B-Musings – Don’t Eat Yellow Snow Edition

24 03 2014

“B-Musings”… sharing random blurbiage and ping-pong balls rattling around my dome.  Why?  Because I can, and I have a blog!

michael-vick-jury“V” Is For Vicious – Michael Vick is leaving Philadelphia in the same manner in which he arrived… Quietly, with humility and class. Before all of the animal lovers start fashioning a noose in my neck size, I submit that I understand what he did was horrendous. But my position has always been to forgive because he paid his debt to society, and since his release has worked hard to raise awareness for animal rights and many other great causes.

I’ve never understood the vicious attacks by some people. I’ve wondered why they have such passion to protect animals, and be so willing to forgive and forget transgressions – or crimes – committed against humans by so many professional athletes. Yep… I’m talking to you – Kobe Bryant, PacMan Jones, Ben Roethlisberger… You too, Riley Cooper.

I will say without embarrassment… I’m a Mike Vick fan, and not for what he does on the field.

Lost – It looks like the fate of Malaysian Flight 370 is clear… it crashed in the Indian Ocean and there are no survivors. It’s stunning to many that it has taken over two weeks to make that determination. Still, after all this time the cause remains a mystery – possibilities including terrorism, sabotage, catastrophic mechanical failure or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or someone else on board.

Two things puzzle me… I’ve been more than slightly amused at the people who were envisioning a “Lost” scenario, that maybe something supernatural was at play. I’m sure today is extremely disappointing for those folks! And I find it interesting that the advanced technology we possess was completely useless. How can a 777 jet fly so long and far undetected, and then just disappear? I think that will be the bigger question for the coming months and years.

Most importantly, the news is relief for the families, but I can’t imagine they were still hopeful. Prayers for their loss.

vampire-lestatWelcome Back, Lestat – In 1976 I read “Interview With The Vampire” by Anne Rice, the book that introduced the character of Lestat de Lioncourt. I proceeded to devour the sequels, and I’m sure that dog-eared copies are in a box somewhere in my house. Those books fascinated me because they were the first to treat the vampire as sympathetic character, not necessarily dark and evil. After the “Vampire Chronicles”, Rice went off in many directions… witchcraft, mummies, Christianity, etc. She even revisited erotic novels written under a different name. But she never achieved the success that the vampire genre gave her.

I’ve always liked Anne Rice. She is opinionated, outspoken and fearless. In 2012 – oddly enough, on Valentine’s Day – I was privileged to see in her talk about her career and her latest book “The Wolf Gift”. (A great read, by the way…) The event was fantastic. Rice was engaging, answering audience questions, and clearly grateful for the success she has realized and for the fans who adore her. She was very complimentary of the recent interpretation of vampires by Stephanie Meyer and Charlaine Harris, and happy that these “new” vampires keep the genre alive.

When she announced on Facebook last week that her next book will be “Prince Lestat” I was thrilled! I’m looking forward to crawling back into the plush world that she consistently creates around her rich characters. Simply put, I can’t wait.

“I was the vampire Lestat again. I was back in action. New Orleans was once again my hunting ground.” Bon appetite…

Snow Love – I’m sure that all of my Philadelphia neighbors and friends are pooping their pants about another snow storm gracing us this week. I just came across this fun fact: The most snow ever recorded in a 24 hour period in the USA occurred at Silver Lake, Colorado in 1921 and was 76 inches of snow.

We’ve gotten about 55 inches this entire winter. So quit yer bitchin’!

As usual, I’d love to hear what you have to say. Please leave me a comment, or click on the links to the ASPCA…


It’s A Mugs Game

20 03 2014
Sculpture created by Tsang Cheung Shing - Hong Kong.

Sculpture created by Tsang Cheung Shing – Hong Kong.

“I like coffee because it gives me the illusion that I might be awake.” ~ Lewis Black

I consider myself to be a nouveau coffee drinker. I’m not sure there is such a classification, but as I’ve only been drinking this sweet elixir for about nine years I think it is appropriate.

Growing up in a house with a Mother and Aunt direct from Ireland made me a tea drinker. (Not a teetotaler… maybe that’s a subject for future blog post?) There are strict rules about making tea. We only used Tetley tea bags, you filled the mug to the very top, and you had to boil the water for a good five minutes after the whistle started wailing. Milk, not cream. Sugar, not honey… or artificial sweetener – GOD FORBID!! Everyone in our house was close friends with a “good cup a’tay”!

