feel like I’m a kid again, without the stage diving, pits and bar fights.

99. I still need to learn how to be happy with and love myself.

100. I have alot to learn and I’m always open for a lesson.