Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fudgie the Whale, It Ain't

My printer/scanner came back to life unexpectedly -- and briefly -- the other day and I was able to scan in some pics, or "blog seeds," as I thought of them.

For the record, THIS is a picture of a Carvel ice cream cake:

And THIS is a picture of the "ice cream cake" I received from a "friend" for my 32nd birthday:

You'll note that yes, it is technically an ice cream cake. It contains cake and ice cream. Outside of that, it bears absolutely no resemblance to a Carvel ice cream cake! Where are the chocolate crunchies, for crying out loud??

Ah, good times. My good friends Anne and Ruth were all set to satisfy my only birthday request -- for a Carvel ice cream cake. Anne and I were rooming together at the time and had invited a bunch of our friends from Richmond down for Memorial Day Weekend and my best friend and her now-hubby were coming down as well. We had a house full of friends on an incredibly rainy weekend and had a great time. About the only thing worse than the weather was that damn cake! A friend of ours at the time who considered herself something of a chef decided it was perfectly silly for Anne and Ruth to purchase a cake and that she would make one instead. They insisted on Carvel, she insisted on a Kissel Original. And that's what I got. We had to clear the entire freezer out to store the thing and then we couldn't actually cut it. I'm pretty sure we just hid it in the freezer until the chef left.

The only saving grace is that my bff brought her grandmother's famous Dip. That's the green stuff in the bowl to the left. It's the world's bestest onion/garlic dip and I lived on it for the entire weekend. And no, we don't know why she insisted on making it green. But we've tried it without the food coloring and as crazy as it sounds, it doesn't taste the same! I used to bring Dip to work potlucks and had to make batches of it for several coworkers to bring to parties. This stuff is awesome! It's also somewhat toxic -- if you have any, you have to insist the people around you eat it as well. Consider it the first line of defense.

And now I know what I'll be making this weekend! :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Opera Singer

I was just walking across the parking lot towards our building when I was greeted with a pleasant, silly surprise. Seems the construction workers were having some sort of pickup truck stereo battle and the current winner was blasting opera. He was soon drowned out by R&B, but for a minute I was taken back to my bedroom in my childhood home and welcomed a memory I had all but forgotten.

Our house was on the corner of a somewhat major thoroughfare in our itty bitty town and there was a bus stop on the corner. I used to awaken to a man singing opera (beautifully, I might add) while he waited for the bus. I don't think I ever thought much of it -- that it was strange or that most of the world wasn't awakened in the same manner.

Years later, while in college, I worked for a mail order fabric company in town. I discovered one of my coworkers was the mother of a girl I went to high school with and she and her family lived two blocks up the street from my old house. Carlene and I got to talking one day and I found out her husband sang for the Metropolitan Opera in NYC. It was her husband who used to sing at the bus stop as he waited for his bus into the city!

We only lived in that house for the first ten years of my life. We then moved across the street and up five houses (putting our house along the walking route of the opera singer) and while I'd occasionally hear him sing a little as he walked by, I never got the full concerts I'd had while he waited for the bus...

I'm sure he and the opera house received plenty of adulation over the years. But I wonder how many of us in the neighborhood loved hearing him as well -- and how many of us were exposed to opera for the first time because of his free concerts down our street. I'm attending a sushi/opera night next month. I've been meaning to attend an opera forever but this will be my first. I hope I hear something that I learned as a child without even realizing it. Thank you, Ron Naldi, for bringing a little culture to Grandview Avenue!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Maybe It's the Vitamin D...

I don't often take my mother's advice (nor ask for it, truth be told), especially when it comes to things of a romantic nature. Don't know if it's because I'm gay and we had some...uh...struggles with that when I was younger that are burned indelibly on my psyche or if it's just my nature in general. I do absolutely appreciate knowing she's there if I do need to turn to her and I think she in turn knows I'm pretty bad off when I call needing to speak with her. She can usually tell by the fact that I'm sobbing before she answers the phone. :)

Anyway, what I'm trying to get to is that while I don't often take my mother's advice on some matters, I don't question her on vitamins or supplements. She cured my badly wrenched ankle (and subsequently some of my friends') by convincing me to take glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM and while it may just be a placebo effect, it worked, so who cares?

Mom's new supplement is Vitamin D. I don't remember who told her but he/she stressed that we don't get enough of it and Mom and her friends are popping them like M&Ms and supposedly everyone has a lot more pep in their step.

So I've added a double dose of Vitamin D (because the average concentration isn't enough according to her source) to my now daily routine of: multivitamin, fish oil, gingko, and Flexamin (the aforementioned glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM). I'm not sure if it's doing anything or not, but my house is clean, I stacked 3/4 of a cord of firewood last night, I've gotten motivated at work, and I've run during lunch over the last three days.

Now some of this may just be coincidental. I've got some things I'm trying to actively work on and in doing so I'm trying to tackle chores as they come up and take care of myself instead of putting things off. I'm also officially in training for a marathon in March, so I'm running daily as a survival mechanism. It just so happens that I feel pretty darn good about myself as a side effect.

Alas, since my life is one big golf game in which only two of the three components are ever working well at the same time (drives are good, short game is good, putting's in the sh*tter), one of my friendships is suffering again.

Things are the way they are.
Things are the way they are.
Things are the way they are.

I hope beyond hope that I will not rail against this in my next life. I can't begin to explain how frustrated I get when the general population at large -- and the people who are important to me specifically -- don't see that we are here for a BLIP in time!! Oh, it drives me out of my mind!! I know everyone is doing the best they can. I know everyone is on his or her own timetable...but we waste so much time!!!

And I'm yelling at myself in there too, so don't think it's just you. :)

I'm not living up to my full potential, are you? Some of it I have control over -- my career, my hobbies, my raison d'etre. But some of it is out of my control -- some of it involves other people and they're roadblocks to my realizing my full potential. So what to do? Do I wait for them to catch up? Do I ACCEPT that things (people) are the way they are and just ACCEPT what they have to offer when they offer it?

So many questions, so little time.......


Get to livin' or get to dyin'. Good luck to all of us! :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome to the Teens!

Man alive! Apparently, I'm worthless without some sort of monthly blog posting challenge!! I was thisclose to signing up for January's, but decided I would just write every day in January and not sign up for the challenge formally.


Four days in and this is my first post. And I'm really just doing this to say hello ("Hello!") and let you know my intentions...

I still have some left over stories from November's challenge and some updates from the last month AND -- I know you'll all find this very exciting!! -- a primer on road races that I shared with our dear friend Bert.

So let's all stay tuned, shall we?

I'll see if I can't get on the stick with the writing (go ahead Bert, I know what you're thinking...) and in exchange, I ask that you all pray for my continued heat until I can get a new heating/cooling unit installed. Thanks!

I hope you're all doing well so far in 2010 and look forward to our continued correspondence. Speaking of, I may not have posted a lot of blogs lately, but you folks are not leaving many comments when I do. Oh, you know who you are. :)