Every once in a while my Mom would have a Folger’s Instant coffee. Knowing nothing about coffee even I could see this was nasty, but it was easy to make and smelled good. As I got older, my friends started drinking coffee regularly and I steadfastly remained loyal to my tea. The coffee clouds really started storming around me when I started business travelling. Everyone I met was a coffee freak. People really seemed to be enjoying this experience, and I really liked the aroma of coffee in the morning. I started to think I was missing out on something.

One day I decided, I was going be hip and drink coffee. I set out on this task at a hotel restaurant in some god-forsaken town, and immediately applied all of my vast tea-making experience – milk, and one spoonful of sugar. How hard can this be? This was it! I’m going to be a coffee drinker.

“A vile concoction!! Why the hell do you people drink this poison?!”, I screamed to the world.

But I was not deterred. Over the next few months I asked questions and experimented. I discovered that there were endless variations, brands and preparations. But me being me, I ended up with the simplest of combinations – black with Equal. Or, as we “coffee people” call it – the yellow stuff. And I drink only one cup a day, over a few hours. I get great exercise walking back and forth to the microwave…

I like to say that I’m a simple man, delighting in the small things in life. I will continue to snort derisively at the Starbuck’s snobs ordering “venti, one pump caramel, one pump white mocha, two scoops vanilla bean powder, extra ice frappuchino with two shots poured over the top – apagotto style – with caramel drizzle under and on top of the whipped cream, double cupped!” I don’t know what I just typed! I’ll always make fun because I seriously doubt I will ever make coffee drinking that complicated.

But you never know. While in France last year I discovered the wonder of espresso, and now I regularly drink caramel flavored coffee at work.

Yep… I’m a bad ass. Who wants to join this wild man for a Cup of Joe?!

Get Acquainted

5 03 2014


“Surround yourself with creative people. Dammit…” ~ Epitaph of John J. Langan  (1960-2060)

In October 2007, when filling out my Facebook profile for the first time, and with my tongue firmly in cheek, I stated that my Political Views were “Conservative, But Willing to Learn”.

I was quite the joker six and half years ago…

I’ve had a bit of a journey since then, especially in the last couple of years. Nothing earth shattering and don’t get me wrong – I’m still the brash, opinionated asshole that my family and friends have come to know and love. But over these years I’ve left my mind open to new ideas that have certainly changed me. Most of the credit goes to my sons, who are more open than I ever was at their ages. It must be a generational thing. And I’ve been shaped by my friends… who are in greater numbers because of social media and a conscious decision to allow time for them.

More friends? That used to be my question. “Why do I need more friends when I don’t have time for the ones I want to see?” What a stupid thing to say…  In the past few years I have discovered such richness and variety of life because I have opened myself to more people. Not everyone can be your close friend, but I no longer place any limits on acquaintances. I’ve been fortunate to have travelled to many places in the world, but lately I’ve been more interested in meeting people and hearing their thoughts. “Where” doesn’t matter, it’s the moment that counts.

Opening yourself to new thoughts can’t help but change you. I’ve altered my thinking on so many things in the past few years… from conservative to liberal (maybe not all the way). Simple things like not keeping score in youth sports so we can teach the fundamentals, to stricter gun control laws, to gay rights, and for god’s sake… Let’s make love, not war! Take care of your fellow man, man…

And there are life lessons… In the past couple of years quite a few people I know have passed on. Some were acquaintances, some slightly more than that, and some were family and friends that I loved very dearly. It happens that we all go through stretches of attending funerals. That’s life, and we have no choice but to accept it. Loss, like any experience, shapes and changes you. And it creates a void that must be filled with new experience. With people!

562187_10150691436993494_214597061_nMy mantra is “Surround yourself with creative people.” Seek them out… lots of them. Interact! For this, quantity beats quality.

I can’t predict how much time I have left on this earth, but I do know that the bulk of my time is behind me. I’m sure my sons are shuddering at the thought of their 104 year-old Dad passing gas in their living room. I still want to travel and experience things and events, but going forward the true richness of life will be with my family and friends. And lots of acquaintances!

And that’s living, my friends…