December 2006

Blown Away.

Earl and I just got back from seeing the movie “Dreamgirls”. I am just blown away by Jennifer Hudson’s performance, heck I was blown away by the entire performance. Jennifer rendition of “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” is nothing short of amazing. I have never been in a movie theatre where the audience got on their feet, applauded and cheered for a character in the middle of the movie, but that’s what happened tonight. I had tears streaming down my cheeks after hearing her incredible performance. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.

Beyoné, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx and the rest of the cast are wonderful. The movie is beyond spectacular. You must see it.

Revolution of Resolution.

It’s the last day of 2006. Today is the day to reflect on the events of the past year, ponder why we humans do what we do and wonder why we’ve eaten so much for the past month and a half. It’s also a time to thank whomever is responsible that our pants haven’t burst at the seam while standing in line at the mall for another barrel of popcorn coated in chocolate, caramel, candy or all of the above.

I like to think of myself as a constant, fluid effort in refinement. In truth I occasionally feel like I’ve taken a wrong turn on the path of life, so I wipe the slate clean and start all over again. Oddly enough, I’m not feeling this way with the arrival of the New Year; I already have so many changes that lie ahead that it seems kind of silly to be making a list of resolutions. Nevertheless, like everyone else I hope to live a healthier lifestyle in 2007. The advertising folks have already started blasting us with an infinite number of ways to remind us why we’re ugly, fat and shunned by our peers. For just $19.95 a month for the rest of your life you can enjoying better living through chemistry by unnaturally surpressing your appetite completely, gnawing at foods that even the astronauts wouldn’t touch in the deep reaches of orbit and then accompany the effort with the promise of explosive bowels at any random moment.

I’ve never believed in the quick fix to your health and I’m not going bite this time around either.

I have what I believe is a realistic, obtainable goal outside of school and career that I’d like to accomplish by the end of August. I’m going to ride the entire length of New York State from the Newburgh bridge at the Hudson River to the shores of Lake Erie in Barcelona, N.Y. by bicycle. That my goal and I’m hoping that a healthier lifestyle will fall naturally into place. I’ve remarked several times over the past couple of years that I’d like to do that; by going back to school I believe I’ll have the opportunity to attain that task. It’s going to happen this year. No compromise.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe New Years’ Eve celebration. I also wish that everyone has the same sense of awe and excitement that I have about 2007. No matter how dark and cloudy the day may be, look up and seek out that stray ray of sunshine.

Life is good.

Wide Selection.

Wide Selection.

Originally uploaded by DJSuperCub.

The folks in our community have been screaming about the fact that Walgreens was building a new store in our area. They claimed that we don’t need another stinkin’ drug store in this rural part of the state, as we already have Rite Aid, Eckerd, Brooks, CVS and many others.

Apparently Walgreens decided to cater to these rural folks that were complaining.

Earl and I stopped at the store to ask if someone had hacked the sign or something. We were informed that it’s true, they carry Chicken Poop for $2.49.


Like most people, every once in a while I’ll get a song stuck in my head. Unfortunately, when this happens, my moderately OCD tendencies kick in and I start obsessing about the aforementioned song. I’ll hum it, I’ll think about it, I’ll obsess about it until it comes to a sweet resolution where the Universe finally presents me with this tune in it’s natural setting. The trouble is, there’s no way for this song to get to me in it’s natural setting at the moment. That’s because for the past two days I’ve had the theme song to the sitcom Alice stuck in my head.

As of late I’ve come to know this process as “Lavinization”.

Alice was on CBS for nine seasons. I remember watching first run episodes on Sunday nights and reruns weekdays at 10:30 before The Price Is Right. A multi-talented individual, Linda Lavin not only starred as “Alice” but she also sang the theme song, back when television shows had theme songs that lasted more than five seconds (the good ‘ol days). Always the performer, Ms. Lavin recorded at least one different version of the theme song per season.

To make a long story short, I currently have the second season, first variation of this song stuck in my head. Funniest thing, the saddest part is I never knew why. It’s just stuck in my head, playing over and over.

I have to admit it’s kind of groovy. The wurlitzer organ in this particular version that’s playing in my head is a bit trippy. The accompanying images are a little hazy but after all, things are great when you stand on your own two feet.

Today I’m Lavinized. If you’d like to join me, check out this site. Unfortunately, the particular version I’m hearing is not on the linked page!


Turn The Page.

I just completed the exit interview with Human Resources, so I guess it’s official. I am now a struggling student by trade as today is my last day in the rat race for a while.

I’m very excited about going back to school. I’m finally following my dream to be a traffic engineer and I’m thanking the Universe, as few have the opportunity to pursue an education and a new career at this point in their life. I must admit that I’m sad about turning the page on this chapter of my life though, because I have enjoyed this job very much. I’ve often complained in here about the “on-call” aspects of my position and the crazy customers that I’ve talked to, but for the most part, it hasn’t been a bad gig and I’d do it again. I was a little surprised to get a phone call with well wishes from the senior vice-president of the company this morning and I appreciated the gesture. If for some reason my school plans don’t work out, I can always go back to this job and I feel good about that. I don’t believe in burning bridges. I look forward to maintaining friendships with my co-workers. They are good people.

2007 harkens in a completely new chapter in our life. The feeling is not unpleasant.


The last couple of morning papers have talked about the fact that our local airport is moving to the old Air Force base down the road a bit from us. They’re scheduled to move this weekend. I find this a bit humorous for a number of reasons.

First of all, the terminal is going to be built this summer. Right now, there’s no airline terminal at the Air Force base/new county airport. You would think this would leave thousands of passengers stranded in the elements as they waited for their flight. But in reality, that’s not really a problem because there’s no passengers. That’s right, there are no commercial flights to our local airport that’s moving; the last commercial flight to the county airport was back in 2002.

It’s a good thing they finished the freeway to the old airport last year.

Earl and I live downwind from both the old airport and the Air Force base. The runway at the base is used by a variety of interests, including acting as a backup landing spot for the space shuttle, random acts of Woodstock and by an airliner maintenance facility. We have all sorts of airline-emblazened jets flying over our house at all hours of the day, so it looks like we live near a busy airport. It looks like we have people just pouring in and out of the new airport. American Airlines, Southwest, JetBlue, they go in and out of the new airport like crazy.

Except there’s no passengers on the planes.

And the planes are going in to get fixed. Because they are broken.

I wonder how the hotel at the old airport is going to stay afloat, since the non-existent commercials flights have been moved to the new airport.

Are they going to build a new hotel for the non-existent passengers?

I’m hoping the new digs bring prosperity to the local economy. It would be a nice change of pace around here.


As I wind down my career with my current employer, my last day being Friday, I finding it kind of odd around the office. This week is a slow week, simply because it’s the annual ‘Tween week, where many are not working and those that are really aren’t. But it’s a little strange to be cleaning out my desk, showing others what I do and how I do it and such. E-mails are arriving to tell our team what to expect over the next couple of weeks. Since I won’t be there, it’s odd to be hitting “delete”.

I find the feeling rather disconcerting.

Instead of being in the thick of things, I feel like I’m on the fringe. An outsider just looking in and watching the game from the cheap seats.

I also find it a little humorous that my last two “work nights” are also on-call nights. When I gave my letter of resignation at the beginning of the month, I mentioned that I would maintain my on-call obligations right up to the bitter end.

Sometimes I’m such a martyr that I want to spit up right along with those around me.

I’m very excited about heading back to college in the mid part of January. I guess I’m ready to get there now.

Beginning of the Second.

Earl and I have talked about this day for a long, long time. Today we were going to be sailing on a cruise ship to Alaska, jumping off the nearest glacier and roam with the wildlife for a little bit. Afterwards, we would leave the cruise ship behind, jump into a Jeep and trek up the Dalton Highway, 414 miles northward to Deadhorse, Alaska, where we’d do a polar bear cannonball into the Arctic Ocean, dry off, warm up, spend the night and head back south.

That was how we were going to spend the tenth anniversary of our commitment ceremony. Today is the day. Earl and I are eligible for a Duran Duran CD, for we have been as married as NYS law will allow for a decade.

We didn’t do as we had dreamed. We always talk big, but we went the simple route today. We shopped in Syracuse, I growled at a few people talking on their cell phone and we amused ourselves by watcing a young couple TURN OFF THE ESCALATOR so that they could transport their empty baby buggy down it. We had dinner at Smokey Bones.

We kept it simple, we kept it sweet and we liked it that way.

The Holiday Spirit.

Earl and I are safely back at home after a day of traveling to visit the family for the Christmas holiday. It has been a wonderful day for the both of us.

This morning we were up at 8 a.m. and in front of the Christmas tree at 8:01 a.m. Earl quickly poured the mandatory glass of orange juice and then we opened our gifts from Santa and to each other. As I type, Earl is playing Texas Hold ‘Em on our new Xbox 360 that Santa brought us. I just know he’ll be ripping up Xbox Live by the end of the week. I navigated our way to my father’s house using the new GPS receiver that was under the tree this morning. We plan on Geocaching starting in the spring and the GPS receiver will definitely aid in the hunt.

We then headed up to my dad’s house, where we had a wonderful brunch (crepes and champagne-yummy!) with my dad and stepmom and my stepbrother and his girlfriend. My sister and her boyfriend joined in the fun via webcam from Russia. It was a picture perfect Christmas afternoon, complete with two cats sleeping in their little cat beds under the Christmas tree. My dad handcrafted a spice rack for our kitchen as our Christmas gift.

From there we headed to my sister’s American apartment (she’s so worldly) where my mother hosted Christmas dinner. It was delicious and had all the wonderful elements of a dinner only my Mom can put on; there was way too much food, a lot of love put into the creation of the meal and a kitchen that looked like Yucca Flats after the blast. Surprisingly, there was not a bowl of popcorn to be found. We exchanged more gifts, shared stories and conversation with family and friends and laughed and laughed.

While talking on the way home, Earl and I both agreed that we were “feeling” the holidays because we had such a wonderful time with our families, friends and with each other. There wasn’t a flake of snow to be found, but it definitely felt like Christmas. We are truly blessed by the Universe.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Christmas Eve 2006.

It’s a beautiful sunny day here outside of Philadelphia. The temperature is in the mid 50s. I’m not wearing a coat. It certainly doesn’t feel like Christmas Eve, but we’re still full of the spirit.

Earl and I decided to do some last minute shopping this afternoon, picking up some house warming gifts for some relatives to give at the party tonight. After struggling in a way to find the spirit for the past month, it seems to have both hit us like a ton of bricks. There’s no complaints from either of us.

We stopped at the new Philadelphia Park Casino where they have slot machines. I walked out with slightly more money than I went in with after only 10 minutes of spinning wheels. I like it when that happens. And to think we were only there to pick up a gift certificate.

Tonight we’ll be arriving home around midnight or so. I’m looking forward to the drive and I’m looking forward to the festivities that lie ahead.

Merry Christmas to all!